A Memoir to Self

9:06 PM missusmonroe 0 Comments

A month ago I was truly trippin over turning 24. 24 is a year closer to 25 and who exactly is begging to be 25?? Who is seeing 25 as more than your "MID twenties", more than a quarter century, quarter life really, crisis?

I'm not even 25 yet so let's get that clear self but honestly...honestly if it wasn't for my timely epiphanies I just might still be feeling like all of the above. I've wanted to "get a lot done" by this age just to say I've done it. Literally, just to say I did this before *insert age*. I've wanted to create a lot of things by this time just to proudly (braggadociously) say I did so. To stay ahead of fear
To stay ahead of fear. Because who wants to be 30 "and not achieved anything"?? We fear this time of our lives, the time to be wanderers, because we've been made to believe since youth that by NOW we should have something if not everything together! Looking at each other, even not knowing it, we put our lives, wants, and achievements up against what we're shown of other humans. And we compete. All because of what, these ages we've been assigned, false life expectations, quick satisfactions, and a sinking gut wrenching feeling that time is running out? And the notion of will you ever live up to the expectations you have of yourself? Especially if that expectation is to be in the same place as someone else. Or even a little worse, better than them?

I'm about to turn 24 (surprise at 7 AM I became she). 24 to me means fruition and realization. It means payoffs and simultaneously necessary groundwork. 23 was proving myself right, it was celebrations. 23 took a turn for one of my lowest. 23 I was at one of my proudest. So much can happen, so much can change, we can't be defined by these barricades in time. I'm saying this as I'm telling myself this as well. This big, big age, I'm so emotional about it, I don't even know why! I feel as though I've shed a life, left a shell behind. In terms of how in modern day success is measured, I technically should be yearning for much more, more "hey look at this, this thing I can point to" accolades but that shit doesn't justify nor satisfy me. Quick  satisfaction doesn't satisfy me. I know what I've done mentally, physically, fucking emotionally. How I've grown, how I've shed so far, how I know I'm a damn force to be reckoned with! I move mountains; and I know this. The makings of a dangerous woman. In a year I've created a life.
Staying true to self is so hard these days but once you know yourself you also discover there's no going back and every step, whether forward or backwards, is monumental. To find yourself is to lose yourself.

In your self memoir, keep true to these things:

1. trust yourself, you know much more than what you swear you don't know

2. stop arguing with people on the internet

3. love lost is not a loss

4. what you call yourself is what you are

5. even the most idolized of this world is replaceable

6. your loyalty does not determine that of others

7. you're not in the business of proving your worth

bonus: forgive your family members

xxoo missusmonroe


Last Day of Summer

9:06 PM missusmonroe 0 Comments

Ever since I was a child I looked forward to summer-time for two primary reasons, getting out of school and getting the fuck out of the United States. I've traveled near and far for as long as I can remember and I can truly say I never missed home. I got to college, I graduated, I moved and I can also say summer has never truly been the same as when I was younger. It's felt like a small break, intermediary periods, but never that unmoved excitement. It hasn't felt like that itch to be outside even though I wasn't allowed out with the other kids, it hasn't felt like that salty, face-tight sensation after coming back from the beach knowing for sure you're ten shades darker and your mother's gunna beat that ass *deeply rooted I'll tell ya*, it hasn't felt like days and days of "unproductivity" because you're actually far too busy living life to just sit still, it hasn't felt like new people and newer adventures, it hasn't felt like staying completely still and letting your embodiment bask in the rays, it just hasn't felt like dancing until your feet cracked, laughs of longevity, and sweat dripping from all of the above crevices,  it hasn't felt like nights that turn into memories that you want to do-over just to feel it twice, it hasn't felt like smiles brighter than your favorite all-white, it hasn't felt like eternal days and ink nights molding into the folds of dawn... it hasn't felt like summer in a long fucking time. Until this summer.

