I Have One Lilly Pulitzer Dress

“Being happy never goes out of style.” ~Lilly Pulitzer

 When I was in middle school, the pretty girls took off their Fair Isle sweaters in May. They sloughed their turtlenecks with the little whales on them and switched up the covers on their Bermudas bags. Spring meant sunshine and tulips and daffodils and lovely lightweight dresses.

One day, I dared to ask a pretty girl where she found her colorful sleeveless shift.

“It’s not from here,” she said, crossing her arms in front of her very flat chest.

“But where did you get it?”

This particular pretty girl – let’s call her Courtney — flipped her hair and caught it in one hand, a move I could never master.

“It wouldn’t work on you,” she said. “It’s a Lilly.”

Cover of The Official Preppy Handbook

Cover of The Official Preppy Handbook (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

That night, I consulted my Official Preppy Handbook. It showed a photograph of a similar looking dress to the one Courtney had worn in school that day. The handbook stated that Lilly Pulitzer clothing was a “must-have” item for all “preppy” women.

In middle school, I didn’t care that my mother made kick-ass matzah balls.

I just wanted to be a prep.

Looking at myself in the mirror, I thought about Courtney’s words. A little Jewish girl with a big nose, I’d never look good in a casual shift dress. I’d never rock pale pink lip-gloss. At summer camp, when I got off the sailboat, my hair was a frizzy triangular mess. I’d never look like I’d spent the day relaxing on the yacht. Who did I think I was?

About five years ago, I was in Florida shopping with my friend, Jan, when we passed a Lilly Pultizer Shop. I’d never seen one before. We don’t have Lilly Shops in Western, New York. Why would we? We wear sleeping bag coats for most of the year.

Anyway, Jan encouraged me to go in. She may have physically pulled me through the door.

I didn’t think I had any business being there.

But I sifted through the yummy racks filled with whimsical fabrics.

How can you not love orange elephants?

How can you not love orange elephants?

I heard Courtney’s voice in my head.

What was I doing? I was still that Jewish girl. And now I had boobies. Big ones. How was I ever going to fit into anything Lilly? It was ridiculous.

Jan handed me a pile of dresses and commanded I try them on.

And there was this one.

When I came out of the dressing room, the Lilly ladies made a fuss.

{But, you know, they work on commission; they’re paid to smile and coo.}

Still.

I looked at myself in the mirror, and I liked the way I looked.

I’m no socialite.

And I’m decidedly unpreppy.

But I bought it.

Because screw you, Courtney.

It works on me.

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Lily Pulitzer passed away last month, on April 7, 2013 at the age of 81. I am confident her legacy of brightly colored fabrics featuring flamingos & seals & peacocks & turtles & elephants & hippoptamuses & flowers & flowers & flowers will live on forever. A believer in the power of whimsy, I like to think we would have been friends.

• • •

May 14th marks the beginning of my 4th year in the blogosphere. Come back next week because I’m giving away a Lilly Pulitzer handbag, baby!

In the meantime, tell me about something you never thought you could wear/do/be, but you did it anyway!

tweet me @rasjacobson

120 responses to “I Have One Lilly Pulitzer Dress

  1. Naomi Hattaway

    Totally never thought I would wear / own a commissioned full-length ball / gala gown! But I do … and I did and I LOVE it!

  2. I want to see more of the dress, Renee!

    • So funny, Kathy! You really are a super-sleuth! This pic was taken before my computer crashed. It has’t been warm enough to really get it out yet. Plus, you’ll note the “compliment necklace,” which was recently smashed to smithereens. I will take another picture of myself standing up. Maybe.

  3. The song from Cats keeps playing in my head! Yes we do share similar memories! And Honey, you can rock whatever your pretty little head wants to put on that pretty little body. You got it going on! btw..dying to know who Courtney was. LOL. Another great post!

    • Doesn’t every middle school have a Courtney? She was a mean girl. Super pretty, but not nice. She was very intimidating, let me tell you. When she said I couldn’t pull off a Lilly, she meant it. And I believed her for way too long. If you MUST know, I’ll tell you — but you are sworn to secrecy!😉

  4. Move to Chicago when I was 22 with nothing but my cat and a carload of my stuff. And I made it🙂 BTW.. I had that book AND the matching photo album!! I think I still do!

  5. Fantastic post and super sweet dress! I never thought I could wear skinny jeans…but with knee high boots and a slimming sweater, they are lookin’ pretty good!

