Summer is probably my least favorite season in terms of style whereas Fall is my forever champion. When it’s very hot, I wear as little as I possibly can at home. If in a work setting, I focus on loose silhouettes and lightweight fabrics. Once it cools down, I am ecstatic to start layering again.
September is still quite warm now (thanks climate emergency) but I am able to add in more Fall elements as the season progresses. Here are some ways I transition from minimal looks to maximalist creations.
As I mentioned earlier, I wear as little as possible when it’s hot. Though I have been rocking minimal silver studs and my Africa pendant, those are it. Recently picked up this chunkier chain which I think will look great with button ups and turtlenecks later in the season.
Watches have actually been one of my favorite accessories for years (and useful too) so now is a great time I like to start wearing them again.
One of my favorite style elements of a look is to see an unexpected pop of color or pattern from socks. They’re not only functional to help stave off the chill, they’re fun too. I think they’re cute with derbys and mary janes in Spring, but in Fall I go for more practical sneakers or boots.
Love when a piece is versatile and can be worn multiple ways. I like to keep on wearing lightweight summer dresses open as dusters once things cool down.
Now that Summer has arrived I’m excited to spend a lot more time out in the sunshine! Though I’d place myself more in the “overdressed” category, I knew it’d be useful to have more casual items that could handle the dirt and wet of Summer. Whether going for a long walk, bike ride, or up north, I think these items will serve me well for many years to come.
For daytime clothes, I’m sticking to a simple tank + shorts formula. The muscle tank silhouette protects my décolletage and upper back from the sun while the open arms allow for airflow.
For nightime and cooler weather (and to protect against bugs,) I’ve included tennis shoes, long pants, and a thin topper.
Next I have accessories I’ll need like walking sandals, sunglasses, a sunhat, and fanny pack.
A bathing suit for water time.
Then I have essential toiletries. Lip balm, tinted sunscreen for my face, regular mineral sunscreen for my body, hand sanitizer, and natural bug spray.
Last but not least is nutrition. Water, snacks, and my vitamins in a portable case which all fit in the fanny pack.
Here are some views of my office/style room! There are still a few things I’d like to adjust (more photography prints, a hook for my camera, and decide what to put in that chevron basket haha.) The rack will change seasonally and/or when I want to try a different theme. Otherwise, most everything is set. Hope you’re inspired!
Copper rack – Etsy
Copper hangars – At Home
White wall shelves, frames, small cabinets – Ikea
Chair – Wayfair
Bamboo floor protector mat – Office Depot
Grey cart, desk, lamp – Target
Rose gold drum table – Goodwill
Mirror, rug – hand-me-downs from mom
Picked out some daily jewelry to wear to feel more put together, even if I’m not venturing outside. The majority was handmade by small businesses like myself, so it’s nice to feel as though I’m “wearing” my values too.
Earrings & plugs – Etsy
Necklace & bracelet – handmade by MI artists
Watch – Shinola
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 (@ameliaswardrobeedit) 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.
Some guidelines for myself:
At least half (6) of the items will be from BIPOC owned brands.
*I originally was counting shoes in the 12, but decided to separate them into their own list.
Accessories, underwear/lounge, secondhand, replacements, and self made items won’t count.
Each month I will update this post with the item I went with and details about it.
Clothing purchased so far: 11
Vestige Story kindred sweatshirt $125 (BIPOC owned)
7115 by Szeki black sumo puffer $328 (BIPOC owned)
Tradlands augusta floral dress $197
Aliya Wanek britt dress $265 (BIPOC owned)
Ichi Antiquités linen gather dress $320 (BIPOC owned)
Sotela gingham top, shorts, & skirt $477 (BIPOC owned)
Eli & Barry grid dress $318
Nettle Studio smiley button up $124
Image from nettlestudio.com
STATE punch shirt $144 (on sale)
Image from statethelabel.com
Intentionally Blank canta dress $180
Image from intentionallyblank.us
Detroit Denim red jeans $365
Image from @detroitdenim
Shoes purchased so far: 6
Camper Pix boots $140 (on sale)
Bryr black norma stack sandal $272
Beatrice Valenzuela lichen sandalias $328 (BIPOC owned)
Bryr spritz zoe flatform $280
Zou Xou quinta woven slide $185 (BIPOC owned)
THEY sneakers $188 (BIPOC owned)
Image from theynewyork.com
Vacilando Studios red quilt jacket $???
Image from @vacilandostudios
Here are some sewing projects I’m planning to make:
-Face print midi dress (made!)
-Red canvas sun hat (made!)
-Floral print boxy top
-Red canvas clyde trousers
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
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!