Fashion Halloween: A Look Back

I LOVE Halloween. And I LOVE costumes! Maybe it’s the actress in me, but especially with fashion Halloween, I love thinking about a character, getting an outfit together, and getting to be someone for a night!

Full confession: by Halloween night I’m usually in this:

Investment Piece: I put a spell on you

On the couch watching “Hocus Pocus”. But I still love playing dress up throughout the month.  Last year, I did 2 looks for Fashion Halloween:

Investment Piece: Fashion Halloween

A Mrs. Maisel from the first season

Investment Piece: Fashion Halloweend

And a Moira Rose. Yes, both involved pjs (it felt very appro for 2020). This year, as much as I love Halloween, I am not quite sure what to be. Of course, it would be so easy to be a witch or a queen (things I’ve avoided because it seems so obvious). I have a few flapper dresses (and authentic 1920 pieces), so it’s tempting to do a 1920s “roaring” theme- but I wear those clothes all the time so it feels odd to now call them a costume.  Since my favorite movie of the season is “Hocus Pocus”, it might be fun to dress as the Sanderson Sisters (but that involves getting 2 more friends in on it).

 

In sum, I’m a bit at a loss for what to be this year – I love coming up with glam costumes that not only seem high fashion but are great ideas for Halloween. I would love to get some input- anything you’ve been dying for me to try? What comes to mind when I say Fashion Halloween? Any ideas?

Do you know what you’re being for Halloween yet?
Xo RA

Fashion Stories: End of Summer

Investment Piece: Summer Mood

At the beginning of every season I get so excited about all the outfits to come. I plan so many things that I want to wear, I sometimes even get over zealous in thinking about all the things I want to wear. Then-especially in the past two years- life happens and all the outfits sometimes don’t end up happening. We change seasons, I get excited about the next one and the end of the season sometimes goes without me properly enjoying all those outfits.

This year. While I am looking forward to fall, I’m determined to enjoy the end of summer. End of summer will be full of great plans and greater outfits. I’m spending a day or so looking at outfits from summers (and summers past) thinking and planning out what I want my end of summer to look like.

Investment Piece: Surprise Ending

Should I make sure to wear all my vintage swim?

Investment Piece: Don't go in the Water

Get in my fave summer shirt more than once? Maybe with white jeans?

Investment Piece: Ruffles and Stripes

Pull out all the straw acessories and the one of my most perfect summer dresses?

Investment Piece: Summer Version
Spend some time in my summer robe (I only wear as a dress)?

Investment Piece: Diving In
Swim sweater?

Investment Piece: End of Sumer
Spend the end of summer in the best caftan?

Investment Piece: How to Blow Out Summer
Wear all white?

Investment Piece: Days in LA

Wear all my bikini tops as tops?

Investment Piece: Summer's Greatest Hits
More crochet?

Investment Piece: End of Summer
Blazers with shorts?

This summer I attempted not to have too plans (I was worried about them not being fulfilled). But I did want to wear all the sundresses, all the swimsuits, and all the white sets. I haven’t worn everything that I wanted to yet, but I figure I still have a bit of time till the true end of summer is here. What did you want to wear this summer? What have you worn? What do you need to still wear? I’m still making my list and would love your I put- and of course I will share what I end up wearing!

Xo RA

Fashion Stories: Comfort

Can I tell you a secret? There are times, as we move out of the pandemic, when I think that I’ve forgotten how to wear clothes. Not making outfits- but the muscle memory of how clothes fit, how they stretch out over a day,and move with us. It’s been a little uncomfortable. But instead of freaking out about it, I’ve being trying to embrace this in between as a time when we get to explore- see what style we love, what feels good, and what stories we want to tell. Let’s chat about it!

I would love to know: what are you wearing? What are you comfortable in? Has it changed? How are you dealing with this in between we’re dealing with?

Xo RA

Wine and Packing

Investment Piece: Wine and Packing

Last week, I went on a short trip with my family. It was lovely to get away for a bit!

