Fashion Stories: Changing to Stay the Same

a woman in a maxi denim dress with a gold belt and gold glitter and black booties
a woman in a denim maxi dress and leopard sneakers

They say that everything comes back in style (which may also be a reason to never throw anything away!). And as someone who is slowly beginning to see styles that she remembers from her childhood back “on trend” I can only say- I didn’t think things would change so quickly to stay the same for me.
Perhaps another way to say that, is that as much as things change, they stay back. Or come back to themselves. Or whatever they say.

Take for example the denim, skirt and dress, trends this fall. Maxi. Slit. Just a hint of a shirt dress. They remind me of dresses from the 1990s. And earlier. These denim pieces also remind me of my grandma (Mimi). I’ve written a lot about her influence on my fashion sense, see here, but let me tell you- my Mimi also loved a denim dress. Or skirt. She would pair denim on denim, pair belts with her denim dresses- and wear both with everything from sneakers to sandals.

Denim dresses are a huge trend. Yet, they also bring me back to my Mimi. Sometimes we change just to stay the same.

a woman in a denim dress with leopard sneakers
a woman in a maxi denim dress with a gold belt and gold and black booties

This is where you may be thinking that I style these new but same denim dresses much differently than my Mimi would have- but really, I don’t think I do. Perhaps I’m a bit more flashy. But my Mimi loved a great accessory. A gold belt? She’d love it. The glitter booties might be exactly up her alley, but I have a feeling she would have loved them. And leopard sneakers? My Mimi would have worn these herself! We, my Mimi and I, were different- but we were really the same.

And we both love(d) a denim moment.

a woman in a denim dress with a gold belt and gold and black booties
a woman in a denim maxi dress and leopard sneakers

This denim dress, and all of the 1000s and 1000s ways you could style it (truly a bit dressed up and with sneakers are barely scratching the surface of what is possible here!) is a trend- but isn’t it also the same? What I mean is that, at least in my case, denim like this was a staple in my childhood- I’ve spent my adulthood changing and finding my own style, and am now in the same thing it started in. Maybe that’s what all those saying mean. Just perhaps- all roads do lead home, we change and yet find ourselves the same. I just think we should wear fabulous shoes with it!

I’ve linked this exact dress (under $50!) and similar ones, as well as some fantastic shoe options. What is something that you’ve changed and then found out it was simply the same? I want to hear all about it.


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

a woman in a denim dress with a gold belt and gold and black booties

Fashion Stories: I Miss Abandon

Investment Piece: I miss Abandon
Investment Piece: I miss abandon

I’ve been thinking a lot about how we dress for our days has changed within the past years. Dressing for joy, dressing for function, dressing for bed.
Some disclosures:
-I’ve always had a thing for party dresses and not always enough parties to wear them. Now, I’m getting DRESSED to go to the store, but there is a section of my closest that’s not getting enough wear right now. Yet, I have more than one party dress on my current Wishlist.
-I want to write about how we should buy and wear whatever makes us happy. I DO believe in that. I’ve also ordered a bunch of leggings this week (they’re pants now?) and there are days when getting dressed at all is hard.
-While I love going into stores and finding something I didn’t know I wanted, I also love shopping online. In fact, I’ll tell you online shopping is so easy (and it’s like you get presents!). Right now I’m missing in person shopping.
-Things are difficult for everyone right now. Budgets. Stress. It all. Dressing for anything may not be at the top of our lists. I do think it helps, though.

These pictures are old. From years ago, on a Los Angeles spree, one afternoon in RecessLa (you can read about them here), on a whim I spent several hours trying on things. We took pictures and laughed and just enjoyed the fashion. It turns out, I had a ton of these on my phone. Looking through them made me smile. And for all my thoughts about fashion right now it made me realize:

I miss abandon.

Investment Piece: I miss abandon
Investment Piece: I miss abandon
Investment Piece: I miss abandon
Investment Piece: I miss abandon

I miss spending hours falling in love with new things and trying them on. Imagining where to wear them. I miss finding a thing I didn’t know I needed and walking out of a store feeling new.

There are friends of mine who are already planning to dress BIG whenever they can-from concerts to movies, and I’m with them. Any chance I get I’m DRESSING. And I’m on board with that. But I do worry that I will still miss abandon. The random. The surprises.

I miss good surprises.

