The Return

It has been more than a minute, I know. Tonight though, I’ve returned.

Some things that have occurred: I’ve built a small client base, a partnership, and within that partnership I’ve launched a clothing line! It was just a year ago that I decided to do fashion again. Small steps, yet big victories.

So, here’s a quick introduction to Malindi Designs’ Fall/Winter line.

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Malindi Designs are now on sale at:
Zawadi DC
1524 U St NW #1
Washington, DC 20009

For more visit:
http://www.facebook.com/MalindiFall2014

More to come on Malindi Designs!

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The Turn Up

With June’s arrival officially kicking off the summer season, it’s rightfully time to…turn it up.  Or, get “Turnt Up!”  The Summer Solstice is around the corner, and our leisure time is getting filled with backyard and day parties, brunches and barbeques, boardwalks and beaches!

Here I will share how I turned some of my favorite swim wear into casual summer outfits.  These looks can be worn with confidence on or off of a five star resort; all you will really need is some SUN.  Take a look!

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Here I paired a very colorful swim top with a bold red A-Line skirt.  A multicolored belt, fashion print clutch and red/natural wedge complete the casual day look.

The swim top quickly dries from any moisture and the skirt is constructed of light weight cotton with no liner needed.  Perfect for those hot and humid summer days!

 

"She" in THIS...

“She” in THIS…

“She” is wearing a bikini wrap top accented with gold O rings.  The flow of the maxi skirt and its tribal print will bring the best out of any summer sunset stroll.  A golden sandal and bangles would create a total pulled together look.

Hey, to pull off this crop or bralette top trend you must pull the attention to the natural waistline.  Notice how the skirts here and above rest right at or slightly below the natural waistline—the belly button and below is unseen.  (Great for those who have the low mommy pouches!)

If you are not into showing waist skin at all, try wearing your one piece as a bodysuit!  Check that out here.

Alright. That’s it. Summer. Set. GO!

TNR for Ruth Ellen

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The Playdate

Got errands?  Play dates or small social visits?  Well, try this look for a play on cute casual.

A cute casual day.

A cute casual day.

On this busy weekday I had to fit in a school meeting, a casual business meeting, kid karate class and a grocery store visit all into a few hours.  I wanted to do it all in comfort and style because…that’s just how I do it.

The fit consists of a white wrinkle free blouse, gray/white polka dot jeggings and a colorful scarf with pops of neon.  There was a lot going on already so I kept the shoe simple and comfortable.

It was cool and rainy so I added this top layer then I was OUT!

Cute Casual with Coat

Cute Casual with Coat

 

TNR for Ruth Ellen

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The 3rd Quickie

Real quick…

 

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So, this look could “werk it” from the day party to the night scene!  Here I paired a one piece swimsuit (yes, SWIMSUIT!) with a pair of flowing casual pants to create the look of a jumpsuit.  Both the suit and pant feature complimentary Afro/tribal prints.  For added BANG I wore a legendary red lip and pump.  The mud-cloth print earrings and woven tote bag complete the look.

TNR for Ruth Ellen OUT!

 

 

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The Maternal One

It’s May and Mother’s Day season!  (Yes, I call it a season.)  The spring time weather with its flowers blooming and bird egg laying seems to be the most fertile time of year—it’s the time of birth and renewal!  I bet there’s no mistake that Mother’s Day falls right in the midst of all of this.

I love my babies!  I love being a Mom!!

I love my babies! I love being a Mom!!

This post, “The Maternal One,” is dedicated to the moms out there; the new moms, the experienced moms, the grand moms, the stepmoms and god moms.  Most of us, after experiencing child birth (or just LIFE in general) develop what I call the “Pouch of Honor.”  It’s that area below your natural waistline that gets a little soft roundedness to it.  While I am not ashamed to say I have a valid Pouch of Honor, I don’t always want my pouch showcased for everyone to see.  I really don’t need my pouch speaking for me in the workplace or when I’m out on a date!   In this posting I will share with you some of the techniques that saved me when I returned back to work 8 weeks after having my second child.

Create a Diversion

This dress with its A-line silhouette is perfect for creating the ultimate hour glass figure in almost anyone.

Soft Teal A-Line with Statement Necklace and Belt

Soft Teal A-Line with Statement Necklace and Belt

The dress is drawn in at the natural waist line and the belt helps draw emphasis to the illusion of the narrowest part of the torso.  The statement necklace draws the eye upward and away from the pouch below the belt.  The pouch, by the way, is camouflaged nicely under the full skirting of the dress.

Play with Stripes  

Shapes, colors and patterns can all help to create illusions in art (on a canvas) as well as in fashions (on the body).  I always say, “Treat your naked body as if it’s a blank canvas then dress it and express yourself with FASHION.”  This black dress with its narrow white stripes and A-line silhouette can work wonders on the motherly figure.

Black and White Striped Dress, brown belt

Black and White Striped Dress, brown belt

The horizontal stripes on the top create a fuller look to the bust line, therefore accentuating “the girls” without showing cleavage.  The vertical stripes below create a lean long look from the natural waistline downward.  The belt, with the contrasting brown, draws the eye into the narrow illusion of the waist created by the dress’ silhouette.  Again, the pouch is tucked away nicely below the belt and camouflaged by the leanness of the vertical stripes.

Both of the dresses above have an added function for new mothers returning to the workplace.  The back zipper helps nursing moms get proper “access” for pumping without having to disrobe totally.

Utilize the Blazer     

The use of a blazer helps take the illusion of a leaner figure to the next level.  Here I paired the striped dress with a blazer in a hot blood orange.

