Tuesday, October 31, 2017

How to Halloween

Today is Halloween. Which could mean a lot of candy, spooky houses, and fun times with family and friends.

What it has meant in the past is something offensive, with people (who obviously lack any sort of creativity) choosing to forgo the literal hundreds of thousands of costume ideas to dress up as someone else's culture. In fact, a survey taken not too long ago revealed that 52% of White Americans still think it's ok to do Black Face. Some celebrities have even been caught in the action (here's looking at you, Julienne Hough). Even fashion creatives have been caught black-handed. And it's causing people to not only be shamed across social media, but to lose respect in their communities and even their jobs.

All for the sake of an offensive costume? I think not.

Instead, here are just a few actual good ideas for Halloweens in the future (i.e. ones that won't get you fired or shamed on social.)

Hilarious Halloween Costumes
Haute Halloween
Black Dress Costumes
Throwback Halloween
Easy Thrifted Costumes
Red Dress Costumes
Last Minute Halloween
Dapper Halloween

Reclaimed Readables, #TuesdayShoesDay

Happy Tuesday, loves!

Let's end October with a shoetastic Readables featuring the Adidas Alexander Wang collab you have to see, the easiest way to make your heels blister proof, the slip ons with a 6000 person wait list, 39 pairs of non boring black boots, super cute commuter sneakers, comfortable ankle boots, and the $60 sneakers you can literally wear with anything.

Adidas x Alexander Wang Fall 2017
The easiest way to make heels blister proof
The 6000 wait listed sneakers
39 pairs of non boring black boots
Super cute commuter sneakers
Comfortable ankle boots
The $60 sneakers you can wear with anything

Monday, October 30, 2017

Work Friendly Guys Halloween Costumes

With Halloween being right in the middle of the workweek, many if us whole grown people either celebrated this past weekend or may choose not to get dressed up at all. Particularly guys, Halloween can be a difficult to get festive about when you have to go to work most of the day. I mean, who really wants to sit in body paint or those awkwardly uncomfortable store bought costumes all day.

Well, fear not. I have come up with some of the EASIEST costumes for guys that are both festive and work friendly. The best part is, you don't have to go out and buy any new pieces. Using your own wardrobe, you can easily create any of these simple yet recognizable characters, all while being both festive and office friendly.

Thank me later.

Here's my list:

Oceans 11, 12, 13

Man Men

Men in Black

Ned Flanders

Any Character from "The Office"

Mr. Rogers

Clark Kent/ Superman

Indiana Jones

Danny Zuko from Grease

*Please note: With the sheer endless ideas for Halloween, there is absolutely no need to be anything racist or offensive. Keep Halloween happy, y'all.

Reclaimed Readables #ManCrushMonday

Happy Monday good people!

This week's guy Readables feature includes top corduroy pieces to buy right now, the best beard shapes fro every face shape, how to transition into winter stylishly, last minute costume ideas, and how to not be racist this Halloween.

GQ: The best corduroy to buy this fall, the best beard styles for every different face shape
Menswear Style: Transitioning into winter
Style Girlfriend: Last minute costume ideas
Huff Post: How to not be racist this Halloween

Friday, October 27, 2017

Reclaimed Readables

Happy Friday loves!

Today's Readables features how to wear a sheer dress, affordable silky blouses, how to add color to you wardrobe, women on loosing the fear of turning 30, Rihanna's perspective gaining weight, 25 women on fertility issues, and all the men that have been accused since the Weinstein story dropped.

WhoWhatWear: How to wear a sheer dress, 27 affordable silky blouses, how to add color to your wardrobe
The EveryGirl: Losing the fear of turning 30
Man Repeller: Rihanna's perspective on her weight
The Cut: 25 quotes from women on fertility issues, all the men accused since the Weinstein scandal

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Reclaimed Readables

Greeting and salutations beauts and beaus!

Today's Readables feature the best/ low stress jobs for millennials, 16 ways to save money we never thought of, 7 ways to pay down debt, how to consolidate credit card debt, and the surprising things we buy when we are stressed out.

