It’s the start of a new week, and I’m currently watching the evening sun set through the transparent screen of my slow moving train.

About my weekend- I planned a getaway trip for myself to a farm 9-hours away from DC! So, my weekend was for running a few errands in my Levi’s pirate collar shirt and ribcage jeans and putting a few things together for the trip. 

I really fell in love with this sailor-collared shirt from Levi, once I laid eyes on them. Including their ribcage jeans- they’re flattering. The sailor-collared shirt had been on my wishlist for a min, and having it in my wardrobe from a collaboration, is evidence that good things come to those who are patient. 

Shop Similar Look

I am at a phase in my life where I just do my work and strive for stillness. I write mostly on my social media how the world is a lot of noise, and I am striving to use media to read more writings, as against videos( let’s just say it’s a personal protest).

Podcast Spotlight


Lewis Howes

I got into listening to podcasts more frequently during the pandemic last year. There is something about podcast that tends to answer questions from our inner yearnings. When we find the right ones, we realize we are not alone in our thoughts and struggles.

One podcast I’ve listened to with consistency is “The School of Greatness” with Lewis Howes. I enjoyed his recent episode that featured Jonathan Fields, where they discussed “Dealing with Burnout and Finding your Work Spark.”

The thoughts, ideas, and advice shared came at such an important time, where I’m navigating the pace of work in fulfilling my life’s vision. 

Really proud of the little habits that I’ve sustained. At the end of the day “we are our habits in sum.”

Print Green Shirt

Comparison and contentment are separate feelings that work together in our bid to self- evaluate. For your people, managing both feelings can play a huge role in how we feel about ourselves. But social media bliss (i.e the perception of success on social media) continues to bring up the rhetorical question of “to be or not to be?” And this post is my attempt at discussing this salient phenomena.

(Social media bliss in this writing refers to the success, milestones, and achievement that are publicly shared online. Most times, these celebratory post can drive viewers to envy, unintended behaviors, comparison, anxiety, and depression).The list is endless.

Most thoughts shared today, are a result of reflecting during my long, and usually needed social media breaks.

But growing up, the need to compare ourselves with our peers was normalized with cultural innuendos. For example, parents will often retort to a child’s poor performance by voicing, “do your classmate who came first have two heads?”

—-@t2pitchy
Woven Hat
Hand Beads By Ubuntu

Comparison and Contentment

One does not escape the incessant need to constantly compare themselves with others. It did not begin with social media, although these platforms have heightened it. But growing up as a Nigerian child, the need to compare ourselves with our peers was normalized with cultural innuendos. For example, parents will often retort to a child’s poor performance by voicing “does your classmate who came first have two heads?” or “can’t you copy what they’re doing?” These have gone on for years unchallenged and have had negative impacts on how I, and other kids who grew up under similar voice, view ourselves. 

The sullen face of defeat, of not being good enough when placed alongside our peers, brings us to a phase in our lives where we are never really content. It became a constant feeling to look over my shoulders, to see how I measured alongside other people. 

But social media bliss has exacerbated the need to compare ourselves with others and be less content with our portion. Sadder, is that few secular spaces exist to discuss and find solutions to how we feel about contentment (At least that was what I found out during my quick research for this post). 

Comparison not only robs us of our joy but increases anxiety. I am not writing in third person phrases to exempt myself from this feeling. But I’ve found myself taking more social media breaks this year, so I don’t fall apart by comparing my life with some random person online. 

Comparison, Contentment, Social Media Bliss

The Impact of Comparison on Your Mental Health 

There are so many negative impacts of comparison, that it trumps whatever positive inclination the word has. Like increased anxiousness, depression and poor performance.

Our parent’s generation were lucky enough not to have access to the success rate of their peers globally. It helped them design their life and success and at their own pace. Because of that, they had higher chances of achieving the big things they did.

Comparison stalls you because you are not focused on your vision, and you spend time feeling worse about yourself, while performing for people who do not care for your actions. Truthfully, there is nothing wrong with wanting good things, but it should not be because we are pressured by what we see online.

Girl Standing Close to Brick Wall

5 Ways to Reduce Comparison:

  1. Being thankful for little things: by appreciating little things like a roof over my head, good health, and comfortable living, I can see how good I have it.
  2. Social Media Breaks: I’ve noticed that the less time I spend on social media, the better it is for my overall mental health. I also start to gain a better perspective of what success is to me, and how I can achieve that.
  3. Focusing on my Strengths: I can look at what I do best and feel content. Sometimes it takes writing it down to affirm what you’re good at. For example, I am a good writer, I am good at photography, and design. And the list is endless.
  4. Define your own Success: Define what success means to you. By doing so, you retrieve your agency, which without, deprives you of your own validation. Your terms of success might be adjacent and unfamiliar, but it should be on your own terms.
  5. Have a Mind of your Own: Social media has made a lot of us monolith thinkers. And with that the need to mirror our lifestyle to reflect a collective idea. There is no faster way to drive yourself to the ground, than following someone else’s shadow.

