Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Preppy Picks

Thought it might be fun to add one more little post about some new finds.... pink gardening gloves for only $1 from Target!  I don't really garden, but I like to pretend I do....I do have stuff I carry around in a basket, as I walk around, admiring the work of others.  Occasionally I will cut some flowers, but I am always worried I am going to kill something by cutting it at the wrong part of the plant.  These will be a great addition...and who knows? ....perhaps I will learn to really use them!

Also....I don't know why, but I am totally obsessed with office supply stores (and hardware stores, too).  Perhaps it because I like organizational supplies...although I have a looooooong way to go down that road.  In any case, I stumbled across the most DIVINE thing at Staples the other day.

It's their lavender scent for the home....and it's only $3 per bottle.  I bought one to try and then immediately went back and bought more.  There were other scents as well, although I didn't even take the time to look at what they were.  I adore the smell of lavender.  I adore almost everything that is perhaps that is the appeal, as lavender is a staple in a French garden. (I do know how to cut that without killing it!!!)  For more that is French, check out this wonderful site/blog that I came across last night... The French Apartment

Au revoir!  La Preppy Classique

Preppy Must Haves: Palm Beach

I am sure that if you have come to this blog you may already know about one of my new favorite websites..  Preppy Must Have  It has an incredible list of links to the best in fashion, interior design, travel, etc.  If you don't know it you will want to check it out!

Image courtesy
PMH has done a really great piece on the "club" level of one of my favorite places, The Breakers.  You can read all about out it here!  I can't give you a personal take on the club level, as we've only stayed on a regular floor, but there was nothing regular about it.  The room was gorgeous and the bathroom was spectacular! The Breakers is old Palm Beach at its best and it's wonderful any time of year....Personally, I think one of the best times to be there is early-mid summer.  Why?  Rates are great, Palm Beach is not crowded, the "end of season" sales on Worth Avenue are amazing....and the weather is super.  There is a great breeze off the ocean, and mornings/early afternoons are almost always sunny and bright.  The typical afternoon thunderstorms cool things off a bit and then it's clear again, by the time you want to go out to dinner.

Time to put Palm Beach on your to-do list?  It's the perfect place if you are a classic preppy!!  These are some definites for your visit:

Eat Like A Native! ......

Breakfast or lunch (very casual): Green's Luncheonette/Pharmacy (South County Road)

Breakfast, lunch, dinner (very casual...hours vary depending on the season): Hamburger Heaven (South County Road) (Buy some of the homemade relish to take home with you!!)

Breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner (dressy casual): Testa's  A Palm Beach landmark since 1921 

Lunch, dinner (dressy casual- dressy): Ta-boo (Worth Avenue) This is one of my very favorite places in the world!

Lunch, dinner (dressy casual-dressy): Cafe L'Europe (South County Road)

"Hidden Treasures" Shopping .....

C. Orrico (South County Road): All things Lilly! Huge store with terrific sales and really friendly saleswomen.

The Classic Bookshop (next to Hamburger Heaven on South County Road)  Great local books!

Mildred Hoit : (Sunrise Avenue) Clothes, gifts, wonderful treasures!! Again, amazing saleswomen.  (MH is getting ready to change ownership, but is sure to stay a PB classic...)

Pioneer Linens (Clematis St., West Palm Beach)  This is a "Miss Betty favorite" (see earlier post)

The Elephant's Foot (South Dixie, West Palm Beach).  .....Another "Miss Betty favorite."    You can also find them in Highlands, NC in the summer.

I better quit writing now....I am getting awfully "homesick!"....Maybe if I put on my "Dorothy shoes" and click my heels three times??? 

We'll do a little more "Lilly" tomorrow...and then move on to "Classic Preppy Chic!"

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Growing Up "Lillified" With Miss Betty

I can't believe that there was a time in my life....even though I was just a child.....when these words passed my lips:

"Mother!  Can't you wear something else?  Lilly, Lilly, Lilly!  That's all you ever wear when you pick me up from school....Can't you buy something 'regular' to wear?"

What was I thinking?????  I guess I was going through a horrible rebellious phase...or was just being stupid.

