The Almost

a woman in a jersey dress with a skyscraper background
a woman in a jersey dress in front of a skyscraper background
a woman in a jersey dress in front of a skyscraper background
a woman in a jersey dress in front of a skyscraper background
a woman in a jersey dress in a mirror in a bathroom

The Almost
As in: I almost didn’t post this outfit. As in I almost was afraid to talk about my insecurities in this outfit. Almost as in this shoot was more of an OOTD on the fly shoot and I love to think that for this space I try a bit harder.

But how does the song go? Almost doesn’t count.

Which I know- in the song- means that the almost trying doesn’t matter and she’s done (with a dumb boy), but here the almost doesn’t count means that we’re not giving into excuses.

So, yes, I wore this as an OOTD a few weeks past. And was worried that all of the things I got insecure about (but am working on!) during the pandemic were prominent. I mean- didn’t most of us have some issues after lockdown? And I also like to think that all of our insecurities are really only evident to ourselves! AKA in my head you’re saying :”Rachel, what insecurities? You look great!” Which is what I would say to you- no matter what sticks out to you about your own body. (Though in total confidence walking through stores in this I was a bit self conscious for the first time in a while) And with that, let’s ignore or get over or accept what we’re insecure about. Even if we’re working on those things!

As for perfect pictures? (Perhaps another insecurity of mine!) What if there are no perfect pictures? Though I do really love the sky here- and how these yellow (vintage Bottega but I found you similar) shoes pop. And the cutouts on the dress that somehow like a flower? Paired with the ruching that clings in (hopefully) all the right ways? Enough of different views, enough to get the feel? Maybe that’s perfect enough.

There’s another saying: once begun is half done. Or another one I have to remind myself of regularly: perfect is the enemy of good. Both I take to mean, sometimes we just have to do the thing, almost or not. The thing is- in this case- a great jersey dress, a pop of a shoe, and a classic bag are always a great combo. If it’s almost, with your insecurities, or not quite perfect. And if you love it (or have a great day in it), maybe it’s all of the things- perfect and almost and done!

I’ve found similar things for all of you to have great days in 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!

a woman in a jersey dress in front of a skyscraper background

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!


a woman in a blue and white top yellow skirt and brown shoes in a field of bluebonnets
a woman in a blue and white top and yellow skirt and brown platforms
a women's foto int brow suede platforms in a field of wildflowersq
a woman in a blue and white halter top and yellow skit in a field of Bluebonnets
a woman in blue and white halter top and yellow skirt in a field if bluebonnets

I’ll be honest with the change of season (from winter to spring, and I’m still not sure I got to wear all I wanted to)-which brought storms which for the first time brought massive headaches- I’ve been behind.
Yet I had the opportunity to shoot this. A bit vintage (the Ralph Lauren top and my grandma’s skirt and blazer, though I found you so many similar!) in a field of wildflowers.
There has to be a special club for people who grew up in Texas who still have memories of their parents telling them picking a bluebonnets (wildflowers) would get them arrested. To be honest in this shot I was afraid to pluck any flower as I was afraid of getting arrested- and also I’ve been told that bluebonnets attract rattle snakes so we didn’t linger. I don’t want any snakes or jail time, fun fact snakes are a top fear of mine! So these pics are a big accomplishment!!
And beyond all of that, there is a certain spring factor that makes us all want to walk in a field of wildflowers (or maybe that’s just us Texans- though I had the same urge when I lived in California)
Perhaps it’s just a spring urge. Like wearing yellow (which I have reservations about) with blue (ironically this combo was insprired by a current Ralph Lauren look. In fact, I’m still think of buying a yellow suit as I’m convinced it will go with so much!) Or wearing blue ( a spring fave of mine). Or flowers -which I’m always more tempted to buy in the spring.
Or maybe it’s just that as spring is springing (storms and headaches and all) we all long to wear a bit of color or brightness or there are flowers.

What do you long to wear in the in spring? Or what is stereotypical and yet you find yourself wearing? Have you ever risked snakes or jail for a look or a picture?


