‘My Kwambie Style’ …on how to build a great ward robe (Part One)

The ‘first couple of style’- my thoughts on building a personal brand.
14th April 2015
‘My Kwambie Style’ …on how to build a great wardrobe (Part Two)
28th April 2015
Interviewer: Today we engage Kwambie, a banking professional, budding motivational blogger, entrepreneur, wellness and fitness enthusiast, wife and mother of one on building a great wardrobe.

Interviewer: Hello Kwambie, I have been following your posts keenly on your face book profile specifically ‘My Kwambie Style’ album. Did you always dream of being a supermodel?
Kwambie: I must admit that that thought has crossed my mind many  a time but the casting agents could never get over the fact that I am barely five  feet tall (as Kwambie chuckles). All this begun as a teenage fantasy. Alas ,despite the years I am yet to achieve the minimum almost six feet required for run way super modeling hence my fixation with ‘My Kwambie Style’ posts. I am a banker by day but by night I am allowed to pursue my fashion fantasies with ‘My Kwambie Style’ and ‘Kwambie School of Modeling’ posts in my face book profile.
Interviewer: Now that we know a  little about you.. I would like to delve straight to the point and jump to the crux of the matter. Allow me if you may?
Kwambie: The pleasure is all mine. I am all ears.
Interviewer: How do you build a great wardrobe Kwambie?
Kwambie: First of all, we must  all acknowledge that we are all wonderfully and fearfully made despite our body shape, colour, sizes, body flaws (whether perceived or real). Like an artist who has been given a  note pad and palette to work with, our body is our God ordained notepad, our wardrobe the palette and once we come to that realization then we are good to go. The first thing in building a great ward robe is acknowledging your body type. I like to imagine that just like our fingerprints, no two human beings are the same. For this reason we have tall and short people, skinny and plump, light skinned and dark skinned  people, and several other clusters, specifically  so for women whose body shapes vary across a broad spectrum. One you have realized what your body shape is then you try and emphasize its strengths and minimize its weaknesses. Point in case a pear shaped woman would probably wish to create balance  by building her upper body by dressing it in layers. A woman with an inverted triangle shape that is top heavy would probably wish to balance her bottom by wearing A-line and pleated skirts or flared trousers to give her the much needed balance at the bottom.
Interviewer: Amazing, never quite thought of it that way. I just go with what is always en vogue irrespective of my body shape.

Kwambie: There is nothing wrong with putting in a few pieces that are trending to spice up your ward robe. However realize that trends are transient and are normally determined by several factors e.g. culture, age and time. Point in case , in Kenya right now and indeed the world over ethnic and tribal prints are en vogue. It would not harm to have a few pieces such as skirts, dresses, shirts to spice up your ward robe with the same. Yet, we have to realize that a great wardrobe should have timeless pieces. For women we are probably thinking of a well tailored clothes, classic pieces that withstand the test of time, elegant heels and sandals that can upscale a wardrobe instantly. For men we are thinking of well structured suits, trousers and jackets. Quality pair of neutral coloured shoes. And again, never ever compromise on the quality of your accessories.

For women, this means the jewellery you wear, your belts, hand bags, watches, shoes should always be a notch higher in quality than your dress if possible. For men, never compromise on the quality of your watch, shoes, belts. My greatest ‘ My Kwambie Style’ secret is never compromise on the quality of your accessories and develop your personal style. The quality of accessories can either break an ensemble or upscale an otherwise simple outfit,
Interviewer: Kwambie, do professional and social pursuits affect our wardrobe?

Kwambie: Spot on. Depending on your profession, you probably wish to build up on a wardrobe that brings out the best professional image in you. For more conservative careers like banking. medicine  and legal fields, duty calls for one to invest in quality suits, heels, mocassins and professional accessories like simple but quality cuff links, earrings and necklaces. Bangles are no go zone here unless the sophisticated cuff bracelets that one can get away with every once in a while.

Interviewer: My goodness, that sounds rather boring Kwambie – charcoals, greys and browns do you mean?

Kwambie: Absolutely not. To inject swag and life to what would be deemed conservative ensembles, explore with bright coloured but professional looking blouses and scarves. For those in the creative, like artists, singers, poets, designers, you are allowed to go all out and exhibit your creativity in ingenious ensembles. However, a word of caution here, a creative would probably wish to be a bit more conservative if engaging in a client meeting with clients from an older more conservative generation.

At this point, I would wish to interject and add that age plays a big role when building up a  great wardrobe. Choose pieces that are in tandem with the class and maturity you are trying to display. However, it is a delicate balance as I have seen, much to my chagrin young ladies in outfits that could only be termed as ‘cucu’ ensembles. Celebrate your youth and vigor if you are still blessed with the same.

One should learn how to dress for occasion. What you wear to your school, business or office may not augur well when going out for a date with that man you are trying to impress. In the same breathe, an evening out dancing with the girls  is probably going to entail a more daring outfit than what one would wear for their baptism ceremony. However,  again never, ever compromise on quality and class.

Interviewer: Absolutely. So I know my body shape, my profession, I am aware about my age and my social life – what next?

Kwambie: Appreciate the fact that a good wardrobe is built over time. Just like Rome was not built in a day do not expect to come up with a  good wardrobe in a few hours.. one needs time and effort to pick timeless pieces to create an award winning wardrobe. One needs to begin with basic good quality pieces and build them up over time.
Interviewer: Seems like our time is up for today Kwambie, anything for our readers before we meet up for a continuation of this interview?

Kwambie: Love thyself first, it will permeate in all areas of your life including creating your own world winning wardrobe. Think and plan for the image you would wish for your wardrobe to portray.

Interviewer: So readers, we take a break until Monday when Kwambie will share insights on the shopping experience and choosing outfits that will build up that dream wardrobe. Have  a lovely weekend and let us catch up on Monday.

Kwambie: Have a lovely weekend dear readers! Mad, mad  love to all ‘My Kwambie Style’ fans until next week.

Kwambie Nyambane
Kwambie Nyambane
Kwambie Nyambane is a Sales Force Effectiveness Manager in a leading bank in Kenya ‘by ', a passionate inspirational blogger 'by night'; and a wellness enthusiast championing healthy lifestyle choices. The founder and lead writer of this blog is a Bsc. Food Science and Post -Harvest Technology graduate of the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya, holds an MBA in Marketing from the University of Nairobi and is currently pursuing a PhD in Business Administration from the University of Nairobi. Kwambie is a member of Bloggers Association of Kenya. She believes in taking life with a big spoon, seeing the cup always as half full, and enjoying the scenery in this journey called life. Kwambie is mother to one beloved son nicknamed "The Champ";, sister to Marci and beloved auntie to the A & Z girls. She and her family make Nairobi City, Kenya their home. This blog is dedicated to her parents Moraa and Nyambane for their awesome inspiration in her formative years, for being her pillar of strength through life, her siblings Marci and Joash, and to her son "The Champ" and her nieces who represent the generation that came after her. May the nuggets contained in this blog serve many generations, the world over to come.

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