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

Designer Spotlight: Judith Leiber

Note: This article first appeared in the New York Times, here. I also loved this piece from the Wall Street Journal. I have always loved all things shiny, stories (the feel good kind) from the Holocaust, and fashion; Judith Leiber combines all those things! Enjoy! XO RA

Judith Leiber, 97, Dies; Turned Handbags Into Objets d’Art

Investment Piece: Designer Spotlight Judith Leiber

Judith Leiber, the handbag designer whose whimsical creations were prized as collectors’ pieces and frequently displayed as objets d’art, died on Saturday at her home in Springs, N.Y., a hamlet in East Hampton. She was 97.

Ms. Leiber died just hours after the death of her husband of 72 years, the painter, lithographer and sculptor Gerson Leiber, who was known as Gus. He also died at their home.

Both died of heart attacks, according to Jeffrey Sussman, their biographer and spokesman, and they were buried together on Monday.

In recent years the couple had mounted joint exhibitions of their work on Long Island and in Manhattan.

Investment Piece: Designer Spotlight: Judith Leiber

Stella Blum, the curator of the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art until 1983, once said that describing Judith Leiber as an accessory designer was “a little like calling Louis Comfort Tiffany a designer of lighting fixtures.”

Her handbags were often on view in museums and are in the permanent collections of a number of them, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian Institution and the Chicago Historical Society. Ms. Leiber nevertheless demurred when Andy Warhol described her bags as works of art. “Truthfully, I don’t consider them art,” she said. “I’m an artisan.”

Although she designed luxurious handbags with discreet clasps and frames for daytime, she was best known for her imaginative and eye-catching evening creations, among them colorfully beaded bags in animal, flower, fruit and egg shapes, and bags shaped like boxes and shells with variations on antique Asian motifs.

Her classically shaped metal evening bags were built of cardboard and sent to Italy, where they were stamped in brass. The animal forms and more complex shapes began as sculptured wax models and were also sent to Italy to be copied in metal. Feet and ears were cast separately and soldered on; other parts and touches, like the head of a horse or the bow on a cat, were stamped in two halves and joined seamlessly.

The gold plating was done after the bags were returned to America. So was the encrusting of the bag in rhinestones and other beads.

A number of Ms. Leiber’s clients amassed scores, and in several cases hundreds, of her designs, despite price tags that reached well into four figures for each bag.

Investment Piece: Designer Spotlight: Judith Leiber

At major charity events, it was common for a woman who had left her Leiber evening bag on the table while she danced to find on her return that other guests had gathered around her table to admire it. Occasionally a bag would disappear, returned only when admirers had finished passing it around.

“Sensuous and tactile, they ask to be picked up,” said Dorothy Twining Globus, a former director of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology and curator of exhibitions at the Museum of Arts and Design.

Most of Ms. Leiber’s evening bags, particularly the glittering metal creations, were designed to hold a bare minimum of necessities. She allowed that lipstick, a handkerchief and a $100 bill might possibly fit. A $100 bill? Not small change, she admitted, but not unreasonable for a Leiber bag owner. As for carrying such necessities as eyeglasses, keys and a few other odds and ends, she would ask, “What’s an escort for?”

Ms. Leiber created five collections a year, in all about 100 designs. She said she was inspired by paintings, museum pieces, artifacts and nature. One of her most popular bags was shaped like a snail; another, an example of the commonplace made uncommon, was fashioned from an antique quilt and enhanced with bits of colored glitter.

The women who carried Leiber bags included first ladies, queens and princesses, and celebrities like Greta Garbo, Claudette Colbert, Diana Ross and Joan Sutherland. Queen Elizabeth II was presented with a bag during a visit to California, and Raisa Gorbachev, the wife of the Soviet leader, received one from Barbara Bush.

Mrs. Bush carried a Leiber design at her husband’s inaugural ceremony. She also had one of the Leiber metal bags shaped, with slight variation, to resemble Millie, her springer spaniel. It was later duplicated and sold for $2,500. Other first ladies were customers as well: Nancy Reagan ordered white satin Leiber bags for both her husband’s inaugural balls, and Hillary Clinton had a bag modeled after Socks, the family cat.

