Sunday Chronicles: Fangirling Tracee Ellis Ross

An upside and the downside of living in LA is that celebrities are everywhere! (They are just like us!)

And even though they become common place, there are just a few celebrities that I can’t help but Fangirling over. Tracee Ellis Ross is one of them. One of the best stories I have? Meeting Tracee in a SoulCycle bathroom and chatting about red lipstick. (I’m not sure of the exact science, but red lipstick does help. Everything.)

Investment Piece: Fan Girling Tracee Ellis Ross

At this point, you may be asking: why Fangirl over Tracee? I mean yes, she’s stunning, talented, an advocate for causes she believes in, does amazing things like lift other artists up:

Investment Piece: Fangirling Tracee Ellis Ross
Tracee was the emcee of the AMAs and made a commitment to wearing designers of color and letting them have a platform.

Tracee’s Instagram is a glimpse into amazingly glam and couture moments and behind the scenes slices of life. There’s so much to love, and if you haven’t seen her TED talk yet, you need to get on that:

And I love this speech about having kids and the worth of being a woman:
Tracee Ellis Ross is the life coach we need.
She’s an endless inspiration for outfits and how to show up in life.

There are many, many reasons to be Fangirling over Tracee Ellis Ross. But, why do I?

Investment Piece: Fangirling Tracee Ellis Ross

Tracee Ellis Ross is a woman who is comfortable in her skin, and this alone makes her radiant. We give a lot of lip service to self care and self love, even I have written about it (here, here, and here). As we know, self love isn’t just face masks and a hashtag on Sunday’s. It can also mean saying no to things, saying yes to things, and choosing to treat yourself like someone with worth.

To me, Tracee shows how to do all that. Yes, a part of it is the glam fashion and the support of amazing causes. I don’t personally know her, and there could be an argument that any time we follow someone from afar that we’re only getting a curated view of their lives. Valid points. Yet, if this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Tracee Ellis Ross’s life, I’m still a Fangirl. She’s the kind of woman I’d love to be: self assured, giving, funny, and real.

I also wouldn’t say no to this Gucci cape:
Investment Piece: Fangirling Tracee Ellis Ross
Just saying.

In the meantime, I’ll just work on being comfortable in my skin.

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

Investment Piece: Fangirling  Tracee Ellis Ross

Summer in Fall

Investment Piece: Summer in Fall
Investment Piece: Summer in Fall
Investment Piece: Summer in Fall
Investment Piece: Summer in Fall
Investment Piece: Summer in Fall

I have a thing for wearing Summer in fall. Fall Florals. Winter Florals. I’ve even been known to throw on a turtleneck under a Summer stunner to keep that magic going. So this? This should come as no surprise. Yes, I love fall and all the fashion that it brings with it. But there are times when I just can’t resist wearing Summer in fall.

The trick? A little bit of layering–or in this case pairing Summer pants with a cozy sweater. The right shoes (boots), and the right accersories (gloves), and you might be good to go. However, I think if we’re bringing summer into fall we have to pick the right kind of Summer. Moody florals, dark prints,* and those pieces that are right on the edge. It’s perfect for the summer pieces you got on sale and don’t want to wait to wear. This is also perfect for the summer pieces that you loved so much, you need to make them fall staples,too.

* Though, this is your reminder from me that there is no wrong season to wear black in!

I loved these pants all summer and when they went on sale I just couldn’t resist. Floral? Yes. But moody and dark. Perfect with a sweater. And yet, something tells me these pants will be just perfect with a bikini next summer. Maybe then we’ll do fall into Summer? Anything is possible!

I’ve linked similar items for your Summer to fall shopping pleasure below!
(Some pant and sweater combos below are less than $100!)

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!

Creme de la Creme

Investment Piece: Creme de la Creme
Investment Piece: Creme de la Creme
Investment Piece: Creme de la Creme
Investment Piece: Creme de la Creme
Investment Piece: Creme de la Creme

Creme de la Creme.
The best of the best.
What does that mean?
How will you know if it’s the best of the best if you don’t try new things?
Like: shooting indoors,
Sweatshirts with gold skirts (they go with everything),
And show-stopping boots.

I recommend them all!

