Year of the Tiger

While we collectively celebrated the new year on 1/1, on 2/1 it’s another “new year”- the lunar new year, or the Chinese New Year. 2022 is the year of the Tiger (water Tiger, to be exact), and in the Chinese zodiac tigers are known as strong, brave, and able to exorcise evil. Red is the good luck color of the Lunar New Year, and wearing tigers and red this year can be considered to bring you good luck throughout 2022 (at this point, I’ll take all the good luck we can!).

(I find Chinese astrology fascinating- you can read more about it here. I’m an Earth Sheep (or goat) and the signs point to me having a good year- I’m hoping that’s true for us all!)

If you’re into the astrology, you’re simply wanting another ritual for good luck, or a reason to shop seasonal and special, the Year of the Tiger has something for you. Brands, from skincare to shoes to dresses, have specialty items to celebrate the Lunar New Year. Below I’ve rounded up my faves.

Will shopping ensure good luck for this Tiger year? These’s only one way to find out!

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: Year of of the Tiger

One of my favorite Year of the Tiger products are these slippers from my beloved Sarah Flint. Fuzzy lined for warmth, arch support, and in a great red suede with that embroidered Tiger. You’ll be brave both pre and post coffee! (Also these would look chic with denim!)
Buy them here and use code SARAHFLINT-BAINVESTMENTPIECE for $50 off!

Beauty
I know, it seems a bit odd to mention Tigers and skin care (or lipsticks) in the same breath, but each lunar new year one of my favorites are the beauty limited editions. From bronzers in the shape of tigers to serums with the red (for good luck), these are the Year of the Tiger limited editions I’m shopping!

Shoes and Bags
From purses shaped like tigers to shoes with tigers on them, to reds, these Year of the Tiger accessories will bring you luck and keep you chic all year long!
These are my favorite from Kate Spade and Tory Burch (both brands do a great job at celebrating the Tiger!)

Clothing
Dress like a tiger, have a tiger on your clothes. Either way, these pieces from Kate Spade, Tory Burch or COS will have you in a celebratory mood, incredibly on trend, stylish- and maybe a bit lucky. If the Year of the Tiger brings good clothes to all of us I won’t be upset about it!

What do you think will bring you the most luck for the year of the Tiger? I’m betting on all of them- and I can’t wait to see us all in various reds and tigers starting 2/1/22. Happy Year of the Tiger loves!

XO RA

Another Year, Another Closet Clean Out

fashion, blogger, closet clean out, clean closet, closet full of clothes, Austin, tx, Los Angeles, ca

About this time, you’ll be seeing, getting, reading all sorts of articles and tips on how to clean out your closet. It’s that time of year. And I get it- I’m a fan of cleaning out closets,I even have my own method which I’ve gone into detail about here, here, and here. Yes, when I clean out my own closet I do these EXACT things. I go through section by section and sort my yes, no, and maybe piles, trying on all my maybes and asking myself questions to see if they fit in my closet (life). Then I sort again, organize and make plans to get rid of my nos.

But. Wanna know a secret?

I haven’t cleaned out my closet in a couple of years. With the pandemic, and all the things, I just haven’t been up to it. Part of it is overwhelm- even though I have a system that works for me, I’m well versed in what I like and what I want my closet to look like, the stories I want to tell with my fashion- going through my clothes right now seems daunting. Some of that is that I know some things I know I need to sort out and replace (like a lot of my sports bras), and the idea of replacing a section seems too much right now. Part of it is that I’m at a loss for what’s happening in the world right now. Am I not wearing things because of the item or fit- or because I’ve been at home for over a year? How do you judge that and what are you doing about it?

Investment Piece: Luxury

If you’re managing to clean out in a way that’s working for you, I can’t tell you how much I admire you. A closet clean out is currently on my list of January goals, and I’m still not even sure how to start it. There are so many things in my closet that I love, some I need to part with, and many that I would love to add- and in this time that’s all a bit much.

