Tahia Islam is a New Yorker of Bangladeshi descent who started her online vintage shop, Reclaimed Womxn Vintage, to help curb sweatshops around the world and bring diversity to thrift shopping.
Tahia Islam is a New Yorker of Bangladeshi descent who started her online vintage shop, Reclaimed Womxn Vintage, to help curb sweatshops around the world and bring diversity to thrift shopping.
Support local businesses, save the planet, and look super chic, all at once.
Tahia Islam is a 24-year-old activist with style. As the founder of Reclaimed Womxn Vintage, she is devoted to alleviating clothing and food insecurity for working-class BIPOC. “We sell clothing to reclaim vintage clothing for people of color, for femmes of color, it’s for everyone to wear,” Islam told In The Know.
I'm sharing my secrets (and hoping you won't purchase my favorites before me).
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Shoptimism is the idea that mood-boosting pieces really do exist, and shopping them (then wearing them, of course) will add a little spark to your day. There's no better time to start collecting such essentials than January, when we could all stand to press the reset button and welcome in a new year. Even though most of us are still scooping up stylish products that help us feel better about staying home all the time - e.g. Contributing Editor Nneya Richards's flirty "anything goes" Tanya Taylor dress that she wears around the house or my tie-dye sweat skirt (yes, you read that right!) - we can still get creative with our looks to keep morale high. Ahead, find out what we've got our eyes on this month, and see if any of these must haves become must haves for you, too. Related: 17 Fashion Trends We'll All Be Wearing Through 2021
If you ask us, the absolute best gifts are edible. Very few have been known to reject a personal platter stacked full of warm cookies — or, better yet, a basket of cupcakes sprinkled and frosted to perfection. So, unless you have a bunch of sweets-opposed peeps on your Love Day gift lists, the fresh-baked treat idea is a good one.Don't go the Willy-Wonka route and turn your kitchen into a chocolate factory this year — instead, switch off your stand mixer and enlist some help from the online pros. From Milk Bar to Sugarfina and Levain Bakery, the 22 sweet shops ahead will ship treats straight to you and your most-loved giftees' — no recipes, hot ovens, or dirty pans necessary. At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.Vosges ChocolateVosges website states: "We are on an everlasting quest for ingredients at the pinnacle of their taste profile, making it our mission to carefully select the finest ingredients Mother Nature and our farmer and artisan partners have to offer." And that's exactly what they do with their luxe truffle collections, chocolate bar gift sets, and Northwoods Cranberry Pecan Toffee. Plus, you can use code SACRED15 for 15% off your V-Day order. Vosges Chocolate Exotic Truffle Collection, $, available at Vosges ChocolateMilk BarWhile you won't necessarily get to snap your very own Instagram pic outside one of Milk Bar's infamous neon pink signs, you can still enjoy its many desserts by shopping online. Fresh-baked cakes, cake ball truffles, pie, and cookie tins are all on the menu — and now with new annual flavor offerings, too.Milk Bar Cookie Faves Tin, $, available at Milk BarDylan's Candy BarAn NYC classic, Dylan's online sweet shop is brimming with tackle boxes of colorful candy creations — the shippable spread spans creative treats from bouquets of chocolate-covered donut pops to cake pops, signature chocolates, rainbow hard candies, and much more.Dylan's Candy Bar Belgian Chocolate Covered Indulgence, $, available at Dylan's Candy BarDancing Deer Baking CoHot tip from our comments section — upstate New York's Dancing Deer Baking Co has a box of molasses clove cookies that could make a grown R29 reader cry (OK, she didn't say that but the words "best" and "I've ever had" were used). Sadly, those are sold out for now so we suggest trying the sampler.Dancing Deer Baking Co Deer Classics Gift Basket, $, available at Dancing Deer Baking CoUncommon GoodsAn unexpected spot to find beautiful tasty treats is the internet's corner of curiosities, Uncommon Goods. Here's one example of a delightful little gift — a wine-shaped container filled with tasty truffles. Check out all of the small businesses and makers like this Pennsylvania-based baker, Neil Edley.Uncommon Goods Bottle-of-Wine Chocolate Truffles Box, $, available at Uncommon GoodsCheryl's CookiesThese are decorated and frosted with delicious buttercream