Our fashion editor and writer solve your fashion dilemmas

Hello gorgeous, if you’re reading this, you need solutions to some of your fashion dilemmas. You’re in the right place as we will be taking on some frequently asked questions geared towards helping you find your style and achieve your fashion goals this year. 

We have taken the time to sort through some common questions and fashion dilemmas our audience has asked. These answers cover various topics that will be a good foundation for building a functional wardrobe, identifying the fundamental elements that make up a timeless wardrobe, and tips to achieve your dream style on a budget.

Ready for class? Let’s go!

Wumi’s answers to your fashion dilemmas

“I have too many statement pieces.”

How to style statement pieces in your wardrobe
Image: Nthambe via Instagram

I can relate to this because I once over-purchased statement pieces just because I wanted to “make a statement” with my outfits. The best thing to do is strike a balance between these pieces and basics. Play around with the neutral pieces you have in your wardrobe and match them with these pieces. These tips should help:

  • Statement dress- Take it slow by starting with a mix of plain tee worn under a sleeveless statement dress. It will tone down the effect and add a classic twist to your outfit.
  • Statement jackets- You can make this your signature style by elevating your casuals with one statement jacket at a time. Work with neutral pieces and pick a neutral colour from the jacket as a monochrome base.
  • Statement pants/tops- Play with basic tops, shirts, or bottoms to create a balanced silhouette, and accessorise with minimal pieces in specific colours that complement your statement pants. Focus on keeping the textures and structures of other pieces understated.
  • Try trading some of these statement pieces with other classic items your friends might have that you’re interested in. 

Remember to have fun with it and not see it as an insurmountable mountain- they’re just your clothes.

“How to wear clothes without a bra.”

How to wear clothes without a bra- Fashion Dilemmas
Image: Wumi ‘Tuase

Firstly, this has been my jam for a couple of years now. It was one of the fashion dilemmas I had to deal with when I decided to cut out bras. Let’s just take a moment to acknowledge that sometimes bras feel like they want your life. Okay, back to class. I look out for well-fitting pieces that give my breasts a good grip. It ensures I am still comfortable without the bra. The following tips will help you stay bra-free and maintain a sophisticated look.

  • Opt for a snug-cropped camisole underneath your longer blouses. 
  • If your nipples are always looking to make an appearance like mine, take attention off them by incorporating cute scarves into your outfits. Drape it over your neck and leave it hanging, or secure it with a stylish belt. 
  • Go for lace bralettes underneath an open shirt. They’re more comfortable than bras and make a style statement.
  • Avoid thin fabrics when going braless, especially if you have big breasts, to avoid anything that’ll cause discomfort. Light fabrics have no hold and can easily make you look unprepared, so opt for those with comfortable lining.
  • The best time for going without a bra is the cold season when you have layers on, but before then, I’ll suggest investing in nipple covers and tapes. Tapes might be a bit tasking to use, so I usually just go with nipple covers on most days. 
  • Go for blouses and dresses with extra details on the boob area. Ruffles and frills work best for this.

Pro tip- ensure both breasts align under your outfit before leaving the house. We don’t want them looking weird and making you uncomfortable. Free the boobs & flourish!

“How can I add boots to my wardrobe?”

How to add boots to your wardrobe
Image: Priscilla Ojo via Instagramonn

I silently judge people who wear winter boots in Nigeria so I can understand this fashion dilemma. It’s also interesting that I love boots because they add an edgy detail to my street-style wear. Summer boots are more realistic and practical for Nigeria, especially if you hardly wear heels but still want a chic look. I advise getting lightweight leather or suede ankle boots to begin this journey. They are less likely to cause you more heat in this humid Nigerian weather and are very versatile. Here are five stylish ways to add them to your wardrobe regardless of season. 

  • Pair them with mini dresses, skirts and shorts. They give an elevated casual look and won’t have you looking too playful.
  • Get the boots in neutral colours like nude and black because they can pair nicely with various outfits. Pair your black boots with an all-black outfit for a biker-chic look. Extra points if you add metallic accessories.
  • Try pairing your lace-up boots with structured cropped pants that stop at the top of the shoes. It gives an excellent silhouette to your outfit.
  • Midi dresses and skirts work well with lower-top boots. Swap out your slippers with them and nail the boho-chic vibe. Wear a crop denim jacket on your crop top or a sleeveless dress for extra stylish detail. 
  • Effortlessly transition from workday to TGIF by pairing your high-heeled boots with your culottes set outfit. If you love co-ord sets, you’ll find that this is a sure way to stay stylish at work or out.

Omotola’s answers to your fashion dilemmas

“I do not have enough accessories.”

How to accessorise
Image: Kristline__ via Instagram

I understand your struggle – accessories can be a game-changer, but building up a collection takes time and money. Sometimes, we have just enough without our knowledge. Here are some tips that would help with this. 

