Did I do It?

a woman in balloon jeans a black tee and an oversized belt with black suede mules
a woman in balloon jeans with a black tee and an oversized belt and black suede mules
a woman in balloon jeans with a black tee and an oversized belt and black suede mules
a woman in balloon jeans with a black tee and an oversized belt and black suede mules
a woman in balloon jeans with a black tee and an oversized belt and black suede mules

I have never. EVER. been great at a just throwing on a jeans and a tee. See here, and here
I always feel that something is missing. I have the instinct to dress up. To throw on heels. Or something. Jeans and a tee? I have always felt that this sort of causal was not me at best, or at least, I always needed something to style them.

And then.

I got these balloon jeans (styled similar ones here) and all of a sudden event a tee feels like a statement. Is it that the jeans are a bit of a statement? A style? A bit of letting me feel as if just a tee was aok. There are so many people-from you to those in your lives to influencers who make it seem like jeans and a tee are just something you do. You might be one of those people!

Yet. As someone who has constantly overthought jeans- and all the outfits pertaining- I can tell you just throwing on jeans and a tee is so misleading. Fun fact about me? I don’t think that I wore jeans at all till I was at least 8yos. I was so much more interested in party dresses and leotards. Beloveds, we are who are are! And yet. Perhaps it’s the jeans, perhaps it’s me growing as a person-but somehow I was able to throw on jeans and a tee and be done with it.

Is this it? Did I do it?

Ok. So the slightly oversized belt helped! (vintage but I did find you similar!) And these mules! SO perhaps I felt as if the outfit was a bit elevated. Note: we haven’t chatted about the legs or waist or more!Not that any of that doesn’t matter. Or maybe it does? At the very least- did I do it? Did I manage to pull off jeans and a tee chicly and without a care and whiteout doing too much?

I certainly hope so! What do you think?

Same jeans and a similar tee and options for belts and shoes below. I will be honest and tell you that with jeans and a tee it can be great to accessorize, but having the confidence to just throw on a jeans and a tee will earn my admiration (like I hope my love of shoes and party dress and where I wear them does the same for you!)

How do you deal with just a jeans and a tee? How comfortable are you just throwing them on?
XO RA

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

Exact jeans here

a woman in balloon jeans, a black tee and a belt and black suede mules

Striped and Short

a woman in a blue and white striped romper with lace up navy suede sandals
a woman in a blue and white striped romper with lace up navy suede sandals
a woman in a blue and white striped romper with lace up navy suede sandals
a woman in a blue and white striped romper with lace up navy suede sandals
a woman in a blue and white striped romper with lace up navy suede sandals

I have no idea if I read it or I made it up- but I had the idea that we were supposed to wear bright colors for the eclipse on Monday. ** Either way, I had the perfect outfit- this blue and white striped romper. Now I will admit a few things:
-I am beginning to get nervous about wearing shorts. And I hate that as it has nothing to do with anything other than my age. (I got into this a little bit here)
-Rompers. And jumpsuits. Are always a bit of a game of chance for me. Not due to traditional sizing (I sized up here!) but due to torso length. I have a LONG torso, so finding items long enough is half the battle- not to mention a romper/jumpsuit that’s cute and fits in every other way!

Lucky for us all- this blue and white striped and short romper was and is perfect. I don’t feel as if I’m trying too hard in it. And it looks great with “fancier” shoes as well as with flip flops. (Note: as mentioned I did slightly size up in this to ensure it wasn’t too tight and short and to give just a bit in torso length. Checking size guides and reviews does come in handy here!) This striped and short is great for running around in, or for events. I love that it’s a bit classic (color and pattern- and a great rule of thumb is to stay a bit on the classic side if you’re nervous) but the shorts and the details (a la buttons, etc) make it feel a bit edgy. And let’s be honest feeling as if our outfits are a bit fresh and unstuffy can help us feel more special. In this striped and short I didn’t even notice that it was short! Though I did love the stripes!

What did you wear for the eclipse? Did you also think that we needed to be in bright colors? And how do you feel about wearing shorts?

I’ve linked this exact romper (I’m usually an XS in this brand, this is a Small) and similar shoes for you below! XO

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!

**Side note: The eclipse was amazing. It was cloudy but we did get a break to see the ring and full totality. When the sun was completely covered it got dark- like DARK, street lights and lights on timers went on, it got colder, birds went a bit crazy- it was eerie and magical and moving all at the same time. I hope your eclipse experience was just as amazing.

a woman in a blue and white striped romper with lace up navy suede sandals

Future So Bright…

a womann in a pink and blue jacket looking up with eclipse glasses on

It’s the Day of the eclipse! Which depending on ALOT may be BIG things for you (change, etc) or it may just be another natural phenomenon. I am in between- I don’t think there is some huge meaning, but I do think it’s a bit cool and a bit exciting. We are supposed to get some full totality looks, but it is also supposed to be cloudy here today–so I guess we’ll see!

