Style

ASOS Dress, WhoWhatWear Dress, Plus Size Fashion

If my life were a sitcom, the past two weeks would have had my viewers on an emotional climatic edge! With my rocky path of personal growth and development center stage for everyone to see. My closest friends can attest to some of the most bizarre yet comical conversations and interactions I’ve had with the opposite sex (old and new), my professional & personal dilemmas, and even the reappearance of characters viewers thought were killed or written off from the very first season!

ASOS Dress, WhoWhatWear Dress, Plus Size Fashion

There were moments where I’d sit to catch my breath and something else would happen unexpectedly like a football hitting me in the face out of nowhere. We’ve all seen that scene and have winced from the second-hand pain and the second-hand embarrassment that follows. I seriously thought to myself almost every day, “where’s the freaking film crew?”

But one night, while restlessly tossing and turning, I wondered “what am I putting out that’s inviting this chaos in?” And the simple answer was: allowance. I was allowing certain things that I shouldn’t have entertain to enter my life as if my life were a hit sitcom like ‘Insecure’. But it’s not! And I was emotionally drained.

ASOS Dress, WhoWhatWear Dress, Plus Size Fashion
Dress: ASOS, Heels: Who What Wear, Necklace: H&M
I knew I had to immediately let go of a few luxuries and a few love interests. And as a single boujee woman in the city, that was hard! But, like an executive producer and screenwriter, I decided to write out quite a few characters that weren’t beneficial to the plot and will not be making any future cameo appearances. And to symbolically match clipping loose ends, I went and got my hair clipped. I’ve also been purging my wardrobe of pieces that no longer match my journey.
 
My mantra became “let the past be the past” and it really helped me to live and enjoy the present. I can sincerely say that I’m becoming more grateful for the life I live instead of feeling entitled to a life I desire. These are stepping stones for my personal growth and I know much more will be added and much more are needed. But, I was reminded that stepping stones are best put under your feet and not above your shoulders.
 
ASOS Dress, WhoWhatWear Heels, Plus Size Fashion
Photographer: Henrietta M.
 
“There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” ~ C.S. Lewis
 

Besitos,

Melizza

Wilsons Leather Roma Handbag Backpack, Fashion To Figure Metallic Skirt, Just Fab Booties

So I’m almost like a child when it comes to holding my handbag. You know, that one that begggssss you to bring an item on an outing and you dread saying yes because you know you are going to end up carrying that said item. Well, that’s me with my purse!

The first thing to consider when selecting a handbag is what will you put in it and how will you use it? Then consider what outfits you can wear it with. In theory owning a large purse that can carry all of your essentials sounds fantastic. But by midday holding what feels like a ton of bricks is pure torture. And like Erykah Badu sang, “you gone hurt your back.”

Wilsons Leather Roma Handbag Backpack, Fashion To Figure Metallic Skirt, Just Fab Booties

I once had the nickname of Mary Poppins…any and almost everything could be found in my purse. But unlike Mary Poppins, my purses don’t look like upholstered furniture. That’s why when Wilsons Leather asked me to choose an essential Fall handbag I went with their Genuine Leather Roma Square Backpack. It was a no-brainer! The leather is ultra soft and smooth to the touch. Almost like butter but still has great structure…it’s seriously amazing. I knew I would look chic and technically I wouldn’t have to carry my handbag. Win. Win.

Wilson's Leather, Calvin Klein, Fashion To Figure
Since having the Roma backpack, I’ve used it as an everyday bag. No. Seriously, I’ve used it EVERY day! I’ve used it for: walking around the city, meetings for work, I’ve even taken it with me on a date, and to go dancing with my girls! It is the most versatile handbag I own! Hands down! 
 
I’m all about K.I.S.S (Keep It Sweet & Simple). So when purchasing a new handbag consider these three simple things:
  1. Style and Purpose
  2. Material
  3. Quality

Ladies, you deserve that new handbag. So go purchase one right now!

Wilsons Leather Roma Handbag Backpack, TrueGault shoes, Chico's Pants,
Photographer: Ebony Bolt

Sweatshirt: Joe Boxer, Cuff: Fresh Threads Boutique, Metallic Skirt: Fashion To Figure, Shades: Charming Charlie,Leather Backpack: Wilson’s Leather, Booties: Just Fab Abriana Bootie,

Besitos,

Melizza

**I received these products courtesy of Wilsons Leather, however, all opinions are entirely my own.**

Wilson's Leather, Calvin Klein, Levi's,
Seemed like New York finally got the memo that it was Fall. Temperatures dropped overnight and I was more than happy to unpack my sweaters and boots.
 