There is no much literature to cite on comparison and contentment, but I’m sure people with psychological or behavioral studies would know more. Read my previous post here, on dealing with social media anxiety. Also, as Nigerians will say, don’t let anyone rush you. Everything will be beautiful in it’s own time, just put in the work.

Socials

When you think of comparison and contentment, what comes to mind? I want to know in the comment session. Follow the discussion on my social media handles.

Updated: Shoutout to Evelyn who read this post and recommended “The Comparing Trap” from Harvard Business Review.


Styling Neutral Colors




Styling these 3 Neutral colors can make you feel confident. When we talk about spring colors, the first thing that comes to mind is bold shades on the colour wheel. Because of the loudness that comes with spring, I have carved out the last few weeks to style neutral colours. But I am not the only one predicting neutral tones for spring. 





Sak's Avenue Patel agrees with me in an editorial opinion on The Zoe Report  (TZR). Fashion trends for spring 2021 will not be all about the brightest and loudest shades you can find. As "white, cream, nude, and camel tones cleanse the palette and act as a base for the transitional months.” 





Since neutral tones are a blend of other colours, they work well as transitional tones. For spring, I am experimenting with different textures of smooth and rough materials. I discovered that understanding fabric textures is a prized skill for picking the right style/look. 





Choosing 3 Spring Colors





Black and White Office Look



Shop Look




Often, the question on peoples mind is picking the right neutral colour. For 2021 spring, I have opted to use the below colour chart as a style guide for items I add to my wardrobe. Although, I have had to constantly remind myself that black and white are both neutral colours. 





A Neutral color Chart




Brown Linen gown from Coldwatercreek







But it is no surprise that my default choice for spring is neutral. Neutral tones are my comfort zone. I even wrote a blog recommendation on how to style neutral colours. Outside being my comfort zone, neutral colours have a way of sparking inner confidence.





3 Neutral Colors that make you feel Confident
A smiling girl



SHOP LOOK

 




On Being Confident 





There is no better feeling than stepping out in neutral colours. People are less likely to critique you for styling universally acceptable colours. I have noticed that I am more conscious of my looks when I step out in colour. Not that I care, but it is freeing to step out without second-guessing yourself.




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I recently got my first athletic loungewear from a Swedish brand, Stronger Label (you can purchase items with a 20% discount "Pitchy20", expires on the 27th). I got hyped about the quality and the price point (some items are as low as 35 dollars, try them out with the discount code) of the products and decided to write a blogpost about it.





A few years ago, I wouldn't have thought the fashion scene would be replete with athletic or sports wear, styling it as real clothing. Known as athleisure, joggers, leggings and loungewear, were once items to chill in. Fast-forward to 2020/2021, athletic wears are now regular fashion and must-haves.





How to Style Athleisure as Fashion or Real Clothing




Black girl curly hair in loungewear




But before athletic wears became a contemporary fashion trend, the legendary Princess Diana was pictured severally, outdoors, wearing biker shorts with a university mesh in the '90s. A woman ahead of her times! Although biker shorts are also athletic wears, I dislike them as a trend. But there are other varieties or substitutes in athletic wears that I love. For example, I love loungewear's and sweatsuit's, not only for their comfort and price point, but for their dual function.









STYLING ATHLEISURE PIECES





The pandemic made it easy for people to fall in love with athletic pieces, like loungewear and sweatsuits. For instance, most people working full-time remote jobs are adopting athleisure pieces as their default home looks. It's easy to put on and comfortable to wear for long periods. But we also get to see it as favourite street wears, and I have worn mine for outdoor activities a couple of times.













The loungewear I purchased from the Stronger label is comfortable, simple, and functional. I could wear it for my morning runs and early morning meetings and to shop for groceries.





I was blown away by the shipping time. My item arrived within 3-work days after placing it. I loved the design and packaging for the items, and overall, I enjoyed my shopping experience. 





MORE PHOTOS











Cropped Hoodie || Shop Here, Leggings|| Shop Here





Also, follow my social media pages from the link by switching to the desktop version of this post. Shop my photography e-book, with video tutorials for beginners



April comes with the fresh smell of spring flowers, a little rainfall here and there, and lots of spring style choices. I love creating fashion edits, for spring, summer, or fall. It allows me reflect on trendy style choices I had the previous year. Also helps to streamline my shopping goals for a particular season. I am excited to share some f my favorite and trendy fashion picks for the month of April.





Looking at some of my style picks, fashion has indeed come back full-circle. Designers are paying more attention to the cut, structure, and aesthetic of the clothing they put out. I love that designs are being pulled from the 70's to 90's fashion playbook. So let's get a look at a few items on my wishlist.





