Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Having It All

Why do we get so down on ourselves when we can't meet all the expectations we put on ourselves? Or better yet, why do we give ourselves expectations that are not attainable? Every woman I know expects more from herself. We want EVERYTHING to be perfect. Perfectly clean house, perfectly behaved children, perfect volunteer at church, school and in the community, perfect wife, perfect clothes, perfect hair, perfect body, perfect, perfect, perfect. How can we attain this? We can't. But here's the thing, it's OK that we can't. If we were all perfect at everything, then, we would all be the same. How boring.

But what about having it all....being a mom, finishing school, having a career, being a wife, developing talents, fulfilling dreams. I think we can have it all.....just not all at the same time. This is the philosophy I am learning to live by. I believe our lives have seasons. Just as you don't go snow skiing in the summer, in our lives we can't always do everything all at once.

After surveying my life I've realized that some things are going to have to wait until their proper season. This is the reason I have temporarily closed Tailored Lilly's online store. I plan to re-open it when the season is right. It is a project that I believe in, and want to continue someday.

I will still have clothing available for sale in the Redding area, and may do home shows now and again. At times I'll probably have giveaways and sell individual items through the blog.

So, please stick with me. Until then, I'm going to continue to blog about all things style oriented...and other things as they come into mind.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Lowry Letter 2009

Here is our family Christmas Letter for 2009.
I didn't get it in the mail this year, so I thought I'd post it here.

Lowry Letter 2009

I started to write a traditional Christmas letter with details about each of our children, and how we are so busy and how we are loving life. But this year, it just seemed so….unnecessary. Just like your kids, our children (Corbin 6, Eliza 4, & Solomon 1) are the most wonderful, the smartest, the cutest, and are the joy of our lives. We love our family dearly, and feel that our journey in this life would not be complete without them. But through awesome technology of email, Facebook, blogs, texting and cell phones, I feel like most of you probably already have heard all about my children’s accomplishments throughout the year.

So where does that leave us? I think the only thing left is to express the feelings of the heart. To tell the truths that perhaps forums like Facebook don’t adequately allow.

This is my favorite time of year. It is a time when hearts are turned to Christ and feelings of kindness and charity are abundant. As we put out our crèches and ornament the tree, the story of the baby Jesus becomes the center of our holiday. As we celebrate His birth, not just because he was born, and not just because he died, but because of the true miracle of his resurrection, somewhere deep inside us we become closer to Him.

Even Santa Clause reminds me of the true spirit of Christmas. St. Nicholas and his gift giving spirit help me to give gifts from the heart. It reminds me to share with

those that are less fortunate. Santa never receives a gift, he only gives. What an incredible example of love and kindness.

Quinn and I often reflect on the wonderful blessing in our lives. And when the pressures of the world creep in and tell us we don’t have enough or earn enough, all we need do is count our blessings. We suddenly remember that we have more than enough. More than most.

Whether you and I have the same beliefs or differ in our holiday traditions, I encourage you to find the spirit of charity and love that this season offers. May we all show our love to our families more, enjoy the sweetness of dear friendships, and live our lives more fully.

Merry Christmas!

With love,

Whitney, Quinn, Corbin, Eliza and Solomon Lowry

Trinidad Beach (Trinidad, CA) August 2009

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Breaking Rules

So I have had the stomach flu twice in the last month....which in and of itself is not something I would normally blog about. However, as an unexpected side effect I have dropped a clothing size from the weight loss. And while I am not advocating going out and finding someone to catch the flu from just so you can lose 5 lbs (because it was indeed quite horrible), I'll take it.

Consequently, I am enjoying my new jean size and decided now was the time to break my own rule and try the skinny jean. Now some of you lovely thin people, especially those of you under 30, probably are thinking, "it's about time" or "really, what's the big deal". But, I have a hard time repeating trends that I've already participated in, ie. skinny jeans and leggings of the 80's. I heard once, that "If you were old enough to wear it the first time, then you're too old the second time." For instance I am really glad my mom, who wore the bell-bottoms in the late 60's, didn't try and pull off that trend again when it came back briefly in the mid 90's. And for the most part, I have stuck to that rule. I know I am a little late picking up the skinny jean trend, but for good reason (baby Solomon). So, I thought I would share with you the the jean of choice.

