End of an Era: Online Vintage Shopping Tips

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A few years ago, the last episodes of “Mad Men” began to air. Can we chat for a minute about how this show affected our culture? Not just for the viewers (and yes, I’m obsessed) but in how it affected fashion. Styles always come back around –evidenced in the resurgence of the 70s on the runway–but this show made vintage, and vintage inspired dressing cool. I’ll admit–I’ve always loved vintage, there’s something about clothing that has a story that speaks to me. However, let’s be honest–it can be hard to shop for–both online and in person. The good news is there are a ton of amazing vintage shops out there–and if you find one by all means go in and look (don’t forget to try on!). With the advent of Etsy, some online shopping for vintage has gotten much easier–and the finds can be amazing. Here are some of my favorite Etsy finds as well as tips to online vintage buying!

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1. Know your measurements, not your size.

Clothes were cut and sized differently in different eras, not to mention that certain body types go in and out of fashion (a whole blog on its own). Make sure that you measure correctly (or get someone to help you!)–and go by those. Also, depending on the fit of the dress, give yourself an inch of wiggle room–there’s nothing worse than ordering a dress and having it be too tight to breathe.

2. Research Shop Policies

Some shops take returns and exchanges, others won’t–most that I’ve found are happy to dialog with you about everything. Ask questions, send them your measurements–make friends. Knowing upfront some of your options if things don’t work out can make the purchasing process easier.

3. Have a budget and understand what you’re paying for

Some vintage is really expensive–when you factor in the rarity quality. Some is really affordable, either way make sure you know what flaws the item has–and what other costs such as alternations and shipping with cost you.

4. Buy things you will wear

This is probably a rule for life, but when I get deep in vintage holes I can lose myself in just beautiful pieces. Realistically however, there may not be a place to wear that pristine 1900 wedding dress–I know, shocking! If you are just a collector, amazing-buy at will. If you’re looking to add to your closet realistically assess whether or not you could wear it without feeling like you’re in a costume (unless you want a costume). Yes, this means that you may pass on some things, but what you’ll buy will be great when you wear it!

Some of my favorite vintage shops (where you can shop online)?
Bloomers and Frocks
RecessLA
The Kit Vintage
Timeless Vixen
Garment Modern</>
Miriti
Of course
Etsy

And so many more!

Want more shopping tips? Don’t forget to join me here!

All clothing vintage

First picture photo credit Kate Richards

I’d love to know: how do you shop for vintage online?

Xo RA

October Blues

It’s officially fall and I’ve spent most of the week fighting a cold/allergeries. It’s been one of those weeks where work, scheduling, most everything has been rearranged and moved aside in an effort to recuperate and feel like myself again. Things that help? Outfits like this. Shoes that wrap. Skylines and slits. Stay tuned for updated looks and new things coming. Here’s to entering the weekend feeling like our best selves! Xo RA


Investment Piece: October Blues
Investment Piece: October Blues
Investment Piece: October Blues
Investment Piece: October Blues
Investment Piece: October Blues
Investment Piece: October Blues

October Blues are a thing.
The colder weather, the shorter days, the change in the air–it can leave you feeling a little down. The only cure I know of? Deep breaths, leaning into the change, and getting excited about sweaters and boots. All valid things.

The good news? Loves, these are the kind of October Blues that involve sad feelings, deep breaths, or even loving sweaters. These October Blues are the kind that make you want to dance, that go with any kind of weather, and doesn’t require a love of boots (though you should still probably be excited about boots). This is blue silk and crepe. This is a bell sleeve, a wrap top, and a slit that goes there. This is the kind of October Blue that can make you happy now and later. And loves, that’s an October Blue I can get behind.

In pieces this Cult Gaia ensemble is amazing. The top would go great with jeans, trousers, a different skirt. The skirt? I’ve already worn it with a great graphic tee (I’ve already worn it with my Tom Petty tee), a white button down, or one of those beloved sweaters. And the silk is some of the softest I’ve felt in a while. I love the drama that the lace up shoes bring, and who can go wrong with a vintage Bottega Venetta clutch? The real trick here for October blues? Besides blue, it’s simply trusting that one color can carry an outfit. I’m a huge fan of monochromatic looks, and while the sleeves and the slit help, I think that any one color look can make an impact!

