Valentine’s Day

Investment Piece: I HEART YOU

Usually I do Valentine’s very low-key. It’s not that I don’t love love, I do! However, I sometimes get uptight when we’re told we HAVE to show our love in a certain way. One of the good things about this pandemic is that this year, I’m more vocal about my love- telling my friends I love them, sending cards, planning things for me (self-love is important too!), and taking a day of love and making it a thing!

Investment Piece: Shark Love or how to dress for Valentine's with a sense of humorI

Below, I’ve rounded up Valentine’s from your BFF to your mom to your SO. As well as things for you (and yes, black lace is for you and them!) Together, alone, I hope I’ve linked things you can love and do with people you love. I know that this year may be different (I am so ready for an average, basic year), but it doesn’t mean that what can be a sweet celebration has to be bad. I’m sending Valentine’s (like the ones we did as kids!) to girlfriends in the mail. I’m planning a spa day for me (because I love me and I deserve some pampering). Indoor champagne picnics, massages, there are all sorts of things to do with your SO!

I hope whatever you plan it’s full of love!

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!

Galentines
Your BFFS. Sister. Mom. In Laws. Remember in elementary school when we gave the whole class a little card? When we were in it together? I loved that. Friend love is just as important as romantic love- and these presents are a great way to let people know that you love them. As I said, I’m sending my friends a card, maybe some flowers and maybe some surprises. Let’s normalize telling people we love that we love them- even if it’s not romantic love!

SOs

Just because we’re at home doesn’t mean that we have scale things back! In fact, Valentine’s at home is my favorite kind of date night for this holiday. Use massage oil candles- show off your magic hands. Feed each other! Cheese plates! Champagne! Black lace! There are so many ways to celebrate at home. And these may add to the excitement:

You
Celebrating yourself is important. Taking time for you is important. I’m doing a spa day- because I’ve grown to love at home facials and sauna. What do you love? From scary movies to trashy reality shows to certain meals to hot baths. Whatever it is that makes you feel restored, do that. And if you need to buy yourself new shoes? I won’t judge!

Investment Piece: #nakedtux

No matter what your Valentine’s looks like- I hope that you feel loved- and all the good things you deserve!

Xo RA

Cardigan

Investment Piece: Cardigan
Investment Piece: Cardigan
Investment Piece: Cardigan

Lounge but make it fashion.

It’s been the theme of the pandemic- finding clothes that will look good on Zooms and the like, yet will be comfy. Sweatpants and shirt sales have gone through the roof. You may be at a point where putting on hard pants gives you anxiety.I get it, I have been putting on hard pants but have yet to wear hard pants for a full day. How did we do that day in and day out?

While I’m not ready for hard pants, I’m ready for fashion. And not the lounge kind. I’ve been missing getting dressed and all the feelings it gave me. (I also miss the places we went and the people we saw)
Yet, I have no desire to give up my comfort. Work is still happening on the couch after all!

My solution? The cardigan.
Or in this case, a cardigan dress.

Investment Piece: Cardigan
Investment Piece: Cardigan

The purple color of my dreams, soft enough to curl up with, but a cardigan to stop traffic- in all the best ways. I found this number via Instagram, but not an ad- Sarah Jessica Parker wore it (with hot pink heels!)

You know when you can’t get something out of your mind? This cardigan was it for me. When I first looked it up, the color I had to have (I love a good purple) was sold out. I tried to wait patiently. Telling myself that it was simply a cardigan dress and I didn’t HAVE to have it. I searched for similar dresses-but I couldn’t find another that I liked. The sleeves, the fringe, the wrap, the color- I was memorized.

I could list the ways I wanted to wear it and why I love it so. But, I have to admit that part of the appeal to me was that this dress is a cardigan. It’s show stopping and versatile and stunning. At the same time, it’s a cardigan! It’s comfy! You can wrap up in it and nap if need be. It could fill my need for fashion, while letting me lounge!

