Getting Back Out There

a woman in a gold skirt, back top and gold shoes stands in front of a White House and a green hedge
a woman in a gold skirt, back top and gold shoes stands in front of a White House and a green hedge

I’m not the first, and I won’t be the last, to comment on how difficult – on many levels- the past few years have been. And I’m someone who likes to be at home (which I know, is surprising as I also love to dress up and go out!). **** As I as I may have enjoyed some time at home, it’s finally become time for me to start getting out there again. The process is slow, it’s surely not steady, but my need for routine, community, and a bit of fun have pushed me out of the house and into the world (and parties!).

*** Also, this is a side note that none of this post is judgment or advice on what you should be doing or how you should be getting out there. In all honesty, I feel as if I’m still getting my stamina back from a “mild” case of Covid in January. I’m still home a lot, still masking, still wary. Much of my own “getting back out there” is managing wanting to be involved in community, see friends and getting some sort of routine going while protecting myself and my loved ones.

a woman in a gold skirt, back top and gold shoes stands in front of a White House and a green hedge

For me there have been many layers to getting back out there. Beyond what we’ve all gone through, I’ve been battling fatigue since January, and since then even my at-home routine has been all over the place. It feels as if I’ve had to fight back from that, and then get out of the house. A two-step that’s not been the most graceful, but I’m getting out. Seeing friends. Going to parties (small ones).

Sometimes I’ve found myself being awkward. Two years at home will do that to the best of us.
But more surprising, at least to me, is that from gym classes to seeing friends, for the first time I’m a bit lost at what to wear. And I love a great party outfit! And clothes!

Some of my what-to-wear “issue” has been fit- I think all of us, even if you didn’t gain any panny weight may have had weight shift, or may be questioning what clothes best fit your life. Another what-to-wear issue has been that with only online socializations I’m not always sure what dress codes are. And I’m super excited to wear all the clothes I didn’t get to wear for the past few years. (And yes, this all deserves a separate and long conversation and we have some of it here).

a woman in a gold skirt and a black top standing in front of a White House and a green hedge

Getting back out there has meant experimenting. Sometimes being overdressed- and being okay with it. And enjoying being in my clothes again. This look above was for a friend’s small birthday champagne toast. Yes, I was the “fanciest”. But I couldn’t resist this metallic (both a bit floral and a bit animal) skirt paired with a corset top and my new favorite spring shoes. I felt alive in it. And like me- the woman I was before.

Perhaps getting back out there simply means that I’m working my way through outfits that feel like me and make me feel like me. What does getting back out there mean to you? And how have you been going it?

I’ve linked this outfit (similar and exact pieces) for your own getting out there!
XO RA

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

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

I want to acknowledge that Mother’s Day can be hard. We all know the reasons- maybe your relationship with your mom is hard, maybe you lost your mother, maybe you’ve had issues becoming a mother, etc. At this time of year I’m thinking of you all. And understand why this post isn’t for you. I wish there was a way I could omit posts like this one from your view if needed, I’m working on being that tech savvy for you. In meantime, I wish you peace and love this season. XO RA

InvestmentPiece: Mom's Style

Gift Guides, in general, are something that I struggle with, as I feel as if gifts are best when they are super personal. Therefore, I always feel like you always are the best source for what to get the people in your life that you love. However, I do love shopping and am a firm believer that inspiration can strike at any time. So, in that spirit, I’m sharing some of the things that I’m considering for Mom this year in the hope that it sparks an idea of something you KNOW your mom will love!

Side note: These by no means are my only ideas for Mother’s Day. Books are a great start- from the new novel she wants to read to coffee table books. Experiences are another thing I love to give, from spa days to weekends away. For moms with young children, offering to babysit and let her have time alone- or off having fun is always a hit. And of course, there are flowers, candles, etc, etc. You know what your mom will appreciate the most. Though I’m still hoping you (and she) love these ideas!

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!

