Untamed Style: Summer Hair

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Sunday was a good day. I was feeling good, my creativity was flowing and I had a fun visit with my favorite redheaded soul sister Ruby and her precious baby boy, my nephew Clovis, the most charming French bulldog you will ever meet. I promise.


My Untamed Style sisters and I are doing a post on hair! Not my first choice of subjects since I have a long and frustrating history with my own hair. My hair is the texture of cotton candy, it’s fine, but there is a lot of it. Managing it has always been pretty labor intensive in its natural state. So, I pretty much have been growing locs or shaving my head for the last 20 years. This post is about me keeping cool and getting my hair off of my neck! So I did a pipe cleaner set.

Styling and Protective Style Pipecleaners

I like to do a pipe cleaner set after I have washed my hair and conditioned it with coconut oil. Coconut oil and olive oil are pretty much the only products I use on my hair besides vegetable soap and or a conditioner for washing. The style is both protective style to keep my hair from being stressed or damaged as well as a cute easy hairstyle. After I take the pipe cleaners out, I end up with waves or curls. So two hairstyles for the work of one! Win/win!

Scarf Styling

Once I have my pipe cleaner set in,  I shape my coils thanks to the wire I can manipulate them. Afterward, I grab my favorite scarf and like to embellish with a bow to the back, doubled wrapped with a bow to the top, or a singular floppy bow tucked into itself turban style. And voila! My look is complete, for now. Stay tuned for part two, where I take down the pipe cleaners.


Check out how my Untamed Style Sister, Zadry rocks her hair!

Zadry Link!


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Blogger + LOVE = Mode Plus

Style is Sizeless. If you are reading this blog, you already know that! So I’m here to share some bloggers who should definitely be known far and wide! To cool engaging bloggers of all sizes who are new to me and amazing. Comment with your great blogger finds below!

Nefferth Bernadina Collage

Mode-Plus is the home of Nefferth Bernadina A gorgeous Dutch national of Carribean descent. I adore her style and her blog. Along with Joi Smith she is part of an inspiring crew of over 30 Women Of Color (WoC) Plus size bloggers who are fabulous! Check them out under the hashtag #30PlusStyle –  after you have become completely obsessed with Nefferth.

A natural born stylist and creative, she advocates wearing your clothes as opposed to your clothes wearing you. Like my own soul sisters of #UntamedStyle, she uses her voice to talk about journeying through body image and self-love while celebrating her great style. 


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Icon: Sister Rosetta Tharpe


Rosetta Nubin Tharpe was a gospel superstar in the 30s 40s. Born in 1914 in Cotton Plant, Arkansas off of the Mississippi Little Rosetta’s deeply religious pentecostal family migrated to Chicago, on route bringing with her Delta Blues and her gospel roots. In Chicago she began her career placed on the piano – a 6-year-old singing and playing her guitar for all of her new church congregation to see.

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When you think of Rock n’Roll who do you imagine? I’ll bet it’s not a thick, chic, cherub faced Black woman with the voice of the gospel carrying an electric guitar who made rhythm & blues a whole new animal….

She was one of only two gospel artists who recorded V-discs for the troupes during WW2. Her recording of “Strange Things Happening Every Day” in 1944 with boogie-woogie pianist Sammy Price was the first gospel song to make Billboard’s Harlem Hit Parade Top Ten and is considered by some to be the first rock and roll record.


Tharpe’s biographer, Gayle Wald put it this way, “If this woman was doing this in the 1940’s, then you have to go back and re-write the whole story of rock-and-roll, and rock-and-roll guitar playing specifically.” source

Married off to a tyrannical minister Tommy Tharpe at 19, she would eventually leave him and take her mother to NYC. There she started singing at the Cotton Club with Cab Calloway and scantily clad showgirls. Although gospel fans felt betrayed, her musical world opened up and started recording with Decca Records. RosettaTharpe1938_byJamesJKriegsmann_t640

She ultimately chose to keep with Gospel songs giving them a popular upbeat spin. People paid to see her wed her third husband in 1951 at a baseball stadium followed by a concert in her wedding dress. By 1957 she had disappeared from popular music. That however, doesn’t change her undeniable influence.


