Waiting on Rebel…

Hi All!!Thank you for your prayers and vibes and everything- Rebel made it home!! We are currently catching up on pets and treats and cuddles and wet food. And re-thinking our policy on feeding outdoor cats/letting him see them! I truly appreciate all your great thoughts- as I know it helped my handsome prince get home!
XO RA

fashion, blogger, high fashion, fashion stories, crazy cat lady

As some of you know: I’m the most reluctant cat mom that ever was. But, like anything else – once I’m in, I’m all in. This summer I brought in a reformed feral cat Rebel- and he and I bonded intensely. Lately, a new neighborhood cat has been coming around – and Rebel has had his guard and protection mode up. Yesterday morning, he escaped the house trying to chase this cat away. At the time of writing he still isn’t home. To say I’m beside myself is an understatement.

I know- there should be new content and I should have a brave face on. I’ve spent the past day in sweats, sobbing, searching and waiting for Rebel to come home. Cool? No. Real life? Yes.

On Wednesday we’ll chat fashion stories and get dressed. But for now, if you could send heading home vibes to Rebel this all in cat momma would appreciate it.

Xo RA

Ex-Files: The One Who Wouldn’t Take No

Investment Piece: Ex Files

An Update to this Ex Files? Bob recently showed back up. He “had such a great time the last time he saw me” and wanted to see me again. He was going to be in my neck of the woods and would love to grab a drink, etc- and while I meant to respond – I forgot. Completely. And once I realized I ghosted Bob (which I get is bad)- a peace came over me. Why waste time explaining no to someone who doesn’t get it? Why put yourself in that position? So:

Loves! It’s here! In my ultimate attempt to become Carrie Bradshaw, and satisfy my friends’ need to hear my awful dating stories (and sadly, there are a lot), we give you: Ex Files, dating horror stories. Yes, these stories really happened, yes, names/dates/places have been changed to protect those involved, and yes, if you wanted to be remembered well, behave better.

This post is a little hard to read, think about, or discuss. I’m not an expert, nor do I pretend to be. Should we have a conversation about toxic behavior? Yes. Are “nice guys” bad? Not necessarily, but loves, if you’re a nice guy who thinks that being nice entitles you to certain behavior from women: you’re not a nice guy. If you have been assaulted, please speak up, seek help if you need it, and do what you need to do to take care of you. And with all of these warnings, I give you:

The One Who Wouldn’t Take No

There was a man, let’s call him Bob, who was interested in me. Now, for part of our friendship I had no clue that he was interested, as we were just friends. And not close friends, but say hi to friends. Bob and I went to college together, and while we knew each other there, we were never close. As with most friendships that are casual and fleeting, the only contact we had for years was Facebook. And even that was casual. Bob was a nice, kind guy, but not for me. Beyond that, I never thought about him that way as we never went much further than pleasantries.

About a year ago, Bob and I ran into each other at some alumni events, grabbed a coffee, grabbed a drink. But again, I thought nothing of it and wasn’t interested in anything more. Bob asked me to dinner one time, supposedly to chat about work; but at the table Bob’s interest in me as something more than a friend came up. I politely let him know that I was seeing someone, and wasn’t interested in him. I thought that the matter was handled.

It wasn’t.

Over the next few months, Bob would reach out constantly via text and email. Just to chat. To try to make plans. To let me know that he was thinking about me. I was polite, engaged when necessary, but let him know repeatedly that my feelings had not changed. I truly though that Bob was harmless: he was nice, he prided himself on nice, I just thought that he was a bit awkward at dating. However, at some point Bob’s behavior began to go from “nice” to “not nice”. Bob told me repeatedly he was nice, and he was. However, Bob was under the impression that I owed him something for his niceness; that every compliment or gesture entitled Bob to something. Not only is that off putting and untrue, it made me avoid Bob.

Things came to a head when Bob asked me out, and I said no, as I already had plans. While this would have been the end of it in most circumstances, it wasn’t the end of it for Bob. As Bob felt he was owed something, he wanted to know why I told him no. Bob didn’t call or text to find out my reasoning. Bob showed up at my house, came in, and wanted me to explain to him why I couldn’t go out with him. Now, maybe you’re thinking that every one wants closure or deserves to know the truth; I have never had anyone else show up at my house after texting me to go somewhere to find out why I told them no. Yes, Bob was bigger than me. Yes, Bob brought up how he was a trained black belt. Yes, Bob showed up at my house to challenge a no he received. It was scary, and inappropriate, and he didn’t see that.

