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Celebrity Stylist Olori Swank Teaches Us How To Master The Art Of A Successful Closet Purge

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We are all guilty of keeping things that we need to let go. There's a comfortability with certain items that causes us to death grip them even though we have clearly outgrown them. For example, that bandage dress that's no longer flattering, or that white shirt that is more yellow these days - it's time to let it go, sis!


Summer will be knocking on our doors come June 21st, and it is our duties to be fully prepared with an effective wardrobe. You should feel joy and excitement to curate a look everyday. Take it from boss babe and celebrity stylist Olori Swank. Olori Swank told us, "Style is how you introduce yourself without opening your mouth. Make sure you're saying all the right things."

In order for you to say all the right things, you need unerring staples that will be indisputable.

Did you know that Olori Swank had dreams of being a doctor? Instead, she opted to heal hearts through fashion. From Teyana Taylor to Lance Gross, Swank is a hot commodity in the fashion industry, so she knows a thing or two about styling and closet purging. Being a serial entrepreneur has also taught her lessons on looking like money without spending too much of it. Swank told ESSENCE, "Being fashionable is really being able to express yourself with what you have. I know people who will spend $10,000 on a jacket and the jacket looks terrible because they didn't know how to put it together. And then you'll have a girl who went to Goodwill and spent $15 on her whole outfit and everyone is asking her where she got it from. There's no direct correlation between how much you spend and how fashionable you are."

We had a chance to chop it up with the blue haired beauty to learn tips and tricks for a successful closet purge. Here's the tea!

Where To Start

A post shared by Olori SWANK (@oloriswank) on

"The one thing is: any item you've not worn in nine months to a year. Nine times out of ten, if you haven't worn it in forever, it's a sign it needs to go. It may not fit well, the trend might be over, it may be damaged, or you may not like even like it; whatever the reason may be, it's time to get rid of it."

The Truth About "Goal" Items

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"Many women see something in a store that they absolutely love but can't quite fit (yet). I do think having ONE goal item is your closet isn't going to kill you; however, if you find yourself in a situation where a lot of the items in your closet are 'goal' items, not only may it discourage you from dressing sharp everyday, it may also cause you to have the 'I have a closet full of clothes, and nothing to wear' syndrome. If you find yourself in this position, it's definitely time for a closet purge!"

The Key To A Successful Closet Purge

"Closet purges are very important! So important that I dedicate a whole section to them in my 101: TheBlueprint For A SWANK Life book. The proper way to purge your closet is to start with items you have not worn in nine months to a year and let them go. Next, let go of items that are too small or too big since nine times out of ten, you will not wear them because they don't fit. Don't fool yourself with the excuse, 'I'll grow into it' or, 'I'll lose weight for it.'

"Another question to ask yourself is, 'What's the likelihood I'll ever wear that item again?' A lot of us have items in our closet that we love; they are so memorable, unique, and distinctive but we are embarrassed to be caught wearing them twice. Unless it's an item that holds extreme sentimental value, like a wedding dress or a vintage sweater passed down from your grandmother, let it go. You should also get rid of any items that are damaged, or don't represent your current style of dress. If a zipper is broken or a button is missing, and you've been saying for the longest time that you were going to get it fixed, and you've yet to get it fixed, most likely you are not going to wear that item again. There's no need to leave it in your closet taking up space when it's not even in the best condition for you to pull out and put on if you feel like wearing it. Also ask yourself, if you were in the mall shopping right now and you were standing in front of this item, would you buy it? If the answer is 'no,' then it is time to let that item go. It's not uncommon for us to love something in the store, buy it, get home, never wear it and then not like it anymore.

"Don't let buyer's remorse be the reason you keep something in your closet especially when you don't intend to wear it. You can donate those items to a battered women's shelter and feel just as good about yourself as the day you bought it. Remember, one woman's 'yikes, I hate this,' is another woman's 'oh my God, I love this.' Lastly, ask yourself if you feel comfortable in an item. If the last time you wore that dress you broke out in hives in front of a dinner party of twenty people, the likelihood of you wearing that dress again, no matter how cute it is, is slim to none."

"One woman's 'Yikes, I hate this,' is another woman's 'Oh my God, I love this.'"

Everyday Closet Essentials

According to Olori, every woman should have these essential items in their wardrobe at all times:

  1. A black suit (comprised of black pants & a sharp blazer that they can either wear together or separately),
  2. A little black dress that makes her feel like a star in any room she walks in,
  3. A white collar dress shirt,
  4. A pair of jeans that fit her like a dream,
  5. A leather jacket,
  6. A pair of classic black pumps,
  7. A pair of nude pumps,
  8. A pair of ballet flats,
  9. A leather daytime bag,
  10. An evening clutch,
  11. And a great pair of sunglasses that suit her face.

The Golden Rule For Maintaining An Effective Wardrobe

A post shared by Olori SWANK (@oloriswank) on

"Buy only what you love and what you feel confident in. Don't feel pressured to follow every single trend. Invest in quality staple pieces that you can have for years, but don't spend too much money on trendier items you know won't last long in your wardrobe."

