Tuesday, February 28, 2012

PFC #13: Stylish for Under $100

This month's Petite Fashion Challenge is hosted by the lovely Annie of Really Petite.  Don't forget to check out Annie's page to see all the other entries!

The Challenge
Stylish for under $100: Put together a professional outfit (excluding shoes and accessories) for under $100. 
If you can, please break down the price of each piece to your outfit. The lower the price of the completed outfit - the better! Bonus points if you can put together a completed outfit including shoes and accessories for under $100.

The clothing portion of this outfit (blouse, cardigan, skirt) amounted to $34 while the accessories portion (watch, bracelets, cardigan clips) cost $29.  I almost got the whole outfit including accessories under $100 but the shoes (Gucci, $99) did me in.  Partial credit?  :)


 
A closer view of the cardigan beading, ruffle top and bracelets.

I know this is a little boring but I do tend to dress pretty toned down for the office.  I'm excited to see everyone else's entries!

Past PFC Entries:

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Burberry Bright & Burberry Blunder

I love visiting the Burberry outlet and wish it was closer to me so I could frequent it more often than once a year.  They usually have some incredible deals that allow me to indulge in my checked scarf obsession.  A few years ago, I was perusing their coats and was instantly drawn to the bright pink color of this lightweight trench-styled jacket.  The smallest size they had available was a 4 and I tried it on hopefully knowing that European sizing can run small.  I was delighted to find that it fit pretty well with just a tiny bit of looseness all around.  Since it came with a belt to cinch the waist, it was pretty much a no-brainer (especially since it was also marked down from something like $500 to $150).

Burberry Raincoat / Mini-Trench, Sz 4
Unbelted side view and knotted belt front view

So when Hubby recently went on a road trip with his mother and passed by the outlet, I asked him to take a peek in the store and see if they had any good coats.  He told me that there was a nice Burberry Brit jacket in khaki on sale.  I asked him to pick me up a size 4 thinking that surely this was my Burberry size.  I was wrong.  This size 4 happened to be very large and all outlet purchases are final sale.  The sleeves cover the tips of my fingers and the entire coat is very baggy on me.  So let it be known (and you may already know this) that Burberry sizing may not be consistent from garment to garment.

Burberry Brit Double-Breasted Jacket, Khaki, Sz 4

I'm not entirely sure what to do with it at this point.  There's no way that I'm confident enough in altering it so I'll see if Mom would like it.

Have you ever experienced a similar sizing blunder?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Winterized Maxi Dress

Had a lunch "date" with hubby and wanted to dress up a little while still being warm.  I never wound up hemming this particular dress since I wanted a to-the-floor hem to really maximize the maxi look (I'm such a geek).  Big mistake.  I was picking up my skirt for every step to prevent tripping over it.  I need taller shoes (here's to you, Cee)!  :)

Sweater:  Banana Republic Cowl Neck (bought this in 4 colors bc I love the look so much)
Dress:  H&M (was a killer deal last fall for $7!)
Belt:  H&M
Bag:  Melie Bianco Ariana, Natural (giveaway win from Cute & Little, buy here)  
Big thank you to Kileen for this gorgeous bag - I love it!  Will do a proper review soon.

Ring:  Amrita Singh Napeague, Blue Lapis (buy here)
I usually hate stretchy adjustable rings with a passion.  I've had ones in the past that were too tight, too loose or just uncomfortable to wear in general.  This one though is perfect.  It conforms nicely to your finger and is comfortable to wear all day.  
Bracelets:  "Jeweled" one from Dillards, Turquoise enamel from J. Crew Crewcuts


Sunday, February 19, 2012

J. Crew & Ann Taylor Outlet Fitting Room Reviews

Despite a nasty cold, I was determined to check out the Presidents Day sales going on at the outlet mall yesterday.  I visited J. Crew first (in-store prices are noted but current online deal takes additional 20% off):

Factory Cotton Shift Dress, Modern Red, Sz 0, ~$70 (buy here)
I'm not sure if there's something wrong with my eyes but it seems like every time I try on something red, it looks very orange to me.  I really liked the pleating details, the cotton material, and the wide waistband (it attempts to define my nearly non-existent waist) but felt like this shade of red / orange looked a little off against my skin tone.  In store, this was 30% off but online you can get an additional 20% off using code FABFEB.  I'm always surprised when an online deal is better than what's going on in-store.
Verdict: No, nice details but unsure of coloring

Factory Stripe Knit Blazer, XS, ~$60 (buy here)
I love J. Crew blazers and this was no exception.  The fit of XS is larger than the fit of their typical Sz 0 blazer.  I thought the navy stripes looked striking against the red / orange dress and I'm just a fan of stripes in general.
Verdict: No, I have something similar already but if it goes on further sale, I may consider snapping it up

