Incorporating family heirlooms into your look

“I am my ancestors’ wildest dreams”


Influence

If you follow me on social media, you may know that my grandmother passed away back in December of 2018 a couple of days before Christmas. Naturally, I was heartbroken. So much of the woman I am today is due to the immense influence she had on my life. She was a nurse and I became a nurse. She was the original world traveler and taught me the value of collecting passport stamps. As a toddler, she taught me the value of education, which inspired me to excel academically throughout grade school and enter a Top 20 University for college. Last but not least, my grandmother was the original fierce, fabulous fashionista! She was unapologetically “ON” at all times. Yes, she was the type to rock pearls and furs to the grocery store. LOL Furs were her best friend and she prided herself on her collection of fur coats, hats, and stoles. Needless to say, I’ve got it honestly. I get all of my bad and bougie traits from her. Grandma Ruby taught me well! 🙂

Keeping the legacy alive

The day before she passed away I decided to do a photoshoot with a vintage Saks 5thAvenue fur stole she passed down to me in 2015. I kept this prized heirloom tucked away safely in my closet for special occasions only. However, this day I decided to incorporate the heirloom and create a fabulous look with it—one that would honor her legacy and show her influence on my life and style.

An unforgettable moment

Shooting this look, I literally embodied her essence. It was surreal! As I stroked the fur of the stole, I felt her presence right there with me. It was as if she was reassuring me that she would always be there. I always knew she was proud of me, but I genuinely felt it in that moment. It was a moment that I would never forget.

Making her proud

Grandma Ruby tried to keep up with my blog as much as she could, but unfortunately she never got a chance to see the photos from this shoot.  She passed away the very next morning. Her legacy most definitely lives on in and through me! You are looking at “Lil’ Ruby” (as she would call me sometimes). I am proud to honor the original Mrs. Cockrell. 

In Loving Memory of my grandmother Ruby C. Cockrell
(my favorite photo of her circa late 1980s)

Other ways to incorporate heirlooms into your look

Her heirloom means even more to me than ever before. If you have something that belonged to your loved one, don’t just sit it in your closet, incorporate it into your daily look! I also have a scarf from my great-grandmother that passed away that I use as a neck-tie. If you have a broach or pin from a loved one, you can pin on your blazer or on a beret. Every time you see that piece it will remind you of their love and support and wearing these heirlooms helps you to create a style all your own.

Style details

Not only is this look in honor of my grandmother’s legacy, but its the perfect look for a fancy night out on the town. Valentine’s Day is approaching and you don’t have to break the bank to look like a million bucks. Trust me! I found this top at a local Houston thrift store for less than $10 (amazing, right?!), the skirt was $10.50 from American Apparel, and the YSL pumps were less than $300 from a second-hand store (another great deal!). Remember, it’s not how much you spend that makes your look. It is how you put it together!

How do you plan to incorporate your family heirlooms in your next look? Or rather, what is another way you can honor the legacy of your loved ones? Comment below so I can hear from you!

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“I can buy designer, but this Fashion Nova fit!”

“Fashion is what you buy, style is what you do with it.” -Nicky Hilton

I love luxury brands and designer clothes, but I’m also a fan of mixing high and low! I call it balling on a budget. LOL. I can literally shop at any store in search of good deals on clothing that I can restyle and wear over and over again. When you’re on a living spree, you want to look stylish while still saving those coins! Plus, I’m a firm believer in adding value to my clothes and not allowing the clothes to add value to me. By no surprise, Fashion Nova is one of my go-to stores for online shopping deals when I want to create a luxe look for less. I love the saying, “Mix high and low, they’ll never know.” 🙂

She won

One of my favorite items I purchased from Fashion Nova is the “Wild World Chevron Jumpsuit.” I scored it for a mere $26 using a 30% off discount code! I first saw it on celebrity Adrienne Bailon, who styled it beautifully. I knew the vibrant jumpsuit would be perfect for vacation-wear, but the long sleeves and pants also made it feasible as a transition piece when the seasons changed.

Jumpsuit: Fashion Nova | Similar: here , here and here

This jumpsuit is a current fave in my closet and here’s why:

The color

I love color, especially pops of color. As mentioned in one of my first blogs here, popping a color is one of my favorite ways to make a fashion statement. Don’t shy away from rocking vibrant colors year round! Once the seasons change, you can add a black leather jacket or navy blazer over the shoulders.

The Print

Prints, shapes and patterns are definitely “my thing.” I love energetic, tribal patterns. The retro chevron print is actually one of my favorite style patterns, but this was the first chevron print I wore that also had all of the colors I loved in one!

