Fashion Stories: Restoration

Investment Piece: Restoration

Have you been following the saga of the Givenchy dress found and restored by Henry Wilkinson? I’ve been paying attention on Instagram– and it’s amazing and I love it! Henry is a costume designer who happened to find part of a vintage Givenchy gown. It looked like this:

Investment Piece: Restoration

After research, care, and a lot of work, Henry got it to look like this (again):

Investment Piece: restoration

And! It turns out this gown was owned by Princess Lee Radziwill (Jackie O’s sister!)
Investment Piece: Restoration

Following the journey online was just thrilling. I learned about zippers! Henry showed us how to shape! And it fed my love of fashion as a means to tell our stories- the night the Princess wore it, what happened to it, and how it transformed all of us by being restored to its former glory. For the full story, I’ll let Henry tell you:

If you want to read all about it you can, at:
Vintage Fashion Guild
Town and Country
Yahoo

And I whole heartedly recommend following Henry on Instagram (@henryjjwilkinson) for his documentation of this project (and other fashion stories).

As someone who loves wearing vintage, I love to think about who has worn/owned my beloved vintage gowns before me. Now, I’m thinking about who will wear my clothes after me. What will happen to them? I can only hope that they recieve the care that Henry gave this gown. And we can all hope to wear something so beautiful!

To all the stories our fashion holds!
Xo RA

#Dotted

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There’s something about polka dots that I just love-they’re playful and fun, and yet can be sophisticated. So when I found this dotted Geoffrey Beene at one of my go-to TX Vintage places I couldn’t resist it! I love the business like feel (that collar, that bow!), the pockets, the length, and the way it balances work and party. I also loved the way it felt modern; I can wear it with any shoes really, but loved the juxtaposition of the dots with my beloved Jaquemus circle/square sandals. It feels fresh and new!

And as I reemerge after the storms in TX and all that went along with them, I needed something fun! I hope you’re staying safe and warm out there!
Happy Monday! XO RA

Details:
Dress from ReVint
Shoes: Jaquemus

Sunday Chronicles: The Thawing

Investment Piece: The Thawing

We got our power back. We have water. We are so so lucky.

And yet. This week has been so hard. Balancing the magic of snow (I have never seen that much! Or had it last more than a day!) with the systematic failures (no power and no clean water is no fun). I really thought that I was ready to write about it. To talk to you. To share. To get back to normal.

I’m writing this on Saturday- trying not to have a breakdown. I’ve been so tense. I’ve been so tired. I’ve been so stressed.

This site is going to get back to normal. But not today. I just don’t have it in me. And for that, I apologize. I want to tell our stories with fashion- but spending this week layering sweats and coats the only thing I can think about is washing my hair. I hate washing my hair.

If you’re so inclined, you can donate to Texas relief here. I’m hoping to have new content for you tomorrow.

In the meantime- stay warm, stay kind.

Wishing us all a week of ease and amazing shoes!
XO RA

Color of the Season

Investment Piece: Color of the Season
Investment Piece: Color of the Season
Investment Piece: Color of the Season

Do you love the Pantone color of the year? Where they name the color(s) of the year?
Usually I’m a take it or leave it. I wear things I love, and if they happen to match up with the colors of the season- so be it! There are years that I love the colors, years when I don’t (and I don’t wear colors I don’t like).

But. This year? A little different. The colors of the season got me excited, and I could find right in my closet!

One of the colors of the year is grey. And grey? I love. I own one too many grey tshirts, sweaters, etc. My bedding is grey. It’s my go-to color, and something that I always get excited about it. Suddenly, this year I was very excited about the color of the year.

Also different this year? Pantone did two colors of the year. Yellow being the second. And yellow- it’s hard for me. Some shades of yellow I love. Some wash me out (yellow and blonde can be hard). It’s not my go-to, but it doesn’t turn me off. It’s a color I’m willing to explore, for lack of better wording.

Investment Piece: Color of the Year

SideNote about this yellow. This is vintage LaPearla. And one of my favorites. The pleating, the boning, the way it’s great on its own or over anything from turtlenecks to sweaters. When I found it, I was drawn to it, but I hesitated- because of the color. I tried it on and fell in love. The moral? Even though I sometimes say differently, this corset is a case in why you should try new things. Maybe all yellows aren’t for us. But how will we know if we don’t try them?