SO.
I’m changing at how I’m looking at the closet clean out this year. Will I eventually go through my closet, using my processes and get rid of the things that no longer serve me? Yes. At some point will I replace all the things that I need to (for me, sports bras)? Of course. However, while all of that is still overwhelming, I’m choosing to focus on other aspects of a closet clean out- the organization. During the pandemic my closet space became more temporary than it had been in years. There was a time when you could ask about any item I own- ANY- and I would know EXACTLY where it was in my closet. Skirts, pants, tops, dresses, vintage, modern- my closet was sorted by type, color, function. It was pristine. Now? I don’t know where anything is (I do, but not in the ways I’m used to). Instead of making myself stress out about another closet clean out, I’m focusing on getting my closet back to being pristinely organized. Will that help in a clean out (as some clean will naturally happen along the way)? Yes. Or at least I’m hoping so!

But taking the pressure off myself is making this process easier on me. In my closet clean out process, I always say that you shouldn’t feel pressured to get rid of things just to get rid of things. If you love something, if it brings you joy (even if you aren’t wearing it every day), I say keep it. This relaxed attitude has always let me clean out my closet in a way that lets me keep things, while I really do get rid of the things that are no longer for me. I’m crossing my fingers that this same attitude will let me organize- and clean out- while avoiding the overwhelm.

How are you making room for new stories this year? How are you cleaning out your closet? I would love to hear any and all tips!
XO RA

Party’s Over?

Investment Piece: Party's Over?

We tend to stereotype things. For example, you could think of the holiday months (November -NYE), all the celebrations, the food, the drink, the merriment, as long one party, you could think of January as when the party’s over.

There is some validity to that theory. And the ending of parties can be depressing. The dresses get put away, the decorations come down, the guests go home. In our stereotypes, January is a time of restrictions (resolutions, diets) and the cutting back after so much excess. If you look at January in this light- that the party’s over- it can be bleak.

But, what if I told you that January isn’t the end of a party, it’s just a different kind of party. Perhaps there aren’t large indulgences or as many party dresses (Though when have you known me not to wear a party dress?!), however, I love the kind of party that January is- the kind where we get to reset, reassess, and replan for all our parties to come.

Investment Piece: to all the parties

As much as I love the holiday joy, I get another exquisite joy from taking a step back in the month of January. I usually take the first week to really think about what I want to do in the year, who I want to be, what I want to wear. Taking a day or two to write it all out, then a few more days to really refine my goals, and make plans. It can seem like a lot, especially if this is the week you’re jumping into cleaning out your closet or a new routine, but I find that really thinking about what I want lets me set myself up for success.

While I’m no advice columnist I think the time helps- just like closet clean outs or new habits, nothing (even Rome) was built in a day. On the other hand, you do have to start.

Investment Piece: Blue Christmas

One of my core beliefs is that fashion is a way that we tell our stories. Taking time to be intentional about what kind of stories we’re telling may not be a champagne rager, but it’s fun! Let January be the month you decide what you want, you try things on, you edit the masterpiece that is your life. Maybe the changes are big- or maybe they’re small, but it is something to celebrate when you’re choosing your routines, outfits, and attitudes on purpose. (Note, every year there is a lot out of our control, but I’m just enough of an optimist to believe that being intentional about what we want helps).

Party’s over? No. The party’s just changed.

True to my word, I’m spending the next week really thinking about what I want this year- planning and shopping. I’ll be sharing it here and on IG (@racheladelicia). Even if it’s January, I’ll still be in plenty of party dresses, but I’m also excited for more casual fashion (lounge sets, etc). Things have been a lot the past few yeas, but I’m excited for this year, I’m excited that you’re here, and I’m excited to keep the party going.

Here’s to a week of goals and amazing shoes!
xo RA

Investment Piece: Party's Over

Not in the Spirit

Investment Piece: A Merry Little Christmas

It’s the “most wonderful time of the year”, and the season so many of us look forward to! And yet, if we’re honest, the holiday season is also full of obligations and stress. Sometimes the most stressful thing about this season is pretending that we’re not stressed out, as there is so much pressure to “be jolly”. This is a fashion blog (and yes, sometimes my response to stress is to buy myself something fabulous), and I don’t *not* recommend fashion as a way to deal with stress (or as a way to get yourself in the holiday spirit), but I also know that sometimes it takes more than the perfect party shoe to make the holidays Merry.

So. What do you do when you’re not in the Spirit?

