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My Style: Zara Emezi

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IntroPicIt’s your regular dose of the BN feature; My Style! If you are interested in appearing on this page, simply send two pictures of yourself or that of a friend depicting a typical Day and Night Look with a short summary of your style to my email box: [email protected]

When your entry is approved, you will be required to send in more pictures and personal commentaries on your style or that of your friend as the case may be! Thanks to those who have participated so far, keep the emails coming.

Let’s remember that this feature is about appreciating an individual’s expression through clothing!

BellaNaija reader and blogger Zara Emezi’s style is reflective of her free-spirited personality!

ZARA’S STYLE:

I’d describe my style as comfortable, simple and clean-cut. To me, natural beauty doesn’t require a lot to be showcased, and my style is pretty much whatever I feel like wearing at that time, reflecting my mood and personality. I ‘m a big fan of accessories because they can alter the entire look of an outfit with little effort. I try to avoid white clothes because I’ve never figured out how not to spill something on them eventually. Making sure that my clothes fit and are comfortable is a big thing for me- I break in shoes carefully, try on outfits beforehand to prevent unforeseen disasters once I’m out in them, and read the labels before tossing them into the wash (shrinking dry-clean only dresses is not fun). When I shop, I buy in outfits or with an outfit in mind, so that I don’t end up with a closet full of cute things that don’t actually go with anything else and thus, never actually get worn. I’m definitely a bargain shopper, the sales rack is a close friend of mine, and although I’ve never really been into designer clothing (who dash me money?), I will spend more than usual if the piece I’m buying is a staple and of good quality. I believe that it’s better to have a smaller closet full of good-quality (if more expensive) pieces that will last you quite a while instead of an overflowing one full of things you’re going to have to toss out in less than a year.

I don’t aim to look ultra-feminine all of the time, a lot of my shoes are men’s casual, and I actually own men’s jeans of my own. I hate Uggs. I love scarves in the winter. I never wear a watch. I stopped letting people wax my eyebrows because they were on a mission to make them disappear. I’ll be using the word ‘comfortable’ a lot here. My style doesn’t fit into a box of its own, but it shows who I am, and that’s all I need it to do.

WHY DO YOU LOVE YOUR STYLE:

I love my style because I’m not trying to be anyone other than myself. I’m not spending time trying to conform to some ideal, I’m just doing me. I define my style, it doesn’t define me. I love that I can rock my hair naturally, yet be able to shave it off and still look dope. I love that I can wear men’s shoes and still feel like a woman. My style shows who I am, not who people would prefer me to be. I love my style because it tells you that I’m free.

HOW IT EXPRESSES ZARA’S PERSONLAITY:

My style isn’t a fixed thing, and neither is my personality. Trying to put me into one box won’t work. Some days, I might feel all dressy and elegant, so I’ll rock the heels and diva out. Other days, I’ll steal my fiance’s clothes and not be any less beautiful for it. I may wear gloves and a fascinator one day, then a plain tshirt and jeans the next. I might paint my nails or let them chip. I might wear a necklace or I might wear a tie. My personality is a diverse one, and this is reflected in the versatility of my style. I see myself as a down-to-earth individual who is confident in her beauty regardless of what society may think. I don’t have to flaunt my sexiness in order to be considered attractive, I don’t need a certain kind of hair or a certain kind of look or a certain weight to reassure me that I’m beautiful. Who I am inside transcends all that.

HAIR:

My hair has gone through a variety of different styles, all of them natural. I’ve had it short, medium, long, twisted, colored, and most recently, shaved off ( Read about it here) I don’t like braids or cornrows or any style that restricts my hair (it tends to irritate my scalp for some reason) so I usually wear it out or pulled back at the most. I haven’t had relaxed hair in more than three years, and going natural was definitely a pivotal point in learning more about who I am and what my style is. I’ve only had extensions twice in my life and never ever worn a weave or a wig. I would say that my hair is definitely the most versatile aspect of my style, and expresses who I am quite distinctly. I co-run a natural hair blog entitled “Leave In The Kinks”, which illustrates my hair journey and styles in more detail.

My afro at 4 months

My afro at 10 months

My Afro at 1.5 yrs

My Afro at 1.5 yrs

The afro again at 1.5 years, picked out for a photo project

The afro again at 1.5 years, picked out for a photo project

 A rare twist-out!

A rare twist-out!

My hair after about 2 yrs of growth, dyed a reddish colour

My hair after about 2 yrs of growth, dyed a reddish colour

The wash and go afro

The wash and go afro

Still with the reddish colour, tied back

Still with the reddish colour, tied back

The fabulous blown out afro, 2.5 years of growth!

