Fall Colors

Investment Piece: Fall Colors
Investment Piece: Fall Colors
Investment Piece: Fall Colors

Black is classic. I love it- and my closet will attest to that. Neutrals are also a love of mine, they’re so easy to match with anything, always chic, and a neutral monochrome look is one of my go-to’s when I need to feel pulled together. And if you haven’t caught on- grey is one of my favorite colors (is it a mix of black and neutrals? Its own category?)

But lately. Even though it’s a bit unexpected. Even though there are times when it feels a bit daring. Even when I worry that I shouldn’t. I’m playing with colors for fall. And not just the colors you may associate with fall (or the colors I associate with fall): reds, yellows, etc. The fall colors I’ve been playing with are like these Lavendar cords: softer, brighter, unpredictable, and yet- stunning.

Investment Piece: Fall Colors
Investment Piece: Fall Colors

Lavendar is one of those colors that I love, but I don’t think of wearing all that often. Then I do- and it’s just wonderful. I love that it’s almost neutral, but still a standout. I love that we think of pastels as a spring palate, but that this shade now seems like fall to me. Lavendar now appears in the fall leaves for me, in the fall sunsets, in all the fall colors.

And if a color can surprise us this fall (then turn out to be a classic) what else could?

Investment Piece: Fall Colors

Some notes about these fall colors:

-If you’re exploring your own fall color and are a little bit worried about how season appropriate the color is, make sure the fabric is seasonal. These are cords, so even if the color can feel light, the fabric makes it a bit more grounded. And I love a great cord- they truly feel like fall to me.

-while I’ve linked a few cord options for you below, these are actually from the little girl section of Target. I know- a bit much. And not an option for everyone. But sometimes I play in the teen and pre-teen section. So much of that is not cut for a woman’s body, my style, etc. BUT. Sometimes I come across a gem like these- high rise, wide leg, and they fit perfectly. (Play with sizes if you’re going to experiment in this section) The other great reward? These pants were only $20!

Add a great sweater and a fall mule- all the fall colors you could ever need.

Investment Piece: Fall Colors

I’ve linked these exact pants and other options for you below. Happy fall!
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!

Systems

Investment Piece: Systems
Investment Piece: Systems

This is a Mrs. Emily skirt (lovingly made by hand and goes with it all. You can read more about how much I love Mrs. Emily, a small fashion designer here. And while this about how much I love this silk skirt (and you can customize the hem length!) and all the things you can wear with it (from party looks to work looks), it’s also about systems (like outfit formulas, but for our lives).

One of the many, many things I love about Mrs. Emily is her fashion philosophy. Her Instagram (@mrsemily) and her newsletter (highly recommend sign up here) are full of thoughts on waredrobe building, confidence building, and how we can make our lives work (through our clothes). Mrs. Emily will tell you that she’s a wife, momma, and fashion designer (and maker), she speaks honestly about all the different hats she’s wearing, and how she makes that work.

I love the honesty (because it’s not always easy) and I love how these musing make me think about my own fashions and my own systems. In fashion, we talk about systems as outfit formulas- things we know go together, that you can simply put on, and they make your life easier. What about the systems (or outfit formulas) for our lives, from work to social? Do they make our lives easier and make us feel good? Or do we need to update them?

Investment Piece: Systems
Investment Piece: Systems

Like all of us, I wear a bunch of hats. Fashionista. Blogger. Actress. Daughter. Sister. Friend. Caregiver. Cook. Dishwasher. Every day is a bit different, but there is never a lack of things to do. Sometimes I feel on top of it all, sometimes I feel completely overwhelmed. What I’m learning (and what Mrs. Emily will tell you) is that the more you can design your life to support all the things you do, the easier your life is on you. For me, that means schedules, time to write, time to be creative, planning ahead, and more.

Honestly? Lately, I’ve been feeling like I to update my systems. Find better ways to make space for all my things. I’m thinking of it like this skirt, I know no matter what when I put it on, it will look and feel good. It’s like that, but for my schedule. (Or you could think of it as a new outfit formula- like all of the sudden figuring out that there are a million ways to do jeans and a tee- and they all work!).

