Spring Must

Investment Piece: Spring Must
Investment Piece: Spring Must
Investment Piece: Spring Must
Investment Piece: Spring Must
Investment Piece: Spring Must

There was a time when I made “bucket lists” for all the seasons. Things I wanted to do, my must haves, events to attend. Obviously, I haven’t had musts for any seasons lately. Without knowing what was open, what was safe, and what was comfortable for me and my loved ones- it was easier to celebrate seasons in the backyard. (Which is still a great place for a cocktail!)

This spring, as the world is opening up a bit- people are more comfortable (confession? I’m battling a bit of anxiety as the world changes again but that’s a subject for another post!) and I’m ready to have spring musts.

First up? Cut out dresses. I wrote about them before here. However, as much as I love that dress, it felt more winter like and not at all suitable for spring (or summer!) weather! So, I felt like I needed a spring version. A spring must. I love that this version is open back, and the cut at the waist is a bit more subtle. It’s offset by the full, maxi skirt– and it has pockets! From cocktails not in the back yard to errands and outtings that aren’t just to the grocery store, this spring must will be able to go from casual to formal. Flats (like these sandals!) to heels!

Another spring must on my list? Taking this dress out. To be worn all those ways. Anxiety aside, it’s a must to get out there, to show off my spring must dress to people, places, and things that I’ve been away from for so long that they feel new.

What are some of your spring musts? The things that you want to do, and more importantly, the things you want to wear?

I’ve linked this dress and these shoes, as well some other options for you below!
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!

Now and Then: Strapless Dress

Investment Piece: Strapless Dress

Everything comes back. Or is it that nothing ever leaves?
I’m endlessly fascinated by what comes back around, or what is en vogue- now and then. Take these strapless dresses. One is a vintage Laura Ashley from the 1980s:

Investment Piece: Strapless Dress

And one is from last year (a Mara Hoffman, one of my favorite brands):
Investment Piece: Strapless Dress

Even though these dresses were made about 40 years apart it is stunning how alike they are. Both strapless. Fitted through the hip and thigh, with a more full skirt. Yes, different colors and different fabrics. But almost basically the same dress.

(For styling purposes, I paired each with the same belt)

Investment Piece: Strapless Dress
Investment Piece: Strapless Dress

Trends do come and go- but what about when they come back? Do you buy vintage or new? There is always excitement with the new. Maybe there’s a twist, different fabric, more exciting patterns, and new is always attractive. But. Vintage- sometimes there’s just a draw, times that you can’t beat the vintage seams, and often you can get deals on vintage dresses.

Personally, I like both. Often I can find on-trend items vintage that are a bit orginal. And often, the on-trend new items are a bit more modern. Both vintage and new have colors and patterns I love. Sometimes I have a hard time deciding between new and modern. Now and then.

Yes. Many times I get both modern and vintage. When I love something I really love it – in all its forms. And especially with dresses like these- how could you choose?

Investment Piece: Strapless Dress
Investment Piece: strapless dress

I highly recommend strapless dresses for spring/summer. They can move effortlessly from casual errands and lunches to cocktails. They’re the perfect amount of covered, and perfect for the hot weather. Now or then. Modern or vintage. How do you strapless dress?

I’ve linked some modern versions (and similar Mara Hoffman dresses) and some vintage Laura Ashley’s for you below!

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!

Finding Myself

Investment Piece: Finding Myself
Investment Piece: Finding Myself
Investment Piece: Finding Myself
Investment Piece: Finding Myself

It’s my birthday. And in the past I’ve been a BIG birthday person. Lately, not so much. It’s not that I don’t want to treat myself. Or have goals and plans for the next year. All of those things are very much true. I’ll be spending the day doing some of my favorite things.

But. This year, more than champagne and presents, I’m focusing on finding myself. The pandemic. Some changes. While I haven’t left myself, there were a lot of times this past year when I didn’t feel like myself. Maybe it’s that I’m starting a new chapter, but I’m my home and I want to feel like me. Finding myself, admist all the changes and chapters, is my gift to myself this year.

How does one find yourself?

