curls

Sweat Equity

We have all been there. You are straight chillin on the couch, when your friend calls last minute with something fun that you just can’t pass up. You only have moments to get ready and are currently in sweat mode. What to do? Remix those sweats boo!

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You can add some very small things that will make a big impact on a chic athleisure look. In this case, I added a simple faux leather jacket, hoops and some nude pumps. Seriously, thats it. I guarantee you already have accessories that you can add. No purchase necessary. Just go in that closet and mix it up.

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ASOS DESIGN Tall Hoodie & Jogger Set (shown in size L) /Faux Leather Jacket - ASOS  (similar here) /Glasses and Hoops - Forever 21/Pumps - Calvin Klein (shown in size 12)  Photos by  Alina Mamlyuk

ASOS DESIGN Tall Hoodie & Jogger Set (shown in size L)/Faux Leather Jacket - ASOS (similar here)/Glasses and Hoops - Forever 21/Pumps - Calvin Klein (shown in size 12)

Photos by Alina Mamlyuk

If you are looking for sweats, I highly recommend the ASOS loungewear line but if you already have them, there are simple, easy and free ways to pump them up 20 notches. Try some things out. The worst thing that can happen is you have to buy a new pair of sweats and the best is unlocking new looks you didn’t even know you had in your closet. That doesn’t sound like much of a risk to me. Besides, you need that emergency look on hand for that one last minute friend that we all have, know and love. Stay ready so you wont have to get ready. Period.

Jump For my Love

Jumpsuits.

The word alone sends a tall girl into a sweat. Say the word jump and a literal tear forms in our eyes. From few and far between to cut completely wrong, it's hard for us to find one and to find one that we like is a miracle. 

Well lookie here...I think she found one!

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This bad mamma jamma is from the current CURATD X Long Tall Sally collection and it does not disappoint.

If you have been reading my blog for awhile, you know I love comfort in my clothing and this jumpsuit definitely fits the bill. It's completely chic but feels like you are walking around in PJ's all day. That's a win in my book. 

I chose some sneaks from LTS as well. I love the blush color. They go with anything and in this case really set the look off. If you don't want to stay sporty, add your favorite wedges and pair of statement earrings. Boom! A whole new look.

This is just one of those pieces that is ready to go. You literally put it on and you are ready for the day. It's a great piece from a great collection. Check out this jumpsuit and the rest of the collection HERE.

Have a fabulous day gorgeous! Keep that energy around you high. Don't let anyone else's bad day bring you down, Remember, you are the gatekeeper. Keep your space beautiful just like you:)

No Limit

The minute I saw the whole denim meets fishnet situation...I had to have it. I love the way they crash together but of course my search for tall fishnets wasn't very fruitful. I mean, it's hard enough to find the tall denim part, let alone fishnets that are long enough for these long legs hunni! Guess who came to my rescue?,,,

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ASOS baby! I can't say enough about their tall line. I squeal every time I visit the page because there is always something new that is just what this tall girl ordered. My version of hitting the lotto would be one of everything in ASOS tall for life. Publishers Clearing House taint got nothing on that. Ok, ok. I would take the money too but I know you feel me.

Their fishnet leggings are just the right length and fit underneath denim beautifully. These beautiful jeans are from ASOS too. As you can see, they are long and have crazy good details like the hi-low hem. I wear these with everything. 

Oh...hey hair. How you doin?

And let us not forget to talk about this cropped jacket from Long Tall Sally. It is sublime. It's cropped in the right spot, the arms are long enough and it's super lightweight. This amazing little denim jacket is spot on for spring days and summer nights. It's part of the new CURATD X LTS line, which is equally as beautiful as this jacket.  

I'm super happy that I found both the fishnet and cropped look in tall but don't you ever think that a style isn't for you because you can't find it. If it isn't out there...get to designing! If you can't sew, find someone who can and create your vision together.

Do not...I repeat...do not, let the limitations of the industry stop you from living your style life. Style is an expression of your unique creation...dress accordingly!

All Good

What's crazy about this outfit is...none of it is new. I literally had every piece in my closet.

I think we often overlook what we already have. We see everything in pieces, not knowing that when put together, they create something beautiful. In this case, it was an outfit but how would this apply to your life?

Life is a stunning mess of ups and downs. The highs fuel the lows but it's hard to appreciate them when you are in the middle of your struggles. Personally, I rest in Romans 8:28. God is always at work for us, gathering everything that happens and crafting it for those who love Him.

What a beautiful promise!

With all of the things that happen in life, apart, they may not make sense...but when you let Him bring all of the pieces together, it creates a purpose driven life that we could never comprehend or accomplish on our own.

