Mellow Yellow

Though we technically moved back to DC at the end of June, between finding an apartment (and within a mere two business days!), moving our stuff out of storage, unpacking, and going on vacation, we had not prioritized anything other than nesting the new flat. Last weekend before a trip to Bed, Bath, & Beyond, we made time for brunch. Any occasion is the right occasion for Farmers Fishers Bakers in Georgetown. Ironically, I have been on numerous occasions with different friends and family, but before Saturday, never my husband. It is a buffet brunch so an outfit without a static waistband is crucial. Never forget the time I wore skinny jeans to Farmers Fishers Bakers brunch.

I scored this fantastic vintage Lilly Pulitzer frock via eBay back in June. Thanks to the tag, I dated this dress to the 1960s. Vintage Lilly Pulitzer has been my style obsession of this past spring and current summer (see here and here and here and here) and though I am still attempting to decrease my shopping and keeping a discerning eye on my consumption, secondhand shopping is my weakness because with it comes a feeling of scarcity.

When I buy a vintage item, I cannot help but wonder about its provenance. Not whether or not it is actually vintage; I know my Lilly Pulitzer labels well enough to determine an item’s approximate age. Rather, I think about the woman or women who owned it before me. Who was she? Where did the former owner wear it? Did any formative events happen to her while wearing it? More importantly, did she accessorize it with a gin martini?

I love the a-line cut of this dress because these days, I am quite the pear shape. Elevating the comfort of this dress, especially during the dog days of summer, are the dual vents on either side. Not only do they make the dress roomier, but this feature of the design make it quite the ventilation system.

I linked several yellow vintage Lilly Pulitzer dresses below. As always, exercise diligence when it comes to sizing (I always ask for measurements, if they are not posted) and item condition.

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A Beautiful Day for Croquet

I stumbled upon this frock on eBay and immediately added it to my online shopping basket. I had not seen the dress before and I knew that if I waited, I would not see it again. Perfect for the fourth of July, it screams Americana Fest.

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Aside for checking for the historic label, the not-so-secret way of identifying if an item is a Lilly Pulitzer, is finding the label of the iconic namesake within the print of the shift. In the case of this dress, I have found it in three locations in the print, two of which are shown in the above photograph: 1) bottom half of the dress on the far right in red and white with the script running vertical and 2) in the red and white square tile in the middle of the dress just below the collar under the solid blue row of 45 degree squares.

In addition to the items in this post, more vintage Lilly Pulitzer is linked below in a variety of sizes. Always check measurements against the listings and when in doubt, go up a size.

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Skirt Report

Upon news of the collaboration between Vineyard Vines and Target, I was inspired to break out one of my Vineyard Vines skirts (last seen here). While I have a few Vineyard Vines printed skirts perfectly suited for warmer weather, this navy and black striped one is ideal for the colder months. Despite what anyone had to say about the upcoming collaboration, there is nothing like it to increase brand awareness and create buzz.

Further outfit inspiration came from Eric of yesterday’s Style Survey. Discussing style with Eric made me want to incorporate more menswear into my outfits. Not only did I “borrow” one of my husband’s Brooks Brothers button downs which I have been known to “borrow” time and time again, but I took it a step further. I love the Repp stripe and on the way out of the apartment, I grabbed one of my husband’s ties.

I admit that this is not an everyday outfit. The skirt and the shirt and the slingbacks? Yes. I would wear that combination everyday because I cannot say no to a men’s button down or an a-line skirt or a pair of comfortable heels. The tie is where I went a bit over the top. I am constantly looking for a way the Repp stripe into my outfits. While I have a silk tie fabric belt that I incorporate into my outfits whenever possible, I could use it in more colorways other than the navy and red as it coordinates with a limited number of outfits.

Is this lewk Gordon Gekko? Annie Hall? Avril Lavigne? Britney Spears circa Hit Me Baby One More Time? Walk of shame?

Does it matter?

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Velvet Score

A few years ago, J.Crew’s tall assortment put this year’s to shame. It did not help that the collections from 2008 to 2013 were chock full with my favorite styles, fabrics, and colors: hacking jackets, tipped blazers, tweed sets, matchstick pants in 36 inch inseams…herringbone, madras, seersucker, corduroy…acid brights, pastels, jewel tones. I stand by those years being under the golden influence of Jenna Lyons.