Investment Piece: Finding Myself
Investment Piece: Finding Myself
Investment Piece: Finding MYself

I’m starting by wearing outfits that make me feel good. Like me. This pink set made me happy. The color. The cut. When I put it on, I felt like me. I went to the park and shooting felt good. For months, outfits have sometimes been hard for me (which is very NOT me). And shoots have been hit or miss. To feel great in an outfit and great shooting- it was a moment of finding myself. Which makes the outfit a new favorite, and completely worth it.

One outfit (even in linen and in this pop of color) isn’t going to be the end of finding myself. Or creating myself again. This process will happen over and over- one outfit at a time. But. I’m excited about this start. And this set.

Here’s to finding myself- and ourselves! And another trip around the sun!
Xo RA

This set is from Zara, but I’ve linked these exact shoes and similar items below for you!

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: finding myself

Mom’s Style

I’ve been posting this on my mom’s birthday for a few years now- it’s become tradition. Today is her big day (and Mother’s Day!). My mom and I are close, and yet different. However, as I get older I realize I’m more like her than I think, and I couldn’t be more grateful. Especially now, as some of us are apart from our families, I think about how the women in my life shaped me. I spent the last year isolating with my mom- it wasn’t always easy, but I’m so grateful we did! Even though we spent the better part of the year not getting dressed up- I still learned about style from her over this past year. And yes, we’re getting dressed today! Hope whatever your relationship with moms are, today lands easy. Xo RA

InvestmentPiece: Mom's Style

Loves! It’s my Momma’s birthday! If you haven’t caught on, my mom and I are close, and I can’t begin to describe how much I love her, and how appreciative I am for all she does for me. Mom is a CPA and teaches accounting, she’s our CFO, and while that’s completely different from her creative daughter who thinks shoes are a necessity (I mean I need shoes, I occasionally want to eat); Mom’s style has influenced me and helped me become the fashionista I am today. So, what did I learn from Mom’s style? Glad you asked!

Stay True to Your Style

No matter the trend or what “you’re supposed” to do, sticking to what you love and what works for you is something to be admired–and makes you look stunning! Mom is a big fan of navy. She is known for her love of navy suits, shoes, and bags. There are years when navy is “in” and years when we’ve had to search for navy for Mom. That doesn’t matter to Mom, even when the styles she loves aren’t in she sticks to them. There’s a classic-ness in that, a commitment. That’s not to say Mom doesn’t try new things, but I’ve learned that you don’t need to be a slave to trends, that sticking to things you love is something to be commended, and when you find something that fits you–hang onto it!

Proper Undergarments Matter

Mom and I have had a lot of events recently and at everyone Mom has mentioned that she thinks I might need a slip. (Side note: I have slips, I’m not great at wearing them) Here’s the thing though: Mom may have a point. Lining, slips, proper garments: our clothes fit better when we make sure these things are taken care of. Proper fit is important (Mom is big on that too) and to ensure that the fit flows, proper undergarments help. (And let’s be honest, no one likes the look of lines!)

Invest in Your Suit
Something Mom and I agree about whole heartedly? Your suit, be it an actual suit, jeans or yoga pants, is something to invest in. Mom, being an accountant, is a fan of actual suits and made it a point to invest in good ones each year. Now that she’s in a place where she’s good on suits, Mom is having fun filling her closet with tanks, tops and blouses (both classic and trendy) to wear with her suits. However, she’s always adamant that her suits are high quality, she checks seams and linings, that it’s where she spends her money. And loves, I agree–what you wear the most should be where you invest your money.

Don’t be Afraid to Accessorize

Mom is a more conservative dresser than I am, yes. However, Mom is not too conservative for a great accessory! I can’t remember a time when Mom didn’t leave the house without a scarf, jewelry, pins, or gloves. We do a high tea occasionally, and Mom is always on point with her hats (and gloves!). The lesson? You can always be playful, and the details are always a place to have fun!

While Mom and I may have different opinions about certain fashions, but my Mom has some amazing style, and I’m so grateful she taught me all she knows!

Have some champagne to celebrate!

XO RA

Heroes and Capes

Investment Piece: Heroes and Capes
Investment Piece: Heroes and Capes
Investment Piece: Heroes and Capes
Investment Piece: Heroes and Capes

Sometimes we have to be our own heroes. It’s not always fun, but there’s a chance you can wear a cape- so it can be worth it!

