NYC

Sugar + Stripes

I didn’t know I could become so obsessed with gummy candies again until I had my first Sugarfina Sugar Lips. Sweet, tangy and yummy…they are simply delicious. They’re basically the sour patch kids I had as a child, all grown up and in way better packaging. (Talk about Instagrammable!) I thought how fun would it be to mix up my outfit blog shoots and take this one on location.

Behold, my editorial + candy dream come to life on one Saturday in NYC…

Back to our scheduled programming — the outfit. This look is ideal for a summer weekend brunch or day party. We’ve seen a version of classic blue stripes everywhere this season. I love this simple silhouette by Zara. What makes it stand out is the amazing embroidery on the sleeves. The wrap style can be worn in a few different ways but I think it looks best worn slightly off the shoulder.

To keep the rest of this outfit simple, I wore my Kendall Jenner inspired jeans by Citizens of Humanity from Aritzia. This fit, called the Liya, has a great hight rise and just the right amount of distressing. I sized down in these for a more flattering fit.

Lastly, I added my go-to suede wrap heels by Steve Madden from ae.com and I’m ready to grab some sweets and hit the city in style.

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If you haven’t tried Sugarfina, I highly suggest it. I have no shame buying some for myself and while you’re there grab a few for your girlfriends too — they make the best gifts! The store is the cutest – if you have a chance, definitely visit this location on the Upper East Side in NYC!

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Photos by Christina Emilie at Sugarfina in NYC

 

SHOP MY LOOK:

TOP: Zara, similar here

JEANS: Aritzia

SHOES: Steve Madden

CANDY: Sugarfina

A SUNSCREEN SAFE FOR SENSITIVE + DARKER SKIN EXISTS?!

I will confess – I am not a regular sunscreen wearer. I have tried many different types over the years but some either have broken me out or leave a ghostly cast on my face that doesn’t look natural. I related to this post, Glossier, founder, CEO and all-around beauty inspiration, Emily Weiss wrote so much. I thought I was alone in the SPF struggle.

Welcome, Glossier Invisible Shield. I have had this product for a while thanks to the nice girls at Glossier but have waited to write this post to really make sure the sunscreen did not break me out and wore well.


I have the most sensitive skin – many products break me out in some form of allergic reaction but this passed the test! I have layered with make-up and no white cast — it’s simply amazing.

A lot of people with darker skin like mine don’t always think they need to wear a sunscreen as we are not the ones burning on the beach but that is not the case! A sunscreen isn’t just for the beach – it’s literally SUN day — every day!

As every skin is so different, I would test it out for yourselves and see how you like it. It has a SPF level of 35 so is perfect for daily use and has been part of my daily routine.

Thanks for making another revolutionary product, Glossier!

P.S. — They just launched Wowder (best name ever?) last week and I am so excited that I got my hands on it, will have a review coming soon!

Shop it, here.

ON REPEAT: Slip Dress + Tee with Aerie

Two closet essentials by Aerie – a striped tee and slip dress. I’m all about a 90’s comeback! Wearing a classic slip dress like this over a t-shirt makes this #OOTD super fun and casual.

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It’s a perfect outfit for running around NYC in the summer heat. Paired with my go-to sneakers of the moment adds a little edge to my look and not to mention, super comfortable which is so important.

I love the versatility of these two pieces – rocking the tee with a pair of jeans or wearing the slip dress by itself for a night out on the town is definitely in my future. These are two key pieces in my wardrobe I know I’ll be wearing on repeat.

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Shot at NYC downtown favorite, La Esquina by Christina Emilie. Highly recommend the chicken tacos and Jaritos if you’re ever in the neighborhood. 🙂

 

SHOP MY LOOK:

TOP: Aerie

DRESS: Aerie

SHOES: Vans

EYEWEAR: Ray-Ban

BAG: Gucci

 

 

 

POWER SUIT

A monochromatic look is always in style. I love wearing all white — it always looks so classic and chic.

For this look I rediscovered a blazer I have from Aritzia and completely gave it an update by pairing it with a white crew neck tee and my high waisted cropped Levi’s.

This is my modern power suit.

I’ve always been a denim lover and a pair of white jeans is a wardrobe essential. The frayed hem trend isn’t going anywhere for a while and this little detail helps show off what I call a ‘wow factor’ — these heels.

I bought these shoes impulsively before a trip to Vegas with my sister and am so happy I did. The block heel is actually pretty comfortable and I love the shade of gold.

The finishing touch? My Gucci crossbody.

I have shared this item on my Instagram but haven’t blogged about it yet! After probably a year long thought process of what designer bag to splurge on (many conversations, focus groups, lengthy group texts with my sisters) I finally decided that this Gucci bag was what I wanted most. The classic camera style is perfect to fit my necessities; iPhone (Plus), mini wallet, metro card and a lip color. I am obsessed with the gold hardware and am excited to officially start my designer handbag collection….which could be dangerous.

Photos by Christina Emilie in NYC

 

How will you wear all white everything this summer?

