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THE INTERSECTION BETWEEN THE HIJAB AND HAUTE COUTURE


THE INTERSECTION BETWEEN THE HIJAB AND HAUTE COUTURE via Swirl Nation Blog

Like everyone, I have a sense of style all my own. Most comfortable in a pair of jeans / a jean skirt and a T-shirt, dressing up for me means swapping out the T-shirt with an Inc. or DKNY top. I never did learn how to use clothes to complement my hair and makeup and frankly I never did figure out how to use makeup. While some women can pull off wild colors, it’s best if I go the less is more route.

I am what one might call a fashion misfit. Indeed my husband calls me a fashion faux pas. Paul asks me on a regular basis whether I dress in the dark with a blindfold on. It’s pretty bad when a former IT professional turned goat farmer suggests I go back and rethink my choice of clothes.

Sometimes I do okay and I actually get compliments. On those days I am feel like I have a shot at being fashionable and then I do something to remind us all that Stella McCartney, Vera Wang or Stef-n-Ty aren’t calling to ask for my advice for their spring or fall collection.

And while I have my own sense of style—assuming we can really call it that—I have never given much thought to the fact that I am limited because of my beliefs.  

Funky and eclectic as I am, much as I like to use color (even when I probably should refrain), I am not stuck. I have the luxury to be put together one day and a fashion faux pas the next. I am not limited by a one-look-fits-all.  

What if I wore the same type of clothes day after day and were forced to have it be the same color or style? This is what life is like for many Muslim women around the world—that is, so I have been led to believe. Before going out in public, many Muslim women worldwide are expected to wear a hijab. A hijab typically refers to a veil that covers the head and chest.

Two women at a bizarre in Zanzibar

Two women at a bizarre in Zanzibar

With modesty the driving force behind women wearing a hijab, when I think about them, I tend to think of the hijab as black, brown, beige or otherwise lacking excitement and unlikely to be a fashion trend.

However, I came across two websites that changed the way I see the hijab. I am the first to admit that I saw the hijab as oppressive—to this ultra feminist, it seems excessive and controlling.

And perhaps it’s also possible some Muslim women are leading a movement toward modernity.

One website addresses the fact that there is no one-color-fits-all and the other turns the notion that Muslim women are oppressed and are forced to sacrifice style and individuality for the sake of tradition.

 
THE INTERSECTION BETWEEN THE HIJAB AND HAUTE COUTURE via Swirl Nation Blog

White, Black or In-Between, There’s a Hijab for You

Like all people of color (Poc) we span the rainbow, Muslims are no exception. Like Christianity, Islam isn’t limited to any one region. The heaviest concentrations of Muslims live in Asia (Indonesia, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh) with many living in Nigeria, Turkey, Iran, Egypt, the Middle East and the rest of the world.

Given the differences in features and complexions between Asians, Africans, South Americans and those of European descent, Muslims come in all shades you can imagine.

Now regardless what skin tone you have, there’s a hijab that will match it, thanks to Habiba Da Silva of England. 

If It Weren’t Seen As Appropriation and Fetishization, I Might Wear One of These! Who said I couldn’t match earth tones with lavender while wearing a jean jacket and Ray Ban sunglasses? I think I could pull this off—maybe. I can’t think of a better way to complement my leopard print pumps, can you?

Are the new fall colors out yet? Need I say more?

Check out these and more modern hijabs at the Be With Style website.

It looks like I need to start seeing the hijab in a different light. Again, I am obviously very ignorant because clearly there is an intersection between the hijab and haute couture. 


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STOWAWAY COSMETICS - HAPA TESTED!


STOWAWAY COSMETICS - HAPA TESTED via Swirl Nation Blog

Makeup and I have not had a very long relationship in the grand scheme of things. Some people start slathering it on in their tweens... Rest assured, I was most definitely not one of those people. If I remember correctly, the first time I began using makeup in earnest (aka not for winter formal or prom) was after a breakup in college. I know, a little petty, I admit it.

