Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Black Friday (& Cyber Monday) Haul

Kaixo everyone,

Once in every blue moon, I write here, and I write about fashion. And the best deals. Those two things were combined this weekend in the most absolutely wonderful melée. I spent Friday in Chicago, my favorite city, and went to a myriad of stores to get some before Christmas shopping. I usually buy stuff for my family on Black Friday, but this time, it was basically all about myself. Oops!

In my defense, though, a) I needed some retail therapy, b) some of the deals were too good to be true, c) I invested in basics/classics. What do I mean by basics? Anything that I wear on repeat, all day, everyday. What do I mean by classics? Well, not your grandmama's pearls, but almost.

1) Tory Burch Laila Driver Ballet Flat: I'm wearing these as I write to the void we speak. November means Tory Burch for me. Why? Because it's my birthday month. In your birthday month, Tory sends you a 50$ off 100$. Did you get that? 50 freaking dollars off 100 dollars. I started looking for possible presents for myself and I bound up finding these flats. Now question though, what in tarnation are driver ballet flats? And why would I need them, not having a car here in the US?

Well let me tell ya, they were discounted, the suede material is dreamy, and the sole is 10 times better than the Minnie sole. I love my Minnies, but I'm always scared the sole will rip in the middle any minute. Bonus, Tory Burch sent me a pink envelope (what is that?), that is, a 50$ gift card. I combined my birthday promotion and the gift card and I got these flats under 50$. Not even kidding.

Find them here
2) Lululemon Extra Mile Reflective Tights: My Lululemon Wonder Under tights were pretty old, and they kept falling down. I have recently started training for a half marathon, and the old ones didn't cut it. So I went into the Lululemon store, and saw they were having markdowns for Black Friday, and these tights were designed for running. Plus, they were 50$ off! They are not available in the US, but you can find similar ones here.

3) Jewelry: One of my good friends is getting married, and her engagement party is coming up! I already have the dress, but new jewelry was definitely needed. J. Crew had a 40% promotion (and this bracelet was on sale already), I had a 25$ off birthday discount at Madewell (so I didn't pay anything!), and half off at Kendra Scott, so I stocked up! Plus, Forever 21 had the cutest (and cheapest) rings ever!

J. Crew Bracelet (here), Madewell Earrings (here), Kendra Scott Necklace (here)
Forever 21 Rings, find them here and here

4) Anthropologie Velvet Clutch: Nothing about this clutch seems basic or classic, but a monogram is both. I peeked this beauty some weeks ago, so when I saw it at the store (at 30% off!), I went for it! Cannot wait to style it in dates (yeah, that ain't happening) nights out.

Find it here

5) GAP Turtleneck Sweater: Lately, I feel drawn to neutrals and dark colors (#fallwinter), so this light sweater, at half off, was perfection! Plus, the frills are adorable!

Find it here
6) American Eagle Outfitters Jeans: I went to Uniqlo to find jeans but honestly, the line was so long I was not about to have it. Thus, I trusted my dearest AEO jeans. Find them here.

7) Lilly Pulitzer Popover: This was probably my biggest splurge. I honestly did not need this. I don't even know how it will go with my outfits. But my sister had gotten me a gift that didn't fit well, I had a gift certificate and I saw it and fell in love. This particular print is part of the Prints With Purpose collection, and part of the proceeds will go towards the Jane Goodall Institute (hence the chimps!). There were Cyber Monday gifts going on, and I took advantage (BUT! I won't jinx it like last year and I'll try to avoid a similar situation to the #totegate)

Find it here (picture by @emilydelong)
This was basically my Black Friday and Cyber Monday haul! I don't think I'll be buying anything else anytime soon, but I am very happy I got all these beautiful pieces and did not go over my budget. How about you, what did you get this weekend?


Sunday, November 26, 2017

Luscious Hair with Maple Holistics

Kaixo everyone,

Let me start by saying that while fashion plays a central role in my life, beauty has always lagged behind. Whenever I'd buy a fashion magazine à la Teen Vogue, Cosmo, Glamour, etc., I would always go for the fashion pages and kind of forget about those on hair treatment, beauty regimes, skincare, etc.