So. Now. With what we have. How do we invite abandon in? Order something exciting online? Try a new online store? Shop all the vintage on IG and Etsy? I’m in. But I’m open to all ideas.

How are you dressing with abandon right now? How do you think we should invite it in?

This was a vintage dress, I didn’t get it, but I’ve found similar and have linked them below for us all.

I’m wishing us all a little abandon this week, whatever that looks like!

Investment Piece: I miss abandon

Fashion Stories: Barbie Fashion

I am trying not to promote struck companies (see here)and yet I”m so into Barbie Fashion. And this is not just BarbieCore (where it’s just a version of pink?) but a look at how designers and how Barbie shaped our fashion.
a sheet of Margot Robbie and Barbie
a sheet of Margot Robbie and Barbie Fashion

This is where I could tell you that to me barbie was always fashion – that’s what I cared about. My Barbies were always well dressed. My mom’s Barbies? They had outfits hand made by my great grandmas! And the callbacks from Margot Robie’s promo tour to original Barbies made my heart grow at least 3 times!

Margot Robie in pink suits and cocktails looks as Barbie
day to night barnie with a blonde doll in a pink suit and then a pink sequin top with a pink chiffon skirt

Fun Fact? This Day to Night Barbie was one of my favorites growing up- and what I thought my adult life would be like! (I would buy the designer version that Margot wore!)

This all got me to thinking: where did Barbie get her fashion from. Because Barbie was always a fashion plate (there were fashion plate Barbies!) but also as someone who’s always loves the fashion past of the doll these articles made me love her more:

A Peek Inside Baribie High Fashion

Barbie’s Fashion history

There are so many more articles to share from how the maker of Barbie (Ruth!) was making a statement as perhaps girls needed a toy that didn’t make theme a mother/wife to the tax evasion (?!) that took her down!

My Barbies were a fave of mine. I got to dress them. They were fierce and got to be everything and anything. And yes, I loved the movie! Part of what I loved was dressing my dolls in clothes that I felt were not only high end but clothes that expressed what they (and I) wanted to tell the world. AKA even my Barbies used their fashion to tell stories. And I still do till this day.

You can buy various books about Barbie’s fashion. You can study Barbie Fashion. And you can wear Barbie- from pinks to black and white stripe (again, there are so many looks from Day to Night Barbie to other Barbies that I would love to wear the looks!)

Barbie was my favorite toy (I had so many and the Dream House and the Cars and more) and it was always the fashion that drew me in- fashion that I would still wear today!

What’s been your favorite Barbie fashion look? Was it for your doll or for you? And if Barbie fashion was for us would you buy it?

Come on Barbie,let’s go fashion!

Fashion Stories: I’m a Barbie Girl

If you’re like me you may have spent at least a part of the long weekend watching the BARBIE movie trailer over (and over) again. Am I fascinated? Completely. Not only due to the Vogue interview with Margot and cast and Greta (aka Barbie and Cast and Greta the Director/Writer- also Greta referenced Reviving Ophelia about the age that girl’s lost their confidence and it’s all made me so excited!)

Barbie was one of my favorite toys growing up. The fashion was part of it:
Including this Day to Night Number (I had this doll! You could reverse the skirt to change looks and the top was a bodysuit! It may have given me unrealistic expectations for day to night dressing, but my sister and I loved it!)
a day to night barbie in varying pink suit loks

Also, besides the fashion, the lore of Barbie means a lot to me- which is a weird thing to say (and no, this isn’t the last time we’ll chat about Barbie in many ways). I was perhaps a bit too old to watch the animated Barbie moves, but I had many different Barbies, the Barbie Dream House, cars, and believed that I could be a mermaid, vet, astronaut, princess, ballerina, dr, business woman- and that a guy (and Ken!) who wanted to be with me would love that about me! (Maybe that’s the magic of Barbie and childhood!)

But maybe that’s the magic we need to believe in!
This was one of my favorite Barbies (and one of my upcoming Fashion Halloween costumes!)
Peaches and Cream BArbie with a white barbie with long flowing blonde hair in a peach ruffled gown with a sparkling white bodice and a flower at the waist,

Baribie is not only a toy that shaped so much of our childhoods but a cultural icon



I can remember playing with my mom’s original Barbie’s (and our Ken’s were my Uncle’s old GI Joe’s back when they were bigger than Ken!)
Barbie affected the way I thought about life, about fashion, about the women I thought I could be- and I can’t wait to see how the upcoming Barbie movie informs that and what I wear!

