Little White Dress

Investment Piece: Little White Dress
Investment Piece: Little White Dress
Investment Piece: Little White Dress
Investment Piece: Little White Dress
Investment Piece: Little White Dress

For spring? What if we put our little black dresses away (just for a minute. I’ll wear a lot of black this season, I promise), but, just for something new- what if we tried a little white dress? For new beginnings? For Hope? For something a little different!

Now. Things I have thought in my little white dress: “I hope I don’t spill” ” My Grandma was right, knees are the most awkward part of the body” “Is this long enough?” “Is this too bridal?” “Will that come out?”

And yet. With all my fears, sometimes spills, and the many, many times I have steamed this dress to get all the wrinkles out- there is something about wearing white. Maybe it is because I wear so much black, or maybe because it is hopeful. But. In white I feel like I stand out just enough, that I look just enough hopeful. That my look is just enough spring.

I won’t be packing away my black for good- there’s no need to get crazy. However, I am trying to add more white in my waredrobe. What about you? How does white make you feel? Are you going to be wearing it with me?

This dress is old (and these shoes are from a few seasons ago- a gift from me to me! Yes, they take a minute to get used to a flatform, but once you do they are easy to walk in!) but I’ve linked you little white dresses I love 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: Little White Dress

Tailoring

One of the ways to get amazing fitting clothes that make you look amazing? Tailoring. Buy things that fit your widest part, then have them altered to fit every where else. Tailoring has been on my mind lately- not just because it’s a great way to have clothes that fit, but because of the post-pandemic world. No one knows exactly what the world will look like- or what we’ll be wearing. One article I read floated the idea that what we may see are clothes that are sold in more general sizes, meant to be tailored to you after you purchase them. And I have to say, I love this idea! I’m reposting my orginal thoughts on tailoring and adding in some links for what you can have tailored- or tailor yourself!

Investment Piece: logo week: Fendi pants

I’m in the process of having some pants tailored. As in, almost remade. It’s been a long process, there are times when it’s felt too long. However, every time my tailor and I get closer to the finished product, I can’t help but get excited. I also have to remind myself that working with my tailor is a process and that a great tailor is a great investment! You are getting so much more about my “new” old pants, but first, let’s chat tailoring.

One of my very first posts was centered around “great investments”, one of which I thought was a tailor.
(See the original article here) And I still hang onto that thought. If you’re investing in your closet, a great tailor is a must have! Yes, for mends like buttons, zippers, holes, and hems you might be able to do the work yourself; however, I find that a professional often does it faster and better, and ensures that the item that needs mending doesn’t spend the rest of its life on my closet floor.

But a tailor is so much more. A great tailor can remake a garment for you–nip or let out the waist, or various parts, tighten or loosen, lengthen or shorten. You look best in clothes that fit you best and a tailor can help you get there!

Investment Piece, high fashion, tailoring, purple, Mary McFadden, pleats, CA, TX
This number needed to be slightly let out in the bust–and even with the pleating, no problem for a great tailor.

Investment Piece, fashion, blogger, CA, TX, HM, floral, high fashion
This dress (seen here) was taken in at the waist, and the back slit was lengthened.

The great news about a great tailor is that they can really transform a garment into something special. Which is amazing for all those things that you try on that just need a little something done. However, tailors aren’t always miracle workers and much like any important relationship (I’m looking at you, hairdressers) communication is key. So how can you best work with your tailor? Glad you asked!

Be Realistic

If something is 2 sizes too small and has no extra fabric in it, your tailor cannot make it your size. However, there may be times when your tailor has to tell you “no”. Certain fabrics, certain cuts and drapes, they just don’t mix. What you envision may not be doable. So ask questions like “Can we do this?” “What will this look like?” “What are my options here?” A great tailor will be honest and lay out your options, and may even have some suggestions that you didn’t even think of!

Let them know YOUR Preferences
I like my waists high and nipped. I think, for my body type, it looks best. I also like my sleeves to come down to my wrists. My tailor knows me and works with me to get the looks I like. But, even when we try things on it’s on me to be vocal–I like this, I don’t like this. Your tailor can’t please you if they don’t know what you want.

