What to do when you HATE the trend

I originally wrote this post a few years ago. I pull it out now and again, because I can’t stop thinking about this topic. Again we’re finding ourselves at a time when trends are going to be presented. We’re in the middle of a transition to a new season. We’re being told what’s trendy, what we should buy, and the looks that we HAVE to have. And loves, I’m not mad at any of that. I love seeing new interpretations and getting to explore new sides of ourselves through fashion. The flip side of that? What if we hate it all. What if the trends for fall or next spring are just awful and wrong for us? Next week I’ll be sharing what 2021 Fall trends I’m excited about (and also what trends you can buy vintage!). I know that trends can have this negative connotation. But I really think if we can think of them as the fashion being offered to us- to do what we need to- they seem more appealing.
With that I feel a little bit better. I hope you do you!

Wishing us all a week of good trends and amazing shoes!
Xo RA

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NY Fashion week has come and gone, and we’ve been presented with what’s on trend for now, and for the Fall. Which is great, right? Hopefully you’ve been inspired and are excited about what will be/is offered to you, and you have ideas and plans on how to wear it (or you’re excited to see how we wear it here!) But loves, let’s be honest with each other. There’s a chance, and there are times, when you just HATE a trend. Maybe you try it and it’s just not flattering on you. Maybe it brings back bad memories. Maybe you just hate it so much you can’t bring yourself to try it or think about it. I get it. I know, I’m in fashion and supposed to encourage you to try new things. Which I think you should. But not everything is for everyone.

Loves, I’ve struggled with this part all week. A part of me is torn–I feel as if I’m supposed to encourage you to try new things. Maybe the right piece, the right time, the right color will change your mind on a trend. Maybe. Trying different versions of a trend is also valid. Maybe you hate cold shoulder, but you love a certain off-the-shoulder. Maybe. Classics may be your thing and you don’t want to vary out, but one dress could change your mind. Maybe. I think all these avenues are great-again, I’m for us all trying things. But loves, sometimes things don’t work. And that’s valid too. Trends are simply that, a passing fancy, and if you don’t like it, it’s ok. A new trend will come about, or classics are always in style.
There are trends that I don’t like; and my personal view is that fashion is supposed to be a fun way to express yourself–not a list of things you HAVE to wear.

So, at the end of the day my biggest advice is, if you don’t love it, don’t wear it. That simple. Love what you wear, wear what makes you feel good!

XO RA

Sunday Chronicles: Not Going to Plan

Investment Piece: Green Envy

I’ve had one of those weeks. Well, not one of THOSE weeks, but one of those weeks that did not go to plan. At all. In any way. Which can be incredibly frustrating, and leave you feeling behind or worse. But, there are times when things are not going to plan, when it can be a gift. Right? At least that’s the mindset I’m going with.

This past week I had plans, and ways that I thought things would go. As the saying goes, “Want to make God laugh? Tell him your plans”. I’ve found it to be true over and over again. This week I came down with what could only be described as part vaxx reaction/part allergies. I ran fever, chills, sore throat, dibilatating headache. My car was in the shop, which was both a pain to deal with and then had to budge for that unexpected expense. I had to cancel my plans, I had to rearrange my schedule, I had to take time for me. And while there were times that having to put all my plans on hold was upsetting, there are times when things not going to plan was the best thing to happen.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how I think about things (mindset) and how I roll with the punches. Being a planner, I can sometimes get a little (a lot) upset when things don’t go according to my plan. Trusting that I’m always in the right place at the right time, that things will always work out for the best, and that the unplanned can be gift doesn’t always come naturally. I work at it. I’m getting better at it.

Because, the thing is, not going to plan is a gift. Sometimes it means that we get something so much more amazing than what we had planned. I had to rearrange things this week. I missed some things that I was looking forward to. And, I felt behind as I didn’t do my plan. But you know what? I got to rest. I got to really look at some things and I got the chance to do some self care. Work worked out, and while there are things I’m playing catch up on, I’m full of new ideas and in a place where I’m rested enough to get more done.

There are times when our plans won’t get us where we want to be, and we have to trust that things not going to plan will. I’m working on it. How about you?

Wishing us all a week of great events (planned or not) and amazing shoes! XO RA

Sunday Chronicles: Grandparents Day

Investment Piece: Grandparents Day
My parental (Grandma) and maternal (Mimi) grandmothers

I know that some of these “holidays” aren’t really big deals. See “red wine day” (not that I didn’t celebrate), “French fry day”, “pancake day”, etc, etc, etc. However, as someone who was lucky enough to be close to her grandparents, and miss them now that they’re gone, Grandparents Day for me is actually something I’m into this year.

