Monday, April 23, 2012

Latina Fashionista: Nesly Palacios

When I look back on my time as a t-shirt, jeans, and sneakers teenager, I wonder when it was that I decided to toss off the boxy look and accentuate my body to show that I actually had one. It had to have been right after my freshman year in college. I remember buying up every collegiate t-shirt ever printed to add to my wardrobe, and no, girl shirts hadn't been invented yet. Then one day, our dorm rooms got together to have a nice dinner. I donned on the one plain navy blue A-line dress that twirled up nicely when I spun around and wowed at the attention from the boys. That's when I thought, hey, dresses aren't half bad. I should wear them more often! After that it was a journey of discovery and budget balancing to find the looks that were right for me. I looked to other women who looked good on a daily basis and one of those women was my former coworker Nesly Palacios. Every day she had on a professional look that wasn't dumpy or covered in a shapeless blazer that many women default to in a corporate setting. Nesly had style and grace. She wasn't afraid of bright colors particularly on her lips. If anyone had curves that I could finally compare myself to it was Nesly albeit more athletic than me or anyone else around her. She is definitely one of my first favorite fashion mavens. So here I am turning this post over to her to describe her personal style in her own words. Enjoy!

This weeks Latina Fashionista is the Fabulous

My wardrobe consists of a mix of name brand items as well as not so known brands.  The colors range from the neutral tones to very bright colors; from tropical floral designs to pin stripes. I enjoy textures and colors. I am not shy about mixing patterns and colors.  I am creative and like to take controlled, age appropriate risks when I select an outfit for any event.

The first outfit with the pants and the blouse is something that I wore to a meeting.  Since I am a florist, I like to include a flower or two with my outfits.   I thought it would be fun to mix a navy blue and white polka dot blouse with glamorous bishop sleeves and the classic brown herringbone pants.  As with any Latina, I love looking and feeling feminine.  Adding pearls adds a feminine touch to any outfit. The shoes are Missoni, compliments of Target!


The second outfit, featuring the spring green silk chiffon dress by Jones of New York was an outfit I wore recently when I saw the American Ballet Theatre, “Firebird.”  I coupled it with a Juicy Couture Red Fox Bolero Jacket and an antique multi-layered necklace in gold and jewel tones.  The jacket was a fab find at a Marshall’s.  The gold sandals are a staple that I use over and over with both dressy and casual looks. The purse is a metallic Coach wristlet.  

The third outfit includes a classic Evan Picone dress I wore for Easter.  I layered it with vintage pearl earrings, bracelet and layered necklaces.  The shoes are Guess.  

Being familiar with Nesly's love of physical activity I asked her talk about her marathons and global adventures . . . and you know she's going to look good running, swimming, biking, hiking or whatever the adventure calls for!

I have always enjoyed exercising.  My sport of choice was always running, especially long distances.  Running helps me release stress and resolve problems. It is a time of reflection, and a time in which I enjoy the fresh outdoors. In 1997, I decided to challenge myself by training for my first marathon.  I had never run more than a 5K at that time.  In 1998, I completed my first marathon, the L.A. Marathon.  After successfully completing my first 26.2 miles, I decided to continue participating in them.  At the end of 1999, my sister was diagnosed with a severe form of Lupus that landed her in the hospital.  This disease adversely affects the organs in our bodies.  In her case, it affected her heart.  She was in a coma for 3 weeks.  Just when we thought we were going to lose her, she came out of the coma.  She faced many challenges that took their toll on her body.  To learn more about the disease, I contacted the Arthritis Foundation (after discovering that Lupus is a form of arthritis).   I found out that they had a yearly race to raise funds for the cure.  It was a no brainer for when I decided to sign up to do another marathon to help them raise money in honor of my sister.  For that race, I raised well over $10,000.  

Since then, I have done over 9 marathons, 2 Centuries (100 mile bike rides, yes, in one day... 8 hours), 1- 62 mile ride and 8 triathlons (Olympic distance in the ocean).  Less than half were for causes like the Leukemia and Lymphoma Foundation, The Heart Association as well as the Diabetes Foundation (Tour de Cure).   I have raised over $30,000 for charities and continue to donate any way that I can. Some of these races were on behalf of people that I know.  But for the most part, it was my way of contributing to the lives (health) of others.

The black and white photo of me is from the transition area of the Malibu Triathlon after completing a 1.5 mile swim in the ocean.  I was getting ready to mount my bicycle in T1 (transition 1).  This triathlon is to raise funds for the Susan B. Komen Foundation (for the cure of breast and ovarian cancers). Other sports I am involved in are zip-lining, kayaking, hiking, and scuba diving around the world.  The giant fish behind us in the group photo is not superimposed.  That is his actual size.  I was scuba diving in Australia where everything is "super-sized"!

Q & A with Nesly

How do you integrate your culture into your wardrobe?
I am of Cuban and Colombian descent.  Both countries are represented by vibrant color, culture and a love and appreciation for the arts, music; a joie de vivre.  My clothing choices are an extension of who I am and of all that I have learned through the years from the phenomenal women in my life.
Who are your fashion icons?  
My mom, to whom I attribute my fashion sense and Lucille Ball (“I Love Lucy” Show).  I am very fond of the unique vintage and retro styles of the 40’s and 50’s.  I have an immense appreciation for the hats, gloves, SHOES and great looks from those eras.

What do you fuss over the most when getting ready?  
My hair. A good hair style adds the icing to a great outfit.

 What is your favorite piece of wardrobe and why?  
Accessories! They can make the same outfit look completely different.
Favorite pair of shoes?  
I don’t have a favorite pair of shoes.  I love all shoes, equally!  The taller the heel, the better, the sexier.   

Any final words of fashion wisdom?
I want to tell people (women) something I've learned over the years on how to get great deals when shopping. I use manufacturer or store coupons. I shop sales because I discovered that if you buy something before or after the season starts you can get the item at a heavily discounted prices. I only invest in Classic pieces that don't go out of style. Or good pieces of jewelry. The rest I purchase on sale. Oh, and I avoid credit cards. Pay cash!

If you can't get enough of Nesly, check out her floral design and events website at I can't recommend her enough!

1 comment:

  1. Gee Nesly, I spent an entire week with you and had no ideal that you had ran so many marathons, etc. I am very impressed. Of course, I knew you had a great sense of fashion. You always looked gorgeous when we would leave on our day and/or night trips in Bali. You definitely made me take a second look at how I was dressing.