Fashion Stories: Elaine Kim Hero Vest

Note: this post is a part of my partnership with Elaine Kim, though all opinions are my own. This post also may contain affiliate links. While that does not affect price for you, I may earn commission. Thank you for your support! When shopping Elaine Kim use code RACHEL4EK to get 15% off your first order!

Does your summer need a hero? Something you can throw on with anything and everything and have it save the day? Lucky for you, I know a hero like that!

I’ve worn this vest as a dress-both work wise and play wise. I’ve worn it over my workout clothes, my bikinis, my cut offs. It would be amazing over any pant (I just can’t bring myself to be in pants when it’s blazing hot outside. If you can, you’re a stronger person than I am!) My point? This vest is one of the hardest working pieces in my closet. And in yours, it could be as well–it will also work in the fall. The vest comes in 4 colors (black, white, navy, and a desert).

Chic, comfortable, a hard worker, and able to shit seasons? That’s the kind of hero I need. I have a lot of stories to tell, and this piece helps with ALL of them.

Get your hero vest here!

Happy hero shopping!
Xo RA

Fashion Stories: Doris Day

Investment Piece: Fashion Stories Doris Day

I grew up in a house with a mom who LOVED Doris Day. We just to sing “Que Sera” and put on her movies whenever on of us had a bad day. From Pillow Talk to Caprice, and everything in between, my family loved her acting, feel good movies, and “good girl” image.

Investment Piece: Fashion Stories Doris Day

Weirdly enough, I didn’t think about Doris Day’s fashion until her recent passing. Did I know she always looked amazing? Yes. In my opinion, Doris mastered the casual before it was chic, but could also rock a fur coat (both are goals). And then, when she passed, so many pictures of Doris Day were posted and I couldn’t help but think: I”d love to get in her closet.

Sadly, we can’t.

Luckily, I have a solution. My mom sent me the below video of Doris Day and her style. It fascinates me. And only makes me want to copy every single outfit.

We all have a fashion story! I hope you enjoy Doris Day’s as much as I did!
Xo RA

Fashion Stories: Smocked

Investment Piece: The Smock

A few weeks ago, I featured this dress that my mother had smocked. And while smocks can be many things-from an artist’s garment to a lightweight covering to a bib–smocking, to me, has always meant my mother. (The best things usually lead back to our moms). My mom smocked my sister and I countless outfits when we were kids; and now that I’m grown, she has made countless bibs as baby shower gifts for me to give.

Investment Piece: Smocking
(Me in an Easter Dress Mom made)

Smocking is so akin to my mother in my mind that when I started researching smocks for my last post I was shocked to find out that there is a complete history of smocks that didn’t include my mother. (Yes, I am that loyal. And yes, smocks are worth researching. You can start here).

Investment Piece: Smocks
My sister and I in dresses my mom smocked for us.

Loves, we know that I am fascinated by the things that we keep in our closets. I’m also fascinated by the stories that the clothes we keep tell. Smocks, and my mother, tell the stories of my childhood: love, holidays, my sister, and everything that goes along with those things. My mother has kept all the Smocking that she made for us, and this month I got the chance to sit down and talk with her about it.

IP: Mom! Thank you for being a part of this! When I look back at all of the things that you smocked for Ruth and I, I see all the love and time you poured into us. When did you begin Smocking?

Mom: I began Smocking in the early 1980s. When you were a baby, we lived in Spain and while we where there, I fell in love with some of the smocked baby clothes for sale. I wanted to make something just as special and beautiful for you and your sister as you grew up. I started with dresses and aprons, and then I started taking lessons using the Smocking pleater and doing the picture pleating.

This allowed my mom to design clothes for my sister and I, with things such as crayons, dogs, bunnies, balloons, and all sorts of designs.

IP: What has led you to hang on to these pieces for all of this time?

Mom: Well, I hope to pass them on to other members of the family. Or, at the very least, I hope that you and your sister can keep them and know how much love was sewn into them.