My maternal grandmother, my Mimi, was a bit like my nanny growing up. She drove us to school and picked us up (making sure she was first in the pick-up line), made dinner, used to pay me $1 to eat a taco at dinner (instead of just queso. I also got paid $1 not to tell my mom we watched soap operas with her!). Mimi taught me about mixing patterns, red lipstick, the wonders of Vaseline as a night cream, and her infamous pecan pie recipe.

My paternal grandmother, my Grandma, taught me to quilt, make hand pies, made the best toast (I know, completely random. She also made so many amazing things- but I often miss her toast!). Grandma taught me to indulge my artistic side, laugh when you can, and indulge while keeping to your schedule.

My Papa (paternal grandfather, not pictured!) was a bear of a man (to others) but to me was the person who would tell me to give his neck some love. He worked/owned a construction company but my most vivid memories of him are watching sports (silently) on his lap/chest with his miniature poodle (Cheerie, who wore bows and had her nails painted). Papa taught me about juxatipositons, home repair, and boundaries with compromise.

I know that families are complex and relationships are hardly ever linear. No matter you’re feelings on holidays like Grandparents Day, I hope that you’ve been lucky enough to have the love of a great grandparent. And if not, that in your adult life you’ve made a chosen family that provides you with that kind of love. I adore you, and would even wait in line to pick you up.

Wishing us all a week of strong love and amazing shoes!
Xo RA

Sunday Chronicles: Hauls

If you’re VERY online, you know that there has been a lot of discourse about hauls (when someone buys anywhere from 10-50 pieces at a time, usually from a fast fashion retailer). And people have opinions. I have opinions. There has been advice from where to shop instead of fast fashion, to just stop hauls and shopping fast. But more important than all of that, I think the questions we should be asking ourselves is how can we find joy in really finding our style and taking our time building our wardrobes. Let’s chat about it!

And one of the dresses from my vintage “haul” (aka all of the lovely clothes that a neighbor gifted me when she and her daughter cleaned out their closets) I’m on the fence about. I love the color and the details- and it would need to be taken in (and there are so many options on how to do that!). So- what do you think? Keep or sell?

a woman in a blue dress leans against a door frame

Wishing us all a week of intentional shopping and amazing shoes! XO RA

Sunday Chronicles: Routines

a woman in white shorts and a white blazer in front of a stone wall

What’s that saying? Danger can hurt you but routine can kill you? Something like that. And I get it- we don’t want our routines to be a rut. Ruts, more than routines, I think are what can kill us. But- what if instead of a routine, you’re in chaos (aka no routine and nothing to anchor you). Isn’t that the most dangerous of all?

And, for a while, it feels as if chaos is where I’ve been, so I’m yearning for routine.

It started in the middle of lockdown. I’m an introvert, and have always worked from home. Yet, with no schedule (like my gym classes) to really anchor me, I become a bit all over the place. There were nights when I would stay up so late (not doing anything but watching reruns), and then nights when I went to bed at 8pm. Days when I would get a ton of deadlines met and days when the most productive thing I would do is have coffee. I get it- we were all (and still are) going through things and dealing as we could.

But. What I’ve learned about myself? I need routine, a schedule, something to anchor me. I need to know what days I’m shooting and which I’m writing, when my workouts are, and (for sanity) to have a “regular” bedtime.

(of course with a routine it makes the days when you deviate from it SPECIAL. But you have to have the routine first!)

So, starting this week I’m getting myself back on a routine. I’m actually excited about it- as I feel as if a routine will help me thrive, and not just survive. Naturally, we all need different structure, but how I’m going about it is I’m giving myself some guidelines, with the understanding that sometimes they will be broken, but with the intent to stick to them 98% of the time. What am I doing? Bedtimes (by 10), workouts (booked and the ones at home given a time), scheduling days for all my activities: cleaning, laundry, shooting, admin, etc. It’s not to suck the fun out of anything, though it does feel a bit like the 2 weeks before school when my mom would make us get back on a school routine instead of a summer one, but to help me be my best self. Therefore, able to have more fun.

And I’m adult enough to know doing what’s best for me is fun! (And yet not adult enough that I think this decision warrants something new!)

What are your routines? Do you find that you need them? Or are you ok just playing it by ear all the time? I would love to know about it!

Wishing us all a week of what’s best for us and amazing shoes! XO RA

Sunday Chronicles: Change of Plans

a woman with a black eye in a metallic shirt and black shorts stands on stones

One of my favorite sayings is “The way to make God laugh is to tell Him your plans”. A play on the fact that, no matter your beliefs, things have a way of not going to our plans all the time. This weekend I had every intention of shooting so many looks, working out, getting the house clean, etc. And yet, all week long all my plans have had to be changed. As it turns out, I pulled a muscle in my back- truly painful and very limiting on any movement I wanted to do. Then, on Thursday, I woke up with a black left eye. I have no clue how I got it (though I must have been hit at some point!), and while at first it didn’t hurt, over the past few days it’s gotten more swollen and hurt a bit more.

