Leopards Gone Wild

Investment Piece: Leopards Gone Wild
Investment Piece: Leopards in the Wild
Investment Piece: Leopards in the Wild

If leopard is a neutral, why do I sometimes wear it as a statement? Sometimes, I find myself going wild with things that are true neutrals (yes, in general I think leopard is- but these pants! So subtle! And on top of that, they’re so soft!) and then questioning myself. Can something be both a basic and a statement? A neutral and wild?

I know, some of this depends on the outfit- and the day. There are days when I’m big and bold, I can take up all the space. And, days when I’m more quiet, more to myself, when my space is incredibly personal and not something I share. Neither of those descriptions have even touched on my outfits (that not only change daily, but sometimes hourly). If I can hold all those multitudes why not my outfits? Why can’t leopards both go wild and be subtle?

Investment Piece: Leopards gone wild

Really, this is a simple, easy outfit. These pants are corduroy, soft, draw string, and just this side of being sweats. The leopard print is just there, barely. A simple sweater and chic clogs? It’s just a fall outfit- for errands or work or meetings or lunch or your day. But. On what felt like it might be the last warm, super green day of the fall (you know, the one right before the weather turns for good), I couldn’t help but use this outfit to make a statement. In the wild. No retouching, just my garden in its last hoorah (that vine is a pumpkin plant that I planted “accidentally” aka put out pumpkins last year and this year I have a plant!) and basic plants with a statement to make.

If these leopards can go wild, what can we do today?

Investment Piece: Leopards gone wild
Investment Piece: Leopards gone Wild

What does it mean to be both a statement and a neutral? Could it mean that you speak up when it’s needed and let things be when you don’t need to meddle? Perhaps, it means that you can adapt and fit in anywhere- even when fitting in means you pop.

It’s Monday, and you may need to go wild. Or, maybe you need to stay basic. Whatever you need I hope you find it today and I hope your outfit is superb!

I’ve linked these pants for your wildness 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: Leopards in the Wild

Gift Guide: Friends and Family

In my effort to update how I do gift guides, and make them much more personal (the best kind of gifts IMO) I took some time to ask the people I love not only what’s on their current wish lists, but what type of gifts they love. The answers were a bit surprising, especially with my girlfriends. The past few years most of my friends and I have stopped exchanging gifts, instead opting for a big night out and calling it our gift to each other. (Obviously the pandemic changed that) Learning what things my friends might love has not only been eye-opening, it’s been fun. I clearly love shopping, but I also love shopping for other people as I feel there is nothing quite as satisfying as finding something someone you care about will love- and being right! Below, I’ve rounded up suggestions from my family and friends, what they love and what they need. I hope that these suggestions help you shop for people you love!

The best gifts, in my opinion, are those that make the receiver feel seen and loved. If there is nothing here to spark ideas for your friends and family, my best advice is to ask them- maybe their answers will be eye-opening and fun too!

Xo RA

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

Family
Am I the only one who thinks that shopping for your parents is difficult? My parents seem to have everything they need, and in the past few years have asked my sister and I to hold off on most gifts as they’re at the stage where they are thinking of downsizing. In other words, getting gift ideas out of them was hard! But I did it- my mom is looking for cozy robes (and loves stripes!), my dad wants to add to his baking collection (a hobby he’s taken up in retirement), and they both love fancy mop vacs! Here are some things they love:

My sister and I are alike, and vastly different. She also loves clothes and shoes, but also loves to bake (like my dad) and LOVES bags (I love bags but she puts me to shame). From cookbooks to Kate Spade Bags, these are a few things on her list:

Friends
As I mentioned, before the pandemic most of my “gifts” to friends were nice dinners where we got to spend time together and had an excuse to treat ourselves! Things have changed, and what I’m sending my friends (and what they want!) have changed too! Below are a few things I’m gifting, and a few things on various friend’s lists!

Investment Piece: Estelle Colored Glass

I got a pair of the most beautiful colored glass champagne coupes- and I’ve been obsessed with the company ever since! These are Estelle Colored Glass (inspired by the founder’s grandma and oh-so-chic). There a ton of colors and styles, and these have become my go-to gifts!
Shop my picks: here

Investment Piece: Holiday Ornaments
One of my girlfriends collects Starbucks mugs from every place she travels too, and while she loves doing that herself, she let me know that a special gift to her is an ornament. She loves having something to remember each year, friend, event. Knowing what your friends love may help in your ornament shopping, but I love these gilded ones with a little something for everyone.
Shop my picks here

Of course friends let me know that they love things like lipsticks and FaceMasks, nice scarfs and gloves; but something that lasted with me is how many friends told me they love getting things that they wouldn’t buy for themselves. Not in the “it’s too expensive way”, but more in the “I wouldn’t think of how this piece would change my life” way. Things in that category varied from pjs to kitchen appliances to beauty tools, but more that one person told me that luggage was on the list. That so many of us don’t think of updating our luggage, but it makes for a great gift!

