Frock Star

Did anyone else catch this particular Lilly Pulitzer dress showing up on their Instagram feed on more than one lady’s Easter post? No doubt it is a great dress, so great in fact, that I purchased the Goop version of the style just last year and when the collection went on markdown. Luckily the general public’s aversion to Gwyneth Paltrow and Gwyneth Paltrow-related product kept the dress from getting too popular.

At the end of April, I discussed my own growing aversion to matching all of the gals sporting Lilly Pulitzer on my own Instagram feed. {No doubt that they all look adorable; I just feel resistance to looking like everyone else employing #resort365.} Only after I drafted this post discussing my reservations did my awareness hit an apex over Easter with the Maisie dress.

It was perfect timing because I had just shopped eBay like a mad woman and stocked up on vintage Lilly Pulitzer. Stocking up may be a bit of an understatement, actually. More like, I cleared out shift dresses in my size. Five shift dresses later and I satiated my need to not only go shopping and sustainably so, but also updating up my Lilly Pulitzer supply sans looking like everyone else.

Pro tip: when it comes to the Lilly styles from the 1960s and 1970s, go up a number size; this is especially crucial when shopping the online secondary market because oftentimes returns are not accepted.

Can we talk about the design of the dress? It is unlike anything that the brand currently carries. I am living for the fact that the hemline is longer yet it is still a shift dress. Rather than feeling constricted in the bottom half of the dress, the side slits provide ample room to move, walk, run. It is the perfect dress for someone who is a pear like myself. Cut to me scouring the secondary market for more.

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The Apples of My Eye

What is better than hanging out with your favorite person ever? Getting to hang out with my favorite person ever (my husband) and my number two (Jamie). I truly lucked out that they get along so well.

In the past few weeks, I have posted photos of myself and Jamie on my Instagram feed. All parties involved find it hilarious when people mistake him for my husband. Comments abound. “You look so cute together!” “Your hubby [Sidebar: That word makes me nauseous.] is so good looking.” “How long have you been married?”

I officially met Jamie only about seven years ago. In the two years prior to our introduction, we went to the same graduate school and as such, traveled in the same social circle and attended the same birthday / Halloween / Jersey Shore-themed parties. It was not until a fateful night in late 2011 that we both landed at the same going-away party for a mutual friend at the second floor of Wonderland Ballroom and bonded over #cherryvodkashots and #dancinghot.

Cut to six years later and he was my bridesman. My side of the wedding party and I were raging out for my bachelorette when he and I were told by a local bargoer that we were so cute together.

Fact. #toottootbeepbeep 

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I am aware that my archery form is not….perfect. Looking at the photos, I realize that my left hand looks as though I am trying to shoot with a pool cue and could likely damage or even lose that pointer finger. I am always surprised at how challenging it is to aim and control the bow and arrow. (I guess this explains why the Archery category in my Barcelona Olympics 1992 Sega Genesis videogame was so difficult.) I was shocked at how sore my right shoulder was the next morning. It makes me wonder: do archers only bulk up on their dominant side?

Note: No Jamies were hurt in the production of these photographs. Cut to my husband directing me not to actually aim at him.

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Black and White and Read All Over

Last weekend was a nice one in Philadelphia, weather-wise. While I spent about half of it in bed recovering from a raging Saturday night out at the Philadelphia Art Museum, I was able to get out and about and took a walk around our neighborhood.

A crisp upper fifties degree day called for a dress layered with tights and a leather coat. It was the first time wearing this dress during the colder months. To be honest, when I caught my reflection in the glass of a storefront, I actually did not love this look as much as I loved how comfortable it was. It just looked like a degree from RHONJ-level trashy. Not to say that the individual garments inspired that thought; it was the mere combination and I just will not wear them together again.

Lesson learned.

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Blackout

This past Saturday, the husband and I went to the Pennsylvania Ballet production of Romeo & Juliet. Prior to going to the theater, we met up for cocktails with several other Young Friends of the Pennsylvania Ballet. After indulging in another cocktail at the member reception during the first intermission, we were invited to tour backstage during the second intermission. It was everything and more.