Don't get it twisted, letting Him lead is not an easy thing. I am notorious for wanting to control every single step of my life. From relationships to occupation to wardrobe, I am traditionally a control freak. I have put my plans in front of God's plans for long enough. In the last 2 months I have relinquished this control (for the most part, admittedly I have my moments) and the peace that I have received is nothing less than astounding.

This doesn't mean you stop working hard. You must move your feet. I am putting in the work but seeking His guidance, listening to Him and going after what He wants (even when I don't understand the move). His plan is greater than anything I ever could compose. 

Top - TTYA for Long Tall Sally/Skirt - Thrifted/Belt - H&M/Shoes - Christian Siriano for Payless  Makeup and Photography:  Nikki Notarte  

Top - TTYA for Long Tall Sally/Skirt - Thrifted/Belt - H&M/Shoes - Christian Siriano for Payless

Makeup and Photography: Nikki Notarte 

Let Go. Let God. You hear this often but it's absolutely true. Stop looking at things as they are and start letting Him put them together. Trust that He is putting every piece to work for you. Have faith that He has it all in control. You are a vessel that was created to accomplish great things. Let Him steer the ship! 

With all your heart you must trust the Lord and not your own judgment. Always let him lead you, and he will clear the road for you to follow. [Proverbs 3: 5-6] 

Retrospective

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I think there is a misconception among us that we can't wear vintage or thrift...this is SO FAR from the truth!

As a matter of fact, a lot of retro clothing is cut longer and really adorns our tall bodies quite nicely. Don't be afraid of it my darling. Just try it! If it doesn't fit, oh well. If it does...WINNING!

Take this velvet dress from Retro.Honey. It's not necessarily a tall dress but definitely fits my 6'6" frame. It's perfect for the holidays, is striking and doesn't need a lot of accessories because with it's beautiful, green velvet...it pops in it's own.

I paired this dress with my favorite suede heels of the season from Long Tall Sally. These Emilia's go with just about everything and I love the suede texture with the velvet.

So...step outside of your comfort zone and find a retro or thrifted gem (did I mention the clutch was thrifted:). You will show up to that holiday knowing that nobody will have the same dress as you and your bank account will be happy. Sounds like a win-win situation to me;)

Happy Holiday's beautiful! Slay those holiday parties and remember...HE is the reason for the season!.

Hair Matters

Many of you know my story but for those of you who don’t, I used to have little to zero self-esteem. There were years where I was bullied and unbelievably depressed. I hated myself, my height and every part of me. I couldn’t see past what my high school world was telling me and believed every lie they told.

As years went on, I found my confidence and fully embraced that God created every single part of me (including my height) for a purpose. That nothing about me was a mistake and ALL of it was wrapped into a one-of-a-kind Alicia that was the only one who could accomplish the purpose that God had chosen for me…

or so I thought…

until it came to one part of me that nobody had seen in years…

my hair.

Yes. The long tresses that you have seen in every photo of me were not mine. I have been wearing a weave for a little under 9 years now. Almost a decade of taking it out and putting it back in because I was afraid to show my real hair.

Afraid! Alicia…how can you tell me to be me and embrace every part of myself when you can’t show the hair that God gave you?

The answer is…I can’t. And that is one of the reasons why I had to take it out. But before we get in to those reasons, let me give you a little back story…

As you can see, both of my beautiful parents gave me curls.

As you can see, both of my beautiful parents gave me curls.

My mother is Caucasian and my father is African American. That usually equates to what society likes to classify as good hair. You know, the perfect curls flowing down your back just throw water on it and leave the house kind of hair. The expectation of my light skin and light eyes matching the texture of my locks was immense. However, my actual texture is very tight and not extremely easy to style and care for. Thus, pressure set in. Not only for my Mom to style it correctly, but also for me to do everything I could to make it appear to be good. This resulted in many unhealthy hairstyles, fights between my Mom, the comb and my hair and ultimately a series of relaxers that killed my follicles. From the age of 4-18, I was in a losing battle with my bad hair.

My Mom and I would battle every day with combing and styling my hair.

My Mom and I would battle every day with combing and styling my hair.

Enter college. I moved from Beaverton, Oregon to Stockton, California where the culture definitely changed. I went from being the darkest kid at my school to being one of the many beautiful skin tones that walked my campus. It was there that I first saw someone wear their hair naturally. It was a concept that never even entered my mind. It was also something I was not ready to do but it was an option I was now aware of.