You see, the company my dad works for manufactures shampoo, gels, moisturizer, etc., so whatever he would bring home is what we would use (and we still do!), especially shampoo. I started to branch out a little when I was a teen (basically because I smelled Head & Shoulders Lemon shampoo and I fell in love). Now that I don't have access to my dad's company's products in the US, I tend to rely on the typical drugstore brands like Garnier, L'Oréal, Head & Shoulders or Pantene for my hair. I'm so simple it hurts.

Enter Maple Holistics. Maple Holistics produces all-natural, cruelty-free self-care products ranging from hair care, bath and body products to food products. They graciously sent me the Tea Tree Oil Shampoo to try it, and I am honestly sold.

I just got back from a backpacking trip in Peru, and my hair routine was kind of all over the place there (and by all over the place, I mean my hair got gross just by looking at it. And also with dust, lots of it). I relied on hotel shampoo, samples, and everything I could find in old travel-sized shampoo bottles. Now that I'm back in the States, I have started using this shampoo, and I feel my hair to be two times softer, lighter and easier to style.

As I mentioned before, I started using Head & Shoulders Lemon shampoo just because I loved how it smelled. I am very picky with how the products I put on my hair/face/body smell, so whenever a shampoo does not smell amazing or does not stay, I tend not to buy it again. The scent of this shampoo is incredible, and I can smell it in my hair all day long! It contains tea tree oil (duh!), jojoba,  argan oil, lavender and rosemary. Now, I'm not biologist/perfumer/Jean Baptiste Grenouille and I have no idea how this mix works, but I just know it does.

Apart from the awesome scent and softness, Maple Holistics does not break the bank! This shampoo usually costs 25$, but it is now available at 8.95$. Moreover, they offer free samples! If you trust my opinion (which, let's be honest, you should), don't walk, RUN!


This post is sponsored. All opinions on the products are honest and my own. The product described was provided to me by Maple Holistics. Thank you for supporting Maple Holistics and the brands that support Basque Prep!

Saturday, October 28, 2017


Two-tone Slingback Heels from French Sole, 195$
... and thank you. See, I am aware that these resemble the kind of shoes my and every neighbor's grandma wears. They also evoke the heart and soul of this brand, you know, this very iconic brand, erm... CHANEL!?!? Now if you want to go for the real deal and pay 800$, you go ahead champion, do you! Meanwhile I'll think of better options like these beauties, and even keep looking for more affordable ones!

- Ane

Friday, July 21, 2017


Minnie Travel Ballet Flats in Gabriella Floral from Tory Burch (225$)
... and thank you. I mean, florals + ballet flats + Tory Burch. Did I die and wind up in Heaven? Lmk thx.

- Ane

Monday, June 19, 2017

Another Year, Another Lilly Agenda

Kaixo everyone,

Y'all, it's that time of the year again. It's time to choose my agenda for next year, and lo and behold, I cannot choose which to buy. No news. I have had a Lilly Pulitzer agenda since 2014. My first Lilly agenda was probably my favorite grad school purchase. Grad school can be gloomy with all the challenges, work and long hours, and having a splash of color in your backpack is definitely a little lifeline. In fact, whenever I was bored in class (oops!), I used to organize my planner (guilty as charged). I crowded it with stickers mainly, lol.

My agenda is definitely an important part of grad school, and choosing which one to use for the entire school year is essential. While I think Kate Spade agendas are really professional and have beautiful covers, they are a little gloomy for me. Maybe it's a sign I'm not ready to grow up yet? Possibly.

In spite of my current relationship with Lilly Pulitzer, I still consider myself loyal to Lilly planners. I've had the Peelin' Out for 2014-2015, Wild Confetti for 2015-2016 and Southern Charm for 2016-2017, and I've loved these planners with all my heart.

As you can see, they are all quite different, but they have some things in common: All three have busy prints, flowers (and they are not Tusk in the Sun because for heaven's sake Lilly, not everyone likes that print!). They are all large agendas, and I feel this size is the most practical for me. It fits my backpack nicely and gives me enough space for everything I write in it, which is quite a handful.

