So Blue, So True

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dress- Bill Blass (Thrifted)/ Belt- Gifted/ Shoes- Jessica Simpson/ Necklace- Forever21/ Earrings- Thrifted

***UPDATED 07/21/2011****
This is one of my favorite thrifted pieces! I got this from the Goodwill in Dunwoody, GA. Be sure to head over to Everybody Everywear to see everyone's favorite thrifted finds.

There is something so liberating about living in truth.  Living in truth is about being your authentic self despite perceptions and expectations of others.  The only way to live such a life is to truly understand who we are first. 

Reflect on this:
  • Who am I?
  • What brings joy to my life?
  • What do I contribute of value to the lives of others? 
  • What do I represent both in the presence of others and alone when no one is watching? 
Own your existence with the understanding that we get another chance each second to  reintroduce ourselves to the world in a spirit of truth.

Atlanta's West Indian Parade: A Masquarade Ball

Monday, May 30, 2011

by Keren Charles

On Saturday, I attended the West Indian Day Parade in Atlanta to check out the fashionably haute costumes. Carnival costumes are known for providing minimalist coverage, being heavily beaded with sequins and lots and lots of feathers everywhere. Below are some pics of my favorite designs worn by the masquaraders.

I fell in love with this white and yellow costume.  It soft and subtle but yet it is so bright and cheery.  The headpiece looks so light and fluffly, almost like a cloud in the sky with the sunlight peeking through. Doesn't it just make you smile?

This was my favorite costume. I love the vibrant blue color with the white crochet inserts and the plunging neckine. Very sexy, don't you agree?

The steel band section follows the masquaraders down the street to provide music as they parade through the streets.

This was by far one of the most colorful sections in the band and more of a traditional design, I still thought it was blog-worthy.  It's bright and fun. I sense the designer was inspired by the colorblocking trend. Plus, the color combination reminded me of one of my childhood favorite gums: Fruit Flavored Chiclets 

Lastly, this frontline masquarader has the most elaborate costume in her section. The gorgeous varying shades of green makes me green with envy. I could see myself wearing this costume. Maybe next year?

THRIFTY THURSDAYS: Are You a Vintage Label Snob?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

by Keren Charles

In our previous Thrifty Thursdays blog post, one of our tips suggested shopping the label because it tells the story of the garment. This is especially important to those of you who are shopping for vintage clothing. Knowing what to look for in a label can be intimidating for some thrift store virgins, so consider these tips when searching for that special oldie but goodie: 

  • Look for the Union Label:  Pictured below is one of the most commom union labels that I come across while thrifting. The International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union (ILGWU), made up of mostly female members, was formed in the 1900s. Found in the hem or seam, it is a great way to determine the era when a garment was made.

  • Pay attention to Hand-sewn Labels:
    Hand-sewn labels are excellent indicators of the authenticity of a vintage garment. It is the final touch highlighting the designer; therefore, much care was put into it. However, you may encounter some garments with fraudulent label switching, so do your research. One of my favorite sites is Couture Allure Vintage Fashion. It is a great resource for learning more about vintage clothing and fashion.

  • Labels identifying both Designer & Fashion House: Many world renowned designers, like Oscar De La Renta, worked for a company or a recognized fashion house before designing for their own label.  Seeing a label like the one pictured below is a clear indicator that the garment is vintage. 

Image courtesy of

  • Label Re-Designed: Just like fashion changes over the years, garment labels are also re-designed from time to time. You can identify the era a garment was created by being knowledgeable about the design of the label. Using a great online resource like the Vintage Fashion Guild,  you can find a list of designers and their label designs through the years. Below are a few images of a re-designed Chanel label. (Images below courtesy of Vintage Fashion Guild) 

from a late 1920s - early 1930s beaded dress - Courtesy of vintage*belle

from a late 1960s couture suit Courtesy of

from a 1970s rtw dress Courtesy of Claire Shaeffer

from a 2000s rtw pants suit Courtesy of Claire Shaeffer

  • Sizing: With so many of today's designers and clothing manufacturers practicing vanity sizing, your size in vintage clothing may be different based on today's sizing standards. 
Shopping for vintage clothing can definitely be described as a treasure hunt. It is such a great feeling to become the new owner of a fabulous, one-of-a-kind, well made garment. It becomes a conversation piece and a style statement!

