Style Ideas for African Essence Queens

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Outfit Elements:

1. The Crown- I really love my hair short. I’ve kept it short for the past 6 six years or so. Right now, my grooming regimen is simply brush curls. This is- taking the softest bristled brush you can find and brushing your hair in a circular motion, allowing the natural curl pattern to become very defined. I use a a shea oil mixture from to condition the follicles. I then use a non-flake gel (Eco Styler) to hold the curls in place. However, most of the time the gel isn’t necessary. The curls will just stay because I have tightly coiled hair.

2. Manicure- Clear polish.

3. Make-up-  I normally like my lips tinted, but I am not wearing any make-up in these series of photos.

4. Jewelry-  I wore two sets of earrings. The first set was a bronze colored pair that I got from Kohl’s. The second pair, I got from a natural hair fair that came to my city about 3 years ago. An African vendor sold them for $15 a pair. She made them and painted them by hand. The rings were from various vendors at festivals. They are copper. One is shaped like an ankh and the other is an abstract design. I wear them often. The large bracelet  is from an annual African street festival held on Jefferson Ave in Nashville, TN between Fisk and Tennessee State University.

5. Dress- DOTS (on clearance for about $7)

6. Tan sweater- JCP ($20); multi-colored sweater- DEB ($5); large reversible scarf- Forever 21 (maybe about $14)

7. Stockings- Target ($6 on sale)

8. Fringe boots- $10 (Sears/Kmart website on sale w/ free shipping!)

9. Notes & Style Rules: It is rare that I pay full price for any item of clothing or pair of shoes. It is mos def possible to dress for cheap. The items that I like, people don’t normally go for, so I can find them for dollars. Also, I am not into designer brands. So no, I did not need the Minnetonka boots although I know that they are a better quality. Maybe one day, but not for now. I didn’t need to spend much money. These cheaper fringe boots are working out just fine for me.

The dress was a great find. I love the textured look. It matches the stockings. I’ve gotten similar dresses from the thrift store.I do not like a lot of the clothes at DOTS because they look cheap, but the key is to go for those items that you can make look more elegant.

Also, have rules to what you can and cannot buy. For example, I do not ever wear stripes! I think stripes do not compliment what I am- my skin tone, my hair, my mind- they are just not for me. In the cheap female clothing stores you will see a lot of stripes. People go for that, but I go for the items with patterns or for the items that are plain. Another of my rules is not to purchase anything with a logo or name brands unless its something I got from the thrift store. I do no like to rep any company.

Overall, because I buy for cheap, I can splurge on other things when I need to. I work in a casual environment so if I wanted to wear this outfit to work, I would put on the longer sweater so that my butt would not show. At night, to go out with friends, I can wear the orange sweater with the designs. It does not cover the butt (keep in mind it is still appropriate for the African Essence Queen, nothing too revealing). Also, I convert all earrings to clips. I cannot get pierced ears because they don’t agree with my body. I buy clips on earrings at Claire’s on clearance and remove the clips and use them on other earrings. I also buy them from JoAnns Fabrics but they don’t sell any comfortable clip-on findings.

Queen Duafe for African Essence