**This was my first time traveling during the pandemic, and in all honesty, I wasn’t sure how I would handle my pandemic-anxiety. While there were times when I worried about crowd size and mask wearing, over all I was at ease and comfortable the whole time. It can be done!

It also didn’t hurt that we had a great time!

We drank some wine:
Investment Piece: Wine and Packing
Went to the National Museum of the Pacific War (a lot of info but really worth your time):
Investment Piece: Wine and Packing

There was even a castle:
Investment Piece: Wine and Packing

Truly a wonderful time and I’m so grateful to have been able to spend time with my family.

However, a trip always means packing. And I am an overpacker. Even going to the gym I take extra shoes and options. I can’t help it. But this time, I was determined to pack thoughtfully and intentionally.

How did my packing hold up? Ok-ish. There were times on the trip that I felt like I brought the completely wrong shoes.

Investment Piece: Wine and Packing

Instead of the pink shirt I had planned to wear with this skirt, I wore this white tank top instead. The elastic of the top and skirt just laid weird together. But I ended up loving this top- even with my pink pants!

Investment Piece: Wine and Packing

I ended up throwing in a dress, which was the right call! I wore it to wineries and our one “nice dinner” the second day we were gone.

Investment Piece: Wine and Packing

The only things I didn’t wear? My extra shirts. Travel is so amazing, but I can rethink everything I wore- for me it can really be difficult when I have limited options. However. I LOVED what I took, and I loved the outfits I came up with.

May every bag you pack be as gentle with you!
Xo RA

Fashion Stories: Grief

Investment Piece: Grief

My family has an old cat (21! Which is over 100 in cat!) I never considered myself a cat person, but this nugget wormed her way into my heart and was there for me a lot- that story could be a whole other blog. Starting last week, she began to decline and I’ve spent my time balancing work and being her nurse- including staying up late and watching her. However, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Grief is a wild and woolly thing. Grieving someone (or a pet) before, or as, they pass is also wild. This experience has made me think a lot about grief- how we deal with it, how we talk to other people about it, and how we dress for it.

About 5 years ago, I went through a 2 month period where both of my grandma’s passed, as well as an uncle. Funerals, wakes, various services- I became a pro at planning them, attending them, dressing for them (in hose, as that’s what my Mimi would have wanted from me). Black dresses and suits, nothing flashy, I even had mourning hats with veils. In some ways, that was the easy dressing part. If you see someone like that, you assume that they may be in the throws of grief (or literally at a funeral) and we tend to be compassionate to greiving people.

But what about when you’re not at a funeral? What do you wear to grieve when you’re at the grocery store or at a bedside or just so tired from loss that life seems hard?

Investment Piece: Grief

Societies, communities, all of us, have rituals to deal with grief. Widows used to wear black for over a year. In some communities you still refrain from certain things while you’re in mourning. However, there is not a universal way to mourn. And black is not exclusively for mourning- some cultures wear white for grief, others purple. And I wear all the colors all the time (and a lot of black a lot). On top of that, this year and the pandemic has been hard and full of loss for everyone’ and not being able to be together has often made the grieving process much more difficult. If there is nothing that can universally let people know you’re grieving, what do you wear?

Right now, I’m living in some version of sweat pants. I’ve been up late, and on and off, nights, need clothes that can get dirty and be cleaned easily. My hair is pulled up. My eyes are puffy (maybe that’s the tell). If I saw someone dressed like me at the grocery store, I would assume that they were going through something. But the thing is- I have a shoot and 2 video calls in the next few days. I’ll de puff (yes, hemroid cream helps! It’s an old make up trick!) and clean up and hopefully no one will know how sad I am.

If dressing for our grief is an outward processing of it, or at the very least showing people your grief; does it mean something when you don’t dress for your grief?