I wore the Shpala dress that I wrote about last winter and the Long Tall Sally coat that I wrote about last autumn. Too many times, I notice bloggers resisting remixing their outfits into something new and different, myself included. That is just nonsensical. We all repeat pieces in our day-to-day lives, even Princess Kate. So last Saturday, when I found myself in a repeat outfit that was both different from the original ensembles of which I initially planned and feeling fantastic in said outfit, I asked my husband to take a few photos on our walk over to pre-show cocktails.

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dress // coat // clutch (old, Lauren Merkin) // heels (old, Loeffler Randall) // chain necklace (old, Gemma Redux) // pearl necklace (old J.Crew Factory) // watch // ring

Let Print Be

I was thrilled to find this Milly NY dress in my size on eBay NWT for a steal. I have said it before and I will say it again: while I like the new version, I love the older iteration of the brand more than any other label. It was just so feminine and chic. These days I will buy most any previous generation Milly NY article of clothing in my size, NWT, on eBay, ThredUp, Poshmark, or TheRealReal. The scarcity of availability makes the old styles all the more valuable, to me at least. I will take an old school #millymoment any day!

The upside to shopping on resale sites is that I am giving old clothing new life. This chic-as-eff dress could have ended up in a landfill. Rather, it has found a home in my summer closet. Vintage shopping is the fourth major method of sustainable shopping, and while I am not sure a ten-year-old dress exactly qualifies as vintage, it is certainly second-hand.

How did I celebrate scoring this dress and the beginning of a four day weekend? A 5 am wake up call for catching the sunrise down at the Race Street Pier. Why not? It was a fantastic way to start our long Labor Day weekend. After we saw the sun, we booked it home to pick up our luggage and then booked it to Philadelphia International. That rose bubbly was exactly what I needed to relax me before boarding!

dress (old, Milly, old Milly New York here, here, and here) // slides (also here) // clutch (old, Thredup + TheRealReal options: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) // earrings (old, Gemma Redux) // bracelet (old, Gemma Redux) // cuff // watch

Pink Outside of the Box

Have you ever lived through a poor experience and as a result banned the outfit you wore through the ordeal? Circa early June 2013, I had a really awful day at work. I consequently could not even look at the printed pencil skirt and the neon monogrammed cashmere tee shirt that I picked out that morning. I remember the outfit as vividly as I remember oversleeping and rushing out of the apartment that morning sans shower. While I made it to work with minutes to spare, it should have been the first clue that I was in for a doozy of a day.

I had to give away both garments as just one look at them took me to a really sad, angry, and confused place.

Earlier this summer, I sat through a really uncomfortable interview in this acid pink tweed shift dress. It was for a job at a nonprofit preservation organization for which I was beyond qualified based on my educational experiences alone. It would have been a thirty percent pay cut even though it was a more senior level than my current position. Mentally, I was at a place where the current staff would really have to sell me on the job; I just was not internally sold on it. I think going to any interview is a good exercise, regardless of having to use vacation hours for the present position, so I accepted in invitation to interview.

The interview did not go well. It was with three staff members and a board member. The board member and one of the staff members were perfectly delightful. A second staff member could only be described as outwardly milquetoast – or maybe just stoic –  although I am sure there was more going through her head. The third staff member was the Executive Director of said nonprofit and from the minute she answered the door bell (as I had to buzz in), she was not…very nice. She seemed surprised by my presence (give or take twelve minutes early) despite the fact that she had accepted the calendar event that I had previously sent her. Being sized up as I stood on the door stoop made me want to run away. #areyougoingtoinvitemeinquestionmark

In a move stolen from mean girls holding court in high school cafeterias around America, I caught the Executive Director attempting to make what felt like very judgemental eye contact with the board member, who I might add was not engaging back with the ED – including an actual eyeroll –  while I was mid-sentence.

While the actual functions of the job sounded exactly what I hoped for, I knew when I left the office it was for the last time. Whether I received an offer or not, I would not accept it and in a radical move on my part, I did not even send a set of thank you notes. Furthermore, it made me appreciate the staff of which I am a part. Straightforward. No mental hopscotch.

