Designer to Know: Say it with Pins

Have you heard? Brooches are in- AGAIN! I love a great brooch, fun to put on a lapel, or a scarf. You could also- fasten your cardigan with it, put it on your purse, use it as a tie. There are so many ways to wear a brooch, and so many messages you can send with them. I love this reminder that what we wear tells a story, and when we are intentional with the stories we tell we can change the world!

Investment Piece: Designer to know: Say it with Pins

I’ve always been fascinated by those women who walk into a room and everyone notices. And I’m even more fascinated by the women who seem to get everything that they want, without having to over explain themselves. (Real talk? I’m wordy and would win a gold at over explaining myself.) So, when I had the chance to look at a way that one such powerful woman communicated, I jumped on it!

Investment Piece: Designer to Know: Say it with Pins
** Did you know that a spider represents patience and predatory behavior? I’m not the only one who suddenly wants to wear a spider on a night out, right?

***And you may have caught on, today isn’t a true “Desginer to Know”, but rather a way to wear a design. (Play on words? Maybe, but related)

Last winter at the LBJ Library in Austin, I got to go see the pin collection worn by Madeleine Albright during her time as Secretary of State. Fashion? Yes. But, Albright also used her collection of pins to communicate with other Global Leaders, and silently but clearly, make her positions and feelings known.

It’s all the best of everything I love about fashion. A personal way to say who you are, and what you’re feeling. It’s a bit cheeky. And pins are a way to stand out. Why don’t we all do this?

Some of my favorite pins from the collection:
Investment Piece: Desginer to Know: Say it with Pins

Investment Piece: Designer to Know: Say it with Pins
A broken glass ceiling

Investment Piece: Designer to Know: Say it With Pins
Investment Piece: Desginer to Know: Say it with Pins
Hear No Evil/See No Evil/Speak No Evil

Albright’s colleciton had flowers, butterflies, animals, and all sorts of patriotic symbols. She became known for her pins, and people became adept at interpreting what some of them meant. One of my favorite stories from the collection:
Investment Piece: Designer to Know: Say it with Pins
Investment Piece: Designer to Know: Say it with Pins

And I was thrilled to realize that a strong, powerful woman and I have similar tastes:

Investment Piece: Desginer to Know: Say it With Pins
Madeleine Albright’s leopard pin

Investment Piece: Designer to Know: Say it with Pins
My leopard pin from Bloomers and Frocks

I’m left with two questions: Should we bring back pins?

(Answer: I’m game. I loved that not all of Albright’s pins were designer. Which means-yes, if you can, start collecting Cartier and high end pins. But it also means, Etsy, any jewelry or vintage shop, and any market can provide you with a pin to say something with. )

Do you have to use pins to make a statement?

(Answer: No. Let’s use all of our fashion, accessories, and personality to say what we need to say.)

Which leaves the question: What are you communicating?

I’m off to make statements with my fashion. Join me?
XO RA

Investment Piece: Designer to Know: Say it with Pins

Sleeping In….

a woman on a bed with white sheets and a pink peignoir set
a pink peignoir set on a white bed
a woman in a pink peignoir set on white bed
a woman in a pink peignoir set on a white bed
a woman in a pink peignoir set on a white bed
a woman in a pink peignoir set by a wind with a white bed

It’s Monday. We are heading into a holiday weekend (in the States at least!). This week also finishes up graduation season and kicks off wedding season. And summer. It’s a lot. I mentioned yesterday that I have been one a work trip (for my day job, as yes, sadly, still Gucci doesn’t buy itself) and I am so wiped. Are our to-do lists so long? Yes. Am I stressed about it all? Yes.

But Maybe. Especially on a Monday. What if we indulged ourselves? What if we let ourselves rest?

This vintage peignoir set was a birthday gift from my mom– and it’s every thing I love. A bit extra- this rose and pearl appliqué (has me afraid to sleep in it as I toss and turn) but is stunning. The lace. The straps. The jacket!! It’s so pretty that I want to wear it in real life.

A chat about how chic they used to be when they slept is a post for another time but please know that every classic movie I watch I am in awe of the peignoir sets. And yearn for them! So this one? Completely up my alley.

