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Style Q & A

Dear Zainab,

Q: I want to always be fashionable and on trend but I cannot afford designer clothes all the time. I am blessed to have an allowance from my parents and I save up and sometimes ask my friends to buy me designer clothes and accessories when they travel out. The thing is I’ve started wondering whether I am buying them because they are designer or whether I really like them! I know that I make allowances for the extortionate prices because they are from Europe or America. So, I want to get your opinion because you know so much about fashion.
Thank you, Tola.

Hello Tola,

A: I just love this question, it’s so cute but brave! Not many people like to admit that they are unsure about what’s fashionable or not especially in Nigeria. Now, you say that I know so much about fashion, thank you but that’s not the case. Don’t get me wrong, I love fashion, it is fun and makes me happy but it is style in which I consider myself to be a natural.
Designer items are great because they have been made famous for having an outstanding characteristic; be it design, quality or innovation. However, in our pop /celebrity culture, it is so easy to hype up a name and get everyone buying.

And if your thing is to be safe in numbers, then that is fine. However you have asked for my opinion and I will give it.
I love clothes, shoes bags, jewelry, you name it, and when I look in the magazines, my eyes always seem to like the one that is the most expensive, which means I

like quality. However, I love quality WHEREVER I see it. I would spend N1,500 on a beautiful bold statement necklace from Lekki market (you should see it, stunning!) or N100,000 on a delicate long gold chain from Designer’s club and love them equally. I will not buy something just because it is designer and I will not turn something down because nobody knows it, in fact it makes me love it more!

There are so many Nigerian designers making a name for themselves and doing good things that it would be such a shame for us to keep looking outside Nigeria to look ‘fashionable’ and ‘cool’ in our own country. Follow your heart and exercise discipline in your choices and you will see your own style slowly emerging, whether it is ‘Zebra Living’ or ‘Zanotti’.

Proudly Nigerian,
Zainab x
Hello Zainab,

Q: I am 5 foot 11, very tall for a girl. I love dressing up and looking feminine and that includes wearing high heels. The only problem is, I am always the tallest out of everyone and even sometimes the men! Also people are always looking at me, sometimes disapprovingly. What do you think, should tall girls wear high heels?

Oluwaseun.

Hi Oluwaseun,

A: I’ll tell you a funny story. I went to a bar-b-que with my boyfriend recently, a family affair on a Sunday. I was feeling hot with myself so I put on some lovely 4 inch heels that I’d just bought with some skinny white jeans and a white kaftan, I completed the look with a funky white head wrap, looking all fresh and afro centric; and very tall, I am six foot bare feet.

One aunty in this party couldn’t keep her eyes off me, finally she approached me and was about to compliment my lovely outfit, or so I thought when she exclaimed “Ahn ahn, why are you wearing high heels on top now”? in a pitch that would have been more appropriate had I killed her family member. I looked her squarely in the eyes and said, “Because I can, because they are my feet and my shoes and I feel good in them”
The point is, no one can tell you to wear heels or not to wear heels, only you. If you feel as good as I felt that hot afternoon, abeg, wear your heels and don’t mind anyone. Just remember to practice in them at home first, you don’t want to fall over in public!
Zainab x


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