Back then you could get a velvet, tweed, corduroy, or wool blazer in tall and in a variety of colors. I am glad I took advantage – orange hacking jacket, the wool schoolboy blazer in pearl gray, navy, cobalt, and cherry red, pink tweed skirt suit – and my only regret was not adding more to my collection.

I do not love that the Parke blazer succeeded the Rhodes blazer, which succeeded the Schoolboy blazer. The closest thing left is the Legacy blazer and it is unfortunately not available in tall. The Parke blazer is a paired down, minimalistic blazer and it just is not as extra as one could hope. One neutral button replaced the two brass buttons. The third small pocket is wiped from the blazer. I was not even impressed with the lining; rolling up the cuff any one in my collection of blazers exposes a perfectly preppy striped lining.

This past year is the first year in series of a few that any non-suit blazer was available in tall; albeit not in my favorite cut. I got over it and ordered the Parke in the most vivid color available. An acid shade of mustard yellow this blazer is not, but desperate times call for desperate measures and this muted rose shade will have to do until J.Crew gets it’s balls back.

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Old Books and a Vintage Look

Old City Philadephia is home to my favorite vintage stores. Primarily known for being the gallery district in the city, it is also home to several goldmines when it comes to thrift shopping. Shopping the secondary market is something in which I have been engaging more often, as it is a sustainable practice, especially when it is from a local outpost rather than an online source. For the past few weekends, whenever I am in the area, I inevitably drag my husband into any store which has a secondhand rack. Count me in for any vintage frock from a classic label.

I bought this dress from Meadowsweet (47 North 2nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106) several weeks ago. It is a Brooks Brothers and from the looks of it, I would guess it was released circa 1982. Though the snaps and hook and eye closures were in less than perfect condition, those were easy enough to reinforce and more importantly, the pleats were in pristine condition. I was instantly smitten and at 72 dollars, can you blame me? Like my vintage concert tee shirt collection, this dress was instantly one of the most priceless items in my closet.

Just down the street from Meadowsweet is a two story bookstore, The Book Trader (7 North 2nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106). It is a secondhand bookstore and to say it is epic would be an understatement. I have left there with some amazing finds, my favorite being a coffee table book on contemporary art. Whenever we have guests in town, we always make sure to bring them to this two story bookworm gift from above. Two weekends ago, my husband and I happened to wander into a previously undiscovered room on the second floor that housed a collection of records that rival my father’s collection. And that my friends, is an extensive collection.

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Windowpane Crush

On a recent unseasonably warm Sunday morning, my husband and I took a walk around Independence Mall. With our days in Philadelphia numbered (I officially, albeit regrettably, put in my two month notice two weeks ago), it has become all the more a priority for us to savor every last minute we have in this city.

Often it is forgotten that Philadelphia was the OG capitol of the United States. Only three centuries ago was this area bustling with brilliant ideas. One of my favorite classes in undergrad, taken during my last semester, was The Early American Republic. (Shoutout Dr. Haley!) I feel lucky – and to be honest I know I take for granted – that I so easily can walk down the street and stand within the vicinity of where so many visionaries who shaped the modern government of the United States several centuries prior.

About the outfit…

The jacket and the skirt do not come in tall, but even though the latter is mini length, it does not feel especially short. I was wearing it high on my waist and it still felt appropriate and comfortable for warm winter daytime. The jacket has a massive pleat in the back that contributes to a swingy silhouette. The cropped length and the cut reminded me of 1960s Britain, especially when paired with a short skirt and ankle boots.

The sweater is cashmere, it was available in tall, and it is everything. While it is available now, it is not longer available in tall. (Sidebar, I got your covered. Peep the tall cashmere here.) Thank sweet baby Jesus, I bought it in three colors back when it was available in my size.

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On a serious note, as I am writing this, the Federal government has been shuttered for fifteen days. That is fifteen days too long. It makes me sick. It makes me sick that so many people whom I worked with and learned from while I interned at the National Parks Service circa 2009 are on furlough. It makes me sick that my best friend from elementary school is preparing budgets for our nation’s Navy and in doing so working without pay. All of this was highlighted by the copious signs around Independence Mall, notifying would-be patrons that facilities are closed. Tourists walking on disappointed, from cultural resource to cultural resource.

We are better than this.

America is better than this.

In 2020 we will make the decision to collectively be better than this.

