Sunday, January 30, 2011

Mad Men Inspired DIY Dress

One of my favorite shows as of late is Mad Men.  I joined this bandwagon a little late and am now in the middle of season 4.  Their style is so beautiful and every episode is filled with fashion eye candy.  I love the feminine shapes, cinched waists, and modest flared skirts.

I know it's a little early for something so spring-like but I am aching for warmer weather and all the magazines are now covering spring looks.  Call me impressionable, but it made me instantly crave florals.  This dress was supposed to be a halter but I prefer more of a full-coverage style (esp. since I want to wear this to work) so I mimicked the front for the back as well.  It also features a wide waistband and a full, below-the-knee length skirt.

What do you think?  Do you get a Mad Men vibe?

Floral Dress: DIY
Shoes: Gucci Embossed d'Orsay Pump, Camel

Thursday, January 27, 2011

DIY "Lace" Skirt + OOTD

I actually made this skirt a while ago but never posted pics of it (so note the longer hem length LOL).  This was during the early days of the H&M lace skirt making its way through the blogger community - see it here on:

I really loved how it looked on all of the above ladies but I was feeling rather cheap about actually going out and purchasing it.  On my regular craft stores round, I found a mock lace fabric at Joann's and decided to make a lace-esque pencil skirt.  The fabric is actually a black lace print with a cream background.

Top:  Eyelash Ruffled Satin Tank, XS
Cardigan:  LOFT, Black, XS
Necklace: F21 - I really love their dramatic and super inexpensive necklaces!
Skirt: DIY Mock Lace Pencil Skirt
Shoes:  Ann Taylor, Perfect Suede Pumps, Granite

Here's a close-up of the mock lace fabric:

What do you think about the mock lace?  A do or a don't?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Hot Pink, Blue, & Khaki OOTD

As mentioned before, I am a color novice.  But I've really enjoyed seeing Kileen mix colors and now that she's introduced many other bloggers with her Color Brigade feature, I'm starting to experiment more.  This week features a BRIGHT pop of hot pink (though the photos show it to be a tad more muted) inspired by my DIY floral necklace.  I really wanted to be more daring, but with such a bright color, I decided to tone it down with more muted colors like blue and khaki.

Does this work?  Or am I off my rocker?  :D

Top: Martin + Osa Blue and White Striped Button Down
Cardigan: Old Navy, Facet Button Cardigan, Cyclamen, XS
Necklace: DIY Floral on Ribbon
Belt: BR Factory, Black & Brown Croc
Pants: Ann Taylor Khakis, Sz 2
Shoes: Gucci Magenta Wedges

The colors are actually more like above - but you get the idea - this is an older photo I'd taken of the necklace.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

LOFT New Arrivals & Gap Final Sale Reviews

I'm happy to report that 23 days into the year and I am still doing well on my clothes shopping resolution.  I went to the mall today to visit F21 for some colored tights - namely burgundy and olive green.  I'm often tempted into ordering enough stuff to hit the free shipping threshold and this was my way of saving myself from ordering an excess of "stuff".  But alas, the F21 in my mall is undergoing renovations so they only have a very small portion of their regular offerings.  No colored tights :(

Soooo, seeing as how I was at the mall anyway, I went to check out LOFT & Gap for their respective additional 50% off sale items promo.

No shopping outfit pic today - I was geared for comfort so imagine long skirt, thick tights, and flats - warm, but not cute.  We'll start with LOFT.  I was actually a little disappointed in their sale section which is probably a blessing in disguise so I spent more time checking out their regular price items.

