A Midsummer White Dream

The summer prior to getting married, I did not cash in on wearing the color white nearly as much as I should have. Going into the summer I had full intention on copying Natasha’s (Big’s second wife, also known as “the idiot stick figure with no soul” to Carrie and her girl gang) wardrobe from season three of Sex and the City and yet in a iconoclastic move, I recall wearing tons of punchy colors.

While the Bradshaw Boys and I agree that Natasha was an unjust casualty (“Now this tooth is a completely different color than this tooth.”), they are the only other people with whom I have discussed sympathy for the character. Even the costume designers communicated Natasha’s “vanilla” personality by always outfitting her in white, save for the scene in which she delivered the tooth comment in a tone so icy, Anna Wintour felt the chill somewhere in the Condé Nast offices. In that moment, Natasha was dressed in the chicest pink shift. A signal that the character took a turn? We will never know because that was her last appearance in Darren Star’s iconic series.

I subconsciously channeled Natasha when UK-based retailer Figleaves (last discussed here) gifted me a few items for the last holiday week. A long torso swimsuit was necessary, as I find going up in sizes is not a particularly great strategy for a six foot two inch frame. Past results have been tragic.

I do not think I own enough pajamas. That is actually a complete lie. I can count five sets and I am not even in my apartment, let alone my closet, right now. I stand by the fact that wearing a full pajama set just makes me feel like I have my life together.

It is just good manners to wear some sort of outfit (beyond the swimsuit) when food is being served. This cover up was perfect for jumping out of the pool for a sandwich or guacamole.

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A Beautiful Day for Croquet

I stumbled upon this frock on eBay and immediately added it to my online shopping basket. I had not seen the dress before and I knew that if I waited, I would not see it again. Perfect for the fourth of July, it screams Americana Fest.

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Aside for checking for the historic label, the not-so-secret way of identifying if an item is a Lilly Pulitzer, is finding the label of the iconic namesake within the print of the shift. In the case of this dress, I have found it in three locations in the print, two of which are shown in the above photograph: 1) bottom half of the dress on the far right in red and white with the script running vertical and 2) in the red and white square tile in the middle of the dress just below the collar under the solid blue row of 45 degree squares.

In addition to the items in this post, more vintage Lilly Pulitzer is linked below in a variety of sizes. Always check measurements against the listings and when in doubt, go up a size.

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Loafer the Moon

I am so into loafers right now. Like blazers, equestrian style, and cricket sweaters, they are a decidedly preppy staple, so the traditional ones will never go out of style. I cannot speak to the Gucci furry, embroidered loafers, but count me in for the ones with the classic shape and horse bit detail.

Penny loafer? Check.

Heeled loafer? Check.

Driving loafer? Check.

Kiltie loafer? Check.

I love that loafers are an androgynous style. I have said it before any I will say it again: I love borrowing my from husband’s side of the closet. Lisa Birnbaum’s The Preppy Handbook references the tomboy aesthetic via borrowing from your brother’s closet as being a classic prep move. I will never borrow my husband’s loafers (or any shoes, save for stealing his Bean Boots in desperate moments), so it is time to stock up on the footwear staple.

Sound off below what style is your favorite.

clockwise from top left: tan penny loafer // tan suede loafer (also available in burgundy) // blue patent heeled loafer // green suede kiltie loafer // burgundy velvet crest loafer // tan driving loafer // patent kiltie loafer // houndstooth crest loafer

sīrsakar 2019

Within the last two weeks, retailers have released seersucker styles. I do not know about you, but this is the only evidence I need that spring is about to turn and after a long winter spent wearing black opaque tights, we can sport the seasonal summer fabric.

I wrote about Capitol Hill’s seersucker Thursdays last year on the blog. It was brought back by Mississippi politician Trent Lott, but make no mistake, a penchant for the lightweight breathable fabric and an adolescence growing up in Mississippi is where my similarities end with the former senator.

I digress.