Investment Piece: Not in the Spirit

My paternal grandmother was infamous for her holiday parties and baking. She would start in July to make sure that all the cookies/cakes/pies/etc were ready for the season. And in July she would listen to holiday music to ensure that love and the jolly thoughts were baked into all her goodies. I’m not one to start prepping for the holiday season in July, but I do believe in music. And movies! Putting on some of my holiday songs (I’ve recently fallen in love with this rendition of “O Holy Night” and who doesn’t love “All I Want for Christmas is You?”) or one of my favorite holiday movies (see Miracle on 34th St, White Christmas, Muppet Christmas Carol, Jingle Jangle, or Christmas in Connecticut). Is it cliche? Yes. Do they help? Yes. Even when I’m spiraling and worrying about my to-do list or the work that I should be doing, or worrying that my cards or gifts are late, that I’m not doing enough- these little things help me calm down and get in the spirit.

Investment Piece: Holiday Dressing

We know I believe that fashion is simply a medium with which to tell our stories- so it should come as no surprise that I use fashion to lift my spirits, to get me in the mood, to help me tell the stories that I want to tell (the happy holidays one not the super stressed one). From party dresses to plaids to velvets to Christmas Sweaters (they make me happy!). Putting on an outfit that makes me feel good makes me feel more in the holiday spirit. (It’s a fashion blog, you had to know this would be coming!)

Investment Piece: fashion stories,

But beloveds, especially after the past few years, I know that these small and easy fixes aren’t always enough to get you into the holiday spirit when you’re not. The overwhelm and stress at this time of year can be a lot. I have no easy answers, but if you’re feeling that way I want you to know that you’re not alone. And that any and all of the feelings you’re having are valid.

If you have any tips for what to do when you’re not in the spirit, I would love to hear them. In the meantime, no matter how frazzled you are, I hope you’re wearing someone hint greatand it gets you in the spirit!

Xo RA

Happy Thanksgiving!

Investment Piece: Happy Thanksgiving!

I’m taking some time to rest, spend with family, and eat pie! Sale picks and outfits can be found by following me in the @ltk and @shopstyle apps (@racheladelicia), and follow me on IG (@racheladelicia) for a more personal look at the holiday. I’m so grateful for you and for this community, I wish you love and peace this holiday!

Xo RA

Systems

Investment Piece: Systems
Investment Piece: Systems

This is a Mrs. Emily skirt (lovingly made by hand and goes with it all. You can read more about how much I love Mrs. Emily, a small fashion designer here. And while this about how much I love this silk skirt (and you can customize the hem length!) and all the things you can wear with it (from party looks to work looks), it’s also about systems (like outfit formulas, but for our lives).

One of the many, many things I love about Mrs. Emily is her fashion philosophy. Her Instagram (@mrsemily) and her newsletter (highly recommend sign up here) are full of thoughts on waredrobe building, confidence building, and how we can make our lives work (through our clothes). Mrs. Emily will tell you that she’s a wife, momma, and fashion designer (and maker), she speaks honestly about all the different hats she’s wearing, and how she makes that work.

I love the honesty (because it’s not always easy) and I love how these musing make me think about my own fashions and my own systems. In fashion, we talk about systems as outfit formulas- things we know go together, that you can simply put on, and they make your life easier. What about the systems (or outfit formulas) for our lives, from work to social? Do they make our lives easier and make us feel good? Or do we need to update them?

Investment Piece: Systems
Investment Piece: Systems

Like all of us, I wear a bunch of hats. Fashionista. Blogger. Actress. Daughter. Sister. Friend. Caregiver. Cook. Dishwasher. Every day is a bit different, but there is never a lack of things to do. Sometimes I feel on top of it all, sometimes I feel completely overwhelmed. What I’m learning (and what Mrs. Emily will tell you) is that the more you can design your life to support all the things you do, the easier your life is on you. For me, that means schedules, time to write, time to be creative, planning ahead, and more.

Honestly? Lately, I’ve been feeling like I to update my systems. Find better ways to make space for all my things. I’m thinking of it like this skirt, I know no matter what when I put it on, it will look and feel good. It’s like that, but for my schedule. (Or you could think of it as a new outfit formula- like all of the sudden figuring out that there are a million ways to do jeans and a tee- and they all work!).

Is it a weird time of year to be adjusting my systems? With us heading full steam into the holiday season, most of us get through, then readjust in the new year. While I understand that mindset, I know that I need the support now, and I thought- I’ll be playing with holiday looks all season, why not play with my systems?

