Unveiling Legacy: Economy of Style and the History of Black Fashion in St. Louis

Last week, I had the privilege of joining a panel at the Missouri History Museum. I was tasked with representing a contemporary view of fashion in the city of St. Louis. An invitation like that one was made possible because of your support during the tenure of Economy of Style.

I thought it would be useful to reflect together, so I’m sharing a snippet of the questions along with excerpts from my responses. Of course, I’m also sharing outfit details. Can you tell I’m a huge fan of menswear for women?

What I’m wearing:
Zara tuxedo belted vest
Zara flowy pants
Banana Republic sleeveless shirt (new version)
Fendi Twilly as tie
Valentino one stud pumps (sold out, see them here in all black)
Dior Medium Toujours bag
Saint Laurent SL 545 sunglasses

What sparked your interest in fashion? Is there a particular person or movement (past or present, in or outside of St. Louis) that made a lasting impact on you?

My mother and grandmother taught me an important lesson early in life. Namely that your style says something about how you think about the world because clothes are literally ideas. How you put them together says something about how you think.

Today, I’m a software engineer, where problem solving is central to what I do. Little did I know that the act of figuring out what to wear in various contexts was preparing me for my career in technology.  

What does it mean to you when we say “Black Fashion” in St. Louis? Are there factors that make Black fashion in St. Louis unique? Do Black fashion expressions here say something about this region?

Black fashion’s diverse. St. Louis’s centrality to this entire country made it a haven for immigration, and that has certainly shaped black style, black fashioning, black culture. So when I think of Black fashion in St. Louis, I think of a convergence of people, ideas, and ways of communicating.  

What’s interesting is that Black fashion in St. Louis happened and happens because of all these communities converged.

Can you talk about #blackstyleblogger and the role that Black fashion influencers play? How do you see yourself within that world?

Listen. In 2007. In 2010. In 2017. In 2022. And just last week, I always appreciated when people would thank me and say that I gave them a chance to see how a shirt or dress or skirt looked on a Black body. 

Representation matters. And being a Black style blogger gave me a deep sense of purpose and all kinds of opportunities to serve an audience that had been overlooked for far too many years by the fashion industry. 

For some footage from the event and a look back at some major Economy of Style moments, check out this Instagram post.

7 Stylish Essentials For Outdoor Concert Season

Happy Summer 2021! I’m starting the week on a high note because I attended my first outdoor concert of the summer, and it was everything this music lover needed. It was actually my first outdoor concert since summer 2019 because…well…2020 happened.

I attended a concert with very specific rules about what you’re allowed to bring on the site. I thought it would be cool to share some of the outdoor concert essentials I carried. Of course, like every purchase I make, I spent a great deal of time considering options in each category.

outdoor concert essentials

What I’m wearing:

Zara dress | Nike sneakers | Saint Laurent sunglasses (similar Dior style) | Tote | Earrings

8 Stylish Essentials For Outdoor Concert Season

outdoor concert essentials

1. Seating

Portable seating is widely available, but the options don’t all give the same experience. You do get what you pay for. I swear I have found the most comfortable chairs. And, the best part? They’re available in some nifty colors too. At the time of purchase, I got this fuchsia chair (and a yellow one) for about $45 each. They’re super sturdy, incredibly comfortable, and worth every penny.

2. Carryall Tote

When attending an outdoor event that allows you to bring all your essentials, you need an extra large bag to tote it all. I’m a huge fan of the Saint Laurent Rive Gauche tote, mostly because of the overall look. It truly packs a ton as well. There are several fantastic alternatives to designer totes (like this one) though.

3. Cooler Bag

When outdoor events allow you to bring certain beverages (usually water), I prefer to carry a cooler bag instead of a cooler. It’s easier to carry, and the options are usually so much cuter. If you’re not sure you really want one, this H&M cutie is a great starter bag.

4. Insulated Water Bottles

If allowed, my go-to bottle for beverages I want to keep cold is by S’well. A S’well bottle will keep you drinks cols for up to 36 hours. They’re available in different sizes to suit all your needs as well.

5. Mini Handheld Fan

I’ve raved about this mini fan a few times before (see here). With 3 power settings, this tiny fan is mighty powerful. It also offers the convenience of recharging via USB.

6. Sunglasses

If you’re attending a concert while the sun is still out, sunnies are a must. If you like designer sunglasses but don’t want to pay full price, you should totally check out the options at off-price stores like Saks Off 5th. I got my Saint Laurent pair there, and I have my eye on this Dior style.

7. Sun Protection

Talking about sun, I don’t need to even preach about the importance of sunscreen. As someone with hyperpigmentation, you won’t find me outside without sunscreen. I’m terribly allergic to the key ingredients chemical sunscreen. My go-to is a mineral sunblock by Image Skincare. This new formula does leave a notable white cast, so i’m officially hunting for an alternative.

outdoor concert essentials

Shop outdoor concert essentials:

This Beauty Service Has Proven Essential

This post is sponsored by Milan Laser Hair Removal.