Seersucker is coming in hot this year. (See what I did there?) There are so many options in terms of styles and price points. I even included some marked down styles that are in stock from last summer, which is part of the reason that I am such a fan of seersucker. Since it is such a classic fabric, it never goes out of style.

shorts // skirt

clockwise from top left: cover up // sleeveless shirt dress // cover up // wrap dress // mixed color dress // boatneck belted dress

v-neck belted dress // // tie dress

clockwise from top left: cropped pant (available in standard, petite, and tall sizing) // tie skirt // curvy fit cropped pant (available in standard and petite sizing) // scallop skort // capri pants (also available in blue and in standard, petite, tall, extended sizes) // tie shorts (also available in pink) // high waisted wide legged cropped pant // critter shorts

wrap dress (also available in pink) // shift dress (also available in blue) // scallop neckline dress (also available in pink)

 patchwork shorts // / pajama pants

clockwise from top left: boat shoes // belt // embroidered pocket square // blue tie // green tie

Stay Fair Isle Longer

Y’all last Saturday in Philadelphia was freezing. Philadelphia phreezing. Filiadelphia freezing? Let’s just say it was epically cold. I had an appointment in Center City early in the am and by early I mean, 9:30.

The week prior was especially tough. Monday I had a meeting with a potential client on site and thanks to a shower of wintry mix, I scooted out of work earlier than I wanted to. This collectively cut out four hours of time in which I could have been working on deliverables. I was at the office for a solid ten hours on Tuesday only to be outdone by thirteen hours on Wednesday. Cut to the eight o’ clock hour that night, two hours after my last mug of coffee, I ran out of steam and had to leave work. And apparently I did not set my alarm that night because I overslept on Thursday morning and did not make it in until nine am. As I keep the six-to-seven to three-to-four schedule, I was starting late. Since I started so late, I ended late, at seven. I capped off the week of insanity by an eight-thirty to five-thirty.

Shall we never do that again? Me thinks yes.

Let’s break down the outfit. After my hellish weekend, it had to be easy. Count me in for any fair isle sweater. Count me in for both colorways if it is available in tall, which this one is. Now that it is marked down to $22, get yourself on board. Every time I wear it, I am pleasantly surprised as how toasty it keeps me. Completely necessary when you opt for a bare legged look.

As for the skirt, it is available in tall and out of the four original colors of which it was initially offered, there are three colors left. Two of which I added to my closet. Right now the skirt is yours for $79 with an additional percentage reduction. Act now, y’all!

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Wooded Whiskey

Several weekends ago my husband had to be out of the country for work.

Naturally, I called Jamie to see if he wanted to visit Philadelphia for the weekend. Affirmative. We had one of the best weekends in recent memory, rivaled only by the one in which we headed out to the woods, drank whiskey, and threw some hatches at a tree.

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Our Saturday brunch commenced with a Bloody Mary custom bar cart at Urban Farmer. After indulging in biscuits, bacon, and Bloodies, we visited the Philadelphia Museum of Art and along with the latest exhibit, walked through a wing that always seems to be closed on my past vists to the museum. Lots of Mondrian, Matisse, and Monet.

Philadelphia loves their Christmas markets. Blowing through the market at JFK Love Park and Dilworth Plaza and an unsuccessful attempt at getting Jamie to agree to go ice skating, we ended up netting some truffle oil, macarons, and beer. It was the exact sustainance required for an hour shopping on Walnut Street before heading to Sampan for the daily happy hour. Jamie was shocked at how many people were waiting outside for seats at the bar, but being the seasoned savvy Philadelphian, I knew getting there early would be necessary.

Several cocktails and appetizers later (chicken bao buns, look them up), we stumbled out of the bar. A stop at a few local boutiques and West Elm later, we were on our way back to Walnut Street. Paper Source, Theory, Brooks Brothers. Two rounds of martinis with blue cheese stuffed olives at Butcher and Singer. We scampered to make our reservation at Parc, where were indulged in a butter-laden dinner.

That night we fell asleep watching holiday movies and taking out the macarons. I do not recall, but Jamie shook me while I was asleep on the armchair / ottoman and encouraged me to make the move to the bed. Again, I do not recall. I woke up spooning the cashmere sweater dress was wearing the day prior.

Friendship.

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Tartan Footprint

Tartan is so hot right now. In holiday seasons past, I had to hunt down classic tartan pieces. Not so in 2018. Every brand and it’s sister brand has a variety of tartan pieces and I. AM. HERE FOR IT! The plaid has become so common that brands are making tartan pieces in tall. We are going to have to ice skate to home and back because hell has frozen over. And I am going to look festive AF doing it!

Even if I was not able to locate any articles of clothing that fit my tall frame, which will not be the case this year, there are enough accessory options to satiate my tartan craving. Bucket bag? Check. Bangle? Check. Slippers? Check. Scarf? Check! Don’t even think that I am not not going to try to borrow my husband’s bow tie and style it in my own way.

