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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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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Metal Yell

I was supposed to wear this dress to the last performance of the 2017 – 2018 Pennsylvania Ballet season. With a blowout, plans to grab a drink with another couple who are part of the Young Friends group during intermission, and reservations after the ballet at Sampan, to say I had huge plans for this dress was an understatement.

The night prior I attended a happy hour for the Young Friends of the Pennsylvania Ballet. By the time I made it home, my husband was holed up in the living room, swaddled up in a blanket and drinking tea. Ninety minutes later, the affliction made it to me. A combination of a headache and chest congestion, I was so ill, it was difficult just to fall asleep. I was so sick that I ventured out to CVS the next morning in a sweatsuit, socks with Birkenstocks, my glasses. Lunch was pho.

Around the time we were taking out the broth, the husband and I decided that I should not get behind a car steering wheel, let alone make both us us attempting to make it to the ballet that night. DryBar was cancelled. Sampan was cancelled. The dress just never made it out.

Until today. I slipped it on, paired it with gladiator sandals and a bucket bag, and asked my husband if it was too much. He encouraged me to rock it shamelessly, even if the dress gave off walk of shame vibes. Everywhere I went, people asked if I was going somewhere. Nope, just brunch and Whole Foods.

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Pivot Cable: Part I

If it is a crime to repeat items on the blog, then lock me up! Repeating clothing is a reflection of what we all do in real life and it is unrealistic not to wear pieces not only multiple times, but in a multitude of ways.

Several weeks ago I wore this skirt on the blog. Leading up to its purchase, I debated which color(s) I really wanted, at what price point I was willing to pull the trigger, and how I would wear it. I started to get stoked when I thought about this particular color combination. I love mixing statement-making, yet complementary colors. Truth be told, this outfit combination was inspired by a particular phase of J.Crew marketing circa 2008-2012.

 

The skirt is still available in tall (direct link because J.Crew was especially tricky and hid the tall version on the website). The Cambridge Cable Knit Sweater was an oldie-but-goodie and is no longer available, but unfortunately was not available in tall. Memo to J.Crew: Release your sweaters in tall! This is where Gap and Gap Factory have J.Crew beat. Unfortunately neither offer monogramming. #cannothaveitall

 

sweater (old, similar) // tank // skirt // clutch // scarf (old, Christian LaCroix) // shoe (old, similar) // necklace // earrings // rose gold cuff // watch // cocktail ring

Spring Dreaming

I have to share that I have been sleeping on Equipment. I was originally introduced to the chic brand through Necessary and Proper. The lady of the DC-based duo, Lauren, frequently extolled the label and since I think she has excellent taste, I took her style advice.

I found an Equipment shirt that is perfection on a tall frame. Expensive? Yes, but the shirt is 100% silk and a nice departure from the polyester which brands seem to be using ad nauseum. Keep an eye out of the website because select colors do get marked down and steeply so.

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Pink and Be Merry

I fell in love with Tucker back in the summer of 2008. I distinctly recall unpacking and steaming several shipping boxes full of the Classic Blouse while working for the Georgetown Cusp. While the Classic Blouse is cut wide and cropped, it is still an appropriate length for a 6′-2″ frame. The prints, along with the signature shapes, are what the label is known for and added pizzazz to my 2008-to-2012 closet.

One Target collaboration and a studio fire later, and the founder closed down shop. It was a sad day for me to find that out.

Cut to several years and an article in WWD later when I read out that Tucker relaunched. Rejoice! #andtheangelssang

I bought this dress on deep markdown post-Christmas, but to be honest even if it was not on clearance, it would have been worth the MSRP. Unfortunately it looks like the Classic Maxi dresses are cleared out of the online store, but they are worth keeping an eye out for! I regret not procuring one sooner but am making up for lost time.

dress (old) // bag (alternate colorway) // slip (old, similar) // boots (℅ Long Tall Sally) // sunglasses (alternate colorway, alternate colorway, alternate colorway) // watch // rose gold cuff // bow cuff // pink stone ring // quatrefoil ring

Houndstooth Remix

When I shop, I seek pieces that I can foresee transcending not only seasons, but years. When markdowns are posted at the end of winter (and summer), you can believe that I snag the items that I believe are classic or are not so strongly tied to a certain moment in time. This goes back to my declaration that I will wear whatever I damn please, even if it isn’t “this season”. Nothing is the post is younger than a year old. 

