Introducing Something New

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NOV 2013

African Essence will be getting a face lift… stay tuned. Evolving.

…gonna re-program your mind as you watch the water turn to wine, come and grow with me… wanting something new.,. my world is spinning…

Kush

AE Changing

P.S. Listening to Electric Lady by Janelle Monae

Why We African Headdress

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Often referred to as headwraps or turbans, African and African-like head coverings have become quite the accessory in various dress codes. I believe that it is a beautiful addition to the wardrobe and in my closet, it is my most beloved adornment. I wear headwraps at least twice a week and have been doing so for quite some time. It is part of the many cultures that I celebrate, all indigenous to the continent we know as Africa. I encourage ladies to explore the headwrap, not just as a fashion statement, but as part of African-American identity. Like other headgear such as the niqab, hijab, kufi, kofia, kippah, non la, patka, shpitzel, tam, taqiya, or sombrero it has its purpose and is highly valued by those who wear it.

Why wear a headwrap?

#1 REASON – It’s simply beautiful.

#2 REASON – To represent the African Diaspora: it’s part of the culture we lost during the Middle Passage. We are redefining and regaining our physical identity via attire/garb.

#3 REASON – It’s protective of our crowns.

#4 REASON – In compliance with codes of modesty.

#5 REASON – It represents regality.

#6 REASON – To absorb perspiration when working and keep the hair off the face.

#6 REASON – Social and spiritual significance; articulation of piousness.

#7 REASON – It’s quite stylish.

Most of the time you can determine the use of a headwrap based on the type of fabric used. I listed a few reasons, but I know there is so much information out there surrounding the headwrap. Explore.

Related Materials                                                                                       

Headwraps

The African American Woman’s Headwrap: Unwinding the Symbols

HarvestGirlLove Etsy Store

Jafya Royalworks Etsy Store

Tambo Collection

Purchase African Headdress

Thank you for visiting,

The Kush Queen for African Essence

P.S. I found this video to be very enlightening. It’s always good to know the truth and decide what you want to do with it.

The Monday Hot List – Music Makes My Day

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Hello people! Sorry about the playlist I posted on Saturday. Turns out the page had some major technical difficulties and the videos would not load. Well, I have a new playlist for today. Let me know what you think. Peace and harmony.

Note: Click on the pictures or links to listen to the song.

Nneka: Heartbeat

Iyeoka: Simply Falling

Asa: The Way I Feel

Bjork: Possibly Maybe

Also by Bjork: All is Full of Love

Maroon 5: Secret

Portishead: Only You

Also by Portishead: All Mine

Telepopmusik: Breathe

Also by Telepopmusik: Don’t Look Back

Morcheeba: Slow Down

Erykah Badu w/ Stephen Marley: In Love With You

Jill Scott: I Think It’s Better Interlude

Also by Jill Scott: He Loves Me

Gaelle: Repetition

Also by Gaelle: Love You More

Me’Shell Ndegeocello: Trust

Also by Me’Shell Ndegeocello: Soul Searchin’

Miguel Migs w/ Me’Shell Ndegeocello: Tonight

Res: 700 Mile Situation

Thank you for listening and visiting.

Kush Queen for African Essence

Ankh500

FaLL LoOk BoOK PaGe 2… wear what you got

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This Autumn I am focusing on wearing what is already in my closet. I won’t be purchasing much of anything. I gained some weight and had to let some things go. However, I had enough stretchy clothing to carry me for a while. My motto is no CONSUMERISM. Thank you Lauryn Hill for solidifying my decision! She gets deeper than fashion in her hot new track.

Today’s Look: The Lavender Sweater Dress

FROM HEAD TO TOE:

  • Stretchy fabric used for head wrapping from JoAnn’s.
  • Lavender dress from Venus. I was quite disappointed when I first bought this dress because I ordered the smallest size they had and it was too big! However, I gained 5 lbs and now I can fit it! It was on sale for $19 last year. I really like it now! Venus has nice dresses for women who have curves. I normally would buy from the sale and clearance sections. This dress has to be hand washed.
  • The black and gray multicolored sweater is from TJMaxx. It was $25 which is more than what I would normally pay, but I needed a sweater. I have worn this for 3 years and I hand wash it as well.
  • The stockings are gray from Target for $4.
  • The shoes are by Aldo. They were expensive because of the leather. It’s called the Fornilli.
  • Sterling silver earrings from a guy who came into the beauty salon selling jewelry! $10. Sterling silver rings from thrift stores, Passport to Peru, and City Buddha.

Final Note: Sweater dresses are one of my favorite items of clothing so when I saw this one for just $19, I jumped on it! They can get pretty pricey, but I’ll stay in the under $30 range. It’s difficult for me to pay over $25 for any article of clothing that is not mud cloth or Kente cloth. I normally buy them at the end of the season for more than 80% off. I’ve gotten them from Dots, H&M, Dillards, and online, all for under $20. This dress is made with viscose and is very thin and a bit see-through. Wearing with stockings is a must. You may even have to wear a slip.