Like many women, I share one of the top fashion concerns during this season. Which is looking larger in our coats and in our layers. There is an art and science to layering. It is more than smothering yourself in multiple sweaters. There should be a balance between aesthetics and functionality. So I’ve teamed up with Wilsons Leather to show how you stay stylish without sacrificing warmth.
Wilson's Leather, Calvin Klein, Levi's,

My solution for not smothering myself in layers is by simply purchasing a warm coat. Now, this may seem like a “DUHHH” moment, but many women purchase coats based on appearance alone and not functionality. They figure they can just add layers to stay warm. And I don’t know about you, but I hate feeling like a stuffed turkey unless it’s after a Thanksgiving dinner.

The fabric content of your coat is the most important detail when shopping for warmth. If you are coat shopping and need help with the best coat materials to keep you warm start at looking for the following five below:

  1. Cashmere
  2. Gabardine
  3. Leather
  4. Nylon
  5. Wool
Wilson's Leather, Calvin Klein, Levi's,

Please don’t let the company’s name fool you. Wilsons Leather has many styles, fabrics, and sizes to choose from. Leather is not the only option. I chose this chic latte faux-shearling coat because I wanted my coat to make a sophisticated fashion statement while keeping me warm.The faux-shearling is ultra lush. It looks and feels like real shearling. To make matters better, or possibly worst, it’s so comfortable and cozy I legitimately can fall asleep in it.

Ladies here’s a shopping side note for this coat: you may want to size down. Always check the sizing chart. I’m in between a size16/18 and I chose a 2X, but I should have chosen an XL. Thankfully there’s a matching belt in addition to the buckle closures so I can still define my waist.

Wilson's Leather, Calvin Klein, Levi's,
Coat: Wilson’s Leather , Bodysuit: Ashley Stewart, Denim: Levi’s
Booties: Just Fab Abriana Bootie,  Leather Backpack: Wilson’s Leather ,Watch: Gift, Belt: Steve Madden
 
Wilson's Leather, Calvin Klein, Levi's,
Photographer: Ebony Bolts

With so many stylish options for Fall and Winter pieces at Wilsons Leather, there’s practically no excuse to leave the house by freezing or looking frumpy this season.

Besitos,

 

Melizza

**I received these products courtesy of Wilsons Leather, however, all opinions are entirely my own.**

Red Banana Republic Dress for the 1st date
I usually get asked what it is like dating in the Big Apple and a robust laughter usually escapes my lips following the question. I don’t have any horrific dating stories to share so far. I hope I’m one of the lucky few to never have stories that make me want to become a cat lady. So far dating in the city has been an enlightening experience. I’m narrowing down my wants and needs. Learning what I can and will not tolerate in relationships.
Red Banana Republic Dress for the 1st date back view

I’ve embraced the single lifestyle and I actually enjoy it. Yes, I would love to have a significant other, but I refuse to settle for just anyone. I haven’t met anyone that makes me want to leave the single lifestyle behind and I must admit living in the city does not help much. New York is a city of convenience, excessiveness, and accessibility with most of its residents focus on their careers. I’ve learned to date without placing pressure on myself or other and to go with the flow…haha but don’t worry because I control the valves.

So whether it’s the first date or fifth, here are 5 style tips I live by while getting ready for a date.
  1.  Make sure it’s comfortable and it fits properly. I’m not just talking about your shoes But while we are on that topic, wear shoes you can walk in. You may not take a cab in between venues. As for your clothes, you don’t want to be readjusting yourself the entire night. It will make you look uncomfortable and nervous.
  2.  Confidence is key. It is one of the most attractive qualities a person can have.
  3. Natural and minimal is the best for the first date. Show him your glamorous side later on.
  4.  Wear a color or outfit you feel the most confident in. Everyone knows confidence is attractive! So wear the color you feel great in. I feel the sexiest in coral and wine to name a few.  
  5.  Your look should reflect your environment. If you guys are going to a sporting event heels and a body-con dress will stand out like a sore thumb.You want to blend into the scenery, but standout to your date.