For this year's prints, I loved the Beach and Bae print. It has sailboats and it reminds me of my Ali dress in Out to Sea. Unfortunately, this print is only found in the Jumbo version, and it's too much for me, considering that aside from French and Catalan, I'm not taking classes this year. Thus, my favorite options are the following:

Gypsea, 30$
Sparkling Sands, 30$
They are both busy prints, no elephants, but only Gypsea has flowers. However, Sparkling Sands has more colors. I am SO TORN. I found Kate's review of the large agendas at Lonestar Southern really funny and helpful, but I felt I could relate to almost all the aspects she outlined for each agenda! I am definitely going to need to see some IRL pictures of these two to make my final decision. Your help is also appreciated! Which one do you like best? If you have chosen one, which did you choose?


- Ane

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Like it, like it, love it, love it, PHI MU till I die!

Kaixo everyone,

Today's post is something I have been wanting to write about for a long time, and I am so excited to share it with you now! A little bit of background on myself. I went to college at the University of the Basque Country in Vitoria, Spain, where I majored in English Philology. I also did my junior year abroad in Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. For grad school, I moved to Illinois, and I've been at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for four years now.

My experience in Vitoria was alright, I made great friends and really liked my program, but I did not enjoy the city and went back home every weekend. Colorado was absolutely amazing. I enjoyed the place, the school, and the whole "American college" atmosphere. When I moved to Illinois, I expected something similar. Going to a Big 10 school is the "American college" idea on steroids. However, it is not the same to go to an American college to study abroad as going for grad school. As an international exchange student, you are the focus, professors consider your differences and you are traveling and enjoying life. As a grad student, you are no different than others, you need to work, and work HARD.

Both in Vitoria and Colorado, my social life was booming. I don't just mean I went to the bars constantly. I knew multiple people from different backgrounds and I got to hang out with different people all the time. Being in such a small graduate program in Illinois, my social circle is very reduced, and I am always with the same people. I have made lifelong friends here, but I often long for hanging out with different people and having friends outside of school.

So... I joined Phi Mu.

Wait... what? At 25? 3 years after graduating? How? Why? Let's start with Phi Mu itself. Phi Mu Fraternity (the full real name) was founded on March 4th, 1852 at Wesleyan College in Macon, GA, by the badass trio: Mary, Mary and Martha. It is the second oldest fraternal organization for women after ADPi, which was founded at Wesleyan just a few months before Phi Mu.

Now for how it happened. If you do not know, the University of Illinois, with 91 fraternities and sororities, has one of the largest greek schools in the nation. The demand is very high, and after leaving campus on 2011, Phi Mu was back in Fall 2016 to U of I. As per usual, the fraternities and sororities colonizing have a tent where they hand out fliers, goodies, and most importantly, inform potential new members about joining the organization. When I saw the bright pink tent of Phi Mu, I was like... what in tarnation? As a curious yet incredibly awkward girl that I am, I walked past many times and didn't stop to say hi. I know, I'm SUPER AWK. However, one day I saw they had donuts, and on my way back from Starbucks to my office, I asked what it was about.

The ladies that were by the tent, Keke and Alex, were super nice and helpful. They explained the process, how they were looking for a strong new member class to re-establish the chapter, etc. I let them know that I was a graduate student, yet they still invited me to get the goodies they were gonna have in the following days, and gave me information, including the e-mail of the Director of Extension.

So when I got back to my office, I thought about it, and I e-mailed her. I was aware that some sororities carry out the Alumnae Initiation process, whereby women that are not in college become alumnae sisters of the sorority, and I asked her about it. She put me in contact with Coley, who was in charge of extension on campus, and after meeting with her and discussing how it would work, the process started. After getting a recommendation and an invitation for membership, I was initiated November 12th, 2017, two days after my birthday. And let me tell you, it was the best birthday gift of all. You can see from the pics below that I was happy as a clam (dress from Rent The Runway)!

Dress from Lilly Pulitzer (old)
With Phi Mu, I've gotten to meet incredible women. It seems like such a cliché to say it, but it really is true. As an alumna, I do not get to hang out with sisters as much as collegiate members, but whenever the Chapter Consultants have invited me to chapter, or I have gone to philanthropic events or initiation, I have left with a sense of pride, determination and happiness.

