Rooted in Glamour

Bride-to-be digs deep for timeless style

This month’s feature for “What Influences Your Style?” is Marisa Tatum of Atlanta, by way of Chicago. The bride-to-be says while she has inherited her mother’s love of shoes, it’s always been tougher to walk in her mother’s footsteps when it comes to effortless style. An admirer of Black Hollywood glamour, she adores the style of icons like Lena Horne, Diahann Carroll and Dorothy Dandridge. For her September wedding, Marisa will take a page from the style guides of one of these classic beauties. Her 1920s themed-wedding will personify what it means to be black, glamourous and beautiful. See more of Marisa’s style on Instagram @runningfortheheels.

How would you describe your style?
Wow, it's really tough to pin down a particular description because it's so multifarious and ever-evolving. But relying on the few consistencies I've maintained over the years I'd have to describe my style as modern, understated sexy with a classic sass.

What has influenced your style?
I think I'm most influenced by the classic Black Hollywood glamour era. I am always dazzled by its timeless elegance, allure and sophistication of beauties such as Lena Horne, Eartha Kitt, Hazel Scott, Ruby Dee, Diahann Carroll and my all-time favorite, Dorothy Dandridge. I come across old films of them and I am in awe of how their style and grace transcends time. They didn't have to try hard, their appeal was effortless. 

I'm getting married later this year and Ms. Dandridge's look is the exact style I'll be going for at my wedding.

Has your style changed in recent years? If so, how?
Definitely! Life circumstances have required me to be versatile, whether I wanted to or not. I tailor my style around my career oftentimes, but I try not to let it determine my creative style. I certainly dressed very differently when I was working in government (more traditional) than I do now working in a corporate environment and for myself. Now I feel as if I have more A throwback photo of Marisa's mother, Patricia Tatum.flexibility. Even though I rely on classic business practicalities in my work style I always let my personality shine through via pops of color, fierce shoes, and trendy accessories. Slaying in the boardroom is my favorite thing to do! And believe it or not, weight fluctuations have dictated some of my style choices as well. I'm a firm believer of dressing in a way that best compliments your shape. Women can rip the runway and be confident at any size. 

What caused your style to change? Was it location, job, friends/family etc.? 
Let me be very honest and say that I've made some questionable style choices that have made me say, 'Really, what were you thinking?!' So, I'm always reflecting and making sure I'm representing myself the way I want to be seen, questioning that process and making changes as I go.

Also, my younger sister consistently causes me to challenge my style choices, and I can't stand it! Right when I think I have it down, she comes with a trendy look, new hairstyle or a pairing that I wouldn't have thought of. She's so much better at this than I am. So, I definitely try to stay open-minded and learn from those around me regarding new trends. 

Who has been your greatest style influence?
My mom is most certainly my greatest style influence. That effortless beauty thing –yeah, that's her all day. I can count on my hands the number of times I've seen her wear makeup, and she's always been beautiful without it.

Fortunately (and unfortunately), I inherited her love and addiction for shoes! She's always been stylish, and keeps it fiercely going at 65. She changes her hair when she wants, and has also altered her style with age, but keeps it creative. I've always been in awe of her, and will forever be that little girl staring up in amazement when it comes to my mom. 

Are you happy with your style now? If not, how would you change it?
I am happy with my style. I'm always questioning it; but I want it to be reflective of what I represent and who I am. And as a fiancée, daughter, sister, aunt, businesswoman, entrepreneur and wanting to set an example to generations behind me, I try to and believe that I do ok. At the end of the day it's not about us, it's about those who learn from and look up to us. 

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