How to Make Print in America

How excited I was to score this dress on deep discount from the Pink Pelican in Huntsville? Very. With the code 35closing, you can score an additional 35% off already marked down priced at this Lilly signature boutique. I was lucky enough to get in early enough to grab this dress, this dress, and these wedges. Sizes are limited these days, so act fast. Or diet down to a size extra small because that is all that there seems to be left.

The particular dress featured in this post caught my eye because although the colors are bright and the print is a eye-catcher, it isn’t outwardly Lilly Pulitzer. It truly is the perfect dress when you want to wear something vivid but at the same time, doesn’t scream, “I am a basic white woman.”

Several years ago, 2012 to be exact, J.Crew dominated the ikat print and put it all over that summer season from shorts to espadrilles. I distinctly remember being envious of a friend, Christine, who found that most amazing ikat print swimsuit from that line. The print is pretty phenomenal no matter which brand produces it, so this dress is my way of catching up with that 2012 FOMO.

 

dress // sandals // sunglasses // handbag (℅‎ Foley + Corinna) // earrings (alternate colorway) // necklace (old, Gemma Redux) // watch // knot ring // wire ring (old, Banana Republic)

Pivot Cable: Part I

If it is a crime to repeat items on the blog, then lock me up! Repeating clothing is a reflection of what we all do in real life and it is unrealistic not to wear pieces not only multiple times, but in a multitude of ways.

Several weeks ago I wore this skirt on the blog. Leading up to its purchase, I debated which color(s) I really wanted, at what price point I was willing to pull the trigger, and how I would wear it. I started to get stoked when I thought about this particular color combination. I love mixing statement-making, yet complementary colors. Truth be told, this outfit combination was inspired by a particular phase of J.Crew marketing circa 2008-2012.

 

The skirt is still available in tall (direct link because J.Crew was especially tricky and hid the tall version on the website). The Cambridge Cable Knit Sweater was an oldie-but-goodie and is no longer available, but unfortunately was not available in tall. Memo to J.Crew: Release your sweaters in tall! This is where Gap and Gap Factory have J.Crew beat. Unfortunately neither offer monogramming. #cannothaveitall

 

sweater (old, similar) // tank // skirt // clutch // scarf (old, Christian LaCroix) // shoe (old, similar) // necklace // earrings // rose gold cuff // watch // cocktail ring

No Rest for the Cricket Sweater Dress

I have been coveting a cricket sweater for the longest time. Ever since I re-binged the later seasons of Sex and the City and noticed how chic Charlotte looked showing Elizabeth Taylor Goldenblatt in the athletic-inspired staple, I have had my eye out for one. For some reason, there is a gentlemen’s version in several price points every season. Not the case for the ladies.

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Credit: HBO

Last weekend I went to a matinee of Thoroughbreds. Highly recommended. It was the one of the last film appearances of Anton Yelchin prior to his untimely and tragic death.

The character of Lily had the most phenomenal wardrobe, though the outfit change seemed low. It was very Blair Waldorf, and I love Blair Waldorf style. During the scene where she is wearing a cricket sweater dress, I Googled for an similar style. In the middle of the theater. It is a sickness.

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Credit: June Pictures / B Story / Big Indie Pictures

You will never guess where I found this dress. I did not see it coming. It is available in tall and petite for my shorter friends. I was shocked to see this brand offer beyond standard sizes. It is starting to overcome the reputation that it earned during the aughts. Bonus: the dress is 100% cotton. I can only hope to soon find a pair of 36″ inseam slouchy bootcut jeans in the most perfect faded wash in seasons to come.

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Lake Life

Last weekend the family gathered in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota to say goodbye to a beloved family member. Although it was an especially sad goodbye, I am comforted that there is no more suffering. While I spent many summers and holidays in the lake town, I knew that I would not be returning again. However, I did enjoy sharing my experiences of the town with my husband, as it was new to him. It went a little something like this:

“That’s where the old waterslides were!”

“Our favorite minigolf course is that one!”

“This is the mall with the movie theatre where I saw Armeggedon!”

“I went ice fishing right there!”

“This place has the best pizza and nachos! Pull over!”

Once on the return flight, my husband mentioned that he felt peak family vibes over the weekend. He did spend quite a bit of time shuttling my immediate family and I around Detroit Lakes in a three row SUV. We all had a good laugh when my 6′-4″ tall father struggled as he made his way to the back row. Also when I had to climb from the front passenger seat over to the driver’s side (as to not damage my suede / lucite heels in the snow) and accidentally honked the horn with my butt. The comic relief came at just the right times. Family vibes, indeed.

