Pleats on the Street

Last weekend was spent in Baltimore where my husband and I stayed at the Lord Baltimore Hotel. Regardless of the purpose, any trip to Charm City must include catch up time with my bestie from graduate school, Jamie. As is always the case, we indulged. This weekend it was copious craft cocktails, brunch, and Italian food. Also scampering around downtown and architecture-peeping.

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Have I already worn this sweater? Yes. Have I already worn this skirt? Of course. Although the marketing image showed them paired together, I had never worn them together before this day.

Sidebar: I typically do not recreate brand-envisioned outfits as I find it to be lazy and uncreative. This habit goes way back. Growing up, if my mom treated me to shopping, I always picked out something that could mix with copious items already in my closet. Low bill, high reward.

Expect to see both pieces make future appearances on the blog because they are phenomenal. My 2018 obsession for finding the perfect tennis sweater is no secret (I blame Charlotte York) and I just love a skirt in which I can go down two waist sizes.

As for Jamie’s ensemble, IDK. He is always the best dressed man in the room and this is one of my favorite outfits on him, down to the hot dog socks and tassel loafers.

dsc04574dsc04585sI am a sucker for a historic hotel and the Lord Baltimore Hotel was no exception. The pair of revolving doors on the side entrance are original to the 1928 hotel. Throughout the weekend, every time I passed through them, I reflected on how many people before me walked through them. The hotel has been open for over ninety years – it just celebrated its anniversary – and there were 700 guestrooms (now over 400). That is a lot of door rotations.

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Historic Bridges of the MidAtlantic: Bullfrog Road Bridge

The Bullfrog Road Bridge was built in 1908 by the York Bridge Company out of York, Pennsylvania. It was eventually listed on the National Register for Historic Places in 1978. It connects Frederick and Carroll Counties over the Monocacy River.

 

As many of the historic bridges in the area are that of the wood covered variety, this one stands out as it is one out of two in Frederick County that has a steel truss design. Specifically, this design is of the Parker truss variety, which means that the top chord is a polygon arc. This bridge received updates in 1989 (new abutments) and in 1995 (span). 

dress // coat (old) // sunglasses (colorway sold out, alternate coloways) // earrings // necklace // ring // watch // ankle boots

Wallpaper with a View featuring Antrim 1844

Two weeks ago, the husband and I wandered up to the light-flooded third story of the mansion at Antrim 1844. To say that the light married with the acid turquoise wallpaper luminated the third floor would be an understatement.

Sidebar: The owner of Antrim 1844, Dort, applied all of the wallpaper on her own. How impressive is that? In our discussion, she told me that she found the process to be almost meditative. Can’t you tell that this wallpaper was applied with the utmost care and love?

On the third floor, we spied a ladder leading to a cupola, or effectively a fourth floor. Naturally, we wanted to explore. And since the ladder was not closed off, we did.

In addition to the chic wallpaper, all four walls of the cupola are lined with windows, providing a 360 degree view of historic Taneytown. As it turns out, it ended up being the last day to peep any of the remaining fall foliage, as the next day the mid-Atlantic received a blanket of snow. I saw photos of the grounds the day after and it was gorgeous. I was immediately envious that our stay did not include a fresh coat of snow on the ground.

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I digress.

Can you imagine how cold the windows of this cupola were during the snowfall? Hashtag brrrrr.

Sincerest thanks to Antrim 1844 for sponsoring my stay.

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Chain Sequence

Y’all know how I love a good secondhand find. Especially when you can find something that is nearly a decade old, not only are people not wearing it anymore (or even remembering it) but it also is consistent with ethical fashion guidelines. Purchasing something secondhand gives the garment a longer lifespan. As we are set to destroy the planet by 2030 (Has anyone else just felt an overwhelming sense of dread in respect to that? Just me…?), and fast fashion being the world’s second dirtiest industry (not to mention the social implications involved with a Uniqlo / Forever 21 / H&M / Primark / Shein garment), purchasing something that may not have even been preloved (adore a NWT deal) just makes sense for my needs.

This Milly New York dress absolutely falls into that camp. I cannot remember how much I spent on it, but I am certain that it was reasonable, if only because there are a slew of the same style available and the prices are not staggering.

This dress is the perfect buffet dress. Empire waist, stretchy jersey knit, not at all constricting. I love that there is (removable) built-in necklace. With another necklace, it is extra-extra. Pile that on!

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Navy Stupid Love

As promised, I broke the no white after Labor Day rule when I recently sported these Long Tall Sally white denim on a Sunday morning. At the urging of my sister, I tried the new Long Tall Sally denim line.

