in which we go over our stock of personal denim and go thrifting for overalls

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It’s summer, and while I’ve been having a great time doing meetups and bike lessons, I still have days of hot, sweaty downtime to fill. Enter my personal denim fixation; do I have enough, and is it filling all of my sartorial needs?

A pressing and urgent question.

First off, I decided to finish painting those Dittos brand jeans. jeans1

There was no real reason to, I just felt that it was time to smush some paint around. I feel like it needs some white, but I’m not sure. 20150804_161158

Then I made some jorts out of my old Uniqlo jeans, which was heartbreaking because it’s such good denim. THEN I made it worse by tossing the legs, when I could have used them as patch material. Crazy from the heat.

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These denim accomplishments paled when compared to the high summit of denim sourcing: going down to the thrift store for $5 overalls. You heard me… FIVE DOLLARS.  And in New York you don’t pay tax on clothes, so it was just five buckies and no more. I rifled through their extensive lineup (obviously someone had hidden them away in the 90s for just such a moment) and found a few that looked possible. The wrong overalls can wreck your life.

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Pair #1- too tight in the thigh and the bib was a joke. Pair #2- almost there. A comfy fit, big side pockets and a bib that you can feel ok about wearing a bikini top under. pair #3- STRIPES.

We’re done here.

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While I admit to playing that fashion game and ‘styling’ my overalls for  Lucky Community post, I didn’t mean it. I bought these to slop around in with sandals. I haven’t had overalls since the 90s. I feel bad that I gave in and gave up my overalls. I should have been stronger and said NO! but i started wearing bootcut capris instead. That was really wrong. I will treasure these stripey $5 overalls for the rest of the summer.

I admit right now that I may give them up for a denim pencil skirt in the fall, but it’s early times yet and no hard decisions have been made.

xoxo, Faith/Sassy Ethnic Bohemian

PS!!!!

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This Khromato jewelry giveaway ends tomorrow night at 12am! Click HERE to enter, it’s just a tweet away from being yours!

The winner will be announced right here on SEB on Friday, August 7th. Good luck!

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Shame Series (part 2): I AM my hair, thank you very much, and please respect that

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Once I went to one of those blogger events where they make you do some crazy thing so that you’ll sell their product on social media and I overheard a company executive telling another blogger ‘Oh, you have such pretty long hair! Would you like to come to our blah blah event next week?’.

Oh. Is THAT how it works?

After folding up my free yoga clothes and stuffing it into a bag with my free $60 jar of anti-wrinkle cream (and after stopping to wangle another jar of $60 cream, because you never know). I went on my way thinking about why my short, textured hair wasn’t deemed good enough even though the exec was a black woman with short textured hair as well. I mean…what’s really going on with this?

The hair chronicles: 

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This is me with dreads back in Chicago. I finally shaved them off after finding out that dreadlocs are actually high-maintenance. The day I shaved, I had just spent two hours curling and pinning them up. iammyhair2This is what happened once my hair grew back. I started getting it permed at a salon regularly. Every two weeks someone would tend to it and I would get touch ups for new un-permed hair growth. Only to end up wearing it brushed back and pinned to my head. And yeah, I woke up like photo 3 on the regular.

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Then I moved back to New York where you can go into an African hair braiding salon and get yourself some two strand twists. As long as you’re willing to write off the rest of the day because you’re sitting there getting your hair braided. This style worked for me, because I could wash it regularly but I hate sitting anywhere for 7 hours. So that ended. iammyhair5

I moved on to the sew-on weave, which is basically buying a wig and then having it sewn onto your cornrowed hair. This saved time and energy, it was relatively cheap and it made me look like everyone else.  iammyhair5a

There are times when you wake up like this, because you forgot to tie your weave down before bed. Also, it wasn’t exactly a summertime option. I am not one to walk around patting my head. If I can’t wash my hair (and I tried once- I ended up having to cut the mass of synthetic tangled wig off of my head), I’m not interested.

Back to basics- with reason:

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photo 2 by Pedro Sousa photography: http://psfotography.com/

So after trying all kinds of things and not being happy, I went back to what grows out of my head naturally. I shaved it for awhile, got tired of that and just left it alone. This is my hair and to be honest? It suits me. I could make it bigger, or change it’s color or whatever- but then I come right back to this and it feels like getting a nights sleep.

