Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My Favorite Posts of 2014

The Reclaimed really grew in 2914. We explored a plethora of fashion and style related topics with almost 700 individual posts being produced just this year alone. Yet with all that writing and discussion, a few pieces stand out. These are those, the ones that forced me to think, to consider, to deeply research, but further still, to explore my own heart, my own prejudices and judgments, and forced me to grow. These are it. 

Thank you for reading, for discussing, and for growing with me. Enjoy and have a safe, fashionable, and happy New Year.

What National No Bra Day means to those of us with big boobs:

National No Bra Day, a day where women willingly throw off their restraints and the over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder that usually confines us. This day is a chance for us ladies to celebrate our chest, regardless of size and free of judgment.

In defense of Catcallers:

Can you imagine that some women, some self validating, confident women who don't need the either compliments or catcalls of random male onlookers? Who are these broads? I mean there isn't any better way to get your confidence than pervy dudes hollering at you, right? 

The meaning of Motherhood

Things like breast feeding, luxury diaper bags, and pre baby bodies get obsessed over while the real issues like "am I doing what is needed for my baby?" get forgotten. 

Wonder Models and Wheelchairs

She and many others are leading the charge awakening the otherwise aloof industry that they are indeed here and, better yet, are more than capable of modeling just as fiercely as Cara Delevinge or Chanel Iman.

Get off my Internets, sticks and stones and the beautiful life:

Now there is an ENTIRE site dedicated to "hate-reading" of blogs. Meet Get Off My Internets, a blog focused on the hatred of other blogs. In a recent interview with, the founder and main writer who only wanted to be know as A. ( so A., you didn't want to share your name...but you have the ova to share hatred for other people's blogs on your site? A simple google search revealed this cyber coward's name is Alice Wright...).  

Dear Vogue: My big booty is not a trend:

I ask you: what does Iggy, Jen, or JLo have on Serena Williams? I mean come on, if you're going to proclaim it as the year of the booty, get a REAL booty to officially inaugurate it. 

Gracefully Aging, Models 60+ Changing the Fashion Game:

You have these, and many other stunning women who continue to be lovely, not despite their ages, but wholeheartedly embracing their well earned years and platinum hair, laugh lines and wisdom. They stand up, glamorous, graceful, and stunning as they were 40+ years ago and it's downright inspiring. It says to us as younger women that we don't lose our beauty just because we get older. It says that just because we don't look like we did when we were 18 doesn't make us any less gorgeous, it makes us gorgeous in a different way. You simply cannot look at these photos and deny the sweet loveliness of these ladies. 

Reclaimed Readables, December 31st

Here it is, your last set of Readables for 2014. Today's links include 2 different ways to open your NYE Champagne, 10 fun things to do if your staying tonight, 3 amazing year end cat eye looks, 11 great body image moments of 2014, the year's best beauty tutorials, and the New Year's resolutions these celebs need to make.

Into The Gloss: two ways to actually open that NYE champagne
Refinery 29: Staying in? Here are 10 awesomely fun things to do
Byrdie: 3 Cat Eyes looks perfect to ring in the New Year
Huff Post Style: 11 great moments of 2014 in the fight for positive body image
Byrdie: 2014's best beauty tutorials
Refinery 29: New Years Resolutions these celebs shout make

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Tuesday ShoesDay: Top Shoe Styles of 2014

Here we are with our last #TuesdayShoesDay of 2014. This week, we review the top shapes and styles of the year.

The key word for footwear this year was simplicity. Minimalistic styles reign supreme in basic heels and mules with simplistic designs that were anything but boring. 

Another key word for footwear this year was comfort, and that was reflected in birkenstocks, high tops, and flat sneakers.

Fall and winter is always run by boots, but this year's boots seem tougher than years gone by in motorcycle, combat, and doc Martin style boots.

These were my top seven shoe styles. What were your favorite styles of the year?

Tuesday ShoesDay: Top Shoe Styles of 2014

Reclaimed Readables, December 30th

Happy Tuesday readers and friends. Today's features include the top voted beauty products of 2014, how to throw a super chic New Year's Eve party, 6 easy Pinterest worthy home trends, when to repair your favorite bags and when to toss it, some of the best fashion and style advice of the year, how to stick to those resolutions, and what you need to know about all that after Christmas shopping you've been doing.