Now I actually bought The Premium Skinny Jean from The GAP's Outlet ($49.99), because it's the only GAP we have in my rinky-dink town. But GAP doesn't have their outlet clothes online...so these are the closest I could find a picture of.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Belts, Belts, & More Belts!

Belts, Belts, and More Belts!!! Belts are everywhere and I am LOVING them!

Elaine from Clothed Much had a great post a while back about turning your scarves into belts!!! LOVE IT. Check it out.

The Scarf Belt

modest lds fashion blog clothed much
Wearing Ann Taylor Outlet dress, Gap scarf, Geox flats.

I've received some requests on how I tie my scarves. Here's a visual tutorial to get you started!
Note: If your scarf-belt doesn't look like mine, you're probably doing it wrong... Just kidding :D

step one
modest lds fashion blog clothed much
Lay the scarf as wide as you can against your stomach.

step two
modest lds fashion blog clothed much
Wrap it around your cute little body....TIGHT. Or else it will be loose for step three.

step three
modest lds fashion blog clothed much
Make a knot.

step four a
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Make another knot.

step five a
modest lds fashion blog clothed much
Tuck the remaining ends as flat as you can under the top-most layer of the scarf....not the one closest to your body. End result.

step four b
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Or....after the first knot, tuck the ends of the scarf following the direction of the knot.

step five b
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Tucky-tuck. Again, make sure you make it as flat as you can when you're tucking.

Now you're a scarf-belt master.
modest lds fashion blog clothed much

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

New Fall Looks!

Some fabulous great looks for Fall have arrived at Tailored Lilly. I can't wait to show them to you so, here they are!

MISON Knit Kerchief Dress

Length 48". Belt not included.

FABRIC: 62% Polyester, 33% Rayon, 5% Spandex
COLOR: Brown (also available in Charcoal)

Price: $23.50

Mind Code Floral Top

Comfortable modern floral shirt. Length 24"

FABRIC: 100% Rayon (no fading!)
COLOR: Black with Sage detail

Price: $23.50

Denim Pencil Skirt. Length 23"

FABRIC: 98% Cotton, 2% Spandex.
COLOR: Indigo
BRAND: Hint Jeans

Price: $23.00

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sensory Overload

My dear friend and I headed to L.A.'s Fashion District in search of new items for Tailored Lilly. And of course in search of things for ourselves. I think that "sensory overload" is an adequate description of our first impression. How is one to take it all in? Store after store, filled with purses, shoes, clothing, luggage, accessories, and jewelery. Each store crammed full of merchandise from floor to ceiling. Not only is it visually stimulating but I felt an overwhelming urge to touch each article of clothing. Instantly I either love a garment more, or brush it aside, all based on the feel. Our sense of smell was being challenged as well with ethnic foods being cooked up in the oddest places. Certainly our ears were not without want as well. The sounds of cultures colliding with languages from around the world was a welcome change from our normal suburban environment.

We picked up some new great items for the store. We just got it all photographed and it should be up this coming week! I very excited to show them to you soon. I know I'll be wearing them!

Here's a great Blog post from www.angelenic.com about LA's Fashion District. These pics are from this post.

Friday, October 9, 2009

A Good Foundation

There is one thing I hate to shop for more than anything else....bras. If I could get away with not wearing one, I would. However, after nursing three babies, that is not even remotely a possibility. Plain and simple - I need support. But actually shopping for a bra....ugh. That is how I used to feel. Once I realized HOW to shop for a bra, it wasn't so bad. It was actually quite liberating. Once I found a bra that I liked, I never had to "shop" again. Just go in and get a new one. Now every once in a while, I will get measured again (like after having a baby or gaining or losing weight), but the bra hunting was over. HOORAY! (My favorite bra is >Victoria's Secret: Body by Victoria $42)

There are a few things I have learned over the years about undergarments:

1. Don't be cheap. I good supportive bra is going to cost you. I buy two. That way I can wear one, and give the other a day of rest.
2. Take proper care of your bras. If you are going to spend $40+ on a bra, you want it to last. Hand washing is best, but if that's not practical, wash it in a mesh bag on delicate setting. And NEVER put it in the dryer!

A few years ago, while watching Oprah, she had the best episode call the Bra Intervention with Susan Nethero and Nordstrom's top bra fitter Sandra Saffle. If you would like to read the whole article, go to Oprah's Bra Intervention. Here are the basics according to the experts.


· If your cups runneth over, it's time to go up a cup size.

· If your cups dimple, it's time to go down a cup size.

