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Almost Awkward, But Not Quite…
Here is a fashion blogger tip for when you forget your camera. If you stand around in an alley way for long enough - striking mean poses, someone will take a photo for you.
Top - Temt, Statement Necklace - Soweto markets, Leather Skirt - Portmans, Shoes - Wittner

Stand and Deliver…

In no particular order, I would like to:

  • Sleep more
  • Partake in rigorous exercise daily
  • Avoid distractions
  • Practice having more patience
  • Consume more water
  • Be conscious of time
  • Do something that scares me each day
  • Talk less, listen more 
  • Expand my music palette
  • ….learn to relax more.

These listed items are all a series of adjustments. I’ll get there.

Jacket - CUE, Top - Temt, Pants - Temt, Shoes - Novo Shoes

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You Can Leave Your Hat On…

I feel like I don’t wear enough hats.

It’s not because I don’t want to - certain hairstyles do not allow me to.

Literally.

I finally got a heads up and found a hat that I can wrap my head around.

Hat - Sportagirl, Dress - SES, Shoes - Italian Boutique

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Reaching For The Thigh…

On days when I am off duty, I often reach out for an all black ensemble.

It is simple, has a clean aesthetic and looks chic.

To add that WOW factor, I like to throw in some statement pieces.

Enter the statement necklace and thigh high boots.

Necklace - So African, T-Shirt - General Pants Co, Leggings - Cotton On, Boots - Stuart Weitzman

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Delusions Of Grandeur…

Mum – You know you could just wear your black pencil skirt and shirt on its own.

Me – True, but I think I need the something extra. *throws on faux fur, looks at the mirror* Yes, I need this - feeling a bit extra….

Earrings – Lovisa, Shirt – Portmans, Skirt – Temt, Shoes – Pied A Terre

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More, More, More….

If you are like me and cray cray about fashion you would be familiar with Coco Chanel’s quote, “ before you leave the house, take a look in the mirror and take one thing off”.

Pause.

I will let that marinate.

Now, take another look at my outfit.

Read the above quote again.

…Clearly someone didn’t take Coco’s advice.

Four Words.

Bold. African. Print. Suit.

Earrings – Lovisa, JacketPants – IamTinashe Custom, Shoes – London Rebel

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Being, Listening, Thinking & Doing…

Life is about choices.

Being an adult is about making choices and living with the consequences.

Top - Country Road, Belt - Country Road, Skirt - IamTinashe Custom, Shoes - London Rebel

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Guest Blogger - Why I Wear My Hair In Dreadlocks, Wadzi P.

I am surrounded by gorgeous, well-educated and very opinionated young women. Some time ago I was having lunch with Wadzi and the maintenance of her hairstyle came up in conversation. I have in the past found that people wear their hair a certain way for a reason. As we were talking I thought to myself, this is a great article for IamTinashe.com!.

Wadzi is here now to share why she wears her hair in dreadlocks.

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Hi everyone, my name is Wadzi and I wear my hair in dreadlocks.…
Why? The only way I can answer this question is by starting with why I choose to wear my hair natural.

Many young black girls across the globe will tell you the same thing: “before I started visiting the salon, my mum did my hair and ultimately my hair was in its healthiest state under her care.”

Despite being ‘unsophisticated’ there were certain basics that my mother understood and practised on me which were:

  • Only ever comb using a wide-tooth afro-comb (not a tail comb!)
  • Detangle starting from the tips down towards the roots, not from the roots up
  • Give the hair an oil-treatment or steam-treatment once a week

Now most would expect that my choice to revert to natural was a bid to stay true to my African roots or not buying into the idea of wearing a straight look which I was never born with. While this may be admirable, for me, it actually came down to my hair health and the health of my hairline.

When my hair was chemically processed it wasn’t as healthy, luscious or thick as when I used to wear it natural. Over the years I started to notice a weakening of my hairline and when I became aware of this,  I started to look around at other girls and older ladies who had been braiding and straightening their hair for years and it was evident that the weak/receding hairline was a more common issue than I had initially realised.