The past few weeks have been a bit wild. And I’ve had to adult- a lot. I know, it’s so cliche and sometimes gross when we complain about being adults- but it’s sometimes hard. Dealing with big, complicated emotions, keeping a house and businesses running, dealing with the mundane (laundry, etc) can at times be very overwhelming. I have no advice on that- there are days when keeping my head above water feels like a full time job. I can meltdown with the best of them, but then there are times when I amaze myself at how I can pull things off- and keep it together.

I bet there are times when you’re amazing too!

And when we’re amazing, when we’re our own heroes and save the day- I think we deserve capes. Personally, I have a thing for capes (here, here, here, here, and here to start). So when I saw this little caplet (collar) I couldn’t resist it. For dressing up tank tops and sundresses, or pairing with jeans, this number is one that I can’t wait to wear all summer.

Beyond the fashion, it reminds me that I can be my own hero. And that’s something that can never go out of style!

I hope that you have things that remind you of how amazing you are, and if you’re into capes, I’ve linked this exact one (and matching top!) for you below!

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!

These shoes are from my love Sarah Flint, you can get $50 off any Sarah Flint shoe you love by shopping this link!

Investment Piece: Heroes and Capes

Sandal Season- A Sarah Flint Shopping Guide

Investment Piece: Sandal Season

Investment Piece: Sarah Flint

It’s that time of year. We put away our slippers and our boots, and we get out our sandals. One of my favorite times of year! I love sandals, and this season I’m so excited to share Sarah Flint and all the sandals I love with you!

Full disclosure, I’ve recently become a Sarah Flint Ambassador. I don’t get commission from the brand, but I did get gifted a pair of sandals. Though the opinions presented here are my own. I’m horrifically picky about the brands I partner with- and Sarah Flint is one of the best. It’s a woman owned, woman run company. These shoes are luxury- made in the same factories as Louboutins and Hermes and by artisans, but about half the cost as Sarah Flint shoes are sold directly to you. There are so many things I love – from why the company began selling direct to consumer, to the arch support (which works for both high arches and low arches), the extra space in the toe box, the steel in the stilettos, and how all of those were things insisted upon by Sarah. (I love women who demand the best).

But this is about sandals. Because at this point, after this year, we all most likely need a new pair!

Investment Piece: Sarah Flint

From flats to block to heels, there is a Sarah Flint for you. In both the block and the perfect sandal, you can choose your heel height- from low to high. There are so many color options in all styles- metallics, nudes, and of course black! They all provide support, they all are roomy in the toes, and they all look chic.

Some of my current faves?

Investment Piece: Sarah Flint

The Grear- a lace up sandal. Especially in this mixed metallic. It will go with everything in your closet and the laces are both on trend and elevate the look!

Investment Piece: Sarah Flint
A new and exclusive sandal! The perfect block in navy croc! Slightly elevated and such a chic neutral- this sandal is one I want to build my summer around.

Investment Piece: Sarah Flint
My pick and what I’ve been wearing non-stop? The perfect sandal (the high one!) in a beige. If you’re wary (I know, I’m a heel gal), the arch support in these sandals are just to die for (as they’re so supportive). The heel comes in various heights, and it goes with all your summer and spring dresses!

What kind of sandals are you shopping for this spring? I have my eye on the navy ones and a Grear!
As I mentioned, I don’t get commission, but you get $50 off your pair of Sarah Flints by using code SarahFlint-BAInvestmentPiece or by shopping them at this link!

Happy shopping! Wanna all meet up for pedicures?
Xo RA

Shorts with Heels

Investment Piece: Shorts with Heels
Investment Piece: Heels with Shorts
Investment Piece: Heels with Shorts

I put together this outfit thinking of this one question: Are Shorts with heels a thing we’re doing?

The thing is? Shorts with heels is a thing I do.
Repeatedly.
Without thinking about it.

Ok, I wear heels with everything (even one time with sweatpants, but that’s a different post), but shorts with heels? A thing I do.

Want the proof? See here, here, here, and here.

So, maybe the question isn’t are shorts with heels a thing we’re doing, but rather are shorts with heels a thing we SHOULD be doing?

Any guess to what my personal answer is?

