Deceptively Simple

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If you’ve been reading my Sunday Chronicles, then you know that I’m in the middle of a move. Which means most of my closet is in boxes, I have a to-do list a mile long, and I’m not sure where half my things are—and of course in the midst of this I still have meetings and life and this insatiable need to feel great in my clothes. The only solution I’ve found? Simple but impactful outfits and amazing shoes. It makes getting dressed a snap and even if I’m not sure where anything is, I look put together. Plus, I don’t think anyone could be stressed in amazing shoes!

Happy Monday! xo RA

Details:

Crop Top: Alice and Olivia, old, similar here
Culottes: Marissa Webb, old, similar here and here
Shoes: Paul Andrew for Jcrew

Sunday Chronicles: Summer Bucket List

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It’s August ( how can it be August already)!?! Summertime is both in full swing – long, hot days- and winding down – back to school commercials have started to air. Don’t get me wrong- I love summer, but as a football fan the closer we get to fall the more excited I get. My pro team is the Dallas Cowboys, and they hold their yearly training camp in Oxnard, not far from LA. Yet in all my years in LA I’ve never made it to camp- until this year! I spent yesterday afternoon watching practice- and while it was no game, it gave me the “football” feelings, and let me cross an item off of things I’ve always wanted to do in the summer.

Which got me thinking- with these few weeks left in the season, what else do I want to do? Beach trips, wine tasting, and homemade Popsicles come to mind. I’m making a list and would love to know- what’s on your summer bucket list?

 

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

The Naked Dress

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All over the runways lately many celebs have been seen wearing dresses that are -for lack of a better word-naked. I know people have opinions on what is too much–I would argue the red carpet is a world all its own and as long as the dress is worn well it’s not a bad thing. However, most of us don’t live on the red carpet–so is this a trend you should shy away from? Nope. With a slip you can give the illusion of naked, while keeping everything more than covered; and yet you can feel like a star. Interested in more sheer, check This post.

Happy Friday! XO RA

Details:

Dress: For Love and Lemons
Short Version here

For the record I did put a nude slip under as to not feel super naked. Of course that is up to you! And I’m tall so it may hit you differently!

Shoes: Steve Madden

What Color Shoes Do I Wear?

I love shoes, LOVE them. And one of the things I love about them is the power they have to make an outfit pop. I don’t believe your shoes have to match your outfit exactly, they can make a great statement, but let’s be honest–some colors go better together than others. In fact, the question I get asked most often is what shoes should I wear with this color?

Now, these are not hard and fast guidelines, the best bet is always to try and see. Remember in theory shoes should be darker than your hemline (there are exceptions!), and factors such as hem-length, how thick the shoes are, etc will affect the look. But here are my thoughts!

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Black Hem: I actually think this option gives you the most freedom! Even nudes can work – although that is something to test, but I love black with prints (like leopard), bright colors (red) and you can’t go wrong with black!

Be cautious of : pastels. If the dress/skirt/shorts are on the shorter side a pastel shoe might work but in most cases black looks better with a brighter shade

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White Hem: You still have a surprising amount of freedom with white-you can do a print or a color, white, or a neutral.

Be cautious: Sometimes black or bright shoes can overwhelm white. They can be a great statement, but make sure to check the look as a whole!

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Blue: I have a friend who asks me about this combo often! I think blue looks best with a neutral print, or a neutral/nude shoe

Be Cautious: Unless you’re a bridesmaid matching blue shoes to your outfit can be overwhelming (I’ve seen it work but you need to check it). Black shoes can also work–again just check the look as a whole

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Nude Hem:  This looks best with a nude, neutral or neutral print

Be Cautious: Of going too dark with your shoes. There’s nothing sexier than nude shoes making your legs look longer–make sure you don’t break up the line!

Red Hem: Usually looks best with Black. Anything Else can be tricky.

Printed Hem: Safest bet is to go with the darkest/most prominent color in the pattern. Nude and blacks are also a good bet!