Huff Post Style: 37 beauty products we cannot get enough of
Apartment Therapy: Top style and fashion tips of 2014
Refinery 29: When to repair and when to buy that bag
Huff Post Style: 6 decor trends to make your home Pinterest ready
The Zoe Report: How to throw a super chic last minute NYE bash
Refinery 29: Stick. To. Those. Resolutions
Fashionista: Still after Christmas shopping? Here's what you need to know...

Monday, December 29, 2014

The Look for Less: Mood Maker

Reclaimed Readables, December 29th

This is the last #ManCrushMonday of 2014 and we are making it count with today's features including 6 pairs of shoes every dapper dude owns, how to dress like the Italians, a major sale that even makes the guys rejoice, one of the coolest dad/son combos you've seen, 3 NYE easy outfits, the best hosting tips and tricks of 2014, and how not thinking alike is better for your relationships. 

Menswear Style: 6 pairs of shoes every man should own
Put This On: American Sprezzatura (aka dress like an Italian)
Dappered: The Nordstrom sale you've been waiting for all year
The Cut: This photographer dad and cool son may be the coolest you know
Style Girlfriend: Your New Years Eve outfit broken down by occasion
Apartment: NYE at your place? The best party hosting dos and dont's
Refinery 29: How not thinking alike is better for your relationships

Friday, December 26, 2014

Friday Find: Real VS Deal-Folded Manta Clutch

I am a bag lady, and this week's find is a reflection of that love. Unique, unusual, even strange; all very apt words to describe the Alexander McQueen Manta Clutch. Yet with all its uniqueness, I still find it difficult to toss up a rent payment on any bag, let alone a clutch. 

Enter Black Five with their manta inspired clutch. Gorgeous, luxe, and less than a tenth of the price

This week's Friday Find; The folded manta clutch. Happy Friday!

Friday Find: Real VS Deal-Folded Manta Clutch

Alexander McQueen silver clutch
$660 -

Fold over clutch

Reclaimed Readables, December 26th

Happy Friday/Day after Christmas! Hope everyone had an amazing and joyful holiday.

Today's links get us back to the "not-so-basic" basics, the best of the best of drugstore beauty, making your home more glamorous, 10 things to know how to do before turning 30, how 1 pair of shoes upgrades 10 outfits, over 70 Instagram accounts worth your attention (you're on there anyway), and getting (and staying) organized for the new year.

WhoWhatWear: Back The Basics
Byrdie: Best of 2014 Drugstore Beauty Awards
The Zoe Report: 5 ways to make your place super glamorous
Refinery 29: 10 things to know how to do before turning 30 (updated)
WhoWhatWear: 10 outfits; 1 pair of shoes
Racked: 70+ Instagram Accounts worth your follow
Apartment Therapy: Get organized with The January Cure

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Danger in Reciprocity

Her wide eyes and smile suddenly faded as some realization swallowed it. The gift in her hands that had brought her so much happiness as she tore through the wrapping now felt like a weight in her palms as her eyes met mine. "I don't have a gift for you." Her words fell from her mouth like a judge's sentence against her. 

But I simply shrugged "No worries." I said, smiling. "You didn't have to get me anything."

A sudden face shift from disappointment to confusion. "Really?" 

"Yeah...really." I replied. I watched the weight of her own inner condemnation lift from off of her shoulders. I reassured her "You being happy about that is all the gift I need."

Following that exchange between my friend and I, I got to wondering why she could have felt that way. Why do any of us feel that way, guilty about gifts that we don't have to exchange when someone presents us with a gift? This feeling wasn't too foreign from my own emotional sphere. I have felt this way before, especially on Christmas.

But why? Reciprocity isn't necessarily a bad or good thing. It's a necessary thing. It is the "give-and-take" rhythm of our everyday. In good business, fair exchange is essential to positive commerce. If I want something, I have to pay a person for it. In a successful law system, crimes are judged and sentences are appropriate. If someone breaks the law, they must do the time for their crime. 

