Are we label whores?

I’m still recovering from severe exhaustion and a bit of burn out, so I’m on the couch online shopping. Almost everything I want is Gucci. Or Prada. Or Valentino. Or Celine. All the labels. So I can’t help but wonder: Are we label whores?

Investment Piece, fashion blogger, high fashion, label whores, ca, TX

When I was little one of the things that I wanted most in the world was a “Coke” t-shirt. My mom said no, her reasoning being that I was not a billboard. (Don’t worry, I got a hand-me down Coke shirt from a friend, so my life wasn’t ruined.) My mom’s attitude towards labels hasn’t changed much, she doesn’t hate them, but thinks quality can be found without a label; and most importantly, that she shouldn’t provide a free billboard. And it’s not that I don’t get her point; after I moved to CA and found out what they pay for a billboard-I get not wanting to do it for free. However, my relationship with labels is a tad bit more complicated. I like labels. I talk all the time about how much I love Gucci, I think Chanel bags are a great investment, LV bags are fantastic, I love shopping vintage labels, and that’s just the tip of the shopping! I know some of you feel the same. We love labels, we wear them, but are we label whores?

According to Urban Dictionary, a label whore is someone who wears head to toe labels, especially if the logo or brand name is constantly visible. We all love labels, but let’s admit head to toe logos would be a lot. I love every single look Gucci sends down the run way, but also think it’s fresh and modern to mix high and low; which means I often wear my labels with Zara/Levis/etc. So, if we aren’t painting ourselves in logos, is it safe to say that we aren’t label whores? Or is there another layer? Does label whore include loving and/or buying something simply because it’s a label or certain brand?

I don’t ask these questions to make us feel bad, have I mentioned that I love Gucci so? And it’s not that I think that loving labels is a horrid thing; but as someone who shops, helps others shops, and is fashion I can’t help but look at our choices, whatever they may be. Labels are a layered issue, often symbols of status, and can have meaning beyond simply clothes or bags. High end labels are often synonymous with quality and luxury, as well as status; and let’s admit, those are great reasons to want something. We all want high quality clothes, and if said clothes communicate that they’re special and luxurious I don’t think any of us would complain. (If we’re really honest, let’s admit that sometimes labels make us feel special too). But the question remains, are we buying labels because we want the product or because we want the label? There are plenty of quality items out in the world that don’t have a label, and some of them are luxurious. Are we overlooking those in favor of a familiar logo? Is that hurting us–and our closets?

I am the last person in the world to tell you that you shouldn’t buy something you love, even if you only love it because it says Gucci on it. The labels we love are loved for a reason, and I’m not anti-logo by any stretch. I plan on keeping my labels, adding to my collections, and mixing my high and low. However, I am going to start asking myself why I want some things; because as much as I love labels, I don’t think that the label should be the only reason to buy something. I am a fan of quality, I am a fan of high fashion and fun, and I am fan of finding those items, with or without a logo. Can I love all my labels and non-labels at the same time? I think the only way to know is to try!

Am I the only one worried about being a label whore? What’s your take on the issue?

XO RA

Designer Spotlight: Norman Norell

One thing that I absolutely love about this job is that I get to learn things, along with you. In this month’s research for designer spotlight I stumbled across this article on Norman Norell and his impact on American fashion. I was fascinated. And when I’m fascinated, I can’t help but share. So, here (originally posted on WWD) is all about Norman Norell. I hope you enjoy as much as I did!

Norman Norell’s Lasting Influence on American Fashion
The Illinois-born Norell began designing costumes at Paramount Pictures in Astoria, N.Y., before staking his claim in the American fashion landscape on Seventh Avenue.
By Rosemary Feitelberg and Andrew Nodell on February 1, 2018

Investment Piece: Norman Norell

NEW YORK — Like Norman Norell’s more dedicated clients, author Jeffrey Banks and WWD executive editor Bridget Foley had a lot to unpack in discussing how the son of a hatmaker became America’s first great designer.
Even the Q&A’s location — Parsons School of Design, The New School — called for footnotes. Executive Dean of Fashion Joel Towers informed the industry-heavy crowd that Norell studied there and later taught from 1948 to 1972. In advance of next week’s opening of a Norell exhibition at the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, Banks talked about his new Rizzoli-published book “Norell: Master of American Fashion” and the designer’s lasting influence.

