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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Frock On!

I broke the seersucker rule left and right this year. I think it is a consequence of moving to the west coast where rules are a little more relaxed and weather is a little warmer.

At 6′-2″, I was a bit concerned that this frock would not be long enough to wear without feeling self conscious about the lack of length of the dress. I found that as long as it is a touch roomier and pair with a flat pair of shoes (proportions are everything, people!), I felt great about the dress and about myself in the dress. I highly recommend going up a size in the style; while I wore a medium in the knit dresses, I required a large in the static fabric dresses. The shorter length will be especially great for keeping ventilated in the east coast city humidity – hint about our next move – this summer.

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Sideways

While Jamie and I were in Palm Springs, I found the most fantastic vintage store adjacent to the place we had Sunday brunch. The Frippery is a vintage lover’s gold mine.

Post-brunch, I dragged Jamie and my maid of honor who was also in Palm Springs, in the store. While Jamie went out on a mission for cold brew, Amanda graciously waited for me to seemingly try on dress after dress, giving me the honest feedback. In addition to scoring a dress, Amanda discovered several concert buttons circa the 1980s: Adam and the Ants, The Cars, The Clash, and the Stray Cats. (The latter reminded me of Bret Easton Ellis’ The Informers mom character wondering what a stray cat was.)

About the dress: I do not know the brand and I do not care. The acid color fever dream of the print was enough to sell me. I love that it is cut generously though the midsection. I know what you are thinking and before you say it: It is not a maternity dress. I carefully inspected the cut and can confirm that there is not extra fabric at the stomach; it is simply a trapeze cut dress.

After Los Angeles, Palm Springs, Atascadero, and Monterey, Jamie and I concluded our friendship roadtrip in Napa.

My husband and I are members of several wineries but our favorite is Gundlach Bundschu; we even celebrated our engagement weekend there. After the friendship roadship wine tasting, we wandered the grounds. Though my husband and I used to visit all the time, it occurred to me that we had only been there in the winter. Running from the car to the tasting room without considering walking the grounds was standard. This time, we walked the grounds and am kicking myself that we had not explored it sooner.

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Tanks a Lot

About three weeks ago, I was introduced to Figleaves. It seems that the online retailer also has a private label of which offers – drumroll s’il vous plaît – long torso tank suits. I am thirty-something and feel as though I have aged out of the two piece swimsuit market.

Sidebar: My husband and Jamie were making fun of Juicy sweatpants last week. I kept it to myself , but circa 2003, I had a Juicy Couture bikini with “Juicy” emblazoned on the bottom. Let’s file that under cringe worthy; however I stand by the principal that if you cannot laugh at yourself…(Also at the time, I did not pipe up about the swimsuit in question because I was sure they would mercilessly give me shit about my late teen swimsuit selection.)

UK based-Figleaves began as an underwear retailer and one of the first e-commerce retailers on the scene in 1998 in an effort to provide a more inclusive product selection. In the past twenty years, Figleaves has since expanded to pajamas, swimwear, and activewear, exclusively online. I was impressed with the range of styles for every woman: larger bust, mastectomy, maternity and nursing, longer length, plus size, shaping, and athletic.

Figleaves sent me a longer length tank suit. I loved that rather than a tie back neck, the suit has is an adjustable band. No poolside wardrobe malfunctions here! The regular price of the suit is 55 dollars, but I have found it to frequently be on promotion since it has been on my radar. In addition to this tank suit, the print / colorway is also available in another tank style, several swim separates, and caftan and coverup options, all of which are linked below.

My taste has thankfully evolved since the Juicy Couture bikini of 2003.

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Buzzed

Color me jazzed when I found that this certain American brand carried not only tall pants and dresses and sweaters, but also tall torso swim and button down shirts. I initially found a fantastic color block cocktail shirt last month but upon finding out that there was a collaboration with Sophie Allport, I turned my attention to this bee-utiful printed button down care of the brand.

