Nathalie Mukendi, creator of Denver fashion life and style blog “The Coquette Diaries,” exudes style, grace and glamour with her bright and polished wardrobe. Influenced by her African roots and Denver at large, Mukendi produces blog content ideal for professionals, mothers and those seeking casual, yet endearing ensembles. Through further discussion, the local blogger and LikeToKnowIt member weighed in on her style influences, thrifting and dressing during this unconventional time.
303 Magazine: Describe your style for us.
Nathalie Mukendi: My style is timeless and chic. I like sleek and straight cuts with a pop of color. Simple garments that make a statement.
303: Bold prints, bright color and various textures make way in your outfits. Out of those three, which do you prefer to incorporate into your looks?
NM: Being African, I grew up wearing both bold prints and bright colors. But if I had to choose, I would go with bright colors as it’s easy to incorporate into most looks.
303: How has coronavirus and Denver’s stay-at-home order affected your style?
NM: I work in property management accounting at a commercial real estate firm. So, my attire is mainly corporate office wear Monday to Friday. I’ve had to adjust to a more casual and comfier look but with a bit of glam. I think it’s important for women to still make a little effort to look good for themselves during the lockdown. So even if you have nowhere to go, put on joggers and a little lipstick. I’m wearing a lot of joggers and leggings, on warm and sunny days, I switch to comfortable maxi dresses.
303: Give us your advice on how wardrobes can be put together yet have casual elements during this time.
NM: Since many people are working from home, I would say it’s all about comfort. Put on something that is comfortable to wear the whole day. I would suggest jogger pants or a pair of comfortable jeans and with a tee, leggings with a long tunic, or even a long maxi dress.
303: How did you create the name, “The Coquette Diaries” for your style blog?
NM: There were many names that I had in mind before “The Coquette Diaries.” Since I speak French fluently, I wanted to find something cute, quirky and unique. “Coquette’s” definition translates to a flirtatious lady (in ancient French). Today the word has a new connotation, a lady who is always well dressed and put together. Growing up, my family and friends always told me that I always looked so “coquette.” I added diaries because I have other passions that I wanted to include in the blog. Those interests and passions include traveling, cooking/entertaining which you can find on the blog along with my fashion diaries.
303: What is a common misconception about bloggers?
NM: Most people think that bloggers merely get gifted with free products and clothes, and that it’s easy. We do get some free stuff but for the most part, we have to purchase some items in the beginning of our blogging journey. Blogging is time-consuming; it requires a lot of time spent on researching, preparing outfits, updating content, writing and attending events, just to name a few. The most important thing is to always be active and use all your platforms to get your ‘brand’ out there.
303: Walk us through your daily life as a style blogger.
NM: In the morning, I like to start my day with some meditation, reading a few scriptures and a devotional. If my baby is awake, I like to cuddle and spend time with her before I get ready for work. I like to be proactive by preparing my outfits the night before so that I don’t have to rush in the morning. While at my 9 to 5 job, during my lunch break, I look through my social platforms and check my emails and messages to make sure that I don’t miss any urgent or important emails that may need immediate attention. Once I’m home after work, I work on my posts, content, commitments for the upcoming weeks, and catch up with the social media world. Weekends are dedicated to photoshoots for the blog. I usually showcase 3-6 outfits in order to provide content for the entire week to the readers.
303: How does Denver influence your fashion sense?
NM: Denver boasts with some of the most beautiful landscapes in the US. The greenery and mountains definitely inspire me to have a casual, organic and comfortable style. So, I learned to transition from being dressed up to a more stylish casual look and vice versa.
303: Name your number one style influence.
NM: Naomi Campbell. She is a fashion icon. She’s always on point, her style is elegant and timeless.
303: As a thrift hunter, where in Denver do you love to shop for affordable clothing?
NM: I love thrifting, you can really find some fashion gems. I like Arc Thrift Store, they have 50% off sales every weekend. Plato’s closet is another favorite, Style Encore, Turn Style Consignment and Goodwill.
303: How do you know, when shopping, if an item will fit into your wardrobe?
NM: I like to invest in pieces that I can wear again throughout the seasons. Anything that I can wear both for work and for a more casual look, will fit right into my wardrobe.
303: How do you repurpose clothing if you feel it has become stale with your wardrobe?
NM: Before I take them to consignment stores, I sort my clothes into three piles. One pile is for donations to Goodwill or Arc thrift store, the second pile is for selling to consignment stores or uploading them on my Poshmark online boutique and the third one is for recycling. H&M has a great clothing recycling program.
Photos provided by The Coquette Diaries.