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This Square Peg.

Happily Not Fitting In Since 1978.

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Fabu Fashion: Lone Star Autumn

Dear reader, the high today in Texas is 47 degrees. Forty-seven degrees. Of course, I can’t get too excited because a few weeks ago, we had a similar high and by Saturday, it was 90 degrees. So there’s that. But when we do have bursts of autumnal weather here and there, I’m quite happy to break out the jackets and tights and turtlenecks and all that. Since we haven’t talked fashion in a while (honestly, we haven’t really talked in a while, you know? Writer/Blogger laziness. I have no viable excuses. I’ll do better. Maybe soon), here’s an update of what I’m wearing today at the office.

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Deets, if you’re so inclined:

-Faux leather pencil skirt: ordered from Amazon; for real, I’ve yet to have a bad experience ordering clothes from Amazon
-Turtleneck: your basic turtle; no clue where I purchased it from. Maybe JCPenney?
-Sweater wrap that gives me life: from Ross, of course. Where else?
Boots: Uh, Ross? For real, I’ve owned most of these pieces for so long–with the exception of the gray wrap–that I can’t recall where I got them from. Blame getting older.

Needless to say, when the weather turns colder, I lean towards the grays and the blacks, sometimes without even thinking about it. (Plus, it’s raining and drab and gray and I think my soul wanted to match the weather.) It’s a habit I’m trying to break. But hey: I threw on some maroon tights! That’s color, right? Although you can see them with the length of the skirt and the boots. But I wanted you to see them. So feast your eyes on this professional pose below:

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I can’t hear your applause, but thank you. Anyway, I grabbed those tights from JCPenney, I believe. The image may not show it, but they’re also patterned, which is also a favorite when it comes to tights.

On my hair: right? Where’s the fro, you’re wondering? It’s tucked under those fresh crochet braids. Loving this style. I tend to stick to curly crochets when I go with that protective style, but thanks to Pinterest, I decided to try vixen crochet braids and use a kinky straight hair texture. And this hair, y’all. Soft, voluminous, very much giving me the Diana Ross look I’ve wanted since time began.

As far as makeup, the day also seemed to deserve a little smoky eye. Since I generally fail at natural smoky eye, I grabbed this great shadow stick from Sephora fabu5called–what else?–Easy Smoky Eye. Comes in matte and metallic (I chose matte) and different colors (I chose brown and blue); a few strokes on my eyelids and I look like a chanteuse about to purr into a microphone. Stormy weatherrr… 

Shadow sticks are new to me and for the record, I.love.them. Rather than spend more than a few minutes achieving a specific eye look, the sticks help me to easily achieve the look I want. Boom. My lippie, also a Sephora buy, is Smashbox Always On Matte Liquid Lipstick. Shade: Girl Gang. You need this lippie, by the way. It goes on cream and dries matte, which I adore into infinity. (I’ve never been into shiny lipstick, incidentally.) Anyway, the shade pulsates, y’all. May not translate in the photo, but the plum shade is amazing on these lips.

That’s all she wrote. Simple and fabu for me.

What are your fall fashion favorites so far? Share?

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The Frompadour Files.

Oh, hey. Have you missed me as much as I’ve missed you, dear reader? Have you longingly gazed at your notifications, hoping to see that I’ve reached out to you with another post? No? Well, I love you anyway.

It’s been a while since I’ve talked about this fro (known as She) on my larger-than-average head. Let me catch you up: for the past several months or so, She’s been giving me life. Why? Because She’s been obedient! We all know how She does her own thing and follows her own rules and decides when she wants to feel moisturized and so on. But for the past several months, She’s been actually responding to my attempts at styling and care-taking. It’s been slightly surreal. But I’ll take it. Anyway, since the dawn of summer, I decided to start fashioning her into vintagey pompadour styles that She’s really responded to. Take a look.

I’ve loved the creative, natural hair updo look forever. Throw in that retro feel that some of the styles evoke and I became an immediate fan and decided to try my hand at them. Even better: the style protects my dear ends, which are tucked away comfortably while I wear these styles. Here’s a quick how-to (or how I do) on them:

  1.  I start with hair that’s been stretched by an old twist-out, or Bantu knot-out, or really any style that I’ve worn for a while. Note that stretched doesn’t necessarily mean straight. Some naturalistas do these styles on straightened hair, but I like to just have my hair stretched to a malleable point.
  2. I then apply moisturizer or whatever styling cream I want to use. Before that, I like to spritz my hair with a tiny bit of water and/or leave-in conditioner, but not so much as to lose the stretch and bring on le shrinkage.
  3. Now I style. Perhaps here, you’re waiting for some rhyme or reason to how I style the hair into the frompadour (fro + pompadour)? Sorry. I don’t have one. I literally stare in the mirror and start moving my hair around to see what I like. Sometimes I want a front swoop thing like you see in the photos. Or I want to create a “flower” with my hair in the back. It’s really up to what I end up doing. As long as I have an abundance of pins and a bristle brush to keep sides and edges smooth (to no avail), I just end up with a nice style that I wear for a week or so. img_0312

That’s all she wrote. I get some of my ideas from Pinterest, of course, where you’ll find plenty of ladies with similar styles. Barring the falling into the Pinterest rabbit hole, that’s a great resource for ideas. YouTube, as well.

So what new things are you doing for the summer summer summertime?

 

 

big bag, small bag.

