Pop Style: Chenee Daley

April 4, 2014

Interview by Tami Tsansai, Photos by Nile Saulter—


Welcome to LargeUp’s new street style feature, Pop Style. Every other Friday, we’ll be talking sartorial shop with the most impeccably dressed men and women of the Caribbean and the diaspora, from familiar faces to everyday people pon di corner. Along the way we intend to show the world what we’ve long held true—no one’s got style and swagger quite like the islands.

Chenee Daley
Writer and Musician
Spotted in:
Bull Bay, St Thomas, Jamaica

You’re looking very artistic, Bohemian chic… would you say that’s your style?

I’d call it ‘Bohemian dope.’ The word chic tends to bring to mind a sense of refine. My style isn’t refined at all; there is an imperfection to it that comes from my affinity to pair things that wouldn’t usually “work”. It doesn’t always produce a peaceful marriage. I usually like to team earth tones with bright modern colours and print. Black and white print with taupe accessories—shoes, bags—or even citron and grays like the top I have on. Silver jewelry where you’d obviously wear gold or even together… That kind of a thing.

Tell us about what you’re wearing…

I’m wearing a vintage top I copped thrifting somewhere in New Orleans. The shorts are from an indie brand, I think they are called Kimchi. No jewelry. The shoes are Nine West; I liked the idea of Clarks but wanted one a little more feminine and these were a perfect fit for that.

Whose fashion sense do you most identify with?

I can’t say I have someone that I identify with per se. There are people whose style I really admire. Fashion blogger Karla Deras has great style, as well as jewelry designer Genevieve Jones. Oh… Tracee Ellis Ross! Here in Jamaica, I love the No-Maddz’ style. I think they do a really great job of using it to represent their individualism and divergence from the mould. Personally I don’t really care about what someone wears. If I can find you, who you are, in what you wear, then that to me is true style and easier to identify with.

What’s your least favorite thing to wear?

I wear pants a lot because they are so functional, but I really wish I could wear a great dress on any given day. That’s my fashion goal in life, to own that many awesome dresses.

How does one put a great outfit together? What do you think makes a look awesome for you?

I’m big on colours complementing but I try not to be “matchy-matchy”. I start with something I really like then work around it. Depending on the occasion, I’ll add certain things to the equation like heels or jewelry but I tend to be more of a minimalist. Less is always more to me. I like seeing people with that type of style that you know they’ve actually put some thought into; weaving colours and textures together unexpectedly that in the end represents them without being too abrasive or loud. Like a performance… tirelessly rehearsed but its debut seems absolutely effortless.

Love the hair! Do you coordinate your hairstyles with your outfits?

I don’t, usually. I would say my hair is as much a part of my style as the actual clothes I wear. It’s a consistent staple no matter how much my style evolves, and it has. But it usually takes greater precedence because of the consistency it requires (in terms caring for it). It’s usually cut in layers so I can do parts to the middle or side, twist outs etc. The ‘trope-y’ mixed girl hair routine. So while there’s no intentional coordination, my “outfit” would be incomplete without my hair.

How does your general outlook shape your wardrobe?

I do a lot of things, generally. My friends like to tag me “modern day renaissance woman” but I try not to define myself by my skills. My general style is very representational of that and by extension my closet. I like to put a lot of things together to define me as a whole entity. I’ll have Alexander Wang shoes beside an earthy wooden bag I bought on impulse for little or nothing, but I do have an emotional attachment to every item I own. I don’t do anything I don’t love anymore and I also don’t buy anything I don’t love anymore.