A Great Ivey Abitz Starter Set

An Ivey Abitz clothing ensemble as ordered by a client.
A great Ivey Abitz starter set.

These garments were ordered to be worn just as you see them here. The Cozette Skirt was also chosen to be worn with other garments like the Hambledon Duster Coat, Truitt Jacket, Holkham Hall Vest, and Amorette Shirt Jacket to name a few. This is a great example of a “starter set” in Ivey Abitz where you can easily expand your wardrobe with just one ensemble. Mixing and matching possibilities are plentiful.

Holkham Hall Shirt in Black and White Striped Cotton Scrim
Holkham Hall Necktie in Black and White Plaid Cotton Voile
Cavendish Cardigan in Black Checked Netting
Cozette Skirt in Signature Black Ribbed Weave

Find them all here: IveyAbitz.com

Just Shipped Out

Ivey Abitz ensemble
This ensemble recently shipped out to an Ivey Abitz client.

Just shipped out –

Truitt Jacket in Foggy Plaid Wool and Silk Scrim
Fennefleur Frock in Foggy and Antique White Soft Plaid Cotton

This recent ensemble order from a client shows a variation on a theme from our ensembles in our Look Book. The Truitt Jacket in our new plaid scrim truly shows its versatility for the wearer. The Truitt and Fennefleur together can go in so many different directions, just by buttoning or unbuttoning the jacket and changing the accessories.

Here are just a few ideas of why these work so well together and how they can be worn in different ways:

— a unique look for work attire by wearing understated, yet elegant, shoes and jewelry
— a casual look for everyday wear by wearing the jacket unbuttoned and wearing ensemble with vintage sneakers or ballet-like slip-on shoes
— an evening out by wearing heels, a silk Clotaire Sash around the neck, and an antique brooch on the collar

Versatility is the hallmark of Ivey Abitz designs, and of the Truitt and Fennefleur together.

How would you wear these two designs together? We’ll create them for you, and you can find out for yourself! Best of all, right now the Truitt and Fennefleur have very special pricing when made in our plaid and signature fabrics. A savings of up to 45% off while the fabric choices are still available.

Designer Notes for Look No.2 ~ Holiday 2011

 

The Designs:

I love to mix the flounce of a feminine skirt with a more tailored and hint-of-masculine look. That’s the purpose of the Holkham Hall designs in a nutshell.

By making the designs in velvets and silks, suddenly, you have options of wearing them to work through the winter months and wearing them to special holiday occasions. They can all be dressed up or down by simply changing your shoes and accessories.

What works so well about this ensemble is that you can have many looks with just a few garments. Wear the vest fully buttoned or partially buttoned. Wear the shirt with or without the necktie. Wear just the shirt and skirt together. Wear the Elliot Jacket buttoned over the shirt. Mix in a pair of more casual trousers and flip up the Holkham Hall Shirt cuffs, and you’ve added an entirely new slant to your new holiday grouping.

 

The Palette:

Look No.2 Fabrics

The Sapphire hues vary greatly from deep jewel navy to lighter greyish blue tones. They all play well off of one another, which is partly what gives the ensemble such variety within the same hue.

I like placing more casual cottons alongside silks that are associated with special occasions. It tones down the idea of silk in an unexpected way and lets you have a smart looking everyday ensemble. Just one necktie in a striped cotton does the trick. Silk is an everyday fabric, in my opinion–especially when it goes through our special washings that soften and decrease the sheen of the silk threads. Since it’s a holiday collection, you have an even better excuse to add a silk garment to your Ivey Abitz wardrobe.

See this look – Holiday Look No. 2 – in the Holiday Look Book.

 

 

Design Line-up:
Holkham Hall Shirt
Holkham Hall Vest
Holkham Hall Necktie
Holkham Hall Skirt
Elliot Jacket

Deciding on an Ivey Abitz Wardrobe with A Little Help from the Designer Herself

by Kimberly from Pennsylvania

I would like to think I’m pretty good at putting outfits together, but in reality I’m probably hit or miss.  When my outfit is a good one it’s pretty great but some of my misses would make me eligible for that TV show with the secret footage. 


One huge mistake is not following the advice from fashion gurus.  Buy an outfit – not pieces. And what do I do? I buy pieces. I know I’m not alone. Many women do this. You end up with a great skirt but nothing really fabulous to wear with it. So not only does the skirt languish in your closet, but by not wearing it you have spent your money in vain.  

And you say you don’t have anything to wear. Now you know why.


No more bits and pieces of clothing for me. This spring and summer would be different. Yes, I vowed.  But now what should I do? After looking at the Ivey Abitz website for like the millionth time I turned to my new best friend. Yes. I decided my new style guru would help me look great and pulled together. After looking at the website and picking some of my favorites I complied a list and sent it to Cynthia Ivey Abitz. 


Through email we talked about my choices, fabrics, my likes and dislikes and of course my budget.  Then she sent me a list of what looked like a wonderful start to building a useful and pulled together look that I can wear for years.

By doing this I would have the basics to look great this spring and summer. But there is flexibility in this list. I originally wanted the Camilla Dress in a winter fabric but decided that a Baedeker Shirt would help me fill in gaps in my wardrobe better. Not only will it always go with my Ivey Abitz pieces but it also works well with my existing clothing. 