I got this limited edition Cult Gaia from Moda Operandi, and while it’s no longer avaible, the feeling of the look is so easy! Any skirt and top can mimic this feel (and I’ve linked my faves below), you simply need to embrace a monochromatic look, have some fun, and find yourself a rooftop!

If you’re still suffering from October Blues, I can recommend apple cider and wine. If that doesn’t work, you’re on your own!

Shop my picks below, they do contain affiliate links (I get commission though there is no added cost to you!

Happy October Blues!
XO RA

Another great place to shop Cult Gaia:

Investment Piece: October Bues

What to do when you HATE the trend

I originally wrote this post a few years ago. I pull it out now and again, because I can’t stop thinking about this topic. Again, we’re in the middle of “fashion month”. We’re in the middle of a transition to a new season. We’re being told what’s trendy, what we should buy, and the looks that we HAVE to have. And loves, I’m not mad at any of that. I love seeing new interpretations and getting to explore new sides of ourselves through fashion. The flip side of that? What if we hate it all. What if the trends for fall or next spring are just awful and wrong for us?

So, I read this. And I feel a little bit better. I hope you do you!

Wishing us all a week of good trends and amazing shoes!
Xo RA

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NY Fashion week has come and gone, and we’ve been presented with what’s on trend for now, and for the Spring. Which is great, right? Hopefully you’ve been inspired and are excited about what will be/is offered to you, and you have ideas and plans on how to wear it (or you’re excited to see how we wear it here!) But loves, let’s be honest with each other. There’s a chance, and there are times, when you just HATE a trend. Maybe you try it and it’s just not flattering on you. Maybe it brings back bad memories. Maybe you just hate it so much you can’t bring yourself to try it or think about it. I get it. I know, I’m in fashion and supposed to encourage you to try new things. Which I think you should. But not everything is for everyone.

Loves, I’ve struggled with this part all week. A part of me is torn–I feel as if I’m supposed to encourage you to try new things. Maybe the right piece, the right time, the right color will change your mind on a trend. Maybe. Trying different versions of a trend is also valid. Maybe you hate cold shoulder, but you love a certain off-the-shoulder. Maybe. Classics may be your thing and you don’t want to vary out, but one dress could change your mind. Maybe. I think all these avenues are great-again, I’m for us all trying things. But loves, sometimes things don’t work. And that’s valid too. Trends are simply that, a passing fancy, and if you don’t like it, it’s ok. A new trend will come about, or classics are always in style.
There are trends that I don’t like; and my personal view is that fashion is supposed to be a fun way to express yourself–not a list of things you HAVE to wear.

So, at the end of the day my biggest advice is, if you don’t love it, don’t wear it. That simple. Love what you wear, wear what makes you feel good!

XO RA

Getting in the Water

Investment Piece: Getting in the Water
Investment Piece: Getting in the Water
Investment Piece: Getting in the Water
Investment Piece: Getting in the Water
Investment Piece: Getting in the Water

Loves, in a moment of vulnerability, I have to admit, this was a hard week. Four day weeks can be -both of my my homes (in LA and TX) are in the midst of a change (including my closet), and this week (for those and other reasons) was just a hard week. And what do I do when it gets tough? Buy shoes! Well, yes. But other than that, a thing I do is get in the water. There’s something about water-surfing, paddle boarding, just sitting by it, that calms me down and makes me happy. Getting in the water is one of my favorite coping mechanisms. And getting in the water in fashion? I LOVE it!!

And loves, this is why I love this job. I love the creativity of it, the thinking out of the box on how to present my fave fashion to you, and the people I work with. This dress is Clover Canyon, and as an Ocean Baby I can’t recommend them enough; their clothes are made of neoprene (always water ready) and the patterns are to die for! I love that my photographer, Katy Shayne, was nonplussed when I said I wanted to shoot this dress on a board and that I would figure it out! And so we figured it out, I got on a paddle board and we were able to get great looks from the dock (the dress is water ready, cameras not so much). Bonus-I got to be on the water and got a session in after we were done!

Another moment of vulnerability: this shoot is from over a year ago. Yet, I’ve updated it. And it rings true. This week, in August 2018 has been tough. My reaction? Get in the water. I found my self putting together a closet, stressed about what to shoot, and needing to be in the water. So, here we are. I went to the water, and I wore this dress (yet again) and things are looking up. Isn’t it funny how things can come full circle?