I am currently more interested in why we get excited about things such as this eclipse. We are told from every angle how much we control so much of our lives- so why do we all get excited at some event causing complete change? Is it because we want to believe in something bigger than us? Do we feel out of control as if there are things we can’t help?

And. Then. So importantly- what do we wear to a life changing event? Do we dress up? Embrace our day to day? I’ve gone through many different outfits in my head- and I have no idea what’s best!

I guess on both fronts we will have to see (and at least on the outfit front I will report back!)

Here’s hoping whatever happens today that it’s exciting in all the good ways- and that our outfits are on point!!

XO RA

Sunday Chronicles: Making A Mess First

Ironically I’m right back in this place again. Part of my closet that I designed collapsed – it was my fault! I didn’t screw a rod in! But it’s sent me into disarray. And again, I’m needing tweaks in my scheduled and to clean- and redo my closet. Weirdly, while it can feel not great to be at certain place again, it feels a bit reassuring to know that I have been here before- and made it. So. I will make it again. Does it ever bring you comfort that you have done things before so you know you can do it again?

a close up of shoe boxes on a shelf above a hanging shelf

I’m finally- finally- turning a room in my house into a full closet for me. A long time wish/goal/want- and great for not only business but my clothes! At first, when the decision was made and I began to clear out and rearrange my closets and furniture, I truly thought the process would take a 1 day, maybe 2 at most. We’re currently 2 weeks into this- what I know will be worth it- redo (and yes, we’re redoing other rooms and I have multiple work and other obligations too) and it’s at the point where we’re a mess.

There are clothes I can’t get to, clothes I can’t see. Rooms I can’t walk in. There are days I’ve spent dirty and worried that even with a plan and a vision that I’ve done nothing but made a mess. And maybe I have. But here’s the thing: sometimes making a mess is the only way to move forward.

While that’s perhaps not a novel thought, as it seems that everyone a big change in my life happens- from moves to jobs to well, anything- it’s a lesson that feels new each time. My life is kind of a mess right now. Starting with my rooms and my closet and my house. It’s not that I can’t see how things will get better, but often when cleaning and rearranging, you do actually have to make a mess first. Science? Or just a fact that you have to get everything out then get it back in.

In the mess of all of this, I have started a new day job. *** I’m still dealing with family grief from a loss this summer. And, as we all say, am trying to keep up with our health and social lives and all the thing.If you tell me you never struggle with time management I’ll laugh! Especially at times like these- I have the feeling if I had a few days with absolutely NO other obligations or worries that the closet redo would be done so quickly and easily. But- how do you get a few days with NOTHING?

When it’s done, I can’t wait to show you my closet. OR new closet space. Yes- I think making a specific space for anything that you need- from a closet to an office to a hobby room to a gym- is a brave thing and a must. (If we’re gonna thrive we need places for it!) But the process is messy. Daily I’m reminded that the way up is to make the mess, then clean it up. Make the mess then clean it up.

There are so many times and things in life that this applies to. And that is both uncomfortable and comforting. Usually when we make changes in life- from those we don’t want to those we do-there’s a mess made before we put ourselves back together. From breakups to moves to job changes to glow ups and everything in between, I’ve found this to be true. Has mess ever been easier to deal with? Not really.

That’s a thing I’m working on. Currently, I’m trusting that the mess I’m making will end up in the best (or maybe better!) of my plans. Because to clean or build we gotta be a little messy, right?

How do you deal with the mess that comes before a redo or a break through? Any tips are appreciated!

Wishing us all a week of cleaning up messes and amazing shoes! XO RA

*** Very much a side note, and probably a whole other article. I’ve always been embarrassed about having day jobs. Yet, as they say, Gucci doesn’t buy itself. I LOVE my fashion work- and think it’s part of my calling. I LOVE acting- and think it’s part of my calling. And yet. Those industries have never paid out on a regular basis for me. So I do other jobs too. Perhaps that keeps me young? Skill sets fresh? Whatever way, I’m working on accepting that day jobs are a part of this wonderful journey!***

Proportion Play

a woman in curved black jeans with a cream corset top with tassels and red stripy rose sandals
a woman in curved black jeans with a cream corset top with tassels and red stripy rose sandals
a woman in curved black jeans with a cream corset top with tassels and red stripy rose sandals

In all of the trends and all of the things there are always things we are a bit skeptical of. I-even as someone who will tell you that I am in fashion- am immune to. This season? It’s barrel (or curve) jeans). Sometimes, let’s just be honest, it’s s bit intimidating to style an unknown- even if the unknown is just to you. For example, this season its barrel leg (or curve leg like these exact jeans!). It’s a take on wide leg that’s a bit exaggerated- and perhaps a bit intimidating. As in-how do we style a leg that is supposed to and is designed to bow out?

