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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Thinking Cap

Cap toe shoes are so hot right now. It is my belief that they have never actually been out of style as they are a total classic; rather the design feature is just experiencing the trickle down effect as explained by Miranda Priestley monologue in regards to the color cerulean.

Earlier this summer, I went on the hunt for some cap toe heels. I scored these (worn in this post) and pinned a few other pairs as those I wanted to keep my eye on. Cap toe flats. Cap toe sling backs. Cap toe heels. Cap toe boots. Sign me up for all of them.

 

clockwise from top left: cutout with grosgrain cap toe // pump with patent cap toe // cutout (similar style) // slingback (also available in white / black and black / black) // pump // suede cutout (also available in gray patent / gray)

One only needs a single pair of black cap toe / neutral pink pump in the closet. Let’s not get too insane with multiple, near identical shoes, amirite? There are so any options and price points to choose from though. Full pump, slingbacks, cut outs.

 

 

clockwise from top left: black / black pumps // black quilted pumps // navy / black slingbacks // velvet slingbacks // oxblood ankle boots // ballet pink quilted pumps // gray suede slingbacks // black quilted block heel

On the other hand, I want nearly all of the above cap toe styles. My three favorites are the oxblood ankle boots, gray suede slingbacks, and calf hair / satin toe pumps.

 

 

 

Wedding Day Chambray

Have you ever been invited to a wedding and only the bride and groom and five other people (a mere seven total) knew the details of the where?

That was the wedding I went to over Labor Day weekend and it was the most amazing wedding I have ever attended as a guest. During the rehearsal dinner, there was an announcement that all attendees had to report to the Boston Yacht Club (Marblehead) by 3:15 pm.

Sidebar: I would like to claim partial credit for keeping our gang of six (my mother-in-law, sister-in-law, four-year-old nephew, eighteen-month-old nephew, husband, and I) on time. The night prior, we planned backwards from the 3:15 call time, decided to leave our rental by 2:55, and out the front door by 2:50. After getting myself showered and ready in record time of 45 minutes, I panicked when I saw the nephews running around in their play clothes at 2:45. I employed my leadership skills and got the four year old in and out of the bathroom, dressed, and we opted to skip the hair gel. By that point, everyone else was ready to go. Miracles happen.

At 3:30 on the dot, the wedding guests were escorted out to a boat that took us to an island about a half hour off of the Marblehead coast. I think all of the guests were thrilled with the bar boat, although we restrained ourselves until after the ceremony. During the ride, we all speculated on how the bride and groom were going to arrive. By jet ski? By hovercraft? By parachute?

After all of the guests deboarded the boat and were seated, the bride and groom walked out and down the aisle hand in hand. (Classier than sky diving.) When the ceremony concluded, there were family photos and the imbibing then began on the booze cruise cocktail hour(s?). Naturally, my husband’s cousin – my soul cousin – and I were the first one’s back on the boat and with glasses of bubbly rose in hand.

The evening then progressed to a delicious meal, a covert cousin bottle of bourbon (a tradition started at my husband’s and my wedding), copious jubilant dancing, stumbling down to the nearest bar in Marblehead (barefoot, naturally), and engaging in hot pursuit for my husband’s lost blazer (and wallet, which we only recovered the next afternoon).

I originally wanted to wear my bright pink DVF silk faille strapless dress, but at the last minute I found that it would not zip up completely. I jumped on the internet, found a chambray dress that I was not particularly in love with but I knew it would be appropriate for the wedding, and had two sizes overnighted.

The dress, with the pearl slides that I have been wearing the eff out of this summer and some nice jewelry, ended up being a more appropriate outfit for the booze cruise and enthusiastic dancing in which I engaged. Not only did I receive so many compliments on the shoes, but my husband received compliments on them to pass along to me. I love that the dress came in tall and I could wear a standard bra without the straps being exposed. The irony of it all? The chambray dress and the pink strapless dress were the same size.

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Let Print Be

I was thrilled to find this Milly NY dress in my size on eBay NWT for a steal. I have said it before and I will say it again: while I like the new version, I love the older iteration of the brand more than any other label. It was just so feminine and chic. These days I will buy most any previous generation Milly NY article of clothing in my size, NWT, on eBay, ThredUp, Poshmark, or TheRealReal. The scarcity of availability makes the old styles all the more valuable, to me at least. I will take an old school #millymoment any day!

The upside to shopping on resale sites is that I am giving old clothing new life. This chic-as-eff dress could have ended up in a landfill. Rather, it has found a home in my summer closet. Vintage shopping is the fourth major method of sustainable shopping, and while I am not sure a ten-year-old dress exactly qualifies as vintage, it is certainly second-hand.

