My Weekend Getaway to the Borough of Brooklyn…


Recently, I did a stay vacation in Brooklyn, NY. One of the reasons why I love Brooklyn is because each neighborhood has its own feel. However, there is one common theme that runs throughout Brooklyn –COOL. Yep, Brooklyn is the new home of NYC cool. The first stop on my Brooklyn tour was the neighborhood tucked away in the area affectionately known as Dumbo, “Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass.” This cobblestoned street community is reminiscent of its early days as a major seaport that has been transformed by local boutiques, amazing restaurants by the water, and absolutely stunning views of Manhattan. Take a look (that’s me acting like a tourist, under the Manhattan Bridge).

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What’s My Fashion Look?
Oversized trench with flared sleeves (Banana Republic) serves as a great way to jazz up basically a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. To add a little more pizazz because I was in the home of Cool, I wore colored jeans vs. standard blue. Fashion Tip: Whenever I don’t have a necklace to pull my look together, and it is a casual outfit, I hang my shades around my neck.

With an eye to sustainability, much of Dumbo is repurposed space such as this bridge underpass that serves as a food/concert space.

My next stop was Bedford-Stuyvesant, known by New Yorkers as Bed Stuy. Of course, no staycation would be complete without a little shopping. To my delight, I found Peace & Riot (401 – 403 Tompkins), a boutique designed with the twist of a curated department store featuring locally sourced home goods, vintage clothing, and hand-made jewelry. What a delight.

Be sure to stop by Khalilah Beavers of Bed-Stuy’s Shirley + Alice vintage boutique. A great selection of vintage accessories to pair with modern pieces to create new looks with items in your wardrobe. Stay tuned for upcoming feature posts on – Shopping Your Closet.

Kentucky Derby Weekend

Kentucky Derby style with friends.

A couple of weeks ago, I checked off one of my fashion, bucket list experiences.  Yep, I was smelling roses, sipping mint juleps, and of course, showing off my style at the 145th Kentucky Derby.  At the invite of my fashionista cousin, Sonya Jenkins, Publisher and Editor at Sonya’s Spotlight Web Magazine, I had a behind the scenes access to all the Derby had to offer.  As a newbie, this is what I found out.  Essentially, the day of the Derby there is 12 races with a big race that occurs around 6 PM.  While the track has tons of action, the infield, stands, and private suites are where you can see all the fashions. 

All styles are a go at the Kentucky Derby. I saw divas in elegant gowns with cowboy boots underneath, and handsome dudes sporting floral three-piece suits and cigars.  Of course, the show stopper of the day were the HATS.  A guide for picking a hit – the bigger, the better.  The Kentucky Derby is not a time to be shy. 

A tip that I got was just as there is Rent the Runway for evening wear; there is a Rent the Races (https://rent-the-races.myshopify.com) for rim hats and fascinators. I also was impressed by the number of individuals that got creative with fake flowers, feathers, and boas.  Tip:  the Dollar General is a great spot to grab these items.  While you are there, pick up a glue gun to give your design a professional look.  However, my Derby veterans all knew about Dee’s Hats (5045 Shelbyville Rd., Louisville, KY) for the most elaborate, head-turning hats.  Just in case you were wondering, Dee does a massive sale the day after the Kentucky Derby.  

Coming up roses at the Derby…

These are my tips on how to max your style on Derby Day.

  1.  Since the majority of the day is spent outside, I recommend that you wear an outfit that is comfortable like a flowy sundress or even a jumpsuit.  There were quite a few fashionistas with jumpsuits in vibrant colors like fuchsia.  While I am a red fan, Pink was the dominant color of the day.   
  2. Accessories are welcomed.  To add pop to your look, try a long string of pearls or go fancy with a pair of dress gloves.  Remember, you want people to stop and say WOW.
  3. Footwear is key.  Whether you are in the stands, strolling the perimeter or enjoying the Turf Club, wear shoes that will allow you to be comfortable and stylish.  It also doesn’t hurt to keep a pair of flip flops in your bag.
  4. Security will not allow you to bring in umbrellas, so PONCHOS are a must.  In talking with my Louisville peeps, rain tends to fall during the Derby.  Be prepared.
  5. Lastly, have fun with your look.  Everyone at the Derby is very complimentary, so make the most of it.  Go big or go home

Fashionistas, see you at the Kentucky Derby next year.   

What does this blog mean to me…

My love for fashion goes back to my days of playing paper dolls. The thing that I loved about paper dolls was that by changing outfits I believed that my dolls could change their mood, show their personal style, and most importantly live their dreams. Yes, I believed that all of this could be achieved by simply changing your outfit. As I grew older, my game of paper dolls morphed into this quest for success when I heard someone say, “Dress for where you want to be not for where you are.” That was music to my ears.

While I didn’t exactly know what I was doing, these were the beginnings of my personal style. I still believe that the right outfit can make your day, colors are an expression of your mood, and how an outfit fits you is a glimpse into how you feel about you. I also believe that to express yourself fully through fashion you must be comfortable with taking risks. While the risk may not always be a hit, you will always have a chance to do it again tomorrow. Trust me.

From the perspective of a girl that loved to play paper dolls to my journey through womanhood, I am delighted to present Sophisticated Curation – the fashion blog for HER. Fashion is my outlet to share my style, passion, and aspirations.