Investment Piece: Grief

I don’t know that there’s one answer to these questions. Grief and our fashion choices are personal. So personal. Some of us don’t like to share any thing about our grief, others over share to strangers. Would you want everyone to know you’re grieving by your fashion choices? Or not. There are times, even this week, that I wish that there was a little signal I could send out to explain to people that I’m not operating at my best as I’m grieving. Yet, I don’t know that I want to share it with everyone and be questioned or judged if I choose to dress in a “happy” way. Again, grief is wild and woolly.

I also want to reconginze that not all grief dressing (if that’s what we call it) is somber and black. Joy and the good memories are part of grief too. I have quite a few pieces that were handed down to me by my grandmas, every time I wear them (or an outfit they would like) I feel as if I’m honoring them. My kitty? Will probably make it on a sweater or necklace (in one of those pet collections that so many brands have), and when I wear it I’ll remember how lucky I was to love her. Wearing special or happy things that remind me of people and places I’ve lost are a way to honor them, just like wearing black.

Thinking about grief and what to wear for it can lead you down such odd paths. There’s no right answer and as we’re all carrying some form of loss (especially after this year). Perhaps we should assume that we’re all grieving a bit (no matter what we’re wearing) and be extra gentle with each other. What do you think?

Have any tips for grief? What do you wear?
Xo RA

Fashion Stories: Pandemic Dressing

Investment Piece: Pandemic Dressing

I’ve been thinking about how we’re all dressing during the Pandemic. And what we’re buying. There are days when I don’t get dressed- but I still have a ton of party dresses on my Wishlist. What is your pandemic waredrobe saying about you? I’m not 100% what I’m saying with mine, but I’m also not sure I’m done changing my mind about what to wear right now!

While going through magazines, I stumbled upon an article by Sally Singer in Departures Magazine (Linked here and copied below!) I loved her POV on our pandemic clothing choices, and the story her choices told. I hope that you love the article as much as I did. I would love to know: what is your pandemic wardrobe?

Xo RA


An Ode to One Style Expert’s Pandemic Wardrobe

A fashion veteran on why your personal style matters, no matter who sees it.
By Sally Singer on September 03, 2020

In the days before New York issued the stay-at-home order to combat COVID-19, I received my spring wardrobe in the mail. These were the few pieces that I had selected and paid for months prior with the idea that they would form the sartorial framework of my life for mid-2020 and beyond. I had high hopes for these items and for the adventures we would get up to together. Call it wacky, call it overdetermined, but I see fashion as both utilitarian and fantastical: something that gets me through the day while also providing a magic carpet ride.

I don’t think I am alone in this. We all make our style purchases with tender emotion and expectations, invest our frocks and jeans and T-shirts with a pocketful of dreams. The jacket that will seal the deal, the caftan for the perfect getaway. When you buy new running shoes, don’t you see yourself…running?

I had envisioned myself wearing this: a strapless taffeta dress from Molly Goddard with a billowy, tulip-shaped skirt; the most elegant white silk T-shirt and satin-and-horsehair skirt by Zanini, all massive proportions and luxurious fabrics; and a crisp raincoat, also by Zanini, cut full to give it slouch without schlump. I had imagined chic dinner dates in my Goddard, that perfect high strapless line so lovely for the table. The white ensemble was an ingenious solve for the Met Gala, the theme for 2020 being timelessness in fashion: What is more timeless than a white T-shirt, even one scaled to house Mother Ginger and all her charges? And the raincoat? That was for dashing to meetings in inclement weather, a vision of industrious glamour. The best laid plans. These items have hung in my closet ever since, loved (for sure) but unworn: no dinner dates, no Met Gala, no meetings that involve anything more than the kitchen table and solid Wi-Fi.

Instead my early pandemic wardrobe resembled a version of what I would imagine many of us wore while we stayed home, a little downbeat (faded jeans, sweatshirts), a touch sporty (track pants), a smidgen Zoom-worthy (crisp blue oxfords). I have heard that online sales were up for fabulous tops and jewelry, new essentials for FaceTime courting. Not for me that trend, but I admire the pure optimism and ingenuity that has created a new normal out of wearing, say, a Johanna Ortiz ruffled bustier up top and saggy boxers below. Bare feet, boy shorts, and fully beaded Saint Laurent? Why not? Online dating in the midst of a world health crisis is a hopeful business. Why not dress like a child’s match-it-or-clash- it card game?