Laughing until I could literally laugh no longer just gasping for air, lustful nights, heavy-eyed mornings, sand I still can't get rid of, broken pants zippers, late-night walks with nothing but my thoughts, "celebrity" parties busting out ratchet dances, outfits that never worked, outfits that did nothing but work, unanswered messages, 1,000 wine videos, genuine friendships, new cities, numerous times behind a lens.. I could literally go on and on.

There are no real complete sentences to fully describe this summer. It was life-changing and sincerely the best summer I've had in a very, very long time. Refreshing...a necessity. I can actually say I was so happy, so carefree. I remember in the past these hot months would drag and just remind me of what wasn't. For the first time in a while I felt rewarded. Rewarded for so much I've had to endure to be able to enjoy these moments. God never ceases to amaze me, my future never ceases to amaze me. I've tried time and time again to sit and write something fulfilling, similar to how I just used to talk a few years back, no real subject matter at hand just something of a free-write. I hadn't been able to edit videos because literally every new editor I would try out for fit did everything but that, fit. There's always a reason. Mine just led me here. With my thoughts and my memories that run deep. As usual. It's a comfort to know how much of "me" I will always remain, no matter how much people who do not in actuality know me claim I may be changing. This summer was an ode to reflection. The ultimate Black Women healing and rewarding herself.

Summer of 2019, you were the best thing to happen to me yet.

xxoo missusmonroe


A Homage to the Greats, Afropunk's Steady Revival

10:46 PM missusmonroe 0 Comments

It's been a while. And there are many of things I want and need to discuss but I just settled from Afropunk 2019 and honestly I'd like to talk about that! At this point we've removed the makeup, the body paint, took off the "costumes" cause that's what they are really, y'all have finally hung up those poorly constructed wigs and now we can attempt to recuperate and adjust to a normal scheduled program of life. It was a wild ride though! If you don't remember, last year I did an AP recap asking the rightful, in my opinion, question Did Afropunk Sellout? and I've been asking that question ever since. I think a couple of people might have slightly agreed with that notion of curiosity judging by the mass dip in attendance this year coupled with the conversation sparked from said post. And I'd like to know what others think is why.

Well, I never really got an answer, not that I thought I would, but I can say that this year... was different. The vibe was different, many of the attendees' energy was different.. I just enjoyed myself far more than last year and even the year prior. There's no equation to it really other than I feel as though AP went back to the drawing board a bit and attempted to hone into their principles, their beginnings..yknow.. blackness/creation and not profit. What it looks, feels, and sounds like to be a black outcast if you will, and creating a space for others alike. There's always time for profit. That's the thing, money doesn't go away, it's here forever but your integrity sure does. I know for a fact it also really helped that far less people attended. Don't get me wrong, there were a lot of attention-chasing, pre-planned couple fits, and a little too put together arrangements but compared to previous years it was certainly manageable.

My personal experience was also drastically "un-normal" because I felt as though this was my real first year attending as a Brooklyn resident. A thorough resident, not a visitor and not someone who just moved in across the street a month ago. I had previously established relationships, I came on the first day with a friend..you all know I don't do that shit! I show up on all of my dolo to solo shit and make do but this time around was genuinely different. And I liked it. I felt as though I created my own standard, my own normal this year and I'm not mad at it. Change is bound to happen, it's inevitable and can be great but the importance is not to lose the foundation... that word every time I say it has a different implication now and resignation but it's the truth.

Captured by @_ibra80

As for me, this summer I've really been stuck in the early 2000s and last legs of the 90s. And I've known what I was going to do for my hair for months now, a lot of the time for big events such as this whatever you see was probably a year+ old thought. I definitely briefly thought of this headpiece last year but could not figure out the name to express ship it. Til this day I still don't know what it's called but I do know it worked perfectly in the time period it was supposed to. I didn't have too much of a fight with USPS this year which brought down my blood pressure, and made for a less anxiety driven prep. Everything actually arrived on time. Imagine that!