As I told my sister, we have to allow the experience of losing loved ones underscore the need to make the most of our lives and tell those who are still with us that we love them. I made the most of my last days in Detroit Lakes and a few more memories on the lake thanks to my husband who insisted on a few impromptu photos at the very place where I spent many a summer. 

 

sweater // skirt // sunglasses // scarf // tights // boots (hiswomen’s version) // watch // bracelet // necklace // earrings // green stone cuff // pearl cuff // black diamond cuff // cocktail ring // his blazer // his pants

Floral Diplomacy

I just love Milly New York. Since the label’s inception in the mid-aughts, Michelle Smith has served up plum next level designs made in New York. How is that for a great American brand? And more than a decade before the president made a *thing* about it, albeit while not following it himself. (We all know that his Macy’s line is made in China). Regardless of one’s politics, I admire Milly’s Michelle Smith for not only taking a stand and talking the talk, but walking the walk. Michelle is the real deal and aside from her values, she is a design genius.

I scored this Milly shirtdress via eBay back in December. While I cannot speak to when this particular dress was produced, I can say with certainty that this was made prior to the Milly rebrand in 2012, as the dress has the Milly script label and the print has the Milly script label incorporated in it. It is something I could see Blair Waldorf wearing in the latter seasons of Gossip Girl.

The dress design is perfection on a tall frame, which is atypical for a line that produces standard sizes only. Not only is the hemline modest enough to wear to the office, but the sleeves are long enough as well. Add a tall sized camel coat, multistrand pearl necklace, block heels, and the outfit is ready to report to work.

dress (old, Milly) // coat (available in tall, alternate colorways) // bracelet (budget) // earrings // necklace (old, J.Crew Factory) // sunglasses // watch // knot ring // shoes (old, J.Crewalternate colorwaysimilarsimilarsimilar)

Valentine Empire

I never have been one to get into Valentine’s Day. My relationships never aligned with the holiday until I was 24 and even then, I was not very spirited. Even after the first two years of our relationship, of which my husband and I were long distance, Valentine’s Day has not been a priority. Our respective office hours tend to run later and with the holiday on a weekday, who has time?

I bought this dress at this past autumn. It is also available in black and lilac and looking back, I wish I had purchased the latter color for spring as well. The dress comes in tall. #rejoice

The cardigan is from the L’Wren Scott x Banana Republic collaboration of 2013. It, too, was offered in tall, likely because L’Wren (RIP) was a fellow tall female. Along with the rich purple, the tall sequin cardigan came in red. I bought both, as well as three of the dresses and a scarf from the collection. Despite how long I have had the items, I still refuse to give away or sell any of them; they are just too darn classic.

dress // cardigan (old, Banana Republicsimilarsimilarsimilarsimilar) // shoes (old, J.Crewsimilarsimilarsimilarsimilar) // sunglasses (similarsimilarsimilar) // gloves // watch // black diamond cuff // pearl cuff // green stone cuff // earrings // necklace

Let There Be Stripe

Early last fall, I fell in love with a navy and white stripe tee shirt dress at J.Crew. Unfortunately, the forces that be did not find it necessary to offer the dress in tall sizing. Shocker. Also devastating. The dress was just such a great basic that I found myself wondering why I did not have something like it in my closet already.

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Cut to me finding this dress not only in stock, but also in tall at a competing retailer! Strike at the right time and it can be found on promotion too. #chaching

The dress does not call for a ton of extras but the equestrian print scarf looped with a classic pearl necklace is the perfect complement to the stripes. Add in the rest of the pearl set, ballet flats, and cat eye sunglasses and the outfit is perfect.

dress // scarf (old, similarsimilar) // purse (old, similarsimilar) // ballet flats // sunglasses (sold out, alternate colorways) // pearl necklace // pearl bracelet // bow cuff // pearl earrings // banner ring (sold out, similar) // tulip ring // watch

Pink and Be Merry

I fell in love with Tucker back in the summer of 2008. I distinctly recall unpacking and steaming several shipping boxes full of the Classic Blouse while working for the Georgetown Cusp. While the Classic Blouse is cut wide and cropped, it is still an appropriate length for a 6′-2″ frame. The prints, along with the signature shapes, are what the label is known for and added pizzazz to my 2008-to-2012 closet.

One Target collaboration and a studio fire later, and the founder closed down shop. It was a sad day for me to find that out.

