I’m a Midwest girl and we aren’t known for our fashion forwardness.  Most of us prefer to be comfortable daily and dress for occasions.  More than anything else we possess a special kind of individualism that creates a couple head turns.  I never really try when I put a look together.  My fashion is determined by several factors, iron, mood, and weather.  Accessories are not my thing either but this item has been included in more looks than my favorite wig.  Let me tell you a little bit about my go to adornment.

Belt

My leopard belt. I picked this up several years ago at Target.  They were having a sale on the belts and I was in need of a one from the brown family.  The other belts looked cheesy.  You know the braided type and then there’s the wrestling belt.  In need of something to tie my look together I settled on the leopard.  I’m a fan of the big cats but not in my fashion.  Little did I know this was totally going to upgrade me.  After a short while, I noticed whenever I was getting ready, which includes the look selection, that belt would make it to the bed as an option.  It was totally becoming a favorite.  Here are a few times it won the “Battle of the Belts.”


As you can see I’ll put this bad boy on with anything.  It just adds a bit of visual interest. Call this piece a little unexpected.  It’s not overpowering at all.  However, after years and months of wear and tear, I’m on the hunt for a replacement.  It has started to split at the seam and some of the faux fur has been rubbed off.  Until I find another, I’ll be rocking it.  Even in its less than pristine condition, people still say “love the belt!”  This thing has kicked my fashion score up a few notches.
Yes, this midwest girl may never be considered a fashion icon.  No, it’s not from a luxury designer collection.  Maybe, it’s not as impressive to some people but it’s a staple in my life. If you happen to know where I can get another (everyone in the tri-county area of Detroit must have one), let me know.  I’ll be sure to pick up 2 the next time. ūüôā

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m no fashionista. Just a regular degular shemegula girl that likes to look great no matter what the occasion. As I become more responsible with my finances, the Internet has become the best place for me to treat my retail addiction. ¬†Here I can fill shopping carts, stalk sales, and shutdown without feeling the impulses the stores create. ¬†Then there are times when I have cash and this form of therapy isn’t an option. Step in Polyvore app. ¬†Here I can become inspired by all things fashion including home. Let me show how this has become my favorite app for my closet and living quarters.

(Just a little background РTamika and I love fashion but these Midwest professional streets Рwanna hold us back. Cue the Rick Ross tune.  After a few short hours of intense research on her part we had both developed a new hobby.)

I was in complete awe when I saw all the options and items. ¬†We had always wondered where those pictures came from and now we knew. ¬†However, we didn’t know it was going to be like this. Here are a few sets I created in my inaugural weeks.


There’s no denying fashionable side. ¬†My true love is home fashion and interior design. ¬†I often think about how great my place would look if I had an endless amount of cash – OMG! ¬†Moreover, I have made a point to create a less than common approach in my own home. ¬†Polyvore allows me to daydream in color and change my mind millions of times without spending a penny or having to return something because I found something better. ¬†This was my 1st home fashion set on the app and it took me almost 2 days to create it.



The very unexpected component of this app is the functionality to purchase what you like. ¬†I’ll keep my retail-addicted heart calm until I get a few more things in order before I start going crazy. ¬†In the meantime, Polyvore is keeping my mind off of things I tend to think about more often than needed.

Join and you can follow me @marleazwilson.

 

 

 

According to my post, The Pledge of 2015, everything is moving as planned there is only one that slipping away. Moreover, I have time to correct that one. ¬†In the mean while, we must begin embracing this fall weather that is upon us. ¬†This is not my favorite season but it ushers in the “Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” ¬†I’m getting excited just thinking about it. ¬†Let me not get ahead of myself. ¬†Here are the essential items I have tracked down for MY¬†wardrobe.

I’ve been sitting here all summer looking for one of these hats in prep for the cooler months. ¬†In a last-ditch effort to secure one before they are all gone, I found one that meet my specifications. ¬†There is still a need for one of the featuring the floppy brim, but we’ll handle one¬†chapeau at a time. ¬†This whole finishing the look thing is starting to grow on me. ¬†Hats are always a good move for me – great for semi-bad hair days.

