• Saturday, August 23, 2014

    Meet one of our darling Texas gals, Shalyn Nelson! We met this sweeter than sweet tea photographer when we were in Austin for the Texas Style Council event! She also happens to be the mother to the cutest creature around: #HattieTheHedgeHog. Here's some of our favorite snaps of this little prickly creature: 1. Smart Hattie, 2. Festive Hattie, 3. Cozy Hattie, 4 Silly Hattie, 5 Curious Hattie. We could have kept going with the photos. Read on to see what makes this Ruchette a happy woman!

    1. A go-to drink.
    Chick-Fil-A Sweet Tea or Diet Dr. AWESOME...I mean, Pepper.

    2. A go-to Karaoke song.
    As cliche' as it is, I'd say '''Don't Stop Believing'' by Journey. I love that freakin' song. Admit it, if you're in a room and it comes on...everyone will have their heads back, hands up and will belt it out screaming at each others faces. I love it. It's like insta-magic.

    3. A uniform.
    A smile. "You're never fully dressed without a smile." :)

    4. A hair stylist they love.
    You're talking to the girl who gets her hair trimmed once a year... Hot Hair Mess Express over here.

    5. An exercise routine.
    Volleyball, snowboarding or wakeboarding if possible. I love sports. But because I can't do that every day, I've been really into these Pilates classes lately with the machines. It hurts so good. I can't move for days and will totally look like a gremlin getting out of bed the next day, but it's a baller shot caller work out for sure.

    6. A hobby.
    Twerking.

    7. A best friend.
    This guy right here...My husband, Drew. He has hot pants, holds my hand tight, wipes away my tears, makes me laugh, let's me dream, believes in me, prays with me, pushes me, grounds me and loves me hard for some strange reason. I still haven't figured out why, but I don't hate it that's for sure. :)

    8. A healthy sense of self.
    What we say to ourselves about ourselves either makes or breaks us. You own your own blue print, your difference matters and contributes to the world around you. You are valuable to God, your family and your friends. Don't let negative self talk convince you otherwise. You rock. The end. Own it. Believe it. Then, WALK. IT. OUT! :)

    -- Shalyn Nelson, So Shay

    A huge thanks to this pretty lady for letting us feature her - and for taking over our Instagram for the weekend! Be sure to follow along @shopruche, and make sure you're following @shalynnelson too!

    xo,
    Ruche


  • Friday, August 22, 2014

    Photography: Brandon Kidd

    With the proliferation of denim in America over the last 150 years, it’s easy to take the fabric in all its variations for granted. In honor of this classic wardrobe staple, we’ve set our sights on creatively styling chambray and denim for the spring and summer to give this essential a new spin. But before we jump into mixing and matching our favorite denim items this season, let’s take a look at the history of the fabric we’ve all welcomed into our wardrobes.

    The history of denim begins in Europe, where the fabric was originally referred to as “serge de Nimes.” Navy sailors in Genoa, Italy wore pants of this fabric out to sea, and these trousers became known as “bleu de Genes,” meaning “the blue of Genoa.” This phrase was later shortened to “jeans” in America, whereas the “de Nimes” fabric became “denim.”

    When German immigrant Levi Strauss ended up in California, he wanted to address the problem many Gold Rush miners were experiencing -- their pants were not strong enough to handle the wear and tear of their profession. He first attempted to make pants out of heavy canvas, and while this material could withstand the miner’s working conditions, they were far from comfortable. Strauss decided to swap the canvas for “serge de Nimes” and developed the concept of using rivets to strengthen the construction of the pants. The official birthday of “blue jeans” is May 20, 1873, the day the patent on these rivets passed. From then on, blue jeans became an essential part of the working class wardrobe.

    With the popularity of Westerns in the early to mid-twentieth century, denim became a Hollywood symbol. Celebrities like Gene Autry, John Wayne, and Roy Rogers made blue jeans an iconic must-have, representing Americana at its core. But once James Dean wore denim in Rebel Without a Cause, blue jeans also began to signify a culture of youth and freedom. By the mid 1960s, boutiques in New York City began selling jeans that they’d washed for a distressed effect, and in new silhouettes, such as bell-bottoms, that were gaining steam in the anti-mainstream market.

