In April 2016, Kari Faux released the song “Nada” where she unabashedly raps, “I’m poppin, what you stoppin?/ Not a hoe ass thing.” It’s a fabulous ode to the self-assurance, and one she vibrantly dons in her personal style. The 25 year-old rapper is secure in her natural glow and totally unconcerned with squeezing into skin-tight garments to look good. Instead, she’s built her wardrobe around being spunky and fly and, most importantly, cozy.
During a recent visit at The FADER office, Faux shared some tips on how to be fashionable without compromising comfort and the importance of confidence no matter what you have on.
1. Invest in some hoodies. They’re comfortable and look good with almost anything.
Faux wears hoodies all the time because when paired with the right pieces, she says they can give the perfect cozy edge. “Hoodies are my go-to. A hoodie with a jacket over it and the hood out, it always makes me go Uhh!,” she noted. "I really like over-the-head hoodies, but recently I bought three zip-up American Apparel hoodies: one in yellow, one in blue, one in red, because they're primary colors. I throw them on with anything to make it pop. I really like over-the-head ones though because sometimes a zipper can just throw the look off.”
2. And they simplify a look when you need to wear something nice but you’re not in the mood to fully commit.
“You can dress a hoodie up or dress it down, and it'll still be warm,” Faux said. “I went to this art show and I wore a hoodie with a slip dress, some furry heels, and a leather jacket — and it snapped.”
3. If you choose to opt out of coordinating a detailed outfit, throw on a jacket to jazz up your fit.
Faux loves to rely on jackets to top off a laid-back look. “If I’m trying to go out but I don’t want to necessarily dress up, then I'll wear a tee-shirt, any kind of graphic tee. I’ll tuck that in and just throw on a jacket. You can wear something super simple and then put on a fire jacket and don't nobody even care that you got on something super simple,” she explained. “One time this summer, I just had on a Vans tee-shirt and some biker shorts and Vans, but when I threw on that yellow jacket, that shit set it off. It was like, 'Oh, that's a fit! That's a whole fit!' Prints are really good.”
4. You don’t have to wear heels because Vans are super versatile.
Occasionally, Faux may go for an elegant shoe but usually she’s wearing a trusty pair of Vans. “They're just good, durable shoes. They're skater shoes, so they're meant to last and be beat-up,” she said. “You can run around and do all types of crazy stuff in them and they last for a long time. They come in so many different colors, so many different styles. It's just a good shoe. The simplicity of them makes an outfit pop. Also the white stripe is cool. The colorways that they have are crazy; even the all-white ones, they go off, the all-black ones, they go off. Get the all-red ones. They have so many choices.”
5. Get creative with some casual pieces that you already have to design a new look.
You can turn a comfortable pairs of pants into wardrobe staples to pair with a range of looks — especially if they fit well. “Recently, I had some mom jeans that were cupped at the bottom. They were big everywhere else so I literally just cut the bottom and they looked like really cool flare jeans," Faux said. "I also found these orange camo pants and I got them tailored to be flared. If you find some pants like that at a thrift you can cut them and then you’ll have a whole other style of pant that you probably wouldn't find at a store.”
6. To maximize your relaxed style, play up the details with accessories.
Even in her t-shirts and chinos, Faux always wears tasteful touches of shimmer to cap off her look. “Gold has always been so cool to me. I always wear my dad’s herringbone, gold hoops, or gold bamboo earrings, and rings. I feel like the more necklaces you have is really cool.”
7. If you don't like to wear a lot of jewelry there's other ways to shine.
“I've got two gold teeth, but I only wear one. I feel like with two of them I'll just be flossing way too hard,” she said. “Bottom golds are a little bit more subtle than the top. My gold teeth me feel like the auntie that I am on the inside. [laughs] The one that’s like, Don't tell your mama and puts a little bit of whiskey in their orange juice.”
8. It's cool to wear basics because a hairstyle can really amplify a look.
"Hair is as much of an accessory as anything else. It can make or break an outfit,” Faux explained. “Now, I feel like I have to base my outfits off of my fro, which I'm fine with. I change my hair a lot – like every month to two months. I get the same hairstyle, just a new weave. I’ll wear curly-big weave, and when I'm done with that I'll take it out and I'll just wear my natural fro.”
She continued, "I have this red leather jacket and my fro goes with it perfectly, because it looks like I'm on some super artistic, “You-can't-tell-me shit."I know everything about art, don't talk to me. I live in Manhattan and I really buy art, I know what I'm talking about."
9. But above all else, the key to owning your coziness is being secure in who you are.
“Everything is confidence, it’s number one in everything that you do,” Faux affirmed. “When people are like, 'She just doesn't have it.' The it is confidence.That's why I don't really trip about how on Instagram, everybody's wearing tight-fitting clothes. I don't really focus on that too much, because I know who I am as a person. I'm confident in whatever I wear.”
“I look good in whatever I wear. I'm sexy. If I wear a motherfucking hoodie and some sweats and some Vans – I might put on a little bit of eyeliner, and some mascara, and I know I look great. I'm walking down the street like, 'I know I look good, you ain't gotta tell me'. Sometimes I look busted as fuck and people be like, 'You look really good today!' When you're comfortable and confident people notice."