The best way to wear print twosies - f.t. my signature ankara top with matching pants

Enma:

"I fell in love with this ankara fabric the first time I saw it. I immediately knew that I wanted to use it to make my signature embroidered design with matching pants . Can your tell the edge of my pants are v cut? It was intentional, but my tailor didn't get it quite right.

A print twosie is an easy way to get covered up in print, from top to bottom, without looking busy. It's because it sometimes gives the illusion that one is wearing a one piece outfit. Plus, you don't have to worry about whether the prints match. Of course they do!  It's the same print. 

On the other hand, a matching print outfit can look boring or mechanical, especially when the bottom piece is a long skirt or pants. I know it sounds crazy, but it's true because the double print creates a monotonous look.

The best way to avoid the flat/monotonous tendencies of print twosies is by spicing things up with hairstyle, makeup or accessories. You have to be careful though because you don't want to over do it. That's why I went for this hairstyle and lavender lip stain. I wanted something unique but not over the top.

This is one of those "eat whatever you want and still look fabulous" outfits. It was perfect on this sunny day. Where are my shades?!"

Photographed by Akudo.

SHOP THE LOOK

Why you should invest in a sleeveless button-down dress

Enma:

Remember this sleeveless button-down dress? I wore it a while ago as a jacket, which is one of the ways to wear it. In today's post, I buttoned down and wore a shirt underneath it, a second way to wear it. Prim and proper, ain't it?

The great thing about this sleeveless dress is that I get to wear it with different shirts. It gives me an opportunity to constantly change the flavor and renew the look of the dress. For instance, the tie neck blouse in today's post gives the dress a vintage vibe - Chinny actually pointed that out.

There's also a third way to wear this dress. I can wear it like it was intended - as a sleeveless denim dress (with no shirt underneath), which is a pretty great look too.

If you don't have a button-down dress already, invest in a sleeveless one. I promise you'd get more out of it because you'd be able to renew your look each time you wear it. You can wear it as a jacket or a sleeveless dress, with or without a shirt!

Photograpged by Chinny

SHOP THE LOOK

Trend Alert!! Checkered prints and how to pair them

Enma:

"Checkered print is another popular trend this season. I'm glad I got a head start when I designed a bunch of checkered print outfits in 2015. So what inspired my designs back then? Checkered fabrics are worn as school uniforms in Nigeria, which is where I attended boarding school. I wanted to correct the "school uniform stigma/stereotype" associated with the print by creating unique and fashionable pieces with it. Those pieces were featured on the blog in early 2016.

I'm pretty pleased that checkered prints are trending right now, and not just the type I wore in boarding school but different versions of it, bold and tiny. Here's what to keep in mind when pairing checkered prints.

1. Pair different versions: Like I mentioned, there are different types of checkered prints. The squares come in different sizes and colors. Some are bold while others are so tiny that it's hard to tell that it's checkered. Checkered prints pair well together when the square sizes are different.

2. Pair colors that compliment each other: Although most checkered prints have the color white, it doesn't have a lot of bearing on pairing. In other words, my "common color rule" for mixed prints doesn't really apply. The most important thing is that all the colors compliment each other and blend easily. 

In today's post, I'm wearing two checkered print pieces. The skirt is one of my designs from 2015, while I purchased the shirt from a boutique. As you can see, the print on my skirt is bolder than the print on my shirt. The checkered print on my shirt is so tiny that it almost looks like I'm wearing a gray shirt. This was a safe combo in terms of color because my shirt is black and white - which we've established pretty much goes with everything. It's no wonder that the shirt blends easily with my red checkered skirt.

Go get your checkered piece if you haven't done so already. It's the perfect outfit for a barbecue or picnic. If you don't know where to find one, check out H&M and Zara.

Photographed by Chichi A.

SHOP THE LOOK

Put on a bit of weight? Buy culottes right now

Chinny:

Yes, dear readers I've put on a bit of weight. For the first in years, my clothes feel kinda snug and dare I say.....uncomfortable.

When it's outfit picking time, I find myself crossing out sleevless or fitted options (bye bye bodycons). Kinda silly I know but I haven't had this problem in long while. I'm determined to lose these pounds before they spiral out of control, but a gals got to keep looking fly. 

Which brings me to secret weapon. Culottes!! Perfect women's knee-length trousers, cut with very full legs to resemble a skirt. Why are these pants my secret weapon? Here are 4 reasons why:

1. Because they're baggy! They have loose floaty fabric to hide expanding waistlines in the most fashionable way. Thicker thighs, bigger belly or wider butt. No problem, these babies hide away every sin nicely. 

2. Because they're work-friendly or weekend-with-the-girls friendly. Need a great work look to inspire professionalism and fun? Or an easy breezy look for a fun summer's day? Culottes to the rescue. They can be dressed up or down all so easily.

SHOP CULOTTES

3. Because they've been on trend for forever. I bought my first pair like 2 years ago and they're still stores. I've steadily added more to my  collection and haven't looked back since. I don't see myself stopping anything soon either...even if they aren't trendy anymore. I'm at that age where I wear what works for me and not what's 'fashionable'. I need my pieces to last a season or two....or forever!

4. Because they're great for all seasons. Yes! You can wear these babies in winter! Yes, they're prefect for summer but you can pull on a sexy pair of boots and strut your stuff in cooler months.

Long and short of it is, in these last trying days (dramatic i know!) the one piece in my wardrobe that hasn't betrayed me are my dear dear culottes. It's camouflaged my weight gain and kept me looking fly at the same time.....Just can't get complacent and pile on more pounds! Best believe, operation-get-Chinny-snatched has begun ;)

How to dress down an embroidered top

Enma:

Embroidered tops are lovely, aren't they? It's hard not to get noticed in one, in spite of the fact that many people are wearing them right now. It's because they're so pretty that you're bound to stand out. However, there are times when we don't want to be flashy. Sometimes, we want to look pretty without trying too hard. But how do you begin to accomplish that when you're wearing a colorful embroidered top? I'll tell you how.

First, stay away from print and pair with solid colors. Your embroidered top is already getting enough attention and anything extra would only make you stand out more. So wear it with colors like white, black, navy blue, grey, etc.

Second, go casual. Pair it with denim or khakis. Denim can be dressed up or down, but I think everyone can agree that there's something "down to earthy" about denim. Once you pair your embroidered top with denim you become "the girl next door" but with a little spice.

Third, take the casual look further by wearing casual shoes like sneakers, slippers or sporty sandals. This would certainly tone down your look and give you an effortless flare.

Finally, but not necessarily, limit your makeup. Granted, my red lips are proof that I didn't apply this rule. However, I wear red lipstick most of the time so I didn't feel the need to change my norm. 

I hope this helps the next time you feel like dressing down your embroidered top.

SHOP THE LOOK