Investment Piece: Cardigan

Call it lack of willpower, or call it divine pairing – I got this number the second it came back in stock. And I haven’t regretted it. Life is more on the couch than out and about right now, but I feel glamorous. Maybe that’s what I was missing all along. Who would have thought that a cardigan could give it to me?

You can join me in the cardigan life! Buy yours here at Hanifa. (This is not a commission link! I just love this dress and this company! Sizing note- while the site will tell you to go by height on this dress, my first order was the small and it was way too big! This is the Extra-Small- perfect and still long enough!)

I’ve also linked similar items for you below, just in case you need more than one cardigan!

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: Cardigan

Quilted

Investment Piece: Quilted
Investment Piece: Quilted

Quilted jackets- puffer and non-puffy- are in. And I love them. I tend to get COLD when I get cold, so puffers (even not the super puffy ones!) always make me feel warmer (yes, that’s most likely placebo, but I’ll take it!). Any kind of quilted look feels more elevated- jackets, shoes, pants, skirts. But a trend I’m seeing- vintage and bespoke stores taking vintage quilts and making them into jackets, jumpsuits, and more.

As someone who loves the look, as someone who loves the stories that quilts can tell, as someone who loves something special- I LOVE it!

Investment Piece: Quilted

Quilts can be wonderful stories. Maybe your grandma or great-grandma used scraps to make quilts for your family to sleep under (mine did!). Or maybe, someone in your family collected quilts. If you’ve made a quilt I’m simply in awe of that- no matter what the pattern or fabric- quilts are just these wonderful pieces of fashion that happen to lay on our beds. Until-
There are so many places right now to shop stunning pieces made from vintage quilts. Jackets. Jumpsuits. Bandanas. Bags. Hoods. It’s a story made anew, and there’s nothing more attractive than that!

Shop these old/new creations at:
MagPie Vintage Clothing
PottersDaughter Project
Psychic Outlaw

Investment Piece: Quilted

I’m sure that there are more out there, but these are the shops I’ve been looking at! The coat above, not from a vintage quilt. But- it was my grandma’s. The older I get, the more I love my grandma (and mom’s) style, and love wearing their vintage clothes. It makes me feel closer to them, and it’s my own way of telling a story anew.

My grandma? She did not wear this chic, colorful, reversable number with leggings (BTW these scuba leggings with split ankle openings are my new favorite. They feel like pjs and wear elegantly- I feel like they go with everything. They’re an elevated basic!), but I can’t help but let the coat be the star and pairing it over minimal black. Cap-toed flats (yes, I would normally wear heels but it’s a panic attack out there!) I like to think balance it out, while mimicking the quilting. Her coat, made my way.

Now, I just have to convince one of my parents to let me cut up one of the family quilts and maybe I can make my own jumpsuit!

What do you like to wear quilted? Do you love stories made anew?
While I couldn’t find my grandma’s exact jacket, I did find you new quilted jackets and some scuba leggings- linked 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: Quilted

Fashion Travels

Investment Piece: Fashion Travels

I miss traveling. Trying new things. Seeing new things. Experiencing different cultures.

(Side note: I know things for many are so bad that travel is at the last of the list. So many of us are hitting walls and burned out, and this pandemic has taken so much. The loss is a lot. I don’t mean to diminish that, but share a reprieve. I’m holding space for you, and hope we all get to go to all the places, and mourn in all the ways when this is all over. )

Because we can’t travel in the way that we did in the before, during the pandemic I’ve been traveling the only way I can- through shows, food, cocktails, puzzles, and of course fashion! For National Puzzle Day (yes, it’s a thing, and in related news I would REALLY love to be a part of the Committee who comes up with all these days!), my mom and I worked this puzzle of England through the ages. It included country sides, famous people, and events that marked time. We drank British drinks, and I wore British designers.

I talked about it here:

Investment Piece: Fashion Travels

England, and London, is special to me. My family and I lived there when I was 4-5. As you can see, London helped me refine my love of socks with shoes, and red date shoes (seen here!) I can remember the dinosaurs in the History museum, the milk man, and Laura Ashley, my favorite British fashion when I was five.

