Classics are Falling

a woman in front of fall trees in black leather skirt and top with a camel coat
a woman in black leather separates and a camel coat in front of fall tress
a woman in black leather separates and a camel coat in front of fall trees
close up of black loafers and a black leather skirt
a woman in black leather separates and a camel coat in front of fall trees

It’s such an interesting time of year- heading into winter and the holiday season, which means I want snow, but it’s just the end of fall and the trees (at least here) are finally turning colors- and falling. December, with all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, is really a month of transitions. From the true end of fall to the official beginning of winter. The holiday season. Ending one year and welcoming another one. Reassessing goals and making new ones.
With all the endings and beginnings maybe it’s on point that both leaves and snow have a chance of falling.
And maybe it’s not what falls, or ends or begins, but what we do with it that matters. At this time of year, in particular, classics are what serve me. From traditions to outfits (note party dresses and sequins are included in classics! Or for me they are!), classics are my comfort, my go-to, and all I need. These classics? Black leather (or faux!) separates (midi and tube top) paired with a camel coat and loafers. For work. For play. For all that falls.

a woman in black leather separates and a camel coat in front of fall tress

While there are so many traditions and party looks to come, I’m enjoying these classics now (and will be leaning on them halfway into December when I’m not sure what to wear). I’ve also linked similar classics 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!

a woman in black leather separates and a camel coat in front of fall trees

Fashion Stories: Hostess Dress

a woman in a purple hostess dress on a red couch

This is the time of year when we’re looking for looks that are festive but yet, super comfy. Or at least I am. I love me a good party dress, I can’t resist a party dress, but at this time of year, I’m usually a bit overwhelmed and a bit behind, so while I want to be in a party dress I still need to be comfy.

My secret weapon for this? A hostess dress. Part fancy robe, part party dress that lets you go from
This:
a woman in a purple cape dress spinning
to this:
a woman in a purple hostess dress un bed

OR in simple terms a hostess dress is:
The idea of a hostess outfit as somewhere between loungewear and partywear has been around since the 1920s. In 1925, Vogue decided pajamas were de rigueur, especially should you be able to acquire an Elsa Schiaparelli housecoat-and-pajama-pants set. In the ’60s, caftans and palazzo pants became the hostess outfit du jour. Since then, the idea of dressing up for company tends to mean something fancy and not all that comfortable. (read more on these thoughts here)
or you could put a hostess dress like:
an informal dress or robe to entertain at home.

Incredibly popular in the 1940s-60s, you can read more about hostess gowns here and here. But yes, hostess gowns are part robe/part party dress, sometimes more sheer, sometimes more embroidered, but for me- the perfect combination of chic and comfy.

A woman in a black and green hostess dress at a backyard party
This is a hostess dress.

As is my new favorite (purple with a but of a cape):
a woman in a purple hostess dress leaning against a wall

There are so many hostess dresses out there (I’ve linked some of my vintage favorites for you below, and my go-to sites are Esty and the Gem app) but for me, what ties them together is the mix of lounge wear and party wear. Hostess dress were the first dresses (or pant suits!) to toe the line between pajamas and ball gowns. And as much as I love party dresses, I also love lounge and fancy pjs, so I think that hostess dresses are heaven. (I also love the idea that in days gone past, people would just throw these on to have neighbors over for drinks or even just to chat with their husband!)

woman in a silver caftan in front of a balcony

Since Covid, I’ve discovered a passion from caftans- which are a direct descendant from hostess dresses, which explains part of my love of hostess dresses. As they range from more formal to incredibly informal, there is a hostess gown (especially as wearing vintage makes it even more special!) for every holiday party or at home drink you have on your calendar!

Have you ever worn a hostess dress? Do you love them as much as I do? I hope that you find a part robe/ball gown aka hostess dress that lets you tell all of the most amazing holiday fashion stories this season. And I also hope that said hostess dress keeps you comfy as you look amazingly chic. Again, I’m linking my current favorites below (including a green exact copy of this purple one!), if you need help finding your perfect hostess dress please let me know!