Inspiration? Lots of it:

There are more than a few people who’ve rocked an afro. And to be honest, they’ve all accomplished so much and been so influential that it’s kind of an honor to emulate them. Afro equals strong, unafraid, a fighter.

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type 55 image of model Michelle Skinner by Faith Bowman, Chicago 2006

In fact, one of my proudest moments as a photographer was this image of a dark-skinned model with textured hair.

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photo 1: Ajak Deng, phot 2: Nina Simone

I also pay homage to the headwrap, the turban, and the head scarf. A regal style that adds inches and elegance.

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When I first started blogging as Sassy Ethnic Bohemian, I worked a headwrap as a trademark.

Back to black:

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Now, of course, my bathroom is brimming with haircare products catering to ‘kinks, coils and curls’, so I’m not exactly missing out on anything. While some people say ‘I am not my hair’ I am exactly the opposite. I AM my hair- I am resilient, strong and healthy. I’m natural, with some rough edges. I’m vibrant and full of life.

I don’t feel that I have to have ‘long, beautiful hair’. I’m good- because all that would happen is that I would put it up in a ponytail anyway. I don’t need a weave, although I am not above wearing a wig if it amuses me. I don’t HAVE to be like anyone else, I have my own hair and I like it just fine, thanks.

Even if it doesn’t get me invited to a hair product event, lol!!!

xoxo, Faith/Sassy Ethnic Bohemian

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inspiration

Hm. Hm. Well now… Inspiration?

After 5 years of running here and there, trying and trying to shake some sort of success out of new York, I’d have to say that the thing that inspires me most right now is peace, quiet privacy…20150128_080937

and a place to keep my shoes. Everything I’ve done comes down to having my own apartment. Try finding a comfy apartment in New York with indoor laundromat and computer room- you’ll see how I feel.

xoxo, Faith/Sassy Ethnic Bohemian

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BTW? I’m doing a Khromato jewelry giveaway! Yep.

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Just click here to enter:  Rafflecopter Khromato Beautiful Stone necklace and earring set

Winner will be announce Friday August 7th. Good luck!

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in which we go off to Roosevelt Island for (free) bike riding lessons with Bike New York

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I decided to do some things that I haven’t had time to do, and one of them was re-learning how to ride a bike. I haven’t been balanced on two wheels since I was 12 years old, and that wasn’t exactly a banner day anyway. I searched ‘free bike lessons’ and tada! It appeared.

That’s the wonder of New York.

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After a harum scarum search for available spots (as you can assume, the classes fill up fast) I was able to snag a lesson on Roosevelt Island with the Bike New York gang. They actually have helmets for everyone, so if you don’t have one and are not even sure how to buy one, you can feel safe showing up without one.

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I figured it was best to keep it simple, so I wore my h&m basics $5 tee shirt and LL Bean True Shape denim jeans ($59) with my Southern Tide classic leather shackle belt ($65). I had my Samsung GearFit ($99.99) so that I could finally try the cycling exercise setting, and my Brazilian Begonia Lisa Hoffman fragrance bracelet ($65) for luck. I didn’t bother with makeup, just H20 Plus marine Defense Green Tea Antioxidant Lotion SPF 30 ($42) and some lip balm.

I think the green helmet was tres chic, don’t you?

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Bike New York volunteers lined us up in size order and we were fitted to our bikes. The main thing being that your feet are flat on the ground when you’re astride it. Luckily I had this water bottle from a fashion event last year, so I was prepared for an afternoon of riding. I also had some granola and homemade banana nut bread tucked away in my knapsack, since they advise that you bring snacks.

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When you start, Bike New York has you learn on a bike with no pedals. You spend about an hour learning to balance. It’s actually huge fun. Once you’ve demonstrated an ability not to kill yourself, you get the pedals- a major moment. When I got mine, I felt like a BMX racer.