Factory Printed Cecilia Dress, Sz 0, ~$75 (buy here)
I absolutely loved this dress on the hanger.  The navy / tan paisley print and vintage feel of the silhouette seemed perfect for spring / summer.  Though this appeared flattering in the mirror, the photo said otherwise.  I'm going err on the side of caution and trust the photo.  How do you decide when it's mirror vs. photo?
Verdict: No, lovely print but not flattering 

Factory Boys' Workwear Shirt, Sz 14 (buy here)
Lastly, I couldn't help but try on this Boys' gingham shirt.  The fit is obviously boxy but I do like the red / gray print.
Verdict: No, I have too many gingham shirts as is and I should stop buying shirts just to layer underneath other items 

I then headed to Ann Taylor where the whole store had an additional 40% off lowest marked price:
Striped Sweater, XS, ~$36
I loved the gold buttons on the shoulder and the rust color but the slouchy effect just didn't do it for me.
Verdict: No

Ruffle Shell, XS, ~$24
Loved the color but too body-conscious for my taste.  I think you'd be able to see the outline of my lunch!
Verdict: No

Dotted Shell, 0, ~$18
This seemed to be a semi-strange combination of fitted and blouse-y.  The top portion fit my shoulders and chest well but then it seemed to flare out at the bottom.
Verdict: No, wasn't sure of silhouette

Yellow Silky Shell, XS(?), ~$30
I was very close to buying this for the yellow color but then I noticed that the vertical "stripes" were misaligned.  Notice how the right "stripe" seems more widely spaced from the center than the left.  I didn't think to check if this was on all the shells or just this one.
Verdict:  No

Not sure if I was feeling particularly picky / stingy from being sick but I wound up leaving the mall empty-handed.  Are you taking advantage of the sales this weekend?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

$10 Red Pants and Polka Dots

Deal alert:  15% off coupon at H&M good through 2/26 on phone app or by printing email from this link  http://www.anpdm.com/newsletterweb/464A5C437141445C4A744943/434A5B467544405F427743425143
**************************

Quickie post here since I'm feeling under the weather.  The funny thing is that I didn't even know it until I felt the back of my neck and noticed a row of bumps from my swollen lymph nodes (I can't see them but I keep envisioning a spiky-necked lizard).  This explains why I've been feeling listless and unmotivated all day (also why my typical Wednesday post is on Thursday instead).

Pre-bumps, we went to the mall to peruse some sale items and found a couple of things worth mentioning:

Lauren Conrad Polka-Dot Pintuck Top, XS, $17.50, orig. $36 (buy here at Kohl's)
After re-trying on my Jason Wu for Target polka dot top (here), I decided to return it.  The fit was ok but it didn't seem very flattering on me.  I spotted this top at Kohl's and loved the gray / pink combination.  The XS is loose and blouse-y (as intended) and has a bit of a romantic feel to it.  It looks like the website carries XXS and I'm curious how that fits.  The top is currently on sale for $25 but I had a 30% coupon that brought it down to $17.50.
Verdict:  Buy, love the colors and price is decent

New York & Company 7th Avenue Sateen Slim Crop, Yelling Red, $10, orig. $43 (buy here)
I've been contemplating this whole brightly colored pants trend and had been briefly thinking of trying to sew my own.  After perusing the pattern sites for slim / skinny pants and finding nothing, I had pretty much given up.  Enter StyleSheWrote.  Jackie posted (here) that New York & Company had a coupon insert in this month's Glamour magazine allowing you to buy any pair of pants for a mere $10.  

The fit here is not ideal.  The "slim" could be slimmer and the current cut emphasizes my mommy pear-shape.  I'm planning on turning this into an alterations project to slim down the legs and play with cuffing / hemming them. I'd much rather try to alter $10 pants than try to figure out how to make my own (fabric alone would cost ~$15+).  I wouldn't really recommend these pants to pear-shaped petites but they'd probably be cute on slim gals with longer legs.
Verdict:  Buy and alter.  I love the color and you can't beat the $10 price tag.

Hope everyone has a great week!  I hope my lizard lumps go away soon.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Spring-minded: Brocade Skirt DIY

The weather is a bit wishy-washy lately.  Last week was in the fifties and the shrubs were starting to bud.  This week there's snow on the ground.  Well, in the spirit of 50 degree weather, I made this simple A-line brocade skirt in a lovely light gold with fuchsia paisley accents.  To make it girly, but hopefully not way over the top, I paired it with a peach blossom top, fuchsia flats, and a "tough" olive green military-style cropped jacket.

Isn't the print lovely?
Top: LOFT (old)
Jacket:  LOFT (old)
Skirt:  DIY Brocade 
Belt:  J. Crew, Coral
Shoes:  Gucci

Next on the DIY list: hi-lo skirt, handkerchief skirt, wrap skirt, fit & flare dress, and peplum dress (or top).  I've been feeling inspired and have been pinning away like a mad woman :)  If you're curious, you can find my pins here.

