Sea of Lavender

Investment Piece: See of Lavender
Investment Piece: Sea of Lavender
Investment Piece: Sea of Lavender
Investment Piece: Sea of Lavender
Investment Piece: Sea of Lavender

Word on the street is that lavender is trending for fall. Yes, according to the trend reports, we’ll be swimming in a sea of lavender. What I love about this “incoming trend” is that I’m on it. (Yes, this is why cleaning out your closet can be difficult, everything always comes back.) The above dress was one of my favorite pieces from about 5 years ago. I loved the color (lavender), the POCKETS!, the lace details, and the simple elegance of it. I still do.

My theory on why lavender is a trend that we can’t stay away from?
*It’s a pastel, but it’s not overly soft. You can be tough in lavender.
*Lavender works in all seasons (for winter and fall, try colorblocking with wine accents (or red!), or wear the lavender in knits).
*It’s soothing. Maybe all the thoughts about color therapy aren’t true, but allegedly lavender helps boost our moods. I know I always feel better when I like my outfit. And I’m a huge purple (of all shades) fan.
*Lavender is also a statement and a neutral at the same time, making it easy to mix, match or pop in outfits

Another side note- this is not a warm weather dress but with the right shoes (boots) and blazer, it could be. How can you not love a piece like that?

Investment Piece: Sea of Lavender

Another theory about things that come back? Sometimes, they never left. Once I got this dress, I never stopped wearing it (not to get on a soap box here, but that’s the power of buying investment pieces). As you can see here, this lavender number is one of my constant go-to’s. So, is the sea of lavender something that’s coming, or something we’re already swimming in? Does it matter when it looks this good?

Yes, this dress is a Self Portrait number from years ago. However, I’ve linked similar styles and all the lavender you can handle for your shopping pleasure below. What sticks out for you in this sea of lavender?
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

Investment Piece: Sea of Lavender

What Season Is It?

A woman in a kiss printed scarf and a purple maxi skirt sits on a stone wall

August might be my least favorite month. Yes, it’s the heat and the fact that the entire month feels like one long Sunday (even if your schedule is not tied to the school year). But because August -yep, still the summer- often feels as if we’re supposed to be knee deep in fall.

This is not supposed to be a knock against any Leos, August babies or even the last bits of vacation. And I realize that if you’re in certain parts of Europe, you’re on vacation this month and let me tell you, I’m so envious! Also- some of my favorite people were born in August. Perhaps it’s not the month but rather the mood of August that always leaves me feeling as if I have to ask: what season is it?

a woman with a open white shirt dress with red and white bikini bottoms and white sandals

Here are my issues with August: it’s hot. Like 104 (here) hot. And yes, it will be hot through October, but August heat feels so very oppressive. And it’s so very clearly summer. Yes, I know that school might be starting, and if you have kids or teach that’s a huge schedule change for you.

Let’s be honest, even if you don’t have kids-like me- our lives are usually said to be done around the school calendar, from holidays to retail sales. Every store you go into right now has signage about “back to school”, and so much fashion (even the fall fashion I’m excited about!) isn’t always weather orientated but school orientated.

So, is August, a summer month, summer or fall? Do we treat it as summer or fall? What season do we dress for?

FYI This is where I tell you, at least this year, it’s so hot (have I mentioned it’s like 104 every day) that I can’t really think about coats or sweaters, or even layering for transitional weather!

a woman sits on green grass in a Red Caftan

And yet, This is the time when I’m supposed to tell you about fall trends, style, home decor. At at time when the heat is so intense I can barely bother to get dressed for the day. (Seriously, there have been Augusts where I could get through the day only by wearing swimsuits. All Day.
Perhaps it’s just me that feels as if August, while a summer month, is also a month in flux because of schedules. Perhaps I’m the only one who feels weird pushing fall in the heat. Perhaps I’m the only one asking what season is it when August feels like it’s an in-between season between how it feels outside and what shops are pushing.

But maybe I’m not. I’m all for fall fashion – and there are trends and a few pieces I can’t wait to tell you about. But it’s also HOT. And summer. And if you can’t bear to think about anything that’s not a bathing suit I get it. I also understand if you’re looking forward to fall and shopping and in that mode. Here, we will try to accommodate both seasons (fall and summer) in the month of August. If you have strong preferences or needs- fell free to let us know!