Investment Piece: Designer Spotlight: Judith Leiber

But even the first ladies couldn’t compete in patriotism with a Texan who was invited to one of the Clinton inaugurations and ordered a bag beaded with the stars and stripes on one side and the Statue of Liberty on the other.

Many of Ms. Leiber’s customers used the bags for aesthetic purposes as well as practical ones. Some displayed them in a vitrine or étagère, and one Los Angeles matron invited her friends, their Leiber bags and their husbands to a dinner party. When they arrived, she took all their bags and lined them up on a mirror, flanked with votive candles, running down the center of the dining table. It was a table decoration not soon forgotten.

Ms. Leiber maintained that a story of a husband who had given his wife 14 Leiber bags in seven years and wanted them back as part of a divorce settlement was not apocryphal. “I could retire on your Leiber bag collection,” he reportedly said. The wife kept the bags.

Investment Piece: Designer Spotlight: Judith Leiber

Ms. Leiber was born Judith Marianne Peto in Budapest on Jan. 11, 1921. Her parents, Emil and Helen Peto, hoped that she would become a chemist and repeat the success of a relative who had developed a complexion cream. In 1939, she was sent to England to pursue scientific studies, but World War II intervened and her theoretical cosmetics empire vanished.

“Hitler put me in the handbag business,” Ms. Leiber said.
Back in Budapest, Ms. Leiber, who was Jewish, enrolled in an artisan guild, which still accepted Jews, although fascism was on the ascent in Hungary. Her training began with sweeping the floors and cooking the glue. By the time she had completed her guild training, first as an apprentice and finally as a master, the war was raging.

She knew all the stages of handbag manufacture, but there was no place to use this knowledge because Jews were being sent to concentration camps. She and other family members escaped that fate when they were pressed into service sewing army uniforms. She also began a small handbag business at home, using whatever materials she could find, and after the war sold some to American soldiers stationed in Hungary.

Mr. Leiber was an Army Signal Corps sergeant in postwar Budapest when he and Ms. Leiber met. He was working as a radio operator maintaining contact between Vienna and Budapest. They married in 1946 and the next year left for New York, Mr. Leiber’s hometown.

Investment Piece: Designer Spotlight: Judith Leiber

With her training, Ms. Leiber had no difficulty finding work in her adopted country. She became part of what she called “strudel assembly lines” at a number of handbag manufacturers until 1963, when her husband decided that they should open their own business.

They began in a small loft. “I knew from the beginning what I was going to do,” Ms. Leiber said. “I was going to make the best.” She designed and supervised the manufacture of her bags, and Mr. Leiber looked after the business end.

Ms. Leiber’s sister, Eva Ecker, died in 2015. No immediate family members survive.

Investment Piece: Designer Spotlight: Judith Leiber

In time, Ms. Leiber’s designs were rarely sold from handbag departments. They were generally featured in specially created Leiber sections and boutiques in major department and specialty stores, both in this country and abroad.

Ms. Leiber received most of the fashion industry’s major prizes. She was given a Coty Fashion Award in 1973 and the Neiman Marcus Winged Statue for Excellence in Design in 1980. She was voted accessories designer of the year in 1994 by the Council of Fashion Designers.

The Leibers sold their business in 1993, for a reported $16 million, to Time Products, a British firm in the watch distribution business. Ms. Leiber remained the firm’s designer until 1997.

Investment Piece: Designer Spotlight: Judith Leiber

In recent years, retrospective exhibitions in New York have showcased the talents of both Leibers. (Some of Mr. Leiber’s work is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.) In 2016 the Flomenhaft Gallery in Manhattan presented a joint exhibition, “The Artist & Artisan”; another, “Brilliant Partners,” was seen last year at the Long Island Museum in Stony Brook. Also last year, the Museum of Arts and Design in Manhattan gave Ms. Leiber a one-woman show, “Judith Leiber: Crafting a New York Story.”

