Is my Style Changing? (And is that a bad thing?)

Recently I’ve started to ask myself if I’m too old to wear things- because yes, I seem to be in that liminal space where I’m not really young- but not quite old (I hope!). And while asking myself if I’m too old to wear things, I can’t help but think about how my style (and me) are changing. Some changes are ever so subtle, and some seem huge overnight. I am not clear on any of the answers to these posed questions- and I don’t know that there are super clear answers. But if I’m asking them, doesn’t that mean that they’re worth asking?”

IF you have answers or thoughts or comments I would love to hear them! And yes- I’m working on writing about being too old for certain styles! XO RA

Investment Piece: FBF First Neutrals

This is from one of my very first blog posts. There is no doubt that my blog is evolving, and my skills, and all that good stuff. I’m grateful and excited for that. The things is, May is a sentimental month for me, I make no apologies about that. Next week (to the day) I have a big(?) birthday that has me looking back, looking forward, and thinking about if I’ve changed, and what I would like to change.

Yes, that means goals and life, and all that good stuff.

It also means my style. Is my style changing? And if it is, is that a bad thing?

Investment Piece: In Blue

That is one of my most recent looks. Since I am myself (shocking, I know), and in the middle of this, it’s a little hard to have perspective on this question I’m posing to myself. I can look back at some of the outfits I’ve worn and shot, and would (and still do) wear them again. There are also outfits that I can look at and wouldn’t wear again at all.

Investment Piece Is my style Changing?
From the beginning
Investment Piece: Inspired by
From last month.

I can tell you the ways that my life and schedule have changed, I have theories that these things deeply affect what we wear. (There was a time in my life when I would go to the gym, throw on some sort of lounge clothes, run errands then come home and change. Now, I usually shower and change at the gym. A little difference? Yes. But it’s completely changed my go-to outfits.) Do these changes mean my style has changed? How could I tell?

When I look back at all the pictures I have of myself (and it’s scary how many of them there are), I can see so many similarities.
Investment Piece: is my style changing?
Investment Piece: is my style changing?

Yes. Almost 4 years apart, I shot basically the exact same look. But I can also tell you differences.
Investment Piece: The Jacket
Investment Piece: Flash Back Friday: First Posts

I don’t hate what I used to wear, and I clearly like what I wear now.
Maybe I’m asking the wrong question. Perhaps it’s not so much that my style is changing, but that my style is evolving with me. Some parts are still the same, but there’s room for so much more as well.

Isn’t that the fun part of style and fashion? You can change and yet be yourself, all the parts of you.

Thank you for indulging me on this very personal question! Looks (new and old) are shoppable on Instagram, Pintrest, ShopStyle, and RewardStyle. (Or over on the menu!)

Is anyone else in the mood to go shopping?
Xo RA

Your Spring Closet Clean Out

Investment Piece: Your Spring Closet Clean Out

Are you using this time at home to clean out your closet? If so, I’m impressed! It’s not that I don’t want to clean out my closet. I’m a huge fan of that! See: here, here, here, and here. And that’s just for starters. There’s something about a clean closet- knowing what you need, having everything organized, and getting rid of things that no longer fit your stories is both freeing and exciting!

But. Right now, a huge closet clean out just seems so overwhelming. I keep telling myself that I’m going to start a massive Cleanout and reorganization. But it hasn’t happened yet. What has happened? I did a brief Cleanout right before all the Stay at Home orders started (yes, years ago!). And while I had planned to sort and sell and donate those clothes, I didn’t get to it before I needed to be at home. So, this time I’m determined to do a proper spring closet clean out! I’m seeing what I might be able to donate, sell, and if there are a few things that could be added to those get rid of piles! While we’re apart, most places are accepting donations (check with your local companies. This is varying city to city). And if you have things to sell, my recommendation is Ashley at TheRealReal (Ashley.rochestie@therealreal.com. Make sure to tell her I sent you!) She will set you up and get your things online, all while you stay safe at home!

I know you must be sick of hearing me say this, but I truly believe that our clothes and fashions help tell our stories. And our stories are our masterpieces, and so we edit them. I’m going to try and use this time to edit- to get rid of things that no longer tell stories I love (and clothes that just don’t fit right) and making room for things and stories I love. What about you?

Xo RA

How To Stretch Your Shoes

In a bit of a throw back- yes, this was baby blogger Rachel’s first video! I’ve taken this footage and re-edited it, as shoe stretching (aka getting fabulous shoes than having a time limit on how long I can wear them due to tightness and blisters) is something I’m still dealing with- and spoiler alert these methods still work!

At the end of the day, I’m a shoe lover and yet have a firm policy of no shoe left behind. Which means that I sometimes let myself fall in love with shoes that need a bit of stretch, or to be broken in. I understand that the super logical stance would be to not buy shoes that are the least bit tight or rub or pinch. But is that realistic?

Not for me, at least.

For me, the best I can hope for is that the fabulous shoes that I love that are just a tad bit uncomfortable stretch out very quickly? But, if not? I have ways of making that happen!

How do you stretch out or deal with shoes that you MUST have but are a bit too tight?

xo RA

I’ve also updated my shoe stretchers! Linked below for you are the best (and most cost efficient!) shoe stretchers I’ve found. For me, if I put these in shoes and let them sit a day or so I can see a HUGE difference!

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!

