Latrenia is another blogger I discovered through my 40+ bloggers community. Immediately drawn in by her beautiful photos, videos and amazing creative outfits, I really wanted to find out more about her.
Also, we talk quite a bit about letting your hair go gray or not at 40+Style, but in the African American community the question is more like, will you go with natural hair or not. Latrenia choose to embrace her natural hair and I just love how beautiful she looks in it! She will give us some of her best tips to make it so. Let’s get to the questions!
Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?
I’m quick witted, confident and the worst junk food junkie you will ever meet. My obsession is photography. I’m enthusiastic about style and vintage items. Natural hair advocate and self proclaimed fashionista. Leader to many and friend to all who’s deserving. I wear many hats; wife and mother included.
As a point of reference which age group do you belong to or perhaps you are willing to share your age?
I’m a quirky 42 year old. I love telling my age. It sounds funny to say that number because I still feel like my 20 year old self.
Can you tell us a bit more about your blog Latrenia Bryant and why you created it?
It’s my personal style blog. There were many platforms in regards to young twenty something and teenage bloggers giving trendy yet expensive style tips and showcasing their personal style but I wasn’t seeing a lot in regards to the mature woman, the mothers and wives who are still very much interested in fashion and their appearance. Therefore, I put myself in front of my camera and decided to show the world that style doesn’t stop once you marry and have children, the only thing is now you’re smart enough to know how to do it on a dime.
You call yourself a natural hair advocate. Why is this important to you?
Hair in the African American community is a big deal. At one point it represented beauty, power and strength. It was our ethnic identity. Somewhere along the way we were made to believe that the natural look and texture of black hair wasn’t socially acceptable.
I wanted to show the world that regardless of what society thinks I refuse to “blend in” by hiding my true identity. I will not camouflage the beauty, strength and power handed down by my ancestors by wearing someone else’s DNA on my head. Therefore, I made it my personal mission to show the world that black hair in it’s natural state can grow long and strong and still be very versatile and beautiful. It’s my personal opinion that all black women look best when their hair is worn in it’s natural state.
Have you always had natural hair yourself? And if not, can you tell me about your journey in accepting your natural hair?
No, I haven’t always worn my hair natural. I was a young child when I first had the LYE place on AND in my mind. The chemical relaxer has LYE in it that will break down the hair’s bond giving it a straight and manageable european look. I was told by the women in my family, community and society that this was a more acceptable look; it was “prettier”.
I was 23 when I finally decided to let my hair revert back to it’s natural state because I was tired of living and believing the lie. In the beginning, the journey wasn’t easy and I took a lot of harsh negative comments from my own race about my nappy, kinky, ugly hair (according to some) but I must say, It makes me happy to see how the natural hair movement is on the uprise and it’s growing endlessly.
What are your best tips for to getting the most out of your hair?
Keep it clean; let it breath. Avoid products that will smother and weigh it down.
For everyday styling I use light weight oils and water to hydrate and moisturize such as biotin & collagen, castro, coconut etc..
In addition to photos you also make very impressive videos. Sometimes with specific themes like betrayal Why do you like to create these as well?
- It’s another outlet to tell the story. Sometimes it’s necessary for others to see your
presence in motion.
- It was something I had not done before; I wanted to teach myself to shoot and edit video. It was a creative challenge I welcomed.
How do you create these videos and what software do you use to edit them?
I create them much like I create a photograph…..unplanned with no real thought. I have no idea how I will shoot a photograph or make a video until I find a location. Most times the location will speak to me and I will proceed from there. Software? If it’s not Adobe I’m not using it. Premiere Pro is what I use for my videos.
How would you describe your own style?
Eclectic Comfy Chic. It’s fuelled and inspired by many styles such as the 70’s, bohemian, thrift, military and retro/vintage/mod.
Where do you live and how does that influence your style?
Tampa, Florida. I’m all about the relaxed Florida style. Relaxed pants, easy breezy flowy skirts/dresses and short shorts for those hot sunny days.
What inspires your outfit choices the most?
My energy level. My job as a nurse can be exhausting. If I’m tired the next day my style choices won’t have a lot of layers to it.
Do you take things like color profiling or body type into account when you dress?
Definitely, body type for sure. I like pieces with a good fit that will enhance my slim figure.
Has your style changed at all after turning 40?
Well, I’ve always worn items that subliminally said something about who I am. If anything I would say it has gotten more refined as I continue to age… So I guess that’s a yes (laughing)
Do you believe in dressing ‘age appropriately’ and what does it mean to you?
No but I do believe in dressing ‘body-appropriately’. I’ve seen 2o and 30 something year olds wearing ill fitting items that clearly wasn’t made for their body type. Just because you can squeeze in it doesn’t mean you should. For me, it’s not about ‘age’ it’s about knowing what will look good on your body and will you be comfortable in it. If you’re not comfortable in what you’re wearing then clearly you should not be wearing it.
Would you say that at this stage of your life you are now more, or less interested in fashion, style and the way you look?
Why is the way you look important to you?
It’s a type of communication that’s bigger than verbal communication. The way you look tells the world who you are and what you are about.
Which of the outfits on your blog are personal favorites and why?
(laughing) It’s like when I’m asked, “which photo is your favorite?” and my response is “the one I just snapped.” The same goes with what I wear. They’re all my favorites because I won’t wear it if I don’t love it.
Do you follow trends? And if yes, which trends excite you at the moment?
No. They’re fun to look at but no I don’t follow them because I value individual style as a form of self-expression.
Do you have any fashion and style tips for women over 40?
- Consider your body type and dress the best your body will allow.
- Don’t wear ill fitting clothing. For example: I will not wear a tub top item without making sure the right under garment is in place.
What are your plans for your blog and how do you see it develop over the coming years?
Hopefully it will continue to gain traffic but I don’t see much more than that developing because my blog is my personal sanctuary, my piece of mind, the thing I do to take me away from my stressful job so for now it will keep it’s minimalist appearance and the content will keep it’s focus on my OOTD (outfit of the day) theme. No advertisements or giveaways etc will be found on this blog.
Anything further you would like to add?
I have been thinking about starting another blog where I feature stylish individuals I meet while I’m out and about on the streets. I just need to get over my nervousness
about approaching strangers on the streets and asking to take their picture (laughing) but we’ll see.
ps.. Thanks for the interview! It was really awesome to have been asked.
Thanks Latrenia. There are plenty more beautiful images and videos to be admired at Latrenia’s blog so be sure to go and see it!
Which of Latrenia’s outfits is your favorite?