When I was a kid, I was always fearful of a. getting my bike stolen (which did happen) or b. falling off/getting into an accident. The most dangerous part of doing this 2 hour class was looking out for other students sudden stops. The volunteers are there to guide and help and it’s a really friendly process. You do end up super hungry and thirsty though, so when they say bring snacks? Bring your snacks.

I was so glad I went! It was exhilarating to realize that I now held the power to fly around New York without being bound by subway snarls. well, as soon as I learn how to ride in traffic.

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If you want to sign up, here are the classes that they have available:

1. Learn to Ride (Adults) : you learn how to balance and brake, and then hopefully how to pedal.

2. Bicycling Basics: core cycling skills, like how to adjust your helmet and seat, how to make sure your bike is road ready, etc.

3. Street Skills Ride: they teach you how to stay safe while riding crazy NY streets, albeit in a no-traffic environment.

They have even more classes and events, so if you’re in New York and looking for bike lessons or looking to volunteer, you should contact them. All the info you need is at www.bike.nyc.

xoxo, Faith/Sassy Ethnic Bohemian

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The Meetup Adventure: in which we end up touring the China: Through the Looking Glass exhibit in a Khromato minidress (and there’s a #giveaway)

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I know, we’ve been to a ton of museums this year starting with Dating Diary and now with meetup. However, who could pass up the most exciting fashion show of the year? YES. We finally went to the massive Chinese fashion exhibit at the Met and it was everything you think it is, and possibly more.

china2In a funny coincidence, I started working with a n online store called Khromato as an affiliate and they agreed to send over a dress for me to wear to the exhibit. I picked this one because the damask print halter style dress ($26.99) looked sort of Asian to me. They also sent over this fun fashion jewelry which you’ll have a chance to win (yay!) later in this post.

china3The day the dress came, I could not contain myself. I jumped right into it. I don’t usually wear body con dresses, so this was a whole new fashion experience for me. What shoes do you wear for this? And are my thighs up to this kind of exposure?

Help.

china5I decided  to pair the dress on my fave Jasmine wedge heeled sandals from Ami Clubwear, and a ton of jewelry from Jade & Jasper and threw on a Southern Tide gingham men’s button down ($99.50) for pattern mixing and coverage.

I decided that since this is New York, and since I’ve seen way bigger thighs than mine on display, I should just go with it and not overthink things.

china4My beauty kit for the day was a cool shower followed by Kesh Beauty Argan oil with Rose Essence ($40) to keep those legs shiny with just a touch of fragrance. I did a neautral face with barely there gloss, but used Makeup Forever Aquamatic Waterproof Glide-on Eyeshadow pencil in Iridescent Blue ($22) to add color on my eyelids. I went with CND Vinylux Weekly polish in Tartan Punk ($10.50), a vibrant ‘dragon lady’ style red.

In the purse? That Panasonic mobile travel charger ($59.99), which I refuse to leave home without now.

china6After a series of crazy subway mishaps (service is always screwy on the weekends) I made it to the museum an hour late for the meetup. They were still there, but I decided to forge on alone.

china7aIt was ravishing and frenetic and busy and breathtaking. They crammed a lot of entertainment into this. You have to go through a drab (lots of sandy beige- not drab as in boring) Egyptian gallery to get to the show, and the first thing you see is RED.

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The lower level is all slinky mannequins with traditional Chinese kimonos hung behind them so that you can see the inspiration, as well as the evolution of the designs. There were video walls showing scenes from films like The Last Emperor and it was packed crowded.

Like, stop stepping on me, I can’t turn around crowded.

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Me and my dress felt perfectly at ease. After the initial discomfort of showing that much leg wore off, I just enjoyed how pretty the damask print was. I had tied the halter ties in front so that it had a little nod to menswear necktie. Instead of feeling weird, I felt super confident. I and my legs were spectacular, lol! I think I’d be comfortable wearing it out again, without the shirt.

Sorry about the wire- I had my Samsung Galaxy S5 Active tethered to the Panasonic charger in my bag the whole time.

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The two main bodies of the show are on the lower level, and then you take the elevator up to the second floor. I can’t really describe how to go through the galleries, you have to be there. But I think that the Met has done an amazing job in creating a show that just keeps knocking you out with inventiveness and beauty. There was one are that was like a lake, except the ‘water’ was polished stone (photo 2).