Is it a weird time of year to be adjusting my systems? With us heading full steam into the holiday season, most of us get through, then readjust in the new year. While I understand that mindset, I know that I need the support now, and I thought- I’ll be playing with holiday looks all season, why not play with my systems?

So. I’ll be adjusting, trying out, scheduling, rescheduling and seeing what works for me. Like putting everything from a tee to a blazer with my new fave Mrs. Emily skirt, I’m looking for things that let me work, no matter what the day calls for. And I’m a bit excited to see what systems I come up with.

What about you? How are your life systems? Are you feeling supported by them? If you have any great tips, I would love to hear about them!
Xo RA

Investment Piece: Systems

Cat Eyed

Investment Piece: Cat Eyed
Investment Piece: Cat Eyed
Investment Piece: Cat Eyed

It’s my personal opinion that leopard is a neutral. I’m also of the opinion that this is old news.
So. If leopard is a neutral, how can we play with it? How can we make this old news new again?

First- I have spent years – YEARS- hiding the fact that I wear glasses. I mean- usually contacts, but over the pandemic, I tended towards my glasses. It’s not that I think my glasses are nerdy (they’re cat eye! How could they be anything but chic!), but that it’s was just in my head that it’s a “thing” to wear glasses. So, I just didn’t. But. There’s something about this combo, the leopard, the crop, that just felt like it was the time to bring out the cat eye.

And what is leopard than a cat eye? (A classic, a neutral, a needed thing – but a bit of a pop)

I love this version: cropped, pleated, shoulder pads. It’s vintage, and while the rest of the outfit is modern, I can’t help but feel that the whole outfit is a bit of a throw back. Hence the cat eye. Perhaps the way to make old new is to revisit the old.

Oh. And add a cat-eye.

Investment Piece: cat eyed
Investment Piece: Cat Eyed
Investment Piece: Cat Eyed

The great thing about this cat eye (jacket and my glasses) is that they go with everything. I have worn this jacket with a dress, a knit skirt set, my pjs, leggings, and honestly whatever I have on. From black to hot pink, it’s both a neutral and a stand out, and now a go-to. My glasses? I’m slowly but surely getting over wearing them (I wear them all the time in real life, but for pictures!), yes, you’ll see me a lot in contacts. But I hope there is always a bit of that cat eye in me.

How are you wearing leopard right now? And I would love to chat about glasses! Do you wear them? Do you hide that you wear them? Why are we like that?

While this jacket is vintage, I’ve linked modern options as well as these exact shoes (so comfy) and pants and top!
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: cat eyed

Ex Files: The Friend

Investment Piece: The Friend

It’s that time of the month when I attempt to be Carrie Bradshaw, aka my own personal dating horror stories. If this speaks to you (or you just love the drama!) you can search ex files over in the search box for more, or may I suggest The BreakUp Text, Dudes and Nudes, The One Who Got Married. This month is a doozy- and sadly I didn’t break up with the dude over this (in my defense I was 23), but without further ado may I present The One Who Lied About a Party. Got Dating Horror Stories? I would love to hear them! Maybe we can even chat about you being featured! Xoxo RA

The Friend

First and foremost, let me say that I do think that men and women can just be friends. Truly, I do. And yet- I think we’ve all had friendships in which feelings were developed, by one or the other friend, sometimes both! On top of that, I think that sometimes we can flirt with our friends. As long as no boundaries are crossed, and everyone is ok with it- I get it.

But what about the friends who don’t respect boundaries? The ones who seem to get mad at you when you don’t reciprocate the feelings that they’ve developed? Can you keep the friendship going?

For years, I was friends with Mark. We found the same things funny, loved sports, and really rooted for each other in our romantic endeavors. He was the one that I could go over any text from any guy with, then joke about whatever game was on. We wanted VASTLY different things out of our romantic partners, so I never thought feelings would develop for either of us.

Yet. There were times that Mark and I would flirt. Very innocently, and the few times he crossed the line I felt comfortable talking to him about it and we would be ok. Then, I went through a breakup, and like many things in times of transition, I changed my schedule. I got out more, I wasn’t available as much. That seemed to make Mark mad. It felt like every text I got was a bit angry, had a biting remark about my schedule, and he seemed mad at me that my breakup plan didn’t involve him.

