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: 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?

What I Wore: April Errands

I took a few photos of the simple outfit I wore to run errands and drop by some shops on Thursday. It’s very casual and continues the nautical theme that has been winding through many of my posts.

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I was wearing:

A simple navy tank top

A Cable and Gauge cardigan (similar at JC Penny, House of Fraser, Madewell)

Lucky Brand Charlie Skinny Jeans -I should mention I am obsessed with these, they are the most comfortable jeans I have ever owned.

Charlotte Russe Lace-Front Canvas Boat Shoes in navy  -These cost only $12.50 and are an amazing deal, I ran around in them all day, and they didn’t bother me once!

…and various gold bangles…

The bangles shown above consist of 3 types: 1) A starfish bangle (similar at Overstock.com, Etsy) 2) Simple sparkly bangles (similar at Coach, Swarovski) 3) A Pavé Crystal Bangle (mine is from Talbots, but find similar at Nordstrom, Piperlime, Piperlime).

I may officially qualify as a cardigan collector, I just counted and I have… 30! Granted, that’s including thick winter cardis and flyaways, but it’s still a shameful number- oops! Do you have a favorite cardigan that adds pop to any outfit?

What I wore: One of those days

Yesterday was just one of those days. I had to wake up very early; I was tired, I was grumpy, and I anticipated doing some mild manual labor. I just wanted to wear something comfortable. So I wore this!

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Outfit: Tea n’ Rose Cardigan (similar: Nordstrom, The Outnet, Loft, Charlotte Russe),  Michael Kors Jeans, Calvin Klein infinity scarf (similar: Target), White v-neck tee, and Jessica Simpson metallic snakeskin flats (easily substituted with gold flats, leopard flats, or these).

It’s about as basic as you can get, but I liked the trendy spring pop of sherbert, and though you might not be able to make it out in the shot, my earrings were mint. It was very soft and easy to move in, which fit my purposes perfectly.

I love the popular spring and summer colors this year; turquoise and coral have been everywhere, along with their more subdued mint and peach cousins. I already have mint jeans (more about that later) but I’m still trying to find other ways to work these splendid hues into my wardrobe. Any suggestions?

I especially love this look, found on pinterest:

Courtesy of Lilly's Style

Courtesy of Lilly’s Style

What an easy way to work this spring trend into a classic wardrobe! The eponymous Lilly is one of my favorite bloggers because of her creative ensembles. If you’re on pinterest, it’s likely you’ve been pinning quite a few of her photos without even realizing where they came from. This outfit is grand because it works with pieces that you probably have hanging in your closet already. My favorite items are always the staples you can recycle in a hundred completely different looks.

Her coral cardigan was purchased some time ago, so here are a few options other than what she lists on her site: The Tippi Cardi in light nectar at J. Crew, The Charming Cardi in pink flamingo at Talbots.

What I Wore: My Week of Nautical Nonsense Continues

As the weather warms and the highlights begin to appear in my hair (thank goodness), my love of nautical nonsense is growing. Energized by my experiment yesterday, I decided to post a few other nautical outfits I have stashed away in my closet!

1. Talbots does nautical: white jeans and a navy striped top; navy blazer optional:

Talbots Sequin Stripe Tee, Talbots Slimming Colored Jeans in White, Talbots peep-toe sling-back espadrilles (summer 2012)

Talbots Sequin Stripe Tee, Talbots Slimming Colored Jeans in White, Talbots peep-toe sling-back espadrilles (summer 2012, similar here)

I didn’t realize until I posted that photo that every piece I’m wearing comes from Talbots, but it is one of the best stores to find classic preppy staples. Once again, I apologize for the poor quality of the photo.

And in this shot: a well-cut blazer and poor camerawork!

And in this shot: a well-cut blazer and poor camerawork!

2. Prime colors play well together

I wore the following outfit on the first warm day of the season, and it was wonderful. I rolled the windows down and drove with one of my closest friends to our nearest yogurt shop. I was happily delirious from the combination of sunshine and sugar!

The dress was a Calvin Klein on Clearance, the purse I snagged at Forever 21, the shoes are the same ones worn above!

The dress is Calvin Klein – no longer available, Forever 21 bag, Express flats

I also added an over-sized white blazer with rolled up sleeves for some extra warmth since it was breezy outside.

 

The white blazer is from Talbots- summer 2012

The white blazer is from Talbots- summer 2012

From another angle

From another angle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The white blazer and dress are no longer available- so here are a few similar pieces:

Links below:

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Essential Striped Dress at Forever21- originally $22.80, Calvin Klein Cap sleeve striped mini-dress with belt at Piperlime – $89, Gap Printed Sateen Sweetheart Dress-originally $69.95, H&M Jacket in natural white– $39.95 in stores

What are your favorite nautically inspired looks and pieces? Let me know in the comments section, and check out our pinterest board for more ideas!

