Style | Why You Need Kimonos in Your Wardrobe

Kimonos have been a wardrobe staple for me since last year. I’ve always been a fan of styling them, but over the last year I’ve been gravitating towards them more and more. When I’m out shopping that’s the first thing I search for – they’re such a necessary wardrobe addition. So of course, I must share the 5 reasons why you need kimonos in your wardrobe.  

Why You Need Kimonos in Your Wardrobe

1. Versatility. There are several variations of the kimono trend and that’s a good thing. It keeps the trend versatile and makes it simple for you to find a style that works for your aesthetic. Weather full length, mid length or cardigan style, kimonos are extremely versatile; there’s a perfect style for every shopper.

2. Easy to Style & Wear. If you don’t know what to add to an OOTD like a maxi dress, throw on a kimono! Want to add a little something over a tank top and jeans look? Pick a kimono! They’re the easiest garments to style and wear.

Why You Need Kimonos in Your Wardrobe

Kimono: Marshall’s // Bodysuit: F21 // Flats: Steve Madden (Similar) // Necklace: Nordstrom Rack

Why You Should Wear Kimonos

3. Affordability. Oftentimes I find my favorite kimonos at the thrift store, for less than $10! Even if they’re not thrifted, more often than not kimonos aren’t that expensive. And they’re also on sale often at stores like TJ MaxxNordstrom Rack and Asos.

4. Timeless. I don’t think the kimono trend will go out of style anytime soon. Their classic and timeless wardrobe staples; perfect for any wardrobe and every season.

5. Comfort. If you’ve been a WNJ reader for awhile, you know I’m all about looking stylish and being comfortable. Kimonos are the perfect garment for comfort because they’re usually lightweight and flowy. The garment moves with you and the various prints and colors help amp up your personal style instantly!

Kimono OOTD

Kimono: TJ Maxx // Backpack: TJ Maxx (Another Option) // Sunnies: H&M (Same)

Why You Should Wear Kimonos


So tell me, are you a fan of wearing kimonos? How many do you own? Let me know! 

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you’ve been inspired to purchase a few more kimonos for the season and upcoming seasons. If you signed up for my newsletter, THANK YOU – I hope you enjoyed the free info I sent over. More freebies and a few announcements to come so be sure to sign up today. Also, feel free to linkup you latest OOTD to my Personal Style Linkup. I’d love to see what you’re wearing. Until tomorrow, be blessed and stay safe…XO!

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** Linkups: WIW, Garay Treasures **

#FearlessWoman Feature | Patrice J. Williams of Looking Fly on a Dime

You may remember Patrice J. Williams from last week’s 8 Thrifty Bloggers You Should Follow post. This New York based #FearlessWoman is a style blogger, entrepreneur, TV Host, author, and all around inspiring woman. Her blog Looking Fly on a Dime provides readers with helpful style and thrift tips, as well as an in depth look at Patrice’s fashion-forward style. But that’s not the only place you can find her thrift and style tricks. Published in 2014, Patrice also has a book on Amazon entitled, you guessed it, Looking Fly on a Dime! It’s like the thrifting Bible; a definite must read! 

Patrice J. Williams Looking Fly on a Dime

Another useful and must have item is her I Don’t Pay Retail canvas tote bags. I carry mine at least once a week while grocery shopping, thrifting, or to work. Lucky for my WNJ readers, you can purchase this awesome tote for 20% off (now – August 5th) by using the WHITNEYJAMES coupon code at check outBe sure to grab one ASAP! I know you’ll love and use it, and I’m sure you will enjoy reading the rest of Patrices’ feature. Read on and be inspired!


1. What’s a typical day for Patrice?

I wear so many different hats, so I don’t have a typical day. It all depends on what projects I’m working on and what’s the top priority. If I have an on-air segment I’m prepping for, my day is usually consumed with contacting publicists for samples, picking up clothes from stores or showrooms, securing models and emailing my producer back and forth. Other days I’m researching future blog posts and ideas for YouTube and even reaching out to brands I would love to work with.

2. What inspired you to create Looking Fly on a Dime (blog and book)?

I created the blog after being laid off from my job at a fashion magazine. I wanted to use my style experience in a way that was relatable for the average woman who loves to look her best but doesn’t have the type of cash to drop on all designer everything. Last year I released the book Looking Fly on a Dime: How to Find Fabulous Fashion at Any Thrift Shop & Make the Cheap Look Chic, because I wanted to compile everything I’ve learned over the years about thrift shopping and even fashion tips. I’m all about taking the intimidation factor out of fashion and that’s exactly what the blog and book are about.

