We thought that it’d be nice to use this blog to give props to the people in our lives who inspire us everyday with their own fashion or passion…or both. The one’s who’ll let us take their pictures, that is.
So, here is our wonderful co-worker Renah (yes, Ena, Bina, and Renah – deal with it) who has inspired us daily over the past two years with her amazing style. Renah comes to work every day looking completely put-together; well dressed, well groomed, fashion forward and always stylish. No kidding, every day. We often comment –in slightly envious tones – on how great she looks, and she is hands-down one of our biggest inspirations.
After explaining our project, we asked Renah to write a bit about her personal style, her motivations, and what looking good means to her. Thank you, Renah, for your endless inspiration…and for saying yes!
Renah: I’ve always loved fashion but I wasn’t always as put together as I should’ve been. I grew up with a very stylish mother who made sure her clothes were always ironed or dry-cleaned and never had a hair out of place. She didn’t allow us to leave the house “looking a mess” as she would say. Our hair had to be combed and our clothes had to be clean. Our clothes were always modest but for special occasions my mother made sure we looked top notch. For us looking good had nothing to do with fashion labels but just having the sense to do so.
Personally, for the longest time I didn’t consider myself to be “pretty” so I kept it simple. Baggy jeans, tees, sneakers, pony-tail, backpack, and baseball cap. It wasn’t until college that I began to be more conscious of my appearance after my first real boyfriend love broke up with me. I got a new hairstyle, bought a few new outfits and I felt better. My logic was that although I may not feel great at least I can look good. But being in college sticking to this wasn’t always easy running from class to class and then dashing off to work afterwards made it harder to be consistent.
It wasn’t till a little later after college I met the love of my life who knew I had aspirations to act and he simply explained being a “total package.” Being smart and looking great too. The trick is to be consistent. I respected his honesty and it made sense. After all we all know people respond to what they see. You could be brilliant at whatever it is that you do professionally, but if you look a hot mess most people are less likely to entertain the thought of you. So with that said, I began observing some of my favorite “fashionistas.”
I never wore make-up on a regular basis until a few years ago. So when I decided to commit to it, I looked to Mary J. Blige whose make-up I always considered to be flawless. I found out what she wore and who did it and the techniques they used. I even inquired with a few professional make-up artists that had done my make-up for some plays a few times. I prefer a nice clean look on my face that doesn’t take forever to apply. Never too much, just enough to add some spark. I go to my hair stylist on a regular basis and when I can’t go to her I’ve made sure to keep the products and tools on hand to do my hair myself. I love my hair and all the wonderful textures it can be so it’s a must that I take care of it.
As for clothes, I’m always conscious of my body type and the purpose of the clothes I purchase. Most of my clothes I can wear to work or on a casual outing. I ditched the baggy jeans and traded them in for a few pairs that complement my shape. I still wear tees but now I take advantage of the more stylish options available with various designs and studding. I’ve added in some adorable skirts, dresses, and even purses (there was a time I loathed carrying a purse now I can’t live without them!). I’ve made sure to keep updated professional and evening attire in my wardrobe as well. Every woman needs at least a cute little black dress, a black skirt and at least one business suit. One of my biggest pet-peeves is people dressing inappropriately. Let’s just say that I hope I never see a bunch of women in their nightclub dresses at a kindergarten graduation ever again.
On another note, I try to be budget conscious since I don’t have the bank account of a Kardashian. Marshalls, TJ Maxx, and Thrift Stores have been great resources. Accessories as well as mixing & matching are great options to pull off nice looks too. And lastly I can’t forget about the shoes! I’m a shoe fiend! I absolutely love gorgeous heals and trendy kicks. Shoes can make the simplest outfit look fantastic.
All in all, I’ve learned that looking good has nothing to do with trying to look like a runway model. Looking good simply means you care about yourself, you know what looks good on you and you’ve taken the time to do so. And the kudos from people who notice doesn’t hurt either.