Be it maximal or minimal fashion, Mellisa Bailey’s style is true-to-self, and whether walking or driving by, she is likely to be, as General Degree deejays, ‘traffic blocking’. The sales manager at MINI Jamaica, Bailey, stands out with her sexy, sporty style, which she incorporates into her day-to-day looks as she aims to dress for success. Strap on your seat belts, and get ready to take a ride in this edition of Stylin’ With.
Though Bailey says her style has not changed much, this is not the same Mellisa who went to Integration Thursdays in a T-shirt she wore as a dress, accessorised with a wide belt to give it a slight shape and personality. “Oh no! That’s when I thought wearing an oversized T-shirt as a dress was the greatest thing ever,” Bailey remembers of what she now calls a fashion flop and possibly her worst outfit ever, next to a bridesmaid dress she was asked to wear.
“Looking back, I thought, what the hell was I thinking, who let me out in public? [Did] I not have any friends? But if I tell you when that was, it would give away my age. Let’s just says over the last 15 to 20 years, we’ve definitely seen an evolution in my style, but it’s still pretty much sport, crazy [and fun], and represents well for a woman in the 35-40 age group,” she added.
It’s no secret that this car enthusiast has her tomboy traits. Her first outfit is a sparkly miniskirt and a black T-shirt that she wore with sneakers. Then, when she opens the doors to her closet, it becomes all the more obvious. There are hardly any heels, but lots of well-worn and loved sneakers. Her clothes are colour coded, which Bailey says was not done on purpose but by what she wears most of — black and white.
“I typically wear black; I am also a boy mom, so I am all about sneakers, and I like statement pieces — things that stand out,” Bailey explained.
Being a boy mom does impact her style. “It’s different from being a girl mom. You have to find a balance, and how I find that balance is by still maintaining my womanhood, because, at the end of the day, that is really what it is. [It] is a matter of compartmentalising. You figure out how to leave work at work, go into mom mode when necessary, and then in the downtime, [let] your hair down, call your girlfriends to have that girls’ night out or that brunch, because you can relate to them and tap into the femininity of it all.”
Celebrity style inspiration: Shenseea and Alicia Keys.
Go-to accessory: Hoops.
I have too many… Pairs of jeans and black leggings.
Traffic-blocking style tip: Keep it you! You will feel confident once you are true to your own personal style. Go for whatever makes you feel confident. That’s what makes it the power outfit; that’s what makes you the [powerful] woman.
Yet even while being feminine, Bailey’s choice for an outfit for brunch still has tomboy style elements. She goes for a jumpsuit over floral rompers. One could suppose that being a female sales executive in the automotive industry that it may help to dress a little sexy, but for Bailey, it’s more about confidence, she said.
“You have to be very aware; you can’t be overly sexy because men will always look. The point is to keep the attention on the product. You’re selling yourself, the personality — not the physical. Dressing for success, for me, is whatever makes me feel confident, so as long as I feel confident on that day, I am successful. I believe as long as you [look and feel] like a winner, you are guaranteed success.”
The MINI Lifestyle Collection is always represented in some shape or form, from the closet to the corporate space. She says the brand matches her style in so many ways that it is easier for her to represent it.
Bailey shared that each MINI model has its own personality and that any woman can still “have your family and be a soccer mom” in one. “My daily outfit always represents for my brand,” said Bailey, who, on the day of the shoot, wore a T-shirt from the MINI Lifestyle Collection with ankle-length slacks and black Calvin Klein pumps to the office. “The MINI colours are black, grey and white, which gives me more reason to love it, and there is a bit of yellow [representing] MINI electric. Owners of our vehicles are eclectic, creative and think outside of the box, and that’s my style. It doesn’t fall into a regular three-piece suit or crisp white shirts.”
Though she complains that when she was a little girl, her mother would always want to dress her up in pink, it is the colour she goes for if an outfit needs a pop of colour. She said her upbringing, cultural background, trends, body shape and skin colour doesn’t have much influence on her style, except that she “always vowed that when I was making my own money, I would find my own style. My mother’s idea when dressing me up was whatever she thought looked good and Christian. She was very girly, into reds, pinks and floral patterns, which was never me.”
She added, “Trends change so quickly, even though I might take a peek on TikTok to see what the young folk are looking at, like those boyfriend jeans that are trending, I do not follow trends. I wear whatever matches my mood for that day, whatever appeals to me, whatever feels comfortable.”
Photographer: Ricardo Makyn
Videographer: Raymond Simpson
Make-up artist: Jody-Ann Ramsay
Cover by: Tennesia Malcolm
Locations: Liguanea, Lady Musgrave Road and the MINI Showroom, 38-42 Lady Musgrave Road, Kingston 5.