Yesterday was Lilly Pulitzer's birthday and I thought I'd take a moment to say some things about how she changed my life. It may seem stupid, but before I knew who Lilly Pulitzer was I was a completely different person. Her playful designs pushed me from being an apathetic teenager to being a fashion forward driven young adult.
|Me back in 2011|
Just to get things straight, I've always been awesome ;) I tried to stand out as playful and energetic and I let those qualities define me. I found a wonderful family in the jam community (as in jam music like Phish and the Dead) and I got lost in it completely. I was a tie-dyed, dancing, bright eyed modern day hippie. Looking back I still see nothing wrong with that, but I grew up and acquired responsibilities and had to move on. I had defined myself as a Deadhead first, and a professional second. I loved wild colors and in the midst of that threw style out the window.
Then I met Lilly. Or rather, I met Lilly's clothes. I was a little behind on that bandwagon and only discovered her style in college. I was in LOVE though. The color, life, and professionalism of the dresses really drew me in.
|Cherry Begonias has always been my favourite print|
I had to have it. All of it. I started small with an agenda, then a belt, and more and more and more. Soon my paychecks were almost being directly deposited to the Lilly store. It was then that I realized that I could look bright and playful, but still professional.
But not too "professional" in the traditional sense. To me, as a woman in a man's world (i.e. in engineering), it became very important for me to maintain my femininity, especially in a lab setting. I craved color, but also needed something that said "yes you can trust me with your multi-million dollar plant". Bright shirts and dark jeans with heels, a sleek tea dress and boots; I became part of a world I barely knew existed.
The more Lilly I got the more I figured I should spice up my entire wardrobe. Enter Kate Spade, J Crew, Ivanka Trump et al. So long story short, here I am a Deadhead engineer running a fashion blog and nearly going broke getting "free" gifts from Lilly Pulitzer.
|Me in April|
So I guess yes, I am a Lilly Girl. I don't dress head to toe Lilly, but I feel like I've gained the spirit all Lilly Girls have. It's the fashion forward fun and color we add to our lives that makes us stand out. Bright eyes and a laugh are as essential to an outfit as bows or lace. Clothes don't make you who you are, but a bright dress compliments a smile so well.
So thank you, Lilly. Thank you for helping me into a world where I can be taken seriously without being too serious. And most importantly for teaching me that "life is a party. Dress like it."