The Little Black Dress

Have you ever noticed those women who always look so beautifully adorn in a black dress? Or perhaps noticed yourself in a black dress? Of course, you have. You have probably assumed you could never pull that off. What’s their secret? How did they do it so gracefully? Let us talk about THE LITTLE BLACK DRESS! You will thank me later.

We have all heard of “The Little Black Dress” at some point. Some of us own a few. I refer to mine as “The Modest Black Dress”. I’ll explain why a little later. When I hear the LBD I think of elegance, date night, ladies’ night out, all black everything, Coco Chanel, and Audrey Hepburn. Share with us what comes to your mind in the comment section below.

In its original debut, The Little Black Dress was a black cocktail or evening dress that is usually very short. Which is where the “LITTLE” of the black dress comes from. It means more than just a petite dress. The LBD carries a certain persona. One that makes it a closet staple and fashion classic. Credit for The Little Black Dress is often given to fashion designer Coco Chanel and British model Audrey Hepburn. According to Coco Chanel, the qualities of an ideal wardrobe includes lots of black and white, good shoes, plenty of dresses, polish, simplicity and well-fitting clothes. That sounds like elegance, modesty, and class to me.

IMG_6763

I believe in modesty. That is why I refer to my LBD as the modest black dress. I cannot wear a very short dress and be modest. The LBD and just the color black is an essential in my closet. It’s simple, elegant, affordable, and versatile. You can dress it up or dress it down. Modesty is elegant and timeless. I will wear black for any event except for daytime in the summer. Read why here “Cool Modest Summer”. I did this recently for some photos I had to take. It won’t happen again unless of course I’m getting paid. It’s just too hot in Florida.

IMG_6765

Here’s why you need a LBD:

  • It’s always in season for styling.
  • The color black makes the body look slimmer.
  • EVERYONE looks good in black!
  • It’s an affordable look.
  • The Little Black Dress is versatile.
  • It’s a perfect “go-to” look for ANY occasion.
  • It is TIMELESS!

IMG_6766

Tag us on Instagram in your LBD to be featured on our page and upcoming blog posts.

@ChazaqRose

#ChazaqRose

IMG_6767

Check out these beautiful women in their LBD!

“This dress hugs me in all the right places. It’s very comfy and true to my size.”

“My little black dress means being covered while also being cute. The world says less is more, but modesty is everything. The bible says that we are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people”, and that is how I feel while wearing my modest black dress.”

“I love my modest black dress because of the boldness.”

“Thanks to Coco Chanel “the little black dress” is synonymous for elegance; well, maybe Audrey Hepburn should take some credit. Either way, I love my little black dress. As a 300 pounds full figured woman, it is difficult to find a dress that doesn’t leave me looking as if I’m wearing an over-sized house dress. You know what I’m talking about- the “big mama dress” also known as a moo moo dress. Add to the fact that I prefer looking modest, makes it even more difficult. This dress is comfortable, stylish, can be accessorized in many ways, ageless, and can be worn anywhere.”

“Dressing modestly can be so stylish and surprisingly marvelous!!!! Black has always been so important in my wardrobe! Worn the right way, black can make you feel like the size (fill in the blank) you used to be. There isn’t much worry for the modest woman with just a few black dresses in the closet! I have an entire drawer and portion of my closet just for these pieces of fashion heaven!!! Though it’s so simple, what isn’t surprising is that us girls can’t do without them!

“A modest black dress is classy and timeless. It’s not a trend, it’s a statement. It’s bold without being loud or flashy. It goes with anything and can be worn anywhere. When you wear it, you are always dressed for the occasion.”

Thank you, ladies, for sharing your thoughts and little black dress with us!

Dare I say, THE LITTLE BLACK DRESS IS FOR EVERY WOMAN!

Cool Modest Summer

HELLO SUMMER!

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? –Shakespeare

Summer is so hot and extreme. I love the cool nights and mango season but I am not a summer’s gal. I don’t like being hot and sweaty, and I burn easily in the sun. Autumn is my season.

I live in Florida and it is HOT all year in my opinion. The weather is also unpredictable. You just don’t know what kind of weather you’re going to wake up to. So how does a lady dress modestly and stay cool in the heat? It’s possible!

Here’s eight ways to keep your summer modest, stylish, and cool.