· If you have the dreaded back fat, you probably think your bra is too tight, but you're wrong—your bra is too big. Wearing the bra lower on your back with a smaller band size will completely eliminate the back fat.

· If your strap falls down, that means your bra band is riding up and you probably need to go down a band size.

· The perfect position for your breasts is midway between your shoulders and your elbows.

· Your bra should be level front to back. Susan Nethero, from Intimacy stores, says most women wear their bra bands too high on their torsos and throw their measurements off. "Most women," Susan says, "keep going up in the back [increasing their band size] instead of getting a deeper cup. We want to keep the back lean and small so we can lift the bust. [The bra band is] like a bridge, if it's properly planted at the base, it can lift."

All women lose firmness as they get older—so do their bras. "When you buy a bra," Susan says, "make sure it fits you in the loosest hook. That way you can tighten the bra to the second and third hook as the bra ages and retain the firmness and the lift."


When measuring your chest to find the best band size, Nordstrom's top bra fitter Sandra Saffle says to make sure the measuring tape is secured low and snug on the back. Most women secure their bra band too high on the back, causing the band to ride up and the cup to fall forward. Also, make sure to lift the breast tissue up when measuring—that way the tape is snug on the rib cage. If your bra band lies across your shoulder blades, you've got it all wrong, Sandra says. The band should fit around the smallest part of your back.

What should big-busted women watch out for?
Sandra suggests that big-busted women lift their arms up after securing the bra band to make sure they are not dropping out of the bottom of the cup. If you have spillage, then your cup size is too small!

What's the deal with underwire?
Wire circumference is crucial, Sandra says. Your underwire should surround and support your breast—not poke into it! If the wire pulls away from the body in the center, then the cup size is too small. To test your underwire, Sandra says you should sit down when trying on a bra. That's a great way to make sure your bra isn't pulling away from your body. The cups should be secure against the breasts with the center of the underwire flush against the cleavage area.

Are you in cup denial?
Ladies, admit it. You're probably in cup denial. Sandra says most women don't like to accept their true size. But, remember, your bra size is like your shoe size…if the shoe fits, nobody else needs to know the size! You'll feel more comfortable and attractive in the correct cup size, whether it's an A or E, Sandra says. Like a new shoe, a new bra should also be a little snug at first. As the Lycra relaxes, your bra will become looser on the body.

What bras should petite women wear?
Women with a petite figure and a smaller bust should look for bras with defined cups. Although petites may not need heavy-duty support, Sandra says a structured cup helps accentuate the body's silhouette under clothing.

How does weight affect your bra's fit?
If your weight goes up or down by as little as five pounds, Sandra says it's time to refit your bra. When your clothing size changes, so does your cup size!

Bend deeply at the waist before fastening your bra—this automatically centers it and distributes the volume evenly. Straps should neither fall down nor dig into your shoulders (they ought to provide only 10 percent of your support—the rest comes from the band).

Try a Smaller Band
Most women wear their bras too big—they think "comfortable" means "loose." What they actually need is a firmer band to keep the bra level across the front and back.

(Susan Nethero helps women find the right bra size at her Intimacy stores in New York City, Chicago and Atlanta. Visit their website to find out what size bra you should be wearing and find a fitting location near you. 877-A2HHCUP (877-224-4287) www.myintimacy.com)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Shop New Tailored Lilly Items - 9/16/09

The desire for new clothes is like the need to sneeze: It can be stifled, but it can’t be ignored. And at about this time every year the brain’s fashion neurons are firing like crazy, signaling that it’s time for new stuff. Stores are filling up with goodies and, even though your rational mind knows it’s not true, your style demons are nagging that you have nothing to wear. - Paula Reed.

So in response to those "fashion neurons" I've added a few new items to Tailored Lilly. Who says you can't look fabulous at any size, for a great price!

Black Pencil Skirt
Sizes 1X - 3X


A pencil skirt is a must have in every wardrobe. Even full figured women can wear a pencil skirt! This skirt has enough stretch to make it comfortable, while still having structure to keep it's great shape. With this great fabric blend, there's no color fading.

(Make an outfit by pairing it with our Tropical Wear Collared Blouse in Jade, v.r.k.'s Damask Blouse, Lane Bryant's Beaded Kimono)

COZY Hoodie
Sizes: XS - 3X

Who doesn't love a great hoodie? The embroidery and small amount of sparkle in the modern screen print adds just a bit of subtle dimension.