The audience — which included Anna Sui, Stan Herman, Rebecca Moses and Bibhu Mohapatra — listened intently about Norell’s forays into buy-now-wear-now, cruisewear, pants and other men’s wear-inspired looks for women and black-tie runway shows with Champagne and strawberry intermissions. Unlike designers of today, Norell didn’t socialize with his customers and was more inclined to spend nonworking weekends antiquing or going to the theater. The “very shy” designer lunched at Schraft’s or Hamburger Heaven with a small coterie of other Seventh Avenue designers, and he sketched away endlessly. And retailers were always part of the equation with private clients like Lauren Bacall, whose purchases were routed through the stores that supported him throughout his 51-year career.

Banks said, “Norell was such an important person in the history of American fashion. I think he really changed the way ready-to-wear is viewed and certainly on the world stage the way American designers are viewed.”

Banks also wound up as a Parsons student, due to Norell. While working for Ralph Lauren, he was enrolled at Pratt. “One day my teacher at Pratt said, ‘I don’t know if you saw in the paper today that Norman Norell died.’ This girl raised her hand and said, ‘Who’s Norman Norell?’ I said, ‘I’m outta here.’ I literally picked up my books, went to the dean’s office and transferred to Parsons. I’d been thinking about it, but that was it,” Banks said.

Following Norell’s sudden death in 1972, the designer’s legacy largely faded. Banks’ motivation in publishing the Rizzoli title, which is the first book of its kind dedicated to Norell’s work, was to inform younger generations — “especially people in the fashion business” — of his artistry. “I don’t think you can go forward as a designer without knowing where you came from,” Banks explained. “It’s only by knowing the rules that you can then break the rules.”

In an interview with WWD, Ralph Rucci, who wrote the forward for “Master of American Fashion,” described Norell as “the American Balenciaga” in his “masterful simplicity, make, cut and fit of clothes.” Rucci went on to compare the way in which the American and Spanish designers would construct an armhole, adding, “The armhole being a symbol of such precision.”

“Norell would give a 14-inch hem on dresses for balance and weight when, say, a chiffon hem would normally just be an edge stitch.”

But it wasn’t all for looks, explained Banks, who said the generous hem was also intended for lengthening and shortening a garment by the client, who paid generously for the detailed craftsmanship. “Women bought his clothes and treated them the same way they would treat artwork they would buy,” he added.

Kenneth Pool, another designer in the audience, loaned the six Norell ensembles from his 100-piece collection that bookended the stage on mannequins. Pool’s focus is from 1960 on, after Norell “finally owned his own business and was able to buy out his investors,” Banks said. “Even though he was 60 years of age, I believe he got this incredible burst of creativity for the next 12 years of his life.”

After Foley noted how the quality designs had stood the test of time, Banks pointed out how Norell was averse to American fabrics, buying only the finest ones — including Linton (which Banks said makes Chanel tweeds to this day), Gandini and Taroni for his designs and linings. As a young man Banks was so mesmerized by one Norell dress with a fireworks-like lining in a store window that he examined it daily during its two-week display.

Referring to Norell’s 9 p.m. fashion shows in his 550 Seventh Avenue showroom, Foley said, “I must say that when I was reading this, there were two words that stuck out in my mind, ‘Black-tie — photographers included,’ and the other one — think of this in the era of the 12-minute show — ‘intermission.’”

The shows themselves were also on Norell’s own timetable. In those days, like today, collections would be shown in New York before the industry’s attention moved to Europe. But rather than show with other designers, Norell — along with James Galanos — would require buyers and editors to return to New York for their shows. “They wanted to separate themselves from the rest of American fashion,” continued Rucci. “The two of them were the closest we had to haute couture in this country. They were really mavericks.”

Banks mentioned how the routine was also to have another show “for lesser buyers” the following day. An ardent Norell client, Lauren Bacall, could be seen front-row in a lengthy video clip of a 1968 Norell show. Daytime clothes were showcased in the first half, followed by an intermission for Champagne and strawberries, before the eveningwear-centered second half.

