Now and Then: Puff Sleeves

Investment Piece: Puff Sleeves

I am endlessly fascinated by how trends come back. Today’s example: puff sleeves. Usually when I think of puff sleeves, I think of little girls. Sweetness. Innocence. But they are back in a big way- from dresses to statement tops.

Part of the appeal of puff sleeves, to me, is that they can make such an impression, but can also be so simple. A dress with puff sleeves? Instant looker, even if the rest of the dress is just a dress.

**** ok. I don’t believe in “just a dress”. I mean to say simple. Elegant.

And as many puff sleeves that you can get today, there are just as many puff sleeves way back when. 1930s? Puff sleeves. 40s? Puff sleeves. 70s? Puff sleeves? 80s and 90s? Puff sleeves (I even wore some of those!)

Investment Piece: Puff Sleeves

The joy of having things in both now and then is that you can find, choose, get the exact version of the trend that’s perfect for you. All while staying on trend. It’s win/win! From 1930s to super modern, there’s a puff sleeve out there that’s just for you. I’ve linked puff sleeves below that are both vintage and modern.

This is a trend to play with, enjoy. Wear puff sleeves from back then and right now. See what fits. What you love. Maybe there’s a puff sleeve to pass down to the ladies who come after us.

Investment Piece: Puff Sleeves
And if you were thinking that you had seen these puff sleeves before- you’re right! This was the dress that I wore for my birthday last year, seen here. My own little version of now and then. (I’ve also talked about puff sleeves here. Some trends never die, they just come back endlessly. Lucky us!)

What kind of puff sleeves are you wearing?
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: Puff Sleeves

Spring Greens

Investment Piece: Spring Greens
Investment Piece: Spring Greens
Investment Piece: Spring Greens

Sometimes, but only sometimes, when we think we don’t love a thing maybe it’s just that we haven’t had the right thing. I know I worded that awkwardly, but the sentiment is true. For years I thought that I didn’t really like gin. Didn’t hate it. But didn’t love it. During the pandemic I began experimenting with cocktails- turns out one of my faves is a French75 (made with gin), and one of my new fave things is Empress 1908 gin (it’s purple!). It wasn’t that I didn’t like gin, but I hadn’t had the right gin.

The same is true with green. I never hated green. I’ve worn green. But it’s always been a hit or miss thing for me. A sign of spring- yes! And while I love it on the trees, I always thought it looked better in nature than on me. Turns out, I was just waiting for the right green. My own spring green. And my loves, I think this is it.

Investment Piece: Spring Greens
Investment Piece: Spring Greens
Investment Piece: Spring Greens

Knit. Just slightly metallic (lurex even maybe). Pleated. Just the hint of ballerina. And while slinky, ever so forgiving. I found this Missoni number resale (but I did find you similar below) and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I thought that green wasn’t for me. But this green? This spring? It’s perfect.

I feel amazing in it- and by amazing I mean both like my best self and better than that, ready for a red carpet or to dance the night away at some chic, gone by disco. It could be the cut or the high-end knit. But really, for me it’s the color. Just like the green that spring brings, this shade on me feels new and renewed- all at the same time.

And if a dress (or a drink) can make me see things in a new light- make me realize that they may in fact be for me- what else have I been blind to. What other great things are out there waiting for me?

That’s the hope that I’m hanging onto this spring, and that’s the feeling this green gives me. I wish that you find something that makes you feel the same way. Again, this was resale (really, it is the best) but I found you similar- both new and vintage!
Xo RA

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

Investment Piece: Spring Greens

Extra

Investment Piece: Extra
Investment Piece: Extra
Investment Piece: Extra

So. The thing is: I’m extra. I tend to feel too much, talk too much, and I over dress too much.

Really. In the before I wasn’t afraid to show up in nice dresses and loud outfits. In the after, I can only imagine that many of my outfits will include cocktail dresses, sequins. I have over a year of outfits that no one saw (and I take pictures of so many of my outfits!), so get excited for that.

When I was younger, I was a bit embarrassed about how extra I could be. Often times I didn’t even know that I was being extra- working on my emotions and rambling is one thing, but it’s taken years to realize that my idea of what to wear and other people’s expectations can be very different, and how to both not care and regulate my outfits. However, the older I get the more ok I am with being extra. With really being who I am- even when it means I’m over dressed.