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Blown Away

My husband and I went to see the Pennsylvania Ballet production of The Nutcracker two Saturdays ago. Before the ballet, we visited our friends from the Young Friends Group for drinks. Two wines and some shrimp cocktail later and we headed to the Academy of Music Theatre. That night was the Young Friends of the Pennsylvania Ballet holiday party, followed by a late dinner at Butcher and Singer. Followed by a day-long hangover. I really need to lay off the gin martinis. Sunday Scaries turned up to eleven.

To say Saturday was windy, is an understatement. Though I love the skirt I chose for the day (last seen here), it was too swingy for the conditions. Thank sweet baby Jesus for the more structured lining. Still, I felt the need to hold the copious layer of fabric down as we made our way through Center City. While it was originally sold four years ago (and I am still wearing mine, thank you), there are a few sizes of this exact skirt on the secondary market. I also found a near identical one just released.

The shirt (last seen here) is one that I loved so much, that I bought in two colors. It comes in tall, as well as standard and petite sizes. Truth be told, this probably would not be a shirt I would purchase if it were on final sale. I had to buy and return many identical ones, as the keyhole button closure was too taut and would not unbutton on several of the shirts.

This coat is from 2012. I remember being so amped when I found out it was available in tall. Just out of graduate school, I waited for it to go on promotion and bought it. Given that I am wearing it six years later, I think we can confirm that it was a good wardrobe investment. I was shocked – shocked – when I found out how many are on the secondary market and I linked them below. Trust me when I say, that this coat is a fantastic one.

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Love is a Camel Coat

I just finished watching my favorite holiday movie, Trading Places, when I was inspired to put together this outfit. The girlfriend of one of the main characters, as portrayed by Kristin Holby and Dan Aykroyd respectively, has the most preppy, Brooks Brothers-laden wardrobe that would cause even season one Blair Waldorf to turn green in envy. Penelope Witherspoon inspired me to wear tennis whites as athleisure and now that it is winter, my camel coat. Unlike her, I will be wearing mine to brunch and for weekend errands, as opposed to her wearing it to pick up her boyfriend from the drunk tank.

And an outfit was born.

The coat is available in tall, standard, and petite sizing and in several colorways. I bought the Thinsulate version, highly recommended by the way, two winters ago. I stayed toasty all day, running through Center City for last minute holiday supplies. Peach puree for bellinis and finally settling on orange juice, as peaches are out of season and pre-made mixers were sold out across the city. First world problems.

The dress is a wool-cashmere mix and also comes in tall. The dress made a previous appearance on the blog in the pale pink option. I loved it so much that once the dress went on markdown, I snatched up the black option. It was a wise choice, as I have already worn it to my husband’s holiday party, this past Saturday brunch and errands, and I have big plans to wear it to the ballet next Saturday.

The accessories really drive home the lewk. Oversized pearl earrings, Burberry cashmere scarf, huge sunglasses (my eye bags are awful right now; taking recommendations for eye cream), and a rather aggressive arm party, and the outfit went from baseline to an outfit that I actually hoped that I would run into people while out and about.

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Metal Heart

The husband and I went to the Pennsylvania Ballet production of Petit Mort as well as two new ballets last Saturday. I attended the technical rehearsal for the last ballet in the sequence this past Wednesday night. A technical rehearsal was most definitely required as there was a huge stairwell on caster wheels that was moved around the stage by the dancers. At the end of the rehearsal, the dancers did a full dress of the ballet and it was ever-impressive.

What happened Saturday night impressed me even more. Towards the climax of the ballet, the stairs were to be pushed across the stage in its entirety wide-ways. There was then a combination on the stage left with about sixteen dancers. The stairs got stuck at the center-to-stage left, where the combination was to be danced. The cast must have some next level ESP because they all knew not only to dance the combination on stage right but also how to adjust their formations and choreography to the alternate space.

I don’t know if anyone who had not seen the ballet the way it was meant to be danced would have known that thanks to the stairs, it shook out otherwise.

The dress I originally planned to wear for the ballet fit a bit too tight, so I wore a dress that has been previously seen on the blog. It is such a great backup dress that I never end up disappointed in having to use a backup dress. The asymmetrical neckline is so architectural, the fabric is great quality, and it was available in tall. My only regret is that I wish I had purchased it in the pale pink colorway as well as the dark teal.

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Night at the Museum

Last Saturday, the husband and I spent our evening at the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Fall Into Art party. The contemporary wing and the newest exhibit Fabulous Fashion: From Dior’s New Look to Now was open to party-goers. The Young Friends of the Philadelphia Museum of Art board did a fantastic job with planning and executing the event. Not only was the party sold out but it raised well over the goal of twenty thousand dollars. (Last I heard it was over twenty-four thousand dollars.)

