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Why My Mom Told Me Latinas Never Wear All Black

by Jeniffer Varela Rodríguez

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Jeniffer Varela Rodríguez writes: “Coco Chanel once gave great advice on editing a wardrobe: ‘Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and remove one accessory.’ I heard this for the first time when I started showing interest in fashion, but it never really resonated with me. I do look at myself in the mirror before leaving the house. The difference is, if needed, I add a pop of color to my outfit.

I was curious as to why I couldn’t align with Chanel’s quote. After years of studying fashion history and theory, I understood that the answer was in my heritage: Latinas are never encouraged to remove one accessory, quite the opposite, we’re told that we should always add more, especially if it’s color.”

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