Captured by @phobymo

My Saturday outfit came straight from the internet, there wasn't much deep thought or  customization into it besides from wanting some low-riders for a long time now and being in this nostalgic ass mood. I searched for what I wanted and literally stumbled upon this. The set was available in either red, black, pink, or lime. We all know what was first automatically withdrawn from that list and then I just knew I didn't want to have a lime moment, spoiler alert I had one. I hesitated with red initially because I did not want to accentuate my undertones so explicitly but seeing as though I wasn't in love with the other palettes, it would have to do. I knew I wanted to wear platforms to AP since years ago but I didn't actually want to wear heels of any sort. A funky take of the flatform it is! Then, my initial plan was to get a gold headpiece and I'd wanted throughout it to be similar to the coin charms but I could not for the life of me find such. So I opted for the white to make my shoes (forcefully) relate to everything else that was going on. It worked lol.
Captured by @thelensofnovakane

Captured by @thelensofnovakane

My Sunday get together was the prized possession all along. Months and months ago I saved Solange's Evening Standard cover photo with the braided hair art to my phone because it was literally a sight to be seen. I knew I wanted to recreate it for something and when the time rolled around it was only right Afropunk would be the recipient. And can I tell y'all how long I've wanted to recreate a Lil Kim ensemble? Because it's been a thing. What better than to, the day prior to the VMAs, remind everyone of when our living legend shook us for the nth time? For the construction of this I really just hand picked a bodysuit that was on sale, it didn't need to be all pretty I was going to cut it up anyway. I did want it to be of two things though, wide legged because of a vibe and see-through because... well, me. 

Captured by @thelensofnovakane

I cut, sewed, reconstructed it all, in fact I didn't even add the feather trim like I'd envisioned but I'm glad I didn't because that would've probable given a naught Mrs. Claus look that I was not under any means going for. I hand braided my crown, okay see let's discuss my hair. ~gasps in laughter~ I searched high and low for the damn hair coloring wax that would get to me in time.. I initially was to do a braided platinum cornrow wig but decided against it; so I wanted to temporarily color my hair a bright blond, braid it, install the headpiece. Well. After much ado the wax did come in time, I applied it the day prior, mixing the white and gold to hopefully get a brighter gold.. baby when I separated my hair it looked like I had already been to and back from the festival circa 2016. I looked dusty.

Captured by @dreadedphoto

I really had to think quickly at that point because I'd spent all morning braiding, after forcefully dragging myself up, and at that point was already terribly late. Then the wire was actually playing with me, mocking me really so I changed the entire design of the braids bro I was tiyad. At that point I said to myself I just need to throw something onto these braids because the front is all that matter at the present and presently the front looks fucked.
I problem-solved in a matter of seconds and thus created what you see here..what hundreds saw. Literally amazing. This year was homage to my legends, to icons in this black woman world game, the creative mind and industry game. True outcasts, punks if you will, creating spaces and lanes for other misunderstood black humans to just be themselves and live off of that.

Captured by @coolblkkidanyc

In my eyes that is what Afropunk is all about. But let me not talk on and on about it, I'd rather show it in this interview I did on the lawn with Essence! Check it out y'all. This year was surely one to remember.

xxoo missusmonroe

Captured by @_ibra80

Captured by @ikeslimster

Captured by @icolenob

Captured by @thelensofnovakane
Captured by @thelensofnovakane

Captured by @callme,frankie

Captured by Hugo Scott


6 Gems Your Closet Can't Live Without Summer '19

12:52 PM missusmonroe 0 Comments

(Supposedly) gone are the days of Spring and word around the block is summer is quickly ensuing. Trends are always quickly changing and although we enjoy style over here at SOAL, sometimes it is fun to participate in the fads I'm not gunna lie to you. This year of 2019 I've seen and can predict so many fashions that I'm actually extremely excited about, I love the direction women's fashion is heading right now. Trends take turns and will always return in one shape, style or another. We are barreling into early 00s head first and I will not complain, not only because late 90s was me growing up so I know it like the back of my hand, but also because there's so much damn nostalgia within this time period, it was an iconic time for rap, R&B.. music in general and nevertheless a pivotal time for fashion. Let's get into it.