Refinery29: The best jobs for millennials in 2017
Apartment Therapy: 16 ways to save money we never thought of before
The EveryGirl: 7 ways to pay down your debt this year
My Domaine: How to consolidate credit card debt
Well+Good: Why you buy practical things when you're stressed out

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

TWMBABW: Dorcas Creates

"I'm an artist and illustrator, I make greeting cards, stationery, art prints, pins, badges and totes featuring illustrations of black girls." her introduction to her products and herself may sound simple, but they are anything but.

DorcasCreates immediately caught my attention when I was on a scrolling run on Instagram. And I have been in love with her products ever since. She captures the radiance and power of the Black Woman in her pieces and combines it with joy and even a bit of whimsey that you don't typically see in Black Art. Her pieces are modern, yet vintage; elaborate, yet simple; elegant and at the same time very raw and full of emotion. I would dare say that that Dorcas' pins are some of the most artistic I have seen to date.

I think you will agree with me.

Today's This Was Made By A Black Woman: Dorcas Magbadelo and her brand, DorcasCreates.

"I've always wanted to own my own business and make money on my terms but never really knew how I'd do it."Dorcas says when asked about why she chose the entrepreneurial path."I studied Art and Fashion for 2 years after Secondary School but switched to a degree in Investment and Finance." 

But finding working finance was easier said than done for Dorcas. "When I graduated I struggled to find work within Finance and truthfully my heart was never in it. I started working in School Administration but the pull to create was still too strong so I started drawing in my spare time and it just grew from there. For about 18 months I was working part-time whilst building my brand and in January of this year I officially went full-time with DorcasCreates."

Before launching this year, Dorcas allowed herself to explore her creative passions. "I started illustrating again in 2015, prior to this I hadn't really drawn anything for years although I'd experimented with clothes making and making skincare. I just really enjoy getting my ideas out onto paper and seeing them come to life either through ink or linoprint. Also at the time I started drawing again I was following a lot of other designer makers on Instagram and I just felt that there was a gap and need for illustrated products that showed the magic and beauty of black women. There's definitely a lot more of us now; black female designer makers especially." 

Despite this proliferation of Black creatives, there still remains a gap between creativity and commerce. "When you walk into a store and see the products on offer, it's still very much a whitewash." says Dorcas. "I should be able to walk into a department store here in London or anywhere in the US|Europe and find greeting cards, wrapping paper; printed products that reflect and appeal to everyone. I'm just trying to address that imbalance now through my work."

When asked about which of her pieces she loves the most, Dorcas says "My favorite products are definitely my enamel pins. Having my work come to life in a 3D product is just amazing; I can't really put into words the feeling of seeing an idea I had in my head come into being in real life. I want them to be heirloom pieces that can be passed down from generation to generation which is why they're all either gold, black and white or rose-gold, black and white. If I'm allowed to add another product I also love my Pledge print as it's a very personal illustration and the words that accompany the illustration were written out of frustration and sadness but I wanted to manifest a sense of hopefulness and love of self." 

"Black Owned/Woman Owned is important to me because we're so underestimated;" Dorcas says." All the business traits that held in high regard are usually attributed to white men, but black women especially sacrifice and juggle so many responsibilities whilst chasing their dreams and that's so admirable to me."

Show DorcasCreates love here and find her beautiful pieces here.

Reclaimed Readables

Happy Hump Day beauts and beaus!

Today's Readables feature easy chic outfits for when you want a new look but have worn everything in your closet, a new series on Black Women's forgotten stories, Gabrielle Union gets very real on sex and expectations, 11 new women's essay collections you should read, and Cate Blanchett's strong words on dressing how you want.

Refinery29: Gabourey Sidibe's film series on Black Women's forgotten stories
WhoWhatWear: Easy outfits when you have worn everything you own
Hello Giggles: Gabrielle Union gets real on sexual expectations, 11 women's essay collections, Cate Blanchett's strong words on women's rights to dress how they want

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

7 Sneakers I am Crushing On This Fall

Anybody who knows me at this point knows me as a constant mover who has no time for sore feet. As much as I love my heels (that is until 2 hours in, when my pain tolerance drops and my heels hatred rises), sneakers have captured my heart and style.