Simple, right?

But what happens when reciprocity invades areas of our lives where it never belonged. What happens when too much give and take moves into spectrums where it wasn't invited?

Things get confused. Yet this is how we approach a lot of our lives. We are friends with a person or date (or worse, marry) someone because they make us feel good, forgetting that this flawed persons will do or say something that won't make us feel so good. And then what? This reciprocal feeling upon which we hinged the totality of the relationship now seems to shakes a structure. Where reciprocity was only supposed to have a background role, we made it the star of the cast.

This what happens in our gift giving. We make too much room for reciprocity. A lot of times, it has very little to do with the other person. Sometimes we treat gift giving as a bartering, as though we are exchanging goods for goods like our ancestors of long ago. It's routine and mechanized. But then we miss the sweetness of the thoughtful present; that someone took time out of their lives and some of their treasure to find something they thought we would appreciate. 

Sometimes it could it be our own inner pride, a beast that's only content when it's pet and stroked by doing something well, including gifting. It destroys our pride when someone gives us something and we have nothing to exchange. We panic. We look around to see if we have an extra something, anything, just so we don't have to be empty handed. Not so much to spare the person giving us the gift's feelings, but to spare us of our own loss in pride.

After all, not having a gift would be humiliating, right?

But what if it isn't humiliating at all? What if the person giving the gift has no need of anything in return?What if reciprocity was taken completely out of the gift giving process and people just gave, whether they received something back or not?

After all, this season is really not about the gifts we receive. It's about what we give. 

After all, despite Santa, Rudolf, and Frosty, the shopping, the parties, the sales, and the other shallow nonsense brought on Christmas, remember the only reason there is even a Christmas Season. It is a celebratory reminder of what was given to us over 2000 years ago by a birth so unique, that it divided time, changed the course of human history and is still to this day one of the most mysterious and scandalous stories ever told. A little baby was born in a sheep pen to an engaged couple. And with the birth of that little baby, we were given one of the most lovely, wonderous gifts of all: Hope.

We could be missing that miraculous hope as we get lost in mundane reciprocity. Personally, I would rather have the hope of Christmas rather than the normal give and take of our everyday. How we celebrate that hope, whether with a Christmas tree, gift exchanges, community service, or what have you, the most crucial thing we can do is not receive, but to spread and share that hope.

Reclaimed Readables, December 24th

'Twas the Eve before Christmas and the Readables were up. Features links include how even fashion girls mess up; 8 holiday nail art examples that are so not cheesy, amazing last minute gifts to make Christmas easy; 10 ideas for happier small spaces, Philly EyeWorks crafts chic frames for your faces; last but not least 20 pieces both festive and sweet. From The Reclaimed, may your Christmas be awesome and chic!

Byrdie: 8 non cheesy Holiday nail art ideas 
Huffington Post: Why you be-speckled wonders need to know about Philly EyeWorks
The Cut: 20 festive pieces for all those holiday parties you're going to
Byrdie: 10 habits of beautiful women
Fashionista: Seriously great last minute gifts that win
Apartment Therapy: Rue Magazine shares 10 home style ideas for a happier small spaces
WhoWhatWear: 5 style mistakes even the fashion girls make

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Reclaimed Readables, December 23rd

Happy Tuesday your gorgeous reader! 

Today's links feature 20 super comfy things you want for your impending hibernation, 9 lovely ways to layers, 5 tricks to wake up your metabolism, how to look expensive in whatever you wear, 20 chic home decor features to save and style your place, how to order wine like an expert, and literally almost everything you want to know about jeans.

The Cut: 20 cozy things for your staycation
WhoWhatWear: 9 easy/chic ways to winning at winter layering
Byrdie: 5 tricky tricks to changing your metabolism
Refinery 29: Look super expensive in really cheap clothes
Apartment Therapy: The best money saving home decor tips of 2014
Into The Gloss: A beginners guide to not looking like a beginner while ordering wine
WhoWhatWear: Everything you ever want to know about jeans on one convenient list

Monday, December 22, 2014

The Look for Less: Velvet Crush- Velvet Blazers for Holiday Dapper

There are very few things as dapper as a velvet jacket at a holiday party. But this amazing piece can be super pricey if you don't know where to get one. They can run up to $1800 if you're not careful. 

