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. (,,,,,

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.)