Sheek Magazine

Finding Inspiration

Every now and again, I find myself in a style rut. It seems surprising that one of my favorite activities (personal style) would be subject to boredom. But it happens, especially when I’m getting sick of the current season (typically due to the long winters, but right now it’d definitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.) Thankfully, I’ve found ways to find inspiration during down times like this.

Reorganize your favorite pieces

Sometimes you can just remember what you love to wear, other times tracking the exact wear count of items helps. Whichever method, decide what your favorite items for the current season are and lay them out.

Seek out looks that feature those items

My favorite source of inspiration is Pinterest but you could look on Instagram as well. The point of looking for outside inspiration is to challenge your creativity with the pieces you already have. You could make boards for certain seasons or categories. I used to have just one main style board that I always went back to when I felt uninspired, but I recently made one specifically for Spring.

Browse through stylish people’s posts

Take some time to look through your favorite people’s outfits. Even if they live in a different climate or have a different lifestyle, chances are you’ll like a way they put something together and can translate it to your own wardrobe.

Play & Plan

With those favorite items for the current season, try on different combinations and take note of which looks make you feel good. Once you find a few, that may help you get through the slump without necessarily feeling the need to shop for more.

Look ahead

If you’re in the transitional time between seasons, now would be a good time to think about what’s coming up. Take an inventory of your closet to see if anything needs to be mended or purged if they no longer fit comfortably. Follow the above 3 steps, but this time I’d suggest you make a moodboard for the next season as well. This can help you create an overall feel for what you’d like to wear soon.

If you find that you’re missing a few items or need to replace some of those purged items, make a wishlist. You don’t have to have specific brands in mind, but I do suggest being as specific as possible on details of the item so that when you do go shopping you won’t settle. Try to compare items from different places before buying. Read reviews and look for recommendations in the community. This may save you time & money down the road by avoiding lower quality or ill-fitting items you won’t enjoy wearing.

Until next time, stay Sheek!

-Shekinah

Spring Style

I’ve had major success with simplifying my fall/winter style over the last few years, so I want to bring that over to spring as well. 

We don’t have real spring in MI anymore, I’m sure the climate crisis has affected where you live these past 20 years as well. Amidst the slushy wet days there are a few nice ones sprinkled in however. So though I’ll still have to wear a coat or jacket most days, I may be able to wear a lighter under layer.

Excited to finally trade my turtlenecks for tees. I’m going to stay within my palette (black, white/cream, red, with stripes & polka dots for fun.) Went through my tees and found quite a bit to purge (too small now) so I set note on my wishlist to eventually replace those.

I’ve grown to really appreciate the idea of uniform dressing, at least in terms of basics that I can mix and match. Here are some specific outfit formulas I plan to try out.

Polka dot top + light jeans + red glove shoes

Stripe tee + light jeans + rorange mary janes

Graphic tee + light jeans + white derbys

Flowy white top + red flowy pants + black babos

Flowy black top + red flowy pants + white glove shoes

Fitted tee + cream wrap pants + glove shoes

Fitted tee + black balloon pants + glove shoes

Midi dress + glove shoes

Until next time, stay Sheek!

-Shekinah

Spring Wishlist

Fortunately I’ve been able to find a majority of what was on my list over the winter (many on sale and/or secondhand.) Some items have been on my list for a year, others for a couple months. I do seek out all season cotton items year round, it just so happens I’ve had good fortune finding those specific items this year. Here’s what I’ve found so far:

-ES cream cotton canvas clyde jumpsuit (sale)

-STATE cream cotton canvas wrap pants

-Boxy white linen top (secondhand)

-3134u Red cotton dress (sale)

-Red linen pants (secondhand)

-Martiniano red glove flats (sale)

-Red denim duster jacket (secondhand)

-Black loose denim pants

I’m really set with many mix & match pieces. I’m going to keep an eye out for some of the Spring releases happening soon, but I feel better about impulse shopping because I have finally found really comfortable items that I’ve really enjoyed wearing as the weather warms up.

Until next time, stay Sheek!

-Shekinah

Support BIPOC

Now that we’re in the middle of Black History month, I thought I’d add in a reminder about the importance of supporting Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. Support should not only be limited to our designated “months” but sought out year round to help build up our communities.

Unfortunately, I know that depending on where you live, there may not be local POC places to shop, or brands you admire might not carry your size or be in your price range. I recognize that not everyone can support BIPOC as easily as others, but there are different ways you may be able to help.

Donate to a worthy BIPOC cause

If you have some funds to spare, there are many non-profit organizations that would be very appreciative of your donation. Choose one that resonates with you and share with loved ones, or you could pick a different cause each month.

Eat from a local BIPOC owned restaurant

This would be easiest in big cities, but might also be achievable in suburban areas. (Though it is usually difficult to find POC owned retail stores in small towns.) Turn down the corporate choices and instead choose an ethnic dish (most likely) prepared by chefs who really know how to make it delicious.

Choose BIPOC Doctors/Specialists

I’ve been so happy with my family doctor over all these years, that through multiple insurance changes he’s still the one I choose. Finding a doctor who actually cares about their patients shouldn’t be as difficult as it is, but once you do, stick with them. If you’re in the market to change doctors, try asking around in the community or looking for recommendations online and take note of the ones of color instead of automatically settling on a white practitioner.