1. A statement midi skirt

Honestly, this may be my favorite trend this Spring/Summer season. The real specialty to it is it one, the skirt should ideally be silk and two, it needs to be in a color. Hence, statement skirt. For the sake of this post we'll broaden the stakes to simply a statement midi but the silk will ultimately take you to the next level while also providing breath-ability in the summer days to come.
Supreme bonus points if you've caught on to the pleats addition, whether that be in tops or skirts. Here's what that can look like if you're bold enough to go for colors, a shoot I helped style for Essence Magazine's March 2019 issue.

derived from Essence Magazine

2. Miniature bags
This is a hallmark of the late 90s. It goes without saying, a bag, but it's barely big enough to hold anything more than just your phone, some gloss, and your keys. A one step instructional on how to fake a minimalist look. I am truly in love with it and have always been a fan of either super small or rather large. 

3. Non-skinnies / Barrel jeans
I really call this the evolution of the culottes even though it's not entirely that. From where we've seen denim go, saying that would make sense because we just stepped out of such a heavy culotte era but if you say, lived in NYC you'd know barrel jeans has been a thing. Especially in the Williamsburg area no shade. Turn-ups are my favorite style of non-skinnies as we speak, particularly in dark denim.

derived from NastyGal

This photo is a double whammy because...
4. Square-toe sandals
When I say I love this one mannn. And meanwhile I truly adore a pointy toe, but there's something supremely sexy about the square. It serves me a different type of that bitch and I'm not mad at it. One of my favorite things to do is to actually pair it with a loose bottom or wider legged jean. Y'all already know by now I'm a woman of effortless style, that combination will always win.

5. Animal print
Absolutely my least favorite out of the bunch; I recognize the long-lasting affect it has on the world of fads and maybe it's just awful experience with cheetah, but I simply hate animal print. The only bit I can stand is that Tiger blend that usually shows face on silk button ups. Other than that.. to me it truly only works for non-black humans because on us it tends to come off as tacky. Now I really don't mind a leopard print midi paired with a "random" band tee and the likes (if you thought that was a random look you loved just wait until half the summer is over and how many times you'll see that number) however that's just about where I draw the line.

6. One-shouldered action
The momentum for this trend has been building for a few years now but in my opinion it's finally reached its "must-have" status. Because it's had a bit more time its evolution is impeccable. I'm so in love with the play on structure at the current moment, mixing elements as the one-shoulder can tend to soften the frame but when you play around and add a built-in corset, suddenly the energy changes! I'm so alive and present in the effort to keep this gem spicy.
derived from PrettyLittleThing

Bonus: Something with a little shine
This is no way a super trend or a must-have necessarily, simply free game. I always have a feeling of a gem before it gets popular and this is one of them. As simple as you want to make it or as flamboyant, downplay the get-up with glitter or be a grown ass girl with some crystals and shit. The choice is yours but dashing this touch on an otherwise simple 'fit will kill this summer. I recently searched high and low for some wide-leg style rhinestone pants but decided I'd just make them myself with all of the lack of accessibility I was finding.

@cheyennekimora design

On trend: Bardot silhouette
If you haven't seen this brewing for months, by Fall you'll get it and next summer you'll be up to your ears in it. I love anything that's 18/1900s inspired but as the summer months elapse, the less material is presented which makes it an easy and flirty addition. Keep your eyes peeled for this play on the strapless top.

derived from PrettyLittleThing

We can live without: Those damn ugly Filas that should never have made its way into the present

Which one's calling you this summer?

xxoo missusmonroe

Photos derived from Google Images unless otherwise stated.


The Roast of the Met Gala 2019

3:55 PM missusmonroe 0 Comments

Billy Porter the golden mockingbird, Harry Styles' accomplice gave us a take on  white Jesus like only a white boy with long hair would, and the world just seemed to continue to mock the black opinion with their flaunting, slapping, of Gucci on everything. The Met Gala of 2019 everyone! All night I had to stop myself from completing the "she looks like a peacock" sentence because well.. that was the point I suppose.. clearly on many of occasions. And the biggest disappointment of the night aside from the tennis shoes on the carpet, was the realization that RiMETGALAhanna wasn't even in attendance! Via Instagram of all places. The audacity!