My first attempt was over the top, bright red lipstick and a bit heavy on the eyeshadow, but I quickly realized that less is more for me, so I ditched my high school makeup in favor of more eco-friendly brands that wouldn’t be as hard on my very sensitive skin. I’m not going to lie--it can at times be an expensive and losing battle. Early on in my makeup experimentation, it became apparent that most eye makeup is not meant to stick on a Hapa’s lids. Or at the very least, not this Hapa’s lids.

When I had a little more time in my life, I scoured the internet for tutorials on how to get my eyeliner to stay put and how to apply it in a way that worked for my eyelids, since I don’t have a monolid, but a very slight double lid. Take note, vloggers and bloggers, last I checked, there are very few tutorials that talk about how to apply your eye makeup when you don’t quite have a monolid and you definitely don’t have that standard double lid. Is there even a name for what I have? If anyone knows it, kindly tell me so I can finally have a defined term for my eyelid makeup anatomy. The closest I found back in the day was from The Beauty Department titled, “Winged Liner for a Droopy Lid.” Gee, thanks for that. Helpful? Maybe. Ego boosting? No.

 
I’m not gonna lie, I still love my red lipstick. This one’s Stowaway in Cranberry. I’ve also got Rachel Zoe’s Box of Style necklace on. #sufferforfashion

I’m not gonna lie, I still love my red lipstick. This one’s Stowaway in Cranberry. I’ve also got Rachel Zoe’s Box of Style necklace on. #sufferforfashion

In my quest for eco-friendly eyeliner that stays put, I luckily found 100% Pure’s pot gel liner, but I’m not including a link to it because guess what? It doesn’t exist anymore. I think they stopped making it in 2014 and I’ve been heartbroken ever since. But the one problem I’ve always run into with my makeup, including this extinct gel liner, is that I don’t use it fast enough to justify the cost. Eventually, I’ve always had to throw out my costly purchases long past their expiration date. Enter Stowaway Cosmetics.

I found out about this brand because I’m addicted to The Zoe Report’s little lists and blogs that pop up every five seconds on my Facebook feed. It’s a never ending cycle because I can’t resist clicking on basically all of them. I haven’t been paid to plug any of these brands, by the way, I’m just a victim of fashion and social media, I promise. So back to Stowaway. This brand caught my eye because of its small packaging and portions that are designed to be used within the three month expiration period, so when I first heard about it and realized I wouldn’t have to throw out half tubes of expired things anymore, I was pretty excited. That being said, I’m a big stickler for what goes into cosmetics as well, so before purchasing, I checked out their FAQ. When I found out that they were EU compliant, cruelty-free, and gluten-free (a few of their products are vegan, but not all of them), I decided that I’d give this brand a try.

I ordered myself The Basics Kit, which is $75, customizable based on your skin tone, and you get to pick the colors you want for your eyeliner, blush, and lipstick. Since getting the kit, I’ve pretty much pared down my makeup collection to what you see in this photo:

STOWAWAY COSMETICS - HAPA TESTED via Swirl Nation Blog

Here’s what came in my Stowaway Basics Kit:

  • Radiant Complexion Beauty Balm in Light
  • Creaseless Concealer in Light
  • Cheek & Lip Rouge in Peony
  • Creme Lipstick in Raspberry and I got a freebie for signing up for their email list, so I picked Cranberry as my second one
  • Effortless Eyeliner in Jet
  • Extreme Lash Mascara

Supplements to my kit:

When my Stowaway order arrived, I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was shipped in very minimal packaging, and while each item was individually boxed, there was none of that awful plastic to rip off of the tubes themselves. All of the makeup tubes and containers have a slightly rubberized feel that’s very grippable and makes these tiny products easy to use without feeling like you’re working with doll-sized cosmetics. And they’re so easy to stowaway! Okay, that was the only stowaway pun I’m throwing in here, I promise. But enough geeking out about the packaging--let’s talk about the makeup. I’m going to do my best to talk about the makeup in the order I apply it to keep things simple.

