Ballin’ on a budget is truly my speciality. I have a passion for inexpensive thrift shopping. I am addicted to one dollar flea markets and thrift stores. Two weeks ago, I went to a stadium flea market and I found a black leather beret for FIVE DOLLARS. I was so elated, I had to create a fun, fresh, and funky look that would look amazing with my new beret.
A week later, Paris Fashion Week began and one of Rihanna’s fashion statements was a black leather beret. I was so excited to know that RiRi and I were on the same page when it came to rocking berets. A beret is a perfect style accessory. During the civil rights era, many black panthers wore black berets as a symbol of empowerment, while they shouted “Black is beautiful”. I wear a black beret because it makes a great fashion statement, but it reminds me of my ancestors that fought for civil rights while making a fashion statement.
Paris Fashion Week runways have been flooded with berets, but to make a statement, you must wear the perfect outfit. I decided to pair my beret with a leather jacket, a graphic tee, leather pants (that I bought for five dollars), and leather black boots . I was going for the funky, trendy, but comfortable look. I made sure that my graphic tee said something profound. I bought my leather beret because I was inspired by the Black Panthers, so it was only right that my shirt said “the hardest job in America is being a Black woman”. I got this vintage tee from an amazing vintage store named ReboundNJ based in Paterson, NJ. Since, I was going for the black solidarity vibe, I wanted people to see and understand that I was making a political statement through my fashion.
There are multiple ways to style a beret, but I truly believe you must create a look that turns heads. It’s cute to wear it with jeans and t-shirt, but that is more of an “every day” look. When I find an accessory or garment that is striking and unique, I always dress it up because one specific part of a look can make or break an outfit. No matter how colorful or outlandishly your outfit may look, make sure that you are in love with it from head to toe. When you leave out your door everyday, make sure that you look good. In the words of Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, “it is best to be as pretty as possible for destiny”. You never know when you will have a date with destiny, so you must look the part at all times.
Power to the People,
Photographed by Ty Visionary