Bags and Shoes
Who doesn’t love a good bag or shoe? If your mom is anything like my mom, she might not always feel comfortable splurging on herself, so Mother’s Day is the perfect day to treat her to a nice bag or pair of shoes that Mom might be hesitant to buy for herself. These are some of my faves!

Sleep Sets
This is the time of year that my mom longs to refresh her nightgowns- because it’s getting hotter, because they wear out, all of the things. Sweet slip sets and robes are a great gift for anyone you love!

Jewelry
From high end to novelty, there’s nothing like a new little bling. Mom (or the mom figures in your life!) will love these!

I have more jewelry, perfume, bag and gift options linked in my LTK profile and included in a special collection you can shop here

My mom is a huge fan of blue and white anything, crime novels, sleeveless nightgowns, and has recently renewed her love of gardening. For Mother’s Day (and this year her birthday is the day after Mother’s Day!) I’m starting there. What does your mom love?? What are you wanting for Mother’s Day?

xo RA

White Dress Season

a woman in a white dress in front of a house
a woman in a white dress in front of a house
the back of a woman in a white dress with the back cut out in front of a house

I will never get my shock one day, years and years ago, while at a football game (after Labor Day) that a guy friend of mine commented on some woman’s white pants, stating that white pants weren’t supposed to be worn after Labor Day. Not that the sentiment was shocking- I’m from the US South and that “fashion rule” is ingrained when we’re children. (We can all debate if its a “rule” that should be followed.) Another debatable point- when do we start wearing white? Is it Easter or is it Memorial Day?

a woman in a white dress in front of a house

For this argument, and because it’s what I believe, I’m going with white after Easter is the “rule”. Which makes this white dress season. Growing up, I always associated white dresses with weddings, and not much more, but as it turns out: I’m a fan of white dresses. And seasons where you can these chic, elegant and fun white dresses is a season I want to be in.

Sidenote- there are white dresses that do look a bit bridal, and I do recommend wearing those with caution. No one wants to be in a wedding dress when they’re not at a wedding, or they aren’t the bride. The good news? There are so many white dresses, and so many ways to wear them that being too bridal isn’t usually an issue. For this white dress, one of the things I LOVE about it is that while it’s elegant (and could be a wedding dress), the cut out and the drape lend it to any more formal affair. And while keeping white clean can be a challenge (the only downside!) this white dress always makes me feel chic and very stylish.

the back of a woman in a white dress in front of a house

So.If it’s white dress season (which I have decided it is) and we love a great white dress (which we clearly do), where do we wear white dresses? How do we celebrate white dress season?

Cocktail parties, picnics, bbqs (a bit of a bold move), dinner parties, errands, brunches, house parties, dates, and any places that may need a bit of chic-ness. While white dresses can vary from casual to more formal, my only tip is to make sure that the white dress you love is thick enough or lined to not show through.

Wearing white feels both bold and calming. Dresses like this one always make me feel a bit elevated. What does white dress season make you feel? And what white dresses do you wear?

I’ve linked some of my faves for your shopping pleasure 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!

Sunday Chronicles: Rest

Investment Piece, fashion blogger, pjs, bed, pj dressing, Zara, CA, TX

Does anyone else have an issue with rest? I don’t necessarily mean falling asleep (though that’s an issue too), but the actual resting. The funny thing is that I know that rest is an important part of any creative endeavor, and always needed. Join a gym? Start training? They will tell you the importance of rest days, that rest actually helps you become stronger, more fit, and helps you achieve your goals faster. I know all of this. So, why do I have problems resting?

Perhaps it’s that I feel like I have so much to do that taking any time off is putting me behind. Or perhaps it’s that I worry that rest isn’t productive, even though I know it is. How do you convince yourself that rest is important and how do you let yourself rest?

