Southern Summer

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There is something special about summer in the South. Yes, it’s hot and can be humid. There’s also magic in the air, there’s a kindness and time can slow. Spending part of my time in the South it’s an exciting time: there are bbqs, rivers, and sweet tea on the porch.

And when I got my hands on this stunner from the 1910s I knew it was a perfect fit–the tiers, the buttons up the back. We know that I love a great vintage number, and I love making them modern. Yes, this was most likely an underdress of some sort. Maybe it’s my height, maybe it’s the age, but I love that it’s a midi dress now. And the shoes! Gingham screams summer, and I love the mix of colors and leg wrap!

While white is most certainly a summer color, I love adding a bit of pop to it. And any color can be your pop (ya know, if gingham is not your thing). Again, the mix of traditional and non-traditional is what I love about this outfit–and summer! While this dress is vintage, and these JCrew shoes are a few summer seasons old, there are so many ways to take the idea of a southern summer and make it your own. Gingham dress with white shoes. White shoes with this summer’s gingham. Mix and match. Pop your white with a bold color. All white (if you dare). Wear what you love. Maybe that’s the trick to any southern summer.

And a note: My mom is the true star of this southern summer- not only did she do all the buttons (and snaps, because yes, there are two layers of each), she helped take these pics! Stay cool out there lovers!

I’ve linked all sorts of options for your southern summer. I can’t wait to see your take on 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!

Swimming Pools

Investment Piece: Swimming Pools
Investment Piece: Swimming Pools,
Investment Piece: Swimming Pools
Investment Piece: Swimming Pool
Investment Piece: Swimming Pool
Investment Piece: Swimming Pool
Investment Piece: Swimming Pool

Besides being an ocean baby, I’m a sucker for a great swimming pool! Even when it’s empty! I loved shooting this (and this view–I can’t wait till the pool is finished!)– the idea of a vintage suit in a new pool, it’s all the juxtatiposition I love! Suits like this one are simply amazing, though high coverage, they suck in, push up, and make you look fantastic! I paired it with a jacket of my grandma’s and a vintage hat (and pearls). Who says the pool can’t be lady like?

Though every piece is vintage, this would be an easy look to recreate using modern pieces. A great one piece, a hat, and a jacket–Summer is calling! And it would be perfect pool side or ocean side!

I linked some of my shopping picks below!

I hope you’ve loved swim week as much as I have! XO RA

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

Tailoring

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!

I hope these tips help! Happy Tailoring!

XO RA

for Mom

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I promise there is so much exciting, new content headed your way. Birthday weeks are always a little crazy, and always make me a little nostalgic. I can’t help but look back at some of my old looks, and my old celebrations. This post is from a few years ago. I had worn this sheer dress with just a body suit to a fashion event. And though my momma loves me, she doesn’t always love the fashion risks I take. So, that year, for her birthday, I knew that I had to style this dress the way she’d love it!
As I wrote:
My mom is my biggest fan and helper (she’s actually CFO of this little venture). She’s always has my back, always supports me, always is willing to help. And she’s not the biggest fan of all the sheer that I sometimes wear. So, today is a big birthday for her–and in her honor–here in me, with a sheer dress, but with a full slip (the way that she likes it!). And I have to admit–it’s not bad this way either!

Happy Birthday Mom!! Love you!

And the things is: I still love this dress. I’ve worn it both ways-risky and not, as well as over swimsuits. I even have thrown it over cutoffs. Sheer is versatile, let me be the first to tell you! So, even thought this post was shot years ago, this look feels current to me. And I’m still looking to treat Mom for her birthday, so it seems appropriate to repost it. Thank you for indulging me!

And I hope everyone has a great Monday! XO RA

Details:
Dress: Reformation, sold out online, contact them love@thereformation.com or similar here
worn with a full slip
Shoes: LAMB, old, similar here

I’ve updated the shopping options here (for you and your momma!):

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!

FBF: Tied Up

Loves, as you know, we’re using the Friday’s in April to look back at some of my first posts, and the history of Investment Piece. Today? Tied Up. Why? I still wear this outfit (I legit just wore these shoes to get the mail and this top is a spring/summer go-to). But, more importantly, this was one of my first times shooting with a REAL photographer, you know, not just me and an iPhone or me and a camera. This tied up shoot marked the beginnings of my relationship with Katy Shayne–and that changed the blog. Learning how to work with an other professional, swap ideas, give over some control, and upping the quality were huge steps for me.

This is the part where I let you know I’m a control freak–so tied up for me also means letting other people take control. That’s a lot for a FBF .

 

So, without further ado: let’s get tied up. I’ve kept all the orginal wording, but have updated shopping options.  Thank you for indulging my FBFs!