Seek out BIPOC creatives

Whether you need a photographer, performer, designer, etc, try and find someone who may not have as much business or as many opportunities as their white counterparts.

Shop in store or online BIPOC brands

In my experience, the easiest way to find a black owned brand is through hair/skin care and accessories. These items are on the lower end of the pricing scale so they wouldn’t be as expensive as some of the clothing and shoe choices. Plus, there aren’t sizes to worry about, so they’re more inclusive as a result.

Learn from BIPOC

Take a class, read articles, buy some books, there are many ways to support POC educators. The field of academia has been dominated by white voices for far too long. Open up your perspective by giving the mic to those in the marginalized community and you will surely learn.

Follow & Share BIPOC accounts

The algorithm preferring thin, white faces is no myth. By intentionally following POC on social media and sharing their content, you are helping them grow in a way that was made more difficult by the tech people behind the app.

Be an ally to BIPOC

Without saying you are one! You are an ally to POC by your actions, not by putting that label in your bio. Stand up for your friends who deal with mistreatment and discrimination on a daily basis. Offer to help them, invite them to activities where they may not feel welcome (but would really enjoy doing,) check on them if they said they were having a rough time at work, send them genuine encouragement. Do all of this because you actually care about them and have a desire to use your privilege to challenge the system. Don’t let white guilt be the only reason to help black & brown people.

Until next time, stay Sheek!

-Shekinah

Bigger Sizes

It’s ok to buy a bigger size.

Let me repeat that.

It’s ok to buy a bigger size.

So many of us have had it drilled into our heads since youth the notion that small/thin/skinny is “better.” I’ll just jump in and be another voice that assures THAT IS NOT THE CASE. In life, our body changes, it grows & morphs, it may shrink & sag or plump up.

All of these changes are normal.

Sometimes we may have weight fluctuations due to hormonal changes, digestive issues, and/or stress, at least I know those are all the case for me. Due to that, I’ve recently picked up some bigger sizes of my favorite pants to wear.

I know minimalists go around saying if it can’t fit, purge it to make room for something that does (or just purge it for the sake of owning less.) While I agree on donating/selling items you don’t like or wear, fit is a bit more complicated. If you have a favorite pair of pants–that took a long time to find initially–that aren’t fitting comfortably right now, I say buy the bigger size! Now if you still love everything about the smaller size, don’t purge it immediately.

I’m not suggesting someone hold onto something that doesn’t fit and that makes them feel terrible about themselves. I’m saying to hold onto the extra size in case your weight does fluctuate back down so then you won’t have to keep going out to buy those same items because you already have them, which will save you money down the road.

My examples are shown in the images. Core pants for me are light wash jeans and black & cream trousers. The jeans are the exact same style of levis, just in a bigger size and they fit great. The trousers are everlane, and I haven’t wanted to support them as a company for a bit, so I tried out some Only Child pants instead. They are also comfy, but very thin and more suitable for warm weather, so my search continues for black & cream trousers in a thick cotton and/or denim material while I’m in this size range.

To recap, if you have found an awesome item but it doesn’t fit quite right anymore, don’t feel guilty about buying a bigger size. Don’t feel guilty about holding onto it for a few months if you want to. Don’t feel guilty if you decide to part with it and the bigger size does wind up working after all.

I can’t make you love changing sizes, but I hope to normalize that part of life by sharing that I have accepted it and refuse to feel guilty because it.

Until next time, stay Sheek!

-Shekinah

Setting Intentions

The start of the new year is always a good time to sit back and evaluate goals for the year. While I’ve stopped setting the cliche “lose weight” resolution many years ago, I do still pick intentions in other areas of my life. The majority are savings related, but my personal style is an area that I spend a great deal of time (and money) on as well. I’ve been tracking my spending on clothing specifically for the last couple years and have notices a steady increase. Though I am able to afford more expensive slow made items now, I don’t want to consume in excess like I used to do with fast fashion.

There are many in the community who have chosen to be transparent about money & slow fashion and I really appreciate that. I’ve always had an issue with envying others, so when I first delved into following slow fashion, I was jealous of how influencers were sent high cost items and bought pricier things on a weekly basis. But thanks to being grateful for what I have, others being open to talk about what big influencers ignore (i.e. money & budgeting,) and knowing that just by choosing to post what I enjoy, positive feelings prevail.

I haven’t picked a specific number of items or a total amount to spend, but I have made a plan. Items I put on my wishlist will have a longer wait time before buying. During that wait time, I will really consider if the item would fill a hole in my closet. Then I will plan as many ways as I possibly can to style it. After I have done those steps, and the item still looks like it’d be a nice addition, I will purchase. I have collected a few favorites over last year especially, so anything I add in should become a favorite as well and not wind up in the “regret” section.

If you find yourself in a similar position with style goals but are tempted to buy, here are some recommendations:

Focus on inspiration

Whether it be Pinterest or Instagram, try searching for looks comprised of your favorite items. You may find a new way to style them!

Try a style challenge

These are so much fun. I love the encouragement everyone shares with one another and it really helps you be creative with what you already have.

Choose a specific something to save on

It could be a vacation or a new tech item or whatever you decide you’d like in the future. I find this is very helpful in dissuading me from spending money on clothes.

Talk about it

Maybe with your partner, a close friend, or someone you trust in the community. Sometimes it just helps to have someone listen and understand.

Until next time, stay Sheek!

-Shekinah