Sixty-five to 100 looks would be modeled by his four-woman cabine of “Norell girls” who worked for him almost exclusively for runway and showroom appointments. “They literally floated down the runway, walking on tippy toe. How they changed so quickly [shoes, gloves and hats as well as clothes] is just mind-blowing to me,” said Banks.

Norell was forward-thinking when it came to selecting these recurring models, who would often have similar hairstyles to each other but would be of various body types. “He was very smart in understanding that women who wore his clothes were of different sizes, heights and ages,” added Banks.

Asked what Norell would think of the fashion shows today, Banks said, “He would be very, very disappointed. I’ve posted some pictures of the black-tie openings on Facebook and Instagram and people have said, ‘Look at how beautifully that front row is dressed. There are no sneakers, no telephones, no movie stars — they’re actually looking at the clothes.’ Look at the intimacy of the show. You could literally reach out and touch the fabric. The whole point of this was the clothes — not the girls, not the spectators, not the celebrities.”

Reminded how Norell was known to deconstruct Balenciaga designs, Banks said, “All of the designers on Seventh Avenue at that time would go to Europe. Many of them to buy things, most of them to copy things. Norell would go, and every once in a while he would buy a number from Givenchy or Balenciaga, but it wasn’t to copy them. It was to actually see the construction. He would take them apart, look inside and really see the technique. He brought couture techniques to ready-to-wear.…The prices were exorbitant for the time. A jersey dress, which was really the backbone of his collection, was $500 or $600. But women loved those clothes and knew they were an investment.”

Banks added, “Norell said, ‘Bust darts are the sign of a home sewer,’” adding that the designer avoided them by taking a vertical fold of fabric, have it go inside the armhole with handstitched facing to give the wearer enough ease for the bust without “that pointy, bullet-bra look that was very popular in the Fifties and Sixties.”

As a child, Norell was a fan of vaudeville’s razzle-dazzle and his first job was with Paramount Pictures in Astoria, before it moved to California. In 1921, at the age of 21, Norell designed for Rudolph Valentino and in 1923 for Gloria Swanson in “Zaza.”

Born Norman David Levinson in Noblesville, Ind., (a state that also produced Bill Blass, Halston and Stephen Sprouse), Norell decided he needed a name with more flair after moving to New York at the age of 19. “He took the ’Nor’ from Norman, the ‘el’ from Levinson and he added an extra ‘l,’ as he said, for luck,” Banks said. Norell’s former boss Hattie Carnegie took a different tack after arriving to Ellis Island from Poland, having asked officials, ‘Who is the richest man in America?’ When told that was Andrew Carnegie, she said, ‘That’s my last name.’

An entrepreneur with a great eye,” Carnegie had 12 designers working for her initially in her East 49th Street multifloor salon. She employed 1,000 people even during the Depression. Norell learned his skills there, accommodating Park Avenue ladies who would make such requests as, “‘My husband bought me an emerald necklace and I need a dress to go with it,’” Banks said. Norell started visiting Europe with Carnegie, who was known to buy 200 items during such an excursion.

On his own, Norell was inspired by men’s wear, and introduced pants before Yves Saint Laurent, and later added “what we know as culottes,” Banks said. When Foley mentioned how Norell became “the person to knock off in New York,” he knew if he was going to be knocked off, he wanted to be knocked off properly. So the designer ran an ad in WWD advising any manufacturer that wanted to knock his culottes off that he would give them the pattern, Banks said.

In 1943, Carnegie was commissioned to do the clothes for Gertrude Lawrence in the Broadway musical “Lady in the Dark,” about a fashion editor undergoing psycho analysis. “Apparently, in the Forties, if you had money that was a big deal. That was trendy thing to do and get shrunk,” Banks quipped.

Norell was tasked with sketching costumes, but Carnegie disapproved, suggesting he tone them down. Norell sidestepped his boss and showed Lawrence the originals, which she loved. That resulted in a parting of ways with Carnegie, and Norell teaming up with a financial partner, Antony Traina, in 1941 and stayed with him until 1959. During the war years, American designers had to restart their industry since they were no longer able to rely on European fabrics, Banks said. Wartime fabric restrictions prompted slimmer skirts just above-the-knee and while metals were rationed, sequins were not. “He was very smart because he could make these clothes look very dramatic, elegant and beautiful without a lot of money,” Banks said.

