To all the Parties…

Investment Piece: To all the Parties
Investment Piece: To all the parties
Investment Piece: to all the parties

It’s officially the “holiday” season, aka party dress season. I’m sure you’ve heard me say how much I love a great party dress (or look), and a whole season where you need an excuse to wear a party dress? How could that not be my favorite?

(I know that the holiday season is about so much more than party looks. The hope, the joy,the love, and the time with people you love- all of the is real meaning of the season. The parties (really, for me, the party dresses) are the star on the tree. But if you really enjoy party dresses, it’s a great time!)

Investment Piece: To all the parties

Wanna know a secret? I don’t even go to that many parties, especially in the past few years, but I can’t stop buying and wearing party dresses. I’ve been this way since I was a baby- always in a party dress, may not be at a party. What is it about party dresses that I love so much? I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. In a year where all of us could be in sweats all the time, I kept buying and wearing party dresses (some of the time. I also wore-and still wear-my fair share of sweats). And when you’re buying things that you might never need, and then you wear them (even just around the house or grocery store), those things have to have a special meaning to you.

So I’ve thought about it. Gone through my party dress collection. Worn sweats. Changed into party dresses. Changed back. Thought about things (and my outfits) some more. Finally, this is what I have on why I love a party dress (look) so much:

It’s the hope. To me, party dresses are a physical way to express and wear hope. That anything could happen. That your dreams could come true. That the life you want is here. I’m aware that all of that is ALOT to put on a party dress- but I don’t think I’m wrong. Yes, party dresses are fun, they may show off your best assets, or maybe they just make you feel joy. Isn’t that part of the season? The joy, the hope? And if a dress can bring that to you? Why not?

To all the parties (dresses), indeed!

Investment Piece: To all the parties
Investment Piece: To all the Parties
Investment Piece: to all the parties

What do I love about this party dress? It has that classic, vintage feel but is modern (I got it at Anthropologie,it’s currently sold out but I did find similar items for you!). It’s fun – everyone loves to twirl in tiers. Also? I love the color! Yes, this pink, the gold- it’s winter holiday appropriate; but, they also work for any other time of the year. Because hope and joy aren’t limited to this time of year.

Why do you love party dresses? What do they make you feel?
This dress reminds me of vintage Missoni so I found you some, as well as some other similar dresses!
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!

Investment Piece: to all the parties

The Stress

Investment Piece: The Stress
Investment Piece: The Stress
Investment Piece: The Stress
Investment Piece: The Stress
Investment Piece: The Stress

Has it hit you yet?

If you’re in the States, there’s a great chance you’ve just survived Thanksgiving (with or without family), and the planning, shopping, eating, and people have left you exhausted. No matter where you are, the winter holidays are coming, full force. The sales have started. I woke up to an inbox full of invitations to sift through. And while none of this is bad, and I’m grateful for it all- it feels like a lot.

Maybe it’s that the lockdown took the social sense out of me? Maybe it’s that things are moving too fast? Maybe it’s that the holidays always feel a bit insane and I’d just forgotten it?

I have no clue. Truthfully, it’s probably a bit of it all. All I know is sometime on Friday, the stress hit. Not the average “I have a lot to do stress” (because yes, that), but the “I have a lot to do, and should give a lot, and places to be, and feel this pressure for it all to look and be perfect” stress.
Am I the only one who gets it?

Investment Piece: The Stress

Holidays can bring with them their own brand of stress, and their own pressure for perfection. (This is where I remind us-me- that perfection is not a thing, but this is one of the times of the year when PERFECTION feels like a requirement. Hence the stress) And while I thought I had mentally and emotionally prepped for the stress, and the outfits (see here), it turns out that there are times when the stress is unavoidable.

If you’re reading this there is a high chance I’m stressed about in no particular order:
-the work to be done
-the work completed
-the decorating for Chrismas
-the present shopping
-my shopping
-my pop-up weekend
-letting down people I care about
-letting done people I don’t care about
-finishing the library book I’m loving but don’t have enough time to read
-taking time to read the library book I’m loving but feeling like I should be working or decorating or something
-how Thanksgiving went
-how Christmas should go

Given the chance, I could go on about my stress all day. And the thing is- I know so much of this doesn’t matter, or has easy solutions. Yet. I can’t help but feel the stress.

Investment Piece: The Stress

What do you do to deal with stress? Currently, I’m working out and trying to read (but see above). I’m either wearing some sort of sweats or am dressed to the nines. To combat it all, I’m trying to come up with outfits that calm me down. Yes, I’m one of those whose coping habits is planning outfits. So, a cropped pant with a sweater (with it’s twists) and statement shoes? This outfit can’t shop and decorate and meet deadlines and make me feel like I can breathe easier. But. It does make me feel better about the day. And what to wear.