 

Dress: Banana Republic, Earrings: Target, Purse: Thrifted, Heels: K-Mart

Dates can be nerve wracking, but one should just go in with an open mind, manners, and kindness. You can only control what your actions and attitude, if your date is rude or makes you feel uncomfortable you have every right to leave.Don’t force yourself to be anywhere  or with anyone you do not want to be with.

Just remember that being polite and confidence can move mountains! Happy dating!

 

Besitos,

Melizza

preppy, preppy style, southern prep

The moment I saw this flamingo dress I was immediately attracted to how quirky and cute it was. I debated for a while whether to purchase it or not. I was on vacation in Florida so of course, it matched my location at that time, but I would be returning to New York in a few of days. Fall was arriving soon and it didn’t fall into a Fall color scheme nor did it match my metropolitan environment.

As I sat in the dressing room for more than 20 minutes I thought about how I was completely in love the silhouette, neckline, and its print. But, it screamed “southern prep”. I paused for a moment and wondered if I felt as if the southern preppy style was exclusively for white women? This thought alone unexpectedly brought up some past emotional issues I had about being mixed.

preppy, preppy style, southern prep

My color or race was never an issue while growing up in St. Croix. The skin tones of my family members come in a wide range. It was normal to me and I never thought twice about it as a child. The women on both sides my family are classy, feminine, and beautiful. They wore stylish pieces and always looked ‘put together’. It wasn’t as if certain styles were reserved for my black relatives and certain styles were reserved for my Puerto Rican relatives. One could argue that maybe I was just too young and naive to notice, but based on the photo albums I’ve seen, I beg to differ. It wasn’t until after moving to America, that I realized racism wasn’t a just history lesson and where I would have experience my most memorable experiences with colorism. I’m not saying it doesn’t exist in the Caribbean because it does. What I am saying is that I was introduced to heavily in the states.

I went to a fairly mixed high school in Florida, but at times I felt like I wasn’t “black enough”. I was constantly being called “high yella” and was constantly being told I spoke ‘like a white girl”. To top things off, I didn’t have an ‘urban’ style. I remember purchasing a Baby Phat top to just fit in and it felt completely wrong… completely unauthentic. At times, I felt as if I had to be a stereotypical version of a black woman to legitimize my ethnicity.

preppy, preppy style, southern prep, classy

The urban style was created out of the need of representation for African-Americans. In the 90’s it was reserved for R&B and hip-hop artists who embraced street wear brands. This dress is the furthest thing from urban clothes but I felt the most authentic in it… more than I did when I tried to rock that Baby Phat top. As I continued to sit in the dressing room reflecting on my experiences surrounding my racial identity in relations to my style, I wondered if I was alone in feeling like this and if I had a disconnect with my culture. Shopping behaviors come from internal motivations like emotions, experiences, and culture. But, do we ever stop to think about those motivations?

My experiences are just snowflakes at the tip of a gigantic iceberg concerning racial identity and style. We Americans rely on clothing as an economic and social indicator because we don’t have official marks of rank such as a caste system or aristocracy. We are constantly trying to label things and place them into boxes. And when something doesn’t fit into the (perceived) norm it feels like there’s a malfunction. Including when one of a certain ethnic group dresses outside that group’s perceived style.

Who would have thought a simple garment could have the power to bring up such a heavy topic?! Fashion is usually seen as superficial, but there is a rich history, psychological factors, and depth! That’s why I love it. If you are interested in learning more about the psychological factors clinical psychologist Dr. Jennifer Baumgartner literally wrote the book on this phenomenon called, “You Are What You Wear: What Your Clothes Reveal About You

Society’s influence on how we perceive ourselves including our style is extremely powerful. So ask yourself, will you take control of that power or will societal and cultural norms have complete power over you?

Have you ever experienced colorism? If so, let’s chat!

Besitos,

Melizza

 


preppy, preppy style, southern prep
Photographer: Elizabeth Buckshon (@roseinarrow)

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Now, I know some daring women are breaking many fashion rules and are looking great while doing so! But, I have one fashion rule I believe every woman (plus & straight size) should follow while wearing shorts and heels to look stylish.
 
Itsy bitsy teenie weenie shorts should NOT be paired with extremely high heels.
 
