Monday, November 11, 2013

Thank you Lilly

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."

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