Dress Your Best with Maria

The Brooks Journal touches on many subjects, including fashion! I teamed up with Maria who is a cool, down to earth fashionista and is the perfect person to chat with when it comes to fashion. She won “best” dressed in High School and always had the closet everyone wanted to shop in! We worked on this post together to inspire you to define yourself through fashion. We agree on so much when it comes to this subject and decided to collaborate with one another to share our thoughts and passion with you.

When Maria was in elementary school, she asked for a jacket for Christmas. Usually kids want the latest toys and games but not Maria, she wanted a jacket. She remembers wanting the jacket so bad to a point she would look all around the house to see if her parents bought them for her. That’s when she knew she had a passion for fashion.

I, on the other hand, loved fashion as a way to express yourself. I feel like it’s your first impression when meeting someone. Just by looking at someone's clothing can say a lot about them such as the music they like, their favorite sport team and even how they want to show up in the world.

There’s only ONE you, how are you showing up?

Nowadays, there are so many charitable ways we can donate our clothing. If you don't donate, I encourage you to do so. Think about how a top you used to love made you feel...someone else is the world can benefit from a dose of confidence.

Maria and I talked about life before there was such a thing as “online” shopping. We both agreed on the fact that going to the store to try on, feel and look at clothing was a great experience. A clothing store for me was like a museum in my eyes! I enjoyed looking at the manikins and seeing the latest trends wondering “where is that in the store?” Has there ever been a time where you saw something you loved, dug through the racks, had an employee look through inventory and your size was sold out? Maria expressed that she’d feel so bummed out when that happened. (How can you not?)

Now let’s touch on the subject, fashion trends. Are they for everyone? Absolutely not! What may look good on a manakin at the mall may not compliment you. I’m not talking about body types(you are beautiful just the way you are!) but certain colors, materials and patterns may not be the right fit. Clothing reminds me of a lot of hairstyles. We all have different hair textures, color, and length. Your neighbor might look great as a platinum blonde or a chocolatey brunette however, another color may bring out your features!

What I like about clothing is that it is so customizable! We both can wear a basic top and bring our different personalities into it.

Let’s say Maria is getting ready for a night out. She may choose to dress that top off with a leather jacket, boots and red lipstick! Let’s say I’m getting ready for work, I can wear a cute pair of high waisted pants, a settle jewelry set, a blazer and some matching heels.

If you're trying to dress up a neutral colored outfit we have one tip: Wearing everything in your jewelry box doesn't dress you up, if anything it can be a bit tacky. Remember, less is more! You should have a healthy balance between too much and having fun with fashion.

Express yourself! Show the world who YOU are. One of my fashion faves is you technically never do it wrong. If it makes you feel good, then it’s right for you! If you disagree with a tip, that’s fine too as there is no such thing as rules when it comes to fashion. (That can be another reason why we teamed up on this subject!)

There definitely is a balance when it comes to shopping. Now in days, we can shop right at our fingertips. We can shop at 5am, 12pm or 9pm! One con for myself when shopping at night is dropping my phone on my face. If you haven't done that, it isn't a fun experience! Online shopping is the norm now to a point where brick and mortar stores are now transferring from offline to online. Maria’s favorite perk when it comes to online shopping is she can shop trends on sale and spend a certain amount to get free shipping. Also, no more waiting on line for a return!

Since we are on the subject of budgeting, let’s talk about must haves! I asked Maria to share her top 5 must haves and here they are:

1. A good pair of jeans

2. A neutral colored cardigan

3. A basic top

4. A jacket to dress that top up!

5. A go-to bag

Why go for neutrals? Well, they don’t go out of season! Right now animal print is so in! (Did it really ever get out of style?) dress up those basics with some animal print, plaid and florals!

Fashion tip: You don’t want to be a walking advertisement and over do it just to fit in with the crowd.

There’s a difference when buying items based on looks and based on brands. My goal for shopping is to find something that fits me nice and will stay in style!

Maria’s motto is,“If it catches my eye, then I’m interested.”

Do you have additional questions for Maria? Comment on this post!