10 Must-Have Fashion Items I Don’t Buy

Dearly beloved, fashion week recently ended and while I didn’t follow any of the shows, I  was inspired by a post from one of my favorite blogs. I’m a fan of personal style book and this one in particular by Nina Garcia, I love and have re-read over the years. However, I found myself unable to identify with a lot of her “classic woman must-haves”.

I often regard such publications as suggestive rather than instructive. I interpret them as “have you considered…” rather than “you must [insert action] if you want [insert desirable result]”. Creating my definition of “classic” instead of trying to mold myself into someone else’s definition, I’ve found is a better strategy. Classic style is subjective and varies across individuals. There’s no one size fits all. It stems from knowing myself, my likes and more importantly, my dislikes.

Being aware of my dislike enables me set clear boundaries. I can thoroughly enjoy books, films and magazine because I recognize they don’t define my self-worth and value. I simply take what serves me and leave the rest. Thus, when someone dubs cheetah print plastic platform heels as the coolest “must-have” staple item, I can listen and peacefully say, “I’m glad it works for you but it’s not for me and that’s okay” *shoves coins back in pocket*

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LAJA’s Fashion Hit list

1) White button down t-shirts

I dislike white anything because it’s too high maintenance and not the most flattering color on me. Plus, I happen to hate cleaning but seeing stains will drive me nuts. See my dilemma? With t-shirts, I’m not a fan of the rolled-sleeves look which is a big part of its appeal. I love highlighting my shoulders and back and don’t find it helps serve that purpose. Let’s just say, I’ve never found a white button-down t-shirt I liked.

2) A trench coat

I prefer a more structured look for my coats. I have never understood the hype in trench coats despite everyone and their mother swearing it will change your life. My style is more dressed up (even when I’m dressed down) and at this time, trench coats are too casual for my taste.

3) Denim/Jeans

Finding the right fit has been a long time struggle for me especially in the waist-to-hip ratio, ensuring it’s high waisted and stretchy enough. I find myself bringing jeans into my wardrobe in hopes that this time would be different but they always find their way back out. For instance, I only wore this one twice (the one time was for the shoot) and I gave it away. I prefer skirts, dresses and free flowing pants. Plus, I love showing off my legs.

4) Sneakers

I equate sneakers with gym shoes. I’ve personally experienced that most sneakers make my legs look shorter, stocky and imbalance my upper-to-lower body ratio. The exceptions are these ones which were a gift from a friend and have now become a staple in my wardrobe. I was hesitant at first but was astonished by how flattering and versatile they were. Other than that, sneakers? I’m good love.

5) Pencil Skirts

Too restrictive. I need room to open my legs. Freely.

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6) Blazers

Unless it’s oversized. Meaning, If I wanted, I can wear it as a dress. I generally find them too “suited up” for my taste and they don’t fit in with my current lifestyle.

8) Black pumps

Haven’t found a pair I love and are comfortable. It’s funny that this made my hit list because 80% of my shoes are black. Ha! This might change though, we’ll see.

9) Rings

They unknowingly always find a way off my fingers. This might sound weird but I feel them on my skin. Unlike earrings which I wear and forget about, I’m hyper-aware there’s something wrapped around my fingers and that bothers me. A lot. Just typing it eeks me out.

10) Sunglasses / Prescription glasses

Similar to rings, I ALWAYS lose them. Cheap ones, expensive ones, if it’s a pair of glasses, their life span with me is 6 months. After losing my most recent pair, I will be sticking with more cost effective alternatives since clearly we prefer being apart than together. It is good for one to know thyself.

Tell me, what are fashion no-no items? I’d love to know. 

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Always,

LAJA

How Did Africa Become A Safari?

I’m discussing how fashion and European expositions played a role in shaping the “African Safari” stereotype. I celebrated my birthday today and LAJA is 5 years going strong. It’s a great day and I’m thankful for life and your constant support on this journey.