I’ve been thinking about rest a lot recently, probably because I’m at a point where I need some. Lately I’ve been transitioning from one (day) job to some new opportunities, trying to recover from some health set backs, and keep on top of everything. From feeling burnt out to overtired to knowing I need some time off, I’ve been there in the past few weeks. And yet, simply taking a few days off has felt completely undoable.

Yet, because I know I need rest- because I know rest would behoove my creative process, my fashion, and what we’re building here- rest has been hard for me to give me. I’ve let myself sleep in (which is so weird when you’re not young!), I’ve let myself play around all day, I’ve let myself nap and lay down. And yet- I still worry about all that I have to do- so my rest isn’t feeling restful.

In all honesty, I’m looking for suggestions. How do you let yourself rest? How do you let go of all the things you should be doing and just relax? Social media will make self care seem like it’s all face masks and rose, but when you need rest, how do you get it? Especially when you need more than a face mask and a glass of rose?

I’ve been taking it a day at a time, not looking too far ahead as that’s overwhelming right now. I’m doing what I can, letting myself have some down time each day, and attempting to be easy on myself when I do all that I can do. I’m trusting that little by little the rest will come- and I may even break down and take a few days completely off. But anything you can recommend I’m all ears!

Wishing us all a week of rest and amazing shoes! XO RA

Sun and Shade

Investment Piece: Sun and Shade
Investment Piece: Sun and Shade
Investment Piece: Sun and Shade

Dressing at this time of year is always a crap shoot. It’s technically winter, but it’s beginning to feel like spring, or depending on where you are- summer. (We had 7 degree weather the other week, yesterday it was 85! 85!) In the sun- it’s so warm and the less you can wear (chicly) the better. The shade? I freeze. And the wind? Don’t get me started.

So. What do we wear to manage both the sun and the shade? To be both cool and warm in- chic is a given.

Also- an aside-what are you wearing to work in from home a year later? I’m bored of sweats and yoga pants (don’t worry, I’m still in both), so I’m playing with getting dressed every day. Yes, it can be a struggle. So simple dresses like this are becoming my go-to (and I’ve always been a dress woman!) but- if you have a magic outfit I would love to hear about it!

Investment Piece: Sun and Shade
Investment Piece: Sun and Shade
Investment Piece: Sun and Shade

Both sun and shade I care about details. These shoulder pads (have I mentioned that everything comes back around? This is a vintage Valentino dress, but it reads very modern), the kick pleats, the mock pockets!

(Super aside- I read somewhere recently that women’s clothes lost their pockets about the 16th century when it was thought that women might carry spells and such in their pockets! We may have to discuss this more at length, but, I have no clue what spell this pocket would be big enough to hold- maybe that’s the magic!)

And these shoes are my new go-to, and perfect for balancing the sun and shade. Part loafer, part mule, slip on but not heavy. I bought them on a whim (thinking I would hate how big they are). Jokes on me as I LOVE them- and can’t help but pair them with everything.

Even in-between work dresses.

Investment Piece: Sun and Shade

This dress is wool and will be too hot to wear in a few weeks. And yet, the cap sleeve made it too cool to wear a few weeks ago. The balance between sun and shade. In a dress. Maybe the only thing left to decide is how many times I can get away with wearing this number in the next week or two?

As I’ve mentioned, this dress is vintage Valentino, but I’ve found you similar cream wool dresses, and linked these shoes, for your sun and shade shopping 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: Sun and Shade

Where to Shop: autark

Investment Piece: Autark

Last year, at Austin Fashion Week, I had the great pleasure of meeting and falling in love with autark, and it’s designer/owner Sophia McMahon. From puff sleeve dresses and tops, to the ethical and slow approach, the pieces in each collection of Autark are just dreamy, and make me feel sophisticated and the little girl in me LOVES twirling in them! Sophia is charming, and we both love our cats and “Law and Order”, and I knew that I wanted to share my love of Sophia’s autark with you!

