Party’s Over?

Investment Piece: Party's Over?

We tend to stereotype things. For example, you could think of the holiday months (November -NYE), all the celebrations, the food, the drink, the merriment, as long one party, you could think of January as when the party’s over.

There is some validity to that theory. And the ending of parties can be depressing. The dresses get put away, the decorations come down, the guests go home. In our stereotypes, January is a time of restrictions (resolutions, diets) and the cutting back after so much excess. If you look at January in this light- that the party’s over- it can be bleak.

But, what if I told you that January isn’t the end of a party, it’s just a different kind of party. Perhaps there aren’t large indulgences or as many party dresses (Though when have you known me not to wear a party dress?!), however, I love the kind of party that January is- the kind where we get to reset, reassess, and replan for all our parties to come.

Investment Piece: to all the parties

As much as I love the holiday joy, I get another exquisite joy from taking a step back in the month of January. I usually take the first week to really think about what I want to do in the year, who I want to be, what I want to wear. Taking a day or two to write it all out, then a few more days to really refine my goals, and make plans. It can seem like a lot, especially if this is the week you’re jumping into cleaning out your closet or a new routine, but I find that really thinking about what I want lets me set myself up for success.

While I’m no advice columnist I think the time helps- just like closet clean outs or new habits, nothing (even Rome) was built in a day. On the other hand, you do have to start.

Investment Piece: Blue Christmas

One of my core beliefs is that fashion is a way that we tell our stories. Taking time to be intentional about what kind of stories we’re telling may not be a champagne rager, but it’s fun! Let January be the month you decide what you want, you try things on, you edit the masterpiece that is your life. Maybe the changes are big- or maybe they’re small, but it is something to celebrate when you’re choosing your routines, outfits, and attitudes on purpose. (Note, every year there is a lot out of our control, but I’m just enough of an optimist to believe that being intentional about what we want helps).

Party’s over? No. The party’s just changed.

True to my word, I’m spending the next week really thinking about what I want this year- planning and shopping. I’ll be sharing it here and on IG (@racheladelicia). Even if it’s January, I’ll still be in plenty of party dresses, but I’m also excited for more casual fashion (lounge sets, etc). Things have been a lot the past few yeas, but I’m excited for this year, I’m excited that you’re here, and I’m excited to keep the party going.

Here’s to a week of goals and amazing shoes!
xo RA

Investment Piece: Party's Over

Happy Holidays!

Investment Piece: Happy Holidays

Whatever you celebrate, I hope this season brings you love and peace. We made it through the craziest and most lovely time of year, now we at Investment Piece are taking some time off to be with our loved ones and shoes. We’ll be dark here until the new year (1/3/22 to be exact!). In the meantime, we would love to see you over on IG (@racheladelicia) or on LTK (@racheladelicia) or ShopStlye (@investmentpiece) to keep up and shop with us.

Wishing you and yours a very happy holiday!
Xo RA

Last Dance

Investment Piece: Last Dance
Investment Piece: Last Dance
Investment Piece: Last Dance

Are the next few weeks the last dance of the year?

In a way, yes. It’s the time to get it all done or let it all go. The end of year parties (yes, this look would be perfect for NYE, it’s both glam and comfy!), the end of year work, the letting go of what we can’t get into this year, the clean slate, and the new dances in the new year. The stories go on, but this time of year always does feel big- and if you’re into traditional troupes, this last dance of the year deserves a grand outfit. And a great dance.

Investment Piece: Last Dance

Speaking of traditional troupes- you may have caught on that NYE isn’t always my favorite holiday. I love new beginnings and parties and champagne- but always feel like there is so much pressure on NYE. At home NYEs have always been up my alley (and this year they seem especially appealing!), but no matter if you’re at home or on the town this caftan is PERFECT NYE outfit. We know I love a party dress, and while we could debate if caftans are a party dress, this epic glamour and movement, while letting you stay comfy is what I plan on wearing. Dress it up. Dress it down. For a last dance of a party dress for the year, this one is one to shimmy all night in.

Investment Piece: Last Dance
Investment Piece: Last Dance
Investment Piece: Last Dance

If these next two weeks are our last dance of the year what do you really want to do? Who do you really want to spend time with? What do you want to wear? I know that world events may make some of our plans obsolete, but I hope that if nothing else you get to wear something fabulous and be with people you love.

Investment Piece: Last Dance
Some styling notes: this caftan is part of the HalstonxNetflix exclusive collection at Saks. Celebrating both the Designer and the series. It’s navy but at times looks silver, and comes with its own jumpsuit underneath. I’ve linked the whole collection below- all are up my alley for any kind of dance!
Xo RA

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

Investment Piece: Last Dance

Traditional Dressing

Investment Piece: Traditional Dressing

Do you find that there’s a holiday outfit you wear year after year? Yes, when we chat about holiday dressing I usually mean holiday dresses, but there’s a whole section of traditional dressing that I find myself reaching for and restyling year after year. And the common theme among all this traditional dressing?