As the Delta Beta chapter (the UIUC chapter) has just been re-established, there is a lot of work to do. Each chapter has a chapter adviser, but this one, apart from her, has different advisers for different areas. I am currently the Academic Excellence Adviser, and I work with the Academic Excellence Chair (shout out to Katie!) to help members reach their goals academically and professionally. Headquarters also placed two different chapter consultants for the fall and spring semesters. I started as an adviser in the spring semester, so I got to know the spring semester CCs, Maura and Allie, better.
With Katie (Dress: Lilly Pulitzer (old) // Earrings: Kendra Scott // Wedges: Steve Madden
With Maura and Allie

Working with the three of them, and the rest of advisers and chapter members has absolutely rocked my world. People still ask me if I'm in a sorority doing all the partying and all that. While sororities do have that social aspect, I do not do that. I probably would have if there were sororities at home or in Colorado, but joining as an alumna has been one of the greatest decisions. Some people think alumnae initiation is rare and sometimes they confuse it with collegiate membership. It is rare, but it is different, and it definitely does happen!

Some people have also asked me if I party with the girls (who are some years younger than me), or if I will live at the house. The answer is no. I provide guidance, help, or anything they may need that they think I can help with. I have gotten to know individuals and all their potential, and I have been able to see them succeed academically, professionally and as a chapter altogether. In exchange, I get a sisterhood of over 185,000 sisters in the US and beyond. Living by the same values and the same creed really do create this unexplainable bond, and I sure as hell will smile at anyone wearing my letters, strike a conversation with them or give them a hug. With so many women and so many differences, it is still amazing that Phi Mu bonds us.

If you are a college-aged girl or a grad student, I really, really encourage you to find your niche. Be it a sorority, club or volunteering organization, find a group of people who will empower you, help you thrive, lead you to find your passions, and also important, who will help you unwind and create new relationships with people. Phi Mu has helped me with all this, and I cannot wait to see how the following years will go.

- Ane

Sunday, June 4, 2017

All About Gingham

Kaixo everyone,

I don't know if it's me, that I have way too much free time now, that I browse online stores constantly,  or that my eyesight is just going squary, but I see gingham EVERYWHERE. I've always loved gingham. It's a really easy pattern to wear, reminds me of my childhood, and it's just downright adorable and preppy. I love that it's back because you can have both classic and more contemporary pieces. I have seen it on new cuts, accessories I would never think of, and everywhere in Zara (and if it's in Zara, it's a done deal). I rounded up the following gingham lovelies for your (and my) consumption, including a couple of pieces that I own:

Clockwise from top left:
Zara Top with Contrasted Embroidery: I bought this top right after I got home, and even though I thought it would be ill-fitting, it has become one of my favorite tops. The embroidery is gorgeous, and it can be perfect with a bright colored cardigan for summer or a navy cardigan for the office.
ASOS Midi Skirt with Tied Waist: I have a secret to confess *cue dramatic music*. I do not wear anything yellow, ever. I've always associated that color with bananas, and I do not think wearing the same color as a banana looks good on me, at all. People with darker skin usually look amazing in yellow, but not me. However, the yellow in gingham is usually softer, easier on my nuclear white pale skin. Also, not showing my butt when I sit while wearing a skirt #tallpeopleprobs is a huge bonus.
Draper James Cotton Sundress: This dress is the kind of dress you look at with longing when you see it at the storefront while your mom takes you to a cheaper store (and moms are always right, do go to the cheaper store). However, if dreaming is allowed, this is what I'd wear while doing Alice in Wonderland shenanigans. Also, Carly from The College Prepster is #goals with it.