Pink COZY Tee
Sizes: XL-3X

Comfortable tee with modern gray print. With this fabric there should be no fading.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Formal dresses...what's a girl to wear?

This past weekend my beautiful 17 year old niece came to visit. While she was here we went shopping for a homecoming dress. May I ask, What is going on with the dresses designed to wear at formal dances for high-schoolers? Do people really let their daughters out in these microscopic pieces of fabric with plunging necklines? And the ones that do actually have some fabric look as though you just stepped out of a Disney princess movie or like something that my 83 yr old Grandmother would wear (No offense Granny, you're actually quite hip!). Where is the fashion merged with decency?

(This particular dress is found in the JRs section for prom. $218 Serendipity Prom A 16 yr old with that neckline??? I don't think so.)

Each time my nieces buy a dress for a formal occasion, they end up having to have it altered to adhere to any type of modesty standards. We're not talking about crazy, out of touch, pioneer modesty or anything. Their mothers just prefer not to send them on dates with hormone driven teenage boys in little more than a loin cloth.

Being a clothing retailer, I decided to look online at a wh
olesale fashion mall for a dress for my niece. After searching through 300+ dresses, there was not one that met her needs. How is this possible?

There are a few online retailers that have emerged to try and fill this void in the clothing industry. And while I applaud their efforts, they seem to have missed the mark in some areas. First of all, many of them are extremely expensive ($200-$500), and frankly I'm not willing or able to make such a purchase for something that will be worn once. Now I am somewhat educated in the area of manufacturing, so I realize that unless something is mass produced it is expensive to manufacture. On the flip side, I cannot purchase something unless it is reasonably priced. Secondly, while there are some girls that like to wear princess dresses after the age of 12, many teenagers are looking for something more modern. I did come across a few that were either stylish or well priced, but had an extremely hard time finding a dress that was fashionable and affordable.
(This "Nettle" dress is cute, but comes with a high price tag of $250. LatterDayBride)

Now I know that I may get a lot of flack from those of you that say your daughters loved their highpriced princess dresses, and it was "worth the money". I encourage you to lend me your comments and thoughts. But from where I stand, the industry could use a makeover.

So good luck to all my nieces this year and in the years to come. And may God help me when it's my turn to find a prom dress for my daughter, 13 years from now.

(For those of you who may not know about these modest online retailers: here are a few. Judge them for yourself. You may find something that fits your needs. LatterdayBride, Beautifully Modes
t, Jen Clothing, Totally Modest, Great Lengths, Modest Prom)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Not Quite Like The Jones'

Over the many years of listening to Quinn talk about the ins and outs of architecture, I feel like I too, have a degree in architecture....maybe not a Masters like him, but perhaps an Associates degree. He has convinced me that while modern design is not the only form of good architecture, it is a step above the rest. I too can appreciate all types of design, but get most passionate about those that are different from the norm. I think that's why I agreed to live in a modern home. Not because I absolutely think that a modern home is best, but because I loathe the idea of living in a home that looks and feels just like my neighbors. Now, I know that we all don't have architects for husbands to design us a unique house, and that many of live in subdivisions that are designed by monetarily driven developers, where houses are either, tan, taupe, or sand color, but we can make it our own.

TV shows and other media try to convince us through shows like "Flip This House" and "Sweat Equity" that we should design our homes for "sell-ability", and that we should always keep in mind who might own our home after us. But by doing so, we end up living in homes that we have designed for someone else. We lose a little bit of ourselves when we don't follow our hearts, even in something as trivial as what color tile you put in your shower.

My fantastically stylish sister in law, moved into a tract home several years ago. Knowing this may not be the home of their dreams, but also r
ealizing it is the home of their budget, they set to work making it their own. Here on the west coast, contractors love to put horrible texture on the walls (orange-peel, knock down, and the like) of homes. In the spirit of transforming this into "their" home rather than the developers home, or the home that looks exactly like their neighbors, they began to hand trowel a smooth finish over the original wall texture. While some questioned, "Why would you do that?", they would answer,"Why wouldn't we?" Because of their efforts, their home that originally looked the same as three doors down, now has a uniqueness of it's own.