The Fit

Let’s just say this piece fit me like a glove!  It accentuated the waistline and was super stretchy and comfortable, which is important for someone like me who’s stylishly on-the-go.

Dress to Impress

You could wear this jumpsuit anywhere! I wore it on date as well as a night out on the town. You can also wear to brunch, events, parties, etc. and make a fashion statement. As mentioned previously, you can add a leather jacket over the shoulder to add extra edge or even a hat for transition into the fall season!

High-low Mix Tips

When shopping at trendy stores like Fashion Nova, try to visualize how you can enhance the quality and look of the outfit. Remember, you make the clothes…the clothes don’t make you! Dress it up with cute accessories and a nice handbag. I decided to keep it simple and wear these gorgeous gold earrings from ZARA, added my Prada sunglasses and the infamous bamboo handbag.

Earrings: ZARA (sold out) | Similar: here, here, and here

Stay woke

Don’t sleep on Fashion Nova! They do have some cute items in their shop, but don’t expect the “best quality” in the world. You can’t go wrong with them for trendy clothing or last minute “cute” outfits.  I guarantee before this year is over you will at least take them up on one of the many sales they have! Who can turn down a 30% off discount? It’s worth a try!

Jumpsuit: Fashion Nova

Earrings: ZARA

Sunglasses: Prada

Shoes: Steve Madden 

Bamboo handbag: Amazon

Makeup: Tonia O. Artistry 

Photographer: JP Hanney

Don’t forget to join me on my living spree! Subscribe to the blog and follow me on Instagram and Facebook for all things fashion, travel and inspiration to live your best life! I would love to chat with you there and hear some of your feedback. Leave a comment below if you’ve ever shopped at Fashion Nova and created a luxe look for less! I want to  your experience!

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Seize The Day In This Caramel Cape

“Fashion is what you buy, style is what you do with it”

Winning

As I mentioned in my previous post, ZARA is probably one of my favorite stores. Every season, I find at least one or two items that become closet staples. To say the least, this long caramel cape (color sold out) was probably one of my favorite purchases during the 2017 holiday season! I snagged it during the Black Friday sale at Zara. If you shop there regularly like I do, you know that Zara can be a bit pricey at times. Therefore, I try to make my purchases count the most during sale season! I would have to say that this chic caramel cape was worth every penny and I was able to purchase it at a fraction of the original cost. Anytime I don’t end up paying full price for an item, it’s a win for me!

Versatility is key

The cape was the perfect outerwear for a Houston winter (or lack thereof lol). If you’ve never been to Houston, let me tell you a little bit about the weather here. It can literally be 40 degrees in the morning (super cold for us) and 80s and sunny in the afternoon/evening of the same day! The weather here is so labile and we hardly ever have really cold days that require a heavy coat. Most of the time, we layer and wear light jackets and end up shedding all of our layers as the day goes on when it warms up. This cape is the perfect coat of sorts, if you live somewhere like Houston where the climate is tropical. Weather aside, this coat is still fashionable, chic, sexy, and screams effortless slay on the go. You can dress it down with flats or dress up with heels or colored booties. I love versatile pieces not only in terms of weather, but style as well. You can get a lot of wear out of them and if they’re timeless, you can even wear them for years to come!

The Look

In the photos, I decided to dress up the coat and wore it over the black swan top from ShopBellaRosa boutique (stay tuned for full pics of the top). It was love at first sight when I first laid eyes on it and I immediately began making plans. I loved how the ruffled sleeves on the top showed through the arm slits on the cape. Such a cute hint of pizzaz to compliment the look! Of course, I had to add some edge and wore one of my favorite pair of leopard booties from Steve Madden (old) and these trendy aviator-like sunglasses from Aldo. The final touch was this Vintage Gucci Boston bag from my great-aunt’s closet (thanks auntie!).  The complete look was definitely giving me “Sex in the City” vibes for the photo-shoot. I was right here in Houston imagining that I was taking a casual stroll through New York City. If you don’t know already, I am definitely a Southern belle with big city dreams!

As you can see, I pieced together some of my closet staples for one look. I tend to do that sometimes, but only with pieces that absolutely compliment each other without doing too much. This look was simple, yet edgy and just enough to achieve the look I was going for! What are some of your staple pieces in your closet? What do they say about you? Any pieces you’re looking to add to your closet and achieve a certain look? Maybe I can help 🙂 Comment below, let’s talk fashion!

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