Fittings. More than one Fitting

Ok, some things don’t need a fitting–much less two. But some really do. If you’re altering a garment in a major way I would suggest more than one fitting to make sure everything is perfect. And move in it–raise your arms, turn, sit down–all of it. Make sure that the fit and movement are what you want. And talk to your tailor about what you’re seeing, and ask what they’re seeing!

Most of this comes down to talking to your tailor–about likes, fit, etc. The more honest you are, and the more they are honest with you, the better fit you will get!

Here are a few articles about what things are easy to tailor (and even how to tailor some things yourself!):
Useful Links on Tailoring Your Clothes
The Power of Tailoring
Which Alterations are the Easiest
How to do Alterations
Taking Measurements for Fit
And Alerations 101

I hope these tips help! Happy Tailoring!

XO RA

Cliche

Investment Piece: Cliche

It’s spring. And while there are blooms and new styles galore, there are also cliches. Like florals.
We all know the joke- that they’re ground breaking. And we all laugh when we see it or hear it. But, again and again, we all wear florals. Even this weekend, I found myself reaching for florals whenever I could. Dark ones. Cheery ones. Subtle and bold. What is it about spring that makes us want to wear florals?

Is it cliche? Groundbreaking? Both?

Investment Piece: Getting in the Water

In some ways, it makes sense that we want to wear florals in spring. The florals are literally blooming. But, hopefully, so are we. This was my first winter that felt like a true winter (did I mention I saw a bunch of snow for the first time in my life?!?) For the first time, the green and bloom of spring feels like a big deal. Yep..I finally get it.

On top of that, this year has been a YEAR. And while the pandemic is still going on, it finally feels like there is light at the end of the tunnel. Things feel new in more ways than one. What says that better than flowers?

Investment Piece: The Pants of Summer

I was curious about when floral prints started -because that could let us know when they became cliche. History is always a little bit fascinating to me, and this deep dive was no different. Florals started being put on clothes in Asia in the 600s. Did you know that people used to put live flowers on their clothes (to hide smells amongst other things)? That each spring floral prints are often best sellers.

We may all tell the joke, but it turns out we’re all wearing florals. So it cliche? Or something bigger?

If you want to deep dive with me I highly recommend:
Floral Fashion Through The Ages

A Brief History of the Floral Pattern
Both are detailed and a delight to read!

Investment Piece: Cliche

Cliche or not, this year I’m fully embracing florals. I don’t care if they’re groundbreaking. They remind me that sometimes things take time, but they bloom again. I’m ready to bloom, and I’m ready for flowers. Even the ones on our clothes! What about you?

I’ve linked some of my favorite florals below for your shopping pleasure!
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: BackYard Parties

Sunday Chronicles: An Ode to Window Shopping

Investment Piece: An Ode to Window Shopping

There have been lots of cycles in my life. One of my faves? For a while, Friday was one of my days off- and it was a gift. I would wake up, take my favorite spin class, make sure all my chores were done, and then I would spend the afternoon taking myself to lunch, watching a matinee (not the subject here but I LOVE an afternoon matinee and hope that the pandemic didn’t take movie theaters from us), and window shopping.
No matter the movie, the lunch, the window shopping was always the best thing, and a highlight of my week.

Window shopping (for me) wasn’t just about seeing what new things were out in stores- though I loved that. There’s something about seeing (and getting to touch) new arrivals that’s just divine- I would get ideas for new outfits, or find things that I didn’t know that I wanted, or find that something I was interested in wasn’t worth wanting. It was the type of shopping that let me curate wish lists, and visit the things I loved. The kind of shopping that can lead to an impulse purchase to make your day (staying on budget of course). And as much as I love the shopping part, window shopping was so much more than that.

Window shopping was getting to see the window displays in all their glory. Not the ads or editorials that magazines, etc, send out or you see online; the fashion displayed as art- as whimsical or sophisticated as one could imagine. From tableaux suggesting styling options and places to wear the outfits to scenes of pure fantasy, there was always something I learned from window shopping. And always inspiration I carried with me.