What season do you consider August?
XO RA

Putting on the Fringe

a woman in a black strapless dress with a fringed shawl and a fringed purse stands on stone stairs
a woman in a black strapless dress with a fringed shawl and a fringed purse stands on stone stairs
a woman in a black strapless dress with a fringed shawl and a fringed purse stands on stone stairs

It’s an interesting time of year, right? It’s so hot and yet the styles we’re seeing are geared to fall (when it hopefully gets cooler). I don’t know about you, but there are times in these “dog days” of summer that it can feel very uninspiring. Everything I want to wear seems too s hot, and therefore when I look at my closet, it feels as if I have NOTHING to wear. To the last minute summer events from parties to weddings to dinners.

So, what do you do when it feels kinda blah and you aren’t sure what to wear? You put on the fringe.
AKA the most simple outfits can be special and keep you cool.

One of my friends recently hosted a birthday party at an outdoor facility. And I’ll be honest, I almost didn’t go- because of the heat and because I couldn’t think of anything to wear. And then, I realized that I could make my look be special and revamp my thinking with a little fringe.

That’s right.Perhaps the answer to anything we are facing is fringe. AKA putting on the fringe may save us all. In this case, I wore a simple strapless dress (a must have for me as they are so versatile, you’ve seen this one her) with a shawl that I got on a trip to Spain YEARS ago (though it does look akin to vintage piano shawls, of which I have a few thanks to my great-great grandmas, you can also find some wraps with fringe modern and all are linked below for you!) and a great purse (yep, your bag might need some fringe!) Add some special shoes (these are gold) and some details and what of you have- an outfit to beat the heat or whatever else comes your way!

a woman in a strapless black Dress with a shawl with fringe and a purse with fringe on stone steps
a woman in a strapless black dress and fringe shawl and fringe purse on stone steps
a woman in a strapless black dress with a shawl with fringe and a purse with fringe on stone steps

The thing about a classic base (be it dress or not) and accessories that have flare (be them fringe or not) that it’s a formula that works for heat (strapless and beyond) and cold (if we ever get there). Fringe is one of those touches that seems simple but is really a show stopper. A wrap or shawl? Show stopper. A purse with fringe? show stopper. Together? Show stoppers! And at a time of year when everything- from the weather on down- feels oppressive, why don’t opt for some show stoppers? AKA. Put on the fringe (or anything that makes you want to shake or uplifts a classic number and go from there!)

In all cases of uplifting classics I will reach for statements- aka the fringe or the shake that any outfit needs. This reads classy- a black dress, or LBD if you will, but glam it up with 2 accessories with fringe. And a vintage shawl always works. As for a bag, a statement is always more appropriate than not. AKA a classic with things that pop from heat on out, are always something to style.

And, to the surprise of no one, these fringe with a classic base made me feel alive or stylish in ways I hadn’t recently. I won’t lie- this summer has been kind of a funk for me- the heat (which makes styling awful), some personal stuff including some chronic pain (which makes me want to wear nothing cute), and all of the issues we’re all dealing with (waves hands in all the ways), but this outfit felt good to me and I felt good in it. Isn’t that what we’re after? A look we feel as if we LOOK in?

What looks have you been turning to in this time? What are your go-tos? Both tell our stories, and right now our stories matter so much!

This dress is vintage, the shoes are available, the shawl was bought as a souvenir from a vacation to Spain years ago (highly recommend buying fashion as souvenirs but that’s another post!) and the bag is from a few years ago. Options are linked below for your shopping pleasure!

XO RA

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

a woman in a strapless black dress and shawl with fringe and purse with fringe stands on stone steps

It’s a Wrap

a woman in a blue halter dress in front of a stone wall
a woman in a blue wrap dress in front of a stone wall
a woman in a blue wrap halter dress stands in front of a stone wall

It’s that time of year- it’s so hot that I can’t stand to wear anything. Any and all thoughts of fashion are so far back in my brain that I keep wearing the same (cool) sundresses and leggings. And then. Something comes along and gives you some inspiration. AKA this is a skirt you’ve seen before. Yes. A skirt (seen here be kind- it was one of our first posts!) but now worn as a dress. Yes, a wrap skirt that I tied as a halter (and some strategic safety pins JIC) because as much as I loved it as a skirt, I wasn’t wearing it enough. Then one day, over the “lockdown”, I tried this skirt as a dress.

And I loved it. It eliminated all questions of what to wear with it- other than shoes, and I have worn it with flip flops, wedges, Keds, and heels- so far it’s worked with all of them!

a woman in a blue wrap dress in front of a stone fence
a woman in a blue halter dress in front of a stone fence
a woman in a blue halter dress in front of a stone wall

Maybe it’s that simple. We take something that we love, and we turn it into something we love more. Or, perhaps, it’s that sometimes we need to try a few things out before we find the one for us. And I think that goes for our clothes- and especially how we wear them.

