Sheek Magazine

12 in 21

As the years have progressed, I’ve been steadily tracking my spending on clothing. Though I’d say the overall volume has decreased since my fast fashion/thriftaholic days, the cost has risen because slow fashion is much more expensive. I would like to work on lowering both the amount of apparel I buy as well as how much I spend on it.

Amelia (@the.amelia.edit) proposed the idea of limiting ourselves to just 12 items–1 item per month–for this new year. I’m going to try my very best to stick with this because I honestly have more than enough clothes and so many are really comfy, well made favorites.

#12in21

Some guidelines for myself:

At least half (6) of the items will be from BIPOC owned brands.

Shoes will count but accessories won’t (think jewelry, scarves, etc.)

Underwear/lounge won’t count either (but not in need of much in this category.)

Each month I will update this post with the item I went with and details about it.

 

Items purchased so far: 1

 

Camper Pix boots $140 (on sale)

 

 

Wishlist

Pansy natural leggings $72

(this is in the underwear category for me so I wouldn’t count it.)

Image from pansy.co

 

Still Here NYC bone jeans $235

Image from stillhere.nyc

Winter Style

This will be a Winter of practicality because I’ll only be going out for necessities like groceries and the like. But that doesn’t mean I can’t have fun with layers! My base look remains consistent throughout winter; varying turtlenecks and jeans.

New color palette to try:

Primary: Red + Yellow + Blue

Outfit formulas-

Faces coat + white boots

White puffer coat + blue beanie + yellow scarf + rorange gloves + white boots

Camel coat + camel & abstract shape scarf + rorange beanie + cream gloves + black boots

Rorange coat + cream beanie + black gloves + black boots

 

Until next time, stay Sheek!

-Shekinah

Winter Wishlist

This season I had a handful of replacement coats in mind (larger sizes.) Glad to have started selling items on poshmark to help fund clothing purchases.

-Faces coat (secondhand)

-Camel wool coat (replacement)

-Rorange wool coat (replacement)

-Winter puffy coat (replacement)

-White & black boots (replacement)

-Cream wool beanie (BIPOC owned)

-Flame shelter cardigan

-Red potter jacket

Until next time, stay Sheek!

-Shekinah

Support Indigenous

I’ve written about supporting BIPOC before. This time I want to be more specific and lift up Native + Indigenous + First Nations + Metis + Inuit communities.

I typically focus on my own Black experience, but I must recognize that I have not done more to support my Native siblings. Black death and pain have been sensationalized in this country, but Native suffering has been pushed under the rug. I cannot grow complacent in their pain.

Native folks have to endure erasure by their countries’ colonizers yet at the same time exotification & appropriation. Despite European diseases and horrendous genocide, many have perserveared. I am forever awed by their resilience and continuation of so many different tribes’ traditions.

I ask that instead of participating in this fake holiday, do some real good and follow these suggestions below.

RECOGNIZE WHOSE LAND YOU OCCUPY

The website Native-Land.ca can show which tribe(s) land you live on. My favorite part is once you find out results, you can click on the tribe(s) website and learn more about their communities. A lot of knowledge can be gained here, much of which was not included in our typical eurocentric history classes.

The site has a disclaimer that it isn’t as detailed as it could be, but is growing due to contributions from the community.

SEEK OUT LOCAL INDIVIDUAL & COMMUNITY FUNDS

If you have funds to spare, try and find a local community to support. Or if you happen to see specific people in need, give via venmo/paypal/cashapp.

FOLLOW INDIGENOUS CREATORS

If funds are short, an easy & free way to help is to follow Indigenous artists, educators, and activists. Sharing their knowledge allows more people to understand and helps combat the unjust erasure.

BUY FROM INDIGENOUS DESIGNERS

A quick google search will show lists with some popular Native brands. I recommend digging even further. See what the creators you’ve followed are sharing. Check what’s on your wishlist and see if you can find it from a Native brand.

Always make sure that the brand is Indigenous owned. There are too many white owned brands that sell “Native inspired” items and in no way help the people they capitalize off of. DO NOT SUPPORT THOSE BRANDS! 

