A Dream Fulfilled in Paris

By Barbara Jean in California

Barbara Jean in the Pere Lachaise cemetery, Paris, wearing Ivey Abitz.
Barbara Jean in the Pere Lachaise cemetery, Paris, wearing Ivey Abitz.

It has always been a dream of mine to visit Paris.

When I think of Paris, I find myself imagining all the creative and passionate souls that have walked these streets, sat in these cafes, and lived their dreams out in this city.

When you dream of something so intensely, it is no wonder that the Universe begins to arrange things to bring your dream into reality.

I knew that I would be traveling to Paris to walk those streets myself. What I didn’t know was that my perfect wardrobe for walking those streets would be created by another creative and passionate soul, our dear Cynthia, along with all of the talented hands and hearts at Ivey Abitz!

When I found these clothes, it was immediately apparent to me that they were clothes that were made to be worn, made to be walked in, and I could hardly wait to wear them for my grand adventure in Paris.

When my first package arrived, I had to quickly put my new ensemble on and go for a walk! How good they felt, so comfortable and yet elegant. Timeless, yes, that is the right word for these creations – timeless.

What stood out for me in my experience of wearing Ivey Abitz Bespoke clothing in Paris was a feeling of “traveling through time,” especially as I walked the avenues in the Pere Lachaise cemetery, seeking out the names of those creative and passionate souls that I had admired for their writing, their dancing, their bravery, their love of life. I felt as if I were stepping back in time, walking along with them. It was a truly wonderful moment in time, unrepeatable as moments like these are.

“We’ll always have Paris,” it is said. And so, as I wear my Ivey Abitz wardrobe here in my home in the United States of America, I know that the dream lives here in my own heart.

As I walk my dreams into reality, I will be wearing my Ivey Abitz clothing, traveling into the future while honoring the grace and courage of the past.

– Barbara Jean from California

An Ivey Abitz Wardrobe in the Beautiful South

By Liz in the Beautiful South

After years of perusing the Ivey Abitz website I am, at long last, an extremely happy new customer. I don’t know why it took me so long to place an order. Clothes are very important to me.

Liz shares part one of her Ivey Abitz wardrobe.
A glimpse at some of Liz’s new wardrobe from Ivey Abitz.

One of my cherished, early memories is of my grandmother making my kindergarten clothes. We went together to look at patterns and choose fabric. Then she created a one of a kind wardrobe that instantly made me the best dressed five year old in town.

Now, at age 59, I’m able to replicate that experience with Ivey Abitz. These are clothes for those of us not interested in participating in fast fashion, who pay no attention to trends, but instead build a consistent wardrobe and look over several seasons. These creations are precious and will last many years. The designs are timeless, the fabrics gorgeous, and the sewing exquisite.

Liz shares part two of her Ivey Abitz wardrobe.
A glimpse at some of Liz’s new wardrobe from Ivey Abitz.

Every time I wear one of my new garments, I notice yet another exceptional detail. And they are so comfortable I can forget I have them on, until one of my friends exclaims over a new jacket or dress and wants to know where on earth I found such a treasure. And then I direct them to the Ivey Abitz site.

I’m a convert!

-Liz in the Beautiful South

Go-to frock of the season

This just shipped out…

Clothing by Ivey Abitz.
This just shipped to an Ivey Abitz client.

The Addy in plaid, as well as our other frocks, have been the go-to frock of the season. Here’s another ensemble that was just made for a client, combining our Foggy Cotton Velvet Corduroy with our Foggy/Black Soft Plaid Cotton. A Baedeker Scarf in our Signature Black Ribbed Weave is as comfortable and versatile as it is lovely draped around the neck. The bias cut pleating in our Mathilda designs feature the variegated cording in the cotton velvet, making a striking addition to the ensemble.

Try not to wear it every day

Ivey Abitz ensemble
Actual ensemble that shipped to an Ivey Abitz client.

This is the kind of ensemble that you have to force yourself not to wear everyday. Our indispensable Elliot Jacket makes a perfect pairing over the Addy Frock. The Addy is particularly stunning in plaid with its bias cut insets, pockets, and waistband. It’s relevant for casual everyday wear, for going out, and for special occasions. Best of all, it’s comfortable AND elegant — a signature Ivey Abitz combination.

Elliot Jacket in Foggy Soft Ribbed Knit

Addy Frock in Black and Foggy Soft Plaid Cotton

Casual and Playful Ivey Abitz Designs

A casual and playful look from Ivey Abitz.
Look 15 is casual and playful.
Notes from designer, Cynthia Ivey Abitz

Look 15 is one of the more casual and playful ensembles in the new collection.

The warm, rich colour in the Amorette Shirt Jacket draped over a slightly cooler plaid in the Fennefleur Frock is an unexpected juxtaposition without looking over-the-top.