Boohoo Cold Shoulder Bow Top: Okay everyone, have a look at the description of this top. Cold Shoulder. Bow. The people at Boohoo are incredibly smart. They have combined two of the most prominent trends, the cold shoulder trend and the one at hand in this post, and my weakness in all garments: Bows. Payday where you at?
ASOS Smock Dress: Another confession *cue super dramatic music*: I do not wear red either (except for one occasion a year, I may blog about it when it comes up). It is a very bold color for me. I do believe it looks good, but not as good as blue, pink or green. In any case, should I choose to wear red with gingham, this fun dress would be my top 1 pick.
J. Crew Bow Hair Tie: Pardon my French, but hair ties are the absolute s**t, especially if they are cute like this one. They can double as both a hair tie or a bracelet, they are comfortable, easy to put on and remove, and if you have long hair, a must-have all day, everyday.
Superga 2750 Calico Sneaker: Introducing: the Italian darling sneaker Superga gets a gingham makeover. I have still not bit the bullet with these shoes due to my everlasting loyalty to my white Chucks, but if I were to, these would be great to start with.
J. Crew Shirt: I have this shirt, and let me tell you, it's amazing! Lightweight, casual and put-together at the same time (you thought that was not possible, right? Well ha! J. Crew does it again!), this shirt combines my love for pink, gingham, casual, and preppy into one perfect cottony bundle.
GaiaTM for J. Crew Pom Pom Bag: This is the most fun piece of this roundup, hands down! Pom poms, whether you like it or not, are very in style. You'd have to live under a rock not to know this. I've mentioned this before, but poking and crushing pom poms in your hand is the greatest stress relief. Give it a gingham touch and boom! Love at first sight.
River Island Cross Body Bag: If I had to make a list of in what order I'd buy the pieces of this round-up (and without considering the shirts that I already own), this would be my number one pick. My favorite gingham combos are white and blue and white and pink. I can imagine dressing my future babies in them. This bag color blocks both of them, and the effect is sleek and elegant like a young London aristocrat wreaking havoc in Chelsea, yet charming and traditional like the gingham of your childhood. River Island for the win.

This round-up is probably the one I've done on the blog that I like most, but I swear to God I could've kept adding and adding dresses, shirts, and swimwear to this list. That is why I hope you give me more gingham recommendations. Sound off below!


- Ane

Tuesday, May 30, 2017


MASTERS LV X KOONS Neverfull MM Bag from Louis Vuitton (3,200$)
...and thank you. Y'all. My history of art loving self can't deal with this collection. Jeff Koons has partnered with Louis Vuitton for a special collection where the historically greatest names of art are reproduced in the most iconic Louis Vuitton products, like the Neverfull and the Speedy. The collection reproduces the Mona Lisa by Da Vinci, and the work of Tiziano, Rubens, Fragonard, and my personal favorite of them all, Van Gogh. Impressionism is probably my favorite painting style (Monet FTW!), and although Van Gogh did mostly post-impressionist work, he has a very unique style that both reminds me of the impressionist masters and evokes a completely different response at the same time. The price tag is like... LOL. But if you can afford it, stop waiting and get it. The inside of the bag has information about Van Gogh and the collab itself, apart from the usual pochette and gold plated details. Seriously, IN LOVE!

- Ane

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Nordstrom's Half Yearly Sale Picks

Kaixo everyone!

If I had to choose my favorite retail store that sells multiple brands, I'd say Nordstrom faster than a suburban mom saying "well, my Jenna got accepted to Princeton AND Yale" when her frenemy starts talking about Jeremy getting 5 acceptance letters (all to Ivies).

Apart from the awesome physical locations (shout out to you, Michigan Avenue), wonderful sales assistants, a customer service that I legit rave about for free and being the mother of my beloved Nordstrom Rack and its discounted Tory Burch, it is a shop that makes me dream about my future as a career girl, my love of fashion since I can remember, and being able to find that one piece (or pieces, the possibilities are endless) that makes me feel like my most confident self.

I am currently not in the US to shop this sale (Tear emoji, or a river one because this is TRAGIC), but that does not mean I did not browse (OCEAN EMOJI, I SHOULD HAVE NOT). I was swooning over these pieces:

Clockwise from left:
Athena Alexander Ballet Flats: This screams CAREER GIRL. When your own version of hellish Miranda Priestley boss asks you to go for a "Venti Caramel Latte with soy milk and with two shots of expresso with sugar free caramel and three Splendas" run, these shoes can make it happen before she fires you for not being back in 5 minutes. Comes in three different colors too!
- Cluse Watch: I have been eyeing Cluse watches for a while now, and I am delighted to see that Nordstrom is selling them. This combination of camel brown and rose gold is simple, yet put-together. Plus, idk about you, but I feel naked without my watch, and my Fossil watch is like 6-years-old (holy mother of God, I didn't even think about that).
Soprano Ruffled Blouse: Ruffles are super in-season, whether you like it or not. In my case, I really do! I used to have this ruffled pink tee from Zara that I donated (goddamnit), and this blouse seems like its grown up version. The sleek fabric and color are easy to wear both for work and out.
Kate Spade New York Market Bag: I will honestly say I struggle to incorporate straw bags into my outfits. I come from a pretty rainy place, and I fear that the sudden thunderstorm can destroy them. However, I cannot get over these pom poms. They are hilarious and they are probably great to poke when stressed.
Kate Spade New York iPhone 7 Case: Another thing that I don't usually buy are bulky phone cases. I'd rather they have a pretty drawing rather than taking all the space in my handbag. But I can't get over this phone case. I think it's really creative, cute, and would definitely spark some conversation. "OMG, love your case, where did you get that?" "A circus." No ragrets.
7 For All Mankind Skinny Jeans: Seven jeans are the kind of jeans I heard about in songs and would  read about in the Gossip Girl series (hell yeah, I read the books even before the show started), and this particular pair would probably make me look like Beyoncé. Or two stuffed sausages, but let's hope for the best.
Dior Sunglasses: *SWOON* They are definitely out of my budget (regardless of the sale), but I'd love to have these shades.

