1 dress, 3 ways, 2 tailors

When we were in Ohio last summer I bought this amazing dress on clearance. I loved the feel and the fabric and the colors. Not to mention it was originally $150 and I paid $30. Yep. That’s how I roll. Well, okay, not all the time, but certainly when I can!

Here’s the ‘original’ dress:


Then I had some wax print fabric that I was dying to have made into something after this shopping trip. I knew I really liked this ‘original’ dress and thought it would be fun to copy. So I had Anne De la V (77 606 61 62) make me one! She did a great job copying the dress and even added extra fabric to give it a “fuller” feel.


Then my husband and I were invited to a wedding and we needed some nice / presentable dress clothes. Stat. So we called our buddy Seydou (77 651  65 66) to come make us some clothes. My husband knew exactly what he wanted: a pink dress shirt and a grey vest to match his dark dress pants. I thought it was a fashion-forward move for this country boy. And I liked it. Then I was like, “Ummmmmm…. quick. What should I wear?! Oh I know! I’ll have him copy the ‘original’ dress in satin. In solid black. That works.” And before we knew it, Seydou was measuring us as we talked specifics on price and fabric styles.

We told him we needed the clothes a few days before we actually did (good thing too) because, well, it’s Africa and it’s better to be safe than sorry. The clothes showed up just HOURS before the event! (Even days after the “when we needed them” day.) Yikes! Thankfully everything fit and we were good to go. Seydou does a great job with mens’ clothes, making dress shirts, and even ties! We were impressed with how well he did at picking out fabric just based on what we described.

My LBD (Long black dress)

My LBD (Long black dress)


A true #gazelion

A true #gazelion

So there you have it: 1 dress, copied in a wax print version and a formal version, with 2 different, each-with-their-own-style tailors.

Which dress is your favorite?


Summer nails: see the rainbow!

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I started painting my toes when I was about 13 years old. And I never stopped. By that I mean that since that time I have had polish on my toes EVERY DAY with the exception of the weekend in high school that I was in the Easter play at church and we had to take off all our jewelry and nail polishes to accurately portray the roles of women 2000 years ago.

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When I moved to Africa in 2002, my roommate teased me about doing pedicures every Sunday evening. But (as you probably know from experience) feet can get out of control very fast here. You know, like when you take off your sandals and can see exactly where the straps were because your feet are just THAT dirty. Weekly pedicures were no joking matter.

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Although my pedis got cured weekly, I’ve pretty much stayed in the range of true red, dark red and darker red when it comes to color choices.

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But then I started hanging out with Jenn-Gazelle, Queen of Rainbow Nails. I don’t mean just pinks, purples and corals. She can pull off sea foam green on her toes with black and gold tips on her fingers – just like she did this week. The only color I’ve ever seen her pass up was a neon puke yellow. (Good call, Jenn-Gazelle.)

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I started branching out slowly. First I started painting my nails. I found out that I love rounded short nails with dark polish + a simple cocktail ring.

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Then I got a pedicure from Lamine and decided to try a pale lavender polish that was periwinkle (my favorite Crayola color) in the right light. Loved. It. And happily surprised that even though that color doesn’t appear often in my wardrobe, the polish still worked with most everything I wanted to wear.

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Just recently I got a care package from the US and my friend Sarah had sent me this beautiful midnight blue polish. I saw it every time I opened my bathroom cabinet and finally got bold enough to try it on my toes. Gorgeous. Especially since I miraculously managed to paint all ten perfectly without a single smudge or flaw. I had to have it on my fingers too.

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I figured since I was dipping a toe (ha ha) into the rainbow and enjoying it so much, I might as well jump all the way in. So I’m wearing – for the first time ever – orange polish. It’s only on my toes for now, but it’s growing on me and may make the jump to fingers soon. What do you think?

Nail colors

Which colors do you default to? Which ones would you love to try?