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So I dare to ask, “Are you taking corrective steps to ensure your hairline is healthy regardless of the hairstyle you have?

 It’s not too late to start doing your own research and using more ‘protective styling’.

As a young child I would look at all the African-American women on TV and would be confused at how their hair was so long and straight and mine only ‘looked’ long after being blow dried straight. This long hair don’t care dream was short-lived because my hair would start to shrink again due to the natural moisture in the air. I would often ask my mum why those women were so different and yet the African-American men looked more similar to ‘us’. She too didn’t really have an explanation and would often put it down to the fact that maybe they all had mixed ancestries, thus explaining the softer hair. However, with time as the curly perm phase was gradually overtaken by the ‘Dark & Lovely’ phase and finally the weave phase, that is when it all started to dawn on me. Then when black artists started to talk about their hair grooming tips and then the internet exploded and more started to singing about ‘patting their weaves’ it became evident that our hair is indeed more alike than I’d thought.

With this increasing popularity of the weave most hairdressers sought to up-skill in that area. You can have a conversation with a hairdresser or perform a quick search online and you will find that there are countless weave styles out there e.g. short, long with bangs, curly, asymmetric bob, straight, pony tail etc. On top of this, to achieve these different looks, one needs to master many techniques e.g. sew-in, glue-in, drawstring, half weave, fusion, clip-on, weft, flat-taping etc.

My point in mentioning these styles/techniques in detail is to lend the perspective that perhaps all of this was done to the neglect of the natural crown! The hairdressers’ collective immersion in the weave and straightening culture meant that very few were left who still desired to learn the skill of caring for the natural afro. Thankfully we have the YouTube ladies and natural hair bloggers that are a source of wisdom for many but this does not negate the obvious implication that this is NOT accessible to all those young girls who like me at one point, needed this growing up before joining the chemical bandwagon out of taming desperation.

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Many assume that just because one is born black the ability to care for this hair is something innate, however, unless you have someone else/older in your life who already knows the golden rules, you will be unaware and only trial and error will eventually get you to a more knowledgeable state.

In my late teens when I first reverted back to a natural head, it took a while before I found a hairdresser who actually knew what to do when a head of thick afro hair was placed in a chair in front of them. I would take my ‘bad-hair-day’ hat off, revealing the dark wild mass and would usually be met with an exclamation, followed by “sista, wow, your hair is so thick!…you will definitely need a blow dry…this will take longer than I’d thought…” Then I would be passed on to an unfortunate salon trainee who would crank up the blow dryer and tear through my hair at lightning speed with the smallest comb – all the while with me protesting and insisting that she be more gentle.

Gradually, I realised I needed to take control at the hairdressers or else I would be left with breaking hair, a sensitive scalp and an even weaker hairline. When I eventually found my afro queen “Sharon”, who was a pro at caring for afro hair, I held on and whenever she moved salons I moved with her!

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However, even after finding her, the desire to be dreadlocked soon took over and I had my first ‘tail-comb’ mini-dreads at 19. I combed them out after moving overseas only to go back to dreadlocks again a couple of years later. I cut these off at bob-length as I wasn’t happy with the grooming product that my initial Loctician had been using on my head. Third time lucky, I went back to the dreadlocks yet again and this time, at shoulder-length, I’m happy with them and for now I cannot see myself with any other natural style.

Why I choose dreadlocks over other natural styles is because my hair breaks with braiding and I admit to feeling “Ubuntu” in my dreads, (p.s. you can google this term), and I love how every time when I visit my country of origin there is an unspoken camaraderie when you meet people from all walks of life and their eyes light up when they look your way and say in the local slang, “Ndeipi Dread” (meaning: “Hello Dread”) as they pass you in the streets. Quite often it is a default ice-breaker!