Sweeter Than Honey

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Top- Thrifted/ Pants- Joes (Thrifted)/ Shoes-BCBG/ Earrings- Thrifted/ Bracelet- Gifted

It's that time of year, spring has sprung.  There's something about this season of renewal-the longer days, fragrant gardens in bloom, and the beauty of the warm sun.  This is the perfect time to think about those people and things that add a hint of sweetness to our lives.  Relish in them and do not rush the experience.  Slow down long enough to truly enjoy what or who is good to you.  The sweetness is worth it!

Trying Versus Doing

Sunday, May 22, 2011

by Kawana Coulon

I always get a little nervous when someone speaks about 'trying' to change a behavior, especially one that they are keenly aware is negatively impacting their life. 'Try' is a word so routinely utilized to describe our intentions that it has lost its meaning.  It used to represent sincere effort; you could believe someone if they expressed a willingness to try.  Nowadays this claim could be as good as null.

Know that a person's way of thinking generally impacts their behavior.  The thinking associated with trying leads an individual to be tentative in his or her actions (or maybe not act at all).  It is as if the word allows room for failure.  'Try' is a contingency plan for backing out of a commitment to improve one's life.

Instead of 'try,' just do.  Doing is purposeful.  It is committed action with a goal in place.  It implies no desire to relent or change course based on difficult or unexpected obstacles.

What a different world we could create for ourselves and others if we trade in our "I'll try" thinking for genuine "I am doing" work.  Children would be less disappointed; couples would be more connected; individuals would feel a greater sense of accomplishment; elders would feel less abandoned; communities would thrive together; and faith in one another would increase.

Friends, share with us: What do you want to stop trying and instead need to do?

BDIB: This Woman's Worth

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Shirt-Ralph Lauren/ Blazer-American Eagle Outfitters/ Tie-Thrifted/ Skirt-Petite Sophisticates/ Shoes-Etienne Aigner

As I read the comments when Bloggers Do It Better first introduced this assignment/challenge, I was a bit surprised by the hesitation of a few participants. Sure, most jumped at the opportunity to rummage a man's closet, be creative, and attempt to mix masculine attire with feminine touches. However, some questioned their ability to successfully achieve the look.

While I understand that women don't wear bow ties and neckties regularly, let's not be so worried about losing our femininity based on clothing. The beauty of being a woman is that we hold the ability to be powerful while still exuding a delicate appeal. We possess an inner strength that catapults us through seemingly impossible hardships. We create, nurture, and sustain life. We support the needs of all around us before tending to our own.
It is because I understand a woman's worth that I embraced wearing this look. I sealed the look with the best accessory, a confident smile and a sure sense of self.


by Kawana Coulon

Those who frequent thrift stores always have a favorite item for which to shop.  Ask any thrift store shopper, and they can usually tell you what order they shop in.  For me, it's jewelry, shirts, bottoms, dresses, then jewelry again.  That's right, I start and end at the jewelry counter.  There are always great vintage finds, usually only $1.99 at Goodwill.   Here are a few that I have purchased recently.

I have so many more and can never get enough.  It makes me happy just to go in my jewelry box and know that I found these precious accessories that add an exclamation point to anything in my closet.  I always imagine someone bringing these to the thrift store with the idea that they are no longer relevant.  And then I come along, buy them, and believe each time they are worn, that these special pieces have so much more to give.

