Friday, June 17, 2011

My confession ... I thrift.

The entire mission of #BlackInTheCity is creating positive, progressive and lucrative relationships with people around me.  I like to do normal things, and shine a light on activities that are a little off kilter ... my newest passtime is #ThriftyThursdays, and its the most fun ever.  I go into Thrift Stores, recreate looks for way less ... however, one of my older finds were too fab for #BlackInTheCity ... and my girl MiaRay at Confessions of a Glamaholic Blog was the perfect diva to send it to ... 

The item that I found was a 100% silk sequin dress, with a laser cut design star design... it was beautiful and I urge you all to visit the Confessions site to see the finish product and how it really resembles the Balmain dress  that was worn by Beyonce during the 2009 BET Awards.  
I found this dress before I moved to San Antonio and before I found out that it was designed by Balmain's new chief designer Oliver Rousteing.
(a black french-men, see the post I did on him).  
Check out Confessions of a Glamaholic at the next chance you get and to see the finished "Look-Alike" project, it's haute-tastic, trust me.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Its Your Fault!

I know a few people.  People who have their own businesses.  People who have gotten advanced degrees.  People who have lost it all and those that have risen from the ashes.  In every instance there were some sort factor that worked against them, some team of forces that, whether it was their responsibility or not, tried to police their progression.

A few years ago while riding on a train in Chicago I met a young author, Kirby Jones who wrote a book titled "Silence the Naysayers" - a great title.  Now I'm not about to sit here and lead you to believe that I read the entire book, I got through a few chapters when I had my lightbulb moment.  There are always going to be haters.  However, hard work and determination aren't always in the equation, for some random reason.

Stay with me, this is gonna get good.

Most recently at church on Sunday morning the reverend spoke of how King David (yup, the same one that fought Goliath) had an instance where his people threatened to stone him to death after a rebel army kidnapped the women and children of Israel.  David's family was also taken.  A true moment of adversity.

A young musician contacted me on Twitter a few days ago and on Sunday morning (before service) we conversed about a plethora of topics.  At first he asked for marketing advice for his newest mixtape.  I sort of reprimanded him for guerrilla tweeting (honestly, what is the purpose of sending the same message a thousand times to different people, I mean isn't that what twitter does automatically anyway?)  It wasn't until her made a remark concerning his job, and how hard he was trying to keep it that I really sat down and got completely interested in the issue.  This guy, who had two jobs, one as a musical talent and the other punching a clock somewhere.  He knew that both gigs were dually important and guided his ability to work the other.  But it was something holding him back ... a co-worker trying to get him fired, a lack of enthusiasm in his work, his inability to break directly into the music industry ... there were somethings there that were holding him back.

My advice to this man was to change his mindset, push forward, gain an understanding  of what it is that you control.

In every instance where steps were taken toward advancement whether it be gaining new freedoms or rights, getting a new job, or just growing up ... something has to give ... and it doesn't have to be you.

Back at church, the reverend has made a good point, don't let your current situation define your long term decisions.  It will never be profitable.  Instead, think ahead and make your decisions for now, accordingly.

This decision will always include making it your mission to work harder, not just maintain, but transcend ... grow your skill, reach your goals, improve upon your work ethic and your environment.

-David did it with prayer, which led him to seeking solice for himself and his people in the nation of his former enemy
-Women in American banded together to show their power during the industrial revolution and wars
-Black Americans marched for equal rights and better treatment, all the while making strides in medicine, technology and politics.

In all the cases, they battle didn't end with altering an entire universe.  On the contrary, it ended with just altering themselves ... you.  You can't get rid of racism, but instead you can change peoples opinion of you by revamping how you act, work, talk, and get along.  This is a determination of sorts, when singularly or communally it is announced that
 -I want "them" to see me as a leader
 -I want "them" to see me as able
 -I want "them" to see me as smart ... equal ... or, human.

Just a thought ... what are you looking to get passed or over?  How do you plan to change your situation.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

#ThriftyThursdays ... Treasures for Cheap

Last week I took the afternoon to visit some of my favorite consignment shops out here in San Antonio.  It was truly a #BlackInTheCity afternoon.

When I stopped at my first resale boutique, Texas Resale on I410, and found a ton of different looks, I knew the day would be amazing.

Anyone that knows me, knows that I love to be flashed out, especially with sequins and I've always been a little bit retro, from my afro days at Cass Tech or dashiki/bell bottom poetry nights at Fisk University, its just my style.. my lil bro has been known to not understand my need for le' flare, i.e. these two looks from previous nights out...

Working @The MASH Mag Pre-Launch w/ a borrowed Banana Republic Sequin sheath dress

@Glamaholics winning weekend.  This sequined tee was found at a Detroit thrift, and I kinda altered it. 

Ok, so for my first look I twisted and turned the uber-hollywood look of celebrity jail bird Lindsay Lohan - now, her outfit was publicized as a $10k (yeah, THOUSAND) ensemble, check it out...

And here's my look ... I love this top, and slacks were BRAND NEW, with tags ... the entire get up was a whopping $45!! But honestly, even though I loved this top, it weighed like 15 lbs.

What do you think?

Okay, for my next looks I hit up a consignment store called Bygones on Broadway ... and found these two look-alike get-ups.

San Antonio luvs them some Eva Longoria, and when I saw my fav housewife (turned Philanthropist) in this chic striped tee and hot pant look, complete with sky high pumps, I had to work it ... but with a #BlackInTheCity flare ... of course.

How can anyone go wrong with high-waisted corduroy booty shorts? 
Seriously loved this belt and the striped blouse was just enough ... it has always been my thing to wear shorts and long sleeves, its just something so split-pea urban about it.

The last look that I fell in love with was beautifully portrayed by a fashionista that I am on the good side of being obsessed with.  The Diva Tocarra put some major glam in a simple animal print skirt and basic black blouse ... 

I took a page from the Essence style book and inverted the look ... mixing a animal print blouse with a pleated wool skirt ... this knee length look will be great for work or the office. .. and the ticket, a timeless $10.80!

Oh what a joy! I had a bomb time and everyone that I met was soo perfect, they told me what worked and what didn't ... the staff at each of the boutiques were so helpful (hey Lolita and Charlie-Ann @ Goodwill).

I met a young lady, by the name of Carmen, she was getting ready to celebrate her 25th wedding anniversary...and had my same taste for flare, check out how beautiful she is with her sequined mini
Mi Gusto Mucho! 

It ain't easy being thrifty ladies, but it is easy being stylish on a budget so next time you want to touch up your wardrobe don't stunt on what your neighborhood resale has to offer.  All you need is a little bit of money and a lot of patience and you can walk away with some major treasures.


(DISCLAIMER: I am no way a fashion blogger .. but I do love shopping)