Mom’s Style

I’ve been posting this on my mom’s birthday for a few years now. And while her big day is technically tomorrow, I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate it. My mom and I are close, and yet different. However, as I get older I realize I’m more like her than I think, and I couldn’t be more grateful. Today is also a great day to call your mom (and get her a Mother’s Day gift! 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

Sunday Chronicles: Do-Overs

Lately, I’ve been thinking about do-overs. I have so many pictures and outfits from when I first started Investment Piece and it was just me and my iPhone and a remote. Occasionally, I revisit them and think about sharing some of them. Or reshooting some of them. But, what would necessitate a do-over of something?

Both in fashion and in life, sometimes we need second chances. Or maybe there are times when the story isn’t finished. We all have favorite pieces or outfits, I know I re-wear things. Is that a kind of do-over?

I don’t think that do-overs are bad. And I don’t think that rebelling a story, or using favorites to tell a new story is bad either. But I am fascinated by the do-overs we do, the ones we pass on, and the process of making that decision. I don’t know that I have any answers, or even hard and fast rules about what I do-over. Do you?

In the meantime, what should I do with all these pictures? Do you want to see them?

And if you love what I’m wearing in the video (it’s a denim trench worn as a dress), I’ve linked similar items below for your shopping pleasure!

Wishing us all a week of as many do-overs as we need and amazing shoes!
xo RA

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

Dots in Ungaro

Investment Piece: Dots in Ungaro
Investment Piece: Dots in Ungaro
Investment Piece: Dots in Ungaro
Investment Piece: Dots in Ungaro
Investment Piece: Dots in Ungaro
Investment Piece: Dots in Ungaro

There are dots that are classic, that are modern, and dots that just speak to you. I’ve never met a polka dot that I don’t love, especially a vintage one, and especially dots done as well as Ungaro did them.*** This number, with the belt, rouching, drape, and sleeve detail is both a modern marvel, and makes me feel as if I’m in a great 80s show.

Usually, when I have great vintage, I can’t help but wonder about the owner before me. Who she was, what she did, where she wore the piece. And I’m not saying I don’t here. But. These dots also urge me to look forward. Teas, cocktail parties, summer events, I can’t help but think of all the places I can wear this piece to–and all the ways to wear it!

With shoes that emphasize shape.
(On my Wishlist are also minimilist white heels, and I would love to pair those with this dress as well!)
The belt with a white tee and jeans.
When I want to feel classy and yet show a little back.
On days when I need cheering up (this pink!).
Cocktail parties in the summer.
And spring teas.

The owner before me must have had so many stories. I can’t wait to write some of my own in this dress.

****(Vintage Ungaro is a must have in my humble opinion. The drape, the details, the shapes, and the feel of modern and timelessness make them pieces you can wear at any time. Ungaro started designing in the 1960s, dressed celebs such as Princess Di, then retired in 2005, selling the company. With new ownership, Ungaro still produces fashion that’s divine!)

I’ve linked some of my favorite vintage Ungaro finds 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: Dots in Ungaro

How To: Lingerie Dressing

Investment Piece: How to Lingerie Dressing

In the next week or so, many people will come to you with ideas about date night dressing, or Valentine’s Day looks. I’m not against any look for any kind of date night that makes you feel absolutely amazing. However, among the red, and pink, and hearts that will be on display:
Investment Piece: I HEART YOU
Investment Piece, fashion blogger, color block, Red//Pink, Jcrew, Zara, Gucci, CA, TX
(See, I love those ideas, too!)
Might I suggest something new for date night or Valentine’s Day.
Lingerie dressing.

Investment Piece: slip into something more comfortable

It’s like PJ Dressing’s older sister, just as comfy, and adds an unexpected element to any outfit.

Investment Piece: how to lingerie dressing
So, new ideas in mind, the question becomes how do you lingerie dress?

I’m glad you asked!

Lingerie dressing can be as simple as letting your new lacy items be seen through your outfit, or it can be as involved as wearing lingerie as the main component of your attire. My favorite ways to lingerie dress:

1. Wear a vintage slip as a dress or shirt
2. Wear something sheer and let my black lingerie peek through
3. Wear a corset or teddy as a top (if you’re a little shy, a blazer or sweater over looks amazing!)
4. Wear a great bra as a top (again, partially covered if needed)

There is so much room of personalization and layers with lingerie dressing, it’s hard to go wrong. I personally love the vintage looks (and yes, often pair them with sweaters of jackets to give just a peep!). There are ways to show as little or much as you like! Do you lingerie dress? Would you?

I would love to hear about it!

I’ve linked some of my favorite lingerie items to wear out below! Happy lingerie dressing!
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!

Sunday Chronicles: Fangirling Tracee Ellis Ross

An upside and the downside of living in LA is that celebrities are everywhere! (They are just like us!)

And even though they become common place, there are just a few celebrities that I can’t help but Fangirling over. Tracee Ellis Ross is one of them. One of the best stories I have? Meeting Tracee in a SoulCycle bathroom and chatting about red lipstick. (I’m not sure of the exact science, but red lipstick does help. Everything.)

Investment Piece: Fan Girling Tracee Ellis Ross

At this point, you may be asking: why Fangirl over Tracee? I mean yes, she’s stunning, talented, an advocate for causes she believes in, does amazing things like lift other artists up:

Investment Piece: Fangirling Tracee Ellis Ross
Tracee was the emcee of the AMAs and made a commitment to wearing designers of color and letting them have a platform.

Tracee’s Instagram is a glimpse into amazingly glam and couture moments and behind the scenes slices of life. There’s so much to love, and if you haven’t seen her TED talk yet, you need to get on that:

And I love this speech about having kids and the worth of being a woman:
Tracee Ellis Ross is the life coach we need.
She’s an endless inspiration for outfits and how to show up in life.

There are many, many reasons to be Fangirling over Tracee Ellis Ross. But, why do I?

Investment Piece: Fangirling Tracee Ellis Ross

Tracee Ellis Ross is a woman who is comfortable in her skin, and this alone makes her radiant. We give a lot of lip service to self care and self love, even I have written about it (here, here, and here). As we know, self love isn’t just face masks and a hashtag on Sunday’s. It can also mean saying no to things, saying yes to things, and choosing to treat yourself like someone with worth.

To me, Tracee shows how to do all that. Yes, a part of it is the glam fashion and the support of amazing causes. I don’t personally know her, and there could be an argument that any time we follow someone from afar that we’re only getting a curated view of their lives. Valid points. Yet, if this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Tracee Ellis Ross’s life, I’m still a Fangirl. She’s the kind of woman I’d love to be: self assured, giving, funny, and real.

I also wouldn’t say no to this Gucci cape:
Investment Piece: Fangirling Tracee Ellis Ross
Just saying.

In the meantime, I’ll just work on being comfortable in my skin.

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

Investment Piece: Fangirling  Tracee Ellis Ross

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.

Fashion Week: What is it Good For?

Loves! NYFW has come and gone. LFW is in process. Paris, Milan, all the fashion weeks are happening, have happened, or will happen. But, the reality is, even though fashion week may be all over your social media, most of us won’t go to fashion week. Some of us won’t even buy the fashion presented there. So, fashion week, what is it good for?

I had some thoughts about it, so I made us a video. (Yes, I ramble and sometimes lose my train of thought. It’s a good time)

I would love to get your take on fashion week! Let me know EVERYTHING!
Xo RA

I’d love for you to join the conversation about fashion week. Have you gone? Are you going? Do you buy runway? Do you think it’s worthwhile?

Let’s chat!
Xo RA