Sunday, February 27, 2011

J. Crew Fitting Room Reviews

I received the J. Crew catalog over the weekend and was intrigued with the plaid shirt + skirt combo they featured:


I thought about it and thought about it and eventually gave in.  I went to the mall to try on the combo in hopes I wouldn't be too tempted to break resolution.

Skirt:  J. Crew Canvas Military Skirt, Sz 0, $39.99
The shirt and skirt fit very well and as with most J. Crew items, the 0 is a tad bigger than what I consider a true 0.  The skirt more so because the elastic allows it more give than a normal waistband.  
Verdict:  No to the shirt - it just isn't my style and I don't know that I'd want to pay full retail for it.  Yes to the skirt - I've been looking for an olive skirt since I tried on the one from LOFT and I think this one is cuter / more classic.

Same shirt as above.
Skirt:  J. Crew Cotton Bell Skirt, Sz 0, $49.99
I actually really liked this skirt but since I already have several khaki skirts (and olive wasn't available), I put it back.  Several other petites purchased the Wool version a  few months ago.  Check out To Brighten My Day, Fast Food and Fast FashionReally Petite, PetiteXXS, and Alterations Needed for their reviews of the Wool Bell Skirt.
Verdict: No, but would be open to other colors

Top:  J. Crew Tulip Ruffle Cami, Pearl, Sz 0, $79.50
Skirt: J. Crew Tulip Skirt, Navy Blue, Sz 2 (can't find online)
 I was intrigued by the concept of this top and the ruffled tiers but it just didn't look very good on me.  On the other hand, I LOVED the tulip skirt.  The volume made me feel so feminine but the hemline is a little too short for me.
Verdict: No to the top / skirt, but keep an eye out for other tulip skirts

Top / Skirt same as above.
Cardigan:  J. Crew Stripe Pocket Cardigan, XXS, $39.99
I was thisclose to getting this but I have so many cardigans already - 2 of which are navy/white striped.  I just couldn't justify a 3rd.
Verdict: Sadly no

So it wasn't too bad.  I bought the olive skirt and also a studded brown leather belt that was on sale.

Did you do any shopping this weekend?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

SPG Pearls Galore Giveaway - 3 Winners!

In honor of reaching 100 followers, I wanted to put together a multi-winner giveaway as a "Thank You" to everyone.  I am really just floored and ever so flattered that you all are out there reading my gibberish :)  Thank you so much!

This giveaway has 3 different prizes - each a variation of my Pearl Ribbon Necklaces:
  1. Silver Pearl w/ Sapphire Ribbon
  2. Golden Pearl & Ribbon w/ Bead Accent
  3. Customize Your Own Pearl Ribbon Necklace!
    • Choose your pearl color - Silver or White
    • Choose your ribbon color - Gold, Black, Amethyst Purple, Light Tan, or Sapphire Blue





Details:
  • Giveaway winners will be randomly chosen using Random.org on the evening of March 24th
  • Winners - please contact me within 72 hours of drawing's conclusion or new winner(s) will be drawn
  • 1st Winner to contact me gets 1st choice of prize and so on

How to Enter:
  1. Fill out form below
  2. Be a public Follower by clicking "Follow" on the sidebar 
  3. Get an extra entry by adding my button to your sidebar
    Grab this button:
    SPG Giveaway

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Color Brigade - Turquoise, Peach, and Gray

If you haven't checked out Kileen's Color Brigade, you definitely need to!  She is the queen of finding great color combos and putting together fab ensembles - let her be your inspiration!

I'm veering away a tiny bit from my comfort zone of color combos in hopes that I broaden future ensemble options.  Soooo...here's the first of some possible color misses :)

 
Cardigan:  LOFT Ruffle Front Cardigan, Turquoise
Top:  J. Crew Pleated Flutter Shell, Peach
Necklace: DIY Pearls & Chain Necklace
Pants:  Ann Taylor Cropped Pants, Gray
Shoes:  Ann Taylor Perfect Suede Pumps, Granite

Sooo...looking at these pictures makes me feel like something is off.  I know the pant length isn't great for petites but I really like this shade of gray and it's been near 70 degrees lately (woohoo!).  What would you fix?