Investment Piece: Fashion Stories: Smocking

IP: And you recently began Smocking again. From Easter egg covers to bibs, bonnets, and other baby gifts, what made you take this up again?

Mom: Now that I’m retired I have more free time. I have always loved sewing and Smocking. It makes me happy to make something with love that I can give to someone. So, with that free time I’ve decided to finish some things that I started and never got around to finishing. And to do some more projects that will bring joy to people.

I know that my sister and I will always treasure these pieces from my mom. They were some of my first “custom Desginer” dresses. And informed my love of fashion. What have you kept in your closet from your family? What fashion piece do you associate with your mom? I would love to hear about it and come tell the stories in your closet!!

Xo RA

Investment Piece: fashion stories,: smocked i

Fashion Stories: Lexie and Spell Collective

Fashion makes for the best friends. I met Lexie at a lingerie party at Bloomers and Frocks. It was love at first try on. Then, as we got to know each other, Lexie shared with me her love of the brand Spell & the Gypsy Collective, how Facebook groups trading that brand influenced her style, and her love of vintage. I’m so fascinated by her story and I hope you are too!

I love telling your stories–what you collect, what you can’t get rid of, what you wear. But most of all, I love how fashion brings us together.

Xo RA

Some notes on Spell Collective! It is an Australian brand! You can buy it on their website (they do have an US option and they ship. Some thoughts: the Australian dollar is a better deal, and all shipping over $150 is free). However, the brand is also stocked in the states at various stores–Free People especially. And, maybe if you’re lucky, Lexie will let you in a Facebook Group for it!

I’ve linked some pieces of the brand I love below!

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: Great-Great Grandma’s Wedding Dress

Investment Piece: Out of the Closet: Great Great Grandma's Wedding Dress
Investment Piece: Out of the Closet: Great Great Grandma's dress
Investment Piece: out of the closet, great great grandma's dress

Loves!! I’m so exited to share the first of the new project we’ve been working on:

Fashion Stories : Telling the Stories our Fashions Hold.

I’m a big lover of fashion. I’m a big believer in stories. I’m convinced that we’re all story-tellers and that in our closets are pieces that hold meaning and explain different parts of us. Whether it’s something that shows a side of us that we don’t normally share with the world, or the outfit that we got our big promotion in, our fashions tell our stories. So, let’s bring our fashion out of the closet and listen.

Or, at least, that’s the idea.

And our first story? My great-great grandma’s wedding dress. Wedding dresses are one of those things that we all hang onto, and pass down. They’re full of the hope and love that the first owner had on her big day, and as we pass them down, the dresses get full of the love and hope that the older generation has for the younger generation.

Investment Piece: Great Great Grandma's Wedding Dress

My Great-Great Grandma, Cora Christine, wore this gown in 1887 to marry my great-great grandpa, Arthur A. From just a fashion standpoint? The beading (that even runs underneath the belt), the train, the sleeves. It’s just exquisite. The story? While this wedding dress was originial to my great great grandma, she got it at McNeil’s Gowns (an extensive Internet search has produced nothing on this brand, if you know something I would love to hear it!), it’s been passed down in my family for generations. It’s become one of the things that no one can (or wants to) get rid of–and not just because it’s gorgeous.

I never got to meet my great-great grandma (I’m not that old), but getting to wear her dress let’s me in on little bits of her personality. That she must have liked details. That she could pull off being delicate and a train. That she wanted a dress for her wedding like this, at a time when some people didn’t go big for their wedding day. There are parts of her in me, and this dress describes both of us.

I made us a little video for Out of the Closet. Our fashions hold stories, and I love telling them:

(Yes, there are some technical issues. It’s hard being great at fashion and not great at technology. Also, if you know someone who’s great at editing send them our way!)

Loves! Thank you for listening to my stories. I would love to come play in your closet and tell yours!