What’s awesome is that there are literally pairs for my every mood, whether super sporty Nikes, classic chucks, lace less slip ins, boot line pairs, even satin covered and pearl embellished. It’s a great time to be a new sneaker fan.

Here are the 7 pairs I’m currently crushing on (under $50).

7 Sneakers I am Crushing On This Fall

Converse high top

Vans retro sneaker

Guess sneaker

Puma lace up shoes

Slip on sneaker

Reclaimed Readables #TuesdayShoesDay

Happy ShoesDay loves!

Today's Readables feature the perfect fall boots under $40, the only mall brand shoes that matter right now, 5 Instas to follow if you love sneakers, fancy ankle boots, and Angelina Jolie's surprisingly affordable heels.

The perfect fall boots under $40
The only mall brand shoes that matter right now
5 Instagram Accounts to follow if you love sneakers
Fancy ankle boots
Angelina Jolie's affordable heels

Monday, October 23, 2017

12 Damn Near Free Fall Date Ideas

Fall is in full swing. The crisper air and cooler days are actually perfect for creating great moments with your sweetheart. There are literally so many fun and creative ways to enjoy this season and these moments do not have to break bank.

Here are 12 super easy date ideas to enjoy the autumn season.

Go to a pumpkin patch to pick out a pumpkin together
Go apple picking
Make your own candy apples or pumpkin spiced drinks
Attend a flea markets
Round up your favorite Halloween movies and have your own fright fest
Find the best corn maze and traverse it together
Hit up a local harvest festival
Pack a picnic
Local High School Football Games
Haunted hay rides
Warm cider or Smores by a Bonfire
Go wine tasting at a local winery
What are your ideas for a sweet fall date with your sweetheart? Comment below!

Reclaimed Readables #ManCrushMonday

Happy Monday loves!

This week's ManCrushModay features 5 ways to layer this fall, how to keep your boots clean from all of life's grossness, why guys can and should wear grey jeans, costumes for the big and tall man, and how the colors you wear influence people around you.

Menswear Style: 5 ways to layer this fall
Adequate Man: Keeping your boots clean from grossness
Style Girlfriend: Grey jeans outfits
Chubstr: Big and Tall costumes
He Spoke Style: How color influences people

Friday, October 20, 2017

Reclaimed Readables

Happy Friday beauties!

Today's Readables features 5 15 second styling tricks, fall closet organization tips, 31 great fall finds, why Nivea is the most problematic skincare, and Tarana Burke and the beginnings of the #metoo movement.

My Domaine: Tarana Burke and the origins of the #metoo movement
The Cut: Nivea is the most problematic skincare
BuzzFeed: 31 great fall pieces
WhoWhat Wear: 5 15 second styling tricks, fall closet organization tips

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Reclaimed Readables

Happy Thursday beauts!

Today's Readables feature small ways you're leaking money, the best online vintage stores, how to make good money online, how you could be over-saving for retirement, and how one woman makes $10k extra a year selling old stuff.

Apartment Therapy: Small ways you are leaking money
The Cool Hour: The best online vintage stores
Refinery29: How to make money online
My Domaine: How one woman makes $10k a year on eBay, you could be over-saving for retirement

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

TWMBABW: Nikki&Mallory

I found today's feature on Instagram some time ago and have been an avid fan of her handmade pieces ever since. Her chic and earthly creations took my breath away. Literally. I am a huge fan of this brand, its aesthetic, and the woman that created it all, Treasure Mallory.

Today's This Was Made By A Black Woman: Nikki&Mallory.

"My name is Treasure and Nikki&Mallory is the name of my brand. Named after myself; Nikki is my nickname, Mallory, my last. The name represents my varied layers of character + style. I've always had a thing for shoes and bags but never knew designing bags was my niche until I started sewing. Now I'm a self-taught handbag designer. My brand specializes in custom/handmade handbags, accessories inspired by bohemian and contemporary vintage."

About herself, Treasure says "I'm the most regular, not regular, creator, free-spirit, balls to the walls, fashion junkie, diy nerd and life lover in a nut shell."

Treasure brings her Pasadena roots together with her "east coast heart" to create pieces that are equal parts bohemian and street.