Throughout her career, Ms. Leiber was often asked if she ever carried handbags other than her own. She had a standard reply.

“I either carry my own or a paper bag,” she would say, “and I won’t carry a paper bag, so you figure it out.”

Investment Piece: Designer Spotlight:

Some Judith Leiber bags I love (and some of my choices are affordable!):

You can find your own Judith Leiber bag here as well:

90% off luxury consignment

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.

Fashion Stories: Red Date Shoes

a close up of red sparkly heels on wood floor

Red shoes have always been my go to. Probably because wizard of Oz was my FAVORITE movie when I was little. I would watch it religiously, believed in Glinda, Dorothy- and the power of shoes. In fact, many of my own fashion beliefs could be traced back to the story: that our stories matter, what we wear matters, what we wear helps tell our stories, and that shoes can be magical. It will come as no surprise that when I was a 5yo simply obsessed with Wizard of Oz I insisted on having my own “ruby red slippers”. Also known as, I would make my parents buy me red, glittering, usually with a bow shoes that called by a proper name and believed were magic. And – to be honest- the shows didn’t fail me, ever.

So, when, again as a 5yo, my dad asked me for help picking out a present for my mom to celebrate Valentine’s Day I couldn’t help but pick out red “date night shoes” as I called them. (Not a shock, I still call them red date night shoes). I thought that these red shoes (with a kitten heel and rose detail) were the essence of being an adult, pretty, and that every woman needed a pair of red shoes for Date night.

A big part of me still feels the same way.

a close up of red kitten heels with roses on the toe

a close up of red kitten heels with roses on the toe
a close up of the original red date night shoes that I helped pick out for my mom when I was 5

I loved the above shoes so much, and I loved every time that my mom wore them. They (whoever they are) will tell you that we are who we are, and while I still love Wizard of Oz the thing that has stuck with me through the years are red date night shoes. I love a great pop of red- with any outfit, and I think the easiest way to do a pop is a great pair of shoes. After all these years I still think shoes, especially red, are magical; and I can’t help but buy myself red shoes as part of date night looks (the dates being other stories).

From grown up sparkles that I can’t seem to part with, to my own red roses, to red heels and flats of all kinds- I can’t quit red date shoes. Even when the dates I’m wearing them on are dates with myself. And yes, I still call all of them red date night shoes. And yes, I do think you need a pair. For dates, or nights out with yourself! Below are some of my personal red date night shoes- they’ve all led to magic in their own way, and I just adore them!

a close up of red kitten heels
close up of red kitten heels
close up of a woman in a red skirt and red fringe heels
close up of feet in fishnet stockings and red heeled mules
close up of red kitten heels with roses on the heel and legs in a nude and navy grid dress

What fashion items do you think may have magic powers? What do you associate with date night? I’m firmly on team red date night shoes, but want to know all your picks!

Because we all may need to refresh our red shoe choices, I’ve linked my current favorite red shoes- I recommend all of these for date night!

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!

Style Lessons From an “Old” Friend

Over the lockdown portion of the pandemic a thing I did to keep sane was start a “Cocktails and Caftans” series over on IG- essentially just that making cocktails while wearing amazing caftans. And one of the most special to me was when I made martinis (whilst wearing a great vintage kimono!) – mainly as one of my dearest friends was the one who taught me how. And this great friend? She turns 80! today! I just adore her, have the best time with her, and really appreciate all we learn from each other. She’s like a second mother but also a fantastic friend.

Connected- one of my best tips is to make friends with people not like you. Not your age, not your “class”, background, race, etc- the relationships are so so enriching.

As it’s my friend’s birthday, I wanted to honor her, so I’ve been thinking about -some-of the things I’ve learned and loved from her! And because I think of us as great friends, I’m sharing them with you!

Wear What You’re Comfortable In
I love fashion and I love playing dress up. But I also want to feel good in what I wear, and be comfortable. My friend is a huge fan of wearing outfits that are in your comfort zone- but fabulous. She’s a fan of pants and statement tops. I love skirts and dresses. When we go out (because we can’t always make our own martinis), we each wear what we love, and feel great in it. We don’t have to worry about our outfits, so we can concentrate on the important things-like each other.