This combo is becoming my Creme de la Creme for the fall. I can’t stop.
I’ve linked similar items for you below–find your best!
XO RA

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

Investment Piece: Creme de la Creme

Non-Basic

It’s finally fall. I know, I know, you’ve heard that one before, but this time it’s true. Most of us are enjoying cooler weather and getting to enjoy all those fall clothes (sweaters, coats, and boots) that we got in anticipation of this moment.
It’s thrilling.
And always leaves me a little apprehensive.
Here’s the thing my loves: I love sweater weather. I do. The falling temps, the layers, the comfy ways we can dress. I’m not against throwing on a sweater with boots and jeans- and most of us do, again and again. It’s a great combination. I honestly love it, and wear it again and again myself.
But it’s fall. So, what if we were a little non-basic this year?

Some of my fave ways to non-basic? I’m glad you asked!

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

Play with your Coats
Investment Piece, fashion blogger, vintage, high fashion, CA, TX
Embrace capes. Wear your coats as dresses. Think beyond camel and black. Don’t be afraid of color and texture. Belt your coats, play with your scarves, and let the topper be the star
My picks:

Non-Basic Boots
Investment Piece, Fashionblogger, vintage, cold weather, high fashion, YSL, Valentino, CA, TX
I’m a fan of you having your basics covered- black and brown. Personally, im partial to tall boots, but if you love ankle boots I get that too (I have a few). And once we get past the basics, I vote for boots that are non-basic. Play with color, pattern, texture. Nothing says non-basic like sparkly boots with your sweaters!
My picks:


Mix
Investment Piece: Non Basic
Textures-like Velvet and wool. Vintage and modern. Soft and hard. Casual and fancy. Rock your biker boots with a dress. A sweatshirt with fancy pants. I loved pairing this vintage velvet with a maxi skirt and biker boots!

My picks:

Socks/tights with your heels
Investment Piece: Trend to Try: Socks With Peep Toes
This was one of my first posts. And if you’re not wearing your heels (yes, even peep toes. Especially peep toes) with tights and socks, you’re missing out. Do it. Not only is it warm, it adds a new look to any shoes. AND it’s a way to wear your summer shoes year round. Do it!
Some of the tights I love:

Night Wear as Day Wear
Investment Piece: Non Basic
Part mixing, part texture, all don’t think your sequins and other luxe fabrics only belong at a party. Throw on sweaters and sweatshirts with them. Put on sneakers. Don’t let the time of day tell you what to do.
My picks:

I’d love to know: how do you do non-basic fall?
Xo RA

Sunday Chronicles: Reset Inspiration

I’m going to call myself out on something I’m probably not supposed to:

Lately, I’ve been un-inspired.

Part of it has been my schedule. I’ve been a little overbooked, a little tired, and a little in need of time off. Forcing the issue: trying to plan shoots, outfits, doing the admin, all the things, has left me feeling really depleted.

The weird thing? I’m really excited about some of the things in the works. Outfits/shoots/collabs. There is so much good stuff coming!

So, where has my inspiration gone?

I’ve been battling massive headaches with the weather changes, and that could be a part. This month has just felt heavy in some ways, and that could be it.

But, I’ve made the decision that instead of forcing the inspiration this weekend, I would let it find me. So I took time off (could you tell?). I went to the movies (twice! A Star is Born for the second time and First Man-see them both!) I avoided social media. I vegged out. And by Sunday evening, I’m hoping that things are back to normal–that I’m inspired/working/excited.

My question for you, my loves, what do you do when you’re not inspired? How do work through when you’re depleted? Is there anything you would like to see on site? Are there any questions you have for me?

Comments and emails and DMs are all open! Tell me all about it!

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

I Can’t Seperate My Anxiety from my Obession with Fashion and Beauty

Investment Piece: ANXIETY

Note: This is a repost from Fashoinista, you can see the original here. The author is Maura Brannigan and when I read it I fell in love. Many of us suffer with anxiety and depression. I’m not immune to that. My anxiety can make many things difficult, and there are times when planning my outfits gives me peace. I related to this article and I hope you do too! XO RA

When I was in fourth grade, I realized I could not, for lack of a better phrase, see shit. It occurred to me abruptly, in the middle of a math lesson. My table was in the mid-back of the classroom, and as my teacher was doing whatever she was doing on the overhead projector, I began panicking when things I should have been able to read appeared blurry, like someone had sneakily slid Vaseline over my eyeballs at recess. My tiny body felt hot and immobile, suddenly much too big for its chair; if I willed myself just so, I wondered, could I drop through the linoleum and leave a searing hole in my place? At least that way, none of my classmates would have to see me in the inevitable, which I knew to be glasses.

Sure enough: I emerged from LensCrafters several days later, bummed about my newfound ailment but also absolutely amazed at the detail I could now see. (“Leaves!” I remember announcing to my dad as we left the store. “They look like that?!”)