It Takes a Village

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

by Kawana Coulon

Dress-Carmen Marc Valvo (Thrifted)/Jewelry-Trendz, Gifted

Being a therapist for adolescents is such a reciprocally transformative process.  Most tell me, “you are doing so much for these kids.” While I never want to underestimate my role and responsibilities in this challenging work, I recognize that my kids inform my existence in immeasurable ways.  They teach me not to take myself so seriously all the time.  They view life’s circumstances with a great sense of hope.  They demonstrate an inspiring sense of resilience despite not always having “the best” or not being given “the most.”  They have such an innocent perspective of the world.   They are willing to take risks without worrying about failing.  They openly accept love and extend forgiveness to those around them. 
Even with these remarkable character strengths, we should never underestimate a child’s need to be surrounded by unwavering support, high expectations, and uncompromising values.  These ideals cannot just happen by way of a few individuals having scattered interactions with our youth.  We have to intentionally wrap every child with positive regard-whether parent, neighbor, relative, church member, friend, mentor, etc.  This list is infinite.  Hopefully, you are already taking ownership for thrusting a child's life forward.  Go ahead, be a part of the village.   

Memories of a Swapnista Day Party

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

by Keren Charles

On Saturday, May 14th, Dearroka Winfrey and I hosted the Swapnista Day Party at the Emerging Art Scene in Castleberry Point in Atlanta. Our companies Fashion Envy LLC and Pretty Girls Rock Dresses produced a fun fashionable event that included a clothing swap, fashion show, shopping, pampering and a day party.

Here are a few highlights from the event:

Sassy Mitchell showcased their latest shipment of premium virgin hair extensions.


Funky Flair Boutique never disappoints with her trendy, affordable accessories and clothing.  I bought a beautiful pair of earrings, a romper and mini dress all for only $42

As soon as I got home, I had to experience the Classic Lemonade Body Polish from Carson Bryce Trading Company. It was everything and more, just as owner Carla Foster described.

After all that shopping, the ladies got a chair massage from Develon of Tranquility Spas.

Putting on eye-makeup is always a challenge for me. Make-up artist Pleasant gave valuable tips during her one-on-one consultations.

Kaysia, The Traveling Foodista, shared her delectable Caribbean appetizers. It was a tasty treat. The pouhlori topped with tamrind sauce and feta cheese was my favorite.

The fashion swap was one of the highlights of the afternoon. Everyone walked in with their once-loved-fashion and walked away with fabulous new-to-you items.

The ladies also strutted their "Best Dress" on the runway for a fabulous prize.
Click HERE to check out more pictures from the Swapnista Day Party.

If you missed our event, don't worry you can catch it again in the Fall.
Join our facebook page to be the first to know all the details.

EBEW: All That Glitters Isn't Gold

Monday, May 16, 2011

*** Updated for this month's EveryBody EveryWear Challenge Sequins + Sparkles! 

Dress- Goodwill/ Earrings- White House Black Market/ Ring- BCBG/ Shoes- BCBG

I was watching television the other day (one of my favorite pastimes).  In watching one entertainment news magazine, I realized how excited we get about things and people who have little to no relevance in our lives.  We are immersed in celebrity lifestyles that appear to be picture perfect.  Grant it, it is exciting to fantasize about having access to the best at all times, jet-setting to exotic surroundings, and being loved by many.  But, I am not naïve enough to believe that these lifestyles don’t come at a mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional cost that many of us would never want to pay.  It is so critical to hold an authentic perspective about what truly matters.  Let’s safeguard what we value and who we hold in high esteem. 

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Fest

Sunday, May 15, 2011

International flair with music, customary dances and traditional attire at Louisiana Marketplace

So many printed clothes

Big hats and fantastic hair everywhere!

Fedoras and sunglasses galore!

This lady was style personified.  She owns a clothing shop in Queens, NY.

Don't know this woman but she was incredibly pretty and sweet.  I wanted to take a pic of her alone but she insisted that my sister and I be a part of it.  Gotta love the "feeling of the fest!"
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