1.       Wear some sunscreen & drink lots of water

I avoid being directly in the sun at all cost. I use a sunscreen lotion of at least SPF 30 to protect my skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Stay hydrated! I can’t stress this enough. It’s important for our health, not just during the summer. Dehydration and heatstroke are real! If you don’t like drinking water I am sorry, you are missing out on life. Drinking a lot of water helps me keep a clear and healthier skin. Try infusing your water with your favorite fruit(s) to add natural flavors to it. One of my favorite combos is strawberries with mint leave or lemon or cucumbers. Infused water is also great for detoxing. A natural oil and skincare product will help keep your skin moist and cool without looking greasy. Your health and skin will thank you later. I know it’s hot but find a cool time to get some exercising done at your own level and pace. I choose cooler times of the day to exercise because it helps with staying hydrated. If you don’t have the time to go to the gym or go outside in the evening for a walk or run, don’t stress it. Buy yourself a mat and some weights and make it happen at home.

2.       Wear looser fitted and natural fabric clothing

Maxi are everything during the summer. There’s just something about a dress’s flowiness, loose fit and light fabrics that makes the fun summer. I could wear a maxi dress everyday for the rest of my life if I had to or had no other options. Try to avoid fabrics that will stick to your body if you start sweating. I prefer the clothes in my closet that are made of breathable fabrics. The more natural the fabric the better it is. Cotton is one of the best and most affordable natural fabrics. I try not to wear the color black during the summer, especially during the day. That color absorbs heat. It won’t help keep you cool. Even though black makes the body appear slimmer, it’s not the best color to wear when it’s hot outside.

3. Avoid wearing unnecessary accessories

I love making a fashion statement and sometimes less IS more. The iconic fashion designer Coco Chanel said, “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take at least one thing off.” The less you carry around the easier it’ll be to stay cool. I have lots of fun with patterns, stripes, and graphic t-shirts. Instead of carrying around your oversize day to day handbag (we all have one of those), try a smaller purse or cross body bag. I do prefer larger handbags because I can carry my entire life in them but if I’m honest I don’t and won’t need 50% of the things I carry in there. It’s too hot in the summer for all that extra weight. I’m about to be a mom of two. We shall see how I manage.

4. Wear summer hats.

Who doesn’t love a chic large summer hat? Whatever your hat style is, it’s a great way to accessorize and protect your face from the sun’s heat. A hat can change an outfit from day to night, casual to dressed-up without doing too much. Have some fun with different types of hats. Make it a part of your summer experience. I like wearing Fedora style hats with maxi dresses and for summer evening outings. They’re super chic for summer. For a sporty or casual summer look, I like wearing baseball style hats or a dad cap. When I want to feel and look more “feminine” or rock a bohemian look I go for a large floppy hat. Protect that summer glow on your face with a nice hat!

5. Style your hair with summer friendly hairstyles

Long or short, hair while beautiful can be annoying. Especially when it’s hot outside. It can get sweaty, greasy, and leave our scalps itching. I don’t like hair all over my face especially when the sun’s heat is blazing. I prefer to style my hair in up-dos or pulled back away from my face. I don’t want any hair sticking to my sweating neck or be the reason why I’m hot and sweating. That’s not a good feeling! I try to use headbands or head wraps to keep my hair pulled back. I love the head wraps I’ve seen a lot of ladies doing but I suck at it. Maybe I will practice more this summer. It’s another way to accessorize or make a statement without overdoing it. Try some hairstyles that allows your scalp to breathe, like box braids or cornrow braids.

6. Wear cover-ups

I’m sure I lost a lot of you there. Why, when it’s so hot? To the average person living in Florida wearing cover-ups might sound senseless. Sleeves are okay during the summer. If I need to be out in about during the day I prefer to wear shorter sleeves. They’re better than wearing tank tops and no sleeves. Tank tops are a means to expose skin, they don’t help keep you cool or protect you from the sun’s heat. Instead of wearing thick jackets and blazers I wear lightweight cover-ups and thin denim jackets. The key is to choose BREATHABLE FABRICS versus wearing close to nothing.

7. When all else fail WEAR WHITE

White is THE ULTIMATE SUMMER STAPLE! It’s an easy, effortless, chic and soft look. A white dress with a cute pair of summer shoes is it. White doesn’t absorb heat like darker colors and black does. I love neutral colors overall and they’re seriously perfect for summer. If you must wear colors, try wearing lighter colors like pastel hues.

8. Wear the right kind of shoes

There is such a thing. Summer is one of the best times to bring out your open-toe wedges, flats, sandals, and sneakers. I like wearing the shoes that are comfortable and leave room for my feet to breathe. The summer’s heat will make it worse if you’re wearing shoes that are uncomfortable. Comfortable and breathable is the key here.

HOW DO YOU STAY MODEST AND COOL DURING THE SUMMER?

