Wow, I can’t believe this is actually happening. I decided to start my own fashion and lifestyle blog! Granted, I already do so much already so why would I want to do this you might ask. To be quite honest, one day it just hit me in the face. It hit me in the face just like those old trending videos of people throwing a slice of cheese at someone’s face. That’s how much it hit me in the face! I don’t know why I didn’t start one years ago. Besides the fact that I share some of my fashion creativity on my YouTube channel: Inspirational_nae, I guess I just thought it was enough at the time. Well, it’s not. Not anymore! I am going to pursue my passion of being a talented and creative individual who happens to also LOVE FASHION… modest fashion to be exact.
Now before you run away at the mere sight of the M-word, I should have you know that dressing modestly is a challenge which is why anyone who can do it flawlessly is a shining star. Modest fashion isn’t some chic way of saying “old lady clothes”. It’s appropriate clothing, clothing that you can wear any day of the week without second guessing yourself. It’s walking out the house knowing that you are covered and hopefully comfortable as well. I could sit here typing away, continually using the words “modest fashion is…” but that’s just not how I roll. Before I let you step into my world of now, I’d like to bring you on a quick journey to my world of then. The world where I walked the halls, totally insecure of who I was and what I wore. I hated dressing in long skirts and ridiculous last minute store bought head coverings that didn't represent me at all. Here’s my story. Disclaimer: I've included some embarrassing photos of my insecure past, but it's all part of the glow up;)
As a young woman trying to live her “holiest” life, it can be very hard to deal with the fact that there are just going to be things I can’t partake in. As time grew, I realized that I had to change with it. Fashion wasn’t always this huge passion that would beat inside of me everyday. I was the crazy little girl who threw on a t-shirt and pair of jeans before running out the door to go play with my friends. I liked to get down and dirty so why would I even be worried about wearing the latest fashion? Once I got to high school, things changed… drastically. I was forced to wear coverings on my head every single day. Not to mention, these long flowy skirts that didn’t fall higher than my ankles. The less flow in the skirts, the better they were for me. I hated feeling like I was getting dressed for church every single day. I found it very hard to come to school dressed in something casual and comfortable. I absolutely hated it. By the time I reached my senior year I pretty much stuck to wearing one head covering. This simple gray beanie, somehow it just went with everything. Kind of like the jeans in Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants.
I wouldn’t necessarily say that my confidence had grown a lot within those four years, but my strength of just learning how to be unbothered DID. I dressed to have clothes on, not to express myself. I alternated between the few casual skirts I had, wearing this one specific black skirt twice every week because I could wear almost anything with it. Once I graduated, afro puff and all, something shifted. To this day, I’ll never know why, but it seemed like the moment I stepped into college my life just illuminated. I wasn’t even looking for it but I found myself. I found my confidence and my personality, unapologetically. After I graduated, I went shopping like I always did before starting a new year at school. Without any parents breathing down my neck of “is it see through?” or “too thin!”, I finally started shopping for myself. I walked into Rainbow, which is now otherwise known as Joyce Leslie up in these New York mountains and I purchased my first bomber jacket. It was white and black, slightly oversized, which was something that I didn’t know would become my fashion staple, and I wore it… A LOT. Along with that bomber jacket; a couple of maxi racerback dresses that paired perfectly with any oversized hoodie and pair of chunky sneakers. To this day my walk in closet is filled with over twenty hoodies, mind you, I gave some away to my younger sisters as well. These just became my favorites for the next two years of college. To me, it was important to be comfortable while also looking dope. Before I knew it, I was wearing my hair out more because I learned I could start tying scarves around my head and leaving my hair out. I got creative with a lot of things and as time went by, I truly saw how beautiful I was, INSIDE AND OUT. I even started becoming some kind of fashion statement because of my modest LIFESTYLE. Which is, to EMBRACE everything that God has given to you. All of my natural beauty… I chose to become empowered by it, and you know what they say. Empowered women empower women. I soon became known as “the girl who always wears her natural hair.”....
Me walking minding my own business, “hey, you’re the one who wears your natural hair like all the time.”... yep that’s me!
“You made those? Those were pants?!”... yep that’s me!
“So you don’t wear any makeup, like at all??”.... Nope, that’s just not me.
Who was I? My confidence and self assurance was depressingly empty all throughout high school and now, all of a sudden, it’s busting straight through full? It’s weird to say it like this, but fashion pretty much became my best friend. Instead of dressing just to have clothes on, I started feeling like I was putting on armor in a way. I became this bold and gorgeous young woman who was a force to be reckoned with. (Mind you, a force to be reckoned with were their words at first, not mine!) As I talk more throughout my blog, I will fill you all in concerning my fashion brand ELLANAE. As my brand continues to mirror who I am as a person, I chose “A Force to be Reckoned With” as the slogan because over time I saw the truth in it. I want what happened to me, to happen to everyone else when they put clothes on.
I want them to feel the real power that is given when wearing clothes that truly defines who you are. I stopped going into the stores to see which clothes I could work for. Instead, I went looking for the clothes that could work for me. So what if there’s a split, I’d sew it up and do a good job at it too. No sleeves? Nowadays there’s so many chic ways to layer clothes. From wearing turtle necks underneath or sweaters over it, I made fashion work for me. Especially the pants.
Yes, you heard me correctly, THE PANTS. What? You thought that because I live a life in holiness, I would never touch pants again? Wrong! I went into the stores on a "pant hunt" ALL THE TIME. Sweatpants are so casual and comfy but over some time I realized how I could pair them to make a pretty fancy dope outfit too. They became my go-to’s. The majority of my skirts are made from pants. (Later on down this blog, I plan on writing all about how to turn pants into skirts.) I was finally able to walk to class everyday with my hands in my pockets, strolling down sun-filled hallways on my way to art classes. I felt so carefree, yet expressive and happy, I felt like…me. And now to this day, people ask me to turn pants into skirts for them.
Through fashion, I found myself. I learned tricks on how to tame all of my crazy hair under these unforgiving baseball caps, backsliding scarves and pinned beanies. I walked confidently so much that I forgot half the time I was wearing a skirt, it became so natural for me. It didn’t feel forced at all anymore, it was my choice. The color block, the monotone, the hoodies, the sweatSKIRTS, the DIY cut scarves, the sewed up splits, the oversized clothes I bought to wear on my petite body, that was all MY CHOICE. Fashion shows who you are, and just like the moon, it changes ever so often. But all in all, it’s still the moon at the end of the day right? So then it’s still your fashion, your clothes, and your choice. I add new staples to my wardrobe all the time, does it change who I am? No, of course not. It’s still modest, but with a lot of different spices I’ve added over the years.
I am the girl with the long skirt and the head covering. Welcome to my blog, BEIGE.