But I couldn't have any of my Reclaimed dudes not be dapper or worse, be broke! Here are 8 different styles and shades, for under $175. It's a Christmas miracle!

The Look for Less: Velvet Crush- Velvet Blazers for Holiday Dapper

Reclaimed Readables, December 22nd

Happy Monday good people! This week's #ManCrushMonday features dude bloggers weighing in on what's on their Christmas lists, major cold weather outfit inspiration, the modern bachelor pad, how to get your money issues together, this week's best guy buys for under $75, 10 great holiday travel tips, and amazing (and useful) last minute gifts from a very dapper source.

Chubstr: Holiday gift guide
Suit Up Weird: Winter outfit inspiration
Apartments Therapy: The Modern Bachelor Pad
Refinery 29: Get your financial s#!t together
Dappered: This week's best buys for $75 and under
Put This On: 10 tips for traveling during the holidays
The Sartorialist: Last minute gifts from McNally Jackson

Friday, December 19, 2014

Making Gifts That Matter

You don't have to run out to stores to craft these sweet gift ideas. In fact, there comes a point where too many purchased presents seem...impersonal. Why not roll up your sleeves, dust off your creativity, and make (yes, I said make!) your own presents this year? 

-Free Babysitting:
To all of the (trustworthy and reliable) aunts, uncles, godparents, this one is great. Parents want to have fun too, and what better way of allowing them to do so by drawing up your own "Free Babysitting" passes. 

-Chore Passes:
Find chores that your friend doesn't like doing and make a pass for that. One of your gal pals hates washing dishes, especially after the big soirée that somehow always happens as her house? Make her a few passes to cover that.  

-Dinner Pass:
For those of us who like to cook (and can do it well) creating a "dinner pass" for a friend will be received well. Just make sure you include on the pass that they must make "reservation".

Handmade Gifts
-A "You" Box- 
Find a small box and decorate it with the intended's name, favorite color, a magazine collage, or even just paint it. Then fill it with a few small gifts (nail polish, favorite lip balm) a picture, and a handwritten note.

-All In One Baking Jar:
Combine (carefully and without mixing them) the dry ingredients of the favorite cookie/ cake/ hot chocolate recipe. Tape instructions on the side of the jar and you're golden.

-Photo Collage:
You know all of those "ussies" you've been taking with your bud? Gather them up, print them out and creatively assemble the photos into a small collage chronicling your adventures and events together.

-One of a Kind Piece:
If you are handy/ crafty, simply craft something up as your present. I know people who make their own soaps, lotions, candles, and the like. Using the intended person's favorite scent, create a one of a kind botanical for them. If you crochet or knit, scarves and hats are always essential right about now. 

Be Present
No matter what you decide, whether you buy or make your presents, the most important thing is that you choose to be present.

Happy Holidays, readers.

Reclaimed Readables, Decmber 19th

Happy happy Friday readers and friends!

Today's features include this new brow extension thing that's happening, rent-novate your apartment with just $100, how to deal with those people you don't particularly care for, amazing beauty gifts for $25 and under, why NYFW got evicted from Lincoln Center, 3 goal setting strategies for 2015, and 11 stunning plus size holiday looks.

Refinery 29: How to deal with those people you actually don't like
Byrdie: So...brow extensions are a thing now...
Domaine Home: give your rental some major love under $100
The Zoe Report: Top beauty gifts for under 25 bucks
Racked: New York Fashion Week is now homeless
Apartment Therapy: 3 Goal Strategies for an purposeful 2015
Refinery 29: 11 top plus size divas share their amazing holiday looks

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Reclaimed Readables; December 18th

Happy Thursday yall! Today's links feature 50 major ootd inspirations, 11 things your beautician wished you knew, why being busy is nothing to be proud of,   the best plus size moments of 2014, we play "buy now/ wait for the sale", DIY your own super gorg party shoes, and talk about why it's actually healthy to zone out. 