3. Who are your top 3 women inspirations, famous or non-famous, and why?

I love Tina Fey. She’s funny, ballsy and has succeeded in the sexist world of comedy without taking her clothes off or taking low blows at marginalized groups. She’s not afraid to poke fun at the boys and call them out.

Hillary Clinton: You either love Hillary or you don’t. I don’t always agree with her politics, but I respect that she’s always made her aspirations clear. Her husband was the Commander in Chief, but we all knew she wanted that role, had the chops to do it and she just might make that happen in the near future.

My grandmas: My first time walking in a pair of heels was when I tried my grandmother’s {my mom’s mom} shoes on. She loved ladylike dresses and a gaudy fur coat. And while I wasn’t close to my father’s mother growing up, she had a serious flare for fashion. Her closet was full of sequins, bright colors and beaded handbags, some of which are now in my closet. They both had tough upbringings, but they loved to dress their best, I think fashion was their expression of individualism and freedom.

Patrice J. Williams - Looking Fly on a Dime

4. One piece of advice you have for women entrepreneurs? 

Don’t be embarrassed by your mistakes, learn from them. It’s inevitable you’ll stumble and make bad business decisions or sometimes in spite of doing everything right, stuff just falls apart. That’s where you learn the lesson. If you just beat yourself up, that’s only a pity party. But when you can take a step back, see where things when wrong or what you could have done better, that’s when you find the lesson and even preparation to do things better in the future.

5. What is your definition of a #FearlessWoman?

A #FearlessWoman feels the fear but she does it anyway. There’s nothing wrong with being afraid, but the fearless woman keeps moving because she sees her goal ahead of her. I always get a bit nervous before sending off proposals or approaching people for big meetings, but I take a deep breath, say a little prayer and make it a point to wow them!

6. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In 5 years I’d love to have released a style book through a major publisher and have a successful fashion show where I help women look their best without spending a ton. I’d also love to be happily married and maybe have another cat. Chauncey needs a playmate.

Looking Fly on a Dime

7. How can we keep up with you?

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#5Truths | 5 Songs to Motivate You Everyday

If there’s one thing I know for sure it’s that music has the power to motivate and inspire. Weather at work, in the car or at home, I listen to music everyday. My taste in music is very random and I like that. You can catch me listening to Nicki Minaj and 2Pac in the morning, Kirk Franklin at work, Bon Jovi during my lunch break, and Tyrese and Boney James in the evening to help me unwind. Music is an important part of my life and ever since I was young I’ve been a fan of all genres. So today I want to share 5 songs to motivate you everyday and of course, I listen to these songs 7 days a week.

Songs to Motivate You Everyday

1. Be Alright, Kehlani. I stumbled upon Kehlani and this song when I was searching for new artists on iTunes. I literally listen to the song every day before work. There’s one part in the song that sticks out to me the most – When the tide gets high, you just get low. Hold your breath and take it slow. Yes I might get wet, I might get thrown. But I’ll resurface all on my own. 

2. Deceleration (This is It!), Kirk Franklin. This song has been a favorite for years. Whenever I listen I feel like I can conquer the world; I can do anything. It’s a reminder that God has equipped me with everything I need to live the life I want and deserve, despite my past or future obstacles. That’s what that song gives me and that’s why I listen every day; for a helpful reminder and constant motivation.

3. God in Me, Mary Mary. These singing sisters struck gold withy this song! The title says it all: (it’s the) God in Me. This song reminds us that although we may think somebody has it all, we can’t forget that it’s really the spirit (of God) in them that makes their life that great.

4. Moment for Life, Nicki Minaj. Who didn’t love this song when it came out?! Moment for Life is one of those classics that will never get old. It’s a real “feel good” song laced with timely lyrics and life lessons, from both Nicki and Drake. 

5. Living on a Prayer, Bon Jovi. This song is another classic. If you want to feel inspired and groove to a good beat, this song is for you! Wasn’t this like the teen anthem of the 80’s?! #LOVEIT


So tell me, what songs motivate and inspire you? Do you listen to any of the songs I mentioned often? Let me know! 

As always, thanks for reading. If you’ve signed up for my newsletter you’ll be getting some goodies I’ve been promising this weekend, YAY! Be sure to keep up with me on social this weekend. Exciting things planned, like my first Periscope (follow me at @wnicjames), a thrifting trip with hubs, and more. Until next time, be blessed and stay safe…XO!