For Treasure, entrepreneurship was an inherited trait that she approached her own way. "I think being an entrepreneur is in my blood. My grandfather was a teacher but had multiple businesses and it trickled down throughout my family. Watching him run his business always inspired me to have "my own"." 

But her journey to entrepreneurship was not the straightest of lines. "After getting 2 degrees and working in corporate entertainment for years, I found myself completely ugly & miserable working for other people (losing myself). As soon as I got laid off, I was like "Yep...IT'S ON! Now or never" I decided to go for it. The scariest most rewarding move I've made to date.""

More on her journey, she says "I always knew I was meant to create but didn't know what? It was a talent I continued to overlook & not put much thought into. Prior to starting my business, I was struggling, fell into a deep stage of depression, I was down to my last dime, unemployed, losing my place ready to give up on EVERYTHING. I remember talking to a friend who said "when things get tough, you have to become innovative". "

Faith also played a huge role in Treasure's journey. "My walk with God has always been strong but I was losing faith daily. I had to remember that HE is bigger than my issues. I literally started calling on Him, asking for answers and deliverance of being suicidal. Literally, within months (still broke & lost) I decided to go to Fashion Design School being that it was the LAST thing I had interest in; kill some time, figure things out. At that point, it was almost like a light bulb went off! I was there to learn how to make clothes but was secretly teaching myslef how to make bags. Upon graduation, my brand was born. Let's just say, God has a strange way of repositioning you to into position."

That positioning lead her to create some of the most dope handmade bags I have seen. "I'm infatuated with handbags." Treasure says. "Always have been. I feel like we all have a special, weird, crazy story to tell. My story/journey was one that no one ever knew because I always had a smile on my face even when I was crying inside. For that reason, bags are special to me; each one holds a story that speaks true to our authenticity and authenticity is of value. Another reason why I hand make everything."

When asked what her favorite pieces are from her collection, Treasure says "To be honest, everything I create is my favorite. I don't have a team of people to assist me, or another seamstress to help make these bags so, each bag is a project I have to teach myself how to make. It's not until I'm finished when I remember..."damn, I actually created this!""

When asked about what it means to be both Black and a Woman as an entrepreneur, she says "Black owned/woman owned means resilient, determined + powerful. For so long the strength of a woman, black women especially, has been under-minded. The fact that "we can", says alot about our strength and ability to push beyond limitations + boundaries. It means we're far past settling. And we're going for the goal against all odds. I know a lot of women like myself who run their entire business by themselves. It's not even close to easy but it says a lot about the characters of women now. You have to commend that type of character."

Check out Nikki&Mallory
And follow her beautiful, transcendent brand.

Reclaimed Readables

Happy Wednesday beauts!

Today's Readables feature incredibly successful women who dropped out of college, ways to make sure you are wearing the right bra size, Tracee Ellis Ross's new clothing line, 20 fashion brands supporting Breast Cancer Awareness, and a white woman to white women about feminism, #metoo, and Women of Color.

Refinery29: Successful women who dropped out of college, are you wearing the right bra size
The Cut: Tracee Ellis Ross's new clothing line
Huff Post: A white woman to white women about #METoo and WoC's
Hello Giggles: 20 fashion brands supporting Breast Cancer Awareness

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Trend Alert: Metallic Booties under $50

Metallic boots are quickly becoming the statement piece of fall. Whether as a light sheen or with a mirror like finish, these boots are made for sparklin’. Here are my picks for under $50. Happy TuesdayShoesDay!

Trend Alert: Metallic Booties under $50

ASOS short boots
$40 - asos.com

Cape Robbin blue boots

Qupid lace-up ankle booties

Block-heel boots

Liliana short boots

Reclaimed Readables, #TuesdayShoesDay

Happy Tuesday beauts! This week's #TuesdayShoesDay features the next biggest shoe trend, a Chanel Cap toe slingback look  for less, over 25 pairs of cute shoes under $30 at DSW, the best boots for sneaker people, chic casual shoes, and the best sneakers to style with skinny jeans.

