Fashion Stories: How To Style Colored Tights

Remember when I played with colored tights (a bit out of my comfort zone but so fun!)? Well, it turns out that colored and patterned tights are a statement piece for fall. So! I couldn’t help but revisit how we can style them (and I’ve updated some of my fave tights!).

Tights, hose, whatever you want to call them- they are a winter staple and at the same time an accessory to play with. I’ll be honest, I was a little scared of playing with colored tights. If I wore blue tights with a blue outfit would I look like a blueberry? But then I thought- if I can wear all black and feel chic why not play with other colors? If I believe that clothes are how we tell our stories, why not have a little fun?

So- I began to play. From patterns, then patterns with colors. Pastels with neutrals, then pastels with color. And then- bright colors.
My tips?
-Have an outfit formula. For me that was a skirt and a top, meaning that I could add or subtract color of any portion of the outfit. I could go more neutral or add more color.
-Be comfortable and confident. Part of trying anything new is that- simply trying! I tried things on, saw what I liked. I realized that there were days when I would be more bold and days when I would be more timid- but either way I wanted to be comfortable. The only way to get there is to try.
-I broke colored tights into 3 categories:patterns (sub group patterns with color), pastels (the lighter they are the more “nude” they’ll be), and brights(fyi colors like navy and maroon will read closer to black!). Each of these give you so much room to play and have fun!

And I think the main thing is to have fun! As I mention, if we don’t like it, we can always just change our outfits. Throughout the day I’ll be updating these looks on the @shopltk app!

I would love to know: do you rock colored tights? With what? How did you get comfortable with them? When you have a new fashion item how do you style it? I would love to know any and all of it!

XO RA

Below I’ve linked some of my favorite colored (and patterned) tights! Note: While this post does contain affiliate links, that does not affect the price for you, even thought I might earn commission from them. Thank you for your support!

Fashion Stories : What is an Investment Piece?

Fun fact: the name of this blog is kind of a joke. As in, my mom is an accountant and very number oriented. I. Am. not. And if you’ve done your research, you know that certain fashion items (looking at you Chanel and Hermes bags) actually INCREASE in value. Maybe I’m on to something?

But. Does that mean that every investment piece is a designer bag or a big deal? I don’t think so! For me, an investment piece is an outfit item (accessories too!) that you need in your life, that you use all the time, that adds value to your life. Maybe you’re into your workouts- you need great *non-see-through* leggings. A lot of them. Big wig in a corp job? Probably need suits. Go to a lot of events? You need party dresses.

I absolutely think that for everything you need it’s best to go for quality over quantity. But it’s not a needed thing to break the bank for every purchase. What do you need? What do you wear? What makes you happy? Let’s start there. And buy pieces that fit our lives- that are great quality.

By your definition, what is an investment piece? And what are you investing in?

Let’s chat about it!

I would really love to hear your thoughts and what you’re shopping right now!

xo RA

Fashion Stories: What we Don’t Keep

As we know, I truly believe that fashion is a way to tell our stories. But, what does that say about the stories we don’t tell- aka the clothes we don’t keep. Surely there’s a story there too. So, let’s chat about it! I share clothes a very sweet family friend gave to me- they don’t fit for multiple reasons, but there is still a bunch of love in these clothes. And I’m hoping that the love gets a new story as I pass them along.

What stories don’t you keep? And what do you think happens to them as we pass them along?
I would love to know!

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!

I’ve also rounded up some of my current fave swimsuits for your weekend shopping 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!

Finding Your Personal Style


I can tell you how to style your style (no matter what boundaries are). But what is your style?
I have a feeling that question is harder to answer than we would like to admit! Even for me- if I had to give an elevator pitch for my own style I don’t know that I could.
So. How do we figure out our own style? Is is part look for inspiration? Is it part play in your own closet? Is it look at what fits your life and part what you want your life to look like?
And with those questions I have a challenge for you: meet me here in a moth ( July 13 or so!) and let me know or see what a perfect outfit is for you. AKA what is an outfit that let’s me know who you are and what the story is you’re try to tell. I’m cultivating an outfit to show you and I hope what you can show me here an outfit that is You. What do you think your style is? What do you think is your perfect outfit? I can’t wait to share with you!

XOXO RA

Fashion Stories: Raiding Mom’s Closet

Today is my mom’s birthday. And tomorrow is mine! There have been a few posts over the years that have felt like “tradition” to post on our days and this is one of them. Today my mom (and sis and dad) will be headed to lunch- and I won’t be wearing this, though Mom did approve the dress! It feels great to be able to celebrate and mark our birthdays with fashion-because, like playing dress up with this number growing up, fashion (no matter how much mom and I differ) fashion is what can bring us together. Hoping you have a great Monday and that this post gives you some inspiration – even to raid your mom’s closet and restyle her pieces! xo RA

This post was originially just an outfit post. But even then, I knew that this vintage piece, from my mom’s closet was a story. And what’s that I’m always saying? Fashion is just a way to tell our stories. My mom wore this in her 20s. It was in my sister’s and my “dress up box” growing up. My sister and I have both worn it-to parties, as business wear, even as a costume. To me it tells the story of my mom’s hope and dreams, and how my sister and I carry that on. I am so fascinated by what we keep in our closets. And in this case, what we keep, use, and keep going back to. What’s in your closet?

