With a Safety Pin

a woman in a green floral caftan with heels
a woman in a green floral caftan and heels
a woman in a green floral caftan and heels

I have a thing for caftans (see here, here, and here for starters), absolutely think that they are a must for any well rounded wardrobe, but- with all my love, I can recognize that sometimes caftans can be a little- big. But big is not the word I’m looking for- perhaps I mean caftans can be more oversized, a bit voluminous, and while chic, sometimes we want sometimes a bit more form fitting.

And when that happens sometimes al we need is a safety pin!

a close up of a safety pin in front of flowers

(Note: caftans are by no means the only outfits that you can adjust to your own likes with a safety pin. The options are endless. Here I used a safety pin as I couldn’t make a belt work the way I wanted- but belts are always great options too!)

While I loved the caftan above, while playing with styling options I wanted something a bit more fitted. I inherited this caftan from a neighbor, and it came with a matching belt- but for the life of me I couldn’t make the belt work. It would bugle, wouldn’t flow well, all in all I just couldn’t make it work. So. I grabbed a safety pin. Wearing the caftan I reached behind my waist and pinned the excess fabric- creating a bit of a cape like effect in the back and more of a fitted silhouette in the front.

a woman in a green floral caftan and heels
a woman in a green floral caftan
a woman in a green floral caftan

How great is it that you can alter (not permanently) anything you own? It’s the step beyond making any outfit you own with styling (which I am still a bit fan of!). And how great is it that all you need is a safety pin? Yes- the look was altered with that single safety pin pictured above! Just imagine what I (or you) could do with more!

This was one of my favorite outfits this week, in both variations. But I have to admit that I got such a thrill from being able to change my entire look with a safety pin. This caftan is vintage, but I’ve linked similar ones for you below.

nude heels by flowers
And these shoes are my beloved Sarah Flint Perfect Sandals. Now you can use code SARAHFLINT-BAINVESTMENTPIECE for $60 off your first pair!

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 green floral caftan

Designer to Know: Mary Quant

a woman in a mini dress kneels on the floor in front of pictures
As you may have heard, legendary UK designer Mary Quant passed last week at 93 years young. Quant was known (predominantly in the 1960s) for her use of color blocking, championing the mini skirt, and styling with patterned tights. Mary Quant dressed Twiggy and other “mod” models and stars- as well as everyone in the 1960s and beyond that were ready for “new” and “modern”!

models in mini skirts and knee high boots in bright colors

Every time there is a designer who has affected how I dress (and I have been known to rock color blocking and mini skirts!) I love knowing about them-so here is all about Mary Quant, and how she still inspires how we dress today.

Dame Barbara Mary Quant (11 February 1930 – 13 April 2023) was a British fashion designer and fashion icon. She became an instrumental figure in the 1960s London-based Mod and youth fashion movements, and played a prominent role in London’s Swinging Sixties culture. She was one of the designers who took credit for the miniskirt and hotpants. Ernestine Carter wrote: “It is given to a fortunate few to be born at the right time, in the right place, with the right talents. In recent fashion there are three: Chanel, Dior, and Mary Quant.”

Mary Quant was born to school teachers, who originally dissuaded her love of fashion and pursuing that career. Quant studied illustration and art education at Goldsmiths College for which she received a degree in 1953. In pursuit of her love for fashion, after finishing her degree, she was apprenticed to Erik Braagaard, a high-class Mayfair milliner on Brook Street next door to Claridge’s hotel. “Good taste is death,” Mary Quant once famously said. “Vulgarity is life.”

Quant did not like clothes as they were in the 1950s. She saw the tight, corseted silhouettes popularized by high fashion houses like Dior as too limiting. They didn’t make sense for young women coming of age in the second wave of feminism. Instead, Quant wanted clothes that reflected the pleasure of being alive. When she couldn’t find that in stores, she decided to make it herself with fabrics bought from Harrods.