Is there a tried and true method for figuring out how to wear something – or more specifically how to switch up how you’re wearing something? I don’t know (I know, not the answer you were expecting). My advice? A bit of trial and error. When I wear this as a skirt I tend towards white tees, perhaps tanks, but on the safe side. It’s a bit amazing to me how changing the skirt to a dress has opened me up-to all kinds of shoes, to all kinds of styles. And it’s not that the skirt wasn’t easy to style (or that I won’t wear this skirt as a skirt again), but there was something about wearing this skirt as a dress that clicked for me.

I may not have a lot of answers, but I don’t doubt a click. From then on out, it’s a wrap. Especially in the heat. AKA when you figure out a look or a styling that works for you, go with it. And I’m hoping it helps you beat the heat!

While this skirt (wrap dress) is years old, I’ve linked similar styles for you below. These shoes are my beloved Sarah Fints, use code SARAHFLITN-BAINVESTMENTPIECE for $50 off your own pair!

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!

a woman in a blue halter dress in front of a stone fence

New Favorite

Investment Piece: new favorite

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is basically a one woman show, me. I hire photographers, showcase other businesses, work with people, but this enterprise? It’s me. The US, and the world has been (trying) to deal with its history of racism (yes, there is work to do). Many companies and stores pledged to hire and stock more Black-owned (especially Black Women)companies. I have no employees and I don’t stock– but I’ve made it a point to seek out designers and companies that are Black Owned. Here’s the thing- they should have been on our radar to begin with. It should not take BLM to make us seek out amazing stores. But. I’m grateful that I’ve found these companies. The products are amazing and should be a part of your closet.

This dress is from Mie, and it’s my fave fave. Pockets. Sexy. But functional. Good for everything from a backyard staycation (the pandemic isn’t over!) but will look stunning when you’re out and about. Everything from this store is stunning. The service was stellar. I highly recommend everything about them!

Investment Piece: New FAvorite
Investment piece: new favorite
Investment Piece : new piece
Investment Piece: New Piece: New Piece

Have I mentioned the pockets? This dress is linen but thick, so will be great for fall transitions, or even layered with t-shirts. It’s sexy, but not overly so. I’ve worn it with sneakers to go to the store. With sandals for backyard drinks. Barefoot. It’s become my go-to dress. It’s comfy but makes me feel special.

I love finding new brands, I love clothes that make me feel special yet seamlessly fit into my closet, and I love sharing them with you. I’m a bit embarrassed that it took a movement for me to really seek out new things, but I’m ever so grateful for this discovery.

Shop all the wonderful things from Mie here. And I’ve linked these shoes and similar items 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: New Favorite

Pool Style

a woman in snakeskin one piece swimsuit and wedges blue and white shirt dress and bucket hat in front of a pool and hedge
a woman in snakeskin one piece swimsuit and wedges blue and white shirt dress and bucket hat in front of a pool and hedge
a woman in snakeskin one piece swimsuit and wedges blue and white shirt dress and bucket hat in front of a pool and hedge

I’m one of those that will wear my swim as fashion (see ,
here, and herehere/a> and you can search swim in the search bar

But. While we’re here, let’s chat about pool style. Do I wear different swim suits for fashion and for the pool? Yes.  I am that friend who will wear swimsuits with my skirts and pants and shorts, and then absolutely change into a different swim suit to get into the water.

a woman lounges on a chair by the pool in a striped shirt dress, wedges, a bucket straw hat in front of a pool and green hedges

And yet, there is an overlap between my pool style and my swim style (aka I am also a firm believer in looking chic in your coverups!). In both on the street and by the pool, I want to look my best- which for me usually means a great pair of shoes- and while matchy-matchy isn’t a thing I religiously adhere to, I want the outfit to go together. For the pool? I err a bit more on the practical side, but still am a fan of statements.

Like this snakeskin print one piece. Practical enough to swim laps in, but chic enough to turn heads (and if you did want to wear it on the street, I think using this suit as a bodysuit with black pants would be very 1950’s chic- It’s linked for you below!). A shirt dress as a cover up (and of course with a swim suit you don’t have to button up!) that also double as a great day dress. And of course, a great pair of shoes and a hat (this one is my favorite summer hat, it provides coverage and is chic!).

a woman walking from the pool in a snakeskin one piece swim suit, open striped shirt dress, straw bucket hat and wedges

There is nothing wrong with throwing on a pair of cut-offs or a sarong over your swimsuit, or even an old teeshirt. I’ve done all of that! This season I’ve been partial to terry cloth separates. No matter what suit I’m wearing, or what I have over it, I do like to think that my pool style is an extension of my style -just another story I’m telling. What do you wear to the pool? Do you think of your pool attire as style?