A sash or necktie in our green linen is a nice touch loosely tied around the neck.

It’s also a featured look in our Walk on a Rainy Day gallery, a favourite with our patrons.

We’re almost sold out of the Russet Old World Wool Knit, so if you’d like this ensemble in your lifetime wardrobe, it’s a good time to have it made, just for you.

See more of Look 15 at the look book.

– Cynthia Ivey Abitz

The First 3 Seconds

It is a well known fact that you will be judged within the first three seconds of meeting someone.  Clothing, posture, grooming, mannerisms…all will make an impact before you even get the chance to say “hello”.   

Being a bit of a chatterbox (and a fast talker), I always hoped my “hello” reached others about 1.3 seconds prior to any visual impact and judgements.  I like to think that I have been successful in my attempts.  But I need to face the reality that I am getting older and my vocal agility is slowing down — not to mention the fact that I am always distracted by my 2 year old twin boys!   

So what is a weary mother of  toddlers to do but to fall back on the old standard of looking presentable.  At all times. Just in case. 

Presentable.  This word is so subjective.  For example, it has become the norm in society to look ‘presentable’ while wearing fuzzy blue slippers, haggard pajama bottoms, and a grubby sweatshirt.  I will admit that while this ensemble would be quite comfortable, I just don’t think it would give an accurate impression of my persona.   

If I want to accurately portray who I am to others, then I must begin by asking myself the question: “Who am I?”   

A wife, a mother of rambunctious toddlers, a physician… these answers are easy enough.  But I also enjoy classical music, fine dining, nature, laughter, reading, antiques, traveling… and so many other things.   If I could tell others about myself, what would I want them to know?  Could I say it in three seconds?  Would it involve fuzzy blue slippers?  

Taking a good look at myself in the mirror, I realized that the person I saw staring back at me was a complete stranger. Instead of seeing the confident, elegant, silly, attractive, and intelligent woman that I know I am, I saw a frumpy, ill-kempt woman with a smear of grape jelly on her left sleeve and who was in serious need of a haircut.  And that was only after the first second. 

When did a woman who was once considered “fashionable” by all of her friends/relatives change into this unrecognizable, dowdy creature?  Did it happen overnight or did it evolve over the past 2 years?  I understand that the catalyst was a serious life-style change — but I was amazed to see I had succumbed this far.    

I will admit that chasing kids around in stiletto-heeled shoes and a pencil skirt is not only impracticable, but downright dangerous.  But who says that motherhood must be unglamorous?  Why must one equate “comfort” with sweatpants, easy-to-care-for synthetic separates, and “sensible” shoes?  Why must we all don generic clothing that stifles any sense of personality and creativity?  Why had I spent so much money on “bargains” that made me look (and feel) so bad? 

If I could create a perfect wardrobe, it would have to have the following conditions:

  • beautiful
  • coordinating
  • comfortable
  • easy to care for
  • natural fibers
  • fun/whimsical
  • practical
  • versatile
  • modest
  • elegant, simple lines
  • well constructed
  • flattering to my body shape
  • colors that I like
  • made in the USA

(Shamefully, the majority of the clothing in my closet did not meet this criteria.)  

Armed with this list, I began to scour the internet.  I knew that what I was looking for existed — it had to!  (I could not be the only confident, elegant, silly, attractive, and intelligent woman in the world.)   And, after months of searching, I finally found what I had been looking for:

IveyAbitz

Elegant. Fun. Beautiful. Who could ask for more?

A Queen of All She Surveys in Ivey Abitz

Just last summer I was sitting all alone at the end of a pier, waiting for a boat to arrive. It was 9:30 in the morning. I was having a moment of quiet (in a Camilla Shirt, natural hemstitch striped cotton, and Baedeker Skirt in black premium irish linen) and I was appreciating the solitude and beauty of the landscape.  

Then I heard, “A queen of all she surveys.” Then this man waxed on about me being a queen sitting there overlooking my domain or something. I laughed and his wife and friends joined him, and on he went about their travels, language, love of fine food and cooking. By the time they boarded the boat, they had taught me how to make wine vinegar. Now, I wouldn’t want to read too much into my shirt and skirt, but I think if I had been sitting there in a sweatshirt, jeans, and loafers, the conversation would not have started in the same way. I, of course, didn’t feel like a queen, but I did have that relaxed sort of sophisticated feeling that I have come to like while wearing Ivey Abitz, and that feels quite age appropriate for me.  

At the same time, I do not feel conspicuous in Ivey Abitz clothing. I lose the self consciousness that comes with wearing something that isn’t quite right or is uncomfortable. I feel very comfortable in Ivey Abitz designs.