Quant initially sold clothing sourced from wholesalers in her new boutique in the Kings Road named Bazaar. The bolder pieces in her collection started garnering more attention from media like Harper’s Bazaar, and an American manufacturer purchased some of her dress designs. Because of this attention and her personal love for these bolder styles, she decided to take designs into her own hands. Initially working solo, she was soon employing a handful of machinists; by 1966 she was working with a total of 18 manufacturers. A self-taught designer inspired by the culture-forward “Chelsea Set” of artists and socialites, Quant’s designs were riskier than standard styles of the time. Quant’s designs revolutionised fashion from the utilitarian wartime standard of the late 1940s to the energy of the 1950s and 1960s’ cultural shifts. She stocked her own original items in an array of colours and patterns, such as colourful tights.

Quant’s impact did not just come from her unique designs; in her boutique she created a special environment, including music, drinks, and long hours that appealed to young adults. This environment was unique for the industry, as it differentiated from the stale department stores and inaccessible high-class designer store environments that had a hold of the fashion market. Her window displays with models in quirky poses brought a lot of attention to her boutique, where people would often stop to stare at the eccentric displays. She stated that “Within 10 days, we hardly had a piece of the original merchandise left.”

For a while in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Quant was one of only two London-based high-class designers consistently offering youthful clothes for young people. The other was Kiki Byrne, who opened her boutique on the King’s Road in direct competition with Quant.

In 1966, Quant was named one of the “fashion revolutionaries” in New York by Women’s Wear Daily, alongside Edie Sedgwick, Tiger Morse, Pierre Cardin, Paco Rabanne, Rudi Gernreich, André Courrèges, Emanuel Ungaro, Yves Saint Laurent and Baby Jane Holzer.

a woman in a mini dress and white knee high boots fitting a mini dress on another woman

Quant can be seen as an early example of turning a fashion label into a brand. She designed her logo, a black and white daisy, in the 1950s, which went on to appear on packaging for her clothes. A cheaper line, the Ginger Group, launched in 1963, as well as tights and a successful makeup line. Mary Quant Cosmetics, launched in 1966, was her calling card even as attention on her clothes waned. The cosmetics line remains in existence.

In recent years, the designer has appeared on the radar of a younger generation. A 2019 exhibition at the V&A was the first in 50 years and included 35 pieces sourced from a public call-out. This was followed in 2021 with a documentary, Quant, directed by Sadie Frost, featuring names including Vivienne Westwood, Kate Moss and Edward Enninful. Her friend Jasper Conran summed up her legacy best: “Mary Quant is, without a doubt, one of the most important British designers ever.”

a line of mini dresses on mannequins

When learning about her death, several stars of the 19060s had this to say about Mary Quant:
1960s fashion icon Twiggy, whose real name is Lesley Lawson posted on Instagram: “Mary Quant was such an influence on young girls in the late 50s early 60s. She revolutionised fashion and was a brilliant female entrepreneur.
“The 1960s would have never been the same without her.
Fellow fashion designer Sir Paul Smith said she was a “brave innovator who was constantly modern, willing to shock and blessed with a business and personal partner [Greene] who could help turn her ideas into reality.”
Photographer and model Pattie Boyd tweeted that Dame Mary had made her and her first husband George Harrison’s coats when they wed in 1966. “A true icon,” she said as she shared a photo of the wedding day.

I can look at my closet and see the mini skirts, the patterned tights, and color blocking. And upon reading about Mary Quant (not just knowing about her fashion), and seeing how her philosophy and attitudes towards fashion are so similar to my own, and it made me love her.

One of my favorite quotes? In the 1985 Thames TV interview, Quant also mused, “Fashion is about life. It’s about everything…I think fashion anticipates. It seems to get there first and everything unravels behind it.” Quant was also there first, and the viral mini skirts of today certainly wouldn’t have been possible without her.

Here’s to mini skirts, to loving what you’re wearing and marking your own path! And to Mary Quant!

More reading can be done here, here, and here.

