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FASHION INFLUENCER AND BLOGGER WE LOVE :
jIDA kALAI of elegant fashionista 

Fashion Influencer and Blogger we love : Catch Jida Kalai of @Elegant Fashionista, a Michigan based fashion influencer and blogger.

When I met her, I was struck with how beautiful and elegant she was both inside and outside, she was dressed in a gorgeous skirt-crop top set and looked effortlessly fashionable.

In her own words "I am an interior designer with a passion for creating striking and elegant interiors. My wardrobe and fashion style is a reflection of my design taste as is the case for so many of the fashionistas out there. As someone once said :"an interior designer is not a creator, but rather a coordinator." My talent as a decorator is to find beautiful things and make them work harmoniously together. Same applies to color, we don't create colors but we come up with beautiful color combinations. I treat every outfit as a small project and I I just have fun with it. I am not a professional photographer, so my pictures might look amateur and un-touched because actually they are :) but I hope they get my ideas across. Even though I might list certain brands, I am not promoting any but rather giving you an inspiration that you can create with any other cheaper or more expensive brands. "

"Fashion trends come and go, but classic pieces are here to stay. I've touched base in the past about how to shop smart; knowing what pieces are worth the big bucks. I like to invest in garments that don't go out of style and I get to wear all year round.

I bought this skirt last year and I got to wear it in the four seasons. The material makes it easy to carry from the cold winter months to the hot summer days. A panty hose and booties make it cold perfect. On the other hand a pair of sandals and a silk top give it a summary look.

Color is another important factor when shopping for an all season piece. I picked an orange red that can easily be paired with winter and summer tops. It goes great with black, white, pink, hot pink,...etc. Don't go for season specific colors when splurging on a piece. This skirt has been worth every penny I spent on it.

Invest in separates rather than one pieces. You get less use of a dress than a bottom or a top. You can change the whole look of a skirt, for example, by what you pair it with. With separates, you create your own style by mixing and matching for different occasions and throughout the year."

Some of her very insightful styling tips that we love-

With temperatures reaching record low here in the midwest, it's been the perfect time for sweater weather. For us fashionistas, our main goal is to stay stylish despite the varying weather conditions. Heavy knits are a bit of a challenge to style, but here are some tips.

1. When bulky, go fitted. Heavy sweaters can easily make us look like a box and not put together. If you size down (without it looking too small) it'll show up your figure and look more stylish.

2. Add a trendy piece. In the example above, I paired the sweater with these layered large pockets sacai shorts. Doing thus transforms the outfit from ordinary to edgy chic.

3. Spice it up with accessories. In the example above I went for a large purse, a pair of furry booties, a contrast color coat, and a pair of large earrings. With these added details you transform your sweater from a "stay warm piece" to a chic garment.

4. Go for color. The winter palette is already a monochromatic one. Add interest by experimenting with different color combinations. I went for the earth tones in the pictures above. To bring the colors to life, I accented with a deep chocolate brown.

5. Pick sweaters that have some funky elements to them. Examples are, rugged edges, off the shoulder, ripped knits,...etc. Take your time to shop for unique sweaters that will keep you warm while staying stylish.

Tips on Layering for this fall weather-

Remember the Olsen sisters and their bohemian way of layering loads of clothes to hide from the paparazzi? Well, this trend is still in style in 2018 especially in the months that witness change of seasons.

We don't have to follow in the footsteps of the Olsens covering ourselves with tons of fabrics. Layering can be a a great way to mix colors, textures, and styles. It's chic as well as practical during weather changes.

Here are a few tips to help you layer your way to an elegant sophisticated look:

1. My number one rule is that you have to make sure your outfit looks complete when you start peeling off layers.

2. Adding a scarf is an easy way to effortlessly introduce another layer of color and texture.

3, Make sure the coat you wear doesn't take over the whole look. Your outerwear should become part of the outfit. Pick a color that compliment the other items.

4. Mix textures and/or colors. Mixing colors when layering is great, but if you like to keep your palette more neutral introduce textures. In the example above I did sequin, wool, cashmere, and denim.

5. Mix seasonal items. For example, you can wear a pair of summer sandals with a heavy knit or a coat. Another way is to wear a high boots with a lighter top. I went for a pair of open toes and a distressed denim.

6. Length and cut matters. I personally think it's more chic when the coat is longer or slightly shorter than the bottom you're wearing. I went for a coat that matches the length of my jeans.

7. Accessorizing is key in layering. Necklaces, glasses, earrings are all ways to add an extra layer of interest.

8. Feel comfy so you look great. You don't want your layering to look like you are carrying your closet on your back. Keep it simple. You don't want to sweat or feel heavy with lots of garments.

9. Avoid combining chunky pieces together. Layering is beautiful when you mix heavy with light. Once you start mixing heavy items together, the whole look won't be as attractive or elegant.

10. Experiment and have fun with it. A lot of beautiful things happen by coincidence. You won't know till you try. You are not going to loose anything. So, have fun with it and make it playful;)


- From Jida's Blog, read more on her amazing website.