I told Mark that while I cared deeply about his friendship, that I only ever wanted to be his friend. I didn’t want to hurt him, but I also didn’t want him to be mad at me for that. Mark seemed to take it well and things were ok between us.

For a month or so.

Then he began making highly sexual comments and jokes. I would tell him that it made me uncomfortable and he would tell me to learn to take a joke. Which of course, was a red flag for me. When this happened for the 5th time, I simply blocked him. I just didn’t want to hassle with someone violating my boundaries over and over. And while I miss his friendship, so much of that had been turned into anger and someone who didn’t seem to respect me- so there isn’t much to miss.

How would you handle a situation like that? Have you been able to save a friendship that’s been through that?

Xo RA

Fall Party

Investment Piece: Fall Party
Investment Piece: Fall Party
Investment Piece: Fall Party
Investment Piece: Fall Party

Have I ever met a party dress I didn’t like?
I honestly can’t recall.
Which probably says a lot more about me than it does about party dresses. And yet, I can tell you all the details, nuances, reasons why I love all the party dresses I have (and have missed out on).
This one? It’s every so slightly vintage inspired- that tent shape, that neck bow, that low back. It’s so comfy (I mean, it’s the perfect dress to eat or drink ANYTHING in) but oh-so-chic. With just-so-slight kitten heels, it lets me feel like it’s the 1960s while being completely modern. This combo has become my new go-to for fall parties (even the virtual ones),

Pro-tip- with dresses (or tops) that show off my back, I like to wear my hair up. I feel as if it shows off the statement of the dress!

Investment Piece: Fall Party
Investment Piece: Fall Party
Investment Piece: Fall Party

This dress is Staud. Over the pandemic they’ve become one of my favorite brands, I love the vintage feel of these clothes, with modern touches. And every single piece I have from Staud has been so comfy and flattering.

No matter if you’re going to parties or staying in, they have never let me down. This exact dress is sold out, but below I’ve linked some of my current favorite Staud dresses, and these EXACT shoes (they’re Kate Spade and they’re on sale!)

Investment Piece: Fall Party

A quick note about fall parties. I know so many of us (me included) are not yet comfortable with big crowds (a pandemic will do that to you). Has the fact that I’m not going to parties stopped me from buying party dresses? Not at all. But it has changed the way I’m wearing them (aka at home or with a mask). Please wear and go where you feel safe- and know that the right party dress will always feel great at home!

My shopping picks are linked below. What fall party are you headed to this weekend?
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: Fall Party

Fashion Stories: Her Mom’s Dress

Investment Piece: Her Mom's Dress
Investment Piece: Her Mom's Dress
Investment Piece: her Mom's Dress
Investment Piece: Her Mom's Dress

As someone who is just fascinated by the stories we tell with our fashion, the things we keep, the ones we let go of, and the stories the get told after we’re gone- it’s always a honor when someone gifts me a special fashion item.

This dress is chic enough on its own: the way you can wear it on or off the shoulder. With or without a belt. With almost any shoe, heel, boots, even sneakers. The tassel tie. It’s a vintage Arpeja-California, under the label Young Edwardian. Known for their styles influenced by 1960s British boutique fashion, retro trends, and focusing on youth and trend-oriented clothing, one of my favorite things about the brand is that its ads featured Lynda Carter.

If Wonder Woman likes it, it has to be fantastic!
Investment Piece: Her Mom's Dress
DInvestment Piece: her Mom's dress

I’ve worn this dress to a neighborhood party. To run errands. And to meet a friend for lunch.

But what makes this dress so incredibly special to me? It’s from one of my dearest, bestest friend’s mom. That would be so kind on its own, but not only did my friend’s mom pass down the dress, she passed down her story of it. My friend’s mom wore this number to a wedding in the 1970s. It made her feel magic and sparkly, and she hung onto until this summer when it was gifted to me- to make more magic in it.

To be trusted with that, to be given the chance to carry on someone’s fashion story? It’s much more than a dress (which I love), it’s a honor. I only hope to give this dress all the stories it deserves.

