Cozy Chic Outdoor Style For The Current Times

The holiday season is surely going to be different this year. Gosh, 2020 has brought us all kinds of new experiences. When I need a break from being safest-at-home, I head outdoors to explore my city. Enjoying outdoor activities gets tricky as it gets colder, but I’m committed to extend that enjoyment. So, I’ve been searching for a new puffer to make sure my outdoor style is on point.

I partnered with Everlane to create some Instagram Stories yesterday. When I pulled my featured outfit for those stories, I knew immediately what I wanted–the ReNew Long Puffer. This puffer was exactly what I didn’t know I was looking for. And, it is inspiring my cold-weather, outdoor style

outdoor style

What I’m wearing:

Puffer coat | Turtleneck top | Leggings | Boots (new version, option) | Bag

Kendra Scott earrings | Kendra Scott ring | Lip: Pat McGrath “Elson” | Face mask

outdoor style

The Everlane puffer jacket immediately caught my eye because of its overall luxe look. Do you see those oversized button flap pockets? I was all the way sold, though, when I saw it came in 3 colors including this right-on-trend Chestnut hue. When I received it, I was blown away by its high quality. And, when I wore it, I was blown away by how warm and cozy it is. I’m actually looking forward to colder temps because I’m ready with my outdoor style.

outdoor style

On frigid days when my coat needs to show up and rep my style, this puffer jacket will be the one. Such a statement coat doesn’t even need much help to create fabulous outfits. I’m wearing it here with a turtleneck top and leggings. That’s it!

If you’ve never shopped Everlane, use the code PSYCHE15 to get 15% off your first order.

Location: St. Louis Union Station

Outdoor Style Essentials:

How To Achieve Effortless Fall Style In Monochrome Outfits

Rocking head-to-toe hues can be a daring choice. But, it can also be an easy choice for effortless style. And, since you can choose colors that speak to your style sensibilities, you have every reason to try it. This fall, I’m definitely favoring colors like chocolate brown and maroon. So, I’m busy planning monochrome outfits, like today’s featured look, that build around those deep tones.

Monochrome Outfits

What I’m wearing:

Maroon dress | Jacket c/o | Booties (old) | Earrings | Lip (Color: Elson)

Monochrome Outfits

This particular outfit is built around the deep maroon dress from Zara. It has an all-over wrinkled pattern, and it’s sleeveless with shoulder pads. To make it ready for fall, I added my Jacket Maker leather jacket. In addition to the custom fit on the jacket, I adore its “Smolder Black” color. It sometimes looks like a deep aubergine or even a deep brown (see what I mean here and here). All in all, it’ll be the perfect finishing touch to all the monochrome outfits I’ll create in this color scheme. Of course, tis bootie season, so I also added my old favorite, peep-toe booties.

For a pop of contrasting color, my nails (manicure and pedicure) are a beautiful light blue/mint-ish gel color. I usually gravitate to colors like black or OPI’s Lincoln Park After Dark this time of year. But, I’m especially loving how light blue goes with fall’s IT colors.

I had a blast at a spa day recently at Beauty Brands where I got my nails done. Beauty Brands is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a huge sale. I partnered with them on social media to promote a special 25% discount, good on any salon & spa service through 11/30/20. If you’re near a Beauty Brands, be sure to grab my coupon code here.

Monochrome Outfits

Economy of Style in Ladue News!

Happy Friday! I’m not sure what excites me more: that Ladue News made me a feature in their September issue, or that the piece features my original photography throughout the issue? Or, is it that I got to share my in-depth thoughts about what it has meant to build a fashion business as a Black woman? Surely, the answer is all those things make this feature extra special.

Ladue News is a local St. Louis publication that has been delivering community highlights for over 3 decades. I’m honored to be featured in the current issue. If you’re in the St. Louis area, grab a copy! If you’re not, be sure to check out the digital issue here or the online story here.

Here’s a peek inside:

Ladue News

Thank you so much to Ladue News the special feature. Special thank you to Bethany Christo for writing the piece. And, thank you for reading because you make these opportunities possible for me.