Clockwise from Upper Right:  Eyeliner in Jet, Lipstick in Raspberry, Lipstick in Cranberry, Cheek & Lip Rouge in Peony, Concealer in Light, Beauty Balm in Light

Clockwise from Upper Right: Eyeliner in Jet, Lipstick in Raspberry, Lipstick in Cranberry, Cheek & Lip Rouge in Peony, Concealer in Light, Beauty Balm in Light

So the Beauty Balm is admittedly one of those products I rarely use. If I include applying it to show you in this blog, I’ve used it twice. I feel like my freckly Hapa complexion, though a little red and/or shiny at times and sometimes acne-prone, is fine on its own--you know what? Better than fine. It’s awesome. I also hate the feeling of anything aside from a very light moisturizer on my face, and though this BB is lightweight, I’m talking about Princess and the Pea sensitive here. I can feel it. But I can see why this product might be nice if you want to even your tone out, and it really does do that. However, the BB in Light made me look a little orange depending on the lighting and what I was wearing.

Here I am feeling a little orange and not nearly as toned or as tan as my photo bombing younger brother.

Here I am feeling a little orange and not nearly as toned or as tan as my photo bombing younger brother.

I was surprised that the Light tone would do this to me, and though I’m no expert on foundation or BB’s, it seems a little strange that a BB labelled Light would be so… Orange. I’m also pretty certain that if I got the lightest of the tones, Fair, I would look a little chalky and it wouldn’t match my skin’s undertone at all. Maybe if I get a good tan I can wear this BB and feel more comfortable in it, but for now I’m fine just using the concealer in Light for any rogue zits and undereye coverage, since it seems a little more forgiving tonally than the BB. All you need is a small dot of concealer and then just blend it with your finger, it provides great coverage.

Along with anything skin tone related, my biggest trepidation when I go to buy makeup is eyeliner and mascara because I have trouble getting these to stay put. If I use normal eyeliner, it inevitably ends up all over my top eyelids and my mascara can end up smearing on my lower lids. Not a good look. I was really dubious of the eyeliner at first, since I usually stick with gel or liquid, but found that it does have some serious staying power as does the mascara. I’ve worn these while working 10+ hour days at my 6 Degrees of Hapa pop-up in 100º heat… And my eyeliner and mascara only smudged just a little.

A  little too blunt for my liking.

A  little too blunt for my liking.

The application of the eyeliner itself can be a little funky, because the eyeliner really didn’t self-sharpen as it claims to. Mine ended up looking like a tiny, stubby crayon tip after one use. But luckily the eyeliner itself is so small that even when it is blunt, it still can draw a relatively thin line given a little patience. I haven’t attempted a cat eye with this, though, I think it might be a little too advanced for this eyeliner. My other trick that I always use to make sure these two products (of any brand) keep off my eyelids is to dust foundation powder on my top and bottom lids with an eyeshadow brush to keep them from getting oily. This usually helps keep me from looking like a racoon by the end of the day.

Though I’m not too big on eyeshadow, I was really excited when Stowaway announced their tiny eyeshadow palette. I haven’t used it thoroughly yet, but I think that the eight shades have potential if you want to add a little extra to your look. The palette comes with a very small double-ended brush that’s not my favorite thing to use, since it makes applying the shadow evenly feel like a bit of a challenge. For me, the best thing about this eyeshadow palette is that it has a matte dark brown shade that works really well for my eyebrow filler and... This whole kit is way smaller than my old two shade eyebrow filler palette alone.

Where the eyeshadow palette might be lacking in color, the Cheek & Lip Rouge in Peony has me covered. It adds a nice pop to my cheeks without looking unnatural and the packaging for this is pretty cute with a little mirror to peek in if you’re out and about. I have a round face, so when I apply blush I tend to apply by dabbing a little of this rouge from my temples in a slight curve down to the apples of my cheeks to create more structure (aka the only type of contouring I’ll ever attempt). One of my favorite things to do right now is to use my blush as my eyeshadow--don’t scream in horror, it actually looks really good if done minimally. I just apply a little in and above the crease of my upper eyelid and blend. That being said, I probably won’t be using this shade on my lips, since it’s a little too matte for my liking as a lip product.

Tiny enough to fit in the smallest of clutches? You bet.

Tiny enough to fit in the smallest of clutches? You bet.