As many women do when faced with a situation that makes us uncomfortable, I tried to diffuse it. I explained that I had other plans, I placated him, I got him out of there. The worst thing that happened to me is that Bob tried to kiss me, it didn’t work. And while I had reinterated that I was not interested in a romantic relationship with Bob, he continued to ask me out for months, till he became too mad that I constantly said no.

I’m not sure that Bob gets it to this day.

Is this part of a larger convo? Sure. Do I know how to solve this problem? No. And do I know if ghosting is the answer? No.

Wishing us all a week of people who can take a no and amazing shoes!
XO RA

Go Big and Go Pockets

a woman. in a khaki dress with pannier style pockets, a red and blue silk scarf and red flats
a woman. in a khaki dress with pannier style pockets, a red and blue silk scarf and red flats
a woman. in a khaki dress with pannier style pockets, a red and blue silk scarf and red flats
a woman. in a khaki dress with pannier style pockets, a red and blue silk scarf and red flats

As a woman who will absolutely gush about pockets if you compliment my outfit, I cannot tell you how excited these pockets made me. In fact, they are modeled after a pannier*, and the shape, the ease, the functionally of them made me fall in love quickly!

(Side note: I am aware that this dress pulls a bit, even did so on the model- I think it’s just the fit! And worth it for the pockets!)

The benefit of huge pockets? You can store all your secrets and magic (or just keys and lipstick). But here, these pockets allow you to play with portions- cultivating your look to your own liking. You can absolutely pair this dress with a sweater, top, or even a belt, to further exaggerate the pockets. Or you could wear it alone, letting the pockets speak for themselves! Besides being functional and helpful pockets- these are also fun!

**A Pannier is a bit of skirt looped around the waist. They were incredibly popular in the 17th and 18th centuries, usually as an undergarment to make your skirt wider. In fact, some of the fashionable panniers were as wide as a full grown man (what a spectacle!)! Obviously, “modern” panniers are not that big, but playing with volume and proportion are always part of fashion that’s a bit fun. You can read a bit of pannier history here, and you can see modern versions in the popular barrel leg jean as well as this dress!

a woman. in a khaki dress with pannier style pockets, a red and blue silk scarf and red flats
a woman. in a khaki dress with pannier style pockets, a red and blue silk scarf and red flats

I couldn’t resist pairing these pockets with a scarf (tied in the idea of a cape). For a pop of color. For some fun. And to be slightly off shoulder and play with proportions even more. Flats (and these are absolutely my new go-tos!) for more play–and I was good to go! In this outfit, I loved the various elements – but I would by lying if I didn’t tell you I love the pockets the most!

Are you a fellow pocket lover? Do you go out of your way to get clothes with pockets? And how do you feel about proportion play?

I’ve linked similar options for you as well as this exact dress for your shopping pleasure 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!

And you can shop my favorite shoes here

a woman. in a khaki dress with pannier style pockets, a red and blue silk scarf and red flats

After Labor Day Do We Wear White?

I have asked this question and debated it and yet- I never thought to ask: when do we start wearing white? Do you wait till Easter? Is the first day of spring ok? If there is a cut off to wear white when do we begin again?

Is this because I’m in possession of fantastic white (ish) pants that I’m currently wearing (see ? OR because at a point when the weather is all over do I say I’m just doing what the weather tells me? Please let me know- do you have dates for your outfits and colors? I would love to hear about them!

XO RA

image

I’m from the South and it’s a pretty hard and fast rule that you don’t wear white after Labor Day. It’s so ingrained in us that a few years ago at a football game a guy friend of mine–who is not into fashion–saw a woman wearing white pants and made a comment that she shouldn’t be doing that, as it was after Labor Day. In fact, starting Monday, my mom puts away all her linen items–citing the fact that it’s a summer fabric. And I get it–I’ve clearly been excited and ready for fall. There is something to be said for dressing for the season.

However, after living in California I came to realize that the white rule isn’t necessarily followed everywhere. You could argue that in CA it feels like summer longer, although it can be in the 100s till October in TX. Even the fashion elite –Vogue, etc– have relaxed their thinking and you can search for articles today like “How to Wear Your White Jeans Through Fall”. So who do we listen to–our Southern Moms or those who say we can wear white?