These shoes are vintage Prada. The other pieces are from seasons past. But, if you need some stress relief I found you similar items. And if I do say so myself, outfits like this make stressful days seem less stressful.

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!

Shop similar here

Thanksgiving Outfits

Investment Piece: Happy Thanksgiving

I’m a football fan, and there’s a phenomenon called “playing ahead”, it’s where a team gets so focused on an upcoming opponent that they “forget” about the team they’re playing the current week. In football it can lead to losing games you “should have” won. While we might not chat about it, I think it happens in fashion too. Though, for outfits it’s not so much that you “lose” a game, it’s more that you get so focused on what to wear later that you forget about the outfits you could be wearing now.

Aka, I get so caught up and excited for all the party dresses that the holiday season brings, I forget to think about what to wear on Thanksgiving.
And I like Thanksgiving. It’s objectively one of my favorite holidays: the food, the merriment, the way you can make it what you need (from Friendsgiving to a big deal to low key eating pie!).
So, why can’t I remember to outfit plan for Thanksgiving?

Investment Piece, high fashion, blogger, gopurplefriday, Mary McFadden, CA, TX

And it’s not that I forget every year. There have been years when I have had plans that involved outfit planning. A few years ago, my family and I were doing a feast at hotel and I wore the above purple dress for Thanksgiving. I planned it out, got excited, and made my sister take 1000s of pics with me as my family and I were grateful someone else was cooking.

But, so many years I’m at home- or my parents home. We make plans but I forget to think about an outfit in advance. Or even an outfit as a statement. I get SO excited about all the party dresses to come, that often when it comes to Thanksgiving, I’m simply in leggings, or a simple skirt and shirt (which you can never go wrong in).

Investment Piece: Thanksgiving Outfits
Simple leggings with a button down
Investment Piece, fashion, style, Jcrew, how to, Ca, TX
Skirt and top

If I’m planning my outfit the morning of Thanksgiving (because if we do have big plans I do tend to think about what I’m wearing) I usually think about a few things while getting dressed:
-looking good but being comfy (especially as at some point at home we migrate to the couch for football and pie!)
-something I can cook in
-something I’m not embarrassed for pictures in (because I somehow always take a picture!)
– sometimes I add a statement item (because I’m always grateful for my closet)

What about you? What do you wear to Thanksgiving? Do you plan out your Thanksgiving outfits? Do you dress up or keep it casual? Please tell me all about it!

I’ve linked some pieces that I’m thinking about (or similar) for Thanksgiving below, from chic lounge sets to holiday dresses!
Xo RA

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

Leopards Gone Wild

Investment Piece: Leopards Gone Wild
Investment Piece: Leopards in the Wild
Investment Piece: Leopards in the Wild

If leopard is a neutral, why do I sometimes wear it as a statement? Sometimes, I find myself going wild with things that are true neutrals (yes, in general I think leopard is- but these pants! So subtle! And on top of that, they’re so soft!) and then questioning myself. Can something be both a basic and a statement? A neutral and wild?

I know, some of this depends on the outfit- and the day. There are days when I’m big and bold, I can take up all the space. And, days when I’m more quiet, more to myself, when my space is incredibly personal and not something I share. Neither of those descriptions have even touched on my outfits (that not only change daily, but sometimes hourly). If I can hold all those multitudes why not my outfits? Why can’t leopards both go wild and be subtle?

Investment Piece: Leopards gone wild

Really, this is a simple, easy outfit. These pants are corduroy, soft, draw string, and just this side of being sweats. The leopard print is just there, barely. A simple sweater and chic clogs? It’s just a fall outfit- for errands or work or meetings or lunch or your day. But. On what felt like it might be the last warm, super green day of the fall (you know, the one right before the weather turns for good), I couldn’t help but use this outfit to make a statement. In the wild. No retouching, just my garden in its last hoorah (that vine is a pumpkin plant that I planted “accidentally” aka put out pumpkins last year and this year I have a plant!) and basic plants with a statement to make.

If these leopards can go wild, what can we do today?

Investment Piece: Leopards gone wild
Investment Piece: Leopards gone Wild

What does it mean to be both a statement and a neutral? Could it mean that you speak up when it’s needed and let things be when you don’t need to meddle? Perhaps, it means that you can adapt and fit in anywhere- even when fitting in means you pop.

It’s Monday, and you may need to go wild. Or, maybe you need to stay basic. Whatever you need I hope you find it today and I hope your outfit is superb!

I’ve linked these pants for your wildness 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!