 

I’d love to know–what are some of your fave shoe combos? Are there any colors you have issues matching shoes to?

Happy Wednesday! XO RA

Some similar shoes I love:
Caged Nude Schutz
JCrew Brown Mules
Valentino Rockstud
Great Leopard Print

9 to 5

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It’s been ages since I’ve worked in an office. However, I love a good suit! I know, not something that I have a great need for in my life–but I just can’t resist the clean lines, pinstripes, blazers, vests, pants, skirts–and dresses. This Jcrew number is a God-send to me therefore–just enough of a suit feel (little pinstripes) but fun enough (flirty pleats) for me to dress for meetings, lunches, and whatever the day brings.

Happy Friday! xo RA

Details:

Dress: Jcrew
Shoes: Alexander Wang, last seen here

All Palm-ed Up

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And everywhere to go!

This summer everywhere I look I see Palm print–and I get it! It’s fresh, it speaks to the season, and can make even the dreary weather we’ve been having in La seem bearable. This skirt is JCrew from two years ago–but it fits right in with the current trend, which proves great shopping is always an investment (at least that’s my theory!)

Hope you’re managing to stay cool! XO RA

Some of my favorite Palm Prints out there:
this bikini
this jumpsuit
this jumpsuit
this apron
this set
and this dark take (that’s on sale!)

The Bags of Summer

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Somehow it’s the middle of July. And it’s hot. Really hot. What’s getting me through? These bags! Basket-like, chic, fun and white–they scream summer to me and are making higher temperatures seem more bearable. Great bags have that effect on me!

Hope you’re staying cool! Happy Monday! XO RA

Details From Top to Bottom:
Anthropologie
Cambridge Satchel Co
Stuart Weitzman, found at Polka Dots and Moonbeams similar here
Chloe

Sunday Chronicles: Should You Fake It?

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In an episode of Sex and the City, the ladies visit LA where Samantha tempts Carrie with fake Fendi bags- conveniently sold out of the trunk of a guy in the Valley. Bags that look exactly like the real thing but for half (or less than half) the price? It does sound tempting- but Carrie opts to hold out for the real thing; her thinking being that even if the bag fooled everyone she would know it was fake, and she didn’t want fake. And while getting a steal is tempting – I side with Carrie on this one.

Is this an essay to persuade you that you should always shell out the bucks for the designer bag? Nope. I do believe in quality, and love saving and buying some of my designer things- but think quality can be found at any price and you have to do what is best for you- and if a fake bag makes you happy I say go for it. What I’ve been thinking about all the other things in life we fake- and whether or not we deserve more than Valley-trunk fakeness.

To an extent, we live in a world of knock-off, fast fashion just being one of the culprits. And I’m just as guilty: I’ve staged photos to get “likes” on Instagrams, I color my hair but want my stylist to make it look as natural as possible, and I’ve spun events in my life so that to people everything sounds amazing. Is this bad? The hair color is for sure great, and I’m not a fan of spilling my secrets to strangers; there is a truth to the saying “Fake it till ya make it”. So, good right?

Maybe. But, what I’ve been thinking is that maybe we spend a little too much effort on how things look like on the outside, and completely ignore the inside. To put it another way, if the bag looks designer on the outside does it count if it’s cracked and peeling on the inside? Some of the best nights of my life have been messy: crying , laughing, holding onto people I love. Not one picture from those nights would pass anyone’s Instagram standards. And while spinning events can be great–how amazing is it to open up to the people with whom you can be honest? The ones who ask who you are and you can honestly say “Sad” or “Scared” or “Abnormally excited” and have that be ok? Aren’t all those experiences, messy as they can be, just if not more amazing than having things look perfect?

Does this mean that I’m going to stop having things look nice, coloring my hair, or spinning to certain people? Nope. But, just like Carrie, I think that even if I’m the only one who knows it–I don’t want fake. So I’m making an effort to be more real–even if it’s messy and scary– and I’m trusting that it will be just as beautiful as the fake.  I’d love to know–what’s your take on this?

 

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