Greetings Gentle Readers, Sartorially Savvy here with this week’s advice on how to stylishly “Keep Up…” alright, alright, now we know a few of you have been salivating at the thought of this week’s column… So, we won’t delay too much longer. Indeed it’s true. We’re going to be discussing the all important bag this week… But before you get too too excited, we’re going to break our usual mantra and dedicate this first one to the fellas. Reason being, ladies, you know as well as we do, the discussion of your bags could go on for days, so, we’re going to save that for Part II. It simply would not be fair to try to combine the genders on this one, unless you all wanted to read a doctoral dissertation on bags… We didn’t think so. That being said, while this may be directed towards the fellas, ladies, PLEASE take note; reading this piece will give you essential gift ideas for the men in your life, and if you’re a “keep it simple/on the go” lady, then this might serve as something applicable to your own steez. We’ll give you 3 classic (And a wild card for the those willing to strike out on a style limb) bag shapes/styles that are easy to fit into your daily lives, and come in enough variations as to be able to adapt to current trends, and your own personal styles. Let’s get into it, shall we?
The Duffel: Duffel's come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but most are square, circular, or a hybrid of the two. They also have two handles on the opposing sides for your hands, zips down the middle to open, may have pockets and pouches on the inside and out, and many also have a shoulder strap. You’ve likely had a duffel bag of some sort since a very young age, think about it, what were you carrying your Transformers and X-Men in to those sleepovers with your homeboys?!? Lowkey, you were probably carrying your Transformers in your Transformers duffel bag…Now that we’ve grown up past the days of trading Wolverine for Cyclops and our tastes have matured a bit, it’s time our duffel's should as well. To truly “Keep Up…” invest in a leather or high quality canvas duffel, it’ll serve you excellently on those quick weekend trips, longer excursions, and just jaunts across the city where you need carry a few more belongings than usual. It’ll last a life time. There’s a reason good duffel's are often passed down from generation to generation. Because of their size, the duffle isn’t your everyday bag, don’t treat it as such. You shouldn’t be carrying enough with you everyday that you need to use it everyday. And if in your line of work or life, you DO need to carry a duffel with you everyday, then make sure it’s a good, quality one, such as the leather or canvas we listed above. It’ll take the wear and tear of everyday use better than most other fibers. You can cop the duffel by your favorite designer for a bit of style and flair, or visit a classic luggage spot (Cadillac Luggage in Detroit has some EXCELLENT options) to peep some other options. If you get the duffel in leather, opt to have it engraved for a personalized touch and an air of sophistication.
The Book-bag: Just like the duffel, you’ve likely had a book-bag, backpack, knapsack, whatever you choose to call it, or two in your day as well. Back in the day, we utilized them for our Trapper Keepers (Remember Trapper Keepers?!?!?!, don’t act like we’re the only ones!!!), pencils, calculators, and text books in. That’s not the book-bags we’re talking about here… In the same realm as the grown up duffel is the grown up backpack. Save the Jansport’s for the kids, we’re “Keeping Up…” here. A nice black or brown leather book-bag will keep you on the right side of the “Swagger of a college kid…” vs. “8th grade Pre-Algebra,” debate. In addition to leather, the durable canvas option is also viable here. We’d recommend that you all stay away from the designer monogram backpacks, it usually just comes off as “I’m trying too hard…” Feel free to cop the designer option, just make sure that it’s subtle. Use your book-bags when heading to Bus Boy’s & Poet’s in D. C. to check out some ill artists AND do get some work done. Throw in your lap top, your copies of Our Kind of People, The Souls of Black Folk, and Song of Solomon with plenty of room to spare for the new issues of GQ and Details. The book bag also makes a good carry-on for plane trips, almost every book bag can fit into the overhead compartment of a plane or underneath the seat in front of you.