When any designer I loves passes, I have a (I refuse to feel guilty for my pleasures) pleasure of looking up their designs that I can buy. Below I’ve linked a few Mary Quant pieces that I love- from tights to outfits. You can find so so many more on the GEM app (I get no commission from that, it’s just a great resource for any and all vintage shopping!). I would love to know about your Mary Quant fashion stories!

Note: The following are affiliate links. That does not increase the price for you, but I may earn commission from them. Thank you for your support!

a woman in a brown leather mini skirt, a brown suede jacket and knee high boots in front of a brick wall

Season in Swim

a woman in a low cut black swimsuit and white pants in a garden
a woman in a low cut black swim suit and white pants in a garden
a woman in a low cut black swim suit and white pants in a garden

I know this is a season when many (from stores to friends to other bloggers) will be sharing their swim picks. And at some point I will be too. There will be one pieces, two pieces, cutouts, swimsuits for family vacations, swimsuits for romantic beach rompers and everything in between. Yet, I have a whole set of swim that I think is a must have for the season- swim to wear as bodysuits. It’s a (wonderful) habit I have- get a fantastic one piece swim, never wear it in water, but use it as a staple under everything- pants, skirts, shorts, layered with dresses and more.

You can see other examples of this habit I have no intention of breaking here, here, and here, though there are many more. In fact, the above swim (I love the low cut!) with white pants (a must have!) is not the only time this year that I will use a swimsuit as a bodysuit. So I thought- we might as well start the season in swim with an outfit that’s both classic and edgy!

a woman in a low cut black swimsuit and white pants
a woman in a low cut black one piece swimsuit and white pants in a garden

Black-from swim to bodysuits and everything beyond- is a classic. Goes with everything, is effortlessly chic, and yet what drew me to this swimsuit was the edge. I love the low cut neckline, and that there is a wire holding the suit in place so there are no accidents. As someone with a long torso, as much as I love swimsuits as bodysuits, I have to be careful with sizing, as many times suits I love are simply too short for me. This number fits perfectly (I’m in an extra small, I’ve linked this exact suit below and it’s on sale!) and will add a bit of spice to anything from skirts and shorts to jeans and more pants.

These white pants are some of my favorites, and a season staple. They’re vintage but I’ve found you similar – especially some Spanx pants that I’m very tempted to add to my closet! What I can say is that while white in season is a must, I love pants with a bit of a wide leg that you can be incredibly casual with, or that you can make incredibly formal. Of course you could do both with a swimsuit!

Do you also have the habit of wearing swimwear as outerwear during the season? What’s your favorite way to style? I promise this isn’t the only time you’ll see me in swim without water this season, and we it warms up I’ll be sharing some of my favorite current swimsuits. Below you can find this swimsuit and amazing white pants!


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 low cut black swimsuit and white pants in a garden

Sunday Chronicles: Living with Wounds

Sunday Chronicles, Investment Piece, wounds, editorial

This was originally posted about a few years ago. I began thinking about this very topic this week when I looked down and realized that some of these very same scars were barely visible. Some are still there, very bright. And I’ve added some new scars. It got me thinking about healing, about moving on, about how we live with our scars. In the past year I’ve healed. I’ve gotten hurt. I’ve learned. And when I’ve need them, the people in my life have been there for me. As I think about my scars, and re-read this, I can’t help but think that maybe living with our scars isn’t a bad thing.

Originial Post:
Loves, as you may know, this year has been a doozy when it comes to loss. And in the midst of this, last week there was a small grease fire in my kitchen and I burned my arms. Badly. It’s not pretty.

Sunday Chronicles, Investment Piece, wounds
And this is the “good” arm. Loves, it was painful. It is painful. And yet, after the shock and the first aid, my thought was how it would look. And later in the week I again worried about outfits, about shoots, about the fact that right now, unless I fully commit to long sleeves (and even those failed Friday night) I can’t hide the fact that I have wounds on my arms. I’m sure we could chat about my need for perfection, if it’s good that I worry about how it looks, and if those conversations say something about career choices or society as a whole- maybe we’ll get to those later, but for now–wounds. I’m living with them.