Always have a Bottle Ready
Bubbles. Gin. Wine. My friend is always ready for company, for celebrations, for a cup of cheer. I don’t think the point is always to stock your bar, but to be open. I love that she (often) has more energy than me, and is willing to try a lot, even if it’s not in her comfort zone. Probably what keeps her young! And perhaps we should all celebrate with friends a bit more in her honor- I will be dancing with her this weekend-I hope you can find a similar fun thing to do!

Reading and Hand Written Notes Matter
My friend was an English Professor (so I’m sure there are times she hates my grammar), but one of the things I love about our friendship is that we share a love of reading- and trade book recommendations. We also chat movies and music, fashion and current events. I’ve also never been given more thoughtful gifts, or received such timely thank you notes when I gift her! These all may seem like little things, but they make a big difference.

My friend is one of those people that just make you feel great when they’re around. I’m so grateful for them in my life, and I can’t wait to celebrate them this weekend. I hope that you have these kinds of friends- to wear fantastic things with and raise toasts with. I’m so grateful you’re here, that we can do those things together- and know any time it’s needed I’m ready to make a drink and put on a party dress with you!


Fashion Stories: Grandma’s Gloves

This post is part fashion stories- because these gloves were never mine. They happened to be in the pocket of a trench coat that my grandma left me. Yet, they fit perfectly. I always get compliments. These Isotoners are both a reminder of my Grandmother’s love, and a chic glove.

And yes, these are Isotoners. Which also makes this part a Now and Then (where we chat about fashion pieces you can get both new and vintage)- and Isotoners fit the bill! There are so many Isotners (even new in box!) that you can buy vintage. And there are new Isotoners you can buy now. Luckily, as of yet, prices haven’t gone up – so both vintage and new are incredible investments.

I have a soft spot for these gloves, and Isotoners, in general. Yes, they remind me of my grandma. But they also remind me of childhood, and what I thought was chic and grown up at the time. (I don’t think I was wrong.) They fit so well, keep me warm without being bulky, and again- I get compliments every time I pull them out. Because it felt as if they were part of the package with my grandma’s trench, I haven’t been able to take them out, so I only wear these gloves when I wear my Grandma’s trench, but that makes them a bit more special.

In fact, I’ve been thinking of buying myself (and my loved ones) new Isotoners, not only to remember my Grandma, but because they are just so chic!

I’ve linked both vintage and new Isotoners below for you- I hope that they have good memories and that they bring a lot of compliments and chic tones to your winter outfits!

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 close up of a hand in Isotoner gloves and a trench coat touching a green bush with red berries

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

a woman in a teal and yellow silk robe applies skin cream in a bathroom mirror

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. There are also times when I hyper focus on how I look- from my skin to my hair to all the things from how my jeans fit, etc. Ritual and routine, aka skincare, can be so soothings- especially when we can see results! Which is why I’m thrilled to announce I’ve partnered with CosmeticRx, which offers prescriptions on RetinA and Latisse (And I’m in love with skin care that means we look amazing without makeup!). You can use code INVESTMENTPIECE for $19 RetinA (and strength) and Latisse monthly orders starting at $89! This article, and these products, really speak and help me – and I hope they do the same for you! 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.

PS My eyes (though I’ve always needed glasses) are also going -though I’m leaning into reading glasses being chic. And I’m using the RetinA to disguise the fact that sometimes squinting is leaving me with wrinkles I would rather not have. Reminder that code InvestmentPiece at CosmeticRX gets you a $19 order! xo RA

a close up up of a CosmeticRx box with a box of RetinA and Latisse in it

Purple as a Passion

a woman in a TCUFootball shirt, jeans, and over the knee white Chanel flat boots

I’m a firm believer that what we wear helps to tell our stories, and whether or not you have caught on or not- I’m a big football fan. (Cliche? Who knows?) Especially my college football team, TCU. My freshman year at college, we won ONE game (against SMU). We (my friends and the rest of the student body) rushed the field to celebrate, got pepper sprayed by the police (a fact my mom recently learned); and from there it’s been nothing but going up. My beloved Gary Patterson (who I have feelings about how he got let go- if you know you know) took the Head Coaching job and we went from 1-12 to an undefeated season, winning the Rose Bowl, and today we play for the College Football Championship. It’s been a ride, a journey- and with the football gods on our side and a bit of luck, it’s not over yet.

