Appropriate attire - Is there really such a thing?

Let’s think about this one…as you all know by now I like to keep a “certain level of decorum”. There are times when decorum flies straight out of the window…for instance, last week I wore a Calvin Klein mini jean dress as I walked around the streets of LDN it gradually rode up to, in the words of my “Shero” Oprah, my va-jay-jay! OMG! Thank goodness I had my cardi-coat over the dress and free hands to keep pulling it down! If I hadn’t, the spectacle would have been hilarious from an onlookers’ perspective – the mini-dress that gets more mini before your very eyes!! That day I literally ended up on the floor in the said dress and had to manoeuvre around at a very low level – (it’s so not what you think!) I actually didn’t realise or think about it until after the event what could possibly have been on show?!! Oh dear! In that instance I didn’t care, as the bigger picture usurped any modesty issues. Anyway the dress was still respectable as my personal style doesn’t allow for ‘hoochie-mama’ as a defining look.

Last week I wore a classic black day dress – a v-stylish and unassuming loose fitting number. One small detail, a wide ‘v’ neckline, appropriate for many…well, looks are deceiving with this one, if I bend forward without clutching my arm across my chest, anyone and everyone in front of me gets a clear line of sight to my Victoria’s secret ensemble underneath!! Ummm not good! Maybe I’m too aware, as there are many times when I see other women who are not ‘bovvered” in the slightest. Take this woman on the tube the other day, in a mid-length mini skirt but as she sat, became a bit too mini for comfort and to top it off, she sat with legs akimbo, not crossed or knees together, just spread with no shame! My fair lady I think not.

My thoughts are you can’t really hide what you naturally or unnaturally possess, as it’s all about shape and form, even if you don’t choose to openly display, and as women (and men) have the freedom in the west to wear whatever we choose (depending on religion and culture). Unless I wear a nun’s habit the whole time, too much visual info will happen at some point. So, within reason there’s no such thing as ‘appropriate attire’ in this context, because someone somewhere will always be offended and in turn, someone somewhere will always have a smile brought to their face.

This applies to men also – whether it’s their torso on show; too much of a hairy chest or not enough etc. etc. I’ll stop there as I could really take it there on the examples, you know what I mean. As long as we bring a balance to what’s on or not on display and are secure in ourselves - it’s all good.

Seriously though, legs akimbo whatever you’re wearing as a female is not a great look. There definitely has to be a “certain level of decorum” – don’t you think?

© Karma-Style 2010

“Get up! Stand up to bullies!”

It has been my experience that when you’re picked on, picked at, singled out or subject to any form of harassment at the hands of people (adults or children) that I believe, hate themselves when they look in the mirror for whatever reason. The self-hatred can take one of many forms; ugly, fat, tall, short, poor, unintelligent, unpopular, no confidence etc. some will take any of these insecurities and instead of acceptance or motivating themselves to be positive and do something about whatever, will look outside to another person or persons to vent and project their bitterness and anger. Real losers - with a capital ‘L’ (am also making the sign). These no-life, low-life miserable, seemingly heartless beings feel the need to spread unhappiness in a disturbed fashion.

There are different levels as we know, extreme situations that you have seen and heard in the news recently to what I myself have experienced over the years. This behaviour is everywhere, in classrooms, playgrounds, offices and communities everywhere. It saddens me greatly; my personal experiences have been mainly at the hands of other women unfortunately. Many a time, (especially when I was younger) I’ve felt like physically fighting back, but instead always brought forth a higher level of intelligence and sophisticated style of dealing with these people. What has worked for me is I’ve never visually looked like I was ‘under’ it, however bad I felt inside. My wonderful mother taught me that invaluable lesson.

For what is worth, this is my method of standing up to bullies. Firstly: Always look as if you’re on top of the world, however much you feel ground down – DON’T look it! Secondly: Always keep your head up and walk with your theme tune/s in your head – I always have three! For example; “Get up! Stand up! by The Wailers..” then in slips “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley to “Let it be” Jennifer Hudson’s version. Bob Marley lifts my confidence and Jennifer Hudson my spirit. I don’t know what I’d do without music, I really don’t. Thirdly: Remember that whatever you go through it will pass and only good can come and last but not least, have a good support network of friends, family whoever is happy to be there for you and help you through – this is priceless.

Let’s outstyle these bullies, sartorially, spiritually and intellectually…


“Get up! Stand up! Stand up for your rights..Get up! Stand up!.. so now you see the light stand up for your rights..Get up! Stand up! Don’t give up the fight!

And remember not to…

“Worry about a thing cos’ everythings gonna be alright!…rise up this morning smile with the rising sun, three little birds beside my doorstep…singing don’t worry about a thing cos’ everything little thing gonna be alright! …this is my message to you hoo-hooo…

© Karma-Style 2010

The Battle of Hermès

The battlefield: a meeting room! It was the kind of meeting that had an "off-the-charts" awkward intensity. There were seven of us, two of whom were the 'Generals'. As the battle of business, integrity and legal positions commenced. I pondered which chapter/s in Sun Tzu’s The Art of War would define their positions. I really did!?! The men in question who I’ll refer to as 'Hermès 1' and 'Hermès 2' had acute similarities; extremely articulate, passionate Englishmen of a similar class and professional standing. But more importantly, both were wearing Hermès ties!! A Hermès tie is, without a doubt a status symbol of wealth, power and presence which only certain men can carry off or indeed should wear.

Hermès 1, who came into the space to be heard and respected, looked impeccable and immaculate – with his tie peeping out of his layered look (his armour). He meant business in every way. Hermès 2, who had given the platform had a casual, relaxed business look but and a big but (not literally!) wore his tie openly, no jacket - this was his space. Their looks accentuated their stances.

Their style and character revealed them as true individuals. I can’t help but see everything through the lens of style. So many messages…the rest of us in the room were mere spectators – there were no raised voices and neither one was going to be bullied or taken advantage of – that was the clear message. I sat fearful with bated breath in a meeting I really didn’t want to be in, yet had to be in…

...So, who won the Battle of Hermès? I truly believe they both came out victorious, that isn’t me being diplomatic, I mean it, and in time it’ll become apparent. Afterwards, I kept thinking how powerful clothing is as a communication tool. I wore a red dress just in case you were wondering. I wear red to bring positivity. I consciously wore it that day hoping to bring some to the proceedings.

Another experience that totally reinforces my view on how fundamental style/fashion is, and that I love it for all the right reasons. I thought back to what I’ve worn in the past to take a stand or make a strong statement, and remembered some key moments in my life...

What do you wear when preparing for war? My advice: remember to always start with love...

Peace man ♥

© Karma-Style 2010