The Messenger/Soft brief case: Fairly new in the spectrum of shapes of available bags, the messenger is like a hybrid of the classic mail-bag silhouette and a much slimmer brief case. It came about, quite literally, for messengers to put documents/binders/folders into to courier to their destinations. And now, like so many things that originated from a specific purpose, it’s part of the style lexicon. Most messengers are about 5-7in wide and have a flap that comes across the top to cover the contents of the bag. Filled with pockets, compartments and secret stash places, messengers also have long strap that is usually slung across the body or used as a shoulder strap. Some higher end models also have a handle atop that enables the bag to double as a soft brief case of sorts. Following the aforementioned theme of the other bags, we’re not talking about rockin’ the mesh messenger that you did in halls of your high school; cop these in high quality canvas and leathers too. The reason for this is it that it ensures durability and also is a far more sophisticated and stylish option for its owner. This one it’s okay to rock the designer label, as the messenger is automatically a more grow up option than the book bag. A word to the wise about messengers: A book bag it is not, you’re not going to get the kind of space in these that you would in a book bag or duffel. Utilize your space wisely, keep to your essential possessions; a lap top, charger, magazine or two, charger for the celly, and a few other knick knacks. You don’t want your bag to be overstuffed or look sloppy. That defeats the entire purpose of the sophistication of leather or high quality canvas.
The WILD Card
The Satchel: Most of us have seen a satchel before, and not known what it was. The best way we like to describe it is an oversized doctor’s bag. You all remember the kind of bag Dr. Huxtable used to carry with his stethoscope, thermometer, and whatever else he kept in there? Looking almost like a barn with handles, a satchel is pretty much that, just a little bigger, sometimes bordering on the size of some duffels. Satchels have two handles for carrying and collapse close just like those doctor’s bags, they usually have zippers as well. There’s a vintage cognac colored leather satchel sitting in our home in Detroit that’s almost as old as we are that mother dear just won’t give us, our last name branded into it and everything!!! It’s quite beastly. We might just have to make away with it and fail to mention it to her… But we digress… The satchel is bad enough for every day use, but you likely won’t need the space it contains, a notable exception to this is if you’re on the yard at Morgan, Howard, or another HBCU (after all, if you’re “Keeping Up…” you’re at an HBCU lol… We still have love for our friends who attend(ed) non-HBCUs), the satchel is a VERY stylish alternative to the book bags your peers are likely carrying. Hit the yard at 12 on Monday and you’re sure to catch an eye or two. Otherwise, save the satchel for weekend trips, road trips, and vay-kays. And don’t go trying to find a cognac colored leather satchel either!!! J/k. The same rule applies here Gentle Readers, leathers and canvas. We want you to have these bags down to the next generation, give them a head start in the race to “Keep Up…” stylishly.
Ladies… We got you. SOON. We promise. Until next time…
“Fashions fade, but style is eternal.” ~ Yves Saint Laurent
Who's Keeping Up this week? Isis Samuels Swaby shows us how she is helping us "Keep Up" in fashion. Vintage...so classy!
Established in 2008 by Isis Samuels Swaby , SUPERETTE + VINTAGE NYC'S Events is a vintage brand which promotes online and sells the vintage items at SUPERETTE + VINTAGE NYC'S shopping events. The event is a free 1-day vintage shopping and celebration monthly event. The website will also introduce new products monthly on SUPERETTE + VINTAGE NYC's site. Also, the SUPERETTE + VINTAGE NYC's Events will feature new young visual artists, and designers projects.
When asked how Isis thinks she is "Keeping UP" She responded by saying, "I am Keeping Up by arranging SUPERETTE + VINTAGE NYC'S Events that promotes young New York City's young professionals, who are making a positive impact to inspire their peers. SUPERETTE + VINTAGE NYC Events presents a foundation that can provide a networking platform for New York City's young professionals.Therefore, I am remaining creative and focused on making my dreams a reality in New York City. I was interested in event planning, art, and fashion, so I decided to combine all of those interests. Also, I am involved in a program called NFTE, National Foundation of Entrepreneurship, and I spent two weeks at NFTE Biz Summer Camp at Columbia University Business School to develop a business plan. Now my business plan is taking an effect."