What are you looking forward to wearing this spring?

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

5 Minute Lace Collar DIY Tutorial

After seeing Kourtney Kardashian wear a lace bib underneath her collar, I was inspired to try to re-create the look with some lace trim I had on hand.  I think it adds a cute, vintage-y look to a plain button-down shirt.

(Sorry the photos are so low res - I couldn't find a larger Kourtney one)
L: Kourtney Kardashian wearing Ani dress with lace bib
R: My version with lace trim and cameo

For this particular piece of lace trim, I think it looks better scrunched together than spread out but I will be on the lookout for other lace options the next time I go to a fabric store.

Easy Steps:
1.  Cut lace trim to the length that will extend around your collar
2.  Thread ribbon through lace (enough to tie in a bow around your neck)
3.  Add a decorative pendant to the ribbon OR pin a brooch to it

That's it!  Now just tie around your neck underneath your collar.  Wear spread out or scrunched as you prefer!  :)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Jason Wu for Target Fitting Room Reviews

I'm always intrigued with Target designer collaborations but I think the Jason Wu collection is my favorite thus far.  I arrived at the store right when it opened and joined the group of ladies making a beeline straight to the Jason Wu items.  I'm happy to say that everyone was very calm and very nice about shopping.  We even exchanged sizes in the fitting room with each other :)  I was disappointed that my local store didn't have the Navy Poplin Dress but I did get my hands on other things to try.

Sleeveless Chiffon Dress in Navy Floral, XS
Since this is a pullover dress (no zippers / closures), it was designed to be a little tent-like and then cinched at the waist with the belt.  Unlike many dresses designed like this, it did not create unsightly bunching at the waist - a big plus.  The chiffon was multi-layered and the effect was a nice, flow-y effect.  The fit is just a little large.  My true, non-vanity size is probably a Small 4 months post-partum but this XS fits me fine and still has room to give.
Verdict:  Yes
See on Annie and Laura

Blouse with Tie in Blush Dots, XS
I loved the concept of this blouse with the contrasting trim but I don't think the color works on me.  I'm a little sad about it because it was soooo pretty on the hanger.  When I looked at this blouse, I thought it was also a pullover type because the placket was actually pretty well-hidden to me (or maybe I'm blind)  but it has snap buttons running down the front.
Verdict: No

Blouse with Tie in Navy Dots, XS
I tried the navy version and thought it was a much better color on me.  Untucked, it looks rather large but tucking makes a big difference.  I think this would look cute with a bright skirt or cuffed pants and flats.
Verdict: Yes
See on Jean and Laura

Sleeveless Printed Shift Dress in Blush Stripes, XS
Here's another dress that looked cute on the hanger but not on me.  I look a bit wide up top and that gives me more of a matronly effect than I'd like.
Verdict: No
See on Jean


Long-Sleeve Sheer Blouse in Blush Dots, Sz S
Sorry about the square - it was a little sheer and I'm a little shy about not having a cami underneath.  This was the only shirt I couldn't find in XS so I grabbed a Small instead.  I originally tried this with the skirt and thought it was a resounding "no."  Tucking into a lower slung bottom made it far less poufy.  The sleeves are long but since the cuffs are narrow, it gives a nice ballooned, feminine feel.  
Verdict:  Yes, though I'm not sure why I think the blush color in this blouse seems better to me than the first one.
See on Annie
Pleated Skirt in Navy Floral, Sz 2
As for the skirt, the way it nipped in the waist and flared out accentuated my mommy hips in a not so flattering way.  Such a cute print though!  I think this would work on a different body type.  Size 2 was true to size.
Verdict: No

Did you buy anything from this collaboration?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Gettin' Tweedy: DIY Chanel-Inspired Jacket

Ah, the classic Chanel jacket.  I've admired them from afar for a long time but it wasn't until I saw Jean wear her Uniqueen version (as well as Wendy and Tiffany) that I felt inspired to try to sew one.

Jacket:  DIY Chanel-Inspired
Shirt:  LOFT, Peach (old)
Jeans:  Gap Always Skinny (old)
Shoes:  Ann Taylor Suede Pumps, Granite
Bag:  Balenciaga Twiggy, Anthracite

It was a good thing I was very inspired because the construction of this jacket drove me absolutely batty.  The shell came together easily (kind of - the pattern sleeve opening did not match the sleeve width) and I thought I'd have this post ready last Sunday.  Then came the trim.  I had been debating whether I wanted to do regular contrast trim or a fringed trim.  I decided to do contrasting fringe trim and this complicated things since I couldn't make this from a bias strip.  Instead, I used the selvage so it lays a little funny at the collar.  This is far from a perfect jacket but it's good enough (and finished) for now.  I'll have to do some more seam ripping this weekend :)
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