While I am advocating for us sleeping in today- and this week. And this weekend. I will most likely be wearing this while you are reading this while I am drinking coffee. Pretending that life is a bit more sophisticated and more chic than maybe Monday is. On the other hand- maybe we should sleep in. Perhaps a treat at the beginning of the week will make the week all the more bearable. It may not be possible – but what if it is? And what if we dressed for it like this?

This set is vintage but I have found you similar. And I truly hope that this day can be exactly what you need!
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!

a woman in a pink peignoir set on a white bed

Sunday Chronicles: Is there Such a Thing as Balance?

a woman in a blue pant set with purple feather shoes on a bed with a lace bed spread

One of my favorite bits of wisdom? “You can have it all, just not at the same time”.
Another bit of wisdom I have heard recently? “Sometimes things comes in waves. You have weeks when you’re great at work, then weeks you’re bad at work. Weeks you kill it in the gym, weeks when going for a walk is a big feat. You get to be good at one thing at week. Sometimes two. Don’t worry when you’re not good at something”.

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about balance, about being good at it all at it all all the time, and how we manage. As I write this I am on a work trip for my day job. I have eaten meals, worked, and cried in this hotel bed. This week I have averaged working at LEAST 12 hrs a day (and I am most likely short changing myself). I haven’t worked out the way I love to. Or need to. In fact, putting myself first has been a thing I haven’t done. And I can tell I am suffering from not doing things for me, or working on the work I love.

We live in a world that makes it seem as if balance and keeping it together is easy! Just drink enough water (also haven’t done that this week), and keep up with everyone’s highlight reel and your work/social/personal/physical/spiritual lives and journeys are a snap! That’s what we are told. That’s what so many of us are killing ourselves to achieve.

There are weeks I feel like I have it together. And then days on days when I feel as if all I do is hit rock bottom. Lately I have really been worried and thinking about balance– mainly as I realize I am not doing what I want– and that’s not just shop all the time. When I get stuck in a pattern of my “scales” leaning towards everything that is not for me (ie. I am not drinking my water or working out or giving myself what I need in oh so many ways) and I find myself overworked and burnt out and trying to please people who probably don’t care (from bosses to clients to strangers on the internet), I can’t help but think about balance. And to use a wording from the original blogger, Carrie Bradshaw-

I can’t help but wonder: Is there such a thing as balance? And if so, how do we achieve it?

With only so many hours in the day (as we do need sleep), how do we excel at work, and our workouts, our diets and treats, at being a good friend and partner and if you are- a parent or child or caretaker, and still make time for ourselves? Is it possible to have it all and be it all week in out and every day? There have been times in my life where this did feel possible. But, lately? I have felt like I am failing at it all.

My experience this week at balance? Nothing balanced at all. My scales were heavily tilted and even with a few extra hours in the day I am so tired I don’t know that I could do anything with them. My birthday was a week or so ago, and one of the things I promised myself is that I would be my best self for me. So, does that mean I tilt my scales in my own favor? Personally, I know I need at least a few weeks of drinking the water and my workouts and focusing on the work (like this!) would make me feel better. But if that costs other things?

How do we balance it all? This is beginning to feel like a rant– which I never intended. Perhaps I should not be imbalanced and write! A vulnerable moment? I am struggling with my balance right now. And if you have any tips I am ALL ears. Even if it’s just how to say to my boss I need a day off!

I am sorry I have no insight. Tomorrow I will get up and do work. And I will also try to make time to get on a treadmill. And maybe spend some time in the water. And wear something fabulous. Have some water. And maybe some wine. Will it be enough? I guess we will see!

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

Easy. Set. Go.

a woman in a blue and white pattern linen long sleeve and pant set  in front for green neon doors
a woman in a blue and white linen pant and Long sleeve set in front of green doors and concrete
a woman in a blue and white linen pant and white long sleeve pant set in front of green doors and concrete walls
a woman in a blue and white linen pant and white long sleeve pant set in front of green doors and concrete walls
a woman in a blue and white linen pant and white long sleeve pant set in front of green doors and concrete walls

We are heading into summer. And hopefully the living is easy. So how do we dress for that? For me? I am doing it in an easy set- a la this easy peasy linen pant set. We know how I feel about sets. I LOVE them. Wear them together. Apart. Mix and match in ALL the ways. And when the pieces are breezy linen –even with pattens- it’s so easy to feel as if it’s a bit summery. Perhaps also a way to ease into the season, give yourself a way to pant when its SO hot SO soon, and feel breezy when it’s a beginning of- all the graduations, parties, weddings, get a ways, etc and travels that just need an outfit that is oh so chic, oh so versatile, and oh so easy.

