Chante Nakapaahu

Style Journey

Posted: 07.15.2013

Style Journey  

A walk down my style memory lane...

The evolution from here to there is a day-to-day process. Personal style is formed exactly the same. Style is believed to be innate. But in fact, it is an exercised skill with natural abilities. This skill comes from fine-tuning, artistic insight, a third eye, and most importantly inspiration and motivation.

I like to think of myself as an artist, but my canvas happens to be my body. I paint myself through personal style. And just like a painting, it’s never finished.  Something can always be added or subtracted. More is less and less is more?

The style that I posses comes from early on child inspiration such as my mother, my grandmother, Clueless, and Scary Spice. (I’ve come so far!)

But what does it mean? Style?

"Don't want what they have," my grandmother insisted calmly. "You have the power to make your own trends. Buy a different pair of shoes and jazz them up with your own style." This was my first encounter with the word style.. 

My grandmother always told me, “It was never about how expensive clothes are, but how expensive you make them look.” And she definitely stressed, “If too many people have it, you don’t need it!”

My maternal influence was young, hip, and shopping at all the “it” stores during the 90s—Comtempo, Buffalo Exchange, Express, and Guess. I some all these labels sound farfetched now... but for the sake of the journey in retrospect, think 90s florals, wedges, houndstooth, Guess jeans, Clueless---- wait this sounds reminiscent of today, right? Not only did my mother shop at the hipster stores of the 90s, but she also got busy at thrift and consignment stores.She has always been ahead of the curve by taking me to thrift and consignment shops before it was part of the green movement.

Clueless was the most influential. Watching Alicia Silverstone and Stacy Dash sashay across the television--I knew I needed that stylish edge. I wasn’t quite sure of how I was going to get there… I just knew that I needed to be there. Clueless was influential because I was shown that girls and women alike did not have to be confined to the same style day after day—that we were allowed to evolve.

All of the Spice Girls empowered me (as they were supposed to! GIRL POWER), but Scary Spice just spoke my language with her big hair, her bad ass shoes and her I don't give a fuck attitude!I failed to mention earlier that as an adolescent, I was extremely awkward—tall, big feet, glasses, curly hair everywhere… the awkward works! Despite, all of what I thought was strange, Scary Spice helped me channel my awkward into awesome.

Today, my inspiration comes from look books, street style, and simply just life. I am never afraid of trying new things and even making a mistake here and there. Style should be fun, but there are days that artists can’t paint; therefore, there are days where I cannot dress (This is the real reason they created anti-anxiety medicine). On these days, I prefer not to leave the house (I sound a lil cray cray huh?).

I do not like being too trendy, but I do like to be “on trend”, I like being effortless, but sharp, I like my looks to be developed, but not overworked, and most importantly… I love new silhouettes. The perfect silhouette is one of the main concepts a woman needs to focus on when styling herself. Because a silhouette is the difference between looking like Jessica Rabbit and Baby Bop… You do the math!

I never want to spend an obscene amount of money on any one item. I don’t like doing this because 1) I am eternally on a budget. 2) I do not like wearing the same outfits in the same month (there goes the cray cray again…). If I spend my money wisely, I can get everything I need & want—more clothes.

When shopping, I do not discriminate when it comes to where I shop and any great style artist should know this. If I see something at target or at a street vendor, and I feel like I am unable to live without it… I buy it. Let me adjust that impulsive statement--- If I can come up with at least 3 or 4 different ways I can rock that item, it’s CLUTCH!  

I am 27 years old and counting, and everyday I learn something new when it comes to style. For instance, yesterday I learned there is such thing as 7-foot shoelaces!! (They are for a pair of lace up booties that needs some jazzy up!) I am constantly challenging myself to create memorable looks (in a good way), be better than I was yesterday, and always let my style light shine.


The Freak xoxo

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