icing. (Pssst, there's even an assortment of gluten-free options for our friends with food allergies.)Cheryl's Cookies Cheryl's Long Stemmed Buttercream Frosted Cookie Flower, $, available at Cheryl's CookiesPartake FoodsIndulge in this coveted black-owned brand that offers delicious cookies in every variety — you can even find vegan and gluten-free options here. Chocolate chips, cookie butter, and carrot cake flavors are abundantly available to ship right to your door. Partake Soft Baked Cookie Butter Cookies, $, available at Partake FoodsDavid's CookiesGive the people what they want; an entire tin of chocolate chunk cookies. No nuts, no teeny tiny chocolate chips, just the good stuff from this reliable, top-selling cookie lover's brand — that also happens to ship out delicious cheesecakes to pies, too. David's Cookies Fresh Baked Decadent Jumbo Cookies, $, available at David's CookiesDoughees By M.Dough.WMargo Wolfe’s Miami-based M.Dough.W features brownies, Oreos, caramel, rainbow cookies — you name it and they've stuffed it inside a gooey, fully-cooked, and ready-to-eat cookie dough.Doughees by M Dough W Build A Box (12), $, available at Doughees by M Dough WCarlo's BakeryFrom chocolate fudge cake and rainbow slices to ooey-gooey butter cookies and cannoli kits, you can find it all at Carlo's Bakery. Trust him — he was on Cake Boss. Carlo's Bakery Cannoli Kit - 12 Pack, $, available at GoldbellyMagnolia BakeryAsk almost any New Yorker, and we bet they will say that Magnolia Bakery sells some of the world's best-tasting cupcakes to banana pudding...like, ever. Available in a deliverable variety of flavors with seasonal frostings, this shop's sweets are prime Valentine's gifting material.Magnolia Bakery World Famous Banana Pudding - Party Sized, $, available at Magnolia BakeryBake Me A WishIn addition to brownies, you can send cheesecakes, cupcakes, giant cakes, traditional cakes, baskets, towers, and pies. Plus, 5% off all purchases goes to Bake Me A Wish's Small Business Empowerment Fund.Bake Me A Wish Gourmet Brownie Sampler, $, available at Bake Me A WishWicked Good CupcakesAs seen on Shark Tank, the family-owned team at Wicked Good Cupcakes offers up a fun way to serve and eat, cupcake-in-a-jar. They even have your gluten-free bases covered with a giftable GF package for two, four, and six.Wicked Good Cupcakes Cupcake Jar Custom Pack (12), $, available at Wicked Good CupcakesSugarfinaHome of the OG and ever-popular rosé gummy bears, Sugarfina boasts an equally tasty lineup of specialty treats — from sugar lips to peach bellini hearts, dark chocolate-covered scotch cordials, chocolate vodka shots, and much more — that can be shipped nationwide. Sugarfina XOXO 8 Piece Candy Bento Box, $, available at SugarfinaHarry & DavidAs stated in the brand's Insta profile, the folks over at Harry & David take gift-giving and entertaining pretty seriously. So much so that they offer what seems like hundreds of pre-wrapped items at a moment's notice, which comes in handy for some especially in last-minuting gifting dilemmas.Harry & David Valentine's Day Truffles in Keepsake Box, $, available at Harry & DavidRuss & DaughtersLocated in New York's historic Lower East Side for over 100 years, Russ & Daughters is an institution beloved for its appetizing bagel spread, a good schmear, and babka. The sweet yeasted cake is perfect for breakfast — or anytime.Baked By MelissaBaked By Melissa delivers cupcakes in innovative mini-form, so you can sample the best in seasonal flavor variety — from Cornbread Crumble to Pumpkin Pie, Peanut Butter Fudge Brownie, and the shop's "original greats," like Red Velvet and Mint Cookie.Baked By Melissa Latest And Greatest Cupcakes Gift Box, $, available at Baked by MelissaSweet Mae's Cookies At Sweet Mae's, you'll discover flavors you didn't know existed — all in a stuffed cookie. Yes, you heard that right. Stuffed! 100% homemade, some options are traditional while others are unique. Think: sweet potato, peanut butter marshmallow, and bourbon caramel pecan. Mmm. Murray's CheeseWhile Murray's Cheese is known for — you guessed it — cheese, the dairy mongers also have a nice selection from Rustic Bakery and Callie's Biscuits to add to your gift or send alone.Murray's Cheese Callie's Biscuits Cocoa & Cream Cookies, $, available at Murray's CheeseGodivaIt's never a bad idea to fall back on reliable-sweet classics during hectic celebration times — and Godiva's bundles of adorably packaged truffles to chocolate-covered pretzels and hot-cocoa mix hits the easily-deliverable mark. Godiva Assorted Chocolate Gold Gift Box, $, available at GodivaStroopiesThe Stroopwafel