17 June, 2011

A little more Lilli Ann . . . Suit up!

I love a good suit (as the fabulous Barney in How I Met your Mother would say 'Suit up!').
I justify my rather large collection of vintage suits on the basis that I have to wear suits to work. Well, actually I don't have to. I just choose to. But I find it far better to stand in front of 200 students wearing a nice suit than jeans.
This jacket is one my favourite vintage designers, Lilli Ann.
I got it for an absolute song on etsy for $45 (plus $16 postage, so $61 in total). I do find if you are prepared to buy a jacket separately rather than a full suit than Lilli Ann can be reasonable (you just need to look around). This jacket had some very minor issues - just a couple of small holes in the back of the velvet collar which were easily mended and it needed a good dry-clean. It is also missing the top button, but I don't particularly want to wear it with the top button done up anyway, so that is not a problem (all these issues were revealed in the etsy listing by the way, which is always good, thank you etsy seller!).
The fit of the jacket is fairly snug - I prefer my suits to fit like that. Although I did notice that when I actually wore this to work and had to do a lot of typing and mousing it was a bit too snug!
You will notice that in any of the 50s suit ads, the suit is always super fitted. See for instance this ad . . .
Now, I'm sorry, but there is no way this woman could do a day's work in a suit that was that tight!
(but it does look absolutely fantastic!)

One of my absolutely favourite aspects of buying vintage, especially from the US, is the labels.
And these labels are some of the best I have seen. It is always a bonus to not only get the designer label (eg Lilli Ann) but also where it was sold in the US.
How I wish I could be transported back in time and visit Arthur's in Wilmington, Delaware!

When I can control myself and stop spending all my money on vintage (!) I would love to do a road trip around America and visit all the towns featured on my labels - Portland, Delaware, Ohio . . . Of course, all the old shops are probably gone, but the places sound great anyway.

Just to end this post, a photo of one of the best things you can ever see on a vintage suit . . . 

This Lilli Ann label dates my suit to the 1940s (see
The suit also had a union label on it (which was too hard to photograph - sorry!) but which also obviously ads to its authenticity. There are some great tips on dating garments using union labels at this link.

Thanks for reading about Lilli Ann and good luck with finding your own Lilli Ann treasures!

Outfit details
Lilli Ann 40s jacket etsy (seller was 'errolflynn')
skirt also a Lilli Ann, but from another suit
shoes vintage Armani from Salvos op shop Oakleigh (a rare find believe you me!)
vintage black bag one of my most beloved items - my grandmother's handbag. My grandmother died before I was born so I treasure this and love to wear it.


  1. You look super snazzy in that suit!


  2. Hi,
    I found you blog through a search on suits. Very interesting post. I will be back to see more of your delightful vintage. I am following your blog.