Thursday, November 24, 2011

Shop for a Cause!

Happy Thanksgiving y'all! Hope everyone has enjoyed a great day with family, friends, and delicious food! As you give thanks and kick off the Christmas shopping season, think about ways in which you can give back. In addition to donating your time and money, you can buy products that directly or indirectly support organizations that help people (or animals) in need. Several preppy companies I love have done this in the past or present.

One thing I love about my favorite brand, Lilly Pulitzer, is that in addition to designing cute clothes and accessories they also give back by donating proceeds from select products to various charities. In Spring 2010 they designed an adorable black and white panda print called "Pandamonium." This collection included a classic shift dress, skirt, large and small tote bags, a girls' Little Lilly shift dress, and an insulated travel mug. Lilly Pulitzer donated ten percent of the proceeds from Pandamonium items to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), which supports conservation efforts of threatened and endangered species worldwide. Since I am obsessed with pandas, I bought almost everything in the Pandamonium print, and it felt good to know I was supporting conservation of the beloved giant panda at the same time. In fact, I was inspired to "adopt" a panda through WWF's symbolic adoption program. This collaboration between Lilly and WWF remains my favorite partnership between fashion and charity. Although the Pandamonium collection is no longer available directly through Lilly Pulitzer you might still be able to locate pieces for purchase on eBay or the Re-Lilly Facebook page.
Lilly Pulitzer Pandamonium shift dress

Lilly Pulitzer Pandamonium small tote 

Lilly Pulitzer teamed up with another great organization in Fall 2010 when they designed this beautiful limited edition Murfee scarf for Breast Cancer Awareness. Last year they donated approximately five dollars from the purchase of each of these scarves to the American Cancer Society. This scarf is no longer available directly through Lilly Pulitzer online but you can contact their customer service to see if they can locate one in stores. There's also eBay and the Re-Lilly Facebook page too!
Lilly Pulitzer Breast Cancer Awareness Murfee Scarf Fall 2010

In addition to these previous partnerships Lilly Pulitzer teamed up with the Breast Cancer Charities of America in Fall 2011 and designed a breast cancer awareness print called "Butterfly Kisses" which is available in a beautiful Murfee scarf. You can currently purchase this scarf on the Lilly website and at Lilly stores. Click here to learn more about the collaboration between Lilly and Breast Cancer Charities of America.

 Lilly Pulitzer also recently worked with Palm Avenue, a Lilly via shop with four locations, to design another Murfee scarf for a great cause. This particular scarf supports the Amani Children's Foundation, which partners with New Life Home Trust in Kenya to place orphaned infants into adoptive homes. This cause is particularly dear to the owner of Palm Avenue, as she and her husband adopted their two youngest children through Amani. This vibrant Lilly print depicts the wildlife of the Kenyan landscape and the scarf is available exclusively at Palm Avenue stores-located in Raleigh and Greensboro, NC; Charleston, SC; and Savannah, GA. If you do not live near one of these stores they will gladly take orders over the phone and ship it to you! Click here for Palm Avenue contact info. If interested, you can read more about this collaboration among Lilly, Palm Avenue, and Amani.
Palm Avenue Lilly Pulitzer Murfee Scarf for Amani Children's Foundation

Vineyard Vines, another one of my favorite preppy brands, has a Tied to a Cause program in which they design custom totes, ties, and other products that support various charities and non-profits, donating 100% of proceeds to the particular organization. They usually highlight a different one each month, and this month they are featuring Robin Hood, a charity that works to fight poverty in New York City. Click here to learn which organizations Vineyard Vines has supported in the past through Tied to a Cause.

Although sandal weather is over for the year (unless you live in Florida or someplace with a tropical climate), I want to highlight a great partnership that my favorite preppy sandal brand, Jack Rogers, had this fall. The Navajo leather sandal is perhaps their most well-known style of shoe, and Jack Rogers donated 10% of proceeds from all pink Palm Beach Navajo sandals sold in October 2011 to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation

I am sure many more fashion companies have collaborated with charitable organizations, but these are a few of my favorites that I wanted to share with y'all! What are some fashion/charity partnerships you have seen in recent years? 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Search for the Perfect Jeans

I love to shop, but shopping for pants is an exception. Dresses, skirts, and tops are much more forgiving in my opinion, but pants have to fit to the unique contours of your body type or else they look frumpy rather than cute. For the longest time I bought pants that were too big for me but I have fortunately remedied that problem. In fact I have discovered some jeans that I love so shopping for pants is a much more pleasant experience, although it will never be my favorite.