Xo RA

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Loves, I have two confessions: I’m becoming obsessed with vintage denim, and these Dr Scholl’s slides are more comfortable than they have a right to be. I love the slight flare of the jean–it goes great with this shirt tied up, or with all of my closet. The slides are perfection–as is the clutch that Clare V makes (that truly holds everything). I have to give credit to my cousin for introducing me to the slides (I completely copied her!) and I have to let you know–there’s something so comforting about this outfit to me. Pulled together, comfy, and just slightly summer-y. Perfect for errands or whatever the day throws at you!
XO RA

Details:
Denim: AAVintedge
Shirt:JCrew
Shoes: Dr Scholls
Bag: Clare V

Updated shopping:

Note: This post does contain some affiliate links. While that doesn’t affect the price for you, I may earn commission from them. Thank you for your support.

Fashion in the Wild: Date Night Looks

This is the month of “date nights”. (Though I really hope this isn’t the only month you have a date night) But, with the focus of Valentine’s Day and love on date nights, we (or I) can’t help but think about what to wear on a date night.

Real talk? I don’t think there’s just one kind of date night, and I believe there’s no right or wrong thing to wear on a date night. Be it with your friends, yourself, or your honey, any event can be a date night. Movie by yourself? Drinks with friends? Dinner? Dancing? Why can’t anything you enjoy with people you enjoy be a date night? In my world, it is.

So, what do we wear on date nights? I’m a huge fan of wearing dresses, but they are by no means your only option. Jeans and a top, pants with a blazer, sweats on the couch. In my view the most important part of a date night outfit is that you feel amazing in it.

Below are some of my favorite combinations for date nights. I’d love to know: what do you rock for date night?

XO RA

I hope this month and in the months to come that every date night is a blast and one of the things you love is your outfit!

Note: This post does contain some affiliate links. While I may earn some commission from them, it does not affect the price for you. Thank you for your support!

Investment Piece: Look A Like

blue bird brocade dress

Freedom

Investment Piece: Freedom
Investment Piece: Freedom
Investment Piece: Freedom

Freedom.

It’s a big concept. It means different things to different people. Maybe you think of freedom as the open road. Or as your right to vote. Or the way that people are able to be themselves and live the way that they choose. Freedom is important. We should celebrate it (and yes, I know we do every July 4). Those things that make you feel free? Those things that make you feel more like yourself? Those things that feel good? More of that.

Investment Piece: Freedom
Investment Piece: Freedom
Investment Piece: Freedom
Investment Piece: Freedom

This wig? A party favor from a dear friend’s birthday party. Was it expected? No. Do I love it? Yes. The color, the cut, that it’s not me–but shows my sassy side. Am I brave enough to wear it out? We’ll see.

The great thing about this outfit? It’s all athletic leisure. These are yoga pants from Carbon38. I’m just in love: they make my backside look amazing, are comfy enough to sleep with, and yet, polished enough to be dress pants. This is a Soul Cycle tank, it’s great with your workout pants or with a pencil skirt. I love the play on athleisure. I love that this is a workout outfits, but looks very polished. I love that it combines things that I love, and that it feels like Freedom.

I hope that this weekend finds you feeling free and looking amazing!
XO RA

Shop my picks:

And get yourself a treat:

Investment Piece: Freedom

Film Style: Hitchcock’s Heroines

Investment Piece: Film Style

As an actress, movie buff, and fashion lover I am endlessly fascinated by and inspired by the fashion we’re presented with in films. I would argue that fashion in films is incredibly important: fashion presented in films can influence how we think of an era, of an actress, influence what we buy, and what designers put on the runway. There may be no one more influencial than Alfred Hitchcock and his heroines. Hitchcock had a thing for blondes (if you haven’t read about that, it’s fascinating topic to research), and his blondes were always impeccably dressed.

Hitchchock, his films, and his heroines are full on iconic, and have been written about almost ad nauseam, but their influence stands. Several runway collections, outfits, and costumes have taken a page from the Hitchcock Heroine playbook; be in Grace Kelly in “To Catch a Thief”:
Investemnt Piece; Hitchcock's Heroines
To Janet Leigh in “Psycho”:
Investemnt Piece: Hitchcock's Heroines

And full disclosure: I’m seriously considering being Tippi Hedren as her character in “The Birds” for Halloween (top pic).

From suits to gowns to pencil skirts, Hitchcock’s heroine’s were always dressed impeccably, and on trend. The outfits never took over the movie, but left a impact on the viewer. These designs were often done by Edith Head, infamous costume designer (loves, Edith designed or put together some of the most iconic and beautiful garments ever. She is a icon on her own, and if you don’t know about her I cannot more strongly urge you to at least Google her. I promise I will feature her on an upcoming Designer Spotlight–she’s that important), but the designs shown in Hitchcock’s films inspired everyone from Oscar de la Renta to Bottega Veneta. Some great reading on the subject can be found:
Hitchcock Fashion Moments and Hitchcock’s Heroines and their influence on fashion.