What are your picks for the sale? Do you usually stock up in a particular item? Sound off!

- Ane

Thursday, May 25, 2017

White Roundup for Memorial Day

Kaixo kaixo everybody!

Memorial Day is soon coming up! And that means, for those of you protocol following ladies, your chance of wearing white is nearing! Although I like wearing white tees all day everyday (wearing one as I write, so case in point), aside from that closet staple, I have always feared wearing white or even off-white dresses, shoes and accessories. I usually find it very difficult to wear and to combine.

However, two months ago, I decided to buy a white dress for the rituals of my sorority (a post on that coming up soon!), and I ended up buying the loveliest dress! It makes me want to wear it all the time, not just initiation! It's a Lilly Pulitzer dress from a past season (considering my previous post, there is still hope!), the Quinn halter swing dress:

Definitely not me, I'm prettier
So I would like to start incorporating more than white tees into my closet. If you are considering doing the same thing or are just plain excited to do some Memorial Day shopping, let me help you out! My mom asks me for fashion advice all the time, so you are definitely in good hands.

From left to right, clockwise: Madewell // Tory Burch // Socialite // Max Mara // LNA // Alice + Olivia

From left to right: Missguided // Chelsea28 // Boohoo // A.P.C.

From left to right, clockwise: Sneakers: Adidas // Bow Espadrilles: FENTY PUMA by Rihanna // Pumps: Sam Edelman // Sandal Espadrilles: Anthropologie //  Sandals: Tory Burch // Sandals: Zara

From left to right, clockwise: Crossbody bag: Chelsea28 // Scarf: J. Crew // Tote: Tory Burch // Belt: Talbots // Phone Case: Stella McCartney // Earrings: BaubleBar

I almost always state my need for a bank account with an endless supply of ca$h dollar$, and this will be no different! I seriously wish I could afford this all! But for now, to the wishlist they go! Any other suggestions to rock white after Memorial Day (or right now, because life is too short not to wear white whenever!)?


- Ane

Monday, May 22, 2017

On Basque Prep's Mind: Is Lilly Pulitzer even Lilly Pulitzer anymore?

Kaixo everyone,

Disclaimer: I am no journalist. I mean, many act like it, but like any other job, it is hard (sorry peeps, The Odyssey only does not count. But it is a great start!). Whenever my best friend (who actually is a journalist) talks about the ups and downs and details and formatting and word choice and all the shebang, I start to hyperventilate and go back to my safe haven of sounds, languages and L2 acquisition. However, I have always had a knack for writing. Before this blog, I had two, and one of them was pretty successful (my mom was NOT the only reader). Even some actual journalist friends said I had a good style of writing (YAY!). So please, I would like to introduce a new series called On Basque Prep's Mind. This could be a bust, but I also feel like it could be fun to share my thoughts here, no matter how silly the topic may be. After all, it's my little corner of the internet.

So with that being said, let's talk business. Let's talk about the pink and green elephant in the room. Lilly Pulitzer. The epitome of Southern belles, sorority girls, Northeastern preps, some West Coast outliers and yours truly. Bright colors, fun styles, and cheeky print names. For me, it means TONS of saving up and eagerly waiting for those cherished store visits that usually happen once or twice a year.

