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This Square Peg.

Happily Not Fitting In Since 1978.

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Fashion

slay-o’clock.

Well, it was bound to happen. I fell off the wagon. I went back 100 steps. I lost the mojo. In other words: I returned to my sloppily-dressed ways.

I’ve mentioned to you that way back in the day, because of weight and lack of self-esteem and not really knowing who I was as a woman, I preferred the drab, large sized, Stevie Nicks/Dorothy Zbornak look. It was my way of hiding. Yet as much as I love Stevie and my Dorothy, it wasn’t the best idea. But with time and working on the inside and then turning to the outside, all of that improved. I fell in love with me, which ultimately meant buying her (me) fancy, lovely things, like clothes that actually fit and creating a simple, feminine and chicelegant (new word; save it in your dictionaries, folks) sense of style. 

Of late, however, the blah of life translated to fashion, style, everything. The return of ill-fitted, voluminous pants. Going to work with not one stitch of makeup on, not even my trusty MAC Studio Fix. Feeling like a shapeless brown platypus. 

As I’m prone to do, I had to figure out what was going on inside before the outside. 

  1. I’m still adjusting to this new area, six months later. (Right? Six months already.)
  2. I’ve been through some recent changes that have affected me emotionally.
  3. Idris still hasn’t called me. 

You know: things like that. In all seriousness, dear readers, I was going through stuff. And stuff means grabbing some parachute pants (far less awesome than Hammer’s), throwing them on, and going to work. 
But it’s time to let it all go. I saw myself in the mirror yesterday, super fresh-faced, absent of even lip balm, for goodness sakes (chapped lips to the heavens), and told myself to wake up. Stuff happens. We deal with it as we go. But no more cracked lips, y’all. No more.

So what time is it? It’s slay-o’clock. Because looking my best leads to feeling my best. A fundamental truth. We all know it. It’s not new math or the invention of something that will keep these edges laid. Looking better makes me feel better. In that vein, this morning I put on a cuter dress, put on some red lippie, and I welcomed the day. Put on your slay clock and join me, won’t you?

Now your turn: did the blah of life ever affect your personal style? What did you do about it? 

Fabu Fashion Tuesday: What is that? Velvet?

If you know that line from Coming to America, then yes, you belong here.

So yes, I wore a velvet dress this past weekend for a special worship event. This is notable because I’ve never worn the fabric. Not even when it was the it thing to wear in the 90s. (By the way, a friend commented on my “retro” look, to which I could only chuckle. Not the look I was going for, but whatever works.) But when I saw this velvet and lace dress on Asos one morning, I had to have. It was thoroughly unique, and you shall see why. 


Right?? Doesn’t that lace front and high collar take you back to Victorian times? I was hooked, lined, and sinkered. Now here’s me.



I didn’t do too much by way of accessories. To me, the dress was enough pièce de résistance. A pair of pearl posts (which belonged to Sally at the seashore), some fashion rings, and that’s all she wore as far as accessories. (And I didn’t lose any of them! This tends to be a problem. Huzzah!) I snagged some awesome tights by Jessica Simpson from DSW (she should really stick to this fashion thing and stay away from music) and bought those hot shoes you see on my feet from DSW, as well. A lovely, faith-strengthening day was had.

As you can also see: the fro has been tucked away under those Senegalese twists for the next several weeks. She needs to rest. We’ll talk about She later.

Happy Tuesday, y’all.

Blogvember #14: Le Fro and Le Chapeau.

I’m quite happy to inform you that I bought a chapeau (hat) this weekend. Of course, discovering that le fro (also referred to as She) could handle hats isn’t new; I discussed that wonderful revelation here. And yet those reservations about hats and fros and large heads don’t entirely go away, do they? We need to constantly remind ourselves, we in the Big Head Society, that it’ll be ok: hats will fit. 

While shopping with the bestie this past Saturday, I saw my new hat and I instantly wanted to try it on. That was the clue that it was meant to be mine. But that still didn’t stop me from muttering to the bestie that it likely wouldn’t fit. Try it on anyway, she replied, as she busied herself with perusing the sea of scarves in the aisle she was in. Shrugging, I reached for it, secured it atop my twist-out, and headed to find a mirror. Before I reached said mirror, Bestie was already gushing that it was beautiful. When I finally saw it, you guys…


The chicness. Oh, the chicness of it all. And that color. Even better: the ole noggin didn’t feel like an unknown object had taken up unlawful space there. Very comfortable. I also loved how little peeks of my coils were visible. As I said before: I made it mine. Naturally, for the rest of the day, my new chapeau became the centerpiece of several admiring selfies. (Because why not?)


By the way, I’m wearing Oh-So Wicked lipstick by Rimmel in these photos. Since autumn is here, I’ve been adding darker shades in between my tried and true red lippie. Don’t you love the variety of it all?