Speaking of lips… I love their lipstick. Stowaway’s lipsticks are really smooth, don’t have that weird lipstick smell, and the application is really easy. I haven’t had any problems with these drying out my lips, which is a deal breaker for me. I tried out a trick from their video tip, which was dabbing some concealer on your lips to get it to have more staying power and to get the color to pop, and it seems to do the trick. The one thing I’d recommend is that you probably want to pick up a clear lip liner to keep it from feathering. I have yet to do this, but it’s on my very very shortlist of makeup needs (pun intended).

 

Putting it all together:

All dressed up with nowhere to go in my Stowaway Cosmetics + Box of Style caftan & necklace. I’ve got my lipstick in Raspberry on here along with the rest of the kit.

All dressed up with nowhere to go in my Stowaway Cosmetics + Box of Style caftan & necklace. I’ve got my lipstick in Raspberry on here along with the rest of the kit.

My Hapa complexion and eye shape (I refuse to call it droopy) can make finding makeup that works for me a bit of a struggle. If I really wanted a BB for everyday wear, I’d have to keep looking for one that actually fits my skin tone, but I do think Stowaway’s eyeliner and mascara really work for me and I’d definitely get the rouge and lipsticks again. This kit might be one of my best purchases of the year--it makes packing my makeup bag super simple, keeps me from making overly complicated makeup mistakes I’ll regret when I look at Instagram later, and I’ve even started using makeup a little more often because I know it’s going to stay put.

I ordered my kit at the end of April and it’s now the beginning July, and to be honest, I’m probably not going to be able to use up all of my makeup before its three month expiration date. But now I know what I like out of the kit and what I don’t think I need to get again, like the BB, and frankly, $75 for six products is a lot better than spending what I had been on less portable cosmetics that I wasn’t ever going to be able to use up on time. The one concern I did have about Stowaway was that they didn’t have a recycling program for used products, but lo and behold, they introduced one!

The two things that would be on my Stowaway release wishlist would have to be a clear lip liner and a foundation powder. These two additions for me would make this the ultimate cosmetics kit, because it would give my makeup that much more wearability and longevity for the long days I tend to work. I also wouldn’t mind if they expanded the BB line to include more tones, because as we all know, people come in many shades. Have any of your tried Stowaway or want to share some tips for mixed makeup wearers?


 

 

 

 

 

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SWIRL STYLE: 6 DEGREES OF HAPA


6 DEGREES OF HAPA via Swirl Nation Blog

I was recently asked to check out Naomi Takata Shepherd’s clothing line and website, 6 Degrees of Hapa.  Loving all things multicultural, I was excited to peruse and learn more about this lovely lady; but then I thought, “what is Hapa?”  My favorite restaurant in college was named “Hapa”.  I went to a university with many Hawaiians and I heard the word mentioned from time-to-time.  I had a vague understanding of the word, but I wanted to learn more about the history and usage of this expression.

 

Hapa is a Hawaiian pidgin word that literally means “half” – hapalua.  It began as a derogatory term to describe mixed-race children that resulted from the union of local Hawaiian women and the newly-arrived plantation workers from Japan, China, the Philipines, and Vietnam.  Hapa went from being a disparaging name for those mixed with native Hawaiian and anything else.  Because these Hapas continued to mix with each other, they integrated into local Hawaiian culture and became “kama’aina”, or local.  After the influx of mainland whites after World War 2, a different population came about – half “kama’aina”, half white (haole).  This mixed race population was then called “hapa haole”, or Hapa, for short.  Eventually, with all of the mixing with mixing, Hapa started to mean any mix.  The word Hapa was carried over from Hawaii to mainland USA, but here, it means half-Asian/Hawaiian/Pacific-Islander.  To the new generation, it is no longer a derogatory term, and the label is worn proudly.  I welcome anyone to add to the history of the term Hapa and their personal feelings about it in the comments below, as I am definitely not an expert.

 

This brings me back to Naomi Takata Shepherd.  Naomi’s mother is Japanese-American and her father is an all-American mix of different European heritages.  She decided to identify as Hapa after she learned of the term at age 11.  She never felt quite right identifying herself as half-this and half-that, but she felt very comfortable being whole Hapa.  Seeing the Hapa population underrepresented in our culture led her to begin her clothing line, 6 Degrees of Hapa.  And don’t think you have to be Hapa to wear the clothing that features pictures of Spam Musubi, Waves, Shaved Ice and other Hapa paraphernalia.  The reason for the “6 Degrees” is that we all know someone who is Hapa and the line was created to promote cultural diversity.

