Shaneen… a Local Fashionista who is So Much More Than Her Shoes…

(Special Edition of Diva-fied on a Budget)

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Katie Sade: How would you describe your relationship with fashion?

Shaneen: I see fashion through the eyes of an artist. I see it as a way of personal expression and the body as the canvas. Over the years, Fashion and I have become friends.  She can be, however, quite annoying, because she is rather consuming. If I allow her, she will demand all my time, energy and money. Fashion should only EXPRESS who you are not BECOME who you are.

Katie Sade:  When, and/or how did this relationship begin?

Shaneen: It began with my mother. When I was young, it was considered illegal to go outside the house if I did not have earrings on.

Katie Sade: What or who inspires your style code?

Shaneen: Now, my inspiration truly comes from God. He is an intricate artist and has given me a keen eye to detail; to colors, patterns, shapes, fabrics and movement. I also pay attention to my body and how my hair, skin tone and figure accent the clothes I’m in. Fashion invokes emotion and creativity so my style code is based on whether it feels right.

Katie Sade: How would you describe the evolution of your style?

Shaneen: When I was younger, I dressed for other people; by designer and trend. As I matured, I began to dress for myself and the woman I am as well as the image I want to portray. With that in mind, I buy what I like. I realized that if I wanted to feel good in my clothes, I had to let go of trying to impress other people.

Katie Sade: How do you choose your outfit on any given day?

Shaneen: I am such an emotional dresser. I dress how I feel. There are times I feel like a queen and want to wear high heels and couture and then there are times I feel like a struggling artist and throw on a pair of harem pants and combat boots. I literally wake up and don’t allow myself to think about clothes until it’s time to open my closet and get dressed. I wear what speaks to me that day.

Katie Sade: What is one accessory that you “can’t live without”?

Shaneen: My wedding ring. It’s the only thing I wear that I can’t live without.  I’d go naked and wear it alone if it were legal. Everything else is an afterthought.

Katie Sade: What’s your favorite article of clothing in your closet?

Shaneen: My black pumps.  They can take anything I put on to another level.

Katie Sade: How about the most recent purchase that made you feel like you WON that day?

Shaneen: I recently bought a pair of Via Spiga heels for $20! I smile every time I look at those bad boys in my closet.

Katie Sade: Where do you like to shop?

Shaneen: Everywhere! I am not committed to anywhere. I have found items from places like the Dollar Store to JC Penny or from a thrift store to Nordstrom.

Katie Sade: Do you have a strategy when you shop?

Shaneen: Nope.

Katie Sade: What items would you splurge on?  What items are you more apt to save on?

Shaneen: I usually only splurge on 3 things- shoes, perfume and makeup. Anything else, I have to absolutely love it to pay full price. I tend to save on trendy items. I refuse to break my budget for something I probably will only wear for 6 months.

Katie Sade: What makes you feel beautiful?

Shaneen: Perfume makes me feel beautiful. Fragrances have a way of exuding elegance, grace and sensuality.  I have to feel beautiful with confidence way before I even put my clothes on.

Katie Sade: What would you like to share with our readers as pearls of Fashion Wisdom?

Shaneen: Just remember that fashion is nothing more than clothes with imagination. Your style doesn’t come alive until your voice is louder than the designers.

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