Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Reclaimed Readables, April 30th

Today's Readables focus on the fun, but sometimes frustrating world of DIY. All of the links below contain something you can definitely make, treasure, love, and even share with others. Don't worry, you won't turn Holly Hobby on us with these very chic projects.

Refinery 29: How to actually wear those denim cutoffs
P.S. I Made This: Polished Pouch (I'm so making this one soon)
Into The Gloss: Eat Pretty with this Persian Smoothie 
I Spy DIY: 15 Minute DIY Wall Terrariums
WhoWhatWear: 32 Easy Copy Street Styles 
Refinery 29: This Fashion DIY is a gateway drug for other DIY. Proceed with caution


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Dear Fashion People, What Planet Do You Live On?

You know I don't just date Earl because he's handsome (or smart, or caring, or just about the funniest person I've met). 

No, he's also very wise. During a conversation where I was expressing my frustration with the wealthy members of our society and the recent interactions I've had with a few of them, he completely summarized my entire 2 and a half minute rant with one sentence. "Whit, " He says to me in that sweet mix of northern speed and southern twang of a voice, "they live on a completely different planet than we do."

He is so right. 

For example, what is wrong with buying clothes and being seen in them again? I don't get it. It's like we are doomed to have a cycle of one night (or one day) stands with our wardrobe; we fall in love with it, spend the money to get it, wear it once, only to push it to the back of the closet in order to repeat the cycle all over again. 

This is nonsensical. 

Even the fashionably elite experience this. Eva Chen, editor of Lucky Mag, experessed how she felt when spoken to by a photographer about repeating certain items in her closet. In her May editorial letter had this to say: 

"You know, we [all the street style photographers, thereby implying it had been a topic of conversation] think it’s very brave that you have worn some of the same pieces over and over.” That statement triggered a domino effect of emotions: confusion (huh?!) and then simultaneous paroxysms of laughter (I mean … yes, I wore the same Jil Sander skirt in two cities. How absurd that it be something unusual!) and disbelief (“brave,” to me, is being on the front lines of a war or standing up for your beliefs. Not wearing the same thing twice).

She's right. It's brave to risk your life, not risk being seen in an outfit twice. That's called normal. 

To be fair, we all wish that our Pinterest boards and out Polyvore sets were our closets and that we had an endless supply of beautiful clothes that we could wear, never having to repeat a single item. But most of us don't live on that planet. Most of us must repeat things. 

I have to be honest though...I kind of enjoy it. It takes real creativity to create an amazing look on limited resources and with limited items in which to work. It's easy to go buy something new or trendy to wear. It takes actual talent, a good eye, and appreciation for what ou already have to make an ensemble masterpiece.

Eva seems to agree with me. "Real women, you see, earn their style icon status because each day is a new challenge of taking existing pieces, perhaps well-loved/worn...and mixing and matching them in an endless equation of fashion math."

Well said Miss Chen. Glad to know other fashion people are on my same planet.



Basic B!tch and Proud



I just found out that I could be what the fashion world deems as a basic bitch.

Basically, one who wears things that are after the trend has fizzled and the phase has faded.

And I'm okay with that.

What sparked this sudden empowerment of all things basic and slightly behind? Pop Sugar very recently posted one of those both loved and dreaded lists that we are all addicted to, the particular one prompting this post is called "Am I A Basic Bitch?" ( in case you wanted to check it out yourself).

Now to be fair, some of the things I actually do agree with the Pop Sugar peeps on. 

I simply loathe athletic wear with words on the butt. Hate it, never got into it, and personally I think is a ploy for attention to a spot where quite frankly I never needed help in getting attention (can I get an Amen from anyone ever called Big Booty Judy).

I LOVE the boyfriend jeans and Strappy Shoe look I've been seeing and employing while going out instead of the usual bandage dress and platform heels (although the bandage dress will most likely stay in rotation). 

I've never been one to load up on trendy bendy items. I really advise against going full head to toe trends of the moment ( I think it's silly, will make yo look dates, and worst of all, can be EXPENSIVE trying to keep up with them) In fact, I tend to stay toward classic items with maybe one or 2 trendy things thrown in to keep the look current.