The fabulous blown out afro, 2.5 years of growth!

After a haircut and new colour treatment, wash and go afro

After a haircut and new colour treatment, wash and go afro

The new cut and color again, wash and go!

The new cut and color again, wash and go!

Then I shaved everything off.

Then I shaved everything off.

MAKE-UP:

My make-up regimen is rather simple because I really don’t wear that much make-up. I have to constantly moisturize my face because dry skin is always on the horizon if I don’t, so I use Olay’s night cream twice a day to preserve the sexy. Instead of foundation, I use a tinted moisturizer by stila once in a while (you can get it at Sephora), which highlights skin instead of covering it up. In the daytime, I usually just apply mascara (Full ‘N Soft by Maybelline) with either pink or neutral/brown lip-gloss. At night, I prefer using a deep red lipstick and some eyeliner along with the mascara. I recently stopped using black eyeliner and started using an emerald green liner instead, to add more colour to the look. With the red lipstick, I usually add a little colour to my cheeks to avoid looking washed out. For certain daytime events, I may use the nighttime look to dress it up more. For some night events, I occasionally dab a little silver or white eye shadow in the inside corner of my eyes, but that’s about the only time I use eye shadow. All in all, my attitude towards make-up is rather minimalist- I believe that less is more and I try to use it to merely accentuate my facial features instead of drowning them.

This is my out in the summer look, just lip-gloss and maybe some tinted moisturizer

This is my out in the summer look, just lip-gloss and maybe some tinted moisturizer

Another day look, but with the neutral lip gloss instead and no tinted moisturizer

Another day look, but with the neutral lip gloss instead and no tinted moisturizer

Day look, neutral lip-gloss. I think. Lol

Day look, neutral lip-gloss. I think. Lol

Fancied up, red lipstick, mascara, stila and green eyeliner

Fancied up, red lipstick, mascara, stila and green eyeliner

Mascara and green eyeliner

Mascara and green eyeliner

Night look, red lips with black eyeliner, mascara and bindi. I was going to do a bhangra performance.

Night look, red lips with black eyeliner, mascara and bindi. I was going to do a bhangra performance.

WARDROBE STAPLES:

The first of my wardrobe staples is a bomber jacket I got from the Burlington Coat Factory. It’s my absolute favorite jacket, except I used to have it in chocolate-brown, which I preferred to the slate-grey that I have now. Because I live in a relatively cold part of the US, there are only a few months where a jacket is out of the question. For the rest of the year, it’s imperative to have a good selection of coats. I started collected badges to pin on the bomber jacket that pretty much express who I am, much to some people’s shock, lol.

Badges: Got them from little stores scattered all over the place. Love ‘em.

Badges

BomberJacket: Burlington Coat Factory, so comfy.

BomberJacket

I never used to be much of a purse person until I came across some of Betsey Johnson’s bags in department stores. I love the style she infuses into her bags, and they’ve become a necessity in my wardrobe.

Betsey Johnson, clear with fabric insert

Betsey Johnson, clear with fabric insert

Betsey Johnson, black and white with fun things attached

Betsey Johnson, black and white with fun things attached

I also got some sunglasses she designed, which have stood up quite well, considering I tend to lose or break nearly all the sunglasses I’ve owned to date.

BetseyGlasses: Betsey Johnson, love the tilt at the corners

BetseyGlasses: Betsey Johnson, love the tilt at the corners

DAY LOOK:

I’ll be honest, I usually don’t diva up in the daytime. Really. I go for looking cute, but I’m not the type of chick who dolls up like everyday has a runway (kudos to those that have energy for that). My day look is laid-back and involves dresses or denim. I like getting my jeans at Wet Seal because for the longest time, I couldn’t find jeans in my size that were long enough. I also shop at Express and New York & Co because they make clothes with simple clean lines. In warm weather, I like dresses because they’re only one piece, so there’s less effort involved. I like prints (except some florals and animal prints), colors, funky T-shirts and for a slightly less casual look, those clean lines.

Skinny jeans from Wet Seal, necklace from random store in Times Square, top from Charlotte Russe, all complete with an untied shoelace, lol.

Skinny jeans from Wet Seal, necklace from random store in Times Square, top from Charlotte Russe, all complete with an untied shoelace, lol.

Dress and sandals from Marshalls

Dress and sandals from Marshalls

Dress from some department store I don’t recall

Dress from some department store I don’t recall

My I-just-rolled-out-of-bed-and-into-Central-Park look. Skinny jeans from Wet Seal, flats from somewhere, shirt from my fiancé, jacket from Burlington Coat Factory, hat from…somewhere.