Investment Piece: Autark
Investment Piece: Where to Shop Autark

I got the chance to sit with Sophia and learn a bit about her brand, her story, and where she wants to take us with her fashion:

IP: What drew you to fashion design? How did you get started?

I was always interested in design, but a lot more academically focussed while I was at school. After I finished school and went to university, I worked for a couple of years in a completely different career – I enjoyed it but didn’t feel challenged. After taking some time to consider my career direction, I decided to take a leap and pursue the interest I’d always had, but felt a little to afraid to chase after. I enrolled at TAFE here in South Australia, and started autark straight after graduating in 2016.

How would you describe Autark’s mission? Who do you design for?

My mission is quite lofty – it’s to change the way that consumers think about their clothing. Firstly, I want people to think differently about the clothes they buy – what clothes they purchase and how often, how they care for the clothes that they own, and what they do with them at the end of the life of the clothing. My wish for customers is that they don’t feel the pressure of purchasing more often, that they buy well made, beautiful pieces that they can wear much more frequently, but that last for a long time.

Secondly, I want people to know that slow fashion can be fun, light and fashion forward! The aim for my pieces is that they are versatile and classic, yet with a design perspective or point of interest.

I design for women of all ages, who are interested in fashion and design, ethics, and who know their own mind. I absolutely adore seeing customers in autark pieces – it really gives me a buzz like nothing else.

Investment Piece: Autark

I know that your line is Eco-friendly. What processes do you use to get your line that way?

I am so proud of our progress in the way that we approach limiting our impact in as many different areas of our process as possible.

All of our pieces are still made here in Adelaide, Australia, which is wonderful – it’s fantastic being able to build relationships with our manufacturers and see their beautiful work in real time. We are also really excited that our next collection will be made entirely from deadstock fabric, which is fabric that was not utilised by its previous owner. And of course, all fabric continues to be 100% natural fibres.

For the future we are focussing on further refining our processes particularly in regards to the sustainability of our practices, and will be exploring different ways of processing our fabric offcuts, as well as the kinds of finishings we use for our pieces. It’s something that we work to improve on a continuous basis.

Take us through the Autark process-design, manufacturing, etc.

We are currently producing one collection per year, so throughout the year I collate inspiration and design ideas. I’ll then start sourcing fabrics and try to match fabric and design ideas together. Next comes the sampling, to see how the fabrics work with the designs, which then flows on to production.

There is a lot of problem solving at every step of the way, but it keeps me on my toes!

Investment Piece: Autark

If someone was to buy just one piece from your line, what would you recommend? What would you say is your signature piece?

That’s a really tricky one to answer! Can I say an outfit? Probably the Puff Sleeve Bodice and High Waisted Pant. I just adore this outfit – to me it epitomises what I am trying to achieve with the label. Two classic pieces that can be put together as one statement outfit, which can then be broken apart to be dressed up or down. I love this outfit with heels, or sneakers, the pant with a t-shirt, and the bodice with jeans. The possibilities are practically endless!

I know the fashion community in Australia is supportive and welcoming. Is there anything you’d love people to know about it?

I’m so proud of our local industry here in Adelaide, and as a greater whole in Australia. There is so much talent here, and in my opinion a really unique, fresh and easy design perspective. The Adelaide community in particular is creative, proactive and energetic, and I feel privileged to be a part of it.

Investment Piece: where to shop Autark

My favorite pieces from Autark are also the puff sleeve pieces! (You can shop the dress and top) I urge to explore all the collections at autark. The collections are so beautiful, classic, and charming! Sophia, autark, and Australia are things I love, and this month a portion of proceeds from Autark will be donated to the wildfire relief in Australia, so we can all feel great about shopping!