Cotton Poplin Dress





If there is a pattern I am excited about, its the return of the renaissance style-cut clothing. I'm going to hunt for a few in the coming months.









Strap Heels & Chunky Mules





I love that strap heels with cone shape are a thing, and I also love the chunky heel choice designers have opted to use for their mules. Everything screams vintage fashion. See me style an Aldo vintage shoe for my birthday and also my favorite chunky heel for spring.















The Attico heels
The Attico




The Attico mules are probably the most coveted shoe for spring and summer.







Sandals









Knitted Fabrics









Accessories









Hand bags









Scarves









Sunglasses









Worthy mention is the Roksanda oversized jacket with dual colors, Chloe cotton poplin mini dress , and Stella McCartney . What is your favorite fashion picks for spring, let me know in the comment section if you loved my choices and which is your favorite.



Green Silk Dress




I am styling my dream color of vintage green dress today and it's silk. Honestly, let's ignore my hair for a second because I could have come up with a better look. I've taunted often on the blog that blue is my favorite color, see me in a blue Dorothy Perkins heels and styling a blue monochrome outfit . But I've realized recently that there are more pictures of me in green outfits than my favorite color, blue.





I wrote a few years ago, about being unfamiliar with green color in an "eco-friendly" post and later about green pastels here. As years have progressed, I've found myself in more greens like in this monochrome green look, and here also. All these linked post to say that I actually love green than I'm willing to admit and todays post is another reminder of it.









Styling a Silk Green Dress:





According to a SewPort publication, silk fabric remains one of the strongest fabric made through natural processes. Well, if I didn't read up on that, silk in its physical property looks frail and isn't the top fabric on my mind for strongest. But I love me a silk fabric, because under certain light conditions, it produces a shimmering effect that makes one feel luxurious.





Silk Dress with Braids
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Also, because of its lightness, silk is an easy fabric to carry along on a trip and also a great choice for an event. But real silk can be an expensive material to purchase. For example, these items on my spring wishlist, the Martin Grant green silk blouse goes for $1,695 and Dodo Bar Or Berna belted draped silk-satin midi dress is priced at $1,170.









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There are affordable brands to purchase a green silk dress from that looks flattering. See Yesstyle scrappy silk A-line dress for $25.30 or the Asos satin midi dress selling at $45.55.





Accessorizing





Green goes with everything and it's a color that you can barely go wrong with. However, if a garment has over the top embellishment, it's safer to keep your accessories minimal and subtle as possible. It's also easy to slip into a holiday look with green, when it's not your desired way to appear.





I styled mine with my Jimmy Choo pump heels (spring favorite from my shoe collection ), a lovely green earring, and black purse to finish off the look. I've added additional looks with a shimmery purse from the New York Met Museum and Chio open toe mules.









Do you love silk and what is your favorite color?



Blue jeans and cream blazer




Denim blue jeans is a style for all seasons and I’m usually excited about styling them during spring because the weather is moderate and I can play around with thicker fabrics to pair with it. Today I’m styling a cream-colored wool blazers over a washed out denim and a beret (very French girl aesthetic). 





Denim blue jeans is a style for all seasons





The weather in DC is full on spring mode and the cherry blossoms are out. So I am in a good mood to for some consistent fashion blog post and tips. You can email your suggestions by contacting me on (gracealex.ga@gmail.com). Spring is definitely one of my favorite seasons to dress for. The weather is crisp, the air outside is friendly and the colors are loud.









There are various ways to style denim for spring, with the common being a white t-shirt and denim. But I also love a good blazer and I’m glad style has opened up to be more accepting of wearing a blazer without a proper shirt underneath.





Blazers





I've found that neutral tones and pastel colored blazers work well with denim. I love the oversized jacket trend being paired with denim and on my wishlist for spring and summer, is a list of blazers that I'll love to add to my wardrobe. During my search on Pinterest, I came across Kat's blog "With Love from Kat" where she writes about light weight jackets for fall that I think still works for the purpose of spring.









Bralette & Beret





I love the bralette choice when styling a blazer jacket, because some blazers are made of thick fabric and when you're out for an informal event, you want to have fun without thinking of taking your jacket off. Also, thanks to French street style, I have maintained my long love for wearing berets. You can read similar post of me styling berets in these posts.









The Fitted Denim





Also, I’m digging the fitted jeans vibe for fall. And although wide-leg or moms jeans is my vibe, see this post and this post, I am growing to love a fitted denim look.









Mini purses





Are mini purses or bags ever going out of style? I can't answer that question but I do know it won't be anytime soon because they just work with everything.





Let me know in the comment section what your favorite way to style denim for spring? Follow me on my social media channels to continue the conversation.





Outfit Details





Blazer || Banana Republic Similar Here, Jeans || Madewell Similar Here, Purse || Gucci Similar Here, Beret || Zara Similar Here, Shoes || Asos Similar Here, Earrings || Mejuri Similar Here


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