I finally bought the full printed skirt from the Goop x Lilly Pulitzer collaboration. I have been wanted to procure this one for awhile, but resigned myself that it would have to come from the secondary market once it disappeared from the Goop online store around this time last year and did not show up in the last two Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sales.
I found this skirt NWT in my size via Mercari. The first time I found it in my size and not a 00, I jumped to purchase it. I cannot wait to wear it next spring, Carolina Herrera-style, with a crisp white button down.
Again, I have not been keeping up with the Shopping Moratorium series. Rather than the reason being that I have nothing to report back, I have gone through some weight gain lately (water weight?) and literally nothing fits.
I bought two Brooks Brothers dresses, each in several sizes (the discrepancy between the classic label and Red Fleece is real). While the sequin number fit, it was not flattering on my tall frame. Conversely, I was dying for the jacquard tartan frock to zip, alas it did not. C’est tragique.
I haven’t been keeping up with the Shopping Moratorium series. That is primarily because I have nothing to report back and though it feels so great to say that, it also feels like I have nothing to confess.
I broke my streak last Thursday. I bought one dress in three colors and in two sizes each. They are for an upcoming meeting, and potentially an upcoming job. My appearance is the last thing I want to worry when my professional skills are up for appraisal; for this reason I stopped wearing button ups tucked in to pants circa 2012. I want and need something that I can zip up and not worry about becoming untucked and appearing sloppy.
I am particularly proud of the restraint that I exercised during the Ralph Lauren additional 40 percent off clearance. Cut to me purchasing two one hundred percent cashmere sweaters for one hundred dollars a piece. Keep in mind that these are were both originally four hundred dollars each. I am amped for autumn and if these shades of red and goldenrod do not scream “pair me with a pumpkin spice latte,” then I don’t know what.
My husband and I – mostly I – have been in hot pursuit of finding new accent pillows for our living room. We just installed new art in the living room and along with earth tones, the major color in the piece is blue. With that we are taking advantage of the redesign, albeit as minimal as it is, to change the color story in our living room.
I obsessed about this dress last summer. Tragically, I missed out of purchasing it. By a miracle, I found that nearly an entire size run was restocked nearly a year later. I went up my normal size as this brand runs small, as many contemporary brands tend to do, and I think the frock would be flattering in a slightly larger fit.
I could not deal with pining for this dress for another year. Time to make a home for it in my closet.
I missed my check in last week. There was no shopping though, as I was so under the influence of decongestants that not only was I not able to shop but shop for a dress for the interview I had to postpone this week.
After the decongestant haze, I bought three dresses.
I completely spaced on my Shopping Moratorium update last week. It was not on my radar as shopping was not on my radar. I made it two weeks without shopping. for clothes.
Where is my trophy?
Conversely, we had to buy some stuff for the new apartment, as all of our home goods are in storage in a Philadelphia suburb and will remain as such until the end of this week. We took this opportunity to buy the best of what was available in store and using ever-so-many of my Bed, Bath, and Beyond coupons. In the words of Abbi Abrams, “THE COUPONS NEVER EXPIRE.” I stopped myself at attempting a secret handshake with a Bed, Bath, and Beyond sales associate.
I need to return most of the pieces from my purchase from several weeks ago that I routed directly to our vacation destination. I ordered the shorts in the same size and same style as a pair I already own but tragically, the fit of the white colorway runs differently.
The seersucker one piece swimsuit did not stretch lengthwise. The fabric was absolutely static. Ordering a second suit in a size larger as the J.Crew Help Twitter handle recommended did not compensate for the fact that the suit was not long enough for the torso, as it is proportionate to my six foot two inch frame. Again, ever-so-tragic that J.Crew could not manage to make this suit (and others) in long torso.
Glass half full: I suppose it is good for the wallet.
At the tail end of our California roadtrip, we stopped at a vintage store while we were at Carmel by the Sea. The owner of Foxy Couture, Susan, pulled vintage Lilly Pulitzer from backstock, along with Key West Fashions (a label of the same aesthetic and time frame) and provided intel about another brand to look into, Vested Gentress.
Susan and I discussed how she began in vintage resale, alteration hacks, and the first project any aspiring clothing designer should pursue.
L – When did you first develop an interest in vintage – or secondhand – clothing and accessories?
S – My grandmother was a knitter. I would spend summers with her in California when I was a kid. Whenever she needed a zipper for a project she would take me to a thrift store to get one. She would complain that the new plastic zippers were not as good as the old metal ones. She would give me a couple of dollars to buy some things. Back then most things in thrift stores were well under a dollar.
L – When did you realize that there was a market for upscale resale?
S – When I was in high school, my drama teacher asked me to help her with costumes for the high school production of Bye Bye Birdie which was set in the 1950s. I was living in Atlanta and I hit the thrift stores since there was no budget. I was showing my mom my purchases when she zeroed in on a label in a garment. It was a couture Pierre Balmain. My mom couldn’t believe I found it in a thrift store for mere pennies. She proceeded to tell me how to look at clothing labels and judge a garment based on construction, quality of fabric, and design. This prompted me to realize that some things were worth saving and moving on to the next generation.
L – You shared with me a hack for altering a skirt that may not fit around the waist by folding in the waist and taking it in from the waistline of the skirt. Do you have any other alteration hacks?
S – Yes, A maxi skirt can become a 1960’s jumper in the style of Courreges by using the hem to make the straps and placing darts in it if needed. Several scarves of the same size can become a bias cut mixed print slip dress. The possibilities are endless.
