For Red, White & Blue, Look No Further Than MuMu

For Red, White & Blue, look no further than MUMU.  I built a list of 67 items that I would love to wear – every last one of them passes the “SMIJ-3-second-test” (Scroll all the way down to see all 67).  I plan to spend the weekend at the beach and these MUMU pieces go very nicely in that environment.  From the coffee shop in the morning, to the beach all day to walking up to get ice cream each evening – and especially to see fireworks.  I know which one I’m wearing for the fireworks already!  Click on any of the pictures to shop each piece.  Have fun and get your RED, WHITE and BLUE on!  U.S.A.!


Heavenly Dress

One last post before the holiday weekend because I just have to share this heavenly dress with you all.  First of all, I’ll be over-wearing this all summer long.  It’s super lightweight, blue and white striped (which works so well for summer), flows in the breeze and is just perfection from head to toe.  I dressed it up with some fun sparklies and wedges for Graduation Parties and dressed it down with red sandals and silver necklace, earrings and ring (Lagos is my go-to set for these days…) for last day of school parties and girls’ weekday lunch.  My point?  This dress works for summer!

Run your cute little booty over to Lou & Grey and grab one for the holiday weekend.  It would even work as a cover-up!  Love, Love, Love!

{I’ve also linked below to many great Lou & Grey dresses.  I have several of their tee and racerback dresses that are so fun for summer, travel and everyday fun.}



50 Elements of SMIJ Style • #23 • Flamingos Go with Summer

My favorite form of pink in the summer is… FLAMINGO!  I love this little crossbody flamingo bag from Francesca’s. It came in other fun summer things like anchors and watermelon slices, too.  We even have a SMIJ by Jill Flamingo Cover-Up.  I love it over a black bathing suit on a hot July day at the beach. Flamingos and summer just go together and they are a SMIJ style must for every summer.  I pulled a list of lots of fun flamingo options below.  Click away!

SMIJ by Jill flamingos



Zoo ATLANTA flamingos


Eric Carle flamingos

Island Hopping • Georgia Version

Armed with a 3-day weekend and Hilton points, we looked at our list of places we wanted to visit and decided on the Golden Isles of Georgia focusing on Jekyll Island and, particularly, Driftwood Beach.  Why is it always a beach?  I’m just drawn… And, thankfully, so is my family.  I’ll cover more detail on Driftwood Beach this week.  Today, just wanted to give an overview of our trip.  Growing up in Florida, you never aim for a Georgia beach – just too many great choices around you or in the Caribbean.  Just never considered Georgia.  My bad!  I got a very quick overview of Jekyll and had a meal on Saint Simon’s Island and I fell in love.  We loved the mossy trees hanging over the road, the mix of palm trees next to Georgia pines combined two places I love and the weather…  We got so lucky with a perfect couple of days and I felt filled with crisp, salt air.  Really, no drug could ever be better, I’m sure.  My love affair with Georgia continues…

OOTD: Wide Leg Crop (going to wear the heck out of these things!) | SMIJ Anchor Tee in Navy & White | Blue Gradient Sunnies | Gold Hoops (similar) | White Layering Tank | Target Poncho (similar) | Neutral Sandals  (I had wedges on, but changed before heading on to the beach.)
  
  
  

Two Greats

There is nothing better than an cool morning or evening on the beach and that is exactly why I made this “Varsity Caftan”.  It’s made out of super soft sweatshirt fleece with a fun navy and white trim and the cut is a flowy, loose, boho caftan cut.  I wore this for a morning walk on the beach and it was perfect.  Thank you, October!

Ray-Ban Aviators | Havaianas | Vitamin A Bathing Suit
  
  

Core Inspirations – Be True

As I continue to reflect on my first season, I’m continuing this blog series on my Core Inspirations. So much happens during your first couple of years in a new business that it has been helpful for me to look back at what originally inspired me and filter that through all I have learned so far.  It has been so fun to learn and stay the course through this first season.

That brings me to my second Core Inspiration – Be True.  I have a shopping rule which has now also become a designing rule – its my 3-Second-Test.  If I don’t love – and I mean LOVE – something within 3 seconds, I move on.  This shopping rule has saved me so much money over the years and it is now helping me stay true to my vision.  There are many people who have taken an interest in my business, which is so flattering. Along the way, someone will say “Oh, I wish you made that in __________ (insert color, length, fabric, style)”. In the very beginning I felt tempted to try to make what they suggested.  I’ve learned to settle down and simply make what I love.  Make my vision, not someone else’s.  I am me and I can only design what I envision and love.