a woman in a striped shirt dress and straw bucket hat, wedges, walking away by a pool and hedgesNote: This post does contain affiliatelinks. While that does not affect the price for you, I may earn commission from them. Thank you for your support!

a woman by a pool in a snakeskin swimsuit, an open striped shirt dress, wedges and a straw bucket hat

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Yes, I love this dress so much we shot it twice! I love the simplicity of it. From the fron it’s simply a t-shirt dress, but from the back–oh from the back! It’s backless! And it’s both sexy and yet still simple. It goes great with heels, as well as with sandals. I’ve worn this to dinner, and out running errands. It’s just perfect!

The surprising thing about this dress? At first glance, it’s not my color. If you know me you know that orange and I usually don’t mix. Usually I’m more of a purple person, or classic black, or red. But there’s something about this shade of orange, just bright enough to feel like summer but not SO orange. (We’re sticking with that).

Perhaps, much like a basic that is really a statement, there’s something to be said about things that aren’t what they seem on the surface.  In all honesty, everything about this dress was a bit shocking for me-from the out-of-my-comfort-zone color, to the length (I do still worry about being a bit too old for mini dresses), and while I love a bit of back showing, this one felt a bit risqué. But all together, it’s perfect and somehow me.

Shouldn’t our choices give us room to shock (even us) a bit? Give us a bit of room to grow? I like to think so. And choosing dresses that sometimes aren’t what we would think we would choose for ourselves can expand how we think about ourselves. OR just look amazing at a weekend brunch 🙂

This dress was custom, but I’ve linked similar dresses that are new and fantastic for you below. I hope that your weekend is full of the best kind of surprising plans!
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!

Sparkle Swim

a woman in a green sparkle green one shoulder one piece swimsuit with a green sparkle sarong over it in nude heels in front of a pool and green hedges
a woman lounging on a bench in front of a lake in a pair of white shorts, a green one shoulder body suit and green mules
a woman in green one piece one shoulder sparkle swim and matching sarong with nude heels with a pool and green hedges and pool

I’ve never been one to NOT wear swim with EVERYTHING (see here, here, here, and more if you search swim in our side bar!) but this sparkle swim is a bit special. Because sparkle elevates everything. From pool side to outside outfits (I didn’t know what else to call the outfits I make with swimsuits), a little bit of glitz always makes what would usually be a pool day be a day of glamour.

And if there is anything I LOVE it’s a bit of glamour.

Especially when it’s incredibly hot and feels as if everything is a bit more difficult than it should be- you may be a bit of glamour.

I’ll be honest- I’ve never been one to like glitter (it always felt a bit of a LOT) but in this set- the one piece and the sarong, it feels just the right bit of sparkle. Together as a set, and wearing the one piece as a body suit with shorts (or pants or skirts!), this sparkle swim feels like a breath of fresh air- and all that we might need right now.

a woman in white shorts and a green sparkle one piece one shoulder swim in front of a bench and a lake
a woman in e one shoulder one piece green sparkle swimsuit with a matching sarong in front of a pool and a hedge

And then , this set got me to thinking- what’s the difference between sparkle and glamour? Why am I so open to one while being resistant to another? Is it the wording? The association I have with the terms? Why is one better (or different) than the other?

And ya know, I don’t know that I have great answers for you. I’ve always associated glamour with old Hollywood, old money, high end things and sparkle with fads, trends, and for lack of a better word-cheap.Yet, this sparkle swim set left me feeling glamorous. So, perhaps my associations were lacking, or misguided. Or maybe sparkle and glamour can mean the same things.

the back of a woman in white shorts and a green sparkle one piece swim suit in font of  a bench and a lake

Maybe, in my rush to judge, and think of myself in a certain light (don’t lie, we all do it), I’ve overlooked sparkle in the chase of glamour. When all along, they may have been the same thing (at least some of the time). All I know is that this sparkle swim, and all the sparkle swim I’ve seen this season, has been glamorous. And perhaps my strive for glamour has always had a bit of sparkle (from sequins or these sparkles or any of the other sequins and sparkles found in the search bar). Maybe sparkle has always been my thing?

My thing has always been swim so it wouldn’t be that far off. As for the difference between sparkle and glamour, as of now, I’m leaning towards sparkle as glamour- based on my experience with this swim set. What do you think?

I’ve linked the exact swim and similar shorts for your shopping pleasure below! I would love to know your thoughts on the difference between sparkle and glamour- please let me know in the comments!
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!

