Monday, August 8, 2011

Dressed to Kill--My Great Love Affair: August 8, 2011

I honestly think that for the rest of my life, I could happily shop for all my clothes at only two stores: Anthropologie and Target. If not for one little thing...

Lilly Pulitzer.

I love it. I love it so, so much. I love it in a "troll eBay for vintage Lilly" kind of way. I love it in a "participate in a celebratory dance when they open the new Palm Place in Palmer Square" kind of way. I can walk into a thrift or consignment store and immediately walk straight to every piece of Lilly in the joint. I have pants and shorts and dresses and skirts and shorts and shoes and luggage. And also animal crackers. And stationery. Just...a lot.

Anyway, Lilly Pulitzer the person was a pretty awesome lady. Total East Coast Old Money. Her mother was an heir to the Standard Oil fortune. Lillian went to school with Jacqueline Bouvier. She married into the Pulitzer family (THAT Pulitzer family) and moved to Palm Beach where she used the fruit from her husband's several citrus groves to open a roadside juice stand (she was into non-rich people stuff like this, having dropped out of finishing school to be a midwife's assistant in West Virginia). Her juice stand was a success, but she found that her usual attire--tennis whites or linen shift dresses--took the brunt of her work. Every single drop of juice spilled which she squeezed oranges and lemons and limes made very visible stains. And so, she made herself some brightly-colored, wildly-patterned shift dresses that were easily washable and hid the stains while she worked! Her juice customers became dress customers and the brand was born.

I told that story, because today...was a Lilly kind of day in my world.

This particular dress is an oddity in my's the only Lilly wrap-dress I own. It's the only wrap-dress I own AT ALL, actually. They never fit me right, tending to gap at the top. I have to use a tiny safety pin at the top of this one to rectify my, shall we say, lack of endowment. I like the print on this one, too. It's pink and green-ish. Pink and green? Hands down my two favorite colors. But sometimes Lilly is ULTIMO PRIMO PINK AND GREEN. And that's okay. But sometimes something a little softer works, too. Plus, when you're bored and wearing it, you can spend your time trying to find where the word "Lilly" is worked into the pattern--all Lilly prints have it. I have Lilly in all kinds of colors--one of my newest, which I got in a matching toddler dress for my niece, is navy and red and white and yellow. And really, with any Lilly dress, the obvious answer is to wear Jack Rogers. I went off the reservation on this one. For one thing, the last time I wore a pair for the entire day, I ended up with these huge blisters on the BOTTOMS of my feet. Instead, I'm breaking in my new Rainbows! Yay! I finally found a pair in size ladies' small. And I only had to go to the bookstore at Wake Forest University to do it!!

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