And I don't like signature ANYTHING. You will notice that a lot of what I've worn and shared on this blog or on any of the social sites does not bear signatures, with the exception of a few pieces of hand-me-down LV bags give to me by my grandmother (which in that case make them very special for other reasons outside of fashion). So I agree with the Pop Sugar people on that.

Here's where I personally draw the line.

I will defend my deep love and constant winter clinging onto of my black well worn Ugg boots. If you have lived in the North East as long as I have and have been through as many wet, snowy, super cold, icy hells of winter as we have up here you may agree. True, Ugg boots should not be worn to your weekend brunch. However while commuting to work in super slushy, gray stuff we dare call snow to work or running errands or to the playground with the kids (all of which was most of my life this past long winter) then yes, Uggs happen to be more than acceptable.

And I adore my Tory Burch Reva Flats. They are my church flats, my day with the girls flats, my "I may need flats after 3 hours in these heels" flats. I will probably wear them until they fall apart or God sends me another pair of lovable super comfy flats. Otherwise they simply aren't going anywhere. Period.

I was born on Valentine's Day. Hearts will always be a symbol and have a great deal of meaning. Nuff said.

So maybe I'm not as basic as the absolute basic broad being described by Pop Sugar in this test. Maybe I just have a few basic tendicies. Either way, my style is my style. I am very happy where I am right now. And if that is what the fashion people categorize as basic, then that is where I will comfortably be.

Uggs and heart charms and all.

Reclaimed Readables, April 29th

Today's Readables is packed to the brim with DIYs, life hacks  living a better and greater life, and of course, simple and beautiful fashion and beauty updates (none of which involve you shoveling out your hard earned cash). Happy Tuesday!

WhoWhatWear: The BEST Fashion Memes
A Pair and A Spare: DIY Travel Memento Boxes
Byrdie: Drugstore Buys Every Beauty Editor Swears By
Refinery 29: How to get to sleep fast (spoiler alert: no pills are involved)
WhoWhatWear: The EASIEST DIY Statement Necklace You'll Ever Make
Racked: Kate Moss' Collab with TopShop, and all the deets you wanna know
Steven Furtick: What Living the Greater Life Really Means
Looking Fly on a Dime: Chic and Simple Fashion DIYs and Hacks
WhoWhatWear: 9 New Ways to Wear Your White Jeans
Byrdie: 20 Beauty Mistakes You're Pronably Making (No judgement)

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Reclaimed Readables, April 28th

Refinery 29: The Broke Girl's Guide to Designer Denim
WhoWhatWear: 9 Lessons We Learned from Beyoncé
Wall Street Journal: The Ethics of Fashion
Relevant: What's Your Calling and How to Find it
Racked: Arden B to close/ Wet Seal to work on Plus Size

Ode to my favorite "Dumpster Dive"

Odds are that if you've been reading this blog long enough you've seen them. Try are a constant staple in my wardrobe rotation. They are season less. They are time less. And if it is any point of the day time, there is a great likelihood that I am wearing them.
I am talking about my Ray Ban Aviators. 
These glasses are simply awesome. They flatter almost every face. And they are always in style. They've been my headband, rested on my collar, and have hidden lack of sleep fabulously. Classic and cool, these have to be one of my favorite things I own.

These sub specs were the inspiration behind a recent ebay adventure to find a similar pair for my man (doesn't he just look charming).

But these weren't purchased by me at a Sunglass Hut or Sunglasses Kiosk. Nor were they a present. I didn't even find these at a Second Hand or Thrift Shop.

Nope, these impeccable shades were discovered as a dumpster dive. 

For those who don't know (don't be ashamed) a dumpster dive is a find one makes either by discovering something someone else has put out for free (usually bearing a sign describing the item as such) or taking a literal tumble into the trashes of others. 

Since I'm a borderline germiphobe, the latter has NEVER happened for me (I'm not knocking it, it's just not for me.)

However these I've found on as a complete dumpster dive. Let's go back into time about 2 years:

I was having a rough week. 

I was on my way to work, riding the bus to the coffee shop. I was praying, as I do in the morning. I was about a few stops away when something told me to get off of the bus. 

I hopped off and felt my eyes hit an object on the ground. Reaching down, a gold pair of frames, brown unscratched lenses, Ray Ban white lettering. I picked up a pair of virtually perfect Ray Ban glasses. 