SHOP MY LOOK

BLAZER: Aritzia, similar here

TEE: Aritzia

JEANS: Levi’s, similar here

SHOES: Mango

BAG: Gucci

 

UNEXPECTED EMBROIDERY

This spring it’s all about embroidery.

I’ve seen so many unique pieces this season with the most beautiful embellishment. Anywhere from denim, tees, jackets and accessories — this extra detail can really update your look.

This jacket by French Connection just spoke to me. Maybe it’s my Pakistani roots, but the embroidery on this jacket is so reminiscent of my heritage. I love the intricate detail and color combination. It’s such a statement piece that is made super wearable on a sporty silhouette — the classic bomber jacket.

I decided to make the jacket the star of the outfit and keep the rest of the look super simple. An easy white v-neck tee, by Don’t Ask Why, has the best slouch and oversized fit. I am always on the hunt for the perfect white tee and this one is by far one of my most loved.

If you’ve been following my blog, you know I’m a denim girl. These Vintage Hi-Rise Straight distressed jeans by American Eagle make this look easy, relaxed and casual.

One of my favorite parts of this outfit? My earrings by Baublebar. Not only are these a great accessory to add to any outfit – they’re very light weight and won’t hurt your ears by the end of the day! I’m a huge fan of statement earrings but the worst part is that most are so heavy and painful. However, these are quite comfortable and I want every color. Dangerous! It was hard for me to not buy them all…I opted for the white and pale pink for now. Highly recommend!

Completed the look with my go-to menswear loafer and I’m ready to hit up brunch with the girls or some easy shopping around the streets of SoHo.

Ready to recreate?

Photos by Kevin Tun in SoHo, New York City

SHOP MY LOOK

JACKET: Courtesy of French Connection

TEE: Don’t Ask Why

DENIM: American Eagle Outfitters

SHOES: Target

EARRINGS: Baublebar

 

 

 

Remix Your Rock Tees

The rock tee trend isn’t going anywhere and I can’t get enough.

Worn by top street style stars – my faves, Kendall + Gigi, this is the perfect way to add some vintage flare to any outfit.

And it’s ok if you don’t know every song to the band’s name you’re wearing…but maybe at least google them so you’re not totally stunned when someone asks you, “What’s your favorite AC/DC song?” Lol.

I was inspired by Gigi ever since I saw her wear this look; rock tee, amazing wide leg white pants and sneakers. I love the unexpected wide leg pant with this tee. Sure denim looks classic with this top but something about a wide leg pant gives it an entirely different vibe.

I found these amazing pants at H&M. I’m always a huge fan of anything high waisted and this pair had an ideal rise. I also love the oversized belt they came with!

Adding my leather jacket to this look was a no – brainer. I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a solid leather jacket in your wardrobe. With the amazing styles they have now at Zara, you can get a luxe feeling jacket without an insane price tag. I love the details of this Moto one – the hardware can edge up any look.

Lastly, it’s all about a clean white sneaker. I decided to give my Stan Smiths a break and go for something different. Hello, Puma’s! So comfortable and so chic – yes, it is possible.

A pop of my red bag, by (now vintage) Kate Spade Saturday, and I’m ready to be snapped by the paparazzi in style. Just kidding, but hey, shouldn’t you always feel like a model walking down the street? The sidewalk is your runway.

Let’s recreate.

Shop the look below and be sure to follow me on Instagram, @symaspeaks, where I post even more frequently and have recently joined the Reward Style family so you can shop my looks easily and directly with LikeToKnowIt!

Photos shot by Kevin Tun in Brooklyn, NY.

SHOP MY LOOK:

JACKET: Zara

TEE: Zara, love these also by American Eagle Outfitters

PANTS: H&M, similar here

SNEAKER: Puma

 

ALL BLUSH EVERYTHING

I’m not sure what it is about the color blush but my year long obsession continues. Even the cherry blossoms around New York inspire my wardrobe! I can’t get enough.

As we transition into spring, I can’t quite put away my sweaters with temps between the 50s and 60s so I tend to reach for a lighter silhouette like this one. I’ve been loving this sweater by Don’t Ask Why so much I have it in two colors.

The cut-out choker detailing makes your every day sweater a little more interesting. I love the oversized sleeves for a cool relaxed look.

Paired with my go-to jeans by Citizens of Humanity from Aritzia makes for an effortless OOTD.

I love pairing a cropped jean with a pointed black boot. Gives that cool model off duty vibe that if you’ve been following my blog for some time you know I’m all about.

Ready to recreate? Be sure to follow even more outfits and fun on Instagram, @symaspeaks.

SHOP MY LOOK

TOP: Don’t Ask Why for American Eagle Outfitters

DENIM: Citizens of Humanity

SHOES: Steve Madden

EYEWEAR:  Ray-Ban

 

 

 

A TOUCH OF BLUSH

Can winter be over already? This past weekend we got a glimpse of spring and it’s amazing how much different I can feel with a glimpse of sunshine and temps above 30 degrees.

My day to day winter wardrobe has been consumed by my black parka puffer but occasionally I do like to switch things up when it gets above freezing — the outfit? Winter white with my menswear wool outerwear staple from Aritzia.

