Lady of the Lake

Investment Piece: Lady of the Lake
Investment Piece: Lady of the Lake
Investment Piece: Lady of the Lake

Do you know the myths surrounding the Lady of the Lake? Every culture has them, but she’s especially featured in the King Arthur/Merlin legends. She appears as a fairy-like enchantress in various myths,she is said to have various powers, and rule over a magical diminision that can only be accessed through a lake. Some say that she was named Vivian, and endowed the sword of the stone with its power. Some say that she killed Merlin, others that she was his one true love. Some say that she raised Lancelot from the dead, some say that she transported the dying King Arthur to Avalon. In all of these myths, the Lady of the Lake deals with magic, beauty, power, love, and longing.

You can read a brief overview here and of course there are tons and tons of books out there about the Lady of the Lake.

Investment Piece: Lady of the Lake
I’ve been thinking a lot about the themes in the Lady of the Lake recently. About beauty and power, my own and others; how to use it and what it means. Magic, if it exists (I think so and I think a lot of magic is tied to kindness), and how and when it shows up for us. Love and longing and other worlds. And even though it’s late summer and we’re headed into the fall, I’ve been thinking about renewal. After the year that was 2020 (and to be fair 2021), it’s not that I’m looking to turn everything upside down, but I am looking to be more intentional, more sure in my actions, more secure in my own beauty and power. Maybe that’s why I’ve been thinking about the Lady of the Lake recently. You could argue her story is not so much a “how to” (there’s a lot and a lot of layers to her story). BUT

What would it look like to use our beauty and power and magic and love and kindness to make a different world? I know it’s the stuff of myths and Lady of the Lake, but do you think we could?

Investment Piece: Lady of the Lake
Investment Piece: Lady of the Lake
Investment Piece: Lady of the Lake

This photo shoot happened almost on a lark. I’ve had this set- it’s a 1930s nightgown set but why would you hide it?- for a while, but knew that it needed a special setting. The lake is by a family member’s house and when I saw it, I knew I had to shoot here. By chance I had the set, and the rest is history. It was a humid morning, almost misty and it felt very Lady of the Lake to me.

Investment Piece: Lady of the Lake
Another advantageous happenstance? This Art Deco necklace that matched perfect was available to be loaned to me. This turban is from Masha Osoianu Design. You’ll be hearing about Masaha a lot here- I just love her creations and I can’t wait to share all about her and them with you!

In the meantime, I’ve linked some similar vintage sets for you below. Where would you wear them? And what are you using your magic for?

XO RA

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

Investment Piece: Lake of the Lake

Star Point

Investment Piece: Star Point
Investment Piece: Star Point

If I had to choose, I would tell you that my favorite pattern is polka dots. However, my second favorite, and one I can never resist is stars. Maybe it’s because of my acting training (and movie star childhood dreams), maybe it’s the fact that my birth announcement was star themed, or maybe it’s because stars are just a bit magical.

The point is I can’t resist them. So. I wear them.

Investment Piece: Star Point
Investment Piece: Star Point
Investment Piece: Star Point

Sometimes my stars are very fancy (see here and here), sometimes they’re casual (see here and here) but my stars are always a go to. (I think I’m making the argument that stars are a neutral!)

This time, I found my stars on a jumpsuit, perfect for summer to fall transitions (I know, I can’t believe how fast summer is flying by!), errands, evenings out, and all the things that we do.

Here’s what I love about this star jumpsuit:
-The stars are big but not overwhelming. They’re not exactly subtle but I love how these stars are spaced out!
-This green color! I have something for it- anytime I need to reach for a more casual pant, this is the hue that I end up loving. Slightly fatigue-ish? The allusion to a flight suit? I’m not sure what it is, but like the stars, I can’t resist it
-The waist tabs. Yes, jumpsuits such as this one can be a bit more casual and the oversized look can be hard at times to pull off, so I love the option to make the waist a bit more fitted.
-The black stars go perfectly with my favorite black sandals, but would also go with heels, wedges. I’m a personal believer that there is no wrong shoe.
– One of my favorite patterns is just easy here. It’s simple but I feel special when I wear it. What else can you ask from an outfit?

