Friday, May 29, 2015

Reclaimed Readables, May 29th

Better late than never! The Readables for today feature 20 non-cheesy outfits, weird ways to clean your jewelry (that work), the fast fashion documentary you want to see, great advice for new decorators, ultimate basic items list, 20 amazing cross body bags on sale now, and Rashida Jones says you can stick those heels where the sun doesn't shine. 

WhoWhatWear: 20 non cheesy going out pieces
Huff Post Style: Surprising ways to clean your jewels
Racked: The fast fashion documentary you should see
Apartment Therapy: The best advice for new decorators
WhoWhatWear: Ultimate basics list
Refinery 29: 20 bags on sale now
Racked: Rashida Jones has something to say about your heels

Thursday, May 28, 2015

#ThrowbackThursday: Solange Slays the 60's

Solange is a personal style inspiration for me. I've written about her before, using her as an example of proper pattern mixing. Fearless in her choices, bold in her ensembles, yet Classic in her methods, Solange embodies the style aesthetic that I personally work toward achieving. 

Solange draws upon past decades for her own style inspiration. She selects vintage and combines it with contemporary to create simultaneously fresh, classic, and always unique style. 

Let me show you what I mean:

'60s Style Beauty
A pretty lip and major liner epitomizes 60's mod beauty.

Yellow and White Floral
Mellow yellow gets a sophisticated boost with this lady like dress. 

Dots and Stripes
Pattern mixing isn't a new trend by any means, but has been conquered with modern style in this look. 

High Waist Shorts
Waist deep never looked so good with the simplicity of the black shorts combined with the vibrancy of the top. 

The Mini Dress
This mini dress look could pass as vintage, but gets a modern upgrade with animal print. 

High Waist Bikini
A classic swimsuit gets today's treatment  with trippy colors and box braids.

Simple stripes get a punched up look when tailored into a great dress. 

The Maxi Dress
Lovely patterns on long dresses? Groovy baby.

Polka Dots
Polka dotted to perfection in this large dot printed mini dress. 

See what I'm saying!

With a few modern tweaks and vintage flair, Solange simply slays the '60s. 

The great thing about all of these looks is that you can find similar pieces to create your own modern 60's flair. Be fearless and have fun with your fashion. You never know what inspiring looks you will create. 

Reclaimed Readables, May 28th

Hey hey hey! Happy Thursday!

Today's Readables feature natural before bed hair tips, 6 things successful women quit doing, 8 money making apps, the plus size line you want for summer, 3 toned moves for better legs and booty, a double spike earring DIY, and pieces to invest in during sale season

Byrdie: 6 before bed tips for new naturals
Career Girl Daily: 6 things successful women have up (that you should to)
My Domaine: 8 apps that earn money for you
Refinery 29: The amazing plus size line that will fit in your weekend bag
The Coveteur: 3 moves for toned legs and booty
I Spy DIY: Double sided spike earrings to DIY for
The Zoe Report: 6 pieces to invest in during sale season

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Reclaimed Readables, May 27th

Greetings and salutations stylish readers!

Today's Readables feature hacks to make your clothes last longer, beauty tips we got from Instagram, tricks on being more photogenic, how to decorate (well) with pattern, few of Forbes most powerful women, what to actually wear when humidity strikes and how to not look sweaty.

WhoWhatWear: What to wear when humidity strikes
The Coveteur: How to not look sweaty
My Domaine: Some well loved faces on Forbes 100 most powerful women list
Refinery 29: 7 tips on making your clothes last longer
WhoWhatWear: Tips from the photogenic girls
My Domaine: 7 times decorating with pattern won us over
Refinery 29: Beauty tips we stole from Instagram

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

"If only they loved us as much as they loved our culture..."

The above look was from the recent Marc Jacobs' show and was featured on the Mane Addicts Instagram profile with the caption "Sun's out, (mini) buns out..."

And I immediately asked "What the heck is a 'mini-bun'?" I've never heard of those before, but I've definitely heard of a Bantu knot, and that is what I'm seeing at the Jacobs show. 
This is what we call cultural appropriation. Cultural Appropriation, in a basic definition, is defined by Wikipedia as "is the adoption of elements of one culture by members of a different cultural group, especially if the adoption is of an oppressed people's cultural elements by members of the dominant culture." And Bantu knots aren't the only example. Autostraddle has 10 big ones by celebrities (if you needed a few more examples).

So, why is cultural appropriation even bad? Surely the acceptance of a minority culture by the dominant culture is a good thing right? 

Well not so much. There is a difference between learning from and accepting of a culture (also know as mutual exchange, where the cultures are on a level playing field) and taking elements from that culture as your own while disregarding (and continuing to oppress) the culture that these elements came from.

It is burning the library of Alexandria and saying that you created algebra, medicine and modern faith.