Investment Piece: Color of the Season
Investment Piece: Color of the season

While I love grey, these pants were also a bit of a risk. Pleated pants can feel dated (or super elegant), and can not always look great (or look superb). I kept thinking that this season, as I love the colors that this wouldn’t be an exercise in new things, but in things I’m always comfortable with. However, the colors of the season were really about me trying new things in the colors that I like. Sneaky of Pantone.

And that alone is exciting. Sometimes it’s easy to like what we like. Stay with what we’re comfortable with, only choose what we known we have worn in the past. And we should do that. There’s nothing wrong about that. The exciting thing about really loving things though? You always discover new things about them. It’s a never ending process. Within these colors of the season, what can we discover? Try? Shades? Styles?

Investment Piece: Color of the Season

The colors of the season? We can wear them next season too. What’s exciting me is all the fashion we can explore and wear in the meantime, in the colors of the season.

I’ve linked similar items for you below (note: these pants were also vintage!). I would love to know: are you wearing grey and yellow this season?
Xo RA

Note: this post does contain affiliate links. While that does not affect the price for you, I may earn commission from them. Thank you for your support!

Investment Piece: color of the season

Sunday Chronicles: Ways to Say “I Love You!”

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Happy Valentine’s, Lovers! I hope you’re being showered with love and affection and treats.

I have something to confess my loves: I am not a big fan of this day. No, it’s not a big “single movement” or “galentines ” (although I like that idea). I just don’t like the idea that someone is professing their love or pampering me because they “have to”. I’m not anti-love. I’m anti having to express it in a certain manner. Let me be clear: if you care about me and want to tell me, please do! Treat me! But please don’t do it because this is the day that you’re supposed to. I was a little bit scared to admit that–there’s nothing worse than being the woman who’s anti-Valentine’s day, but a friend of mine wrote this piece on not liking the holiday–and it made me bold. (I loved a lot of what she had to say!)

Here’s the thing lovers–I love love. I really do. I am for affection, and treats, and letting people know that you love them. I think there is so much love in our lives to be grateful for–from our friends to our families to the baristas who remember our names and exactly how we like our coffees. All of that is love –and should be celebrated. In fact, sometimes I think we forget how much love is in our lives. We concentrate on romantic love–which is amazing–and the big, grand gestures that can accompany it are fantastic. But the simple gestures that friends, family and sometimes strangers can show us are just as great. When I found this list of ways to say “I love you”, it hit me–because these non-grand gestures of love are often what make up our lives. And they are fantastic. And should be celebrated–not because a holiday says so, but because we are so lucky to have people in our lives who care how our days go.

If you love to celebrate Valentine’s–great! There’s nothing wrong with that. And if you’re not–great! There’s nothing wrong with that. I hope in whatever way, on whatever day you chose, you can take a minute to see the love in your life–and maybe let those people know you love them too. And not to get on my soapbox–but this is my soapbox–I hope you let yourself know that you love you too. I saw an essay about being the love of your own life (regardless of any other relationship) and of all the things I love, I love that. Ourselves will be with us forever–we will spend the most time with ourselves, we will grow old together, we will be forever tied together. Loving yourself isn’t always easy (that’s another therapy trip), but it is important and rewarding. So while we’re celebrating love–maybe let’s learn to love ourselves, develop a great relationship with ourselves, treat ourselves like we’re the loves of our lives, be the loves of our own lives. And if that involves treating ourselves to new shoes to pamper us? Well, everyone wins 🙂

I wish us all an abundance of love and amazing shoes this week! XO RA

Date Night

Investment Piece: Date Night
Investment Piece: Date Night
Investment Piece: Date Night

What’s your fantasy date night? The one that’s so over the top that it’s just too much but would be oh-so fantastic. Mine? Dinner in Paris. Gambling in Monte Carlo. Private art tours. Every much movie-type.

Over the top dates that I’ve loved? The ballet and nice dinners.