I previously had been avoiding denim – all denim – like the plague. Think back, have you seen denim on this blog? Spoiler alert: not since January 2017. That skinny cut from that fateful day had me feeling like I was wearing a compression garment after photos turned into brunch and an all-I-could-drink Bloody Mary bar. By the end of that day, I identified with Abbi from the Broad City episode when she left TopShop with the denim she was trying on because they were “now a part of her”.

All this is to say that I was deterred from wearing denim up until this past Labor Day weekend when I took the LTS white skinny denim out for its maiden journey. Even being crunched up in the back of a Lyft we took to the Marblehead Harbor, I did not feel constricted in the jeans. Rather they felt like a pair of leggings that just happened to have a zipper / button fly.

Had I not been so scarred from the January 2017 denim, I probably would have ordered a more appropriate size in the LTS white skinny denim. Do you think I heeded my sister’s advice and gone with my instinctual size? Nope. Rather I went with my “safe” size which still fit, although in an iconoclastic move compared to every other nice garment I own, after each washing they take a ride in the dryer.

Finally, can I get a hell yeah for LTS now making all in-house denim in 38 inch inseams?

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cardigan (℅ Long Tall Sally) // denim (℅ Long Tall Sally) // shoes (℅ Long Tall Sally) // bag (vintage) // sunglasses // pearl cuff // green stone cuff // black diamond cuff // bracelet (sold out, budget version) // knot ring // watch

Blue Blood

Last weekend was the first in seemingly forever – real time: month and a half – that my husband and I were both in Philadelphia. Either he is out of town for work or we are both out of town because wedding season. However, we had a two philanthropic events scheduled for the weekend, so we each hit pause on whatever it was keeping us from spending our weekends in the city.

I was so stoked for a weekend without travel that I may have gotten overzealous with scheduling it. We knew that we had a Friday night event for the Pennsylvania Museum of Art Young Friends and a Sunday midday brunch for the Pennsylvania Ballet Young Friends. (Join both organizations! I will see you at the next event?) With Saturday free, I decided that to not schedule would be risking wasting it.

So I scheduled the ever living eff out of it. Starting with sleeping in until 9 am, at the husband’s request. I got us reservations for brunch, followed by tickets for a matinee of A Simple Favor (so many twists and turns! 10/10 recommend), afternoon snack of raw oysters and shrimp cocktail at Oyster House, picking up salads for dinner, and the dry cleaning that has been ready for pick up for the better half of a month.

I wore the solid version of this dress two weeks ago, while we were in Marblehead. I loved the dress itself, but not the sash. Specifically, I didn’t love how the loops for the sash were so high, effectively making the sash ride up. It was almost as if the designer carried over the measurements for the sash loopholes from the regular sizing to the tall sizing.

So I decided to experiment and cut the loopholes off this dress. It was a fantastic idea and I will be doing the same on my solid coral dress.

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Coral Relativism

My husband and I spent Labor Day weekend in Marblehead, Massachusetts. It was the town where my mother-in-law and her four siblings grew up. While we were there for a wedding and I knew that it was going to be a blast, I had no idea how much I was going to love Marblehead itself.

Marblehead was the most idyllic place I have been in the longest time. It reminded me of Nantucket, fitting as it is so close in proximity. Rather than feeling like it was a tourist spot as Nantucket tends to do, Marblehead felt like it was a more local-oriented place. There was not a bad neighborhood in the town and it was so walkable. The weather was gorgeous to the point that I did not recognize any lack of central air conditioning. I loved every historic house more than the last. Even the hangover I had the day after the wedding was easier to deal with as we meandered through the town in hot pursuit of lobster rolls, french fries, and Bloody Mary’s.

I found myself wondering what is was like for the H5 (the family nickname for the five siblings, of which my mother-in-law is part of) to grow up in the magical town. Over the course of the weekend, I talked to each of them about their experiences growing up in the town, and the stories they shared made it sound every bit as magical as I imagined it would be.

My husband and I were invited back for Thanksgiving and I am certain we are going to make the trip.

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Print’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Early last Sunday morning, I went jogging on the Delaware River Waterfront. Not out of the ordinary for me as I have done it many times before. I was in the midst of listening to my cool down playlist and enjoying my cool down walk after sweating it out for a few miles. Upon walking past the Pier Five Townhouses, I noticed something…

A man who could not have topped 5′-5″, wearing a blue and white gingham shirt and navy pants, seemingly clean cut, made an completely obscene gesture at me. At me. He was about fifteen feet in front of me when this happened. There was nobody else in our vicinity. I think he became cognizant that behind my sunglasses, I saw what he did. And then he did it again. I passed him and I turned around just as he did it with my back turned.

(At this point I would like to point out that I was dressed modestly. A pair of baggy Nike norts and a conservatively cut tank top over a sports bra.)

