Stories in Black and White

Earlier this month I had the pleasure of attending VoWcon (Voices of Women Conference) as always to be expected from 4 Real Women International, INC. it was a wonderful and inspiring event with a diverse set of honored guests that included Award winning -journalist and Spectrum NY 1 News anchor, Cheryl Wills and Brandi Inez Sutton of the Metropolitan Opera. The theme for the conference this year was all about breaking barriers in all parts of your life and highlighted the need to share your story.

With 4RWI CFO, Angela Fletcher & 4RWI Founder, Norka Blackman-Richards

What made this VoWcon17 even more special was the fact that it was also the book launch of Real Women’s Stories – a powerful, inspiring collection of short stories by and about real women. I had been invited to submit a chapter for this book earlier in the year and it was approved to be included in the published text very soon after I sent my first draft. Ever since I was a kid I’ve had the goal to be a published author so the fact that my first published work is actually a chapter about a personal life experience is pretty surreal, nevertheless I can officially add “author” in my resume while also take pride in the fact that my words may help and inspire someone going through similar challenges to the ones I had.

The books!

As one of the authors of the anthology, I knew I would be expected to attend the conference so back in the summer I had already made plans for an outfit to the point that just needed to find the right shoes for it. However a little less than a week before the event, I was asked by my editor and the 4RWI team to wear white, which worried me because I can literally count on one hand the amount of white items in my closet. With no time to shop I put in my request for my Dia box and got this lovely dress from the new Nanette by Nanette Lepore collection. This Dia&Co. exclusive collection was featured at theCURVYcon runway show this year and consists of dresses, skirts, tops, and bottoms in sizes 14 to 24. If you check out the fall offerings from the collection on the Dia&Co website, you’ll notice that the styles are chic and feminine having ruffles, velvet, and lace in bold colors that would would work well for those holiday parties that are coming up soon. The prices of the collection is a bit on the high end with prices ranges from $69 and up, but each of the items would be welcome splurges as they are all classic pieces that can be styled in different ways for any special occasion.

If I have to wear white I can guarantee I’m going to be a bit “extra” with my black accents.

I don’t like wearing  white so you can imagine how happy I was to receive a dress with black accents like the ones found on the bib, bell sleeves and hem. As you can expect from wearing a white dress I was told more than once during that evening that I look “angelic,” which I think also had a lot to do with the wide bell sleeves and high mock neck that worked very well with this structured fit-and-flare silhouette. 

Since the dress is such a statement piece on its own accessories are kind of unnecessary, yet I went for some subtle elements anyway with lace gloves, and faux leather drawstring pouch. I decided to go with my vintage cape coat  so to avoid wrinkling the dramatic bell sleeves which I love. I completed the look with a deep red lip color for a bit of edgy sophistication. This is definitely a look that lets you make an entrance so if that is something that you’re looking for this season make sure to request it to be included in your next Dia box!

~Get the look~

*Nanette Lepore Emma Mock Neck Dress (Size 18) |  c/o Dia&Co. 
Faux-Button Booties | Dolce by Mojo Moxy via DSW (similar here)
Cape | Vintage (similar here)
Mesignadi Midnight Black Gloves | ALDO
Faux Leather Drawstring Pouch | Tracee Ellis Ross for JCP
Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Nahz Fur Atoo | Kat Von D

*Style notes: This dress has no stretch and is actually more of a light cream color than a pure white. 

If you’re looking for an empowering read, consider getting your own copy of Real Women’s Stories. You can  order a copy of the book on Amazon and on the Real Women’s Stories website. For more updates on this project follow Real Women’s Stories on Facebook. 50% of net sales go to fund 4 Real Women International, Inc., an award-winning 501(C)3 nonprofit organization devoted to innovative programs for women’s empowerment and leadership development. For more information about 4RWI, go to  Thanks for the support!

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