Investment Piece: for the traveler
Keeping that in mind, I rounded up some luggage and travel accersories I love! Shop them here

Over on the ShopLTK app (follow me @racheladelicia) I have so many more ideas- beauty and lipsticks, jewelry and accessories, for him and her- and I’m adding more gift guides daily. I hope that these ideas have helped you shop for the people you love!
Xo RA

The History

Investment Piece: Aunt's Coat
Investment Piece: Aunt's Coat
Investment Piece: Aunt's Coat

My closet is a mix. Vintage, modern. Designer, non brand. High, low. And while I don’t know that I have favorites (or if I do they change all the time), I love it when I know the stories of a clothing item. Stories are what I base my outfits on (if we’re honest, I think we all base a LOT on stories), so when I know where something comes from, what’s it’s been through, what it’s lived- it brings me joy.

This coat is my Aunt’s. Now it’s mine, but I know it’s history, who gave it to her, where it’s been (Dallas to Houston to Denver to me), how she wore it, and what it held for her. Yes, it’s a great coat without all of that- the suede, the low waist, the button detail, the way it’s a bit neutral and a bit statement; however, knowing its history helps me write its future.

I know that there’s a low belt missing, and while I could replace it, I know that it works both as a dress or a coat without it. Knowing the history means my aunt warned me that this stunner of a coat has a tendency to rub off on lighter colored clothes (so to watch what I wear underneath). The little imperfections? I’m aware of what caused them, and that makes it all a bit more special.

Investment Piece: The History
Investment Piece: The History
Investment Piece: The History

It’s not that I need a piece’s history to style it. No matter what I know about this coat, I know it will be so mod over a short skirt, chic over a long dress or skirt, perfect by itsself, and go great over jeans (I’ve thrown it on over sweats for an early am errand and it was heaven!). But. Knowing how’s it’s been styled does give me jumping off point. If there are ways it doesn’t work (like I already know it needs a slip under if it’s being worn as a dress because of gaps) I’m prepared.
So, now I get to make new looks and new stories, make this coat my own.

Do you like knowing the history of pieces you own? Adding to it? Or do you like brand new pieces to make your own history in?

All of the pieces in this outfit are from past seasons (or my Aunt’s closet), but I’ve found you similar and have linked them 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: The History

Fashion Stories: Thanksgiving

This year the holidays may be a mixed bag! And that’s not a bad thing!Staying home to stay safe is not bad! First off, it means that you can be in your pjs (luxe or not!) if that’s what makes you happy. Or, if you love it, you can dress to the nines. My go to? Combine the two! Wear a luxe nightgown with a fancy jacket (yes, even alone) or cardigan.

Or maybe you’re heading back out into the wild! Does this change much? I’ve been to Friendsgivings that were explicit that we were to wear sweats, family gatherings there were a bit fancy, and the dinners (or lunches) that are in between.

This year? I’m undecided what to wear, I’ll be with the family, but as of publication our plans are TBD. As it is a holiday, and an excuse to go all out, I’m leaning towards dressing up (just because!).

I would love to know: what are you wearing for Thanksgiving?
Xo RA

Cape it Off

Investment Piece: Cape it Off
Investment Piece: Cape it Off
Investment Piece: Cape it Off
Investment Piece: Cape it Off

As we move into the holiday season, statement pieces will become prominent- and I have no problem with that. We know I love a good party dress (and look) and am unafraid to standout. And yet, as we move into the holiday season, I also have a tendency to want to dress as easy as possible. I truly have 2 modes- I’m either VERY dressed up or I’m in workout leggings or sweats VERY casual. While I constantly work to find my middle, during the holiday season (with the statement and party) looks, I have a weird desire to marry the 2 sides of myself in one amazing outfit. (Aka I want an outfit that looks like a party and feels like my pjs)

Capes. Capes are the answer (for me). I have a thing for capes – see here, here, and the ultimate statement cape here. Through the years, I’ve worn capes as coats, tops, dresses, and as statements. The great thing about a cape is that as much as it’s a statement, capes are easy. As fancy as they can be, you simply put them on (even over your workout gear) and go.

Investment Piece: Cape it Off
Investment Piece: Cape it off

This latest addition to my cape collection is a fringed vintage number (look closely: it even has an attached pouch for carrying lipsticks or secrets). I mentioned here that this holiday season is already seeming like a lot. And it is. In the past few days, I’ve had events, work, a lot of housework, deadlines, volunteer shifts, and social engagements. As much as I love a party look, running from thing to thing is tiring (especially when we keep messing with the clocks!). My saving grace? A piece that I can put on, that lets me look as dressed up as I need to, but is simple.