Plaid pants.

I forget about them for 11 months of the year, but the holidays come and all I can think about are plaid pants. Every year I think I’m being creative and fresh, but then I look back: I wear them every year. With sweaters, tshirts, sweatshirts, heels, sneakers, and more. We chat a lot about my party dresses, but plaid pants are my traditional holiday dressing.

Investment Piece: Traditional Dressing
Investment Piece: Traditional Dressing

This year I did switch it up and get new plaid pants. However, thus far I’ve kept my styling fairly traditional. (Though I’m crossing my fingers a certain top comes in today so this coming weekend I can take this tradition in a new direction!)

Investment Piece: Tradtional Dressing

Plaid pants this year are from JCrew. I’m usually a size 0 at JCrew but due to the pandemic and style (I wanted them a bit loose) I ordered a size 2. They are a bit bigger than I expected- the waist has some elastic and they are wider cut than I was expecting. I’m happy with the fit, but if I were to reorder I would probably stick with my “size”.

Investment Piece: Traditional Dressing

Traditions can bring us comfort, can help us mark time, and tie us to our past while moving us forward. My traditional dressing does all that for me. The holiday season doesn’t seem to start until I wear plaid pants. And while my styling is similar year after year, it always feels like home.

Will I switch up my plaid routine? Of course, as I tell new stories. Do I love telling the traditional dressing stories I love? Yes.

What’s a holiday outfit you find yourself reaching for or recreating year after year? Below I’ve linked some of my current favorite plaid pants if you want to join me in traditional dressing with plaid!
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: Traditional Dressing

Sunday Chronicles: Finding Joy

Investment Piece: Finding Joy

It’s about the time in the holiday season you’re one of two things: prepared/done shopping/on top of it/relaxed and enjoying time with your loved ones OR stressed/overwhelmed/behind/not done at all.

If there’s an inbetween (and I’m sure that there is), I’m not sure what to name it, as I tend to vacillate between those two extremes. Also, I know that the news and the state of the world can affect even the most prepared of us. It’s a season for joy, but it’s also a season for overwhelm. Perhaps these are all generalizations, but the specifics have rung true to me!

When you’re prepared, whatever that means for you, the season seems easy. But when you’re behind? Finding the joy that this season is supposed to bring is hard to come by. I’m aware that I could tell you to let things go (always a great time for that), or give tips on how I manage holiday magic last minute (but I feel like there are a ton of articles about that, most of which have better advice than I give), but instead what I’m focusing on is finding joy.

No matter how prepared you are, no matter how behind you are, no matter how the world is stressing you there is always room for joy. And while the following may not solve everything (or get your shopping done for you), these are the things that make my joyful during the season.

-Movies
Is there anything better than curling up and watching your favorite holiday movie? From Miracle on 34th St To White Christmas to Die Hard (Yes, it’s a Christmas movie) and everything in between, taking time out to see stories that are joyful brings me joy.

-Christmas Lights
My paternal Grandpa (my PaPa) LOVED Christmas and went all out with lights every year. Getting in the car and driving around looking at all the lights and decorations makes me happy. Christmas PJs and hot chocolate optional.

-Music
Sometimes putting on my favorite carols or music helps calm me down and they bring me joy. A current fave? This rendition of O Holy Night By Irma Thomas:

Of course my usual go-to stress relievers work: workouts, baths, walks, shopping. But when I’m looking for joy, I always try to go beyond those. Tis the season after all.

What do you do to find joy during this season?

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

Holiday Dresses

When I was little one of my favorite things about the holiday season was my holiday dress. My mom would spurlge and usually I would pick out the prettiest dress I could find. I loved showing it off at church or family holiday parties, or yes, even when I was little I would wear my party dresses everywhere (school, errands with my mom). Nothing about this story is shocking, and not much has changed.

I still love getting and wearing holiday dresses- the choosing of one, the wearing of one, the showing off of one. Even when we’ve been inside with the pandemic. Even when I have no parties or events to attend.

As you know, I’ve been thinking a lot recently about why I love party dresses so much (see here and here for starters), and when it specifically comes to HOLIDAY party dresses I think I can finally articulate what it is that I love so much. Yes, it’s the hope. But for me- the holiday dress is how I know it’s finally the season. I do love a great party dress, but if I’m honest, I can get away with wearing sweats or my workout clothes, or chic lounge wear (WFH is a blessing and curse). So, for me, I think part of the appeal of a party dress- especially a HOLIDAY dress- is that they mean something. They represent our hopes and joys, they make things EVENTS, they mark my days.