You can see whimsical and inpiring fashion shoots online and in print, but there was something about the window box- its own little universe contained in small spaces that held big ideas. Window shopping is a bit like abstract art, things aren’t always exact but the feelings they give you. Oh the feelings! The Windows could make me fall in love, change my day, or lead me to new adventures. Those Friday afternoons wandering, looking at Windows and idly shopping were times that I could let my imagination run wild and I miss them.

It’s not that I’m not shopping right now, and not that I don’t love online shopping (I do!). But lately, I’ve been yearning to properly, really and truly window shop. To stop and take in art made of fashion, to wander departments and fall in love with new arrivals. This past year and the pandemic has taken a lot from us– I’m hoping that window shopping is something that makes its way back.

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

Cocktails and Caftans

Investment Piece: Cocktails and Caftans
Investment Piece: Cocktails and Caftans

Caftans are something I always knew I would one day end up living in- they’re chic. Forgiving. And come in all the shades and styles you could ever want. I thought that one day I would age (super subtly) in caftans, floating about, being glamourous-like an aging star in the movies. My love for caftans has been constant (here, here, here, and here for starters), but during the pandemic, my caftan collection has not only grown, it’s become my signature.

I spend days and nights in caftans. From terry cloth casual to formal, much earlier in life than I expected, caftans are one of the ways that I’ve been marking time.

One of my favorite things to do in a caftan (and where my love has really blossomed)? Making cocktails! I’m by no means a mixologist but I’ve spent some of my time during the pandemic researching drinks that I love and learning how to make them. Sometimes they’re great, sometimes they’re ok, but I’m always wearing a great caftan, so the experience is always amazing.

Investment Piece: Cocktails and Caftans

I love the cape-like cut of this caftan, the ombré coloring- and it has pockets! And while it’s perfect for summer escapades (even in just the backyard), I got it to make a cocktail in.

Cocktails and Caftans is a thing I’m doing every Saturday over on IG @racheladelicia. It started as a way to get through lockdown, but now I’m having too much fun to stop! Also, it gives me an excuse for more caftans!

Investment Piece: Cocktails and Caftans

There are times when I wonder if, in the after of the pandemic, I will no longer spend as much time in caftans as I do now. My theory? Once you go caftan, you can’t go back. The comfort, the chic, the way they stay current. I’m accepting my lot in life as a caftan lady. Luckily, there’s a great cocktail to go with it!

This caftan is old Staud, but I’ve found and linked similar ones for you 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: Cocktails and Caftans

On Luck

Investment Piece: Summer Sleep

It’s St Patrick’s Day- are you wearing green for “luck”? My one St Patrick’s story that I think about every year was about the one when I was 8 (maybe 9), and I had strep throat. It was raining and I was in the backseat of the car with my sister, coming home from the doctor. At the time, I thought of myself as chic (for a child), wearing a white, ribbed skirt with a white sweatshirt with a teddy bear on it (I LOVED that sweatshirt). No green. And my sister pinched me. From there on out, I make sure that I always green on 3/17. Even if it’s a small shamrock sticker.

But I’ve never thought of today as lucky. Or green as my color. There are things that I’ve worn for luck- we all have, I think being a little superstitious is a part of the human condition. My favorite animal is a pig, and I have shirts and socks that I will throw on if I need a little luck. I’m a huge fan of my alma mater’s sports teams and will wear purple (all the way down to lingerie) to will them to win. Evil eye jewelry, special necklaces, there a few things that I know I can turn to, to at least make me feel lucky.

I have this one bracelet- thick red, inscribed with huge white letters that says “Luck is believing you’re lucky”. It’s not one I wear often, but I think about it (and its message often).

This week I’ve been thinking about luck. And what we wear to feel lucky. There are things I wear for luck, but most of them I wouldn’t wear into a big meeting or event (I love my pig socks but they don’t scream chic).

Yet, there are outfits that I’ve felt lucky in- that fit me perfect, that I trusted I looked good in, that made me feel powerful, that good things seem to happen in. Is that luck? Or just a good outfit? And what is the distinction between the two?