7 Online Shopping Hacks

I love to shop. I enjoy shopping. Whether or not I’m buying anything it’s just something I like doing. I enjoy it even when I’m shopping online. It’s spring, a lot of people, myself included, like to spring clean our closet. If you haven’t read 12 Fashion Staples for Your Closet you are doing yourself and closet a disservice. Before you go on a shopping spree or on a hunt for replacement pieces read it and find out why. Thank me later.

I believe there’s an art to shopping. One does not simply walk into a store and buy the very first thing your eyes land on. Unless you’ve been eying it for a while, it’s a must-have that’s on sale, or a once in a lifetime deal you won’t get anywhere else. I take my time to look around, find the sales or clearance section, look at prices, compare prices of various brands and retail stores. I take time to enjoy the different fashion and styles displayed for the season. I look at colors, patterns, fabrics, and the quality of the clothes (cheaper prices aren’t always worth it). I take in as much as I can, from how the racks are positioned to the set up of the store. Shopping is an experience! This sounds great when you’re shopping at your local mall, retail or thrift stores, right? It can be just as enjoyable online. It’s a matter of mindset. For me, online shopping is equally fun and enjoyable. Depending on your view of the internet world and shopping, online shopping can be an intimidating experience at first. Once you get the hang of it or a feel for it you’ll realize how easy and convenient it is.

Here are some tips from my online shopping experience to help you with yours.

  • Shop at a secured website
  • Know your measurements
  • Read the reviews
  • Know the company’s shipping terms
  • Know the company’s return policies
  • Look for coupon offers and discount codes
  • Set a budget

 

  • Shop at a secured website
    • You want to always shop at a website that will allow you to use a secure payment method. If several things appear to be out of the ordinary don’t trust the site. It will lessen your chances of identity theft and your funds getting jacked. Make sure the website is legitimate and secured. I like using PayPal as my payment method. It gives me buyers protection and protection against fraudulent activities. It’s also important to check the website’s reputation. You don’t want to shop somewhere that has terrible reviews or customer service. Make sure you can contact someone through email AND phone in case you face any issues while shopping or if there’s something wrong with something you purchased. You especially want to make sure you can speak to someone on the phone if the issue is with your money.
  • Know your measurements
    • Clothing sizes vary depending on clothing brand or merchant. It’s important to know your size, especially in centimeters and inches. The online store usually displays them as such instead of the expected small, medium, and large size. You can use a measuring tape to measure your bust, waist, hips, and inseam. If you’re not sure how exactly to do this there are YouTube video tutorials that can help you. You can also visit your local seamstress or tailor to figure this out. While some clothes are true to size others are not. You need to know your size to determine whether to stick to your exact size, buy a size down or buy a size up. THE SIZE CHART IS YOUR FRIEND! Please use it. It may vary slightly depending on the brand or company but is fairly the same overall. It’s a useful guide.
  • Read the reviews
    • Customer reviews in the online shopping world are gold. Take some time to read some. You’ll get a real perspective on whatever it is you’re interested in buying. Ads can be deceiving. Most buyers will include photos with their reviews which is even better. Look for reviews that include comments on the size, fit, and material quality of what you want to buy. It’ll help give you a better idea of how something will fit, if it’ll be true to size or if you’ll need to buy a size up or down. Remember ads and online model displays can be deceiving and hyped up so don’t just go off that alone.
  • Know the company’s shipping terms
    • A lot of online stores in the United States offers free shipping. Other stores, especially if your shipment is coming from overseas, charge a fair shipping fee. If shipping isn’t free your shipping price is usually based on the shipping option you choose, standard, express or overnight shipping. If shipping is free it’s always my option. Costly shipping is not worth it in my opinion if getting it later than sooner is the only downfall. The length of delivery is often based on the carriers the company uses. i.e. FedEx, UPS, USPS. It shouldn’t take a company more than 2-3 day to ship your package to you. Be sure to check if tracking is provided for you to track your package (s). Some carriers will require a signature or someone to be present at the time of delivery.
  • Know the company’s return policies
    • It crucial to know how, when, and if you can return or exchange what you purchase. You might not like what you purchase once you receive it or it might not fit properly. You want to be able to return it. Check the return policy before placing your order. Check how long you have to return things, how much it’ll cost you or if returns are free. You also want to check if you can make exchanges, get your money back or get store credit.
  • Look for coupons and discount codes
    • Coupons and discount codes will save you a lot of money on your overall purchase at checkout. Always check out the sales and markdown items. If you can get coupons and discount codes on top of whatever sales offered, it’s worth celebrating. Your bank account and husband will thank you after checkout.
  • Set a budget
    • You know your shopping habits and how often you shop. Unless you are a millionaire or have money to blow give yourself a budget. If you’re disciplined in your spending you won’t mind a budget. You want to be responsible with your money. It is easy to overspend and get carried away when your shopping online. It’s much easier than at a local store. It’s really like throwing it all in the bag. It’s not possible to feel the weight of everything you added to your cart. Treat yourself if you can but buy what you need first. A budget will help you smile when you click on your cart and not have to explain to your spouse where all these packages are coming from.

