Memorial Day Sales!

I know, I know. Memorial Day isn’t till Monday. However? Sales start now.

(Really they should give us the week off to shop. And funding for our shopping. It seems like the right thing to do.)

All week I’ll be interrupting your regularly scheduled day and sharing some of my Memorial Day Sales picks with you. Trust me, you don’t want to wait till Monday to shop these goodies!

Net-a-Porter
That collective sigh you heard? Everything everyone wants from Net-A-Porter is on sale with their Memorial Day Sale. And you need to be shopping! Below are my favorite picks for today. I reserve the right to update these as the week goes on, and I shop more.

Net-A-Porter Memorial Day Sales:

ShopBop
That Memorial Day sales are starting the Tuesday before is great news. Even better news? The ShopBop sale is just getting started. What this means for you? You can bet that I’ll have even more picks for you as the week goes on!
ShopBop Memorial Day Sales:

Loves, I can only promise that this week is going to get better (in terms of sales at least!). Each day you’ll be getting more Memorial Day Sales picks; and make sure you’re connected to us on Facebook and Instagram (and Pintrest!), as I’ll be posting items and picks on those mediums as well!

Stay cool out there and happy shopping!

XO RA

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

Happy Mother’s Day

Investment Piece: Happy Mother's Day

I hope today is a day where all types of mother’s in your life get celebrated. I hope there’s champagne and love and rest. I’m off celebrating my mom, and we come back tomorrow with new content!

Also, I know today is hard for many people. If you’ve lost a mom, aren’t a mom and would like to be, or any other combination, I hope that today brings you peace and love. There are so many different types of moms, and so many different kinds of love. I’m wishing you the kind you need today.

Happy Mother’s Day!
XO RA

Birthdays, Runways, and New

Investment Piece: Birthdays, Runways,and New

Loves! Today is the day! Well, maybe not THE day, but it’s my birthday, so it certainly counts as a day.
Does anyone else have a love/hate relationship with their birthday as they get older? Like, I want to be celebrated and have an excuse for new shoes and champagne all day. BUT, making a big deal out of your day just seems weird.

So, this year? I’m celebrating me, in a low key way. You might find me at the pool with some rose (all day). Or at the shoe counter. Or treating myself to a nap. I may throw together a shindig, I may spend the evening reading. I’ve given myself my birthday off, so I’m excited to see where the day takes me.

As for life? Have I mentioned this week is always a bit nutty? Yesterday was mom’s birthday! We celebrated with some margaritas and some shopping. (The above pic was from Saturday when I celebrated Cinco and the Derby and had a great time).

Such a great time that my dear friend William won “Best Dressed” at the Derby Party!

Investment Piece: Birthdays, Runways, and New

Besides family and graduation and all sorts of events this week, I’ve been lucky enough to get to see some amazing runway shows this week!

Investment Piece: Runways, Birthdays, and New
Investment Piece: Birthdays, Runways, and New
Investment Piece: Birthday, Runways, and New

This is what I love about a great runway show, even if the style presented isn’t in line with yours, it’s inspirational. Most runway looks were designed for the runway, not real life. Does that mean you can’t wear a runway look in real life? Not at all. There are quite a few runway looks that I would rock. However, maybe over the top is a bit much for you. The question then becomes, what can you take away from the runway show? From accersories to feel to actual pieces, runways always let you imagine new ways to wear your clothes. What is fashion if it’s not fun? And on these runways I got a lot of inspiration that you will be seeing soon.

Investment Piece: Birthdays, Runways, and New

As for new? The above is what I’m thinking of buying myself for my birthday. Birthdays deserve new. And I love this piece that not only celebrates my birth month but reminds me to bet on myself. How’s that for a new year?

What are you doing today? You have my permission to take the day off and drink rose!