You may have noticed that I wear a lot of purple. Partially because I love the color, but partially because it’s a TCU color and it’s a way to support my team. A part of me knows that this is just a game and TCU has won just by getting there (underdog and if you follow college football you know). And yet, another part of me knows that this is huge- from the opportunity to how much I want my team to win to the reunions happening for so many of my friends (The last time TCU won a Football Championship it was 1938 so it’s not an understatement to say ALL my TCU friends are going or are glued to the TV tonight). I’m bouncing between being completely sure we will win, and wanting to vomit from nerves. (It’s a good thing I’m on the sidelines and not playing!) But, as I don’t play football, what I do is tell stories with my fashion – and that matters too. So, as a tribute, my part, and a way to put my all behind my team I’ve rounded up some of my most favorite purple outfits. Turns out purple is a passion of mine, from the field to the runway, and I thank you for hearing my stories.

Just so you know, I’m counting on all of you rooting for my team and wearing purple today (I’ve essentially taken the day off to do that!) The parts of us that we don’t think are fashion related or may be a little bit cliche? Let’s not shy away from using our fashion to tell those stories too!
Go Frogs! Wear all the purple!

a woman in a purple gown in front of green hedges
in a purple gown for a cousin’s wedding
a woman in a purple plaid dress and shoes in front of a stone wall and trees
in a Holiday perfect gown
a woman in a wrap purple dress and black mules
in a purple day dress
a woman in a one shoulder lavender dress sits on a bike
purple on a bike
a woman in a purple skirt and an off the shoulder blue top with yellow wedges sits on a railing
purple as color blocking
A woman in a purple printed dress with purple sandals in front of an apt building
purple as a print

These are the tip of my purple outfits. I have a favorite pair of purple pants. TCU sweatshirts and tees. I even have purple TCU nikes. My love of TCU football is often told through my fashion, and I promise from a run on the treadmill to cheering my Frogs with my mom and sister tonight, I’ll be wearing purple (as a passion) and telling all sorts of stories. I can’t wait to tell you how we won- and I’d love to know what story you regularly tell with your fashion choices!


Fashion Stories: Party Dress Season

a woman in a pink dress holding a fur jacket in front of a house

I love this time of year for so so many reasons, but it’s also the party dresses. It’s no secret that I love them, wear them even if it’s not a party, and love what comes next (party dress sale season!). From Holiday parties to NYE, to some cheer for the new year, there’s no bad reason for a party dress right now. This is a look back at some of my favorites of the past, I can’t wait to see what’s to come!

Fashion Stories: Hostess Dress

a woman in a purple hostess dress on a red couch

This is the time of year when we’re looking for looks that are festive but yet, super comfy. Or at least I am. I love me a good party dress, I can’t resist a party dress, but at this time of year, I’m usually a bit overwhelmed and a bit behind, so while I want to be in a party dress I still need to be comfy.

My secret weapon for this? A hostess dress. Part fancy robe, part party dress that lets you go from
a woman in a purple cape dress spinning
to this:
a woman in a purple hostess dress un bed

OR in simple terms a hostess dress is:
The idea of a hostess outfit as somewhere between loungewear and partywear has been around since the 1920s. In 1925, Vogue decided pajamas were de rigueur, especially should you be able to acquire an Elsa Schiaparelli housecoat-and-pajama-pants set. In the ’60s, caftans and palazzo pants became the hostess outfit du jour. Since then, the idea of dressing up for company tends to mean something fancy and not all that comfortable. (read more on these thoughts here)
or you could put a hostess dress like:
an informal dress or robe to entertain at home.