It is wearing religious headpieces as edgy fashion.

It is wearing a bindi (without any concern or research for the actual meaning of it) for a sexy exotic flair. 

It is taking the most popular stereotypes of a group and donning it as if it's stylish.
It is making sports mascots or mockery out of Native American culture. 

It is wearing hijabs in a desperate attempt to be avant garde in your music video or stage performances.

Adrienne Keene, Ph.D. said it best, "You are pretending to be a race that you are not, and are drawing upon stereotypes to do so."

Cultural appropriation is very simply theft, theft of racial uniqueness, theft of diverse heritage, theft of identity, and theft of cultural respect. 

It's not just about hair. It's about identity. And stealing identity is something that our majority culture has been doing to minority culture since before America was America. The sad thing is that cultural theft is perfectly avoidable, but the majority culture (for whatever reason) has yet to avoid it 

Think about how the above post would be different if it read: "Bantu Knot Tutorial" instead of "Mini Bun Tutorial". Think of the respect that would have been given from both sides of the cultural divide if anyone had acknowledged the choice in hair style for this fashion show was an ancient African method of styling hair.

But, instead of saying that, we fake creativity and call them "mini buns", thus continuing the cultural theft and disrespect. 

It taps into over 400 year of institutionalized oppression. It is seen as an echo of forced cultural loss. It is a pain felt deep into the ethnic psyche of a minority that attributes its own creation from a globally traumatic event; when human beings were stolen from their families, clans, societies, even their continent and were treated as chattel. It is an anger that resounds every time another frat boy sings a racist song or confederate flag flies high or someone else decides to wear black face for Halloween or cornrows (or Bantu knots for that matter) for their fashion shows. Each of these reverberate in the black conscious as the dominate culture saying "Hey, we still don't want you. But we will gladly take your culture." 

Amandia Stenberg's "Don't cash crop on my cornrows" sums it up perfectly when she ends her cultural appropriation lesson (yes, be schooled by this 16 year old.) by saying "What would America be like if we loved black people as much as black culture?"

Tuesday ShoesDay: Holey Moley- Perforated Espadrilles user $50

I've been on the hunt for the last few months for a pair of great slip ons that would fit in my budget and keep my feet both stylish and cool. I found the perfect pair during a random trip to Marshalls. Sitting right in the clearance rack were a pair of black perforated leather espadrilles, similar to the ones pictured above. Needless to say that they were immediately purchased and have been in the warm weather rotation ever since!

In honor of the super sweet pair of Dolce Vita slip ons I purchased for the summer, I've found 6 pairs of great perforated espadrilles. Comfy, stylish, and (my favorite part) they fit and feet and most budgets.

Happy ShoesDay! 

Tuesday ShoesDay: Holey Moley- Perforated Espadrilles user $50

Reclaimed Readables, May 26th

Happy Tuesday loves! 

Today's Readables feature 4 major differences between the unsuccessful and the successful woman, inside the mond of a shopaholic, 7 personal finance apps you ought to know, a DIY blackhead slaying scrub, fashionable summer staples, several great celebrity looks for less, and (just in time for Tuesday ShoesDay) your common shoe problems solved!

Career Girl Daily: 4 major differences between successful and unsuccessful women
WhoWhatWear: Inside the world of a shopping addict
My Domaine: 7 personal finance apps you want to know about
Byrdie: A 3 ingredient DIY scrub that slays blackheads
The Zoe Report: 12 warm weather staples of the fashionable summer girl
WhoWhatWear: Cheap alternatives to celeb looks
Refinery 29: Common shoe problems solved

Monday, May 25, 2015

Reclaimed Readables, May 25th

Happy Memorial Day, readers!

Today's Readables feature 100 Memorial Day activities, 15 ways to have an epic summer, a Memorial Day menswear sales roundup, how to look dapper even at a cookout, properly cleaning your necktie, how stress is killing you, and very handsome man bags (so you can put that back pack to rest.)

Apartment Therapy: 100 Memorial Day projects/DIYs/and games
Relevant Mag: 15 ways to have an epic summer
Chubstr: The Memorial Day sales round up
Dappered: Your summer grill out outfit
Adequate Man: How to (properly) clean a neck tie
Menswear Style: How stress is actually killing you
Suit Up Weird: The myth of the great man bag proven true

Friday, May 22, 2015

7 People who I will NEVER follow on Instagram

It's no secret, I love Instagram. It's a beautiful way to connect with people and share ideas, thoughts, and vision. It's like a visual guide book of human life and interaction with other people, the planet, and the great Paternal Power who created us all. I find and follow some amazing people every day; stylists, travelers, dreamers, world changers. I admit, Instagram is escapism, yes, but it's a great form of escapism and I love it.

But there are things I don't love about it. 

