Oh Shift!

It is no secret here, that I love Duffield Lane. Due to my obsession with the knit dresses (written about here and here), I wore them on the road trip from Philadelphia to Monterey. Also packed? This seersucker dress.

Did I break the rules and get a jump on wearing seersucker prior to Memorial Day 2019? Fact. Seersucker is a fabric which I relish wearing and four months a year is simply not long enough. With the recent turn in seasons on the east coast, I could not hold myself back. Oh, we are in for a seventy degree day you say? Excuse me while I steam out my Sinclair dress.

Duffield Lane does not release clothing in tall length (or petite length) sizing. Because the Sinclair dress is a classic silhouette, I think a shorter hemline is perfectly acceptable, especially with flats or a low block heel. (#proportions) However, rather than going with the size I ordered in the Sheffield dress or Spring Lake dress (medium, for reference), I went up a size (large in both the Sinclair dress and the Grand dress). Seersucker is a static fabric, typically devoid of stretch and it is less painful to get a dress taken in that having to skip out on dessert.

I said it. I meant it. I am not taking it back. Gimme dat ice cream.

The crochet trim at the front of the dress reminds me of what I love about classic Lilly Pulitzer shift dresses yet because it is such a classic shape and classic fabric, it just feels more appropriate for a woman of my age. What that age is? Mind your own beeswax.

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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

Belle of the Tall

I have become increasingly more cognizant of the values of the brands with which I work, and seek to work with those that align with my own values. Prior to writing this post and more broadly, prior to wearing anything from Brass and agreeing to work with the brand, I researched it. I directed my attention to a page on the Brass website that calls out what they are doing to be more diligent in their values and immediately I was taken back.

Nearly a decade ago, I finished my first Master’s degree in Historic Preservation and began my second Master’s degree in Real Estate Development. I was impressed with the University of Maryland’s program, not only because it lived in the School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation and I loved the interdisciplinary approach, but also because the UMd M.R.E.D. program focuses on the quadruple bottom line. The quadruple bottom line being economic viability (monetary profit), environmental respect (sustainability), social responsibility (equity for others and you and me), and beautiful design (#aesthetics), as opposed to the outdated approach of sole monetary profit.

Whether Brass knows it or not, and I suspect that on some level that they do, the brand is taking the same quadruple bottom line approach that the University of Maryland Master’s of Real Estate Development does, per the topics addressed on the aforementioned page.

  • Economic vitality goes without saying. Brass was established in 2014 and not only are they still alive and kicking, but thriving and expanding. More on that last bit below.
  • Brass encourages its audience to shop less and wear what is already in their closets more. Perhaps we all don’t need that new skirt of the moment or bamboo basket bag of last summer? Invest in staples that can be worn in a multitude of ways for a multitude of occasions and before you know it, you will already have mastered  level one of style sustainability. (Full disclosure: I am working on mastering this in perpetuity. Follow my Shopping Moratorium 2018 series to see how things are *really* going.)
  • The social angle works on two levels with Brass.
    • First, and most importantly, 85% of the Brass products are produced in a Hangzhou factory and the knits are produced in a Shanghai factory. Both factories not only are located in the highest minimum wage zones in China, but also supply a living wage to their employees. Brass pays a visit to these factories between twice and thrice a year and has plans to take more control of the supply chain.
    • Second, Brass recognizes that women come in every size and every height.  They have made massive strides in providing sizing not only for me (as a 6′-2″ woman) but also my sister-in-law (a much more “standard” heighted yet super slim woman) and my best friend (a petite lady with modest [I call it classic] taste). Allow me, at this point, to mention that Brass has recently released the Essential Dress and the A-Line Dress in tall / long sizing. This is in addition to the already long lengths that is already offered in pants. Also exciting? In early 2019, expect to see styles available in sizes 16, 18,  and 20. Like I said, equity for you and me (and my sister-in-law and best friend and your sister-in-law and your best friend).
  • Did you really want to talk about aesthetics or as the quadruple bottom line refers to it, beautiful design? Take another gander at the LBD above and the navy dress below. Yes, the designs are beautiful but even more meaningful, I felt beautiful in them. Crossing my fingers that the Social Dress is available in long this holiday season because I want to straight dominate the Pennsylvania Ballet Nutcracker Young Friends reception in it!

black dress (also available in navy and heather gray and white [marked down]) // navy dress (also available in black)

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

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.