Anyway, bienvenue, mon chapeau…

(Are you a hat wearer? What are your favorite styles? Give up the goods…)

Blogvember #9: Meanwhile, in Paris…

…she has given me life. Liiiiife. 

Ride your vélo in those awesome heels, my lovely Parisienne. Rock your style. 

I love this. Happy Wednesday. 

Blogvember #7: Oh, am I blushing?

I think the last time I wore blush was sometime in my late teens when I officially got the green light from the Moms to start wearing makeup. Since my abundance of teen magazines provided everything from makeup tips to how to get that guy to notice you (no comment), I basically put everything on my face. Blush, mascara, eyeliner–yes, everything. Thank goodness for time and figuring out what actually worked for me. One thing I decided to part with was blush. My melanin didn’t respond well to it; I rarely found colors and shades that worked. So bye bye, blush.

Just recently, however, as I sauntered through the halls of YouTube university, I saw a video by one of the natural hair ladies that I follow; she was sharing her fall makeup routine. When she topped her applied makeup with blush, I paused for a bit. Hmm. We have similar skin tones, I said to myself. Can it be? Can you actually wear blush? Apart from the fact that yes, I speak to myself like a character from Shakespeare (can it be? Why, forsooth, yes it can), I loved how the blush complimented her lovely skin. And quite simply, the color she chose (Black Rasperry by Black Radiance) communicated what I was doing wrong back in the day: I was choosing colors too close to my skin tone, in the fear that a too-bright shade would turn me in your neighborhood clown. But staying in the plum/raspberry family seemed doable. After perusing a thousand stores for Black Radiance products (which have always been good to me), I finally found the Artisan Color Baked Blush in Raspberry. I wore it last night to my house of worship. See below. 


Needless to say, I fell in love with my blush last night. I thought it was a wonderful blend of understated and lovely, providing a pop of color to my face that I really liked. So it’s a keeper, ladies and gents. Makeup is all about adventure and experimenting, no? I declare this latest addition a winner. 

While we’re at it, here’s a full-length view of what I wore:


The necklace was a gift from the bestie, the blouse from Ross, and the high-waisted African print skirt was sewed by my talented Mama. Very pleased with the overall look.

So you out there: are you a blusher? What are your favorite brands? 

Fabu Fashion Round-Up: Elevator Runways

Hi there. You know about my new job. Prior to starting last week, I did a bit of shopping for some new wears, being that a number of my things were mostly ill-fitting and above all, I wanted to start nice and fresh for this new environment. I hit up Sears (seriously, their business-y stuff is awesome) and my boyfriend Ross for some pants, blouses, a new blazer, etc. Good finds. So when I arrived at the office last week: lo and behold, dear reader, the elevator taking me to my floor was filled with mirrors. (Yes, there were a few stars in my eyes following that discovery.) No more bathroom selfies for us, honey. And so courtesy of said mirrors, shown below are my office fashion choices from last week. I missed Thursday for reasons these gray streaks in my fro won’t allow me to remember. 


Day 1, aka Blurry Monroe: I snapped a quick pic, which explains the blurriness. Anyway, I went with your basic pantsuit. But that blouse gave me life. Have I told you that I love (no, love) tie-neck blouses??? Here’s a close-up.


Was drawn to the long tie, the sea of colors, the simplicity. One of my Sears finds. More tie-necks will be had, that’s for sure. (That’s my new bathroom by the way. That pose, however, isn’t new.) 

Day 2, aka Thigh Goals: “thigh goals” was the comment a friend captioned this when I posted the outfit on IG. I blushed and laughed and silently thanked my mum and all those squats. Anywho, still basic, still simple: blouse, blazer, pants. However, you’ll notice the scarf and the plastic bag. Inside the bag was my newly purchased space heater. Combined with said scarf, I came to battle, determined to beat the North wind blowing through my workspace. 

Day 3, aka Autumn Surprise: the weather forecasted for that day was significantly cool for the Dallas area, very fall-like and autumn-y. So I gleefully pulled out my beloved turtleneck and sweater and wore them to the office. A few co-workers raised their eyebrows. No comment. 

Day 5, aka Casual Friyay: I was told almost 100 times to remember that jeans were fine for casual Friyays, and so I obeyed. My tried and true skinny jeans with an animal print blouse that you can’t see and that long sweater. The yellow scarf topped it off, along with ankle booties that you also can’t see.

That’s all she wore. Oh, my hair: as you can see, straight for two days–following a much-needed trim–and then blissfully back to twist-outs and updos by the end of the week. 

What fashions are you sporting lately? Is your office occupied by the same North wind as mine?

Dressing Room Diaries #1: Stripes and Dots.

