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Guest Post: My Personal Style Evolution

Lovelies, as I mentioned in this post, I am taking some time off from blogging to decide if and/or how I want to move forward with Consider Me Lovely. In the meantime, I am honored to have some friends of mine guest post!  My beautiful friend Ashley, owner of Medley Inc. shares with us today!

I’d like to start my post by sharing how absolutely proud I am of Rocquelle and her thriving personal and business brand. We met in college and I’m sure we both have some interesting stories about the evolution of one another’s style. I just remember her shoes becoming flyer and flyer each time I saw her on the yard. Then one day I looked up and she’d become this super inspiring style and beauty icon. Wow.

Obviously I’m feeling nostalgic here, so I’d like to share about my personal style evolution- an uphill battle filled with daily surprises. Hopefully this will help someone out there, because yes personal style is about so much more than what’s on the surface.

highschoolashley

High School Ashley

It’s so funny because when I look at this picture, all of the memories of that time come rolling in. I’m originally from the midwest and I had an upbringing that was always diverse, mixed with some liberal and conservative experiences. I just remember being proud of my culture and frustrated because I didn’t know how to express myself. My guess is that I was also afraid of what people would say or think. I truly have no idea what inspired this look (and yes I’m literally laughing out loud at myself as I type this).

 

collegegirl

College Ashley

After my first year in college, I finally mustered up the courage to do the big chop. This was around 2005, before the natural hair revolution. I joke about the movement, but I’m truly happy about all that’s been done through the years to support and encourage other women in the natural hair space.

I was working at Sephora (hence the heavy makeup) and trying very hard to be sexy I suppose. College Ashley didn’t understand that peeking bra’s weren’t classy.

schoolteacherphase

Granny Ashley

When my great-grandmother passed I inherited most of her clothing. She was a fabulous woman with a tiny waist, round curves and discriminating taste. I upcycled most of the items, but some things probably should’ve been left as-is.

This picture actually ran in a national magazine and I remember during this time, I was very uncomfortable with baring my shoulders and quite frankly, too comfortable when it came to shoe shopping. I’m pretty sure I never wore heels during this time. But I do love this skirt-turned-dress from my Grandma’s closet. I’ve since started wearing it as a skirt, and had it shortened. It’s one of my favorites!

 

coolphase

Cool Ashley

This is how I feel most of the time on the inside. I just want to stroll through Brooklyn with my shades on and my hands in my pockets. Gosh I was cool here.

 

supergirlyphase

Girly Ashley

This picture was taken about two months ago during Lemonade Day Houston. Needless to say, this is my current, most consistent look, and for the first time in my entire life, I’m truly comfortable in my own skin. My mom keeps telling me to stop wearing my “Betty Boop,” hairstyles, my husband isn’t a fan of everything in my closet and many people have a hard time believing that yes, I am truly just this girly. I work in PR, so I’m used to listening to the opinions of others, while also understanding that I have a choice to listen or react. I chose to listen.

Give me an A-line dress, some sunnies and a cute purse and I’m the happiest girl in the world. I no longer hide behind loads of makeup, cardigans, dark “cool” clothes or weird shirts with cut-out shoulders (seriously…ya’ll know that was a strange combination).

At 29, I’m proud of this and I’m inspired by women like Rocquelle who’re leading the charge of encouraging other women to do the same thing. I’m inspired by older women who walk into a room with a sense of confidence that’s been long instilled. I’m inspired by women who are totally okay with going against the grain of society’s standards of beauty, rather than being victimized by it.

It’s a great time to be a girl.

How has your style evolved over the years?