Incredibly popular in the 1940s-60s, you can read more about hostess gowns here and here. But yes, hostess gowns are part robe/part party dress, sometimes more sheer, sometimes more embroidered, but for me- the perfect combination of chic and comfy.

A woman in a black and green hostess dress at a backyard party
This is a hostess dress.

As is my new favorite (purple with a but of a cape):
a woman in a purple hostess dress leaning against a wall

There are so many hostess dresses out there (I’ve linked some of my vintage favorites for you below, and my go-to sites are Esty and the Gem app) but for me, what ties them together is the mix of lounge wear and party wear. Hostess dress were the first dresses (or pant suits!) to toe the line between pajamas and ball gowns. And as much as I love party dresses, I also love lounge and fancy pjs, so I think that hostess dresses are heaven. (I also love the idea that in days gone past, people would just throw these on to have neighbors over for drinks or even just to chat with their husband!)

woman in a silver caftan in front of a balcony

Since Covid, I’ve discovered a passion from caftans- which are a direct descendant from hostess dresses, which explains part of my love of hostess dresses. As they range from more formal to incredibly informal, there is a hostess gown (especially as wearing vintage makes it even more special!) for every holiday party or at home drink you have on your calendar!

Have you ever worn a hostess dress? Do you love them as much as I do? I hope that you find a part robe/ball gown aka hostess dress that lets you tell all of the most amazing holiday fashion stories this season. And I also hope that said hostess dress keeps you comfy as you look amazingly chic. Again, I’m linking my current favorites below (including a green exact copy of this purple one!), if you need help finding your perfect hostess dress please let me know!


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a woman in a purple hostess dress in a doorway

Trends I’m Loving

a woman in a black leather dress in a bathroom mirror

Every season we chat about trends, and I share my picks and what trends I’m excited about (see my trend report for 2022 here). Yet, sometimes it takes getting into a season, trying things on, seeing trends on others, and seeing what your life is like to see what trends you really love for the season. This fall I have loved playing in pink and reacquainting myself with platforms. I’ve never met a suit I didn’t like, and I love the deep textures such as velvets that are in stores.

Yet, there a few trends that I’ve been seeing on IG that I just love and a few that I have been experimenting with that I just love. This list isn’t so much an update on trends as a refining of ones that I’m finding fit into my day to day life. I’m hoping that they provide some inspiration for you!

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 black sheer tights, a black wrap dress and gold heels
Black Hose

While I’ve been getting into hose(tights, whatever you call them, see here), this seasons I’m finding myself reaching for black hose (sheer and opaque) more and more. They are perfect with minis, maxis, and midi skirts and dresses. They keep you warm as the temps drop. And look incredibly chic. Perhaps women of the past had it right when they wore hose (and we’re lucky that garter belts are now optional!)

OverSized Blazers
A take on the suit, an oversized blazer goes great over a mini (maybe I’m really loving minis too!), over jeans, and as a coat. Pair with sweater dresses, boots, and perhaps even a brooch! I’m partial to plaids, and the following are some of my faves!

Faux Leather
Yes, this was in the trend report I did at the beginning of fall. And While I knew that I love leather (and faux leather), seeing the dresses, tops, blazers, trenches, skirts, and pants that this season is offering, have me falling deeper in love. Faux leather is both edgy and classic, able to dress up and dress down. On trend cutouts, lace mixed with classics like blazers and leggings- and leather is completely seasonal! These are some of the leather pieces I’m currently loving:

1960s Vibes
Anne Hathaway in leopard print pants and a top, with leopard shoes

I don’t know if we call this a trend but I’m loving the 60s vibes (from big hair to cat eyes). Side Note- I’m also loving everything that Anne Hathaway has been wearing from appearances to photoshoots, from big hair to prints, I want to recreate all of her looks. Lately, I’ve been using hot rollers in my hair for volume, adding on the eyeliner, and have been attracted to shift sets, go-go boots, and more.

What trends have you been loving as you have been seeing them out and about this season? I would love to hear about them and how you’re styling them!