BONUS: sign up for emails and exclusive offers from your favorite stores and company. You will be among the first to know of special offers, discounts, and sales.

Three of my favorite online stores are ASOS.COM, SHEIN.COM, and LOLASHOETIQUE.COM. ASOS is especially great for high-quality clothing and designer’s brands at affordable prices. SHEIN has a lot of trendy clothing at some of the lowest prices in the market. While some of their clothes are exceptionally excellent quality material for the cost others not so much. Don’t expect Louis Vuitton quality material for an $8 dress.

I hope you enjoyed these hacks! If you have some of your own, please share them with me.

12 Fashion Staples for Your Closet

Make day to day dressing easier, fun, and enjoyable for yourself. Replace your “I have nothing to wear” in my closet with these 12 wardrobe staples.

 

  1. PROPER UNDERGARMENTS!

I can not stress enough how important this is. Give some thought to your undergarment and avoid embarrassing fashion crisis. The wrong kind of undergarment can ruin your outfit. Things like a T-shirt bra, versatile bra, the right kind of underwear, a full body slip, and shapers are essentials in a woman’s closet. Proper undergarments are the foundation of a great outfit and feeling confident in your look. I know you love your striped Victoria Secrets bra but try not to wear it underneath your crispy white tee. I have done this. Cringe! Embarrassing.

  1. A LITTLE BLACK DRESS (MODEST BLACK DRESS)

Every woman should have a LBD. It is chic on its own or can be fun with a couple of accessories. It’s a perfect go-to for any occasion. Find one that compliments your figure.

LBD

  1. A TAILORED BLAZER

A tailored blazer is great inside and outside of the office. It’s flattering on any size or silhouette. It’s perfect during the cool springs or over a nice cocktail dress.

  1. A BLACK PENCIL SKIRT

A black pencil skirt works well for a quick business formal or casual, and Sunday evening service look. You can dress it down with a chic striped shirt or tee shirt. You can add a blazer for a more sophisticated look.

  1. A WHITE TEE

You can’t go wrong with a nice white T-shirt. It is versatile. You can wear it as is, with a trendy skirt, layer it, or throw a leopard scarf over it. It’s perfect with an oversized or plaid blazer.

  1. A MIDI SKIRT

A midi skirt is very flattering, womanly, and modest. It’s perfect for church and the workplace. I have long legs and honestly think I look the best in midi skirts. It’s very flattering to my long legs.

  1. THE PERFECT JEAN

Every woman needs a couple of flattering jeans. They’re great for your day to day schedule, grocery store runs, casual outings, and semi-formal wear.

  1. A CLASSIC WHITE SHIRT

The possibilities are endless! Whether it’s for the office, a day around town, or your favorite Sunday skirt, a classic white shirt adds simple elegance.

  1. A TRENCH COAT

Trench coats are a classic. You can wear it over just about anything, look and feel comfortable. It’s an investment.

  1. AN EVENING BAG

You don’t NEED a closet full of purses if you have the right kind of purses. A chic handbag or clutch is great to have. It’s perfect for your evening events and girls’ night outs.

  1. BALLET FLATS

You can still look chic or “dressed up” in a nice pair of ballet flats. They great for long days. You can transition from day to night in them. They will look good with your jeans and button-down blouses.

FLATS

  1. DAY TO NIGHT HEELS

A pair of neutral hue heels is a must-have. It could be black, grey, or nude. Get yourself some classic pumps, strappy heels or sandals, or some ankle boots you can transition from a daytime look to night time wear.

 

“Buy less, choose well.” – Vivienne Westwood 

DRESSING YOUR BODY TYPE

I often get “compliments” from other women that believe I look good in anything or women that believe I can wear just about anything. I always laugh. The truth is I don’t look good in everything. I wear what I know is flattering to my figure and body type. Where you shop is not as important as knowing what to buy for your specific body type. I don’t dress based on what is trending in the season. I’m a lover of personal style of fashion. I don’t worry about trends or style of clothing being modest right from the store; most clothing can be modified to be worn modestly. Ladies, it’s important to know your body type and styles that flatter your figure. Just because something is trending doesn’t mean you should rock it. Trends come and go. Your personal style is an expression of you. Don’t simply wear what’s trending, in-season or what others are wearing. Dress to flatter the shape of your figure.