Honestly, I fall in the middle here. Don’t worry Mom–after Monday I won’t wear (a ton of) white pants (winter white is a whole other story though!) but I won’t be rushing to my fall/winter wardrobe. The fact of the matter is it will still be hot on Tuesday. And while I won’t be wearing white pants, white will still most likely pop into my outfits as an accent or piece–skirt, top, etc–but not the whole look. I no longer judge those who wear white after Monday–fashion is so diverse and if you like your outfit I’m a fan of you rocking it! (Also I love it when you’re daring) But I will say I’m looking forward to our gradual shift to fall clothing! Have I mentioned I have some amazing boots to show you??

I’d love to know–what’s your stance on white after Labor Day?

Hope you’re have a great holiday weekend! XO RA

image

Your Spring Closet Clean Out

Investment Piece: Your Spring Closet Clean Out

Are you using this time at home to clean out your closet? If so, I’m impressed! It’s not that I don’t want to clean out my closet. I’m a huge fan of that! See: here, here, here, and here. And that’s just for starters. There’s something about a clean closet- knowing what you need, having everything organized, and getting rid of things that no longer fit your stories is both freeing and exciting!

But. Right now, a huge closet clean out just seems so overwhelming. I keep telling myself that I’m going to start a massive Cleanout and reorganization. But it hasn’t happened yet. What has happened? I did a brief Cleanout right before all the Stay at Home orders started (yes, years ago!). And while I had planned to sort and sell and donate those clothes, I didn’t get to it before I needed to be at home. So, this time I’m determined to do a proper spring closet clean out! I’m seeing what I might be able to donate, sell, and if there are a few things that could be added to those get rid of piles! While we’re apart, most places are accepting donations (check with your local companies. This is varying city to city). And if you have things to sell, my recommendation is Ashley at TheRealReal (Ashley.rochestie@therealreal.com. Make sure to tell her I sent you!) She will set you up and get your things online, all while you stay safe at home!

I know you must be sick of hearing me say this, but I truly believe that our clothes and fashions help tell our stories. And our stories are our masterpieces, and so we edit them. I’m going to try and use this time to edit- to get rid of things that no longer tell stories I love (and clothes that just don’t fit right) and making room for things and stories I love. What about you?

Xo RA

Sunday Chronicles: Getting Pinched

a woman in a green turban and a green and white silk jacket and dress

I know today is a “holiday” and a day a lot of people use as an excuse to cut a little loose. I get it, truly I do. To me? Today is about pinches- or avoiding them. The family story my family is sick of hearing about?

The one where my sister pinched me.

When I was 8?9? I had strep throat- awful- on St Patrick’s Day. Strep throat was an illness was I dealt with on a yearly basis, and it always took me down, in a horrific fashion. I am also one of those that has never run high fever, 99 is high for me. But, strep made me super ill, event without a high fever. So, I had been sent home from school- super sick, and as strep was the thing that I always got my mom could tell what it was and got me to the dr right away for a diagnosis and some meds. Even as a kid I loved to dress to a theme, and would usually wear green on St Patrick’s Day (the childhood celebration of it!). However, being sick and needing comfort I wore one of my fave, comfort outfits at the time- a white sweatshirt with a teddy bear on it and a white ribbed skirt with keds. No green.

Coming home from the doctor my sister and I were sitting in the back seat- again we were kids! And noticing that I wasn’t wearing green my sister pinched me. This may seem a bit innocent, a thing that sisters do-but the thing is my sister has a prosthetic arm. She was born without her left arm (and is a total rock star and was HomeComing Queen!) and at the time had a myroelectric arm –and pinches were not subtle. They hurt! And were hard! I remember being so upset, here I was feeling awful with my throat on fire, and I get pinched. Hard. And my sister laughed.

I tell this story so much my family gets sick of it. What it changed for me? Every year on St Patrick’s Day I make SURE I wear green. Sometimes big green, sometimes subtle green, but always green. I’m making it my mission to not get pinched again!

Do you wear green today? And do you pinch those that don’t? Weirdly, I’ve never been one to pinch- perhaps my own experience has made me a bit more understanding! However you “celebrate” and whatever you’re wearing , I hope today is fantastic!

Wishing us all a day of no pinches and amazing shoes! XO RA

Wear it Again

a woman in gold pants with a blue floral bustier and blue mules
a woman in gold pants with a blue floral bustier and blue mules
a woman in gold pants with a blue floral bustier and blue mules

Yes, I often get asked if I rewear pieces from my closet (see here, here, and here for starters). And yes- the answer is yes. While I am such a fan of party dresses (and sometimes they are a one and down situation- or at least a more narrow styling field), I am also a big believer that any investment piece (wink, wink) is a piece you can not only style in so many ways, but one you reach for over and over again- through years and seasons.