The Kush Queen for African Essence

P.S. Have you been reading? Don’t slip. Queens must read. This is the first fiction book I’ve read in years and I’m liking it. Doctor Sleep by Stephen King.

Doctor Sleep (The Shining, #2)

FaLL LOoK BoOk PaGe 1 … wear what you got

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In the Midwest weather used to be simple. We would have cold Winters, warm Springs, hot Summers, and moderate Falls. Times have changed and sometimes the seasons blend. I have no complaints! I actually love the complexities of weather. Everyday is an exploration. I no longer pack away my winter or summer clothes for storage. Everything stays in the closet year round. Sunday I wore shorts and today I had on heavy socks and insulated shoes. That’s how it is these days!

Just go with the flow of the sun. Since, the seasons can no longer dictate the dress code, wear what is befitting of the day. This is a wardrobe check to help you transition into “autumn-like” weather…

Don’t forget to share, comment, and follow African Essence!

WHAT I AM WEARING FROM HEAD TO TOE

  • My natural hair is permanently dyed using Silk Elements Santa Fe Bronze. I normally only dye my crown once every 4-6 months. Recently I decided that I wanted to grow the color out and focus on my original hair color of black. The dye is $4.
  • The shirt is made by a brand called Angie from Dillard’s. It was originally $32 but I bought it for $10.
  • The denim skirt is originally made by Mossimo for Target. I got it brand new from a thrift store for $3.
  • The stockings are from Target..maybe $4?
  • The fringe boots are from Sears/Kmart online. I caught them on sale last season for $10. The quality is fine. No visible wear or tear. They were originally $30. I noticed that these stores offer cheaper items online. What’s the catch? I don’t know! You can get fringe boots from Kohl’s, Nordstrom’sMacy’s, etc. I am not sure if they are the trend this year… but of course on African Essence we don’t follow trends, we set them!
  • Earrings: Icing by Claire’s for $2
  • Left arm bracelets from Glitter 3 for $3. Right arm leather bracelet from City Buddha for $4. The wooden necklace might also be from City Buddha for maybe $3?

CONSUMERISM. I went to Forever21 a few months back and was amazed to see that the clothing store had expanded to twice its size. It was ridiculously overwhelming so much that I vowed not to return! It was just entirely too much clothing. It looked like a sweat shop had thrown up in that place! I decided then that I would wear what I have and try not to spend any money on clothes. People think that I buy buy buy, but I have had most of my wardrobe for years. I was the same clothing size for about 10 years. Recently this changed and I had to buy a few items. Before this, my clothes lasted… 🙂 Honestly, I admit that my closet is stretched so I am not going to be doing much shopping until at least Summer 2014. I am saving for some trips/vacations so I will see how this balances out.

Peace and so much love!

The Kush Queen for African Essence

P.S. As much as I am drawn to some decorative clothing, we have to be careful not to become wasteful, penniless consumers. Check out Lauryn Hill’s new song called CONSUMERISM. I love her. If you don’t see the track below refresh the page. 🙂

Ode to Camouflage aka Army Fat

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THIS IS THE ULTIMATE “HOW TO WEAR CAMOUFLAGE GUIDE” SO GET READY! Stay TUNED FOR next week’s guide on “HOW TO WEAR MUD CLOTH.”

CLICK ON THE IMAGES TO ENLARGE. USE THE ARROWS TO BROWSE. 

THE MEN’S STYLES ARE AT THE BOTTOM.

If I have to love anything about trends this year, it is definitely army fatigue and camouflage attire. Although it has been around for decades, it is one of Autumn’s biggest fashion highlights. When you go to stores such as H&M, Forever21, DEB, Rainbow, Wet Seal, Macy’s, Dillards, Rue 21, Body Central, Urban Outfitters, Target or anywhere, you will see it plastered on every mannequin from pants and leggings to jackets, hats, backpacks, scarves, shoes, and even cell phone accessories, coffee mugs, watches, purses and dog clothes. I’ve always liked the camouflage design. Browsing the web, I saw some ladies who looked really fly in their army fat:

Note: This is sort of a long entry because I wanted to show you that there are so many ways to be creative with army fatigue. So scroll all the way through to get the full experience. If you click on an image, use the arrows to go to the next image and as always please do not be afraid to FOLLOW African Essence using your email address. Look for the follow buttons on the page. I love you too! Peace.

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In order for me to rock the jackets they definitely have to be cut a certain way. I like them cropped, military cut, and I even like the suit jackets. I DO NOT like rhinestones or any funny patches attached. Some of the jackets above have added studs, but I do not like that part of the design. Maybe you do? I actually dig awkward zippers and pockets, but that is it as far as I go.

Men look great with this look. Do you agree? 

Overall, I will continue to buy camouflage attire because it just sits well with me. However, paying super high prices for it is not an option. Often times you can get it at a Thrift Store. Again, I do not like the studs on Army Fat/Camo and I do not like the actual word “ARMY” being on the clothing. However, to each their own.

The Kush Queen for African Essence