Enter corporate world. After college, I began my first corporate job. While natural hair was not prohibited, it was clearly not embraced. I found myself wanting the sleek tresses that everyone else had and got my first weave. The positive response was overwhelming not only externally but also internally. I had FINALLY found hair that would act right and I could make look how I always envisioned that my hair should be. It also allowed me to grow out my perm and safely go natural underneath the tracks (which I will touch on later). To me it was a win-win and up until 2 weeks ago was constantly my hair.  

But what I didn’t realize was that during those 9 years I had completely denied an entire part of me that made me, ME. I had a false construct of who I was. The sewed in hair had somehow really become a part of me and boy did it show the moment I took it out without putting it back in…

First appointment after taking out the weave. The curl pattern is trying it's hardest to come out.  About an hour after this photo it puffed back up into a ball of frizz. It will take time and training to uncover and maintain my natural curl.

First appointment after taking out the weave. The curl pattern is trying it's hardest to come out.  About an hour after this photo it puffed back up into a ball of frizz. It will take time and training to uncover and maintain my natural curl.

I cried, sobbed and immediately got depressed. I couldn’t post a picture on social media, refused to go out, felt ugly and the same feelings of low self-esteem that I had in high school started rearing their ugly heads. It was a very surprising and violently visceral reaction to something that wasn’t even mine to begin with.

First photo I posted on IG. It took me 5 days to get the courage up. As you can see, I am still holding on to dead ends in this photo which can slow the growing process down and hinder your natural curl from forming. I later cut those bad boys off.

First photo I posted on IG. It took me 5 days to get the courage up. As you can see, I am still holding on to dead ends in this photo which can slow the growing process down and hinder your natural curl from forming. I later cut those bad boys off.

2 weeks later, I am still embracing it. Worry filled questions enter my mind; Will men like me? Will they still think I am pretty? Will you think I am pretty? Is it going to be hard? Can I maintain natural hair? Do I have the time to maintain it? Will my curl pattern ever come back? What will my curl pattern look like? Will it ever grow? How long will it take to grow? I mean…I could go on for days.

But at the end of the day…it’s just hair people!  Why do we put so much weight into it and furthermore why do we think it makes us who we are?

In addition to tall fashion and life, I will be exploring these feelings on this blog because apparently hair does matter. It matters to me, it matters to society and it matters to you. This natural hair journey is going to teach me far more than just about hair and I feel like it’s a journey that I need to share.

Now, why did I decide to do it? Here are the main reasons…

1. My 10 year old Niece had never really seen her Auntie. She had seen me with someone else’s hair on my head for her entire life. How can I teach her to love every part of herself when she had not seen me love ALL of me?

2. YOU. I truly believe that you were made for a specific purpose and that God made absolutely no mistake while he molded every single part of you. Who am I to tell you the truth when I myself am not living it?

3. Safely Growing out my natural hair under the weave was going nowhere…fast. While I grew out my perm completely, after 10 years my hair should be down to my butt and it wasn’t. My hair was shredding into a bundle of split ends and my edges are thin and completely damaged by heat. It is natural but far from healthy.

This is after the dead ends were cut off. My hair is very damaged and I can't wait to make it healthy again! This is probably the last time you will see it straight in awhile. I can't wait to see what the curls look like now that the dead ends are cut off.

This is after the dead ends were cut off. My hair is very damaged and I can't wait to make it healthy again! This is probably the last time you will see it straight in awhile. I can't wait to see what the curls look like now that the dead ends are cut off.

4. I was in captivity. My weave options where either down or in a ponytail. When the wind hit, I was constantly covering up tracks. I couldn’t itch my scalp. I had to constantly worry about blending the hair that was out with the weave. There was little versatility in the way I could style my hair and so on and so forth. It was time.

Bring on the hairstyles! I have a feeling this bun will be in full effect while I grow out my locks.

Bring on the hairstyles! I have a feeling this bun will be in full effect while I grow out my locks.

5. I want to abolish the construct of good and bad hair that I have adopted from society. Who started that and why did I believe it? I want to make sure I don’t pass that down to my Niece and Lord willing, my future children.

6. Listen Hunni…you know I am waiting for my husband to find me and when he does I want his hands all up in this hair.

With all of that said, I am not speaking for everyone that wears a weave. Do you boo! I am in no way knocking weaves or any other way of styling hair. I plan to explore all kinds of styling from clips, braids, faux locs, wigs and even weave it up on occasion. BUT for me personally, the time of denying my natural hair is over. I am tired of the fight and let her win. She is me and I am her and I am not afraid to show it. I am the master of this journey, am wonderfully made in every way and am now presenting all of me to you, practicing what I preach and loving every part of me from my hair follicles to my toenails.

Let the journey begin! Thanks for crawling, walking, running and sprinting it with me.