Resort Looks for Every Resort Day

<Mumu Swim | SMIJ Caftan>

I am really in the mood to hit the beach. Looking forward to a trip is a l m o s t as much fun as the trip itself. And, that includes dreaming up those vacation outfits. I am one of those people who needs a different suit, cover-up, sunglasses, hat and sometimes even shoes for each beach day. I grew up in Florida. We didn’t have all those Fall and Winter looks to play with so we had to make the most of our Summer wardrobes. Beach looks are a Summer category all to themselves! Here are some SMIJ Cover-Ups paired up with some of my fave swim brands. Hope you get some Resortspiration here.

(Above) gingham suit – I chose to put that with our white cover-up that has red thread running through it. I think these two really complement each other. Great Memorial Day or 4th of Jily beach look, too.

<Topshop Swim at Nordstrom | SMIJ “happy” Caftan>

With the black & White Caftan, I thought a pop of color in the swim suit would be fun. It would look great with a black or white suit, too. Oh, and, mirrored sunglasses!

<Nordstrom one-piece | SMIJ One-Tie Cover-Up>

I love this pink flamingo cover-up. It has a one tie closure in the front giving just a peek at the suit underneath. So…how great to put a suit with some interesting detail there to be seen ever so slightly while you stroll up for a bite of lunch at the resort.

<Red one-piece at Nordstrom | Hat & Shorts are SMIJ>

I love Beach Shorts for running around those Beach Towns, and they can make great cover-ups, too. I put these with a sleek one-piece that can double as a tank off the beach.

<J Crew & Henry & Pearl>

Beach blues never go out of style. Piled on the Blue for this beach look. Grab some gold sandals and you are set.

<On-trend High-waisted suit at Nordstrom | Seersucker Caftan at Henry & Pearl in Milton, GA>

Classic, timeless Seersucker and Navy. Enough said.

<Boys & Arrows Suit | SMIJ hat>

This is a beach-all-day look. Umbrellas, beach games, cooler, friends, kids, lunch on the beach, just add sunblock kinda look.

<SMIJ Madras Cover-Up at Henry & Pearl | J Crew Suit>

I love mixing and matching tops and bottoms and, with Madras, the combinations seem to be endless.

<SMIJ Wrap-Style Cover-Up in Seersucker | Nordstrom OnePiece>

This business started with our wrap-style Cover-Up and this little Seersucker version is just the cutest. I love the combo of the red, white, blue, stripes and gingham. It is one of my favorites. I paired it with red for the Summer.

Hope these ideas added to your ideas for your next sunny getaway.

More Beach, Please – Resort Style

I think the school system must have realized that we all need the beach a few times per school year. I love how we have all these breaks giving us many chances to breathe that sea air. I’m already picking fabrics and styles for Spring/Summer 2018 Cover-Ups and Vacation Shorts. Plan lots of beach days because you’re going to want to wear SMIJ S/S ’18. 

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. (


Resort Cover-Ups in time for Labor Day Trips


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…