Investment Piece: Leopards in the Wild

The History

Investment Piece: Aunt's Coat
Investment Piece: Aunt's Coat
Investment Piece: Aunt's Coat

My closet is a mix. Vintage, modern. Designer, non brand. High, low. And while I don’t know that I have favorites (or if I do they change all the time), I love it when I know the stories of a clothing item. Stories are what I base my outfits on (if we’re honest, I think we all base a LOT on stories), so when I know where something comes from, what’s it’s been through, what it’s lived- it brings me joy.

This coat is my Aunt’s. Now it’s mine, but I know it’s history, who gave it to her, where it’s been (Dallas to Houston to Denver to me), how she wore it, and what it held for her. Yes, it’s a great coat without all of that- the suede, the low waist, the button detail, the way it’s a bit neutral and a bit statement; however, knowing its history helps me write its future.

I know that there’s a low belt missing, and while I could replace it, I know that it works both as a dress or a coat without it. Knowing the history means my aunt warned me that this stunner of a coat has a tendency to rub off on lighter colored clothes (so to watch what I wear underneath). The little imperfections? I’m aware of what caused them, and that makes it all a bit more special.

Investment Piece: The History
Investment Piece: The History
Investment Piece: The History

It’s not that I need a piece’s history to style it. No matter what I know about this coat, I know it will be so mod over a short skirt, chic over a long dress or skirt, perfect by itsself, and go great over jeans (I’ve thrown it on over sweats for an early am errand and it was heaven!). But. Knowing how’s it’s been styled does give me jumping off point. If there are ways it doesn’t work (like I already know it needs a slip under if it’s being worn as a dress because of gaps) I’m prepared.
So, now I get to make new looks and new stories, make this coat my own.

Do you like knowing the history of pieces you own? Adding to it? Or do you like brand new pieces to make your own history in?

All of the pieces in this outfit are from past seasons (or my Aunt’s closet), but I’ve found you similar and have linked them 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!

Investment Piece: The History

Fashion Stories: Thanksgiving

This year the holidays may be a mixed bag! And that’s not a bad thing!Staying home to stay safe is not bad! First off, it means that you can be in your pjs (luxe or not!) if that’s what makes you happy. Or, if you love it, you can dress to the nines. My go to? Combine the two! Wear a luxe nightgown with a fancy jacket (yes, even alone) or cardigan.

Or maybe you’re heading back out into the wild! Does this change much? I’ve been to Friendsgivings that were explicit that we were to wear sweats, family gatherings there were a bit fancy, and the dinners (or lunches) that are in between.

This year? I’m undecided what to wear, I’ll be with the family, but as of publication our plans are TBD. As it is a holiday, and an excuse to go all out, I’m leaning towards dressing up (just because!).

I would love to know: what are you wearing for Thanksgiving?
Xo RA

Cape it Off

Investment Piece: Cape it Off
Investment Piece: Cape it Off
Investment Piece: Cape it Off
Investment Piece: Cape it Off

As we move into the holiday season, statement pieces will become prominent- and I have no problem with that. We know I love a good party dress (and look) and am unafraid to standout. And yet, as we move into the holiday season, I also have a tendency to want to dress as easy as possible. I truly have 2 modes- I’m either VERY dressed up or I’m in workout leggings or sweats VERY casual. While I constantly work to find my middle, during the holiday season (with the statement and party) looks, I have a weird desire to marry the 2 sides of myself in one amazing outfit. (Aka I want an outfit that looks like a party and feels like my pjs)

Capes. Capes are the answer (for me). I have a thing for capes – see here, here, and the ultimate statement cape here. Through the years, I’ve worn capes as coats, tops, dresses, and as statements. The great thing about a cape is that as much as it’s a statement, capes are easy. As fancy as they can be, you simply put them on (even over your workout gear) and go.

Investment Piece: Cape it Off
Investment Piece: Cape it off

This latest addition to my cape collection is a fringed vintage number (look closely: it even has an attached pouch for carrying lipsticks or secrets). I mentioned here that this holiday season is already seeming like a lot. And it is. In the past few days, I’ve had events, work, a lot of housework, deadlines, volunteer shifts, and social engagements. As much as I love a party look, running from thing to thing is tiring (especially when we keep messing with the clocks!). My saving grace? A piece that I can put on, that lets me look as dressed up as I need to, but is simple.

We shot this in between Pilates and a trunk show. Yes, this cape is truly over my workout leggings and a turtleneck. My hair is coming out of its bun, I’m sure my lipstick is smeared- but when you cape it off, those things don’t seem as noticeable. Everyone just focuses on your cape (which lets you get away with a lot, maybe that’s the secret!). Add a pair of shoes that walk the line between slippers and loafers, and you’re ready to holiday. Or run errands. Or whatever it is that your day needs you to do.

Do you love capes as much as I do? What’s your go-to when you need a statement outfit but want to feel relaxed? Or have to run from the gym to a holiday event?

