This post is sponsored by Elizabeth Suzann, a women’s clothing label based in Nashville, Tennessee.
I don’t often think about the shape of my clothes. I guess I do in an abstract sense: I think about how they fit me and fit, clearly, corresponds with shape. But I never really think about a garment’s geometric pattern or how that shape might ultimately affect the drape or the way a piece of clothing touches my skin in the middle of a record heatwave.
Thank goodness, these are the kinds of things that designer Elizabeth Pape kept in mind when approaching the Elizabeth Suzann Spring/Summer 2016 collection. Elizabeth focused on geometric shapes like spheres and rectangles and triangles when envisioning a collection meant to be worn smack dab in the middle of summer’s hottest heat. The fabrics she’s used are lightweight and breathable: hemp and silk and the lightest, airiest cotton. But like all Elizabeth Suzann pieces, they’ve also been designed with an eye toward longevity and flexibility and in hopes that as temperatures dip they’ll transition to a new season with the addition of a layer or two.
The Spring/Summer 2016 collection was designed in part with New York City in mind. Elizabeth writes, “architecture and geometry of the city-scape and my time spent in the museums [in New York] played a large role in developing the shape-based theme of the collection.” And so when the team there reached out to ask if I would showcase some of their pieces in this space, I was especially excited about taking them for a whirl around my own quiet New York City neighborhood.
Here, a few of my favorites from the latest collection:
When you hold the Birdie Caftan in Handwoven Cotton up by its corners, you can see the dress is a simple rectangle (with a beautiful thick hem and reinforced seams). Draped from shoulders, sleeves appear and the dress hangs loosely around the body, leaving plenty of breathing room. Closer inspection reveals a diamond-shaped pattern in the cream-colored handwoven cotton.
The Annie Shirt Dress in Hemp Gauze and Keaton Duster in Cotton Twill show off a little bit of the collection’s potential to layer. The hemp gauze of the Annie Shirt Dress is a blend of hemp and silk and organic cotton gauze. True to the rest of the collection, it’s light and airy as can be. Elizabeth describes the dress as her conceptual interpretation of the classic men’s button-up shirt being worn by a woman. I loved pairing the shirt dress with the Keaton Duster, which ups the pocket factor and lends a bit of texture and length. I can picture wearing the duster on a cooler fall day with skinny jeans and a long-sleeved t-shirt. On a warmer day, it was just right with the Birdie caftan.
One of my favorite pieces from the collection is the Olina Jumpsuit in Silk Crepe. It looks luxe, but in a relaxed way. Comfy-fancy, you might call it. The deep-v can be worn in the back or the front depending on your mood and there aren’t any zippers or buttons or snaps to contend with; it’s just easy. Perfect for beachcombing or dancing or anything in between.
For the perfect dress to transition from day to night, I’d choose the Harlow Dress in Hemp Gauze. The dress is cut from the same hemp/silk/organic cotton blend as the Annie Shirt Dress, but the wide circle of this dress lets the wind take it. It’s as wearable as it is beautiful and really the only thing you’d need to get through a New York City summer. (With the clear exception of ice cream cones.)
Elizabeth Suzann is the brainchild of Elizabeth Pape, and a dedicated team of seamstresses work alongside her in Nashville to produce these garments. The team is working hard to keep up with growing demand (and in the process of expanding!), so there’s currently a 4-5 week lead time on all orders.
This post is sponsored by Elizabeth Suzann. All opinions are my own. Thanks so much for supporting the brands that support Reading My Tea Leaves.
Photographs by Whitney Kidder for Reading My Tea Leaves.
stunning clothes! stunning lady!
I love these loose pieces!! They are so cool, and chic. You styled them simply and perfectly!
thanks so much, elise!
I love it all! <3
Ohh I love these pieces! I’ve had my eye on the Annie shirt dress for a while. I’m curious, how transparent is it in the white hemp gauze?
So glad, Kelly! The white hemp gauze is fairly transparent. I’d say if transparency bothers you, you might opt to wear it with a camisole or slip. That being said, I’m wearing black underwear and bra here and you can only see the shadow of them. For another idea of the tranparency, take a look at the Harlow dress on the Elizabeth Suzann site. The white dress is cut from the same fabric and the model in the photos is also wearing dark underthings! Hope that helps!