The point is I have a guide now. I know if I purchase something off my list (even though I really want everything) it will work.  And that’s what I need in my life. Stuff that works.

Discovering Ivey Abitz

Words, like clothing, can mean so much and so little at the same time. I have no desire to be fashionable but i like to know what’s in fashion. I would never describe myself as stylish but i have a certain style. The word eclectic comes to mind. i like that word.

I first found Ivey Abitz while doing a search online. I am also pretty sure it took about an hour on a Tuesday afternoon whilst at work. Some people have cigarette breaks – I go shopping. A lot. My point is that with all of the different designers I like to wear I was able to add another to my list. I like that Ivey Abitz designs fit in with everything I have without looking like anything I have.

I also like that my long suffering husband can’t figure out what is new and what isn’t. Trust me, it takes years of steady practice to keep a straight face and assure my dearest that yes indeed he has seen the dress before. In fact, I wore it to that dinner. You remember, don’t you? I don’t know why I bother to look nice if you don’t pay attention. Never mind. Where are the twins? It’s too quiet…Distraction is a key element in my marriage.

Gushing About Eleanor. The Shirt, That Is.

now have i mentioned the eleanor? how many times? i love, love, love (how many times have i said that?) my eleanor shirts! they are so perfectly simple and practical, in fact i may actually have one for every day of the week. but who’s counting? there are so many fabric choices that all of the clothing pieces look completely different! 

where do you stop? how can you stop? i am so excited that cynthia came out with another shirt based on the same cut. i will no doubt be in double trouble now with the trelawny shirt (don’t you love the name?). 

you know how they say you can never have too many…what is it? shoes & bags? well, i can never have too many shirts. the eleanor i can definitely wear anytime, anywhere, and i never have to worry about anything because it hangs perfectly, in or out. tied in the back or the front or even with the ties wrapped on the sides. 

i can say that about all of the ivey abitz shirts, and i especially love the baedeker, the bartholdi & the eleanor. i am sure that soon i will have some new favorites (from the newly released designs) as well. 

i think i may even have a forerunner of eleanor — i think she was called “ella” and had a black silk trim, and i love, love (etc.) that one too! 

i am not usually a gushy type of person but i do have to admit that i can talk about these designs with extra enthusiasm because i do love & admire so many different aspects of them.

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.

Comrades in Ivey Abitz

i would just like to comment here about some of the other writers’ points of view on ivey abitz designs. i really liked reading their input. we don’t know each other, but when it comes to this clothing, we have a lot in common.  

i loved maeve’s description of the baedeker shirt. i have several of these from a lichen (dark) striped taffeta to an irish linen, a ribbed silk and a black cotton jacuard (what a score that was!) everything that maeve said about the elegance and panache is right on. the only thing i can basically repeat — as she has really already said it all — is that this design is so versatile because it is elegant but casual all at once. 

in addition, maeve wrote about the camilla shirt. this is one i haven’t tried yet and am looking forward to this now, too. to say that ivey abitz really helped to change your identity is saying a lot — i can’t imagine what you have gone thru with such a traumatic loss that you have suffered. i send you my sincere sympathy and thanks, maeve. 

then there is karen from british columbia and her stories of growing up in beverly hills that made for great reading. i love the from beverly hills to organic farming in b.c. — in ivey abitz! some of that reminded me of myself. i am in a small florida town where the people i know shop the gamut, from big box discount stores to high end department stores, and there aren’t a lot of choices in between these extremes. this is why i started shopping on line in the first place. online is where i discovered ivey abitz.  

before that and when i was younger, we perused the thrift shops in search of the vintage treasure that used to be widely available (i am just up the way from st. petersburg, florida!) now, all of those are picked over — not even the old florida kitsch is left. at least that had its charm. i am glad i did have a chance to get the stuff when it was available. wealthy retirees from all over the country moving down to florida used to make thrift shopping an exciting — and profitable in many ways — hunt for treasure. 

i would like to thank you both – i think this blog is a great idea!

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.

The Perfection of Imperfection

yesterday i wore my celia shirt. i haven’t worn it in awhile and because i love it so much, i wondered why. certain pieces are so beautiful to me that i tend to treat them like treasure. this is one of those pieces. the first time i wore the celia shirt, i pulled off that beautiful tie with the three brooches attached and tied it up and wore it as a necklace with the shirt. in fact i have used the necklace with other shirts, too. yesterday i used the tie for the shirt the way it was meant to be worn. sometimes i wear a belt with it, but again it had been awhile. by mid-day i said to myself, “oh, i really do have to have another celia shirt.” 

one of the reasons that a piece of clothing will go into the treasure chest (figuratively speaking) is what i call the perfection of imperfection. in my opinion, the human hand is the true quality of a piece of art. what i mean by that is that when you see the frayed edges — or the parts of the piece of art to wear and what makes it look handmade — they are the parts that you know were not made by a machine but have the permanent embellishment or stamp of the human touch. it may not be obvious because those seams are perfect so it is a little hard to describe. but it is there. they are, for instance, the pleats and folds in the sleeves of the bartholdi shirt. the frayed edges of the duomo jacket and the celia shirt. the sleeves and neckline of the cozette jacket. and the fact that many of the pieces are washed and dyed by hand to give a more vintage quality. all of these very special touches are to me what makes ivey abitz designs art. it is the essence of all art. the human hand, the human touch.