Here are my go-to brands and styles. Keep in mind that they might not work for you but I highly recommend giving them a try!

J.Crew Matchstick jeans in classic rinse wash. I have become quite a fan of J.Crew jeans over the past year. The Matchstick style is fitted but not super tight and is extremely comfortable. Plus the short inseam works great for me. Being 5'3" sometimes short/petite pants are too short on me but the regular inseam is too long so it's really nice when the short inseam works so I don't have to get them hemmed. Plus the dark rinse is super classy and can be dressed up or down. Casual enough for a lazy Saturday but also dressy enough for a night on the town or a jeans Friday at the office. 

J.Crew ankle stretch toothpick jean in classic rinse. These jeans are similar to the Matchstick style but with a narrower leg, which makes it more suitable for tucking into boots. I have a pair of non-ankle jeans in this style that I got at the J.Crew outlet, but need to have them hemmed since the toothpick only come in regular and tall inseams. Speaking of the J.Crew outlet here is a bargain shopper tip: Buy both the Toothpick and Matchstick style jeans at the outlet if you live near one. You can get the exact same jeans and save at least $30 a pair, and likely more depending on what specials the outlet may have going on. At the J.Crew outlet I have frequently seen denim for 40% off the already discounted prices!

!iT brand jeans. I discovered this brand recently at a local boutique. As much as I love my J.Crew jeans I was still looking for a good pair of ultra skinny jeans with a legging-like feel. I tried on the Palo Alto ultra-skinny crop style and fell in love instantly. They fit me great and were super comfortable, plus a great price for boutique jeans so I bought them! The !iT brand company website doesn't have a place to order online, but with the store finder feature you can find out what places near you sell them and go try them on!

Have you found a brand/style of jeans that you love? Or are you still on the quest for that perfect pair? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Happy Birthday Lilly Pulitzer!

My apologies for the lack of posts over the past couple of weeks (still trying to get in the swing of blogging). I intend to post more regularly from here out! Anyways, a post today is especially in order because it is the 80th birthday of my favorite fashion icon: Lilly Pulitzer! Who would've thought that the colorful printed shift dresses she designed to hide stains while working at her juice stand would turn into the timeless designer label preppy fashionistas wear and love! In fact, the brand is so well known that many refer to it as simply "Lilly," no last name necessary. Click here to learn more about the Lilly story.

So it was very fitting that the Lilly Resort 2011 catalog came in the mail today. Lilly designs a fall collection for cooler weather but there is no winter collection. So between Fall and Spring comes Resort. Some of the pieces such as sweaters and scarves and solid basics are appropriate to wear now but most of the dresses, skirts, and pants are in bright vibrant pants and should stay in your closet until spring-unless you are one lucky enough to travel to a warm weather destination during the cold months.

In honor of Lilly's birthday here are some of my favorite items from the Resort 2011 collection:

Murfee Scarf in Black Skip On It- this piece is great to wear now. The silk/cashmere blend is soooo soft and it is a great way to add a splash of color to a neutral turtleneck or sweater throughout fall and winter.

Vicki Dress in Island Coral Tropi-Lace-Ical-I absolutely love this dress! One thing I love about Lilly is their ability to add that extra touch to a solid dress, in this case a floral lace mesh. I think this coral color is GORGEOUS but this same dress also comes in black and would be precious if one is looking to add a little black dress to her closet. The exposed zipper in the back (not pictured) also is a nice touch. 

Whitaker Dress Black Skip On It-so obviously I am a fan of the Black Skip On It print. The little frogs in the pattern are so cute. But I especially adore the style of this one-shoulder dress-the contrast between bare shoulder on one side and long-sleeve on the other. This dress does not come with a belt but it looks great without one as well. I would love to wear this dress to weddings and parties this coming spring!

Cassie Top in Shorely Blue- The Cassie top is a solid basic from the Resort collection that you can wear now with jeans or corduroys. I like both the look and feel of the cotton slub material. It comes in multiple colors but I am currently pining for this light blue. The Cassie looks great paired with a Murfee scarf!

Of course I could go on and on about the new Resort collection but these are some highlights! You can check out Lilly's website for more fabulous new arrivals!