Remember, much like my own African diaspora, Indigenous folks are not a monolith. There are many different tribes and communities all over the world with unique traditions and perspectives. Learning about those differences and respecting them is one way to honor those who participate in them.

Until next time, stay Sheek!

-Shekinah

Hair Changes

These past ten years of being natural have been a learning experience. Not only in how to do my hair, but what my hair means to me. As I grow older, I’ve made deliberate choices about it that challenge societal notions of “beauty” for cis women. Here are a few of those changes listed below.

COLOR

For the longest, I had colors in the red family. Dark auburn, ginger, cinnamon, then eventually an ombre blonde on the ends. Loved that color for it really matched my freckles and somehow looked more “natural” on me than my black hair. 

I still feel like my natural hair color washes me out. My face is about 4 shades paler than the rest of my body and that difference has always been something I disliked. Black hair seemed to draw attention to that, but I’m contemplating just accepting it to stop with the bleach damage. Hopefully my freckles will darken with time like my mom’s have.

For the past year or so, I’ve been trying to get silver hair. I’ve wanted it since 2015, but was worried that the amount of bleaching to get there would be too damaging (basically something I’ve realized lately.) It’s such a great neutral color and I can’t get over how amazing it looks with my favorite red. So many women have been pressured to hide all signs of aging and have covered their natural greys with dye. It’s great to see more embracing the grey (like my mom and Mate’s mom!) I’ve had some white hairs mixed in since childhood but I can’t wait till they take over!

To try and lay off the bleach, I’ve found a new product. It’s a temporary silver hair wax that has amazing results on all types of natural hair. So I’m thinking I can just add that in each week when I style, and focus on building back my hair’s health.

LENGTH

I cut my hair recently which would make this big chop number 4. There was some damage and I also wanted to try a tapered shape. I used to have a goal of “long” hair like many naturalistas but I’ve switched my goal to be “big hair” with an emphasis on healthy coils. The cut means it’ll take more time to achieve, but the ease of short hair is undeniable! 

Unfortunately, countless women have been told to never cut their hair, it makes them beautiful, it’s their “glory” etc etc. I never thought this dead protein on my head should be exalted as such, I see it as another way to express myself. But damaged, stringy ends were not an asset to my coiled coif, so a cut was in order. 

STYLE

When I first went natural, I tried all the hairstyles. Twists, roller sets, protective styles, you name it! (You can still watch the tutorials on my Youtube.) I never had a weave and only wore wigs for cosplay, but that opens up even more possibilities for people who enjoy them!

I love natural hair, the variety we can achieve, reclaiming a part of ourselves that was hated due to white supremacy. And though there’s been a lot more acceptance of natural hair in the past decade, there are still issues of appropriation from white people, Black individuals being reprimanded at school & work, and an overall lack of representation of kinkier styles being considered just as “beautiful” as loose curly ones. 

Of all the styles I’ve tried, the fro is my ultimate favorite. No matter the color, no matter the length, this is the style for me. I especially enjoy trimming and playing with different shapes. My fro also helps me feel closer to my parents who had them in the 70s. One day I just want a big ass fro that can help me knock injustice out!

Until next time, stay Sheek!

-Shekinah

Brand Ideas

There are different perspectives regarding how people deal with companies online. Some individuals only visit their favorite brand’s websites and buy products there with the occasional email notification. Others follow on social media and engage with whoever runs the brand’s page. And then there are those that work with brands on producing content to help market their products to future customers.

I began as the first type of person but have now morphed into a combo of the second and third type. I’m not an influencer, but I do create content for Sheek as a portfolio to show my ability to style, photograph, and share my looks. I do choose to tag certain brands and there are a few reasons for that.

  • I tag BIPOC brands because they have so many more challenges than white owned brands and this can help them grow their audience. The larger their audience, the better their business will be and the chance to fund endeavours like size expansion are much more feasible. 
  • I tag some white woman owned brands because I have found many great quality and well fitting pieces from them. Several are leading the way in size inclusivity in this slow fashion space as well which is much appreciated.
  • I find it helpful when I’m looking at a new brand to see items on different body types & skintones. There are only so many models per collection, so seeing fit notes and reviews from the community can really help me make an informed decision. I hope that when I show up in their tagged section, I can help others contemplating a purchase as well.
  • It saves me from having to answer “where is that _____ from?” I’d much rather spend time commenting on the pros and cons of a more expensive item that a person may be considering. 

