Behind the Scenes of My Vacation With Lilly Pulitzer

The author, center, on her Lilly cruise. Photograph by Lauren McGrath

Me on the Lilly cruise. | Photograph by Lauren McGrath

Back in January, I got the opportunity a million girls would die for: a three-day trip to sunny Palm Beach, Florida, with a couple of girls from Lilly Pulitzer’s King of Prussia headquarters. Heaven, right? Almost. You see, I’m not exactly a fan of Lilly Pulitzer, so going on the trip felt a tad unfair, like a gluten-free person getting an all-you-can-eat bakery tour, or a vegetarian winning free burgers for life.

But I went (journalism!) and, well, I had fun. A lot of fun. We toured the Lilly Pulitzer design studio, awash in hot pink and shiny white lacquer, and the famed Breakers hotel, where many of the staff uniforms are Lilly. We dined on the patio at Renato’s, which is a coconut’s throw from Lilly Pulitzer’s first boutique. We hopped aboard the Lilly Pulitzer boat for a champagne-soaked cruise around the island. And when we left, I was … well, read the whole story here.

And for those millions of Lilly fans who weren’t on the trip with us, here’s a peek into the Lilly Pulitzer world and where it all began. With, yes, a juice stand.  Read more »

Inside Lillyland: This Is Why Women Are Obsessed With Lilly Pulitzer

The author in a sea of Lilly. Photograph by Adam Jones

The author in a sea of Lilly. Photograph by Adam Jones

IT’S NOT PARTICULARLY WARM on the Lilly Pulitzer yacht, especially once we’re out in the middle of the Intracoastal Waterway in Palm Beach, but the style blogger in the purple-and-pink romper doesn’t care. Or at least she doesn’t show it if she does. She’s a professional, and when it’s time to film a quick video for Lilly Pulitzer’s Snapchat account, she perches on the side of the boat that has the best view of the palm trees and waterside mansions, tosses her blond hair — once, twice, the wind rippling through it too roughly for her liking — and then, on cue, throws her tawny, Twizzler-thin arms in the air and lets out a screeching “WOOOOOOOOOO!!!”

This sort of shriek has been the rallying cry of our trip — semi-staged squeals that call attention to the group (although how could you not notice a giggly cloud of highlighter-bright prints, champagne flutes soaring for constant toasts, our boat the only one in the marina upholstered in splashy pink-and-green florals?) and let more than two million Lilly Pulitzer fans across Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter know that we are having more fun than you.  Read more »

Skirt Boutique Wants to Wash Your Car for Free

Car Wash

Your car could be this shiny, too. | Pekic/iStock.com.

Suburbanites, this one’s for you: We’ve got the details on how to score a free car wash today (and it involves shopping).

Today, head to the car wash right next to Skirt‘s Bryn Mawr location; it’s called Bryn Mawr Car Wash. The attendants will scrub your car to a sparkling sheen, and then park it for you in Skirt’s lot, all while you shop. (Think of it as a tricked-out valet service.) Show your Skirt receipt at the car wash checkout and Skirt will pick up the bill. Best reason to shop ever? We think so.  Read more »

Inside a Fashion Editor’s Summer Shopping List

Marquee

My (current) shopping list.

As I recently wrote on this blog, I’m sick of everything in my closet. It’s especially good timing, I suppose, as it’s a new season, one that is budding with fresh takes on old favorites. But all this newness can be overwhelming, and it’s tough to remain a smart shopper when there are very impractical things like metallic-sequin slip dresses and blouses with knee-length ruffled sleeves to tempt you.

But it is possible to nod to current trends without sacrificing your own personal style. Here is what’s currently on my To Buy list, most of which feel very of-the-moment, but not too far from the shapes and styles I already love. I’ve even included some pro shopping tips to help you decode what’s worth the splurge and what trends are better found on the cheap. Ready, set, shop.
Read more »

10 Home Accessories to Buy From Target’s New Spring Collection

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Photos via Target.

If you’re anything like me, you’re bursting to upgrade your house for spring, to store the faux fur throws and heavy shag pillows for lighter offerings like, well, everything you’ll see in this post. The home decor and office accessories here are all part of Nate Berkus’s newest spring/summer collection for Target, and they’re all fantastic. Better yet, most of them ring in at under $50, so you can make small, spring-y swaps in your home without breaking the bank.

Ready to shop? Let’s do it. Here are 10 things you need to scoop up at Target right this moment. Read more »

Must-Buy: Gladiator Sandals Under $100

Sandals

Leopard, laces and POM-POMS. | Photo of Waltzing Matilda sandals by Nell Hoving.