At this point I had decided that he was small enough that I was ready to fight, in case he encroached in my space. I started yelling at him, shaming him for his disgusting behavior. I pulled out my camera phone in the case that he repeated his actions, also as a deterrent. Meanwhile, I still had my earphones in and had no concept of what decibels I was hitting. He turned around and walked away from me, despite me screaming at him. By that time, there were two other (male) runners approaching us in either directions and I realized that I was the one who looked like the crazy.

I remained incensed by the time I returned home. After trying to pick out what I wanted to wear for the day I mentioned that I had reservations about wearing the dress I eventually did because of my experience earlier that day. Was it too short? Would I bring the wrong type of attention? My husband said no and then we both reflected on how fucked up it was that I had to consider that. In not so many words he told me to live my life and not let some creep keep me from doing me.

We should all heed to his advice.

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Dress is More

I was so excited to receive the new floral Meghan Evans dress in the mail last week. I love the black scuba fabric dress from last fall – as did my 6′-3″ sister, when she borrowed it for a going away party. She loved it so much, I still have not gotten it back and it has turned up on her Instagram feed several times since then. Just like 2003.

Meghan and I have a mutual interest in sustainability, particularly when it comes to clothing. She and I emailed back and forth about the topic several rounds before it became clear to me that I wanted to share not only our conversation, but also how she implements sustainability into her line. Our conversation, after the photos…

dress (℅ Meghan Evans Clothing) // shoes // sunglasses // tote bag // handbag (old J.Crew, similar) // scarf (old, Christian LaCroix) // watch // pearl earrings // pearl necklace (old) // pendant necklace // pearl bracelet (old) // cuff // ring // lip color (in #49)


Lucinda: What inspired you to develop a line of tall clothing?

Meghan: I have a really long torso and have always struggled to find tops, jackets, and dresses that fit. Growing up, I resorted sizing up in a desperate attempt to gain an inch in length (if I was lucky). When that was no longer cutting it, I started buying dresses that I knew were too short and turning them into tops (you can always hem something and make it shorter!). But, as we all know, simply making a top (or dress) longer doesn’t always result in the best fit. Things like armholes, bust darts, waistline placement, and sleeve lengths also have to be adjusted to ensure the best tall fit. My husband inevitably asked why I didn’t just make tops to fit tall women to begin with. So, I started looking into it.

L: I always said that it must be easier to be shorter and take up a dress or a pair of pants, rather than being tall because there is only so much hem you can let out. You have recently incorporated regular length sizing in your most recent collection. Was there a particular trend or factor that caused that shift?

M: It wasn’t an easy decision. I got into this industry to fix one problem: the lack of tall friendly tops, jackets, and dresses. But, in doing so I realized that I offered a unique approach to ethical fashion and people were interested in the aesthetic even though they didn’t face challenges finding pieces that fit them because of their height. Ultimately, I decided to expand the sizes offered in response to customer demand.

L: I have seen the @MeghanEvansClothing Instagram stories showing your hunt for deadstock. Aside from utilizing deadstock, do you implement any other sustainable practices in your collections?

M: Yes! Sometimes I think it’s easy to focus on a few obvious things when deciding how “sustainable” a clothing brand is. For example, do they use deadstock or eco-friendly fabric? In my opinion, to determine whether a brand is ethical and sustainable, you have to look at the brand as a whole. As you mentioned, I do use deadstock fabric to manufacture some of my styles. But, I also manufacture in limited quantities which reduces potential waste and limits my impact even when using conventional fabrics. I work with a woman-owned, small run production company located in Washington, DC. Doing so streamlines production and is extremely environmentally friendly (no long trips required for fittings or to check in on production, no shipping inventory and samples back and forth, etc). I’m also a big proponent of designing pieces that are versatile and timeless. For example, I value an ethically made sheath dress from conventional fabric more than an ethically made crop top from organic cotton because I will get a lot more wear and use out of the sheath dress given my lifestyle.

L: I once read that the transportation effects of the Toyota Prius to various dealers’ lots is so significant that it negates its purpose of reducing carbon emissions. Last week on the PopFashion podcast, Kaarin and Lisa discussed how there is a secondary market for high end, empty beauty product packaging for the sake of staging Instagram posts. While it is sustainable for something like this to have an afterlife, Lisa pointed out that the cost for shipping is not sustainable. It took me too long to figure out that using local vendors is not only advantageous for a community, but also for minimizing my carbon footprint.

M: There’s always a trade off! I think shopping local is one of the best things we can do for the environment and for the economy, more money is retained and circulated in your area when you shop with a local business as opposed to a chain location.

L: Backtracking for the layperson, can you expand on what deadstock is?