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 purple hostess dress in a doorway

Into the Fire

A woman in plaid shirt and black pants standing by a Christmas Tree

This year my (USA) Thanksgiving plans got derailed. I was planning to go to my Dad’s with my sister, but we all got a bit sick, and out of safety canceled (we’re all fine and none of us have C19!).Rearranging it all felt a bit like putting out fires. While we had big plans, I have to admit that laying low, being on the couch, treating my down time like a vacation without responsibilities, has been completely invigorating. In fact, getting myself geared up for the new week (aka today) and the season (which is always so big and filled) has proven much more difficult than anticipated.

Which is a nice way of saying that a part of me wanted to stay on the couch forever. (And yet, because of who I am as a person, also wanted to get all the party dresses) I know that this means that I need to learn how to add rest into my regular schedule, but I’ve also taken it to mean that I need to ensure that this holiday season, a season which is typically busy and overwhelming, has things that bring me maximum joy (I do think joy can be a choice). So, what am I choosing?

a blonde woman with a black skirt and coat by a red candy cane

To maximize joy and make sure I’m not just getting into the fire- you know the crazy at this time of year-I’ve been actively choosing to schedule things that not only feel like the holidays, but are special to me. I’m also working on making sure that content and looks and holiday I’m putting out there are “real” to me- aka I love a great holiday dress, but are we wearing them all the time? What can we do to be special and comfy? How do we get into the fire (do all the things and be all the merry) and keep our sanity? I’m working out all of that (and ironically going between sweats and party dresses) and in the meantime making sure the following are in my calendar:

-looking at Christmas lights, and planning my own. It’s my one Suburban treat- I love putting up lights and looking at others. Making plans to go look at multiple lights, go to festivals of lights, and trying to make our house this year look as festive as possible

-buying and gifting things I truly love. This is a yearly goal, but knowing I need some rest and yet love party dresses I’m attempting to marry the comfort and high end looks. Also, attempting to make sure that my calendar is full of both parties and rest to get the most of all the things I’m buying!

-time with my loves. I know this is very typical this time of year. And yet, time with my chosen family has been super difficult since the pandemic. So, I’m making dates for FaceTime, friend dates, and me dates. I want to enjoy all the minutes and look fabulous doing so- and am actively working on making room for both!

a blonde woman in a black velvet dress in front of a dresser with a small Christmas tree on top of it

This list sounds a bit trite, a bit common, and a bit what you’re expecting. I know that it’s my job to make sure that all of those things on my list are me- from party dresses to the joy that lights bring me to my time. I can’t wait to share all of my takes on these things with you. I can’t wait to shop and celebrate with you. These things are what’s getting me off the couch and into the fire.

How was your holiday? What are you looking forward to this holiday season? And how are you planning on balancing it all? I would love to know!

It is a big shopping week so below I’ve listed some of my current sale finds!
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 plaid pants and a grey sweater sits on stairs next to a nutcracker

Happy Thanksgiving!

A woman in a white jumpsuit lounges on a piano by a Christmas tree

I’m taking the rest of the week off to be with family, eat, and shop sales. You can shop with me in either the ShopStyle or LTK apps (and of course I’ll be posting on IG). New posts here will be back on Monday. In the meantime, I hope you and yours have a happy Thanksgiving, that you get some rest, that you wear something comfy and chic and that you get all the deals that make your heart happy!

I also hope that you take some time for you and those you love!
I’m so incredibly grateful for you!
XO RA

I’m also loving these pearl jewelry keepsakes for my loves during the holiday seasons: Pacific Tasman Holdings Pty Ltd

Flawed

it’s the official kick off to the holidays in the States (or is that Halloween? According to the stores, we’re at NYE so I have no clue any more!) and it’s a season of joy and hope, acceptance for our neighbors. But it’s also one where I deeply feel any and all of my shortcomings. I still have these marks on my back (I did just get a new serum and will update you about it!), and while I want to wear backless things this season I felt some fear about that come up. So I went back to this. No matter what, I hope that this holiday season you wear things that make you happy- no matter what they show, no matter what people think, no matter what you fear. You are gorgeous. Including all your flaws. We all are.

