Since we at SPICE are still celebrating a month of all things independence, with Nigeria having celebrated her 54 years of it on October 1st, we thought it vital to share our tips on screaming Independent Womanhood with your wardrobe, and have collated a list of stylish must-haves to solidify your status as a modern go-getter.
The days of relying on your mum or your man to navigate your way in the world are over, and to save your (important) time and breath explaining that to anyone who may have it twisted, simply tick the below items off your wardrobe checklist and then go ahead with your strong, bad-ass, “I can do it all” self…
And we won’t tell a soul you had any help with your look either; you came to your own stylish conclusions, independently, right?
1. The Power Suit
Because you just can not beat a power suit! Perfect for heading into boardrooms with or walking into right into your favourite restaurant, the humble composition of a pair of trousers and a good jacket can be used to your every command, and simply being seen in one shows that you mean business…
For anyone who hasn’t yet witness the power of what should be everyone’s staple wardrobe piece, consider a well-cut two-piece your body armour and get suited up in yours to take on any man, woman or child on whatever ‘difficult’ day you think you’ve got ahead. You’ll be amazed at how heads will turn and how people and their bad attitudes will part before you like the red sea.
Yes, a good power suit has the power to help you show who’s boss, and this tailored twin-set by Victoria Beckham – comprised of a tuxedo jacket (£1850 here) and tapered pair of trousers (£850 here) – is the best. Pull it into your wardrobe and go kick some stylish butt!
2. The Crisp White Shirt
And obviously, following on from the business suit is the crisp white shirt – because where would your independent self be without one?
The wardrobe token of all things ‘I’ve got my stuff together,’ this little beauty allows you the space to fall apart in secret; by throwing your well-ironed, bright white shirt over anything on those “I’m running late,” “I have no clue what I’m going to wear,” “I’m not sure what the day holds” type of days, you’ll still look like you’ve got it all under control – like every modern day, independent woman does (or pretends to).
What’s best about a classic white shirt is its way with versatility – wear yours casually with bright accessories or seriously, in work-mode and you’ll still look like you’ve totally got it together with a style that’s also timeless.
3. Matching Underwear
If you’re a full-time glamazon, this’ll sound like a given: a bra that simply matches your panties. But, if you’re the go-getting, modern day, “I don’t need nobody”-type of gal who’s busy doing her independent thing all day and night, you might have forgotten that when you do have somebody by your side (in full view of you slipping out of items 1 and 2 on our list), nothing’ll spoil the moment (or the facade that you’ve got everything under lock) quicker than a clashing set of underwear.
The style motto of independent women everywhere is “I have everything under control” and with their style, the thought is echoed from the tips of their well-coiffed, edge-controlled heads of hair to their very well manicured toes…
Joining that club? Well, let’s not let your underwear let the side down, eh? In fact ladies, let’s go one better and set the bar with lingerie that more than just matches, but lingers.
A good bra is not just great support for your chest but it’ll also lift your brilliant wardrobe (holding clothes exactly as they should be held) and your self-esteem – especially if said bra is chic and sexy. When you feel great from your underwear, up, everyone will be able to tell you’re feeling a million bucks, as it’ll be mirrored in the way you move.
So, get on a gorgeous bra, rock it with the matching pants and go strut your independent stuff so everyone knows you’ve got all your things ‘together’ – whether it’s washing day or not. And, for those lucky enough to see all the stuff you’ve got under control, up close, there’ll be no mis-matched underwear so no mis-matched expectations, either.
Our favourite matching set at the moment is this pair of sexy goods by Dolce & Gabbana (£175 and £120, here and here), though South Africa’s lingerie label Ruby stocks a few pretty offerings, too (see here).
4. The Statement Bag
Seen on the arm of more than one of the world’s most ‘in control’ women, the statement bag is a prerequisite for independent womanhood. Don’t have one? Go get one, and make sure it’s a pretty hefty one, too.
Yes, big bags are the way to say “I’m the boss” and hide all your lady boss gadgets too, like your “I’m in charge” lipstick (see item number 6) for example – and of course, all your hard-earned cash…
Well-known names like Fendi and Louis Vuitton are always good options to ooze utter luxury, but then there’s African-sourced leather offerings from Okapi calling for your attention, too – like this stunning “Aziri” bag (£1,350, here).
5. Killer Heels
How better to walk tall and scream your independence than with a killer pair of heels? Flats’ll do too, if they’re more your thing, so long as they are the epitome of luxury for your feet and are a style statement unto themselves.
