Thursday, August 31, 2017


"Hi!! I'm Whitney, and I am the main blogger on this humble blog. I have been shopping thrift stores, consignment, resale, yard and tag sales for over 10 years now. What started out as a necessity has grown into an awesome hobby... This blog is dedicated to the treasures I find, the places I've been, and the cool people I've met along the way. I hope you enjoy the journey with me!"

Those were the words that started it all. They, along with this goofy crown picture were the first post to ever appear on The Reclaimed.

Here we are, 4 whole years later and it has been a great ride. It is fitting that today falls on a Thursday, which, in this space at least is our day to talk about Thrift Shopping. That is how it all got started.

Things that have not changed: I still thrift shop (of course!), I still love finding a good deal. And I love writing about it.
But plenty of things have indeed changed. The blog has grown so much since I first typed these words on my I Pad 2, 4 years ago this day. It has opened doors for me. It has led to a resume full of writing opportunities. It has led to classrooms and sponsorships and connections and clothes and beauty products and events and new friends.

But what I love most of all, it has been a safe place for me. It has been the place where I have worked out my own ideas, fought for words to express how I was feeling, where I have meditated and cursed and worshipped God and shared my stories and the stories of others who have inspired me along the way.

I hope you have enjoyed these last 4 years of The Reclaimed.

Here's to many more.

Reclaimed Readables, August 31st

Happy Thursday loves!

Today's financial Readables feature a look at how much money we should have by the time we enter our 30s, things to consider before starting a small business, the new book examining our twisted view of luxury, the biggest investing mistakes made by women, and everything you need to know about your 401k.

The EveryGirl: What to consider before starting a small business
Refinery29: The book examining out twisted view of luxury
The Cut: How much money should I have after leaving my 20's
Coveter: The biggest investment mistakes made by women, everything you need to know about your 401k

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

TWMBABW: Incense, Trap, and Yoga

The rise of conscious wear is not something surprising, and shirts with compelling slogans are nothing new. 

But what is new and unique about the shirts produced by the brand Incense, Trap, & Yoga, is the artful balance of elements of the religious and the ratchet, of the divine and the diva, of the spiritual and the street. 

Their creator, Stephanie Keene, masterfully merges these elements creating something that is for those of us who find ourselves in the grey area between Solange and Cardi B. Her works find space for everyone to have a seat at the table and have a valuable conversation without feeling the slightest bit diminished by things we like. 

Without further ado, here is Incense, Trap, and Yoga founder, Stephanie Keene in this edition of "This Was Made By A Black Woman."

"My name is Stephanie Keene, and my brand is Incense, Trap, & Yoga. It's a lifestyle apparel brand that allows folks to make statements with their clothing and accessories and look fly while doing so."

"I created my brand because there were designs I wanted to see on products, so I took on the challenge of creating them for myself. I'm a poet and writer by craft, so there were always lines and sayings that people would hear/read from me and say "you should put that on a shirt." So I am. Also everybody likes t-shirts. Except my mama. But she has one because she supports her babies."

"My favorite product changes from time to time. Right now, my favorite product is the Woke & Twerkin' crop tee. Because the concept sums up the meaning of the brand... that folx can be a lot of different things at once, without the juxtaposition compromising their humanity. The design comes in a few different variants, but the crop tee is my fave because I'm especially happy with how many crops have sold in larger sizes."

Black owned and woman owned mean "I am who I am, doing what I came to do."-Audre Lorde. Just entering entrepreneurship as a black woman is an act of defiance. Sustaining and thriving are icing on the (vegan) cake. I hope to be an inspiration to the people in my life and beyond, particularly for the children."

Follow this brand at Incense, Trap and Yoga and grab your own woke tees.

Reclaimed Readables, August 30th

Today's Readables feature Wonder Woman on empowerment, 33 of the comfiest dresses, the best strapless bras for big chests, why Zara's models are now all over 40, and why Black Women are vehemently protesting "the father of modern gynecology".

Hello Giggles: Gal Gadot's empowering feminist message
BuzzFeed: 33 super comfy dresses
Curly Nikki: Why Black Women are protesting "the father of modern gynecology"
Refinery29: The best strapless bras for large chests
WhoWhatWear: All of Zara's models are over 40

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Reclaimed Readables, August 29th

Happy Shoesday beauts!

This week's footwear focus Readables features the surprising way Sarah Jessica Parker is very different from her Sex in the City character when shoe shopping, Karl Lagerfeld teams up with our favorite skater shoe brand to create the chicest sneaks, nude heels to wear all year long, the popular boot maker showing us how to style her awesome pairs, and affordable work ready flats.