Investment Piece: Fashion Travels
Investment Piece: Fashion Travels

Now that I’m older, I have a more mature appreciation of British culture. From H&M to Stella McCartney to British dectective stories (one of my favorite genres to read lately has been the spy stories from WW2 and they all worked for the UK Secret Service).

How I’m using all of this to make it feel that I’m traveling even while we’re staying in? I’m wearing British designers (here in Burberry). I’m researching things I didn’t know about the UK from history to trivia (did you know Winston Churchhill drank 42,000 bottles of champagne in his life? That averages 2 bottles a day from birth to death!), and I’m looking at art, reading British novels, watching British shows and movies.

Investment Piece: Fashion Travels

Is it the same? No. But it helps. And I feel like I’m getting out there- learning new things, seeing things in a different way. And the planning- the research, the making of food and cocktails, the finding of shows and puzzles and books, and of course the shopping- is fun. It does feel like I’m widening my circle.

Where do you want to go? How are you scratching the itch to be other places while staying at home?
I would love to hear about it!!
Xo RA

Below I’ve linked similar Burberry skirts for you (starting under $100!) and my current fave picks from H&M

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: Fashion Travels

Cat Got Your Tongue?

Investment Piece: Cat Got Your Tongue?
Investment Piece: Cat Got Your Tongue
Investment Piece: Cat Got Your Tongue
Investment Piece: Cat Got YOur Tongue

Leopard:
Is a neutral
Is the new date night
Is found everywhere
Is my new favorite.
Is tongue- catching.

Investment Piece: Cat Got Your Tongue

This dress is a little bit of everything I love. Comfy- stretchy, and there’s even a thumb hole for you to wear it all the way down your arms! Sexy- it makes me feel good, and enhances my curves in all the right ways. Leopard is thought of a bombshell look, but I’ve found it to be just as perfect on the couch! More than I thought it could be, this dress makes me tongue-tied in just how easily it fits into my life.

Investment Piece: Cat Got Your Tongue

Happy Feburary! The shortest month of the year, often the coldest month of the year, Black History Month, and the month of love. I don’t know about you, but since the middle of January I’ve been getting emails about Valentine’s Day-sales, gifts, date night ideas, and outfit suggestions. (I’ve made my feelings on Valentine’s Day made known here).

This year, there’s a great chance that Valentine’s (like so many other things) will look and be different than in years before. Which may be great! Without the pressure of going out, maybe you and your loves can do something really personal and really special. (I am aware that there’s a chance you may not be able to be with your loves-both platonic and romantic- this year, for many reasons. If it’s a hard time, I’m hoping it lands gently for you, and that you get to do something for you.) Usually, outfit suggestions for Valentine’s can range from pink to red to hearts to sweet. I have a daring suggestion: leopard.

Especially leopard that’s comfy. Especially leopard that fits.

Hopefully this leopard catches someone’s tongue 😉

I’ve linked this dress 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: Cat Got Your Tongue

By the Belt

Investment Piece: By the Belt
Investment Piece: By the Belt

When I was little, I truly thought that day-to-night dressing was a huge (problem isn’t the right word–issue?) thing. Cosmo (and other magazines I read at friend’s houses) made me believe that every woman worked a fab job (because all the jobs written about sounded so exciting) and at 5 got out their make-up bags, made adjustments to their outfits in the bathroom, or in the back of cabs, and went out to somewhere elegant and fun.

(In unrelated news, I have found certain parts of adulthood to be disappointing)

Now, most of us are not in an office, and we aren’t racing somewhere, but, I’m still thinking about day-to-night. Or more precisely, I’m fascinated by how one outfit can become a million different things, all by changing the details.

(It may be a nice break, as usually when I’m in a set I love to talk about all the ways I break it up. And I have broken up this set! The pants go great with sweaters. The top and black jeans are chic! Getting dressed makes me feel like things are happening!)