And there is much more on her blog, so follow her to get awesome style tips. Here are some crisp fashion bytes from Jida of Elegant Fashionista herself-

SG-  What is your personal style or fashion mantra? How do you plan a look?

JK-   Less is More. A fashionista is not a hanger to show off designer pieces. I like to to Keep it simple and chic. We should not hide behind
garments or accessories. Understated elegance is not an easy look to carry. It takes a lot of fashion taste to look simple yet sophisticated.

SG-  You favorite travel/resort destination, travel tips or packing tips?

JK-  My favorite vacation spot is anywhere with turquoise waters and sandy beaches. I feel the salt water and the sun makes me happy and
gives me a natural glow where I don[t need to use much makeup.

    Travel Tips:
1. When taking long flights, do not wear makeup. A freshly cleansed face is far more attractive than caky makeup. Makeup will clog the pores if
wear it long term and you arrive looking more tired than need be.

2. On long flights, I use facial mask sheets during the flight. You arrive glowing and your kin looks rested.

3. Comfy clothes on flights. I have a few garments I bought strictly to wear on long flights. I don't like to wear tight things on flight. I either go for harem pants and a t-shirt, long cotton dress, sweat pants...etc I make sure that I still look chic by adding a scarf a pair of hoop earrings.

4. On any flight I take with me a bag of fresh fruits and veggies to munch on. Drinking a lot of water on planes isn't practical as you keep
wanting to use the uncomfortable small toilets. Instead, fruits and veggies keep you hydrated and prevent you from indulging in too many unhealthy snacks.

5. I also take with me gloves and footies on planes. I moisturize heavily and then wear the gloves and footies to keep my hands and feet soft. This was also you don't need to over wash your hands. I simply change gloves.

6. I don't travel without a sanitizer and I sanitize my area and the one adjacent to me. After all, lots of viruses on planes.

7. I start taking emergency c three days before my trip, the day of travel, and three days after. It's not fun to get sick while on vacation.

Packing Tips:
1. My number one packing tip is: Plan your daily outfits. You'll be surprised how lighter your luggage will be when it's planned a head. I spend a lot of time planning each day's outfits and I write them down so when I pack it makes it easier and I don't have to think what I'm wearing every day.

2. Shoes and purses are the heavies pieces we travel with. Planning your outfit colors so that coordinating matching shoes, bags, and accessories become easier. I try to stick to a harmonious colors scheme that doesn't require me to change more than two purses and two shoes (depending on the length of my trip)

3. Pack comfy styles. You want to enjoy your vacation and not be trapped in uncomfortable attires. I like, for example, to wear nike espadrilles with cute dresses and outfits.

4. Keep it colorful for the memory pictures you'll take.

5. Once you figure out what your taking, pack neatly. I lay down the garments in the bottom and finish up with shoes, bags, skin care, and make up on top.

SG-  Your favorite look for Detroit summer and Detroit winters?

JK-  Detroit Summers: I love to wear colorful light weight dresses with flat sandals. I find them comfortable in hot humid days. Detroit Winters: A pair of ankle block heel boots, shorts, a light sweater, and a stylish coat. I again love to add a pop of color to make up for the gloomy gray winters.

SG-   Your styling tips for making a boring outfit into fashion success

JK-  Don't underestimate the power of accessories. They bring a rather boring outfit to the spotlight. statement necklace or earrings, a contrasting colors pumps or belt, a scarf are all tools you can play with to make your ensemble stand out.

SG-  What is you favorite go to outfit?

JK-  Any outfit that is comfy, yet stylish. I like garments that I feel comfortable in. It really reflects on my personality.

SG- Tips on being a successful fashion influencer, and producing gorgeous content?

JK-  Be yourself. Don't try to copy someone else's. Each one of us has the advantage of being unique. If you want to be successful, concentrate on your own uniqueness. When we genuinely produce content to help others, make a change in their lives, inspire them; success comes back to us naturally. Keep it real.

SG-  Anything you want to say to your followers?

JK-  I appreciate you and I learn from you. Your comments help me grow and I would love to hear from them what topics they like me to blog more about.

SG-  Who were your favorite fashion designers/ brands and what's your trend forecast for coming year?

JK-  I love a variety of brands depending not he piece. For denim, my number one has to be 7 for all mankind. Casual pieces,: Alice and Olivia. For dressy pieces I love Brandon Maxwell, Roland Mouret, Voctoria Beckham. As for the coming year we are going to see a lot of the 1970s bourgeois look. Think old day glamour and elegance. At the end, the best fashion trend to follow is that it has to look gorgeous on you.

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ABOUT THE WRITER

Sandhya Garg is a Project Runway designer. She studied and specialized in women's fashion at London College of Fashion, UK and has worked at Alexander McQueen, Gucci, Liberty London, Alice Temperley to name a few.

She has her own successful resort dresses, special occasion dresses, wedding guest looks, swim coverups label. While on Project Runway Season 13, she won 2 challenges and was fortunate to show her collection at Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week. The brand has been featured in Marie Claire US, Ftv.com, Elle Magazine, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Vogue online to name a few.

She designs limited edition high end printed spring dresses and swim coverups. Beautiful prints are inspired from around the world to be worn during travel, resort stay or cruise holidays.