Cotton Metal Zip Front Skirt, Fall Olive, Sz 0, $59.50
This runs a bit big and is not available in petite sizing.  I will say that this fits very nicely (no waist gap) after my giant dim sum outing earlier in the morning :)
Verdict:  Waiting for sale

I really liked this in the yellow stripe I have on above but only SP was available and it was huge.  This fits much better in XSP especially considering that this isn't meant to be a fitted tee.
Verdict: Will wait for sale - but prefer the yellow

Blazer - can't find online so have no idea about the name, 2P (smallest size available)
Too big - it actually makes me look so much heavier - boo.  I'll try to find a 0P or 00P for comparison.
Verdict: Definitely not

Sale racks:
Cowl Neck Sweater, Green Melange, XS, $15
OK, so I know the fit on this isn't wonderful (a little too spacious in the torso) but I really love the cowl and the green.  I'm imagining wearing this with skinny khakis and tall black boots.
Verdict: Buy

Lace Scallop Dress, 2P (smallest size available), $35
This was sooo cute on the hanger, but I think a 0P or possibly a 00P would have fit better.  It just looked like one straight, shapeless tent.  When I pinch off a little of the fabric, it looks much better.  I suppose I could slim it myself or add a belt but I try not to buy things that I need to "fix" unless it's a "must-have" item.
Verdict: No, but would love to try a smaller size

Now on to the Gap sale:
Navy Blue Cardigan, XS
Too boxy and SUPER itchy!
Verdict: No

Zip Front Sweater, Cream, XS, $4
This looks cute in the photos and fits relatively well but the material just attracted all sorts of dust bits and was already starting to pill.  Bad sign, so despite the amazing price, I had to put it back.
Verdict: No

So I made it out of the mall with just one item, the $15 LOFT sweater.  Pretty good, eh?  :)  Any shopping adventures this weekend for you?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Paisley DIY Part 2 & OOTD Options

You may remember my DIY Paisley Sheath Dress here.  I had a little over 1/2 a yard of that same paisley brocade fabric so decided to make a skirt out of it.  Notice the above-the-knee hem [ooh-ahh] LOL.  This is me making fun of myself :P  Up till now, I've only ever made skirts/dresses for below the knee but seeing Annie of Really Petite and Jean of Extra Petite alter their hem lengths has made me feel...more daring?

Top:  J. Crew Muse Tank, Golden Topaz, XS
(see it on Vicky of Vicky's Daily Fashion, Annie of Really Petite, and Liane of PetiteXXS)
Cardigan:  Lauren Conrad, XS
Skirt:  DIY Paisley Brocade
Belt:  Banana Republic, Studded 
(was a Medium so I punched many, many extra holes but I like that I can also wear this slung low on my mommy hips ;) )
Necklace: F21 - love it!
Shoes:  Ann Taylor Perfect Suede Pumps, Granite

Close-up of necklace:

So, question of the day: because not all petites are the same shape and size, do the same rules apply that shorter is better?  Where do you stand on hem length - above the knee, mid-knee, or below the knee?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Blue, Red, Cream, & Gray Nautical OOTD

Feeling nautical today and wanted to incorporate some COLOR for Kileen's Color Brigade feature.  I'm wearing Blue, Red, Cream, and Gray.  I'm starting to experiment with colored tights after seeing Cee and Kileen make it look so chic!  You can't really tell here - but these are actually navy blue tights.  They come across like a black because they are so opaque (unless you're in natural light).  I also picked up a purple pair today at Target for $5 but technically it was free for me because I had a gift card.  Go resolutions LOL!

Top: Banana Republic Navy w/ Cream Stripes, XS (old)
Cardigan: Ralph Lauren Aviator Blue, Girls Sz Large
Skirt: Antonio Melani Red, Sz 2
Tights: Talbots Navy Blue
Shoes: Ann Taylor Perfect Suede Pumps
Necklace: Freshwater Pearls

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Weekend Bargain Hunting Fitting Room Reviews

I'll admit I was a little hesitant about going shopping this weekend after making a resolution to be more mindful of my purchases.  I wasn't sure I could control my spending in the face of temptation.  BUT, I stayed true (after all, we're only halfway through January) - no lukewarm purchases and all items on major sale.

I made my rounds both at the outlet mall and the regular mall.  As always, first up is my shopping outfit:

Jacket: LOFT Twill Officer Coat, 0
Scarf: Burberry Mega Check, Ivory
Pants: Old Navy Skinny Ankle Zip, 2
Boots: Born Flat Boots
Bag: LV Piano Tote

Sweater: LOFT Shawl Collar Sweater, Navy, XS
Top: J. Crew Merino Chiffon Placket Cardigan, Gold, XS

My first stop was the outlet mall and the BR outlet. 