is a Dutch treat that this Lancaster, PA-based bakery dubs as, "stroopies." They're shipped via the delectable gourmet site Mouth — which also has oodles of other local treats to buy. But, back to those Stroopies: unwrap, pop them in the microwave for 10 seconds, and enjoy the heavenly gooey caramel goodness. Also available gluten-free!Wolferman's BakeryWhether you're hosting or gifting, Wolferman will deliver any Valentine's or post-Valentine's brunch treats right to your doorstep — from baskets of fluffy English muffins to flaky pastries, toppings, and more. Wolferman's Bakery Kringle Heart Wreath, $, available at Wolferman's BakeryChesapeake BayChesapeake Bay is known for its scrumptious crab cakes but also has some sweet treats on the menu. Indulge in Valentine's Day sweets or even an entree menu. Take note of this chocolatey, heart-shaped cake. Mmmm. Chesapeake Bay Chocolate Heart Cake, $, available at Chesapeake BayNothing Bundt CakesFounded in 1997 by two dedicated bakers, this shop has since then become an authority on all things bundt cake. Sold in various sizes including a traditional 8-inch version as well as bite-sized, "bundtinis," there's something to satisfy everyone's sweet tooth.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?What To Gift The COOL Guy In Your LifeThe Best Gifts To Give Your RoommateGirl Scout Cookies Will Now Deliver To Your Home
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Procrastinators, this one's for you.From Delish
Independent fashion retail, like many industries, has been hit hard by the pandemic, with many businesses like Sies Marjan, Need Supply, Totokaelo, Cushnie, and Bird in Brooklyn forced to close doors in the last year. That’s why supporting small businesses is essential right now. This is especially true for shops that cater toward plus-size shoppers, a major segment of the U.S. population — 67% of women in the U.S. wear a size 14 or up — that is rarely the fashion industry’s focus of attention. That said, finding small, plus-size clothing retailers to shop from can be a daunting task, leading many to default to fast fashion instead. One look at Twitter confirms this, with many people asking their followers this question: Where are all the plus-size clothing brands that aren’t fast fashion? One of them is Guadalupe “Lupe” Soto, a 22-year-old woman from Anaheim, California, who in December tweeted asking for small brand recommendations: “I wanna support more plus-sized businesses cause I don’t really see many and I wish I did as a plus-size gal myself.”“I prefer to shop small businesses for environmental purposes, [because] fast fashion brands contribute to climate change, as well as worker exploitation,” Lupe tells Refinery29. “This year I tried my best to refrain from fast fashion and have been shopping for clothes from thrift shops and secondhand stores.”Since the pandemic began, many people similarly have chosen to re-evaluate their consumption habits and educate themselves on the environmental waste and unethical practices that are tied to fast fashion corporations. But given how few brands cater to plus-size women, giving up fast fashion, which is also affordable, is not easy for anyone above a size 14. Still, many are not deterred. “Moving forward, I know I want to put my money in the pockets of people who really need it and small brands that exemplify everything I stand for,” says Lupe.With that in mind, we compiled a list of our go-to indie shops — some that sell new items, others vintage, including Lupe's Depop store. Ahead, 21 plus-size brands and retailers to support now. At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.BerriezEmma Zack founded her Brooklyn-based online vintage shop Berriez after years of struggling to find clothing that fit both her aesthetic and her body type. At a young age, she fell in love with secondhand clothing, though she realized soon after that plus-size vintage fashion was hard to come by. In an effort to give women like her more options, she started Berriez, where she specializes in sourcing previously owned items specifically for plus-size women. Vintage Floral Dress, $, available at BerriezCopper Hive VintageSalt Lake City’s Copper Hive Vintage was founded by Jacqueline Whitmore — Chubby Dust Bunny on Instagram — a self-described “fat boss babe” who’s obsessed with vintage clothing. For her store, she curates vintage clothing, shoes, and accessories with size inclusivity in mind. Vintage Vintage 1940s Sheer Nelly Don Pastel, $, available at Copper Hive VintageCopper Union ApparelWith a focus on fit and fabric, Copper Union Apparel designs pieces for women