Karl Lagerfeld is collabing with your favorite skater shoes
SJP is no Carrie Bradshaw when shoe shopping
5 pairs of nude heels you will wear all year around
The most popular boot maker right now on how to style her pairs
8 stylish work flats

Monday, August 28, 2017

The Best Fall Pieces for Guys @Forever21
Forever 21 has long been the secret sauce for stylish girls on a budget. But the brand has since expanded its offerings to not only it's female clientele, but also to males as well.  Lesser-known than former female only brands now offering guys clothes like ASOS and TopShop, Forever 21's men's offerings are equally as stylish and even more affordable. And with fall coming up, what better way to stock up on long sleeves, jackets, and the like than stopping by your nearest Forever 21.

Here are my picks for Autumn 2017.

The Best Fall Pieces for Guys @Forever21

Reclaimed Readables, August 28th

Happy Monday loves!

This week's #ManCrushMonday features 25 style items to look forward to this fall, seven men on balding well, the gateway drug to the alt right, Kendrick Lamar's new campaign, and the amount of people murdered since first protest.

Hello Giggles: Kendrick Lamar stars in Nike's new campaign
The Cut: Men's rights is the gateway to alt right
Racked: 7 men on balding
Dappered: 25 things to look forward to for fall
Huff Post: The amount of people killed since Kaepernick first protested

Friday, August 25, 2017

Reclaimed Readables, August 25th

Happy Happy Friday beauts!

Today's Readables feature the Hijabi fencer amplifying the voice of Black Muslim women in the era of Trump, great transitional clothing, the basketball wife that created a million dollar swimwear empire, 25 celebrities on self expression, model Winnie Harlow changing the face of Vitiligo, and MAC's latest collab featuring Aaliyah.

Huff Post: The Muslim fencer amplifying Black Muslim voices
Refinery29: Summer-Fall transitional ideas, the basketball wife with a Million Dollar swim empire
The Cut: 25 women on self expression
Racked: Aaliyah X MAC collection
Byrdie: How Winnie Harlow is changing the face of Vitiligo

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Bad With Money...

My mom gave me the best compliment recently. She and I were talking about how I used to save up when I was a kid and how I walked away from my old job to write full time, and she said "Yeah, you're pretty good with money."

The statement gave me serious pause. I didn't know that I was "good with money". I grew up having a lovely childhood. My mom managed to create a great life for us practically on her own. I did know how things actually were until middle school when I moved in with my grandmother. Suddenly I was surrounded by the children of the white, educated, and affluent. Two parent homes where both parents were successful was something I only saw on the Cosby show, but in the suburb where I was shipped to, it was everywhere.

I remember the year that the chunky Tiffany & Co. silver heart bracelets came out, almost immediately after the holiday season, it felt like all of the girls had one.

And that little toggle bracelet made me instantly aware that I was financially out of my league.

Could I have asked for one? Sure. My dad was making bank, living in a suburban home with his new wife and my younger siblings (who would never know a day of struggle, and of that, I was actually grateful. We will talk about my interesting family dynamics another time). My dad would have gotten it for me. My mom would have at least tried.

But I didn't want them to buy it for me. I wanted to buy it for myself. As a teen, I already had it within me that I wanted to get things on my own. Why? Because while my wealthier counterparts would easily get what they wanted from their parents, all they could do was say their parents helped them. I wanted to point to my own and say that I got it for myself.

And that drive for my own lead to my secret, not so secret, desire to understand money.

The way I have been learning how to be good with money? A podcast called Bad With Money by comedian and writer Gaby Dunn.

I first heard Gaby on Refinery29's Strong Opinions Loosely Held podcast discussing her article "The Sad Economics of Internet Fame" (it's a great read, y'all should check it out) and heard that show's host, Elisa Kreisinger, talk briefly about Gaby's show, Bad With Money. After reading Gaby's article and hearing how she truthfully discussed money and being "internet famous", I felt like I had to listen to her podcast.

So, I took a listen. I listened to another, and then another.

In fact, I took a few days to binge listen to the podcast like some money info crazed girl. In fact, that is exactly what I did. Gaby's transparency is honestly refreshing and helpful. She asks the "stupid questions" for I won't feel stupid asking. She opens up about her family history and how her upbringing directly impacted her view on money. She even reads some of her bank statements and records calls to her financial institutions. She talks to others that are both good and bad with money, including financial experts, freelancers, comedians, activists, and everyone in between, all talking as candidly about their money concerns  and how those are interwoven into politics, ethnicity, oppression, gender and gender identity, class, and every day life.

