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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Stepping Up My Shoe Game

It seems like I just wrote about shoes, and I did, a mere month ago. It feels like so much longer than that. Not that I measure my life in pairs of shoes that I just so happen to find appealing, but what an idea. Carrie Bradshaw would be proud.

What other units would I like to measure my life in?

Gin martinis?

Miles ran or chatarunga pushups?

How about trips to the spa?

I digress.

Every shoe that catches my eye fits into one of several distinct categories: cap toe, loafer, slingback, gingham, and high heeled ankle strap sandals.

When you do not have an extra nine hundred dollars lying around for the real thing, this pump, cut out block heel, and ballet flat are sufficient substitutes without taking the questionable Canal Street knock off route.

pump (more cap toes here, fact: J.Crew made this very shoe save for a round toe circa autumn 2016) // block heel (last obsessed about here) // ballet flat (more cap toes here)

I blame my allegiance to the loafer on my classic and traditional aesthetic. Not the of-the-moment slim, slip on loafer. Those do nothing for me. Give me the fringe, a tassel, and a detail in which I can stow a penny.

clockwise from top left: tan horsebit loafer // navy fringe loafer // patent kiltie loafer // jade kiltie loafer // mustard penny loafer (alternate colorway last seen here)

Who saw the kitten heel slingback coming? I sure as hell did not. Now I want to head to the nail salon for a pedicure because even though my toes will not be on display, I need to prep my heels to be their most polished.

polka dot slingback // holographic slingback

I mentioned resisting the gingham trend last week and two of these are having an encore. Gingham in a smaller dose is palatable. However, I will be on the lookout across my Facebook because once I note that an old high school teacher (in Mississippi, mind you) has adopted the trend, it is time to jump ship.

sandal (obsessed about here) // pump (obsessed about here) // slingback

Ankle strap heels are not necessarily a trend but after packed away for six months, the sudden appearance of them in every retailer feels like a thing.

clockwise from top left: gold sandal // ribbon sandal // polka dot sandal

Markdown City, Population: Goop x Lilly Pulitzer

This past summer, I breathlessly wrote about coveting certain items in the Goop x Lilly Pulitzer collaboration. Initially not at all on my radar until the collection dropped, it was a pleasant surprise, punctuating the day before I left for my July Fourth holiday.

Lilly Pulitzer kills it at the collaboration game. Lilly x Pottery Barn? Yes. Lilly x S’well x Starbucks? I was unable to even score one but the demand has necessitated several Lilly x S’well limited runs. Lilly x Target? I would be lying if I said that I didn’t get borderline violently frustrated at the online sale and rage drove to my nearest collection-confirmed Target, only stopping at the neighboring Dunkin Donuts for a 5 am pick-me-up. It paid off. I was first in line and was able to get my pick of items to try on and eventually, purchase. The proof:IMG_7821

My now-husband, then-boyfriend scored me the teacups, Essie x Lilly nail polishes, headbands, and a tote bag from his local Target on the west coast. I knew then that the long-distance relationship was worth it and that my then-boyfriend was in it for the long haul.

While I passed up this past Lilly Pulitzer APS (the trick to not getting sucked into the APS is just to not enter the sale), I still get amped for a good Lilly sale. The beauty of a Lilly Pulitzer sale is that the brand makes such timeless pieces. The iconic shift dress? That is not going out of style ever. There is a reason Lilly Pulitzer is a heritage brand and save for the hiatus the brand took, it has been alive and kicking since the 1960s.

Last week I checked in on the Goop x Lilly collab and scored the Paltrow blouse and at a marked down price, at that. This morning and checked in and saw that the collection was further reduced and bought the Gwyneth Stretch Shift Dress. Now that I scored the items that I want – although I am still stalking the maxi skirt and maxi dress for returns as I am sure there will not be any restocks at this point – I want to share these markdowns with y’all:

 

blouse ($67 from $168) // maxi dress ($159 from $398) // maxi skirt ($99 from $248) // shift dress ($99 from $248)

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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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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Electric White Orchestra

When Long Tall Sally launched their updated line of denim, I initially had reservations about whether I would find a pair that I could feel comfortable wearing. By this point, long time readers may have picked up that I do not frequently wear jeans on the blog which is a reflection of how seldom I wear them in my every day. (I can count a mere two times denim has shown up on Lucindervention.) Truth be told, I do not fit into any of the jeans I have and isn’t denim shopping too traumatizing to put oneself through? So I just have never bothered to procure new pairs.

When I mentioned to my sister that Long Tall Sally extended all jean styles to 34, 36, and 38 inch inseams, she insisted that I give a pair a whirl. She is a long-time Long Tall Sally denim enthusiast and she gave me her sizing intel and advised that I go down a size.

I listened to her first portion of advice in that I tried the Shaper Skinny Low Rise Jean. I am so glad I did. Every constricting feeling that I have ever had about skinny leg jeans, did not apply to this style. I initially knew I liked them when I tried them on at home, but my love was actually realized when my husband and I hopped in a Lyft over Labor Day weekend and it became clear to my just how flexible the fabric is as I was crunched in the back of a midsize sedan. I should have considered the second portion of my sister’s advice and gone down a size, but I have no reservations about popping this pair in the dryer.