Even as a set pieces like this are easy peasy to switch up. From flats to heels. Sandals to wedges. Add a belt. A mule. Anything from a sweater over to a blazer to a scarf. So easy. And when easy is chic it’s the best.

This set is sold out but I am linking some of my current fave linen sets that have the same fell. Tell me- what are you wearing for the summer? How do you feel about sets and linen and easy?

XO RA

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

a woman in a white and blue line pant set

OOPS I Did It Again…

a woman in a net dress over a sheer skirt with raffia sandals and chained sunglasses and a head scarf
a woman in a black crochet dress with a blue and white stripe shirt dress over and black flip flops in front of a fence

The question I get asked most often? But do you re wear it? And how do you style it? And I know. There are so many blogs. So many IGs. So much out there- a lot of it ready made outfits. So thinking about rewearing and remixing and restyling pieces (which FYI is the hallmark of a great piece! That you can rewear and restyle and make it new again over and over again). And really? I LOVE remixing and restyling. And rewears. I always worry that it’s not engaging or exciting blog content (why do we always think that everything has to be new and now?) but most of my outfits are a rewear or a restyle.

The above? The base is a crochet dress. Over swim. Over sheer- which the sheer skirt you have seen! here. And this crochet dress was originally shown to you with a shirt dress and leggings here and I really want to mix the 2 up again! Sheer- yes over swim. Maybe over a shirt dress. For sure with a button down. A tee Mix! The crochet over swim (a theme!), over pants, over a skirt. Over another dress.

These are such little snapshots but the possibilities are endless.

a woman in a blue and white shirt dress with a red laminated skirt over and pink and red platforms
a woman in a red laminated skirt with a grey turtleneck and great tights and gold heels

This red laminated linen skirt is one of the pieces I was most excited for this summer. And Spring. I imagined it with cropped tees and heels. And yet- so far I have only ever worn it layered. With tights and turtlenecks and shirts dresses. I can’t wait to play with it as the temps rise!

And of course there’s my go to rewears that I have written about here and here and < ahref="https://www.investmentpiece.com/outfits/never-gets-old/"target="_Blank">here. There is so much that I reach for time and again. From classic < a href="https://rstyle.me/+mesSwKNP1YpoLZ0CXieM8w"taret="_Blank">Paul Andrew mules that I wear with everything to this strapless bathing suit that I wear as a body suit with EVERYTHING. Honestly too much to count at this point.

Even my party dresses? I rewear them. From various events to swapping out shoes and accessories that they feel new. I rewear and restyle. All.The. Time. It’s part of the fun of building a wardrobe you LOVE. And can style!

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

What do you LOVE to rewear and restyle? What things would you like to see restyled from jeans to party dresses? I would love to hear about them all!

XO RA

a woman in a slit jersey button dress and pink mules
a look at sweatshirt dress I’ve worn before with different shoes and styling

Cape it Off….

 a woman with a black cape dress with a tortoise collar and black heels
 a woman with a black cape dress with a tortoise collar and black heels
 a woman with a black cape dress with a tortoise collar and black heels
 a woman with a black cape dress with a tortoise collar and black heels

There is something about a bit of the dramatic and a bit of exquisite details that can make even a classic or a basic- a la the “little black dress”- into a statement. A celebration. Something that when you reach for it, wearing it makes you feel a little better about life.

As I mentioned, this past Friday was my birthday. And I always love wearing a special dress on my birthday. This dress? Beyond. I’ll be honest- this was Plan B. It’s a Simkhai dress that I have had for about a year (maybe more!) that I had never had a chance to wear. For my birthday I had bought a lovely embroidered dress, but it needed a bit of altering and it wasn’t done in time. (yes, you will see it when it is!) So, on a whim and a need to be dressed I pulled this out.