    • Skinny jeans, huh? I have tried them, but — wow — they do require a lot of tugging! I’m glad it’s dress weather!😉 Can I sk what brand you found that’s working for you? I have the boots and lots of sweaters!

  6. You are gorgeous, baby! And you do Lilly proud. I never thought I could wear skinny jeans cause of my thigh obsession, but I do, whether or not I can. Love this post! And congrats on your anniversary! Oh no, a new Tingo Tuesday lover is announced tomorrow. I’ll be sad to leave your sidebar … thank you for everything! xo

  7. Hmmm….name something I didn’t think I could wear but did anyway?

    Sadly, it’s far easier for me to come up with examples (many many many) of outfits I went ahead and tried to rock with disastrous results.

    You and I are close (very very very) in age so I’m sure some of the styles overlapped; although I’m a lifer here in SoCal and have never worn a sleeping bag coat.

    I did, however, have the Preppy Handbook. And diary. Oh, how I wanted Sperry Topsiders (too expensive); and plaid walking shorts. Layers of Izod Lacoste shirts. And the United Colors of Benetton. Dear lord.

    I can still feel the wool itching.

    I think my early fashion fails are responsible for my not caring much now if I’m cutting edge or not. I wear what’s comfortable. What fits. Mostly hand-me-downs.

    And a smile.
    Yes, with a smile, you can get away with anything.

    p.s. Sorry about the diaries. Really.

    • I wrote you a big long comment last night.

      And then my computer ate it.

      I promised I would visit you at your place this morning, and I did. ANd now I have big gloppy tears pouring down my face.

      So thanks for that.

      I had my students do that same assignment when I taught high school: FYI. I can’t imagine losing them.

      That said, you didn’t read the assignment. I didnt ask you to tell me about something you didn’t think you could wear. I asked you to tell me about something you never thought you could wear/do/be, but you did it anyway! I think you show us all, with each post, that ou are a person who can survive a house fire, not just physically, but spiritually, too.

      Adoring you, Julie.

  8. I love your blog. This one really brought me back!

  9. I never thought I could fit into size 2 anything, but my butt can now fit into size 2 shorts. They’re from Ann Taylor Loft, so they might not be a “real” 2, but I still count it.

    • Larisa! It’s official: you’re smaller than I am. I may be little in the middle, but I’ve got much back. I’m a size 4. Well, to be fair, I’m probably a size 2, but those shorts? They shrink. I hope you don’t put them in the dryer because then you’ll need to be a size 0. And who wants to be a 0? I buy 4’s because they shrink into 2’s. You will figure these things out. Congratulations! You’ve been working hard, woman!

  10. Funny you mention skinny jeans because that’s what I never thought I would wear because I have a bigger bottom than top. All the “experts” tell people with my body type that we should wear pants that have a slight flare at the bottom to take the eye away from big-butt syndrome, but I wear them all the time and I feel good in them, too! That’s the best part about getting older, you really don’t care what people think anymore. It’s all about what you think. By the way, you most certainly do rock that Pulitzer!

    • Sandra: Will you tell me what brand skinny jeans you are liking. I have never been able to really find a pair that don’t give me a big fat wedgie. I’m anti-wedgie, but pro-fashion — if it’s easy. So far, it hasn’t been easy. A little help? I’m glad you are working your skinny jeans, girl!😉

  11. I wear a lot of Ann Taylor Lofts stuff, too, Larisa. I love their clothes!

  12. Oops, I should have typed that as a reply to Larisa. Sorry renée, I always screw it up when I comment on your blog. “)

  13. Too bad it takes so many years for us to realize that the Courtneys in our life really didn’t know sh*t. I KNOW Lilly would have loved you!

    • Patricia: The reality is Lilly Pulitzer had her dresses designed to hide the stains that formed on her clothes everyday at her little orange stand that she worked in the shadows of her husband’s orange grove. As it turns out, people loved her dresses more than her juice, and her empire was born. I love the story of her success. And I’m guessing Courtney had no idea that Lilly was being practical when she picked her crazy fabrics! I’d love to meet her again today. I wonder if she’s reformed.

  14. I TOTALLY relate to this. Specifically to this because I never feel like I can wear those kinds of dresses. I think they made me (and my mom) think of Easter or something. It just did not feel right on me. I STILL don’t have one. I’m feeling inspired for this summer–especially because it will be the first summer in a while when I haven’t been pregnant or nursing. Maybe I’m finally ready to rock the Easter dress.