Investment Piece: Hitchcock's Heroines

The great thing about the fashion that Hitchcock heronines inspires? You don’t have to wait for a designer to present it to you! Have a pencil skirt? Add kitten heels and a blouse? Got a draped gown? Add a necklace! Have a skirt suit set? You’re good to go! Need some inspiration and/or examples of Hitchcock’s Heroines? TCM is showcasing Hitchcock movies all month long! Get the schedule here (note that Hitchcock films are usually on Wed and Friday!) and get inspired by those heroines!

XO RA

90% off luxury consignment

And a reminder! We want to feature you (yes you) on our series: Fashion in the Wild! How? Send me photos of you wearing your bathing suit in the wild! Read the details here and send me your pics!

Trend to Try: Are Socks With Peep Toes Something We’re Doing?


There are times when I think of trends for us to try, that aren’t exactly trends. Socks with Peep toes? Not only was it one of my very first posts (look below, I’m so grateful you stayed with the site while we grew. We’re still growing!); I keep seeing this look everywhere!

And I get it! It’s a way to: show off a great pair of socks, hide a bad pedicure, wear heels in the winter, and make a statement.

I loved this “trend” years ago, and I still do! See:

Investment Piece, fashion, blogger, Red//Pink, Gucci, Brian Atwood, Jcew, Ca, TX

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Stuart Weitxman, Pan and the Dream, tulle, socks, fashion, blogger, vintage, high fashion, InvestmentPiece

What is it about socks with peep toes (or any heels) that’s such a pull? I love that it’s slightly cheeky, slightly edgy and slightly classic. It’s just the combo that seems both fashion forward and almost geeky (can we admit that fashion can be geeky?) all at the same time. A trend? Not really. Something you should try? Absolutely!

Below is my orginal post and thoughts on the matter:

Are Socks With Peep Toes Something We’re Doing?
Investment Piece: Trend to Try: Socks with Peep Toes
Investment Piece: Trend to Try: Socks With Peep Toes
They are something we’re doing.Look at any magazine, any campaign right now and there they are–peep toe shoes worn with socks. Do we like it? Is this what we want? I will be honest–I was hesitant, but I LOVE these Chanel boots that look like socks:

So I thought: How bad can it be?

And here’s the answer: Surprisingly enough, not that bad.

I found it’s really comfortable. I think it looks best when the colors match– but it can be fun. So if you like it–why not? And if you can’t–I get that too.

 

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Happy Wednesday! xo RA

Details: First look Skirt Zara, Sweater JCrew, Shoes Chanel

Second Look :dress Zara, Shoes Sophia Webster

Third: Dress Zara, Shoes LK Bennett

Fourth Sweater JCrew, Skirt Zara Leather, Shoes Kelsi Dagger

I’ve updated some shopping options for you! And would love to know: would you rock this trend to try?

XO

Current Shopping:

Notes: This Post Does Contian Some Affilate links, while that does not affect the price for you, I may earn commission from them. Thank you for your support!

Nights in LA

Investment Piece: Nights in LA
Investment Piece: Nights in LA
Investment Piece: Nights in LA
Investment Piece: Nights in LA
Investment Piece: Nights in LA
Investment Piece: Nights in LA
Investment Piece: Nights in LA

Nights in LA can be just as magical as the mornings. There is always something going on: from premiere to event to just a great burger. You might have to watch yourself on a LA night, there’s the tempation to think you might be left out, that maybe you’re not at the right event or venue, but I really don’t buy that. My experience has been that any night, any place can be amazing, if you’re with the right people. And lucky for us all, I’ve been known to bring my own drama (the sleeves on this dress!); and I’ve found that if you’re looking for magic LA nights will give it to you. Look at that light!

We can talk about any event, but let’s talk about this dress. It’s all statement: the low back, the sleeves, the length. Part witchy, part goddess, all magic; just the way I like it! And the great thing, this dress is deceptive. It’s the softest jersey, so while it can turn heads, it’s a throw on and go type of dress. I promise. What I love about statement dresses (or statement anything) is that they don’t need a lot of help. Wear your hair natural. You can throw on flip flops if you need to, I did. You don’t have to try too hard, the dress does it for you. This dress is a Norma Kamali, I love that her style is drama with out the fuss. Her jersey is some of the softest that I have ever worn, the cut is always great, and there’s always an “it” factor: sleeves, a deep back, or both! (You’ve also seen some of her swimwear here)

This night in LA was indeed magical, but there was no special event. My photographer, Katy Shayne, and I simply were craving a great burger, and may be a martini or two. The light was perfect, and I was in the mood to wear this dress. And I was able to talk Katy into shooting me. That simple. Nights in LA are magic, but the best kind of magic is the kind you bring yourself: a great dress, a great friend, a great meal, a great laugh. Premieres can be fun. Events make me happy. But there are a ton of LA nights that have left me breathless, and all that was needed was a great dress!

I’d love to know: what’s your brand of magic, or statement dress for Nights in LA (or anywhere)?

Shop my picks below:

Investment Piece: Ngihts in LA