While this cape is vintage (via Recess LA), I’ve found you similar and linked them 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!

Investment Piece: Cape it Off

Keeping it Simple

Investment Piece: Keeping It Simple
Investment Piece: Keeping It Simple
Investment Piece: Keeping It Simple

We’re heading into a time of year that always seems overwhelming. Overdone. Over a lot. In the 24 hrs from Halloween to November (and really before! This year is worse with supply chain issues), we go VERY quickly into “uber” Holdiay mode. You may feel it-and may not know how to dress. And while I’m never one to say not to a party dress, there’s something that makes my life easier during this time of year.
Keeping it simple.
I know in terms of schedules and gifts (?) that can be hard. And in terms of feelings of pressure, expectations, and hopes and disappoints, I can’t help. Where I can help in keeping it simple?
Your outfit.
A simple midi (or maxi!) slip dress (they are so easy to dress up or down and go with anything!), a leather blazer (a must. They add so much to any work look, party look, over coat look, etc), and a great heel (I’m partial to my Sarah Flint perfect sandals, the arch support alone! Use code SARAHFLINT-BAINVESTMENTPIECE for $50 off your first pair!). I happen to add a vintage fur muff- but any holiday clutch will do. I promise this simple formula will never steer you wrong , will never leave you wanting, and will always keep it simple- do you can focus on all the other aspects of the holiday!

Investment Piece: KEeping it Simple
Investment Piece: Keeping It Simple
Investment Piece: Keeping It simple

Are you surprised that I’m keeping it simple? Don’t worry, there are a ton of party dresses and looks headed your way. But the thing is, I don’t know that party and simple are opposites. As we head into this time of year, it’s important to have outfits in your pocket (or muff!) that make you feel confident. That are easy. The easy kind that don’t look easy(in the they look great way, not in the over complicated way).
That’s what this look is- and it’s a formula that’s custizable for any occasion (work, party, etc). Most importantly it can keep your holiday simple, so that you can focus on what’s important- like the people around you.

How are you keeping it simple this holiday? What are you wearing?
I’ve linked options for this exact outfit (for parties or work or more!) 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!

If you love these shoes (and I do!) shop Sarah Flint and use code SARAHFLINT-BAINVESTMENTPIECE for $50 off!

Investment Piece: Keeping It Simple

Holiday Dressing

We know that I love a good party dress- I’ve never met one I didn’t like! So as we move into the holiday season, I’m beginning to think about holiday dressing. What does it really meant to dress holidays? Why does it bring me so much joy? What is needed to dress joyfully- because I know it’s not just holiday dresses? And if you don’t necessarily need a holiday dress (or even a holiday suit or jumpsuit), what do you need for holiday dressing?

We’re going to be chatting about it all season. To start, an overview of my holiday dress collection (this is just a fraction!) and an overview of holiday dressing!

What does holiday dressing meant to you? Below I’m linking some dresses that I’m loving this holiday season!

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!

Trying It On

Investment Piece: Trying It On
Investment Piece: Trying It On
Investment Piece: Trying It On

Remember when we chatted about fall trends here and about lug sole boots here? Well. I decided to try them on.

Which really means that I got a sweater vest dress (aka knit dress, which I highly recommend) and some lug sole boots (these happen to be vintage and wedge. If you know me, these boots wouldn’t be my first run to, but it turns out that I highly recommend them as well!).

So. How do you know what to try on? How do you know what to keep on and what to take off?

Investment Piece: Trying It On
Investment Piece: Trying It On

For me, this choice was a tad bit easy. I love sweater vests (I have no idea if that makes me trendy or preppy), so a knit dress (which I also love) as a sweater vest? That’s a no brainier. Of course I had to try it on, and of course I had to keep it. Lug sole boots? That was a much tougher call. I remember the 1990s (so, yes, when we call them vintage it does personally hurt), and I’ve been wary about any “trend” from that time period that “came” back. Also- I always thought that lug sole was a bit too clunky- aka would make my feet look bigger- for me. It turns out? I was wrong. Lug sole (again, these are “vintage” from Etsy) are actually fun. And perfect for the season! Where I am, fall means a little (lot) bit of rain, and these boots made me feel confident walking through it.

Trends can be difficult to wade through (pun intended). My best advice is to go towards ones that are similar to what you already love. Try what you’re curious about. Try what you’ve loved on others. And perhaps, try a bit, even if it’s outside your comfort zone. It turns out that there are trends out there worth trying on. For me, it was these. What trends have you been trying on this season?

Investment Piece: Trying It On

Below I’ve linked both this exact dress (with a slip under!) and current lug sole boots I’m loving. If you try them on I would love to know about it!
XO RA

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

Investment Piece: Trying it on