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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Fall Is Boot Season!

We’re big fans of cute, strappy sandals, flats and slip-ons, but there is something oh-so fun about the weather turning colder…it means you can dig out your favorite boots and strut your stuff!
But with so many different styles of boots, and so many different ways to wear them, it can get a little confusing.  Here are some ideas!!

With styles like ours at AfriqExpressions, boots don’t seem like the natural choice for pairing with our outfits, but that’s just not true!  Our philosophy is about mixing, matching, and finding a combo that perfectly expresses YOU.

For example… 

Boots With Skirts & Dresses
Check out this look!  

Fall colors, ankle boots…throw on some leggings and a shawl to keep warm, and you’ve got an adorable autumn look you can wear anywhere!

Boots look adorable with dresses or skirts, and they’re a fun way to capture a more feminine look while keeping warm in the colder months!  They go great under longer dresses, but are also a fun way to make  a shorter dress fit for fall!

Knee-high boots are particularly cute (and warm!) with dresses in the fall.  Use leggings, shawls, scarves, hats, and gloves to complete the look and keep toasty as the temperature drops.

Style Tip:  Match your browns, blacks, greys, and navys—try not to mix these base colors.  Instead, pick one (brown is GREAT for fall) and use that as your primary color, while accessorizing with accenting colors, like burnt varieties of orange, red, yellow, or green.  Don’t mix light and brown darks, or brown and black, as they can clash!

Boots With Jeans & Pants
We’re not always going to be slipping into dresses, though, so what about with jeans or slacks?  Both ankle boots and knee boots look excellent with pants of any kind!

Like here:

This style outfit also works perfectly with ankle boots!  Something like this, featuring an autumn palate, would be a perfect, statement-making wardrobe for the cooling season!

With knee-high boots, while they look fine under pants, it’s always a little more exciting (and stylish!) to see pants tucked into boots.  Even pants that aren’t “skinny” can be effectively tucked into boots, simply follow these steps:

     1.       Roll up the bottom of your jeans once to make a big cuff (about 8 inches). 
     2.       Pull the cuff so it’s taut against your leg, then fold the excess material back against your leg
            so it’s snug. 
     3.       Roll up the cuff again so the jeans are containing the extra material you’ve folded over
            (again, make it a big cuff, to avoid bulkiness—about 5 inches). 
     4.       Pull a pair of long, snug socks up over the cuff of the jeans.

And voila!  You can tuck any pants into your boots and rock that classic look.

If you want to keep your look unique (and let’s face it—who doesn’t??) pair your boots and jeans with a stimulating top, something bearing patterns that capitalize on that gorgeous fall palate.  Just like that, you’ll be rocking a simple yet daring look that’s totally you!

Are you a boot junkie?  How many pairs do you own, and which is your absolute favorite??

Sunday, October 20, 2013

How to Dress for Your Body Type

We all want to dress our best, but we don’t always know how to do that.  While the wrong combination can make ANY body—no matter how tall or short, thin or curvy—look bad, the good news is, whatever your body type, there is a way for you to look absolutely stunning, too.  You just have to know HOW.

Your body type is determined by your shape, usually called either pear, apple, rectangle, wedge, or hourglass.

There are many guides online to figuring out what your body type is, but we also feature descriptions which should help you identify what category you fall under.

So, how do you dress for success and compliment your body?  Read on to find out!

Pear (Wider hips and smaller upper-body)
Emphasize your waist and arms while drawing attention away from your wider hips by wearing the following:

Ruffles, jackets that stop above the waist, boat neck, square, or cowl necklines, lighter colors.
You want to draw more attention to your narrower shoulders and smaller waist, so accent your upper body more, and let anything “wild” or “loud” you wear be on top!

A-line skirts, darker colors, wide-hem pants, pointy heels (to elongate legs).
These styles can help camouflage wider hips and balance them out against your smaller top.  Avoid prints and keep things simple!

Apple (Narrow hips, broader upper body)
Create the illusion of a longer torso while showing off those sexy legs you have!

V-necks, bras that offer good lift, belts at the waist, empire tops (and dresses).

Boot-cut and flared jeans, shorter skirts and dresses.

Monochromatic styles look great on apples, so pick your best color and deck yourself out in it to help create a longer, leaner silhouette.

Rectangle (Usually slender; shoulders, waist, and hips all relatively similar)
The goal with a rectangular body is to create the illusion of curves that aren’t really there, and to accentuate your slender legs and arms.

Scoop neck, sweetheart tops, collars, ruffles, long coats. 

Colorful, fun, dresses with ruching.

Avoid styles that are too overwhelming, but don’t be afraid to have fun with your look!

Wedge (Broad shoulders that narrow to small hips)
You want to draw attention away from your broader shoulders while simultaneously showing off your legs, which are your best asset! (Not that WE needed to tell you that)

AVOID spaghetti-straps and boat necklines, choose tops that accentuate your waist.

Bright colors, wide-leg pants, full skirts, high-waited styles.

Create the illusion of a waist and show off those lovely legs of yours to look your absolute best!

Hourglass (Shoulders and hips similar, with narrow waist)
You are a curvy, sexy mama, and while it’s good to show that off, we want to make sure you don’t go overboard with these tips!

Wrap tops, belts at the waist, a good bra.

Skinny or straight-leg jeans, high-waisted skirts.

Don’t hide those curves with baggy clothes—show off by wearing fitted dresses, lightweight fabrics, and other clothes that accentuate your lovely curves and tiny waist.

The truth is that any woman can look completely incredible in her outfits—as long as she knows what she’s doing!  Pair this with our color guide and you’ll be in business!

What’s your body type, and what’s your favorite way to show it off?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Color Me Fabulous! A Simple Yet Effective Color Guide

One of the best ways to show off your own personal style is to mix and match with fabulous colors!

It can get tricky, though—how do you know which colors work together, and which look awful together?

Some people have an eye for it, but if you’re just learning, or if you don’t trust your judgment yet, then luckily, there are simple ways to combine colors so you look like a fashion pro—all without breaking a sweat!

First, let’s talk about how colors are categorized in clothes:

Neutral Colors

These are often used as the base color in an outfit, and make a good foundation for building your look.  They are not always necessary, but they are a nice fall back, and they always work!








Navy blue (sometimes)

Cold Colors



Purples with blue tones

Warm Colors





Purples with red tones


Now, take a look at the color wheel (pictured below)

(Thank you,!)

Pick a color you like, and want to dress in—the colors directly next to that original color are its analogue colors.

A good way to dress for success is to pick a color, and limit yourself to three analogues (that is, three colors in a row). Match them with a neutral color that is part of that same family, or is a good fit for your analogues.

Follow this simple rule and voila!  You will be styling in no time.

What are your favorite tips and tricks for looking your best?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Ankara Fest 2013—It’s Was Amazing!!

All good things must come to an end, and so it is with the Ankara Festival .  Something that was so eagerly anticipated and prepared for has come and gone in a flurry of beautiful designs, fascinating people, and wonderful experiences.  Now, it is only a lovely memory.

But what an incredible memory it is!  We were lucky enough to make the acquaintances of designers who blew audiences away with their gorgeous fashions.  Here are some links to our new fashion friends!!

These are some fabulous designers, and if you are looking to spice up your wardrobe (or just be inspired a bit!), then we highly recommend checking them out and giving them some love!

Even though we are sad to see it end, we are so grateful for the opportunity to have attended Ankara Fest 2013.  What an amazing show—and what an amazing chance!  We met some incredible people there, and we had some incredible experiences.  There are many talented designers out there who are promoting African culture, and we are so proud of all of them…and so glad to have connected with them!