ASOS Matador Felt Hat

Wide leg trousers have been a love of mine for years. ¬†I know this isn’t the ideal garment for a small frame woman. ¬†Yeah yeah yeah –¬†I still like ’em. ¬†If you know where I could snag a cool pair, let me know. ¬†This image is strictly for reference. ¬†They need to be above the naval and wide. ¬†I see the look in my head and can’t wait to hit these crazy Detroit streets in them.

High Waist Crepe Wide Leg Trousers

Something tells me in my heart of hearts that I’ve had a cape and really didn’t know what it was until it was gone. ¬†Hell, I don’t even remember it. ¬†THIS as my cousin would say is as good as GOT. ¬†This piece screams personality, sophistication and undeniable style – don’t that sound like me. ¬†I like the idea of the black but if I discover an ecru or camel colored one. ¬†Lord, please still my heart every time I want to wear it.

WOOL BLAZER CAPE BLACK

The is no fall, spring, winter or summer for that matter that doesn’t require Timbs. ¬†It’s beyond a cultural thing. ¬†These are the new Air Force 1s. ¬†They can turn any look on its head and change the game up. ¬†Try a nice floral dress featuring beautiful makeup or distressed denim accompanied by the infamous white tank and these hoofers. ¬†I don’t know about you but I like the sound of it. ¬†I ruined my last and a new pair is an obligation. ¬†It’s that unexpected piece in any woman’s wardrobe, that isn’t working in manufacturing or construction.

CLASSICS

The 90s was a great time! ¬†Baggy clothes, plaid and dark lip liner. ¬†Who could forget the golden age? ¬†NOBODY! ¬†I remember owning a hunter green bodysuit that displayed my lady lumps perfectly. ¬†Well, they’re back and I’m jumping back on the saddle. ¬†The designs are fresh and the curves of my womanhood fit perfectly in place. ¬†Being more confident in my body and skin is going to make for a better experience in 2015 and beyond.

Bodysuits

Your list might be different and mine might grow some more. ¬†That doesn’t change the fact that I need to pick these couple of garments up to add to my collection. ¬†Whatever you do within the last few months¬†of the year, make sure it’s Beau Miss

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Rent is a concept that many of us are aware of in lieu¬†of¬†ownership. ¬†The official definition is to¬†pay someone for the use of (something, typically property, land, or a car). ¬†What they didn’t mention were high fashion garments for special occasions. ¬†This is my newest best friend- respectfully after music, books, google and carryout, LOL. ¬†The program is affordable and convenient. ¬†Here is just a little insight I have on Rent the Runway¬†and some fashion friendly options for our pocketbooks.

I don’t claim to know everything. ¬†So, when my friend Tony was getting married, I realized I needed a great dress for this event. ¬†Let me add that my ex would be there in all of his – hell I don’t know what to call the momma’s boy. ¬†My co-workers had mentioned Rent the Runway before in conversation. ¬†One for her own personal use and the other for the girls going to prom from her non-profit. ¬†After scrolling the selection of several stores and factoring in the cost of the ticket with¬†hotel, renting was a feasible option for me. ¬†I checked it out and was amazed by the selection and prices. There is a little something for everybody. ¬†Dresses from $30 and up. ¬†This was a match made in the stars – more like my favorites on the task bar.

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I’ve used their¬†service a total of three (3) times in the past 2 years. ¬†It’s very easy to use. ¬†Give them the date of your event, place your order and ship it back. ¬†Other women who have wore the garments post their reviews of the item and give details about their size and shape. ¬†I have found this to help a great deal in picking out the right size for myself. ¬†The dresses I have ordered fit perfect and the compliments were¬†never ending at the¬†events. ¬†As you can see I’ve worn dresses from some of the top designers in the business and a new collection I had never heard of in my life.