Though recent years have seen the gladiator sandal creep up to the knee (see: Kourtney Kardashian, who’s famous for corseting her poor calves in uncomfortable-looking lace-ups), the best iteration is the most basic: a still-elaborate lacing of the foot that ends with a simple knot at the ankle.

One of my favorite pairs of gladiator sandals comes from Waltzing Matilda, a Wayne-based leather-goods company that strips the Roman sandal to its utilitarian essentials—butterscotch Horween leather, hand-tacked golden nails, a loopy crisscross of laces. They are at once primitive and beautiful, perfect for the urban hippie or the pavement-pounding glamazon warrior. And at $178, they’re not totally wallet-breaking either! (Buy them here, or visit the adorable Wayne boutique, which nabbed a spot on our 50 Best Shops list!)  What’s that? You want ones UNDER $100? Click here!

I Hate Everything In My Closet—Am I Over Fashion?

Close up on a untidy cluttered wardrobe with colorful clothes and accessories, many clothes and nothing to wear.

Dear closet: I’m over you. | iStock|luanateutzi.

I stood in my closet this morning and realized, quite suddenly and with a surprisingly fierce finality, that I hate everything I own.

It wasn’t surprising. This happens to me every spring, like some sick sort of clockwork. I look at my clothes and wonder how I ever managed to get dressed before this moment, how I ever physically put on clothing and walked out the door.

“You’re staring again,” said my husband as I stood in my closet in a robe, blanking out before a row of identical slouchy black things, wondering whether my wardrobe boredom is a sign that savvy fashion marketers have gotten to me, or whether it’s simply a product of my job, which is, in part, to shake out what’s new, old, in, out, now and next, and write about it. And then I started to feel bad about it all – am I some small part of the reason that other women are standing in their closets, hating everything they own, too?

I did manage to put on clothes this morning, but  – as was the case yesterday morning, too, and the morning before that – it was a purely perfunctory effort. I had to wear clothes, so I put some on, stuff that covers up my bits and pieces but doesn’t delight me or make me feel some way or another. It’s barely afternoon and already I am bored.

My sartorial lethargy has me worried. Have I gotten … over fashion?
Read more »

Our Favorite Spring and Summer Flea Markets in Philadelphia

Spring and Summer Flea Markets in Philadelphia: Clover Market

A snap from Clover Market last spring. | Photo by Carrie Hill Photography.

We’ve officially shrugged off winter, which means it’s flea market time. (Cheer!) Some of our favorite markets are gearing up for another season of al fresco treasure-hunting, and many have added additional dates and locations to their usual lineup. Here are nine can’t-miss Philadelphia flea markets to visit in the coming months, whether you’re on the hunt for furniture, home accessories, crafty goodness or vintage treasures. Just remember to bring cash (many vendors don’t take cards), haggle politely, and leave room in your trunk for larger hauls.  Read more »

Shop Talk: 15 Must-Buy Spring Shoes Under $150

Inexpensive Shoes

Fun fact: Both of these strappy pairs cost less than $150. | Images via Topshop.

  • You know the age-old style adage: If your bags and shoes look expensive, so does the rest of your outfit. But you can get the look of investment-worthy add-ons without breaking the bank. Here are 15 pairs of spring-perfect shoes that only look expensive. In fact, each rings in at under $150. I’ll take the eyelet-detail sandals, please. [WhoWhatWear]
  • Old Navy recently released a pair of purportedly stain-resistant white jeans. So, naturally, a blogger put ’em to the test with coffee, soy sauce, red wine and Cheeto fingers. The result? Not too shabby. [Huffington Post]
  • Trying to get insider info on HomeGoods is like trying to pry info from a Secret Service agent; the company is known for its intense secrecy. But PopSugar managed to get a few juicy tidbits from the company. Here, 19 things you never knew about HomeGoods. [PopSugar]

Up next: How people are using scissors to get sharper cheekbones.

How I Chose the 50 Best Shops in Philadelphia

Scouting Shops

A peek at some of my research.

I’ve been covering the Philly shopping scene for over six years now. I consider many of the city’s shop owners to be a particular sort of friend — we don’t chat on the phone or hang at each other’s houses, but I’ve worked with them for so long I’ve grown to love them. And I adore pretty much all of the boutiques that make up our indie shopping scene. You can imagine, then, that picking my 50 favorites was akin to naming a favorite child: How could I possibly choose?  Read more »

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