Reread this one with me and let’s wear what we love! XO RA

Investment Piece: Flawed
Investment Piece: Flawed
Investment Piece: Flawed
Investment Piece: Flawed
Investment Piece: Flawed
Investment Piece: Flawed

She had blue skin,
And so did he.
He kept it hid
And so did she.
They searched for blue
Their whole life through,
Then passed right by-
And never knew.
-Shel Silverstein

Flawed. We all are, to some extent. And we live in a world that asks us to hide our flaws, especially in our fashion. How many articles have you read about dressing to hide your “problem areas”? There are whole theories of thought about how our arms as they age are “flawed” and should never be shown. Magazines, though not the only culprit, will let us know that if our parts aren’t “perfect”, we should do all we can to detract from that and showcase other body parts.
But, what if?
And hear me out on this,
What if we saw those “flawed” pieces of ourselves as something not to hide, but to celebrate. What if we could view our flaws as art, and not be concerned if our fashion showed them off?
Investment Piece: Flawed

I have back problems. (A little nerve damage) And as part of my therapies to manage pain and spasms, I often use heat, cupping, stretching, and strengthening. (Thank you, Pilates!) However, some of this can leave marks on my back, they can vary in color and pattern, but they can be very noticeable, and I thought of them as flaws. I’m a huge fan of low back numbers, but would avoid them so that no one would see my flaws.

What changed? I’m not sure. At this point I wish I could tell you some great ephinay or sage advice that lead me to embrace my flaws. Honestly, one day I think I got tired of not wearing what I wanted to. So I stopped. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t days when I don’t get self conscious about showing off something I might have to explain. But. We all have flaws, and I try to remember what we can view as flawed in ourselves might be what someone else likes.
Most of all, our flaws shouldn’t stop us from wearing things we love. Flawed. Let’s show it off

I can’t tell you how much I recommend a low back dress, and these fringed boots make everything a little more fun. Similar pieces are linked below!

I’m really curious: what do you think are your flaws and do you “dress around” them?

Sidenote- our 2nd gift guide to newsletter subscribers goes out this Wednesday. It’s in honor of my Dad and Sis- aka you don’t want to miss it! Sign up for our newsletter and let’s also get to gift giving!
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!

Ex Files : Holiday Break Ups

It’s that time of year.
The Holiday Season.
Cuffing Season.
Breakup Season.

While I have way too many break-up and bad dating stories (see my usual spiel and favorite links here: em>It’s ex-files, where we stop chatting fashion for just a minute and talk dating horror stories. An attempt to be like Carrie Bradshaw? Sure. But let’s be honest, dating horror stories are both horrifying and funny. Names may have been changed to protect identities, some details moved about. Hungry for more? Try: Tinder on an Airplane, Jumping to Conclusions, and The One Who Asked for his Money Back. There are quite a few more when you search “ex files” in the search tab!” Also if you want to be written warmly about- behave better! )

So Because we’re heading into the season of both awful breakups and coupling, I’ve rounded up my favorite breakup and make up stories for you!

target=”_Blank>8 Holiday Stories that are Neither Merry nor Bright

6 of the worst Christmas Breakup Stories EVER

On How to be Single Right now Tis the Season to be Single

here and here

I know that this upcoming week is a stressful one between travel, family, and the holiday. It also is the “official” holiday season start” with comes with its own pressure and stresses. Going through a break up, getting cuffed, dealing with family, being alone- for all and any of it I wish that it is both easy and a bit joyful!

Happy Holiday Week! XO RA

For Me, It’s the Vibes

 WOMAN in s strapless black top, black pants, kitten heels, camel coat, and bamboo handle Gucci purse
a woman in a strapless black top, pants, camel coat and bamboo Gucci bag
a woman in a strapless black top and pants, camel coat
a woman in a black strapless top, pants, kitten heels, camel coat on her shoulders, bamboo Gucci bag

This outfit read 1960s to me. And who doesn’t want to be a 60s goddess? From big hair (yes, on me it fell!) to a matching set (how could you not love this button down top with a cropped pant!) to accessories (yep, the kitten heel to the camel coat to the vintage Gucci bag, which they have made a newer version of!). We could chat eras. And modern meets vintage. Or how the accessories can make an outfit, or how a camel coat is the chicest thing you could add to any outfit. But for all of those very valid points, they don’t matter when comes to the total overview of what you’re wearing
It comes down to how your outfit makes you feel.
And for me, always, it’s the vibes.

a woman in a strapless top with gold buttons and black pants, kitten heels, bamboo Gucci bag and a camel coat
a woman in a black strapless top with gold buttons and black pants, camel coat on her shoulders
black pants, kitten heels, bamboo Gucci bag

I love the vibes of this outfit. 1960s yet modern. Warm (please out on your coat if you’re chilled!) but chic. Yet, a bit luxe- do you need to pair with Gucci? Not at all. Camel, especially coats, makes everything look more expensive. A coat around the shoulders? So chic. Bamboo or any contrasting detail? Luxe. The vibes here are rich, luxe, the best or retro, and I’m obsessed with them all.