And listening to Gaby has honestly helped. Because of this podcast I actually started contributing more to my savings. Because of this podcast I have been more ready to discuss finances with others, removing the stigma and seeing it for what it is, a tool to be used wisely, not a think to love or hate. Because of this podcast, I have dropped the fear of sharing my writing rate with people  because I thought they would judge me. Because of this podcast I checked my credit and noted some things that didn't look right. Once I did, my credit score literally jumped 40 points. (WHAAAAAAAAAATTTT?????)

I say all of that to say Bad With Money has actually helped me in a lot of ways and I REALLY recommend it.

And I hope the podcast continues.

Thanks Gaby.

Reclaimed Readables, August 24th

Happy Thursday loves! Today's Readables features the cities where you can retire early, 9 people on their worst money mistakes, how to stop over drafting, what successful women are doing to prep for September, how to personally hack your finances, and literally 75 things you can do tome and save money.

Natalie Bacon: 75 personal finance tips to make and save money
My Domaine: How to prep for September, how to hack your personal finances
Refinery29: Stop overdraft fees
Apartment Therapy: Retiring early is a thing in these cities, 9 people on their biggest money mistakes

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

What happened to Black Girls Rock?

We are literally bombarded with every other awards show and red carpet on the planet. And last night was one of the biggest awards show for the Black community, Black Girls Rock.

And I found one post. ONE. (Shout out to Huff Post).

But umm, where are all the posts?! All this #blackgirlmagic and there's NO coverage?

So I decided to write one (ok, in all transparency, I was going to do one anyway, but now, it seems that I must. Thank me later.)

There was the slayage that happened on the Red Carpet, where all of my faves showed they did not come to play with y'all...again, shout out to Huff Post.

Then there was this incredible moment when Black Girls Rock founder, Beverly Bond reminded us of our collective power...

And then there was this moment when our patron saint of Black Femininity and Shade, our nationally designated Auntie, Auntie Maxine.

Reclaim Yo' Time, Auntie!

What were your favorite moments from this year's Black Girl's Rock? Drop yours in the comments below!

Reclaimed Readables, August 23rd

Happy Wednesday loves!

Today's Readables feature 29 simple hair tutorials that slay, get glowy results from just washing your face, products women are buying in bulk from Mr Porter, Shonda Rhimes gets real about body insecurities, and all the great looks from Black Girls Rock.

Huff Post: Celebs that Slayed Black Girls Rock Red Carpet
Byrdie: Products women are buying from Mr. Porter
Well+Good: Face washing tips
BuzzFeed: Over 20 simple hair tutorials
Refinery29: Shonda Rhimes gets real on body insecurities

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Sandals I Refuse to Stop Wearing Until Its Freezing Out

Autumn is rapidly approaching and many of us fashion girls are happily looking forward to reuniting with some of out beast fashion pieces.

One piece from summer that I am sad to see go are those comfy slides all of us fell for this summer.

So, in typical form, I plan on being stubborn about it and wearing these until it's completely seasonally inappropriate.  Here are my picks for the week, happy Shoesday!

Sandals I Refuse to Stop Wearing Until Its Freezing Out

Kensie cushioned sandals

Bebe sandals

Topshop going out shoes

Ivy Park flat footwear
$30 -

Adidas shoes
$47 -

Birkenstock unisex shoes

Slip on trainers

Reclaimed Readables, August 22nd

Happy #TuesdayShoesDay!

This week's footwear focused feature includes one stylist's unreal shoe collection, Nike's new collab, affordable summer to fall transitional shoes, the complicated process of simple shoe design, comfy and cheap heels, and proper shoe stretching.

The unreal shoe collection of this stylist
Nike's Cortez sneakers
Complicated process of simple shoe design
Affordable Summer to Fall shoes
Comfy cheap heels
Proper shoe stretching

Monday, August 21, 2017

A Gentlemanly Discussion on Modern Chivalry

We hear it all the time. "Chivalry is dead" usually heard from a person (most times a woman) when (s)he is complaining about a man who is poorly behaved.

But today, I want to challenge that notion. Is chivalry, in fact, dead? Or has it, like lady likeness, been modified or modernized to suit contemporary lifestyle.

Chivalry is actually defined as "the sum of the ideal qualifications of a knight, including courtesy, generosity, valor, and dexterity in arms." Overall, we think of chivalry as courteous behavior, especially towards women.