I’ve similar looks to these below. This post does contains affiliate links. While that does not affect the price for you, I may earn commission from them.Thank you for your support!

a woman in a yellow skirt suit with a blue and white halter top in a filed of wildflowers

Ex Files: The Cheat

Investment Piece: Ex Files: Valentine's

Yes, it’s that time of the month where I plumb all the dating horror stories from both my past and people I know (a friend of mine recently let me know that he had spent an afternoon reading all of the Ex Files here on site- and he found it both hysterical and painful. While I don’t recommend doing it all in one session, feel free to search Ex Files in the side bar! It’s a lot. And yes, I have no idea if we’ll ever run out of stories! Xo RA

The Cheat

The only thing that might be worse than being cheated on? Being the other woman- without knowing it!

I began dating Jeff in a whirlwind. We met through a mutual hobby, chatted now and again when we saw each other, and while he continually asked me to coffee I thought nothing of him.
Then, one day we ran into each other while we were doing errands, which lead to lunch, which lead to drinks, which lead to dinner, which lead to us dating for months.
Was it ever serious? Not really. There was no major talk of the future. But we met each other’s friends, talked every day, and had date night every week when we weren’t traveling.

Since then, I have thought about every minute of our relationship, and looking back there were some red flags. There were days when Jeff was hard to get a hold of, and very evasive about what he was up to. We never posted pictures together, and his entire social media were pictures that could have been dates- or could not have been. I did feel like something was off, but every time I brought that up, or mentioned that if he wasn’t very into me we didn’t have to date, Jeff would insist that he really cared, nothing was amiss, and that I was being sensitive about things.

I believed him.

Until- one day Jeff simply went silent. No texts, no calls, no returning messages. The first day? I didn’t really think about it. A week later? I was pissed that someone I had dated so long had been so awful in the ending. Two weeks later? I got a call from a Lisa, letting me know that she was Jeff’s long term, live in girlfriend. She had gone through his phone and found texts- not only to me, but as Jeff traveled for work, in every city that he worked in. It appeared that Jeff led different lives in every single city he worked in. He would sublet apts, pass off AirBnBs as his own, join gyms, take classes, have friends, and girlfriends in EVERY CITY.

Was I upset? Yes. I was horrified (and also curious how he could afford it?!?!?)
I apologized profusely to Lisa, blocked Jeff, and tried to forgive myself for not adding it all up.

So. What do we do? Check IDs and addresses?

Wishing us all a week of single identities and amazing shoes!

Fashion in the Wild : Sheer

A woman in a black sheer dress and heels

Every season there is a “sheer trend”. We chat about how to wear sheer, how to make sheer work appropriate, how to layer sheer tops and dresses and more. I am a big fan of sheer, see:
here and so on, trust me: search “sheer” in our search tab!). There are so many ways to make sheer work appropriate (slips, tanks, etc) and I’ve tried them all. This past week I went back through some of my favorite outfits (some sheer) in a way to look for inspiration and also clean out some of my closet. Sheer can be so versatile, so many things.

But loves, what if we let sheer clothing be sheer?

I give you: Fashion in the Wild! It’s me- in all my fashion out and about, no planned shoots, no controlling it. Of all things sheer can be, it’s also fun!

What do you think? Any trend you’d like to see in the wild?

Shop my current sheer picks below and keep it wild out there!

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!

You can also search Revolve here as they currently have the most on trend sheer dresses and more!

I also love this edit from Anthropologie:

a woman in a black sweater and a sheer skirt with heels

Spring Wishlist

a woman in a blue maxi sundress in front of pink flowers

How I celebrate the new season? A few things! I deep clean, myself and my home, I think about refreshing my hair (cut or color), I adjust my schedule (from workouts to work). And (perhaps the most fun!) I shop. I clean out my closet and then I make a wishlist for what I want to wear this season, and I make plans to get it.

What I’m looking forward to wearing this spring? Suits. From vests and blazers to oversized to linen, I’m loving a great suit. Pleats. From party dresses to skirts, pleats feel fresh but are classic enough to wear in the coming years. Swimsuits. I wear one pieces as bodysuits, so I’m looking forward to refreshing my collection with everything from leopard to low cut classics.