So. I’ll be adjusting, trying out, scheduling, rescheduling and seeing what works for me. Like putting everything from a tee to a blazer with my new fave Mrs. Emily skirt, I’m looking for things that let me work, no matter what the day calls for. And I’m a bit excited to see what systems I come up with.

What about you? How are your life systems? Are you feeling supported by them? If you have any great tips, I would love to hear about them!
Xo RA

Investment Piece: Systems

After Labor Day Do We Wear White?

Labor Day is this weekend, so I’m once again asking: after Moday (Labor Day) will you wear white? (Especially white pants?)

Loves, I still struggle with this question. It’s a yearly debate for me: Do we wear White After Labor Day? This was first written/posted years ago, but I don’t know that I have any new answers. One new thing: this year I may dare to wear white pants, or all white after tomorrow. We’ll see! I would love to get your take: After Labor Day, do we wear white?

image

I’m from the South and it’s a pretty hard and fast rule that you don’t wear white after Labor Day. It’s so ingrained in us that a few years ago at a football game a guy friend of mine–who is not into fashion–saw a woman wearing white pants and made a comment that she shouldn’t be doing that, as it was after Labor Day. In fact, starting Monday, my mom puts away all her linen items–citing the fact that it’s a summer fabric. And I get it–I’ve clearly been excited and ready for fall. There is something to be said for dressing for the season.

However, after living in California I came to realize that the white rule isn’t necessarily followed everywhere. You could argue that in CA it feels like summer longer, although it can be in the 100s till October in TX. Even the fashion elite –Vogue, etc– have relaxed their thinking and you can search for articles today like “How to Wear Your White Jeans Through Fall”. So who do we listen to–our Southern Moms or those who say we can wear white?

Honestly, I fall in the middle here. Don’t worry Mom–after Monday I won’t wear (a ton of) white pants (winter white is a whole other story though!) but I won’t be rushing to my fall/winter wardrobe. The fact of the matter is it will still be hot on Tuesday. And while I won’t be wearing white pants, white will still most likely pop into my outfits as an accent or piece–skirt, top, etc–but not the whole look. I no longer judge those who wear white after Monday–fashion is so diverse and if you like your outfit I’m a fan of you rocking it! (Also I love it when you’re daring) But I will say I’m looking forward to our gradual shift to fall clothing! Have I mentioned I have some amazing boots to show you??

I’d love to know–what’s your stance on white after Labor Day?

Hope you’re have a great holiday weekend! XO RA

image

Picnic in Style

Investment Piece: Picnic in Style

I often think about the saying that “style is not only what you wear, but how you do everything”. There are so many ways to interpret it, so these thoughts are solely my own. To me, thinking about everything you do being your style means that the more we make conscious choices about what we do, how we decorate, and how often we do the things we love. All of this is how we tell our stories!

A story I often want to tell (aka something I always think about doing but hardly ever do)? A picnic! We all know I love a good charcuterie board (which somehow in my mind are almost the same thing!)

Investment Piece: Cheese Board

(See more board inspo here)

Ever since we went on lockdown (and truly, way before that), I have been thinking how fun a picnic might be! Your fave finger friendly food, perhaps a little bubble or wine, good company- and of course a great basket, great outfit, and stunning shoes. I can’t think of a better way to spend an afternoon. So, after year(s) of thinking about it- I did it! I took myself on a picnic! (Yes, it was in my own yard, but that still counts!)

And while I was on my picnic, couldn’t help but think of my style- and what I wanted my picnic to say.

Investment Piece: Picnic in Style

I love purple (and these were some of my fave shoes from last summer and I’ve linked you this summer’s version!), so I knew that it had to be a bit purple. Simple but elegant was something that I wanted- not too crowded, not too over the top, but yummy and stylish. And I like to think that this was exactly what I had planned. A little cheese, a little fruit, a little wine, and my favorite cracker (jalapeño saltine if you can find them!) A great pair of shoes, and a great basket. I hope this picnic lets you know just a little bit about my style 🙂

If you love this basket, I’ve found you similar below. I hope that this week finds you doing things you love and being stylish 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!

Picnic in Style

Valentine’s Day

Investment Piece: I HEART YOU

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

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

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

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

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

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

SOs

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

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

Investment Piece: #nakedtux

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

Xo RA