There’s a lot of talk about the little black dress. But you know what else every BSB needs? The perfect pair of black pumps. Check out these five classic black pumps by Cole Haan! They are perfect for work, that special occasion or even date night with the right styling.
The holidays bring family, friends, food and for the BSB…fabulous fashions. Growing up, my grandmother, the black southern belle that she was, insisted we dress for dinner. I now realize that that tradition not only brought fabulous pictures, but set the tone for the evening. The men of the family in their Sunday’s best toasting by the tree, the women in beautiful dresses, dazzling jewelry and bright smiles…what wonderful memories! Of course, some BSB families opt for a less dressy dinner, while others embrace all the glitz and glam of the season around the dinner table. Whatever your dinner dress code, these looks are sure to be a hit
1) The Dressy Dinner
A velvet dress screams elegance and poise. A dark hue (dress) paired with a bright manicure (or vise-versa) is a perfect combo for a dressy Christmas dinner. Add a pair of tassel earrings and pumps for an extra festive look and you are an instant show stopper…per usual! (image via modcloth.com)
2) The Casual Dinner
The BSB knows that casual is code for classy cute. To nail your laid back dress code while still feeling fabulous, try a solid blazer paired with a sequined topped and dark jeans. The look is put together, feminine and classic. (image via cupcakesinpumps.com)
3) The Laid Back Affair
When comfort is on the menu, look no further than a chunky cowl neck sweater and leggings. This look lends itself to cozy phots by a fire pit and second (and third) helpings of Southern delicacies all while staying stylish. (image via lyfie.com)
In addition to these looks, try these gorgeous polishes for your holiday manicure.
Zoya – Blaze
Essie – Pama
O.P.I. – My Favorite Ornament
Of course, a true BSB is never fully dressed without a smile!
Still looking for that perfect fall look? We have some great tips from Germanee, Lead Stylist of the Prada-G+Co. This fashionable Black Southern Belle is giving you all the information you need to be stylish and warm this fall. Read about her 6 must have items for fall below!
- A Floppy Hat
Floppy hats are chic, and right up a Southern Belle’s alley. These stylish hats are bold and elevate almost every fall look, and not to mention make you look great on bad hair days.
- The Perfect Boots
Boots are a sure staple that every belle needs for her fall wardrobe. A great pair of classic black or brown booties are versatile and can be worn with any chic or casual look.
- A Stylish Coat
No one wants to brave the chilly nights in a coat that doesn’t amplify your look. Whether you prefer to be sophisticated in a cape or like to live on the edge in a duster, the perfect fall coat should exude your personality, offer functionality, and be versatile enough to dress up or down. Choosing classic colors like black, camel, or gray will allow you to easily wear your coat this season and offer a timelessness for seasons to come. There’s so many stylish silhouettes to choose from so I’d recommend to not settle on just one( check out my livestream on jacket must haves if you need more direction). Two to three different jacket styles will keep you covered for the cold days to come.
- A Sleek Skirt
The second best thing a southern girl loves next to a dress is a great skirt. My vote this season is for a chic pencil skirt. A pencil skirt doesn’t have to be stuffy and overtly wear to work. Trying it in suede or leather is a great update to the normal humdrum in a on trend fabrication.
- A Statement Scarf
There’s no better fall outfit completer than a scarf. Not only does it keep you warm but there are so many bold prints and colors that can help elevate and amplify any fall look.
- The Fall Lip
This one’s a bonus! Trade in your Ruby Woo bright red for a more sultry, toned down lip color for a burgundy or plum for fall. A darker lip will create an autumnal vibe and add that extra umph you need to take your look to the next level.
It’s that time of year again! The leaves are slowly but surely turning from lush green to burnt hues of red, orange, and yellow. The nights are getting cooler and the days are getting shorter. People are stocking up on pumpkins for their front porches, and most importantly, the fashion is changing from tank tops and sandals to pants and flannels. That’s right, it’s fall.