In this case, it all changes by the belt!

Investment Piece: By the Belt
Investment Piece: By the Belt
Investment Piece: By the Belt

The orginal belt came with the pants! Part of why I was attracted to this set was that I loved that it almost looked like a jumpsuit when tucked in. And the belt is great- pairing with with sneakers was my first instinct but anything from loafers to heels would look great here. The orginal belt pulls it all together, looks fantastic, would even look great with jeans.

So, why change the belt? You don’t have to. But adding a different one-this vintage gold one is one of my all time favorites-changes the outfit entirely.It’s such a statement. The gold belt elevated the look, even without heels, made me feel as if something elegant was about to happen.

For me, it’s the day to night difference.

Would other belts make completely different outfits and statements? Probably. Having an outfit that could be so many things with a simple change–how exciting is that? It makes me want to play with all the belts I have!

Investment Piece: By the Belt
Investment Piece: By the Belt
Some fit notes: this set is from Target and I love it! I’m in the extra-small for a top, and a size 2 in the pants- I have plenty of room in both. The faux leather is high quality! The gold belt is vintage, and I truly think that vintage belts are the way to go- so many options, and often great prices!
I’ve linked similar belts and this set 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: By the Belt

Luxury

Investment Piece: Luxury
Investment Piece: Luxury
Investment Piece: Luxury

What do you consider luxury? True luxury, worth every penny, makes you sigh luxury?

For me? There’s certain clothes and silk-silks and a perfect fitting heel come to mind. Deep,dark chocolates. The really good goat cheese. The first sip of fantastic champagne.

But what I’ve been thinking about lately are the luxuries that we can’t buy:
-Not having to set an alarm
-The comfortable silence you can have with someone you love
-A weekday afternoon off (I used to love going to a matinee and having those hours alone!)
-Alone Time

I’m sure that there are so many that aren’t coming to mind.
Why am I thinking about luxury? Because the longer we’re home, the more I crave it. Not just the things, but the experiences. The time with people I care about. And the more I want to wear luxury (I write this in yoga pants but I’m at the same time over yoga pants. Here’s hoping all my Juxatipositons are a luxury!)

Investment Piece: Luxury

I’ve been seeking out pieces like this to wear. Silk. Gold. But still lounge wear.
And I’ve been seeking out little luxuries I can give myself at home. Bubble baths. Fancy water.
It’s not the same. Sometimes it’s better, sometimes it’s worse. Luxuries don’t make everything better, but I think they are needed. There’s something about a little quiet, a little silk that makes the day easier to get through. And if we’re gonna get through the day, we may as well make it as luxurious as we can. Right?

I would love to know: what’s your definition of luxury? How are you giving it to yourself right now?

This dress is vintage, but I’ve linked similar options 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: Luxury

New Day

Investment Piece: New Day
Investment Piece: New Day
Investment Piece: New day
Investment Piece: New Day

We’re officially into the new year. (It’s almost scary that we’re almost in the second month!)
Maybe you’re all in on the new year, speeding ahead, getting things, done and it’s all great.
Or, maybe it’s been a lot, you still feel like you’re behind, and it’s still not feeling shiny and new for you.

And if you’re in the middle of those two things- join the club! This week felt like there was a shift in energy, I’m feeling hopeful about what’s to come, I’m excited about so much! And I’m still so tired. On Thursday I hit a wall, nothing was wrong, but I just didn’t have the energy to do anything. It didn’t help that it was grey outside, trying to rain but not succeeding. When I feel that low I do one of two things–let myself rest as I trust that my body is trying to tell me something, or I get way dressed up and trust that dressing like I’m full of energy will make me full of energy.

Option 2 didn’t work. Tired, achy, just out of it- an outfit couldn’t fix it. (Though long term I do believe in fashion!) When I hear the term “new day” I always think of change and big things. The doing of things. The start of things.