Interestingly, there are still some misconceptions about dreadlocks regarding their hygiene, products that should be used and their connection to substance abuse amongst other things which often makes them less ‘commercially viable”. I can assure you that most of these are just that – stereotypes; and I don’t fit any of them.

I met a fellow African girl who once said to me, “In my country, only mad men who live on the streets wear dreadlocks.” Well, all I can say to that is – I bet they don’t wear them like this!  

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Thank you Wadzi for your contribution - it was insightful and well thought out. Readers our there, now you know…

Photo Credit: IamTinashe

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Why Don’t You Just…

Be happy for no reason, like a child.

If you are happy for a reason, you’re in trouble. Why? That reason can be taken from you.

Thank you Mr Deepak Chopra from those dope words of wisdom.

Jacket - Cue, Top - Temt, Pants - Cue, Shoes - Target

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It Will Come Good…

I keep forgetting the battery for my DSLR camera.

This means I haven’t been taking pictures of outfits that I thought were pretty damn blog worthy.  

It happened again today, so I had to take pictures just like any other mere mortal – using an iPhone.

…must remember the battery.

Jacket – Temt, Top – Cotton On, Skirt – Temt – Shoes – Pied a Terre

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Uh Huh Honey…

All them other coats lame and you know it now.

When a real coat holds you down you are supposed to drown.

BAM!

Uh Huh Honey….

Coat – SES, Dress – American Boutique, Stockings – David Jones, Shoes – Novo Shoes.

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Casper, The Stylish Ghost…

Technically we are still in winter here in the southern hemisphere.

The weather however has been a little bipolar of late – hot one day, cold the next.

Some days it so warm it feels like the beginning of spring. I donned my all white attire with a splash of African tribal jewellery.

….who’s gonna stop me?

Necklaces and Earrings – Soweto Street Market, Top – Temt, Skirt – Temt, Shoes - Target

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Somewhere Between Psychotic & Iconic…

Most people love to hate the Kardashians. In particular they love to nit-pick Kim Kardashian West.

I am not really sure why. She is incredibly beautiful and successful sister, mother, wife and business woman – but nonetheless it is deemed as socially acceptable to hate, hate, hate on her. Shame.

Whilst the general public might have a lot to say about her personal life and thirst for fame, I personally cannot fault her sense of style. Every time she shows up anywhere, she shows out – hands down.

I was inspired by Mrs West to wear this pencil skirt. Without seeing it on her first, I probably would not have dared to rock the beige colour.

The pencil skirt is invariably tight, clinched in at the waist and falling just below the knee. Accentuating all my lady lumps.

Thank you Mrs West for the outfit inspiration!

Cardigan – Miss Shop, Singlet – Temt, Skirt – Temt, Boots – Novo Shoes.

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Marilyn Monroe Body Con Dress…

Wear white to work, it will be fun my subconscious diva said.

Necklace - Lovisa, Dress - Asos, Stockings - David Jones, Boots - Novo Shoes

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That Quirky Black Girl…

I was feeling inspired when I put this look together - speaking to my inner child.

It really took me back to when I was three or four years old (can’t remember when exactly). It was then that I was finally allowed to dress myself. 

With the freedom to wear what I want, how I wanted - I started to develop my own sense of style, not having it clouded with grown thoughts. I can admit it was a little hit and miss there for a little while - still happens now!

I feel really care free. Yes all four pieces of the outfit are a delightful on their own.

Worn all together though, they give me extra life.

Top - Zara, Shirt - CUE, Skirt - Truworths, Boots - Sportsgirl

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IamTinashe.com

My 9 - 5 hustle is as a Human Resources professional in the heart of Brisbane, Australia.

I have always had a fascination with fashion and photography, so I created this blog to document my personal style and fashion inspiration.

I often see people who are using fashion to express themselves in a unique manner - not surprisingly these people are also captured on this blog.

Its here that i also share my thoughts, ideas, loves and obsessions...

Contact me: tinashe.taneka@gmail.com

 

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