Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXV, No. 21
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Coldwell Banker Princeton Office

Prudential Fox and Roach, Realtors

Gloria Nilson GMAC Real Estate

Henderson Sotheby's International Realty

N.T. Callaway Princeton Office

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Iris Interiors

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Weather Forecast

It’s New to Us by Jean Stratton

“THE LILLY LOOK”: “The whole ‘Lilly Look’ is so bright and happy. It’s happy clothes, and it’s a life-style brand. We are really the only resort chic brand. It’s all about color and print.” Ted Smith (center), owner of the new “Palm Place” Lilly Pulitzer Signature Store on Palmer Square, is shown with patron Cindy Laskin (left) and sales associate Mary Haase.

“Palm Place” Lilly Pulitzer Signature Store Is Very Popular Addition to Palmer Square

It was a rainy, chilly early May afternoon. Quite dreary, actually. As I stepped inside “Palm Place”, the new Lilly Pulitzer Signature Store, all that was forgotten. The bright colors, nifty displays, and happy atmosphere created a breath of spring.

The popular Lilly Pulitzer line arrived at 73 Palmer Square West in March, and Princeton patrons couldn’t be happier. “It’s very exciting. Lilly is here! It’s a perfect match with Princeton. My 16-year-old daughter can’t wait to come,” said Princeton resident Lauren Taylor, who was shopping with her 11-year-old daughter. Both left with Lilly creations.

“I had started looking into Princeton more than five years ago,” explains owner Ted Smith, who is also proprietor of a Lilly store in Manasquan. “Princeton was a perfect demographic for us. The Princeton customers understand Lilly and the quality of her line. These are Lilly people who know and love Lilly.”

Certainly, from the time the Lilly Pulitzer line first appeared on the fashion scene 50 years ago, it found its clientele, and quickly became a fashion mainstay. Its Palm Beach-style, evoking a sense of carefree, happy, informal summer days with cheerful colorful prints and patterns was and continues to be “Feel Good Fashion.”

Its popular collections are seen in dresses, tops, skirts, shorts, sweaters, pants, and swimwear for women and girls, and in ties, polo and button-down shirts, and swimwear for men. “We have a blast of color for men,” announces Mr. Smith, a Lilly entrepreneur, who had previously owned three Lilly stores in the Pittsburgh area.

“Lilly is for all ages,” he adds. “We have a selection for babies on up.”

Favorite Colors

Spring and summer choices abound at the store. “Spring blends into summer, with our colors, prints, and focus on cotton. Lilly has the Cotton Seal of Approval, which is hard to get,” notes Mr. Smith. “We also use earth-friendly dyes. We are definitely ‘green’.”

Literally and figuratively. Green is one of the favorite colors, along with pink, blue, and yellow, all combining into fun, eye-popping prints, which even have names, such as Cherry Begonias, Blue-Eyed Girl, Lilly Fields Forever, Twirlers, Stuffed Shells, and many more.

Solids are also important at Lilly’s, especially white. “Lilly loves white,” reports Mr. Smith, “and here in Princeton, a lot of schools require white dresses for graduation. We are the place to go for a great selection.”

The inspiration for the summer 2011 collection is “Lilly Loves the Arts” he adds. A special nod to music is seen in the style and motif of many of the patterns and fabrics.

Ready to Go

Day dresses, sun dresses, cocktail and full-length dresses, halter dresses, and shifts are all in whatever colors, patterns, and fabrics strike your fancy. You will find cotton, cotton sateen, cotton silk, cotton poplin, cotton spandex jersey, and rayon jersey. “This last is wonderful for traveling,” points out Mr. Smith. “You just shake it out, and it’s ready to go.

“Also, the strapless ‘Blossom’ dress, with full skirt, is just spectacular. It’s for women and girls, and everyone loves it — the young girls especially love the little side pockets. Dresses generally are very popular for us, and they are strong nationwide. 80 percent of our dresses are under $200, with dresses for young girls averaging $48.” Other prices include T-shirts at $40 and tunic tops at $88.

Then there are the super accessories. The gorgeous and long-time favorite silk/cashmere “Murfee” scarf in typically lovely Lilly patterns, handbags, tote and beach bags, paper products (journals, stationery, folders), place mats, I-Pod covers, wallets, beach hats — all with the signature Lilly designs. Sunglasses and shoes (Lilly’s shoes are designed by a podiatrist, notes Mr. Smith) are also available, as is a selection of jewelry, including bracelets (three bangles at $48) and necklaces and pendants, which tie into the motif of Lilly’s prints.

“Pack for Paradise”

Mr. Smith is pleased to spend time with customers, helping them with choices and also explaining the Lilly “Pack for Paradise” program. “This is a Lilly Exclusive, and every month, there is a drawing for customers to win a trip for two to a destination, and there is flexibility as to when you can go. Everything here is about fun.

“We are also planning to have an Evening Out on Thursdays for shopping and refreshments here. And we have been so encouraged with the response to our store. Even in the short time we have been open, we have more than 600 names in our computer, and customers are from all over the Princeton area. We even have people from the west coast, when they are here visiting their kids at the University. There is a lot of name recognition with Lilly.

“I have always enjoyed dealing with people,” he continues “and I really like the energy in Princeton. The customers who are coming in are so excited about what we have. Also, if I don’t have something they want, I’ll check the warehouse. If they don’t have it, I’ll reach out to the other stores. There are a lot of options.”

Gift certificates are available as well — a great idea for upcoming graduations. Lilly’s signature gift packaging and boxes add to the pleasure of a gift from Lilly.

“We look forward to growing our business in Princeton,” says Mr. Smith. “I like to be part of the community, and we have been warmly welcomed. There is something about Princeton — I think when you are here, you almost feel smarter! And it’s so important to shop locally. People in Princeton appreciate that. We’re here now — you don’t have to go to King of Prussia or other places to find Lilly.”

Hours are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday, Friday until 8:30, Sunday noon to 5. (609) 921-1660. Website:

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