My connection with (and love of) Lilly goes back a long way. We moved to Delray Beach, Florida in 1962, when I was three, and although our house was there, Palm Beach was just as much our home. Everything we did seemed to be based there.  Delray was a lovely little "village by the sea" (still is!), but it didn't have what Palm Beach had.  Our doctors were there (actually right across the waterway in West Palm), my mother's many Junior League activities were there, the places we shopped, you name it... I knew A1A (the beach road) like the back of my hand by the time I was six.

When I asked my mother that dreadful question all those years ago, she explained to me why she wore her "shifts." (You will hear a lot more about my mother in the weeks and months to come, for she was a very colorful woman, who was definitely a classic....a Southern grande dame.  She died in December 2008, but I still get calls from friends and family asking, "What would Betty do?  What would Betty say?"  Whether it was writing a simple thank you note or planning a wedding or a funeral, Betty was the ultimate word on doing things graciously and properly!)  Comfort was important to her, as was quality.  Also, Betty knew Lilly.  She didn't know her well at all...only met her a time or two I think, but she was buying Lilly shifts before Lilly was an established company/brand. She liked and respected her, and thought she had a brilliant thing going with these dresses. You see, back then, they were just that .... "shifts."  Cool cotton dresses that let the ever present South Florida heat circulate around the body. Colorful dresses that didn't show stains or wear and tear.   I don't remember any of my mother's friends referring to a shift as a "Lilly" until later, when the store was really established.  When Miss Betty and friends were first clients, I believe a Cuban lady was sewing for Lilly at the time, and then the production operation was moved to Key West and Lilly Pulitzer really took off! 

Iconic photo of Lilly from 
Notice the dome racks in the background!
My memories of Lilly Pulitzer were in her wonderful shop on the Via Mizner.  As a child I was fascinated by the rattan domes she had hanging from the ceiling, on which the shifts would hang.  If you visit the Lilly website to read the history of the company (and you should!!), you will see this picture, and you will know what I am talking about...Although I knew better even to think about trying this, I remember wondering what would happen if, like a child's swing, you would turn the rattan domes around and around....and then let them go.  The thought of the beautiful swirl of color as all the dresses lifted in the breeze was fascinating.  Listen, if you are a child, and you are sitting in a Lilly store for looooooong periods of time while your mother tries on shifts and talks to her friends, you have to find something to occupy your time.  But, I was Miss Betty's daughter, so bad behavior wasn't an option.  Also, I was always on my best behavior in Palm Beach, because it would mean a trip to FAO Schwarz and then lunch at Schrafft's (both at the Royal Poinciana Plaza) or Hamburger Heaven (on County Road...still there and still a favorite)!

I think the Palm Beach ladies loved the first shifts because of the air flow and cooling the dresses provided, being made of cotton.  There were a lot of places that were not air conditioned in the 1960's, so that helped.  Things changed a little bit in the 1970's and the store continued until the 1980's, when it closed.  I was an adult by then, living in Atlanta and working for Tiffany & Co. at the time.  I had gone home for a few days and when we were in Palm Beach, we walked past the empty store.  I remember how sad I felt, thinking it was the end of an era......  But, the brand was revived by wonderful people, the marketing got the word out...and now the whole world is Lillified!  Lilly Pulitzer was and is...and always will be.....a star! I treasure the older Lilly pieces that I have....and still chuckle at Miss Betty and her shifts. She said they were the most comfortable things to wear, and she wore them everywhere.  Visiting a friend's ranch in Colorado and having a cocktail after riding all day....everyone in their riding gear except Miss Betty.  Guess what she was wearing?  Yes....her shift.

A tiny post script.....  I am going to write more about old Palm Beach later, because there was nowhere more classically preppy....but if any of you reading this blog also grew up in or around Palm Beach in the 60's and 70's, you, too, will remember The Lullabye Shop and The Prep Shop.  These side by side stores were across Worth Avenue from Lilly Pulitzer's, and had the most wonderful children's clothes.  I think almost everything my brother and I wore came from those stores!  How sad I was to read of Mr. Newman's death last week.  The Shiny Sheet has done a wonderful write up about his life, and it's here:

Remembering "Mr. Palm Beach."

