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?

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:

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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!

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.

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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?

What I Wore: Lace and Polka-dots

I recently discussed my preoccupation with mint as a wonderful addition to my summer wardrobe’s color palette. Continuing the theme of summer style, I decided to combine a few other seasonal trends to create this whimsical look:

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I really love how the lace and polka-dots looked together.

Polka-dots and lace, living together in harmony...

Polka-dots and lace, living together in harmony…

I also thought fuchsia was a nice pop of color. I can dress very casually for my job, but the building is heavily air-conditioned so I always need to plan an optional layering piece for some extra warmth. The cardigan worked with my pointed-toe flats to add vibrancy.

Any-hoo, here are the different elements of my look:

-Seven polka-dotted skinny jeans (Gap, Talbots, J. Crew)

-Valerie Bertinelli lace top (Forever 21, Forever 21, Ann Taylor, Piperlime, Piperlime)

-Talbots charming cardigan in fuschia

-Talbots pointed-toe suede flats (BCBG at DSW, Talbots, Kate Spade at Zappos)

I also added a long jeweled pendant necklace:

Jeweled necklace

Long pendant necklace

My necklace is from Forever21, but you can easily buy a similar pendant of much higher quality from a different vendor, I found several options (Express, Nordstrom, Tiffany & Co. -this one’s good luck!). Specifically, I stumbled upon this amazing Pearl Vial Necklace from House of Harlow! It’s not just for show, the faux-pearl cap actually unscrews to reveal a tiny storage space. Is it awful that this immediately reminded me of the Cruel Intentions rosary necklace?

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If I hadn’t just gone on that irresponsible shopping binge at Talbots, I might consider buying it, it’s on sale! Have you made any wonderful and unexpected shopping finds recently? Are you loving the mixture of dots and lace, or could you do without? Feel free to leave comments, and visit my pinterest page for more unique finds!

My Favorite Jeans: Minty Fresh

It seems to me that the world is obsessed with mint this season- and I’m absolutely part of the frenzy! Mint is a perfect summertime color, it’s so gentle and cool. Unfortunately, it looks best against a glowing tan, something that I will just never have. Wearing mint near my face completely washes me out, but I have found a solution: colored denim.

Talbots Signature Fit Colored Denim Crop Jean $69.50

Talbots Signature Fit Colored Denim Crop Jean $69.50

I purchased these about a month ago, and I have definitely been getting my money’s worth! These denim mint crops are from Talbots (shown above), but here’s a gorgeous full-length pair on Piperlime, and a less expensive pair from Target as well.

Using my mint denim, on three different days I put together 3 different outfits:

1.) Worn with a Mossimo flats (Payless, Victoria’s Secret), Talbots Summer 2012 sleeveless white embroidered blouse (Talbots, Loft) and Talbots Floral-Stripe Cardigan. I love that the denim picks up a color in the cardigan that one otherwise might not have noticed.

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2.) Worn with the same shoes, a single-button navy blazer, and navy striped tee. I actual stole this one from a stylish coworker. I describe where to find these pieces in a previous post, but here’s a another great navy blazer from Banana Republic, and an extremely affordable striped v-neck tee at J. Crew Factory.

IMG_1338

3.) This look is a departure from the first two, no navy or royal blue at all! The long cream boyfriend cardigan is from American Eagle. It’s about five years old now (it might be the oldest item in my closet,), but this one at Nordstrom is similar. The gold-dotted Monteau top is not available, but I found a few other neutral/metallic combination tops that would work (Nordstrom, Tommy Hilfiger, Forever21).

How are you working mint into your summer wardrobe? Check out my mint board on pinterest for some interesting ideas!

What I Wore: Black, Neutral and Gold Bows

In a previous post I longed to buy every adorable item offered up in Talbots’ ongoing Friends and Family sale, and I admitted that I had already splurged a little bit. Today I could not wait to wear a few of my newest pieces, including a Tee Dress in black, and the Rhinestone Bow Necklace– both of which arrived as part of Talbots’ new May line!

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The Tee dress is a great buy because it can be thrown on with a pair of flip-flops and a tote when worn to the beach, or it can be accessorized with some eye-catching jewelry and a pair of take-no-prisoner’s heels for a night out.

100% cotton with gold button details on the shoulder, $69.50

100% cotton with gold button details on the shoulder, $69.50

I’m only 5’3″, so garments without much shape usually overwhelm my frame. Since the potato-sack look is never chic, I paired the Tee Dress with a belt to accentuate my waist and add polish. Here’s the final result:

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Really the entire look only has four pieces: the dress, the necklace, the belt, and the nude flats. It’s so simple, and more importantly… so comfortable! The gold belt is Lilly Pulitzer’s Skinny Obi Belt, and any nude flats will do, but mine were a steal at Target.

Lilly Pulitzer's Skinny Obi Belt $38

Lilly Pulitzer Skinny Obi Belt $38

Women's Mossimo Supply Co. Ona Patent Scrunch Ballet Flat - Blush $14.99 (Only in Target stores)

Women’s Mossimo Supply Co. Ona Patent Scrunch Ballet Flat – Blush $14.99 (Only in Target stores)

How would you style a simple t-shirt dress? Do you have a favorite must-have summer item that seems to work in every situation and environment?