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I couldn’t let the best month of the year pass without an everyBODY matters edit. Amanda and I are back at it in our mission to promote body positivity in fashion. Our category of choice for this one, swimsuits! Just so you know, you’re looking at 6 births and several C-sections between the two of us (3 for Amanda alone). Finding a swim suit that complimented our back fat, stretch marks, and some more stuff wasn’t easy. We wanted to celebrate all of that, however we still wanted to look fabulous doing it. I found the suits and Amanda was definitely the creative director for this shoot. She had the looks, the poses, and a shot plan. I think she might have knack for this guys.
Hey gang I hope everyone is in good health and staying sane during these turbulent times. There is just so much going on in world right now I wanted to share something light and beautiful with you. In my continued quest to ensure cute isn’t cancelled during this pandemic and quite frankly to step up my own nail game, I discovered the most adorable press-on nail line- Pressé by YRAA (Your Rich @$$ Auntie). YRAA, very tongue and cheeky I know, it’s the name that got me, it’s my favorite kind of auntie…lol YRAA is a black owned and operated business that features an affordable press-on nail line as well hats and furs; Fall 2020 loading so stay tuned.
YRAA Press-On Nail Collection
What I love about YRAA is that they are not just nails! They are huge advocates for financial literacy, hence the Rich Auntie part. They provide financial gems with each product sold, making sure the Rich Aunties stay RICH! And nothing gives Rich Auntie vibes like a set of custom press-on nails.
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If you know me, you know I love the Summer season. One of my favorite things about the summer is all the straw, the straw hats and bags to be exact. I’m definitely a hat girl. Skirts with ruffles also bring me lots of joy. It’s the best of both worlds in this post. I’m giving all kinds of Kentucky Derby vibes in this one. I think we all can agree I will be more than ready for the Derby if and when the world returns to normal.
This skirt is a J Crew score, it’s currently SOLD OUT. As you can imagine it was an extremely popular piece. I know, I’m terrible, I’m bit late getting this post out. Have no fear you can find a cute and a bit more affordable option here.
ALL ABOUT THE STRAW HAT AND BAG
The straw bag was a gift, but you find a nice alternative here.
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Ok who doesn’t love a good maxi dress. I’m having a total maxi moment in this STAUD dress!!! If you’re fun-sized (short) like me, the length of a maxi dress can be a little scary but I couldn’t help myself with this one. I picked up this beauty at Nordstrom. And this dress was on sale, SALE!!! Speaking of Nordstrom, do you guys want me to do a Nordstrom Annual sale rundown?! It is one of the biggest sales of the year and there are sure to be some good finds. Many of you are holding to your coins and I completely understand that, so if it doesn’t make sense we won’t waste our time, let me know in the comments.
STAUD Maxi Dress
This stunner caught my eye because of the bold and beautiful summer colors. It fits true to size (I purchased a size small), of course it drags the floor a bit, again I’m fun-sized. However I still won’t be getting this tailored. I love the drama of the dress dusting the floor, that’s why God created four inch heels, am I right?! This dress feels like a dream on, the material is light-weight and flowy, perfect for your next social distance brunch or meet up. Unfortunately the dress sold out as soon as I posted it on social media. I’m not saying that was due to me, but I do feel like I helped things along. Fear not, I have some great alternatives, there’s a list at the end of the post.
I added the Gifts from Virgo Butterfly Tennis Necklace to the ensemble to give the look a bit more whimsy. This necklace is definitely giving Mariah Carey butterfly vibes. The butterfly isn’t molded to the necklace so you can remove it and wear the necklace alone; winning!!!
What’s life without a little click-bait?! Now that I have your attention I’m thrilled to announce IVN is officially two years old!!! That’s right we’re officially in year two of our journey to fashion icon domination…lol. The last two years have been nothing short of amazing, far from terrible. It hasn’t been all rainbows and unicorns that’s for sure. If I’m being completely honest I seriously considered abandoning the blog, especially when the pandemic hit. Earlier in the year I felt like I wasn’t growing fast enough, by all standards (standards I created in my head) I was creating meaningful and visually stunning content, right?! So why am I still in the same place, seemingly. I wasn’t where I wanted to be and that is an army of followers on IG and too many subscribers to count.
But I heard my dad’s voice in my head saying ‘Bonehead’ nothing worth it, comes easy. Don’t misunderstand me I don’t want the easy way in, I thrive on progress. If the needle doesn’t move fast enough, I’m low-key freaking out. The fact is people have access to massive amounts of content, printed and digital and I’m just getting started. While most people see the pretty pictures, the business of influencing is an ACTUAL business. There’s still so much to learn. This isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon and patience is key. I also had to realize there are so many variables that I can’t control, conversely there are so many I can.
However as soon as I came to that realization the pandemic hits!
I said to myself, whelp there goes my big influencer dream. Honestly, who cares about fashion, travel, and beauty when they just want to keep their families healthy and safe, right?! But I realized a life worth living isn’t merely surviving, it’s thriving. The world can always use a little pretty. I hit the pause button at the beginning of the pandemic but I’ve re-evaluated my WHY- if your WHY doesn’t make you cry, it’s not big enough. The little humans you see in the pictures below are my WHY. I want them to know anything’s possible if you do the work and stay focused.
