Life in Lilly Pulitzer
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10 Ways Lilly Pulitzer Changed My Closet And My Life

I worked at a Lilly Pulitzer store for less than a year and now, 3 years later, it is the only clothing I wear.

10 Ways Lilly Pulitzer Changed My Closet And My Life

Lilly Pulitzer once said, "Style isn't just about what you wear, it's about how you live." Ever since I can remember, my favorite color combination has been pink and lime green. It was a bright, zesty, and energetic pairing unafraid to be bold and happy. It seems bizarre to have such strong feelings about a color combination, but it spoke volumes to everything a shy, insecure little girl wanted to be.

When I went to college in a small town with not a lot of great stores in an ancient mall, I began shopping in consignment stores. I found my first Lilly Pulitzer piece and it jumped out to me because it was a pink and lime green skirt. I wore it so proudly but didn't think much about the brand until I applied on a whim to work in a Lilly Pulitzer store 5 years later. I took away more from this part-time retail job than any other job I've ever had. Lilly's dress prints were inspired by spilled juice stains and you could say this magical, bright juice has spilled on my life in the ways below.

1. It's okay to stand out.


I had been shy with low self-esteem my entire life prior to wearing Lilly Pulitzer. Something about the loud colors and bold prints rubbed off on me. I felt just as bold and I began to welcome stares and even enjoy standing out. I wouldn't wear Lilly to a funeral, but I mostly enjoy wearing it to unconventional places. I was super happy about standing out in all my Paris photos.

2. Nothing is unattainable if you work for it or search for it.


I may not have always been super familiar with Lilly Pulitzer clothing, but that's because it seemed so far out of my reach. Although Lilly isn't a high fashion, luxury brand it isn't cheap either. I never thought I'd be able to afford it, so I kept my distance. The only clothing I wear now is Lilly Pulitzer, meaning I've collected a boatload and I'm certainly not wealthy. I bought a ton when I worked there and had a great discount, but there are so many other ways to get it for cheaper. I've had success on clothing resale sites (poshmark, ebay) and a local consignment store that only sells Lilly. I'm fortunate to have a consignment store like that in my area because there's never even a question of if I'll find a Lilly piece. Thank you, Gatorlilly's in Orlando for being such an affordable, convenient, and friendly place to find Lilly.

3. You can't please everyone, so make yourself happy.


I've learned that no matter your fashion style, no matter your interests, there is always going to be someone who judges you for it. I think some people are afraid to wear something as bold as Lilly Pulitzer because it draws too much attention and people shy away from bright colors. On my worst days, seeing my bright closet brings a smile to my face, so that's all I care about. If someone said I dressed too loudly, I'd shrug and then drink a mimosa cheers-ing to a colorful life.

4. Clothes impact your mood and I want to choose joy.


It's no surprise to me that clothes change our mood and how we see ourselves. We all have that one outfit or dress that makes us feel sexy or most comfortable with who we are. I'm fortunate that I've found an entire line of clothing that makes me be my most authentically, happy self.

5. The history of my clothes make me feel like I'm living a culture that I always wanted to be a part of.


Each fashion brand perpetuates its own vibe or lifestyle. I think we all remember our high school days of shopping at Hollister, pretending we were on Laguna Beach or shopping at Hot Topic, thinking we were misunderstood, emotional human beings. Lilly Pulitzer's culture is so unique in its carefree, resort wear, Palm Beach lifestyle. Lilly herself was known for throwing parties and walking barefoot through the street with a monkey on her shoulder. The entire brand is about an affluent, carefree beach party, which is absolutely where I'd love to be. There are books about Lilly Pulitzer that I have read to better understand the brand culture and I'm in love with it all.

6. It's more than okay to see your money hanging in your closet.


My closet is essentially a brightly colored museum of patterns and uniquely scribbled artwork on dresses and shirts. I like to just stare at it sometimes. What's in my closet has spilled over into my room decor and has given me the happiest space. My bedding is Lilly and I've also created a Lilly inspired gallery wall. When I tell you a clothing brand changed my life, I mean ALL the way.

7. Quality over quantity.


In college, I went into debt buying new, shiny clothes weekly from Forever 21. I don't think a single one of those items made it past one season. I certainly can't remember any clothing items I spent all that large sum of money on. I buy Lilly Pulitzer regularly, but not in large quantities. That being said, I have pieces that are over 5 years old now and still look wonderful. It's created in a way to be timeless and classic as well, so I'll never feel out of style wearing Lilly. Not every hot trend that ends up at Forever 21 looks so good a few years later.

8. What you wear becomes your identity.


To the outside world who doesn't know you, people make judgments on who you are based on how you look and what you wear. Some people probably do see me from a block down the street and ask themselves why that girl looks like a tacky highlighter. As I said, you can't please everyone and people are going to interpret things differently. There are certain undeniable facts that come from wearing Lilly, including loving bright, cheerful colors and being unafraid to stand out. That's the bold, carefree identity I've always longed to have.

9. I started out collecting clothes and collected friends along the way.


Lilly Pulitzer is such a niche brand that it truly does feel like a sisterhood. I've met Lilly loving girls in my area in one of the many Lilly Pulitzer fan facebook pages or on Instagram. I've even had strangers walk past me and say "I love your Lilly!" It's like the equivalent of the Jeep wave, but for clothing. I love that we all have something so simple in common that I've been able to build friendships off of.

10. My reputation precedes me because of what I wear and that's okay.


Just like in high school when everyone lumped kids into groups, word gets out about who I am before people meet me based off of what I wear. People in my office who had never officially met me know I wear bright colors every single day. My followers on Instagram who don't necessarily even like Lilly DM me Lilly related things because it reminds them of me. My hairstylist is never shocked if I ask for pink hair because she knows it's to match the majority of my clothes. I don't mind being associated with a bright, carefree lifestyle.

I never thought I would commit to wearing only one clothing brand because it sounds like a tight-laced challenge. I do own a couple of pairs of jeans and a couple of Disney graphic t-shirts, but otherwise, I'm all Lilly all the time. I thought being so loyal to one brand would get boring over time, but it actually has made my life tremendously easy. I know how all clothing from Lilly fits me so I don't stress about sizes and I don't wander aimlessly around the mall. When I began working at Lilly, I never realized just how much it would improve my self-confidence and brighten more than my closet. I hope you find something that makes your life shine brighter too.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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