And I've been in love ever since. These specs would have cost upwards of $175 and are STILL being sold on Ray Ban's site. For me? Free ninety nine. So happy.

What was your best dumpster dive/ or find?

I am a Christian...Dont Judge Me

am a Christian.

And just by saying that, I can already feel the tentacles of your judgement putting me into categories of your mind. 

Right wing. 

Pro life. 

Gun crazy. 

Judgmental (even though you're the one judging me right now and all I told you was my faith positioning.) 

...and the plethora of other things that, for whatever reason, your mind thinks when you hear that word Christian.

Let me set the record straight:

I voted for Obama. There goes the right wing business.

I am pro life, however I refuse to be that person with the signs condemning women for a choice that, at the end of the day, none of them wanted to make. That is not the way of my Jesus. 

Furthermore, I cannot with a good conscious say that I am pro-life and be okay with any form of execution or the massacring of young urban guys due to the unchecked volume of violence surrounding them (whether they are actually involved in it or are innocent bystanders). I don't like war of any sort and, beyond self protection, condemn the idea of killing anyone.

My pro-life stance also makes me not a gun advocate, in addition to having lost some loved ones to gun violence.

As far as being judgmental, it is very difficult to be so when you understand who you really are, when you know that you've told some lies, said some things and done some things that you sincerely wish you could erase or take back. It's hard to judge others when you know that your own record is covered in the garbage you've done, and the only difference between you and anyone else is that you've surrendered the rest of your days, indeed your very eternal future, and most importantly, your heart, to a Higher Authority, a God who loved you enough to clear your filthy record using His own blood.

So, I am a Christian. I follow the way of Jesus, who guides me in the path of love for humanity, and teaches me how to combat the things of evil. His example teaches me how to stand against things God calls sin while affirming people who may be guilty of them. He shows me how to hate the sin while still loving the sinner, which most times, is me. He shows me how to forgive, how to grow, and how to live a life overflowing with meaning, purpose, and destiny.

With that being said, to fellow Christians I say:
Show love to the world. Let our faith be living and breathing, not just in the Sunday pews, but in our offices as we work like we are working for God. Let us see every opportunity to show God's love through our actions and kindness. Let us be the living Bible. Rather than merely quoting scriptures, let us LIVE them. Seek justice, love mercy, walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8)

And to the rest of the world, I say:
Give us a break, k? Stop asking us to explain everything about our faith and our God as if we could ever figure Him out. Any god that I can figure out is no God at all. And while we will try to explain as much as we can, don't pick on us for the parts where we aren't sure, just like we don't ask you the complexities of the Big Bang (which is a theory) or Evolution (which is also a theory). We don't pretend to know all the answers, but we do know the One who does.

Maybe we should stop forcing Christians to constantly explain themselves. Maybe we should think before we command them to defend the entire body of believers, in the same way it would be unfair and unjust to make one black person represent their whole ethnicity or to make one woman represent her entire gender. I can't do anything about the Salem witch trials, or slavery, or the Crusades, or anything else like that. All I can do is be the best me I can be.

Maybe we should just let Christians be who they are, imperfect people trying to live their lives the best way they know how

...just like you.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Thursday, April 24, 2014

This Week in Thrift: Elie Tahari Dress Costs HOW MUCH???

I'm a fan of Elie Tahari. Tahari creates some of the most beautiful things I own. One of my fave jackets that I've found and posted here is by Tahari.

But Tahari is also pretty pricy... If you don't know where to buy it.

Following a quick run to a drug store near my favorite thrift shop, I decided to stop in. After walking around a bit, I made my way to the dollar room. Something on the first rack catches my eye. 
Nice dress right? I love it. Super chic. And we all know what a fan I am of purple. 

Time to read the tag:
Ooooooh! I like it even more! 

Wait...so how much is this dress? 
Yep, ONE DOLLAR. For a gorgeous, and impeccably conditioned dress? SCORE!