M: Deadstock is fabric that remains unsold by a fabric mill or unused by a large fashion house. Fabric producers and designers buy and produce based on expected need with an allowance for error. Sometimes a mill over-produces or a fashion house over-buys. This leftover fabric oftentimes ends up in a landfill. The production of fabric is one of the most environmentally taxing parts of the fashion industry, so it’s important to use the fabric since natural resources have already been expended to make it.

L: Just mentioning overproduction reminds me of Burberry. Percentage-wise, how much deadstock comprises each of your collections?

M: It varies greatly from season to season. Finding deadstock is like a scavenger hunt and its availability is unpredictable. This summer, four out of six (67%) of my styles were made from deadstock. I’m working to increase my use of deadstock and eco-friendly stock fabric.

L: I work in A&E and I have seen so much greenwashing in the built environment industries; it occurred to me that it probably happens in clothing design. For instance, J.Crew just made a dress out of “environmentally-friendly” Japanese Cupro – and it may be environmentally friendly, but that calls for supply chain research. Can you give us a cheat sheet for eco-friendly fabric you can recommend consumers look for?

M: Unfortunately, I don’t believe there’s an easy answer. Tencel, linen, cupro, and organic cotton are the more common fabrics generally seen as environmentally friendly. But, they are largely produced outside of the United States and therefore must be imported (by air or boat) from oversees and trucked great distances.

L: Ah, it goes back to that trade off you mentioned. As a consumer, how do you shop for clothing while incorporating your personal environmental- and social-minded standards?

M: It’s hard. And it’s really, really hard when you’re tall. But, I like to give small and independent brands a chance, because you never know until you try. And if the top doesn’t work for me, I look forward to buying it as a gift for a friend or family member. I also prioritize local and made in the US goods. But, I don’t want to come across as though I’m perfect. I’m not. If you know me personally you know I love J.Crew. It’s the only mega clothing retailer I shop with these days, so I do my best to limit how much I buy from them and make sure anything I do buy is versatile and well loved. I also avoid brands like Gap and H&M that are known for their poor production practices.

L: It hurts my heart that Gap is guilty. I cannot imagine how (founders) Don and Doris feel about their legacy.

M: On most recent scandal…

L: Can you recommend a must-watch sustainable style documentary?

M: I’d recommend The True Cost. It’s a great introduction to the issues facing the fashion industry. It’s also available on Netflix.

L: Have you watched RiverBlue? My husband and I watched it on Amazon Prime and amongst the mind blowing industry revelations, we were surprised to see that it was hosted and driven by Alex James of the 90s British band Blur.

M:  Yes, but it’s been a while since I’ve seen it! I’ll have to re-watch it, good to know it’s on Amazon Prime.

L: How often do you release collections?

M: I currently release capsule collections twice a year, in the summer and winter; however, I’m working to release a few additional pieces in spring and fall.

L: I know I am not the only one looking forward to the next drop.


Follow Meghan Evans on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

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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Cloud Orange

If anything, this blog has served as a great reminder to cease pulling the same dress out of the closet. Lucindervention, formerly Scouting Tall, is a great exercise in being mindful in not only what I choose to wear every day but also how I choose to allocate how I spend money on clothing. (Spoiler alert: not as frequently these days.)

I typically only wear this caftan over a swimsuit to a poolI stand by caftans being the the optimum summer day outfit, ideal for keeping ventilated. My plans for this past Saturday – getting the tires on my car replaced, super glam, I know – included a decent amount of walking from the mechanic to the nail salon to brunch and back to the mechanic, compounded with a 95 degree day, required an outfit that would keep me as cool as possible. Rather than layering over a swimsuit, which would not be at all pleasant once the sweat glands became active, I layered over a slip.

While I bought the caftan from Calypso St. Barth (R.I.P.), it was actually a third party brand. I made the purchase in early 2017, I think? Needless to say, the caftan is no longer available for purchase via primary market, at least. However, I linked four similar options that are on my hypothetical resort wish list.

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Let There Be Bright

Last Saturday the husband and I went to brunch at Maison 208 and then to Ritz Five for Hotel Artemis. Over the course of the afternoon, we walked over five miles. And y’all, it was hot out. The temperature topped eighty-six degrees. We were sure to hydrate: myself with bubbly rose, the husband with beer, both with water.

We do not tend to dine in the gayborhood; that is going to change. We loved the restaurant. Along with the rose bubbles, I had the creme brulee French toast and applewood smoked bacon, extra crispy. The husband had the fried chicken. Neither of us shared with the other, which when you think about it, is the true sign of an amazing meal. With a 1980s soundtrack, I am already planning our next brunch at Maison 208.

I originally planned to wear a shirtdress. I did not run enough miles this week because my thighs just did not want to let the dress button the entire way. Jorts it was with a shirt that has been hanging in my closet since the last After Party sale with the tags still attached, done.

Also on the to-do list: three miles per day each day this week.

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