Investment Piece: shorts with heels
Investment Piece: Shorts with Heels
Investment Piece: Shorts with Heels
Investment Piece: Shorts with Heels

And before we dive deep into this issue, I have to let you know:
Investment Piece: Shorts with Heels
This is not an affiliate link. This is one of my most favorite blouses- I love the print (yes, those are tanks and airplanes) with the silk. It’s from a company you might love Emerson Fry, where I’ve gotten some great pieces (including shoes!!). Check them out!

Investment Piece: Shorts with Heels
But, back to our question about shorts with heels. Clearly, I think they are a thing we’re doing. Do I recommend pairing heels with your favorite cutoffs? Maybe. I would need to see the outfit.

But in general? Yes. Again, I wear heels with most everything, so feel free to take this with a grain of salt, but I see nothing wrong with shorts with heels.

But, again, I believe in “dressy shorts”. Is that a term we’re using? Just like you can make almost anything casual, I am a firm believer you can dress almost anything up. What I think works best? Shorts that may be a little bit longer (long live the Bermuda short), and shorts that are of a crepe or silk blend. Pair with your favorite top. Or a blazer. A pair of heels. You’re good to go for any night on the town.

Though to be fair, I wore this to the grocery store. So, while I may believe in shorts with heels, I don’t believe in limiting your places to go.

There are people who have FEELINGS about not only shorts with heels but dressy shorts. Are you one of them? What’s your hang up with them?

A part of me gets it. I recently re-watched Pretty Woman, and the scene where she’s we wearing a short suit touched me–mainly as I still feel like it’s chic. Totally 80s. But chic. Do you feel the same way?

I’d love to know your thoughts, feelings, and outfits regarding shorts with heels.

In the meantime, I’ve linked similar items to this outfit below. Happy shopping!

Also-I forgive you if you just wear your shorts with sandals.

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!

Shop this look here

Rent The Runway

Investment Piece: Shorts with Heels

Sunday Chronicles: MayDay May Day

Investment Piece: MayDay May Day

Does time speed up for anyone else in May? Maybe it’s the opening up and so many of us getting vaccinated. Or maybe it’s just May. I know that the winter holiday season has the reputation of being the busiest season of the year, but may I offer a counter point. The busiest time of the year is May. Mother’s Day. Graduation. Ending of school. Vacations. The beginning of wedding season- or shower season. And, if you’re like me, you can name a birthday every single day in May. Every. Single. Day.

(Including my own birthday and my mother’s birthday!)

Time speeds up for me in May. Which is great- the year feels like it begins to move and I can begin to see the year more clearly. But it’s also overwhelming, and I’m often left feeling like I should be sending out a mayday.

Between events and gifts and commitments, May can be a lot. I attempt to stay grounded, take time for me, and not over-committ, but there are days when I can’t help but feel behind. What I’ve learned to do is to extend grace- mainly to me. I can’t do everything, so I try to limit my commitments, picking the events that are most important to me (and of course sending gifts).

** Also I buy gifts in advance. Growing up we had a “gift” closet full of things for wedding and baby showers that could supplement more personal gifts. It’s a thing I CANNOT recommend enough. **

In May, and not just on my birthday, I also prevent may days by ensuring that every week has time for me scheduled. From workouts to spa to time with friends to time alone doing nothing, for me it’s the way I know to prevent burn out (and may days).

Because as busy as it can get, May Days are such a joy. And this year as I get to see more people I love, and begin attending more events, I’m so grateful, and ready to celebrate. What are May Days like for you? How do you balance May Days with your needs?

Investment Piece: Sunday Chronicles
Also, a sad note. My cat did pass on Friday evening. I was so lucky to love her and be loved by her. Thank you to everyone who asked and reached out. Hug your people and pets!

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

The #Blazer

Investment Piece: The #Blazer

Not a trend, because it’s a classic, but a must have for spring is the blazer. From suits to pairing it with everything from jeans to skirts to shorts to over dresses, blazers are an item that can pull you together and make an outfit.

Investment Piece: The Blazer
Investment Piece: The Blazer
Formal outfits? Get cold at the drop of a hat (I do!)? A blazer is the perfect solution. (My tip: buy a white one or a tux inspired one and it makes the outfit even more special.)