    As the years progressed, different lengths and washes of blue jeans became standard. In 1979, the character Daisy Duke on the show The Dukes of Hazzard made cut-off denim shorts popular. Her signature style of shorts are still referred to as “Daisy Dukes” and worn today by younger crowds. Stone-washing became a popular effect in the 1980s, and wearing ripped or decorated jeans was not uncommon. And by the 90s, denim skirts, colored denim, and baggy jeans were popular among American teens and became renowned symbols of the decade. It’s impressive that in less than half a century, denim stepped out of its classic workwear position and became a versatile must-have across the board.

    Photography: Brandon Kidd

    We’re thrilled that denim has remained an important part of fashion by expanding to cover so many trends. You can now purchase jeans in a multitude of washes, cuts, and colors, and we want them all -- from retro high-waisted cuts and chic skinny fit pants to trendy boyfriend jeans and lightweight chambray shirts. With your newfound appreciation for “serge de Nimes,” how will you be styling your denim and chambray this year?

    xo,
    Ruche

    This post originally appeared on March 17th, 2014


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  • Friday, August 22, 2014

    While we love our weekends for rest and relaxation, our to-do list builds up during the busy week. Weekends are our time to take care of things like running to the grocery store, farmer's market, or tidying up. In addition to the little things we have to check off our task list, weekends are also the perfect time for a dinner and a trip to the cinema in a darling dress, brunch with your best friends in flowy patterned blouse, or exploring a local park in a pair of rustic boots. Whatever the weekend may bring you, we have the perfect printable list to make staying organized and getting everything done just a little sweeter. Plus, who doesn't love creating their own lovely lists? 

    Download the printable here! 

    For more weekend inspiration, don't forget to visit our #WeekendWhyNots Pinterest board, and discover a new favorite outfit for each of your adventures from Saturday through Sunday! Enjoy the weekend, Ruchettes!

    xo,
    Ruche 


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  • Tuesday, August 19, 2014

    Images Via: 1, 2, 3, 4

    ... we'd certainly hope to look as gorgeous as these office spaces! There's nothing like an inspiring work environment to get your creativity flowing. Your office should always be a reflection of you, even in the most formal of settings. While you're looking to create an inspiring workspace or personalize your desk or looking to embrace professional style, don't forget to stop by our latest style feature, In Good Company, and discover workplace wardrobes for a variety of industries! 

    xo,
    Ruche


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  • Tuesday, August 19, 2014

    Ruchettes, head over to Lauren Kelp's blog to see our Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer, Mai Olivo's fashion feature and interview! View it here!

    xo,
    Ruche


  • Monday, August 18, 2014

    Over time, we discovered that business clothing is often sectioned into two categories: business attire and business casual. While we love pieces tailored to looking your best on the job, we know that there are a myriad of industries that allow clothing that don't always fit into these two categories. We chose several industries and styled outfits that go beyond typical business attire. From positions in creative industries to executives looking to get more mileage out of their wardrobe, our latest feature is brimming with inspiration for a variety of workplaces!   

    Creative industries like graphic design allow you to showcase your style and brand through your outfits. Key pieces like patterned blazers and colorful bottoms are the perfect way to show off your aesthetic while looking polished! 

    When working in education, it's important that you not only look sophisticated, but are comfortable enough to make it through a day of classes. Cotton dresses and flats can keep up with even the busiest teachers! 

    When you're the one making the big decisions for your workplace, it's essential that your style exudes professionalism. Your day doesn't just last from 9-5, so discover styles that will take you from the office to happy hour like structured dresses and pencil skirts paired with light and flowy tops. 

    Building your own brand isn't easy, so conquer days at your office, lunch meetings, and networking events in ensembles that show the world your impeccable style. We love dresses and blouses in playful prints and colors for any self-starter!