Sister Rosetta died a legend for musicians in 1975. She was and is the influence to the likes of rock artists everywhere. One of my favorite bands the Noisettes have a great song about her. From Chuck Barry, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley and generations to come they all have been influenced by the amazing Sister Rosetta. Peter Townsend of the Who no doubt got his windmill signature move from Sister Rosetta as shared in this TV appearance from 1962. Just a little shredding with the choir to Up Above My Head.

Not only is she a pioneer but she is one sharp Goddess. Her style foresees some of my favorite glam designs of the 70s. Maxis with fabulous sleeves and simple timeless numbers.

Once you know about Sister Rosetta, it is impossible to forget her. Amen.


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ReFashion2015: A Summer’s Dream

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Hi Friends! ReFashion 2015 Continues! I am seriously all about summer. I have been pretty stressed and depressed over the last month, but honoring that has been really helpful. What I love most about summer are the long sunny days which are a big mood enhancer.  Not to mention generous loving friends who have had my back.  Keeping my projects going is also keeping me inspired. Shakespear’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and a SweetLeigh headpiece was the impetus for this ensemble.


I was surprised with this gorgeous silk Tolani dress/tunic  in the mail from my friend Joy  a while back. Seriously I am such a lucky girl.   I simply cut the dress up the middle and hemmed each side of my now open robe. This sweet and simple little refashion of a dress into a kimono/mumu/peignoir makes me feel quite glamorous. Perfectly simple.

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I feel like I’ll be wearing it with everything from leggings & a t-shirt to lounging around in my prettiest undies.  Speaking of undies before July becomes a blur I plan on debuting my first hand-made piece of lingerie and it just so happens the Sewcialists are having a July lingerie sew along. I am excited! I’m a little overwhelmed at starting this project, but I love the research to be sure. Check out my Instagram and Pinterest for some of my inspiration! Up next in ReFashion 2015 are some alterations!


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Thoughts: Social Media, White Privilege & Why Black Folks aren’t Too Sensitive


I wanted to share more of my thoughts and observations about racism with you here and encourage you to check out this piece I’ve written for a new online media project, Blk Grrrl. I actually wrote it over a month ago in response to the rise of racist violence and institutionalized violence, against Black people here in the U.S. often discussed around the human rights campaign #BlackLivesMatter

In looking back at this last year, I contemplate how this has impacted me my personal relationships and online relationships depending on how people in my life are or are not responding to this devastatingreality. I will be a regular contributor to this great project where Black women sharing the vast experience of what it is to be a Black girl. If you would be interested in contributing, go the website and contact Teka Lark Fleming.

Excerpt from Social Media, White Privilege & Why Black Folks aren’t Too Sensitive

We live in a country where white is the default; beauty is measured in standards defined by whiteness. Racial controversies can appear small, but are common place.  Remember the racist backlash from white fans (largely millennials), when Amandla Stenberg, a young mixed race actress who plays  Rue in The Hunger Games discussed race in her Tumblr video, “Don’t Cash Crop my Corn Rows”?

Social media racial backlash often gets brutally ugly —very quickly.


When these issues come up on my Facebook feed the “discussions” quickly turn into a battleground. Those discussions turn personal quickly and the argument becomes “I’m not racist,” or “This isn’t about racism.” People throw out that there is another reason, another way, another issue, but those reasons or issues are never racism.

White people don’t like to discuss racism unless they are assured that they are not racist.  If you can’t give them that assurance, it is a problem.

WE are too sensitive.

WE Black folks are always making it about race…. [Continue Reading on Blk Grrrl]

Love and Light,

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Sustainable Style: Living Space Moodboard


So my current living situation is not my ideal. Currently the space I live in is not mine to design, but I had a revelation recently that I needed to focus some serious energy into manifesting the ideal home situation I want, starting with personalizing my actual living space to reflect my aesthetic and better suit my needs. So its time to do that. Slowly but surely using only what I have to reimagine my living space in temporary projects. With that in mind, I was reveling on my Pinterest and revisiting some seriously amazing interiors I have pinned.

