What Does Ladylike Mean for the Modern Black Woman?
At one time, if you had mentioned ladylike to a lot of girls, they would have laughed at the idea. It seemed to be something from the last, ladies ‘taking tea’ with their little fingers sticking out. Or the even older ideas about doing what their men tell them and fading into the background. But for the modern black woman, what does ladylike mean?
To me, being ladylike in actions and in fashion is about having a certain look about you, how you hold yourself and how you act. It’s about dealing with the stuff that life throws at you with your head held high. You look the part and therefore you feel the part and can project this to others.
For me, I think of the women who inspire me and what they would do in situations, how they would dress and how they would act. Impactful figures such as Beyoncé Knowles, Oprah Winfrey, Diana Ross, Michelle Obama, Cheryl Cole, Diane Von Furstenberg, these are the ladies I look to for my style inspiration but also how to be ladylike.
But your inspiration doesn’t have to just come from famous people – it can come from someone close to home, a family member, a friend or someone who lives near you. They are the one you look at and are inspired by, who have their sense of refinement and style. It may not be your sense of style or your look but you can appreciate the way they pull off what works for them. It doesn’t even have to be someone involved in African fashion.
Using your ladylike style
It may sound simple but our femininity is the way we stand out from the crowd and from the men. Sure, there’s nothing wrong with the tomboy style but for many of us, we want to look like women and stand out for being ourselves. It has been said that being a lady never goes out of style and this means no matter what your style, what works for you, this is yours and will be with you as long as you want it to be.
My ladylike style
So here is an example of what I think of my ladylike style. The dress I am wearing is embellished shift dress from Frock and Frill. It is a stunning baroque design embellished dress that is figure hugging and comes in a beautiful deep pink shade with metallic sequins and beads across it. It looks great against my skin and makes me feel feminine and attractive.
I’ve paired the dress with some electric pink Saint Laurent Classic Tribute sandals. These have a heel height just over five inches making my legs feel elegant and shapely as well as complementing the dress in both colour and style.
There are no ‘rules’ about what makes you feel ladylike and feminine – it is about what works for you. Anyone who reads most fashion blogs in London will get a list of what works but the most important factor in all of this is simple – it is what works for you.
Model// Ivy EKong