What I Wore: Walking the Walk

Yesterday I went nautical! I decided to walk the walk, and rather than simply creating a bunch of nautical looks on polyvore and sending them untested into the universe, I wore one of the outfits I presented in my last post.

I have many of the nautical items featured in, “My Nautical Obsession,” (and many more that were not even mentioned, I told you, I’m obsessed) but I don’t have all of them. However, I wanted to recreate piece by piece at least one of the looks from just what I could find in my wardrobe, no cheating! Personally… I think it was a success!

Be still my heart...

Be still my heart…

Although I lack any of those infamous J.Crew bubble necklaces, I do have an older necklace with mint stones that I chose as a substitute in my recreation of Look 7. The bubble necklace would have been bolder, and would more successfully balance the outfit if you’re planning to take the denim blouse off, but I think you can still get the idea.

Great for a day of shopping or dinner out, take the chambray layer off to immediately dress the outfit up by showing some skin!

Great for a day of shopping or dinner out, take the chambray layer off to immediately dress the outfit up by showing some skin!

I was missing one other piece as well; I have several red shoes and several espadrille sling-back peep-toe wedges, but no combination of the two! So instead I used a pair of bright red pointy-toe flats. Here is the complete look:

My shoes are from Express and so comfortable! The other items are from previous seasons- the dress, belt, and necklace are from Forever 21, my chambray blouse is from Talbots. Just check my last post for affordable alternatives.

What nautical outfits are you wearing this summer? Do you have a different go-to summer look altogether? Please let me know in the comment section, and feel free to visit our Pinterest page for more style ideas!

My Nautical Obsession

By just about anyone’s standards, I have a problem. I am OBSESSED with everything nautical; every starfish necklace, every striped tee with an anchor design, and every bright red accessory. Why? Because a nautical style is more than just a look, it brings to mind sandy beaches, lobster bakes, the smell of the salt air and the soft rush of an ocean tide. I’ve been very lucky to spend large chunks of my life breathing in crisp ocean air and feeling the sea breeze, and I have always loved history, tradition, and fashion. For me, and so many others, the nautical look combines happy memories and beautiful minimalist sensibility.  It is emblematic of a rich cultural heritage that will never go out of style.

Not convinced? Well allow me to persuade you, because one of the best reasons to try the nautical look this summer is that it is so darned economical! It looks lux, but just invest in a few basic pieces (most of which you can carry into your fall and winter wardrobe) and you are set for the summer. Allow me to demonstrate…

THe 12 items you can use to create 7 unique nautical looks

I was able to create a week’s worth of outfits from the following: two tops, one blazer, two bottoms, one dress, two pairs of shoes, and several accessories. Altogether there are 12 pieces which could fit in a single carry-on bag. Voila!

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Although some of the pieces pinned in the gallery are fairly expensive ($90 for a T-shirt, even one from J.Crew, strikes me as a little unreasonable), I have compiled a list of both the original pieces and affordable alternatives from top to bottom, left to right: KORS Michael Kors Vivian espadrille wedges from Zappos (Talbots, DSW, Old Navy), Kate Spade New York Grove Court Tenley Bag at Piperlime (Nordstrom, DSW), Start with the Basics Circle Scarf at Modcloth (Gap), Olivia Strap Belt at Forever New (Banana Republic, Forever 21), Factory printed blouson tankdress at J. Crew Factory (Piperlime, Delia’s, Forever 21), Saint James® for J.Crew three-quarter sleeve tee (Forever 21), MICHAEL Michael Kors Mid-Rise skinny jeans in green at Harvey Nichols (The Limited, Gap), J. Crew Navy Stretch-wool twill blazer at net-a-porter (Banana Republic, The Limited), Sperry Top-Sider Audrey Slip-on Boat shoe in light peanut (Famous Footwear), Perfect chambray ex-boyfriend shirt in harvest wash at Madewell (Old Navy, Gap), J. Crew Bubble necklace – the green is now out of stock (J. Crew Factory, Etsy, Etsy), Jack Wills Hollingworth Chino in Vintage white (Talbots, Express).

Have you tried the nautical look? What’s your most beloved or versatile piece? Let me know in the comments section!

For more great nautical items I’m lusting after and outfit inspiration, check out my nautical board on Pinterest! Also, feel free to visit me on polyvore to dissect my nautical outfits piece by piece!.