I will not follow profiles if:

The pics are just disrespectful
-Why would I want to fill my feed with negativity? Bashing, boasting, and general bitching are simply unwelcome on my feed, a feed I often escape to in order to be encouraged, inspired, and entertained.

The profile pic is an ass
-Or boobs, or anything like that. If that is all you have to offer the world, I feel sad for you. An overly sexy profile is of no interest to me.

The pics are selfies...ALL selfies
-The point of Instagram is to get different perspectives from different people. But if your whole perspective is only you, then why do I need to follow? (Hint: I don't)

There are no snaps of your real life
-Your profile is full of pictures of beautiful places and hilarious memes, but there is nothing about who you are. Probably not going to follow.

The profile is celebrity dedicated, but not celebrity run
-I know you feel like Ariana Grande is your girlfriend or that you're an unofficial Kardashian/Jenner, but let's be honest. You've never even met those people. And while you're dedicating time and effort maintaining an Insta profile sharing that dedication, you look obsessed to the rest of us. 

The profile is private
-You like your privacy, and that's fine. Unless you're someone I know offline, I'm not going to follow you.

There is simply not enough photos
-You're new to Instagram or you just don't post often. No hard feelings, I'm just not going to follow you until you have more snaps

What about you? Do you have a no-follow list?

The Importance of High Street Collabs

The events surrounding the Lilly Pulitzer for Target  collaboration opened a lot of people's eyes to a greater, often ignored truth; Fashion makes snobs. People think that just because they possess the funds to purchase high end pieces that it somehow, someway, makes then "better" than those who cannot. 

Deep down, we all know that this is so not true, that a bad person is still a bad person, whether they are wealthy or broke, and the only difference between a rich jerk and a poor jerk is that money only serves to amplify the fact that this person is a jerk. 

Brands don't make you a good person. Money doesn't make you a good person. What you own or can afford to own does not make you a good person.

Great. Now that we got that out the way, let's talk.

The stance of this little blog has always been that good fashion should be affordable, style should be attainable, and a a beautiful lifestyle should always be in reach, despite economical background, size, shape, physical ability, etc. 

And high street collaborations allow for this. These collabs simultaneously connect brands with different customers (thus expanding the audiences for the brand) and connects consumers with labels that they previously would not be exposed to or wouldn't have been able to afford. This expands the brand and gives consumers a chance to own a label they wouldn't have had the chance to otherwise. 

Another thought: have you ever considered how difficult it is for a higher end label, like a Lilly Pulitzer or a Marc Jacobs, to make more affordable items? It is a daunting task. They must create reasonably priced pieces while still being true to the quality and luxe of their label. Yet most of these collabs meet this challenge successfully, producing gorgeous and affordable items that stay true to the image of the label. 

Unlike counterfeits, which in essence is stealing from the brand, these high/low collaborations are directly from the labels they represent. From conception to creation, these are direct products from coveted companies directly to a wider audience of consumers.

The point: High/Low collabs give designers a chance to reach a wider group of customers while giving consumers who wouldn't normally have access to such brands a chance to own real pieces created by real designers. 

A 3.1 Phillip Lim piece is STILL s 3.1 Phillip Lim piece, whether it was sold as a boutique in East Hampton or at an inner city Target. That designer put their work into creating that piece, and we're satisfied enough with the product to put their own name on it. 

More importantly, many brands that participate in these collabs remain very proud of their work, the same way they are proud of their higher end items.

So, my question to brand purists and label whores is this: If the brands and labels you are so dedicated to love and value their own high/low collabs, who are you to disrespect them or the people that buy them? Did you ever consider that these high/low supporters obviously have the same taste as you, otherwise these collabs wouldn't be supported and therefore be nonexistent? 

So, fancy pants, let's cut a break to the rest of the populous who would rather spend their funds on practical things instead of breaking the bank for style, and maybe each other for having such good taste.

Reclaimed Readables, May 22nd

Happy Friday, good lookin! You made it! Here's to the long weekend, may yours be filled with good food, good friends/family, and good times.

Today's Readables feature essentials for the minimalist workplace and wardrobe, an easier way to contour, Dove's new curl loving e-book, 13 one minute life improving lessons, how to squeeze more storage into your bedroom, finding your ideal white jeans and (intuitively) how to remove every type of stain. 

WhoWhatWear: How to snag swimsuits for cheap
The Cut: A new (and easier) way to contour
Byrdie: Dove's new e-book encourages curl love (and other cool beauty news)
My Domaine: 13 one minute lessons to improve your life (seriously)
Apartment Therapy: Squeezing a bit more storage into your small bedroom
Career Girl Daily: Essentials for a minimalist wardrobe and office
Refinery 29: The clumsy girls guide to removing every type of stain
The Cut: Find your perfect white jeans

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Naomi Sims

Fashion is littered with Naomis. One that stands out and really set the tone for black models in the U.S. was this lovely lady, Naomi Sims. 

