Friday, October 12, 2012

Fashion Friday - Lilli Ann Suits

I am always inspired by vintage pictures, fellow bloggers (I’m talking about you this time Joanna of Dividing Moments ), and the weather.

Denver is getting chiller and drearier by the day. With each passing moment, I realize that I am yearning for a beautifully tailored and feminine suit.

There are, to me, very few people that have ever paired femininity, beauty, and suits the way that the Lilli Ann label did.

Lilli Ann was started in San Francisco in 1933 by Adolph Schuman, naming his company for his wife, Lillian. The company became known for their beautiful, elaborately designed suits and coats.

After WWII, Schuman went to France and it was during this time that the labels had “Paris” added to them. While in France, Schuman was buying fabrics, and many of the labels in Lilli Ann designs also contain the name of the French factory that made the fabric.

Many of these fabrics were bought from small textile companies, which were in such financial straits after the war that they were in danger of closing. Schuman bought from these small companies, and was thus credited with saving many of them from financial ruin. For his efforts Schuman was awarded medals from both France and Italy, and the Lilli Ann customer got a suit made of high quality, hand-loomed fabric.

Adolph Schuman died in 1985, but the company continued under the direction of his heirs. The company was sold in the 1990's, and was closed by 2000.

Adolph Schuman left a gorgeous legacy of highly sought suits and coats. For this Fashion Friday, we will only cover the suits.

1. 1950's Lilli Ann Suit ($250.00). The black wool jacket has a woven ribbon pattern, in an almost spider web shape, with decorative velvet covered button and is lined in burgundy rayon.

2. 1940's Large Lapel Lilli Ann Suit ($275.00). The suit coat is beige rayon lined and has gorgeous green piping and details on its large lapel and peplum. 

3. Late 1940's deep blue wool crepe Lilli Ann suit ($395.00). Flattering pleated panels at sides of nipped waist, front button of glittery soft golden lucite, rounded shawl collar.

4. I saved the best for last. 1950's Lilli Ann Wool Crepe Suit ($375.00). This fantastic Lilli Ann suit has a jack with a cinched waist and wide collar. I am sure that I would drop the $375.00 if I had it and not even think twice.

Are you one of the lucky few to own a Lilli Ann suit?

Baci Tutti!


  1. Thank you for this fabulous post and a shout out:)) Yes, I admit it, I too am a Lilli Ann fan and addict. Sign me up for the next meeting:) I love the suits and I love the way they feel on. They are so tailored. I do think after Schuman died the suits went down hill so I just like the 40's and 50's. The best are the earlier suits. Did you know that Balenciaga helped with design in the beginning? Awesome eh?! I'd love one of the really early creations but they are hard to come by. I've had a post planned for awhile which links suits I've seen to ads. I hope to post it one day soon:) I did just luck out and find a Lilli Ann suit on ebay for $46. It was worn by a bride on her wedding. But, most are pricey and in the $200-$300 range for a good one but worth it:))

    1. I had no idea that Balenciaga helped with the earlier designs. I love Balenciaga!

      $46! Seriously... no seriously. What a find!

  2. Lilli Ann anything is fabulous.

  3. Beautiful! I own a grey Lili Ann trench coat. I can't wait till it's cold in Los Angeles so I can wear it!

    1. Well I can't wait to see photos of this grey Lilli Ann trench!

  4. How TINY is that woman's waist in the old ad?? That first blue one is lovely, the silvery webby detail is beautiful.

    1. She is super tiny. Like 18 inch waist tiny.

  5. I really need more vintage suits in my wardrobe. I seem to have a hard time finding ones that fit (they're usually way too big in the bust or the whole jacket is too big, as I have fairly small shoulders), and am allergic to wool (which rules a lot of vintage suits out), but I'm determined to try and find a new suit or two next year and expand that section of my wardrobe.

    ♥ Jessica

  6. What is a pristine Faux Fur Lilli Ann Coat worth?