Investment Piece: Raiding Momo's Closet
Investment Piece: Raiding Mom's Closet
Investment Piece: Raiding Mom's Closet
Investment Piece: Raiding Mom's Closet
Investment Piece: Raiding Mom's Closet
Investment Piece: Raiding Mom's Closet

As someone who loves vintage clothes, there’s a special place I love to go for vintage: Mom’s Closet. I don’t always get the chance to raid mom’s closet, but when I do, I think it’s magical. This dress/jacket set is from my mom’s wedding, it was her going away outfit. I love that she saved it, that she lets my sister and I wear it, and that it’s a vintage piece that lends itself to modern style. Everything about this vintage dress is great–the button detail, the drop waist (though I couldn’t resist belting it with this stunner), and the flair.

Here’s part of what I think is magical about fashion: it can transform itself and you. While this dress holds special meaning for my family, it’s easy to make this a “new” look”. The belt is a way to dress it up, and socks with shoes are one of my fave things ever. ( See here, here, and here for some examples). The look feels fresh, yet it’s an homage to my past. Raiding my Mom’s closet is one of my favorite things. I’d love to know: who’s closet do you love to raid? And how do you do your vintage?

The dress/jacket are from my mom’s closet
The socks are Gucci, the shoes Brian Atwood
The belt is vintage from RecessLa. Pics are by the amazing Megan Weaver!
I’ve picked some similar picks for you below!
XO RA

Fashion in the Wild : Sheer

Loves!
I’m so excited to share our first episode of “Fashion of the Wild” with you! We’re taking trends, high fashion, and everyday looks into the open to see how people react! First up: sheer clothing! You know I love it (proof here,

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,
here,
here,
here,
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!
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!

I Can’t Seperate My Anxiety from my Obession with Fashion and Beauty

Investment Piece: ANXIETY

Note: This is a repost from Fashoinista, you can see the original here. The author is Maura Brannigan and when I read it I fell in love. Many of us suffer with anxiety and depression. I’m not immune to that. My anxiety can make many things difficult, and there are times when planning my outfits gives me peace. Especially now, when we are all a little stressed, I can’t help but come up with various outfits to wear (where I would wear them to is another story!). I related to this article and I hope you do too! XO RA

When I was in fourth grade, I realized I could not, for lack of a better phrase, see shit. It occurred to me abruptly, in the middle of a math lesson. My table was in the mid-back of the classroom, and as my teacher was doing whatever she was doing on the overhead projector, I began panicking when things I should have been able to read appeared blurry, like someone had sneakily slid Vaseline over my eyeballs at recess. My tiny body felt hot and immobile, suddenly much too big for its chair; if I willed myself just so, I wondered, could I drop through the linoleum and leave a searing hole in my place? At least that way, none of my classmates would have to see me in the inevitable, which I knew to be glasses.

Sure enough: I emerged from LensCrafters several days later, bummed about my newfound ailment but also absolutely amazed at the detail I could now see. (“Leaves!” I remember announcing to my dad as we left the store. “They look like that?!”)

I see now that this was, probably, one of my earlier panic attacks. There were other incidents, too, like my first day of kindergarten when I sat alone, my social anxiety revving up while I silently, maniacally brainstormed conversation topics I could present to my new peers. My anxiety has always been there. It sits on my shoulder, alerts me that something is off and then vacates the building. It is very flighty. But it has legs.

Like so many people with anxiety, or with depression, or with any number of mood disorders, I find my security in plans. I’ve never met a list I didn’t just devour. And as with so many others, my anxiety is often triggered when I’m thrown off schedule. When I sense my symptoms — sometimes mental, like a weird, morose dread, or sometimes physical, like shortness of breath or stomach knots — I take comfort in pattern. Much has been said in recent years about how elaborate beauty routines, sometimes Korean ones, can help fight depression. I get that wholly.

When I was younger (and there was also much less visibility surrounding mental health), I deduced on my own that if I could regulate every last element of what was happening on the outside of my body, it could have lasting effects on what was going on inside that makes me want to barrel through floors. Even today, my obsession with the fashion and beauty industries is inextricably linked to my expectation that looking nice, looking exactly what I want to look like, will leave me, finally, feeling at ease.