My I-just-rolled-out-of-bed-and-into-Central-Park look. Skinny jeans from Wet Seal, flats from somewhere, shirt from my fiancé, jacket from Burlington Coat Factory, hat from…somewhere.

Gloves from H&M, clothes from TJ Maxx, shoes inherited from a male professional dancer friend.

Gloves from H&M, clothes from TJ Maxx, shoes inherited from a male professional dancer friend.

I love that T-shirt. At the beach in South Texas.

I love that T-shirt. At the beach in South Texas.

Semi-formal look. Shirt from Express, blazer from New York & Co, jeans from American Eagle and shoes probably from Aldo.

Semi-formal look. Shirt from Express, blazer from New York & Co, jeans from American Eagle and shoes probably from Aldo.

Shirt from Express, jeans from American Eagle, shoes from Charlotte Russe, with the Betsey glasses.

Shirt from Express, jeans from American Eagle, shoes from Charlotte Russe, with the Betsey glasses.

ACCESSORIES:

I love gloves. It took me a while to start actually wearing them, but I’ve started collecting them and they make me quite happy. I have a few favorite necklaces, mostly big bright chunky ones, but my true passion is earrings. Huge notice-me-by-force earrings, my friends know me by that. I never wear plastic ones, and I shop in antique stores a lot of one of a kind pairs.

In NYC with my fiancé. Gloves from H&M, necklace from Aldo

In NYC with my fiancé. Gloves from H&M, necklace from Aldo

 I love bright pink or red polish. Fingerless gloves and engagement ring.

I love bright pink or red polish. Fingerless gloves and engagement ring.

Part of my earring collection; violins, doilies, cowries, etc :D

Part of my earring collection; violins, doilies, cowries, etc 😀

Sunglasses are an almost daily accessory of mine (never at night!), either aviators or the Betsey ones.

 Aviator glasses on spring break.

Aviator glasses on spring break.

Betsey glasses with a flower on a train in New York.

Betsey glasses with a flower on a train in New York.

I also use head/hair accessories, especially when my hair’s in a protective style or I just have a bad hair day. I love hats and fascinators with lace and netting, that old school vibe. Headwraps on long trips save a lot of trouble with styling, too.

Woven hat with netting from vintage shop.

Woven hat with netting from vintage shop.

 Simple scarf tied into a headwrap.

Simple scarf tied into a headwrap.

When it comes to shoes, I really don’t have much of an addiction. If they’re heels and they’re comfortable, that’s pretty much it for me. Steve Madden makes amazingly comfortable heels, and I usually pick up shoes at Aldo’s, Baker’s, or department stores where you can get the better brands.

Madden formal peep-toe pumps.

Madden formal peep-toe pumps.

Madden more casual black heels, soooo comfortable.

Madden more casual black heels, soooo comfortable.

NIGHT LOOK:

I like wearing black at night, mostly, with the right accessories to spice it up. I go for a look that’s more on the elegant side, one day I’ll have enough dough for real pearls, lol. Long nights out make me place comfort on the top of my priority list.

Dress from Jacob and gloves from Old Navy.

Dress from Jacob and gloves from Old Navy.

Jacket from Forever 21, gloves are an heirloom, fascinator from UK chain store.

Jacket from Forever 21, gloves are an heirloom, fascinator from UK chain store.

Dress from Zara and shoes by Steve Madden.

Dress from Zara and shoes by Steve Madden.

Shirt and skirt from Bebe, shoes by Madden, cameo necklace from antique store.

Shirt and skirt from Bebe, shoes by Madden, cameo necklace from antique store.

TRADITIONAL ATTIRE:

So, I actually don’t have any Naija traditional outfits (maybe some stored at my mother’s house), because for events that call for traditional attire, I usually wear saris instead. I have several passed down from my grandmother on my mother’s side, and will be wearing one on my wedding day. They’re immensely easy to wear, versatile and I love the colors and prints. I’m wearing a camisole as a top in these pictures instead of the traditional half-blouse because it makes it more casual, and I couldn’t find the half-blouses, lol.

Gold and black silk, wrapped traditionally

Gold and black silk, wrapped traditionally

Floral purple and green, draped differently

Floral purple and green, draped differently

Draped over hair, you can see the patterns up close here.

Draped over hair, you can see the patterns up close here.

You can find me at my blogs: Purple Lace Gloves and Leave In The Kinks. Also on @PurpleLaceZ.

Peace,
Z

Ex-Style Editor at Large - BellaNaija.com , Now Founder/CEO Redrick Public Relations Limited. @ijeomabalogun

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