Fashion diary of a chic wife

LONDON - There is a tendency by most women to “downgrade’’ fashion-wise once they get married but one woman is determined to fight this unfortunate trend.

Through her aptly named blog “Fashion diary of a chic wife,” Memory Mbewe has assumed the honourable responsibility of educating women that when you are a wife, you don’t downgrade.

I recently interviewed the fashion-conscious and beautiful Mbewe (MM). Below is the first instalment of her views on fashion choices for the “chic wife.”

Pam Samasuwo-Nyawiri (PSN): Tell me about that “eureka’’ moment, when you put on some clothes one day and thought, “You know what? The whole world needs to see this outfit. This outfit will inspire people?’’

MM: It was a hot summer day in August 2013; I had just visited my sister in KweKwe and was preparing to go see my grandmother whom I hadn’t seen in a very long time.

My grandmother — who has since passed on now — was a very fussy woman when it came to dressing. She was very traditional, reserved woman who did not tolerate any pants.

She believed women were meant to wear skirts and long dresses which she defined as being modest. As I went through my clothes there was no skirt or dress what so ever.

I stood before the mirror, had a conversation with myself and it went like this “You can do this girl! Chin up! — Mbuya will just give the cold stare but you won’t die”.

So I picked up an orange jumpsuit from the stack I had piled on the bed as it was the only piece of clothing that was somewhat free flowing.

In my attempt to look modest, I thought I would pair it off with a blazer so as to cover up all the bits Mbuya would freak out about, I only had one blazer with me which was mustard in colour “ Yes — mustard!” I can see eyes popping.

As weird as the colour combination sounds, orange and mustard, the outfit actually came out so well to my surprise. Why hadn’t I thought of this colour combo before?

I was puzzled and excited. I did a little dance, posed in front of the mirror, and did my Naomi Campbell wanna be catwalk and voila that was the “eureka moment”.

I just had to share this look. I needed confirmation of all the excitement I had inside, and I wanted a stranger to agree with me. For a moment, I believed that was the most genius outfit one could ever create — bear in mind this was the time colour blocking was such a hot trend.

I thought my combination was unique, it was not the obvious warm vs cold colour pattern.

I was breaking all the rules I was going on warm vs warm and so I posted the look on Instagram and from that day I never looked back!

As for my grandma, off course she gave me those cold stares but it was long forgotten as she was only too happy to see the granddaughter she hadn’t seen in two years.

PSN: What sets your style apart from other personal style bloggers?

MM: My style embodies class with just the right amount of sassiness.

There is only one key thing that sets me apart. Whilst most women feel the need to accessorise, I tend to not go for accessories as I believe I style my clothes in such a way that accessories are not necessary.

I always go for a bare clean look, don’t get me wrong you will see me in statement neck-pieces, bags, clutches etc but I tend to make them very minimal.

I always want my outfits to speak for themselves. My style revolves around one key piece, if you look through my blog on each outfit you can easily pick the key item, its most likely going to be a skirt — I’m a sucker for skirts.

You find that on days that I accessorise, the accessory will be the key piece. Often my friends ask me questions.

PSN: Looking at the Zim scene, what do you think bloggers need to improve on?

MM: Zim fashion bloggers need to embrace and talk about each other more often — it’s very sad that a lot of people have mistaken me to be from Nigeria, solely because I have been featured on so many Nigerian platforms.

Zim bloggers need to start networking a lot more and understand that networking is a good way of meeting fellow like-minded people, you get inspired and inspire, you share and learn, you make new discoveries — that’s something we need in Zim, united we can change and shape the face of the fashion industry in our own country, no matter how small the impact is.

A lot of bloggers have become prominent solely because they do a lot of collaborations with other bloggers.

This is crucial if we want to make a mark and be a force that can be reckoned with. I’m happy to say that I recently engaged with some of the prominent Zim bloggers — Cynthia Moyo (Simply Cyee), Mel Chimedza (Mel’s touch) and Porsha Chakanya (Founder of Zimgirlskillingit) and we will be having our first “meet and greet” session in August followed by a month of collaborations. This is just the start and there is more coming.

*Pamela is a Zimbabwean fashion journalist and fashion accessory designer based in the United Kingdom. She can be contacted on pamsamasuwo@live.co.uk

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