XO RA

Mom’s Style

I wrote this last year for my mom’s birthday, and this year, as I sat down to write another one, I realized I couldn’t say this any better. We’re off celebrating Mom, I hope your day is just as amazing and you love my mom’s tips! Xo RA

InvestmentPiece: Mom's Style

Loves! It’s my Momma’s birthday! If you haven’t caught on, my mom and I are close, and I can’t begin to describe how much I love her, and how appreciative I am for all she does for me. Mom is a CPA and teaches accounting, she’s our CFO, and while that’s completely different from her creative daughter who thinks shoes are a necessity (I mean I need shoes, I occasionally want to eat); Mom’s style has influenced me and helped me become the fashionista I am today. So, what did I learn from Mom’s style? Glad you asked!

Stay True to Your Style

No matter the trend or what “you’re supposed” to do, sticking to what you love and what works for you is something to be admired–and makes you look stunning! Mom is a big fan of navy. She is known for her love of navy suits, shoes, and bags. There are years when navy is “in” and years when we’ve had to search for navy for Mom. That doesn’t matter to Mom, even when the styles she loves aren’t in she sticks to them. There’s a classic-ness in that, a commitment. That’s not to say Mom doesn’t try new things, but I’ve learned that you don’t need to be a slave to trends, that sticking to things you love is something to be commended, and when you find something that fits you–hang onto it!

Proper Undergarments Matter

Mom and I have had a lot of events recently and at everyone Mom has mentioned that she thinks I might need a slip. (Side note: I have slips, I’m not great at wearing them) Here’s the thing though: Mom may have a point. Lining, slips, proper garments: our clothes fit better when we make sure these things are taken care of. Proper fit is important (Mom is big on that too) and to ensure that the fit flows, proper undergarments help. (And let’s be honest, no one likes the look of lines!)

Invest in Your Suit
Something Mom and I agree about whole heartedly? Your suit, be it an actual suit, jeans or yoga pants, is something to invest in. Mom, being an accountant, is a fan of actual suits and made it a point to invest in good ones each year. Now that she’s in a place where she’s good on suits, Mom is having fun filling her closet with tanks, tops and blouses (both classic and trendy) to wear with her suits. However, she’s always adamant that her suits are high quality, she checks seams and linings, that it’s where she spends her money. And loves, I agree–what you wear the most should be where you invest your money.

Don’t be Afraid to Accessorize

Mom is a more conservative dresser than I am, yes. However, Mom is not too conservative for a great accessory! I can’t remember a time when Mom didn’t leave the house without a scarf, jewelry, pins, or gloves. We do a high tea occasionally, and Mom is always on point with her hats (and gloves!). The lesson? You can always be playful, and the details are always a place to have fun!

While Mom and I may have different opinions about certain fashions, but my Mom has some amazing style, and I’m so grateful she taught me all she knows!

Have some champagne to celebrate!

XO RA

I Can’t Seperate My Anxiety from my Obession with Fashion and Beauty

Investment Piece: ANXIETY

Note: This is a repost from Fashoinista, you can see the original here. The author is Maura Brannigan and when I read it I fell in love. Many of us suffer with anxiety and depression. I’m not immune to that. My anxiety can make many things difficult, and there are times when planning my outfits gives me peace. I related to this article and I hope you do too! XO RA

When I was in fourth grade, I realized I could not, for lack of a better phrase, see shit. It occurred to me abruptly, in the middle of a math lesson. My table was in the mid-back of the classroom, and as my teacher was doing whatever she was doing on the overhead projector, I began panicking when things I should have been able to read appeared blurry, like someone had sneakily slid Vaseline over my eyeballs at recess. My tiny body felt hot and immobile, suddenly much too big for its chair; if I willed myself just so, I wondered, could I drop through the linoleum and leave a searing hole in my place? At least that way, none of my classmates would have to see me in the inevitable, which I knew to be glasses.

Sure enough: I emerged from LensCrafters several days later, bummed about my newfound ailment but also absolutely amazed at the detail I could now see. (“Leaves!” I remember announcing to my dad as we left the store. “They look like that?!”)

I see now that this was, probably, one of my earlier panic attacks. There were other incidents, too, like my first day of kindergarten when I sat alone, my social anxiety revving up while I silently, maniacally brainstormed conversation topics I could present to my new peers. My anxiety has always been there. It sits on my shoulder, alerts me that something is off and then vacates the building. It is very flighty. But it has legs.