Fashion Stories: Minimalist Closet

Investment Piece, Fashionblogger, miniamalist, closet, high fashion, shopping, CA, TX

Loves, I am a shopper. I love fashion: that it lets you be someone new every day, that it’s a visual playground, that it can speak for you. And I have quite the collection of fashion. This entire blog is based on the premise that fashion is an investment, and that your closet can be an asset. But an idea I’m simply fascinated by? Minimalist Closet. Let’s be clear, I don’t know that it’s completely for me. I love options too much. Although, I have traveled with a minimalist waredrobe and loved it (read about it here and here). Do I think I could give up all my clothes and par down to basics? No. And I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

But, I do think that what we have in our closets, what we chose to buy, the waredrobe we build should be intentional. What I love about the minimalist closet or shopping approach is the thought: to the pieces, how they fit, what you really need. And while I am in no hurry to turn my closet clean out into a massive purge, I think we can all benefit from really thinking about our clothes. What do we need? What do we wear? How can we mix and match? How can we build a waredrobe that compliments itself? How can I buy the best pieces for me?

I’m clearly not an expert on the subject, but with closet clean out season upon us, I am reflecting on those questions. As much as I love my options, I want pieces that fit together well. I want to curate a closet that is worth something, and easy to live with. Some reading I’ve been doing on the subject:
Waredrobe Rebuild
How to Become a Fashion Minimalist
A Shopper’s Manifesto

Am I taking a firm stance? No. I’m still reading, thinking, in the midst of a closet clean out. And while I know I’m not the type to par down to 10 pieces, I’m thinking about this. I want to try parts of this on and see if I can be a closet minimalist my way. What about you?

XO RA

Tailoring

One of the ways to get amazing fitting clothes that make you look amazing? Tailoring. Buy things that fit your widest part, then have them altered to fit every where else. Tailoring has been on my mind lately- not just because it’s a great way to have clothes that fit, but because of the post-pandemic world. No one knows exactly what the world will look like- or what we’ll be wearing. One article I read floated the idea that what we may see are clothes that are sold in more general sizes, meant to be tailored to you after you purchase them. And I have to say, I love this idea! I’m reposting my orginal thoughts on tailoring and adding in some links for what you can have tailored- or tailor yourself!

Investment Piece: logo week: Fendi pants

I’m in the process of having some pants tailored. As in, almost remade. It’s been a long process, there are times when it’s felt too long. However, every time my tailor and I get closer to the finished product, I can’t help but get excited. I also have to remind myself that working with my tailor is a process and that a great tailor is a great investment! You are getting so much more about my “new” old pants, but first, let’s chat tailoring.

One of my very first posts was centered around “great investments”, one of which I thought was a tailor.
(See the original article here) And I still hang onto that thought. If you’re investing in your closet, a great tailor is a must have! Yes, for mends like buttons, zippers, holes, and hems you might be able to do the work yourself; however, I find that a professional often does it faster and better, and ensures that the item that needs mending doesn’t spend the rest of its life on my closet floor.

But a tailor is so much more. A great tailor can remake a garment for you–nip or let out the waist, or various parts, tighten or loosen, lengthen or shorten. You look best in clothes that fit you best and a tailor can help you get there!

Investment Piece, high fashion, tailoring, purple, Mary McFadden, pleats, CA, TX
This number needed to be slightly let out in the bust–and even with the pleating, no problem for a great tailor.

Investment Piece, fashion, blogger, CA, TX, HM, floral, high fashion
This dress (seen here) was taken in at the waist, and the back slit was lengthened.

The great news about a great tailor is that they can really transform a garment into something special. Which is amazing for all those things that you try on that just need a little something done. However, tailors aren’t always miracle workers and much like any important relationship (I’m looking at you, hairdressers) communication is key. So how can you best work with your tailor? Glad you asked!

Be Realistic

If something is 2 sizes too small and has no extra fabric in it, your tailor cannot make it your size. However, there may be times when your tailor has to tell you “no”. Certain fabrics, certain cuts and drapes, they just don’t mix. What you envision may not be doable. So ask questions like “Can we do this?” “What will this look like?” “What are my options here?” A great tailor will be honest and lay out your options, and may even have some suggestions that you didn’t even think of!

Let them know YOUR Preferences
I like my waists high and nipped. I think, for my body type, it looks best. I also like my sleeves to come down to my wrists. My tailor knows me and works with me to get the looks I like. But, even when we try things on it’s on me to be vocal–I like this, I don’t like this. Your tailor can’t please you if they don’t know what you want.

Fittings. More than one Fitting

Ok, some things don’t need a fitting–much less two. But some really do. If you’re altering a garment in a major way I would suggest more than one fitting to make sure everything is perfect. And move in it–raise your arms, turn, sit down–all of it. Make sure that the fit and movement are what you want. And talk to your tailor about what you’re seeing, and ask what they’re seeing!

Most of this comes down to talking to your tailor–about likes, fit, etc. The more honest you are, and the more they are honest with you, the better fit you will get!

Here are a few articles about what things are easy to tailor (and even how to tailor some things yourself!):
Useful Links on Tailoring Your Clothes
The Power of Tailoring
Which Alterations are the Easiest
How to do Alterations
Taking Measurements for Fit
And Alerations 101

I hope these tips help! Happy Tailoring!

XO RA

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