Once upon a time, our fair chocolate princess was at work and in the middle of typing when a sharp pain shot though her wrist. Of course, she gazed at her wrist as if the body part could communicate why it did this to her. Thankfully, there was no answer (talking body parts may be cute in animated films, but in real life? Nah), and she assumed that it would go away. No such thing. The sharp pain became unrelenting. She could barely type, hold things with her left hand, etc. At first, she diagnosed herself, because she’s done this all her life, often running to her parents’ basement to consult various medical journals whenever she experienced pain and/or discomfort, which resulted in giving herself an assortment of ailments. (“Stop doing that,” her mother has demanded many, many times in the past and last week in the not too distant past.) Her final analysis was carpal tunnel syndrome. And yet there was something intense about this pain, perhaps bigger than carpal tunnel. Reluctantly, she realized that it was time to consult a real physician. The medical journals and all those years of watching ER, St. Elsewhere, and other medical shows just wouldn’t suffice this time.

Since there was a clinic right across the street that accepted those employed at her former company, our chocolate princess trudged over one afternoon, her wrist in agony. When the doctor finally came in to see her, he checked everything, asked a variety of questions, etc. He then gazed at her handbag sitting nearby in a chair. “Do you mind if I pick this up?” he asked. Curious but ultimately knowing what he was about to tell her, she nodded. He picked it up. “What do you have in here?” he then asked. An umbrella, an iPad, my wallet, normal things, she responded. The doctor nodded again. “Do you need all those things?” Affronted, our princess explained that as a commuter who lived in Somewheres, VA and worked in the DC area, it was important to bring things to be prepared since her vehicle was miles and miles away. An umbrella for rain. The iPad for metro reading. Other things. And only a large bag would fit. “All true, but your handbag weighs about the size of a small toddler. That’s why your wrist is in distress. Your handbag is too heavy.”

A small toddler?

But, our princess thought to herself, she’d always had big bags. High school, college: what minuscule bag would fit her life??

The doctor went on to say: “If you need to bring all those things, perhaps consider a backpack. You can use both straps for both your shoulders and take the pressure off your left arm.”

A backpack? Was she 11? Was she in elementary school? Was she still walking to the bus in the mornings?

Obviously the doctor saw the horrified (mixed with a bit of snobbery) expression on our princess’s face. “Or you can decrease the items in the bag. But you’re doing damage to your tendons if keep holding a bag that weighs this much.” She muttered her thanks and assured him that she would figure it out. He told her to pop some pain medication if the pain continued. Eventually, the pain dissipated and disappeared and our princess resumed her life.

But she didn’t change her bag.

The End

So I had an epiphany the other day, dear reader. After years of rubbing my shoulder after wearing my bag, or picking up my bag and wincing in pain, or warning the lady at the nail shop to be careful when she picks up my bag in order to protect my wet nails, and so, so on, I realized that it’s finally time to quit playing games with my limbs. Stubbornly refusing to listen to the doctor’s recommendations was one thing (and not a great thing). But now living in an area where I drive to work and no longer need to be loaded down with an entire aisle of a CVS because I can leave things in my car is entirely another. It’s time, y’all. This Square Peg needs to buy a smaller purse.

I used to wonder how women ran their lives with smaller purses. Like, how did they exist? Where did they put their wallets in said smaller bag? What about a certain time of the month and hiding certain items? (Speaking of that, I think the trauma of a boy in my 9th grade History class who snatched my bag one day and peeked in to see a row of pink lady time-of-the-month articles did more damage than I care to psychoanalyze.) Anyway, again: how did these ladies survive without a giant bag on their shoulders?

I’ll provide the answers when I buy my small bag. It’ll be a shock to the system, for sure. A bag on my shoulder is like warm tea on a chilly day. It’s like cool lemonade for a dry, summer-inflicted throat. It’s comforting. But my car is a few feet away in the parking lot. If I need anything, I can go grab it. Enough, I say. We must do right by my shoulders, wrists, that poor doctor who tried to save me from the small toddler…

Here are some super cute smaller bags that stylistically call out to me:

Lovely. Now we need to head to the store. I wonder how many years that will take?

So tell me: what kind of purse/handbag do you use? Small? Large? Massive? Little? Share your adjectives in the comments with me, please.

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.

Bonjour, December.

I welcomed the new month with a high puff, a little red lippie, and a sweater/turtleneck combo because it’s currently freezing in Dallas. Yes, you read that right. 


Welcome to the last month of the year. Wherever you are, may you remain warm and toasty. 

(I’m 4 years natural this month, y’all! So the posts this month will certainly have a hair theme. Onwards…)

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. 

things i currently need #9: décor dreams. (Blogvember #8)

Thought I’d share some of my needs when it comes to decorating my new apartment, which has become quite comfortable but still lacks some of the niceties and touches that I think would make it feel more like home. To that end, below are some of ideas I’ve pinned on my “mon espace” (my space) board on Pinterest. 


This lovely loo gives me life. 


My kingdom for a canopy bed!


Don’t you love it? Nothing like a bedside table. Those three books on the bottom are a sweet idea, but I foresee about 100 books stacked in that space for me. Kidding. 110.


There’s something about vintagey, French rustic-y dressers that drive me wonderfully mad. 


Another bedroom idea. I love everything about this room, including that large print on the wall. Are those scones on the tray? They look like scones. I digress. 


The living room is the centerpiece of the a home, in my opinion. I want a place that’s both cozy and cool, both modern and magnificent. Out of the three, the last pin is my favorite. And can we say #chandeliergoals?

Lastly, I’m a huge lover of natural hair and African-inspired artwork and want several pieces in my home. Here are a few of my favorite “Fro Art” pins. 


Anywho, a few ideas for me to work on down the road. And unlike most of the things on my recipes board, I’d like to make these décor dreams a reality. 

What’s your decorating style?

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