“I have chopped my entire head of hair off TWICE. Which was not always well received by the men I dated, but I cannot say I particularly cared as I knew it was hair and it would come back. I needed something different. I needed to see and care for the person that was in the mirror that I looked into everyday.” – Asia Monique
*Epictetus, the Greek philosopher, said “Know first, who you are; then adorn yourself accordingly.” What does this mean to you? In other words, what’s your philosophy on fusing style with spirit?
Wow. Starting off with a gut question to the mind…but this means, figure out who you are: find yourself. Then dress to the person you have found: which is yourself, ultimately.
*How would you describe your style?
Its a total blend of 50’s uppercrust meets new-wave hipster. Love pairing classic updos with open airy tops, oversized cardis, straight leg denim, and vintage styled heels. Or when I can (Chicago weather determines the hair), I will let my curls run free with total contemporary basics styled around the hair.
*What’s your favorite way to channel your mood into what you’re wearing? Similarly, how do you like for your clothes to make you feel?
I totally need to feel comfortable, sexy, and confident all at the same time. The thing is, I am not one for wearing form fitting things, I am the type to grab my significant other’s white tee, with a cargo jacket and a pair of classic denim, with a pointed stiletto and I am out the door. Bun on top of the head and everything. I like versatile pieces I can work with for play and business, and wear over and over again until I can say no more of the piece, you know? I feel I dress best, when I honestly do not want to go anywhere, and that can be after some insane workout, or a very tiring day. It’s crazy, but I guess it’s the push to motivate and move that makes it worthwhile.
*Do you consider yourself to favor a more minimalist or ‘maximalist’ approach to your wardrobe?
I am totally a minimalist. Less is better for every approach, especially when it comes to layering, and the need I have for some structure with anything I put together. I love jewelry, but I keep it to a watch, possibly a ring, and a statement necklace in the form of a chain.
*Where do you find fashion inspiration?
Favorite places for inspiration: TUMBLR! I have a tumblr page, of which I started solely as a vision board at the crossroads of blog life, and that was right before Pinterest became the next craze in visuals, but with my Tumblr I have a feed from places all over the globe, stemming from Paris, Amsterdam, Australia, and the like (wayyy too many to name). My favorite though (sucker for men’s style) is the Street Etiquette blog, as they have everything from men’s style, to snapshots of the day and art as well. I think my biggest inspirations across the board, come from everyday scenery: pics of New York during the day, to old school vintage photos of cars…it’s weird.
*What’s one fashion ‘rule’ that you love to break?
The ideals of A-line and structure. I find that you CAN have structure and shape, making a complete and sound outfit out of fitted + baggy. The one I do on the regular is picking oversized pieces with more fitted looks, like a pair of the most amazing skinny jeans I own, with a sweet pair of pointed toe pumps, baggy printed tee, oversized thrifted military jacket and some HUGE infinity scarf….and going about my day. Between that look (more of an everyday) and the baggy on baggy, with heels, works well in my favor.
*Most women go through phases where they dress to impress men, other women, and eventually to please themselves. Did you go through this? If so, please share your experience of learning to dress to please yourself.
I fear that is life. LBVS (Laughing But Very Serious!) When you realize that you’re the person wearing the clothes, and not the person who is choosing to ridicule, it makes so much sense. I went through phases in my teens where I went from baggy tracksuits and trainers, to classic denim, heels and a crisp white button up. I always shopped my mother’s closet, as she had multiples and I learned how to make it a top, or a vest, or a scarf – I just figured it all out.
I got to college and eventually became a stylist through training at EXPRESS, and I was able to help the women that came into the store understand their bodies, as well as what it was they particularly needed when they shopped the store (or any other place for that matter). I personally needed to know what it all felt like, from the material, to the cut, the print, the colors…all for myself, because I understood that I had some shape and I wanted to compliment it.
Even with my hair, honey, I have chopped my entire head of hair off TWICE. Which was not always well received by the men I dated, but I cannot say I particularly cared as I knew it was hair and it would come back. I needed something different. Just like I had to feel the texture and see the print, I needed to see and care for the person that was in the mirror I looked into everyday.
*Please share your favorite quote, scripture or affirmation related to beauty, fashion or personal style.
I don’t have an exact quote, but ” let the reflection you see everyday, reflect the person that you truly are.” I used to think I was the ugliest thing in life, the biggest failure, a total mistake….and then I realized, the mistakes I’ve made in my 26 years of life, were learning experiences for me to mentor kids in grade schools on grace and class, or to help that ONE young lady get through high school. I learned to accept me…and I felt like I just recently met myself actually. Crazy but true. Beauty is everything you make it, and my journey has been a beautiful one thus far.