  • Start by raiding your current stash because some hidden gems might be waiting for their moment in the spotlight. Some accessories might only need a little item that can be repurposed from another piece you are about to trash.
  • Maximise what you have by styling pieces in unique ways, like using your hairpin as a brooch. Some neckpieces can also be re-styled as bracelets or hair accessories. Have fun and play around with them.
  • Consider saving for staples like a classic watch, statement necklace, quality handbag, scarves, and mix-and-match jewellery. Versatile items that can elevate multiple outfits are necessary for your accessory stash. Remember, you don’t have to get them all at once and ensure you are already maximising what you have. 
  • Thrift stores, online marketplaces, or your local market are goldmines for unique finds that won’t break the bank. So stroll into a market near you and get yourself some gorgeous accessories.
  • Try a DIY approach. There are countless tutorials for making beaded or wired accessories by yourself. It’s a fun way to spend time and a budget-friendly means to personalise your style. You can also turn this into an exciting event with friends where you hang out and make fun accessories. 

Remember, accessorising is about pieces that resonate with you, so take your time and find what boosts your confidence.

“How can I find stylish clothes as a plus-sized woman?”

How to stay stylish as a plus sized woman
Images: Mz_Jesi via Instagram

Embracing your body and celebrating your curves helps you find stylish clothes as a plus-sized woman. If you’ve got this right already, these steps will help you:

  • Know your body shape because it’s the key to finding clothes that flatter you. It makes it easier to envision how the clothes you want will look on you. Find relatable models and people who have worn similar outfits for a visual before purchasing.
  • Invest in wardrobe staples like mom jeans, a few quality tops, and some versatile dresses. These serve as good foundational pieces for your wardrobe.
  • Don’t shy away from prints or bold colours if that’s your vibe – confidence is the best accessory! You’ll look and feel good in them.
  • Layering is your friend because it adds dimension and style to any outfit. If you have a less flattering top, you can complement it with a gorgeous jacket to balance it out. 
  • Don’t forget the magic of tailoring. Little adjustments can make a lot of difference in how your clothes fit and feel.
  • Online shopping is a game-changer, with many stores providing detailed size charts that cater to plus-size women and customer reviews. Read those reviews – they can be a goldmine of information. Some fashion brands you can check out are – Zephans and Co, Desiree Iyama, and Garbe Life. 
  • Keyword search online will help you find the best online stores that cater to plus-sized women. Some incredible brands focus on plus-size outfits, offering trendy and comfortable options. On Instagram, you can search for “plus size thrift store” and get various options. Do the same for online websites. 

Remember, style has no size, and you deserve to feel fabulous in whatever you wear.

“How can I break away from the conventional style?”

How to break away from conventional style
Image: Ramona McDermott via Instagram

To break free from the fashion norm is all about expressing yourself authentically. Identify what it is about the conventional style you want to break away from. Is it colours, patterns, silhouettes, or all of the above? Once you know your style boundaries, it’s easier to push them. 

Note- As you break from the conventional style, you start to stand out in rooms and get a mix of positive and negative comments, but confidence is essential. When you are confident in your style, you’ve taken a big step into embracing who you are. The following steps will help you achieve this:

  • Pick interesting and unexpected accessories to add to your outfits. They add curiosity to your looks, and you’ll always look forward to the next exciting addition.
  • Experiment with mixing and matching unexpected pieces – play with textures, patterns, and colours that resonate with you. 
  • Thrift stores are fantastic for finding unique items that are not generic. Don’t be afraid to raid the men’s or kids’ sections. Sometimes, the most extraordinary pieces are hiding there.
  • Follow fashion influencers and bloggers who embrace unconventional styles for inspiration. Pinterest is also great for creating mood boards and discovering new styles. 

Remember, fashion is about self-expression, so wear what makes you feel incredible. It is your style journey, and there are no wrong turns!

From the case of too many statement pieces to the quest for accessories and navigating plus-size fashion, each fashion challenge is a step toward individuality. Here’s to embracing our fashion dilemmas as opportunities for creativity and self-expression. 

Tell us more about your fashion dilemmas. We are always here to help you figure out your style and guide your fashion journey.

Authors

  • Wumi 'Tuase

    Fashion & Beauty Editor. Wumi holds a PR major with over a decade experience in the media; from print to broadcast and now digital media. Fashion is her passion and she sees Beauty in everything. Some of her favorite things are: a two piece set, white wine, beach days, thrift shopping & cheesy romcoms.

  • Omotola Saba

    Hi, Omotola here, the human form of the 100 Emoji and the fashion and beauty writer at Marie Claire Nigeria. She started writing for fun and merged it with her love for fashion, and beauty. She's mostly at home, picking up yet another new hobby, scrolling through pinterest, laughing with her family or at dad jokes, or sleeping.

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