I’ve made a collection of everything I’m wanting and will be adding to it over the season. What are you putting on your spring wishlist? Anything special you’re shopping for? I would love to hear all about it and help shop if needed!

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!

You can keep up with and shop my spring wish list here

a woman with a black blazer belted with a gold lion belt, over jeans and wearing heels in a clothing store


Investment Piece: #groundbreakingInvestment Piece: #groundbreaking
Investment Piece: #groundbreaking

You know that joke about groundbreaking florals for spring.

I know that joke.

So, we don’t have to say it, right? Not saying it doesn’t make it any less true or funny; but if we’re all thinking it? We don’t have to say it.

And yes, it’s groundbreaking florals for spring. Which might not be so groundbreaking. We’re offered florals every spring, right? (And sometimes in the fall). Moody florals, dark florals, big florals, small florals, bright florals, daisy florals. There’s never a shortage of them, and if you always have your pick of them, it doesn’t feel groundbreaking.

So we don’t need to tell the joke.

Maybe the magic is taking something that’s not groundbreaking, and making it your own kind of groundbreaking. Fresh florals?

Investment Piece: #groundbreaking
Investment Piece: #groundbreaking
Investment Piece: #groundbreaking

Let’s go back to the beginning. Can florals be groundbreaking? Is there a way to make something that’s a staple your own?

My take? Yes. I think that there’s no other way to wear florals than in a groundbreaking, personalized way.

But, what does that mean?

Well, that probably depends on you. I’m partial to a moody floral, there’s’ something about the dark and the flowers that I like. I’m partial to vintage–done, and redone. This number, with the show stopping ruffle/cape is vintage, but it feels fresh. I love that it flounces, but reads more formal than sun dress.

(Confession? This dress paired with my crazy hair makes me feel a little like Carrie Bradshaw. Which I don’t hate.)

Your groundbreaking floral? You have options. Light/dark, big/small, formal/casual. I think the question becomes: what do you like? What do you feel? Any fashion item only feels and looks stale when we wear what we’re “supposed” to wear, instead of what we like. So can florals be groundbreaking? Absolutely. (Go ahead, read that in Big’s voice). All it takes is you wearing florals the way that you like. That’s the groundbreaking part.

Investment Piece: #groundbreaking

Side note: Feel free to wear shoes with your groundbreaking florals. I didn’t just because I had to climb to get on the ledge.

This floral number is a vintage piece from Timeless Vixen, but you don’t have to despair! There are so many options for you, both vintage and modern. I’ve linked all kinds of florals below, I’d love to see how you make them groundbreaking!


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

Investment Piece: Groundbreaking

Sunday Chronicles: Happy Spring!

Investment Piece: When in Texas

Tomorrow is the official first day of spring, ironic as winter is making its last stand where I am, it’s so cold and rainy! And while it doesn’t feel like spring, like all of the flora and fauna outside I feel as if I’m finally getting used to the new year (more irony, in astrology spring-or Aries season- is the new year, which makes a lot of sense!) and beginning to “bloom”. Aka making progress to wear I want to be, setting in my goals, and feeling good. The energy has me wanting to do all the things. So let me be one of the first to wish you: “Happy Spring!” Spring is a short season in the places I live; summer comes very quickly. Yet, I love spring. I love the warm but not burning temps, the sense of beginnings, and the way we really into the things we set intentions for in the new year. Though it may be short, I’ve listed my favorite things to do during spring, from flowers to closet cleaning. However you celebrate I wish you all the joy that a spring can bring!


Wildflower Day
From pictures to just taking in the beauty, I think that a day spent in blooms is a day well spent. Make a day of it and do a picnic, or maybe a hike? Whatever you do, make sure that you enjoy the wild flowers before summer!

Closet CleanOut
I know, spring cleaning is cliche. But, it works. Spring is a great time to do a sweep of your closet, get rid of anything that no longer serves you, and move spring items to the front of your closet. It’s also a great time to make a trip to the cleaner or tailor and make sure that all the things you love for spring are ready!