Still working on the giveaway!  I'm planning on making it a multi-winner giveaway so please stay tuned!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

DIY Pearl Ribbon Necklaces & A New Chan Luu Inspired Bracelet

Work has been nuts lately with me finishing at around 8 every night so I'm now incredibly behind in the blogging world :(

To my favorite bloggers - I haven't forgotten you and am looking forward to getting caught up over the next few days!  Please excuse my lack of comments.

To my readers - I have a special treat for you!  I'm putting together a giveaway to celebrate 100 followers (thank you so much!  I can't tell you how much it means to me that any one would want to read my little corner of the internet!) and should have this up early next week.  In about a month, I'll also have a brand new feature added to the blog so stay tuned!

So in the meantime, just wanted to show you a few jewelry DIY projects I've done over the last month.

This was created for a dear friend.  One of her favorite colors is blue and I was inspired by a bit of beach theme (blue for water and soft browns for sand).

This one is just a slight variation of the above with a warm gold color theme.

And finally a new Chan Luu Inspired Leather Wrap Bracelet.  Here I used copper colored faceted crystals (about 4mm), 1 mm metallic brown leather cord, and a coconut button.  Want to make your own?  Check out my video tutorial HERE.

Hope everyone has a fabulous President's Day weekend!  Anyone going shopping?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Spring Cowl Neck Dress DIY & Resolution Update

According to the groundhog, spring is coming!  I have to admit I was a bit hard-pressed to believe the little guy but it is nearly 50 degrees outside today (it was 8 degrees just a few days ago) and I am now super excited about the nicer weather.

In honor of warmer temps and my love of all things nautical, I bring you a knee-length Spring Cowl Neck Dress in white with red stripes.  This dress utilized a striped knit fabric from Joann's and Butterick pattern B5246 view B with the following modifications:

  • Made sleeveless rather than 3/4 length sleeves
  • Doubled the length of the cowl (original length did not have enough drape for me)
  • Looped sash to tie in front rather than back to define the waist a little bit more

Dress: DIY
Shoes: Gucci d'Orsay Pumps, Camel
Necklace: Long string of pearls 

Looking at these photos, I think I need to add some kind of accessory that will pop because the pearls just get lost in the mostly white background.  How would you add some oomph to this?  Maybe a nice brooch?

When the year began, I made a resolution to curb my spending habits on clothes and only purchase items that I loved.  I wanted to give an update on where I am so far:
2010 Monthly Average: $350
January 2011 Spending: $98
February 2011 Spending (so far): $112
I think I'm making pretty good progress (though I realize Feb is only halfway through) and hope to continue sticking to it.  How have you been doing on your resolutions? 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Decision Time: Mama's Got Some Brand New Bags

I have to say that I unintentionally purchased 2 purple bags over the course of a few weeks.  Both were fueled by great sales and my inner deal hunter.  I've been trying to figure out if this violates my resolutions since they were really geared towards clothing purchases.  I think I can self-rationalize it in a way where it doesn't :P

I went to Saks to return my Burberry Snood (reviewed here) and a super smooth SA showed me some Burberry sale items.  One item was the below purple check bag that I had been searching for!  I had ordered it from Nordstrom during the After-Xmas sale in a military green color only to have the order cancelled a few hours later.  So when I found it at Saks for the same price but in PURPLE (one of my favorite colors), how could I say no?

Similarly, I had ventured to Nordstrom Rack to check out their Cole Haan shoe selection and found that they had Longchamp bags for half price!  They had red (only in the super small size), lime green, lavender, and fuchsia so I chose the lavender.