WhoWhatWear: 50 outfit ideas from Pose
Byrdie: 11 things your hairdresser wished you knew
Relevant Mag: Don't be too proud of how busy you are
Huff Post Style: Proud plus moments of 2014
WhoWhatWear: Buy it now or wait for the sale?
Honestly WTF: DIY Crystal confetti party shoes
Refinery 29: The health benefits of Zoning out

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Sony Breach is sort of a good thing

I'm probably one of the few who sees the Sony breach as a partially positive thing. I mean, yeah it's a terrible thing when someone uses your own information against you. But if what is exposed the true character of those whose many of us have been finding and supporting for years, then I ask is it really a bad thing? 

That's exactly what happened to Sony executives Scott Rudin and Amy Pascal got caught with ther proverbial pants down when hackers (supposedly from North Korea) targeted Sony in a massive breach of their security. Initially, I felt bad when I heard that people's emails from over a year ago had been exposed. Then I read the subject matter of these emails, and I instantly felt better.

In an email exchange between Rudin and Pascal about an upcoming meeting with President Obama:
Rudin asks "Would he like to finance some movies,"
Pascal responds, “I doubt it. Should I ask him if he liked DJANGO?” 
Rudin counters with“12 YEARS," 
Pascal responds “Or the butler. Or think like a man?” 

Oh yeah. Yep, that feeling that you're feeling right now? Yeah I felt that too...

It would be too much to ask people not to be bigots, but if you're going to be bigoted, at least be smart enough to be bigoted where you won't be caught, not in written forms (I guess ignorance knows no bounds). It was literally only a matter of time before such crass and classless emails were to surface. 

And of course here comes the inevitable apologies: 
“Private emails between friends and colleagues written in haste and without much thought or sensitivity, even when the content of them is meant to be in jest, can result in offense where none was intended,” Rudin told Deadline. “I made a series of remarks that were meant only to be funny, but in the cold light of day, they are in fact thoughtless and insensitive, and not funny at all. To anybody I’ve offended, I’m profoundly and deeply sorry, and I regret and apologize for any injury they might have caused.”

Pascal echoes these same sentiments:
“The content of my emails to Scott were insensitive and inappropriate but are not an accurate reflection of who I am...Although this was a private communication that was stolen, I accept full responsibility for what I wrote and apologize to everyone who was offended.”

Let's face it: the only reason that there is an apology is because they got caught. Otherwise there would be no sudden "I'm deeply sorry"  or "I apologize" BS. That type of apology isn't worth anything. You cannot apologize for ignorance. Ignorance can only be eradicated with education. 

And it looks like this breach is giving Rudin and Pascal one hell of an education.

Reclaimed Readables, December 17th

Happy hump day you cool reader, you! Today's links feature delicate jewelry for your daily wear, a super stylish DIY blanket cape, the new controversy in-betweener, when being authentic means being more than honest, 50 chic gifts under 50 bucks, 10 home tools to keep your home winter happy, and stylish (and affordable) stocking stuffers for a happy holiday.

The Cut: Delicate jewelry to wear everyday
A Pair and A Spare: DIY blanket cape
WhoWhatWear: Between size 4 and 12? You're an" in-betweener"
Revelant Mag: How being authentic is more than just being honest
The Cut: Last minute super chic gifts under $50
WhoWhatWear: Don't forget the stocking stuffers
Refinery 29: 10 home tools to make winter super easy

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Under $30: Gifts for Guy Friends and Bros

We can't leave our guys hanging without Christmas presents. 

The trick with guys gifts is finding something that pairs usefulness and whimsy. Funny socks, a shaving set, a flask in the shape of a Walkman (if he doesn't know what a Walkman, is he's too young for you, dear) are all contenders as fun and frugal gifts they are bound to love and, more importantly, are destined to use. 

And at these prices, your dude will be thrilled. 

Under $30: Gifts for Guy Friends and Bros

Wahl travel bag
$31 -

Tweezerman eyebrow kit

Leather kit
$7.83 -

Christmas sweater
$23 -

Happy Socks 3 Pair Sock Gift Pack
$20 -

dark rum votive.

Sagaform drinkware

Outdoor doormat

Scented candle

Bar tool