So, if you see it on SMIJ by Jill, you know it’s something I love and wear.  I have so many ideas in my head and so many fun things to try. Thanks for joining me on the ride!


  

Two Major Shopping Problems I Now Have

Designing & Sewing is Ruining – or Changing – My Shopping Style…

 

Since I’ve started designing and learning to sew, something very scary is happening to my shopping style.  I have two major problems!  Both are actually saving me money and are getting me closer to my dream of owning  a beach house, but nevertheless, are scary.  I am seeing all fashion through new lenses and I’m not sure I like it.

It’s a true paradigm shift in my fashion world and I look at things differently.

Problem #1:  I now look at where things are made and how.  Ugh!

I’ve had the privilege of meeting local designers who design and produce in the U.S.A.  They value quality and the process over the mass production or even mass appeal.  I’m looking at fashion through their eyes and noticing where clothes are made and how.  I’ve gravitated toward brands that are made in the USA such as Show Me Your Mumu, Lolly Wolly Doodle, Bella Dahl and many others I continue to discover.  You can see where this could be a problem.  Clothes made this way can be more expensive and scarce.  So far, it’s OK… I actually spend less, but spend more thoughtfully.  I “curate” my wardrobe instead of shop for it now.

 

Problem #2:  Learning to sew has further limited what I’m willing to spend money to acquire.  Ugh!

 

I’m learning to sew and I love it.  It is so rewarding to turn a piece of fabric into something you love to wear.  It only takes a short amount of time to make a pair or shorts or a dress, too.  I think I had this idea that one garment would take me weeks to finish, but turns out I can whip up a dress in the time it would take me to drive to Perimeter Mall, shop and get back home.  And, I can use fabulous fabrics that I love and customize the dress to my exact specifications.  I have a lot to learn, but I can make shorts, tunics and dresses that I love in unique fabrics that are simply stunning.  I’ve never gotten so many compliments as I have since I’ve been sewing my own clothes.  Literally, complete strangers stop me at concerts, on beaches and in stores to compliment my pieces.  It’s not that I’m so great at sewing…. it’s that the fabrics are so great and unlike things you find in mass production.  So, where’s the problem?  Well, I have simple taste.  I like things like tunics, simple dresses, etc.  These things are the things that are pretty simple for a beginner to make.  So, when I see something I like, like this “Cabana Dress” for $70, I just can’t pull the “Add to Bag” trigger because I know I could make it.  So, in this case, I’ve ordered $30 worth of an amazing fabric and I’ll be making my own version of this dress.

There are plenty of things I can’t make or don’t have the time to attempt so those things I still purchase if I really want them.  Sewing has created a whole new list of buying criteria.  Another big change for me.

  

 

So, my closet is taking on a whole new personality and I grow in this new fashion business.  Thanks for following along on my journey.  Hope I haven’t ruined any shopping fun for you. (www.smijbyjill.com)

  

Resort Cover-Ups in time for Labor Day Trips

SMIJbyJill_August2014

I am very happy to share that we are on target to have the above five styles and colors from our first Resort Cover-Up Line available in time for Labor Day Weekend.  This is such a great way for me to celebrate the last weekend of summer.  Nine months ago there was one sketch on a post-it note and today I’m close to launching the first five styles with three more to follow.  I’ve been wearing the samples of each of these all summer and loving every minute of it.  They have traveled well, washed well, looked great, attracted compliments, taken me from beach to town and made me feel Southern Beach Chic.  I am so excited to share them with everyone soon.  I have made only a small number of each, but expect to add to the inventory as needed.

Thank you to all who have been supporting me along the way.  We’ve only just begun…

New Resort Styles Coming Soon…

20140801-153925-56365178.jpg
I am so excited to introduce our two newest Resort Cover-Up styles heading into production.

20140801-154107-56467204.jpg
“The Trudie” (We’ll also be introducing a short sleeve version of this tunic, “The Elinor”.)

20140801-154231-56551509.jpg
“The Lucy” Reverse Wrap Style
Stay tuned for availability…

Wrap Dress Love

20140722-125646-46606693.jpg

20140722-125646-46606456.jpg

20140722-125646-46606556.jpg

20140722-125646-46606776.jpg

20140722-125646-46606303.jpg

DVF wrap dresses have been my go-to for years. They never look worn and are appropriate for so many occasions. DVF is my favorite, for sure. I browse her collection each season and occasionally splurge to add one to my collection. I’ve never regretted one and wear them over and over.

I’m excited to be taking the wrap style to the beaches of the Southeast in 2015! (www.smijbyjill.com)