XO RA

Fashion Stories: PhoebePhiloFan

Investment Piece: Fashion Stories PhoebePhiloFan

I’m a true believer that fashion is a medium with which to tell stories; and, that we tell stories every time we get dressed, or buy clothes. So, it’s no surprise that I’m simply fascinated by what we buy, collect, and hang onto in our closets. These are the stories I love telling!

This month I had the privilege of speaking to Tess of PhoebePhiloFan (she is a must follow on Instagram, @pheobephilofan). Tess is a dear friend, and over the years has evolved not only her personal style, but her collection of one of her favorite designers, Phoebe Philo (when she was at Celine). Tess and I sat down to chat all things Celine, Phoebe, personal style, and more!

Investment Piece: Fashion Stories PhoebePhiloFan
Investment Piece: Fashion Stories PhoebePhiloFan

IP: What started you on your journey to collect Phoebe Celine? Or, why collect Phoebe Celine?
Tess: Well, I got a few of her pieces throughout the years, but recently felt like I have honed in on my own personal style, and this specific era from Celine really represents that.

Investment Piece: Fashion Stories PhoebePhiloFan

IP: What would you say your personal style is?
Tess: I feel like it’s become more sophisticated and self confident, not as much flashy or showy. I feel like it really reflects my inner self confidence so it’s more about me and less about the clothes–though it is about the clothes!
IP: Everytime I see you I feel like you look very chic, but also very Tess. Nothing ever looks like a costume or like you’re letting the clothes wear you.
Tess: I feel that for a while I was experimenting, but I’ve always been searching for clothes that really reflect the true me, and through Phoebe Philo I’ve found that.

Investment Piece: Fashion Stories PhoebePhiloFan

IP: So where do you find all of these great Phoebe Philo pieces?
Tess: I look all over the place. The RealReal, Vestiaire Collective, eBay, local second hand shops like UAL, etc. I find most of it second hand, which helps with cost, but I really look all over.
IP: So, how much of your closet is Phobe Philo?
Tess: I would say about 20%. I feel like I buy clothes frequently, but I’m now at the point where I would rather buy fewer clothes of higher quality and things that I really love than just whatever is trendy. So, I don’t feel badly about spending a little bit more and investing in her pieces rather than going for the easy, fast fashion pieces that quickly go out of style, or the quality isn’t there!
IP: Investment Pieces are something I understand and love!

Investment Piece: Fashion Stories: PhoebePhiloFan
IP: so, where are you going from here? Is Phoebe something you intend to keep collecting on purpose, or do you see this as an evolution of your own style/wardrobe?
Tess: I’ve been through Phoebe and OldCeline, and they really fit my sense of self. So, I would say I’m just incorporating this into my wardrobe, I still buy other designers and pieces, but since I love Phoebe so much will always make space for her in my closet!
IP: How has this changed your interaction with fashion and the fashion community? Your account is so beautiful, and you’ve had great engagement. How has this changed your outlook on fashion?
Tess: I think it makes me more mindful about the way I shop. Before I feel like I could get distracted by trends, and now I’m following the trends a little less and staying true to my own sense of style more. I’m investing in classic staples, and being ok with that, and then having one or two stand out items. But I now really think more long term when I shop.

Investment Piece: Fashion Stories, PhoebePhiloFan
Investment Piece: Fashion Stories, PhoebePhiloFan

IP:So you take all your pictures yourself?
Tess: Yes, I do! I love photography too, though I know very little about it, so I’m loving the pictures side of this too, as well as the fashion of course. Actually, one time I was at the graffiti wall in Austin and someone saw me shooting and asked if I needed them to take my picture; and I explained that I love taking the pictures myself. It’s part of the journey for me.
IP: You’re so good at it! Taking the pictures yourself is still something I’m working on!
Tess: and there are times when I feel bad. Like my husband would take my photos for me, but I really don’t think he gets what I do-I mean he knows it’s important to me, but I don’t know that he would capture the pictures that I’m going for.