One particularly noble words of wisdom about being mixed-race from Ms. Takata Shepherd:

“People will try to put you in a box because they may not be used to being around people who have diverse backgrounds.  You don’t have to settle for what they decide you are. Your identity is up to you.” 
Amen.

If you are interested in learning more about Naomi Takata Shepherd and shop her line, please visit her online store.

You can also read Naomi's posts as Swirl Nation Blog contributor here


To learn more about the Hapa community, one of our other contributors, Alex Chester has a great blog called Me So Hapa


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SWIRL STYLE: CASUALLY CHIC


I dress with the priorities of comfort first and then a chic look.  This is a flexible look that can be worn during the day and transitioned into the night.

SWIRL STYLE CASUALLY CHIC via Swirl Nation Blog

Mixing fitted and flowy is a great combination when it comes to chic, casual attire. I paired this textured high waisted, pencil skirt with a crop top to give this look a bit of chicness.  To give it a little edge I wore ankle boots with gold hardware and a vintage fedora.  Loose, wavy hair and a long silk blouse give it a touch of comfort. Gold rings, dainty bracelets and necklace pulled it all together.  This is flattering on all body shapes and heights.  It lengthens and enhances your figure and the blouse fashionably blurs anything you want a bit covered.  Add your individual touches with accessories and shoes.   If you try this look, post a photo and tag our Instagram page

SWIRL STYLE CASUALLY CHIC via Swirl Nation Blog

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SWIRL STYLE: COACHELLA


If you live in LA like I do, Coachella kind of feels like an official holiday or something. It seems like everyone goes and when you go you plan your outfits for weeks. Even if you don't go you're still probably going out of your way to do something awesome just so you can say #Nochella. I have gone before for work and will likely be forced to go again once my daughter is in High School and is into that kind of thing. But for now I am happy to sit at home on my beach and admire everyone's Coachella experiences from afar. 

As I woke up yesterday morning I checked my Instagram (which sadly is always my first move), and saw some gorgeous multiracial ladies rocking their Coachella fashion and thought it was only right that we give them some shine. 

 

JHENE AIKO

First up is my obsession, Jhene Aiko. I have written about Jhene before on the blog. My love affair with Jhene has spanned about 3 years at this point. The first time I ever saw was in a Crooks & Castles ad and it compelled me to find out who she was and what she was all about, I'm so glad I did! Her voice and vibe is incredible. The second I drop my daughter off at school I switch to my Jhene playlist. She is one of those women who can literally wear anything and looks amazing. She is usually in hippie inspired outfits and Coachella is no exception. Shout out to my client Teva because she is rocking the jesus sandals in the best way possible! 

 

KARRUECHE

I don't have the same kind of feelings for Karrueche that I have for Jhene, but she's a cute girl who escaped a bad relationship so in that sense I can relate at least;) Not sure I would ever go for thigh harnesses??? But hey, maybe if I was Karrueche sized I would?! However I am totally feeling the return of the Baywatch 1-piece. 

 

ROCKY BARNES

My cousin Dana was actually the first person to introduce me to Rocky via some Instagram photos of her in various bikinis. She's gorgeous and has definitely nailed the Coachella vibe. She definitely wins the award for the most outfits, although she was being paid by Revolve to be there so that makes sense:) 

 

SHAY MITCHELL

I met Shay Mitchell when she hosted an event I designed last Spring, she's super nice and did an amazing job and looks super cute in all her looks! 

Does this get you inspired for festival season?! Which one is your favorite look?!


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INCLUSIVE FASHION FOR ALL SKIN TONES

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INCLUSIVE FASHION FOR ALL SKIN TONES


INCLUSIVE FASHION FOR ALL SKIN TONES via Swirl Nation Blog by Jen Fisch

Last week I wrote an Obsessed post on the new Christian Louboutin ballet flats that were just released that now come in 7 different skin tones, dispelling the antiquated notion that "nude" is synonymous with a peachy/beige color. The designer also has his signature heels in a range of tones.