Isis, owner of SUPERETTE + VINTAGE NYC'S Events gives her advice on how other people can Keep Up, "Stay focused, and never give up on yourself. Be your own pr, by networking, and networking. If you are not comfortable speaking to different types of people, push yourself to be social, and put yourself in different kind of atmosphere, and always take risk. Life is too short not to live up to your full potential."
Please mark your calendars for the next SUPERETTE + VINTAGE NYC's Event:
SUPERETTE + VINTAGE NYC
1-day monthly shopping and celebration event
vintagewear shopping for young professionals
Showcasing "Touch & Feel" ISSARTworks. Paintings
cool art for young professionals
SUPERETTE + VINTAGE NYC'S EVENTS
Please RSVP, and for more information to: PARTY@SHOPSUPERETTE.COM
“Fashions fade, but style is eternal” ~ Yves Saint Laurent
Belts can be used (for the ladies) to cinch waists and create that classic hourglass silhouette, belt your un-tucked blouses and pair with jeans for an urban chic look or belt sweaters and tunics to create mini dresses and pair with leggings. For the fellas, you can use designer and statement belts (and we’re not talking belts with name plates and scrolling LED lights here gentlemen, b/c that’s NOT “Keeping Up…” by any means!!) by statement belts we mean D-ring belts, extra long braided belts and the like. Use them when you’re wearing button downs or polos that are tucked into your jeans and or slacks.
Sunglasses are usually gender neutral, with some exceptions. The trick to rockin’ shades properly is to find a frame that fits your face. Aviators and wrap-around’s are generally flattering to all face shapes and come in some of the hottest styles. Find a pair that both compliments your face shape and exudes your personality and personal style.
Scarves are perhaps the hottest accessory of the moment. While extremely classic, scarves are seeing a resurgence in popularity right now. Rock your scarves your way…whether knotted around the neck, pulled through a loop, or wrapped into a cowl, make sure they say YOU. Experiment with textures as well, scarves are available in a variety of fabrics, from the uber luxurious cashmere, to animal textures like wool and alpaca, and silks and even cotton, vary your texture depending on the weather and look desired. Just limit your number of scarves to one, the whole, “Lady w/a 100 cats” look isn’t in this season. It wasn’t in last season, and we’re pretty sure it won’t be in next season either. Just sayin’…
Jewelry is perhaps amongst the most personal of the accessories, most people wear jewelry that means something to them; especially the fellas, as we don’t tend to wear too much jewelry, making that which we do, likely more sentimental and important. Gentleman, keep your jewelry subtle, a nice watch, pair of cuff links, maybe a ring or bracelet, and perhaps a short chain or necklace of sorts. Let’s keep in mind, we’re “Keeping Up…” we’re not Soulja Boy. No. Seriously. And don’t be afraid to mix gold and silver, it’s no longer taboo. Just don’t go overboard. Subtlety is key here. Ladies you all have opportunity to do a bit more with your jewelry than the fellas. Find a particular piece of jewelry and develop it into a signature. If you love necklaces, begin collecting pieces that make a statements in your favorite colors, textures, tones, gems (or faux gems, this is after all, a recession), if earrings are your thing, do the same, switch it up rock the studs one day and the chandeliers the next. If you’re a bracelet kinda girl, vary your textures, the chunky wood cuff one day and the gold bangles the next, perhaps a lil’ of both!
While we know this wasn’t exactly the most comprehensive coverage of the accessory game, but we’d like to think we gave you a good jumping off point. The whole point of accessories is to accent not only the ensemble, but also the wearer. Your accessories should be personal. Whether they POP off your outfit, or are seamlessly complementary, just make sure they’re YOU. Until next time Gentle Readers… “Keep Up…!”