Investment Piece: The #Blazer
Investment Piece: Inspired by Fosse/Verdon
Make your own suit by pairing a blazer with pants or skirts or over a dress.

Investment Piece: Crazy for Blazers
Investment Piece: The #Blazer
And Blazers look just as great with a more casual outfit.

All cuts, colors, fabrics, and fits: there’s a blazer that’s will perfectly meet your needs. I’m partial to an Amberleaf blazer, but I’ve also linked some Blazers that I love below. And some are up to 25% off at the ShopBop Spring Event!

I would love to know: how do you rock your Blazers?
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: The Blazer

Fashion Stories: Grief

Investment Piece: Grief

My family has an old cat (21! Which is over 100 in cat!) I never considered myself a cat person, but this nugget wormed her way into my heart and was there for me a lot- that story could be a whole other blog. Starting last week, she began to decline and I’ve spent my time balancing work and being her nurse- including staying up late and watching her. However, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Grief is a wild and woolly thing. Grieving someone (or a pet) before, or as, they pass is also wild. This experience has made me think a lot about grief- how we deal with it, how we talk to other people about it, and how we dress for it.

About 5 years ago, I went through a 2 month period where both of my grandma’s passed, as well as an uncle. Funerals, wakes, various services- I became a pro at planning them, attending them, dressing for them (in hose, as that’s what my Mimi would have wanted from me). Black dresses and suits, nothing flashy, I even had mourning hats with veils. In some ways, that was the easy dressing part. If you see someone like that, you assume that they may be in the throws of grief (or literally at a funeral) and we tend to be compassionate to greiving people.

But what about when you’re not at a funeral? What do you wear to grieve when you’re at the grocery store or at a bedside or just so tired from loss that life seems hard?

Investment Piece: Grief

Societies, communities, all of us, have rituals to deal with grief. Widows used to wear black for over a year. In some communities you still refrain from certain things while you’re in mourning. However, there is not a universal way to mourn. And black is not exclusively for mourning- some cultures wear white for grief, others purple. And I wear all the colors all the time (and a lot of black a lot). On top of that, this year and the pandemic has been hard and full of loss for everyone’ and not being able to be together has often made the grieving process much more difficult. If there is nothing that can universally let people know you’re grieving, what do you wear?

Right now, I’m living in some version of sweat pants. I’ve been up late, and on and off, nights, need clothes that can get dirty and be cleaned easily. My hair is pulled up. My eyes are puffy (maybe that’s the tell). If I saw someone dressed like me at the grocery store, I would assume that they were going through something. But the thing is- I have a shoot and 2 video calls in the next few days. I’ll de puff (yes, hemroid cream helps! It’s an old make up trick!) and clean up and hopefully no one will know how sad I am.

If dressing for our grief is an outward processing of it, or at the very least showing people your grief; does it mean something when you don’t dress for your grief?

Investment Piece: Grief

I don’t know that there’s one answer to these questions. Grief and our fashion choices are personal. So personal. Some of us don’t like to share any thing about our grief, others over share to strangers. Would you want everyone to know you’re grieving by your fashion choices? Or not. There are times, even this week, that I wish that there was a little signal I could send out to explain to people that I’m not operating at my best as I’m grieving. Yet, I don’t know that I want to share it with everyone and be questioned or judged if I choose to dress in a “happy” way. Again, grief is wild and woolly.

I also want to reconginze that not all grief dressing (if that’s what we call it) is somber and black. Joy and the good memories are part of grief too. I have quite a few pieces that were handed down to me by my grandmas, every time I wear them (or an outfit they would like) I feel as if I’m honoring them. My kitty? Will probably make it on a sweater or necklace (in one of those pet collections that so many brands have), and when I wear it I’ll remember how lucky I was to love her. Wearing special or happy things that remind me of people and places I’ve lost are a way to honor them, just like wearing black.

Thinking about grief and what to wear for it can lead you down such odd paths. There’s no right answer and as we’re all carrying some form of loss (especially after this year). Perhaps we should assume that we’re all grieving a bit (no matter what we’re wearing) and be extra gentle with each other. What do you think?

Have any tips for grief? What do you wear?
Xo RA