Want more stories like this? Check out these xoNecole related reads:

Host Kela Walker Gives Us Tips For A Bomb Work Wardrobe

Dress Layering Is A Thing & This Is How You Do It

30 Closet Staples Every Woman Should Own In Their Wardrobe

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In this installment of xoNecole's How We Met, the publicist and actor shares how their love continues to grow by honest communication, speaking each other's love languages, and keeping God as a shared value.

How We Met

Andrea: I was scrolling through Instagram one day and I came across Jibre's page. I saw that one of my friends followed him too. So I sent his photo to my friend and asked, "Who is this man?" (laughs) I will say that if it wasn't for my friend also following him, I probably wouldn't have tried to connect with him. After some time, I decided to reply to one of his IG stories. This is something I have never done to a guy, I honestly don't know. But I liked his teeth, so I decided to give it a shot (laughs).

Jibre: After our mutual friend told Andrea who I was, we started following each other. We followed each other for about two weeks before we even said anything to each other. I lowkey had my eye on her, but it's all about timing. Since she reached out to me when I was already planning to reach out to her, I thought, Say less, let's do it (laughs). When we started following each other, I already noticed that she stayed in New York. But I work for an airline. So I was willing to fly out to see her, no problem. We talked for a couple weeks before we decided to finally meet in-person. We worked with each other's schedules and I flew out to see her.

"When we started following each other, I already noticed that she stayed in New York. But I work for an airline. So I was willing to fly out to see her, no problem. We talked for a couple weeks before we decided to finally meet in-person. We worked with each other's schedules and I flew out to see her."

Courtesy of Andrea Fernandes

First Impressions

Jibre: From talking those few weeks, I already knew that I liked her. But when I met her in-person, I immediately thought she was beautiful. We talked to each other for hours and just picked each other's brain. Her brain is definitely a reflection of her beauty.

Andrea: I thought he was very nice. Overall, he exceeded my expectations. I felt like time just flew by when we were together. We actually had dinner reservations that night, but ended up skipping it because we continued to just talk and get to know each other more. The chemistry between us was there from the start.

Courtship

Jibre: So after we met, I flew out a couple of more times to hang out with her. But after the second time we hung out, Andrea was honestly a little skeptical about moving forward with us. Initially, I was down for it. I was thinking about her all the time. I was calling her, texting her, and telling my friends about her. But she was trying to ghost me the whole time (laughs).

Andrea: I know I am in the hot seat now (laughs). But yes, I was definitely second-guessing myself. I felt that I was moving kind of fast with him and it honestly scared me. I was coming into the year where I was focusing on myself and self-love. So even though I did like him, I thought maybe I like him a little too much (laughs). So I tried to distance myself from him. My thinking behind it was, I would rather save myself now before I fall too deep and there's no turning back. But it wasn't until one day I was with my mom and she saw me ignoring his calls. She was the one who told me to answer and I listened (laughs).

Jibre: I didn't know that was how she felt. It really caught me by surprise because I thought things were going well. But thankfully, I was persistent.

Courtesy of Andrea Fernandes

Making Things Official

Andrea: So a month later, I invited him on a group trip with my friends. That was when I could picture myself being with him. The way he put in the effort to actually make it to the trip meant a lot. It was a little challenging, but he was dedicated to making it happen. My friends also loved him, so that was a plus (smiles).

Jibre: It was around the same time for me too. When we met, she mentioned that she mainly focuses on herself and self-love. So when I started seeing changes where she was including me in her life, it made me feel like she was choosing me to stick around. At first, I was thinking about making things official on Valentine's Day. But even though it didn't happen right then, the weekend with her friends was a huge weekend for the both of us.

The "L" Word

Jibre: We were having a lot of difficulties starting out. For one thing, I am a Gemini and she is a Taurus. And if you know about astrology, Tauruses can be some tough cookies. I was getting that stubborn side of her and we clashed a lot. Some people would agree that when you keep clashing, it's easier to walk away. But as time went on, any time I felt I wanted to walk away, I just couldn't. My heart would keep telling me to stay and make it work. It had been years since I had been in love. So I knew this had to be real love because I didn't want to be with anyone else.

Andrea: We did conflict quite a bit in the beginning. I always told him that we would clash over our differences and our similarities. It was tough. I am usually the person that can walk away from things easily, but I couldn't with him. So I knew it was different. My heart was truly in this and he was honestly everything I ever wanted. There's this song that says, "I would rather have bad times with you than good times with someone else." It's so true with him and I just love him.

"I am usually the person that can walk away from things easily, but I couldn't with him. So I knew it was different. My heart was truly in this and he was honestly everything I ever wanted. There's this song that says, 'I would rather have bad times with you than good times with someone else.' It's so true with him and I just love him."

Courtesy of Andrea Fernandes

Favorite Things

Andrea: My favorite thing about him is also the main thing I complain about the most (laughs). Jibre is kind of a neat freak. I jokingly make fun of him all the time for it. But his organization actually pushes me to be more organized in my life. So I don't think he knows how much of a positive influence that has been for me.