P. S. And yes, we intentionally left bags off this list. As important as bags are, they deserve their own entire column!! Ladies, fear not, we’ve got you! And fellas, don’t sleep, in this age of the messenger and brief case, we’ve got you on the bag tip too… Who knows, perhaps that’ll be covered in part 2?!?! Stay tuned…
“Fashions fade, but style is eternal” ~ Yves Saint Laurent
Your outwear should fit as well as the clothing underneath. That being said, you don’t have to buy a XXL because you think that your clothes will make it look right. Wrong, again. You’ll end up looking like you’re layering b/c you have no place to put your clothes and going to sleep under a bridge. And even if you ARE going to sleep underneath that overpass on I-95, you don’t want to look like it do you?! Buy the same size outerwear as the clothes underneath; designers and manufacturers cut coats and jackets with the understanding that clothes will be going underneath them. So, let’s go over 3 non-gender exclusive essential pieces of outerwear that you likely already have in your closet, if not, GO GET THEM NOW!! They’ll serve you for all occasions, and well!
The Black Leather Bomber: Before we get into specifics, let’s define exactly what a bomber is, shall we? A bomber, named as such because they were originally designed for fighter pilots in WWII to keep them warm while flying at high altitudes, stops at about the hip bone of the wearer and usually has a stretch material that cinches around the hip bones and stops air from coming up into the body of the jacket. For ladies, some bombers may stop around the waist area, or between the waist and hip bones. We recommend the bomber over other fits of leather jackets because it’s a more classic silhouette, and is generally flattering to every body type. Fellas, the bomber is your classic leather jacket that looks great over jeans and sweater, or a button down and slacks, or anything that’s fairly casual. You don’t want to pair the bomber w/your suiting/blazer options because of where it falls. The length of most suit jackets/blazers is longer than that of properly fitting bombers and wearing them together, creates an awkward proportion. Simply put, just like that bad chick at the bar, who you know has stalker tendencies, stay away!!! Ladies bombers are good for your casually sexy ensembles as well. Throw on over your sweater and jean combos, over a tank or tee with long skinny jeans and peep toe shoe booties, for a little edgy look a la Rihanna… For those truly fashion forward, try the bomber with a turtleneck or cowl-neck sweater, pencil skirt, and platform pumps. Both make sure the remainder of your ensemble coordinates with the black in your jacket if you plan on incorporating as a part of your outfit. However, if you’re removing the jacket, or won’t have it on for the majority of the day/won’t be seen that much in it, worry not about keeping it extremely coordinated.
The Khaki Trench: Whether Burberry, Bebe, Brooks Brothers, or Banana Republic, this one is classic like Smokey Robinson singing “Tracks of my Tears.” The perfect coat for an Indian Summer day in October, or a brisk day in April, the trench is the perfect multi-function option. Its silhouette can be easily dressed down to rock your sweater and jean combos, or perhaps your slacks and polos, pencil skirts and blouses, and jeans and camis rock nicely underneath the trench and just as easily dressed up with your suiting and dress options as well. Style your trenches up with scarves, rolled up sleeves, popped collars, and belts.
The Pea coat: Taken from the classic naval staple, this coat works just as well on dry land as it does on the sea. Just as with the previous 2 options, the pea coat is a classic silhouette, longer than the bomber and more loose fitting than the trench. The pea coat fits perfectly between both. The pea coat falls about mid thigh, and can come belted or not. Some ladies options often have belts, usually not for the fellas. Pea coats are double breasted and usually have wide collars making them perfect for popping. To “Keep Up…” cop the pea in a deep rich saturated color like emerald green, bright fuchsia, orange, or the classic navy on the dark side, or, flip it and do a cream, baby blue, pale pink, or gold/tan.
Bundle up Gentle Readers!!! It’s a little brisk outside!!! But look AMAZING while doing it!!! Until next time…
“Fashions fade, but style is eternal…” ~ Yves Saint Laurent
4 (4oz) Lamb Chops bone in
2 teaspoons Salt
4 teaspoons Cracked Black Pepper
2 teaspoons Garlic Powder
2 teaspoons Onion Powder
2 teaspoons Paprika
2 teaspoons Chili Powder
Preheat Oven to 400º. Mix the spices together is a cup and rub the chops down until both sides are completely covered. Place the chops is a small backing pan covered with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the covering from the chops and the chops from the oven and place in the broiler. Broil on high for 2minutes on both side and then remove and cover to keep warm.