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Pay attention to the cost of renting the dress for one event to the price to hang it in your closet and pray for the day you can wear it again. ¬†Yeah – that’s what I said! ¬†They also send you a second dress in another size to ensure you have a comfortable fit. ¬†In my initial test run for New Year’s Eve, you can see the size 0 dress hanging on the closet door. ¬†They ask that you order items to be shipped one full day before just in case you need to make a change. ¬†The dresses are packed to prevent any additional need for irons, steamers and whatever else we use to knock out wrinkles. ¬†And the real brilliance of the program is the prepaid shipping materials for returning your purchase. Drama free – Gotta Love it!!

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I’d advise all of my fashionable followers and family to give this program a try. ¬†They also have an app available on Android and iOS. ¬†This may not be for some of you rich folks but for all of us on a TIGHT budget, it’s s godsend.¬†Here I am in all the garments. ¬†There’s also an opportunity to buy some dresses during the clearance event. ¬†One of these dresses I truly wouldn’t mind owning. Can you guess which one? ūüôā

It’s been a while since I chatted with you guys about my journey to happiness.  Somewhere between the spring and the upcoming summer I became lost in living and not telling my story.  I’m not going to hold you up as I get you caught up on all the details.  There’s a bridal shower, new business growth, Beau Miss Home additions, a house guest, Victoria’s Secrets, beautifully tressed, Poshmark, his super 16 birthday, the garden and Oscar (my bike).  Seems like a lot!  It probably is but I won’t drag it all out in this post.  Let’s dig right into it in chronological order.

The last time I spoke with you all was on an “Oprah Says” post.  What I didn’t tell you was I was playing host to a house guest better yet recognized as the man I love.  These were unfamiliar waters for me as I have kept individuals away from this level of intimacy with me.  We’re talking about sharing my space with another adult and a teenager.  I was slightly uncomfortable about it at first because we had just finished arguing about something.  Then the more he was here I relaxed but I had to wrap my mind around the “TEMPORARY” sign that hung over the matter.  This was not the way my life would be always, things would go back to normal for all of us soon enough.  It was fun and very insightful.  I learned more about myself and the intricate nature of our relationship.  Thanks to some unconventional guidelines and very open communication, we made it!

20131225-185955.jpgThe older I get get the more people I know entering into the martial stage of their lives.  Some of you might remember this picture when I announced my current place of employment.  All of us ladies, started this journey together with hope of making strides in our careers and lives.  Two of them have went on to pursue other positions within the organization.  The other has begun the walk into holy matrimony within the next several weeks.  We’ve enjoyed the bridal shower and keeping a far from “Bridezilla” engaged in enjoying the moment before she gets her MRS degree.  I’m sure we’ll all meet again at this gorgeous occasion.  Can you guess which lady is making the leap?  Well it sure as hell ain’t me!SoMe 3

A while back, I told you all about me making extra money through Poshmark.  Since that post I deactivated my account and settled for taking my garments to local secondhand stores for profit.  I opened an account again – not to sell but to purchase whatever I had been looking for and couldn’t find at the stores.  So far, I’ve scored a coat, sweater and my favorite Zara tunic that I was swooning over after my one night stand in Chicago last year.  It has been a godsend to me as I’ve become over exhausted with traditional shopping.  Whenever I think of something specific I want, I click on the app and search through hundreds of offerings until I discover the exact item I’m looking to buy.  Try it out!

In the process of all of this happening, my number one guy turned 16.  That’s right, in 1999 I gave birth to a little baby that has grown into a young man.  We didn’t do much in the terms of celebration.  Partially on the terms of the kid’s procrastination and indecisive ways.  We just couldn’t reach a conclusion for the party.  It came and went but I was still excited to witness it.  We’ve been through a lot.My Duke

I’m going to stop right here.  There has to be a reason for you to come back and visit with me once more.  We’ll get into some of the other topics, in their own post or a remix version.  In the meantime, keep a smile on your face and offer one to someone in need.

I apologize for the tardiness of this post. ¬†There was a little anxiety surrounding this one. ¬†I’ve done it all: travel, party, club and dinners. ¬†This year I wanted to do something different. ¬†I celebrated my 35th year on this planet. ¬†The inquires were coming in and all I wanted was to be thankful that I was here.

