Brand Spotlight: Lilly Pulitzer

Lilly Pulitzer Rousseau

Lilly Pulitzer Rousseau (1931-2013)

I love Lilly! Lilly Pulitzer enjoys a cult following and a level of loyalty that every brand strives for, but few achieve. The look of Lilly Pulitzer clothing is so distinctive and feminine- and the eponymous designer behind the label created a fairytale story to accompany her pieces. The line is so detail-oriented, each print is itself a unique work of art, with a name and a purpose. As much as any other brand, Lilly Pulitzer sells a specific lifestyle through its individual pieces. Just look at a few images from the Lilly catalog:

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The story of Lilly’s clothing, the girls who wear it, and what they want their lives to be, very much began with Lilly herself. Born to New York Socialites, Lilly’s great-grandfather was a founding partner in John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Company. Her mother bred thoroughbred racehorses, and Lilly grew up attending the Chapin School, and Miss Porter’s School with a young Jacqueline Bouvier. When she married Herbert (Peter) Pulitzer Jr. as a very young woman, they escaped to the bright sub-tropical sunshine of Palm Beach. On the Lilly Pulitzer website, the brand tells the story of its own genesis:

Lilly Pulitzer: It all started with a juice standLilly certainly had connections, and once the great families of New York, and Jacqueline Kennedy herself, were spotted in Lilly’s clothing, her popularity exploded.

Lilly Pulitzer was an American princess with the world at her fingertips, and she escaped the confines of NYC to a permanent vacation. She had a philosophy of life that she shared with the world through her words and her vibrant creations, and which now seems to float around pinterest as quotes and images that are pinned and re-pinned in a constant cycle of inspiration and materialistic longing. Her clothes sell to girls that embrace the feminine, the classic, but also the fun.

The Lilly Girl

I often see such maxims as “Live a Lilly Life,” or “Life, Lilly, and the pursuit of happiness.” For many young girls, decking themselves out in Lilly is part of an attempt to live a certain kind of life a certain way, to be colorful and modern, but also willing to tip your hat to the past and act like a lady. Perhaps that’s why Lilly is always popular among Southern Sorority girls, who are not ashamed to take pride in their history and emerge as modern belles.

Personally, I can’t help but admire Lilly Pulitzer. She lived her life with pride and class, and she encouraged others to do the same. She created something entirely original and enduring: a beautiful clothing line that would continue to thrive once she was gone, and that strongly represented a way of life that she valued.

Here are few of my favorite pieces from the current line:

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Do you know the story behind your favorite brand?

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What I Wore: White before Memorial Day

I never bought into the “no white before memorial day” or “no white after labor day” tried-and-true rules. As soon as warm weather hits, I am perfectly comfortable wearing white shorts, dresses, and jeans! They match everything, they always feel fresh and put-together, and they fit perfectly into my nautical obsession. A few days ago I met a friend for some shopping and general gallivanting, I wore the following:

Generally speaking, the fourth of July colors of white, red, and blue always look great together. They’re so all-American and summery! The denim is a pinch too long since I also like to be able to wear it with my wedges.

Outfit:

Shoes: Express Satin Pointed Toe Flat in Bonfire  Express Satin Pointed Toe Flat in Bonfire

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Scarf: J.Crew Factory Lightweight Long Scarf in belvedere red

j.Crew factory scarf in belvedere red

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White Denim pants: Talbots Slimming Jeans in white

Talbots slimming jeans in white

Navy and white blouse: Factory Printed Scoopneck Button Blouse

J.Crew Factory printed scoopneck button blouseHere are several cute alternatives for the blouse:

1 // 2 // 3 // 4

What is your favorite way to wear white denim? How do you feel about keeping white on a strict summer schedule? Tell me what you think, and check out other nautical looks on my “Nautical Necessities” pinterest board!

Cosmetics: The perfect palette

I recently wrote about a good friend of mine who deeply influenced how I wear makeup, and really has a gift when it comes to cosmetics. Basically, she walks through life looking air-brushed. So when she endorses a specific product, I listen. A few weeks ago she went a step further, and gave me Sephora’s gorgeous “Moonshadow Baked Palette: In the Nude” for my birthday. Because of my fair coloring, I tend to avoid saturated tones and bright colors when doing my makeup, whereas she is able to pull off just about anything and prefers highly pigmented shadows that have been pressed multiple times. The palette she gave me was a happy medium between the two, while it consists primarily of natural tones that I feel comfortable wearing, the colors are very saturated and… sparkly!

Sephora Moonshadow Baked Palette: In the Nude

Sephora Moonshadow Baked Palette: In the Nude

I’ve been experimenting with application, but I know I’m only the scratching the surface of what I can do (honestly my work is a little sloppy). It would be easy with these shadows to have much more dramatic makeup, but it would probably not be daytime or work-appropriate.

