Photographed by Arian Jabbery
Have you ever looked in your closet and thought, “I’ve worn this sweater, jeans, shirt, (fill in the blank) a million times.” That’s us like every other day. With all the expenses that come along with life, rent, bills, more bills from eating out way too much than we should, it’s not as easy to just buy a new outfit everyday to satisfy our shopping fix. That’s why we’ve tapped into the minds of some pretty savvy style bloggers to help us navigate through our wardrobe woes.
These style bloggers have been given the challenge of selecting 1 item from their personal closet and creating 3 different looks. Proving to us, that it’s not about what you have in your closet, but how you work it. Or shall we say, “Re-Werk It.”
Check out the interview below and get to know our very first mix master, stylist/blogger Al Malonga (@Wardrobe Breakdown).
Challenge Item: Light grey tapered pants.
What’s your blog about?
My blog is called WardrobeBreakdown, and can be found on Instagram. It’s street style and lifestyle, my personal style, New York City, dreadlocks, and my work behind the scenes as a stylist. I just celebrated the 2 year anniversary of @wardrobebreakdown. My roommate had saw me struggling, trying to find out how I could get my brand out there. She told me that since my style was always getting so many positive reactions, I should have a street style/look of the day blog as a starting point to put myself out there. That’s how it all began.
What makes your blog different from other style blogs?
I guess I would say what makes it different is that it happens very organically and spontaneously. Maybe the realness of it. My blog is not staged, or planned in advance, I wear whatever I am wearing that day and I use the city surroundings as my backdrop. I’m just a normal girl who lives in Brooklyn, shops vintage, and is on a budget. I work a lot to build my brand. I don’t really follow what’s trending and am not concerned with what everyone else is wearing. I don’t take selfies or pictures of my breakfast. This is my real life, well at least what you see on Instagram. I like to maintain my privacy to a certain extent.
Describe your style.
Pretty versatile and eclectic. I am a mix of many cultures, so it comes through in my style each day, depending on my mood. From urban to punk rock, afrocentric to preppy, tomboy to retro, print mixing, colorful, or all black. My style is a bit of Cameroon, Paris, London, Tokyo… and of course Brooklyn. Most importantly, I’m always wearing something that I feel comfortable enough in to run around all day.
Describe each of your 3 looks.
I picked a very easy and simple piece for my challenge item, light grey tapered pants.
I went for a muted color story here, light blues, greys and whites. I paired the pants with a cream lace crop top, and vintage fringe jacket. Accessorizing is key to all of my looks. I finished off this look with a South African beaded necklace, big platform heels and socks, head wrap, and nose ring.
This look is classic men’s dapper style. To go along with the pants, I wore a white silk button down blouse and a vintage dark mustard shiny blazer adorned with a neck pin and chain on the lapel. For accessories, I chose my 2 tone wing tip Dr. Martens oxfords, faux crocodile brown vintage messenger bag, tortoise glasses and of course a lot of gold rings.
I’d say this look is feminine business woman. My Vintage printed silky blouse and green vintage redingote coat were just the right additive to spice up the simple grey pants. The accessories I added to this look were floral print open toe heels, my black and green maxi bag from Paris and a big gold earring. Makeup wise, I usually keep my look pretty natural but I thought the red lip added a little something extra to this outfit.
You’re a wardrobe stylist. Tell us a bit about that.
As a freelance stylist, I get to work in very diverse areas, fashion editorials, commercials, look books. I do a lot of personal shopping too, for people who want a wardrobe make over. I also work with music artists on album covers, music videos, or stage performances. I even work as a costume designer for theater and dress the entire cast. I’ve have to say though, I’ve had the most fun with performers so far. You can really think outside of the box in regards to style when it’s for stage or video.
Where are you from?
I moved to NYC from Paris, but I was raised in Douala, Cameroon. I needed a change of scenery. I felt like NYC was a better suited creative energy and pace for me than Paris, after many years of trying to find my place there. Now, I live in Dumbo, Brooklyn. The location is great. It’s right by the East river and so close to the city, but it still has that chill Brooklyn village vibe. One of my all time favorite areas is The Brooklyn Bridge Park. It’s like a dream, with the best post card view of Manhattan there is.
Where do you usually shop?
I am addicted to the L Train Vintage stores in Brooklyn.
What’s your favorite NYC hangout spot?
The C. Spot.
What do you like best about living in NYC?
As a Parisian, I feel like I fit right in. I don’t have my license. I can walk, take the bus, train or Uber anywhere, anytime. The city never sleeps. I love how creative New York feels and that New Yorkers love to dress up! I see so much dope and inspiring street style everyday. I love that I can go out dressed however I want and never feel judged. Instead, I see people smile at me because they appreciate anything original or a bit out there. I love New York.
*This will be an ongoing segment featuring different NYC based style bloggers.
Send us photos of some of your favorite looks to firstname.lastname@example.org to be featured!