Michelle Obama once said,
“Don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have, because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.”
I remember participating in my very first fashion show in the College of Textiles…the nerves and unease of everyone seeing what I had designed and wondering if things would actually come together as I’d envisioned them to. It was my debut and I wanted everything to be perfect.
It wasn’t until the day of that I realized what I had flung myself into; I wasn’t a great seamstress and I’d never made a collection before. I remember my mom asking me if I was even ready to take that step. I wasn’t sure myself.
But despite the feelings of doubt, I possessed a passion, a determination and most importantly, a team of enthusiastic, dedicated, and diligent friends, family, and faculty that backed my desire to succeed. Inspired by student designers that came before me that worked zealously to make their vision come alive, I believed that I could do the same. My courage was fueled by those surrounding me, pushing me to be and do my best.
Courage is indeed contagious. I’ve learned that in order to truly grow and progress in life I need to:
1. Be a leader.
2. Be a learner.
3. Be a light.
It takes courage to be a leader in your field. This kind of courage was displayed every day by my professors at COT that provided their own knowledge and experience about a myriad of topics, from the chemistry that goes into creating polymers and the technology that goes into weaving or knitting, to the marketing savvy needed to build a brand.My fave professor ever, Dr. Hoon Joo Lee:)
It requires courage to be a learner. To go new places and open your mind to new ideas. Learn and collaborate with people of disciplines different from your own and don’t restrict yourself to the norm or what you may think is expected of you. Learning is a lifelong process, and although I’m just now graduating, my learning process has only begun.
Let your courage enable you to be a light for others. Light the path for those succeeding you. Blaze a trail. Allow your life to be a testament to the courage required to exceed your wildest dreams.
Though this part of my journey in life is up, I am so looking forward to all that is in store for my future.
In whatever walk of life you choose to pursue, I challenge you all to let your courage be contagious.
Looking to mix up your wardrobe a bit, guys? Fall fashion fun isn’t only for girls! Here are some examples of cool fall essentials every man should own:
Classic, comfortable, and they look great with almost everything. If you don’t own at least two, I suggest you invest!
Chambray is still in and here to stay. Chambray on denim combos, chambray on khaki, chambray under a blazer or motorcycle jacket…endless opportunities for effortless cool. And the elbow patches are a plus this season, too.
Baseball jackets seem to make shoulders appear broader. These are good for day and night wear as an alternative for a regular hoodie. Get one of these to add a little something to a simple v-neck & jeans look.
A man in a nice peacoat commands respect. It says sophisticated and classy without you saying a word. Go with a longer belted wool peacoat for colder days, or a simple black one to go over a dressier outfit. Gentlemen, these [with the right fit, of course] are flattering on most body types because it gives you added structure. Get one!
A slip-on Chelsea boot like the one on the left is good for pairing with denim or a suit. The Red Wing boots on the right can add a bit of a rugged flair to that plaid or chambray shirt aforementioned!
Baseball caps over fitteds, any day. I just hate the way fitteds look to be honest, and I think baseball caps are SO much cooler. Don’t believe me, ask Frankie Beverly. Haha, but really. You don’t have to follow baseball to pull one of these off.
A wise man once told me that socks can make or break your look. If you’re conservative everywhere else, give us a pop of color in your socks paired with a mid-rise boot or loafer.
One of my fave style/beauty bloggers shows you step by step how to master this gorgeous burgundy lip! She uses Diva by MAC (one of my current obsessions) to achieve this look, along with some other great makeup finds! This lip color can make any casual day appear effortlessly chic, and add drama to your night out.
Click here to view more videos from Shirley’s YouTube channel!