Piping Knot

Unbeknownst to her, Mignon Faget and I go way back. Way back to my freshman year of undergrad when one of the gals on the third floor of Bacot Hall loaned me some of her Mignon Faget pieces for a night out. To this day, I still am in disbelief about how trusting she was! I wouldn’t loan my Mignon Faget jewelry to a peer, let alone a Millsaps freshman away from home for the first time, on her way out to a rager on the row.

While I love Mignon Faget jewelry, I always wished that there were more pearls incorporated in the designs. The Tulip Freshwater Pearl Necklace is an all-star of my jewelry box and the minute I received it as a gift in 2007, I knew that I would have a heirloom piece for generations to come.

Recently the brand expanded the Knots and Bows line. I am sure many of you recall the Wire Knot Cuff, which I wore immediately before my wedding and all over Spain during my honeymoon. I think Mignon Faget must have heard my wish for more pearls, as the brand released the Tiny Bow Pearl Necklace, as well as a phenomenal coordinating bracelet to go along with their Twist Bow necklace. I nearly died when I opened the gift box for the Tiny Bow Pearl Necklace – in a good way. Let’s just say, that if I end up with two girls, I now have a second heirloom for the younger one. And if I only have one daughter, well, she is going to get spoiled with some beautiful jewelry.

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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)

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

Don’t Book Back

This year it is decided. I am going to read more books.

As part of one of my resolutions, I am not going to buy more books. Why? Because my iBooks queue is beyond backed up and I have more hard copy books that our bookshelves can handle. That four by four in the background of the above photos is only one of three in our apartment. Yes, to be fair only half of the space is taken up by books, but regardless of whatever space I may have, I think I should not add to that until I finish reading what I have. And what he has. The Keith Richards memoir? I will be reading that after I finish the Jane Austen compilation. It is all about balance, you know?

Don't Book BackIMG_1473IMG_1463In the meantime, I will leave you with my favorite books read in 2017:

dress (℅ Long Tall Sally) // pumps (old, similar, similar) // necklace (old) // green stone cuff // earrings (old, similar) // pearl cuff // black diamond cuff // bow cuff (℅ Mignon Faget) //  quatrefoil ring // beaded ring (℅ Mignon Faget)

The Satchel of My Eye

Christmas came early this year. Foley + Corinna generously sent me a bag I have coveted since I saw Blair Waldorf carrying it during the first season of Gossip Girl: the Lady Tote, albeit in a chic solid black iteration with studded hardware. I have been on the look out for a new black handbag, something edgier than my Kate Spade one with a bow (you know the one), and this is exactly it. I love that Foley + Corinna Lady Tote can be worn with the top folded over as a clutch without the cross-body strap (it clips off) or with cross-body strap hands-free. Last weekend I wore it as a tote, held by the top handles.

When I mentioned the Gossip Girl reference to my husband, he was confused. Wasn’t the first season ten years ago? Yes, it was. Does that make the bag out of date? Absolutely not, that makes it a total classic and if I love something now as much as I did a decade ago, then I absolutely need to add the piece to my closet. I am a curator when it comes to my wardrobe choices and I take my choices seriously.

Since the tote was the hero item of the day, I wanted to keep the rest of my outfit subdued. My go-to comfortable outfit: a long sleeved, long length tee shirt, houndstooth cardigan, leggings, leather coat, and riding boots and I was ready to go to brunch. (My husband was waiting on me for a mere fifteen minutes – this time!)