One turning point in his career came when Norell started buying fabric upfront for his signature dresses, which enabled seamstresses to start making them the day after his runway shows so they could be delivered months before the rest of the collection. “That was the engine that kept the business going,” Banks said. Foley noted how it was a precursor to the buy-now-wear-now shows.

She also pointed out how Norell was inspired by the Marchesa Casati in 1960, whereas only years later did designers like John Galliano, Alexander McQueen, Sui and Dries van Noten look to her.

In 1972, the-then 72-year-old Norell was given his due with a one-night-only retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. “I was working for Ralph Lauren while I was going to school and I begged him to get tickets for this. He said, ‘Who is this Norell?’ I said, ‘He is just the greatest designer in America,’ which is not what your boss wants to hear. But he got the tickets anyway,” Banks said. “At the end of the show, the lights went out — this was a live show of his clothes from the Twenties through the Seventies — and you saw something twinkling in the dark like fireflies. When the lights came up, there were 60 girls in mermaid dresses in every color of the rainbow from every decade.”

The audience was “literally like they were at a basketball game, stamping their feet, yelling, screaming” when a man came out in a tuxedo whom guests thought was about to introduce Norell. Instead, he said, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, I regret to inform you that Norman Norell had a stroke yesterday,’” Banks said. Ten days later, the designer died.

As for what Norell would have considered to be his greatest contribution to fashion, Banks said, “Making women look attractive — that is all he ever cared about — making beautifully well-made clothes.”

The orginal article has the best picture gallery. I hope you enjoyed this reposted article, and I hope that you visit the site and see the most amazing fashion!
XO RA

Sunday Chronicles: Day Off

a woman in a teal and chartreuse sleep set and robe lounges on a white bench in front of a white wall

Things I have been thinking about lately:
Burn Out (why and how to fix it)
Balance- in work and life and if it’s possible
Rebellion- I am horrible about when I get stressed I do that “revenge” stay up late thing where you stay up late to decompress and get time alone but it’s not great for you
Boundaries- how to set them and what they look like when you don’t have a traditional schedule
Habits
How I would like to my life to work.

There is so much about my life and work- even my day job!- that I love. That I feel as if I am good at. That I want to keep on. Yet. Loves. I have to admit that lately I am bit over tired. A lot overworked. On the edge of burn out. Do to this- fashion and my creative pursuits which I love (and feel as if I am failing at right now! Which is part of this!)- and my day job (sadly, Gucci doesn’t buy itself) I haven’t had a day off in MONTHS. MONTHS. I had a work trip for my day job a few weeks ago- that week I worked over 90 hrs just for them, plus shooting. And writing. As you may have heard my mom had emergency surgery (which I will never, ever complain about getting to be there for my family), but it was another thing I worked through. (Seriously, took a zoom call in the waiting room while she was in surgery).

I am tired. I am ready for a break. And my schedule doesn’t naturally lend itself to that. SO. I am making it. Today I am off0 my big plans include a face mask, doing my nails. Though I would like to shoot a few looks (as I am too excited about them!) and get started on some cleaning and laundry. Because I want to get on top of my schedule- and life. I want to get to a place where I am not behind ALL the time- and I have time for things I love (hello you!) and get to rest some.

The only way I know to get to that place is to take some time. Will I be putting up an OOO? No. But will I put off checking email and etc? Yes. Will there be bad TV and mindless scrolling (and some shopping!)? Yes. And time on the couch, cat cuddles, and not feeling guilty for not jumping out of bed. A day without my computer and being tied to my phone and worrying about getting it all done! (Ok, maybe I don’t know how to stop worrying but maybe that’s part of it!)

What do you do when you notice you’re a bit burned out and need some rest? Can you tell me on Monday?