I don’t begrudge people who choose not to tag any brands at all. Aja and Dr. Kiona shared the truth about how people of color aren’t seen as “valuable” by brands and not offered fair compensation for their work and free publicity if a brand is tagged for their large following to see.

I also don’t trust when an influencer posts about something they were #gifted. Seeing only positive views and the phrase “I’m seriously considering purchasing another color because this is THAT GOOD.”

Please. Spare me the fluff.

I’ve seen those same items for sale a couple months later with no explanation about changing their mind so I’d rather put my trust in people like myself. People who buy their own items and don’t have a PR relationship to protect so they can be completely honest.

Though I still tag brands for the reasons above, I don’t tag everyone. I don’t tag fast fashion or unethical brands because I don’t want to promote them. And who knows, perhaps I’ll stop tagging completely one day. But for the time being, I hope that I am able to show some representation of the item on a mid-size, medium skintone, petite body.

Until next time, stay Sheek!

-Shekinah

Black Bags

I’ve loved the classic look of black leather bags for so many years now. I thought it’d be fun to show the various ones I have with a description of how I use each.

Medium Camera Bag

This was a hand-me-down from my dad and has held up so well over the years. I’d use this for a shoot that needs a bit more gear (like flash or another lens.)

Laptop Bag

This was a secondhand find from a local consignment store. It is the perfect size for if I needed to bring my MacBook pro anywhere and could fit my small portfolio book and resumes.

Camera Purse

This was one of my first intentional, ethical purchases years ago from Ona. It is my go to for headshot/portrait sessions when I only need my camera and 2 lenses. 

Mini Circle Purse

The smallest of the bunch, this was my last purchase from Fossil when I worked there many years ago. When I only need a few items, I use this.

Halfmoon Bag

My most recent buy from the wonderful Tree Fairfax. This would be great for hands free activities like the farmer’s market or travel and can fit a nice amount in it as long as the items are flatter.

Until next time, stay Sheek!

-Shekinah

Fall Style

Every year when August rolls around, I inevitably swoon for the thought of cooler days and layers. The thoughts are premature of course, for it remains pretty hot through September so Fall styling must always wait. But once that briskness arrives? I go all in!

New color palette to try:

Cream + Rorange + Camel + Black

Outfit formulas-

Tee + jeans + fun socks + derbys

Boxy black top + black pants + red socks & black boots OR red boots

Boxy black top + camel pants + cream mules or boots

Cream/black quilted jacket + cream tee + camel pants + red socks + black chelseas

Dark denim jacket + striped tee + camel pants + black boots

Camel jacket + cream tee + washed black jeans + red boots or rorange mary janes

Red denim jacket + cream tee + dark jeans + black with red boots

Until next time, stay Sheek!

-Shekinah

Fall Wishlist

This is my favorite season so in the past I have gone a bit overboard. I am glad though that as each season passes, I become even better at resisting impulses and sticking to my wishlist. This time I had a few new items in mind along with replacements.

-Red Socks from Pansy

-Cream Sweatshirt from Aliya Wanek

-Camel Pants from Kordal Studio (replacement)

-Raw Jeans from Detroit Denim (replacement)

-All black Red Wing boots

Until next time, stay Sheek!

-Shekinah

Work Bag

I’ve been partial to vintage Coach bags for years now, and have been able to find them secondhand in stores and online. This most recent find is something I had on my poshmark wishlist for about a year before buying. Since it was in new condition, the seller had it listed at its full price so I knew it would be quite a big purchase. It is so well made, my favorite color, and I know it will last for many many years.

Here’s a peek of what’s inside:

-ipad pro

-Charger/cords

-Business cards

-Small notebook & pen

Until next time, stay Sheek!

-Shekinah