BR Outlet, Tweed Dress, 2P, $70
Had I not seen Jean of Extra Petite and Really Petite totally rock this, I would have thought this looked good on me LOL.  It's such a pretty dress but it seems to make me look a little broad up top.
Verdict: No for now - just doesn't look that great on me

BR Outlet, Jeweled Bolero, XS, $10
 This is cute and fits well.  Now I just have to figure out what to wear it with.
Verdict: Buy

Polo RL Factory Store, Navy Blue Cardigan, Girls Large, $14
I went to the Polo store looking for clothes for the little one (I got 5 sweaters and polos for him - $8 each!) and wound up finding a cardigan for me.  This fits really well - sleeves end right after my wrist - torso is slim rather than boxy.  I might change the buttons but that's not a big deal.
Verdict: Buy

I also visited the regular mall and went to BR and Talbots.
I've been rather disappointed in BR clothing-wise for the last couple of seasons.  It used to be my favorite store but it seems that items are either ill-fitting or blah-looking.  I did, however, find some great jewelry for about $3 each (I had a $10 reward card).  I love all the gems in these pieces (can't make those myself!)
Verdict: Buy

I also went to Talbots after being lured in by their extra 50% off sale signs.  Seeing that Elle had ordered some items (but before I saw her actual review here), I figured it couldn't hurt to take a look.  I didn't really wind up finding any clothes my style so didn't try anything on.  They did have some cute accessories so I picked up some navy blue tights for $7 and a gray croc belt.

Talbot's Croc-Embossed Belt, (mine's in gray), Sm, $12
I had to add 3 extra holes but I love that this is a medium width AND it's gray.  It seems so hard to find a good gray belt.  The only gray I had before is a F21 skinny from this summer that is falling apart.
Verdict: Buy

So now that we're in mid-January, how are you doing on your resolutions?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Sweater to Cardigan Refashion Tutorial

Ha!  I just found an old post that I never published - so here we go, it's a little outdated but that's OK :)

I admit it - I sometimes stalk hubby's side of the closet for items that shrank in the washer.  Sometimes I cut them up for embellishments and sometimes I turn it into other garments.  This one was a red Banana Republic v-neck sweater that fell victim to the washer.  Even shrunken, it was still big on me, so this tutorial will go over slimming a sweater and turning it into a cardigan.

See tutorial after the jump...

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sewing Challenge: Paisley Sheath Dress

Ever since I saw Jean of Extra Petite in this J. Crew Paisley Dress, I've wanted my own version of a paisley sheath.  This one utilizes a gold/black paisley print brocade from Joann's and Butterick pattern B5314 - B.  You can't tell in the photo but I actually raised the hemline a teeny, tiny bit from my below the knee standard.  It is now mid-knee LOL.  Baby steps!

Dress: DIY
Obi Belt: The Limited (old)
Necklace: Gold Chain, Banana Republic (old)
Shoes: Gucci Embossed d'Orsay Pump, Camel

Now time for the question of the day - what is the best way to winterize this look?  What color cardi / tights / shoes?  Basic blacks or something different?

A close-up to show the gold/black paisley print

My new dress form is here!
On the left, we have my old dress form (rigid) and on the right is my new one (pinnable).

I love my new dress form so much!  She has much more realistic proportions (the old one is so Barbie!) with a longer torso like me, has a more stable base, can be shortened to my height (the height here is 5'2" but I've since raised her 2" to reflect me + heels), has a prettier neck block, and is pinnable.  I am so excited to try draping on her!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Military + Floral OOTD

One of my resolutions for this year was to shop in my own closet and try different combinations.  I know  bloggers like Sydney from PetiteLittleGirlStylepint, and Kileen are also doing this (I thought I saw other bloggers with this resolution but I can't remember for some reason - leave me a note and I'll link you if I missed you).  So this is my first attempt at a remix - can military work with floral?

