The StyleOasis Maxi

Literacy:I've been eyeing this maxi skirt from the day I helped the designer with the photo shoot last summer. I was patient, till she opened a store and started selling them in different prints. This print, like I expected, sold out quickly but I had pre-ordered mine and received an invoice.

My fellow blogger, now photographer asked why I did not get the skirt for free since my friend made it. Aside from the fact that StyleOasis and I have exchanged some handmade gifts in the past, I am totally fine with purchasing a product she lovingly made, like I do at other stores. It is my way of showing my support. There is no benefit in taking advantage of people you know, just because you know them.

I know it was an innocent question because a recent day perk of blogging is receiving things for free. I don’t. I’d rather collaborate with a store or brand, if and only if their brand is consistent with mine. I actually had this discussion with someone recently and I point blankly told him that I would decline any freebies should I be contacted, for the above stated reason. It is a desperate attempt at marketing. I own a store that is doing moderately well, a bit slow sometimes, but I'm more satisfied when clients leave reviews that encourage someone to buy.

If you are a blogger and you think something someone made is cool, why not buy it and advertise it the way you would your ASOS clothes which you certainly don't get for free? Because we unknowingly shun items made by the people we know, I am hereby stressing the need and importance of supporting small brands. If this still doesn't ring true to you, let's talk about it in social media lingua: Versace will never repost your picture on their Instagram page. You're giving them money, but you're (unfortunately) not the client that matters a.k.a not a widely acclaimed celebrity. I hope that made a home run.

Bloggers, I know it is amazing to get freebies but before you blog about it, think carefully: - Is/are the product(s) consistent with your brand? (my greatest concern) - Is the intent communicated properly from the onset the merchant contacts you? - Is your review an honest review or is it just to fulfill the merchant's dream of having his/her products in the hands of bloggers to attract customers? Is it fueled by a monetary payment? (what pops up in my mind when I see blog-based advertisements).

This fad is starting out as a very exciting way of making quick money and I know we all have bills to pay, but I foresee that bloggers will get exploited with this same means in the near future, if precaution is thrown to the wind. Matter of fact, there are companies now focusing on this type of advertisement. My advice to fellow bloggers - Be true to yourself, Be careful and Be weary about quick money. It is very much like quick sand.

I digress.

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Style

I wore this African print maxi in 3 ways. See the style tips below.

StyleOasis Maxi #1 - Casual/relaxed look. Perfect for a day out on the town, quick lunch with your girls or a barbecue.

IMG_5990-2IMG_5992IMG_5994IMG_5993

StyleOasis Maxi #2 - Dressy casual. A fun, daring take on mixing patterns and prints. Perfect for the days you don't feel like playing it safe with your style game. IMG_5999IMG_6008IMG_6016IMG_6014

StyleOasis Maxi #3: Business Casual look. Perfect for semi-dressy or dressy occasions where you want some added flair. IMG_6042-2IMG_6043IMG_6024-3 IMG_6032

My favorite look was #2. Which was your favorite? IMG_6014

Don't forget to support someone you know / small businesses altogether; the huge ones started small. :)

Skirt: StyleOasis (store | blog\ Shoes: ShopMemkoh \ Striped blazer: H&M \ Green blazer: New York & Company \ Purse: Forever21 \ Tee: Forever21