Like so many people with anxiety, or with depression, or with any number of mood disorders, I find my security in plans. I’ve never met a list I didn’t just devour. And as with so many others, my anxiety is often triggered when I’m thrown off schedule. When I sense my symptoms — sometimes mental, like a weird, morose dread, or sometimes physical, like shortness of breath or stomach knots — I take comfort in pattern. Much has been said in recent years about how elaborate beauty routines, sometimes Korean ones, can help fight depression. I get that wholly.

When I was younger (and there was also much less visibility surrounding mental health), I deduced on my own that if I could regulate every last element of what was happening on the outside of my body, it could have lasting effects on what was going on inside that makes me want to barrel through floors. Even today, my obsession with the fashion and beauty industries is inextricably linked to my expectation that looking nice, looking exactly what I want to look like, will leave me, finally, feeling at ease.

The degree to which I go about planning is methodical at one end of the spectrum and neurotic at the other. There was the year that “The Parent Trap” was released on VHS, and my 10-year-old brain became so embarrassingly infatuated with Hallie Parker that I took pen-to-paper notes on her wardrobe each time I watched. There was my first day of seventh grade in which, after a summer of intensive mood-boarding, I showed up to school in a truly wild, 1970s-inspired ensemble complete with bell bottoms and brown suede boots. My efforts backfired, and I was snickered at with such gusto that I felt I had no choice but to change into my gym clothes. (I wasn’t so much upset, per se, as I was frustrated that my classmates didn’t yet know how to appreciate a proper “lewk.”) There was the month-long stretch — I was, maybe, 15 — when I decided having Pantene Pro-V commercial hair would eliminate all my adolescent woes. When I realized that it did not and it would not, I felt like I had been stabbed in the back by that very shampoo bottle.

My relationship with fashion and beauty products has helped me cope. And over the years, I’ve accumulated a collection of stuff — skin-care, aromatherapy, supplements, whatever — that I’ve turned to time and again to make me feel in control.

Most of that regimen has some physiological benefit, as I’ve learned through years and years of product testing. Bedtime is my scariest time; it can take what is essentially witchcraft to get me asleep. I keep a lavender sachet on my bedside table, which I let sit on my chest for a few minutes when I first climb into bed. I love a pillow spray, as well, the most effective variety of which I’ve found to be the mega-popular Deep Sleep Pillow Spray with lavender, vetiver and camomile from This Works. The hype is not misplaced; after several months of use, the brand’s name holds up.

Mornings, though, are easy. I began taking Ashwagandha, an adaptogenic herb popular in Ayurvedic medicine, with my breakfast about two years ago, per the recommendation of my doctor. (Obviously, supplements aren’t for everyone, and you should always check with your own doctor before starting them.) Both Google and my doctor say that Ashwagandha helps lower cortisol, balance thyroid hormones and combat stress. I say that, yes, it does do that, but I don’t know if it’s the placebo of taking, doing, planning that helps more.

Last winter posed a new kind of challenge. None of my regular tricks seemed to do what I needed them to do. Neither did the calendar-planning, nor the additional pages of lists I scribbled in an attempt to coax myself into stillness. I felt lost, and disheartened, and guilty for feeling any of it. I felt guilty for being rattled when I knew so many others had it much worse than I did. I felt guilty for comparing my own anxiety to that of others, when my mental health was mine and mine alone. I felt guilty for saying no to my closest friends in an attempt to prioritize “self-care,” a hot new phrase I felt guilty for not knowing if I was practicing correctly. I felt guilty for being a selfish partner, and I felt guilty that my boyfriend had to see me as a person I myself didn’t recognize.

Some evenings, I would come home and immediately lie down on the kitchen floor, not bothering to take off my coat or scarf or hat. If my partner was home, he and our dog would join, three warm bodies sardined between the stove and sink. That guilt, of feeling him planking next to me when I knew that he, too, didn’t know how to help me, was worst of all.

I would get up, eventually. And soon, it became days, then weeks, then months, since my last time on the kitchen floor. I just kept doing what I knew worked: letting objects, like hand lotion that smells like my mom, work their material, aspirational magic, and healing from the outside in. An advertiser’s dream.

