Wardrobe Essentials

There are tons of lists that will tell you what you NEED in your closet. A great pair of jeans, a little black dress, a blazer, etc. I completely agree –probably with all of them. There are essentials which everyone should have in their closets. But what about the essentials that have NOTHING to do with clothes? I believe there are some–and here are my top 3:

Tailor

1. A great Drycleaner/Tailor/Shoe Repair

Yes, I know technically that’s three right there–but often these are housed at the same business, so I’m lumping them together. If your closet is something that you invest money into–or even if you just need your clothes to look amazing you’re going to need one of these three– if not all at some point.

A great drycleaner helps you take care of your clothes. They should have a great knowledge of fabrics and cleaning–and be vocal about sharing that with you. My drycleaner is not shy about letting me know what items might bleed, might pill, might need extra care. Listen to them and tell them your concerns–in the perfect situation they can help your clothes last for years.

A good tailor is an amazing find! Again communication is key–but a great tailor should be able to not only take care of hems, tears, etc, but should be able to take in, reconstruct, make any clothing more beautiful. I have more than one piece in my closet that started out as something else–dresses I’ve made into skirts, skirts into dresses–that were completely redone by a skilled tailor.

Shoe repair–and handbag repair goes right along.  We know how I feel about shoes–the right person should help care, clean and keep your shoes looking like new!

2. A Steamer

I know, it’s not sexy. And as much as I love clothes–I hate laundry. And ironing. But, again, if your clothes are an investment, they need to be taken care of well. A steamer is great for fragile fabrics, is easier to use than an iron, takes less time, and can take up less space. There is no need to spend big money on one–I have a basic hand held and I love it! It allows me to be wrinkle free and freshen clothes in the minimum amount of time.

3. A Mending kit

I know–and I’m not saying that you need to spend your down time sewing. In fact, I don’t believe you need a traditional mending kit– but it’s the easiest name for odds and ends.

-Safety Pins. These babies are the duct tape of fashion, their uses are endless. In fact you could probably devote a single blog just to that.

-Shoe pads/Blister rub–to protect your feet and those amazing shoes.

-Extra buttons– I just keep the ones that come with my purchases.

-Shirt pads–the lovely little pads that fit into clothes to protect from sweat. Have I mentioned it’s already in the 90s in LA?

-a Good mirror with good lighting– you will never know what your outfit really looks like if you can’t see it.

 

These are the things I think we should all have. So what about you? I’d love to hear the things you consider “essentials” that aren’t clothes!

Sunday Chronicles

Does loving fashion mean you’re dumb?

If you know me for five minutes you catch onto a few things- I love fashion, especially shoes, and I’m not ashamed of that fact.  Is this the only defining feature I have? Heavens no! Although, to be fair, it is an obvious one. To me this quality is one that goes with being tall and blonde– it’s who I am, I give no thought to it.

So imagine my surprise a few years ago at a dinner party I threw, with a delicious champagne risotto I’m still proud of, that a friend of mine turned to me and said, “I’m surprised you’re a good cook, I mean you like fashion”. Really? Liking one thing automatically prevents you from having another skill set?

Know me for ten or fifteen minutes you pick up on other things- I love sports (don’t call me when my teams are playing), I’m an insatiable reader, I love true crime, cooking, am religious about my workouts, and have a weird obsession with art theft.   Do any of these qualities ultimately define me? I think not–aren’t we all really complex, layered creatures? One quality cannot define a person–and if we have to make a fashion tie in, if I was one dimensional could I love both high end shoes and sweat pants? Probably not. And I do.

But let’s examine the real issue– if we can agree everyone can have more than one interest, does liking fashion make you dumb? Is fashion dumb? I, clearly, am going to say no. Argue what you like–clothes have power. Putting on a certain outfit, a certain pair of shoes–you move a certain way, you feel a certain way, it affects you. That isn’t dumb– that’s power. Also, look a Zac Posen dress, look at the draping, tell me that’s not art– not a superior craft. I will argue for days that shoes that are well made are easier to walk in, no matter how high the heel.  If there is that much skill and power in what you put on your body, how can it be dumb? How can an interest in that be dumb?

So, somewhat proudly, I tell you — no fashion doesn’t make you dumb. If anyone tells you other wise look them in the eyes and dare them to prove it to you.

Happy Sunday!

xo RA

Sunday Chronicles: Permission to Relax

Loves! If you follow me on Instagam, you know that I’ve been sick this week. I felt it coming on Tuesday, and I was completely down Wednesday and Thursday (and most of Friday). Loves, I am not a good patient. I have plans and to do lists, much like you. I had a way I thought this week would go, and things I thought I would accomplish. Clearly, life had other plans. I’m better, but I’m not 100%. I’m up and doing things, but that tires me and I’m finding I have to let myself rest. I still have emails and goals to accomplish, I have some busy weeks coming up; but I’m finding I am having to let myself relax, let myself rest. I found this old Sunday Chronicle and it really hit home. This week I have so much goodness to share with you, and am working hard on improvements on the newsletter, our posts, and planning for trips. I’m so excited about what’s coming, but today I’m letting myself relax. I’m not going to beat myself up for not getting the list done, for not being ahead. This is worth a reread:

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Internet friends! It’s been a week, hasn’t it? Or it has for me-there’s been bad news, long days, and roller coaster emotions. There’s been work done, work left undone, and work half done. A week full of amazing highs and low.  And you know what? I’m tired. Really tired. Usually, even when I’m tired, I can muster the energy to plow through – get my to-do list done, feel accomplished. But sometimes? I need a rest. I need it to be okay that the long list with to-do on top isn’t completely marked off, that the kitchen floor isn’t mopped or there are a few emails I could still send. Relaxation can be hard- there is always something to do; it can feel as if we’re measured by what we can get done in a day. There are days when that works. But there are days when it doesn’t. There are days when you need rest- because without a “down day” there can be no days where we rush from task to task. So today I’m giving myself permission -and you as well- to a day off. A day with late breakfasts, good books, and maybe a nap. The kind of day full of nothing that fills you up- because sometimes a day like that is good for you. And because sometimes, we deserve what we need.

 

Wishing you you a week of rest, productivity, and amazing shoes! Xo RA