The news is very exciting because in fashion the high end designers cause a trickle down effect which means more accessible brands will follow their lead. What's amazing is that it is 2016 and inclusive fashion is just now becoming "a thing", but better late than never right? 

 
INCLUSIVE FASHION FOR ALL SKIN TONES via Swirl Nation Blog by Jen Fisch
INCLUSIVE FASHION FOR ALL SKIN TONES via Swirl Nation Blog by Jen Fisch

Another brand that has caught my eye in the last couple years is Nubian Skin, a lingerie brand that offers a range of intimates in various skin tones. Nubian Skin was started by a 30 year old former private equity senior associate, Ade Hasaan. She was frustrated not being able to find lingerie to match her skin tone, so she did something about it and launched her own brand. Celebrities like Kerry Washington and multiracial Thandie Newton are fans. You can learn more about Ade in this great interview she did with the L.A. Times

INCLUSIVE FASHION FOR ALL SKIN TONES via Swirl Nation Blog by Jen Fisch
INCLUSIVE FASHION FOR ALL SKIN TONES via Swirl Nation Blog by Jen Fisch

One area Nubian Skin has recently added is hosiery for Plus Size women called Nubian Skin Curve. Hopefully they add larger sizes for their lingerie soon because while skin tone diversity is obviously key, so is celebrating body diversity. Currently their bra sizes go up to a 40 and their panties to an XL. The hosiery is available in XL through 3XL. All Nubian Skin pieces come in 4 colors: 

  • Berry
  • Cinnamon
  • Caramel 
  • Cafe Au Lait
 

Bjorn Borg, is a designer I'm not super familiar with but in my research I discovered he also has a line he calls Six Shades of Human. His website states the collection is to celebrate the 84% of humans that do not have the skin tone that was previously used as the "nude" standard. The photography is clean, modern and gorgeous, so you're welcome for all the eye candy:) 

INCLUSIVE FASHION FOR ALL SKIN TONES via Swirl Nation Blog by Jen Fisch
INCLUSIVE FASHION FOR ALL SKIN TONES via Swirl Nation Blog by Jen Fisch
INCLUSIVE FASHION FOR ALL SKIN TONES via Swirl Nation Blog by Jen Fisch
INCLUSIVE FASHION FOR ALL SKIN TONES via Swirl Nation Blog by Jen Fisch
INCLUSIVE FASHION FOR ALL SKIN TONES via Swirl Nation Blog by Jen Fisch
 

Another interesting example is Kanye West organized his latest fashion show in skin tone order with corresponding outfits, reminds me of a human Pantone Book which is a cool concept. When Vogue asked the designer about his casting choices, Kanye explained: 'It’s just a painting, just using clothing as a canvas of proportion and color.' 

INCLUSIVE FASHION FOR ALL SKIN TONES via Swirl Nation Blog by Jen Fisch
 

I hope these brands launch a million copycats in the fashion world so men, women and kids of all races and multiracial combinations can find fashion that matches their skin tones. Fashion has been exclusive for too long, catering to the white, the thin and the unattainable. As consumers we want to see a wide range of skin tones and bodies, and now is the time to celebrate diversity and inclusiveness in every possible way.

What examples of inclusiveness have you see in the world of fashion?


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SWIRL STYLE: DENIM WITH A TOUCH OF LINEN

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SWIRL STYLE: DENIM WITH A TOUCH OF LINEN


SWIRL STYLE DENIM WITH A TOUCH OF LINEN via Swirl Nation Blog

Denim on Denim is a favorite trend of mine that remains in season year round and a no fail look.  Creatively combining light and dark blues is a must.  Throw in your personal touch of accessories and flare to own your unique look. Adding layers and a pop of color will always enhance your denim look.

 

SWIRL STYLE DENIM WITH A TOUCH OF LINEN via Swirl Nation Blog

I love combining light and dark denim then adding a hat, jewelry, and a blazer to jazz it up.  As pictured, a high-waist, wide-leg denim gives you a slimming, longer leg look with a light blue denim button up.  I added layers appropriate for cooler evening weather.  The beige linen blazer and skinny red belt from gives the outfit a boost.  I finished the look off with a vintage wide-brim fedora, a vintage thrift watch with a gifted bracelet, a combination of a gifted vintage rings and finished with a gifted necklace layered necklace.