Here’s one day when I played with application:

Here is another day:

In both photos I am wearing Benefit ‘They’re Real!’ Mascara and Revlon ColorStay Liquid Eye Pen. I have been told that I could have softened the harsh lines on my crease my softly swiping the made-up lids with a fluffy and clean makeup brush.

Do you have a favorite eyeshadow palette? For beauty tips and tricks, check out my Cosmetics Board on Pinterest!

What I Wore: Florals and Blues

Today I took a long walk outside, and after a few days of rain I felt especially appreciative of the cornflower sky and the bursting green of spring. It’s amazing what a difference I few weeks can make, and it really feels like the very best part of the year.  As I got dressed this morning I think I was inspired by the weather, and I reflected the beautiful hues of spring by wearing bright blues, and a floral print. I’ve been intending to wear my polka-dotted denim in a new ensemble, and overall I think I like this one better than the first!

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Outfit:

Polka-dot denim: Seven jeans (Macys)

Oxford shirt: Express Original Long Sleeve Essential Shirt in True White

Blue Flats: Target Mossimo Flats (Charlotte Russe, Express, Piperlime, Piperlime)

Turquoise Cardigan: Talbots Charming Cardigan in Turquoise

Talbots Floral Stripe Wrap

Talbots Floral Stripe Wrap

Scarf: Talbots Floral Stripe Wrap- this one is unfortunately sold out, but I found a few other beautiful options with the same color palette.

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6

I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother’s Day, what did you get your mom?

What I Wore: One Scarf, Two Outfits

During my recent shopping trip to Talbots I picked up the Polka Dot Wrap in Cherry Sorbet. I’m a big fan of polka dots, and the scarf was just too perfect to resist. So far I’ve worn the scarf with two completely different looks, and I can’t wait to wear it again!

Polka-Dot Wrap in cherry sorbet

Polka-Dot Wrap in cherry sorbet $59.59

First Look

The first time I wore the scarf I was very casual, and I played with colors by pairing it with a turquoise open cardigan (this works well because teal and coral are complementary colors).

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Outfit:

Blouse: Talbots Paisley Lace Top in ivory

Jeans: Lucky Brand Charlie Skinny

Sweater: 2012 Talbots Linen Flyaway Cardigan (Talbots)

Flats: Jessica Simpson metallic snakeskin (Piperlime, Piperlime)

Second Look

When I wore the scarf again, I tried it out with one of my all-time favorite closet staples- the wrap dress. I own several wrap dresses, and they are all incredibly comfortable and flattering! Wrap dresses can easily move from day to evening, and I dressed this one down with the scarf, a denim jacket, and pair of brown laser-cut flats.

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Outfit:

Wrap Dress: Old Navy long sleeved wrap dress (Old Navy, Loft, Gap, Piperlime)

Shoes: BCBG Zayna Cutout flats (Macys, Yoox)

Jacket: Talbots Medium Atlantic Denim Jacket

Jewelry:

BraceletsBracelets: Talbots hinged bangles (Nordstrom, Nordstrom)

I plan on wearing the scarf again with a canvas skirt, the same paisley lace blouse, denim jacket, and laser-cut flats. As I always says, my favorite pieces are the ones that can be worn many different ways! Do you have a new scarf this season you can’t live without?

Colors and Confusion

I found that I have recently been mixing up my colors based purely on the moment’s convenience. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, and there is no greater satisfaction than avoiding confusion by finding the most accurate and poetic word to describe one’s subject. Am I the only one who thinks diction can be glorious, even when discussing a cardigan? Probably.

The Caribbean Blues:

The Caribbean blues

The Caribbean blues

Peach to Coral to Salmon:

There’s such potential for specificity here, but I doubt many people would envision exactly the right color if you described a cardigan with some of the more obscure names. It is interesting to see the difference between coral, salmon and peach.

Peach to Coral to Salmon

Peach to Coral to Salmon

Pale Shades of Cyan:

This was actually hard to pin down, so if anyone else can find an accurate chart I would very much appreciate it.

Courtesy of Pinterest's P.S. I made this

Courtesy of Pinterest’s P.S. I made this

Oxblood

This deeper shade of reddish brown is hard to define, but here is is:

Oxblood

Oxblood

And here are all of its deep red cousins:

…..

Fun Fact: Corals and teals, as well as peaches and mints, are complementary colors! Which is why this is so lovely that it makes my heart pitter-patter:

Coral and Seafoam

Which colors confuse you? Did this clarify anything, or does it even matter? Weigh in on the supremely important issue of color!