The next big sneaker trend
The best boots for sneaker people
Casual slip on shoes
The Look for Less- Chanel Cap Toe Slingback
28 cute pairs at DSW for under $30
The best sneakers tower with skinny jeans

Monday, October 16, 2017

Me Too: How Guys Can Help in the Fight Against Sexual Harassment and Violence

I was 11 years old when a man, clearly double my age or more, sexually harassed me a block from my elementary school. Eleven. I was a kid, a literal child, whose womanly form had only just begun to sprout beneath my t-shirt and shorts, but it was enough to garner the attention of this "man".

I don't remember what he said to me as I walked home from school with my younger sister, but I do remember, with tears in my eyes even now as type this, exactly how it made me felt. I didn't feel ashamed of myself or dirty. I got angry. Really angry. I was angry of how he could do it; shout things at an obviously young girl just walking home from school. Angry, because of how embarrassingly loud and obnoxious it was, drawing attention to just the hint of a womanly figure that was coming in. Angry that he felt so entitled to do so.

Compound now the pain added to YEARS, decades now, of this type of daily treatment and the anger gets expounded. I used to walk, head down, headphones in, volume up, to avoid it. But now, I don't avoid it. I call it out. Here and on social. And to the assailants.

Street harassment is real: it's not a compliment, it's not funny, it's not empowering. It just shows that the person guilty of it is actually an infantilized male, no more worthy to be called a man than those boys who assaulted me twenty years ago.

In light of the Harvey Weinstein article and flood of sexual harassment and assault allegations, women are sharing their stories. The sad part is that there are so many stories; stories of the mental and emotional harm of harassment, the threats of rape, the scars of sexual assault. The good part is that women are not taking this shit anymore. They are speaking these secrets and, when they can, are  naming their assailants.

But what are these stories met with? Not understanding and compassion but victim blaming, shame, accusations of lying, declarations of all of this becoming one large witch hunt.

Cue eye roll.

Instead of being the above guy, here's how you, as a man, can help this dialogue and ultimately end sexual harassment and assault:

First: Don't be like these guys. Don't be the guy who verbally assaults women. Don't be the guy who attacks them. Just don't.

Second: If you see it happening, say something. Your silence or casual dismissal are actually your approval. Saying "boys will be boys" is bullshit. It is in essence, calling men animals who are completely out of control of their own impulses. It is an insult, not an excuse. Stand up when you see this happening. Let your friends know that this is not ok. Let your brothers know that this is not cool. Tell your dad times have changed.

And not just because you have a mom, a sister, a wife, a daughter. Do it because it is the right thing to do.

Third: LISTEN. Just listen to the stories. Listen to her pain. Listen to her struggle. Listen. Open yourself up to hear her experiences. Stop being triggered to defend yourself when a woman shares her experiences. This moment right now is not about you. It's about her. Period.

Forth: Do not be dismissive of these stories. No matter how "small" you deem these incidents, to her, they are big enough to talk about. They aren't small to her. They inform how she deals with the male gender. They are worthy of you hearing.

Fifth: Stop seeing this as one big man bash. It's not. It's not all about you. In fact, if you have been doing right, you shouldn't even be brought up in the conversation. As I said before, stop getting triggered to defend yourself. It's not about you.

I hope this helps. What are your thoughts? Drop a comment below. Let's talk!

Reclaimed Readables #ManCrushMonday

Happy Mondays loves!

This week's #ManCrushMonday Readables feature 6 boots styles worth wearing, 3 things men do that women love, the art of packing for an overnight trip, why the German Soccer team is honoring players of the NFL, reasons you need cords in your closet, and the amazing thing that happened before the Philadelphia Eagles last game.

Dappered: 6 boot styles worth owning
Relevant Magazine: Philadelphia Eagles Wide Receiver was baptized before their game
Put This On: Reasons you need cords in your closet
BuzzFeed: German soccer team to a knee to stand for racial injustice
Menswear Style: The art of packing for an overnight getaway
Style Girlfriend: 3 things men do that women love

Friday, October 13, 2017

Reclaimed Readables

Happy Happy Friday beauts and beaus!

Let's close out this week with Readables featuring the best plus size coats, newest (and weirdest) popular beauty trend, high waist jeans comfy enough to live in, 18 Black Woman owned hair care brands, and 3 cool fall outfits for under $100.