Maybe yesterday was a day of rest. But today? It’s a new day. I promised myself that if I let myself rest yesterday, today I would start. Do the things. Wear all the outfits. Get going. Let it all be new and shiny. (I’ll be sharing all of it with you!)

Investment Piece: New Day

These pictures are from a few January’s ago. There’s something about the ocean that makes me feel calm and grounded, and also makes me believe in the future. It’s my happy place. Polka dots also make me happy-classic but modern, and very hopeful. I’m excited for all the new things to come. I’m grateful for this new day. Now, to go get dressed in it!

How is your new year going? How are you feeling? What are you wearing?

Xo RA

This set is vintage but I’ve linked polka dots 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!

Investment Piece: New Day

Closet Organization

Investment Piece, Fashionblogger, closet detox, closet clean out, CA , TX

Usually, around this time, we would be talking about cleaning out our closets. I would pull out all my things and go through them, weed out what no longer serves me, and either give it away or sell it.

I detail my process here and here. I write a lot about cleaning out your closet- not because I love it- but because I think it’s a more complicated than just getting rid of things. Search closet in the search bar!

Honestly? This year I have no emotional bandwidth to clean out my closet. I haven’t since the pandemic started. It’s not that I can’t identify clothes that aren’t fitting my life, in some cases me, or that may need to be let go of. But I am in no way ready or able to deal with all of that. Because I don’t know how long all of this will last. Because I know that I don’t make great choices when I’m super emotional, and I know that right now going through my closet would be emotional.

So, if you’re in the same spot- it’s ok. There’s no deadline on cleaning out. There’s no mandate that you have to do it. Now may not be the time to clean out your closet. For me it isn’t. And that’s aok!

Investmnt Piece: Closet Organization

While I’m not cleaning out my closet, what very much sounds good to me is closet organization. I want to know where all my things (treasures) are. I want that space to be efficient and help me get dressed easily.
How am I going about that? Almost the same way that I clean out! I’m dividing my clothes into sections (for me it’s vintage (both day and dressy)/dresses/tops/pants/skirts/bags/shoes- and it grows from there. I’m looking at turning a room into a closet- with all the shelves and more that I need. There’s an accounting of what I need (space) and what serves me (being able to see all my things), and see what works.

I’m not showing you now, as this is a work in progress, and to be very honest I’m not 100% sure what it’s looking like. But I know getting my ducks (shoes) in a row will help me feel better.

What about you? Are you cleaning out? Organizing? A combination of the two? How’s it going? What are you learning? Tell me everything!

I’m linking closet organization systems below that I’m thinking of using in my own 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!

MLK Sales

Perhaps this 3 day weekend has been a bit more subdued (there’s nothing wrong with subdued!), but while we’re here we might as well shop! Below are my faves from sales here and there!

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: MLK Sales

Everything is 15% off at H&M. My top picks? Sweater vest and the black/white set!
Shop my picks here<\a>

Investment Piece: MLK Sales
Get 40% off all tops at Anthropologie! I love the different takes on a chambray top and button-downs with patterns. Shop my picks
here

Investment Piece: MLK Sales
Get up to 80% off at Moda Operandi. My faves? That vegan leather jumpsuit is under $200, and I’ve been thisclose to buying the snake skin boots since Sat!
Shop them here

Investment Piece: MLK Sales
Everything is 25% at Frame Denim! Did you love the jeans in this post? Now you can get them at a discount!
Shop all my picks here

Investmnt Piece: MLK Sales
Get up to 30% off (and free shipping) at Carbon38! I love the white leggings with gold snake print, and their lounge sets are divine!
Shop it all:

Investment Piece: MLK Sales
I had to include a shoe sale! Get an extra 20% off sale at Sam Edelman with code BESTOFSALE. It’s no surprise that I love all the boots, and also the square toed pumps!
Shop all my picks here

What are you buying? I’m trying to stick to a budget, but please act surprised when you see outfits posts made of some of the picks here!

Xo RA