sizes 12 to 34, paying specific attention to plus-size “industry standards,” so as to ensure that when shoppers order their size, their size is the one they receive. As for their offering, the pieces sold at Copper Union range from leopard print T-shirt dresses to slouchy overalls. Oh, and they sell handmade face masks, too. Copper Union Apparel Esther Overalls, $, available at Copper Union ApparelCoyanFounded by creative consultant Lucas Zunz, luxury fashion brand Coyan offers made-to-order gowns and caftans, up to size 24, in an array of vibrant colors and luxurious fabrics. Though on the pricier side, Coyan's occasionwear will be a highlight of your closet for years to come.Coyan Made-To-Order Seta Gown in Orange, $, available at CoyanHenningFounded by plus-size fashion editor and model Lauren Chan — you might recognize her from Christian Siriano’s runway shows — Henning is a luxury brand that Chan started after years of feeling “on the fringe” in the fashion industry because of her size. Focused on high-quality staples, the brand specializes in wardrobe essentials like blazers, coats, and silk dresses. Henning Classon T-Shirt, $, available at HenningHey MavensHey Mavens is a plus-size lingerie brand that offers fun, handmade undergarments that founder Annika Chaloff believes have “the power to influence how you feel,” according to her website.Hey Mavens Slime Green Bra, $, available at Hey MavensImpish LeeImpish Lee, founded by sisters Noelle Lee Ventresca and Kali Taylor Ventresca, is a customizable lingerie brand designed to provide women with intimates that fit them right, no matter what size they are.Impish Lee Mimi Playsuit, $, available at Impish LeeJibriStarted by Atlanta-native Jasmine Elder in 2006, Jibri is a line dedicated to providing women — size 10 to 28 — with an array of stylish options ranging from chic caftans to cozy loungewear. Fans of Jibri include Tess Holiday, Gabourey Sidibe, and Toccara. JIBRI Two-Tone Maxi Cocoon Dress, $, available at JibriLoud BodiesPatricia Luiza Blaj founded her ethically made clothing brand Loud Bodies as a solution to the fashion industry's inclusivity problem. Whether you're tall, petite, plus-size, or need adaptive clothing, Loud Bodies has something on-trend that will fit your specific sartorial needs. But in the off-chance that you can't find anything in your size, the brand will custom make items that are — for free. Loud Bodies Venus Layered Dress, $, available at Loud BodiesLupe SotoSoto’s Depop shop has a little bit of everything, from colorblocked T-shirts and corduroys to delicate blouses and mini skirts — all of which are secondhand and sourced with plus-size women in mind. SheIn Pink Gingham See-Through Baby Doll Top, $, available at DepopLuvsick PlusChicago-based vintage obsessee Britteny Riordan founded her secondhand shop Luvsick Plus as a way of sharing her passion for finding vintage items for all body types with the world. Camo pants, plaid skirts, grandpa sweaters, and more — Riordan has an eye for finding on-trend pieces for everyone. Luvsick Plus The Vincent Pants, $, available at Luvsick PlusMore Than Your AverageLocated in Washington D.C., More Than Your Average was founded by Mya O. Price. It boasts stylish options ranging from plaid slip skirts to ‘80s-inspired power suits. More Than Your Average Statement Flared Plaid Skirt, $, available at More Than Your AveragePaint By Shawn Denise“I wanted to create a brand [where] curvy women could find a one-of-a-kind piece for the perfect event, night on the town, or even an everyday look,” Paint by Shawn Denise founder and designer Shawn Denise writes on her website. As such, her brand, which was founded in 2013, offers everything from mini dresses to pantsuits, for women sizes 12 to 34. Paint By Shawn Denise Ha'lesha Dress, $, available at Paint By Shawn DenisePari PassuShanna Goldstone and Edward Slezak co-founded Pari Passu, which in Latin, translates to "equal in all respects," after helping actress Melissa McCarthy launch her clothing brand. After researching the market with McCarthy, they realized the often subpar options plus-size women have when shopping for clothing. In turn, the duo decided to change that, by designing plus-size clothing using a proprietary fit system that takes shape into account. The result? Minimal fashion items that fit as close to perfect as possible without them being custom-made.pari passu Jenn Robe, $, available at Pari PassuPlus BKLYNFrom brand new items to vintage and consignment pieces — all of which range between size 14 and 26, with select styles up to 32 — there’s something for everyone’s unique aesthetic