How did I celebrate scoring this dress and the beginning of a four day weekend? A 5 am wake up call for catching the sunrise down at the Race Street Pier. Why not? It was a fantastic way to start our long Labor Day weekend. After we saw the sun, we booked it home to pick up our luggage and then booked it to Philadelphia International. That rose bubbly was exactly what I needed to relax me before boarding!

dress (old, Milly, old Milly New York here, here, and here) // slides (also here) // clutch (old, Thredup + TheRealReal options: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) // earrings (old, Gemma Redux) // bracelet (old, Gemma Redux) // cuff // watch

Shopping Moratorium 2018 | 242/123

My resistance to shopping in August was consistent with that of July, in that I did not have the discipline that I did during June. Glass half full, at least from a sustainability perspective: I mostly shopped secondhand at eBay and Thredup.IMG_4345

tee shirt dress

Remember when I bought this dress in a size too small back in May? A refresher: I already have a similar dress to the long sleeve tee shirt dress, albeit navy with white stripes, boatneck, and 3/4-length sleeves. I wear it all the damn time. Every time this particular dress is restocked, it immediately sells out, at least in the tall sizes. I finally scored one at twenty percent off, but due to it running small, had to return.

Flash forward to the beginning of the month, I got over the zipper placement and added this dress to my fall queue.1

sandals

Jack Rogers had a sale. We are talking eighty percent off prices, people! The bone sandals I have had my eye on? From $125 to $45. It is no surprise that the site repeatedly crashed during my many checkout attempts. This is the only color that I was hoping to add to my collection of ten and my will for a new pair of West Palm Beach sandals won.

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dress (eBay + Thredup options: size 2, size 4, size 6, size 8, size 8, size 8size 10 // similar style 1, similar style 2, similar style 3)

I originally spied this DVF dress over a decade ago. How is that for a clothing obsession? I then purchased what I thought was the same dress via eBay in 2011, but I mistook the dress for a different DVF style (refer to the similar styles above). I finally found the dress in a size six but with my chubby phase I am going through, I do not exactly fit in it. Cut to planning for a wedding at the end of the month. I found this same dress from my 2008 obsession on eBay in a size ten and at a very competitive price. Now I have a one for my skinny version and my chubby version. Excessive? Or ingenius? You decide.

 

Milly // Vera Wang Lavender Label

The red blouse is the same I purchased in a cream colorway several years ago and have already worn on the blog. I love the tonal print. I love the tie at the collar. I love the fabric; you cannot tell via photo but it has the slightest amount of stretch which offers enough give for someone with linebacker-esque shoulders. Speaking for a friend.

The cream and gold shirt is Vera Wang Lavender Label, a brand that was established just prior to the 2008 recession and shuttered circa 2011. Such a shame. The fabrics and the cuts were gorgeous. It was exactly what I imagined a Washingtonian version of Blair Waldorf wearing on Gossip Girl.

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bag

No surprise here that I am a fan of Foley + Corinna bags. I saw a blue one NWT on eBay and I was instantly sold!

 

cardigan // flats

There was a Tory Burch Private Sale. One cardigan in two colorways and a pair of Minnie later…

 

tartan blazer // tweed blazer // tweed skirt

The new Red Fleece line is so damn good. Straight fire. Rather than indulge in the clothes of the season, I caught some stuff that I missed the last time the trees were bare and at prices that were easier to stomach.

 

cap toe heels // slingback pumps

Recently I have been mourning the time that I ended up returning a pair of Lena cap toe pumps – as lamented about here – because I thought the heel was too high for me. I have been kicking myself because I genuinely loved the cap toe and the colorway. This very morning I wandered online and found the block heel variation of the Lena pump and at a fraction of the original +$200 price tag.

The slingbacks were not particularly frugal, but they were 30% off. I don’t know what the detailing is going to look like in person, so best order a pair while taking advantage of the free shipping and try them on in person, in the comfort of home. I love the Colette style, as it is the same style as the shoes I wore for my husband’s and my engagement photos. I walked miles around the cobblestone streets of Georgetown in those heels and though I ended up barefoot on the sidewalk much later on that night, after the engagement shoot and after celebrating two friends who had just returned from abroad after eloping and after drinks with more friends who we had not seen in months, the situation could have been much worse.

Fourteen items. That is nearly a purchase every other day of August. Some might say I have a problem. Admitting you have a problem is the first step of getting clean right?

Pink Outside of the Box

Have you ever lived through a poor experience and as a result banned the outfit you wore through the ordeal? Circa early June 2013, I had a really awful day at work. I consequently could not even look at the printed pencil skirt and the neon monogrammed cashmere tee shirt that I picked out that morning. I remember the outfit as vividly as I remember oversleeping and rushing out of the apartment that morning sans shower. While I made it to work with minutes to spare, it should have been the first clue that I was in for a doozy of a day.

I had to give away both garments as just one look at them took me to a really sad, angry, and confused place.

Earlier this summer, I sat through a really uncomfortable interview in this acid pink tweed shift dress. It was for a job at a nonprofit preservation organization for which I was beyond qualified based on my educational experiences alone. It would have been a thirty percent pay cut even though it was a more senior level than my current position. Mentally, I was at a place where the current staff would really have to sell me on the job; I just was not internally sold on it. I think going to any interview is a good exercise, regardless of having to use vacation hours for the present position, so I accepted in invitation to interview.