    • I will always only have ONE dress. It’s all I can muster because, like you, I do feel a little like a poser when I wear it. But I love it. It has pink hippos on it! How can you not love pink hippos? So cute. The point was: I believed Courtney — even after 30 years, her voice was so strong in my head. It was hard for me to even go in the store. That alone was a triumph! I really do love this little dress,. It’s a shame that I only get to wear it for a few short months since our summer season is so dang abbreviated.

      One day I’m sure it will make a mighty cute throw pillow.

  15. You look chic, and you have beautiful eyes. So, why did you ever listen to Courtney?

  16. I am not a dressy gal, but I like it! I always disliked mean girls! Hey Courtney! Who’s rocking it now? Karma baby!🙂

  17. Great post, Renee! That dress looks absolutely darling on you. Me, I never thought I’d wear short-shorts because I’m prone to muscular quads and thought it was too ‘bulky’. I’ve ditched that thought and let my work in the gym be out there in plain sight.😉

    • Ginger, if you’ve got outstanding quads, let ’em show! One day you’ll be an old woman and you’ll wonder “why in the hell didn’t I wear those short-shorts when I was all firm?” Stay healthy! Good for you for getting to the gym!

  18. I have never thought of myself as a “small.” I have always thought of myself as a “medium” or “large” because I had gained weight. But after I lost more than 50 pounds (on purpose), I still have trouble believing that I am now a “small.” It’s almost hard to comprehend, but it’s true. I should be proud of myself but I still can’t quite believe it, even though it’s been about 6 months.

    • I TOTALLY understand this. I lost quite a bit of weight at one point, and I kept gravitating to the racks that I’d always drifted to. I had to work backwards, and — frankly — I still start at LARGE and go backwards until I end up where I’m supposed to be. And these days, I’m never really sure where that is. Yesterday, I bought a black XS maternity dress. No, I’m not pregnant. But it fits perfectly. I’m so proud of you for intentionally losing that weight! Not easy! If you can’t be proud of yourself, I’ll be proud for you!😉

  19. I stopped wearing “mommy” jeans and now wear dark tight jeans and look so much younger

  20. You rock that dress! Courtney should have had a slap down.

    Mine was more specific, I never thought I would wear high heels again because the doctors told me I wouldn’t. They told me I would wear the, I wouldn’t go dancing in them, I might never walk again. I own 100+ pairs of sky high heels. I wear them nearly every day and call my collection my FU shoes.
    😉

    • Val! I LOVE that you call them your FU shoes! That actually would be a GREAT name for a line of shoes. You should have that trademarked. I’m serious. I love that you have been able to step out in the shoes that bring you joy.

  21. You look awesome in that dress! Courtney can go screw!

  22. For me it was Laura Ashley. There was a store in the mall that all the girls from my very wealthy private girls’ school all shopped at in middle school (in case you are wondering, I was the scholarship kid, so I had no business shopping in such a store). The girls were always wearing their lovely Laura Ashley flowered dresses, of which I could ill afford. Then a school dance came up and I convinced my mother that I just HAD to have a Laura Ashley dress, and somehow, she succumbed to my teenaged pleas. I’m sure the dress I bought was on sale. But that was ok, because FINALLY I was one of them. Sadly, it did nothing to increase my social status with all the snobbish girls at my school, and it really wasn’t even my style.

    • Misty: I’m glad I waited to get this dress. Had I bought it in middle school it would have done NOTHING to have altered my social status. I would have still been the girl with the nose and the frizzy hair. Like you, I wanted to fit in during those middle years. I’m so glad that my son doesn’t seem to have this same affliction. Do you cringe when you see Laura Ashley stuff now? Or do you still secretly pine for it? What about bedding? It would be naughty to fool around in Laura Ashley bedding, wouldn’t it?

  23. Those f-ing Courtney beotches follow us through life, don’t they? Whispering in our ears. Hags, man. I’m glad you stood up to her, even if she wasn’t there to witness it.🙂 Also, I always think you look great! You are my boot-wearin’, Lilly rockin’ inspiration.