Sidebar: I was just in the Philadelphia location of Tie Bar today and upon mentioning it to the two gentlemen on staff at the front desk, a third staff member in the back who had overheard my styling idea swung open the door to the front and insisted that I had to give it a whirl.

It will be one hell of a tartan holiday.

 

First row: dress // button up // bucket bag

Second row: bow tie // bangle (similar) // blazer

Third row: skirt // sleeveless shirt // earmuffs (last seen here, similar)

Fourth row: gloves  // crop pants // dress

Fifth row: tuxedo jacket // skirt // cap toe flats

Sixth row: shirtdress // scarf // cocktail shirt

Seventh row: slippers // romper // jacket

Historic Bridges of the MidAtlantic: Thomas Mill Bridge

Last weekend the husband and I wandered out on the Fairmount Park and along our walk, we encountered the Thomas Mill Bridge.

I happen to love a good historic structure, bridges included. Did you know that along with HABS (Historic American Building Survey) and HALS (Historic American Landscape Survey), the National Park Service also administers HAER, which is the Historic American Engineering Record, which documents historic bridges.

While the Thomas Mill Bridge has not been documented by HAER, it was documented via HABS. This was the modus operandi prior to the inception of HAER in 1969, as numerous covered bridges were listed through the HABS program. Additionally, the Thomas Mill Bridge is also listed on the National Register for Historic Places, as well as counting as a contributing structure for the Chestnut Hill Historic District; the district itself has been listed since the mid-1980s.

The Thomas Mill Bridge was built in 1855 and renovated in 1939 and 2000. It is the only covered bridge in Philadelphia and the only covered bridge in a major American city.

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The Basic Stripe

I recall this dress was released last autumn. I know for a fact that it never popped up in the tall section of the brand website until about four months after it became available. Only to be found in the regular length section of the website, once clicked on the item link, one would notice that tall sizing was in fact a size option. Tricky!

This is not the typical tee shirt dress. The fabric is not particularly soft like a tee shirt. It has no give; in fact I would call the fiber “static”. There is a back zipper. And the sizing is perplexing. I initially purchased this dress in a size six tall. It was too small and it went back to the store. I purchased it later in a size twelve tall. I never wrote about it on my Shopping Moratorium series (only bitched about it on Twitter cause, well duh) because while the hang tag said size twelve tall, the tag that was actually sewn in the clothes said size twelve petite. I only noticed this after I got stuck in the dress and nearly needed to take a pair of scissors and set myself free. Cut to my husband walking in on me looking like I was trying to escape a super chic striped straight jacket.

About a month after the incorrect sizing debacle, I reordered the dress. Yes, I had to wait a month later because the dress constantly sells out in tall. This time the size twelve tall actually did arrive. Thank sweet baby Jesus.

This dress runs small. Usually I wear a size six tall or eight tall (or medium tall) in dresses. Strangely, the sleeves are disproportionate to the length of the dress as they just are too short. Regardless, I am keeping the dress. Too easy not to throw on for casual Friday. (Shrugs shoulders.)

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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.

Stripe Dream

I cannot get enough seersucker. Perhaps it is for the same reasons I love madras, white denim, and Nantucket reds: rules dictate that one can only wear these traditional style staples from Memorial Day to Labor Day, no matter the climate. Since the seasons restrict the opportunity to break out summer’s best, I never feel like I get to wear it all enough. When this dress became available in tall during the late winter, I jumped at it.

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I have a friend who, circa 2010, made the faux pas of wearing seersucker a few days too early. As he recounts, the occasion was a press event for the nonprofit we worked for; this event was a professional one and called for a suit. While the nonprofit was headquartered in Washington DC, many of the focus areas including the location of this press event, were in the deep south. The temperature and the humidity necessitated something cool and breathable. My friend assumed that being in the south, the rules may be bent; despite having an initial reservation, he wore his seersucker suit.

My friend’s initial instincts were correct. After the press event, he met one of the nonprofit board members: a elderly gentleman who was born, educated, and raised south of the Mason-Dixon line. With a gentlemanly drawl, he stuck my friend with the comment, “I don’t know about you, but my momma taught me that seersucker was not to be worn prior to Memorial Day,” and walked off.

Burn. Consider us educated.

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