What I Wore: Talbots Dobby Dot Jacket

I recently purchased a black and white tailored blazer from Talbots, and it has quickly become one of my favorite pieces (it’s still second to by navy blazer). The Dobby Dot Jacket has personality without being as loud as a colorful or floral print, so it still works in professional settings, and the top button hits at my natural waist, so it’s very flattering. Unfortunately most smaller sizes are no longer available online, but if you click the “find it in a store” button you can easily locate any size and have the individual store ship it to you, or reserve online and then pick it up in person- very convenient!

Dobby Print Jacket, $169 at Talbots

Dobby Dot Jacket, $169 at Talbots

Here’s a close-up of the stitched pattern and black piping:

Dobby Dot Jacket

When I first wore the jacket a few weeks ago I styled it with fuschia! Sometimes black is harsh against my pale skin, but the light pink sweater brings color back to my face.

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What I wore:

Talbots Jazz pink cotton pullover (Talbots)

Black skinny micro-cords – it was a bit colder out at the time, but black cigarette pants like these would work just as well.

Talbots suede Nia pointed toe flats – I wore these in a previous post, they are no longer available (Nine West)

A simple string of pearls (Every girl should have this, even if they are not real!)

What I wore: Recycling oxblood

Oxblood was everywhere this past fall, and while I loved the deeply saturated autumn hue, it seems to be the opposite of all of the pastel and neon summer color trends. Even so, I decided to wear a spring outfit incorporating some of the pieces I collected a few months ago. My palette for this look consisted of black, wine, and cream.

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What I wore:

1.) Mossimo raspberry blazer (Target, Asos, Asos)

b + ab Velvet Mix Blazer $122.19 at Asos

b + ab Velvet Mix Blazer $122.19 at Asos

2.) Petticoat Alley 3/4 sleeve cream blouse with lace paneling (Loft, Oliver Bonas)

Loft Petite Box Pleat 3/4 Sleeve Blouse

Loft Petite Box Pleat 3/4 Sleeve Blouse

3.) Loft elastic oxblood belt (Old Navy, Neiman Marcus,)

4.) Steve Madden black suede Valantne smoking slipper (DSW)

Valantne

Steve Madden black suede Valantne smoking slipper

5.) Mossimo skirt

Mossimo Skirt in black, $22.99 at Target

Mossimo Skirt in black, $22.99 at Target

6.) Talbots August 2012 gold necklace. It’s nearly impossible to find any jewelry with burgundy stones right now, but I did find some very pretty alternatives (Forever21, Banana Republic, Nordstrom).

Goddess Swag Necklace, $6.80 at Forever21

Goddess Swag Necklace, $6.80 at Forever21

How do you feel about wearing autumn colors in the springtime? What are your favorite pieces that can be worn throughout the year?

No one Loves you like your Mom, Say Thank you with a Beautiful Gift

For many of us, no one will ever love us like our mom’s. She’s supportive, she thinks you are beautiful even when your hair is a bee’s nest and you’re wearing no makeup, and she was willing to literally wipe your bum when you were little-    that    is    love.  I happen to be very close with my mother. We have the same shoe size, the same cheesy sense of humor, and the same affinity for dancing around the kitchen when we do the dishes. Spending the day with her is more of a treat than an obligation. I know I’m not the only one out there who is looking forward to a day to say thank you for all of the ways our mom’s find to prove they love us. In the spirit of Mother’s Day (next Sunday) I compiled a list of gifts, both for those of us who are ready to splurge and those of us who would like to show that we care without breaking the bank.

Under $10:

You don’t have a lot of expendable income, but you love your mom! The best way to show her is with some time and effort. Spend the day with her, rent a chick flick, take her to the beach, or bake her some delicious cupcakes and decorate them with these printables from the tomcat Studio!

$10-$50:

Buy some groceries and make mom a quick meal! It doesn’t take much; one simple but delicious entrée, a few veggies for a fresh salad, and (maybe) a bottle of her favorite wine.  This Cooking Light recipe for Raspberry Balsamic Glazed Chicken is fairly easy and always seems to be a big hit with my family, it’s a wonderful way to give your mom a night off.

$24.99 A Classic 8×11 photo book created on Snapfish. Every time I have given my mother something like this she has cried. It’s a wonderful way to tell her how much you appreciate all of the wonderful memories you have made together.

$29.50 Talbots Sterling Silver Hammered Disc Earrings. They go with everything.

$34 Mary Kay Peach Satin Hands Pampering Set– Both my mom and I have been huge fans of this particular product over the years, it makes your hands feel incredibly soft and silky, and doesn’t your Mom deserve to be pampered? If your mother isn’t a fan of heavily scented products, it also comes fragrance free!

$35.99 Museum wrap photo canvas from Snapfish- choose a photo of her with her own Mom, of you and her, or even of the entire family. It’s beautiful decor for her home or office. (They’re 25% off until May 10th with the promo code CANVASMAY).