I feel guilty for that, too. Fashion and beauty products are, of course, just “things.” But we all know “things” can also carry real, emotional weight and become so much more. Why should I judge myself for what I find and have always found to be constructive?

Even so, I’m trying to learn how to loosen the reins, as they say, so that I don’t immediately slip into “flight” mode when confronted with the unexpected. I’m trying to learn how to let anxiety simply beat through me, and how to treat it with the same compassion I might bestow on a loved one, or as I’m also learning, on myself.

Right now, I’m working on my own wellness practice, like meditation — I enjoy the “Calm” app — and 4-7-8 breathing. But I’ve found that the very best thing I can do for myself is to stare my anxiety, and the guilt that comes with it, straight in the face — not to embalm it in lavender or distract it with 18 tabs of suede mules that, in some strange way, might make each hard day feel more navigable. Absolutely everything changed when I began accepting my anxiety for what it is, not trying to fix it like something I could tend with a Band-Aid — how one might fix a fourth-grade astigmatism with a pair of glasses from LensCrafters.

Designer Spotlight: Rita Ghanime: Made with Love Kimonos

Investment Piece: Rita Ghanime, MAde with Love Kimonos

Have I mentioned it’s kimono week here on Investment Piece? Have I mentioned that I don’t always go with a theme, but that I love this one?

And the big news? Have I mentioned that I am just in LOVE with Rita Ghanime and her Made With Love Kimonos?

Investment Piece: #Cheetah
It’s Kimono Week on Investment Piece! First up: #Cheetah!

Also: maybe this title is a bit too long? But I had to get all the things that I love in there. I want you to know all about them all!

So here’s the thing, I will often recommend designers and brands to you, I know that. My promise is never to recommend something I don’t (or wouldn’t) wear myself, or a designer I don’t believe in. It goes against everything I am working to build here at Investment Piece. Why I love Rita? I met her at a pop-up in LA. (If you’re looking for one of the best barre based workouts, try LA Barre Belle) Rita had her kimonos for sale, and between the styling, the colors, the textures, and the pictures Rita brought with her, I knew that these kimonos were something that I was into.

Investment Piece: Designer Spotlight: Rita Ghanime, Made with Love Kimonos,

With Rita, there is more than one type of kimono: short, long, jacket, wrap. There are sleeves of all kinds. There are all sorts of textures: velvet, silk, sequins. And all sorts of patterns: cheetah, solid color, stripe, these sequins that change color. But the most amazing thing about these kimonos? The woman who makes them, and the love and intention she puts into every single one.

Yes, these kimonos are all hand made. Yes, love and intention are put into each and every one. However, I may not be the best person to tell you all about it. Let Rita Ghanime from Made with Love Kimonos tell you.

Investment Piece: Designer Spotlight: Rita Ghanime Made with Love Kimonos

Sewing Intentions into Garments: The Essence behind ‘Made w/ Love’
An important element of my daily practice includes Kundalini yoga- a form of meditation that integrates mantras, and chanting, and breath-work with movements to raise our vibrations and consciousness. I personally design and sew each custom order myself. I approach this work as an extension of my spiritual practice as I weave intention and love with each stitch.

For Women, my intentions are to empower and raise her inner-awareness of the Goddess within to unfold like a flower when she slips the robe on for the very first time. I want her to feel the energy and love sewn into this piece. To empower her with Grace and elegance that will help her navigate and flow through her life with mindfulness.

For Men, I believe they have a hard time nurturing themselves, and view it as something more feminine or frivolous. The gift of gifting yourself with something luxurious and beautiful is part of this nurturing. Part of my intention that I sew into their Kimono is that the man feels nurtured by himself and doesn’t need to look externally for this love- rather that he cultivates it within himself.