We shot this in between Pilates and a trunk show. Yes, this cape is truly over my workout leggings and a turtleneck. My hair is coming out of its bun, I’m sure my lipstick is smeared- but when you cape it off, those things don’t seem as noticeable. Everyone just focuses on your cape (which lets you get away with a lot, maybe that’s the secret!). Add a pair of shoes that walk the line between slippers and loafers, and you’re ready to holiday. Or run errands. Or whatever it is that your day needs you to do.

Do you love capes as much as I do? What’s your go-to when you need a statement outfit but want to feel relaxed? Or have to run from the gym to a holiday event?

While this cape is vintage (via Recess LA), I’ve found you similar and linked them 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: Cape it Off

In Defense of Gift Cards

Investment Piece: A Merry Little Christmas

Every year, I debate about whether or not to include gift cards (or my very impassioned defense of gift cards) in any of my discussions about gift giving and guides. People have opinions about gift cards.
For example:
Some of my family member think like that- hating to give cash or gift cards. And I have friends who think that gift cards are a lazy gift that show that you don’t care.

Beloveds, those people are wrong. I love gifts! And I love buying gifts for people! But, there’s nothing wrong with a gift card-in fact it’s one of the best gifts to get (in my opinion), which is why I keep including this discussion. The short of it of it is that so much of what I truly want, and don’t buy myself, is expensive. And gift cards are a way to “get” what I want from my loved ones, without blowing anyone’s budget. The long of it:

Gift cards usually come in a couple of different ways- a gift card to a store/spa/gym/restaurant that someone knows you love, or one of those “Visa” gift cards, which are basically just money. I love them both.

It’s one of my favorite things when someone pays attention enough to me to pick out something I love. But I also love the freedom and trust that comes when someone gives you the ability to buy yourself something or treat yourself to an experience. Even with wish lists, sharing with people what we love, we all have things that we’d rather just pick out ourselves, and a gift card lets you get yourself something guilt free.

Gift cards are a way to give someone a “thing”, but also freedom and trust. A way to let your loved ones indulge how and when they want to, they’re the gift that keeps giving.

Gift cards are also a way to let your loved ones think of you at least twice- when they get the card and when they use it!

I understand the hesitation to give gift cards, but I truly love them. They are a way to help someone save for something, get something personal, try something new, or just let them shop (which we all know I love!). There has never been a time when I got a gift card and hated it. I think they’re personal and thoughtful and all the best kinds of gifts. And this year (again!) gift cards to favorite small businesses and restuarants are incredibly great to give and get! Actually, with the supply chain issues, gift cards might be the best thing to give.

Think about the gift card. Don’t be afraid to give the gift card. It may just be the most thoughtful gift!

In the coming weeks, I’ll be sharing gift guides based on what my family and friends want, and also a luxe gift guide (made of all the FANTASTIC things that may be a little bit of reach, but why shouldn’t we wish for all of that?). Maybe a gift card would satisfy all those lists!

Happy Gifting!
XO RA

Keeping it Simple

Investment Piece: Keeping It Simple
Investment Piece: Keeping It Simple
Investment Piece: Keeping It Simple

We’re heading into a time of year that always seems overwhelming. Overdone. Over a lot. In the 24 hrs from Halloween to November (and really before! This year is worse with supply chain issues), we go VERY quickly into “uber” Holdiay mode. You may feel it-and may not know how to dress. And while I’m never one to say not to a party dress, there’s something that makes my life easier during this time of year.
Keeping it simple.
I know in terms of schedules and gifts (?) that can be hard. And in terms of feelings of pressure, expectations, and hopes and disappoints, I can’t help. Where I can help in keeping it simple?
Your outfit.
A simple midi (or maxi!) slip dress (they are so easy to dress up or down and go with anything!), a leather blazer (a must. They add so much to any work look, party look, over coat look, etc), and a great heel (I’m partial to my Sarah Flint perfect sandals, the arch support alone! Use code SARAHFLINT-BAINVESTMENTPIECE for $50 off your first pair!). I happen to add a vintage fur muff- but any holiday clutch will do. I promise this simple formula will never steer you wrong , will never leave you wanting, and will always keep it simple- do you can focus on all the other aspects of the holiday!

Investment Piece: KEeping it Simple
Investment Piece: Keeping It Simple
Investment Piece: Keeping It simple

Are you surprised that I’m keeping it simple? Don’t worry, there are a ton of party dresses and looks headed your way. But the thing is, I don’t know that party and simple are opposites. As we head into this time of year, it’s important to have outfits in your pocket (or muff!) that make you feel confident. That are easy. The easy kind that don’t look easy(in the they look great way, not in the over complicated way).
That’s what this look is- and it’s a formula that’s custizable for any occasion (work, party, etc). Most importantly it can keep your holiday simple, so that you can focus on what’s important- like the people around you.