There was another area, that I stumbled onto that was a forest of clear, light filled poles surrounding mannequins in war-like clothing (below). Breathtaking.

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Luckily you could take all the photos you wanted, which was the second best part. In today’s culture, not being able to photograph a show is like a slap in the face. How else can you show that you were there? How else will you remember?

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After I left the enchanting world of China:Through the Looking Glass, it was back to the crowds on New York.

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It was brutally hot outside, and I decided to go back to my usual geeky self. Out came the flat Cat Footwear Zosia sandals and my fave green bucket hat. I buttoned up the Southern Tide shirt and wiggled out of my Khromato damask print halter minidress, which fit quite nicely in my bag. Just like that, I went from sexy summer siren to classic American casual.

But it was nice while it lasted…

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Oh yeah- that giveaway… I thought, in honor of my outing to China: Through the Looking Glass, this faceted red bead and goldtone necklace from Khromato valued at $21.99 would be a fitting gift, as opulent as that show. Enter here to win!

Good luck!

xoxo, Faith/Sassy Ethnic Bohemian

in which we get added to IFB’s Links ala Mode page #wefamous!

Links a la Mode July 23

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IFB Bloggers are from all over the world, different walks of life and ethnic backgrounds, varying ages and body types, etc.  Your common thread?  Perspective.  You share your perspective on beauty; how you see and feel beauty.  You inspire and give hope to others from your differences and individual perspective.  Yes, I swear I am still talking about fashion.

This weeks links share perspective on dressing over 40, petite fashion, Summer on budget and not on budget, and incorporating heritage fashions while staying true to personal style.  There are also a couple in depth posts reviewing the current ad campaign season, and a look into Ukraine’s fashion industry from the perspective of a designer.  

… and for the sewing savvy {and not so savvy}, a DIY Caftan!

Links à la Mode, July 23

SPONSOR: Shopbop saleNatalie DeayalaSt. RocheGiambaDesigners RemixKooplesAvigail Adamlove & lemonsJelly Flip FlopsKate SpadeJeffrey CampbellBlonde SaladEmily Schuman

Meetup Adventure: in which we go to the Sneaker Culture show at the Brooklyn Museum and meet new people

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Back to the museum grind. Actually, I was at a totally different meetup and someone suggested that I attend this one since they were going. So that was nice, like I had friends and whatnot.

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With my slimmer self (not as slim as last summer, but not as fat as in January) I was able to wear some favorites that have nothing to do with branding or blogging. I grabbed my favorite leopard print cardi, white cotton short-sleeved blouse and my a-line Ann Taylor skirt, all of those items found thrifting. I did embellish with some blog gifts, though. I was going to wear sneakers, bu went with my gold Ami Clubwear oxfords instead- they have a mesh insert so it’s on that sheer trend. I accessorized with a Revlon ribbon hairband, a Kesh Beauty evil-eye bracelet with Swarovski crystal ($35), delicate spear bracelet from Jade & Jasper ($32), and one of those handbags that I snagged from the Kensie showroom earlier this year.

That kooky librarian look that I love so much. Can I admit that this guy was coming and I was hoping for a flirtfest? Well, I guess I just did.

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The Brooklyn Museum is gorgeous all year round, but it comes into its own in the summer, what with the fountains and the abundant places to lounge and sun bathe and people watch.

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I was early, of course. All I had to do was walk over from my neighborhood, East Flatbush which is like the next one over from the Museum. I sat outside in the amazingly perfect weather and charged my phone a bit with the Panasonic hybrid charger ($59.99) that I now carry in my purse automatically. Yes, more photos of my outfit. incredibly gratuitous, but I really liked being able to fit into these clothes again!

Also, I had struck a theme without really thinking-

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I was going through old Daily Front Row mags from NYFW and found this orange tend roundup. I mean this was from September 2014, but still… orange you glad I finally jumped on board?

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I actually early adopted a trend this year, thanks to Makeup Forever’s Aquamatic Waterproof Glide-on Eyeshadow pencils ($22). The metallic eyeshadow thing, so easy. I used the ME-80, a metallic pink near the lashline. That’s it. Much like this twit pic of Kylie Jenner- you don’t have to go makeup crazy. Everything else can be simple, the metallic eye thing is the candy on top.