ABOUT RITA
Most know Lebanese-Canadian (Montreal native) Rita Ghanime as a Los Angeles based fashion designer, stylist and trend innovator. But she is so much more than what she does or what her many titles depict. She is a mother, and in turn- a student of her son’s many teachings (he is 8).She is a closet-poet, free-spirit, playful, untamed lover of living truthfully and fully. She loves her California-yoga-smoothie drinking-Runyon Canyon hiking, daily dancing in her pajamas to The Doors and electronic music-loving-lifestyle- which has been the most direct path to mindfulness, clear communication and self-love and joy. Her cup is always half full, and her heart, ever-expanding and open.

“I am not in the fashion life-cycle industry simply to create beautiful things and make a profit. I need purpose, consciousness and philanthropy to be a big part of it otherwise it is not fulfilling on a soul-level. Fast-fashion is going to change. It has to. Consumers are much more aware than the large corporate giants give them credit for. Domestic production and supporting local artists is already causing a shift in the fashion algorhythm and things can no longer continue the way they are… This is how indie designers and artists are able to hold space. People are waking up and the indie artist community is emerging stronger than ever and their support is heart-felt and sincere.

Creating for Love
Rita is constantly playing with fashion. Her process is organic- she usually begins by designing something for herself… and wears her it for pleasure. A few photos on social media later- friends become clients and request her to make the same thing for them. This is also how her former unisex kids clothing brand, ‘Jules’ unisex kids was launched. She started making clothes for her son, Julien (drop-crotch pants and infinity scarves, etc). Soon after, other stylish parents were asking her for clothes for their kids.

Her intuitive sense of style is what keeps her inspired and maintains a fresh outlook on not only fashion, but life. Having styled everything and everyone from ‘indie’ bands and DJs, musicians, models and actors to Fortune 500 executives to uniforms for Hollywood’s hottest nightlife spots and even boutique hotels in Zurich (Switzerland).

Investment Piece: Designer Spotlight Rita Ghanime Made With Love Kimonos

Rita has more than one pre-made kimono for you to buy today; and if there is something specific you have in mind Rita is more than willing to work with you.
Check her out at RGKimono

I hope that you love her as much as I do!
XO RA

Kimono Week: #Cheetah

Investment Piece: #Cheetah
It’s Kimono Week on Investment Piece! First up: #Cheetah!

I don’t know that I do themes. One of the things that I love about fashion is that you don’t have to stick to a theme- you get to take what we’re given and make it your own. But, this week? There’s a theme (though I like to think I make it my own). It’s kimono week! I’m no stranger to the kimono (see here), but I recently got an opprotunity to fall in love with Rita Ghanime, the owner and designer at RGKimono “Made with Love”. (I promise, promise there’s so much more on her to come). The great news? There’s more than one kimono, there’s more than one way to wear it, and there’s a whole week for us to explore all of it!

Investment Piece: #cheetah
Investment Piece: #Cheetah
Investment Piece: #Cheetah

Have I mentioned that there are so many various types of kimonos? My fave for today? This cheetah print, that reads more wrap dress than traditional kimono. Could you wear it open over anything: jeans, pants, your swim suit, a slip dress? Of course. It would look amazing.

However, I love this on its own. The cheetah print is subtle, yet on trend (Has anyone ever told you that leopard is a neutral? Cheetah is ALMOMST the same thing. It counts. I promise.) It’s the perfect wrap dress for just about anything. Dress it up (these stirrup tights maybe some of my new favorites) with heels. Dress this cheetah down with flats, sandals, or go bare foot. Take this cheetah out to dinner, or lounge by the pool or go the grocery store. Is there a wrong way to cheetah? Or kimono?

I don’t think so.

Investment Piece: #cheetah

Have I mentioned that there’s so much more to come about these kimonos, and Rita, and Made with Love? There is, and I’ve never lied to you. About that theme — this week you’re going to see more than one kimono. There will be more than one way to wear it, and I hope that some are new to you. What I love most about all of these kimonos, and this brand is general? Nothing is traditional. I have nothing against tradition, or traditional kimonos, you’ve seen more than one on my #ootds. However, I love that these kimonos (which really are made with love) are anything you need them to be: tops, jackets, dresses, etc), and you can wear them however you need. We have so much to cover, maybe theme weeks are a good thing?

If you’d like your own Made With Love Kimono you can check Rita out here. I’ve linked some similar pieces below (tights, shoes, and some cheetah!)