Which means, ironically, my plans for tomorrow might change and I may need to go to the Dr.

When my plans change, I try to roll with the punches, I try to be graceful, I try to take it all in stride. Sometimes a change of plans is easier said than done.

Knowing that I could rest for a week (or take it a bit easier physically), knowing that everything would get done eventually- even knowing that a great pair of sunnies could hide my black eye- the changes from what I had planned were hard to deal with. I was disappointed, frustrated, a bit sensitive, and a bit impatient. By the end of the week, even just putting off a run made me feel just awful.

And the reality is- these small change in my plans were not earth ending. As I’ve said, I know that everything will get back on track, I have time, and I can already move my body so much more than usual. So, why do our plans changing upset us so?

Yes- obviously there is a big difference between small and big plans, while there were moments this week that felt big, my change of plans were all fairly minor. Yet, they were upsetting.

Is it because we think we know best? That we have a hard time with change in general? That going with the flow is easier said than done? For me, it’s probably a combo. I’ll tell you (and I can be) that I love spur of the moment plans- but I also know that my plans changing can throw me for a loop. Even the minor plans.

So, what do we do when we have to change plans? Thus far I’ve vented to friends, felt bad about it, gotten mad about it, tried to over compensate with replanning the plans– and nothing has felt as good as just letting my body (and me and my plans) be- and happen as they can. There are times I’m better at it than others, and I’m sure there’s a lesson in there that I might not learn right away.

What do you do when you have to change your plans? How do you handle it?

Wishing us all a week of plans that work and amazing shoes! XO RA

Sunday Chronicles: Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris

movie poster-pink- with an older woman in a skirt suit and hate, holding a briefcase with Dior dresses, a man raising his hat and two women in the background with text Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris

This week I went to the movies for the first time since the pandemic started. There’s a whole post to be written about my love for movies, how I used to go at least once a week, and how nervous I was to go back to the movie theater. I did wear my mask the whole time, chose a smaller theater, and a weekday matinee. All which made me feel more comfortable. But. This post is about Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris, which was not only a great movie to see (and about fashion!) but a movie that reminded me why I love movies and stories so SO much.

Not giving the entire plot away, but in Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris a London cleaning lady in 1957 saves up to buy herself a Dior dress (when it was still all couture), and her adventures doing so. I will never be the one to discourage you from saving and buying yourself something beautiful (Dior dress or not), but that wasn’t the only thing I loved about this movie!

I loved that Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris reminded me that:

Fashion is Magical
an older woman in a teal cardigan and red hat looks on in awe , behind her sit a woman in a floral dress and a man in a black suit

When Mrs. Harris gets to Paris, specifically to the House of Dior, she stumbles into a fashion show. Her expressions during the display of dresses, suits, coats, and hats is simply one of awe. She even claps at certain looks. I understand that impulse- I’ve clapped when buying shoes. But it was a reminder that fashion is magical, it can make you feel things, it’s awe inspiring. Yes, fashion is functional and tells our stories, and is often beautiful, but I think that sometimes we forget that the combination of all of those many things that fashion is can be magic. And sometimes, in a couture house, or when we see fashion that moves us, or when fashion is incredibly beautiful, I think the appropriate response is to call it magic and be awe struck by it.

Fashion is mad of details
One scene in the movie, one of the workers gives Mrs. Harris a tour of the Dior workroom. From buttons to patterns to embellishments, there was an attention to detail- from the magical to the mundane. Yes, the movie reminded me that fashion (and we) are magic, but there is also function, business, work, and detail that goes into fashion. Yes, there are conversations to be had about who makes our clothes, how they make them, and our own needed details. I loved that this movie- about the magic of fashion- took the time to point them out. And it was also a reminder to me that the little things about our outfits- the ones we think maybe no one notices? They matter.

Our Stories Matter
In the film, Mrs. Harris is a simple war window, a cleaner called an “invisible woman” by more than one person. Yet her story- falling in love with a dress, yearning for that beauty, saving and coming to live out her dream inspires others. From love to work, Mrs. Harris inspires and changes the lives of those who she comes into contact with. In this blog I’ve made it my mission to tell our stories, with fashion, to make sure that our stories matter. There was a part in the movie where it’s mentioned that even if Mrs. Harris is simply going to keep her Dior dress for herself that it’s worth it, and I agree with that. I also agree with the notion that the stories we tell- who we are, what we do, what we wear, can change others.

