6 Style Experts Share Tips To Upgrade Your Look For Fall/ Winter


Earlier this week, I slipped on my favorite flip-flops and hurriedly walked out the door, only to turn around a few seconds later and swap them for a pair of boots. That’s when it hit me – fall is here, and “winter is coming.” In Atlanta, the heat lingers for a while, but I think it’s finally time to retire the sleeveless tops and denim shorts and commit to long-sleeved shirts and stylish slacks. Change is constant whether we want to accept it or not, and nothing displays this quite like the weather. But as someone who’s been working in sweats and t-shirts for the past few years, I realized my closet was no longer giving what it was supposed to give. Half of my wardrobe felt outdated, and the remainder only partially reflected my current style.

So, after giving away a few bags to Goodwill and Insta-stalking my favorite influencers, I decided that my current “mood” would influence my style – but this still presented a problem. I wasn’t sure exactly what mood I wanted to convey. Because I enjoy the confidence of business casual looks. But if I’m honest, I also like the power I feel in more sensual styles. Still, the majority of the time, I love a comfy, cute, and casual fit. Luckily for me, I learned I don’t have to commit to just one, and neither do you. Our fashion choices can be just like us: multifaceted. Still, it doesn’t hurt to have an overall idea of your signature style.

So we talked to a few women who can help. Here’s 6 Black fashionistas you should know, along with their style advice for the colder season.

For Sneaker Lovers

Melissa Carnegie, Kicks and Fros Founder

How did you go about starting your sneaker collection, and what advice do you have for women looking to build their own? I started my sneaker collection, buying sneakers I liked and that fit my style. Advice I have for other women looking to build their collection is to start where you are. Outlet stores will be your best friend. You don’t have to break the bank when starting your collection.

Give me three staple sneaker styles that should be in every woman’s closet.

I would say an Air Force 1, Adidas Stan Smith, and Jordan 1.

What are a few ways to incorporate sneakers into our professional looks?

Always be yourself and pair kicks with your everyday style. One way I take them into a professional setting is pairing them with suits. Maxi skirts, slacks, and graphic tees also look great when rocking sneakers.

There’s a narrative out there that heels, sandals, etc., are more girly or “feminine” than sneakers. What are your thoughts on this, and can you share some fashionable ways you incorporate sneakers into your style to dispel this?

I don’t agree with this narrative at all. You can 100% give all feminine energy when wearing sneakers. Sneakers with dresses always bring a feminine, soft edge. Crop tops, skirts, and cropped fitted tops with baggy loose bottoms also give feminine energy.

What’s next for Kicks and Fros? Also, can you share a personal goal you’re working on?

We launched a sneaker cleaner in the beginning of October I’m super excited about. It’s a project we’ve been working on for two years, and I can’t wait for our community to have it in their hands. A personal goal I’m working on is scheduling downtime to do something fun, something other than work, lol!

For Thrifters 

Bicoastal B, Stylist

What’s your favorite thing about thrifting? What advice would you give to people who struggle to find nice pieces while thrifting?

My favorite thing about thrifting is finding designer/high-end brands for cheap. It literally gives me a high. I have been thrifting all my adult life, pretty much. The best advice I can give individuals who are wanting to thrift is to go with patience and kind of already have in mind what you’re looking for. Don’t be afraid to pull out your Pinterest board to look at inspo while shopping.

Are there any staple pieces you recommend we add to our collection?

Blazers are great to throw on with literally anything, and boom you’re that girl. Also, I’d say a leather jacket, a nice turtleneck, and a good pair of jeans and slacks.

When did you realize you wanted to be a stylist, and what services do you offer?

I first realized I wanted to be a stylist when I lived in Tokyo. I was putting looks together and posting them on IG. I had one lady DM me and asked if I offered a service, and the rest is history. Now, I offer a number of services: style boxes (where I thrift shop for your personal wardrobe based on a brief questionnaire), personal shopping, and photoshoot styling.

For Fashionistas

Pilar Scratch, Stylist

What’s the fall fashion tip you swear by?

When it comes to autumn fashion tips, layering is key. To achieve a chic look, you can try out some of these top combinations: a long coat and neck sweater, white tee and wool pants, a long quilted vest, white button-up, & knee-high boots. When layering for the autumn season, it’s essential to balance proportions and mix up textures. Keep this in mind, and you’ll have a fantastic wardrobe in autumn!

How did you cultivate your signature style?

My signature style was honed through my study of vintage fashion, mainly influenced by the edgy yet classic look of the ‘80s and ‘90s. I delved into Pinterest boards and even interned at Patricia Field’s boutique in the early 2010s before it closed. I was fortunate enough to study under some of the fashion industry’s greats, and the experience was invaluable.

Who are your style influences, and what have you learned from them?

I’m grateful to have worked closely with my fashion influences, Ty Hunter and Patricia Field. Ty is a dear friend of mine now. They’ve both had a significant impact on my sense of style. Through them, I’ve learned that fashion is an art form that manifests in clothing, and it’s a fabulous way to express oneself. Additionally, it’s crucial to not be afraid of taking risks in the fashion industry. Remember, the bolder the statement, the greater the risk.

Sometimes I go to events and it feels like we all shopped at the same place. Tell me about a few of the ways you keep your looks so stylish yet unique.

You can revitalize your wardrobe with a clothes swap. Try swapping clothes with your most fashionable friends. One great way to keep your wardrobe feeling fresh is to adopt a one-in, one-out policy. Get rid of items that haven’t been worn in months and trade them for something your friend has grown tired of wearing. It’s a win-win situation! By doing this, you can acquire distinctive items that will give you the feeling of a shopping spree.

What services do you offer, and what’s the best way to connect with you?

Currently, I have the pleasure of working as a celebrity wardrobe stylist and serving as the Editor-in-Chief of Fashion Gxd Magazine. Our magazine is sold at Barnes and Noble, Walmart and is Amazon’s best-selling magazine. We showcase a diverse range of entrepreneurs and their life journeys. I have been working as a wardrobe stylist and fashion/shopping expert for the last decade, dressing celebrities such as Fatman Scoop, Musiq Soulchild, Rah Digga, Mariah Lynn, Jim Jones for Fashion Gxd Magazine, and River Mason Eromosele. My expertise has been recognized by several reputable sources, including The Wall Street Journal, Insider, Instyle, Yahoo, Essence magazine, BET, People Magazine, The Source magazine, Bustle, Men’s Health, and Huffington Post.

For The Girls Who Like A Little Sex Appeal 

Taquiela Wright, Designer of Lingerie Brand Delisa Rose

I like that your designs feature different styles and textures (lace, chiffon, velvet). It gives more of an elegant look. Are there other stylistic elements women should try to upgrade their style?

Play around with different fabrics for your skin tones, body type, and body shape. As I’ve put on a little weight, I pick fabrics that accentuate my curves. But for your lingerie closet, for example, work with stretchy materials and things that will form to the body. Know your body type but also the comfort. The form, fit, and color is all important. Little secret: I do a lot of focus groups, and red is always the #1 color my girls prefer for sexy styles.

Talk to me about making sure our clothing is environmentally friendly.

It’s a journey with that because sustainability in top quality material is expensive. But you want to get something that’s durable. Velvet and lace is what I play around with most with Delisa Rose. But it’s good to pick materials that can be washed several times or collectible items.

Inside or outside of the bedroom, what are a few ways we can upgrade our look and add a dash of sex appeal?

Stick to the classics – like, the look of Chamise (her design) is not a new thing. It’s just the way I created it. So, I pair transitional sensual pieces with classics. That way, you can feel elegant and nice while walking outside while still owning your sensuality and sexuality. (For example, she was wearing a bright pink blazer in the interview and paired it with a lingerie teddy underneath.)

Now you have an interesting background. In addition to being a designer, you’re an engineer. How did your engineering background impact your journey into Delisa Rose?

I have to mention the manufacturing process. I didn’t think about how this was going to come together. I just decided I wanted to design a brand you can wear in and outside of the bedroom, so I had to learn garment production, but that was such an easy transition because of my manufacturing skill and sorting. I specialize in raw materials, so before it’s even processed I can tell if the purities meet the requirements, and that helps with laces and stretch quality.

For Risk-Takers

Monique F., Stylist

Are you big on accessories? What are a few must-haves you recommend?

I firmly believe in always accessorizing when leaving the house because these little additions, whether it’s a piece of jewelry, glasses/sunglasses, a hat, scarf, or even a belt, have the power to elevate any outfit to the next level.

Who are style influences, and what have you learned from them?

My style is influenced by remarkable individuals such as June Ambrose, Tracee Ellis Ross, Rihanna, and Zendaya. They’ve taught me the importance of embracing risks when defining your personal style. Fashion, for me, is not just about clothes; it’s an extension of self-expression. It’s a means to showcase who I am authentically.

What services do you offer, and what’s the best way to connect with you?

I provide a range of services, including personal styling, personal shopping, wardrobe revamping, and wardrobe styling for on-set photoshoots and videos. The best way to get in touch with me, you can find me on Instagram at @Morefined and reach me via email at morefined@gmail.com.

For The Girls Who Live Out Loud

Tomi Randall, Stylist

How did you cultivate your signature style?

Over time, by allowing my authentic self to shine through. I was able to align myself with the brands that aligned closely with my own personal values while being unapologetic AF.

Can you tell me about one of your style must-haves?

Necklines: turtlenecks, crewnecks, v-neck, or a cowl are great. Each neckline deserves its own unique necklace that complements the shape of each given silhouette. So it’s MAJOR to give yourself options that help you elevate your look.

What have you learned from your style influences?

I’ve learned through the hard work & dedication June Ambrose possessed at harnessing and honing in on her authentic eclectics in the carvings of her path that I too can strive to create a standard, my own standard, the new standard.

Sometimes I go to events and it feels like we all shopped at the same place. Tell me about a few of the ways you keep your looks so stylish yet unique.

It’s not what you wear, it’s how you wear it. My style is divinely guided by my higher self. She comes alive with texture, embodies moods, & sets the tone for any room she enters.

What services do you offer, and what’s the best way to connect with you?

I provide my client the full luxury experience for both styling and couture design services for red carpet appearances, interviews, music videos, commercial, film and TV and one one-on-one image consulting/ virtual styling

Feature image by Jeremy Moeller/Getty Images

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