My take? To play with proportions!

(Note: There are so many takes on this curve.barrel trend you could take. On the pairs I’ve invested in? I’m getting my true size- as I feel as if you get too oversized they just look baggy and while a new thing for me I kinda like the curve leg! These exact jeans and other options are linked for you below!)

a woman in curved black jeans with a cream corset top with tassels and red stripy rose sandals
a woman in curved black jeans with a cream corset top with tassels and red stripy rose sandals
a woman in curved black jeans with a cream corset top with tassels and red stripy rose sandals
a woman in curved black jeans with a cream corset top with tassels and red stripy rose sandals

My take with any proportion that feels BIG or SMALL is to play with it. Or to balance it. AKA – how can you match or mismatch the proportions to find a sweet spot that not only makes you feel comfortable but makes your outfit feel even. Some basic examples may be a low cut top with a slightly longer skirt (or the inverse), or in this case a bit of wide or curved jeans that might be balanced in a tighter top.

In this case- curved (slight barrel jeans) with a corset top (and this in in particular felt like the corsets from couture week (and the tassels!) and the tight with the loose? (Obviously in generic terms) It’s so great. And chic. And made me feel so elevated.

Sometimes- and this is a me thing- I think we get scared of proportions. We want to be the stream lined or best lined version. Or just me? So s trend that goes against that – barrel leg, curve, wide leg- can be scary!! I’m with you! But what if the “new” silhouette was just an opportunity to play! Can we pair a tight top with flowing bottoms? Should we mix and match coverage on our fashion? Or should we play with our proportions from big to small to anteing in between?

In of that, I am a fan. Perhaps our proportions are just there for us to play and experiment and pair all sorts of big and small (fitted or non fitted) items together. Should we try to contrast? Should we match sizes (for lack of a better word)? I know that I have loved a bit of proportion play in that I love pairing a bit more form fitting top with a flared bottom. Or perhaps a loose top with tight pants Balance. Or a bit of proportion play.

I love this take on paring a tight with a loose- or however you want to interpret proportion play. How do you play with promotions? What would you like to see?

There is a future post about barrel leg jeans- so if that’s something you’re curious about I would say-PLAY! You could also size up and just let them be baggy! (IF you have specific questions please don’t hesitate to reach out!)

These exact jeans and similar tops and shoes are linked below. Let’s play with our proportions, shall we?! XO RA

a woman in curved black jeans with a cream corset top with tassels and red stripy rose sandals

Designer Spotlight: Ossie Clark

Investment Piece: Designer Spotlight: Ossie Clark

There are certain designers so infamous that they have their own cult following, on top of the fame that the brand demands. Ossie Clark is one of them; I have a girlfriend and we spend a good chunk of our weeks DMing Ossie Clark pictures to each other on Instagram. His designs are that iconic, swoon worthy, and shareable.

What should you know about Ossie Clark? That he designed for the rich and famous? That he’s considered responsible for “bohemian” dresses? The Swinging Sixties? That he’s the English answer to YSL? Yes, all of that, and more.
Investment Piece: Designer Spotlight: Ossie Clark

Ossie was born Raymond Clark in England, 1942. He began making clothes for dolls and the neighborhood girls before he was 10. Through the encouragement of the art teacher at this school, Ossie found fashion; and poured over the Vogue and Bazaar his teacher gave him. Ossie also studied architecture, and the fundamentals of proportion, height, and volume would become paramount to his career as a fashion designer. After his basic schooling, Ossie studied at the Regional College of Art in Manchester. (Note, Ossie’s commute to school was so long his mother gave him pills to stay awake, beginning Ossie’s life long struggle with drug use). During his college days at Manchester, he met and fell in love with Celia Birtwell, and became great friends with David Hockney. Both relationships would be profoundly important in Ossie’s life.

After completing school in Manchester, Ossie attended the Royal College of Art in London. Here, Ossie used the influences of pop art and Hollywood Glamour to design a line (first carried by Woodlands 21). Ossie’s career was then on the fast track, he got his first feature in Vogue in August of 65; and was asked by Alice Pollock to be the co-designer at Quorum. Ossie partnered with his muse, and future wife, Celia Birtwell, who did the prints/fabrics while Ossie did the designing/cutting/patterns. Ossie Clark became synonymous with free following, prints, muted colors, crepe fabrics, snakeskin jackets; as well as the celebrities he dressed: Bianca Jagger (her wedding dress), the Beatles, Marianne Faithful, Liza Minnelli, among others.