    • Hi Michelle! It was amazing how I could still hear her voice in my ear on that day: one of the many critical voices I carry around with me. I think the moment I bought that dress, her voice went away. And you know me so well. I do usually wear this dress with my cowboy boots. Because why not? So what about you? Tell me about something you never thought you could wear/do/be, but you did it anyway! I would hate to give you a low grade on this assignment!😉

      • I thought about it, I really did, but I just couldn’t think of anything. I guess maybe just this – this blogging thing and commenting on other blogs and making friends with people I’ve never met in person. I had a hard time in the beginning and had to force myself to open up and be honest on my blog. Not telling the truth kind of honest (I do that), but saying things at all. I am nowhere near where I will end up, but I am braver now than I was two years ago. I am more emotionally adventurous maybe? And it’s starting to rub off a little on my “real” life. I feel a little more confident with who I am, a little more like I CAN do things I never thought I could pull off. I don’t have my kick-ass boots picked out yet, but they’re in my future!

        • I have seen a change in your writing. Absolutely. I don’t always comment because I often read from my phone, but I do like to look back at people’s first posts and then read where they are now. I’m so proud of you. And the things you say are NOT small things. They are huge. Maybe you just haven’t realized it yet.

  24. Good for you! It’s never too late to get back at the “mean girls” of middle and high school! I remember when overalls where very “in” while in high school and I insisted that my mom get me some. They did NOT look as good on me as they did on the skinny girls! Oh, well!

    • Those denim overalls are NOT for everyone. Every once in a while, they try to bring them back, and I have to remind myself: Those didn’t work for you the first time around, they aren’t going to work for you now! Thanks for bopping by and leaving a comment!

  25. That’s an excellent dress! The Courtneys of my school were very vocal in commenting on my white, white legs when I wore shorts or skirts. As a result, I stopped wearing shorts entirely and only wore skirts with hose or tights. To this day I still don’t wear shorts because now in addition to my legs being super white, you can also see all my veins. Not hot. The same girls told me I couldn’t wear red though, and now I wear it every chance I get.

    • Girl, you should get some red shorts and walk by a construction site — if only to get back at the mean girls. I’m guessing you’d get some major cat calls. But maybe don’t use your lipstick. I know you’re running low. Save that for really special occasions.

  26. I love that elephant fabric! And you, of course, look great in that dress.

    I don’t really have the “what I couldn’t work” stories because I tend to play it safe. That may come from years of shopping the KMart blue light specials🙂

  27. I have no doubt Lilly would’ve loved you. What I love most about her, is she didn’t care either. She didn’t have to work, yet she ran a juice stand because she was bored with being a socialite. I imagine it’s what I’d do too!

    So my story comes from an ex-boyfriend. I interviewed for my previous job because when I inquired about it, he said to me, “oh, Aimee. You couldn’t handle it”. I thought I’ll show you buddy. I’ll not only get the job, but I’ll get promoted in less time that it took you. 6 years later, and having achieved both I looked in the mirror and thought what the hell are you doing?! And quit.🙂

    • Aimee: I LOVE the Lilly success story! It’s a great one. Meanwhile, I LOVE your story, too. And you certainly are following in our Lilly’s shoes. You are truly zipping around lately, m’lady! You know I adore and believe in everything you are doing. You are tremendously talented. I think you might very well be the next Lilly. We just don’t know it yet. Sooooo glad you quit that job!

  28. Oh, I love it. You are perfect in and perfectly adorable. And I wish I could make good matzah balls!

    • These days, it’s all about the balls. I made one batch, and — for some reason — they sank. You would have thought I’d committed a mortal sin. I actually already wrote a post about it and it’s locked and loaded — for NEXT Passover! Thanks for stopping over. Come back next week if you’d like to win that bag!

  29. 60 comments! Wow! Could I get you to teach me to blog and get subscribers and commenters?

  30. Good stuff! You’re like a prettier version of that skank on that show??? Damnit…..Oh, yeah, Sex in the City! The Jessica lady. Whatever. That dress looks like one of those Chinese finger torture devices. Oh the things you ladies do to look pretty.

    • Well that didn’t sound right! I’m certainly not insinuating that you’re a skank, in case that’s how you took that. You know what? Let’s pretend my attempt to compliment you never happened…shhhhh….shhhhhhh.

    • Don, you are a hoot! ANd can I tell you that people often tell me that SJP is my doppelganger. I know lots of people think she looks like a horse, but I think she is very pretty, so I will take your words as a compliment. Even the skank part. Because you know what? I’ve got that goin’ on too. Sometimes.