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Lifestyle | Downsizing + Affordable Home Decor, Part I

Hubby and I couldn’t be more excited about our upcoming move! After several conversations, we finally decided that downsizing to a smaller apartment is the smartest option for us right now. When we first got married, I was gung ho about having a two bedroom apartment; after all I needed that extra bedroom for office space. After two years I started to realize that I really wasn’t using the 2nd bedroom as an office, at all. Instead hubby has taken over the space and uses it to iron his clothes for work in the morning. I store a few things in there, mostly clothes,  but it’s just not the best use of the space. Recently we’ve vowed to only pay for space that we know we’re going to use. Downsizing to a one bedroom (in the same lovely area) was our final decision. So what better time to start searching for affordable home décor items, right?


We also have plans to move into a home in the next two years and to put it simply, the amount we’re paying now will not allow us to save as much as we need to buy a home within that timeframe. So the decision to downsize and get serious about saving is where we are. Needless to say I’ve been excited to start apartment shopping, just for a few items that is. We’re blessed to have the big items already, but bathroom accessories, kitchen needs and a few other odds and ends are needed. Therefore, I’ve been browsing and shopping for affordable home decor items and H&M was my first stop.

H&M Affordable Home Decor

2 Pack Knobs (Other Colors Available)

 

 

 

I decided H&M was a good start because of the affordable price points and great selections. Hubby and I have scored affordable home decor items that are chic, minimal in design, and functional. The items we’ve picked for came to $27.98; not bad, huh?! Of course this is just the beginning, but it’s a good start.

We’re also looking at H&M for bathroom towels and rugs, a shower curtain, and possibly a duvet/fancy quilt. The key is to shop H&M’s home décor sale section; they’re deals are sometimes unbeatable and the quality is really good. If you’re in need of simple, minimally designed home décor items, H&M is a great starting place.



So tell me, where do you shop for affordable home décor items? Do you like our picks from H&M? Let me know!

Thanks for reading and there will be more home décor/moving posts in the near future. I’m really excited about the process and thankfully, hubby is (getting) excited too. Feel free to follow along with us on social media (below) for more updates. Until tomorrow, be blessed and stay safe…XO!

P.S. Don’t forget to link you recent outfit to my recent Personal Style Linkup here!

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** Linkups: How I Summer, Style Elixir, Thursday Favorites **

Style | Sheer Blouse, Statement Necklace & Personal Style Linkup

Happy Monday, friends! I’m still on a high from the BET Awards last night. The Bad Boy reunion and Janet Jackson tribute had me and the hubby grooving all night! But alas, it’s Monday morning and that means the start of a new week. Can’t believe it’s the last week of June; where has the time gone?! Summertime arrived a few weeks ago and we’re now in full swing – hot weather, humid temps and casual outfits. I’ve decided that Summer 2015 is all about being casual, comfy and chic, so pretty much all of my outfits will be just that. Today’s outfit proves that my #CasualSummer is in full effect.

Sheer Blouse and Statement Necklace

Blouse: Daniel Rainn, Nordstrom Rack // Leggings: Vince Camuto, Nordstrom // Flats: Steve Madded (Similar) //Purse: Nine West (Old)

Sheer Blouse Outfit

A few days ago I did a little shopping at Nordstrom Rack. By now you know that’s one of my favorite places to shop, especially for basic wardrobe items. This sheer blouse and statement necklace were among my few purchases. I’m getting very particular about my style thee days and since I’ve claimed this the season of #CasualSummer, I’m all about basic, simple pieces. I’m actually thinking about putting together an e-book, offering an online (or in person) workshop or something like that. It’d be designed specifically to aid other shoppers on how to shop for wardrobe basics. I want to share the process, what to look for, and where to go. With a closet full of basics,  getting dressed in the morning (or whenever) is so easy.

I also added a statement necklace to this look, another wardrobe necessity, and my $4.99 tortoise readers from eBay. Hubby actually suggested I add them to complete the look. I think he was spot on with that addition! I see I’ve taught him well, lol! When styling a simple and casual summer outfit, accessories like statement necklaces and cute glasses are a must. That’s also something I’d talk about in my e-book/workshop too! 😉

Casual Summer Outfit

Statement Necklace Nordstrom Rack

Glasses: eBay // Necklace: Nordstrom Rack

Plus Size Casual Outfit - Nordstrom

Speaking of casual and chic and wardrobe basics, take a look at Rachelle from Pink Sole. Her look was my favorite from last week’s linkup! She effortlessly styled her top with a cute skirt and a sensible pair of chic blush heels. I LOVE this look and it’s perfect for a #CasualSummer. Rachelle is always so fly and so simple with her style; her style is easy to digest, practical, and always stylish.