And it may have been the best decision ever.

 a woman with a black cape dress with a tortoise collar and black heels
 a woman with a black cape dress with a tortoise collar and black heels
 a woman with a black cape dress with a tortoise collar and black heels

We all know that I love a cape! (even when they’re swim, vintage, and one of my all time favorites. You can also search cape on this site and feast if you’re into capes!) But this cape dress is so much more. It’s a bubble (a bit, which is so on trend), it’s necklace (THAT COLLAR), a bit of a wrap. And it’s got that wow factor.

When people tell you that they felt like a princess in things I can’t help but think of BIG (whether it’s a puff factor or a full skirt) so I don’t know if princess is the right word here. Maybe modern princess? Or queen? All I know is that this dress made this day a ton more special- and the fun I had in the dress, the compliments I got, and the confidence it gave me? Fantastic present to myself- no notes.

I am a bit fan of everyone having (well, really more than one) a piece like this in your closet that makes you feel SPECIAL. SEEN. And for all of us it will be different. We know I love a party dress (and a detailed one). Part of why I can never resist them is that I feel like this in them. Whatever that is for you- party dress, great jeans, unforgettable set- my wish for us all is that we get a year filled with them!

As I mentioned, this dress is a season or so old- but I have found you similar. I’m also linking some of my current fave Simkhai dresses! Here is to us- in all the things that make us feel special! 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!

And my current fave Simkhais can be found here

 a woman with a black cape dress with a tortoise collar and black heels

***Sidenote: My apologies for not having a post up yesterday! We were affected by bad storms (the shoes and I are fine!!) but it affected me posting. We are back and ready to go now. Thank you for your patience and presence!

Another Trip Around the Sun….

a woman in a blue maxi sundress in front of pink flowers
 A woman in a white strapless dress with black polka dots and black heels
a woman in a white and brown flit and flare dress
a woman in a navy knit top with hello on it in and jeans
a woman in a cropped cardigan in BLUE AND WHITE stripe and white pants

Today is a start of another trip around the sun for me. This year I randomly do have BIG feelings about age and it all— but I am also so grateful for not only this community but all of the stories my closet has told- and will tell. I will be honest- this week is insane for me and my family. My mom’s birthday was yesterday. Today is mine. Cousin tomorrow. Mother’s Day. Crazy storms. A lot.

So this my little respite. And my story. Of what’s passed and what is to come. I truly hope you’ll stay for the next trip around the sun-I love our stories together.If it involves a great outfit- who are we to judge?

Here’s to yet another trip around the sun and more stories that we tell with our closets! Thank you for being here!
XO RA

a woman in a lavender dress with red flowersInvestment Piece: Packinga woman with a black blazer belted with a gold lion belt, over jeans and wearing heels in a clothing store

Birthday Wishlist

a pink silk and floral velvet gown in front of a fountain
Me? Go Big for my Birthday? Never 😉

It’s my birthday week (the big day is Friday and yes, for some reason this year is somehow hard as it feels “old”). Every year- really almost every month and season and week- I make a wishlist. It’s part what I want, what I need, part who I want to be, and fantasy. For my birthday? I tend to go a little big! It’s like Christmas– but in May! This list will most likely evolve and change for the year, but it’s the start of something new and who and what I want to be. And while I know that there is so much going on and that that shopping can’t solve everything- I like to think that this list inspires you (and me!) to go after our best and brightest selves. We can’t solve anything if we aren’t filling our own cups. So- filling our own carts!

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!

a woman in a sheer yellow knit skirt, a tuxx blazer and black thong sandals
I posted a look in this yellow (sheer) knit. And I love it. The skirt was a bit of an impulse and yet know I want all the yellow knit to match and carry on the looks!

I love my fashion- but I also love my stories, and these fashion books hit the spot:

For some reason I can’t get these Madewell and Reformation jeans out of my head (and they are oh so dreamy for summer!)

I’m also dreaming of pedal pushers and all the ways to style them:

These lady like options from florals to summer tweeds to linen make me want to book a tea time:

And This ring was a gift and absolutely makes me feel like a grown up. I highly recommend:

a linen flax dress with green and yellow flowers on it. It's a mini with a maxi back train

I absolutely can’t stop thinking about this dress. The hem- and that train! It also comes in a green that’s usually not what I go for but is something I’m intrigued by!