The degree to which I go about planning is methodical at one end of the spectrum and neurotic at the other. There was the year that “The Parent Trap” was released on VHS, and my 10-year-old brain became so embarrassingly infatuated with Hallie Parker that I took pen-to-paper notes on her wardrobe each time I watched. There was my first day of seventh grade in which, after a summer of intensive mood-boarding, I showed up to school in a truly wild, 1970s-inspired ensemble complete with bell bottoms and brown suede boots. My efforts backfired, and I was snickered at with such gusto that I felt I had no choice but to change into my gym clothes. (I wasn’t so much upset, per se, as I was frustrated that my classmates didn’t yet know how to appreciate a proper “lewk.”) There was the month-long stretch — I was, maybe, 15 — when I decided having Pantene Pro-V commercial hair would eliminate all my adolescent woes. When I realized that it did not and it would not, I felt like I had been stabbed in the back by that very shampoo bottle.

My relationship with fashion and beauty products has helped me cope. And over the years, I’ve accumulated a collection of stuff — skin-care, aromatherapy, supplements, whatever — that I’ve turned to time and again to make me feel in control.

Most of that regimen has some physiological benefit, as I’ve learned through years and years of product testing. Bedtime is my scariest time; it can take what is essentially witchcraft to get me asleep. I keep a lavender sachet on my bedside table, which I let sit on my chest for a few minutes when I first climb into bed. I love a pillow spray, as well, the most effective variety of which I’ve found to be the mega-popular Deep Sleep Pillow Spray with lavender, vetiver and camomile from This Works. The hype is not misplaced; after several months of use, the brand’s name holds up.

Mornings, though, are easy. I began taking Ashwagandha, an adaptogenic herb popular in Ayurvedic medicine, with my breakfast about two years ago, per the recommendation of my doctor. (Obviously, supplements aren’t for everyone, and you should always check with your own doctor before starting them.) Both Google and my doctor say that Ashwagandha helps lower cortisol, balance thyroid hormones and combat stress. I say that, yes, it does do that, but I don’t know if it’s the placebo of taking, doing, planning that helps more.

Last winter posed a new kind of challenge. None of my regular tricks seemed to do what I needed them to do. Neither did the calendar-planning, nor the additional pages of lists I scribbled in an attempt to coax myself into stillness. I felt lost, and disheartened, and guilty for feeling any of it. I felt guilty for being rattled when I knew so many others had it much worse than I did. I felt guilty for comparing my own anxiety to that of others, when my mental health was mine and mine alone. I felt guilty for saying no to my closest friends in an attempt to prioritize “self-care,” a hot new phrase I felt guilty for not knowing if I was practicing correctly. I felt guilty for being a selfish partner, and I felt guilty that my boyfriend had to see me as a person I myself didn’t recognize.

Some evenings, I would come home and immediately lie down on the kitchen floor, not bothering to take off my coat or scarf or hat. If my partner was home, he and our dog would join, three warm bodies sardined between the stove and sink. That guilt, of feeling him planking next to me when I knew that he, too, didn’t know how to help me, was worst of all.

I would get up, eventually. And soon, it became days, then weeks, then months, since my last time on the kitchen floor. I just kept doing what I knew worked: letting objects, like hand lotion that smells like my mom, work their material, aspirational magic, and healing from the outside in. An advertiser’s dream.

I feel guilty for that, too. Fashion and beauty products are, of course, just “things.” But we all know “things” can also carry real, emotional weight and become so much more. Why should I judge myself for what I find and have always found to be constructive?

Even so, I’m trying to learn how to loosen the reins, as they say, so that I don’t immediately slip into “flight” mode when confronted with the unexpected. I’m trying to learn how to let anxiety simply beat through me, and how to treat it with the same compassion I might bestow on a loved one, or as I’m also learning, on myself.

Right now, I’m working on my own wellness practice, like meditation — I enjoy the “Calm” app — and 4-7-8 breathing. But I’ve found that the very best thing I can do for myself is to stare my anxiety, and the guilt that comes with it, straight in the face — not to embalm it in lavender or distract it with 18 tabs of suede mules that, in some strange way, might make each hard day feel more navigable. Absolutely everything changed when I began accepting my anxiety for what it is, not trying to fix it like something I could tend with a Band-Aid — how one might fix a fourth-grade astigmatism with a pair of glasses from LensCrafters.

Fashion Stories: Fashion Books

investment piece, fashion, blogger, high fashion, fashion stories, fashion books

I truly believe that the fashion we wear is one of the ways that we tell our stories. Yet, I can’t help but also loving fashion stories- aka books about fashion. From biographies of iconic designers to histories of textiles, coffee table books to novels, reading about fashion not only inspires my outfits, but helps me understand fashion from POVs I sometimes didn’t even know existed. This past month, it feels as if we’ve lost a lot of fashion icons- from Andre Leon Talley to Mugler, and reading about them helps me feel as if we still have them.

Another great thing about books? They make great gifts, they are one-size-fits-all, and they let you own a bit of fashion history. Below are fashion books that are on my wishlist for Valentines Day (and beyond), maybe there is something for you or someone you love may love!
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!!