at Plus BKLYN, one of New York City’s largest retailers specializing in plus-size fashion. Vintage Spring Front Pleat Floral Dress XL, $, available at Plus BKLYNThe Plus BusBased in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Highland Park, The Plus Bus is a mecca for new and secondhand fashions for plus-size women who want access to stylish clothing at an affordable price. Founders Jen Wilder and Marcy Guevara-Prete launched their business in 2015, first showing up at vintage fairs and flea markets in L.A., before opening their brick-and-mortar store a year later. Vintage Pink and Yellow Plaid Pleated Skort, Size 3X, $, available at The Plus BusSeaux & SeauxSeaux & Seaux is a New Orleans-based boutique that caters specifically to women sizes XL to 3X. With monochrome co-ords, jumpsuits, corsets, and more, Seaux & Seaux features an impressive selection of on-trend pieces. Seaux & Seaux Cheetah Sista Mesh Corset, $, available at Seaux & SeauxSmart Glamour Mallorie Dunn, a part-time professor at Parsons in New York City, founded Smart Glamour after graduating from both FIT and Pratt. Her inspiration for the brand stemmed from conversations she had surrounding body image issues and the lack of representation of women, femmes, and non-binary folks in the media, according to her brand’s website. On her site, users can shop based on specific models, which allows them to see what each item looks like on different body types. Smart Glamour also offers virtual try-ons for $15.Smart Glamour The Tommy Scuba Wide Leg Suit Pant, $, available at Smart GlamourSmash ShoesStarted as a solution to the footwear industry’s lack of options for women who wear sizes 10 and up, Smash Shoes offers versatile shoe options, from over-the-knee boots to strappy sandals, to a segment of shoe shoppers that often get forgotten. Smash Shoes Dale Sandals, $, available at Smash ShoesTuesday of CaliforniaBased in Los Angeles, Tuesday of California is a brand dedicated to offering people of all sizes — the brand makes sizes XXS to 7X — the opportunity to shop ethically made and environmentally friendly clothing items. Tuesday of California Slip Dress, $, available at Tuesday of CaliforniaZelie For SheZelie For She designer Elann Zelie creates limited-run and trend-forward items for women sizes 14 to 24, with every item designed and produced in Los Angeles. Zelie for She Sunday Kind Of Love Dress, $, available at Zelie for SheLike what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Plus-Size Bridesmaids Need More Dress OptionsHere's Why I Prefer Clothing Swaps To Shopping NewWhy Are Boots For Plus-Size Women So Hard To Find?
There's something about slipping on a pair of pants that feels incredibly put-together. Mainly staying at home now, I've reached the point where I'm getting sweatpants fatigue. I look for any excuse to do it up! Sure, jeans are convenient, and leggings feel like comfort at its peak, but the cuts, fabrics, and outfit possibilities that pants provide are just different: more elevated, more grown-up. I've had a pair of red virgin wool dress pants in my closet that I finally pulled out this fall, and I felt super polished if only to grab coffee and they're ridiculously warm! If you're currently in the market for a new pair or two (or five), Banana Republic is a good place to start your search. Regularly stocking a mix of capsule workwear items and trend-forward styles, the popular retailer has nailed the balance of modern, elevated, and timeless - especially when it comes to its selection of pants. Plus, they're inclusive. Not only does the retailer stock a wide range of sizes, but it also offers many of its pants in petite, regular, and tall lengths, so shopping feels simple, no matter your height. Now is a great time to shop as Banana Republic is offering up to 60 percent off at check out for some of these already discounted styles! Ready to see what it's got in store? Ahead, we're sharing 30 styles that you can stock up on for future outings or wear around the house they're that comfortable and chic! - Additional reporting by Carrie Carrollo
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The novel coronavirus pandemic and racial reckoning that has taken place in the last several months has made purchasing from socially mindful brands more important than ever. Supporting small and local businesses could directly help out a struggling business owner, and prioritizing Black-owned labels is a great way to raise awareness and amplify the Black community.
The three brands team up on a collection chock full of the type of pieces that helped put the Brooklyn shop on the map.