How are you keeping it simple this holiday? What are you wearing?
I’ve linked options for this exact outfit (for parties or work or more!) 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!

If you love these shoes (and I do!) shop Sarah Flint and use code SARAHFLINT-BAINVESTMENTPIECE for $50 off!

Investment Piece: Keeping It Simple

Holiday Dressing

We know that I love a good party dress- I’ve never met one I didn’t like! So as we move into the holiday season, I’m beginning to think about holiday dressing. What does it really meant to dress holidays? Why does it bring me so much joy? What is needed to dress joyfully- because I know it’s not just holiday dresses? And if you don’t necessarily need a holiday dress (or even a holiday suit or jumpsuit), what do you need for holiday dressing?

We’re going to be chatting about it all season. To start, an overview of my holiday dress collection (this is just a fraction!) and an overview of holiday dressing!

What does holiday dressing meant to you? Below I’m linking some dresses that I’m loving this holiday 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!

Trying It On

Investment Piece: Trying It On
Investment Piece: Trying It On
Investment Piece: Trying It On

Remember when we chatted about fall trends here and about lug sole boots here? Well. I decided to try them on.

Which really means that I got a sweater vest dress (aka knit dress, which I highly recommend) and some lug sole boots (these happen to be vintage and wedge. If you know me, these boots wouldn’t be my first run to, but it turns out that I highly recommend them as well!).

So. How do you know what to try on? How do you know what to keep on and what to take off?

Investment Piece: Trying It On
Investment Piece: Trying It On

For me, this choice was a tad bit easy. I love sweater vests (I have no idea if that makes me trendy or preppy), so a knit dress (which I also love) as a sweater vest? That’s a no brainier. Of course I had to try it on, and of course I had to keep it. Lug sole boots? That was a much tougher call. I remember the 1990s (so, yes, when we call them vintage it does personally hurt), and I’ve been wary about any “trend” from that time period that “came” back. Also- I always thought that lug sole was a bit too clunky- aka would make my feet look bigger- for me. It turns out? I was wrong. Lug sole (again, these are “vintage” from Etsy) are actually fun. And perfect for the season! Where I am, fall means a little (lot) bit of rain, and these boots made me feel confident walking through it.

Trends can be difficult to wade through (pun intended). My best advice is to go towards ones that are similar to what you already love. Try what you’re curious about. Try what you’ve loved on others. And perhaps, try a bit, even if it’s outside your comfort zone. It turns out that there are trends out there worth trying on. For me, it was these. What trends have you been trying on this season?

Investment Piece: Trying It On

Below I’ve linked both this exact dress (with a slip under!) and current lug sole boots I’m loving. If you try them on I would love to know about it!
XO RA

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

Investment Piece: Trying it on

Sunday Chronicles: Halloween Costumes (FAIL)

Investment Piece: FAshion Halloween

We know that I love Halloween. Or as I call it, Fashion Halloween. Getting together a costume, making it a bit high fashion, shooting it- I love every minute of it.

This year, I had grand plans- but what’s that saying? The best laid plans….or the way to make God laugh is tell him your plans. Either way, my best fashion Halloween plans have been more like a Halloween costume fail.

Investment Piece: Halloween Costume Fail

My big plan this year? Get the kitten in on my costume (there may be some truth to the warning that animals and small children will always upstage you). I was going to get my little kitten in a dinosaur head gear, and I was going to be a Dinsoaur hunter (aka sarfari chic).

However, someone said “hard pass” to their costume.

Investment Piece: Halloween Costumes Fail

Cartier, my cat, wouldn’t put on the costume at all. She’d play with it (till she ignored it), but try to put it on and she would bite and scratch.
So, I scrapped that plan (though you could argue that she was just getting into character). Instead, I thought that both Cartier and I could be princesses (I have a whole closet section of party dresses and some of them could be very Princess!)

And yet…
Investment Piece: Halloween costume fail

The dinosaur went over better. Cartier wouldn’t even come near her crown. (Until after I stopped trying to shoot anything when she decided to play with the cord).

Part of this has been my fault, this year I waited till the last minute to do our costumes, I was so excited about them, I didn’t even stop to think that they might not work! With Cartier deciding she was out, I had to choose- scrape it all or go it alone. And mind you, I had less than a day.

Investment Piece: I put a spell on you

When you’re on deadline,you do what you can with what you have. My Halloween costume plans had failed- but luckily I always have a backup. This “bad witch” shirt is one of my faves. Paired with a devil’s horn headband? Last minute costume. Cartier? She can be one of my little imps (no headdress required).

Next year, will not be a fail (I’m already planning and ordering!). In the meantime, this bad witch is excited about welcoming trick-or-treaters tonight, and watching Hocus Pocus. However, you’re celebrating and no matter your costume, Happy Halloween!

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