SWIRL STYLE DENIM WITH A TOUCH OF LINEN via Swirl Nation Blog

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SWIRL STYLE: HEAD SCARF


SWIRL STYLE HEAD SCARF via Swirl Nation Blog

There is something uniquely beautiful about a woman who wears a head scarf.  When accessorized with brightly colored, printed, textured or silky material, or wrapped creatively.  I nod in respect to those who wear them for religious or cultural identity.

 

This scarf was given to me at my last birthday party.  I'm unsure of the brand but the soft texture and spotted print made it a perfect scarf as a head wrap.  It can add a bohemian feel to whatever I am wearing.  I simply wear it wrapped around my forehead and tied in a loose knot at the base of my head.  If you're tight on time, wear a head scarf to instantly look glamorous. They're great for covering up bad hair days.  Another look I like is to wear it with flowing dresses, all black and under a fedora hat.  I accessorized this scarf with a flowing, deep v-neck last season dress by SaboSkirt, an Xevana necklace, rings from Mexico and London and bangles from H&M.  How do you wear a scarf and accessorize it?

SWIRL STYLE HEAD SCARF via Swirl Nation Blog
SWIRL STYLE HEAD SCARF via Swirl Nation Blog



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SWIRL STYLE: DARK AND WHITE DENIM

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SWIRL STYLE: DARK AND WHITE DENIM


Dark and white denim is fool proof and always looks great when combined. Adding your personal touches using jewelry, sliders and a hat brings the ultimate denim look together.

I live in denim, so I make it a point to purchase denim pieces that will last for seasons and years.  I happen to love the brand 7 For All Mankind.  I think the denim quality is great and offers a flattering fit on all body shapes and heights. This dark denim button up was last seasons 7 For All Mankind.  Wear it tucked with rolled up sleeves and a few top buttons opened to give it an effortless feel. The white skinny jeans are folded once at the bottom, to make the look comfortable, and paired with my slide-on sneakers.  I added a few pieces of beautiful silver this denim look a "pop."

SWIRL STYLE DARK AND WHITE DENIM via Swirl Nation Blog

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DEAR RETAILERS: DIVERSIFY YOUR MANNEQUIN GAME

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DEAR RETAILERS: DIVERSIFY YOUR MANNEQUIN GAME

When I was in middle school and high school I used to spend all of my free time drawing fashion designs. I would also design my own stores and catalogs. One thing I always included in my stores were mannequins that were all different shapes and sizes. I loved the idea that an array of different women would be represented: short, tall, thin, and thick. Seemed obvious to me that retailers should represent all types of women, not just one.  

Fast forward many, many years and this idea has just begun to see fruition. In 2013 I read about a Swedish department store named Ahlens who made world news when they debuted realistic body mannequins in their stores. The mannequin’s measurements would be approximately the equivalent to a size 16 based off the Nordstrom.com size chart. Of course the average American woman is a size 14 and approximately 5’4” so this mannequin doesn’t necessarily represent the “average” at 5’10” but it does allow women to see clothing on a body with more curves.

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LICORICE AND GOLD HOLIDAY NAILS

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LICORICE AND GOLD HOLIDAY NAILS

I love a well manicured nail just as much as the next gal.  I prefer a look that can easily work into my fashion and lifestyle.  This chic Fall/Winter Alice + Olivia nail trend caught my eye immediately.  Not only because it looked amazing, but how simple it was to achieve.

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BAT THOSE LASHES

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BAT THOSE LASHES

Eyelashes! Who doesn’t feel like a princess when you get all dolled up for a night and layer on the fake lashes, mascara and eyeliner?! It totally transforms your face. But most of us do that maybe a handful of times a year at the most?Personally I am incapable of applying fake eyelashes. I have tried many times and I think I got it ½ way right a total of 1 time. I have blonde eyelashes so I HAVE to wear mascara or I look super weird. I’ve even dyed my eyelashes before and I liked the result, but it stung and I just never did it again.

Then one day I read a blog post on Racked LA about eyelash extensions and within 5 minutes I booked my appointment! 

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