Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Lilli Ann Suit Journey

It has been awhile since I've last shared a Lilli Ann suit so I thought this suit would be a great blogging opportunity.  I bought this Lilli Ann suit many months ago and it didn't have a top button.  This is a very interesting suit and has many exquisite details.  If you follow the auctions and sales of Lilli Ann suits, you'll know that it isn't easy to find the silk/wool blend suits.   The color is remarkable and the suit has intriguing pleating effects to the suit.

Here is the but, I'll have to make some more adjustments to the suit if I plan to keep it.  The skirt will need to be taken in and I'd love the jacket to be taken in ever so slightly, so I have some thinking to do about if I should keep it.  It really is an art to find the perfect fits in vintage.

I was very fortunate to be able to find this lovely lady (through Gertie) to replace a missing button for  the suit. I had battled with the idea of making my own button but was so glad this lady could do it for me.  You can see that this is not just a simple button but also has a ring around it as well.  It's just about impossible to guess which button is not original, isn't it?  So amazed.  I also had this wonderful lady make a button for this Lilli Ann coat, that was missing a button.   If you'd like her contact information, just shoot me an email.  You can imagine my hesitation at cutting into the hem of this skirt, but I'm very glad I did as the top button was needed.  I did neglect to take a picture of what the suit does look like with the top button unbuttoned, which is also a fashion possibility.

There are so many things to love about this suit but in all honesty, I feel a bit grandmother when looking at certain front views of this suit, it does need a bit more tailoring to make it perfect.

However, the side angles are just magnificent.

You can certainly see that at the right light angles the silk blend really is grand.

I also wanted to play around with floral accents with this suit.  You see so many splendid vintage suit ads where the women were wearing floral accents.  I quite like this.  There is a certain art about this.

Outfit Details:

Hat:  Christian Dior 50s
Scarf: Hattie Carnegie 50s had the tag still attached and it was quite cheap.  It's amazing the great deals you can get on vintage silk scarfs.
Jewelry: Eisenberg 50s
Red Flower:  Etsy SophisticatedFlowers
Earrings : Vintage milk glass screw back earrings
Cuff Links:  None really, just some rhinestone button accents I added
Umbrella: Vintage 50s bay
Gloves: NOS 50s.  Isn't it nice when you get gloves that have not been worn before?  I have gotten some pairs before that I couldn't wear because they were so worn out so I try to look for ones with tags still attached.  Although, I do make exceptions for Lilly Dache and Dior gloves when they come up for auctions at good prices.  Also, I am a fan of angular or gauntlet types of gloves.

The hat is really a lovely hat and I don't think I paid too much for it or I'd remember.  But, it can be a pain to get on but the plus is it doesn't fall off easy.   If I put it on too far down, it leaves marks on my forehead:)

Of course, I thought it would be fun to find a very similar Lilli Ann suit advertisment.  I haven't seen an exact match for this suit.  This ad is from 1955 and I'm guessing the same year/collection as my suit.   My suit also at one time had rhinestone accents which are no longer there so I added an Eisenberg pin to the hip line where a rhinestone accent used to be.

In my next post, I will share a very rare image of a lady in a similar silk Lilli Ann suit that I found randomly on ebay while just looking at general 1950s images.  She is not a model and is just a well dressed lady.   Think about how many Lilli Ann suits there are out there and how often you see an actual period photograph of a lady in a Lilli Ann?  Quite rare indeed.

Also, in case you are interested you can also follow my Lilli Ann boards 1  Lilli Ann board 2 Pinterest.  I try to keep them updated when I see something new.


  1. Gosh I love Lilli Ann! I'm fortunate enough to own a suit as well - its navy wool with piped red and white accents and big rhinestone buttons.
    Mine is a little too big too and I always figure everyone had their corsets back in the day and where it fits on the waist is too roomy in the bust.
    I sew myself but I am much too terrified to try and alter a Lilli Ann!

    Thats a really neat trick with the button as well. The hem is probably the only place you'll have enough fabric for a button and thankfully, vintage designer brands were generous with hems and seams!

  2. This suit is perfect! And the pleat details are so smart! I love this color on you it suits you very well! You have such a great collection of (Lilli Ann) suits!

  3. I like to think I'm an expert on the Granny Look, and I can assure you-you don't look granny in this.

    That is a beautiful suit (oh goodness, the pleating!) I hope you keep it (I am slapping your hand away from the computer to keep you from selling it. SLAP! Sorry, that one was a bit hard, but you need to get rid of any notions you have of selling that suit).

    Do NOT sell that suit. Hell, I'd buy it off you if I could squeeze into it (I can't). It really is beautiful.

    1. Thank you for your kind words, you know sometimes I just need to embrace granny hood. It can be great fun too:) I love the outfits you put together. I think it's just certain angles that I think granny but heck I'd love to be a granny wearing Lilli Ann too!:) I think I need to figure out a couple minor tweaks to the suit. It's kind of like with Lilli Ann you want perfection and get greedy lol.

  4. the suit is a stunning piece of fashion history. the pleated details are absolutely amazing. ... you really don't look granny-ish in it, you look like a real dame.

  5. What an amazing find, and such a vibrant colour! The details are lovely, as are these photos!

  6. Oooo, this fabric IS gorgeous! I love the slight sheen, and the details are just to die for!

  7. This suit is stunning! You wear it so well! The detailing is phenomenal!

    Thank goodness you were able to get a button replaced! Whew!

    Great ad that you found too! And I can't wait to see the photograph you came across!


  8. That suit is really divine. The details with the pleating is absolutely lovely. You're so lucky to have gotten your hands on such a beautiful and well preserved piece! And it's fun to see the original advertisement for the collection - it's a great bit of nostalgia and styling inspiration.

  9. My word, this suit is so gorgeous it almost takes one's mind a moment to realize what they're seeing. It fits you sublimely, the colour is heavenly, and the cut couldn't be more becoming. You did a fantastic job of finding and restoring it, dear Joanna. Major kudos!

    ♥ Jessica

  10. Exquisite! Such an amazing colour too!

  11. It is a really beautiful suit, I love the pleat details. You have put together a wonderful outfit, it really suits you.

  12. Thank you everyone for your kind comments!

  13. Perfection, honestly. This suit give you a wonderful body shape, so classy and elegant.