SideNote: Mr. PhoebePhiloFan is amazing as well, but yes, I get that!

Investment Piece: fashion stories: PhoebePhiloFan
My husband laughs every time I wear these shoes. Phoebe can be so specific and that’s part of what I love about it!

I just adore Tess of PhoebePhiloFan, her fashion choices, and her fashion philosophy! I hope that you enjoyed this fashion story as well–make sure to follow Tess (@phoebephilofan) on Instagram and I’ve picked out some of my fave Celine pieces for your shopping pleasure below!

Investment piece: fashion stories PhoebePhiloFan
Investment Piece: Fashionstories PhoebePhiloFan

What stories are you telling in your closet?
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! Xo RA

Shop Celine picks here and
Here:

Fashion Stories: Gifts

I am obessed with the stories that our fashion tell. I’m on a mission to tell them all. Mine. Yours. Everyone’s. I’m fascinated by the things we hang onto, the stories we tell, what matters to us and how does the fashion we keep enforce that.

This month, as our minds are on gifts, I’m chatting about gifts that tell a story that I can’t get rid of.
And yes, I’m working on stopping saying “um” all the time!

Enjoy!
I’d love to know what gifts you hang onto! I’d also love to tell your stories-hit me up!
Xo RA

Fashion Story: Costumes.

Loves, we know that I have this thing about all the fashion that we keep in our closets. I think it’s a part of how we tell our stories. (Fashion Story, get it?) Sometimes we hang onto the things that we wear all the time, and that’s a story. But sometimes, we hang on to things that we don’t always wear. Maybe it’s something that represents something we hope for, or aspire to be. Sometimes, maybe it’s a thing we are dealing with, and learning to let go.

Today, let’s chat costumes. Yes, Halloween. But also things like dance costumes. Yes, I was a dancer growing up, and there are a ton of recital costumes that I just can’t seem to get rid of! Let’s chat about it!

I’d love to know: what are the things you can’t get rid of? Are you holding onto any costumes? I want to hear about everything!!

Xo RA

Fashion Stories: Ossie Clark

Loves! It’s the time of month where we go into our closets to see what stories live there. This month? I was lucky enough to chat with Lauren from Timeless Vixen about her Ossie Clark collection. It’s amazing. And I can’t wait to get back into her closet and really play. Also –I’d love to come play in your closet! What do you collect?

In the meantime, let’s enjoy my convo with Lauren about her 109 pieces of Ossie Clark (yes, her closet is #goals)

Hope you enjoy!

Xo RA

Fashion Stories: Childhood Trends

Loves, as you know, I’m a big believer that fashion helps us tell our stories. And our stories matter. This summer, I’ve spent a lot of time helping my mom clean out many things. In mom’s house? A lot of baby pictures, which got me to thinking:

Last month we talked wedding dresses (see here) and yes, those are an item most of us can’t get out of our closet. Another item we tend to hold onto? Baby clothes (though my mom has mine boxed in the attic, but still). It made me wonder: does how we dress as children influence how we dress as adults? Are the things that were in our closets as kids still in our closets?

In my case, yes!! I was never one to turn down a party dress (I refused to wear pants till I was 5); and I’m still very partial to a great party dress (and shoes). There are direct lines between what I wore (and many times a day I changed) as a kid, and what I wear (and how many times a day I change) a day now. Ironically enough, my mom used to take pictures of all of my baby outfits, now I take pictures of my outfits. Everything comes around?

I hope you enjoy this video I made about these thoughts. I’d love to know:
What was in your closet as a kid? What can’t you get rid of? Did what you wear then affect what you wear now?

XO RA

***Note: I think I ramble too much. At one point, what I was trying to explain was I danced as a kid (yes, I still wear leotards around), and it got me in the habit of wearing a bun ALL the time

***I’m still not 100% sure what to call this segment. What are your thoughts?