For those who do not know, Sophie Allport is a Great Britain-based homeware designer. Per the Sophie Allport website…

Based in rural Lincolnshire, country inspired homewares brand Sophie Allport, was founded in 2007 by designer Sophie and her brother Jem. The quintessentially British brand is famous for its fine bone china and kitchen fabrics, but you will also find a wide range of products for pets and children and a lovely collection of home fragrance, bags, accessories and picnicware. There are now over forty different designs to choose from in the Sophie Allport, range. The charming and unique designs are all inspired by Sophie’s love of nature and the countryside. Plenty of gifts for country loving friends and family that offer a quirky twist on classic country design. 

I tend to think that along with tall sweaters, tall button downs are the holy grail of the tall wardrobe. (Longer hemlines are easy to find among classic brands. God bless you, Brooks Brothers.) Extra long sleeves are a nonnegotiable; along with the Sophie Allport print (check out the mug) and color block shirt, striped, embroidered, and solid options are also available in tall.

Let us discuss the fit; it is a boyfriend fit. This may be one of the only shirts I own that end up in the dryer. I was gifted a medium and could have gone down to a small. Real talk: if (realistically, when) I procure the color block version, I will be going down to a size small.

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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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Frock You!

As mentioned in my Shopping Moratorium four weeks ago, I starting poking around on eBay for vintage pieces in my favorite preppy brands: Lilly Pulitzer, J.Crew, Vineyard Vines (or at least as vintage as I could get as it is barely twenty years old), and Brooks Brothers. Ever since I found the best Brooks Brothers dress from the 1980s via my favorite Philadelphia vintage store, I have been addicted to finding my next vintage frock. Compound that with the fact that I started noticing many people that I follow on Instagram wearing the same Lilly Pulitzer style. I am not ready to give up on one of my favorite brands yet, I do not want to wear what seemingly everyone else is wearing either.

Cut to me going on an eBay shopping spree for vintage Lilly Pulitzer. Shopping the secondary market embodies the quadruple bottom line. The prices, at least for this brand, tend to be lower. Shopping secondhand has social and environmental benefits as it keeps garments out of landfills and does not create sweatshop demand. Call it inspiration from the last sustainability documentary I watched. Lastly, I happen to love the vintage aesthetic, whether it be the period of the 1960s or 1990s.

The dress is secondhand Lilly Pulitzer and judging from the tag, likely from the 1990s. I will take a pass on the flannels and the chokers; this is the 90s revival that I can get behind. I bought the Gemma Redux (an aughts jewelry brand that has since sadly shuttered) earrings and Lilly Pulitzer bangles from eBay, too.

The sunglasses, watch, flats, and coat is still available and is linked below. Both the stone and navy versions of the coat come in tall. As for the dress, I link similar Lilly Pulitzer patchwork dresses. Bid on, y’all!

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Check and Call

When I saw this dress three summers ago, it immediately reminded me of something that Charlotte York would wear. I saw that it came in tall and in that moment, I knew I wanted, needed, had to have this gingham confection. I just could not just pass it up. Along with three other shift dresses, my would-be upper east side gallery director capsule wardrobe was complete.

This dress was re-released this year in both of the original colorways from summer 2017, albeit in a larger gingham. The tall and petite sizing options, however were produced for this season, even in the skirt version. Even though I do not love how popular the gingham has become, I nevertheless love the print.

As with all hemlines, proportions for this dress are key in selecting the ideal footwear. I love that this dress works with a pair of high heels in an office or barefoot on a deck, accessorized with a glass of rose. I would completely skip wearing a pair of ballet flats or flat sandals with this dress, as a zero heel is not exactly flattering with an above the knee hemline, even for those topping six feet tall.

West coast is not exactly a hotbed for the preppy aesthetic, so sporting the style is just another way to stand out. I know I have to regularly rededicate myself to this effort but I am making headbands happen this summer, even if the influence is only evident on my blog and social media channels. I dug out my headbands for our trip to California; any of my sartorial crowns in summer hues made the cut. This is the classic example of minimal effort, high reward.