Investment Piece: Star Point

While this jumpsuit is sold out, I went ahead and linked it (so you can sign up to be notified if it restocks in your size!) and I’ve also linked similar items!

What’s your star point?
Xo RA

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

Investment Piece: Star Point

Summer Formula

Investment Piece: Summer Formula
Investment Piece: Summer Formula
Investment Piece: Summer Formula

When someone tells you about a “fashion formula” they usually mean that they have a combo (usually top+bottom of some sort) that works with whatever you have. Graphic tee and jeans. Button down and skirt. Etc. None of those are bad. Or wrong. I fully believe in having outfit go-to’s that make your life easier, that you feel great in, and that always work. It’s just that sometimes the formulas I have surprise me.

Like a scarf as a top. Oldest trick in the book. I’ve written about it here, here, and you can see the same scarf as above styled as a different sort of top here). I wear this “top” all summer long- with pants, skirts, bikinis and swim suits. Only this summer, I keep pairing it with shorts. And I think I love it.

Is it a Summer formula if it’s your new go-to and it looks this good?

Investment Piece: Summer Formula
Investment Piece: Summer Formula

When it gets to be so hot (where I am we’ve had it good till this week. Then we’ve been above 100 every day), it can be too hard to think of what to put on. Everything feels like too much, everything is too heavy, everything feels gross. More and more my go-to summer formulas are things that not only do I think look good, but things that keep me cool. Being physically cool now counts more than any other fashion metric. And a scarf as a top? As cool as you can be- seriously sometimes my only concern is that the scarf I grabbed is a bit too sheer. That’s it.

They go with skirts. Pants (if you can handle them). Swimsuits. And shorts. No thinking. No worrying. Just an outfit that you can feel good in (literally). Isn’t that the point of a summer formula? An outfit that lets you express yourself and not sweat that much (hopefully). I’ve been living in this one. I would love to know- what’s your Summer formula?

I’ve linked the exact shorts (under $30) and scarf (under $100) but this outfit works with any scarf and shorts you have on hand! Stay cool 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 so much for your support!

Not a Party Dress

Investment Piece: Not a Party Dress

I don’t know if you’ve caught on- but I have a thing for party dresses. It’s not even that I go to parties (or events) day in and day out, it’s that I love a good party dress. So much so that my (vast) closet is predominantly party dresses. Which isn’t bad- I’m never unprepared and I have things that truly make me happy. (I’m also never afraid to overdress so I usually don’t notice that not every one is in a party dress)

However, you can’t live in party dresses alone (though I tend to push the limits there). Particularly during this past year, I noticed that there are parts of my closet that need some attention. While I usually will joke that I’m either in a party dress or workout clothes, it turns out that I do need more balance; things like day dresses, casual, work, even lounge deserve to have the attention that my party dresses do. So. I’ve been working on this part of my closet.

Investment Piece: Not a Party Dress
Investment Piece: Not a Party Dress
Investment Piece: Not a Party Dress

One of my current faves that’s not a party dress? This shirt dress. Fresh. On trend. Yet classic (stripes!). It’s linen so it’s just light enough not to overheat you in the dog days of summer, and while it can look crisp, when it wrinkles it still manages to look sharp.

I’ve been wearing it non-stop for errands, lunch meetings, working at home, etc. It goes great with barefeet, sandals, even heels (I am who I am), over bathing suits, and more. Not a party dress, but maybe one of the greatest assets that I’ve purchased recently?

Investment Piece: Not a Party Dress
Investment Piece: Not a party Dress

Emboldened by this day dress I’m looking at more and more things that are not party dresses but fantastic additions to my closet. What do you wear day to day? What parts of your closet need attention?