I loved being able to explore the contemporary wing and the new exhibit. So much so, that I will certainly return to the new Fabulous Fashion: From Dior’s New Look to Now. Ironically, trying to navigate the exhibit afterhours may have been more challenging as in place of iPhone-yielding preteens, there were iPhone-yielding borderline-drunk people.

Not that did not make my husband take photos of me with Grace Kelly’s wedding dress, which was on exhibit. Another fun fact about Grace Kelly: The Hermes Kelly bag was named for her as she carried it in front of her baby bump while being photographed by paparazzi.

The more you know.

dress (old, Milly) // jacket (old, Banana Republic) // shoes (old, J.Crew Factory, similar) // tights // watch // headband (old, J.Crew) // clutch (old, Lauren Merkin) // earrings // necklace // necklace // necklace // pearl cuff // black diamond cuff // green stone cuff // ring

Nothing Leopard, Nothing Gained

Same skirt I wrote about and posted yesterday, albeit in a different colorway. When you find something that comes in your (tall) size and actually fits, you just have to buy all of the palatable color options. Yes, it is an old (circa 2013) skirt, but I love breaking out old school styles. They are not call classics for no reason. Figure out that double negative.

The jacket is one that I initially procured and wore on the blog last autumn. I love the jacket and dress set, but breaking them up works too. It is just such a ladylike piece and mixing it with a different color, albeit in a similar weighted fabric (in this case the skirt) feels chic as eff.

camisole // jacket // skirt (old, J.Crew, size 2 via eBay, size 8 tall via eBay, size 10 tall via eBay, alternate colors via eBay) // tights // purse (old, Kate Spade) // heels (old, J.Crew Factory) // sunglasses // earrings (old, Gemma Redux) // green stone cuff // pearl cuff // black diamond cuff // ring

Think Off White The Box

Last weekend I unpacked a few garments that I have not worn since at late-winter 2015. I once read that the majority of people associate specific smells with the past. I associate articles of my own clothing with events and periods of time of my past. There is certainly comfort in the familiar, and this particular skirt reminds me of the time when I was fiercely independent. Took help from no one, not even my fiance, whom I did not move in with until after a solid six months after we were engaged. (I think the fact that we were in a bicoastal relationship had something to do with it. Just a hunch…)

Back then my daily routine was an early (albeit not as early as my current) wake up, around 6:30 am. Local news followed by Good Morning America on the television as I prepared for work. If it was a Monday, my lunches for the week got packed into my go-to L.L.Bean Boat and Tote, along with a pair of work heels and a set of gym clothes. If it was not Monday and my lunches were already in the work refrigerator, then I brought my gym clothes for the remainder of the week. My walk to work was just under two miles and about three quarters of the way up Book Hill in Georgetown. Despite the uphill walk, it was so idyllic; something of which I will always have fond memories while walking past the upscale bridal shops, Britt Ryan, and Dalton Pratt. Crunching through the sidewalk salt in a pair of L.L.Bean boots, wearing the J.Crew shirttail hem mini, J.Crew cocoon coat, and the sweater of the day, all but one particular day this outfit kept me sufficiently warm. Thank goodness for the Georgetown Circulator and a very convenient bus route.

About nine hours and one bowl of Sunday-prepared slow cooker chili later, I left for the gym. After one particular day that I nearly slipped and slid down Book Hill while hustling down in a pair of J.Crew flats, I embraced a standard of procedure to change into my gym clothes and winter boots at the office before packing away this skirt and the sweater of the day and tracking down to the Georgetown location of Washington Sports Club. I loved that my gym was on the way home from my office and the time spent walking there every evening was spent on the phone, catching up with my mom, grandma, or sister.

I am sure many people may think this routine was mundane, but my eight-to-five most definitely kept it otherwise. I had enough insight to look around and smell the roses and recognize how damn lucky I was. When I put on this skirt, I go back to that studio apartment, my office, my walks around my neighborhood.

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coat // blouse (old, J.Crew, size 4 tall via eBay) // skirt (old, J.Crew, size 4 tall via eBaysize 10 via eBayalternate colors via eBay) // tights // purse (old, Kate Spade) // heels (old, Cole Haan) // sunglasses // green stone cuff // pearl cuff // black diamond cuff // ring