I see now that this was, probably, one of my earlier panic attacks. There were other incidents, too, like my first day of kindergarten when I sat alone, my social anxiety revving up while I silently, maniacally brainstormed conversation topics I could present to my new peers. My anxiety has always been there. It sits on my shoulder, alerts me that something is off and then vacates the building. It is very flighty. But it has legs.

Like so many people with anxiety, or with depression, or with any number of mood disorders, I find my security in plans. I’ve never met a list I didn’t just devour. And as with so many others, my anxiety is often triggered when I’m thrown off schedule. When I sense my symptoms — sometimes mental, like a weird, morose dread, or sometimes physical, like shortness of breath or stomach knots — I take comfort in pattern. Much has been said in recent years about how elaborate beauty routines, sometimes Korean ones, can help fight depression. I get that wholly.

When I was younger (and there was also much less visibility surrounding mental health), I deduced on my own that if I could regulate every last element of what was happening on the outside of my body, it could have lasting effects on what was going on inside that makes me want to barrel through floors. Even today, my obsession with the fashion and beauty industries is inextricably linked to my expectation that looking nice, looking exactly what I want to look like, will leave me, finally, feeling at ease.

The degree to which I go about planning is methodical at one end of the spectrum and neurotic at the other. There was the year that “The Parent Trap” was released on VHS, and my 10-year-old brain became so embarrassingly infatuated with Hallie Parker that I took pen-to-paper notes on her wardrobe each time I watched. There was my first day of seventh grade in which, after a summer of intensive mood-boarding, I showed up to school in a truly wild, 1970s-inspired ensemble complete with bell bottoms and brown suede boots. My efforts backfired, and I was snickered at with such gusto that I felt I had no choice but to change into my gym clothes. (I wasn’t so much upset, per se, as I was frustrated that my classmates didn’t yet know how to appreciate a proper “lewk.”) There was the month-long stretch — I was, maybe, 15 — when I decided having Pantene Pro-V commercial hair would eliminate all my adolescent woes. When I realized that it did not and it would not, I felt like I had been stabbed in the back by that very shampoo bottle.

My relationship with fashion and beauty products has helped me cope. And over the years, I’ve accumulated a collection of stuff — skin-care, aromatherapy, supplements, whatever — that I’ve turned to time and again to make me feel in control.

Most of that regimen has some physiological benefit, as I’ve learned through years and years of product testing. Bedtime is my scariest time; it can take what is essentially witchcraft to get me asleep. I keep a lavender sachet on my bedside table, which I let sit on my chest for a few minutes when I first climb into bed. I love a pillow spray, as well, the most effective variety of which I’ve found to be the mega-popular Deep Sleep Pillow Spray with lavender, vetiver and camomile from This Works. The hype is not misplaced; after several months of use, the brand’s name holds up.

Mornings, though, are easy. I began taking Ashwagandha, an adaptogenic herb popular in Ayurvedic medicine, with my breakfast about two years ago, per the recommendation of my doctor. (Obviously, supplements aren’t for everyone, and you should always check with your own doctor before starting them.) Both Google and my doctor say that Ashwagandha helps lower cortisol, balance thyroid hormones and combat stress. I say that, yes, it does do that, but I don’t know if it’s the placebo of taking, doing, planning that helps more.

Last winter posed a new kind of challenge. None of my regular tricks seemed to do what I needed them to do. Neither did the calendar-planning, nor the additional pages of lists I scribbled in an attempt to coax myself into stillness. I felt lost, and disheartened, and guilty for feeling any of it. I felt guilty for being rattled when I knew so many others had it much worse than I did. I felt guilty for comparing my own anxiety to that of others, when my mental health was mine and mine alone. I felt guilty for saying no to my closest friends in an attempt to prioritize “self-care,” a hot new phrase I felt guilty for not knowing if I was practicing correctly. I felt guilty for being a selfish partner, and I felt guilty that my boyfriend had to see me as a person I myself didn’t recognize.

Some evenings, I would come home and immediately lie down on the kitchen floor, not bothering to take off my coat or scarf or hat. If my partner was home, he and our dog would join, three warm bodies sardined between the stove and sink. That guilt, of feeling him planking next to me when I knew that he, too, didn’t know how to help me, was worst of all.

I would get up, eventually. And soon, it became days, then weeks, then months, since my last time on the kitchen floor. I just kept doing what I knew worked: letting objects, like hand lotion that smells like my mom, work their material, aspirational magic, and healing from the outside in. An advertiser’s dream.