Like you, I’ve made huge adjustments in my everyday life to stay safe. That includes eliminating a few things from my beauty maintenance routine if not deemed “essential.” I’ve been doing my own brows. Yikes! One service that has been a keeper is my laser hair removal at Milan Laser Hair Removal.

I’ve decided to continue my appointments for two key reasons: (1) My services have worked perfectly, and I want to see them through to never-need-to-shave-again, and  (2) Milan Laser’s everyday sanitation standards make me feel comfortable visiting a facility. And, of course, added measures (mandatory masks and quick screenings) have been set to ensure even further safety. Read on for some key updates and the biggest coupon code available at Milan Laser.

milan laser hair removal

Discount Code

Big news first. If you’ve been curious about seeking laser hair removal, my code PSYCHE60 gets you 60% off any Unlimited Package at any Milan Laser in the country. Book a free consultation to explore your options and address any concerns. As a Black woman, I had a few major concerns (read more about those here) but felt confident seeking services after my initial consultation.

I started my hair removal journey, tackling the underarm area because it seemed like a safe area to test laser hair removal. My underarms are not only hair free but so smooth that I regretted not getting my bikini line at the same time. No more regrets! I’ve added that new service. Right now, I visit every 10 weeks for both treatments. In the beginning, you get treatments every 5 weeks. Once you don’t need to shave during that 10 weeks between treatments, you can end treatments. And, of course, Milan Laser guarantees results, so if you need a touch up 20 weeks or even a year after completing treatments, it’s included in the package (no additional cost). Nothing to lose, but so much to gain!

Location: Milan Laser (Brentwood)

milan laser hair removal

Safety and The Pandemic

I felt especially safe visiting my local Milan Laser location because sanitation has always been a priority. Service rooms are cleaned and sanitized between clients. Clinic providers always wear clean gloves during the procedure. Services are by appointment only, so there’s very little to no interaction with others in the waiting area. The additional requirement to wear a mask also puts me at ease.

milan laser hair removal

In my opinion, it’s a great time to pile on the services you’ve always wanted. The code PSYCHE60 gets you an unbeatable 60% off any treatment package. So, go for it! I plan to come out of quarantine smooth and hair free. You too?

How To Stand Out In A Brown Leather Jacket

Looking for an easy way to stand out in the sea of black this fall? Add a brown leather jacket to your wardrobe. Still a neutral, a jacket in this hue is versatile but adds a kind of warmth to your looks. I’m sharing 5 ways to stand out rocking yours.

brown leather jacket

1. Color block

Brown complements so many IT colors of fall. So, have fun mixing several of them together. Rust, burgundy, white, and brown combine beautifully in this look.

brown leather jacket

Tube top| Slip skirt| Booties (similar) | Fendi Baguette

2. Smart monochrome

The easiest way to elevate your look is to dress in a single (or similar) color from head to toe. The colors totally make this combination of basics pop.

brown leather jacket

Dress | Jacket (similar) | Mules | Baguette | Earrings (similar)

3. Rock with black

Black and brown is totally a thing. The colors pair so well actually and can create the most chic combinations.

Top | Jacket (similar, similar) | Jeans (now on sale) | Mules

4. Sweater pairing

A leather jacket in a striking brown color looks especially rich when paired with knits.

Entire outfit from Gordmans

5. Pair with earthy prints

Pop your leather jacket over your favorite earthy prints for a magical style moment.

Blouse | Pants | Jacket (similar, option) | Bag | Mules (similar)

Find your faux leather jacket:

The Denim Dress Is Back Again And Super Chic

Dang. It’s been a minute since I’ve worn a denim dress. What about you? This year’s denim dress trend, though, has brought a bunch of super chic options that are irresistible. My interest was initially piqued by the Madewell denim babydoll dress. It has right-on-trend puff sleeves and an easy-to-wear, oversized silhouette. Good luck finding your size, though, because it keeps selling out. My absolute favorite options, like the style I’m wearing today, all have very dramatic sleeves.

denim dress

What I’m wearing:

Dress | Boots (similar) | Bag | Earrings (similar, similar) | Necklace (similar, similar)

My dress is from Zara. It has a very straight silhouette that I usually don’t buy (because hips). I simply had to give the dress a try, though, because the balloon sleeves are so dreamy. I’m also here for the plunging v-neck.

Since this dress has a straight cut, I sized up to a large. Even after sizing up, it still hugs my hips in a way it wasn’t intended (not according to the model pics online). But, I like the look. I wore the dress like this to a girl’s night out last weekend.

I threw on some tall boots (sans tights). It’s cold, but not that cold. I added some gold jewelry. Et voila.

Location: Soulard, St. Louis

Find your denim dress: