Yay or Nay with Little Miss Brown: Nicole Crowder


I should have known better than to have Haftime trackdown our next candidate for Yay or Nay with LilMissBrown.

Heather is young and hip and cute. So of course, all of her friends would be young and cute and hip and happening and with it and together.


Introducing Nicole Crowder. She blogs over at thechestnutorange and lives and works in Washington DC as a photo editor. She also runs an online book club for women called Uptown Literatie with her friend Whitney. They have a weekly book review column on Clutch.com She’s also a music fiend and a foodie.

Check out Miss Thing and all her effortlessly cool chic. I hate her. Let’s see what LilMissBrown has to say about shoes from Payless and Salvation Army skirts. Hmph.



I was channeling the silhouettes of “Mad Men” as much as possible on this one. I tried to find a nice balance between dressing for the crazy D.C humidity and something appropriate for work. The shirt is from Target; I bought one in teal as well because I loved it so much. The skirt is from H&M and the shoes? Got ‘em at Ross’s. Holler at the sale prices. They’re patent grey leather with snakeskin around the laces. Really comfortable to walk in around the office, but in honesty I keep a pair of flats in the bag for the walk home.

Love this look!  This is a perfect outfit for work, especially if you work in an office.  Purple has become one of my favorite pop colors and looks fab with your complexion!  Love the shoes, the earrings and the belt…you get a definite “yay!”.  The shoes have sort of the granny shootie (that’s shoe & bootie combined) feel…but updated and i like how you didn’t go with black, but decided to mix it up and throw grey into the mix…which is another neutral color.  I’m starting to see the Mad Men vibe…

For those who want to get a similar look, check out these options…
since we are soon approaching fall…pair this with a basic cardigan. You can do J. Crew but you can also find great pieces at Target.

For a similar look, check out this pencil skirt. Less than twenty bucks!




I’m all about thrifting and pulling cool pieces together to make a look. For some reason I have an unhealthy love affair with high-waist skirts. I visit the Goodwill and stock up. This olive green skirt, from the Goodwill back home in Minnesota, was $5. I found out via the tag that it was a Girl Scouts skirt originally. The white tunic is from the vintage store Annie Creamcheese here in Georgetown, and cost about $12. The belt I “permanently borrowed” from my great uncle J. Oh, and I’m not posing like this to be cute, by any means. I just hadn’t finished doing my hair this morning.

I’m fairly small. Just about 5’3″. What is a good length for skirts to keep in mind so that it’s both work appropriate and won’t diminish my height?


Again…two thumbs up!  Not only do you have on an entire outfit that costs less than $20, but you took a girl scout uniform skirt and made it chic….this gets a yay!

Being 5’2″ myself, whenever a designer/brand offers petite sizes, I definitely go for it!  The proportions and fit are adjusted to fit us little women.  Another thing to keep in mind–your shoes with the skirt length…had you had on the same look with flats, it would made you look short and wide, especially with the skirt being A-line.  I think just below the knee is the longest length you want to go, unless you’re wearing a maxi dress…but make sure you wear wedges or heels to balance the look.




Feeling a little more low-key today I opted for some white skinny jeans and this grey dress, which I converted into a top. After  trying the dress on I knew it would give me a box-shape if I just wore it as is, but I loved the color and the neckline, so I said I’ll just get creative and make it work, a la Tim Gunn. I slapped on a belt and rolled up the sleeves a little.

I have every desire in the world to play with bolder colors and prints, but always seem to fall back on neutrals. If experimenting with print patterns, which proportions should I look for so that I don’t let the outfit overwhelm me?

LOVE this look..probably because I’m a jeans girl!  Loving the dress turned shirt…now you have multiple uses for the dress.  Since you thought the dress was a little boxy, wear it with a wide hip slung belt  It will give the same effect it did for the shirt, just as a dress.
try a belt like this.

i’m also a fan of neutrals…my mother always says “if everything in your closet wasn’t black, you’d be able to find what your looking for”.  In the summer i tend to go for prints and colors than i do in the winter…you could easily pair this shirt with the jeans you have on and it would be super cute!

and if the colors are too bold or bright…try something like this. Don’t be afraid of prints…start small with printed blouse or skirt and mix it with a solid bottom or top.





I was being incredibly indecisive and slightly blasé this morning in choosing an outfit, so I settled on a comfortable default: a sleeveless, white ruffle blouse and rolled up navy trousers. I haven’t worn these melon-colored flats in a while, so I went for some pop to change up the brown wedges. But I’m not opposed to wearing the flats to work and then transitioning into my good old faithfuls.

When you’re just having one of those work days where you don’t want to dress up, but it’s not Friday so you can’t necessarily dress down, what can I do to spice up outfits that otherwise feel blah?

blah smah…this is your blah look?!  You have a whole Parisian vibe going on in this pic…the backdrop helps!  :-)  This is a “yay”…love the pop of color on your feet and the rolled up trousers!
I think you answered your own question, this looks does just that.  if you want to dress it up a bit more, add big bold jewelry.  You mentioned Tim Gunn, so i’m assuming you’re a fan of Project Runway…Korte Momolu from last season has now ventured into jewelry and she has some amazing pieces. I LOVE her stuff!  You could easily switch this ruffle blouse for a tank top, add a cardigan and a bold necklace…basic outfit, but the jewelry adds flair.