FIRST, let's get the theme out of the way. CAMP: NOTES ON FASHION. A love of the unnatural, of artifice, and exaggeration. NOT in terms of beauty, in terms of stylization. I beg of you to please keep this in mind! We know how much I love themes, I take this shit to heart haha. If you can’t dress to the theme, stay at home! In my most honest of opinions, it’s just not that hard to miss out or duck the cameras: if you looked beautiful but not on theme you will in fact get benched in my book.

Do note this is written in reaction style. Continue.

The Ga of all GaGas gave a "most entertaining" show like we all could’ve blindly guessed she would, but I actually admired a lot of the little details that went into it all. With the mini bows, the Telephone facials, it's almost as if she was giving us a bit of her 2009 catalog that many of us, okay me, so long to have back. But could we have gotten rid of that damn bra? I also was praying, begging for more seamlessness but quite honestly the mayhem fed right into the theme of the night, it wasn't about beauty and perfection.

Serena gave me goddess yellow/lime and hibiscus simultaneously; the color was great I just wish she did something with her hair, a moisturized up-do preferably, but just something. However her makeup?? Without flaw.

There was blood red dress I cannot for the life of me find but it was a lot of great things! I know it means absolutely nothing without showing it but my goodness, the texture of the bodice was almost like reptilian skin, I live!

Why were the men either giving boring 3 piece or Woodstock? It was annoying to be quite frank, but men at these usually get a pass. The above look was one of the more refreshing get-togethers, suit wise but it still wasn't supremely impressive.

Now Regina.. LOL this was not it. Her wig was serving very much so synthetic Yara, if you know you know and we all know, her outfit was giving me incomplete and her confidence in it was very much so I could think of a million other places I could be. And for the love of God what were those Metallica platforms? I just think the color choice..the outfit choice could’ve been much better. 

Hamish, this would've worked if it wasn't giving everything of That's So Raven. And I know everyone knows exactly what denim jacket with this string attachment I'm referring to. I was alive for the drama and fingerwave (yes singular) y'all, I swear I was.

Now. This metallic gold frock was everything I've ever loved, don't mind that she can tap dance her way onto a nearby musical with those feets, but with this bodysuit Celine can tap tap tap anywhere.

Janelle Janelle Janelle... we did not deserve! If not for the fact that it was far too pretty, this would for sure be my best dressed. I know it's hard to imagine because where but I just wish there was a dash more of drama, just a dash!

Kim looked.. not pictured on my fucking blog lol but honestly less than impressive to me; however, I'm assuming after finishing her exams she just didn't have time to properly prepare. I feel as though her Met carpet looks all mirror each other in a way, some dress that shows off her doctor’s work and a pursed lip. That’s all we really get. I later learned she was giving either raindrops or teardrops.. I was still left duly impressed.

Some final thoughts:
All the frills and wings of the night were cute but they were not on theme. Camp isn't beauty based it's stylized based, hence only the inclusion of some notable looks in this brief recap. A costume party with hardly any costumes, I'm so disappointed! The few times you can go above and beyond with little judgement. Yet, there was too much beauty and not even risk which, no matter how many feathers or holes you put in the frock, still leaves it safe. From the Kardashian-Jenners to that one Hadid, too put together, not enough exaggeration. Then you turn to Zendaya and you get too much imagination running, a take on Cinderella and fairytales maybe but the entire ensemble? Taste is still necessary my good people.

Fucking galactica? Camp, not space camp.

Ain't It:

fucking embarrassing.


In my best opinion... Cardi won. She stuck to the theme and she looked damn good in it. From her always regal poses to the blood clot color, I mean she literally dished. Then we get news that this dress was hand embroidered by 35, 35 people! For over 2,000 hours! Give me dedication, give me commitment, and give me drama or I don't want it! And then she stuck to the theme and had the nerve to make it look stunning. Fashion ladies and gentlemen. Janelle was definitely right on her heels, it was just too perfectly placed for me. Who did you absolutely adore from the first Monday in May?

xxoo missusmonroe