Investment Piece: On Luck

One of my acting coaches used to say that luck was only opprotunity meeting preparedness (even if it’s not, we’re pretending that’s a word). Maybe that’s what a good outfit is like- when you feel confident in what you’re wearing you’re more open to things, when you’re confident and believe in your luck more doors open. It doesn’t matter if it’s green or if it’s black, if an outfit makes you feel lucky, it’s lucky.
The thing that I love about this theory? It gives us the power. We’re the lucky ones, not the outfits. Though I’m never, ever going to tell you to stop wearing things that make you feel lucky. If it works, why jinx it?

And I do suggest wearing green today!
Xo RA

Check It

Investment Piece: Check It
Investment Piece: Check It
Investment Piece: Check It

Things change, things stay the same.
What’s the same? We know I have a thing for gingham (I do! And it shows itself every spring see here and here to start). That’s not news, or new. What is new? It’s that every spring I find a new gingham, a new check. This is most likely not the last checks I will find and wear as the weather warms, but it’s the first, and right now, it feels the most fun!

I’m usually not a green person (well, what I should say is that it needs to be the right green for me to love it) but I couldn’t resist these green checks. It’s not quite gingham but it is- which is kind of new? The details are what first drew me in- the balloon sleeves, the pleats. This is a set (and we know what that means- you can wear it together or separately) but reads like a dress (my favorite kind of set). Also, this is my new favorite (old) belt-yes, the best belts that you can get are vintage or resale. Case in point, this Fendi one!

Investment Piece: Check It

What is it about checks that makes me feel as if it’s finally spring? I’m not 100% sure. Maybe it’s the form? Checks have a pattern, they fit, they follow, they make sense. And when you’re transitioning- from one season to the next, or from one phase of life to the next, patterns are comforting. Maybe it’s tradition? Gingham and checks have been a spring staple for decades. Long before I fell in love with them. Maybe it’s Hope. When I see checks for sale I know spring is coming. And what is spring other than hope and rebirth persevering. How can you not want to check it?

Investment Piece: Check It
Investment Piece: Check It

Notes on this check it- it’s from Target, meaning that you get spring for very reasonable. My new favorite belt? Fendi I got resale. Perfect for cinching all your checks, dresses, skirts, pants, and more. And yes, I found you similar. The green? Especially after a harsh winter it feels nice to be reminded of bloom. What means spring to you? What are you wearing to show it?

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: Check It

Sunday Chronicles: Spring Forward

Investment Piece: Sunday Chronicles

When you woke up this morning there’s a good chance you lost an hour of sleep (if you live in the States and if you’re not in AZ. If you don’t meet those criteria, know I’m jealous of you). Daylight Saving Time (where we spring forward in the spring and fall back in the fall to try to “control” time) is not my favorite. In a week, I will love that the days seem longer and that I have more sunlight. However, right now, waking up with it being an hour earlier, and no way for me to explain all that to my cat, I’m tired.

Actually, most of us who are under Spring Forward, or Daylight Saving Time are tired. Did you know heart attacks increase during the week following the spring forward? I find that to be crazy. But, I’m not going to argue any case against who we tell time, or whether or not we should keep Daylight Saving or get rid of that- that’s above my fashion grade.

What I would like to talk about? All the things I plan on doing with my “extra” hour of sunlight. I have to spring forward, I might as well enjoy it!

Investment Piece: into joy
I plan on working in the backyard, pulling out my pool, and getting in the water. Happy hour with my feet in a pool? Sounds amazing! Eating outside in the brief time before it gets too hot? Count me in. Evening walks, reading outside, if it involves using my extra hour to be in the sun, I’m interested.

Investment Piece: Lounge Luxe

I want to tell you that I will use my extra spring forward hour to get more done, be more productive, and I’m sure that there are times when I will. However, after a year that has felt restricted (and I’m pro-mask and vaccine and staying in when we need!) as we move to all being vaccinated and it becomes safe to be with people, I want to take my extra hour and spend it catching up with people I love. And giving lots of hugs. I know this is a bit off- but because today it’s hard to take springing forward, I’m thinking about all the good things that will make up for lost sleep!