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

Circle Skirt

a woman in black strapless swimsuit,  a printed circle skirt with a mini Chloe saddle bag and Dr Scholl's purple sandalsa woman in black strapless swimsuit,  a printed circle skirt with a mini Chloe saddle bag and Dr Scholl's purple sandals
a woman in black strapless swimsuit,  a printed circle skirt with a mini Chloe saddle bag and Dr Scholl's purple sandals
a woman in black strapless swimsuit,  a printed circle skirt with a mini Chloe saddle bag and Dr Scholl's purple sandals
a woman in black strapless swimsuit,  a printed circle skirt with a mini Chloe saddle bag and Dr Scholl's purple sandals

Not new, but more and more becoming a go-to, must have, wear all the time, combo for me? A strapless swim (and this black one is my GO TO, I wear it with everything!) and a circle skirt. Chic. Easy. Cool- especially temp wise! This outfit combination is so classic, and yet, endlessly adaptable. Do I love it with my Dr Scholl’s? Absolutely. Would this outfit look just as amazing with heels or wedges? Yes. Love this crossbody? Yes. Pair with a tote or clutch. Truly, there are so many ways to look chic in this outfit formula.

You could even swap the swimsuit as bodysuit for a tee, or a crop top. A blouse. A vest. Almost anything you like. In the summer I am partial to skirts with some movement and some drape (pencil skirts are fantastic and I love them but when it’s 105 out anything that touches me too tightly can feel like too much!). Circle skirts in particular just feel fun, swinging and a bit like the season.

Loves! I do hate to jump the gun but I can’t wait to tell you and show you a project that me and my seamstress are working on– making this skirt! Yes, we will probably make it in more than one fabric and I can’t wait to wear them with everything!

I know it’s the season of shorts. And capris. Sundresses. But I can’t tell you how often I reach for a skirt in the summer. Go to’s. Go with everything. Go chicly.

What are your go-to outfits and outfit formulas in the summer? What makes you feel the most cool (temp wise) and chic? I would love to hear all about it!

Some of these exact pieces and similar ones are linked for you below. And if you’re in the market for a circle skirt I do have to let you know that there are ton of amazing vintage options- I would look at Etsy and one of my fave ways to shop vintage is on the GEM app. Happy circle skirting!
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!

Travel in Style

a woman in a white dress, a leather blazer, carrying a train case and a fur muff

It’s summer and it’s the season of vacation. I know right know there are a ton of tips and tricks, and people who can tell you how to pack light. And show you all the cubbies and packing systems that they have. I am sure that those are all great tips. If you’re looking for that, this isn’t it. Of all people, I am not the one to tell you to pack light- I can’t even leave the house for the day without an extra set of shoes. Actually, I think adding an extra outfit- and pjs and underlings is always for the best! JIC! While I do have a system for me, I don’t know that it would translate to anything resembling advice.

What I can offer? Ideas for your bag that will make you feel chic- even on the days when you’re ready to come home!

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!

Vintage Luggage
Ok. A lot of vintage luggage doesn’t have wheels.But, so much of it is well made, and roomy. And a bit chic! I personally am partial to a great train case- they are perfect for your toiletries and small items (and count as a personal item on planes!). While these may be best for road trips, I have never regretted vintage luggage. And if they fit all my shoes I am sure that they can fit all of your things!

One and Done Outfits
a woman in a black strapless jumpsuit

I shared on Monday that I bought this jumpsuit for travel (and beyond). As with anything, when I plan what I wear to travel I want something chic that’s also comfortable- and this jumpsuit is it! It can be dressed up or down and could go from beach to dinner!

Get your own here

And speaking of one and done- I am also a fan of packing things that can be styled in oh-so-many ways.Not just talking about with different shoes or tops or whatnot- but outfits that can be completely new and different depending on how you wear them. For example? A smocked skirt! I got this one recently and have worn it as a dress- for poolside and beyond. But it also looks great as a skirt! With tees or button downs, crops or long sleeves! Change out the shoes and it’s new each time!

a woman in a smocked skirt worn as a dress with flip flops
a woman in a smocked skirt with a long sleeve white tee and kitten heels
Shop some of my smocked options here

Stock Up on Travel Size
a close up of mini SuperGoop SPF and snake sandals
This seems like a given- but I can’t tell you how many people I know from family to friends that have a separate stash of travel toiletries and products that they use on trips. Most of the the things you love to use? They come in mini sizes. If not, the one “travel tip” I do while heartedly approve of is buying a set of mini bottles to fill with your go-to products!