I so admire your natural, effortless beauty, Erin. These flowy pieces are just lovely!
thanks so much for the sweet note. (but i’ll admit, i but had to plan my whole day around actually looking presentable for these photos ;))
Well, it worked. You look lovely. By the way I love the orange tote, where did you get it? Apologies if you’ve already said and I missed it.
Thanks, Nicole! My tote is from Billykirk! I got the floor model of their natural leather tote on sale, so it’s had quite a bit of time in the sun (hence the dark color!).
Gorgeous post, and I love that caftan. Weird question, but can I ask what bra you’re wearing with the jumpsuit and the Harlow dress? It’s such a cute peekaboo effect!
I’m wearing a black and white cotton and silk bra from Brook There in all of the shots! The bra is a few years old at this point, so the exact one isn’t still online, but you can find similar ones on their site!
Elizabeth is my girl!!! You look lovely in all these pieces 🙂
Yay! Thank you!
Love all your fashion posts! I don’t think I can pull off these outfits, even though I absolutely love them on you (!), but I do love your avarcas…..do you know if they are the color sand or taupe? it’s always hard to judge online how light the sand is vs how dark the taupe may be. Thanks!
Thank you! My pons are in taupe!
Gorgeous photos, and you look so fashionable and stunning in all of the outfits!
The Olina Jumpsuit brought me here from your instagram. I’m inspired, and I want one! And this post is so thoughtfully written Erin, with each piece so warmly and beautifully represented.
Thanks so much, Abby!
Oh, so nice pieces!! Especially the Olina Jumpsuit, can I ask you what size you have?
Thank you! I have the OS minus in everything you see here!
I feel like this clothes swallow you up! Way too big in my opinon. I love the idea of breathable, lightweight clothing, I just wish it didn’t seem to require boxy, boy-like shapes.
oh! fascinating. these pieces definitely fall into the roomy category, but i think the overall effect is actually quite feminine!
Love the jumpsuit and beautiful photography – will have a look at this (new to me) brand, thanks x
These look great on you! Not sure how they’d work on my curvy, petite frame, and so would be very hesitant about ordering given it seems they only offer store credit on free returns. If they’re looking for feedback, I’d be far more apt to try them out if they offered fully free returns–so many places do these days, it’s hard to justify trying something new when there’s a monetary risk attached.
Hi Mary Kate: Understand the hesitation. I’m sure they’ll note the feedback, though I do fear that the small, handmade nature of the business would make that kind of policy prohibitive on their end!
I am a regular reader from Portugal, so please apologize my english (not my native language).
My comment is not related to your post (beautiful clothes,btw) but I want to tell you that I am deeply inspired by your live philosophy. I am currently moving, and I have 40 boxes of stuff that doesnt make me Happy, let Aline the furniture. I realize I have far many objects in my life, including clothes and kitchen supplies I have never usei. I fell ashamed and I will to follow your minimalist approach in my new home. I will try to remember, às you said, to love what I owwn and own only what I love. And i love your blog, so I’ll Jeep reading 🙂
Thanks so much for your kind words, Manuela! No shame necessary! We’re all works in progress!
Very pretty clothes, but your bracelet caught my eye. Is it gold? And is it a slip on bangle or clasp? Love the simplicity of it.
Thanks so much! It’s actually a bronze cuff! I never take it off, so it generally stays shiny (unless I’m at the beach all day!)
What beautiful clothes, and styling! Could you say where you got your awesome hat?
Yes, of course! Hat from Brookes Boswell. Hat pin by Young Frankk!
Question on minimalist wardrobes–I wonder how you manage to balance receiving these beautiful clothes (or other products too, like the stowaway cosmetics) shown in these thoughtful posts with your desire and demonstrated actions of keeping a minimalist wardrobe. Do new clothes require an edit in other areas?
