Over the 4th of July weekend we were prepping to have friends over for a cookout. I’d purchased this super cute black and white off shoulder top and hadn’t had a chance to wear it. I wanted to try it out. As I looked through my closet for something to pair it with, I found a pair of shorts. I’d been waiting to pair them with the right top.
My locs were newly bleached and I was in love with the results! I pulled on the top, my super cute shorts and threw on my wedge black & white heels. I took one look and knew I had to spread the word.
This black and white off shoulder top is incredibly cute & comfy! It’s made to be a crop top. The nice thing is, because of the slightly ruffled bottom, you don’t have to show your belly. (I opted to let it do it’s thing and it fell just right)
I ran outside with my tripod, phone and selfie stick. As I set up for a few shots, a friend, who was coming to our cookout, walked up our driveway. He was a little early and immediately asked if this was a “dress up” thing. Internally I laughed, externally I responded that it wasn’t. Since he was just checking on something he quickly made his exit and I continued my photo shoot.
The top is an instant “dressy” look if needed. I enjoyed that, but it meant I changed after taking the photos because I didn’t want to make my guests feel uncomfortable. I being so “dressy” and all. 🙂 I’ll be taking it for it’s maiden voyage when I go to dinner & a movie with hubby our next date night.
Rememeber the cold shoulder top we talked about before, this is along the same lines of timeless style and fun to wear!
I was stalking browsing my Instagram feed the other day when something I read stopped me dead in my tracks.
The reason I stopped wasn’t because I was so in awe of the information, but that it slapped me directly between the eyes. The whole tableau was wrong which is why it knocked the air out of me for a few moments.
Here was an influencer (judging my the number of followers they had as well as likes & comments) saying something to disparage other influencers. It was a simple sentence “these people out here trying to say they’re authentic with their curated feeds, makeup and clothes.”
What? In looking through her feed it was clearly ‘curated’ because it was lovely. But why question someone else’s authenticity, hold yourself up as ‘better’ when you’re doing the same thing?
So, I since I’m on a journey of self-discovery this year, I began to ask the question. What is authenticity? How do I know if I’m being authentic or not? We’re all out here doing our thing. You may be all about makeup while the next person is all about curing disease, is one more authentic than the other?
If my area of expertise asks that I dress a certain way most of the time and you happen to catch me “out of character” does that make me inauthentic?
I grew up in a religion with many rules one being no jewelry. Mind you people could wear expensive watches, brooches and other adornments, but shame on you if your ears were pierced. What’s the difference? It always perplexed me, but I digress. When I was 26 I started my downward spiral personal walk and decided, against all inner-programming to pierce my ears.
When I’d go to church (because I was not yet the heathen person I am today) I’d wear my earrings. There were two reasons for that: 1) I didn’t feel in my heart that wearing earrings were “bad”; 2) I wasn’t trying to be something I wasn’t. There were times I thought of not wearing earrings to church because I hadn’t worn them all week, but I’d always wear them. I knew that had one of the good church folk seen me wearing earrings, and I took them off for church (out of respect) I would be labeled a “hypocrite” the ultimate in inauthenticity. That was not me, so I wore them (maybe to their offense) to church every week.
To me, being true to myself was more important than what the ‘good’ church folk would think. But to them, was I being inauthentic? Did they look at me and think I was not being true to myself because I was not being true to the church teachings?
As I pondered the question I realized I needed to consult the oracles at Merriam-Webster. Although I felt I knew the definition of the word, having someone so strongly berate others made me feel I knew nothing.
Authenticity – Noun – Form of Authentic – true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character is sincere and authentic with no pretensions
Hold up! Did you read that? “True to one’s OWN personality, spirit or character…” What does that mean?
It means that being authentic is being true to yourself. If you’re putting yourself out there in a way that is true to who you are, your character, values, ideas so on and so forth, you are being authentic. The only person who can know if you’re being inauthentic is you.
Being authentic is not based on what I think you should be or do, but on what YOU think you should be or do. When we encounter inauthenticity we know. Something in our spirit tells us. If we’re listening, we tread lightly, if not, we get burnt.
Inauthenticity is when you portray your marriage as the one to be aspired to, but you’re in hell on earth. Inauthenticity is when who you are and what you portray do not align. It’s not when someone looks at you ans says you’re not authentic based on what you’re wearing.
The great James Baldwin says “I can’t believe what you say. Because I see what you do.” Being authentic is when what you say and do are aligned.
So, after I pondered the post, consulted the oracle and explored my psyche I came up with this: What we say, do or criticize always says more about us than it does the other. Although I knew where the poster was coming from, they showed their insecurity more than anyone elses’ inauthenticity.
We don’t need for others to fail in order for us to succeed. If we stay true to ourselves we’re better off. If I don’t like what someone is sharing, thankfully, I can stop following. I’m also free to stay the course on what I’m working to accomplish. Throwing shade on what you’re doing, because it’s closely aligned to my venture, doesn’t make me better. It means I’m distracted.
In the end I examined myself and found being true to me is my authenticity. Speaking, living & sharing my truth is being authentic.
Go, speak, live and share your truth, no one can tell you you’re not authentic if you’re being true to yourself.
So this hot new trend, uhhhh, cool new trend in clothing for the summer is the “cold shoulder” look. You know, where your shoulders say ‘hello’ and you have sleeves on the rest of your arm. (look below)
The thing about having been around for awhile is this, you see trends come, go, then come around again. Some trends linger. . . this one has lingered and grown. About 5 years ago I bought a beautiful top. It’s sheer with the cropped front and longer back (another “trend” in play right now) and cold shoulders. I’m a classic kindda gal who also doesn’t change sizes very much so I usually buy pieces I think will last. Yes, I do still have the top.
Fast forward a few years and everywhere I look I’m seeing cold shoulder blouses with long tails and short fronts. Intuit much?! Funny how that works. So, this summer I’m grabbing a couple more cold shoulders and having a bit of fun. I started with this blouse by OASAP. I found them on Instagram (follow me on IG) and fell in love. . . how could you not? They have tops, bottoms, accessories (check out my earrings) and more at unbelievable prices.
I get excited because if I’m going to be “trendy” I don’t want to pay a ton for it since trends change. . . Now, if I find a lovely “classic” piece, I will dish the dough cause, I have some things in my closet that are over 15 years old and still look A-MA-ZING!
You’re Worth It
Let’s not start with the negative self-talk “that’s for young people” “that won’t look good on me” or “My shoulders are too _______” oh, I know where you’re going! This trend is for anyone willing to put a bit of sexy on! It doesn’t take into consideration any of the things you’re thinking about, it just wants you to feel and look amazing.
I have to admit I thought I’d feel uncomfortable with this top. It’s got straps and a slight ‘V’ front and sleeves that fall off my arm, how is any of that comfy. Then I put it on and nothing fell out (not that I have much to fall out, but that’s not the point). It was easy to maneuver in, play in and relax in stress free!
The top is super light so it’s like you’re naked. A quick glance down reassured me I was still dressed and looking ubber hot!
For the summer OASAP is having tons of sales, they want you to look cute! Just click Here to explore the whole place or on the images below to got directly to my top and earrings!
Hey, have some fun shopping. . . I’ve been to the department stores, they don’t have a beat on you, or me. Clothes catered to our “age” are not as fun!