Backless

image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image

Yes, I love this dress so much we shot it twice! I love the simplicity of it. From the fron it’s simply a t-shirt dress, but from the back–oh from the back! It’s backless! And it’s both sexy and yet still simple. It goes great with heels, as well as with sandals. I’ve worn this to dinner, and out running errands. It’s just perfect!

The surprising thing about this dress? At first glance, it’s not my color. If you know me you know that orange and I usually don’t mix. Usually I’m more of a purple person, or classic black, or red. But there’s something about this shade of orange, just bright enough to feel like summer but not SO orange. (We’re sticking with that).

Perhaps, much like a basic that is really a statement, there’s something to be said about things that aren’t what they seem on the surface.  In all honesty, everything about this dress was a bit shocking for me-from the out-of-my-comfort-zone color, to the length (I do still worry about being a bit too old for mini dresses), and while I love a bit of back showing, this one felt a bit risqué. But all together, it’s perfect and somehow me.

Shouldn’t our choices give us room to shock (even us) a bit? Give us a bit of room to grow? I like to think so. And choosing dresses that sometimes aren’t what we would think we would choose for ourselves can expand how we think about ourselves. OR just look amazing at a weekend brunch 🙂

This dress was custom, but I’ve linked similar dresses that are new and fantastic for you below. I hope that your weekend is full of the best kind of surprising plans!
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!

Simple

Investment Piece: Simple
Investment Piece: Simple
Investment Piece: Simple
Investment Piece: Simple
Investment Piece: Simple

Loves, we know that I love gowns, prints, juxatipositons, and special pieces. But let me be clear, I also love simple. I love pieces that can take you from the beach to cocktails, that are effortless, and that speak for themselves. Simple doesn’t need bells and whistles. Simple doesn’t have to mean boring, or plain. Case in point? This easy tank dress! It’s perfect for wearing over your swimsuit, with sandals or sneakers, but would also look great with heels, a jacket, a scarf. I love the slightly faded color, the slits, the draped arm hole. (And though I know you can’t feel it, I promise it is so soft!).

There is a time for drama, but there is also a time for simplicity. There’s a time to let things be, and appreciate them for what they are. Summer is a great time for simple. The heat, the water, the casual air. So let’s give in. There’s no reason to make anything more complicated than it needs to be! And I promise with great simple pieces like this, you will love simple like I do.

Especially in this heat, there’s no need for complications, no need to overthink, we could all use a bit simple.

I’m also a big fan of magic and love. We could all use a bit more of those, so let’s give more of those this weekend!

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: Simple

Vintage Swim

image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image

Every year I do a round up of swim suits that I’m loving. And it’s not that there is not a ton of vintage swim out there that I’m loving, but I’ve been thinking a lot about vintage swimsuits, and how much I love them- from pin-up one pieces to swim sets.
There’s just something about a vintage swimsuit – the cut is impeccable, it can fit perfectly, and it makes water seem like an occasion. I love both of these above vintage suits for different reasons: the bikini as it’s perfectly fun, the one piece as it’s almost Bond like. The cut is so good in each I have dreams of wearing them on land!

It can feel intimidating to dive into vintage swim (pun intended), and that’s not just finding vintage suits at your favorite vintage dealer/shop. So, I’ve put down my top tips for buying and wearing vintage swimsuits!
Some tips on vintage swim wear:
-there are several sites that sell swim suits made from vintage patterns. They’re not vintage, but look and have the vintage feel. IF you want “true” vintage make sure you’re paying attention to tags, etc. If you only want the vintage look, these sites and stores are great!
-Shop by measurement, not size- vintage sizes aren’t modern!
-The cuts are different, don’t be afraid to try various cuts and sizes
-Play with color! Patterns! One of my current favorite vintage swimsuit gold lame, just because it’s vintage don’t be afraid to be bold!
-Have them tailored,most vintage suits are cloth without spandex which means they can be altered (and you can have the lining replaced)
-Accessorize! How great is this swim cap?

While these suits are a part of my personal collection (from Recess and AAVintedge respectively), I managed to round up some of my current favorite vintage swimsuits. Will I shop some modern swim this summer? Of course, but it never hurts to feel like a bombshell in a vintage suit.

What about you? Are you heading into vintage this summer? Do you love a good vintage suit? I would love to hear all about your swim preferences- both vintage and modern!

Hoping that your swimsuit makes you feel like a million bucks today!
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!

Fashion Stories: Raiding Mom’s Closet

Today is my mom’s birthday. And tomorrow is mine! There have been a few posts over the years that have felt like “tradition” to post on our days and this is one of them. Today my mom (and sis and dad) will be headed to lunch- and I won’t be wearing this, though Mom did approve the dress! It feels great to be able to celebrate and mark our birthdays with fashion-because, like playing dress up with this number growing up, fashion (no matter how much mom and I differ) fashion is what can bring us together. Hoping you have a great Monday and that this post gives you some inspiration – even to raid your mom’s closet and restyle her pieces! xo RA

This post was originially just an outfit post. But even then, I knew that this vintage piece, from my mom’s closet was a story. And what’s that I’m always saying? Fashion is just a way to tell our stories. My mom wore this in her 20s. It was in my sister’s and my “dress up box” growing up. My sister and I have both worn it-to parties, as business wear, even as a costume. To me it tells the story of my mom’s hope and dreams, and how my sister and I carry that on. I am so fascinated by what we keep in our closets. And in this case, what we keep, use, and keep going back to. What’s in your closet?