This past fall everyone was fraying their denim and I was all about this trend. A cropped flare to show off more of your shoe? Sign me up.

This pair of cropped denim by Levi’s I found on the sale rack and they’re the perfect shade of ivory white. They have the ideal high waist I’m constantly searching for and pair so nice with my Aerie off-the-shoulder sweater.

I’m happy to see I can still bare my shoulders in the winter which was probably my favorite trend of the summer. I know everyone and their mom is wearing an off-the-shoulder top these days but I can’t give it up just yet. For spring ,I’m already seeing the trend evolve into one shoulder silhouettes and some bold statement sleeves which I’m excited to incorporate for future looks!

But the real star of this outfit? The blush velvet bootie.

I originally longed for the navy velvet bootie. I went back and forth, tried them on at the store and then dreamed about them for days…months really. Then came, Cyber Monday…where the bootie was on sale and I couldn’t pass them up! I added the navy to my cart but then also clicked over and saw the blush. I had to have both.

My blush obsession has been pretty real lately — it’s such a pretty shade and even acts as a neutral within my wardrobe. It pairs beautifully with greys, whites and taupes. Highly recommend mixing it in yours!

The monotone look is super easy to recreate and never fails to look chic. Ready to go winter white?

Photos shot by Moeez Ali in SoHo

SHOP MY LOOK:

SWEATER: Aerie

DENIM: Levi’s

OUTERWEAR: Aritzia

BOOTIE: Steve Madden

 

 

 

 

Sunday Styles

Crisp fall weather means one thing…cozy cardigans…and lots of mocha lattes.

Sundays are always filled with running countless errands around the city — instead of grabbing your go-to black leggings (which I fully support), switch things up with an oversized cardigan and a great pair of denim.

I’ve been loving the two-tone denim look for a new take on your favorite pair of jeans. This pair from American Eagle Outfitters is one of the latest fits from the brand – the Vintage Hi-Rise. At first you might be confused on how to wear the two-tone style but think of them as a statement pair of jeans when you want to switch things up.

I love a dramatic cardi in these cooler months. It’s easy to throw on and be comfortable but the length adds a new level of chic.

It’s been all about the menswear loafer — whether or not you’ve got your hands on the Gucci loafer (#goals) you can still have this trend in your wardrobe by so many brands offering a similar look without breaking the bank. I scored these over a year ago from Target — yes Target. Fun fact, these were on major clearance for $8.00 – talk about deal of a century! I’m still beaming. That’s cheaper than your Chipotle burrito bowl which means more money for guac. #winning

Layered with a simple white tee and an addition of round  Ray-Bans  and gold hoop earrings, this is an easy breezy outfit to wear while checking off your to-do list and meeting up with your girls for brunch.

Ready to recreate?

Photos taken in Downtown Brooklyn by Kevin Tun

SHOP MY LOOK:

SWEATER, T-SHIRT & DENIM: American Eagle Outfitters

SHOES: Target, similar here

BAG: Aritzia

EYEWEAR: Ray-Ban

EARRINGS: H&M

 

 

WHY I LOVE NEW YORK CITY: #519 Syma

I was fortunate enough to be featured on one of my favorite sites, Why I Love New York City. Since I moved to New York four years ago, I’ve been following this site and have loved the stories people have shared. When asked to write about a special moment in New York  I immediately thought back to my first job in the city, working New York Fashion Week…

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Walking into this huge industrial space, I stared at rows and rows of open seats. I could feel my heart quicken as I realized in just a couple of hours I would be surrounded by chaos and impatient guests demanding to be seated. A voice to the right of me shook me from my thoughts as I watched a tall slender woman hurriedly run towards the catwalk, “but I have no make up!” She exclaimed in a curiously familiar accent. Before she turned I instantly knew who it was…. Gisele. There I was, Syma, from Fort Wayne, Indiana just a few feet away from her as she did a rehearsal walk down the runway. She didn’t need any make-up, she was absolutely flawless. It was insane to be around one of the worlds most famous supermodels at the Alexander Wang show. As the lights came down and I went quickly into fashion show mode doing my best intern duties to seat guests, the song “Regulate” by Warren G came on and I thought to myself, “this is the coolest thing I have ever done.

I was fortunate enough to work 12 shows including Marc Jacobs, Diane von Furstenberg, Victoria Beckham and Alexander Wang. It was unreal to actually have contact with some of my favorite fashion influencers like Nina Garcia and to see dynamic duo Anna Wintour and Grace Coddington in action. I was also star struck during the Marc Jacobs show seeing Marc Jacobs himself and Francois Nars. Being a bit beauty obsessed, seeing the creator of Nars cosmetics kind of made my life. And talk about #relationshipgoals when you spot David Beckham seated front row with the kids lit up with pride as he watched his wife’s work come down the runway.

I like to always think back at that time in my life when I start questioning New York. Some days I want to stay in bed and hide from the crowds but then I remember that NYC is the best thing that ever happened to me. Thank you, New York for making me grow up and learn what I can accomplish on my own. It’s true, there’s nothin’ you can’t do when you’re in this city — and I hope I always have that mentality wherever the road takes me.