  31. You ROCK that dress! Also I LOVED the preppy handbook!

  32. Lilly Pulitzer died? I didn’t know that Renee. I can’t believe she was that old. Wow. I remember watching a movie about her years ago, how she met Mr. Pulitzer, her life with him. She had twin boys and according to the movie, he took them away from her. They made him out to be a real creep. If it was true, he was. After their divorce, she used her talents to start her clothing business. Yes, her clothes were/are beautiful. No one in MHO produced clothes like she did. Kate Spade is a close second. But Lilly Pulitzer had an eye for colorful, tasteful prints. The look was Classy, Fresh, as you look in your lovely dress. You wear it well Renee! :

    • When I heard about her death during dinner last month, I actually burst into tears. I must have seen the same documentary about her life as you did. He sounded like a read d-bag, but I love how, despite the fact that she was a wealthy socialite, she STILL managed a little orange juice stand to stay busy and connected with the community. I could totally relate to that. It sounded like something I would do. You know, if I had a spare 1.3 jizzilion dollars sitting around. So what is the thing that people told you that you should never do or be or wear? That is the question!

  33. Mine isn’t something to wear, but a purse. I am not a purse person and in the few times in my life that I have ever used one, my max spending limit would be $10, or I refused. Sorry, purses are purses and one that costs hundreds of dollars was just stupid. Until… my daughter gave me her hand-me-down Coach purse.

    That thing is my precious. I guard it like a greedy dragon, I carry it everywhere I go in spite of the fact that my wallet remains in my back pocket.

    • Ahhhh. Your Coach bag. They are timeless, so hold onto yours forever. And I think it’s even better because it came from your daughter. What a wonderful gift. May you use it well and in good healthy for many years to come, you greedy dragon, you!😉

  34. Two words for you: Vera Bradley. For years, my friend has carried Vera Bradley purses, and I always scoffed at their frou-frou prints and way-too-happy attitude. One day, for no apparent reason, that changed. Hormones? Daylight Saving Time? I bought my first VB bag at a thrift shop and it’s like the genie’s been let out of the bottle. I now have several hipsters, a couple totes, and some varieties I don’t even know the name of. All I can tell you is, my daughter loves borrowing the VBs and my son just rolls his eyes. What do they know anyhow??

    • I think it is a rule that in order to live in my town, you MUST have at least 6 Vera bags. {I can’t believe they let me live here! I don’t have any!} I’m glad you love your bags. I think the patterns have gotten better over the years, and if you can get them at a consignment shop? That’s a win!

  35. The Lilly of New Orleans during my teen angst years was jeweler Mignon Faget. All the cool preppy girls had her signature silver pendant dangling from a silk cord. A silk cord which, of course, matched their chinos. They changed it to match the outfit du jour, while I just wore my Blessed Mother pendant like a good Catholic girl.

    • People swapped out cords to match their chinos? Wow, that’s a lot of work. I thought we had it rough with those dang Bermuda bag covers. When we got to NOLA in the 90s, I had to have a little Mignon Faget in my life. I bought a silver ring. Now that you mention it, I wonder where the heck it went. Oy.

  36. What a lovely tribute to someone who seems as lovely as you in the gorgeous dress.🙂 I’ve worn many items I probably shouldn’t have, including a paper plate on my head when a friend and I decided that was the ultimate way to attend concerts. There’s no doubt be a post on that at some point… Happy spring, beauty!

    • You would be adorable, even with a paper plate on your head, sweetness. Thanks for stopping in. Love your #GirlBoner series. Sometimes I read on my phone, and it’s just too hard to type comments. Please know, I am enjoying your series!

  37. Glurgh. In *that* gorgeous dress, and *there’ll* no doubt… I’ve been working too long, apparently. LOL

  38. You truly look marvelous in that dress, I love your curly hair too!

  39. I love this post! I’m a huge Lilly fan! Never heard of her until I moved to college in NC. Every sorority girl wore her dresses. I was this out of place girl from Long Island just trying to fit in. I ended up loving her clothes and even wearing a dress for my rehearsal dinner. You look fabulous and gorgeous. I’m glad I found your blog:)

    • I’m from Upstate New York, and — like you — I’d never heard to Lilly until this girl mentioned her. We don’t have clothes like that up here. They’re so southern. Our summer season is so short, who could justify the expense? {Apparently Courtney’s family. *ahem*} Anyhoo, I only have the one dress, but I do love the whimsical fabrics. It’s so nice to meet you!

