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My Fashion Re-awakening

Hendrix – a truly original style icon

Somewhere along the way, my originality suffered.  I can’t exactly pinpoint when…maybe around the time the Return to Tiffany & Co. Collection became popular.  Working as a sales associate at Holt Renfrew, we all bought those heart tag bracelets… along with every other female (and a few males) in the city.

I chalk up my loss of originality to living in Ottawa, period.  The lack of great shopping here used to be glaring.  There are only a handful of unique boutiques, most centered downtown.  Most women here would turn to the usual stores like Jacob (RIP) and Club Monaco for their clothing needs, mainly due to convenience.  We all looked like a bunch of unoriginal clones. Recently, different clothing chains have moved in, including fast-fashion retailers like H&M and Zara. While these stores can offer some great finds, you run the risk of having numerous people wearing the same outfit at an Ottawa event.  This always bugged me a little, but not enough as it should have….until I went to Vegas in May 2014.

That trip to Vegas was my second in as many years.  My good friend since elementary school, J-Why, was part of our group. Let me tell you a little about her.  Whenever I see her, I want to cash in my savings and go on a shopping spree. She has the biggest designer shoe collection I have ever seen. This girl resides in fab London, so she has access to tons of great shopping.

Anyways, over too many champagnes at Bellagio, J-Why and I were talking about fashion.  I asked her what her secrets are…how she finds all of these gorgeous, unique, lady-like dresses, stunning jewelry and bags to die for.  J-Why said that her style was a work in progress and being original was an integral part of her look.  She stated that she “hated looking like everyone else”.  I don’t know why that hit me like a ton of bricks – maybe it was all of the delicious Dom Perignon that night, but it did.

My shopping changed from that exact moment on.  I thought a lot about what she said and realized that I always take the easy way out.  I live far from the downtown core, and end up online shopping a lot through some of my favourite sites such as Primary New York, and Revolve Clothing.   I started “rebuilding” my wardrobe and investing in some really well-made, classic pieces such as white button-down shirts and blazers that fit properly.  I also feel like I have been broke for the last few years after buying our gorgeous house.  Being broke was worth it (wrap me in all of my custom curtains when I die), but my look seriously suffered.   Anyways, I threw out a lot of my ill-fitting clothing, took it easy on trends, and sped past Forever 21 on my way back to Holt Renfrew (Holts Bloor Toronto…I love you).

So, my own look is evergreen and I’m enjoying nailing down my signature style.  I’ll keep you all posted on this fashion journey of mine.  Next up?  Finding my signature scent.

“Create your own style… let it be unique for yourself and yet identifiable for others.” – Anna Wintour

“Originality is the art of hiding your source.” – Harry Roolart.  Good one, Harry!  Lol!

Dominique Baker
Dominique Baker

Dominique is a Canadian-based fashion and beauty influencer with a strong voice in Ottawa’s black community. Since launching her blog Style Domination in 2015, she has amassed a global fanbase. Dominique shares her life through beautiful imagery and compelling story-telling that speaks to her fans on a personal level. She’s been featured in The Guardian, Flare, The Kit and Cityline. She also hosts events for Dress for Success, the Gem Conference, and has been named a United Way Person 2 Know for the past three years.

Find me on: Web | Instagram


Leave a comment

  1. Vanessa
    January 30, 2015 / 7:59 pm

    Did you see the Hendrix biopic? He definitely had great style! This post, in contrast to the last one regarding “rules”, made me think about the difference between “fashion” and “style”.. two totally different animals. Maybe future blog fodder 😉

    • January 30, 2015 / 9:05 pm

      Wonderful, Vanessa! Thanks for the inspiration! I tweaked this post a lot, and was prompted to do so by a girl I saw crossing the street. She looked great, but nothing she wore was trendy and I could not instantly pinpoint where she got everything she was wearing. Vintage camel coat, silk scarf with an ethnic design, horn-rimmed glasses, bright red lipstick and vintage boots that looked like something Joan Jett would wear.

      Pièce de résistance? A black, vintage Coach Willis bag…the only thing I instantly recognized. Looking online on eBay for one now. LOL!!

  2. January 30, 2015 / 9:33 pm

    And I agree – when it comes down to it, who cares? Where what you want – be it matchy-matchy or clashy-clashy! LOL!

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