Hi, yes! Definitely. I know it can appear like there’s a regular influx of new things around here and it’s something I struggle with as I work to make my blog sustainable financially and continue to reflect my actual lived experience! In sponsored posts, especially, I try to make it clear that I’m highlighting something that I think is worthy of sharing, even if it’s not something that I’m welcoming into the fold more permanently. Here’s the most simple answer: When I receive something that I love that fills a void, I keep it, happily! When I receive something that can replace another thing that’s less-than-perfect, I might choose to part with the original item. When I’m working to spread the word about something but I don’t have a particular need to welcome that thing into my home or wardrobe or makeup bag permanently, those things get returned to the brand I’m working with, passed along to sisters and friends and baby sitters, or donated to charity! Always, the things I’m writing about are things I deeply admire, support, and stand behind, but as you can imagine, there are only so many actual lipsticks that any person needs!
Great answer and I love these posts–I discovered Tradlands because of you. I admit, I’m tempted by the wee cosmetics and other beautiful products. As someone who completed a “tidy up” and is moving towards living more minimally I’m trying to buy less and make do more. It’s all such a balance. Thank you for sharing your wisdom on this regards. What a haven this space is!
Thanks so much for such kind words!
Hello! I love how you displayed these clothes. I’m wondering if you have personally cared for the black silk jumpsuit. I SO want to buy it but I am worried about the care as I have 2 young kids! Thanks!
I haven’t yet washed it, but I have ironed it (twice!) and it’s taken to the iron beautifully. Elizabeth Suzann is really careful to preshrink and test their fabrics prior to construction so every piece of theirs that I have washed has come out of the wash looking as lovely as when it went it. The jumpsuit is 100% silk and so it’s maybe a bit more delicate than the hemp blend, but they still recommend either hand or machine washing on cold and tumble drying (followed by a steam iron!)
(You, the clothes, the presentation, the background, the words).
Love the simplicity of the clothes and of course they way it is presented. I am kinda sucker of these kind of clothes.
Thanks for wonderful blogpost!!!
Hello! I just picked up your book at the library and already almost through it. I have three sisters too and my younger sister has been living a minimalist, zero-waste lifestyle for the past 8 years or so. She’s a huge inspiration for me – it’s so effortless for her, but it’s something I know will take time for me. Ironically, she’s in Providence (like you guys were?)
I had a question about your shoes. I love them – all of them – where are they from?
Looking forward to finishing the book (probably later tonight, haha!)
Hi, can I ask how tall you are? I’m very tempted by Elizabeth Suzann clothes, but worry the oversized fit may be too much for a petite frame. Thanks!
I’m 5’5″ and I wear their OS- size, or the smallest in the numbered sizes!
I am eagerly waiting for my first Elizabeth Suzann piece to arrive. I ordered the Georgia Tee. What is your favorite piece of apparel in the collection, Erin? Do you have any of the silk crepe pieces? I am pondering the Harlow dress in silk crepe. Thank you!
Hi Tammy! Sorry I’m just realizing I didn’t answer this! I have the Olina Jumpsuit (pictured above!) in the silk crepe and I really love it. It’s probably my favorite piece because it’s so incredibly comfortable, but it still feels special enough to wear someplace a little fancy. My Harlow dress is in the hemp gauze, which I love, but I’m sure it’d also be wonderful in silk! Don’t think you can go wrong!
Hi there, I know this was posted over a year ago, but I’m thinking of the Mara jumpsuit in silk crepe (similar to the Olina, which I actually like better but is no longer for sale) but I have two young, delightfully messy boys. How does it hold up to handprints, general grime, etc., that littles bring to all clothes? Any feedback would be so welcome!
Hey Katharine! I find silk to be super resilient and far easier to maintain and clean than you might think. That said, it is a special jumpsuit, and I typically save for more adult scenarios like work or dinner out. I’ve certainly worn it to a playground before, but it’s not something I *choose* for play specifically.
Hi Erin, thanks! This is so helpful! Have you found the linen/cotton to be wearable for kid scenarios? I love ES clothes and want to get a few pieces, but their being resilient to playing with little people is the most important element (perhaps on par, or very close behind, beautiful look.)
Sure! You’ll have to follow you guy on this though! The clothes are beautifully made and sturdy, but they’re still clothes–subject to all of life’s possibilities!
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