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Oh Shift!

It is no secret here, that I love Duffield Lane. Due to my obsession with the knit dresses (written about here and here), I wore them on the road trip from Philadelphia to Monterey. Also packed? This seersucker dress.

Did I break the rules and get a jump on wearing seersucker prior to Memorial Day 2019? Fact. Seersucker is a fabric which I relish wearing and four months a year is simply not long enough. With the recent turn in seasons on the east coast, I could not hold myself back. Oh, we are in for a seventy degree day you say? Excuse me while I steam out my Sinclair dress.

Duffield Lane does not release clothing in tall length (or petite length) sizing. Because the Sinclair dress is a classic silhouette, I think a shorter hemline is perfectly acceptable, especially with flats or a low block heel. (#proportions) However, rather than going with the size I ordered in the Sheffield dress or Spring Lake dress (medium, for reference), I went up a size (large in both the Sinclair dress and the Grand dress). Seersucker is a static fabric, typically devoid of stretch and it is less painful to get a dress taken in that having to skip out on dessert.

I said it. I meant it. I am not taking it back. Gimme dat ice cream.

The crochet trim at the front of the dress reminds me of what I love about classic Lilly Pulitzer shift dresses yet because it is such a classic shape and classic fabric, it just feels more appropriate for a woman of my age. What that age is? Mind your own beeswax.

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Pink and Be Merry

Duffield Lane is so freaking good right now. Granted that I am obsessed with their cold weather looks, but the brand just screams summer, joyously and jubilantly. A navy tipped dress, topped with a trench coat? It was an instant transitional weather classic, sure to be repeated throughout the season.

When I saw the Duffield Lane Pre-Spring line sheet, I was immediately drawn to the Spring Lake Dress. What exactly is so appealing you ask? I love the woven white collar detail. While it was available in solids and a palm frond print, I found the stripe to be the most wearable for right this very minute. Since I also ordered the Sheffield Dress (last seen here) and it is only available in navy, I opted for the Spring Lake Dress in the orchid colorway.

My numerical size is a ten and thanks to the insight of the Duffield Lane staff, I opted for a medium. Even though I am teetering towards my heavier side (and I have no shame in that as my life has been very focused on two projects at work and I just have not had capacity to make it to the gym for several weeks), I foresee having a ton of time on my hands in the next four months and therefore more time to refocus on my health.

The cut of the Spring Lake Dress varies from the Sheffield Dress as it is a bit roomier in the bottom half. Real talk: as someone who carries weight in her thighs, the cut provides ample room and avoids clinging to the stems. Ladies, if you also are a pear, then this is the dress for you.

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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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Wavy Navy

All too often I forget that standard length clothing brands can work on a taller frame. I do not pay attention to brands that cater to different lengths enough. This year I set out on being more open minded when it comes to trying new brands and new styles.

I decided to try Duffield Lane. The brand sent me two dresses. The verdict? I should have shopped there earlier. This first dress is called the Sheffield and I was sold on the white trim on the wavy hem and the three quarters sleeves. (Also, it is available in mini me versions.) Though it was the shorter of two dresses, I did not find it especially revealing especially for the forthcoming warmer spring weather. The fabric is stretchy, but certainly not flimsy or as thick as ponte knit.

With shorter dresses, I tend to wear a flat shoe. It is the oldest proportion trick in the book and conversely why I always wear heels with pencil skirts and other long hemline skirts and dresses. Typically, I would wear the Sheffield dress with a pair of Jack Rogers or my navy Tory Burch Minnie flats, but I went with my lower height navy wedges.

Second to the Sheffield dress is my trench coat. This is an item that I could not sacrifice length. Before finding a trench coat that was made in tall, I just never loved any style that I tried. While my trench coat is no longer available in tall, several other trench coats including three tall ones. You are welcome.

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