One of the things that stood out to me when we were traveling in Scandinavia this summer were the clothes people wore. Or, rather, one of the things that stood out to me was how their clothes did not. Everyone looked beautiful, often because they were complemented rather than upstaged by something they were wearing. The colors were simple, the tailoring was clean. They wore the clothes, rather than the other way around.
It was inspiring.
And as much as any souvenir, I wanted to hold onto that inspiration and carry it home.
I already tend to lean toward neutrals. My closet is largely made up of gradients of whites, blues, and blacks. There are a few outliers—a favorite floral top here, a bold Ikat pattern there. But too often these are bought on whims. And yet, I’m not sure I always put as much thought into the neutral items I wear every day.
We had just returned from our trip when Elizabeth Suzann, the Nashville-based clothing line founded by Liz Pape, reached out with word of her Signature Collection. The idea behind the line—“elegant, utilitarian necessities”—resonated with me immediately.
As we all tend to do on a smaller scale in our own closets, Pape pulled her hardest working, best performing pieces for the collection—many from stemming from her debut designs: Nothing should be for single-wear, anything that gets a place much be versatile and season-less.
I asked Susan Yee to meet me at one of my favorite places, Kechmara Designs (all of those beautiful rugs!) to take some pictures of my favorite pieces, but in truth I’ve been reaching for them nonstop and wearing them all—sometimes together, sometimes mixed with jeans or even a bathing suit—almost every day since they arrived.
It seems particularly special to put on something that has been made by hand—the cuts are detailed, both modern and classic; the natural materials chosen for their durability and comfort as well as their beauty.
Here I’m wearing the Linn Tee in white linen (my current favorite) with the linen Florence Pants. The tee has a trapeze cut that looks great with higher waisted pants and elbow-length kimono sleeves. The pants have a cropped wide leg that feel both of-the-moment and a little bit retro.
While playing model doesn’t come naturally to me, there’s something incredibly comfortable about these clothes. I love the simple, unfussy silhouette of this linen Harper Tunic. With its boat-cut neck and kimono sleeves, it looks tailored when pressed crisp and left to hang, or soft and comfortably lived-in if left wrinkled.
And I’m a sucker for anything with a pocket.
The Marlene Midi Dress also has an effortless ease to it. I couldn’t decide whether I liked the V best in the front or the back, but I love that I have the option of either.
The description of the raw silk is right on: “nubby and textured, and feels a lot like cotton but softer and with more drape.” It doesn’t feel too fancy for wearing whenever—I’ve already worn it with sandals to school pick-up and on a date with heels. I imagine I’ll be packing it often. (It’s machine-washable!)
I love the idea of a signature collection: foundational clothes—both in the sense of being basic essentials and in the sense of to be built upon.
Pape, when profiled in the New York Times about Elizabeth Suzann, declared “Our brand isn’t about minimalism, although I do love minimal aesthetics. It’s about not cluttering your life with things you won’t use.”
So far, these pieces fit the bill.
And I’ve got some great news: I’m happy to announce that Elizabeth Suzann is giving away a $500 store credit to one Hither & Thither reader this week!
To enter: Let us know what you would choose from the Signature Collection in a comment below. A winner will be selected at random on Thursday. Entry must be submitted before 5pm PST on Thursday, September 1, 2016.
UPDATE: This giveaway is closed. Congratulations to the winner.
This post is sponsored by Elizabeth Suzann. Every item is made by hand in their Nashville studios. (If you’re local and would like to visit, they welcome appointments!)[Photos by Susan Yee of En Pointe Photography for Hither & Thither at Kechmara Designs in Sacramento—in the Warehouse Artist Lofts]