Pink Sole

Rachelle | Pink Sole


So tell me, would you be interested in my Wadrobe Basics and #CasualSummer Must Haves e-Book or online/in person workshop? What’s your take on my sheer blouse and statement necklace outfit? Let me know!

Don’t forget to show off your personal style by linking your recent OOTD pots(s) below. Be sure to link your outfit back to this post. Also, visit the other bloggers who’ve linked up and say hey. I’ll be sharing my favorite linkup next Monday! Until next time, be blessed and stay safe…XO!

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 Loading InLinkz ...

** Linkups: How I Summer, Let it Shine, Sophisticated Style, Monday Mingle, Fashion Friday’s, Saturday Linkup, Styled Up, Happiness at Midlife, Manic Monday **

#FearlessWoman Feature | LaQuisha Hall of Couture’d Confidence

When I met LaQuisha Hall, I knew she was destined for greatness. There was no doubt in my mind that I had met a #FearlessWoman. This strong willed, intelligent and lovely survivor is the CEO of Couture’d Confidence and has had much success in the world of pageantry over the past few years. She is also a highly sought after speaker and confidence coach.

I look to her for inspiration on many endevours, and have worked side by side with her or several occasions. LaQuisha is an educator and takes shaping the minds of our young women and men very seriously. She’s my sister in the spirit and someone I know will be in my circle for years to come. Enjoy getting to know LaQuisha a little more and be inspired!

LaQuisha Hall - Couture'd Confidence

What’s a typical day for LaQuisha?

I get up before the sun daily (even on the weekends!) to pray, blog and answer emails. I am an English teacher by day in Baltimore City Public Schools. After school, I can be found mentoring a group of girls via my Queendom T.E.A. program, in a rehearsal or bible study for church (Open Door Fellowship in Randallstown, Maryland). I also enjoy spending time with my handsome husband, reading books, especially novels by Jodi Picoult, writing and eating a pint of Talenti icecream, lol.

What inspired you to create Couture’d Confidence?

I was inspired by all that I have been able to achieve. I wanted to create an overarching umbrella for all that I do. I am an inspirational speaker, a mentor via my Queendom T.E.A. program, a fashion stylist inspired by my blog, Corner Curl Girl, and an advocate for survivors of sexual abuse and domestic violence implemented through my annual ceremony, SheRose Awards. In all three of these areas my ultimate goal is teach Couture’d (custom-made) Confidence (self-esteem and self-empowerment) which is the name of all 3 of these in one. 

PicMonkey Collage

3. Who are your top 3 women inspirations, famous or non-famous, and why?

Angel Richardson, CEO of Life Coaches Rock, is a personal friend of mine. She inspires me because she successfully acts on any dream or idea she has and encourages others to do the same. She cheers me on with sincerity when I achieve my own goals. I love her spirit, smile and fierce fabulousity! 

Stacia Pierce, CEO of Life Coach 2 Women, is a millionaire entrepreneur who has successfully trained others. Angel (who I just discussed) told me I should follow her. When I did, I fell in love! Soon after following her on social media, I met her in New York. She had no idea who I was but after talking with her she agreed to send me package. About a week later, I received a box full of her some of her coaching materials. Shortly afterwards, I won one of her contests which allowed me free entry to her Florida Success Tour this year. I am looking forward to her annual Women’s Success Conference this summer!

I know you asked me to only choose 3 individual women, but my final choice has to be all women I have encountered who have survived and conquered sexual abuse and domestic violence. These women inspire to keep moving forward with strength and power. They encourage me because sometimes I feel that the stories of abuse have been told enough. Then, I meet another woman who has not yet shared…

One piece of advice you have for women entrepreneurs? 

As Kris Kross used to sing, “jump, jump”! Often entrepreneurs will stand by to contemplate and entertain a variety of thoughts. Should they pursue their dream? Should they invest in publishing a book? Should they call someone for advice or help? Is now the time to start a new project idea? The answer to all of these questions is an emphatic yes! Jump, with or without a parachute because even if the landing hurts, you will learn how to do a better jump the next time.

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What is your definition of a #FearlessWoman?

A #FearlessWoman is one who can encourage and empower other fearless women. She gives compliments to other women as she passes them on the street. Fearless women overcome past catastrophes with present triumphs and educate others how to do the same. She wears her crown daily and knows how to pray if it begins to tilt. She apologizes when she is wrong and is empathetic to those who are not in the same place she is.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I will be a retired teacher doing what I love full-time: instilling confidence in women and girls. I will successfully launch the Couture’d Confidence clothing and accessory line. I will have at least 3 published books and maybe 1 child (lol).