I would love to know how Barbie has affected your life! From what you wear to how you think to your career- are you a mermaid CEO vet or did you think you could be? Tell me all about it? In the future we’ll chat what we’re wearing to the movie (or maybe for Halloween) and how pink and Barbie have affected our current fashion choices, but I think this is a good start, don’t you?


Altered State

a woman in a purple dress with red flowers on it in a garden

This post could easily be about how I love the color purple (see here, here, and here for starters). Or I could tell you about how this weekend I was my mom’s date to her 50th College Reunion, where I not only had a great time but realized I’m at the age where graduations make me cry. But what this post is really about is making an outfit your own.

And when we talk about that, it usually means that the styling is very you. However, this time I made this dress my own when I altered it on the fly! Yep! I did!

a woman in a lavender dress with red flowers

You’ve seen this dress before here, it’s a sweet homemade number from the 1970s that’s always made me smile. Yet, as easy as it is to throw on and go, the top kept fitting me oddly. Not TOO big, but a little off.
a woman in a lavender dress with red flowers
It didn’t bother me at first, but over the night it began to be a little obvious (to me) that the fit of the dress would improve if the straps were a little shorter/tighter. The issue could have been solved with a safety pin, or even a paper clip, but I didn’t have one on me. As I was my mom’s date I didn’t want to make a scene, but was beginning to worry that my fit might turn into a fashion emergency. While sitting through a presentation with my uncle, I happened to ask him if he had a pocket knife (desperate times, desperate measures), but he had something even better- scissors.

a close up of scissors in a woman's hand

I discreetly slipped out to the restroom, cut the straps of the dress, and tied them in a halter around my neck. (I tied the ends in slight knots till I have a chance to hem those!) My look and my night was saved – all by a slight alteration!

a woman in a lavender dress with red flowers

While altering the state of your outfit on the fly can be risky- sometimes it’s needed. And if it makes you feel best in the look, isn’t that what counts? Have you ever altered your outfit on the fly? From cutting straps to taping hems, I want to know all about it!

This dress is vintage, but I found you some similar ones- hopefully you don’t have to alter them on the fly!

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!

Birthday Wishlist

A woman in a gold sequin midi dress with long sleeves and black heels walks down a street

My birthday is next week. A week from today in fact! And I know, as adults, we aren’t supposed to make a big deal of birthdays, but I think they are a big deal. (though full disclosure I’ve forgotten the blog’s birthday for a few years now, even though I do think it’s a big deal!) We all get holidays, but birthdays are the one day we really get to celebrate ourselves. And while this post is about my wishlist (for the season and my coming year), I think about birthday wishlists being not only about the physical things we want (which I usually do have a lot of), but a way of making a wishlist of who we want to be in our next year. Yes, the wishlist can be about a dress or a suit, but it’s also about how we want to spend our time- the gym, at events, in dance class, on the pickle ball court, or in flattering jeans. I take my celebrations as not only day off- which I fully intend to take (full disclosure, I have no big plans and the grief and gratitude I have for being as old as I am are weirdly intertwined and probably not for this post- I’m still working those feelings out!), but a time to really set intentions for what I want to create.

As you know, I truly believe that our fashion is important as it’s a way for us to tell our stories, and our stories are important. So, what stories do I want to tell for the year that starts next Wednesday? I want to get out there again- from events (I do love a party dress) to dance class to finding joy in daily dressing. I’m love with 3 piece suits, and while I would technically never have the need for one- where could I wear one regularly? I have a list of casual dresses to throw on to my my errands chic, an update to summer sandals, and I’m looking for chic jeans. And a pair of great trousers. The new year is full of possibilities, and I’m still flushing out exactly which ones I’ll start pursuing, who exactly I want to be in the next year. It’s an exciting time. And I know that any and all of these amazing pieces will make the new me in the new coming year better. (I also hope that they inspire you and I give you permission to use my birthday as a reset for you too!)

Here’s what I’m shopping for my birthday- I can’t wait to spend the next year with 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!

And here is the link to one of my current wishlists (which doubles as a birthday wishlist!)
Shop here

a woman in a gold sequin midi dress and black heels

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!