I’m still into getting holiday dresses. And showing them off. This year I have a few more to share with you, and I’m so excited about them. Then in the new year? New goals- and more party dresses. I am who I am.
In the meantime, I’ve linked my current favorite holiday dresses.

Again, I would love to know any and all takes you have about holiday dresses, party dresses and the like- what you’re wearing, what you’re buying, and what you’re loving!
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!

Not in the Spirit

Investment Piece: A Merry Little Christmas

It’s the “most wonderful time of the year”, and the season so many of us look forward to! And yet, if we’re honest, the holiday season is also full of obligations and stress. Sometimes the most stressful thing about this season is pretending that we’re not stressed out, as there is so much pressure to “be jolly”. This is a fashion blog (and yes, sometimes my response to stress is to buy myself something fabulous), and I don’t *not* recommend fashion as a way to deal with stress (or as a way to get yourself in the holiday spirit), but I also know that sometimes it takes more than the perfect party shoe to make the holidays Merry.

So. What do you do when you’re not in the Spirit?

Investment Piece: Not in the Spirit

My paternal grandmother was infamous for her holiday parties and baking. She would start in July to make sure that all the cookies/cakes/pies/etc were ready for the season. And in July she would listen to holiday music to ensure that love and the jolly thoughts were baked into all her goodies. I’m not one to start prepping for the holiday season in July, but I do believe in music. And movies! Putting on some of my holiday songs (I’ve recently fallen in love with this rendition of “O Holy Night” and who doesn’t love “All I Want for Christmas is You?”) or one of my favorite holiday movies (see Miracle on 34th St, White Christmas, Muppet Christmas Carol, Jingle Jangle, or Christmas in Connecticut). Is it cliche? Yes. Do they help? Yes. Even when I’m spiraling and worrying about my to-do list or the work that I should be doing, or worrying that my cards or gifts are late, that I’m not doing enough- these little things help me calm down and get in the spirit.

Investment Piece: Holiday Dressing

We know I believe that fashion is simply a medium with which to tell our stories- so it should come as no surprise that I use fashion to lift my spirits, to get me in the mood, to help me tell the stories that I want to tell (the happy holidays one not the super stressed one). From party dresses to plaids to velvets to Christmas Sweaters (they make me happy!). Putting on an outfit that makes me feel good makes me feel more in the holiday spirit. (It’s a fashion blog, you had to know this would be coming!)

Investment Piece: fashion stories,

But beloveds, especially after the past few years, I know that these small and easy fixes aren’t always enough to get you into the holiday spirit when you’re not. The overwhelm and stress at this time of year can be a lot. I have no easy answers, but if you’re feeling that way I want you to know that you’re not alone. And that any and all of the feelings you’re having are valid.

If you have any tips for what to do when you’re not in the spirit, I would love to hear them. In the meantime, no matter how frazzled you are, I hope you’re wearing someone hint greatand it gets you in the spirit!

Xo RA

Hostess Dress

Investment Piece: Hostess Dress
Investment Piece: Hostess Dress
Investment Piece: Hostess Dress
Investment Piece: Hostess Dress

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of vintage dressing: mixing it with my modern clothes, wearing it alone, bring it back, wearing it forward. And a vintage piece that I’m a firm believer we should bring back in fashion (especially during this time of year)? The hostess dress. Part robe. Part party dress. (So already you know I love it!) Made to be comfy for when you’re entertaining at home (if you’re doing that vintage style I believe chic cocktails and big pillows, perhaps even a conversation pit, are all involved), but chic enough to be entertained outside of your house, the hostess dress walks the line between lounge and outerwear- and is all the more fashionable for it.

What I love about a hostess dress? The balance. For being both party dress and lounge wear, the hostess dress lets you be as cozy or as daring as you feel comfy (look at the slits on this one! Depending on what you chose to wear under it could be VERY risqué); yet, always appropriate for planned or impromptu drinks or dinners with friends. For this time of year what could be better?

For the record, I’m very aware that impromptu parties or guests may be a vintage thing of the past. Maybe what I love about the balance in this dress, and hostess dresses in general, is that you’re basically letting the world know you can relax while being charming and entertaining. Is there anything more chic than outfits or people who feel at peace no matter what they’re doing or where they’re doing it? I know I keep saying that this is especially true during this season, but what better holiday dress than one that’s equally perfect for champagne or the couch or both?