When you think of Sixities Fashion you may think mod-the miniskirts, the shifts, the go-go boots. Ossie changed that. He designed to flatter a woman’s body. As the Telegraph put it:
“The square cut, mini shift dresses that projected an adolescent, coltish figure, all knees and elbows, gave way to a sinuous shape lines that celebrated women’s curves. The typical Clark gown boasted the sensuousness of the female form: the arched small of the back, the rounded haunch, an impossibly long neck, a rangy thigh, all slip sliding against satin or matte jersey.”

What I think of when I think of an Ossie Clark piece are the details: buttons, sleeves that puff or flare, the illusion of floating but the impeccable tailoring, the feel that the piece could be from the 40s, 70s, or today. Ossie Clark designs are a true collectors item, and make the woman wearing it look exquisite.

Investment Piece: Designer Spotlight: Ossie Clark
Investemnt Piece: Designer Spotlight: Ossie Clark

Ossie Clark was a “true” artist and creative: obsessed with art and music, not great at business ends, and he was given to bouts of depression (made worse by his drug use). His clothes and line were groundbreaking in many ways: they changed the shape of fashion, his was the first line to feature black models in their runway shows (in the UK), and his love life was the source of great joy and sorrow. Ossie married Celia Birtwell (they would have 2 kids, which by all accounts were the loves of his life), and when they divorced it ruined Ossie in many ways. His line went in and out of bankruptcy; the 70s gave way to Punk Rock and Vivenne Westwood, making Ossie obsolete. He had love affairs with both men and women, and finally seemed to be pulling himself together cutting patterns for Ghost Label, when he was stabbed to death by an ex-lover in 1996.

While his life read like the Hollywoof movies he so loved, what we should take away from Ossie Clark is the love and joy that he put into his collections. You can find Ossie Clark on Etsy, 1stDibs and many high end vintage dealers. The price may be high, but if you get an Ossie, you’re getting a true work of art!

XO RA

Red and Black and Dots All Over

a woman in black and white polka dot long sleeved blouse and short shorts with red cage sandals
a woman in black and white polka dot long sleeved blouse and short shorts with red cage sandals
a woman in black and white polka dot long sleeved blouse and short shorts with red cage sandals

You know, you know-I have a thing for dots. In fact, I have never met a polka dot I didn’t love. And this spring? Shorts are in (I know, they are always in but this year they are IN) so I couldn’t resit a dotted set. The black and white keep it a bit classic, even with the shorts (more thoughts on those below). What I can’t resist here? Pairing this very classic black and white with a pop of red. The red is a simple pop of color, but the combo of red and black and white is a classic set all on its own.

To me this was the classic set, a must have- and it also felt a bit daring. Here are the usual caveats: sets are great as you can wear them together or apart in every way under the sun. Dots are my favorite pattern and I can’t resist dots in a classic black and white combo. And I love, love love adding red to the mix! It’s a pop of color that is a classic as well!

a woman in a black and white polka dot blouse and short shorts with red cage sandals
a woman in a black and white polka dot blouse and short shorts with red cage sandals
a woman in a black and white polka dot blouse and short shorts with red cage sandals

This is where I get a little personal and let you know that I did worry that these shorts were too short. And that I was too old for them. I hate thinking that-I hate these thoughts that come across my mind now and again as we age. Ironically? I would tell you if you asked me that age is just a number and if it something that you love, you should wear it. That too old is not something to worry about when you get dressed. (I know hem length is a personal issue and won’t go down that hole with us!)

Yet. When it comes to me? Even in a red and black and white set that I find so chic and so me- and fits so well? I worried about the being old thing. (And being too short! And worst of all the combo that I was too old and they were too short and I was trying too hard!) Why can’t we by friends to ourselves and support ourselves like we would support our friends? I have no answers, this is something I clearly struggle with. What I do know is that this set was so me, I couldn’t let a little insecurity stop me from wearing it. Which is great- as this is what I want to wear all season!

This set is actually from Zara (Shirt and Shorts (you can always size up to your comfort level! I did in the shorts but love that they are so high waisted!). Yes, I have mixed feelings about ordering from Zara but the set does feel good! I’ve also linked some similar options for you below.