I hope that you love Sophia and autark as much as I do, happy shopping!
Xo RA

Dino Casual

investment Piece, fashion, blogger, high fashion, fashion stories, blogger, Dino causal
Investment Piece, fashion, blogger, high fashion, fashion stories, Dino causal
Investment Piece, fashion, blogger, high fashion, fashion stories,

The thing about me is that I do fancy (for some reason) much more easily than I do causal. Perhaps it’s that I try too hard, or maybe I just love a party dress too much- but I can over think jeans and a tee shirt see here. And yes, everything I laid out then is still true, for some reason party dresses, pants, looks, etc come easy to me. I wear casual looks every day- from work out gear (which sometimes I don’t ever change out of) to jeans- but I have a much harder time styling and shooting those looks.

Another way I try to explain this to everyone is that I do extremes well- I can go big or I dress as if I should stay at home. The in betweens? I always feel like I should do something more with them.

However, maybe it’s because it’s a Monday after a holiday and I’m tired, or maybe because the past few years just putting on jeans and a tee has felt like dressing UP, I’m becoming more and more curious about the in-betweens. Playing with just jeans and a tee, showing you some of my day- to-day style. Not that I will EVER stop buying and shooting party dresses (I can’t), but I’m into a bit more casual.

A close up of a woman in a dino printed button down and jeans in front of a white fence
a woman in a Dino printed button down and jeans with cream platform sandals on in front of a white fence

This is my version of casual. Great jeans and great shoes. And because I can’t resist a little something- a fun print.

Another weird thing about me? I love dinosaurs.Like little kid love them. I get excited when I see them and can’t help but want all the Dino things. And I also wear dinos- from sweat pants to button downs. My best tip for Dino fashion purchase? The kids section of Target. As in, yes- that’s a shirt from the little boy’s section (my best tip is that often the kids’ XL is perfect sizing. I highly recommend! If nothing else, it gives you another place to play with your style).

Do dinos (or any graphic that speaks to you) count as casual? Why or why not? And does this count as casual if I simply adore these shoes and think they’re special (as well as what I want to wear all summer)? I’m not sure. But I know this is how I’m doing casual, and it feels like it’s right. Perfect for a casual workday or dinner, and great for the fancy kind of errands.

a woman in a Dino print shirt and jeans with sandals in front of a white fence

How do you do casual? What are your go-tos? And how do you combat the need to make it all a bit special (or is that just me)?

Below I’ve linked the details to this outfit. I can’t wait to hear about your casual dinos and more!
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!

woman in Dino print button down and jeans in front of a white fencen

Happy Easter and Passover!

close up of a chic hat with black and white polka dotted bunny ears

Beloveds! This weekend is both the beginning of Passover and Easter. If you’re celebrating, I hope that your celebrations are full of people (and food you love!). If you’re not celebrating, I hope that this weekend is restful- and still full of things you love. I’m taking the day to be with family and celebrate the holiday- we’ll be back tomorrow with fresh fashion!

Happy Holidays!
XOXO
RA

Styling Spring Caftans

a woman in a silk sheer caftan with orange and blue flowers on it stands in front of a blooming tree and a White House
a woman in a silk sheer caftan with orange and blue flowers on it stands in front of a blooming tree and a White House
a woman in a silk sheer caftan with orange and blue flowers on it stands in front of a blooming tree and a White House

I have a thing for caftans -see here, here, and here for starters. There is something so chic about caftans to me- very Palm Springs, very “oh I just threw this on but look like a movie star”, very “I’m so fabulous I don’t have to try”. You may think of caftans as more “grandma chic” (I get it, I thought I would get into caftans as I aged), but truly, caftans aren’t for the old, nor do they make you look old. They’re simply chic. And once I got into caftans, I just can’t help but want to wear them to everything.

And beyond that, caftans are very forgiving, meaning at any spring celebration you can eat and drink your heart out and still feel comfy in your outfit. An important feature in my book!

a woman in a sheer caftan with orange and blue flowers on it stands in front of a blooming tree and a white house

I started wearing caftans regularly during the Covid lockdowns. Over on Instagram (@racheladelicia) I started a weekly series called “Cocktails and Caftans” where I would learn (or show off my skills) a new cocktail and wear a fabulous caftan. The idea was a virtual happy hour at home and an excuse to “dress up”, while still wearing comfortable “lounge-ish” outfits. Who knew that it would start me wearing caftans all the time?