How Can We Keep Up With You?

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Guest Blogger | What to Wear to a Summer Blog Conference

Blogging conferences bring about so much excitement! While they can be so much fun, the conferences are truly educational, offer opportunities to network, help you develop your business and usually provide you with plan of action. As with any other activity related to your blogging business, the way that you present yourself at a conference is important.  While attending, you are your brand, every day, every minute of the conference. Be prepared to represent your brand very well. You want to be taken seriously.

Once you register and plan your traveling, it’s time to pack for a stylish, professional, oh so cute, and comfortable experience. But….HOW? Most conferences are Thursday-Sunday so this snapshot should take you through those few days. Here’s a sample agenda and a visual (celebrity inspired) for What to Wear to a Summer Blog Conference.

*Author’s Note: I recommend substituting shoes that are pictured, for comfortable flats sandals/shoes to suit your walking needs.*

What to Wear...to a Summer Blog

Thursday and Sunday Travel – Boyfriend jeans and tee with a little layering for the cool flight or train ride.

What to Wear to a Blog Confrence

Thursday Night Networking Event – Fun jumpsuit; jazz it up and impress. First impressions are lasting ones.

Jumpsuit

Friday workshops – Nice pants & blouse. You can layer with a cardigan/light blazer for those cool conference rooms.

Wear to Work

Friday Night Networking & Fun – Fun summer dress; time to show off & grab cocktails!

Floral Dress - Plus Size

Party Dress

Saturday Workshops – Stylish dress or skirt. Show your personality and style; add cardigan/light blazer for layering.

Floral Summer Dress

Saturday Night Dinner / Out & About with New Blogger friends – Jeans and an easy, cute top.

Travel Outfit

You are so ready! Oh, don’t forget your FIVE must-haves since you are there for blogging business:

1. Camera

2. Laptop

3. Phone/Laptop Chargers

4. Business Cards

5. Note Pad (some of us still like to take quick notes the old fashioned way)

So tell me, what are a few of your must haves to wear to a blog confrence? What do you have to take with you? Let me know! 

Okay…go, go, go and have a FABULOUS time! I can’t wait to hear all about it.

** Linkups: Bloggers Who Have Inspired Me, Small Victories


Written by: Stania Romain of Miss-Sassy.comWardrobe stylist & style blogger in Washington, DC.

Inspiration | 2 Years Down, Through Sickness & Health…

Yesterday hubby and I celebrated our 2 year anniversary. Thinking back on our year, I am extremely blessed and thankful. Last year we both dealt with some health issues and to be honest, I encountered some dark days. Yes, I broke down a time or two. However, it wasn’t because I was sick. When I’m sick, I can handle it. I roll with the punches and keep getting up. But when my husband was diagnosed with diabetes, I was heartbroken. I was numb.

marriage

Realizing that your best friend and partner in life is sick puts life in perspective real quick. It makes you stronger as a person, but also as a unit. You have to be strong for the other person and deal with your breakdowns in private. God knows there were times I thought I wasn’t going to make it, but by His grace I remained strong, my faith tested but not lost.

I’ve never seen him in the hospital and I’ve never witnesses him being somewhat helpless. I was scared, so of course the first thing I did was call my mother. Thank God for a praying and compassionate mother. I needed to know how to be strong for him. I’m always used to him being super man, handling everything and taking care of me. After talking through things with my mother and praying on my own, I realized that I could be there for him because I had to. There was no option. I made a vow to be with him through sickness and health and while that part came faster than I was prepared for, I was equipped to be his rock.

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Through dealing with Darrius’ diagnoses, we have learned quite a bit, about ourselves and our marriage. Here’s a look at 3 things we learned:

Darrius’ 2 Year Lessons

1. Put yourself in their shoes. 

2. Date your spouse.

3. Trust the pace of your relationship; move at your own pace, with guidance from the Lord.

Whitney’s 2 Year Lessons

1.  Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”— I Corinthians 13: 7-8 

2. Pay attention to your spouse. 

3. Marriage is what you make it.

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So tell me, what are some lessons you’ve learned in marriage along the way? Let me know!

As Darrius and I continue to thrive as a couple, we always remember to put God first and always have faith. My husband is getting healthier everyday – he is not allowing a diagnoses to control his life. Together, we’re fighting and we will be victorious! Marriage is fun, hard, worth it, but above all is it’s a blessing. Until next time, be blessed and stay safe…XO!

** Linkups: Monday Mash-Up **