There is so much more to this movie. I truly loved every minute of Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris (I may have to get back to the theater more often!), and highly suggest seeing it! It’s also a book (which I’m reading), and I believe that you can get the entire Mrs. Harris series (she also goes to New York and Moscow!) on Kindle for under $10!! And because of who I am, and the stories I tell, I did make my movie going outfit an occasion:
a woman in a blue silt shirt, white pleated silk skirt, studded brown sandals stands in front of a red wall, brown door, sink
(The skirt is vintage Dior because I love a theme!)

Have you made it back to the movies? Have you seen (or read) Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris? What were your take aways?

Wishing us all a week of magic and amazing shoes!XO RA

Sunday Chronicles: Sick

Investment Piece: Day Off

I had big plans for this weekend – from posts to IRL plans. And yet, they’ve all been put on hold as I’ve been under the weather. Because of the pandemic, of course I’m worried about it being Covid (I’m currently just achy and have a sore throat so I’m hoping not!). I did have the Omicron variant in January- and I didn’t talk about it. Partly as I wanted to see how it played out (I was lucky and had a mild case but did deal with lingering symptoms, one of my fears of getting another variant); and partly as talking about being sick isn’t something I’m skilled at.

Also, partly as I was hoping if I didn’t address ha I bc Covid it wouldn’t affect us here.

I spent yesterday laying low, doing the bare minimum, taking care of myself. At the end of the day I was feeling better than I did when I woke up. There is a chance this is something – but I’m crossing my fingers it’s a little bit of being run down and I get over asap. But. This time I want to talk about it- my fears about being sick, how it might affect me, and include us in the process. We (all of us) have been dealing with the pandemic and it just seems silly not to be honest about our personal experiences.

There is a new outfit post tomorrow, and as of now it doesn’t seem as if any of our shoot plans or posts will be affected. If I do end up having Covid I will let you know (again, let’s hope I’m not!) and if the schedule changes here I’ll let you know.

In the meantime, let’s take care of each other out there. If you have any tips to get over any illness quickly I’m all ears!

Wishing us all a week of health and amazing shoes!
Xo RA

Sunday Chronicles: Burnout

A woman in white pants, a red and white striped shirt holds a big hat over her face as she stands in front of a pool

Everyone I know is burned out right now. The toll of the last few years seems to be taking its tool, and my loved ones (and me) are over tired, over sensitive, and overwhelmed. If you google burnout what turns up is: Burnout is a form of exhaustion caused by constantly feeling swamped. It’s a result of excessive and prolonged emotional, physical, and mental stress. In many cases, burnout is related to one’s job. Burnout happens when you’re overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to keep up with life’s incessant demands. Which is a great definition. And may accurately describe our collective state during this time due to the incessant nature of everything.

What’s not super clear when you google burnout is how to cure it.

It’s not just my loved ones, I have to admit that I’m a bit burned out too. I’m wiped, at times finding it difficult to be passionate about the things I care about, and in general I have little to no energy. My burnout is not an all day everything issue, but I am beginning to notice it. Remember on Wednesday when I was all excited to revamp everything? While that’s still my plan, I haven’t found the energy to start on anything, and even the things I feel excited about I’m still kinda “meh” about.

I’ve spent some time this week chatting with more than one friend, and they are all feeling the same way. So, my question is: if we know that we’re burned out what do we do about it?

Google has advice like “rest, journal, exercise, get help”- which are all great suggestions. But what if you’re doing all those things and still dealing with burnout?

The answers for that seem to be a bit more vague, especially as so much of the collective burnout isn’t work related, but related to the Pandemic, the state of the world, and all of the things we don’t have control over. So, what am I doing about my own burnout? I am resting more, and at the same time trying to get into a routine that serves me (aka not staying up super late watching old reruns!). I’m bringing back a sense of play, aka letting myself move (swim, dance) just for fun, and getting in my closet and exploring. I’m also making it a point to spend time with friends and people I love.

Is it a quick cure? Not at all. But my desire for the revamp (and all good things) also keeps me going a bit. Are you dealing with some burnout right now? How are you “curing” it? What helps? I’m open to any and all tips- and if I find something that works great, I will pass it along!

Wishing us all a week of rest and amazing shoes! XO RA

Sunday Chronicles: Happy Father’s Day!

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It’s Father’s Day! My dad is an engineer but has never questioned or withheld his support from his daughter who only ever wanted to dance, act, and be in fashion. He’s also the man who taught me to love football–which is a huge part of my life. I wouldn’t be where I am without him.  I hope the fathers in your life are as supportive of you!

On the other hand, relationships with our parents, and parent figures can be tough. I hope if this is a hard day for you that you’re spending the day in a way that feels right to you.

Wishing us all a week of love and amazing shoes! xo RA