    Stop by our feature and discover workplace style that works for you!  

    xo,
    Ruche


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  • Sunday, August 17, 2014

    We all know this scene: you’re at your local thrift store or flea market and you spot a bin of vinyl records. You carefully thumb through them, admiring intricate artwork and the faces of artists both familiar and foreign. You land on an album that speaks to your heart- but what next? Whether you’re a casual listener or thinking of beginning a collection, buying vintage vinyl can be tricky, so here are a few things to keep in mind before purchasing!

    Image via A Beautiful Mess

    First, inspect the sleeve. Are the edges or spine torn, worn, or frayed? The sleeve of an LP, which is short for long-playing record because of their 10-12 inch diameter, is generally an indicator of the shape a record is in. But don’t fret- if the album art is what you’re truly in love with, it may be worth investing in as a piece of artwork.

    After inspecting the sleeve, carefully remove the record from the jacket and hold it up to the nearest light source. It may have a layer of dirt or dust, which can is an easy fix with a dry brush or special vinyl-safe liquid cleaner. Things like fingerprints can be easily removed and small, hairline scratches in the vinyl, as long as sparse, usually won’t drastically affect the quality of the sound, so don’t let those put you off. When inspecting the record, check for things like deep scratches, marks, and, most importantly, warp in the vinyl- these can cause the sound to distort or record to skip.

    There is also a huge market for vintage records online. From auction sites to specialized websites, if your dream record doesn’t make the cut in person, you can always find another copy on the internet. When browsing records online, you can determine the quality of the record by the grade given by the seller. There is a grading system used for vinyl that is as follows:

    Mint or (M): Mint means that the record is flawless and appears to have never been handled or taken out of the sleeve, which will also be in perfect condition. This is very rare when it comes to vintage records and can usually mean a much higher sticker price!

    Near Mint or (NM) or (M-): Near Mint means the record is in excellent condition and is relatively flawless. There might a scuff on the record that does not affect the play or very minor wear to the cover, but it is almost perfect.

    Excellent or (E) or (VG++): Excellent indicated that the record has a few minor scuffs that do not affect the sound of the record at all and there is only slight wear to the album cover.

    Very Good Plus or (VG+): Very Good Plus records typically show their wear. They still play well, but their flaws are visible to the naked eye. There will also be some aging to the jacket in the form of yellowing, tears, or marks.

    Very Good or (VG): Very Good records may show their wear, but they still play well. This grade of record usually plays with surface noise (some crackling and popping) and the cover of the record will be visibly worn.

    Good or (G): A Good record will be easily identifiable. It will have visible wear and damage on the vinyl, but will still play. Unlike Very Good records, the surface noise will be continuous and more audible. The artwork on the cover will be worn and there may be a ring where the record was inside. In addition, there may be writing on the cover or tape where the spine has split.

    Using this system can be tricky because one’s Near Mint may be another’s Excellent. The subjectivity of the grading system can sometimes make buying online more difficult than easy, so keep this in mind when purchasing via the Internet!

    Image via A Beautiful Mess

    Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Whether you’re buying in person or online, get the scoop on the record you’ve set your sights on. Where did it come from? How long have they had it? Inquiries are a great way to get a history lesson and learn more about the care previously given to your record.

    Once the record is in your possession, make sure you have a plastic sleeve for the album and paper inner sleeve for your record to protect it from accidentally falling out of the jacket and keeps the dust away. Plastic inner sleeves can stick to the vinyl, so they aren’t necessary, especially for those in warmer climates. Heat can adversely affect vinyl, so always store your precious records away from vents, fireplaces and direct sunlight. It is also imperative to store records standing up to avoid warping!

    When you’re ready to play your record, place the disc between faced-in palms on the very edge of the record to avoid leaving fingerprints. Carefully set it on your record player and enjoy the soothing sounds of your latest purchase (dancing optional).

    xo,
    Ruche

    This post originally appeared on March 28th, 2014.