I started to fall in love with the brand right before moving to the USA. My senior year of college, I had just moved back from my study abroad year in Colorado, and I was having major star and stripes FOMO. I missed my friends, the whole American college experience, real deal BBQ sauce and even my language skills (gentle reminder that I'm a linguist. I panic at losing my English the minute I set foot in Spain). So I started reading blogs. Tons and tons and tons of blogs. I literally looked up "fashion blogs" on Google (#amateurhour, I know). And that's when I started seeing Lilly. At first, they looked like a unicorn had puked on someone's shorts. But then, they started to evoke dreamy East Coast beaches, poplars and summer nights. It represented a dream life (or at least a two-week vacation) and I was sold.

However, what once made me feel happy and excited, is now a series of sad disappointments. At first, I thought my style was evolving back into simpler, cleaner cuts and less busy colors, but there are definitely more reasons involved. Without going into more details concerning the decline in quality, these are the main changes I have noticed:

Let's take a trip back to memory lane, and see some prints of 2012-2013, back when I was finishing college:

I could see myself wearing any of these prints. Look at them. They are varied in colors, patterns, and themes. You have animals, sea life, plants, artsy forms and real-life products, but they all evoke a different setting, feeling and response to them. They are visually pleasing, not busy, and in my opinion, artistically well-crafted. I particularly like that they stick to a limited number of colors for each, and each part of the print is well-defined and differentiated from the others. Look at the print on the lower right corner: You have stripes and superposed flowers with the same color scheme. These were original prints, the objects represented are easy to discern and they are definitely different from each other.

However, look at the prints now: 

These are some of the current prints you can purchase from Lilly. If we compare them to the previous prints, we see the following: The colors are very, very similar to each other. Apparently, originality is no longer part of the dictionary at Lilly. Apart from Ceviche, the rightmost print in the second row, the rest of the prints are barely lined, the limit between the objects can be barely traced. The prints are also overwhelmingly busy. Like, beware for color-induced epileptic episodes, y'all. There are also no contrasts between lighter and darker colors. As a paler person, darker colors usually look better on me, and pastels and light colors make my nuclear-white skin tone even whiter and/or pastier. There really is no need.

In general, although somewhat aesthetically pleasing, the newer prints are not inspiring, and it does not make me want to wear any of them. The only one I could consider would be the Ceviche print. How could the prints of my beloved brand go from everything I wanted to a hard pass? *Cries*

When she started the brand, Lilly Pulitzer used colorful fabrics to hide juice stains and chose the fabrics that could hide the wearers' gin bellies. My kind of gal! (although I'm more of a vodka person myself). So back when I discovered the brand, Lilly still offered beautiful shifts true to the brand's roots, season-appropriate garments and sturdy, good-quality materials.

Now, it's all about #Resort365, itty-bitty lengths and styles, Forever21 trends at triple the price and silk that breaks just by looking at it. #Resort365 refers to the idea that Southern Florida weather is a year-long affair. Thus, pineapple prints, monkeys and the 25 millionth rendition of seaweed and algae are the prints to be worn in let's say, November. It is definitely acceptable to wear that in November. If you feel like it, you absolutely should. No one should tell you what or how to dress like. However, I do miss darker colors and more season appropriate prints. If you want to keep selling pineapple prints, by all means do it, but please do not forget that most of us do not live in Florida. I am the kind of person who does not care about what others think about my outfit, but it is impossible not to feel self-conscious wearing seaweed in the cold Midwestern winter.

Other aspects of Lilly Pulitzer that make me want to buy the brand less and less are the new, more trendier styles like crop-sets, super-short dresses, off the shoulder styles and tassels. They are darling, but they really do not go well with my body. I am a size 8 and I range from size S to M in Lilly, which is not bad at all, but whenever I try any of the new styles, I feel it's too revealing, too short and too flimsy. Anytime I read the reviews of new dresses, everyone says "too short." At 5'8, I do not want to risk it. Moreover, all stores from AEO, to Loft, to ASOS sell off the shoulder styles and tassels. Unlike previous timeless Lilly styles, these seem to be trends that come and go. At the Lilly price-point, I would much rather buy them at any of these way cheaper stores. Basically, Lilly, You! Are! Not! Forever! 21! 