What I find irrestibly romantic? The little things- coffee made for you, running a bath. I had a boyfriend who would pause our tv shows so I could catch everything. He’d also watch things that he didn’t LOVE because I did. Romantic. Easy days just spent together.

Date night this year is different. Though still romantic- dinners in, candlelight, cozying up. Still something to get excited about!

Investment Piece: Date Night
Investment Piece: Date Night
Investment Piece: Date Night

The one thing about date night (in or out)? I still want a dress that makes me feel like the fantasy. I know this year it’s not the most practical thing. Or the most needed thing. I’ve dressed up like this to watch tv at home, and there are nights when that’s made me feel more sad than fantasy. But I keep coming back to dresses like these. I can’t help but love a party dress. Or top. Or outfit. Anything that makes me feel special. Seen. Like I’m in a fantasy.

Investment Piece: Date Night

Isn’t that the point of date night? Yes- to spend time with, celebrate, see your loved one. Even if date night is just at home. Even if date is just you doing what makes you feel special. Maybe my love of party dresses isn’t something you share, but any kind of date you have this weekend, I hope that you’re wearing something that makes you feel all the good things. We deserve it.

This year date night looks different, but let’s make our feelings the same. Let’s celebrate. See. Dress for your fantasies- my theory has always been if you dress for it, it will come. Here’s to that!

This dress is vintage Valentino- I’ve found you similar, as well as these exact earrings!
Xo RA

Note: this post does contain affiliate links. While that does not affect the price for you, I may earn commission from them. Thank you for your support!

Investment Piece: Date Night
Did you notice that the netting underneath is also lined in the pattern? I swoon!

Valentine’s Day

Investment Piece: I HEART YOU

Usually I do Valentine’s very low-key. It’s not that I don’t love love, I do! However, I sometimes get uptight when we’re told we HAVE to show our love in a certain way. One of the good things about this pandemic is that this year, I’m more vocal about my love- telling my friends I love them, sending cards, planning things for me (self-love is important too!), and taking a day of love and making it a thing!

Investment Piece: Shark Love or how to dress for Valentine's with a sense of humorI

Below, I’ve rounded up Valentine’s from your BFF to your mom to your SO. As well as things for you (and yes, black lace is for you and them!) Together, alone, I hope I’ve linked things you can love and do with people you love. I know that this year may be different (I am so ready for an average, basic year), but it doesn’t mean that what can be a sweet celebration has to be bad. I’m sending Valentine’s (like the ones we did as kids!) to girlfriends in the mail. I’m planning a spa day for me (because I love me and I deserve some pampering). Indoor champagne picnics, massages, there are all sorts of things to do with your SO!

I hope whatever you plan it’s full of love!

Note: this post does contain affiliate links. While that does not affect the price for you, I may earn commission from them. Thank you for your support!

Galentines
Your BFFS. Sister. Mom. In Laws. Remember in elementary school when we gave the whole class a little card? When we were in it together? I loved that. Friend love is just as important as romantic love- and these presents are a great way to let people know that you love them. As I said, I’m sending my friends a card, maybe some flowers and maybe some surprises. Let’s normalize telling people we love that we love them- even if it’s not romantic love!

SOs

Just because we’re at home doesn’t mean that we have scale things back! In fact, Valentine’s at home is my favorite kind of date night for this holiday. Use massage oil candles- show off your magic hands. Feed each other! Cheese plates! Champagne! Black lace! There are so many ways to celebrate at home. And these may add to the excitement:

You
Celebrating yourself is important. Taking time for you is important. I’m doing a spa day- because I’ve grown to love at home facials and sauna. What do you love? From scary movies to trashy reality shows to certain meals to hot baths. Whatever it is that makes you feel restored, do that. And if you need to buy yourself new shoes? I won’t judge!

Investment Piece: #nakedtux

No matter what your Valentine’s looks like- I hope that you feel loved- and all the good things you deserve!

Xo RA

Cardigan

Investment Piece: Cardigan
Investment Piece: Cardigan
Investment Piece: Cardigan

Lounge but make it fashion.