Our top tip would be to keep it classic with a pair of black courts, or if you’re more cautious, go for nude. But that’s not to say they need to be completely colourless, as a girl’s feet’s best friend – a covetable pair of Christian Louboutins – are the ultimate in style statement-making, with their signature shock of bold red to the sole.
Grab a pair like these “Zappa Kid” spiked ones (£475, here) and walk all over anyone who says you can’t.
6. Carefully Coloured-in Lips
Your pout is a brilliant place to draw attention, and for a strong independent woman like you, it should be carefully coloured-in – whether that’s with a deep dark hue in keeping with the latest beauty trend, a classic nude or a bold red.
We at SPICE agree there’s nothing more ballsy than a perfect red lip, so paint yours on to brave any boardroom, supermarket, woman or man, and see for yourself how it acts like an alarm, saying: “attention please, an independent woman is speaking!”
Rock any of our beloved MAC’s lip shades and have everyone’s attention before you’ve even finished saying “Ruby Woo” (the world’s favourite shade, £15.50, here).
7. Non-Chipped Nails
Nicely painted nails are an instant look elevator, and an independent woman always looks the part. From head to toe, the modern day damsel is thoroughly on point and will stop being so well-styled for the same person she relies on: No One.
For that “you can’t even comprehend my togetherness”-type of look, which will do wonders at work, in the club and even at dinner with the most difficult of in-laws, head to your nearest manicurist for an expert finish, or simply stay at home, select a classic colour and get painting your nails yourself. You are an independent woman, after all – who needs a manicurist when you’ve 5 minutes to spare and a steady hand?
Our favourite nudes are “Keen” and “All Hail the Queen” (quite fitting, and £12, here) by Butter London, though the best boss lady nails command attention in reds like “Knees Up.”
8. Get a Signature Scent
Though you’re an independent woman, you need not go it totally alone. Instead, take a beautiful scent with you and let it become your signature – part of the modern day go-getter statement.
Heavenly, memorable scents help drill home the message that you are well put together and are in such control of your appearance (the above items on the list are never out of place) that surely, you’re an equally capable pair of hands when it comes to life in general. Motherhood, girl/boyfriend-loving, work and play? Check, check, check and check – and with time to look this good and spritz on fragrance!
Perfume adds a touch of luxury to your persona and lets people know that you’re pretty considerate when it comes to making a good impression. So, if your aim is to come across confident and collected, then this last detail will do you well and make sure that others don’t get things twisted: you know what you’re doing and you do it oh so well…
Popular on Team SPICE is Tom Ford’s “Black Orchid” – a powerful and potent fragrance that people are sure to notice and comment on. Just spritz a little (£102 for the EDP, here) and let it do some of the talking.
9. A Telling Time Piece
Time and tide wait for no man, and neither do you, Miss Independent.
Been eyeing up that new Givenchy “Seventeen” watch with its unique olive green dial (£750, here)? Well, you go girl – go ahead and go buy it! Independent women are in charge of their own destiny (and money), and a good watch is destined to be on your wrist.
Classy style staples like a simple pair of studs or row of pearls are great, but a luxury watch reminds people that you mean business. Plus, modern ladies with their lives together aren’t seen stopping strangers to find out the time, and with your chic, expensive timepiece, it’s more likely people will be stopping you left right and centre to have a little of your time instead. Especially if you’re rocking one of Alexander Amosu’s “Sky Dweller” watches, designed especially for Nigeria’s 54th anniversary of independence…
10. A Smart Phone, Of course….
And in case you missed the memo, ladies, you need to be seen with a smart phone – because what else is there to use in public?
The iPhone 6 is out and those who have their stuff together were quick to make sure it was one of the things they had in their handbag, ready to be whipped out in pride every time the thing rang.
But there’s a whole heap of awesome smart phones available that you’d be silly not to be seen with, which you can find on Konga.com here. In fact, there’s nothing more essential to show off your independent status, day-to-day, than your mobile phone, which these days come with a load of extras (calendars, voice note recorders, currency convertors and the like) to make life easy and even less reliant on others.
Damsel in distress? Not likely – there’s an app to sort all possible ‘little girl lost’-type problems, just make sure you’ve the data storage to download all the essentials!
That said, if you’ve been following our list carefully, your most-used app will be Instagram, since you’ll be busy showing off shots of your new, ‘strong modern woman’ style. Share them with us at SPICE via @SPICETVAFRICA. We look forward to seeing them, Miss Independent.
Image source: Netaporter.com, Brownsfashion.com, Apple.com, Butterlondon.co.uk, Konga.com, Kisua.com, Vogue.co.uk, Fashiongonerogue.com