For all the above reasons, and because-to me at least- caftans are special. They border ease and glamour so effortlessly- even styling them is a breeze. Most caftans don’t need much. A pair of shoes (and everything from flat sandals to your highest platforms go). Sometimes some jewelry. With this caftan I lucked out (it’s from Pickled Vintage, one of my faves), the sleeves and the yoke are beaded, it’s sheer and the print is so festive, all it really needs is a pair of great heels to make it party ready. These are my beloved Sarah Flints, and you can get $50 off your own pair with the code SARAHFLINT-BAINVESTMENTPIECE.

Originally, I got this caftan as an option to wear to a cousin’s wedding- but I don’t think I can wait that long!

a woman in a sheer caftan with orange and blue flowers on it stands in front of a blooming tree and a white house
a woman in a sheer caftan with orange and blue flowers on it stands in front of a blooming tree and a white house

What’s something that you can’t help but come back to over and over? Most of us would say jeans, sundresses, etc- but it’s becoming increasingly clear to me that caftans are on my list. And why not? From weddings to simply hanging out in your back yard, there’s a caftan for that. They make you feel easily glam, no matter the occasion and go with almost any shoe. When I show up in a caftan, please don’t be surprised- but I hope you’ll be in one too!

I highly recommend vintage caftans (and Pickled Vintage!) but I’ve also rounded up some of my favorite modern caftans for you below!

Happy Caftan season!
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!

a woman in a sheer caftan with orange and blue flowers on it stands in front of a blooming tree and a white house

April Showers

woman in a checked dress and rain boots looks for rain in a green garden
a woman in a checked dress and rain boots checking for rain in a green garden surrounded by a fence and a white wall

What do you wear when it’s rainy? I know, I know- we’re not supposed to let the weather dictate our clothes- but we kinda do. When it’s cold do we not dress for it? In the warmer temps you aren’t reaching for wool. So, it makes sense that when it rains, it would affect what we wear. And yes, as a shoe lover, I’m mainly thinking of April showers affecting footwear choices. We don’t want special shoes getting ruined by a rainy afternoon!

a woman in a checked dress and rain boots in a green garden

If you’re looking to keep great shoes great and not dry, I know that the easy answer is to simply wear rain boots when it rains. I knew that answer- I’ll be honest my hesitation about rain boots is that they have not always been cute in the past (more on that below). And, when wearing rain boots, do you plan your outfit around them? Just wear rain boots with anything? Change into your “real” shoes for the day when you’re inside and out of the rain?

Rain boots might be the answer to April Showers, but I was still left with questions.

a woman in a checked dress and rain boots checks for rain in a green garden

All those questions? This how I’ve started to answer them:

Remember just a few sentences ago, when I said that rain boots aren’t always cute. Sometimes that’s true, but sometimes it’s not. Lately, especially, rain boots are chic, in all styles and all colors. And not just if you like a bigger boot (which I’m slowly loving lug sole boots with dresses, it’s taken a minute but the juxtaposition is growing on me!). Rain boots can be a chic shoe (some are too cute to wait for water!) so–I’m planning outfits around rain boots. Short ones, tall ones, black ones, purple ones. I’m also planning outfits around boots that are right on the border of being a rain boot (aka not a traditional rain boot but waterproof). It’s made rain days easier, and chicer.

(Note: when there is a more black tie affair I change my shoes when needed or look for a waterproof heel, but that’s a different post!)

a woman in a checked dress and rain boots checks for rain in a green garden

What’s your strategy for dealing with a rainy day? How does it affect your fashion choices? Below, I’ve linked some of my favorite current rain boots- I can’t wait to see how you style them!

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!