It’s been the theme of the pandemic- finding clothes that will look good on Zooms and the like, yet will be comfy. Sweatpants and shirt sales have gone through the roof. You may be at a point where putting on hard pants gives you anxiety.I get it, I have been putting on hard pants but have yet to wear hard pants for a full day. How did we do that day in and day out?

While I’m not ready for hard pants, I’m ready for fashion. And not the lounge kind. I’ve been missing getting dressed and all the feelings it gave me. (I also miss the places we went and the people we saw)
Yet, I have no desire to give up my comfort. Work is still happening on the couch after all!

My solution? The cardigan.
Or in this case, a cardigan dress.

Investment Piece: Cardigan
Investment Piece: Cardigan

The purple color of my dreams, soft enough to curl up with, but a cardigan to stop traffic- in all the best ways. I found this number via Instagram, but not an ad- Sarah Jessica Parker wore it (with hot pink heels!)

You know when you can’t get something out of your mind? This cardigan was it for me. When I first looked it up, the color I had to have (I love a good purple) was sold out. I tried to wait patiently. Telling myself that it was simply a cardigan dress and I didn’t HAVE to have it. I searched for similar dresses-but I couldn’t find another that I liked. The sleeves, the fringe, the wrap, the color- I was memorized.

I could list the ways I wanted to wear it and why I love it so. But, I have to admit that part of the appeal to me was that this dress is a cardigan. It’s show stopping and versatile and stunning. At the same time, it’s a cardigan! It’s comfy! You can wrap up in it and nap if need be. It could fill my need for fashion, while letting me lounge!

Investment Piece: Cardigan

Call it lack of willpower, or call it divine pairing – I got this number the second it came back in stock. And I haven’t regretted it. Life is more on the couch than out and about right now, but I feel glamorous. Maybe that’s what I was missing all along. Who would have thought that a cardigan could give it to me?

You can join me in the cardigan life! Buy yours here at Hanifa. (This is not a commission link! I just love this dress and this company! Sizing note- while the site will tell you to go by height on this dress, my first order was the small and it was way too big! This is the Extra-Small- perfect and still long enough!)

I’ve also linked similar items for you below, just in case you need more than one cardigan!

Xo RA

Note: this post does contain affiliate links. While that does not affect the price for you, I may earn commission from them. Thank you for your support!

Investment Piece: Cardigan

Sunday Chronicles: Cheese Board

Investment Piece: Cheese Board

I’m no food blogger, though I like to think I’m a great home cook. And ironically I’m lactose intolerant, so I have to rely on goat and sheep’s cheese, but I love a good cheese board. Elegant. Easy. Customizable. One of my favorite things to do on Sunday is make a big cheese board, open a bottle of wine or bubbles, and snack all day. Today and next Sunday (Super Bowl and Valentine’s) are perfect for such activities. In fact, it’s most likely what I will be doing both Sunday’s!

There are “rules” and “guidelines” that you can follow when you’re making a cheese board, but I usually go with what sounds good to me. Cheese. Great crackers. Some protein. Some fruit. Whatever looks good.

I’ve made them incredibly simple:
Investment Piece: Cheese Board
And I called this dinner. Even with just the basics- crackers, cured meat, cheese, and wine it felt decadent.

To over the top:
Investment Piece: Cheese Board
Grilled sausage, mustards, preserves, fruit, crackers, cheeses, all the things.

Cheese boards are both the simplest thing to make and a stunning piece of art. A snack and an event of a meal. I love mixing various cheeses (there is such a great selection of bries and cheddars and blues that don’t have cow’s milk in them!), crackers (flavored and plain), olives, meats, chips, grapes, and more. If you make it big enough, it’s both lunch and dinner, and just perfect! I didn’t really get into cheese plates until a few years ago- now I’m making up for lost time. They are one of my favorite ways to share food (with my pod) and ways to feel like I’m treating myself.

The next two weekends seem ripe for putting out food and relaxing with football or rom-coms on the couch. Bubbles. Wine. And of course, loved ones (even over FaceTime) and the day is complete. The only change? I may include this baked feta.

What are you eating for Super Bowl and Valentine’s?

Wishing us all a week of treats and amazing shoes!
Xo RA

Investment Piece: Cheese Board