I would love to hear all about them! Below this exact dress and the exact shoes are linked for your 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!

Investment Piece: Not a Party Dress

Vintage Halston

Investment Piece: Vintage Halston
Investment Piece: Vintage Halston
Investment Piece: Vintage Halston
Investment Piece: Vintage Halston

Some things to know about me and this dress:

-this is vintage Halston. I know that there is the Halston show on Netflix, and it’s on my list!- but I haven’t watched it yet. This dress is Halston for Neiman Marcos (before the caftans and the jersey). I love that it’s both Deisgner history and fashion history. Doesn’t this dress feel like a moment in time?
-I love vintage. I love that dresses like this vintage Halston feel both modern and of its time. Things that can be more than one thing at a time intrigue me. Like the full skirt and Ruffles, combined with a low neck line.
– I love being surprised by color. Right or wrong, I have it in my head that there are colors that I don’t look good in (or don’t gravitate towards). When colors that aren’t “me” end up being one of my faves, I love it. While I will never give up my faves (you can NEVER own enough black) I love finding new colors (and fits)!
-mixing vintage and new is my jam. Vintage dress and bag. New shoes. And my modern attitude? I like to think it all works!

Investment Piece:Vintage Halston
Investment Piece: Vintage Halston
Investment Piece: Vintage Halston

More things to know about me and this Vintage Halston:

-if there is something to climb on, I will find it and I will climb it. (Statues, construction equipment, all of it) Yes, in vintage, yes in heels, yes on this construction equipment that was left unsupervised.
-there was a moment when the basket began swaying and it was a little nerve racking. I couldn’t help but think- could I break a whatever this is called? Luckily it stopped, I was fine. But there was a second when I worried a foreman was going to appear and I would get in trouble. Can you get in trouble for climbing on something someone else left out?
-I love Juxatipositons. Fancy dress and construction equipment? To me, they go together.

Investment Piece: Vintage Halston

Shopping vintage is always a bit of treasure hunt, but I’ve found you similar vintage Halstons (and bags and shoes!)
What are some things that I should know about you?
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!

Shop this look here

Investment Piece: Vintage Halston

Being Cool

Investment Piece: Being Cool
Investment Piece: Being Cool
Investment Piece: Being Cool

What’s your definition of being cool?

I feel like so much of my life has been spent trying to be cool. From following trends (we moved my freshman year of high school and I read that knee socks were in, I wore them to my first day with this inspired outfit. I was the ONLY one at my school remotely dressed like that. Which was one way to make an impression) to trying not to care too much, or at least show it (when the truth is usually that if I care, I care a lot). But what is cool? An outfit? An attitude? A combination?

Investment Piece: Being cool

This graphic tee (Which I like to think is cool) is all about the iconic picture of Faye Dunaway the morning after winning her Oscar. For years, I’ve thought this was the epitome of cool. The caftan. The pool. The uncaring. (I’m sure there’s a whole another essay/book about why not caring is seen as cool and why we should change that, this isn’t that essay, but I do love this shirt. And I would read it if you know of it!)

I’ve wanted to be an actress like Faye since I was a little girl (maybe that’s when my definition of cool started). Yes, I would like to think that I’m cool- and mysterious- but the older I get the more I think that being cool isn’t something that you can try your way into. I’m a bit sensitive, awkward, passionate, and I like to think that all makes me cool. I am no longer aiming for being completely on trend (I wear what I love and what makes me feel powerful) and instead of going for a “non-caring” attitude, I aim more for effortless.

Maybe that’s what Faye had. Effortless-ness. She just was herself and everything flowed from there. Or at least, that’s my hope- that being effortless (or cool) comes from just being myself.

Investment Piece: Being Cool
Investment Piece: Being Cool

In a completely cheeky way I will also tell you that wearing shorts helps you stay cool- but thinking twice about that, it doesn’t sound as cool as it did in my head. One of the traps of coolness?