Investment Piece: Raiding Momo's Closet
Investment Piece: Raiding Mom's Closet
Investment Piece: Raiding Mom's Closet
Investment Piece: Raiding Mom's Closet
Investment Piece: Raiding Mom's Closet
Investment Piece: Raiding Mom's Closet

As someone who loves vintage clothes, there’s a special place I love to go for vintage: Mom’s Closet. I don’t always get the chance to raid mom’s closet, but when I do, I think it’s magical. This dress/jacket set is from my mom’s wedding, it was her going away outfit. I love that she saved it, that she lets my sister and I wear it, and that it’s a vintage piece that lends itself to modern style. Everything about this vintage dress is great–the button detail, the drop waist (though I couldn’t resist belting it with this stunner), and the flair.

Here’s part of what I think is magical about fashion: it can transform itself and you. While this dress holds special meaning for my family, it’s easy to make this a “new” look”. The belt is a way to dress it up, and socks with shoes are one of my fave things ever. ( See here, here, and here for some examples). The look feels fresh, yet it’s an homage to my past. Raiding my Mom’s closet is one of my favorite things. I’d love to know: who’s closet do you love to raid? And how do you do your vintage?

The dress/jacket are from my mom’s closet
The socks are Gucci, the shoes Brian Atwood
The belt is vintage from RecessLa. Pics are by the amazing Megan Weaver!
I’ve picked some similar picks for you below!
XO RA

Mom’s Style

I’ve been posting this on my mom’s birthday for a few years now- it’s become tradition. Tomorrow is her big day (and today is Mother’s Day!). 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, today lands easy. 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

Dinos and Shade

image
image
image
image
image
image

It’s Spring, which means that in the span of a day I go from freezing (am) to sweating (pm). The only thing that saves me? A great outfit and in the afternoons- shade. And this adorable dinosaur key chain from Coach also is making me incredibly happy. My fave gingham shirt (that looks great tied) and these pants (part mom, part cropped, and the structured satin! I’ve worn them dressed up and as a bathing suit cover up–they’re a new staple.) Even when it goes from 50-85 outside, these things make me feel cool–which is hot, right?

Side note- this week has felt like a month so I’m hoping that whatever you’re wearing is bring you joy and some coolness.
XO RA

This outfit is made from pieces that are seasons old- but I’ve found you modern (aka current ones!)
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!

Sponsored by Champagne

Investment Piece: Sponsored by Champagne
Investment Piece: Sponsored by Champagne
Invement Piece: Sponsored by Champagne
Investment Piece: Sponsored by Champagne
Investment Piece: Sponsored by Champagne

Champagne is synonymous with fun, bubbly, celebrations, and boldness. I would love it if my life were like that: fun and light, bubbly and known for a good time. I’d love it even more if it didn’t hurt the next morning. The bad news? Life isn’t sponsored by Champagne. But love bugs, your outfit can be.

If I leave you with one thought ever, it’s that fashion should be fun, bubbly, and a good time; just like your fave champagne. And if we’re going to be fun and bubbly let’s chat about bold colors. In fact, let’s chat mixing bold colors. Tempting as it can be to always reach for black, bold colors aren’t something to save for a special occasion. They’re great on a Wednesday, and used right, they can be just as classic as your go-to black. I know, bold colors can be frightening, and if you’re wearing one, you will stand out. My take on that? Make them look, just make the look worth their while! I love a great red, blue or green, and there are so many ways to wear them!

Today, however, we take our cues from champagne and are being bubbly! So, if one bold color is good, are two better? I say : YES! This is not the part where I convince you that all colors go together, there are limits, there are pairings that work, and many factors to play with (shades/brightness/textures), but mixing bold colors is not something to shy away from. My tips: take colors you love together and experiment with various shades of each. If you’re still a bit gun shy, stick with classic and traditional shapes. Still a little nervous? Have a glass of champagne. It works!

One of my current favorite combinations? Red and purple!(Did you know that lavender/lilac and this light shade of purple are some of the IT colors for spring? Now you do- let’s play with them!) I love the vividness of this red top, and paired with these lavender pants (I love the almost neon quality of these! And pro-tip: lavender is sticking with us through the fall so if you love it, you’re in luck!) it’s a classic outfit that stands out! This combo works for your 9-5, dinner, drinks, champagne drinking- the list is endless.

I’d love to know: how do you mix boldly? And if you could be like champagne, what would that mean?

XO RA

I’ve linked you similar items below for your shopping pleasure!
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!

Shop this look here

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

Color Blocking in the Wild

#InvestmentPiece #coloroblocking #inthewild
#InvestmentPiece #colorblocking #inthewild
#InvestmentPiece #colorblocking #inthewild
#InvestmentPiece #colorblocking #inthewild
#InvestmentPiece #colorblocking #inthewild
#InvestmentPiece #colorblocking #inthewild

Do colors make you scared?