How do you Cheetah?
XO RA

Notes: This post does contain some affiliate links. I may earn commission off of them, but that does not affect the price for you. I appreciate your support!

Investment Piece: #cheetah

#Revisisted

Investment Piece: #Revisited
Investment Piece: #Revisited
Investment Piece: #Revisited

One of the questions I get asked the most is “Do you re-wear the outfits you shoot?” The answer is of course!

Ok, there are some exceptions, but those are very far and few between.

What I wear on site is 99% my closet. What I wear. What I love. These outfits are favorites that I love, or new ideas for us all to play with. Yes, I re-wear clothes. I also revisit outfit ideas.

Investment Piece: #revisited
Investment Piece: #revisited

We chat outfit formulas a lot. There are just some combinations that we can’t help but revisit.
For me? This outfit was one of them (and very randomly, I LOVE the first set of pictures. Why? They are just some that I keep going back to!) Here I love the combo of “dress pants” with a sweatshirt. It looks pulled together (the monochromatic helps), and yet I know I have a sweatshirt on (and isn’t that what counts?)

I have a thing for the color grey (or gray, as you will). I have a thing for wearing one color. And, believe it or not, I have a thing for going back to outfits that work for me. Including this one.

(I also have a thing for putting together new outfits but that’s another post. We’re revisiting today.)

Investment Piece: #revisited
Investment Piece: #revisited
The great thing about revisited outfits? You don’t have to follow them EXCATLY. This time I switched up my shoes–added some sequins (because who couldn’t use some sequins?). This outfit lends itself to more than one type of shoe (most do) and when you have a great base, it’s a bit fun to go back and tweak.

Side note: clear heels are in this season, and there’s a pair for everyone. Love the look of sequin socks? You can always get yourself a pair of sequin socks (yes, they sell those) and wear them with your favorite shoes.

The even better thing about revisiting? You don’t have to tweak. You can rock the original.

Investment Piece: #revisited

I’d love to know: what outfits do you keep revisiting?

I’ve linked similar items (and some of those shoes) below!
XO RA

Sequin Dress

Investment Piece: #revisited

Valentine’s Gift Guide

Investment Piece: Valentine's Gift Guide

I have a confession to make, and this may not be the post to do it. But, I’m a rebel, so here we go. Truth?

I’m not the biggest fan of Valentine’s Day.

Do I love love? Yes. I think you should give affection and love and all those things to everyone you love regularly (and that includes you). What I don’t like? That Valentine’s seems to be a little forced. Really want to wow me? Show up with flowers on a random day and take to a nice dinner. Want to win me over make those flowers Gucci shoes. (I jest. Kind of).

However, there is something about a holiday and about presents and I would not be doing my job if I didn’t help you shop for it. Maybe I’m on the fence about Valentine’s Day, but I believe in shopping. And presents.

So without further ado, I’ve made some picks for the special someone in your life (and yes, you qualify). I’ve included all ranges of ideas from that purse someone wants to just a little something to say “You make me smile”. There’s a chance that this day is a little forced, but if there is someone in your life that means something to you, I’m all about you telling them. And hopefully these gifts help!

For Her

There is no “typical” woman and there is no “typical” thing a woman wants. Some want romantic, some practical, but all want you to pay attention to us. So, if someone’s been hinting about something, or you know that someone LOVES a certain type of thing, that’s a great place to start. Still need ideas?
Here are mine:

Flowers, fine jewelry, and reservations work too!

For Him
Real talk? The men in your life are harder to shop for on Valentine’s. Society doesn’t push chocolates, sleepwear, or flowers for them. (Though if you’re a man and that’s what you want, you go!) So what do you get the man you love? Again, I’m a fan of you paying attention to them and going in that direction. But if you’re stuck, I’ve consulted some of the men in my life.

Here’s what they suggested for Valentine’s gifts:

I would also try a card and reservations.

No matter how you feel about Valentine’s Day, I hope that you do something that makes you feel adored. And I hope that if you’re gifting you get something that makes you smile (even if it’s from you).

This rebel girl just adores you and you make my day!
XO RA