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  • Saturday, August 16, 2014

    While many students are only just opening the books for their first reading assignments, finding their classes without the help of a map and schedule, and getting down their professor's names, pretty soon it will seem as though someone hit fast forward on the semester. Sometimes school days seem to drag on, but it always feels like midterms and first exams come so quickly in the year! For when feel as though you don't have a grip on your academic endeavors, we have a few tips to help you de-stress and relax. 

    Get a Plant: Adding some greenery to your space can always add just the touch of brightness you need. Opt for some fresh flowers, or for a more permanent staple, try filling a planter with succulents! 

    Strike a Pose: Stretch with some yoga for some time for meditation and relaxation. The stillness between shifting poses will give you a chance to refresh your mind and you'll feel invigorated in no time. 

    Turn Up the Volume: Find a playlist that fits your mood. Maybe you respond well to upbeat songs when you're stressed, or perhaps you need something a little more slow and mellow. No matter your preference, check out our collection of playlists and start de-stressing! 

    Get Crafty: Sometimes when you can shift your focus from what is causing you stress, it can help you feel refreshed. Using your anxious energy to create something new is incredibly rewarding. For ideas, see more DIY projects here

    Images Via: 1, 2, 3

    Call a Friend: When you're feeling stressed out, sometimes it's best to call a friend. Whether you decide to pour your heart out, or just need a distraction, contacting a loved one can be a great way to relax. 

    Take a Walk: Even a short ten minute walk can help strip away any stressful energy you may have building up. Getting some fresh air in your favorite spot is an essential for when you're not feeling your best! 

    Do you have a favorite way to relax? Let us know! And don't forget to stop by our lookbook, Making the Grade, for even more back-to-school inspiration. 

    xo,
    Ruche 


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  • Friday, August 15, 2014

    If you aren't already a fan of this fashionista, you may recognize the darling Rebecca, author of The Clothes Horse, as a past Ruchette Of The Month or from her style remix feature on our site. When she isn't jet-setting between Pennsylvania and Northern Ireland with her fiance Thomas, Rebecca is busy discovering a new favorite designer or capturing beautiful outfit photos for her blog. This gal is truly in love with all things fashion; often featuring high fashion recap posts alongside her own personal adventures. We can't get enough of her end-of-summer style, so we wanted to share her sartorial perfection with you! 

    Like something out of a springtime dream, Rebecca looks simply ethereal! We love this outfit featuring a simple blouse, neutral sandals, and our chambray Weekend Outing skirt. Her darling orange purse and bouquet of bright yellow wildflowers make the perfect accessories! 

    Adorned with a flower crown, Rebecca looks stunning in our dainty, off the shoulder lace dress and minty cutout Chelsea Crew heels. We love how Rebecca always plays with a variety of colors, even when paired with a simple white frock! 

    A flowy floral dress is an essential in every wardrobe, and we are enamored with how Rebecca styled our Veranda Floral Tiered Dress! She perfectly captures the movement of this airy, effortless dress covered in colorful blossoms. Plus, we really can't think of a better setting to wear this frock than the foliage-filled backdrop to Rebecca's outfit! 

    Want to see more of Rebecca's feminine style? View her previous style file features and don't forget to stop by her blog

    xo,
    Ruche


  • Thursday, August 14, 2014

    A day at school almost always means a day filled with hustle and bustle. Whether you're beginning your final year of college or preparing to move into a dorm, all things back-to-school can be kind of overwhelming. You begin your day dutifully taking notes in class, latte in hand, and then go from class to study session to lunch with a friend, back to class, and then finally home only to start the whole routine over again the next day. Because we know school days are busy days, we have an assortment of accessories to get you from morning to noon to night. 

    From pocket notebooks for to-do lists, shopping lists, or whatever list you can come up with (because who doesn't love making lists?!) to scarves for freezing AC temperatures inside your lecture halls, we have an abundance of little necessities to fill your backpack or satchel to get you through your day. Even things like comfy shoes to get you from one side of campus to another and sunglasses for those outdoor study sessions are a must-have! Shop back-to-school accessories and our back-to-school lookbook, Making the Grade, to find everything you need for that first day back until you hand in your last final exam! 

    xo,
    Ruche 


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