Side by side comparisons of Burberry (left) and Longchamp (right)

What they look like worn

Pros and cons of each:

Burberry Pros Cons
I heart the purple plaid design/color I don't really NEED this bag
Big enough to be a work bag I think I'd prefer an east-west bag than a north-south
Durable, weather-friendly nylon Expensive for nylon (but a good price for Burberry)
Dark color will hide dirt
This helps fulfill my Burberry obsession
Longchamp Pros Cons
Perfect for travel/work Once again, I don't really NEED this bag
Large east-west style for easy access to items inside I'm afraid the light color might show dirt easily
Durable, weather-friendly nylon I'd prefer a Navy Blue or Red color
Much cheaper than the Burberry bag

What to do?  Keep one, keep both?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Yellow, Blue, Magenta & White OOTD

Yay for another edition of Kileen of Cute & Little's Color Brigade!  This week's entry is partially Emma Pillsbury inspired (cardigan + bow-neck blouse + brooch) mixed in with my favorite - STRIPES lol.  I'm still on a bit of a spring kick as you can tell by my chosen colors of yellow, blue, magenta, and white.  There's something about yellow that just brightens my mood and to think that I didn't start wearing it until last year!

Top:  LOFT Bow-Neck Blouse, XS
Cardigan: Old Navy, Yellow, XS
Skirt: Gap, Navy & White Striped, Sz 1
Shoes:  Gucci Magenta Wedges

I really need to work on getting better close-ups of my accessories, but here's a photo of the brooch I'm wearing purchased from eBay seller auaddmore (photo from listing):

 
Isn't it cute?  I love bird-themed things!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

DIY Plaid Peter Pan Collar Blouse + OOTD

I saw this beautiful, sheer plaid fabric at my local Hancock Fabrics store and instantly thought of making it into a blouse of some sort.  I started with a Peter Pan collar + flutter sleeves and then couldn't help myself - I had to add a bow-front - I just love them so much!  You can also tie it into a knot for more of a necktie look.

I love that this is kind of a masculine plaid color scheme made into something frilly and feminine :)


 Close-up of details:

Here's how I would wear it:
Top: DIY, Plaid Peter Pan Collar + Flutter Sleeve Blouse 
Blazer: Banana Republic, Black, Sz 2
Belt: Banana Republic, Black/Brown Snake Print
Pants: Old Navy Skinny Ankle Zip, Khaki, Sz 2
Boots: Born, Black Leather

How would you wear something like this?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Stripes + Stripes OOTD

This OOTD is brought to you by another "shopping in my own closet" remix attempt.  It pairs a striped button down with a striped cardigan accessorized by a cognac-colored belt and pearls.  I'm also trying the "X" from Kelly of Alterations Needed.

Does this work or is there too much going on?

Sorry about all the short posts!  I've been feeling under the weather so I'm just posting items I prepared beforehand.  Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!!

Shirt: Martin + Osa Blue & White Striped Button Down
Cardigan: LOFT Striped V-neck
Belt: Gap Floral Embossed Leather Belt
Jeans: Gap Always Skinny Cropped Jeans
Booties: Born BOC Tonya

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Striped Cardigan: Ann Taylor vs. F21

Quickie post here (so sad that I don't have a Color Brigade post today but it's been nuts over here lately).

Oh stripes, you tug at my heartstrings every time I see you.  Have you noticed that the vast majority of spring collections (at least in the mall) have many varieties of striped garments?  My favorites have a combination of blue / white or cream.  I noticed that both Ann Taylor and F21 had a version of a navy/white striped open cardigan but with a pretty considerable price difference.  AT's was $78 and F21 was $14:

Left:  Ann Taylor Striped Open Cardigan       Right:  Forever 21 (can't find on site)

To me, they look almost identical except that the AT collar is not striped.  As for material, the F21 version isn't bad - the knit is a bit thin.  I didn't take a close look/feel at the AT cardi so can't attest for quality.  For the price and look, I'm going with F21 because I don't really anticipate wearing this for years and years.  So here's one more cardigan to add to the collection (current count is a whopping 82, up from 55 in September - hence the "no more lukewarm purchases" resolution LOL).

Which cardigan would you choose?
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