There are plenty of reasons to love autumn (see above), but what we love the most is getting to attend events that call for fabulous fall fashion. There’s just something so fun about getting to layer up and stomp around in booties. We’d be lying if we said we hadn’t been anticipating this season all year long. With that being said, there are some tried-and-true fall outfits that would be perfect for your next fashionable fall function. Especially since there are bound to be lots of pictures taken, you’ll want to look your best! If you’re stumped on what to wear, we’ve got some great outfits for you. Check out some of our favorite fall looks.
The Blazer and Jeans Combo
There are few ensembles that are as simple and chic as the revered blazer-with-jeans combination. Pairing a blazer with your favorite boyfriend jeans or skinnies is the perfect way to add smartness and structure to an otherwise casual outfit. All you need to do to complete the look is add a quality white T-shirt and a pair of fabulous heels (don’t be afraid to utilize of pop of color with your footwear!). For additional inspiration, consider wearing a different colored blazer to change things up a bit from the traditional black blazer.
Statement Bomber Jacket
One of the hottest trends this season is the ubiquitous bomber jacket. The style has been around for decades—it originated from the military, after all—but lately it’s gotten a glam makeover. Now, bomber jackets are being shown with delicate detailing and gorgeous embellishments. They’re even sporting a slew of different materials like silk, wool, and more. How to wear it? Style your statement bomber like those on this page, draped over a monochromatic all-black outfit. This way, you let the jacket do all the talking.
Denim Skirt and Metallics
In case you haven’t noticed by now, denim skirts are back from the ’90s with a stylish vengeance. There are plenty of ways to wear jean skirts these days, but one of our favorites is to dress it up with metallic accessories. Since many denim skirt looks err on the casual side, we love the advice listed here suggesting to take things up a notch with a pretty silk blouse, metallic shoes, and bringing in coordinating silver sunglasses and a belt.
No matter what fun events you have slated for this fall, make sure you show up in style! Autumn fashion is so easy to play around with, so don’t be afraid to get creative and try some new takes on old favorites. You’re going to rock it.
One thing that is oh so fun about fall fashion is the ability to add on layers. A southern belle grows up wearing cocktail dresses and get ready for formal events, and one way we look to stand out is through our stockings. I have so many memories picking out new stockings with my mother and love keeping that tradition alive.
I am always on the hunt for stockings and had a chance to test out Secret Silky, which not only are affordable and accessible (available at Rite Aid Pharmacy which is literally 2 minutes from my house) they also have strong southern roots being owned by Gildan which is headquartered in Charleston, SC and you know I am all about the lowcountry.
Needless to say, these stockings were a hit. They had a great fit which is the most important thing for me and also felt super comfortable, which is important as I am always on the go for the next photo shoot or event. Any busy #blacksouthernbelle should make sure to try these out. As I tried these stockings, all I could think about fall, so here are my three things to love about Fall fashion with inspiration from Secret Silky.
Perfect for Lowcountry Weather: Things don’t get too cold in the lowcountry but stockings definitely add the right amount of warmth you need to keep wearing heels and dresses throughout the fall and winter seasons.
You Can Switch it Up: Fall is all about layering and switching things up. With so many colors of stockings to try,you can dress a look up or down just by changing your stockings.
Wearing Cocktail Dresses with Stockings: We love a good fall cocktail party in the South and on those chill nights outside, stockings are perfect to add to your style. You don’t have to wear jeans just because the weather cools down.
Fashion is second nature to a Black Southern Belle, and Melizza Williams from, Tampa, FL is making her job too. This southern bred style maven is styling people up and down the East Coast but always takes her southern and coastal influence with her no mater where she goes. Take some time out to learn about the fashion journey of this stylista today.
Your Name: Melizza Williams
Business Name: What Would Melizza Wear
Alma Mater: University of South Florida (2013) & Fashion Institute of Technology (2010)
Sorority if Applicable:
Hometown: Tampa, Florida (Native of St. Croix, U.S.V.I)
Current location: New York City
Website Link: http://www.whatwouldmelizzawear.com/
What services do you provide? At Would Would Melizza Wear we provide editorial and promotional styling for our clients.
Why did you decide to start a business? I’ve always wanted to be a stylist. I was that go to fashion friend everyone has. But, while studying Business, I thought I needed to have a traditional 9 to 5 career and climb the corporate ladder at a Fortune 500 company. Upon graduation, I became anxious just thinking about becoming a “9 to 5 robot” (no offense) and what my future held.
At the time, I was still a nanny. A few of the mothers noticed how I dressed and would asked for fashion advice. I began offering styling advice which led to outfit coordinations which led to shopping trips. It was then that I saw a need in South Tampa for new moms needing a voice of confidence through their style. I was later informed of and encouraged to enter The Fashion Movement’s ‘EYE on Fashion’ stylist competition. I told myself I’d enter and if I won, it would be my “coming out” moment. I won first place and haven’t looked back since!
Before you owned a business, what did you do? I proudly was a nanny prior to becoming a stylist. It was through being a nanny that I was encouraged to pursue my dreams of becoming a fashion stylist. I saw a need and that I could provide my skills to others besides the South Tampa moms I worked for. I’ve also worked in retail so styling wasn’t so far fetched.
What is your favorite client story? Hmmm… I wouldn’t say I have one favorite story but comprised moments of the glow my clients have after we’re done. Just seeing their confidence immediately increase and the moment they see and acknowledge they are beautiful and worth the effort… that is my favorite part…my proverbial cherry on top.
What is the most interesting client request you have had? [HaHa] I was asked to help make Harry Potter themed baked goods for a one year old birthday party after choosing the outfits for a family portrait. I was actually excited to let my inner Martha Stewart out so I agreed. We talked about fashion trends and pieces that worked best for her body shape while baking and decorating Hedwig (Harry’s owl) cupcakes and Slytherin’s Locket for a smash cake. This was during my first few months of business. Would I do this now? I don’t think so… [HaHa}
What is the most important thing you have done to build your business? I believe my ability to uphold my strong work ethics is one of the most important things I’ve done to build my business. I try to use the ‘Golden Rule’ with my clients and team members. I treat my clients and team the way I want to be treated…[HaHa] I guess it helps that I love luxury services, goods, and quality. But, on a serious note having integrity, a sense of responsibility, quality, and teamwork truly helps.
What do you love about Fashion? What don’t I love?! I love that I never had to stop playing dress up! I love that something can be so simple yet complex *plays The Devil Wears Prada Cerulean Blue Sweater Scene*. I love that I can be inspired by everything. I love the sense of pride I feel when I look fabulous. I love that you can express who you are without even speaking. Each day you have a chance to have people see you as you want them to. People still judge the book by its cover, why not have an alluring and attractive book sleeve.
What do you love about southern style? There’s something about southern style that is charming that it is so inviting. Who isn’t drawn to the person that looks refine with an amazing smile that welcomes all?
What are some of your favorite southern inspired fashion brands? Reese Witherspoon did an amazing job with Draper James! Absolutely LOVE everything from Draper James and a local boutique in Tampa for men called London Philips. I consider my style to be a ‘sophisticated chameleone’ but at my core I’m ‘preppy’ if we should put a label on it. Brands like Tory Burch, Ralph Lauren, Kate Spade, J. Crew and many more may have been created in the North, but translates very well in the South. The long list of brands I love correlate with my lifestyle.
Who are some of your southern style icons? Beyoncé and Reese steal the show! (Oh how I wish Kerry Washington was from the South! ) I enjoy the style of bloggers Courtney Kerr, Latisha of Blushing Black, Shelby from Glitter and Gingham, Sabine Jean of The B. Stinger, and many more.
What do you miss about living in the south? The phrase “Southern Hospitality” [HaHa] I’ll keep the list short, sweet, and simple. I miss the Southern hospitality, manners, beaches, and lifestyle!
Do you have any mentors? Yes, I do. I believe everyone should have at least one amazing mentor that they respect, trust, and aspire to be like. You should be able to learn life lessons from your mentor and they should have the ability to act as your lighthouse when the waters get rough.
What is your favorite thing about being southern? The phrase “Southern Hospitality“ includes “Southern” for a reason. [HaHa] I’m sorry but it’s true. There’s a warmth and kindness that is instilled at a young age. I love the fact that my smile and kindness stands out up here in NYC.