So I spoke to the most gentlemanly gentleman I have immediate access to, who happens to be MY gentleman, Earl, about what he thinks about chivalry:

So, babe, er, Earl, is chivalry dead?
"What some consider as "chivalrous activity" may be in low supply these days, but is it completely dead? No, I don't think so."

"The environment around how chivalry is both given and received is different though." Earl explains. "The response to what could be a chivalrous response (from a man's perspective) has not always been responded to as positive. What has been the traditional connotation of 'chivalry' has declined."

Interesting. Why do you think that is, Earl?

"It's not a one way situation. With chivalry, these acts come with both levels of respect AND levels of intention to it. And there is also a level of response. If a man keeps having a negative response to the acts that he deems as polite, but she is taking some other way, he 's going to reduce the level expressed due to his thinking the acts are un-welcomed or unwanted."

Any advice for guys?

"If there is a particular way in which you have chosen to interact with a woman, and if that tends to exhibit characteristics of the classic notion of being chivalrous, don't be discouraged by the times it is not received well. It either tells you one of two things:
1) She's not worth the time so keep it moving
2) You're going to have to come with more than your basic level.
"Her response will dictate which one of the two it is. In every case, you keep doing you."

When asked his thoughts on modern chivalry, "It depends on the level of interaction. There is the basic level of actions like giving your seat, opening the door, pulling the chair out for her to sit; things like that."

"For it to really mean something, the action going to have to be something specific to those two individuals. For example, if I am in the city late, and you (meaning me) are in the city working late, I will wait for you (me again) to finish and then pick you up and bring you home."

I asked people's opinions on Facebook, and here are some of the responses:

So maybe chivalry has not died.

Maybe it's just different now.

Maybe instead of opening the carriage door for your lady or taking tea on the sun porch, you send her texts when you're away to make sure she makes it home safe, you call when what you say you will, things like that.
It's chivalry You still walk closest to the road, hold doors, let her order first, and pull out chairs for her, not because she cannot, but to show respect for her as a small way to honor her place in your life.

Reclaimed Readables, August 21st

Happy Monday loves!

This week's #ManCrushMonday features 10 transitional style commandments, when to wear your tailored jacket with a tee, celebrities remember Dick Gregory, the real problem with protesting the NFL, the Game of Thrones actor sending a powerful message on Climate Change, and 16 must reads on White Supremacy.

Refinery29: This Game of Thrones star powerful statement on Climate Change
Huff Post: Celebrities remember Dick Gregory
Menswear Style: 10 Transitional Style Commandments
Put This On: When to wear a tailored jacket and tee
Medium: The real problem with Kaepernick and the NFL
BuzzFeed: 16 must read books on White Supremacy

Friday, August 18, 2017

Reclaimed Readables, August 18th

Happy Friday loves!

Today's Readables feature the 12 statement bags under $50, the lipstick company helping victims of Charlottesville violence, real women test Amazon's most popular lipsticks, 20 denim pieces to fall for, Game of Thrones character you should be watching, Yara Shahidi's essay on art and activism, and  the disturbing discovery researchers found in products marketed to women of color.

And I Got Dressed: 12 statement bags under $50
Huff Post: The lipstick company helping victims of Charlottesville, Yara Shahidi's essay on art and activism
The Cut: Products marketed to women of color found to be more toxic than those market to white women
Coveteur: 20 denim pieces we love
BuzzFeed: Missandei is the character to watch on Game of Thrones, testing Amazon's top lippies

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Its National Thrift Store Day!


It's #NationalThriftStoreDay again! And you better believe I am going to go visit my favorite spots to celebrate.

Some of my most favorite pieces and treasures have come from thrifting jaunts and random second hand shop visits. And that is how this blog even started.

Here are my favorite posts about Thrifting to ever appear here on The Reclaimed.

Why I love Thrift shopping
How Thrift Shopping made me a better person
Trends that are still so good that you can grab at the Thrift
Transitional wear you should totally get at the Thrift
Why we need to be Paying it Forward

What questions do you have about Thrifting and shopping second hand? Drop them below. Let's chat!

Reclaimed Readables, August 17th

Hey, you beautiful little cheapskates!

Today's Readables feature the Millennial's guide to not going broke, the #1 money mistake as told by a financial planner, the high cost of actually dating, how to turn your hustle into passive income, and 5 simple ways to save money on clothes.

Girl With Curves: 5 ways to save money on clothes
Refinery29: The high cost of dating, turning the hustle into passive income
My Domaine: The #1 money mistake as told by as a financial planner, millennial's guide to not going broke