Have thoughts about dots or pops of red or how not to worry about your age? I am all ears!
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!

a woman in a black and white polka dot blouse and short shorts with red cage sandals

Happy Easter!

close up of a chic hat with black and white polka dotted bunny ears

Beloveds! This weekend is Easter. If you’re celebrating, I hope that your celebrations are full of people (and food you love!). If you’re not celebrating, I hope that this weekend is restful- and still full of things you love. I’m taking the day to be with family and celebrate the holiday- we’ll be back tomorrow with fresh fashion!

Happy Holidays!
XOXO
RA

Lavender Haze

a woman in a lavender maxi dress and gold wedge boots
a woman in a lavender maxi dress and gold wedge boots
a woman in a lavender maxi dress and gold wedge boots

A spring pastel that I can get behind? Lavender. Just spring enough. Just daring enough.
Here I love the cowl collar I love that this dress feels fresh but is just easy to throw on. I love the gold clash. The storm? Was a bit a luck.

And this back? I love it. It’s a bit more than I would usually do (yes. I know I have some marks from old injuries- we all have things we are hiding!)

Maybe the song is right, maybe we should all stay in the lavender haze.

a woman in a lavender maxi dress and gold wedge boots
a woman in a lavender maxi dress and gold wedge boots
a woman in a lavender maxi dress and gold wedge boots

Some notes:
This dress is not new- I have been waiting till my back looked better to wear it- though I have to say acceptance is a lesson of its own. I kinda love it paired with boots (though any maxi dress especially in a lavender color would look amazing with any show from sandals to heels to wedges). A dress like this could absolutely be dressed down. Dressed up.

Perhaps this post is a bit less about their exact outfit and a bit more about how to dress in colors that make you feel great and bring you joy. You should. A bit about how to let go of what others think and your perceived or not flaws and find that you can love anything you put on- as long as you love it.

Note. Those are not easy lessons and things to deal with. I am constantly struggling – not only with these lessons but writing with them and how to deal with my own ego.

Maybe the lasting message is staying in our own lavender haze is fantastic- and whatever makes us feel great there is something we should take with us.

a woman in a lavender maxi dress and gold wedge boots

I have linked options including these amazing boots that I can’t stop pairing with everything.
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!


a woman in a lavender maxi dress and gold wedge boots

Fashion Stories: Skirt Suit

a woman in a black and white pleated skirt skirt with black mules
a woman in a green and pink and black rose print skirt suit
a woman in a black and white pleated skirt suit
a woman in a green and black and pink rose print skirt suit

During the “lockdowns” I began to watch Golden Girls and Murder She Wrote, among other classics on the regular. (There is a whole other article and thought process about those shoes and the Guest Stars!) Whenever I get really into a show, I can’t help but let it influence my fashion- fashion is stories after all and so are our favorite tv shows. Ironically? Since Then? A Matter of Age? I have fallen a bit in love with a skirt suit.

Let’s be clear. I LOVE LOVE LOVE a great suit. I’ve never worked a job that required one. And a skirt suit? It’s a bit old fashioned- but on the other hand a bit forward and so daring. Yes, you can break up these “sets”- wear separately, update, make edgy- all of the things. Yet, I can’t help but be so attracted to – and start collecting skirt suits. Which, now, feel a bit edgy on their own!

a woman in a black and white polka dot pleated skirt suit

This polka dot number (and we know I can never resist a polka dot) is a Fortuny number. For reference Fortuny is both a type of pleat, a a fabric and was a label. You can read more here, here, and here. I’ve also linked some modern polka dots and some Vintage Fortuny for you below. I love these slight balloon sleeves. And the pleats. The blazer would go amazing with any white/black/denim bottom. And pair the skirt with anything from a tank to a sweater to a tee. Add a pop of red (it’s my favorite pop with black and white dots).

And yet. Without all of that- this suit with the cinched waist and the movement in the sleeves feels daring on its own. Any hose. Any shoes. Perhaps a skirt suit is a bit more daring than we ever thought!

a woman in a green and black and pink rose skirt suit

This silk set (which feels perfect for the season) is vintage YSL via here, here, and here for starters. Women in suits? Always a bit daring and always a bit forward thinking.

So. How also are skirt suits the perfect thing for the upcoming religious holidays? How are they modest at the same time? I am not sure– but I know do many of our stories are wrapped in skirt suits- from Easter Sunday (or your own service!) to first jobs to luncheons. The skirt suit is such a staple- and yet still forward.

What is your experience with a skirt suit? And are you wearing one soon?

I’ve linked a mix of Fortuny, modern and vintage skirt suits for your shopping pleasure!
XO RA

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

a woman in a black and white polka dot skirt suit
a woman in a green, black and pink rose printed skirt suit