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I loved these gigantic sculptures in the lobby. The Brooklyn Museum is a tad funkier than the Met, so you tend to see things that are very of the moment there.

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Once everyone had assembled, we went up to the Sneaker Culture show. I am going to admit right here and now that I am not a ‘sneakerhead’. I like shoes. But I figured it was a cool thing to write-up on the blog, so here I was. It was like my little brother’s closet or something, but n a museum with a lot of people around.

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I liked these sneakers that referenced pop-art, especially Lichtenstein’s benday dot comic art paintings (photo 1). I also appreciated the sneakers hung from lines on the ceiling, and sort of wished the whole show had that fun, zippy feel (photo 2). These are Converse All-Stars designed by Damien Hirst. So those were ok (photo 3).

I heard Converse is re-designing their shoes to make them less ‘punk’. Ok.

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I flipped over the gold sneakers because, my gold oxfords. So Puma, Nike, Louboutin- and me. Shining like the sun.

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I did not like the way that the shoes were displayed because you had to shuffle along like you were in a shoe store. And in fact? I would have liked it if the show was more like the second photo, which is a shoe store window. The shoes are more visible and appealing.

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I REALLY liked the FAILE Savage/Sacred Young Minds exhibit, starting with thus urban takeoff of a Roman temple. Mind blowing. What’s even better is that you can walk into this structure and touch everything. You feel it more because of that, the destruction of classical tropes while referencing them, the rise of a new and distinctly disturbing new culture of violence.

Shivers.

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There is also a nearly hidden room, you have to watch for the opening, and once you go in it’s all pinball machines and black light posters. Bizarre and incredibly fun.

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We decided to go through the museum floor by floor and these are some highlights from the 4th floor (photo 1 & 3). Also, in photo 2 a shot from the Basquiat show, which you should see. Long after his death, he continues to be an artist who captured New York’s primitivist energy, slinging it back out in drawings and rawly created paintings.

It would have been interesting to see what Basquiat would have done had he lived. That’s the sadness of letting an artist die without addressing their pain in a constructive fashion, we lose any further work or ideas.

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For some reason, I keep running into French guys. This one had such an amazing hat that I wanted a photo. Turns out that he, Florent Biais,  designed that hat, which is called Le Grand Hat and he designed the t-shirt he’s wearing. You can keep up with him at SQST.tumblr.com as well as on instagram. I wanted to adopt him and drag him into our group, but it turned out that he hadn’t seen the FAILE show, so we directed him emphatically to go back and see it.

That was the last time we saw the French guy.

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Once we hit the lobby, it was time to get in on the stencil wall. Ed Roth of Stencil 1 had a station set up with stencils and art supplies, so it was a no-brainer. This is my skull (photo 3). Yes, I signed it.

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Afterwards we went to a place called Bar Corvo, which is a good restaurant but I would have preferred something a bit more casual. This guy in our group kind of bullied us into going there, and when I asked him what kind of food it was he said American, which made me hopeful for something fun- but it’s actually Italian and their food is kind of serious. And they had $10 cocktails. Um, hm.

I had already settled on the fried spicy chickpeas ($5) and Peroni ($5.50) when this same guy wanted everyone to order an entree and share all of our food, which to me was a way for him to get a bigger dinner. Whatever. I only leave my house with enough money to cover my own expenses, so while all of this was going on, I knew I had $13 and that was all I was putting on the table.

This place didn’t really have the type of food that was fun to share with strangers, so that idea kind of flopped. the mussels would be cool if you were in the mood, and it would have been nice to know that their calamari was unbreaded and liberally tossed with fresh lemon juice. It’s a good restaurant, definitely date worthy- just not a cool place to go when you want a burger and friendly conversation.

Then when we left this same guy (who I will never ever listen to again) points to a place AROUND THE CORNER and says, ‘oh they have the best fries’! Prompting someone to say ‘we should have gone there, then’ and for once the someone wasn’t me.

Next up: we go to the China:Through the Looking Glass exhibit

xoxo, Faith/Sassy Ethnic Bohemian