Naomi is often credited with being the first black supermodel, having modeled before that phrase was coined. "Naomi was the first,” designer Halston said in his interview The New York Times in 1974. “She was the great ambassador for all black people. She broke down all the social barriers.”

Naomi was born in Oxford, MS on March 30th, 1948. While Sims had a rough start, she soon found great success in fashion modeling. The August 27, 1967 release of Gosta Peterson photos of Naomi propelled her into a very successful career and making her the first black woman on the cover of "Fashion of Times", a style supplement to The New York Times.

Of Naomi, Essence magazine said, “Never had a model so dark-skinned received so much exposure, praise, and professional prestige.”

Her talent and beauty eventually landed her the prestige of becoming the first African American model on covers of Ladies' Home Journal and Life magazine.

She is also credited to have helped usher in the "Black is Beautiful" movement of the '70s. 

By 1973, Naomi retired from modeling and moved on to her own multi-million-dollar wig business. 

Despite her success, Naomi exuded down-to-earth, relatable personality. She said: "To always be aware of your face, your figure, to always have to wonder if your hair and nails are perfect -- it's not healthy. Maybe for a few years. Not for a lifetime." 

Naomi passed on August 1st of 2009 from breast cancer at age 61. Her relatable and positive personality, her social consciousness, and her trail blazing spirit make her this week's Throwback Thursday. 

Friday Find: Eddie Borgo for Target

If you've been reading this blog long enough, you know how much I loooove the high street collabs. I was already shot to the moon with the announcement of the H&M/Balmain collaboration, but this next one will at least get me to Saturn. 
Target (or as I call them, the Bullseye Boutique) is collaboration with the edgy and super cool Eddie Borgo. 
The Deets: 
Target, really emphasizing the DIY moment we are having, will include a 3-D printing capable site where alphabet charms can be designed by shoppers. Shoppers will also be able to upload and share photos of their customized items with the intent of others liking, commenting, and ultimately shopping them.
"A lot of these charms could be keychains, they could be added to an existing bag, there’s a lot of ways to make it your own," Borgo told Vogue during their interview. "There’s this spirit that’s in the air for us, of ‘Maker Culture’; people wanting to customize things themselves, infuse things with their own personal sense of style, really bring their own design sensibility to what they do."
According to Vogue, the collection is a festival girl's dream and includes (vegan) leather bags and packs and a whole lot of jewelry which is comfortably priced from $7.99 to $49.99.
The Eddie Borgo collaboration will be available online and in select stores starting July 12. This is one you certainly don't want to miss out on. 

Reclaimed Readables, May 21st

Greetings and salutations readers and friends!

Today in the Readables, we are talking elevated versions of your favorite cocktails, giving your white tees the celebrity style treatment, melt proof summer beauty, compelling reasons to leave your phone home, a DIY to make your picnics so much chic-er, vacation worthy staycation wear, and the next Target collab that has fashion girls hype.

WhoWhatWear: Styling a white tee- celeb style
Career Gurl Daily: 8 reasons to leave your phone home
Byrdie: 9 rules for melt-proof summer make up
The Zoe Report: Your staycation wardrobe has arrived
A Pair and A Spare: DIY tassel picnic blanket
My Domaine: 5 elevated versions of your favorite cocktails
The Zoe Report: The way less preppy/sexy Target collab coming this summer

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Reclaimed Readables, May 20th

Happy hump day loves. 

Today's Readables feature ways to win at wearing all white, 20 lovely ways to store you're jewelry, the importance of work/life balance, why the Balmain for H&M  collab is and will be a different collaboration, a dark circle slaying beauty hack, tips for your best sleep now, a terrarium DIY, and the top jewelry trends of the summer.

A Pair and A Spare: Get better sleep
My Domaine: 20 lovely ways to store your jewelry
Career Girl Daily: Successfully balancing work and life
Byrdie: Slay dark eye circles for good Why Balmain for H&M will be a different collab
Refinery 29: How to win at wearing all white
The Zoe Report: Jewelry trends worthy of warm weather
Apartment Therapy: Make your own terrariums

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Tuesday ShoesDay: White Chic- White Shoes for under $50

For those of us still waiting to bust out the bright white shoes, there are only a few more days before the Memorial Day weekend, signifying the unofficial beginning of summer. Hang in there. 

For the rest of us who don't adhere to the Memorial Day/ Labor Day = White Season, take your pre-summer to a whole new level of chic with these 10 white pairs, all for $50 and Under!

Happy ShoesDay!

Tuesday ShoesDay: White Chic- White Shoes for under $50

Flat shoes

Wide shoes

Birkenstock white shoes

High heel shoes
$44 -

White shoes
$39 -

White shoes