My love of an eclectic bohemian vibe lead me straight to Justina Blakeney, designer, DIY queen, and maker. One of the things I love most about Justina is that she comes from a very DIY casual and down to earth place. She also advocates sustainability and thrifting! Which is obviously my take on design too. Justina Blakeney made me so happy with her most recent post on her blog about grouping objects in the design. I think I am going to tackle grouping and styling my tiny work-space shelving as my first project. download928183f637e0c44b9d888c8fb69b8542 jungalow window seat justina blakeney a11ccd1bbfb8c2da11cf1e1fdf5ea83e OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA



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Images from Justina Blakeney, Design Sponge, Old Brand New,  Apartment Therapy, and Home Tree Atlas. These images speak to me in my goal to be more steadfast in honoring where I am now. Let the home projects begin!


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ReFashion 2015: Crop Tops & Bellies & Visible Belly Outlines, Oh My!

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Finally more ReFashion 2015! I feel like the onslaught of racist terrorist events in the United States and ensuing conversations around racism in recent weeks have been consuming my energy and my heart. I’ve just been able to get back to my creative work in the last 48 hours and couldn’t wait to share my latest development in my Summer Wardrobe Capsule project. It’s officially Summer,  hot as Hades in L.A. and a new kind of humid. It has been over 90 degrees in my house all weekend and a crop top sounds just about right.  So I’m making my first Crop top and tackling one of my biggest fears; showing more of my shape and a visible belly outline (VBO)! Before

As you may remember I wrote a Letter to my Belly not too long ago. And then I talked about facing my fears. Well, it’s time for the sentiments of my personal body image evolution to show up in my closet! In July, I am challenging myself to do something I have never done which is bare my belly. The VBO or visible belly outline is one of those things that terrifies me. Having an extended belly, it is never truly hidden, and the bottom line is it shouldn’t have to be.

How to ReFashion Separates From a Maxi Dress

So here we go! A mini summer capsule based off of this refashioned long sleeved maxi. First I cut off the sleeves of the dress (1), cut the bodice off at the waist (2), removed the belt (3) and cut off the bottom of the skirt just below the knees (4).

  1. Now I began with the crop top. I adjusted the cowl neck bodice in the armholes for a better fit. Next I created a hem with an elastic casing like in this tutorial.
  2. I then took the original waistband and attached it to my new bodice. That allowed me to get a little more length & let my decorative waist tie hang down or tie it up into a bow.
  3. Now on to the skirt. I used the same elastic casing method to create a waistband and then wanted a little more shaping. So I created a second elastic casing at the hemline to be able to play with the length and volume of the skirt. It also leaves options for wearing it as a top or accessory. (future posts)
  4. Lastly, I now have some leftover fabric (5) to play with and am thinking I will make some kind of accessory.
  5. Voila! One amazing crop set and some previously handmade staples. Plus I love Black and white for summer. Year round so fresh!

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The Crop Set

Crop Top and Maxi ReMake

The Crop Top and Me Made Maxi Skirt

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The Crop Top and Me Made Flirt Skirt

 Anatomy of Fear

So now I have this adorable capsule that I had fun shooting in and yet am scared shitless to wear outside of my house. And there it is. Society does a real number on us with their “summer-ready body” campaigns and their diet industry oriented nonsense. Corporate America has truly colonized my mind and I am working at taking it back. My mind may have been colonized, but my heart fights it every step of the way and my life mission is to take it back. My fat wide bellied body deserves to be cool and comfortable in my adorable creations as much as I deserve to be comfortable in my own skin. And it will happen, it is happening.

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So I am half way through ReFashion 2015 and so excited to have come this far. I’m so excited about all of the work to change and refashion my closet. I’m so excited for all of the work I’ve been able to do not just reimagining my clothes to suit my body but the self-work I’ve done to own my body. Thank you for coming along with me for the ride!

More Summer fabulous ReFashions are on the way and more personal revolutions along with it! Next up I’ll be exploring alterations, and more hot weather revelations! And I would love to hear what kind of refashions you’d like to see! <3


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