Top: Elle Floral Tunic, Kohl's, XS
Jacket: LOFT Twill Cropped Military Jacket, Olive Green, 0P
Jeans: Abercrombie Boot Cut, Girls, 14
Shoes: Ann Taylor Perfect Suede Pumps, Granite 

What are your favorite trend combos?

Usually, I have a DIY posting for Sunday but I'm running behind!  I hope to have it ready tomorrow :) 

Hope everyone had a great weekend!  

Friday, January 7, 2011

Night Sky: A Pearl Necklace DIY

Quickie posting - just wanted to drop in and show you my most recent necklace DIY.  This one features charcoal graduated glass pearls, navy satin ribbon, and some silver beads.  The total effect reminds me of the night sky even though that probably sounds a bit cheesy :)

A closer look:

You can see that I'm still on a pearl kick :)  What do you think?  Does it need more of something or less of something?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

OOTD and Born Crown Boots Review

You've probably seen these boots in my more recent posts.  I originally purchased them as a filler item at Nordies online to get free shipping and wound up loving them!  The mid-calf length is almost knee high and I feel like this is a much more proportional boot height on me.  Like all Born footwear, it is uber-comfy.  It's not quite UGG comfy, but I can still shlep around the mall all day and not be in pain.

According to Nordstrom, it has a 11" shaft height, 14.25" circumference, and 2.5" heel.  It is a little roomy in the calf area (which says a lot bc my calves are rather big) but this makes it great for tucking in jeans or wearing thick cable-knit knee socks.  The gray leather and buckle details are icing on the cake.  :)

Cardigan: Simply Vera Vera Wang, XS
Leggings: Black, Macy's

I'm also a fan of the Simply Vera Vera Wang line at Kohl's.  She has the cutest designs although I wish her items were cut a little smaller.  XS is still big but all the coupons and deals usually make me overlook that.

Side view

What do you think of mid-calf boots?

Monday, January 3, 2011

A Tale of 2 Snoods: Burberry Reviews

Whilst in bed last week with what I thought was food poisoning (it was actually a stomach virus and I only know this because I've given it to each member of my family over the past week - sorry fam!), I did some after X-mas online shopping.  I was on the hunt for a gray Burberry scarf and wound up with 2 snoods instead.   Every time I hear "snood", I think of a Dr. Seuss character but it's actually a scarf / hood.  I think I'm starting to ramble so let's get on to the reviews:

Snood #1, Burberry Bias Check Reversible Snood, Dark Grey, one side wool and the other silk, Burberry online
This snood features 1 long loop of material that can be worn several ways.
Wool side is a lighter gray color

Silk side has more charcoal coloring

One long loop (I would probably tuck it in but I forgot to take a photo of tucked vs. untucked)

Looped through itself it looks like a regular scarf (untucked and tucked)

2 wraps around the head for a relaxed look

3 wraps around the head to be uber-cozy
Jacket:  Banana Republic, XS (old)
Jeans: Gap Always Skinny with Ankle Zip
Boots:  Born Crown Yolanda, Gray - love, love these!

  • Reversible - wool side for fall / winter and silk for spring.  The different shades of gray are also nice for 2 different looks.
  • Versatile - can be worn several ways 
  • Not shown, but you can also wear this as a hood


  • Um, can't think of any
Keep!  The color and versatility are perfect!

Snood #2, Burberry Giant Check Wool Snood, Camel, Saks Fifth Avenue
In comparison to Snood #1, this one is much thicker with a shorter loop.

I think you can really only wear this 1 way (aside from wearing as a hood) since the loop is too short to double up.  Here it is tucked and untucked.

  • Very thick and cozy
  • The color and pattern are classics
  • The wool is pretty scratchy
  • I set out to buy a gray scarf and this doesn't fulfill my need for gray
  • It looks a little too similar to the Burberry scarf I already have (below).  And the cashmere of the scarf is much more comfortable on my neck.
My regular Burberry scarf in Mega Check

Return.  This one is less versatile, is not gray, and too similar to another scarf I have.

Are you a snood fan?  Can you think of any other ways to wear it?


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