So, at the end of the day, this designer dress ended up costing less than the pack of gum I bought earlier at the drug store.
So sweet

Reclaimed Readables, April 24th

Today's Readables bring you luxe looks that are wallet saving buys, simple and clever DIYs, make up counter etiquette, finding your own style that fits your budget. These are your Readables:

WhoWhatWear: Budget Buys that Look Expensive
Refinery 29: The Broke Girl's Spring Shopping Guide
A Pair and A Spare: Perfume Bottles as Vases (DIY genius)
Byrdie: Make Up Counter Etiquette 101
Man Repeller: Finding Your Own Style In Trial and Error
Into The Gloss: Living With Natural Locks 


Monday, April 21, 2014

Good Jeans; The Reclaimed Most Loved Denim (and where to find it cheap)

I love jeans.

I pretty much live in them, wearing them to work, class, out with friends, to visit family, running errands, and yes, even to service. Whether polished with pumps and pearls or slouchy with sneakers and a sweatshirt, jeans will always be a major wardrobe staple, especially in my closet.

Now I may be a thrifter, but I have my favorite brands. Of course Gap is on the list, but there are a few others, brands that you wouldn't believe that I've found, in large quantities, at the thrift or on major sale at stores.

Joes Jeans
These were my first "designer" jeans. I'm a curvy woman, so my denim must accentuate those curves. Joes does that for me. This brand fits a little truer to size, I couldn't find these at any thrift, but there are a plethora of these on sites like ThredUp, Tradesy, and my fave, eBay. I've had so many of these, but my favorite are my boot cut white jeans. 

Seven for All Mankind
I must have at least at least 8 pairs of Seven Jeans and pants. I love the variety of prints and colors I can find in this brand. I've found an unusual amount of these at Philly AIDS Thrift ( who ever you are that keeps donating size 12 of these, thanks and God bless you) My faves of these are my legging jeans, my black jeggings, and my white python (oh yes, they are epic).

Wörn Jeans
My absolute favorite pair of jeans are my Wörn Jeans. These were a lucky find at Greene Street Consignment because I cannot find these anywhere. Perfectly dark denim, just enough stretch, wonderfully boot cut, lovely and long. I only wear these for "special" occasions because of their rarity. 

Rock and Republic
I just got a pair of these this past weekend. Although the original brand went bankrupt two years ago, Rock and Repulic has been taken in by Kohl's, which for the benefit of our wallets, their $88 price tag is way below the original price tag of the brand. These could be my new go to skinnies. The pair I grabbed (on sale, of course) were the uber dark blue Berlin. These have to be the softest jeans I own, I had to check to make sure that they were actual denim. I'm in love.

Honorable Mention Goes to Gap (super comfy) and Old Navy ( the Diva Cut is my favorite). What brands do you love?

Reclaimed Readables, April 22nd

In honor of Earth Day, all of the Readables today are Eco chic and planet friendly. Sustainable doesn't have to mean wearing a burlap sack and using dirt as make up. Enjoy!

Refinery 29: Ethical Fashion Brands you need to know
The Zoe Report: 24 Eco Friendly Beauty Products from Team Zoe
E! Online: Stylish and Sustainable, fashion that makes the planet happy
The Fashion Spot: The Best in Organic Clothing (without looking like a hippie)
New York Daily News: Planet Conscious Cosmetics

Reclaimed Readables, April 21st

WhoWhatWear: 14 Fool Proof Interview (and work) outfit ideas
Refinery 29: What do you get when you cross a millennial and a yuppie? 
Into the Gloss: Beau-teas. Healthy brews to keep you beautiful
NY Mag: 16 Gaps (wage gap and thigh gaps included) facing women today
Refinery 29: Speed up your device with these hacks 
WhoWhatWear: Bored with your skinny jeans? Read this 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

How She Wore It: Happy Resurrection Pt 2

Time for Easter dinner, time for nieces, time for fun.

Time for an outfit change! Resurrection Service is over and it's time to celebrate. I traded BCBG and Valentino for Peter Som for Kohl's and other comfy wear. 
Tossing on a few pieces of vintage jewelry, my Bronze Tory Burch flats, my oddly matching Big Buddha Python Clutch, of course my Ray Bans.
And a Whitney look wouldn't be complete without a stacked wrist.
Happy Resurrection loves.

How She Wore It: Resurrection Sunday


Good afternoon and happy resurrection saints! Today all of Christendom came out to church with their spring finest ready to celebrate the resurrection of Our Lord. 