Do you spring forward? How are you dealing with losing an hour of sleep? What are you looking forward to doing with your extra hour? I hope that if you sprang forward, that today was easy on you! If nothing else, it’s also Pi day so maybe some pie would help?

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

Sun and Shade

Investment Piece: Sun and Shade
Investment Piece: Sun and Shade
Investment Piece: Sun and Shade

Dressing at this time of year is always a crap shoot. It’s technically winter, but it’s beginning to feel like spring, or depending on where you are- summer. (We had 7 degree weather the other week, yesterday it was 85! 85!) In the sun- it’s so warm and the less you can wear (chicly) the better. The shade? I freeze. And the wind? Don’t get me started.

So. What do we wear to manage both the sun and the shade? To be both cool and warm in- chic is a given.

Also- an aside-what are you wearing to work in from home a year later? I’m bored of sweats and yoga pants (don’t worry, I’m still in both), so I’m playing with getting dressed every day. Yes, it can be a struggle. So simple dresses like this are becoming my go-to (and I’ve always been a dress woman!) but- if you have a magic outfit I would love to hear about it!

Investment Piece: Sun and Shade
Investment Piece: Sun and Shade
Investment Piece: Sun and Shade

Both sun and shade I care about details. These shoulder pads (have I mentioned that everything comes back around? This is a vintage Valentino dress, but it reads very modern), the kick pleats, the mock pockets!

(Super aside- I read somewhere recently that women’s clothes lost their pockets about the 16th century when it was thought that women might carry spells and such in their pockets! We may have to discuss this more at length, but, I have no clue what spell this pocket would be big enough to hold- maybe that’s the magic!)

And these shoes are my new go-to, and perfect for balancing the sun and shade. Part loafer, part mule, slip on but not heavy. I bought them on a whim (thinking I would hate how big they are). Jokes on me as I LOVE them- and can’t help but pair them with everything.

Even in-between work dresses.

Investment Piece: Sun and Shade

This dress is wool and will be too hot to wear in a few weeks. And yet, the cap sleeve made it too cool to wear a few weeks ago. The balance between sun and shade. In a dress. Maybe the only thing left to decide is how many times I can get away with wearing this number in the next week or two?

As I’ve mentioned, this dress is vintage Valentino, but I’ve found you similar cream wool dresses, and linked these shoes, for your sun and shade shopping 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: Sun and Shade

Now and Then: Pleated Jeans

Investment Piece: Pleated Jeans

I shop vintage. I shop new. (I’m equal opportunity that way!) One thing that sometimes fascinates me is the new trends that you can find vintage (often for less!). There are nights that I will spend down rabbit holes looking at both new clothes and vintage clothes- often in the same style.

Because I love both vintage and new, and want us all to have ALL the options I’ve decided to let you in on some of my searches- and this month I’m looking at pleated jeans! The truth is that I used to hate pleated pants. HATE them. Would avoid them at all costs, HATED them. Over the years, my opinion has changed. I know love flowing pleated trousers (I guess never say never). And. I’m coming around to pleated jeans- they do add a bit of sophistication so if you’re wearing your jeans to any work or “event”, they pair beautifully with blouses. Or tank tops.

My main tip with pleated jeans is to make sure that they aren’t too tight. In between sizes? Size up. Ensure that there’s a wider leg. To balance out the pleats you need a bit of volume.

Maybe, like me, you’re coming around to pleats in your pants I have great news! Pleats (in such chic silhouettes) are available both new and vintage!
The advantages of buying new? The cuts can feel a bit more modern, there’s often more stretch in the fabric, and you are guaranteed to find your size.
The advantage of buying vintage? Often SO much cheaper, they’re already broken in, and let you stand out just a bit.

The reality? So you didn’t have to, I spent a bit of time looking at both new and vintage pleated jeans. Most of them looked EXACTLY the same. It truly comes down to what you’re looking for: new or vintage. Now or then?

I’ve linked some of my favorite new pleated jeans below. And a few vintage ones that I love (I know with vintage they may not be your size! I would recommend searching Etsym or if you need help finding vintage jeans please reach out and I’ll help!)

Are you rocking pleated jeans? From now or then? I would love to hear about it!
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!