I feel guilty for that, too. Fashion and beauty products are, of course, just “things.” But we all know “things” can also carry real, emotional weight and become so much more. Why should I judge myself for what I find and have always found to be constructive?

Even so, I’m trying to learn how to loosen the reins, as they say, so that I don’t immediately slip into “flight” mode when confronted with the unexpected. I’m trying to learn how to let anxiety simply beat through me, and how to treat it with the same compassion I might bestow on a loved one, or as I’m also learning, on myself.

Right now, I’m working on my own wellness practice, like meditation — I enjoy the “Calm” app — and 4-7-8 breathing. But I’ve found that the very best thing I can do for myself is to stare my anxiety, and the guilt that comes with it, straight in the face — not to embalm it in lavender or distract it with 18 tabs of suede mules that, in some strange way, might make each hard day feel more navigable. Absolutely everything changed when I began accepting my anxiety for what it is, not trying to fix it like something I could tend with a Band-Aid — how one might fix a fourth-grade astigmatism with a pair of glasses from LensCrafters.

End of an Era: Online Vintage Shopping Tips

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A few years ago, the last episodes of “Mad Men” began to air. Can we chat for a minute about how this show affected our culture? Not just for the viewers (and yes, I’m obsessed) but in how it affected fashion. Styles always come back around –evidenced in the resurgence of the 70s on the runway–but this show made vintage, and vintage inspired dressing cool. I’ll admit–I’ve always loved vintage, there’s something about clothing that has a story that speaks to me. However, let’s be honest–it can be hard to shop for–both online and in person. The good news is there are a ton of amazing vintage shops out there–and if you find one by all means go in and look (don’t forget to try on!). With the advent of Etsy, some online shopping for vintage has gotten much easier–and the finds can be amazing. Here are some of my favorite Etsy finds as well as tips to online vintage buying!

photo 2-1 photo 2-2 photo 3-1 photo-9

1. Know your measurements, not your size.

Clothes were cut and sized differently in different eras, not to mention that certain body types go in and out of fashion (a whole blog on its own). Make sure that you measure correctly (or get someone to help you!)–and go by those. Also, depending on the fit of the dress, give yourself an inch of wiggle room–there’s nothing worse than ordering a dress and having it be too tight to breathe.

2. Research Shop Policies

Some shops take returns and exchanges, others won’t–most that I’ve found are happy to dialog with you about everything. Ask questions, send them your measurements–make friends. Knowing upfront some of your options if things don’t work out can make the purchasing process easier.

3. Have a budget and understand what you’re paying for

Some vintage is really expensive–when you factor in the rarity quality. Some is really affordable, either way make sure you know what flaws the item has–and what other costs such as alternations and shipping with cost you.

4. Buy things you will wear

This is probably a rule for life, but when I get deep in vintage holes I can lose myself in just beautiful pieces. Realistically however, there may not be a place to wear that pristine 1900 wedding dress–I know, shocking! If you are just a collector, amazing-buy at will. If you’re looking to add to your closet realistically assess whether or not you could wear it without feeling like you’re in a costume (unless you want a costume). Yes, this means that you may pass on some things, but what you’ll buy will be great when you wear it!

Some of my favorite vintage shops (where you can shop online)?
Bloomers and Frocks
RecessLA
The Kit Vintage
Timeless Vixen
Garment Modern</>
Miriti
Of course
Etsy

And so many more!

Want more shopping tips? Don’t forget to join me here!

All clothing vintage

First picture photo credit Kate Richards

I’d love to know: how do you shop for vintage online?

Xo RA

Fall Mornings

Investment Piece: Fall Mornings
Investment Piece: Fall Mornings
Investment Piece: Fall Mornings
Investment Piece: fall Mornings

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I love fall. But, especially right now, what I love most are fall mornings. Because if we’re honest, the “fall” I’m experiencing now is sweatshirt weather in the am then blazing hot in the afternoon. So, really fall mornings are the fall I’m working with, and I’m not holding back when it comes to dressing for fall.

What goes better with a cool, crisp morning than a great fall set? I love purple (for many reasons) and this suede skirt set is my ultimate fall morning go-to. It’s a little heavy for when the afternoons heat up, but for the mornings that are true to season, it’s simply perfect.

Investment Piece: Fall Mornings
Investment Piece: Fall Mornings

If your fall mornings call for business, sets like these are perfect: I love a great skirt set with hose and heels. The suede makes it anything but boring, and allows for your fall mornings to switch to fall nights. The great news is that sets like these also go great with boots (because we can’t have fall without boots), sneakers, or anything you want to pair with it!