Anyone remember that time when during Cyber Monday, Lilly offered the Palm Beach Tote in Gimme Some Leg? I was supposed to get that according to my receipt (read more about it here), but I got some earrings (EL-OH-EL!). It was definitely a free gift, and it is better than nothing, but my receipt showed an image of the bag. I called Customer Service a couple of times, and the first representative was, pardon my French, a Class A B*tch. She sounded exasperated from the very beginning. I do understand that it can happen after a long day of work, but I called at 10 a.m., and as someone who has worked in retail, I know that you will encounter unhappy customers, and you should learn to deal with it without treating them as if they were dumb. The second representative was way nicer, and should probably teach lessons to the first one.

Last Sunday, I had the chance to have one of my cherished Lilly store visits that occur once in a blue moon to return a dress that was too big on me. I wanted to exchange it for something new, but unfortunately, I left the store completely empty-handed. It was sad, and it made me think of everything I've written above.

All in all, Lilly needs a revamp, pronto. It needs to go back to its roots and consider its more traditional clientele. I do not mean that the younger, trendier clientele should be shunned, but they should not be the one and only focus. EVERYONE should be considered. So basically:

- Make better, more distinguishable, less busy prints.
- Bring more traditional styles back. Leave off the shoulder and tassels to tween mall favorites, and bring back those gin-belly hiding materials!
- Consider all seasons, not everyone lives in Florida or has the money to vacation there constantly (lol, if only!).
- Quality control. Like, right now. Also, tell your customer service peeps to be less rude. Getting hung up is SO not okay.

What do y'all think? Do you like this shift from traditional to trendy? How do you feel about Lilly Pulitzer? Let me know!

- Ane

Friday, May 19, 2017


Suede Sandals from Max Mara (currently on sale, 444$)
... and thank you.I saw these beauties in Michigan Avenue on Monday and it made me wish I had a post-graduation job.

- Ane

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Tory Burch Spring Sale - SHOES Edition

Kaixo everyone,

Accessory-wise, I'm the most disappointing shopaholic in the planet. I own 5 handbags. I always wear the same pearls everyday, except when I'm feeling daring and I wear my Kendra Scott Danielle earrings. I've been wearing the same watch for five years, and my bracelets range from my Phi Mu Alex & Ani bracelet, Tory Burch double strap bracelet and a J Crew bracelet for when I'm feeling fancy. I watch other bloggers' earring/bracelet/handbag collections and I break out in hives just thinking if there is enough of a lifetime to wear all of those at least once.

However, #shoegamestrong. I am a sucker for ballet flats, sandals, sneakers, chunky heels and wedges. When I go shopping, my purchase always includes a white T-shirt (cue my mom: "You have too many!") and a pair of shoes. When I dream about my future home, I always think of Mariah Carey's shoe room. 

Or Imelda Marcos (link up because #culture), the 10th first lady of the Philippines, who is known for having over a 1,000 pairs of shoes, and fishy off-shore accounts. Fair for her husband's constituents? No. Good example to follow? Probably not. Did she have too many shoes? The limit does not exist.

So going with Friday's post, I also wanted to round up some shoes I'd loooove to wear. Now again, these are not shoes I would consider investing in (Millers anyone? They are the best), but a girl can dream, am I right?

So clockwise from left to right:
Maritime Ankle Strap Ballet Flats: It's like actual BALLET flats in navy! I love navy, and ballet flats, and I used to do ballet (chubbiest kid in 4th grade hollah), so these would be absolutely perfect for me.
Sinclair Embellished Sandals: I am going to be honest, the squarish sole is not my favorite. But the bright orange color and the gilded accents really are awesome!
Maritime Pump: Maritime, the name says it all. I could imagine myself walking with these close to the marina in St Tropez before Valentino forbids my boarding onto his yatch for not being the perfect shade of Cheeto-Orange tan. Too bad.
-Shaw Espadrille Flats: These are probably my favorite. I am quite against buying expensive espadrilles because let's face it, it rains and they're done with. However, I would gladly accept them as a present (shout out to my teeny-tiny readership, maybe one of you can be my mecenas!).
Blossom Flip Flops: The color-block effect is super cool, and they might be the cheapest of all of these shoes so win-win.
Patos Ankle Strap Sandals: These are probably the most wearable of the list. The ankle strap ensures that they will not dance in your feet, which is a must for me.

Now what do y'all think? Which would be your pick?


- Ane