Investment Piece: Hostess Dress

This hostess dress (1960ish via TakeMeBackBabyVintage) with its slits- again, the versatatily with the styling there!- its quilting, the belt and collar details is what I’ve been living in on weekends. It feels chic even when I’m lounging (the whole point?) and I’ve worn everything from bike shorts to pants to leggings underneath. Heels, mules,slippers, even chic sneakers complete the look. Even if someone were to surprise me at the door I would be prepared- and dressed!

While this hostesses dress is vintage, I’ve found you a combination of modern and vintage dresses that will have you dressed as the hostess with the mostess (even if it’s only you on the couch!)
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: Hostess Dress

Sunday Chronicles: Last Minute Stress

Investment Piece: A Merry Little Christmas

By date, we still have over half of December left, there are still 14 days until Christmas. So, why does it feel as if anything we’re doing right now is last minute?

Maybe it’s that this year we were all encouraged to shop early due to the supply chain. Maybe it’s that every year the holiday season seems to go faster and faster. I’m not sure. All I know is that while (hopefully at this writing) all the decorations are planned, the meals are set, the shopping is done- so why do I feel like I’m behind?

There’s always more that we can all do (even on the holidays), and the weeks before the holidays intensify those feelings. Right now I’m not only thinking about all I should be doing for the holiday, but for the new year, the first few weeks of the new year- stressing about what I haven’t gotten done and all the things that I should do. It’s beginning to feel all last minute, and a bit stressful.

When I begin to feel that way, these are the steps I take to make sure that I don’t let the last minute stresses get to me (have tips? I’m all ears! The comments are open!)

-Make lists. To do lists. Done lists. What I’m ok with putting off lists. Sometimes seeing the big picture and the steps helps me put into perspective where I should really be putting my energy. Each day I make a must do list, and each night I compare it to my overall to-do list. Time consuming? Maybe? But it keeps me on top of my last minute holiday doings.

-I make peace. Each year I keep thinking that this is the year I’ll have it all together and the holidays will be perfect. And while each year is amazing, there’s always something that is different from my “plans” (for better or for worse). So, I make an effort to not get too attached to my plans, and to make peace with what won’t get done- or what will get done but differently than I thought. Does it help with last minute stress? Yes. Absolutely, as it lets me let go of things.

-I tell people I’m stressed. I know this isn’t what we’re “supposed” to do. Many people consider it uncouth- but truly telling the people that I love that I’m feeling stress from the last minute things I (think) I have to do or feel pressure on helps me. More often than not, my people let me know what I can let go of, what really matters to them, and then we can all adjust. It’s a part of being honest about what I can deliver, but also lets my people be honest about what they need.

These little methods aren’t full proof, there are still times when I feel last minute stress and worry about all the things that happen (good and bad) last minute. However, these things do help me with last minute stress – and getting things done last minute. I would love to know what works for you!

Wishing us all a week of no last minute stress and amazing shoes
Xo RA

Blue Christmas

Investment Piece: Blue Christmas
Investment Piece: Blue Christmas
Investment Piece: Blue Christmas
Investment Piece: Blue Christmas

Tis the time of year for holiday dressing. And if we’re honest, that usually means reds, greens, plaids, maybe sequins for NYE. I’m guilty of that as well. At this time of year it’s easy to adorn ourselves in the usuals- and to be fair, we look great.

But.

What if there was more to holiday dressing than just the Reds and greens, etc? What if a blue Christmas was exactly the thing that we need? (And while I love the song, to be clear, I’m not talking about the heartbroken kind, but the look amazing in a blue dress kind of Christmas. Or any other winter holiday!)

Investment Piece: Blue Christmas

The good news about holiday dressing? Color is encouraged. And dressing in color is always fresh and exciting (this is the part where I openly admit that I stick to black a lot- but that’s a different story), but when it’s always the same colors it can get stale fast. What I love about blue at the holidays?

It’s a bit unexpected. One know that you might be in red, green, plaid, black or sequins- while blue is associated with some winter holidays (like Hannukah), we don’t often seen party dresses in blue. While being “traditional”, blue is the secret weapon of dress colors.

Because it’s unexpected, when you’re wearing blue during the holidays you get to write the most exciting stories in it. From shining light on what others might not see, to standing out in a see of red and green, when you’re in blue at Christmas, you get to call the shots.

Me? In this slightly metallic, pleated- and oh those buttons- blue, I feel refreshed. Ready to be seen. A bit glam and a bit subtle. It’s vintage (very up my alley) but feels modern and new. In this Blue Christmas dress, I’m excited for the holiday- and excited for everyone to see this dress.

Have you worn blue for the Christmas season? What kind of stories did you tell in it? How did it make you feel?
This number is vintage, but I’ve found you similar linked below for your blue Christmas pleasure.
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: Bue Christmas