Back to basics

white top denim scarf looks 670
Bottom left: H&M wool hat (I took M) and scarf, Nine West loafers c/o (size up if between sizes)
Right: Gap "real straight" jeans (current season options), Halogen heels, Chanel bag

Lately I've gone back to basics and keep reaching for this flowy blouse and distressed pair of jeans. Pair with a wool blazer and printed heels for a more tailored look, or swap in a cozy, oversized scarf and loafer flats for lazy afternoons. For me, each garment in this post is a closet foundation piece that will hopefully stand the test of time. If you're just beginning to build up a wardrobe, starting with pieces in a navy, camel, and fresh white color scheme makes for classic and effortlessly chic pairings.
white top denim blazer
As an added bonus, all items here also happened to fit off the rack. The H&M blouse runs true to their sizing (which is on the small/narrow side, for those new to the brand) and the only tailoring I might do is to shorten the sleeves.
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White on White

cream lace leopard 2
H&M lace top (past season), J.Crew skirt (old), DIY leopard clutch (tutorial)
Ivanka Trump "Carra" heels (6 colors / prints)

I caught glimpse of a lady the other day in a chic lace shift dress, and made note to try recreating it with old pieces. We had a wave of heat and humidity last week, which meant goodbye coats that I brought out prematurely and hello again cropped tops and minis. This flared tank + high-waisted skirt came together nicely for that straight-edge shift look I wanted. For date night in our neighborhood, I added olive suede pumps and a leopard clutch to make this white-after-labor day pairing a little more seasonal.
cream lace leopard 3

Altering a trench coat from regular to petite sizing

Sale news first...H&M is having 30% off select fall pieces, amongst which is this textured woven coat in the same cut as mine from Spring (worn here and here). Mine was a perfect fit in the shoulders and torso in sz 2, and just needed sleeve alterations. My beloved staple drape blouse is also included in this sale, making it a mere $20 (pls note the back is slightly sheer)!
short trench alterations
On to today's post - I often get questions on whether coats can be altered from regular to petite sizing. Fact of the matter is almost anything can be altered if you have a skilled tailor and unlimited budget! And after a costly and irreversible mis-alteration by a Burberry tailor, I’ve learned that pretty much all alterations also come with risk, regardless of tailor reputation.
short trench alterations frontFor those who've requested alteration examples, this is the Banana Republic trench I really liked but only came in regular sizing. My tailor has successfully done a few jackets for me before so I decided it was worth a shot. Aside from length, other typical differences between regular and petite garments usually include higher armholes, narrower shoulders, higher waistlines, and sometimes even shrunken details like prints or buckles.

Wear it 2 ways: crossover drape dress

paisley dress1
Lush Kendal dress (item # for this specific print is 747572), H&M blazer + hat (both recent)
Ivanka Trump Carra suede pumps (7 colors), BP Trolley booties (4 colors)

As Instagram friends may know, Nick and I spent the past few days in Chicago visiting friends, eating our way around the city and admiring all the architecture. The food in general has been fantastic but I must mention Uncle Mike’s to brunch lovers – their hearty Filipino breakfast (garlic fried rice, eggs, meat plus some traditional sides) hit the spot with Nick lapping up nearly 2 plates, and is perfect for recovering after a night out. Wedding planning had fallen by the wayside for me so I was thrilled that my sweet friend booked my first bridal dress appointment during this vacation  - I can't wait to share more about various styles after trying a few more places, in case fellow brides-to-be might find it helpful. paisley dress
We had a variety of activities planned and limited luggage space, so I relied on a few comfy pieces that could be worn and reworn with small tweaks. For strolling and going out at night, I wore this flowy dress with low-heeled (very stable...I prefer these to many of my flat shoes) BP booties. For a setting with formal dress code I swapped the booties out for heels plus a light jacket.
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