By late spring my new normal involved a loose, high-water pant and a short- sleeved, button-front men’s shirt. I wore Tevas and metallic FitFlops, and sometimes paired my dorky sandals with tube socks to cover non-pedicured toes. It wasn’t obvious to me at first, but I came to realize that I was dressing exactly like my memories of my father, a man whose personal style had been cemented in the early 1960s and never wavered. I even took to wearing a T-shirt under my button- downs, a habit of his that had caused me such embarrassment in the 1970s when other “cool” dads were living loose, without visible underpinnings.

There is a tendency to think that when we “slob out,” when no one is watching or judging, there is little going on except comfort, convenience, necessity. Not so. All of our choices are meaningful, and I would argue that the ones we make in private bring us closer to ourselves. I did not consciously set out to dress like my dad, but in hindsight it makes perfect sense: I spent my childhood watching him steer our family through highly precarious times. His demeanor throughout was one of unfussy modesty, a person fiercely committed to humanity, and to disarmament, almost oblivious to vanity. Who better to guide me this summer?

And who or what informed your choices? If you spent months wearing only yoga pants and a funny T-shirt, ask yourself: Why those yoga pants? Why that T-shirt? Why and how did they comfort you, or calm your anxieties, through these extraordinary times?

As I write, New York is emerging from its tragic slumber. There can be meetings and dinners, if not (yet) charity balls. I don’t know exactly who I want to be in this moment, but I want to retain a bit of the person that emerged while I was away from the public eye. There aren’t going to be big evenings for some time, and probably not many large dinner parties to preside over either, so my many long dresses will need to be recycled, upcycled, or cycled out. As for the Goddard, I hope to debut it barefoot, in my apartment, cooking dinner for some-one special. It’s too precious and too bare to be seen first at lunch alfresco, except perhaps on the Amalfi Coast in a post-mask era. It demands romance. And as for the snowy Zanini ensemble? I hope that sometime soon I will be able to fly to London and once again walk through an exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, taking up lots of space in horsehair, satin, and silk—not the Met Gala, but special and glamorous nonetheless.

Investment Piece: Diving In

To all the things I’m wearing now, and all the outfits to come- I can’t wait to share them with you! Xo RA

Fashion Stories: Street Style

One thing I really miss in this pandemic time? Street Fashion- both seeing what people are wearing and seeing how people react to what I’m wearing. It’s fashion month again, though this year it’s different. Most presentations are online and open to everyone. Are you watching? I find myself watching some but not all, and of course it always depends on how many zooms I’ve had that day. But I still miss the street style. And since there’s no way to get to see some now, I’m looking back at last year’s street style.
Do you love street style? Getting dressed up yourself? Maybe we could put our own twists on these outfits and walk around in the backyard?
Xo RA

We are in the middle of fashion month: NY, London, Milan, Paris. And maybe that’s not something you really care about, maybe it is. Personally? I love looking at what’s to come. What I love more? The street style. With every fashion week, there are scores of pictures of the people who attend, the people walking the streets, the non-models. Their outfits run from classic to out-there, and for me, provide an endless inspiration. I love “getting to know” these people through the stories they tell with their outfits. From what they wear I can imagine who they are, what they do, and where they shop. As someone who can plan outfits out for weeks, I love seeing people get celebrated for that. (I also love stealing ideas from them).

Below are some of my favorite Street Stlye shots from this fashion month. Let me know: what stories do you see here? What do you want to recreate? Are you an outfit planner? If you knew you were going to be photographed walking somewhere, what would you wear?

I’m fascinated by the stories our fashion tells. What about you?
Xo RA

Just put [php_everywhere] where you want the code to be executed.