 

Body Types

 

The following are the four most common female body shapes/types:

·        Apple (downward triangle, Athletic)

·        Banana (rectangular, straight)

·        Pear, Spoon, or Bell (Upward triangle)

·        Hourglass Shape

 Body Shapes

 

 

1.  Straight Body Type (Banana Shape)

a.  Your hips and bust are balanced

b.  Your waist is not very defined

c.   You probably have a bottom that is more flat than round

d.  You tend to gain weight in your torso first and then your upper thighs and arms

e.  Your lower legs are always shapely and one of your best assets

Wear tops with belted waists, off the shoulder, boat-neck tops, wide V or U necks, structured shoulders, princess or flutter sleeves, embellishments around the bust and shoulders, and tops that are full, rushed or flowing around the bust. Find bottoms that add curves to your lower half while creating an hourglass effect. Go for full, tiered (layered) or bubble skirts; mid to low-rise waists with wide waistbands.

 

2.  Pear Body Type (Triangle Shape)

a.  Your hips are larger than your bust

b.  You have a nicely defined waist

c.   You have slim arms and shoulders

d.  You first gain weight on your bottom

e.  Your waist is one of your best assets

Enhance and add volume to your upper body while emphasizing your waist and de-emphasizing your lower body. Create a balanced, which can help you achieve an hourglass appearance. Find tops that will help balance your lower half; tops with fitted waists, with embellishments around the bust and shoulders, bold patterns and bright colors. Draw as little attention to your bottom as possible. Go for A-line skirts, and simple stitching and dark colors. Avoid heavy details that emphasize your bottom area, such as dresses and skirts that hug the widest part of your hips.

 

3.  Hourglass Body Type

a.  Your hips are larger than your bust

b.  You have a nicely defined waist

c.   You have proportionately slim arms and shoulders and neck

d.  You first gain weight on your bottom then upper body

e.  Your waist is one of your best assets

Proportionately dress the top and bottom of your body while accentuating your waist. Wide belts over shirts and dresses are a wonderful way to show off your waist. Look for tops that will emphasize your waist and balance your figure; fitted waist tops, wrap-style tops, tops with belts, and custom-made shirts and jackets. Paired with the appropriate tops, you can wear just about any type of bottom piece; high waist-skirts are great for hourglass body type.

 

4.  Inverted Triangle Body Type (Apple Shape or Athletic)

a.  You have a larger upper body

b.  You have broad shoulders, and full bust and a wide back

c.   Your hips are slim

d.  Your waist is subtle and you tend to gain weight in your belly and upper body

e.  Your beautiful, shapely legs are one of your best assets

Balance your broader shoulders, chest, and back with your narrower lower body to create more of an hourglass effect. Choose clothes that add curves to your hips and bottom while creating a more defined waist. Look for tops that will help balance your bust and hips, also emphasize your waist. Choose bottoms that will help enhance your lower body.

 

5.  Oval Body Type

a.  You have a large bust, narrow hip, and a full midsection

b.  You tend to gain weight in your stomach and upper body

c.   Your waist is undefined and the widest part of your figure

d.  Your buttocks are somewhat flat and your legs are slender

e.  Your shapely, graceful legs are one of your best assets

Keep the attention away from your midsection and create a more defined waist. Choose clothing that adds curves and fullness to your lower body and tops that taper to a waist. Wear tops with flare at the hips, vertical details, and tops with belts. Looks for bottoms with minimal emphasis on your lower half; full, tiered, flared or bubble skirts and mid-rise waist skirts with wide waistbands.

You can teach others a lot about yourself based on your style of dressing. It’s a way to say who you are without having to speak. It is more than just dressing well and making a statement. How you feel when you get dress is important. You can keep it simple or be bold. Whichever bold extreme or happy medium you choose, the result should be to look your best, please God, and feel great about it. I did not always dress modestly or wear flattering attire. My dad used to always tell me, the way you dress reflects the state of your heart. Why do you wear what you wear? What is your motive? How do you expect others to respond to you? If you are simple dressing to impress others, gets likes or compliments, you will most likely fail to dress for flatter your body type. Do what is best for your figure not what you think others will like. Remember to feel as great as you look. Make your goal to dress well for your figure and body type. Confidence is beautiful and never out of style; it’s suitable for all body shapes and types.