Sometimes I go to the store and I try things on. If you know anything about This Square Peg, you’ll know that doing that, especially during cold weather or when I’m bloated, hurts me. But baby steps. Anywho, sometimes I buy said outfits, sometimes I don’t. I almost always take pics of what I try on, though, so I can send them to my friends/fashion gurus to occasionally get their thoughts and/or to marvel at my growing baby muscles. (See here for proof that they are indeed growing.) And then the blogging epiphany came: this should be a feature on TSP. And so welcome to Dressing Room Diaries, where we look at what I try on in dressing rooms and discuss why or why not I purchased what I wore. Sometimes we’ll talk about pesky people who try to push open my dressing room door because it doesn’t dawn on them that someone is inside. Good times ahead.

This interesting dress immediately caught my eye while I was in Ross a few days ago. I’m sure you can guess why: the contrasting prints. I’m certainly not a stickler for keeping prints in the same family, for one thing, so I was definitely intrigued by it. It would also be a new look for me, being that although I’m not a prints stickler, I still haven’t ventured into the contrasting print world, either. After looking and examining and studying, I decided to buy it. A few days later, however, I returned the dress. Ultimately, I decided to go with something else. Of course, I could have kept this in my closet, but hey: I wanted my money back. Ha.

One thing I will say: I need more contrasting prints in my life. Bold, funky, and different–all good things.

Bienvenue, Dressing Room Diaries…

(p.s.: Maybe you’re wondering about the straightness of my hair? Unlike a friend of mine who panicked that I had returned to the creamy crystal meth/relaxer (not even), you likely guessed that it’s just a flat iron and that I remain a naturalista. You guessed correctly. After a much-needed trim, my stylist blew out my hair and then flat ironed it. Did you also guess that all that straightness disappeared after I worked out yesterday? Another gold star for you. Ah, well. C’est la vie.)

Tell me: do you like trying things on? Or are you a dressing room baby like me?

Fabu Fashion Monday: A Little Night Music.

Last weekend, my friend and I headed up to NYC to catch a concert by Damien Escobar, a violinist I discovered a few months ago. It was a nice chance to get out of town, even for a quick weekend. Digressing: have I discussed my love/hate relationship with the city? It’s a fantastic place for the arts, for museums, for my beloved Broadway–but my goodness, what is that infernal odor that persists in the air? It’s been there since 1986, when we first met. Anyway, our embattled relationship goes on.

We took the bus up to the city and checked in at Staybridge Suites, a nice hotel in the Hell’s Kitchen area (so many contrasts in that last sentence, no?), which wasn’t too far from the venue. Prior to this show, you guys, I wrangled with what I wanted to wear. My summer concert wear is typically comfortable and easy. But something intriguing happens when you’re headed to the big city, something that requests that you up the chic factor and slay all day. At least it happened to me. Anyone else get that feeling of wanting to look extra when you’re headed out of town and away from all you know at home? I certainly did. I went back and forth and back again with what I wanted to wear. Finally, after a few hours of searching the racks at my tried-and-true Ross a few days before the trip, I decided to stop stressing and went the simple route: a nice, comfortable shirt-dress. Here it is.

As you can see, très simple and très comfortable. I completed the look with square hoops in my ears and those bangles on my wrist. Honestly, I wanted my hair (kinky twists, protective style #1,097 since February of this year) and my lips to be the showstoppers. (This is always the case, dear reader. I live for awesome hair and awesome lips.) And so I did the side-swept thing by pinning back one side of the hair and pushing most of the twists to the other side. Then I applied my bestie Ruby Woo until the redness was the right shade of fiyah. A bit of mascara, some light eye shadow, and we were ready to go.

ConcertEns2

We had a good time overall. I could have done without waiting in line forever just to get inside the Highline Ballroom, where the concert was held, when we were told that arriving early would prevent that from happening and that we would have seats. No seats were had. We stood for three hours. (If you could waiting in line from 5-ish to the end of the show around 10-ish, we stood for 5 hours or so. Insert highly irritated This Square Peg emoji here.) Nevertheless, barring sound issues and things of that nature, it was nice to hang out with my friend and hear some good music.

ConcertEns4

How was your weekend, my dear reader?

How Queens Attend Galas.

By now, I’m sure you’ve seen photos of Queen Lupita at the 2016 Met Gala.

Oh, you haven’t?

Why not?

No, we won’t go there. I’m here to help.

"Manus x Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology" Costume Institute Gala - Arrivals
Photo by Rabbani and Solimene Photography/Getty Images

Right? Are you still breathing? Let’s look at one more, shall we?

QueenL
Photo courtesy of Vulture.com

If you look to the left of Lupita, that’s actor Nate Parker in the background, to the left, quite humorously and openly caught up in the rapture of the Queen.

Absolutely loving the glamour and grandeur and chocolateness and beauty and class and elegance of our lady. And that hair! I won’t discuss the foolishness of Vogue magazine crediting Lupita’s hairstyle to Audrey Hepburn and completely diminishing the distinctly African influences behind the style. Not worth my typing time. But trust and believe that our Lupita responded in her usual classy and direct way.

Happy Queen Monday, everyone…

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