Investment Piece: Her Mom's Dress

What thing has been passed down to you? How are you carrying on its fashion story?
I would love to hear all about it!
Xo RA

Thinking Pink

Investment Piece: Thinking Pink
Investment Piece: Thinking Pink
Investment Piece: Thinking Pink
Investment Piece: Thinking Pink

Isn’t ironic that if pressed, I would tell you that I’m not a pink kind of woman- by which I would really mean that I think of myself as a feminine dresser but not overly girly or wearing big bows, etc- and yet, looking back (and through my closet) there’s a lot of pink. Is it that what I think pink means and what I like to wear are so far apart? Am I just needlessly defensive? Or is it when I think pink I’m thinking about things that no one has brought up?

When I separate the pink in my head that I know I’m not (big bows, super little girl, saccrine) and think pink (my kind of pink)- I have to let you know that I love it. I love the softer side of me and feeling safe enough to share it with people. Pink can be a bit shocking, and we know I love that. Thinking about pink, it can also have depth, from this month being about fighting cancer – you can shop pink here, to pink representing the various layers of womanhood (and there are so so many), pink isn’t just one thing.

Maybe that’s what I have to think about it so much.

Investment Piece: Thinking Pink
Investment Piece: Thinking Pink
Investment Piece: Thinking Pink

I was drawn to this dress (via Pickled Vintage, I just adore everything about this store!) because the details (the high neck, the skirt) reminded me of Vera Ellen’s costumes in White Christmas (A family favorite,and if you’ve haven’t added it to your holiday watch list rotation you’re missing out!). It’s the kind of dress that you want to dance in (or at least sway so people can admire how it moves). This dress is dainty – but also daring (ever so slightly sheer).

For all my overthinking and worrying about pink, this dress may be the best of it: in it I feel special, a bit soft, but still strong and immensely confident. If I’m thinking about pink, I want it to look and feel like this. Could we want anything more?

Investment Piece: Thinking Pink

What comes to mind when you think pink? Do you wear pink? What does it mean to you?

This dress is vintage, but below I’ve linked modern pink dresses that I just love. These shoes are my beloved Sarah Flint” perfect sandals. This month when you use my code SARAHFLINT-BAINVESTMENTPIECE on any shoe you’re donating $50 to the fight against breast cancer!
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: Thinking Pink
A look at this dress completely unedited and a bit more pink!

Sunday Chronicles: My Wishlist

Investment Piece: Let's Get In Formation

As I mentioned here, this year holiday shopping is starting early due to supply chain issues. I don’t know that I’ve perfected how to handle gifts guides here on the blog. Gifts, I think, are best when they’re personal, when they mean something, when they’re a way to let the reciever know that they’re seen and love. Generic lists have just never done it for me.

So, my big idea is that I would profile me and people in my life in the hope that something on one of our wish lists would inspire you, help you think of things that may be perfect for people with similar intesrests, or give you great things to buy. I wanted to start with me, but it’s been so much more difficult than I thought it would be!

It’s not that I don’t want things (I want things ALL the time). And it’s not that I don’t know who I am or what I like (I manage to find things I like all the time and can spot things that are “me” from anywhere. I have a running list of bookmarked items on my phone that serves as part of my wishlist). However, the process of making a list (that constantly changes) with all of my interests (that can often be contradictory) to give to others has been a bit overwhelming, and I’m not sure that I have “it” yet. In fact, every year I struggle with telling my family and friends what I want (I am the reason I advocate for gift cards).

But, if you’re here, you either like what I like or know someone who does-so I thought I would tell you a bit about my current wishlist, what I’m shopping for, and what I’m loving right now (and yes, if you shop for you, that’s a gift too!)

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!

I love fashion (obviously) and while I can be a bit all over the place I love Classic pieces and a bit of sass. We all know that I can’t say no to any party dress or standout pieces. I’m thinking of this gold set for NYE and love the cutouts in a dress!

Speaking of classics, I also am loving the new revamp of Banana Republic- chic work and safari inspired looks. Here are some of my favorites:

Lately, I have been loving workout jumpsuits (unitards? bodysuits?). And I currently love all of these:

I also LOVE Mother jeans (they have a high rise cut that flatters me!) Mother released 2 new fits this week and I’m already in love with them!