And loves, it’s uncomfortable. No matter what our wounds are, having them in the open can be difficult. It’s painful, sometimes on many levels. It invites questions. It can leave you feeling vulnerable. But loves, the only way for wounds to heal are to have them heal, and often that means having them in the open. And while it can be a struggle to live with wounds, it’s brave. It means willing to be vulnerable, to live with questions, to be honest about where you are-pain and all. There’s bravery in that, there’s beauty in that. And while that’s hard for me, I’m learning to live in that space.

I can do nothing about the fact that I have these burns/scars on my arms for the time being. They will be in some photos, as much as I may not like that. But this is where I am. So I’m learning: that being honest about where you are is brave, that being vulnerable about questions and situations is freeing, and that flaws can be beautiful. I’m giving my wounds time to heal, because you can’t rush that, and I’m living there.

I just may have to wear amazing shoes to balance it out.

No matter where you are I’m wishing us all a beautiful week and amazing shoes! XO RA

Tell God Your Plans….

a woman in a white coat dress with yellow collar and cuff ruffle and a velvet bow
a woman in a white coat dress with yellow collar and cuff ruffle and a velvet bow
a woman in a white coat dress with yellow collar and cuff ruffle and a velvet bow
a woman in a white coat dress with yellow collar and cuff ruffle and a velvet bow
a woman in a white coat dress with yellow collar and cuff ruffle and a velvet bow

One of my favorite sayings? “Want to make God laugh? Tell God your plans”. And I have to say- in my personal experience- this saying has been more than true. Not that we shouldn’t make plans, not that our plans aren’t valid, but we all know that our plans sometimes fall through.

And this is a place where I could say that plans fall apart so better things can fall together (completely cliche but can be true). But what if I tell you that sometimes plans just don’t work out like we thought. Call it timing or whatever you like- maybe God does have better plans- all I can say is that sometimes my best laid plans don’t work out at all.

This dress? I LOVE it. It’s the perfect combination of ladylike and a little edge. There is a slight (just a slight) polka dot feel to it as the black and white texture mimics one of my favorite patterns- and of course there is the polka dots on the collar and sleeve ruffles. While I will tell you that yellow isn’t my color there are times that I just love it (see here, and here, and on top of my spring wishlist is this yellow dress). This stunner is a vintage Neiman Marcus coat dress via one of my favorite vintage shops Bloomers and Frocks.

And with all of that. Nothing about this dress or this shoot, or even how I styled it (which I am still second guessing) went to plan. Maybe God had a different one?

a woman in a white coat dress with a yellow collar and cuff ruffle, black patent Mary Jane heels

This dress is so stunning in person- and yet there were some stains (the yellow bleeds when wet!)- I’ve been spot cleaning it for a year. In retrospect, and something I may still do, I should have taken off the collar, cuffs, and bow and had it cleaned. But. I kept making progress (some of my favorite cleaners for vintage clothes are RetroClean and Grandma’s Secret Spot Remover). And while there is still some work to do- I love this dress. Alone. Over pants or jeans. With Mary Janes or with thigh high boots. However, after cleaning, I could not get the dress ironed properly. It now bubbles a bit, is a bit wrinkly, doesn’t fall correctly. Do I still love it? Yes. But not to plan (and I will need to get it professionally pressed!). There is actually a super cute matching yellow and black polka dot dickie that is supposed to be snapped on the chest- the snaps broke right before I shot. The weather was forecasted to be sunny and beautiful on the morning of the shoot- it was misting and my hair that I had flipped (as this dress makes me feel like a sitcom heroine Ala Mary Tyler Moore and Marlo Thomas from “That Girl!” and very 1960s) fell flat. I did choose these edgy Mary Jane heels as an ode to the 1960s (originally I had planned to shoot this dress with these amazing over the knee white boots I have seen here) but after I saw the pics I completely over thought the styling.