Lately, I’ve been drawn to outfits and fashion pieces that felt fun. Why not? It’s a time of year when we’re all focused on party looks, over the top looks, or any holiday look. In the meantime we still have work, events, etc that may not call for all out holiday regalia but we want to look chic for. This outfit? Hit the nail for me. Slightly 1960s (though you could pair with any shoe I love the kitten heel, and it adds to the 1960s vibe), very chic (you could also tease your hair, add a cat eye for more details), and yet work or cocktail appropriate. (I love the addition of the camel coat!)

a woman in strapless top and black pants, camel coat, kitten heels, bamboo Gucci bag,
a woman in a strapless black top, pants, camel coat, kitten heels, bamboo Gucci bag,

This pant set is new and I’ve linked it for you (note I feel like the top runs a bit big. I LOVE the combo and the vibes, note the top does have a built in bra, but I would still err on the side of small especially if you run small on top!). It’s my new favorite as I love the 19060s vibes and how you could wear it from work to parties, and yet stay ever so chic. Bag, shoes and coat are from seasons past but I’ve linked you similar.

What kind of vibes are you recreating this year? What are you wearing to all of the life between holiday parties? I would love to hear about it!
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 strapless black top, pants, camel coat, kitten heels, bamboo Gucci bag

Thanksgiving Outfits

A woman n a floral dress setting a table

Every year I struggle with Thanksgiving outfits- both for myself and for you. Each Thanksgiving is so different- I’ve been to “dinners” that involved wearing sweats on the couch, gone to 5 star dinners in cocktail dresses, worn jeans, day dresses- and everything in between. I’ve spent the holiday alone (which was nice!) at big gatherings and more intimate family dinners. Beyond styling for a wide variety of holiday dinners, you also want your holiday outfit to be comfortable (and maybe not so tight!). All of these considerations can make finding the perfect outfit for Thanksgiving a bit daunting.

I don’t know what you’re planning for Thanksgiving (and if American Thanksgiving is not your holiday you can apply this to almost any big or small family dinner!), or how fancy you want to get. But, I’ve put together a few outfits ranging from fancy to casual (of course you can mix and match them all!) that I think would be stunning for any family or Friendsgiving. From jeans to dresses (and note- leggings and a sweater is always a great go-to!), these outfits will keep you chic, and comfy, while you’re being grateful and eating pie!

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

On The Fancy Side
collage of a blue dress, boots, bag and jewelry
The blue silk is so chic and the low heeled boots can keep you on your feet (for cocktail hour and seconds!) Shop this look here

collage of a floral maxi dress, velvet flats, black clutch, headband, gold earrings
Floral maxi, velvet flats, and easy accents makes this such a chic outfit (and also comfy enough to be in it all day!) Shop this look here

a woman in a sweater dress, boots and a hat
Sweater dresses are some of my faves because they can be dressed up or dressed down. Pair with boots for a classically chic outfit. Super comfy and super chic, meaning the best of Thanksgiving worlds. (Also neutral knits leave you so much room to accessorize in any way you love!). Shop my fave dresses and boots here.

On The Casual Side
collage of a suede skirts, clogs, white shirt and gold jewelry
A skirt, a chic take on a button down, and easy accessories. This look is perfect for any Friendsgiving you’re attending. Shop the look here

a collage of floral turtleneck, wide leg jean, gold sandal, black bag and gold hoop earrings
Pair a fitted turtleneck with wide leg jeans (very forgiving), gold shoes, and any bag- chic enough for dinner and comfy enough to take you from the table to the couch! Shop the look
Jeans. Sweater. And a super on trend quilted coat. Pair with sneakers and a tote (perfect for taking leftovers home!). I love the ease of this look, and it’s perfect for any flag football games! Shop the look