Another item I keep looking at? A sweater dress (I just love how comfy and classic they are!) These are some I’m currently loving:

As we know, I love vintage. But vintage can be difficult to shop for other people (if you’re shopping for a vintage lover make sure you have their wishlist, measurements, and know return policies). That’s why I often just let people know about the vintage bags I love (and ask for gift cards for any other vintage!). This Coach bag is just so yummy!

Of course, there are books I want, and very randomly I want the Schitt’s Creek Monopoly game (I’m usually not a fan of board games). It’s the time of year to began thinking about what you want, and what you want to get others; I hope that this glimpse into what I’m currently wanting helped you find something for someone you love (or you!)

What’s on your wishlist this year?
Wishing us all a week of getting our wants and amazing shoes!
xo RA

Modern Preppie

Investment Piece: Modern  Preppie
Investment Piece: Modern Preppie
Investment Piece: Modern Preppie

What clique were you in while you were in high school?
I know it’s kinda a trick question because every high school was a tad bit different, but I think there are certain cliques we can all recognize: the jocks, the populars, theater kids, the nerds, the preppies, goth, and if you’re in the south, the kickers (like Cowboys).
While it sounds cliche, I was a bit of a floater- I was a theater kid but also was on dance team, and was a in the smart crowd. Rubbed elbows with the popular kids but wasn’t really one of them. And while I would have never told you that I was preppie- and in some ways I still don’t consider myself preppie- I can’t help but LOVE (like just adore) some preppie style.

To me, preppie style means certain things. Sweater Vests. Big Collars (though apparently those could also be bow girl?). I think of preppie as a clean cut, laced up, school-spirit like style.

I always associate Tory Burch and Kate Spade as preppy, but I know that they can have twists to them, which is maybe where the modern comes in?

What does preppie (or preppy? I realize I’m not sure how we spell it!) mean to you? And are you like me and when you hear “preppie” you always think of the Zach MORRIS character in Saved by the Bell?

Investment Piece: Modern Preppie
Investment Piece: Modern Preppy
Investment Piece: Modern preppie

This was my take on modern preppy. I love, love, love a good sweater vest. Paired with tailored cropped pants and a block heel. There’s just enough sass- nothing under the vest, and the snakeskin on the shoes. But it’s clean cut. Almost school girl. But not. Maybe modern preppy is a bit like hot librarian?

I would really love to know your thoughts on modern preppie- what it is, how you style it, if you love sweater vests like I do! Below I’ve linked the pieces to recreate this exact outfit AND some of my favorites from the fall collection at Tory Burch. 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!

This outfit:

Tory Burch Fall:

Investment Piece: Modern preppie

Fashion Halloween: A Look Back

I LOVE Halloween. And I LOVE costumes! Maybe it’s the actress in me, but especially with fashion Halloween, I love thinking about a character, getting an outfit together, and getting to be someone for a night!

Full confession: by Halloween night I’m usually in this:

Investment Piece: I put a spell on you

On the couch watching “Hocus Pocus”. But I still love playing dress up throughout the month.  Last year, I did 2 looks for Fashion Halloween:

Investment Piece: Fashion Halloween

A Mrs. Maisel from the first season

Investment Piece: Fashion Halloweend

And a Moira Rose. Yes, both involved pjs (it felt very appro for 2020). This year, as much as I love Halloween, I am not quite sure what to be. Of course, it would be so easy to be a witch or a queen (things I’ve avoided because it seems so obvious). I have a few flapper dresses (and authentic 1920 pieces), so it’s tempting to do a 1920s “roaring” theme- but I wear those clothes all the time so it feels odd to now call them a costume.  Since my favorite movie of the season is “Hocus Pocus”, it might be fun to dress as the Sanderson Sisters (but that involves getting 2 more friends in on it).

 

In sum, I’m a bit at a loss for what to be this year – I love coming up with glam costumes that not only seem high fashion but are great ideas for Halloween. I would love to get some input- anything you’ve been dying for me to try? What comes to mind when I say Fashion Halloween? Any ideas?

Do you know what you’re being for Halloween yet?
Xo RA