Within the last year, Foley + Corinna made the move to Liberated Leather, or vegan leather. Along with a more economical price point, the relaunched line is much more durable, while keeping the iconic shapes for which this brand is known. Act fast on this bag, because in addition to the already competitive price point, the satchel of my eye is marked down!

satchel (c/o Foley + Corinnaalternate colorway) // coat (c/o Long Tall Sally) // cardigan (c/o Long Tall Sally) // long sleeve tee // leggings // boots // sunglasses (alternate colorway, alternate colorway, alternate colorway, alternate colorway) // necklace // earrings // driving gloves (similar)

Not A Moment Too Moon

I remember the first time I heard about Mignon Faget jewelry. I was a freshman at Millsaps College. Several of the girls who also lived in Becky Bacot Hall owned pieces. One night, I was actually lent a set of three pendants on a chain: the beaded, double half round, and I think the third was the knot? Bold and trusting move to lend that jewelry out, but my New Orleanean friend believed that I wouldn’t drop it in a toilet at the KA house.

Several Christmases, Easters, and birthdays later and I, too, have amassed quite the collection of Mignon Faget.

The last time I wrote about a Mignon Faget collection release, it encompassed the wire bow cuff. Shortly after the wire cuff collection was available, the Crescent Collection followed. It was very fittingly released on the day of the great American solar eclipse: August 21, 2017. The designs were inspired by the New Orleans water meter cover. Compare the two and anyone can see how the Crescent Collection pays homage to this NOLA icon.

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Credit: Anne Power

I was thrilled when I opened the parcel with celestial stacking rings from Mignon Faget. Wear one solo, wear three stacked, wear them on different fingers. Mignon Faget is taking ten percent off any purchase of three or more Crescent Collection rings. Act now.

dress (old, similar tall option availablesimilarsimilarsimilarsimilar) // pearl earrings  // pearl necklace // pearl bracelet // moon ring (℅ Mignon Faget) // beaded ring (℅ Mignon Faget) // star ring (℅ Mignon Faget) // sunglasses // purse (similar) // shoes (old, alternate colorwayalternate colorway)

The Colour and The Cape

Do you remember back in the day (by that I mean, a decade or so ago) when you couldn’t get a dress sized for a tall framed female to save your life? Yes, there were “tall” pants available, but those typically had a 34″-35″ inseam. Pairs eventually were available in longer lengths, and eventually dresses and woven and knit shirts followed. I suppose a tall torso was an afterthought for many a label.

These days not only do mall brands offer tall dresses, albeit exclusively online, but there have been many a boutique line that offer clothing for the exclusively for the tall female. Meghan Evans Clothing is one of these lines. The first collection was released earlier this year and consisted of a peplum top, tweed wrap blazer, and printed shift dress. Restrained, but well done. The second collection was just released: a faux wrap dress, stripe knit dress, and a surplice neck top.

Meghan saw a void in the market for professional wear for the tall girl and is doing something about it. In a world where fast fashion is king, it is so refreshing to see a line produced in an ethical manner. Furthermore, as a gal who spent her twenties within the Beltway, I love that this line is locally produced in Washington DC.

I received the faux wrap dress earlier this week and was pleasantly surprised by the fabric. It reminded my husband of neoprene and I agree. It is the type of fabric that will hold you in (no Spanx necessary!) and keep you warm. The sleeves are extra long and the body is long enough to wear to the office. I loved that the dress moved with me; if I can wall sit in this dress, no doubt will I feel comfortable wearing it to any meeting.

Now, let’s all smash some glass ceilings in this dress.

dress (℅ Meghan Evans Clothing) // cape (similar) // cape (similar) // cape (similar) // purse // tights //  heels (simlar) // heels (alternate colorway) // heels (alternate colorway) // heels (alternate colorway) // heels (alternate colorway) // heels (alternate colorway) // sunglasses // pearl earrings // pearl necklace // pearl bracelet // gold pave bracelet // gold pave bracelet (budget)