Investment Piece: Extra
Investment Piece: Extra
Investment Piece: Extra

It’s not that I want (ever) to show people up or show off or any of those things. But I tend to love big fashion. To think that cocktail(ish) dresses are more casual than they are. To not think that I’m overdressed at all and then find out people are only wearing sweats.

And yes, I used to come up with excuses and worry. But now? I just roll with it. I think that dressing well is a part of my love language – I dress up for you as I’m THAT excited to see you and to do things with you. My closet is full of pieces that are standouts, and I love wearing them in all situations.

Investment Piece: Extra

These pants are some of the most fabulous pants I’ve ever owned. Lame. Somewhat sheer. No matter what I wear them with- from tshirts and tank tops up- they make a statement. I’ve worn them with a bit of everything, but never out anywhere. I’m a little like these pants- no matter what or where I am, I can be a bit extra. The thing is- I no longer fight it. I’m comfortable being extra and I trust that I can be loved for that.

Pants like this shouldn’t be hidden away- and neither should you. Isn’t it funny when fashion teaches us a lesson?

These pants are vintage, but I’ve found similar ones 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!

Spring Shades

Investment Piece: Spring Shades
Investment Piece: Spring Shades
Investment Piece: Spring Shades

Isn’t it funny how when things start changing colors in spring, our clothes start changing colors too? Almost every year, about this time, there’s an influx of color- be it brights or pastels- that is a deviation from winter. And every year, about this time, I’m surprised by how much I’m drawn to the new spring shades.

It’s not that I spend my winters only wearing black. But. Spring can make me feel like I’m drab, and adding in spring shades makes me feel brand new. New colors, new cuts, new me. I’m like the flowers- I bloom.

Investment Piece: Spring Shades
Investment Piece: Spring Shades

The spring shade I’m loving this year? Lavender. Just a slightly sweet version of purple, but it doesn’t feel saccrine sweet to me. Skirts. Dresses. Tops. Shoes. You can get anything and everything in lavender. But one of my favorite things? This jumpsuit. I bought it on a whim-but it’s become a corner stone of my spring wardrobe. The shade? Perfect. And these shoes? White felt daring (and super spring like) and the slip on is one of my faves.

Both are linked for you below! The jumpsuit great deal because it’s under $30, but I’ve worn it at least 3 times a week-it’s so easy to throw on and look chic. A sizing note- I wanted it a little over sized so I got a size bigger than I normally would have- I think it’s perfect. I also have a long torso and have been so happy that it’s a great length for me!

What spring shades are you loving and wearing?
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: Spring Shades

April Dresses Bring…..

Investment Piece: do it all
Investment Piece: In Blue
Investment Piece: April Dresses Bring

I’ve always been a dress girl. Always. Never hesitated to reach for a dress, wear a dress, suggest a dress. In fact, when I was 4 I went a year wearing princess dresses (or a variation thereof). I don’t think I owned my own jeans until I was in first grade.

I feel comfortable in dresses. They’re my go-to.

Especially in spring. And especially in the beginning of spring, when there is still a bit of a chill in the air. To me, a dress says that you’re ready for the warmer weather, that you’re ready for any surprises, and yet, that you’re staying warm and ready for now.

In a dress you can be ready for anything.

Investment Piece: Pretending to be in Paris
Investment Piece: April Dresses bring
Investment Piece: April Dresses Bring

So, while I buy (and wear) dresses year round, April is the time of year when I seem to only want dresses. To set the tone for spring and summer. To wear to nice places or to just hang out in the back yard (TBF there’s no rule that those things are mutually exclusive. I’ve dressed up to go to the back yard. I recommend it!)

I usually pick a few casual (ish) dresses that I plan to wear all through the season – throwing on for errands, lunches, movies, or being at home. And then I pick one (or two) exciting dresses- if nothing else to wear around the house on my birthday (in May). There’s a dress for every occasion (if not I’m a pro at helping you come up with one).

So. The question is: what dresses are you wearing this April? What are they bringing in? Adventure? Comfort? All of the above?

