Haters Gonna Hate – But I Still Love Lilly

Hey friends and Lilly Lovers,
First off, I must let you all know that I didn’t own any Lilly clothing until her collaboration with Target. I did have my fair share of phone cases, agendas, and e-reader cases though.  But when you don’t hail from those great southern states, Lilly isn’t usually at the forefront of our minds. (I’m super jealous of you Southern gals who can wear your adorable dresses in April and May… It snowed here a few days ago)
Last semester I visited Target Corporation and they said that if we had come a day earlier they would let us into the design rooms.  They just received their new line in and it was a top secret collaboration line and that if we saw it we would be able to tell who the designer was just by the prints…. Right away I knew it HAD to be Lilly Pulitzer.  When they made the formal announcement in January I was incredibly excited.  
*insert angel chorus here*
But that’s when the uproar began.  Articles like this one were posted and people railed at Lilly and .Target for doing a collaboration.  

“It will cheapen the brand.” and “Now all those basic b*tches will be wearing Lilly… waaaa!” 
Those were just a few of the tweets and comments people made and they made me incredibly sad.  I am a sorority girl, we already get a bad reputation as it is and articles like that one just confirm the ideas that people have about us.  But it’s not true, we aren’t all white rich snobs who look down upon people who aren’t as well off as we are.  I like to think that I’m a woman of character and that my sorority sisters are as well.
Now yes, the launch of the Lilly for Target brand didn’t go as smoothly as possible. The site went down 5 minutes after it launched, and yes, I may not have been a woman of character at 3:00 am as I shouted at my computer screen… I’ll chalk it up to me being over tired.  I was SO sad that I didn’t get anything that I moped the entire day… I even called my boyfriend and he called back 10 minutes later saying he was on a bus to the local target to see if they had anything. (He’s a keeper, I need to marry that guy)
But later after a sorority event I called a Target about an hour away from my school and they said they had stock.  I called up my sorority sister and we embarked on an impromptu road trip.

Here’s us and our “OH MY GOSH WE FOUND LILLY!” faces plus awkward dressing room pose.
It was a success to say the least.  Although they didn’t have my size (0-2) in the women’s clothing I thought I would give the kids clothing a chance.  I was so excited to find out that I fit into the kids XL!
I even scored 3 pillows that look incredible on my bed. Yay for bright cheer-y Lilly prints!
But what saddens me is even more hate towards the Lilly loving ladies has surfaced.  
The Washington Post wrote a post calling Lilly Pulitzer an “advantage of birth” “not fashion… cloth[ing]”  and it included quotes such as “There is however, always a big difference between the uncomplicated Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress, the Halston Ultrasuede shirtwaist or other icons of style, and all the competition. Pulitzer invented nothing; she is hardly a designer.” – Richard Martin
Jezebel wrote this article which slammed Lilly, both the Target and original brand saying, 
“Lilly Pulitzer is a man at the country club saying America was better in the ’40’s. Lilly Pulitzer is a party without music.  Lilly Pulitzer is a person whispering “That’s random” over and over into a hot pink coffin.  Lilly Pulitzer is a pox on the good name of white people. Lilly Pulitzer is flat-out ugly as sh*t.” 
Well, here’s what I have to say to everyone who feels this way.  
Lilly Pulitzer isn’t any of those things!
 Lilly Pulitzer is the girl who saves up money from each paycheck to eventually purchase a nice, well-made dress after a year of saving because she knows it’s an investment piece.
 Lilly Pulitzer is a classy brand, you don’t see any models with their boobs falling out, or their butt cheeks falling out of their shorts.  
Lilly Pulitzer invented what is now considered modern-day cruise wear, the same thing that Ralph Lauren did when he created an entire brand of “Country-Club-Clothing” back in the 80’s, now it’s one of the largest clothing brands in the world.  
Lilly Pulitzer is timeless, mothers can pass down their brightly printed shift dresses through generations and the classic cut will never go out of style.
Lilly Pulitzer is a ray of sunshine peeking out from your closet on those dreary rainy days.
Lilly Pulitzer is the ideal lifestyle, sitting by the pool, enjoying the sunshine, making fantastic memories and sipping a lemonade. (In two weeks when I’m 21 it will be a cocktail)
Lilly Pulitzer is preppy, and I would rather be considered a classy girl than a trashy one
Lilly Pulitzer is the story of the American Dream.  She originally created the dress to cover up the orange juice stains from her juice stand, they became a hit and now almost every girl wants their own piece of Lilly.
Lilly Pulitzer is a lifestyle.
So for those girls out there who are apparently “giving their original Lilly to Goodwill since Target ruined the name.” Give me a call, tell me which Goodwill it’s going to.  Or better yet I’ll pay for shipping straight to my dorm.  
Target has never “cheapened” a brand.  It’s made it more accessible.  I’m from Wisconsin and there are no Lilly stores anywhere close to me. Now I own 5 gorgeous pieces.
So thank you Target & Lilly Pulitzer for making this grand collaboration and thank you for bringing the happy prints of Lilly into everyone’s lives. 
If I had those Lilly mugs I would raise it in a toast to you. 
(But I don’t, so if you have an extra set… I’ll buy them from you)
And to all the Lilly loving ladies out there who are tired of being rebuked for buying the original brand or the Target brand… Take the wise words of my favorite musical artist and…
SHAKE IT OFF! SHAKE IT OFF!
(Plus you’ll look cute dancing around in your Lilly dresses)

Thanks for reading,
xoxo,
Maddie
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