(This is where I’m praying my sarcasm lands and is cool!)

I’ve linked these exact shorts and top for you! The shoes are vintage Gucci but I’ve found similar!
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!

Shop this look here

Investment Piece: Being Cool

Self Love

Investment Piece: Self Love
Investment Piece: Self Love
Investment Piece: Self Love
Investment Piece: Self Love
Investment Piece: Self Love
Investment Piece: Self LoveInvestment Piece: Self Love

This week was a doozy. And there were days when I was so behind I wanted to hide and cry- planned outfits didn’t work, shoots got rained out, many personal and professional things. I had no clue what to shoot or say today. Then I stumbled across this- I still have this outfit. I still wear this outfit. And it made me happy. I don’t think that self-love protects you from anything bad ever happening. But I do think it can get you through (also great jeans!). So this is up as a little reminder to us all!

I share a lot here with you. I’ve written a lot about self love, in various forms; mainly as it’s something that I’ve struggled with, and because I think it’s something that we can all related to. I love fashion, I think it’s freeing, I think fashion let’s you be who you want. However, as women, we live in a society who profits when we don’t love ourselves. We get messages about how we need to be perfect (and how we’re not) and how if we buy xyz product we could finally find self love. Social Media doesn’t help–though sometimes it does. I have to say, as someone who struggles with her body image it’s encouraging to see that everyone has rolls when they twist (because everyone does), and to see that everyone struggles. My personal journey to self love has been hard, and evolving. I’m still struggling to love myself on some days–when I mess up, or am tired, or fall into old patterns.

I made a decision a few years ago that I would be the love of my life, and treat myself as such, and it was the best decision ever. It’s still been difficult. There are still days when I can pick myself apart. There are still days when I’m not very nice to myself. I’m working on it. I’m working on loving me–all of me: my laugh, my lines, my quirks, and my flaws. I’m actively trying to be my own best friend, and the love of my life. I’m hoping that it makes me a better friend, and if there’s ever a lucky someone, a better lover.

This is the most intimate shoot I’ve ever done (the wine was not a prop!). No makeup. At all. A little sunscreen (loves, skin care is important). Nothing in my hair. I love my editorial shoots (it’s what I adore), I love my juxatipositons (I love sharing them with you), but it felt like it was time to really share myself with you. No screens, no distractions, no blurred lines. This is me. And I love me. And I love this community. And I love you for following along.

This is the part where I’m supposed to talk fashion. You need a graphic tee, you know this. I’ve always been a fan of flares and these flare jeans are not only stunning but I get asked where I get them every time I wear them. I’ve linked them and tee options below! But loves, let’s wear amazing fashion and let’s love ourselves. Let’s practice some radical self love this weekend, because that is not exclusive from fashion. In fact, I dare you to make your fashion a celebration of your self 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!


Investment Piece: Self Love

Swim Set

Investment Piece: Swim Set

We all know that there is nothing- nothing- I love more than wearing my swimsuits as outer wear fashion.

Need a little refresher? See here, here, here for start.

So imagine my intrigue and joy when I found a swim set that was a fashion set- as in a complete top and skirt that’s super chic- fashion/swim/outerwear/waterwear all in one? Turns out heaven is real.

Investment Piece: Swim Set
Investment Piece: Swim Set
Investment Piece: Swim Set

Some notes: this is a vintage set (I did find you some similar however!). Yes, that is not my real bust, this suit has a bra (bullet no less!) built in, and while I don’t fill it, I can’t bear to cut it out. Also- it’s kind of fun having it in? I’ve also tied the straps around my neck rather than use the clasp to make it fit a bit better. One of the best things that I can ever impart to you, vintage or modern, is both to embrace your clothes and make them fit you the way you like best!