To plan? Not mine. BUT. The pictures that did come out, how much fun I have wearing this dress, how much I love it all even though it doesn’t go to my plan. Perhaps the point of one of my favorite sayings is that even when our plans don’t work out we can love the results? Or that after plans that don’t work we can see the beauty? I’m still working that out. What do you think?

a woman in a white coat dress with yellow collar and cuff ruffles and Mary Jane shoes

This dress is vintage, and yet I think a coat dress is a classic staple, I reach for them again and again. I have found you some of my favorite current ones and linked them below! Mary Janes, especially flat ones, are super on trend this season- I would love to help you find a pair that fits you! Reach out at racheladelicia@investmentpiece.com and I will send over some of my faves!


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 white coat dress with yellow collar and cuff ruffles and a velvet bow

Now and Then: 3 Piece Suits

a woman in a suit in front of greenery

Suits are somewhat a weakness of mine. I work in field(s) that I might never need to wear them- but from skirt to 3 piece to tux,I can’t help but wear suits, lust after suits and want to recommend all the suits. So, especially in a time when suits are on trend (and every store has a version of a 3 piece suit this season as vests are back in!), I can’t help but not only recommend a suit. Because suits are not only a work place staple, but they are a such a chic outfit. Wear a 3 piece suit, wear nothing under the vest and from flats to heels to meetings to cocktails- it’s sexy. Try a vintage suit set, which ranges from skirts to vests to belts, and layer and mix/match for anything from a proper look to an on edge look.

Suits, especially 3 piece suits, are such a fashion goldmine. There are so many ways to wear them, and so many ways to buy them. You can buy new (Which offer so many options!). Buy vintage, which also offers so many options (also, pro tip: don’t be afraid to buy a men’s suit, it’s so affordable to get them altered to fit you and there are so many men suit options out there-including great 3 piece suit options!)

a woman in a plaid suit and grey corset with platforms

I will always root for a 3 piece suit that features a great fitting blazer, vest of any kind, and pants from skinny to wide leg. But I’m not unopposed to a suit that looks different from that- from skirts to shorts. There are so many options this season, and when you start shopping vintage your options open up exponentially. Lucky you, I’ve linked both my most favorite modern 3 piece suits and also vintage suits from 3 piece to skirt to mens (again- have them altered!!) Wear the suits alone, with a great silk blouse, with heels or with flats. There are so many ways in which suits are both chic and a staple, a trend and a classic – I am 100% behind you getting more than one great suit. Even if you never need to wear a suit-but just want to. From tuxes to this season’s on trend 3 piece suits, to classic vintages, I know that no matter your lifestyle there is a suit for you.

And I’m hoping some of my faves linked below will be some of your faves!

a woman in white shorts and blazers and platforms in front of a brick wall


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 support!

Some of my current favorite vintage suit (including 3 piece suits) options:

And high on my spring wishlist is a 3 piece suit. You can shop my faves starting under $50 here and here

I will keep you updated on what vintage and new 3 piece suits I’m buying and how I’m styling them!

a woman in a hot pink suit blazer and pants with black and gold heels in front a hotel door

White Out

There are two minds about when it is appropriate to wear white pants (especially if you’re from the south-in America)

One is that you wait till Easter. Easter is a day for white outfits and from then on out you can wear white.
Another train of thought is that you wait till Memorial Day (ie End of May)before it’s oak to wear white (pants), etc.
My family (though they are firm that you shouldn’t wear white after Labor Day) are of the camp that Easter is when white (pants, outfits, all of it!) is aok! to wear. And because, this is the first day that this rule would be in place- here is a round up of some of my favorite white (pants and skirts and etc) outfits that are now ask (as my great-grandma would say!)
a woman in a white dress in front of a house
Investment Piece, fashion, blogger, high fashion, fashion stories, vintage, spring celebrations
Investment Piece : Summer Whites
Investment Piece: The one that almost didn't happen
ke clutch in front of a fence
Investment Piece: Winter Whites

Are you wearing white from now on? Are you waiting for Memorial Day? I would love to hear all about any and all opinions you have!