I cannot wait to wear these into the fall. Rules were meant to be broken and this pair of denim and I are about to shatter No White After Labor Day.

denim (℅ Long Tall Sally) // top (old, Tibi) // belt (old, J.Crew) // bag (old, J.Crew) // sandals // sunglasses (alternate colorway) // sunglasses strap (old print, similar, similar, similar) // watch // necklace (old, Gemma Redux) // earrings (old, Gemma Redux) // ring

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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Shell I Compare Sea to a Summer’s Day?

Who remembers when Gilt and RueLaLa were the best online destinations to shop? Admittedly I probably shopped too much at the flash sale sites, so much so that I burnt out. Full candor, I was most certainly one of those girls who used the first thirty minutes of her lunch break (EST thank sweet baby Jesus) to raid Gilt’s daily offering.

Sidebar: I highly recommend reading By Invitation Only: How We Built Gilt and Changed the Way Millions Shop written by Alexis Maybank and Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, the founders of Gilt. It is an easily digestible read that you will not want to put down. Read it especially if you need inspiration in your professional life.

These days it seems as though the flash sale concept has been phased out for both of the websites. Though the seeming urgency to shop it everyday has cooled, it is not necessarily reflective of the quality of merchandise. In the past six months, I know I purchased at least one dress, one pair of sunglasses, and one swimsuit from one site or the other.

The swimsuit being this one. Unfortunately it was not offered in long torso, but I made a size larger than what I would typically purchase, work. With this fantastic print and the vivid colors, can you blame me?

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Meet the Tennis

I was so excited to see the new Lilly Pulitzer tennis collection. As someone who has adopted the country club SUV mom look for her summer 2018 athleisure aesthetic, the idea of this collection appealed to me. I have a pair of pink and purple space dyed leggings from the Luxletic collection and was confident that the tennis collection would measure up in terms of quality.

Unfortunately, judging from the customer reviews, I was wrong. Granted that because the brand does not make a tall or long torso range, I knew I probably would not be purchasing a dress. Due to product feedback, I doubt I will be buying any of the top or skirt options either. I will not go into on the blog, but read up on any of the dress or skirt items.

What do I love? The racquet bag is a Lucindervention must! I have had my eye on a similar Tory Sport one for awhile, but I didn’t love the fabric. Before that, I wanted a Louis Vuitton in the light Damier canvas. They both just seemed a bit heavy and high maintenance though.

Con is that there is only one print available in the style. How cute would it have been to pair it with the Lilly x S’well water bottle?

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Goop Therapy

The Lilly Pulitzer world was shook on Thursday when press releases abounded with news about the newest collaboration. (Just me…?) Hanky Panky, Target, Starbucks, Swell, and now, Goop.

It should not come as any surprise that the lifestyle brand that is frequently critiqued as out-of-touch teamed up with the resort line which outfits the very demographic of the former’s core target audience. While the items that Goop tends to tout to its readers tends to be less economical than Lilly Pulitzer, what a way to engage basic, white women.

The five piece limited-time capsule collection features a pattern designed by Ms. Paltrow herself, aptly named Kiss, Kiss as this partnership is timed to ride the coattails of the recent release of Goop‘s The Sex Issue.

Will we be buying this now? Or will we be waiting until the next APS? Chime in.

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shirt // skirt

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Ultra Violet

Last fall I got really into purchasing items from eBay (eBae) circa 2007 – 2009 from a few contemporary labels that I discovered upon working at Cusp during that timeframe. It was the first job I had after I moved to the District – as of last Sunday, that was TEN years ago – and I only worked there because I had interviewed over the phone and had a job offer, pending a clean drug test. I knew I wanted to make the move with time to spare in order to have time to adjust to the area before starting the academic year.

It is one of those times in my life that I look back with such nostalgia. Throwing everything that would fit in my Escape and making the solo seventeen hour / two day drive from the Gulf Coast to my rental in the beltway gave me time to reflect on how far I had come and where I was going next. It was the bravest thing I ever did up to that point. I even remember what I wore the day I left: a men’s Hanes white v-neck and mesh royal blue soccer shorts and Rainbow flip flops. My sunglasses were a horrible abomination: a Dolce & Gabanna aviator style. That time of my life is still so vivid in my memory.

All of this is to underscore the reasons behind why I believe I am attracted to the clothing released in this timeline. While I cannot say for certain that I saw this Tibi dress back then, the print is exemplary of the trippy Pucci-adjacent type that dominated Amy Smilovic’s designs from that era. I had no doubt about wearing it with gold sandals and my husband advised me to wear the gold shell necklace – and consequently against the aqua jewelry color story I had initially picked out – with it.

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America’s Next Top Bottle

Who else missed out on the Starbucks x Lilly Pulitzer x S’well bottle collaboration? I know that I did not peel my ass out of bed at the buttcrack of dawn to hit Starbucks in time. The gentleman managing Starbucks the morning of the release incredulously informed me at 7 am how there was an early morning rush for the limited edition line. We are talking 5 am, when the doors unlocked. You could say that the suburban SUV moms were out in full force that morning.

I subsequently spaced when the bottles were available online. I previously procured a gold one that I love, so I opted not to go the eBay stalker route. I am not necessarily kicking myself over it, but part of me wishes I had woken up two hours earlier that morning.

I will preface this with the fact that I am on a great roll with my Shopping Moratorium 2018 month of June. Ladies and gentlemen, hold your applause, I have not bought anything since the end of May. However, if I were to break my moratorium, it might be for one of these bottles. This collaboration has more size and pattern variety and can be accessed via the Lilly or S’well sites. If past is any indicator, they are not going to last long. 

25 ounce bottle (also available here)

 

17 ounce bottles (also available here)