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Je discute comment la mode et les grandes expositions d’Europe ont suscité le stéréotype que l’Afrique est un safari. J’ai célébré mon anniversaire au’jour d’hui et LAJA (cette plate-forme) a forte de cinq ans. J’éxprime mes remercierments pour la vie et votre soutien constant le long de ce voyage. 

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THANK YOU FOR 5 YEARS,

MERCI POUR CINQ ANS,

LAJA

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The Iro Look

Sharing this super easy look inspired by my buba and head wrap. When experimenting with makeup, I’ve found that for me, less is more. Tried to re-invent the iro and buba look by pairing the buba blouse with high waisted black pants instead of the wrapper. Been having fun painting my face and simply experimenting with different lighting/editing techniques. Thoughts?

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Always,

LAJA

 

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Ankara Dreams | A LAJA Film

I have interests in filming/production & honestly, I spend A LOT of time watching ad campaigns; here’s my current favorite. I’m intrigued by the idea of using music and film to tell a story. Experimented with some new filming techniques and came up with my first short; Ankara Dreams. Very melodramatic & I’m digging it. This was tricky to film, required lots of patience but I loved every moment of it. Shooting outdoors especially with plants gives me great peace. Have you experienced this? I look forward to more experimenting in front and behind the camera. Let’s see what comes up. Enjoy your day !

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Always,
LAJA

Musing: Nike Davies

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For Nigeria’s 57th Independence, I decided to channel Nike Davies-Okundaye aka Nike Davies. She is a Nigerian artist & designer and a pioneer for Nigeria’s traditional weaving and dying techniques. Her LAJA than life (see what I did there) head wraps, colorful batik clothing and layers of jewelry make her stand out instantly. She’s has several galleries in Nigeria where she hosts workshops and highlights Nigerian Yoruba tradition through arts & textiles. I love the work she’s done and continues to do. Thus, she’s my muse for this year’s independence celebration.

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Pour l’indépendance du Nigeria, je dirige Nike Davies-Okundaye aka Nike Davies. Elle est dessinatrice, artiste et une pionnière nigériene des techniques de tissage et de teinture traditionnels. Elle se détache grace à ses grands chapeaux, ses vêtements  aux batiks éclatante et ses couches de bijoux. Elle a établi plusieurs musées au Nigeria où  elle organise des ateliers et souligne la tradition de Yoruba par des arts et des tissus. J’adore ce qu’elle a accompli et ses efforts continus. Donc, elle est ma muse pour cet indépendance.

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Happy 9ja Day,

LAJA

 

LAJA Styles Tina

The  LAJA Styles Series features #StrongIndependentWomen styled in LAJA using items from their wardrobe. With ankara print, we often believe we have to buy a whole new wardrobe to make it work which isn’t true. This series shows you that you have everything you need to incorporate ankara clothing and pull together killer outfits (for different occasions) right in your wardrobe. I hope you draw inspiration from the styles of these beautiful women.
Photography: LAJA Photography
Styling: LAJA Styles

Today, we are in Tina’s wardrobe!

Look 1

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Look 2

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Always,

Miss LAJA 

LAJA Styles Brigitte

The  LAJA Styles Series features #StrongIndependentWomen styled in LAJA using items from their wardrobe. With ankara print, we often believe we have to buy a whole new wardrobe to make it work which isn’t true. This series shows you that you have everything you need to incorporate ankara clothing and pull together killer outfits (for different occasions) right in your wardrobe. I hope you draw inspiration from the styles of these beautiful women.
Photography: LAJA Photography
Styling: LAJA Styles

Today, we are in Brigitte’s wardrobe!

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Always,

Miss LAJA 

LAJA Styles D’Nita

The  LAJA Styles Series features #StrongIndependentWomen styled in LAJA using items from their wardrobe. With ankara print, we often believe we have to buy a whole new wardrobe to make it work which isn’t true. This series shows you that you have everything you need to incorporate ankara clothing and pull together killer outfits (for different occasions) right in your wardrobe. I hope you draw inspiration from the styles of these beautiful women.
Photography: LAJA Photography
Styling: LAJA Styles

Today, we are in D’Nita’s wardrobe!

 

Look 1

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Always,

Miss LAJA