Don’t laugh! It’s a serious question. And I have serious answers. (Also a confession: I sometimes get scared of color, too. There’s a reason all black is a go-to outfit. ) I’m sure that I could bring up science, or a color wheel, to talk about what colors go together and why we shouldn’t be scared about mixing them. I could do that. But, I’m not going to-for both of our sakes. Color blocking can be scary, you can have the perfect outfit but you can worry about the colors going together. It is a serious question. And these are my serious answers:

When it comes to color blocking, or any sort of mixing colors, I think that there is only one thing you can do. Try it out . Put on your colors, or lay them next to each other on your bed. Do you like them together? Do they compliment each other? Awesome! You’re ready for step 2! If they don’t, you’re not behind, just try new colors! Once you have colors that you like together, step 2 is super simple. Take your color blocking in the wild . I don’t mean you have to run wild in nature (though I completely support it if you do), but take the outfit for a spin. Go to your event, through your day, to the grocery store. Do you feel comfortable? Do you get compliments? Yay! (I think this is the part where I say we’re ready for step 3; there is no step 3, unless you count putting that outfit into your rotation.) If you don’t, you just go back to your closet and try again! See! Serious answers and a serious plan for getting over our fears about colors!

Right about now you may be thinking that I made this sound a little too simple. I get that, it’s fair criticism. My defense? I think it is that simple. If it’s color, color blocking, or something a bit bigger, I think that we can sometimes over think a problem, when it is really easy. (I’m not the only one guilty of that, right?) Fashion is supposed to be fun. Color blocking is a little like coloring. Let’s keep it simple and let’s not be scared. If I can do it, you can do it. Deal? Deal.

Notes on the Outfit:
These boots are one of my fave things (and name something that doesn’t go with red). They’re dramatic and look great with everything from jeans to shorts to dresses and skirts. I think the key is to balance them with something a bit simple, unless you’re looking for drama!
This maxi shirt dress is a closet staple. It’s perfect for work, and yet can easily be made party ready. It goes great with almost any shoe’ you get to play with accessories depending on your event! (AKA I’m a fan of basics in not-so-basic colors!)

I’ve linked some similar styles below (yes, they are affiliate links, I get a small commission but that doesn’t affect price for you!)

And I would love to know: how do you deal with color blocking fear?

XO RA

#InvestmentPiece #colorblocking #inthewild

Self Love

Investment Piece: Self Love
Investment Piece: Self Love
Investment Piece: Self Love
Investment Piece: Self Love
Investment Piece: Self Love
Investment Piece: Self LoveInvestment Piece: Self Love

This week was a doozy. And there were days when I was so behind I wanted to hide and cry- planned outfits didn’t work, shoots got rained out, many personal and professional things. I had no clue what to shoot or say today. Then I stumbled across this- I still have this outfit. I still wear this outfit. And it made me happy. I don’t think that self-love protects you from anything bad ever happening. But I do think it can get you through (also great jeans!). So this is up as a little reminder to us all!

I share a lot here with you. I’ve written a lot about self love, in various forms; mainly as it’s something that I’ve struggled with, and because I think it’s something that we can all related to. I love fashion, I think it’s freeing, I think fashion let’s you be who you want. However, as women, we live in a society who profits when we don’t love ourselves. We get messages about how we need to be perfect (and how we’re not) and how if we buy xyz product we could finally find self love. Social Media doesn’t help–though sometimes it does. I have to say, as someone who struggles with her body image it’s encouraging to see that everyone has rolls when they twist (because everyone does), and to see that everyone struggles. My personal journey to self love has been hard, and evolving. I’m still struggling to love myself on some days–when I mess up, or am tired, or fall into old patterns.

I made a decision a few years ago that I would be the love of my life, and treat myself as such, and it was the best decision ever. It’s still been difficult. There are still days when I can pick myself apart. There are still days when I’m not very nice to myself. I’m working on it. I’m working on loving me–all of me: my laugh, my lines, my quirks, and my flaws. I’m actively trying to be my own best friend, and the love of my life. I’m hoping that it makes me a better friend, and if there’s ever a lucky someone, a better lover.

This is the most intimate shoot I’ve ever done (the wine was not a prop!). No makeup. At all. A little sunscreen (loves, skin care is important). Nothing in my hair. I love my editorial shoots (it’s what I adore), I love my juxatipositons (I love sharing them with you), but it felt like it was time to really share myself with you. No screens, no distractions, no blurred lines. This is me. And I love me. And I love this community. And I love you for following along.

This is the part where I’m supposed to talk fashion. You need a graphic tee, you know this. I’ve always been a fan of flares and these flare jeans are not only stunning but I get asked where I get them every time I wear them. I’ve linked them and tee options below! But loves, let’s wear amazing fashion and let’s love ourselves. Let’s practice some radical self love this weekend, because that is not exclusive from fashion. In fact, I dare you to make your fashion a celebration of your self love.

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: Self Love