Love & Sex

Defausha on Vintage, Janet Jackson, and Honing In on Your Signature Style

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Wow. I don’t really meet many people rocking styles from their great-great grandmother, let alone this well. Do you always try to incorporate something from your family into what you’re wearing?
Everything I wear has some sort of sentimental value, especially my jewelry. My great-great grandma was a dresser in Detroit in the 40s and 50s. She just loved to dress up – matching shoes, hats, belts, jewels. Fortunately, I was around to know her and she always let me play in her clothes. Before she died we spent this day together when she gave me almost everything she used to wear. Now that I’m all grown-up I can finally fit into it all, and wearing her pieces is a way to stay close to her.

Is sentimentality in style something you find attractive in others?
It certainly is. I like a guy who can bring his own style to anything he’s wearing – even if it’s just a flannel shirt he picked up at Dunham’s. Clothes have a way of communicating a lot about your character and who you are, and they often have a story to tell too. I’ve seen guys wearing baseball shirts from when they used to play in school, stuff like that, and it’s always a great conversation starter.

This doesn’t only go for members of the opposite sex though – I have this friend that only wears things under $20, but she finds them during her travels all over the world, places like India and Morocco. She’s like a walking culture clash. Every outfit she wears leads into an incredible story, and it definitely helps her pick up guys.

So that’s your past, but what about your present?
Well, I definitely dress according to my moods. If I’m wearing heels, you can tell I’m in an OK mood. Sometimes when I’m feeling classic or elegant, I go for a Breakfast at Tiffany‘s look. I’m trying to get better at creating a good laid-back vibe too, but it’s hard!

Let’s say your mood is, well, really sexy. What do you wear?
Haha, my friends would call this look "The Classic Dee." It’s a body-hugging dress, usually belted, paired with some fabulous shoes. They always say I wear something that shows off my ass, and honestly, I do! I’m lucky enough to have a small waist, so why not accentuate my curves? Sometimes this attracts BoHos, and sometimes the guys I want. The latter are usually tall and casually well-tailored, while the former are almost always wearing sunglasses in the club and/or Ed Hardy.

As far as the fabulous shoes go, any particular designers you love?
I love the Cole Haan G-Series for work because they’re so comfortable. For going out, it’s the Report Signature collection. They make really flashy shoes that I wouldn’t wear during the day, but at night they’re gorgeous. The detailing is amazing.

What do think about beachwear this coming summer? It is Memorial Day Weekend in a couple days.
I think sexy beachwear is flirty, but not overdone. I’m not a fan of thong bikinis, but if you like it, go for it. Florals, ruffles, simple stripes, the little details – that’s what beachwear is about for me. It’s also important to dress in what’s flattering for your body, especially when your skin is your main accessory like it is on the beach. 

Any summer trends you can’t even deal with this year?
Oh yes. My eyes have frequently been assaulted by the disastrous appropriation of bold 80s styles, especially neon stretch pants and leopard print leggings. Unless you’re like twelve years old, leave it alone. Too many people just walk into American Apparel and try to stretch things over what should not be stretched over. You may think you look young, but styles like that just age you by showing how hard you’re trying.

Are there any public figures out there that you think are particularly sexy role models?
Hm, I do have my share of girlcrushes. Right now, I love the way Janet Jackson has been styling. I haven’t always been a fan of her looks, but recently she’s just been fabulous on the red carpet. I like that she has a little edge to her too. Also, I’ve been a fan of Nia Long’s style for a while now. She’s just so cute! As far as guys go, I think Boris Kodjoe is scrumptious. He’s so casual and cool without trying too hard.

Any final thoughts for those looking to feel sexier style-wise?
Stay true to yourself, your taste, and your own style. Everybody has something that’s signature about them, so hone in on that and bring it forward. For me, it’s belts and bracelets. For you, it might be neon stretch pants. Wear what makes you feel good and you can be the one to set the tone for the summer.