35

The plan went as follows – dinner at the amazing 24 Grille for my favorite food – salmon. ¬†Yes, I know I went there last year and a few other times in the year, lol! ¬†Hair would ¬†be in it’s natural state and I would push the envelope to wear something I had in my closet. ¬†This wasn’t even going to happen on the day of my birth. ¬†During the evening, a hypnotic selection of music played through the sound system, which felt like it was just for me. ¬†I later found out it was The Foreign Exchange Pandora Station. ¬†We talked, laughed, drank and ate multiple times after a routine visit to Sweetwater Tavern. ¬†To much avail I drank all and drove home to the sounds of the R. cd from the 90s. ¬†Talk about a good time.

WilMa

Family

Monday came and everyone wanted to know “What are you doing?” ¬†What they didn’t know was I had a plan for something special and unexpected. ¬†It was going to be explosive. ¬†With my main guy in tow we headed to Phantom Fireworks in Livonia, MI. ¬†I had the store all to myself and we bought exactly more of what I wanted.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015, my greetings were coming in non stop. ¬†Calls, texts and post on every social media platform warmed my hear all day long. ¬†After dinner and a nap, my guy walked me to the Detroit River and we had our own fireworks show. ¬†It was a pure spectacle – one I thoroughly enjoyed. ¬†On the walk back home, we encountered a woman screaming. “Do y’all know where that big boom came from?” ¬†Uh no! ¬†This will be my new tradition from now until.

Due to the milestone of this year, I have decided to celebrate every month on the 27th. ¬†Some people have stretched their celebrating to the entire month of birth. ¬†Who could possibly challenge me for celebrating all year? ¬†All major events will be attended dressed in blue (my favorite color). ¬†I’ve taken this opportunity to also switch up the image of my blog in direct relation to my Blueprint year. ¬†I’ll keep you updated on all the festivities. ¬†This is my fourth birthday we have shared together. ¬†I know it won’t be the last.

Tekla Vintage

There’s no surprise in the fact that I love to shop at the resale stores more than the mall.  Once you start finding those fashion gems that stand the test of time you want more.  On a brief trip to Hamtramck, I discovered a place that took my breath away.  Tekla Vintage is the name and a chalkboard sign was the only indicator I needed to inform me that I needed to go inside.  After parking the car and feeding the meter, I walked pass the couple storefronts in hopes of finding a new place to purchase more personality for my wardrobe.  The baskets of straw hats should have shown me this place was something special.  These hats were brand new from their respective fashion era with the tag still on them.  The 80s, 60s and 50s were all represented and offered for $10.  I love a good hat but didn’t find one I like.  The display windows ordered me to go inside.

Come Inside

I had been transformed to place filled with vintage music, retailer d√©cor and retro clothing.¬† The racks were full!¬† Mirrored display cases showed off the most interesting head pieces, handbags and other accessories.¬† As I combed the racks in sheer amazement that I had somehow missed this place, I kept noticing these words ‚Äď New Stock from 50s and so on.¬† These clothes had never been purchased to be worn.¬† So it was a real vintage experience.¬† Garments from decades gone by presented to new shoppers for the taking.¬† It seemed as if my joy had reached a euphoric peak as I pushed garments from side to side trying to find something I could not live without.

I began to get a little discouraged because the customer service wasn‚Äôt really up to my standards.¬† These two ladies seemed to be buzzing around in their own little word, having private conversations and the worst part ignoring me.¬† As my old patient, Pauline Klein, would say ‚Äúhaste makes waste.‚Ä̬† I did not respond with anger or leave the store I made up my mine to look at everything before I made the ruling on supporting this store or never looking back.¬† Once I arrived in the area for the slacks and pants, I stumbled upon the most gorgeous items and removed them from the rack in hopes of this place offering me a fitting room to try it on before I committed to purchasing them.¬† My hands were full and one of the associates walked over to me asking could she put them in a fitting room for me.¬† Of course!¬† Service was definitely on the rebound after my initial feelings.¬† Combing through the last few racks I satisfied my need to see everything before I made my final decision and made my way to try the pants on.