Of course, the best thing about a set is that you don’t have to wear it as such. I’ve worn this skirt with graphic tees, sweatshirts, sneakers, flats, just about everything. The top I usually wear as a jacket, BUT I love it with flare jeans and boots for a pulled together chic look.

This set is vintage from Featherstone Vintage, you can find amazing finds there!

In the meantime, I’ve found similar sets and great fall boots, linked for your shopping pleasure below. I’m going to keep rocking fall in the mornings till fall lasts all day. How about you?
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: Fall Mornings

Sunday Chronicles: Cleaning Our Closets

I clean out my closet. A lot. I feel like we talk about it. A lot.

And I’m not sure what that says about me. I’m fascinated by what we have in our closets. Closets are such a personal thing. The stories that they hold, the things that we keep–part of why I started my series about fashion stories (see here, here, and here). It’s no secret that my closet is vast, I collect vintage (and other things), view fashion as art, and am a firm believer that we should hang on to the things that bring us joy (even if they aren’t every-day wear).

However, every time I clean out my closet I have this fantasy of going minimalist. I’m convinced I’m going to get rid of SO MUCH. There are clean out theories I subscribe to, that I’ve given you, and I agree that things not being used don’t really have a place in our homes.

Then, I go through my clothes. My babies. And there are things I just can’t part with.

I came across this on Instagram recently:

Investment Piece: Sunday Chronicles
Investment Piece: Sunday Chronicles

(I would love to get credit for this. It clearly isn’t me. Yet–I loved it scrolling in the wee hours when I hadn’t quite woken up yet, but was somehow online. Yes. All of that. I haven’t been able to locate it in my likes or my feed–if you know this genius, please let me know and I will credit them!)

I love this take on the practice of cleaning our closets. There are some things that I WHOLE heartedly agree with: don’t settle for OK, hold out for the best, get rid of things that don’t showcase your best self, etc.

But. There are things that I’m not fully committed to. I think holding onto anything that brings you joy is valid. I think we do have items that are not wholly our every day lives in our closets, but I think that lets us explore things.

This little message really stuck with me. So I made us a video about it:

(Also, YouTube and I may be in a fight for that image being the saved one)

I’d love to know your thoughts on all this. If we want to clean out our closets, why can’t we get rid of stuff?

Wishing us all a week of only the best and amazing shoes! Xo RA

#GreySweatshirt

Investment Piece: #GreySweatshirt
Investment Piece: #greysweatshirt
Investment Piece; #greysweatshirt
Investment Piece: #greysweatshirt

Hear me out.

What if I told you that your sweatshirts were the most versatile item in your fall waredrobe? Yes, I am partial to grey (it’s the BEST neutral), but any sweatshirt will do. There’s this rumor that wearing sweats means that you’ve given up (and at times, no one would blame you). BUT. What if wearing a sweatshirt gave you freedom?

Sweatshirts go with anything. Workout? Sweatshirt. Running errands? Sweatshirt. Jeans and no matter what shoes? Sweatshirt. Pants and skirts? Sweatshirt.

This vintage Chanel? Classic staple. And yet, I love the switch up that comes from wearing it with a grey sweatshirt. (Side note: I cannot take credit for the thought of wearing my sweatshirts inside out, which is genius for this fall-but-not-really-fall weather. Another blogger deserves credit -@seaofshoes–but I have taken this idea, run with it, let it change my life, and I can’t stop wearing them this way)

I think of this as the ultimate “transition” into fall. A sweatshirt: inside out, graphic, it doesn’t matter; a classic skirt, a classic pump (even in animal print). Perfect for crisp mornings, and you won’t overheat when it gets hot (if you’re lucky and it’s already cool all day where you live, I’m so jealous).

And loves, you’re wearing a sweatshirt!
And if you’re me, you’re wearing a grey sweatshirt!

Investment Piece: #greysweatshirt
Investment Piece: #greysweatshirt
Investment Piece: #greysweatshirt

In all honesty, I can’t think of something that a grey sweatshirt doesn’t go with (or make better). The more structured the better, though I love an oversized one (for comfort’s sake). This new way of wearing them inside out? It hides the fact that I’ve been known to wear the same grey sweatshirt more than one day in a row (not kidding), and I feel like it opens up some styling options.

I still love them with skirts. And jeans. And leggings.

Would you rock your sweatshirt inside out? What do you wear your sweatshirts with?

This skirt is vintage Chanel via Garment-Modern, these shoes are years old (but still faves), and this grey sweatshirt is actually a college number (inside out). I’ve linked similar items for your shopping pleasure 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!