 
Shades: A.J. Morgan, Sweater: Gap, Shorts: Forever 21, Heels: JustFab, Crossbody: Thrifted, Watch: Geoffrey Beene

When it comes to pairing shorts and heels, the shorts’ length and the heel height play a major role. And proportion is key. If you want to wear short shorts with a smaller inseam, pair it with a short block heel sandal (2″ or below). The longer your shorts, the higher the heels you can wear.

Photographer: Henrietta M.

Personally, I enjoy bending the rules, but for all you rebels continue breaking fashion rules if it makes you feel and look fabulous.

Besitos,

Melizza

“Respect your uniqueness and drop comparison. Relax into your being.” – Osho
 
 
Today, there’s a divide on social media’s long-term consequences. On one hand, there’s a belief that we have cultivated this culture of needing things to be “picture perfect” and that we have created a pressure based the amount of “followers” which then  pressures some users to create a  false narrative. And although I don’t  see social media entirely as an evil, I have seen how its negative impact.
There are two main components of social media: its content and its networking capabilities. I am guilty of browsing through the several platform’s content for endless hours and appreciate the ability to network and meet amazing individuals I would have never had the opportunity of meeting. But, navigating through today’s social media landscape without comparison or envy can be difficult. So whenever I am tempted to compare myself to others on social media I remind myself of Osho’s quote above.
 
“Respect your uniqueness and drop comparison. Relax into your being.”
 
We all have our individual qualities that separate us for every one else. Embrace them and proudly display them. 
Photographer: Reemy-Reemz Alexander
**My entire outfit was purchased at K-Mart in St. Croix (insert shocked face)**
 
Besitos,
 
Melizza 
 
 
 

Photographer: Reemy-Reemz Alexander
I know there is a constant pressure to look a certain way and it can be a strain on your finances. But take it from me, you do NOT have to break the bank to look amazing. I shop at discount stores, the clearance rack, and on apps like Poshmark and Ebay for certain labels. Some months I feel like I go overboard with shopping for my wardrobe and then I have some months where I have a “dry spell”. But, if you are financial saavy and responsible (or trying to be like me) there is a simple equation to help you become more responsible. Are you ready for it?
 
THP(.05) = Wardrobe Allowance
 
You should only spend 5% of your take home pay on your wardrobe. According to award-winning financial planner, Pete Dunn, you should only spend this small percentage on clothing. I’ve definitely gone over for this month. *shocked face*  But, I’ve gone on a shopping diet so it should even out. This is such a simple equation you can easily memorize it. To get the exact dollar amount multiply your take-home pay by (.05). Go ahead and pull out your cell to use  your calculator if you have…I’m not judging *winks*.  When you know better, you do better.
 
In the photo above I am proudly wearing a dress purchased from Marianne’s in St. Croix  (which is Rainbow in the America) for $5 and my SM pumps from K-Mart for $29.99. I have easily spent more than this on a meal in the city. I used to be obsessed with labels but now I can care less! If I like it, I’m purchasing it no matter where it’s from. Take it from me, it’s freeing when you don’t let superficial things like that control what you wear and how you dress.
 
Besitos,
 
Melizza

“Always go with the choice that scares you the most, because that’s the one that is going to help you grow.” ~ Caroline Myss
 
When I saw this AQ/AQ men’s top I was excited and nervous about it at the same time! This top covers everything yet reveals everything. I had never owned anything like it before. It was daring and slightly risqué, but I just knew I had to have it! This outfit is somewhat reflective of how I’ve been feeling currently.  To me, it symbolizes my desire to break free from my comfort zone.

Sometimes, I have to remind myself to be fearless. And that my comfort zone is a trap. Nothing amazing ever happens in your comfort zone! Point blank, end of discussion. Everything you’ve ever dreamt of is right outside the borders you have limited yourself withing. I’ve wanted to give up since things have gotten extremely hard but know I deserved more and my dreams are worth each struggle. And so are yours!

Earrings: H&M, Sunglasses: A.J. Morgan, Top: AQ/AQ, Sport Bra: Victoria's Secret, Jeans: Levi's, Heels: Mossimo
Photographer: Henrietta M. (@therealhbmedia)
 
Don’t let the lust for comfort murder the passions of your soul. 
 
Besitos,
 
Melizza
© 2017 What Would Melizza Wear, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED