Fashion Catfish

Style & Fashion, Blog

So Hi! 👋🏽

Happy extended summer as I don’t fully recognize fall…😒

Here’s my anecdote about how I came to make this super dope jumper:

When I attended FIT, a few of my teachers commented on my ability to see a garment or a picture of a garment and be able to draw a rough pattern by sight. One teacher said “you have a wonderful counterfeiters eye!” Color me offended. And I mean UPSET. It greatly impacted my scrutiny on myself on whether I was “copying” or “creating” when it came to anything. It took me a second to realize that being influenced by what you see doesn’t make you a copier and that everything is a variation on the basic precepts of pattern design.

Fast forward to the here and now and fast fashion has become an opportunity for fashion scamming. With the intro of all of these “online only” fashion boutiques fashion catfishing is ever increasing. What do I mean? You see a picture of a thing and it’s poppin. You shell your cash out wait weeks only to get it and it look like “who did it and ran?”

I got got one time but I was a lucky one. I got my money back; however more and more people aren’t getting their money back and it is a helpless feeling.

Now, I’d seen a jumper online that I absolutely LOVED. But it was from a Chinese manufacturer that had TERRIBLE reviews

Like HOW CUTE IS THIS?!?!

Its all comfy and chill…

And I KNOW I could freak it in the fall but the company oshoplive.com has some heinous reviews and I don’t have $40 to waste plus the designer in me was like “Jai… look at the construction; this is a simple sew…” it felt like a Biggie lyric “took home ready to die, listened, studied it!” These are extra long gathered baggy pants with suspenders…

And here is where inspiration vs. copying steps in…

I’m not here for buttons and I truly wanted a simple sew so I made it a onesie rather than a button up. I had some GREAT Indian Batik fabric from JoAnn’s

Cotton & crisp. And two types of blue… what’s not to love?

I actually made it longer than the original I saw (the shoes I’m wearing – ASOS – are 6 inch platforms) because I wanted a maxi dress meets pants feel.

The “suspenders” are snap buttons because I said what I said… I wanted a quick sew.

I trimmed the top with ribbon that I’d had for almost 20 years!!! (That’s another story but I could SMELL MJ Trimmings on it when I ironed it ♥️)

This outfit gave me ethereal meets functional meets funky meets black girl magic! And this is no shot to the one I saw but side by side I’d pick my inspired version any day. And MAKING something leaves little room for you to be disappointed because you have the ability to keep going until you love it.

So all in all this is the story of how fashion catfishing inspired me to make this super dope jumper. I will be making a limited amount to be sold at the end of the month! Elastic top instead of ribbon to give a better one size feel. How would you make this fellow freestyle seamstresses?!?!

Community is Everything! Let’s build!

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It’s a no for me Dog – Amazon Prime Day falls short

Blog, Techie

“🎶Oh the underwhelming, it just ended, day of amazon prime!🎶”

*This is an opinion piece*

Adult – non children – Christmas Day that comes in the form of Amazon Prime Day, felt like the Christmas when you realized Santa wasn’t real and your parent started buying gifts accordingly. Sure you got stuff, but the feeling was underwhelming. That was Amazon Prime day(s) for me.

Let me start off by saying I REALLY loved the marketing they did this year so that it didn’t just sneak up on you. I started seeing commercials two pay periods before it all went down. In my mind I’m like “oh this finna be flames🔥because they out here prepping you to save your coins!!!” And save my coins I did because I’m saving for a house so I gave my sister my credit card 💳 to hold so I’m not reckless.

The first day there were hecka glitches so there was that. I could see things but layout was triddash. When I was finally able to devote time to my search; I was like 😒 “what is happening”? Loved the category break down and the “search Prime Day” options but the choices were not great. Who has $500 to drop on Jibo?!

I literally said out loud to myself: “what in the excess cash is this?!” Rafts… large item purchases. 30% off makeup 😒 I felt like my Ulta coupons did me more justice. And it wasn’t just me. I talked to a few friends who were looking forward to Prime Day and their response was similar. We all just seemed to do the obligatory prime member purchase. That speaks volumes to me about how we have been conditioned to be consumers even if we don’t really want anything. It’s the retail version of:

Them: “you hungry”

Us: “eh… I could eat..”

That being said I did get a WiFi extender (further proof of why i don’t believe in space travel. You can talk to someone in outer space but my WiFi can’t make it to my bedroom?! – that’s a rabbit hole for another day)

The current price is $26.05 and I got it for $19.99

And a facial steamer

I got it for $15. That’s a steal. That’s going to be clutch this winter with dry heat and winter allergies.

But I got gadgets last year… And the best make up deal was wunderbrow for $11.

It was a dry adult summer Christmas. Maybe next year when I’m a home owner the stuff I saw will make more sense or… it’ll just be stuff. Either way. See you next year!

Pearls for the Girls

Blog, Style & Fashion

I was never into pearls. Even as an adult they still seemed too “mature” for me. But pearl studded jeans are where it’s at.

Not as strong as rhinestone studded jeans; but a few steps above embroidered jeans.

They’re definitely “ladylike” statement jeans. Wore them to brunch and felt like Carrie Bradshaw.

The top was ASOS; but I got it at a discount store (DfWH). But here are a few choice ASOS options here and here.

The pants are from H&M but they don’t carry them anymore but here’s an affordable option here.

The shoes are from justfab.com the Marlo Bootie (shootie) they’re sold out but I’d get on the wait list for these if I were you. They are worth it. They remind me of Barbie shoes.

This was a perfect “Hello spring! Hello brunch season!” (In my best Whitley Gilbert impersonation) outfit.

Gentlemen Prefer Brunettes – Adventures in Sewing

Blog, Style & Fashion

I love being inspired by the size and style of the women in the 50’s (more realistic, less cosmetically altered) and the artistry of couture from the 1930’s – 1950’s.

Beauty was the whole package and not just a “shape”. It was what the woman wore and how she carried herself. That was my inspiration for this dress.

I’m not exceptionally small, I’m not curvy at all; but as Lisa Stansfield belted “I’m all woman” and 💯 % luxurious.

My inspiration came from this burdastyle pattern.

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I’m not a fan of Starburst darting, especially darting like this that pulls to the middle. I have a straight figure and regular sized bust so this would create no real accentuating of anything. At best, this would only highlight my pooch ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

But the simplicity of the cut and the godet train drew me in and I said “self… you can make something like this!” So I pulled out my basic bodice and straight skirt slopers and got to work .

The result was this super dope delicate mermaid flare at the bottom and a wild dope train.

stairwellGatsby standing

This cut (mermaid/ fit & flare) created curves where non exist! Lol and the obi belt that i made to “snatch” my waist; I ended up using as a shawl because I’m really going to learn to appreciate my shape this year!

The godet train gave me my full, entire, whole life.

This fabric was my favorite. I’d been holding this for over a year waiting for the perfect reason to bust this out and use it. It was very Gatsby – Art Deco. Rich gold, pale gold & black – and the design of the fabric was just aesthetically pleasing to me, it stood out, it was rich looking but not gaudy.

It made me feel VERY luxurious. And sometimes a lady just needs to feel that old Hollywood luxury (minus sexism and bigotry)

I ended up having a BLAST at our church banquet and the dressed proved that I could eat AND dance in it. It was a great night and a great (Gatsby of a) dress!

Dress: “The Gatsby” – The Style Cooperative – price upon request

Coat – H&M – gifted but you can get something similar here

Accessories – cuff – gifted

What inspires you?

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How To Go Overboard with Florals

Blog, Style & Fashion

Don’t you just hate when you hate something so much you end up loving it? Well… maybe not hate it, but when the industry is inundated with it… you just want to sort of fall back from it?Judging you...

That’s lowkey how I felt about florals; until I went through my closet to minimize my wardrobe, and realized I’ve had a lifelong love affair with florals.

Just seeing people clamor over florals made me want to do something different. My only option? Don’t play it safe.

The key to going overboard is uniformity. The blouse and trousers are both H&M. Buying both patterns at the same shop takes the guess work out of wondering will it match. Retail stores profit on making shopping easier so prints are often made to compliment one another. In this case, the exact same print.

This is a great play on a “traditional” black & white look. It’s as if your outfit is almost the accessory… almost…

The shoes were NOTHING like the pattern of the blouse & trousers, but it just worked. The color palette was slightly sharper, defined, and brighter. Not to mention the Oriental floral design of the bootie added compliment and contrast to the Victorian floral design of the outfit.

Booties were from Justfab and I got them during that insane Black Friday/ cyber Monday/ they havin’ sales all dag on month deal.

When I put this outfit together it just felt “right”. On my ever evolving style journey it’s comforting to know that simplicity and grandeur still have their place. And there are still fun ways to pull off bold looks without looking insane… at least in my opinion 😏.

How are you making it through the floral trend? Comment below!! Per usual, all pieces were (WELL) under $50!

Spend wisely!

PSA: Don’t Catch These Hands this Halloween – The Only Clown I’ll ever Love

Blog, Community, Uncategorized

This blog is dedicated to my twin brother. You know what you did… and now the rest of the world will too…

Clown pictured is not Soupy. Image from Pinterest


I had a clown once. A pretty green Bisque clown with eyes that opened & closed. Her name was Soupy Oatmeal. We had a song. The song was clearly a bop. And we sang it every time I ate cream of wheat (hence the name Soupy Oatmeal – also I know cream of wheat is not oatmeal I was ahead of my time) We sang it so much that I felt the need to sing it with her WHATEVER the breakfast was that we were having. Like I said…it was a bop. My twin brother did not feel the same way. One morning after a full out belt of a few verses of the Soupy Oatmeal song I sat her down so that I could hum & eat. He grabbed Soupy and threw her at the wall and screamed ” I hate Soupy Oatmeal and that stupid song… shut up!” *insert Diane blackish gif*  

Needless to say I was shocked because my twin is HIGHLY mild mannered. But what I just witnessed was the birth of one of his pet peeves. Eating & singing. He now hates anything that denotes greediness when it comes to food. Twiddling fingers… humming…tapping….if you don’t want a lecture on why your food appreciation is unattractive, please eat in silence. 

Well,  I picked up Soupy Oatmeal and her eyes were broke. Like… rolled up in her head. She looked possessed. I loved her. But her eyes man. She couldn’t stay. I cried and told my mom and she was like ” well maybe this will stop you from singing at the table, Rashaan, don’t break your sisters stuff” That’s it? No beating?! Not even a raised voice. Clearly no one liked the song. But I still sing it to this day when I want a rise out of them. You can’t stop my song.

But I say all of that to share with you this PSA. I loved that clown to bits but was quick to release her because of her “new” horror movie eyes.   

So YOU can and will catch these hands, a chair, a boot, a tire iron, or get tazed this Halloween if you come at me with a Pennywise costume, a Michael Meyers costume, freddy, A zombie… I dont know you. Don’t let you be on the wrong side of my seriousness. It is not a game. I can’t stand when people do something to scare you then say they were playing. I’m going to hit first and keep hitting. There is no need to ask questions. You brought this on yourself. If you want to scare someone, scare yourself, sit at home and take selfies. People have phobias and default to fight or flight. Youre holding the losing hand if youre wagering that I’m going to choose flight. 

People are legit getting shot and then shocked like you weren’t menacingly approaching someone to evoke a fear out of them. Do yourself a favor, don’t dress like that, don’t dress your kid like that, it isn’t cute and they WILL be denied candy. 

Like, I don’t even have it for Ronald. Bruh, leave your happy meal on the table and step back… no need for interaction. 


 The only clown I saw it for was Soupy and she gone! So there is no hope for you and no future in ya frontin. 

 

I googled “clowns” to find pictures to insert and I just want yall to know I consider the internet to be full of some sick individuals. Y’all gotta chill B. 

 

Change Your Blow Dryer, Change your Life! – Review of Red by Kiss Detangler 2000 Blow Dryer

Health & Beauty

This year, I started the process of heat training my hair.  I’ve given myself blow-out before, but to be perfectly honest who has time for natural curly or natural heat trained hair (is what I said I my head and out loud to any friend who would listen)?

I mean wash day was a SMOOTH 4+ hours because detangling counts.  I’m a super happy camper with braids because… hello #gymlife.  But you can’t heat train in braids, and I’m committed to knowing how to deal with my hair so I said “Self. Take this seriously!”

I have 3C type hair that is low porosity and HIGH shrinkage.

And part of that move was realizing my old blow dryer was a part of the problem.  “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” was not the mantra for my current situation. Blow dryers have changed since I last bought one (7 years) and I needed something that could blow my hair COMPLETELY dry in under 2 hours. (I know, I know #thickhair girl problems).

 

RED by Kiss Detangler 2000 Ceramic Blow Dryer.

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This bad boy was 24.99 at my local beauty supply store (US Hair) and I’d try the local beauty supply store before Amazon because to get it with the detangle comb attachment raised the price to $42

 

My previous Process:

Wash

Condition

Deep Condition

Detangle

Blow Dry

Ceramic Brush

Press

Curl

SHEEEEEESH

 

New Process:

Wash

Condition

Deep Condition

Detangle

Blow Dry

Flat Iron/ Silk Press

 

The game changer was my new blow dryer.  Like WHO KNEW.  That jawn got me HIGHLY right in about 30-40 minutes.  Now, it wasn’t silk press straight like the box, but to go from ear skimming Afro to shoulder length blowout in that time frame and be completely dry; cut my hair time down tremendously.

I let my homegirl borrow it and she was like “yooooooo…”

 

This blow dryer is THE TRUTH.  With proper use, heat training has been less of a hassle.  I do this process every 2-3 weeks and have not experienced any NOTICEABLE heat damage (I’ve been doing this for about three months).  I also don’t curl or press my hair with heat every day.  Now if I could conquer this humidity…IMG_4086

 

Almost 40

Lifestyle, Uncategorized

On Wednesday I’ll be the big 4-OH.  My boss poignantly stated that this was the last week of my thirties and asked how I felt… I felt okay until it was put that way! But seriously.  This is just a few notes to encourage those leaving one decade for the next and wondering if they missed their “marks”

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  •  I LOOK GREAT

I know it sounds vain, but with God’s grace and some serious self care, I honestly look better leaving my 30’s than I did entering them.  The take away? Its never too late to make lasting changes that affect you for the better.  To date I have kept off the 20 lbs that I lost and i’m just striving to keep a healthy balance and yes, I still have dreams of a six pack ;-).

  • I AM WALKING OUT MY DREAM… JUST NOW

Have the world tell you, I’m too old to pursue a career in fashion; and even more so as a designer.  I won’t lie; I’ve been on this journey since my 20’s and allowed life and fear to dissuade me from really giving this thing a go.   But right now, on the brink of 40 I’ve never felt more ready.  I truly feel a resolve about the skin I am in and the steps I am making.  My clothing line is authentically me and I needed this time to realize that.  Prayerfully next year you will see The Style Co-op’s debut resort-wear line and the timing couldn’t be better.  The take away? Do it.  Afraid, bold, right now, later… The only thing you’ll regret is the regret from not moving.

  • I AM STILL SINGLE AND CHILDLESS

LOL Job 3:25 says: “For the thing I feared has overtaken me, and what I dreaded has happened to me.”  I laugh because this is me. I kept thinking God would “ram in a bush” me.  SURELY God has at least a bae for Jai at 40.  LOL nope. Nah. Nada. Nothing. The thing I feared the most.  No man, no hint of marriage, no children… and I’m pretty much 40.  It’s the worst and best thing to happen to me.  The worst because, I mean I want to be in a healthy, happy, thriving relationship filled with purpose and I’m not.  The best because 1) It didn’t happen and it not happening didn’t kill me 2) I’ve stopped holding my breath.  3) We don’t always get what we want and this is a great example of “losing” gracefully. aka not acting out or forcing something just to say I have. 4) I. DIDN’T. LOSE.  The take away? Points 1 & 2.

  • ORDER COMETH

Listen.  I saved the best for last!  I’ve always felt like I was juggling life.  That in order to take care of one thing, I had to lay another down.  Also a reason that delayed me from fully chasing my dreams.  Then one day this year I was like “self…How can you want more in life when you can’t handle what you have now?”

My mission then became to master the “little” that I have.  Create routine and habit and ORDER.  It’s a lie to think that in order to be a free spirit, your life has to be chaotic.  I’ve never felt freer and its due to creating order and structure.  Days no longer slip away into weeks and months of would’ve, could’ve, should’ve.  Now, if this “man” ever comes along… I know I won’t put my life on hold to tend to him.  When the time is right I’ll actually be able to have a healthy relationship.  But for now, I enjoy the fact that my house isn’t a whirlwind of fabric, patterns, Netflix and lost time.

  • THE TAKE AWAY

Things not happening in the time that you want them to happen doesn’t always mean that you missed the mark; It just means it didn’t happen.   Focus on what did happen.  Focus on the steps (of the things you can control) that you have made.  And for the things you cant control… find the blessing in the pause.

Life is STILL good.

God is STILL good.

40 is STILL coming.

Happy Birthday to me.

And if you want…. cash app me $40 for 40 

Cash app: $Jaikeyl 
 

Jumpers that work for Summer and Fall

Blog, Style & Fashion

Every day should be brunch attire.  Comfy, chic, flattering. I told my friend “I’m going for part PJ’s, part beast in these streets.”  And as I continue to curate my line to bring you some great style choices this jumper has now been added to the roster.

“Jump Man” Jumper

I made this jumpsuit to be a bright piece to be worn from summer into fall. This particular print is a dope very nostalgic very 90’s African print that I picked up from 116th in Harlem.


The rolled hem, kimono sleeve, and wrap front make this a style ease option for the busty and non busty alike.


Spot the donut. #jdilla


This ain’t ya mothers jumper either. This is definitely backside friendly without being too tight or too loose. Baby Bear.


Pair with a denim jacket and loafers in the fall, or a trench and combat boots for a more “breakfast club” vibe.

How would you rock this? What pattern would you want to see? Want to be first on the list of  this release?! As always:  thefashionunder50@gmail.com

Stay dope! Support your local artists! Let’s build.

Free Lipstick!!**Update**

Health & Beauty

MAC is wild wack for the stunt they pulled this morning. 

I called myself getting there “early” by getting there at 9:45am. Swoop in swoop out get my lipstick maybe get a complimentary (paid of course) lip liner because I mean I just got a free lipstick right? Wrong. The line was insane. Like INSANE. But it’s MAC it’s free and it’s a large selection to chose from so… I’ll wait.

Then an (un)fortunate happenstance occurred. The line ended at the beginning allowing me to see the colors available for free.  Y’all… y’all:

This was it. This was what they had to choose from. A FAR cry from all the beautiful colors they teased on their Instagram feed. I mean I know it said selection but all of these colors look the same. I was like (#throwback) “thank you based god for letting me see this foolery here at MAC today.” Still of fan of MAC. NOT a fan of the shenanigans. 

Well it’s #NationalLipstickDay and true to form MAC is re-emerging as a heavy hitter.  Not that MAC hasn’t ALWAYS produced high quality makeup, however the emerging of lower cost products with comparable quality has clearly given the more high end brands a run for their money.  Their #Lipslipslips campaign has been blessing us all summer.  But I don’t see anyone doing this.  I tell you what… I choose free lipstick over free shipping any day!

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So here is the rundown:

  1. You don’t need to buy ANYTHING to get a free lipstick!
  2. It’s first come for serve while supplies last.
  3. It’s in person NOT online
  4. From what I’ve researched, much like the campaign last month, there is a special selection of lipstick that you choose from.

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Fingers crossed to some dope colors that I don’t already own!! Makes sure to get out today and get you one! Tag me on IG with your purchase & a kiss face! @fashionunder50