Naturally, and especially after the winter we've had, I wanted to follow suit. I believe this look does the trick. Here are the deets:
Blazer: Tulip Printed on Silk Vintage Valentino
Dress: Pink Peplum by BCBGeneration
Shoes: Grey Snake Embossed by Jessica Simpson
Bag: Woven Snake by Neiman Marcus
Necklace: Glass beads by J. Crew
Watch: Double Wrap Michael Kors 
Bangles: Gold Chain in lucite ( vintage), Initial gold bangle by Sarah Chloe and yellow bow bangle by Kate Spade
Earrings: Studs by Lia Sophia

This is only outfit number one. Stay tuned for this evening's outfit!

Friday, April 18, 2014

This Week in Thrift: Light, but Just Right

This is a actually a combo of 2 weeks of thrifting. Didn't really get around to too much shopping as the priority this week was resting and bonding with some catch up work and cleaning on the side. Nevertheless, a few things were discovered.

Here are all of the little goodies I found:

This awesome Juicy Couture Silver Tone Bracelet, still in the box. Paid $8 for it when it retails new for about 60. How is that for a deal?
These adorb Gold flats...that just happen to be Tory Burch. Bought them for $8 and just sold them for $50. Can't beat that.

These Pucci Sunnies cost me all of $2. Great price for super cute glasses.

Below is an Alex and Ani Aquamarine silver tone bangle. This one became a gift for my mom for her birthday. These bracelets retail for about $40 a piece. I paid 10.

BONUS:

During a trip with my mom and older sister, I found these.
Now before you stone me, please remember who you are talking to. My favorite shoes consist of Uggs, Converse, Vans, and Tom's. So naturally I would have a pair of Birkenstocks. Plus, mandals (man looking sandals) as super trendy this spring and summer. Trust me...

These are by Birkenstock's baby company Betula, but as you can see that's where the differences pretty much end. For 8 buck, I'll take this easy trend witha high quality item that should cost me ten times more.

Not a major week, but not a bad week either. What will you find when you go?

Reclaimed Readables, April 18th

Relevant Mag: 20 Things To Know in your 20s
Man Repeller: The best fashion advice given to fashion people
Purse Blog: Great and easy ways to start your designer bag collection
WhoWhatWear: The Man Repeller herself shows ways to wear denim for evening
Refinery 29: What Women Can Learn from Menswear 
Byrdie: The Lazy Girls guide to great skin
Relevant Mag: Making Moments that Matter
WhoWhatWear: Mastering J. Crew's best styling

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Why I won't be seeing American Blogger


I had heard whispers across the net that someone was finally making a documentary covering the subject of bloggers.

I thought "Yes! Finally someone will shape and craft an articulate discussion on the profession and vocation of the blogging world. Someone will break the stereotypes and smash the hegemony of the industry."

Turns out...I was wrong.

Turns out that the film comprises of Mr. Wiegand just fixing up his Airstream, driving around the country, and interviews women who, he told IndieWire, “...said yes to my request, they knew my wife and trusted that I would tell this story in a positive way.” In that same piece, Wiegand also says "This film is not supposed to be, nor is it, representing bloggers or America as a whole by any means."

Hmm...

Wiegand must have already been feeling the fire because when he spoke to The Daily Dot, he responded to the early criticism of his "breathtakingly filmed and artistically crafted” (oh yeah, he said that about his own film) with, “I’m an artist, so I’m gonna make it the way I feel like, the way I want to make it and not because I want to appeal to anybody…” Wiegand then goes on to remove the comments section below the trailer.

Wiegand also says "The name “American Blogger” came not because I am representing all of America but because I am traveling America (40 states)  in my airstream and telling the story of the Blogger."

So the documentary is only American because you drove through the States? Not because you were actually documenting an informed cross section of bloggers from those States? 

And whose story are you telling Mr. Wiegand? Who is this American Blogger?

Is the American Blogger only white? Female? Thin? Able bodied? Rich?Because the network I have seen of bloggers includes men, those with disabilities, curvy ladies, oh and a rainbow of ethnicities, backgrounds, and economic statuses. 

Does this American Blogger only write about fashion, or shopping, or beauty, or lifestyles? Because I know of many different types of blogs, including faith, vocation, parenting, even video games. 

So that leads me to question if this so called documentary really chronicled the American Blogger? 