1 tablespoon Butter
¼ cup Blackberry preserve (no seeds)
¼ cup Mint Jelly
2 tablespoons Aged Balsamic Vinegar
2 Cloves Garlic minced
1 ½ cups White Wine
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Cracked Black Pepper
2 cups stuffed pasta (I prefer cheese or veggie stuffed)
From My Kitchen to Yours!
The Culinary Goddess
I understand that it is hard being in the spotlight all of the time. It is also such a hard job to have people in your personal life 24/7. You tell us everyday that you are just like everyone else...you mess up. But are you really normal? How much of you fame would you trade in to be average again?
YOU BETTER MAKE THAT MONEY!
The ‘Me, Myself’ campaign also includes the launch of the new adidas women’s site, www.adidas.com/women, which will be home to an innovative styling tool that allows users to create and personalize their own color palette so they can mix and match outfits while browsing through the key styles and products featured in the new adidas women’s collection.
Is there anything women can't do?
Is is safe to say that women are better than men? ;) lol
“Fashions fade, but style is eternal” ~Yves Saint Laurent
Congratulations to Eric Holder on being confirmed as U.S. Attorney General. Holder will also make history as the first African American to hold the highest federal law enforcement position.
JENNIFER HUDSON AND SEAL TO PERFORM
AT "40TH NAACP IMAGE AWARDS"
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 12, LIVE ON FOX
Sean "Diddy" Combs, Taraji P. Henson, Keke Palmer,
Regina Taylor and Kerry Washington to Appear
on Star-Studded Special Coinciding with Organization's Centennial
The NAACP congratulates the Republican National Committee (RNC) on the historic election of Michael Steele as its new Chairman. Mr. Steele is an experienced, principled leader and a friend of the NAACP. He has been supportive, over the years, of civil rights issues and has worked on behalf of affirmative action initiatives that support closing the gap of economic disparities that exist nationwide.
It wasn’t until after they relocated that my parents began Keeping Up With the Huxtables, literally. They joined a nearby church that was full of other young upwardly mobile African American families and began a network of support and love that created a healthy living environment for their children. They also became members of Jack and Jill in addition to membership in a certain fraternity and sorority, respectively. This network allowed me to interact with other children of color whose parents were raising their children in two parent homes and just trying to succeed in life.
At the time I did not enjoy being toted around to what I considered to be boring, bourgeois events. However, I now realize that it was crucial to me not becoming another statistic. Another black girl pregnant before exiting high school. Another black girl opening her legs for money to chase a high.
But, Keeping Up With the Huxtables is no gimmick; it’s a way of life. Keeping Up With the Huxtables means paying your bills on time, being a father or mother to your children, and participating in community activities. But, not only that, Keeping Up With the Huxtables means family togetherness and support. Telling each other how you feel so that you can resolve problems together. My family always ate dinner together which provided us with time to share current news and divulge problems we were having. This made us sympathize with one another and gave us ammunition to be of assistance to one another. And although, our series is not over, I truly believe that we are Keeping Up With the Huxtables, literally.
Candice T. Newberry
2. Answer the following three questions correctly: a) Name the popular celebrity that caused a media uproar when she showed up at the 1999 VMAs with her entire breast pratically exposed? b) Name 2 celebrities that have worn Nippies before? c) Who came up with the idea of Bristol 6:
i. Two guys and a girl?
ii. Two girls and a guy?
iii. Three girls?
3. Submit your answers to http://firstname.lastname@example.org. Include name and shipment information.
4. All submissions will be reviewed by the Keeping Up team and the staff at Bristol 6.
5. The winner of the contest will receive their very own shipment of Nippies Natural (adhesive or non-adhesive)!!!
Here at Keeping Up, everyone is a winner!
Just for Keeping Up readers, Bristol 6 is offering 15% off!! Use this promotional code: KEEPINGUP (Note: The promotional code expires on 2/28/2009 so get your orders in fast!)
*The contest will go on the entire month of February. Winners will be announced the first week in March. So submit, tell a friend to submit, and check back to see if you are a winner!