With the advancement in technology, even those of us that live in remote areas can have unique design statements in our home. Just because Walmart might be the only store in your town, doesn't mean you have to only shop there. The i
nternet has given us endless shopping options. While we were building our home, we spent countless hours searching for light fixtures and the like that didn't look like we pulled them off the shelf at Home Depot. (www.ikea-usa.com, www.lightingdirect.com, www.ifloor.com, www.flor.com, www.faucetdirect.com, www.formplusfunction.com)

So modern isn't your style? Great. But can you answer, "What is?" Don't give in to the Jones' down the street. Say goodbye to being the same as everyone else. Find out what you love, and if you don't know yet, keep searching. If you can't find something you love, don't buy anything at all. I'd rather live in an empty house than a house full of things that don't represent me or my character.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Beautiful Closet

When my house is clean, I feel calm. When my life is beautifully penned out on my calendar, every appointment and activity in its place, I am at ease. When I open my pantry door and all the canned goods are in a row, sorted by type, dinner gets made. The same thing applies to my clothing closet. I love it when I look in and find all of my clothes hung neatly in order of type, color and season. My morning routine becomes easy. On the other hand, when my my life is in disarray, including my closet, I fall into a slump. So lets get started, making our lives simpler, one pair trousers at a time.

Tips for cleaning out your closet:

Try everything on. Make separate piles of clothes: one for “keepers”, one for items to take to dry cleaner or mending, one for charity or a clothing swap, and one for the dumpster.
You may have an iffy pile. Have a friend, child or husband take a picture of you in your outfit. When you see it glaring back at you on the screen, you’ll know whether to keep it or not.

Things no one should be wearin
g. Throw them away:
**Any clothes with shiny or worn patches.

**Items that bulge where your bum or knees are, even when your not wearing them.

**Those favorite things that are beyond repair.

Invite a stylish, yet
honest, friend to help. Then return the favor.

If you haven’t worn something in a year, get rid of it.

Sometimes there are things that don't fit but are just too difficult to part with, like my favorite pre-prego GAP jeans, that I know some day I will squeeze into again. If you can't bring yourself to give it away, then at least store these items out of your everyday closet.
It will keep you from getting discouraged that you don't fit into them. Your dressing ritual will be much less stressful. I found these inexpensive boxes below at Ikea.

Once you're done, organize your closet. Having an organized wardrobe is not about being spoiled or self-obsessed. It’s about looking the best you can, every day, with minimal fuss. Knowing what you have (and where to find it) saves precious minutes during the morning rush.

(I like to give credit where credit is due. Several years ago I read an article about cleaning out your closet in InSTYLE magazine. Many of these ideas come from this source. Since that time, I have lost the article and I could not find it in their online archive.)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

To Skinny Jean or Not To Skinny Jean

Over the last few years the "skinny jean" has re-emerged in the fashion world. Hollywood and their hip-less size 2 models look fabulous in the skinny jean. But is it something that you and I can pull off? Fashion magazines everywhere will give you a resounding "yes". However, we in the real world, who wear size 8, 16 or 22 know that what looks good on a stick-figure runway model, usually does not have the same affect on hips that have birthed 3 children. What are we to do? Do we pear shaped women of the world have to pass up all the fun trends that seemingly look great on everyone else? Perhaps we should think about this question: Would I rather take part in a trend that accentuates my flaws, or stand proudly in a article of clothing that helps me look long and lean and makes me feel confident?

If my childbearing hips can't handle a pair of skinny jeans, then what? Well lets look at the basic logic of geometry. If you are shaped like a diamond (everyone picture it...small shoulders, slightly wider waist, larger yet butt and hips, and then taper down again to the knees), then it is to be assumed that your least favorite body part would be the widest part of the diamond (ie. hips & butt). Skinny jeans, follow that same shape, tapering at the leg, therefore accentuating the very part of your body that you hate most of all. Other classic shapes (triangle, heart, square...well you get the idea) have the same challenge. But let's take that same shape (diamonds are a girls best friend!) but apply a wide leg denim trouser to the mix. The wide leg of the trouser instantly visually minimizes the hip and buttocks skimming the widest part instead of hugging it. Throw on a great wedge or heel and suddenly you look long and lean. Who doesn't want that?!

Unlike the skinny jean, the great thing about a wide leg trouser, is that it looks great on most body types.

With a multitude of different cuts and styles, jean shopping can be confusing and frustrating.
For more help picking the best pant style for your body type, check out this article from GLAMOUR and MSN Lifestyle.

The Perfect Jeans for Your Body