My shoes in this shoot are my beloved Sarah Flints. I’m an ambassador for the company which means that you can use code BAInvestmentPiece to get $50 off your first pair at Sarah Flint. That is not a commission link, but they are the most comfortable heels I own (and Sarah offers so much more than heels!)

Investment Piece: swim set

While my immediate plans for this swim set are as a set- I love the skirt as a skirt aspect, it’s such a fun summer outfit; I love that it doubles as swimsuit. Going to brunch and getting straight into the water (as an option)? Here for it. A swimsuit that is this flattering? Double here for it. Outfits that can do all of that? Again, heaven.

And I can’t beat these colors. Or pattern. What I may be saying is that I may be wearing this for the rest of the summer, from events and lunches to errands, to the water. What a swim set!

I did find you similar vintage swim sets below! Happy shopping!
Xo RA

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

Investment Piece: Swim Set

In a Blue Dress

Investment Piece: In a Blue Dress

The thing about blue dresses versus red dresses is that they’re a little bit unexpected. They’re a bit understated. But while they may not have the reputation of a red dress, they can still pack a punch.

What’s that saying about a blue dress? And the people who were them?

Investment Piece: In a Blue Dress
Investment Piece: In a Blue Dress

I’m not sure that I’m a devil, but I can tell you that I love being in this blue dress. Simple enough- it’s cotton (machine washable), goes great with sneakers, and makes errands fun. But it’s also elegant enough- I love the neck detail, it goes great with heels, and makes any summer event special.

I’ve even worn it on a special night out with sneakers. The possibilities in a blue dress are endless.

Investment Piece: In a Blue Dress
Investment Piece: In a Blue Dress

Maybe the color of our dresses doesn’t matter. My closet is full of black, and yet I can tell you how each piece is special, needed, and different from the others. Yet, I do truly believe in color, and try to pepper it in as much as I can. But, I would be lying to you if I didn’t admit that there are colors that I’m drawn to- red is one of them (that’s why I keep bringing it up!), but I love a good blue. And this is a good blue.

You deserve clothes and colors that make you happy. That let you be everything. And make you feel special.
Maybe it’s a blue dress for you, too?

I’ve linked this exact dress (and similar ones!) below for you!
Xo RA

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

Investment Piece: In a Blue Dress

To The Water

Investment Piece: To The Water
Investment Piece: To The Water
Investment Piece: To The Water
Investment Piece: To the Water
Investment Piece: To The Water

It’s the heat of the summer. Ok- yes- August and September (and may even October) will be hotter, but it’s hot. And it’s summer. Officially. There’s something about July. Things slow down, get hot. People travel (now that we can again), life in general seems to go on vacation. And all I can think about is getting in the water.

Last year was a year inside, and while I was grateful for my litte back yard (toddler) pool, it wasn’t enough. I got into a REAL pool for the first time in year last week, and I thought I had died and gone to heaven. For me, there’s just something about the water. It’s healing and calming and grounding- all at the same time. This year, as things get more open and I get more comfortable with that, I am yearning to be in all sorts of water, from pools to the beach. Yes, if you have access to any of that please invite me over.

Investment Piece: To the Water

This may also explain why I’m currently living in a bathing suit. If I always have one on, then I’m always ready to be in the water. Like a “if you build it, it will come”, but more of a “if you dress for it, you’ll find it”. (And also I had a habit of wearing my swim suits around, see here, here, and here for starters)

On top of all that, it’s horridly hot outside. Wearing a bikini top as a top for a light skirt is the closest I can come in public to being as lightly dressed as I would like. It’s all balance.

But if I happen to find water I can get into- all bets are off!

For the next month, I’ll be dressed in similar outfits, all swim based, all hoping that I get to be in water as soon as possible. What about you? What are you wearing?

I’ve linked this exact suit and skirt for you below!
Xo RA

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

Investment Piece: to The water
While both of these pieces are vintage, I love a great wicker bag for summer! I’ve linked some of my current faves:

Investment Piece: To Water