  40. Hi Renee! I nominated you for a very silly award! Check it out on my latest post.🙂

  41. I learned at a very young age not to worry what the Courtneys of this world think of me, and that gave me a lot of space to do a lot of cool stuff I never thought I would dare/be able to do! I went on a world backpacking trip, got married, and now live in Mexico. Yay, life is good😉

    • Good for you, Pleun. SOmehow It has taken me waaaaaay too long to realize i need to hit mute when those negative people start swirling around with their critical voices. You are a strong, brave woman. I’m glad these traits have served you well!

  42. Oh, and by the way, you rock that dress! I love it🙂

  43. This is sweet, Renee. 🙂 Hmm, I never thought I could wear the Orthodox “uniform” and still express myself. But it works (after a few years of sorting through some kinks, and some VERY awkward outfits).

    • I was TOTALLY thinking of you and how you adapted to wear a more conservative fashion sense, so I’m glad you showed up here today. And I’m also glad to know that it is getting easier. I don’t think I’ll ever feel like I BELONG in this Lilly Pulitzer dress, but — as you said — it works, once in a while. You know, like when the sun is out. Question: Basically, I dress frum all year. You know, because I’m hermetically sealed into my sleeping bag coat. I need to wear sundresses for 8 weeks. It’s a matter of vitamin D.😉

  44. Courtney clearly told you that back then in hopes that I wouldn’t end up reading your blog and complimenting you on how you rock the hell out of that Pulitzer, and would instead wind up reading *her* blog on Life After STDs.

    My item is a form-fitting, black, shiny, ribbed club-style shirt. I’ve not worn it outside of my closet. I’ve had it since Elise was little – she picked it out for me, and I’ve never been able to get rid of it. Not that I’ll go clubbing in it – but I do hope someday to be in good enough shape to be able to wear it outside of my closet. Maybe even the hallway outside the bedroom.

    • Eli: How did you hear about Courtney getting those cauliflower vaginal warts. I thought that was pretty hush hush. Fascinating. Well, you know the blogosphere: once you jump in the pool, you start seeing the same people swimming around.

      I’m trying to decide if you are serious or kidding about this whole black, shiny “clubbing shirt” thing. I’m going with serious. Come out of the closet, CoachDaddy!😉 Please post about this shirt if it really exists.

  45. I remember Lilly being all that with the sorority crowd when I was in college. That wasn’t me, because I was a militant GDI and the button-on, monogrammed purse covers drove me absolutely bonkers.

    But now I admit that the bright, happy colors and patterns are pretty. You look great in that dress, Renee!

    • I selected a college that didn’t even HAVE sororities!

      And yet, those girlies in their Lilly dresses showed up in droves. This was MY foray into the world of private education. Boy, did I get schooled.

      I’m quite confident I would have been a GDI as well. I didn’t really fit in my college. I hung out with professors for the most part. To be true, I was working on some difficult personal issues at the time. I think I’ve just about got things worked out. I’m thinking like 5 or 6 more years, and I’ll totally be there.

  46. Hey Renee! I’m starting to get caught up with some of my favorite blogs and blogger’s. My apologies for not being around much lately. Ah, those middle school and high school years of secretly, desperately wanting to “fit in”, be liked, be popular, etc, and ultimately I think no one really pays that much attention to your struggle or success. HAH!

    My Can’t-Pull-It-Off item/outfit? It was/is for those times visiting our local ‘alternative lifestyle’ (BDSM) dungeon: a black all-rubber tight short-sleeve snap-buttoned shirt, rubber ass-less chaps with rubber-jock strap underneath, along with my assortment of “tools”. As it turned out, many of the members loved it and wanted to “pull it off”! :-O

    But I must confess, reading this tickled me; you’re words, phrases and logic put a big grin on my face every time! I absolutely LOVE (pant) those types of floral vivid dresses/sun-dresses! As I’m sure you looked in one back then, you look fantastic in one now! You fit quite well in them! You have a big nose!? (evil wink) I hadn’t noticed (eyes wandering). 😉

    • I love that you own those rubber ass-less chaps! I used to see people wearing them in New Orleans on Halloween all the time! Once I actually spanked someone wearing them. I couldn’t help myself. He looked shocked. And pleased. My husband? Not so much. Good times. Good times. I’ll be over to visit soon.😉

  47. She sounds like a mean girl. Love the dress!
    I remember wanting certain clothes when I was in high school. I remember buying a pair of painter’s paints with my own money.
    My mom sewed most of my clothes. My friends and strangers would ask where I bought them.
    I ended up working in a women’s retail clothing store for a few years and got my fix. Now I am pretty practical. I used to overdress when I first moved to Boulder. Now I live comfy exercise pants, t-shirts and sweatshirts. When it is time to dress up, I really have fun with it and pull out the stops.