There are many ways to reinterpret a garment. If the fabric is good and there is enough of it, you are ready to design. One of the best things I ever did was to take sewing lessons from a Russian lady in San Francisco. She had grown up in a convent and learned to sew from the nuns. She taught us hand stitches for everything from a rolled hem on a scarf to a bound buttonhole. We basted every stitch before we sewed it at the machine.
I also took pattern making and draping. Since prices are low with thrifted items or damaged clothing, it is easy to be fearless when cutting up a recycled garment.
I had a lot of fun making clothes. When you learn to sew, a skirt should always be your first project. It is the easiest to construct and the easiest to alter.
L – Did sustainability – as in reuse – inspire you to get into the resale business?
S – I went to design school at night in the 1980s in San Francisco. During the day I was a Director of Finance in a financial services start-up. Design school gave me a much needed creative outlet. I toyed with the idea of producing a line of clothing but it just did not make financial sense. Most designers I knew were struggling financially. They would borrow to make a line and have to pay their lenders while not being paid by the big stores which led them to turn to factors, who smoothed out the money gaps but also took away most of the profits for the designer. At the time I had great sources for used clothing and recycling was in line with my personal beliefs so I went that direction.
L – Can you tell me more about Foxy Couture? When did you establish it and was there a particular impetus?
S – When I started in vintage, I had already been a collector. I decorated with items that I found at the Marin Flea Market or thrift stores. I just really liked old things. San Francisco in the 1980s felt like a small town of like minded people. There were many opportunities to start this business. Around 1989 to 1991, I had a friend who I partnered up with and we focused on wholesaling to the resale and vintage stores as well as doing the Marin Flea Market and Vintage shows. There was no official start date, we had no business plan, employees, or start up funding. It was just something that we wanted to do and that we felt good about ethically. We shopped almost every day and made amazing finds. I got to handle and own clothing that I could probably only see in a museum today. Most people focused on the 1940’s or Victorian at that time so to be competitive I focused on the 1970s. Growing up in South Florida in the 1970’s and looking at European fashion magazines gave me a good visual history of the era and there was not much competition in that segment of the market at that time.
The name Foxy Couture is a play on the 1970’s slang “Foxy” and Couture denoted that it was designer. Today the business focuses on exceptional designer clothing from all eras. If I had to describe my personal business plan, it was to make my avocation my vocation. I didn’t set too many limits and I have really enjoyed my work.
Foxy Couture is shoppable via the online store. The brick-and-mortar location is northwest of 7th Avenue, 2 San Carlos Street in Carmel-By-The-Sea.
There is certain stress that comes with a move from one coast to another. Our initial move out to the west coast did not go as smoothly as I would have liked. Consequently, I am taking advantage of the fact that I am not working up to the day that we are leaving to assure a seamless transition.
In less than two weeks, I have to select what is to be packed to go along with us for our cross country road trip, pack up the remainder and get the boxes to the post office (and waiting in the inevitable line) to send to our friends’ house on the east coast, subsequent house hunting in the district within a very limited time frame, and pack and catch a plane out of National for our fourth of July vacation. This is going to be a marathon, not a sprint.
Ordering anything to our current home has not been an option since I cannot be sure of how long it will take to ship and arrive; however I caved and ordered a few items for myself and my husband and had them sent straight to our vacation destination. Knowing that I have clean clothing at our final destination alleviates inner tension.
With an impending move, I have not been in the shopping mood.
So far, I have packed a mere suitcase. One more suitcase, one duffel bag, a LL.Bean Boat Tote, a Lilly Pulitzer tote, a backpack and a laptop case to go! That does not include my husband’s luggage. We need to fit it in his sedan for the five day road trip back to the east coast, so buying more luggage for the excess is not an option.
I honestly should not have packed so much to bring out this way. To be honest, the clothing that has gotten the most usage has been my workout and yoga clothes and for good reason! In the three months I have been in Monterey, I have taken twenty pilates reformer classes and at least sixty yoga classes. Yes, some days have been two-a-days.
As it stands, I get the impression that we are going to have to ship some stuff to back to the east coast. Accumulating anything else is just not an option.
I shopped eBay for vintage Lilly Pulitzer again. I really need to put a block on the website. Browsing turns into finding something special and knowing that there is only one of the item turns my browsing mindset to an obsessive mindset and an act immediately mindset.
Does your style differ from your nine-to-five to your weekend, and if so, how?
I like to joke that even my pajamas are business casual. Most workdays keep me in button downs and ties but on the weekend I like to dress down ever so slightly. Festive socks are a must during the week but I tend to go sock-commando with loafers on the weekends as the weather warms up. Otherwise, the only difference may be a scandalous untucking or dare I say one less fastened button.
Who are your style influences and what qualities about them impact you?
Growing up, my father actually was always perfectly dressed with a timeless and effortless prep infusion. From Izod to Lacoste to even a seasonable Bean Boot, dad was always ready to go. I look similar to my father so its always been fairly effortless in knowing what will look good and what needs a revisit. I do branch out more when it comes to pattern and color.
If you could only wear one outfit for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Being in the mid-Atlantic, going to have to layer this one up. Starting at the bottom would be some British tan loafers (with or without tassels), a pair of chinos (really feeling gray these days), a simple patterned button down, and a light accent sweater to round it out and go from morning to night. If its especially brisk I may even throw in an elbow-patch blazer
Who is your photographer and what camera does he/she use?