Sunday, July 25, 2010

Dressing Lillian (Building a Wardrobe, Part 1)

Hi everyone!  Hope your weekend has been a good one.  Mine certainly has - busy, but fun!  As you know, on Friday, I was at Comic-con, and yesterday, my friend Lillian, who's visiting us from Seattle, and I went shopping.  Lillian is one of those wonderful women who while interested in putting together nice outfits and looks for themselves, feel generally uncertain about how to do this.  We used the opportunity of her visit to San Diego to do some wardrobe-building for her, buying some pieces that she could add to her closet and combine in multiple and simple combinations for her day-to-day wear.  She's a beautiful woman, with a body frame that clothes love, and this was just too easy - in fact, the trouble was culling back the possibilities.

Now, Lillian has a career that allows her to work from home, which means that often, she tends to opt for what's easy - meaning t-shirts, jeans, and when going out, sneakers.  Once a week, the car she shares with her husband is available to her, so she drives out to the stables and goes horseback riding and then runs errands - all in, well, clothing appropriate for horseback riding.  So, aside from feeling like she didn't know what to buy and how to put it together, she also felt that she never has occasions for wearing prettier clothes in any regular way.  She does, however, occasionally have gigs that require her to interact pretty closely with clients in more casual environments, so she needs to look pulled together but not business-y.  We wanted the things we picked out to be versatile enough to cover a range of possibilities, and since she only shops about once a year (!!!), we also wanted things that would take her through the fall and winter seasons and into spring as well, when she and I might meet again.  This just happens to be a great time of year for that sort of shopping, since we're transitioning between summer and fall in the stores and as she lives in Seattle, where the weather is pretty temperate, we didn't have too much of a challenge.  Here's what we got:

Toppers and Underpinnings

Lillian, as most women who aren't really into fashion or clothing, needed simple things that could be easily combined.  Also, she felt somewhat intimidated by unfamiliar colors, shapes, or patterns.  She professed to having quite a few cardigans and sweaters at home - some of them dating back to her high school days (that will be a project for a future meeting in Seattle), so I picked up a few of my favorite tiered ruffle tanks from Nordstrom, which are so pretty under cardigans and come in a number of beautiful colors - several of them, including a teal blue, a dark purple, and a fuschia color, looking fantastic against Lillian's porcelain skin and dark hair.  We also grabbed the tried and trusted BP 3/4 Sleeve cardigan to wear over them.  While I was perusing the Anniversary Sale goods in Point of View, I also picked up the plum-colored Bobeau wrap cardigan and Kelly (who we happily ran into!) brought Lillian a pewter-colored Classiques Entier camisole, which I forgot to include in the layout above.  The leather jacket she bought was one that looked very similar to the one above, but it was an Anniversary Sale item - a black Ted Baker jacket which I wanted too, but it was totally sold out  in my size already.  (Booo!) 

Dresses and Accessories

Lillian had jeans, but she didn't really have any day dresses - I have the feeling that for Lillian, dresses are generally for occasions and not for day-to-day.  So, my goal was to find her a few versatile dresses - things she could wear in her normal day-to-day life as well as for work, and also when called for, occasions.  All three of these dresses can be transitioned into fall and winter with the help of tights, boots, long-sleeved layering tees, sweaters, and coats.  The Leifsdottir Sparks Fly dress on the right is slightly more dressy than the other two (and also longer on Lillian's 5'5" frame - on me, it comes all the way to my knees), but will look amazing with tall brown boots, an ivory colored l/s tee underneath, and a long sweater or coat on top.  We already know how great the Secret Treasures Dress is - so cute with a belt, with or without a cardigan over it, and machine washable.  It's going to be perfect for a work-related trip Lillian is making to Baltimore next week, where outdoors it'll be hot and humid, and indoors super cold and air conditioned.  The Rebecca Taylor Waterfall dress in the floral print is another nice versatile piece - great for running errands in the summer, and equally great for a dinner out with her husband or working with clients, when paired with a cardi and the right shoes.  We threw in the always fabulous Looping Lanes belt as well as a bow necklace (we got the one from Nordy's for $10) to easily accessorize all her possible outfits.

Last but definitely not least, I was able to coax Lillian out of her very comfy but not very fashionable hiking shoe-like sneaker.  She had a gift card for Gucci, and wasn't interested in buying a handbag, so agreed to look at shoes.  She didn't really like heels or logos, so we opted for a simple black ballet flat with the interlocking Gs on the toe.

(This shoe, only black.)

Lillian was tickled by the fact that the negative space inside the interlocking Gs looked like the Bat-signal.  You know, the one they project into the sky, to call on Batman's help?  Yep, life is really good sometimes.  ^_^


  1. I for one LOVE this, and cant wait for part 2 :)

    I'm a glutton for wardrobe tips, plus it's a little like vicariously shopping the sale

  2. haha, it does look like the batman signal!! never noticed that before.

    that's a perfect classic shoe. you sound like an excellent shopping buddy/mentor!! can't wait for part II either.

  3. Ooh how great! This is helpful for me too. I love how you provided layering pieces for Lillian knowing that she's from Seattle and for us, we can see two different seasons in a day. So having options is great! Can't wait for part deaux!