    Madison really wasn’t about status clothing when I was growing up. Thank God!

  48. flyingplatypi

    Ohhhhhh…. I remember those days of mean girls. I was a total geek back then. Much like I am now. And, luckily, had my own idea of what was cool. So, while they were wearing their whatever’s, I was totally rocking the frak out of my Star Trek Spock shirt. And when they tried to make fun of me, I just turned my nose up to them and held my head high. Because I knew exactly what cool was. Hell, I was pretty much the definition of it.

    It’s not what you wear. It’s the confidence you give off wearing it.

    You look amazing in that dress!! Much love!!

    Hugs!

    Valerie

    • Hi Valerie: Truth be told, I had to wear my stupid cheerleading uniform like 3 times a week. It was kind of gross. Seriously. Like mine didn’t always get washed in between. I don’t know that I had a “look.” I know that I had a lot of sweaters for The Limited that I wore backwards: Forenza sweaters. Ohm how I loved them. Also, I wore my father’s boxer shorts to school because…well…Madonna was doing it, so…

      xo

  49. How could I recognize the fabric and not the name? And I sew!

  50. Have been a Lilly lover since the 70s, seeing all the ladies at the country club who wintered in West Palm. Being the youngest of 6 kids, there was no Lilly for me. My sorority even has its own official print at Lilly Pulitzer, I want it bad.

  51. You know, I read this when it was posted via FB, but I suppose I never commented. It’s a super cute dress I could never wear because I don’t think Lily makes stuff in my size. But you look awesome in it! :>

  52. Insert “Wolf Whistle” here.

    (selfish comment to gain an additional entry for some silly handbag that I have no chance of winning)

  53. I had a similar experience a couple years ago while vacationing in Ft. Lauderdale. I walked by the Izod/Lacoste store and gaped at the gorgeous, up-scale Country-Club clothing and thought, what on earth would I find in there that I could afford/would fit/would look good in? Then I spied the sign with the magic words written on it: “SALE” and I thought, “What the heck?” My daughter and I nonchalantly entered the pristine store with the white walls and shelves and perused the merchandise. An adorable red and white striped polo caught my eye, along with its accompanying mini skirt. I carried them back to the fitting room and traded them for the shorts and t-shirt I currently sported. Oh! They fit perfectly! And, talk about cute! Then the sales girl spotted me twirling around in the 3-way mirror and told me, “Did you know all our sale merchandise is an additional 30% off?” No, actually, I did not! Woot, woot! I am now the proud owner of a fun Izod ensemble and every summer I look forward to wearing it. I hope you have many more years of fun wearing your own Lilly (she is next on my list of wardrobe investment pieces!)

  54. I did I similar thing. In middle school in started out the year wanting desperately to be a ‘hipster’. I came from the type of family’s that wears Lilly Pulitzer. I don’t mean to brag, but many could consider me to be a ‘socialite’. Growing up in eastern New York, plenty of people wore that kind of stuff, but you had to know what it was. I stopped my whole hipster act in the first or second week of 6th grade. I decided my whole life would revolve around VS PINK. In the third quarter of middle school, I noticed how many boys and girls wore Vinyard Vines. And that’s where it all started. I went online and looked and looked at their clothes, sometimes crying about much I wanted to be one of those girls. My mom told me those girls are ‘preppy’. I WANTED SO BAD to be a ‘preppy’ girl. I looked up stuff online and on YouTube and found out what the brands were, how to wear what you have and bassicly how
    to live THAT life. My parents bought me two Vinyard vines sheep shirts, a VV tee shirt, and Lilly Pulitzer shorts. Now, I’m a ‘preppy girl’ all the girls think of me as the Cpurtney chick (I’m much nicer than that btw) as I type this, I’m wearing a lIlly shift, pearls, and jacks. I even saw how the preppy girls all played field hockey. So, now I play field hockey. I was scared at first to try and be one of them. But being that person is great! If you have a similar issue like me with trying to fit into a group, just go for it. What’s the worst that can happen, everyone who you want to be like doesn’t like you? Everyone else will still think of you as one of them.
    Xx,
    Lizzie

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