The interview did not go well. It was with three staff members and a board member. The board member and one of the staff members were perfectly delightful. A second staff member could only be described as outwardly milquetoast – or maybe just stoic –  although I am sure there was more going through her head. The third staff member was the Executive Director of said nonprofit and from the minute she answered the door bell (as I had to buzz in), she was not…very nice. She seemed surprised by my presence (give or take twelve minutes early) despite the fact that she had accepted the calendar event that I had previously sent her. Being sized up as I stood on the door stoop made me want to run away. #areyougoingtoinvitemeinquestionmark

In a move stolen from mean girls holding court in high school cafeterias around America, I caught the Executive Director attempting to make what felt like very judgemental eye contact with the board member, who I might add was not engaging back with the ED – including an actual eyeroll –  while I was mid-sentence.

While the actual functions of the job sounded exactly what I hoped for, I knew when I left the office it was for the last time. Whether I received an offer or not, I would not accept it and in a radical move on my part, I did not even send a set of thank you notes. Furthermore, it made me appreciate the staff of which I am a part. Straightforward. No mental hopscotch.

In the weeks that followed, I could not bring myself to even look at the acid pink tweed shift dress that I had been so in love with until wearing it to the interview. Did the Executive Director not like me because of the dress? Was that why she was sizing me up? Was the dress too bright? The tall size could not have been too short, right? Was the hemline too short? There was no way. (But seriously, weigh in, in the comment section.)

Several weeks later, I decided to reclaim the dress. I happened to have an informational interview with a Director of a privately held company which was in the same field as the nonprofit. I wore the dress. Echoing the experience of the nonprofit, I had to buzz in, to which the Director answered, “Hello Lucinda! I am going to be right down.” Upon opening the door, she said and I quote, “Great dress!” and we proceeded to have the most fantastic and inspiring conversation.

I will never forget how nice the Director was. She will remain one of the coolest people I have ever met. In conclusion, and ladies this is for us, it is cool to be nice. Let’s be like the Director every day. While we are at it, let’s not let bad experiences ruin our associations the with amazing clothes already in our closets!

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Tunic Time

Dress for the job you want.

The job I want is that of a wealthy housewife who spends her day lounging on the porch drinking white wine spritzers. My mom is approaching this stage in her life, also known as retirement, and I am ever envious of her.

I have already commenced collecting caftans and tunics which, in the summer months, is really the ideal uniform. This tunic, over a swimsuit, is perfect for lounging by pool followed by ducking onto the porch once the inevitable afternoon downpour commences.3

tunic

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.

Floral Distribution

This dress has the best details. Aside from the fantastic print, the laser print panel and the stand up neckline gives me life. Pleats give thicc thighs a little more room to move. (This is when I start picketing against the pencil skirt silhouette.) Also, would you look at the wrap feature and subsequent opportunity to have a dramatic leg moment a la Angelina Jolie at the 2012 Academy Awards? Dead.

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Tie in the Sky

Recently, Tory Burch online store hosted an additional 30% off of already marked down prices. I was ever disappointed when I realized that this dress was sold out in my size, but lost my shit when I realized these slides were still available and immediately purchased them.

Another item on my radar? Aside from this dress and this tunic, I am into this bow neck sleeveless blouse. Yes, it is not available in tall, but it looks to run long. Compounded with the sleeveless style, it is not particularly essential for this particular item to be available in tall or long.

It was still too pricey to purchase, even with the additional percentage off, but it is worth keeping an eye on.

shirt

 

Sweater Days

How ladylike is this sweater? It is beyond ladies-who-lunch and those ladies who wish to lunch more often, especially when your lunch consists solely of six glasses of Chardonnay?

Cut to me bringing a bottle of Rosé to a meeting of the Contributing Members of the Young Friends of the Pennsylvania Ballet planning meeting. I could hear my father roll his eyes as I was on the phone running to the liquor store beforehand, but the gang loved it!

That is how you maintain a diet, girls.

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Think Pink

I found this dress while perusing the sale section of one of my favorite designer’s sites. (Guess the one!) After drooling over the rich-lady-goes-bohemian styles, I found this dress. The electric pink of this dress is what got me to to click on the link. The sixty percent reduction made me reconsider my 2018 Shopping Moratorium. (I resisted, for now.)

This dress gives me total Blair Waldorf vibes. Everything from the ruffle down the bodice to the pearl detail button, it screams Upper East Side Type-A Control Freak with an undercurrent of 1970s Charlie’s Angels (the OG sporters of the pussy bow blouse) and I. AM. HERE. FOR IT!

Inferring from the color and fabric (one hundred percent silk, no polyester here), I believe this dress is intended to be worn during the spring / summer months and I would wear it with these shoes during the aforementioned seasons. I would be hypothetically more stoked to wear it during the fall / winter transition over a black slip, light gray tights, and light gray suede ankle boots.

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