Refinery29: Plus size fall coats
Hello Giggles: Nose hair extensions
BuzzFeed: 22 high waisted jeans to live in
BGLH: 18 Black Woman owned hair care brands
Man Repeller: Cool fall outfits under $100

Thursday, October 12, 2017

What Constant Cultural Appropriation Really Means...

Let me start this off by saying that Marc Jacobs is one of my favorite designers. Typically, if I find a Marc Jacobs piece, I am buying it.

Even though all of my Marc Jacobs pieces were probably purchased second hand (judge your mom) I love the quality, the style, the coolness I feel when I wear or carry them.

That's why I feel personally offended by Marc Jacobs' constant and consistent disregard and disrespect of the diaspora.

He now has a serious history of flippant cultural appropriation.

He was almost canceled after the mini buns bantu knots fiasco, and then there was that time boxer braids cornrows, last season it was faux loc hat thingies, and this season, he sent his models down the runway with head wraps.
Season after season, he gets accused of this. No, he is not the only designer trying to make coin off of Black Culture, but he is today's offender and has so deeply and continually offended, he deserves this intellectual dragging.

The continual stealing of pieces, styles, and otherwise notable swag mean one of two things: either Marc doesn't know (which I doubt), or Marc doesn't care to know.

Cultural appropriation is not Black People shouting about being the only ones with braids. It means that you understand and ATTRIBUTE that inspiration to the culture. Our hair styles are not some trend you can peddle off to white girls to make them look cooler, our lifestyles are not just something you can wear across a runway, our culture is not something you can just sell.

Basically, what cultural appropriation devolves to is a sheer lack of creativity and a flippant cultural insensitivity, both of which Marc, as a white man, with his privilege, can afford.

What does Jacobs have to say about all of this?
"All who cry "cultural appropriation" or whatever nonsense about any race or skin color wearing their hair in any manner- funny how you don't criticize women of color for straightening their hair. I respect and am inspired by people and how they look. I don't see color or race- I see people. I'm sorry to read that so many people are so narrow minded... Love is the answer. Appreciation of all and inspiration from anywhere is a beautiful thing. Think about it."

Where do I even effing begin here? 

Let's start with the initial confusion Jacobs' launches us into by, in one section, calling cultural appropriation "nonsense" which completely disregards the culture you supposedly say that you "respect" a few BS sentences later. So, which is it? Disrespect or respect?

Next, the whole calling out Black Women for straightening their hair thing. It is ironic that a white man, whose ancestors at one point, outlawed Black Women's hair, forcing them to either hide it beneath wraps or straighten it to be more approved, wants to "criticize women of color for straightening their hair." Dear Marc, plenty of Black people are born with straight hair. Might be surprising, but straight hair is not something exclusive to white people. There is straight hair across cultures and ethnicities. So no, no one is appropriating white culture there.

But Bantu knots, cornrows, braids, locs, twists, and the like are styles, not hair textures. These styles come from the diaspora and are not for sale or on the trends, these are our culture.

If you're so "inspired" by how Black women look, why not, I don't know, cast more of them for your shows? Just a thought.

Next thing: saying "you don't see color" is not good for any fashion designer. Please see color so my garments look right. Naw, but in all seriousness, saying that is hippie hippie code for you being racist than a mug. You obviously see enough color to make your shows a swath of beige skin tones with only an occasion chocolate drop there for accent.

I'm not the only one who notices this pattern:
Marc, you absolutely must get it together. You said last year you would "learn", but after this display, it is obvious the that you have not. Please, for the sake of your brand's actual fans, get it together.

What are your thoughts on this? Drop your comments below!

Reclaimed Readables

Happy Thursday beauts!

Today's Readables feature 15 lessons 1 writer learned after tracking her spending, the 1 trait all people who earn more have, 7 books perfect for starting your investing journey, NYFW pieces for way less, 15 free/cheap friend dates, and 8 things you're spending too much money on.

Refinery29: 15 lessons learned after tracking spending
My Domaine: The 1 trait all people who earn more have, 7 investing books
The EveryGirl: NYFW for less, 15 fee/cheap friend dates, 8 things you're spending too much money on