Make a Spring Wishlist
Along with making sure your spring closet is clean, spring is a great time to make a spring Wishlist. Shocking, I know, that I would support shopping. But someone has to get all those great new spring things. It may as well be you! A Wishlist lets you make a note of what you need, find items you love, and stay within a budget!

Refresh Your Goals
A bit like cleaning out your closet or designing your wishlist, I think that spring is a great time to look at your goals. Adjust your routine. Measure your progress and revise strategy if necessary. Or scratch everything and make new goals. It’s a time of new beginnings and a time to bloom, it’s a great time to make use of it!

Dine al Fresco
Before it gets too hot, spring is a great time to make use of the patios in your life. From dinners in the backyard to happy hours on a patio, I love being outside during this time of year!

I’d love to know: what do you love to do during spring? What’s on your spring bucket list?

wishing us all a week of new beginnings and amazing shoes! Xo RA

On Luck

Investment Piece: Summer Sleep

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

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

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

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

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

Investment Piece: On Luck

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

And I do suggest wearing green – just in case!

Reading Reviews

the back of a woman in a tan trench coat that reads AWESOME on it

As someone who has background in theater, I have mixed feelings about reviews. I have friends and peers who avoid them like the plague, colleagues who take every word of every review to heart, and the elusive person who is somehow able to take the constructive criticism out of reviews and forget about the rest. I strive to be like the last person, but honestly? Getting reviewed is hard, especially if it’s a project that’s personal.

So, what does that have to do with fashion? Beyond the similarity that having someone criticize your outfit can be awful, reading reviews is how I’ve recently upped my online shopping game.

I have always loved online shopping-the convenience of buying at anytime from anywhere, it’s like getting a gift in the mail from yourself, and you can avoid dressing rooms (which I have a love/hate relationship with). There are so many good things from online shopping. And yet- there are some downfalls too. Even though I sometimes hate trying clothes on (I know, it’s weird- I think it’s the combo of getting undressed/dressed, body issues, and poor lighting), not being able to see (or feel) what you’re buying in real life can be annoying. And lead to even more annoying returns.

Yes, even though I can hate trying clothes on I do recognize that it is an important part of getting clothes you love and will wear! Part of what I love about online shopping is that I can do the try on in the comfort of my own home!

Usually, my online shopping is on point, but lately I’ve had a few orders that were just off. The size was completely wrong, the material felt so much cheaper that I was expecting, the tailoring was undone. Returns are often annoying and time consuming, and to save myself the pain of that, I have made it my mission to become a better online shopper. How I’m doing that? By reading reviews.

It’s not that I never read reviews before, but I often let my desire for the item be the driver of my purchase. But now? I’m paying attention to the reviews, I’m loving seeing how others react to pieces, and I’m grateful for the input of amazing strangers! While I don’t always go solely by the reviews, I’m finding that there are a few things in reviews that really help me shop better!

Reviewers who post pictures are saints among us. It’s so helpful to seee pieces on real bodies, as sometimes the models have been pinned into the clothes! When I’m looking at pictures, I look to see fit, how the garments drape, if there are any obvious issues. It’s so helpful to see the item being worn!

We’re all different, with different body types, preferences, etc. Naturally, that can lead to varying reviews. However, if I find that a bunch of reviews have the same comment or concern, I take it seriously. Recently, there was a skirt I loved-yet every single review said that the waist seemed to run small in comparison to the rest of the skirt, leading to bunching. It wasn’t just one or two reviewers, but a consistent review. I didn’t buy the skirt, as I trusted all the reviewers!

Often reviews can be incredibly general. Simply “fits great!”. I know it’s so easy to be that general, and I find myself sometimes doing the same thing. So, anytime a reviewer adds details, ie the waist is high, the darts aren’t even, etc I take it into account! Details are incredibly important (And I’ll try my best to add them in here!), and can make or break a garment- or shopping decision!

Obviously, when I’m online shopping I still think about how much I love the item, how I can style it, price, etc- but reading reviews has really helped me in my shopping. Do you read reviews? What do you look for in reviews?

xo RA