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 white pants and a white top with wedge sandals and a snake clutch in front of a fence

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!

Spring Ribbons

a woman in blue ribbon woven suit
a woman in a blue ribbon skirt suit
a woman in a blue ribbons skirt suit
 WOMAN IN blue ribbon skirt suit
woman in blue ribbon skirt suit
a woman in blue ribbon skirt suit

Holiday (from Passover to Easter and all of those in-between) outfits usually run to the side of pastels and whites- to celebrate the beginning of spring. And I’m a fan of any and all of those! Even if there is nothing you’re celebrating this weekend, I hope that whatever you’re wearing is joyful and spring like. I love this vintage ribbon suit- it’s both classic and a bit edgy. Pair a classic with a new and edgy shoe- that reads a bit like Cinderella (Aka clear a la a glass slipper) and you have the perfect Holiday outfit!

This suit is vintage but I have linked you similar options below. Beyond Easter, Passover, and all Spring Holidays these suits would be perfect for any all spring events from showers to all the parties. I can’t recommend a ribbon suit enough!
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 blue ribbon skirt suit

Are No Pants as Pants a Thing We’re Doing?

Kendall Jenner in a black sweater, black tights, black panties, black heels and carrying yellow flowers and a purse

There have been many recent celebs and runway shows lately that have shown/worn/debuted no pants as pants.

What are no pants as pants? Usually a version of some sort of short shorts/panties over tights (a la a leotard situation) as pictured above (Kendall Jenner) or below :

mui mui runway with a blonde model with black hose and gold glitter panties and a tan sweater walking a runway

When faced with these fashion options and celeb pictures I have the following thoughts:

-I often think that both runway and celeb fashion are not meant to be our every day fashion but to inspire it. The no pants as pants is a perfect example! This is more like a leotard or on stage costume look- most of us can’t do no pants as pants in our real lives (unless your real life is a broadway production) but it can inspire a lot of what you wear (or if you’re brave enough you could wear no pants as pants)

-As someone who grew up dancing and as an adult still takes ballet and barre classes these looks remind me a lot of ballet classes. Especially ballet classes when after class my mom would take me to the grocery store (or other errands) and I would have on my leotard, tights, and a jacket over. No pants as pants doesn’t truly phase me as I always look at it as someone being picked up from dance class and then being taken on errands. In fact, as an adult I often wear my leggings to the store after class and it’s take on no pants as pants

a woman in leotard,pink hose, leg warmers and a sheer skirt
a woman in a leotard

-there are also many ways that are not runway or celeb (because in real life no pants is not always an option) to take this trend into your own style. One way is to wear tights under everything from mini dresses to shorts Ala :
a woman in a sweatshirt dress, black hose, and over the knee boots
a woman in black hose and heels, brown shorts, and a black turtleneck and purse

-No pants as pants can be something that you ignore or it can be a workout style or you can be brave and incorporate no pants into your everyday style (from no pants to minis over hose). There are so many options for you- brands are currently offering an no pants legging option, and of course I’m a fan of mini dresses/shorts/etc over hose to mimic no pants. And of course, if you are too afraid of minis a bit longer skirt or short over hose would also mimic the no pants as pants!

runways model with a sheer skirt over hose

Of course, if you want to mesh trends you could wear sheer (skirts, dresses, pants) over no pants as a cross over trend of sheer and no pants-but that feels like a lot (or a little bit of layering! and another post!)

In short, or no pants, this is a trend that for some reason is not a trend that shocks me (it may be the ballet core in me), but I would love to know your thoughts on it!? Does no pants as pants shock you? Could you adjust it to your style? Is it something you could see you in? I would love to hear about all your no pants as pants!