The navy top is a shirt dress that I stuffed into this high-waist skirt from H&M. The skirt was on sale for $10. I’m kind of attached to these brown wedge heels from Payless and have worn them almost exclusively with everything I own. The skirt is light and breezy, and is cool for when I feel like being a little whimsical

I really need help with accessories. I wear the same pair of earrings everyday and the same two rings I’ve had for years. Accessories are last things I think of buying when shopping for outfits, but a bold necklace or bracelet(s) would have changed the dynamics of this outfit completely. Can you offer any advice on styles to look for? I’m flexible and open to just about anything.


Five straight “yay’s”…bravo!  This is an adorable look and the wedges worked perfectly with all the looks!  When you find that perfect comfortable shoe…you want to wear them everyday.  One suggestion is to buy another pair in another color…that way you don’t wear them out.  Or get another wedge style completely, if you’re into wedges…maybe  one with a higher height.

As for accessories, i’m totally with you…i JUST started paying more attention to accessories.  I was never big on jewelry and somehow just never paid that much attention to accessorizing, but I now realize it helps complete your look.

Banana Republic and J.Crew has good statement pieces…they’re more on the spendy side, but you can get a bold necklace or bracelet, like this one…i’m loving this!


For more cheaper accessories…try online sites like this and this and this one too.

Also check out forever21 and H&M…that usually have great accessories!  Bib style necklaces are big right now, Studded anything is also trending for Fall.  Check out those styles and see if they work for you!

Dear Readers:

Do you, like me, feel like a SCHLUBBY LOSER after reading this post? I was all proud of myself today cause I left the house looking like this:


And now I’m realizing that I need a new bra because my boobs look quadruply. I’m realizing maybe this hair bow IS dumb. And my skirt’s too short. I look like a kid. Miss Crowder looks like a grownup.

But this is not about me. This is about Miss Crowder.

Isn’t she fashionable? I love everything she wore. Though I don’t think I could have pulled off much of it. Dresses tucked into high waisted skirts? Real shoes every day? Sigh. I have so much to learn.

What did you think of Miss Crowder’s fashion sense this week. And what did you think of LittleMissBrown’s thoughts.

We’d ALL love to hear from you!

16 Responses to “Yay or Nay with Little Miss Brown: Nicole Crowder”

  1. Kenesha Says:

    OMG, I loved absolutely everything she wore!

  2. Katura Says:

    Great outfits. Especially loved Tuesday’s. I like when people convert clothing items. I need to do more of that so I don’t run off to Daffy’s whenever I get bored of my closet. Aliya, hope a Yay or Nay for a tall girl is on the schedule. Oh, and let’s see some bags too please.

  3. Tiesha H. Says:

    Her style game is IMPECCABLE! I wanna be like her when I grow up. Lol. And you look cute and casual Aliya! I like the headband! :P

  4. RK Says:

    Shortie’s hot but gimmie the “back-2-the-camera” pics so i can tell if i REALLY like her. Aliya should be arrested and charged for the outfit. i want her to gimmie the money i lost for the coffee i spit out when i saw it.

  5. Val Says:

    I love Nicole Crowder! She’s maaad cool. And all the looks are super FAB

    Love these fashion fridays! keep em comin :)


  6. serenakim Says:

    Tuesday was the shitt!!!! I love A-line skirts. Nicole Crowder, you are style inspiration.

  7. Charreah J Says:

    LOVE this. Seeing all my friends on Aliya’s blog. Who needs facebook anymore:)?

  8. clove Says:

    Nicole, your style is official and now I must go to my corner and weep. After that, I’ll take myself to a thrift store.

    this is a great column idea! Seeing other people’s style def makes me want to step my game up

  9. kahleel Says:

    Love her style, very chic

  10. unstinted Says:

    oh aliya … not sure if you’re going through the same afro-grow-out transition as me or you’re stopping at that length … but kill the bow. now that i see it more clearly i like it even less :-/
    try a big flower clip a la carrie in the early seasons of ‘sex in the city’. saves my ‘do when i need a little action in the naps =)
    and oh yeah, YAAAAY to fashion fridays!

  11. Aliya S. King Says:

    @unstinted; yes, I think I’m growing my hair out. I have no choice but to kill the bow. It fell apart yesterday. Can you please send me some links to these flower clips you speak of. I need something. My hair is growing so fast that it’s not a true TWA. But it’s not a full on stand-alone Afro yet either. it needs something.

  12. Amber J. Key Says:

    Love all of her outfits! What i love even more is that they seem effortless. I hate thinking so much about what looks good on me and what’s fashionable. Can we do an example of a larger woman the next time (size 14-16)? That would really help out a woman of my stature. What you think “Little Miss Brown”? :-) Love ya!

    “Big Mrs. Key”

  13. M. Jordan Says:

    Love all five looks. Halftime, your mama reared you well. You got the look and have great friend. Thanks for the comp Ms King.

  14. jamyla Says:

    yes aliya. i, like you, feel like a shlubby loser after reading this!! but this, and the whole fashion friday situation, has me inspired to do better by myself. work at home fashion victims of the world unite!

  15. unstinted Says:

    hey aliya, sorry for the late response. i feel you ma, the in-between stage is sooooo awkward! i bought my flower at an oakland street fair, but there’s tons of options on etsy: http://tinyurl.com/klgdej.
    check little miss brown’s facebook pix for a shot of her, me & my clip =)

  16. jovi Says:

    She made it look so easy. Which I could pull it off. Love looking at the fashion mags and wish that I could afford somone to come and help this poor sister out. If you know anyone, please send them my way.

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