In the weeks that followed, I could not bring myself to even look at the acid pink tweed shift dress that I had been so in love with until wearing it to the interview. Did the Executive Director not like me because of the dress? Was that why she was sizing me up? Was the dress too bright? The tall size could not have been too short, right? Was the hemline too short? There was no way. (But seriously, weigh in, in the comment section.)

Several weeks later, I decided to reclaim the dress. I happened to have an informational interview with a Director of a privately held company which was in the same field as the nonprofit. I wore the dress. Echoing the experience of the nonprofit, I had to buzz in, to which the Director answered, “Hello Lucinda! I am going to be right down.” Upon opening the door, she said and I quote, “Great dress!” and we proceeded to have the most fantastic and inspiring conversation.

I will never forget how nice the Director was. She will remain one of the coolest people I have ever met. In conclusion, and ladies this is for us, it is cool to be nice. Let’s be like the Director every day. While we are at it, let’s not let bad experiences ruin our associations the with amazing clothes already in our closets!

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Shell I Compare Sea to a Summer’s Day?

Who remembers when Gilt and RueLaLa were the best online destinations to shop? Admittedly I probably shopped too much at the flash sale sites, so much so that I burnt out. Full candor, I was most certainly one of those girls who used the first thirty minutes of her lunch break (EST thank sweet baby Jesus) to raid Gilt’s daily offering.

Sidebar: I highly recommend reading By Invitation Only: How We Built Gilt and Changed the Way Millions Shop written by Alexis Maybank and Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, the founders of Gilt. It is an easily digestible read that you will not want to put down. Read it especially if you need inspiration in your professional life.

These days it seems as though the flash sale concept has been phased out for both of the websites. Though the seeming urgency to shop it everyday has cooled, it is not necessarily reflective of the quality of merchandise. In the past six months, I know I purchased at least one dress, one pair of sunglasses, and one swimsuit from one site or the other.

The swimsuit being this one. Unfortunately it was not offered in long torso, but I made a size larger than what I would typically purchase, work. With this fantastic print and the vivid colors, can you blame me?

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Burnin’ for Breakfast

Turn your sound up and listen to my favorite Blue Oyster Cult track. Don’t miss the first few licks, before the cowbell kicks in, that is my favorite part of the song!

Who else passed out extra early on July 4th? Show of hands please.

Who else woke up with a minor headache, presumably triggered by one too many margaritas? Again, a show of hands?

Thank you for coming to my TedTalk.

Did anyone pass out in a combination of their standard pajamas and a vintage concert tee shirt? I pat myself on my creatively dressed back from coming up with this combination. While the shorts portion of my get-up was part of a set released this summer, the tee shirt is much more older. What is fantastic about concert tee shirts is that if you are sure it is vintage, as opposed to vintage-inspired, it is easy to place the year it was released. According to the back graphic, this tee dates back to 1982. Confirmed by my parents and their collection of ticket stubs, they were both at the show where the tee shirt was procured for a mere five dollars the year before they married.

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How to Make Print in America

How excited I was to score this dress on deep discount from the Pink Pelican in Huntsville? Very. With the code 35closing, you can score an additional 35% off already marked down priced at this Lilly signature boutique. I was lucky enough to get in early enough to grab this dress, this dress, and these wedges. Sizes are limited these days, so act fast. Or diet down to a size extra small because that is all that there seems to be left.

The particular dress featured in this post caught my eye because although the colors are bright and the print is a eye-catcher, it isn’t outwardly Lilly Pulitzer. It truly is the perfect dress when you want to wear something vivid but at the same time, doesn’t scream, “I am a basic white woman.”

Several years ago, 2012 to be exact, J.Crew dominated the ikat print and put it all over that summer season from shorts to espadrilles. I distinctly remember being envious of a friend, Christine, who found that most amazing ikat print swimsuit from that line. The print is pretty phenomenal no matter which brand produces it, so this dress is my way of catching up with that 2012 FOMO.