The fitting room held many surprises and disappointments.  There were three (3) pairs of pants in question and I was really dying for one pair in particular.  I love ankle pants almost as much as paisley and this pair of pantaloons had combined them both in a corduroy fabric.  Perfect for the upcoming fall here in Detroit.  Someone was delusional in the 1970s and it could have been all the drugs, social unrest and politics because these pants were going to swallow me according to the size 10 tag attached.  I wrestled with them on my size 4 hips and thighs only to be upset when I couldn’t zip them to close.  Blasphemy!  There’s no way these are a 10- someone at the J.L. Hudson’s in Detroit had marked these pants wrong.  I hated that I couldn’t have them.  More importantly, I wondered if all the garments would be facing this time warped sizing and I would be out of luck among all of these fabulous clothes.  Two pair of silk pants waited in standby for me to press my luck.  This cream & black embroidered beaded pair felt exquisite on but they lacked the minimal customization I desire when purchasing vintage.  The other pair were golden and pushed me away from my fashion safety zone.  These were definitely going home with me.

Emerging from the fitting area, I requested a few items in the showcase and checked out the tie selection.¬† You never know when you may run across a great bow tie.¬† ūüėȬ† The saleswomen explained to me that this was their 2nd week in business and they were still setting up the space.¬† I was one of their 1st customers!¬† That explains a lot of what I observed with regard to the buzzing around they were doing.¬† Okay!¬† She apologized for only being able to accept cash at the time and ensured me on my next visit everything would be set up.¬† We engaged in small talk for a few moments about their offerings and great baklava.¬† Please with how my experience turned around, I informed them I would be back and offered them well wishes for a good day.¬† Here are the winners from my shopping.

Silk Floral Pants

As always keep ūüôā¬†! ¬†Especially if you‚Äôre saving money! Do you know of any great resale shops?

I knew it was coming and with great style I closed out the season with a bang! ¬†First order of business, was to take a much needed break from the job. ¬†That wasn’t hard to do with the amount of time I had accumulated. ¬†Let’s be honest! ¬†I like my job and some of the people there and we have a good time some days but we all deserve a break for a good time. The main attraction for me as you all know was the Detroit Jazz Fest! ¬†However, this social butterfly keeps a full schedule of possible events and you know – they were waiting for me to show THIS FACE!

My Spirit

The weekend for the Fest started off slow as the weather had taken a turn for cooler temps very quick. Friday evening was a no go because I refused to stand outside and be cold. With my schedule handy, I highlighted the other shows I wanted to attend during the rest of the weekend. Please remember this is the world’s largest open air free jazz festival. It was this year that I took notice of all the people that came from around the globe to experience this. The show must go on but I had another engagement Saturday afternoon that would delay me from the music.

PWIII

August 30th, I was in attendance at the Powerful Women’s Luncheon III. Dressed to the nines and prepared to hear some words of encouragement. Equipped with a clutch full of business cards and anxiety about networking, I drive to Andiamo’s Dearborn on a semi cloudy afternoon. (I’m really bad at getting pictures when I’m dressed up, lol – I guess that’s something I can work on!). In the company of over 100 women, we listened to inspiration from Monica Morgan and motivation from the Honorable Brenda Lawrence. As we listened to the message a lunch was served and we talked among ourselves about our plans, goals and purpose. One of the ladies I had the pleasure of sitting with was Cassandra, make up artist and owner of the Pink & White Salon in Southfield, MI. After hearing about what I do, she was very interested in Sleeping Beauty Hair Garments. Score! Always seems I’m in the right place at the right time. We also had the pleasure of meeting Shelli, a strong woman in the automotive industry with a vision to start her own business and Ms. Armstrong one of our gems within the educational system. I seemed to be too tuckered out when this was over and opted for a nap when I got back home. This threw a monkey wrench into my jazz plans again but I did make it to see the fireworks they presented this year. Here are a few images from the day.