What is your favorite southern entrees or sides? Why? [HaHa] I’m salivating just thinking about baked Mac and Cheese, collard greens, yams, and fried chicken. I know this may not be anything special BUT all of these recipes can all be messed up if not cooked by the right person so when I get this meal and someone has put their foot in it, I’m happier than a fat kid in a candy store! And it makes this even more special because I don’t eat a meal like this very often. Oh! And can we not forget about the Sweet Potato Pie with French Vanilla Bean ice cream. [Haha] Exercise is required before and after this meal.
What is your favorite item or piece of clothing to wear/use while doing business? I am known for my statement necklaces and always being in a dress. I feel empowered and confident in a great fit and flare dress that accentuates my pear shape and long legs.
Images Courtesy of the following Photographers:
Photographers: Dionysius Burto (@dioburtophoto)
Photographers: Bob Metelus (@mistadubb)
Photographers: Bruna Lacerda (@brunalacerda)
The Knot recently unveiled their 2016 Top Trends in Weddings. We loved so many of them can’t wait to see how southern brides incorporate these trends into their weddings. Here are a few of our favorites and our Black Southern Belle spin on this year’s trends:
Contemporary Choirs & Late-Night Karaoke
From the Knot: Keeping guests entertained all night long with special musical performances isn’t new, but this year’s trend is: choirs! Think 20-person ensembles with amazing a cappella abilities. Surprise guests by hiring a marching band or gospel choir and have them perform a favorite rock ballad for the walk down the aisle or an a cappella version of the first dance song. And if you’re hosting an after-party, karaoke is king. A basic karaoke setup and some photo booth props is all you need to keep the party going. Watching friends and family belt out their favorite ’90s hits is priceless.
From Black Southern Belle: We grew up on beautiful church choirs and HBCU marching bands so this trend is right up our alley. Make it your alma mater’s band such as FAMU or North Carolina A&T and you have a real party going. A Black Southern Belle wedding follows every tradition including having lots of fun and a big party. This trend is one that will surely help your party stand out and make even your most petty line sister get up and move!
From the Knot: You’ve heard of the second dress—now guys want a unique reception look too. Custom suits with embroidered monograms, velvet loafers and personalized cuff links give guys more style options than ever before in 2016. Grooms are switching to a dinner jacket for the reception or making a “wardrobe change” to wear a different bow tie and pocket square. Some grooms are even starting their wedding prep early with treatments like teeth whitening, “handshake maintenance” (a.k.a man manicures) and regular beard trims in the months leading up to the celebration. Rounding up the groomsmen for a preceremony shave not only provides a fun, bonding moment, but guarantees a well-groomed wedding party.
From Black Southern Belle: Grooms in the South know that a Black Southern Belle expects them to look just as polished and put together as her. While many southern brides are telling their groom what to wear, there are a growing number of stylish Southern Grooms, looking to make their bride happy and try something new that does not include wearing their fraternity or HBCU paraphernalia as a part of wedding attire. From fun tuxedo shoes, corky cuff links to crushed velvet tuxedos, we are all about this trend in the South and so happy that grooms are getting involved but of course they won’t out do a Black Southern Belle Bride.
From the Knot: It’s all about shimmer and shine this year. Don’t be afraid to mix silver and rose gold or gunmetal and gold—metallics play well together. The addition of luster elevates any look, giving a couple’s wedding style an extra-special feel. Add a metallic to the color palette for a hint of glitz or make a statement with rose gold sequin bridesmaid dresses, gilded greenery, foil invites or a sparkle dusted cake.
From Black Southern Belle: We completely agree, you can never have too much metallic or gold. Add it in your China, your candelabras, your jewelry and even your clothes. Gold and silver make everything better, especially if it is vintage and passed down throughout your family. A love of metallic is a southern tradition that we are glad is on trend and in style for 2016. This trend looks great no matter if you have a church wedding, outdoor lowcountry celebration or a grand ballroom affair, even your most picky great aunt will be sure to love your decor.