 

dress // sandals // sunglasses // handbag (℅‎ Foley + Corinna) // earrings (alternate colorway) // necklace (old, Gemma Redux) // watch // knot ring // wire ring (old, Banana Republic)

Don’t Book Back

This year it is decided. I am going to read more books.

As part of one of my resolutions, I am not going to buy more books. Why? Because my iBooks queue is beyond backed up and I have more hard copy books that our bookshelves can handle. That four by four in the background of the above photos is only one of three in our apartment. Yes, to be fair only half of the space is taken up by books, but regardless of whatever space I may have, I think I should not add to that until I finish reading what I have. And what he has. The Keith Richards memoir? I will be reading that after I finish the Jane Austen compilation. It is all about balance, you know?

Don't Book BackIMG_1473IMG_1463In the meantime, I will leave you with my favorite books read in 2017:

dress (℅ Long Tall Sally) // pumps (old, similar, similar) // necklace (old) // green stone cuff // earrings (old, similar) // pearl cuff // black diamond cuff // bow cuff (℅ Mignon Faget) //  quatrefoil ring // beaded ring (℅ Mignon Faget)

The Satchel of My Eye

Christmas came early this year. Foley + Corinna generously sent me a bag I have coveted since I saw Blair Waldorf carrying it during the first season of Gossip Girl: the Lady Tote, albeit in a chic solid black iteration with studded hardware. I have been on the look out for a new black handbag, something edgier than my Kate Spade one with a bow (you know the one), and this is exactly it. I love that Foley + Corinna Lady Tote can be worn with the top folded over as a clutch without the cross-body strap (it clips off) or with cross-body strap hands-free. Last weekend I wore it as a tote, held by the top handles.

When I mentioned the Gossip Girl reference to my husband, he was confused. Wasn’t the first season ten years ago? Yes, it was. Does that make the bag out of date? Absolutely not, that makes it a total classic and if I love something now as much as I did a decade ago, then I absolutely need to add the piece to my closet. I am a curator when it comes to my wardrobe choices and I take my choices seriously.

Since the tote was the hero item of the day, I wanted to keep the rest of my outfit subdued. My go-to comfortable outfit: a long sleeved, long length tee shirt, houndstooth cardigan, leggings, leather coat, and riding boots and I was ready to go to brunch. (My husband was waiting on me for a mere fifteen minutes – this time!)

Within the last year, Foley + Corinna made the move to Liberated Leather, or vegan leather. Along with a more economical price point, the relaunched line is much more durable, while keeping the iconic shapes for which this brand is known. Act fast on this bag, because in addition to the already competitive price point, the satchel of my eye is marked down!

satchel (c/o Foley + Corinnaalternate colorway) // coat (c/o Long Tall Sally) // cardigan (c/o Long Tall Sally) // long sleeve tee // leggings // boots // sunglasses (alternate colorway, alternate colorway, alternate colorway, alternate colorway) // necklace // earrings // driving gloves (similar)

All You Tweed Is Love

The husband and I made our way to Center City on Sunday. I had plans to hit A.C.Moore and stock up on arts and crafts supplies to put under the trees of less fortunate families. This year has been so full of blessings that I could not help but pay it forward.

As we walked past Philadelphia City Hall, we noticed the Dilworth Winterfest. Dilworth Park has been converted to accommodate a ice skating rink, cocktail and food tent, garden maze, and local vendors. Very festive and it adds more zest to Center City! I can practically smell the cedar and balsam just thinking about it. 

Despite getting into the holiday spirit, the temperature was fairly temperate. Just looking out the window, I knew that I wouldn’t need a winter coat. I have been wanting to break out the Karl Lagerfeld Paris for Long Tall Sally tweed blazer since I received it earlier this autumn. Pair it with the Karl Lagerfeld Paris for Long Tall Sally houndstooth cardigan over a studded dress (last seen here) and patent heels, perfection. I would wear this outfit every winter day in perpetuity; this is how much I adore the combination.

tweed blazer (℅ Long Tall Sally) // houndstooth cardigan (℅ Long Tall Sally) // studded dress // tights // sunglasses // heels (old, similar) // purse (similar, similar) // necklace // ring