 

Sunday presented better hopes. The weather was nicer and I didn’t have any other plans. But tell me what you’re suppose to do when one of the nicest, most genuine ladies you’ve met in a really long time invites you to come celebrate her birthday with you and her name is Erica – Get Ready to GO! That’s exactly what I did. I got down the street as fast as I could in hopes of just hearing a little jazz before I transitioned into the current sounds of rap music, hookahs and booze all on the rooftop of Exodus. Who knew a roof top party would have an issue with heat? Me either and I felt like I was melting! Clad in my vintage Chicago #23 jersey & kicks. I ventured to find a spot that offered ventilation in an open air space. The night was young and everyone was having a good time. Shawn and I chatted with life long friends, caught up with recent acquaintances and drank. I noticed my sister was getting calls from our other siblings which were prohibited from entering due to the late hour. Once we made our exit who was sitting waiting for us to emerge – the rest of the gang. The night rolled on as we laughed, pouted, ate, drank, walked, laughed, drank and talked until the early hours of the morning. No more chances for jazz and me tonight. It was time to go to bed.

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Now it’s Labor Day which also means it’s the final day of the Fest and the unofficial end of summer. My mission was simple get to there and enjoy the music. In a calculated manner, I got dressed and on my bike to enjoy my last day of freedom. Shawn drove down and we walked, talked and listened to the sounds I’ve been captivated by since I was a young child. We covered a lot of ground before she had to report to work. I was waiting to see one person in particular Stanley Jordan. Then the announcer appeared with a delay of schedule message. After an unacceptable wait of an hour and a half the performance was postponed due to the lighting and thunder only present due to the thunderstorm on the horizon. We cleared the area and the rain came down hard and fast. I secured refuge in the Sweetwater Tavern in hopes of drizzle and a mini performance but it didn’t happen. As I drove away to the north side of town to see my mom, the rain stopped, the sun began to shine and I felt no disappointment as I rode through my city and watched the sun shine on us after the storm.

There’s no doubt in my mind that this year was not what I planned for. However, it was everything I needed! I hope you enjoyed the season and found a few things to ūüôā about!

Home Sweet Home

Here’s to a great summer in the one place I love most Detroit.

 

I toyed around with the idea of attending Bravo Bravo this year until about 5 hours before the doors opened. There was no denying I wanted to be there. However, as I discipline myself to regain my financial freedom, this event looked out of the question. I was preparing to move, paying down debt and focusing on spending less. So a ticket for $140 was simply out if the question! Until I put my thinking cap on to factor that as my only cost for an evening to get out & circulate my cards around to gain some exposure.

This is a huge event! I needed to look the part. Diving into my closet presented many options because we (I say we because my conscious & impulsive minds were literally at battle) could NOT buy anything because we have the ticket. Through a shuffled, unedited, private episode of What Not To Wear. The winner was a vintage 50s silk robin’s egg blue dress, rhinestone Vince Camuto heels & edgy bag for drama. Winner winner lamb chop dinner. What was going to happen with my hair? It was a simple answer. Nothing! The focus of the evening would be the dress. Tonight was the night the rest of society would be introduced to my hair in it’s natural kinky state. Makeup was a no brainer – keep it soft. I was ready for the night.

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My escorts this year were Erica & Jodi. After using my FREE PARKING pass and catching the tram to the venue, the night was under way. Food, drinks and laughs created the perfect atmosphere to work on my networking skills. We laughed together – great but if you asked me what I did, uh oh! I’m the owner of Sleeping Beauty Hair Garments, that’s my new answer! I had arrived and it was time for me introduce myself to the world formally. This is who I am, not just the lady working for the giant corporation.

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People Mover Marti

 

After tasting food, sampling drinks and catching up with old acquaintances I journeyed back to my vehicle. Feeling one with the night I cruised up Woodward Ave in my vintage dress talking to a homeless man (who seemed to be more informed on current events than I was). I shot a text to my love to inform him of the adventure and enjoyed this gentleman’s company and conversation. As much as I wanted to take a picture of him my decency halted me. Nobody wants to be recognized worldwide as a homeless man. As we neared my vehicle, I bid him goodnight and passed him a token for his time. Here are the captured smiles and friends of the evening.

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Another successful year for the arts and charity! I’ve already been thinking about next year which may bring forth a surprise escort. Tell me what you thought of my look. Keep on smiling! ūüôā