What are some of your travel tips? How do you travel in style? I am open to anything other than leaving a pair of shoes at home! XO RA

Lately…

a woman in pink linen pants, snake sandals, a white button down and a blue linen jacket
In all the chaos that has been my life lately I have felt as if all these outfits I have planned and things I want to wear for the summer have fallen to the wayside. As I write this I am in bike shorts and an oversized shirt. I thought about throwing on a simple silk dress today, or a button down with cut offs, but getting dressed was too much. And when I don’t get dressed I kinda feel bad- so I went through my phone and as it turns out lately has been ALOT. But I have worn clothes- and learned a bit about dressing for chaos!
a woman in a black strapless jumpsuit
I bought this jumpsuit to travel in– I had this idea that it was perfect for a plane (ok maybe not perfect for the bathroom!) but as you could layer and pair with sneakers and then do a quick refresh, pair with heels and be ready to go? I loved! It didn’t come in time for my trip but I have worn it more than once to run errands and under a jacket for hospital visits. Moral? One and done leaves you so much room to play!
a woman in a white button down, a leopard print linen skirt, a Gucci belt bag and lace up sandals
We will chat about linen. And belt bags. BUT, I can’t tell you how a fantastic white button down is becoming a go to. They. Go. With. Everything. Over a skirt? With pants? Jeans. Shorts. Over bike shorts even! Maybe button downs are the things we should be investing in more often! To be honest, I have a collection of button downs, but have never thought of them as THE piece. Yet, I can’t tell you how often I am reaching for one recently. Perhaps a deep dive into button downs is in our future?
a woman in a black linen shirt dress, a Gucci belt bag and lace up asymmetrical shoes
Linen. It’s linen season. In this little round up 3/4 ths of the outfits are linen. And just perhaps- that’s a great thing! Linen is easy and chic- and lends itself to anything from an easy airport outfit to a classic that you can dress up any which way!

It calmed me a little bit to remind myself that lately I have been getting dressed- in things I love. My goal for the new week? To get dressed a bit more. Yet, there will probably be more linen and button downs and belt bags (this one that you see all the time is a vintage Gucci. I wanted one for forever and finally having one has been amazing. I am linking some for you but I found this one on eBay!).

What have you been wearing lately? And what do you want to wear in the weeks to come? I am linking a couple of these options below and I would love to hear about your choices! 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!

Each look listed:

Shop pink linen pants look: here
Shop the exact jumpsuit: here
Shop linen skirt look: “a href=”https://liketk.it/4Hecn”target=”_Blank”>here
Shop linen shirt dress look: “here

here’s to a new week of lately and fantastic outfits!

Sunday Chronicles: Into The Fire

a woman on a bed with white sheets and a pink peignoir set

Ironically, I was thinking that summer, or the beginning of summer would be a lovely, slow paced time to get myself on a routine (my life long struggle). To clean out and organize my closet and beyond. To catch up on all my “chores” like mending and dry cleaning. And to be able to take all of that at a pace that still felt luxurious. Like a summer celebration instead of work.

Yet.

It’s the beginning of summer. I have been on a work trip for my day job that has left me drained. I am behind in oh so many ways. And this week had a twist of an unexpected emergency surgery for my mom- which we are still dealing with.

Something about the best laid plans. Or more like- into the fire from the frying pan?

More ironically? There are times when I do well under pressure. Not all times. But I am one of those who is more productive when I have a lot going on- as I have no choice but to stick to a schedule. So. Maybe this fire is good. I am still determined and have my list- the things I want to do and the person I want to be and the things I want to wear. Perhaps now we just do them with a bit of fire under our feet.

Hopefully, that makes the down or luxurious paced moments a bit more sweet. Or maybe the fire lets me know how lucky I am. Honestly, I am still spinning a bit and trying to grab 5 mins for myself here and there. But. I am a bit willing to let the fire inspire and move me- rather than just burn me up.

How that will work out? I guess we will see. But rest assured that I will be wearing fabulous shoes no matter what.

