26 Oct 5 Style Lessons Courtesy of Kiara Shardé
New York is full of those girls. You know the ones—on the train, ahead of you in the line for coffee, on the ‘gram with an aspirational feed you can’t help but scroll 85 weeks deep into—that leave you wondering ‘why haven’t I thought to wear that?’ These are their closets. Welcome to 5 Style Lessons.
I have a soft spot in my heart for girls who with blogs that are new to New York City, like Kiara Shardé. The fashion writer moved to Brooklyn last year from Durham, North Carolina. “I moved here to get deeper into digital media and fashion,” she told me on her Ridgewood rooftop. Kiara splits her time writing for websites like Saint Heron, Vashtie.com, and Racked while working at a designer thrift shop.
Or you can find her on her personal website where she prides herself on writing content that is “really, really Black in a sense that you see different shades of Black people, and celebrate their style, not just people I know but icons from back in the day like Mary J. Blige.”
Trust me, Kiara knows her stuff. She would show up to the Vox offices in the best outfits. And makes artsy-fartsy references when it comes to her pieces. When her internship ended, I bought her a pair of H&M earrings (as a reminder of all the time we spent researching this post) and she said they reminded her of a Matisse painting. Of course I went out and got a pair for myself.
I keep telling her she should start her own personal shopping business but for now, keep scrolling to read her five style lessons.
1. Be Thrifty
“Growing up my mom was like the dad on Everybody Hates Chris, if it wasn’t on sale, she was not buying it. So it was limiting in terms of what I could have but it made me more creative. Buy one or two things that you’re going to love and repeat. If you’re buying for the season, start with the must-haves. Think about cost per wear. Like last month, after rent, I really didn’t have that much money left but I bought black and white sneakers that could go with everything and a coat. I’ve already worn each of those three times.”
2. Stay Scheming
“Build a color scheme that works and then buy pieces within that color palette so you can mix and match easily without calling attention to the fact that you’re constantly reworking your wardrobe.”
3. Make Your Clothes Work For You
“Look for multi-functional pieces, like loose jumpsuits, that you can layer over. One day you can wear it as a jumpsuit, the next day wear it as pants with a blouse on the top.”
4. Take Inventory
truly, the less options you have, the easier it is to get dressed in the morning. This removes all of the guesswork out of putting something together quickly.”
5. Don’t Pay Attention to Labels
“If you like it, just wear it. If there is a designer you like but can’t afford, look for details they do well. Try to find them at your price point. I really like the texture of [Issy Miyake’s] Pleats Please but I can’t afford that right now. So I always look for pieces that are ribbed or have pleating.” Kiara practices this outside of her closet, too. “I just started using Rose Water from Urban Outfitters to replace this $40 Sephora face wash. When I moved, I wasn’t sure I could keep spending a lot of money on a facial cleanser but this is great!”
(Ed. note: Kiara spoke so highly of Jamaican caster oil, that I went and bought some for my bald patch in my eyebrows. 👉🏾 “Jamaican castor oil really softens your hair if its course and promotes hair growth. I also use it on my eyebrows and eyelashes. I mix it into my mascara and spoolie that I use for my brows. It really works.”)