Cut to several years and an article in WWD later when I read out that Tucker relaunched. Rejoice! #andtheangelssang

I bought this dress on deep markdown post-Christmas, but to be honest even if it was not on clearance, it would have been worth the MSRP. Unfortunately it looks like the Classic Maxi dresses are cleared out of the online store, but they are worth keeping an eye out for! I regret not procuring one sooner but am making up for lost time.

dress (old) // bag (alternate colorway) // slip (old, similar) // boots (℅ Long Tall Sally) // sunglasses (alternate colorway, alternate colorway, alternate colorway) // watch // rose gold cuff // bow cuff // pink stone ring // quatrefoil ring

Hungry Like the Wolfstooth

Do you want to know what is better than houndstooth? Wolfstooth. It is the hotter, younger sister of the traditional tweed. I should state for the record that I have no hate for houndstooth. Wolfstooth merely turns up in collections less frequently, which is why when it does, I jump on the chance to add it to my closet. Amongst the many times I wore it were my engagement photos and when I registered for my wedding. I frequently spot it out in the wild in applications other than clothing.

 

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Back in 2008, Marc Jacobs released a line chock full of designs in “squiggle” wolfstooth for his Marc by Marc Jacobs label (R.I.P.). I was working at the Cusp in Georgetown during the summer between undergrad and grad school and I died when I unboxed the shipment containing the graphic designs. Later than fall, two pieces from this collection and another wolfstooth piece from L.A.M.B. wound up on Blair Waldorf. Eric Daman is a genius. I said it. I meant it. I am not taking it back.

 

Credit: The CW

I uncovered this navy / black wolfstooth dress from the Marc by Marc Jacobs line NWT on eBay. When I find pieces that I am obsessed with years down the road and at a competitive price…it is more like eBae, amirite? I love mixing navy and black. This shape from the collection, at least, is the most appropriate to integrate into the every day. The banded bottom reminds me of a subtle bubble hem, which I understand is coming back in style. The middle of the dress has a bit of volume. Awesome for hiding any winter weight.

dress (old) // coat (his, old, similar) // scarf (old, similar) // tights // ballet flats (old, similarsimilar) // earrings // sunglasses // watch // handbag (old, similar) // gloves (old)

New Year, New Blue

Long before J.Crew started releasing coats and skirts in tall, the company designed a series of tweed suits. Every season as far back as 2012, even in the summers, the company had at least one amazing tweed set. This blue set was the second one that I had to add to my closet, regardless of the fact that it was not available in tall.

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The details on this blue set are fantastic. Both pieces are trimmed in black grosgrain ribbon and rather than buttons or snaps down the placket, the jacket can be fastened with hook and eyes. The skirt has side vents, albeit minimal.

The skirt is mini length, which can get dicey when worn by someone over 6′-0″ like myself. A shorter length skirt calls for a pair of flats. To wear a pair of heels with a mini would be inappropriate, especially for daytime. Conversely, I never wear flats with a midi length skirt. Hashtag proportions.

tweed suit (old, J.Crew) // sweater (similar) // pearl necklace // pearl bracelet // pearl earrings // quatrefoil ring // green stone cuff // pearl cuff // black diamond cuff // tights // shoes (old, similarsimilar) // sunglasses // watch // handbag

Black to Basics

If you have not yet heard of SHPALA, it is time to take note. The brand was founded by a fellow 6′-2″ tall lady, with the intention to expand dress options for others who are vertically gifted. It is a capsule collection of black dresses; one for every occasion that may arise. In theory, one could get by with a closet solely consisting of these dresses.

Over the weekend I took the Cocktail Dress out for a spin. Y’all, it is gorgeous. Even though satin is not a particularly forgiving fabric, I found that the shape (specifically the flattering paneling of the dress) counterbalanced the fabric.

I have the worst memory of walking home from work in DC while wearing a pencil skirt. It was the dead of the summer 2012 and I was in a J.Crew number that I had seen on our then-First Lady. By the time I arrived home, I felt as though my legs were being bound by tight jacket. Chafe City, Population: me. Ever since that evening, I have frequently stuck with dresses (skirts, too) that are a-line, as opposed to a pencil, cut. The bonus is the front pleat on this dress, keeping the a-line style from bordering on too simple.

dress // coat // heels (old, similar) // clutch (old, similar, similar) // sunglasses // key necklace // knot ring // pearl cuff // black diamond cuff // green stone cuff // watch