How do you react when plans go awry and you find yourself in a fire? Any tips? Also– what does one wear to a fire?

Wishing us all a week of being inspired by our circumstances and amazing shoes! XO RA

Short Story Long..

a woman in a pink mini skirt and a train on the side, a white button down and black heeled sandals
a woman in a pink mini skirt and a train on the side, a white button down and black heeled sandals

It feels like such a long time since we have been here. I had this huge work trip and I came home so run down. This week my mom has had emergency surgery and that’s taken up so much of my time. If you have stuck around I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that- and how glad I am that you’re here! Hopefully we are settling back into a routine here and there’s nothing but fantastic summer fashion and stories in our future.

That’s the short story. But as we all know, short stories are often long…..

a woman in a pink mini skirt and a train on the side, a white button down and black heeled sandals
a woman in a pink mini skirt and a train on the side, a white button down and black heeled sandals
a woman in a pink mini skirt and a train on the side, a white button down and black heeled sandals

And speaking of short- have you noticed that minis are back? (I know there is a quip about what a hemline says about the economy but from storefronts to runways, the minis are MINI and back. I personally just think it means fashion!) There can be big feelings about minis- like “is this too much?” “Am I too old for this?” “How do I balance it?”

Some of those questions are personal, and account for your own style- but my simple tips? Perhaps choose a mini that is a bit long. A la a train, or a hi-low hem, or while I am a FAN of a high waist on everything for minis I like a mid or low rise.

And for balance? Something classic. For example, a white button up. It is a bit of an offset, though of course how far you button is up to you! You could also call this wearing a statement and letting it shine. You could also focus on the balance of short and long. But really, I just love the juxtaposition and way that throwing on a button down is a chic way to not overthink your top.

I am the first to admit that I sometimes worry about wearing a mini skirt- and what to pair with. This outfit has been in my mind for a bit. Since I got this skirt. I love that it’s party perfect. Aok at dinner. Cocktails? Couldn’t be more appropriate. I love that the train offsets the mini. The button down that doesn’t feel business. And yes, these are my go-to shoes. This combo could be reimagined in any number of ways with any number of pieces. Even without a mini- aka a longer skirt and a shorter top. Short stories? As long as you want.

a woman in a pink mini skirt and a train on the side, a white button down and black heeled sandals

This is where I confess something. This skirt is H&M. And I have conflicted feelings about wearing fast fashion. Yet. I couldn’t resist this skirt. And while it was out months ago, I found a few on resale sites (which lessens the blow?). Skirts with trains have had their moments (and I am sure they will again). If you would love to dip your toe in the water for that I would love to help you find the perfect one.

Short stories. Long stories. Turns out as long as they are chic, I am a fan of them all!
Shopping options linked below- thank you so much for being here! XO RA

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a woman in a pink mini skirt and a train on the side, a white button down and black heeled sandals

Family Emergency

Investment Piece: Fashion Travels

I had big plans about what to talk about today. I recently got on my first plane since COVID. Thoughts about packing (is there such a thing as too many shoes?! Of course not!) And how travel size of your fave cosmetics from sunscreen to lipstick are a great investment.

Then. Life. This weekend my mother got sick and after an ER visit yesterday my mom needed emergency surgery. Ironically I wore a jumpsuit I wanted to talk about- but fashion and posts haven’t been something I have been able to get to.

Mom is doing ok- and now that we are past the emergency I am hoping for a recovery that’s easy! We will chat all kinds of travel- including do you care what you wear to the hospital? In the meantime I’m off to rest- see ya here Fri?

Thank you for your patience!

Xox RA

Long Weekend Vibes

a woman with a open white shirt dress with red and white bikini bottoms and white sandals

Perhaps you consider this weekend the start of summer. Or wedding season. It could be graduation weekend. OR just a weekend. Here? It’s filled with sales. Summer intention setting. And hopefully some rest. I will be taking the weekend to really think about this summer- and what to wear. Sale shopping can be done with me over on LTK, ShopStlye, ShopMy, ModSens and Maverly apps (I am Rachel Adelicia on all!!) And we will meet here again on Wednesday – wearing something fantastic and ready for a new season.

Happy weekend! XO RA