The last post featuring this blouse was at the end of last summer. I wouldn’t recommend it for a taller frame, as the sleeves run short. Unfortunately I bought it on a final sale, so I decided to make the best of it. I have worn it (with the sleeves pushed up) enough times to justify the price per wear so I am content. I have said it once and I will say it again: I am all about the data.

I have posted on this skirt not only once, but twice. In the past year, I have worn it at least ten times as much. I love houndstooth; it is just such a classic print / tweed. Most of all, I love that the skirt was released in tall!

The structured bag is everything. I wish I had purchased it in black as well, as it is the ultimate boss-woman vessel of carrying one’s possessions and most of my professional-wear skews in black and grays. I break out this burgundy version whenever it matches with my outfit.

Lastly, can we talk about the shoes? I wore them twice last year, but since they are suede, never when it rained. They are so good and so classic that they were not only remade with an update for this year but also in an outlet version.


blouse // skirt // skirt (similar) // skirt (similar) // heels // tank top // purse (old) // heels (similar) // heels (similar) // sunglasses // tulip ring // rose gold cuff // bow cuff // pearl bracelet // earrings // necklace

Floral in Burgos

After day one of our wine tour, the husband and I found ourselves in Burgos. It was a wonderful town to stay the night. We enjoyed tapas and wine after visiting the cathedral. There was a festival later that night, but we decided that a 9 am wake up time would require an early bedtime.

 

IMG_1948IMG_1953IMG_1951IMG_1950When packing for my honeymoon, I purposefully kept my jewelry understated. I left my engagement ring and wedding band in our safe at home, as well as my more recognizable brand items. The pearl set I wore for my wedding, a rose gold cuff, and my Mignon Faget pieces traveled with me. (Pro-tip: never wear earrings on the plane, because when you inevitably try to fall asleep, the posts will stab the area behind your ears. I have a friend who lost her favorite earrings this way when under the influence of an Ambien, removed them and barely recalled that, let alone where she stowed them. Keep all jewelry in a pouch, in the zipper compartment in your purse, and keep your purse underneath the seat in front of you; never in the above compartment!)

I love the design and style of the bow cuff and the tulip ring, as they make a statement without making an explicit proclamation of how much money was spent – perfect for traveling and not making yourself a target.

dress // sandals // rose gold cuff // bow cuff (℅ Mignon Faget) // tulip ring // sunglasses // earrings

Never Alone in Barcelona, Part I

My husband (still getting used to calling him that) surprised me with a honeymoon in Spain. I did not find out where we were going until we arrived at the airport and the check in agent handed us our boarding passes.

Even though it was changing seasons, the weather in Barcelona was comparable to the Gulf Coast, albeit dryer. The highs were in the 80s and the lows were in 50s, but it only dipped during the night. Although I did not know where we were going, my then-fiance was very helpful in guiding me in what to pack.

 

I will say the people of Spain also get autumn-happy when the leaves show the slightest hint of changing color. I was sporting brights and pastels the entire honeymoon, while locals were in full-length denim and in some cases, jackets. Layering was definitely in full force.

On this day my husband (!) wore pants and a thermal long sleeve shirt, and I actually felt bad for him for not dressing more appropriate to the weather. When the sun is out and it is so warm that one breaks into a ladylike glow and must topknot her hair, I think we can agree that embracing the resort365 life is necessary.

blouse (alternate colorway) // blouse (alternate colorway) // blouse (alternate colorway) // blouse (alternate colorway) // blouse (alternate colorway) // tank // shorts // sunglasses // sandals // tote (similar) // pearl earrings // rose gold cuff // bow cuff (℅ Mignon Faget)