I’ve linked some of my current favorite dresses. One of them I know is perfect for April, and for bringing in a great summer.
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: Pop of Color

Day Dress

Investment Piece: Day Dress
Investment Piece: Day Dress
Investment Piece: Day Dress

During the quarantine I became obsessed with the nap dress, a cross between your high-end night-gown and a dress,(see here, here, and here). Now, as we move towards the after of the quarantine (or the middle? With a pandemic it’s hard to say!), my new thing is day dresses. Like a nap dress, but fit for day.

Ok. I admit. There may not be a HUGE distinction in nap dress and day dresses (though vintage day dresses are quite distinctive and I do love those). This dress was labeled as a day dress, styled with heels in his advertisements. And yet- it’s just as comfy as my nap dresses. Perfect for working from home, perfect for errands, and perfect for feeling like you’re dressed and yet feeling like you’re in PJs.

Investment Piece: Day Dress
Investment Piece: day Dress

Simple. Sophisticated. A bit more fitted than a nap dress (and yes, this one has leather accents, and pockets!) Usually when I think of a day dress, I think of the 1950s-fitted waists and all, not simple shifts like this one are changing my mind. I also usually plan a shoot and wait to wear new clothes- but when this arrived I put it on immeditately, snapped a few pictures, then went about my day- errands and work and all the rest.

Perhaps a day dress is defined not by its silhouette, or even when you wear it, but how it makes you feel. While the nap dresses (which I still love and wear) made me feel as if I were getting away with something (wearing my pjs out. Not a new thing for me, but a thing nonetheless), the day dress makes me feel like I’m able to get things done. Like the world is my oyster. Like the day is mine.

Investment Piece: Day Dress

Of course, maybe these differences are all in my head. Day dress, nap dress, dress- maybe it doesn’t matter. What makes you feel like you can take on the day (at home or out)? Maybe that’s the dress we should be wearing!

I’ve linked this exact dress (and yes, it’s avail in other colors) and the shoes!
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: day dress

Little White Dress

Investment Piece: Little White Dress
Investment Piece: Little White Dress
Investment Piece: Little White Dress
Investment Piece: Little White Dress
Investment Piece: Little White Dress

For spring? What if we put our little black dresses away (just for a minute. I’ll wear a lot of black this season, I promise), but, just for something new- what if we tried a little white dress? For new beginnings? For Hope? For something a little different!

Now. Things I have thought in my little white dress: “I hope I don’t spill” ” My Grandma was right, knees are the most awkward part of the body” “Is this long enough?” “Is this too bridal?” “Will that come out?”

And yet. With all my fears, sometimes spills, and the many, many times I have steamed this dress to get all the wrinkles out- there is something about wearing white. Maybe it is because I wear so much black, or maybe because it is hopeful. But. In white I feel like I stand out just enough, that I look just enough hopeful. That my look is just enough spring.

I won’t be packing away my black for good- there’s no need to get crazy. However, I am trying to add more white in my waredrobe. What about you? How does white make you feel? Are you going to be wearing it with me?

This dress is old (and these shoes are from a few seasons ago- a gift from me to me! Yes, they take a minute to get used to a flatform, but once you do they are easy to walk in!) but I’ve linked you little white dresses I love for your shopping pleasure 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: Little White Dress

Cliche

Investment Piece: Cliche

It’s spring. And while there are blooms and new styles galore, there are also cliches. Like florals.
We all know the joke- that they’re ground breaking. And we all laugh when we see it or hear it. But, again and again, we all wear florals. Even this weekend, I found myself reaching for florals whenever I could. Dark ones. Cheery ones. Subtle and bold. What is it about spring that makes us want to wear florals?

Is it cliche? Groundbreaking? Both?

Investment Piece: Getting in the Water

In some ways, it makes sense that we want to wear florals in spring. The florals are literally blooming. But, hopefully, so are we. This was my first winter that felt like a true winter (did I mention I saw a bunch of snow for the first time in my life?!?) For the first time, the green and bloom of spring feels like a big deal. Yep..I finally get it.

On top of that, this year has been a YEAR. And while the pandemic is still going on, it finally feels like there is light at the end of the tunnel. Things feel new in more ways than one. What says that better than flowers?

Investment Piece: The Pants of Summer

I was curious about when floral prints started -because that could let us know when they became cliche. History is always a little bit fascinating to me, and this deep dive was no different. Florals started being put on clothes in Asia in the 600s. Did you know that people used to put live flowers on their clothes (to hide smells amongst other things)? That each spring floral prints are often best sellers.