Snd love the heels? They’re my beloved Sarah Flint’s and you can use code SARAHFLINT-BAINVESTMENTPIECE for $50 off your own pair!

a woman sits on a bench in front of a lake in white shorts and a one shoulder green sparkle swim suit and green heels

(Mini) Skirting It

Investment Piece: (MIni) Skirting It
Investment Piece: Mini Skirting it
Investment Piece: Mini Skirting It

Know what I hate? The idea that something is too “young” (or too “old”) for a certain age group. Yes- there’s dressing appropriately, but if you feel great in something, why shouldn’t you wear it? Yet. While I would tell you that you can wear all the things that make you happy, I sometimes also worry that my choices are too “young”. Or that I shouldn’t wear something because of my age.

For example, mini skirts. Part of my issue is that I worry my height is too much (my solution to that is to make sure that any mini skirt I buy isn’t too loose, for example this number I sized up so it wouldn’t be short and tight!), but I also worry that I’m too old for mini skirts.

And loves, I would like to think that I’m not too old for anything. Following your own advise it tough, but, I decided to mini skirt the issue and wear what makes me happy. And this skirt, these colors- how could you not be happy in it?

Investment Piece: Mini Skirting It
Investment Piece: Mini Skirting It

Maybe skirting the issue (mini or otherwise) comes down to a little bit of bravery. Or confidence. It may seem silly, but wearing a mini skirt seemed like a big deal to me. However, wearing it was so fun. I didn’t feel old, I felt empowered. Mainly by the fact that I was wearing something that brought me joy!

Some styling notes:
– as mentioned above, I did size up so that the skirt wasn’t too tight. Although this skirt is so stretchy! It’s incredibly comfy (and there’s room enough for shorts underneath if that makes you comfortable!)

-I paired it with a blouse to balance the look. Although from bikini tops to tank tops to sweatshirts, this skirt would go with so many things

-I wore flats as again I was worried about my height. But. I might get even more daring and wear it with wedges or heels!

Investment Piece: Mini SKirting It

What time are you avoiding wearing because of something you “should” wear? How would it feel to wear it instead? I would love to hear about it!

I’ve linked this skirt a few others like it below so you can mini skirt it with me!
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!

Inspired by: Valentino Resort 2018

Investment Piece: Inspired by Valentino Resort
Investment Piece: Inspired by Valentino Resort
Investment Piece: Inspired by Valentino Resort

With my fashion choices, I like to think that I get my inspiration from everywhere. However, there are times when I just happen to be inspired by other fashion choices that I either see people making (why street style is still such a strong force) and by the fashion choices presented to me. This week?

Ok. More than a week.

I’ve been inspired by the images of Valentino Resort from 2018 that have been flooding all my timelines. (Both at the time and now!)
Investment Piece: Inpsired by Valenitno Resort

Especially when I realized that this patterned, all the best of the 70s look I could recreate with pieces I already owned.

Investment Piece: Inspired by Valentino Resort
Investment Piece: Inspired by Valentino Resort
Investment Piece: Inspired by Valentino Resort
Investment Piece: Inspired by Valentino Resort

Note: none of my brands here are Valentino. Though I do love that house (see here, here, and here, and search “vintage Valentino” in the search bar. There’s not a lot of Valentino I pass up).

What I love about this Valentino Resort look? It’s patterned, all mix, all bold, all subtle. It goes together, and yet, any of these pieces would be great on their own. I love the headscarf. Could we make those a thing? Please? And the loafers (heeled)? Perfection. It’s like the best of logo, the best of patterns, and the best of the 70s. (AKA those sunglasses).

Do I want this Valentino look? Of course.
But then, I realized that I could recreate it with pieces I have!

This wrap dress? (And yes, everyone should have a wrap dress, it’s a basic in my book) Vintage DVF. The pattern and the colors are seasonless and perfect to match with anything. These loafers? Gucci. And yes, I am unafraid to use this turquoise as a neutral. Even here, it doesn’t “match” perfectly, but it goes. And somehow, I had the perfect scarf and sunglasses.

Should you copy everything that comes down the runway or is in an ad? Not at all. Should you get inspired by it? Yes. Take what you love. Turn it into your own. And if you can recreate a look you love? Why not?

I’m already excited for when it’s not 100 degrees and I can put my spin on this Valentino Resort look:
Investment Piece: Inspired by Valentino Resort

Below I’ve linked some Valentino pieces I love, some DVF, some great wrap dresses, and more.
I can’t wait to see what you create and get inspired by!
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: Valentino Resort