Black & White Stripes with POPPING Blood Orange Blazer

Black & White Stripes with POPPING Blood Orange Blazer

The color is fun, yet still safe for the conservative workplace.  The stiffer structure of the blazer goes an extra step towards trimming the waist line.  Leaving the button undone and the blazer slightly gapped assist with hiding the pouch as well.

Dress with added blazer and scarf accessory

Dress with added blazer and scarf accessory

Here I am using the scarf, as well as the blazer, to contour the body’s figure.  The blazer is providing the structured and defined waist with its tailored shape and the scarf immediately brings the eyes upwards toward the face.  Additionally, the scarf balances a fuller bottom (wider hips and rounded belly) with a fuller top.  Playing with how the scarf is worn can hide the pouch alone.  Wearing it looped around the neck once and hanging over the belly is a perfect camouflaging technique as well.

In Closing…

So, to all of my mommas out there who were not blessed with the super model bodies that bounced back two weeks after childbirth, don’t sweat it!  (For real, DON’T!)  Appreciate all that your body has done to create, nurture and love the children you’ve had.  Love your feminine form and dress that body, YOUR CANVAS, with pride!

Happy Mother’s Day!!

TNR for Ruth Ellen

[This post is dedicated to my beautiful mom, Mary Ellen.  Thanks always for inspiring me.  Love you!]

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The Kenyan Experience

So, THIS was exciting—Ruth Ellen Styles recently collaborated with Malindi Designs for the Malindi Pin-Up Show!  I am eager to share with you some of the styles I created for this event in this post titled, “The Kenyan Experience.”

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TNR at work at the Malindi Designs Show

Recently, inside Ziwadi, a quaint Washington D.C. based African art gallery and gift shop, Kirigo Kabuga-Williams and I were busy and happily preparing for the show with much enthusiasm.  Kirigo, founder of Malindi Designs, was launching her new line of Kenyan and East African influenced clothing and accessories and I was there to style the pieces into awe-inspiring ensembles.  Here is a sampling of the outfits Ruth Ellen Styles created from the newly launched line.

The Afro Print Jumpsuits

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Kenyan Inspired – Afro Print Jumpsuit I

This jumpsuit is made from a traditional inspired Kenyan textile.  It is 100% cotton, comfortable and perfect for those chic summer nights out on the town.  I paired this jumpsuit with touches of red to make the outfit POP.  A red belt at the waistline gives the suit definition and draws the eye to the narrowest part of the model’s frame, therefore accentuating the feminine curves in a sexy, yet discreet way.  The bold red earrings complement the belt and bring the color elsewhere.   Here the jumpsuit is partnered with a handmade woven tote bag and a nude shoe.  A sleek red shoe would also compliment this look fabulously!  A golden cuff is added for a touch of royal-ness.  The resulting look is simple and elegant.

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Kenyan Inspired – Afro Print Jumpsuit II

In this ensemble I wanted to showcase that the summer jumpsuit could be worn in a more conservative manner.  I paired this vibrant butterfly print suit with an orange-red blazer and gold belt which lent more structure to the silhouette.  A camel tan pump, matching clutch bag and a statement hand beaded Kenyan neck piece are added to complete the look.  This traditional take on this fun jumpsuit can be worn almost anywhere from the casual office atmosphere to a Sunday brunch with girlfriends.

The Peacock Peplum

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Peacock Peplum Jacket with Pencil Skirt

This peplum jacket with the peacock inspired print is just too fun!  The vibrant colors are great for the spring and summer.  I paired this jacket with a turquoise green pencil skirt and together the feminine curves are shown beautifully and tastefully—perfect for happy hour or a date lunch!  A pair of handmade wooden earrings, a nude shoe and a woven clutch with hand beaded detail are added to complete the look.  If worn with a collarless nude colored blouse underneath, this ensemble could work in the office as well.

Malindi Designs’ founder, Kirigo Kabuga-Williams, describes her products as being, “mainly from Kenya, East Africa.”  She states that, “each product is unique in design, there are no two alike.”  Purchases of her hand crafted products support Kenyan communities and artists and are made of natural materials.

For more information further explore…

www.malindidesigns.com

www.ziwadidc.com

Until next time,

TNR for Ruth Ellen

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The 2nd Quickie

Hello! This past weekend was jam packed with social events and full of impromptu fun!  With impromptu fun comes the spontaneous decision to dress snappy, casual and still appropriate.  For the 2nd Quickie, I’d like to share with you this look I put together in about 90 seconds from my closet.

It all started with a recently purchased statement necklace – a chunky piece!  I was ALL about wearing this but not necessarily with the colors that are in the necklace.  I was thinking something complimentary, not exactly “matchy.”

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Chunky Statement Piece, http://www.JLuxJewels.com

Then there was this bag.  It’s funky with an African inspired theme!  I had been waiting all winter for spring time to come so that I could mix this into some ensemble.  Is it time?  Was this the bag’s big break?!  Yes, and Yes.

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African Inspired Tote Bag, MalindiDesigns.com

In less than ninety seconds I combed my closet.  Time was of the essence and I was in a hurry to get right!  I found this orange-coral colored blouse, paired it with some dark indigo leggings, a navy blazer, some wooden bangles, a camel brown pump and then THIS happened!

Check it.

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A pulled together look. Chic and casual.

The coral color is a great compliment to the neutral shades and the bold sky blue in the necklace.  The warm hues of the blouse and the bag are offset by the deep indigo of the pant and the blazer.  The indigo, being another shade of blue, brings it back to the bold sky blue accents in the necklace.  Everything is tied together.

Quickie #2. Out!

TNR for Ruth Ellen

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