Jibre: My favorite thing about Andrea is that she genuinely wants me to be a better person. She is willing to tell me the things that other people won't tell me. Like the things that I don't want to hear, but I need to hear. I can really appreciate that because it just means she wants me to be the best version of myself.

Early Challenges

Andrea: I grew up an only child. So I was always focused on myself, even if I was in a relationship. When Jibre and I got together, I struggled a little with providing what he needed from me. I am a huge advocate for self-love. But I am learning now that I can balance loving myself and prioritizing him as well in my life. Jibre and I worked together on what I could do more of to show that I am still considering him, while I still work towards my personal goals.

Jibre: In conflict, I have noticed that when I get angry or emotional, I tend to just react and not think things through. I have learned that sometimes in a relationship, you have to look at yourself and give yourself grace. You have to know yourself enough to be honest and hold yourself accountable when you may be wrong. We have strengths and weaknesses. So learning what your weaknesses are and then working on them, is a good way that has helped us be better together as a couple.

"We have strengths and weaknesses. So learning what your weaknesses are and then working on them, is a good way that has helped us be better together as a couple."

Courtesy of Andrea Fernandes

Love Languages

Andrea: I still tell Jibre that I think he changed my love language. At first, when I took the test, all the areas were even (laughs). So I figured, I guess I need all of them (laughs). But when you truly love someone, you want to be loved in a different way by that person. So when I took the test again, it showed I value physical touch and words of affirmation more than the other areas.

Jibre: My number one is physical touch. Growing up, my mom was very affectionate with me. So that stuck with me as I got older and now I am a very affectionate person. My number two was quality time, but while being with Andrea, it has grown into acts of service. At the end of the day, we make sure we give each other the entire spectrum.

Love Lessons

Jibre: Man, love is so complex. But true love wins every time. Being in a relationship has definitely taught me that you have to be patient with your partner. It's important that we are still learning from each other and with that you have to have patience through each other's growth. God is also the center in everything we do. So keeping him as a foundation in our relationship is very important to us.

Andrea: Keeping our faith is definitely something we share. I think another thing that has been an important lesson is a sense of understanding who your partner is. To really get out of your head sometimes and put yourself in your partner's shoes. Like how something I do may make him feel and vice versa. People can be really set in their own ways. But if you make it a point to understand your partner's point of view on things, it is really essential.

For more of Andrea and Jibre, follow them on Instagram @drea.lisanna, @jibrehordges, and @jibreandrea.

Featured image courtesy of Andrea Fernandes

In a move that makes us so happy, the ever-so-stunning Ryan Destiny has been making her rounds lately, showing off her subtle but enamoring vibe in recent appearances with Vogue, HelloBeautiful, and even Doja Cat's new "Need to Know" music video. The former Star actress and singer also took a moment to join Harper Baazar for their 'Go to Bed With Me' segment, a video series where various celebs show off their nighttime skincare routines.

This appearance was our absolute fave because to see her demonstrating how to maintain her beautifully radiant skin is something we all want to know, right?! Right. So, sis...we gotchu just in time for summer!

Here a guide on how to achieve Ryan Destiny's poppin and oh so melanated skin:

What you'll need:

La Mer The Cleansing Oil ($95)

Black Opal Blemish Control Bar ($6.50)

Black Opal Lip Oil ($6.25)

CosMedix Clarity Serum ($42, or $35 with subscription)

Black Opal Brightening and Plumping Serum ($14.95)

​Harper’s Bazaar/YouTube

Rocking a blow-out for the gawds, after a cute intro, Ryan opens with this one simple, but loud, tip:

"Wash your hands. Wash your hands before you start anything."

She then proceeds to use the La Mer Cleansing oil and thoroughly massages the product all over her face and neck. Get in there good ladies, this step is important!

"Rub it all over my face, get down on my neck. And once I feel that it's all broken down, I am going to rinse."

Harper's Bazaar/YouTube

Next up, Ryan focuses on a problem area that many of us have: hyperpigmentation. To combat this, she uses the Black Opal Blemish Control Bar, a brand she has used since she was 16 years old. She is also the face of the brand, which is Black woman-owned.

"What's really really great for the hyperpigmentation that I sort of have a lot of right now, is the . It's like extra, extra important to me to take of all of the makeup before you go to bed. It just makes such a difference. It's the worst when you go to sleep with your makeup still on, and you just know it just sets you back like a whole week."

Harper's Bazaar/YouTube

Destiny then moves on to hydrating her lips with the Black Opal Lip Oil.

"I kinda sorta sorta kinda kinda have chapped lips. But not anymore becuase I did a lot of trial and error, and I found something that works for me. It works with my makeup as well. It nourishes and hydrates my lips, it's not there to just look pretty, you know."

Harper's Bazaar/YouTube

As a final step, she moves on to her serums for pigmented skin and dark spots. Here she uses the CosMedix Clarity Serum and Black Opal Brightening and Plumping Serum.

"This is also really great for prepping your makeup. I use this serum right before I start doing my makeup. It like, glides right on and helps my makeup look better and apply on my skin better."

We stan a simple but effective routine, sis!

Watch the full video below:

Are you a member of our insiders squad? Join us in the xoTribe Members Community today!

Featured image by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET

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