Perhaps that is a long winded way to say that you have seen these pieces before! Some of them from years ago!

Gold Jeans that feel like a party: Here. Yes, they are “new” aka within the year- but they are (exactly linked below) but from winter. Metallics and holiday parties seem to go together. Yet, gold is also for spring. Gold can be a neutral– and yet I love the blue with it!
Blue Bustier: Here. From when we were a baby blog! As you can see! I have had this top for almost 10 years (which feels insane to say!). It still feels as fresh as it did then.
Shoes: I know I have worn them- again, about 10 years ago I wore these to my birthday party when I walked from my apartment to the venue and I have never had such horrid blisters! Luckily, they have been broken in since then!

Pieces from the past-recent or distant. And yet, each of these I have reached for over and over again. Absolutely what your closet needs? A wear again (and again) piece!

a woman in gold pants with a blue floral bustier and blue mules
a woman in gold pants with a blue floral bustier and blue mules
a woman in gold pants with a blue floral bustier and blue mules

There is not a premise formula for a wear again piece. All of our lives/jobs/taste are so different. A wear again may range from perfect fitting jeans to suits to day dresses to party dresses. For me, what I look for in a wear again piece is something I can not only style in a million ways, but style immediately with more than one piece in my closet.

Other things I look for in a wear again?
-Durability (aka can I wash it on repeat)
-Statements that can also be neutrals (perhaps a personal style thing)
-Classics that feel fresh (aka jeans that happen to be gold!)

What pieces do you wear over and over again? What piece are you looking to add to your closet that you hope and or plan to reach for over and over again?

I’ve linked these exact jeans (they do crease a bit but fit TTS) and similar options for bustier and heels 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!

a woman in gold pants with a blue floral bustier and blue mules

Make-Up Update

There are so many reasons why I don’t do make-up tutorials/feature a ton of beauty content.

a woman in a grey corset and plaid pants and brown platfroms

1. There are so so many GREAT accounts to follow for that–I am not one. In fact, there are times when I have turned to YouTube, IG, etc for a great tutorial
2. My main philosophy is great skin care is makeup (and below I’ll be sharing some of my new faves). But I’ve never really loved the look of foundation (especially heavy foundation) on my skin. I would rather have great skin and minimal makeup. Also? I really miss my eyelash extensions from years ago (and side note I’m looking into a lash lift and tint!)
3. If I’m not great at makeup I feel odd telling you what to me. My go to? A red lip. It will never steer you wrong- but I know there is more to makeup.

SO. Completely understanding that big makeup looks (even when I love them!) are not my specialty, and yet loving make-up- especially my go to’s , I’m doing an update of all the skincare (as it’s really my makeup) and makeup that I’m loving now. Yes, these are more natural looks. Yes, they go great with a big lash and a red lip. But. They are so adaptable and you can make them your own! I hope that you love them as much as I do!

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 barefaced woman with hair in a bun with the remains of a red lip

As mentioned above, my best make-up trick and update is great skin. I’m always into trying out anything that will make my skin better. In fact, the more I get my skin into a place I love it and feel comfortable bare faced, the more I love it!

One line I’m absolutely in love with? Sisley! Especially their rose oil. It’s hydrating, anti-aging and alone or under makeup gives me a great glow. They also have a mask and eye cream that are worth your attention!

Shop my Sisley picks:

a close up of Il Milkage primer and Saturday Skin mask
Being really into skin care makes me susceptible to all ads– and yet there are times when I find products I really love! Case in point? Il Milkage- I know their ads are everywhere- but this primer with collagen is making my skin look younger and leaves me poreless. This Saturday Skin Sleeping Mask? Put it on and go to bed, wake up looking glowy. What else could be better?

You can shop both of these products here

a look at Surratt eye glows and blush

And of course, it wouldn’t be a makeup update without some actual makeup! A new to me brand that’s become my fave? Surratt. They have oh-so many dreamy products but my faves are the above vaseline (my grandma’s secret weapon!) based eye shadows and blushes. Buildable. Blendable. So dewy and natural looking! They look great over your skin (or a primer or foundation!)

Shop my faves here

What products- from skin care to makeup – are you loving right now? And what’s your go-to makeup routine? Skin care? I would love to hear about it all!