$45 Faux-Pearl Cap Necklace at Banana Republic. Is your mom a white tee and khaki capris type-a-lady in the summer? Encourage her to add a fun pop of color to her outfit without pushing her too far outside of her comfort zone. This necklace is beautiful, delicate, and an easy way to play with the coral and sherbert color trend.

$50-$75:

$71 Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Dreaming in Portofino Eau de Toilette, 1.6 oz – Dolce and Gabbana’s bestseller Light Blue is beloved by everyone I know, but also already owned by just about everyone I know (including my mom). This limited edition version is scrumptious, and chances are all of your mom’s friends don’t already have it!

$75-$150:

$95 Tory Burch Viva Small Slouchy Cosmetic Bag– this little bag is adorable, and although it’s made to hold makeup it could easily be converted into a casual summer clutch!

$128 Kate Spade ‘Cobble Hill -Stacey’ Wallet at Nordstrom- so simple and pretty!

$129 Talbots Sterling Silver Station Necklace – lovely, elegant, 100% real sterling silver.

$150 and above:

I don’t know about your mother, but my mom is never willing to put herself first. She loves beautiful designer bags/sunglasses/shoes/you-name-it, but she’s never willing to buy one for herself. She will get me that amazing gift I’ve been dreaming of, but she feels wild when she buys the latest Essie color for herself. That’s why I do the best I can to treat my mom whenever I can. So if you have the dolla dolla bills… who better to spend them on than Mom?

$167 Tory Burch Pacey Cap-Toe Ballet Flats – A beautiful comfortable flat that can be worn through all season, it’s classic enough for a mother’s taste while still being stylish.

$248 Braided Tassel Pebbled Leather Tote at C. Wonder – Tassels, gold hardware, and a braided handle- wonderful.

$295 Tory Burch Metallic Stacked “t” Tote – A great summer bag, it’s the type of fun around-the-town piece that Mom deserves.

$298 MICHAEL Michael Kors Large Weston Pebbled Shoulder Bag – Every woman need s beautiful black leather bag.

($$$ varies) A trip for two to the spa! Many local spas have mother’s day packages that include facials, massages, pedicures, manicures, and an in-spa lunch. Check Groupon and other promotional sites for great deals in your area.

I hope everyone has an incredible Mother’s Day! What do you plan to do for your mom? Don’t forget to tell your Mom that this is HER DAY, she needs to treat ha’ self!

The perfect weekend bag: FOUND

I have been on a mad hunt for the perfect weekend bag. If you need to hop on a plane for a weekend wedding, but want to avoid the massive hassle of checked luggage, or escape to visit a friend in the city/country/foreign nation, then you need a good weekend bag.

After all, it was this very necessity that first inspired what is arguably the greatest bag of all time…

A beautiful actress boards first class on a flight to London, and attempts to store her massive bag in the over-head compartment. The bag and all of its contents fall to the floor, and the man sitting beside her advises,”You should have one with pockets.” As she stuffs her red lipstick and her sunglasses and maybe even her sandals back into her luggage, she laments that she could not find a fine leather weekend bag that met her needs both practically and stylistically. “The day,” she says, “Hermès makes one with pockets, I will have that.” Inspired, her seat-mate returns home and creates for her the perfect weekend bag: buttery leather, a tiny gold-plated lock and key, and of course- pockets. It stands unmatched. He names the bag after the beautiful actress and bequeaths it to her, so she might carry it with pride for many years. He was the incarnation of Hermès, and her name is Jane Birkin(Here is Jane’s actual account).

 

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How cool is that?! I love the story of the serendipitous spark that led to the Birkin! Jane finally got her perfect getaway bag, and until I can afford a Birkin of my own (presumably never) I may have found my own perfect bag- also designed just for me! Seriously, it’s not fancy, it’s not leather, but it is monogrammed… excellent!

Kate Spade Saturday- as designed by Modern Effulgence

Kate Spade Saturday- as designed by Modern Effulgence

 

Kate Spade recently launched a sister brand called Kate Spade Saturday, in some ways it’s quite similar to J. Crew, and at a price point about 50% below Kate Spade. Their website allows you to design and personalize your own Weekender bag. It even has a separate compartment especially for shoes- yes please!

 

 

What qualities do you look for in your perfect weekend bag? Where have you found one? Here are a few other spectacular bags I am longing for…

 

 

THE CLASSIC: The Louis Vuitton Keepall Bandoulière 55 $1600

THE CLASSIC: The Louis Vuitton Keepall Bandoulière 55 $1600

 

In my dreams, I see a bag much like this one. I have been unable to find through any vendor other than ebay (where it costs $348):

The bag itself inspires travel

The bag itself inspires travel!