During the 2021 ESSENCE Festival of Culture, celebrity stylist No IG Jeremy and ESSENCE CEO Caroline Wanga took the stage to share tips on style and making your wardrobe pop no matter what your bank account looks like as the world opens back up.
Both panelists took time to describe their personal style, with Jeremy noting he likes to inspire people through his style and dress according to his height and build. “I like to wear things that don’t overpower me,” he said. “I like to inspire people with my wardrobe but still be true to myself.
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – JUNE 25: In this image released on June 25, Caroline Wanga and NoIGJeremy speak onstage at the Beauty Carnival panel “Keeping it Cute: How to Dress High-Low & Make Your Closet Pop At Any Budget” during the 2021 ESSENCE Festival Of Culture presented by Coca-Cola in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)
For Caroline, keeping things playful, creative, unique and freeing is the way to go. “There’s a phrase that I think describes my style, which is “I wear where I am,” she said. “And that place can be mentality, that place can be physicality, that place can be emotionally,” she noted.
Scroll down to check out 9 tips we learned during their chat and watch the video above to see the full conversation. For more of everything you missed at ESSENCE Beauty Carnival during the 2021 ESSENCE Festival of Culture, click HERE.
Be Clear About What Your Aesthetic Is
“For me, when I buy something on the luxury end, it has nothing to do with the fact that it was luxury. It’s just that sometimes, luxury designers create with more audacity for a girl who likes architecturally interesting things.” -Caroline
Photo credit: Kwaku Alston
Business Casual Wear Should Embody Chicness And Power
“I think when you walk in a room, what you have on should be your conversation because, it’s the first thing people see. Sometimes, that’s your “Hello.” I think that’s your first impression so and I am all about making a statement at work.” – Jeremy
A Key To Shopping Savvy: Don’t Always Go For What’s “Hot Right Now”
“When you’re shopping, look for those things that are going to be transitional and things that will still be in style next year, versus something that’s just hot right now.” -Jeremy
Be Responsible And Know Your Budget
“You have to function for the purpose of how you want to show up everyday, but please be financially responsible.” -Caroline
Don’t Buy Clothes The Moment You Need them, Always Shop Ahead And Build Your Wardrobe
“Whether you’re thrifting or looking in a book, buy it when you see it, so when that moment comes, you’re not upset that you don’t have a particular outfit.” – Caroline
8 Items Every Woman Needs In Her Closet Are…
“For shoes: A strappy sandal in nude or black, a pump, an over-the-knee boot, a bootie and one crazy shoe. As far as wardrobe: one nice boyfriend blazer, a nice Black dress and a nice suit.” – Jeremy
Don’t Be Afraid To Challenge The Majority’s Perspective On Dress Code
“Business attire goes beyond wearing a suit,formal attire goes beyond just wearing a gown.” -Caroline Wanga
Mix And Match High-End Designer Pieces With Non-High-End Labels And Stores
“I love being able to mix Gucci with Duckie Confetti, with Forever21 with Dolce & Gabbana. I love mixing high and low and I think more people should do that instead of just going for the high.” -Jeremy
Incorporate More Textiles And Material Into Your Personal Style
“I will rock a sweatpant dress in a minute, because sweats still have the comfortable material, but it’s a dress so, it might fit in a little bit more [in the office]. I may wear a suit with some sneakers. Find the places where you can use materials and textiles to exist in covert comfort while you are trying to figure out how you want to live authentically in the dress code you operate within.” -Caroline