Shop the floral here and the green here

Also on my lists? Dinos and classic bags from Coach. Carolina Herrera perfume (mainly as the bottles are shoes!). Quite a few vintage bags, dresses and more here and there. Ya know. IT ALL!

A woman in a navy and white polka dot short set with a skirt over it

AS it turns out, I am not great at saying no to me. In some way, shape, time there is a high chance I will get all of these (or find something more fab to lust after). I try not to let my bad shopping habits get in the way of budgets, etc, but this is a time of year that’s hard for me. (Because I do want it all!). So. Over the months I may get it.

It may not be your birthday, but there are so many reasons to celebrate this month. What are you wishing for? Shopping for? Longing to be? What kinds of stories could we tell with all these wishes?

Here’s to yet another trip around the sun– and some fantastic picks!

XO RA

Spring Knits

a woman in a yellow knit maxi skirt, a white with black lapel tux satin blazer, and black thong sandals
a woman in a yellow maxi knit skirt, a white with black lapel tux blazer and black thong sandals
a woman in a yellow maxi knit skirt, a white with black lapel tux blazer and black thong sandals

Words that seem a bit odd when the Spring weather you experience is either extreme heat (and humidity) or storms- and not a lot in between? Knits that are great for spring. I know there are parts of the world where a lighter knit is great for spring. And I have light knits that I do wear for spring, though often I sweat in them. So, in general, the thought of a spring knit maxi skirt has me running for the hills. Usually, I couldn’t imagine getting into a “bigger” knit in spring. No matter what.

Yet. I couldn’t help falling in love with this knit skirt. It’s truly almost sheer so it feels incredibly on trend– and is incredibly light. Even in 85 degree, super humid temps I didn’t break a sweat (which is saying something!). Yellow is not a color I normally reach for- but I love it here. This is one of those pieces that would look fantastic with a simple white tee (and I do plan to wear that outfit often!), but also dressed up- a la a blazer (tux if you please).

Spring knits that I’ve been avoiding? Perhaps I have been wrong this entire time!

a woman in a yellow maxi knit skirt, a white with black lapel tux blazer and black thong sandals

A word about the blazer. I have a thing for blazers as tops (yes, even in this daring fashion). I know that it’s not always practical or best- and I think a simple tank or tee conveys the same feeling. I also have a thing for tuxes. Especially on women (think classy and edgy at the same time). And I think any time you can wear a blazer or a tux you should absolutely grab the chance. Even with a spring knit!

a woman in a yellow maxi knit skirt, a white with black lapel tux blazer and black thong sandals
a woman in a yellow maxi knit skirt, a white with black lapel tux blazer and black thong sandals
a woman in a yellow maxi knit skirt, a white with black lapel tux blazer and black thong sandals

Spring knits absolutely have a time limit. I know in a few weeks it will be over 100 and most knits or heavy pieces I have will be put in the back of the closet. However, I remain hopeful about this skirt. It’s so light, it’s airy, it feels like a bit of fresh air (note: they also make a top and a dress in this yellow knit- but you could also pull this skirt up and wear as a strapless dress- especially over swim!) Knits for summer as well? We may be pushing it, but in this fresh pick, I’m willing to risk it!

Below I’ve linked these outfit details as well as the other matching options!
How are you feeling about knits this spring?
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!

This outfit:

Related knits:

a woman in a yellow maxi knit skirt, a white with black lapel tux blazer and black thong sandals

Mom’s Style

I’ve been posting this on my mom’s birthday for a few years now- it’s become tradition. While my mom’s birthday is on Thursday this year it’s a big week of her birthday, my birthday, family in, Mother’s Day and prepping for some fun shoots, a deep house clean and a big work trip. 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. Especially now, as some of us are apart from our families, I think about how the women in my life shaped me. I spent the past few years isolating with my mom- it wasn’t always easy, but I’m so grateful we did! Even though we spent the better part of the years not getting dressed up- I still learned about style from her over this past year. And yes, we’re getting dressed today! Hope whatever your relationship with moms are, this season lands easy. Xo RA

InvestmentPiece: Mom's Style

Loves! It’s my Momma’s birthday! (on Tuesday!) 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