And I also had to remind myself why I started this journey. I wanted to help people feel confident in their own skin through fashion. Ultimately I wanted to be a trusted resource to as many people as possible. Those may not seem like very lofty goals to some folks, but it’s my WHY. Every time someone DM’s me on Instagram, asking for advice, i.e. can I really trust that brand, how did this work out for you, it makes me so happy! There’s nothing like that “YES I NAILED IT” feeling, it’s so gratifying. It makes all the hard work worth it. And that’s happening a lot these days, like I said, worth it.
Essentially I had to remember who I was and the God I serve.
As long as I put HIM first everything else will fall into place or it won’t. Listening to a little (or a lot) of Beyoncé, the queen of women empowerment, didn’t hurt either. My favorite Bey line, “Imma keep running cause a WINNER don’t quit on themselves” -Freedom, Lemonade the album, do yourselves a favor, give it a listen. And I’m a WINNER BABE!!!
I’m not sure if you noticed all the black girl magic on my timeline but here’s a little bit more if you’ve been under a rock for the last few weeks. You’re looking at the designer Andrea Iyamah (AI) swimwear from her Butterfly Collection. Swimwear is just a small part of this stylish, chic and so on trend, ready to wear brand. However the Butterfly collection in particular is giving me LIIIIIIIIFE. To be clear this isn’t sponsored post, I purchased every piece with my own coins. I’m infatuated with her swimwear line so expect to see me in one of her ready to wear pieces soon.
ANDREA IYAMAH SWIMWEAR
Funny story, you’re looking at an active golf course, ladies and gents. We decided to shoot this look while visiting my mother and my aunt; they live on a golf course. My aunt suggested we take advantage of the picturesque fairway that’s literally her backyard. The lesson here is listen to your elders. We had to keep our heads on a swivel for stray golf balls and carts. Yes I commandeered the fairway for a photo shoot, anything for the shot right?!
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This post is long over due but I wanted to get this one out to you all because some of favorite brands are having huge sales. If you’ve been paying attention (of course you have) I posted most of these pictures on Instagram over a month ago but I failed to give the IVN family the deets. I know I’m terrible. Quite a few brands are in trouble financially, so it’s not a huge surprise we’re seeing steep discounts. We’re taking full advantage over here at IVN. The way I see it, if the world goes back to normal we’ll be the best dressed group around…lol If not we’ll be well dressed for the apocalypse either way I’m not seeing a downside…lol
Summer Midi Skirt Looks
Big surprise one of my favorite silhouettes is the midi-skirt, specifically the pleated midi-skirt. I love the midi-skirt because it’s flattering on just about any body type and more often than not you can dress them up or down depending on your mood.
The summer midi skirt featured below is from J. Crew . Nobody does the midi-skirt better than J. Crew. The shoes are an also J. Crew. J. Crew is one of those brands going through tough financial times, which translates to big savings for us. They’re currently running a 40% off sale on your entire purchase; as of today, I can’t guarantee what tomorrow will bring. This skirt is so much fun because it features a peekaboo stripe, one side of the pleat is pink the other side is white. This skirt can be dressed up or down. I decided on a dressier look. But it can easily be paired with sneakers and a white tee for dressed down look. The color contrast makes twirling in this skirt so much fun. One of friends suggested I wear this look to Whole Foods. While more a Giant/Trader Joe’s kinda gal, I’m strongly considering it.
We had a lot of fun with this next look.
It was a total Mommy and Me moment. We dressed these skirts up with heels and brought them back down with some platform Converse. Sanaa and I are both 5′ 3″ aka fun-sized, so a little height is always nice where we’re concerned.
We are thrilled to be a part of Ocessories summer 2020 launch of its newest collection- The Warrior. This collection features some of my favorite designs to date. Each collection is also near and dear to designer Omneisia Evans heart but this line speaks to the warrior spirit inside of every women- the power, strength, beauty and drive. At a time where we could all use a little “pretty” in our worlds this line does that for me. Each set also tells a story and speaks to the very nature of what it means to be a woman; soft yet strong, powerful but gentle, fierce but calm. Oh the duality of being a woman. Women are multi-faceted and this line highlights that in each set.
This launch also features a new addition to the brand, anklets. I had the pleasure of chatting with Omneisia about the line, check out interview below. We talk about the brand, the collection and where Ocessories is headed. In addition, Omneisia is more transparent and intentional about her vision for the brand than ever before. You can view the entire collection below as well as commentary on my favorites. I also have a treat for you guys. Ocessories has created an exclusive discount code for the IVN family. So use the discount code IVNWARRIOR to save some coins at checkout!!!
Full disclosure: This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.
THE PALM PRINT BY JANIE AND JACK
Summer is officially here gang! Nothing says summer like palm prints. You know I had to style little miss Laila in Janie and Jack’s Ruffle Strap Palm Print dress. This dress is giving all kinds of sassy fun in the sun. This dress is 100% cotton, which means little ones with sensitive skin don’t have to worry about the “itches”. Laila is one of those children and this dress has received the Laila Beale stamp of approval. This print has matching family styles, meaning if you have an infant, boy, or girl there’s a style in this print for them as well. For all the coordinating mamas this makes life a lot easier.
We decided to shoot at the U.S. National Arboretum. It’s a beautiful little oasis on the edge of D.C. Sadly the arboretum and this dress is probably the closest we’ll get to any kind of a tropical setting this summer.
The sandals complimented the dress quite nicely. These sandals are easy to get on and off. They feature a traditional hole-strap with several notches for growth. I hope we get another summer out of these sandals but the way she keeps growing it’s highly unlikely. They’ll be a very nice hand-me-down to a cousin or friend.