How can you call it the American Blogger when really only one type (in ethnicity, gender, size and topic choice) is represented in the film?

How can you call it The American Blogger when the film is really nothing but a "vanity project" that strokes the egos of Chris Wiegand, his wife, and 50 of their friends?

To say that the title, is misleading, the portrait painted inaccurate, and this stereotype pushing "documentary" mediocre would all be understatements. And I'm not alone in my analysis. Seems like this little film has caused an uproar in the rest of the blogger community. 

You be the judge. Check out the American Blogger trailer here. ( http://www.thewrap.com/american-blogger-hilariously-earnest-trailer-goes-viral-video/ )

How She Wore It: Mint Green and Patterned All Over

This weekend, like most weekends, was busy. My folks are in town for a wedding and are staying until Easter (Yay!). My younger cousin's 16th birthday was today, which of course rounded up the fam to celebrate. The weather decided to cooperate and went up to 82 degrees here in Philly, making for a gorgeous weekend here. 

Oh, and it was Palm Sunday, one of the biggest Sunday celebrations of my faith. 

So what do you wear when it's Palm Sunday, your parents are in town, and it's your cousin's 16th birthday on an 80 degree Sunday?

Something like this:

Remember that update from the Peter Pilotto for Target dress I nabbed on sale for $9? Yep, that one got the love on Sunday.

And you can see why. I love this dress. I didn't know it would fit like this. And for 9 bucks, I'm a very happy camper.

So what do you wear with a dress like this that doesn't clash with the pattern but isn't boring in and of itself?
Combine that little number with a Mint Green Kate Spade bag, a recent gift from my boss. Add to that my J.Crew mint green bubble necklace, some arm candy and a pair of black Gap heels. 

How did I do?



Reclaimed Readables, April 15th

Happy Tuesday good people. The Reclaimed is officially on spring break, meaning I'm only working one job this week. Here are some fun and insightful links no matter were you are. Enjoy!

The Zoe Report: What to Wear to Your Next Family Gathering
Refinery 29: 3 Easy Pieces; 12 Awesome Outfits
A Pair and A Spare: DIY Jeweled Shirt
Man Repeller: Are you Suffering from "Fear of Disappointing Others" (FODO)?
Steven Furtick: The Solution to Our Greatest Struggles
Looking Fly On A Dime: Gorgeous Ways to Display Your Accessories
WhoWhatWear: Lazy Girl's Guide to Doing Model Off Duty

Monday, April 14, 2014

What She Wore: Spring Transition


Early spring is weird. 

It starts out freezing cold, and ends with days resembling summer in every way but the date. With all of the highs and lows of this beautiful but fickle season, it's hard to know what to wear...ever.

My best suggestion would be layers, and lots of them. I'm a fan of layers. You don't have to commit like with a big poofy coat, nor are you freezing your tale off on days where the temperature decides not to reach where you hoped.

Here's one example of an outfit to try. 

And of course the usual bedazzlement. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Swap Parties are the BEST!

Swap Parties are just awesome. 

You gather up your best (and most stylish) friends, have some yummy food, talk about life...

Oh and clear our your closet of all your lightly used stuff while getting free gently used (or sometimes new) stuff in return.

Awesome right?

Recently, me and mis amigas had one. We wanted it to be early enough in the spring before we all went on our bi annual shopping binges to find new things for the season change, hopefully reducing (or eliminating altogether) the things we wanted. 

First we sorted all of the items by size and type. For example jeans all went together, but were divided into sizes. Same with the other items.

We placed the higher priority items (also known as the bags!) in the center. I've seen swap parties done in several different ways but what we decided was to allow for casual browsing and selection of the clothes, but took turns picking out bags (since they were the hot ticket items)
And you can see why. There were some awesome selections here.
And the swapping began! 
Best of all, whatever was not swapped was collected for a donation for our church's Ressurection Banquet for our friends in need. 

The event was super fun, although I'll admit that while I did bring several totes full of things to swap, I hadn't planned on coming home with anything.

But surprisingly, I did find some really nice things.
Including a nice light striped knit shirt, a cool high low blouse, one large Coach tote and a smaller Coach signature purse/wristlet set. 

See why I said swap parties are the best. Cannot wait until our next one!