I’ve updated my shopping picks and hope that however your week has gone, you’re getting in the water!
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!

Shop my picks:

Investment Piece: Getting in the Water

Beach Pajamas

Investment Piece: Beach Pajamas
Investment Piece: Beach Pajamas
Investment Piece; Beach Pajamas
Investment Piece: Beach Pajamas
Investment Piece: Beach Pajamas
Investment Piece: Beach Pajamas

Some of our favorite things: the beach and pajamas. The next best thing? Combining them! I won’t waste your time chatting about my love for the ocean and the beach: we all know that I’m a water baby, and have to see the love of my life (the ocean) every so often or I go a bit nutty. So, let’s chat Beach Pajamas!

True Beach Pajamas are a vintage treasure! They come from the 1930’s–women didn’t really wear pants yet, but, yet, at the beach it was “socially acceptable”, and jumpsuits with palazzo pants were popular! You can find silk ones, many have amazing embroidery. These, however, are not true beach pajamas. However, they made me think of beach pajamas, so I couldn’t help but fall in love!

This a is Dolce and Gabbana jumpsuit that I found on TheRealReal, and it’s just as dreamy as the vintage pieces! I love the raw silk, the fact that it’s a jumpsuit (WITH POCKETS!), the tie, and this print–no one does a great citrus print like Dolce and Gabbana! It would be perfect with sandals for a casual day, but these dreamy palazzo pants and heels would be great for a cocktail party.

I may be partial to this look on a beach though. California sunsets are their own brand of magic!

Hoping your outfit feels like pajamas and that you get a little bit of magic today!

XO RA

A great place to search for beach pajamas? Etsy, or your favorite vintage shop. I’ve linked some similar pieces, and some Dolce below!

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 get your own deal from TheRealReal:
90% off luxury consignment

Summer Version

Investment Piece: Summer Verision
Investment Piece: Summer Verision
Investment Piece: Summer Verision
Investment Piece: Summer Verision
Investment Piece: Summer Verision
Investment Piece: Summer Verision

There was a vintage robe that I loved during the winter, and while I wore it around the house (as one does), I also wore it out and about. You can see the photos of that amazing dress/robe here. The great news for me? I found my Summer Version! Yes, this is a vintage robe (this one is the perfect soft silk instead of velvet, you know-for summer), and yes, even this one is from Bloomers and Frocks (make sure you read my review of them here and follow them on Instagram @bloomersandfrocks). Another thing to do? Get you a Summer robe that works as a summer dress! Summer Versions are the best!

This is the perfect number to wear with sandals for a day out, at work, or for drinks by the pool. It can be dressed up very easily (heels/jewelry), but lends itself to being casual as well (think flats); and even better, it still works around the house. Really, what I’m telling you is that with this summer version enables you to go from bed to work to out on the town without changing. Isn’t that what Summer is all about?

Shop my picks below, having an amazing Monday, and don’t be afraid to rock your robe in public!

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: Summer Version

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!

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!

Places to Shop: Moda Operandi

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Of all the weapons in my online shopping arsenal Moda Operandi may be the most unique and powerful. Just like any other site MO’ has a boutique with clothes, shoes, and accessories that are in season and ready to ship. Unlike most other sites, MO’ lets you order directly from the runway–so if you see something you love during Fashion Week you can preorder items you love for a 50% deposit. When the item comes in you pay the balance and get your item. It’s a great way to shop ahead–and another look at trends that were on the runway. I can’t tell you all of the great things that I’ve gotten from Mo–but trust me, you love them.

Another perk–their customer service is beyond stellar. Everyone I’ve dealt with has been super helpful, and every customer is assigned a personal shopper, who often goes above and beyond to help find you what you want.

Things to know:
MO’ does cater to high end brands (though there are deals to be had, and the breaking of payments can help)
Not all items are ready to ship–so look at the item’s ship date!
Trunkshows (as the site calls them) last more than one day (often about a week)
All items in Boutique are ready to ship
Their sale is not to be missed

A little bit more on how the TrunkShows Work:
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and my current favorite from the site:
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I hope you check it out and love Moda Operandi
as much as I do!

Happy Thursday! XO RA