Mother always recommended quality material, pretty colors, and simple designs

by Gerri from Texas

As a relatively new Ivey Abitz customer, I am amazed at how quickly I have become addicted to Cynthia’s gorgeous creations! They put to shame much of the other brands in my closet. I love how they coordinate with other Ivey Abitz pieces, as well as clothes I have had for years and still wear.

A dear friend and I had a very lengthy conversation several months ago.  We are convinced that we were born into the wrong century. Both of us love Victorian and Edwardian clothes and jewelry much more than we like the current trends.  We were both raised in the South and still adhere to the rules of fashion taught by our mothers: no white shoes or clothes before Easter or after Labor Day, etc. My mother always recommended quality material, pretty colors, and simple designs, and I have never forgotten what she said, although I do like the occasional odd and quirky piece.

Cynthia Ivey Abitz designs the most amazing and beautiful wearable art that I have found, and this art supports my vintage-wear wants and needs. In addition, these garments are so very comfortable, versatile, and they actually fit. No more of those one-size-fits-most clothes, where the shirts could double for dresses on my 5 foot 3 frame and the skirts drag on the ground. The ability to choose from  a range of measurements in Ivey Abitz garments ensures a flattering fit. I also love all of the little extras that differentiate the mundane garment from the spectacular garment. Thank you, Rebecca – one of the Ivey Abitz beloved seamstresses – for the tiny pin tucks in my Cordelia Shirt! The quality my mother recommended is found in every piece of Ivey Abitz clothing. There are no stiff tags poking into the back of my neck, no scratchy seams – no flaws whatsoever, and these gorgeous clothes are made in the USA, which is another definite plus.

I hate the current trend of midriff-baring, deep cleavage-showing, skin tight clothes. I love the grace, quality, sheer beauty and elegance of my Ivey Abitz wardrobe. The ease of layering these gorgeous pieces can hide so many figure flaws.  I also love the second looks I sometimes get while out and about.  My fellow Ivey Abitz aficionados know what I mean – that admiring and envious look from other women who are wondering where we found that gorgeous outfit!

Last, but most definitely not least, there is Cynthia Ivey Abitz herself, a lovely lady who is always willing to help in my clothing and accessory selections. Thank you, Cynthia.

The Versatility of the Sophia Camisole

ahhh…the sophia camisole.  a BIG success for such a little piece. 

if you have read any of my previous entries, you will know i like to experiment with cynthia’s designs. i am always doing something with something and this has nothing to do with me really — it’s because the clothes are so very versatile and they are naturally made to wear in many different ways. their versatility is one of the many things that i like about the designs in addition to the “perfection of imperfection, the “art to wear, and the fact that you cannot find clothes like this anywhere but here. well, at the moment. i wouldn’t be surprised one day if this was a worldwide label — though i really don’t know what the “house of ivey abitz” has in mind for the future. but i do think that whatever the Ivey Abitz’s do with their line, it will be as big and renowned as they want it to be. 

as i was saying…..sorry i do tend to go off on tangents! 

but anyway the other day i was wearing my sophia camisole…..i had it over an eleanor shirt. i can go on & on about eleanor, too. she is just one of my favorites of all times — and i probably will go on more about her later! 

but my dilemma, and what got me thinking of how to wear the sophia different ways, was the fact that i happened to want to tuck the eleanor in and tie it in back but then i had the problem of what to do with the tie to the sophia camisole. i love the fact that the strings on this are very long (i can wrap it around twice if i want), but i didn’t want to do that this time either so i started experimenting with the wrap. what i finally did was criss-cross the tie in front. then i brought the ends of the tie and wrapped them each around the sleeveless part of the camisole at the shoulder. after that i tucked in the ends and made a tie — not a bow, but a tie — and tucked that in so it looked wrapped. very cool. it stayed that way all day, and i didn’t have to fuss with it once.

I Have Worn It Backwards

How many bartholdi overlays does one need?  

A LOT! 

i have many pieces of Ivey Abitz and as i have said before, i rarely if ever wear anything else. the designs i used to wear before discovering Ivey Abitz went to the dry cleaner and then were carefully covered – to the back of the closet went the *designer name removed*, the *designer name removed*, and even the other art to wear designers that i dearly loved and looked forward to every season (and bought way too much of). some are brand new with the tags still attached. anyway, that is another story for another time, maybe but you get the idea. there is no other designer out there that even comes close to Ivey Abitz.  

so the bartholdi overlay — first let me give you an idea of what i look like because i have “special needs”. it is because i am short. not just short. short is what?  5′ 3′?  i wish! no, i am really short. i am 5 ft. — just. i weigh between 100 and 105, so i am considered normal, but of course i am never happy (95 lbs. is perfection to me). that is still another story, but my point is that i do have short legs, so i am considered petite and i find it difficult to buy clothes.  some tall gals think that it is a drag being tall and would rather be petite but it isn’t.  no way-i think most people would agree that it is better for wearing certain clothes to be taller. the bartholdi overlay is great for everything every day and because of all the fabrics available…..well i have quite a few. the design is more than a vest but not quite a shirt or top. it is something like a tunic but more creative and with more options. it is….well, an original.  

as small as i am, i can wear it for many occasions and for many reasons. a fat day – they make you look thinner and taller. a thin day – they just make you look good. i wear platforms – i have discovered some comfy ones, so i won’t look so short. they give me a good 3 inches, and i pull jeans way down as far as possible and scrunch them, too. combined with the bartholdi overlay, i become magically….normal sized! 

i have worn the bartholdi overlay the way it is designed, and i have worn it backwards. i have worn it to formal occasions – i had the misfortune to attend 3 funerals over the summer, and in our community a funeral is a week long event, so i got a lot of use out of my overlays in the more formal fabrics and the taffetas. i went to my neice’s school play and wore my cotton yarn dyed bartholdi over a bartholdi shirt. i can and do wear them with just about anything. i love them with the eleanor shirts, which is a staple piece and i have several of those as well. 

then, in my mind is the mini me version of the bartholdi overlay, and that is the camilla vest. the day before yesterday i wore a camilla vest…somehow i managed to pull the ties under the sides of the vest, then over the cross piece in front and tied it over that piece. it is hard to explain, but it illustrates how versatile these whimsical pieces – out of the endless imagination of cynthia’s – really are.