We may all tell the joke, but it turns out we’re all wearing florals. So it cliche? Or something bigger?

If you want to deep dive with me I highly recommend:
Floral Fashion Through The Ages

A Brief History of the Floral Pattern
Both are detailed and a delight to read!

Investment Piece: Cliche

Cliche or not, this year I’m fully embracing florals. I don’t care if they’re groundbreaking. They remind me that sometimes things take time, but they bloom again. I’m ready to bloom, and I’m ready for flowers. Even the ones on our clothes! What about you?

I’ve linked some of my favorite florals below for your shopping pleasure!
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: BackYard Parties

Cocktails and Caftans

Investment Piece: Cocktails and Caftans
Investment Piece: Cocktails and Caftans

Caftans are something I always knew I would one day end up living in- they’re chic. Forgiving. And come in all the shades and styles you could ever want. I thought that one day I would age (super subtly) in caftans, floating about, being glamourous-like an aging star in the movies. My love for caftans has been constant (here, here, here, and here for starters), but during the pandemic, my caftan collection has not only grown, it’s become my signature.

I spend days and nights in caftans. From terry cloth casual to formal, much earlier in life than I expected, caftans are one of the ways that I’ve been marking time.

One of my favorite things to do in a caftan (and where my love has really blossomed)? Making cocktails! I’m by no means a mixologist but I’ve spent some of my time during the pandemic researching drinks that I love and learning how to make them. Sometimes they’re great, sometimes they’re ok, but I’m always wearing a great caftan, so the experience is always amazing.

Investment Piece: Cocktails and Caftans

I love the cape-like cut of this caftan, the ombrĂ© coloring- and it has pockets! And while it’s perfect for summer escapades (even in just the backyard), I got it to make a cocktail in.

Cocktails and Caftans is a thing I’m doing every Saturday over on IG @racheladelicia. It started as a way to get through lockdown, but now I’m having too much fun to stop! Also, it gives me an excuse for more caftans!

Investment Piece: Cocktails and Caftans

There are times when I wonder if, in the after of the pandemic, I will no longer spend as much time in caftans as I do now. My theory? Once you go caftan, you can’t go back. The comfort, the chic, the way they stay current. I’m accepting my lot in life as a caftan lady. Luckily, there’s a great cocktail to go with it!

This caftan is old Staud, but I’ve found and linked similar ones 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!

Investment Piece: Cocktails and Caftans

Check It

Investment Piece: Check It
Investment Piece: Check It
Investment Piece: Check It

Things change, things stay the same.
What’s the same? We know I have a thing for gingham (I do! And it shows itself every spring see here and here to start). That’s not news, or new. What is new? It’s that every spring I find a new gingham, a new check. This is most likely not the last checks I will find and wear as the weather warms, but it’s the first, and right now, it feels the most fun!

I’m usually not a green person (well, what I should say is that it needs to be the right green for me to love it) but I couldn’t resist these green checks. It’s not quite gingham but it is- which is kind of new? The details are what first drew me in- the balloon sleeves, the pleats. This is a set (and we know what that means- you can wear it together or separately) but reads like a dress (my favorite kind of set). Also, this is my new favorite (old) belt-yes, the best belts that you can get are vintage or resale. Case in point, this Fendi one!

Investment Piece: Check It

What is it about checks that makes me feel as if it’s finally spring? I’m not 100% sure. Maybe it’s the form? Checks have a pattern, they fit, they follow, they make sense. And when you’re transitioning- from one season to the next, or from one phase of life to the next, patterns are comforting. Maybe it’s tradition? Gingham and checks have been a spring staple for decades. Long before I fell in love with them. Maybe it’s Hope. When I see checks for sale I know spring is coming. And what is spring other than hope and rebirth persevering. How can you not want to check it?

Investment Piece: Check It
Investment Piece: Check It

Notes on this check it- it’s from Target, meaning that you get spring for very reasonable. My new favorite belt? Fendi I got resale. Perfect for cinching all your checks, dresses, skirts, pants, and more. And yes, I found you similar. The green? Especially after a harsh winter it feels nice to be reminded of bloom. What means spring to you? What are you wearing to show 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!

Investment Piece: Check It