XO RA

Dots and Dates

a woman in a color blocked and polka dot skirt with a black corset top and a belt with a R and red cage sandals
a woman in a color blocked and polka dot skirt with a black corset top and a belt with a R and red cage sandals
a woman in a color blocked and polka dot skirt with a black corset top and a belt with a R and red cage sandals
a woman in a color blocked and polka dot skirt with a black corset top and a belt with a R and red cage sandals
a woman in a color blocked and polka dot skirt with a black corset top and a belt with a R and red cage sandals

Ever have a day where – even if your calendar is empty- you just have to get dressed? Know those days when you just have to get out of the house- even for a bit, even for an errand or a self date?

And then there are those times when the desperate need to get dressed and the urge to get out coincide. For me, this was one of those days (ok, not today today, but this is about that day!). My go to? A great maxi skirt with my favorite print (the polka dot!) I can’t help but feel good in them. Paired with a bit of a corset top and a belt and my new fave sandals- I have to tell you I felt fantastic. If you have to get dressed (for events or from your own feelings), there is nothing better than putting on an outfit that makes you feel great. A favorite pattern. The shoes you love. Shapes that flatter you. Could you ask for more?

As for dates– do you love self dates? I do! One of my favorite things to do, when my schedule is free, is take myself to a matinee on a random weekday. But happy hours, lunches, shopping – when you can just be with yourself and enjoy your company? It’s a hard thing to get to, but oh so worth it. Sometimes, when I just need to get out of the house, I take myself for a coffee. Or to stroll. Or just go sit somewhere and read. I love my friends and family and the people who make my life so rich- but there is occasionally something about spending some time alone that is just so needed and so sweet.

Doing a self date in an outfit that makes me happy and feel like me? Perhaps that’s where I should really say that we can’t ask for more!

What do you wear when you need to get dressed? Need to feel as if you put on something that mattered or felt like you? How do you spend your time when you need time alone or a date with yourself? I would love to hear all about both of these things!

This skirt is vintage and this top is years old- but I’ve linked similar options for you below– I wish you have the best outfit and best time along this week! 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!

And you can get these exact (and Current fave shoes) here

a woman in a color blocked and polka dot skirt with a black corset top and a belt with a R and red cage sandals

Sunday Chronicles: Spring Forward

Investment Piece: Sunday Chronicles

When you woke up this morning there’s a good chance you lost an hour of sleep (if you live in the States and if you’re not in AZ. If you don’t meet those criteria, know I’m jealous of you). Daylight Saving Time (where we spring forward in the spring and fall back in the fall to try to “control” time) is not my favorite. In a week, I will love that the days seem longer and that I have more sunlight. However, right now, waking up with it being an hour earlier, and no way for me to explain all that to my cat, I’m tired.

Actually, most of us who are under Spring Forward, or Daylight Saving Time are tired. Did you know heart attacks increase during the week following the spring forward? I find that to be crazy. But, I’m not going to argue any case against who we tell time, or whether or not we should keep Daylight Saving or get rid of that- that’s above my fashion grade.

What I would like to talk about? All the things I plan on doing with my “extra” hour of sunlight. I have to spring forward, I might as well enjoy it!

Investment Piece: into joy
I plan on working in the backyard, pulling out my pool, and getting in the water. Happy hour with my feet in a pool? Sounds amazing! Eating outside in the brief time before it gets too hot? Count me in. Evening walks, reading outside, if it involves using my extra hour to be in the sun, I’m interested.

Also see: Clean the patio, clean out the garage, and get the house spring ready. AKA spring clean.

Investment Piece: Lounge Luxe

Besides the time- it feels like the year has sprung forward. It’s getting hot (not warm, hot!) where I am, and while that makes me scared for the summer, though we are supposed to have a “cold” front this week which I am now excited for. The heat makes it feel as if my wardrobe- from what I’m wearing to my wishlist- is springing forward. I’m in summer clothes, and I love it, but at the moment it feels fast. Time, not the clock, but time itself feels as if it’s gone a bit forward. The beginning of the year felt a bit slow, and all of a sudden things feel fast and busy. That could be a sign I need to adjust my personal schedule and routine, but it could also just be the season. (Most likely a combination of both!) Perhaps the best use of my new hour of daylight is to find ways to adjust to all the springing forward everything is doing!

This also means part of my “new hour” will be spent cleaning out my closet, making adjustments to my wardrobe (selling or buying or both!), and again- spring cleaning- entering the new season 100% as ready as I can be. Even if a “new hour” means I’m extra tired.

Do you spring forward? How are you dealing with losing an hour of sleep? What are you looking forward to doing with your extra hour? I hope that if you sprang forward, that today was easy on you!
Wishing us all a week of daylight and amazing shoes! XO RA