Fashion in the Wild: Pink

It’s the middle of a pandemic and I’m thinking of going pink again. Because why not? So. I looked back at how it was to be pink. What do you think? Should I go for it?

Loves, lately I’ve been craving a change. A shake up. A way to be different.

And as any woman will tell you, the easiest way to change yourself is to change your hair. (And men know that once she changes her hair, she’s not coming back. It’s science)

So, as I’ve say in my need to switch things up, I’ve been thinking about how to change my hair. As you may know, my journey to accept my wavy hair has been a long one. You can read all about it here.

And once you do, you’ll get that my sudden desire to go pink is not in character for me. Have I mentioned I needed a change?

Well, I decided that pink is it. And yet, I didn’t want to go pink permanently. I need a shake up, I haven’t lost who I am. And as one does when they want to go pink, they google how-to. Did you know that there are a ton of ways to go pink? Temporarily? I have a thing for rose gold so I went here:

Investment Piece: Fashion in the Wild Pink
Want to go rose gold with me? Get yours here.

And because I’m me, and this is fashion in the wild I made a little video about being pink. Temporarily.

Notes: I did a test patch before I did my full hair with this pink tint. I loved that it rinsed out quickly and didn’t seem to affect my color (which I do love) at all. When I went to do my full hair pink I followed directions closely. I towel dried my hair. I put the pink all over. I left it on for probably about 4 mins. Then I rinsed it out. Honestly, it came out very subtly pink. I was hoping for more, and while people did notice, I decided to go for more hue.
So I re-applied.
The second time I had my hair almost completely dry when I put the tint on, and I left the tint in for a tad bit longer. It’s still not SUPER pink, but it’s more pink than the first time. I had people ask me if I dyed my hair–and everyone loved it. My favorite part? Any time I need a shakeup, this pink is an option, but it’s not something that I have to commit to!

I would love to know: would you go pink?

And don’t worry : the next time you see me I won’t be pink, I’ll be back to blonde.
But for now–I’m enjoying being pink!
XO RA
Note: This post does contain some affiliate links. While that does not affect the price for you, I may earn commission from them. thank you for your support!

Fashion in the Wild: Summer Inspiration

What are you doing about summer plans? Are you making them?
I’ll be honest, I’m trying to make peace with the fact that I think we might be in lockdown/quarantine/etc for a long while. And that’s both ok and not okay. I’m not booking trips, which makes me sad. But I’m planning home projects that I’m hoping make staying in fun. And of course, I’m looking for ways to keep up with friends and all the things.
So, now for another important question: what are you gonna wear this summer? I’ll be honest, there are days I’m not really changing from yoga pants, and days when I change outfits 2-3 times as I want to wear so much. My goal? To put together a summer wardrobe that feels chic, keeps me cool, and makes me feel like I’m getting dressed each day.

Inspiration can come and go, even in the best of summers when it gets so hot. So, every year around this time I take a look back at the summers before and see what worked. What inspiration can I gleam from past outfits? (It’s like window shopping but in your own closet, so you can also see what pieces you might need or outfits you can throw on today!)

Here are some of my outfits past that I keep going back to for summer inspiration:

If you need me I’ll be looking through my closet and the current sales to see what kinds of stories I want to tell this summer!
What inspires you?

XO RA

Fashion in the Wild: the SwimSuit

Loves, I have some shocking news for you. It’s summer. And I’m in a swimsuit. In fact, I’m wearing a swimsuit with EVERYTHING. Pants. Skirts. Shorts. Capes. Alone. With anything I can get my hands on. I have a thing for swimsuit fashion. So much so that I made a little video about it:

It happens every year : the temps go up and my bathing suits come out. Not just to the pool, beach, or under a cover up, but as a base for many, many outfits. This summer may see me hang out more in the back yard, but I’m still using my swim suit as fashion inspiration.  As I shop and put together outfits, I’ll be sharing them with you. In the mean time, stay cool and healthy and in your swimsuit!

XO RA