Fall’s Most Comfortable Denim Trend

I wasn’t kidding when I said I hadn’t worn my jeans since going into quarantine. My uniform for being bored-in-the-house-in-the-house-bored prioritized comfort. So, I’ve been rocking sweatsuits and oversized dresses. St. Louis-based Soft Surroundings piqued my interest, though, when it launched its latest denim collection. You see, Soft Surroundings is synonymous with comfort, so if anyone could make jeans super comfortable, it’d be them. Today, I’m sharing a comfortable denim trend and my IT pair from the entire collection.

comfortable denim trend

What I’m wearing:

Target blouse | Soft Surroundings jeans c/o | Mesh squared-toe sandals

Kendra Scott earrings c/o | Christian Dior scarf | Pat McGrath lipstick (Elson)

comfortable denim trend

My favorite pair from the denim line is the Ultimate High-Rise Frayed-Hem Crop jeans. For size reference, I’m wearing them in a size 6. They’ve got a flattering high-rise waist, a luxe-looking blue wash, and an ankle-flaunting crop length. The icing on the cake though? These jeans are so soft and smooth. I wore them 3 times last week. No exaggeration.

comfortable denim trend

They require no effort for styling. I simply threw on a white blouse, and I had a look. By the way, this blouse is from Target. I own it in two colors (white and beige). The lightweight fabric, relaxed silhouette, and slightly puffed raglan sleeves make it quite special. It has an oversized fit, so I sized down to an XS (shop it here).

My squared-toe sandals are from Zara. The mesh detail makes this simple style so interesting.

You already know. I’ma huge fan of twilly scarves because they’re so versatile. Go here to see 6 practical ways to wear one.

comfortable denim trend

My scarf is by Christian Dior and features the popular Dior Oblique print. I splurged on it because I wanted something featuring that must-have print in a style I knew I’d wear a lot.

Still searching for your favorite denim fit? Check out this denim guide.

comfortable denim trend

Location: Steward Family Plaza at The Sheldon in Grand Center

comfortable denim trend

Jim McKelvey’s Innovation Stack Offers Inspiration For My Next Big Move

This post is sponsored by Jim McKelvey, author of The Innovation Stack.

As a resident of St. Louis, I was especially pleased to read The Innovation Stack: Building an Unbeatable Business One Crazy Idea at a Time (2020) by Jim McKelvey. The book is instructive and inspiring.

McKelvey is most well-known as the cofounder of Square—a company that made it possible for small businesses and individuals to make credit card transactions using their mobile devices. The idea revolutionized the way people could participate in business activities, and even more importantly, a basis for Square was winning some justice for smaller operations.

Innovation Stack

McKelvey is a longtime artist, specifically he supported himself as a glass blower. The spark of an idea that would lead to Square occurred when McKelvey lost out on a sale of one of his products because he had no way of accepting a credit card payment from a potential customer. That problem prompted him to work with one of his collaborators, Jack Dorsey (co-founder of Twitter) to create Square.

In the process of researching steps to developing their device, McKelvey immediately became troubled when he learned that credit card companies were charging small businesses rates sometimes forty times higher than large-scale corporations. I was intrigued and impressed that economic justice was tied into the backstory of this familiar square device.

Innovation Stack

McKelvey discusses an “innovation stack” the cycle of “interlocking and evolving inventions” when and if you dare to make truly novel creations. Square was not simply one solution to a single problem. Instead, the company was created on a series of inventive developments, that is, an Innovation Stack.

This focus on a series of interconnected developments from McKelvey’s book really appealed to me. Over the last couple of months, I have immersed myself in the study of coding. How did I get here? More than ten years ago, I created a website to share my interest in shopping on a budget. Soon after, the challenge of producing high quality images led me to acquire skills as a photographer. The task of composing combinations of texts and photographs prompted me to learn aspects of graphic design.

Innovation Stack

Then, the process of transforming a hobby in fashion into a profession pushed me to learn how to interact with a variety of fashion, makeup, and PR companies. I was obliged to coordinate events throughout the city. Changing technologies made it necessary for me to master multiple modes of online media. Ultimately, my curiosities to think beyond the front end of websites and delve into the back end motivated my journey to coding. The series of problem solving that got me here, in other words, amount to an Innovation Stack, or a kind of skill stack.

McKelvey’s book provides encouragement for those of us who consider the value of responding to challenges with novel solutions. Of course, oftentimes a new solution reveals a new, unfamiliar problem, which requires yet another original solution. When we approach challenges with an awareness that powerful projects or wonderful accomplishments are the  results of an Innovation Stack, then we are usefully prepared for the extended series of steps that await us.

As a Black woman seeking to pursue a career in software development, I understand there are numerous barriers and reasons to feel professionally isolated. At the same time, I remain excited about the possibilities. And who knows? Perhaps some of those challenges are in fact opportunities for innovation.

You can purchase the book here. I’ll also be giving away a copy of the book on Instagram later today.