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 Iâ€™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.
A: I just love this question, itâ€™s so cute but brave! Not many people like to admit that they are unsure about whatâ€™s fashionable or not especially in Nigeria. Now, you say that I know so much about fashion, thank you but thatâ€™s not the case. Donâ€™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 Designerâ€™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 â€˜fashionableâ€™ and â€˜coolâ€™ 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 â€˜Zebra Livingâ€™ or â€˜Zanottiâ€™.
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?
A: Iâ€™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 Iâ€™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 couldnâ€™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 â€œAhn ahn, why are you wearing high heels on top nowâ€? in a pitch that would have been more appropriate had I killed her family member. I looked her squarely in the eyes and said, â€œBecause I can, because they are my feet and my shoes and I feel good in themâ€
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 donâ€™t mind anyone. Just remember to practice in them at home first, you donâ€™t want to fall over in public!