More soon.... but before I go, one last Lilly-ism.  Lilly Pulitzer, the company, and I have one more thing in common.  If you are familiar with the "Originals" line, you will see that is was "established 1959-ish".... I was, too!  I especially like the "ish" you a lot of flexibility in owning your age!

Have a sunny day!

PS.  A few days later, and I just found a great retrospective video from Lilly....Enjoy!

"Think Pink!" Tuesday

I think it will be fun to start our Tuesdays with something "pink."  This is one of my favorite videos....and although she isn't in this clip, any movie that has Audrey Hepburn as its star, is definite classic preppy chic. Think pink!!

Check back later this afternoon.....We'll be talking about Lilly Pulitzer, the vias of Worth Avenue, historic Palm Beach and more!

The Classic Preppy

Monday, March 29, 2010

Twitter Pictures ("TwitPics")

Just trying out Twitpics with a picture of my sitting room! on Twitpic

Sitting room desk on TwitpicI have followed people who tweet with photos, but have never done so myself.  Inspired by a tweet from Mireille Guiliano (French Women Don't Get Fat), I stepped out into the hall with my cell phone and took a picture of my sitting room.  This is the room where I entertain friends for tea, write my letters or have drinks/coffee after a dinner party.  I love this room, because it has so many things of my mother's...and the pictures weren't too bad.  Definitely have to do more of this!!

PS.  The dollhouse in the background belongs to my younger daughter.  It has just come back from being electrified, painted, papered, etc.  It is not a "play" house, but rather one to collect miniature furniture for. It's on its way to the playroom, but it's heavy.  Need to get dear husband and maybe another guy in on this. Since I am just now recovering from the expense of fitting out said house, dear daughter may be a grown woman before the furnishing of said house is complete... We are definitely on a budget for this project!!

Welcome To The Classic Preppy

Good morning!  Time to start blogging....and I think I will jump right in and see how it all goes.  It has been amazing to me to see all the blogs that are dedicated to the "preppy" lifestyle...and what great blogs they are!!

Since I am starting this blog in the spring and am anxiously awaiting summer, I think this blog definitely needs to have a pink and green theme, don't you?  I chose the pink turtle, because it has a very special meaning to me, which I will write more about in another post.  Also, it is very appropriate because I am most definitely a beach girl.  I lived the first two years of my life at the beach in Virginia, and then moved to and grew up in beautiful Delray Beach, Florida.  A Southern girl to my core, with family spread throughout the South, it was  great fun spending time in Georgia and the Carolinas through the years. My life as a Southerner has been a real circle....born in Virginia, growing up in Florida, college in Georgia, living (and meeting my husband) in North Carolina....and then, in 1994, a move back to Virginia....but "inland" this time! All of those places hold special places in my heart, and my life, most probably like yours, is filled with such precious memories.

In posts to come we will talk about etiquette, fashion, decorating, travel, and a whole lot more!  I am a real "classic" my life very much as my mother and her mother (and probably her mother) did.  I don't go out without wearing lipstick (even if it's just lipstick and a pair of sunglasses to hide the lack of make-up elsewhere!), I keep a beautiful handkerchief with me at all times, I still write letters on real stationery...and more.  I am a throwback to the Southern ladies of years past, I suppose, but finding joy in the simplest of things is such a pleasure.....and it is what gives one a life of ease and elegance.  It's making the most of what you have and really being grateful for it.  As the children's author, Tasha Tudor, would's "taking joy" where you find it.
So, for today....TAKE JOY!   Add a "classic preppy" touch to your life.....Wear your prettiest lipstick/lip gloss today.  Choose something in a beautiful spring shade.  Get out those pinks and corals...and if you don't have one, head to Sephora or Nordstrom's and find one!!!  Splash on a spring/summer scent, favorite is Lilly Pulitzer's "Wink."  (And be sure to check back tomorrow....We'll talk all about Lilly.  What a pleasure and privilege to have grown up with a mother who knew and was buying from Lilly since the beginning!!  How marvelous to now see the whole world be "Lilly-fied!")