Petite Work Outfit - Routine Ruffles

Okay, as you can tell by now I'm quite bad at thinking up "titles" for these outfit posts. Creative writing (and English in general) was clearly not my college major. What I was trying to convey was, this is my go-to routine outfit whenever I wake up with about 10 minutes to spare before having to hop on the subway. I dot on concealer, then slap on a soft ruffled top with a suiting skirt, and a cardigan. Basic, boring - but it gets the job done.
Top: Ann Taylor Ruffled Shell in "soft pewter," sz XXSP  - sold here; must search for additional colors. See the "winter white" version on me here.
Skirt: H&M suiting skirt size 4 (altered waist, sides, and length) - I really like this one.
Cardigan: Banana Republic ruffled cardigan PXXS- sold here
Shoes and Earrings: Banana Republic

As always, don't forget to signup for store mailing lists or check retailmenot for coupon codes! I got my Ann Taylor shell for 30% off but they frequently have 40% off a single full-priced item coupons in store.

Click "Read More" for more pics.

The Verdict: J.Crew Petite size 0 (P0)

**This post has an update. View the dress post-alterations here.**

I was very excited for the arrival of my J.Crew goodies. My expectations were low, after the comments and input from this post, but needed to see for myself and put my curiosity to rest. I also wanted to see whether the fit could be correct by alterations, and if so, for how much $.

First up, the Terra Paisley dress in 0P. On the J.Crew model (left) and on me (right):

Side and back view:
Measurements: 16 inches across from armpit to armpit, 13.25 inches across the waist.

The fit was loose and blah, but it was not swimmingly huge like I had feared. A petite lady 1 or 2 sizes up from me could probably fit perfectly into this dress.  

When I took this to my tailor, she said it needed alterations in the following areas: straps shortened so that the neckline could move up (it was a little gaping), sides taken in, plus hem shortened slightly. Because there was a side zip and side pockets, she would have to take it in via the two back darts instead of the sides, thus shifting the symmetry of the dress. 
Loose arm holes:
Waist and torso about an inch or two too big:
Because this dress was silk and fully lined, the alterations were costly - about $50 total. With my discount this went down to $40, but still a lot for me to fork over for one dress that was pretty expensive to begin with. The dress was final sale (silly me) so I ended up going for the alterations. To make myself feel better about spending all that cash, I returned my Theory Chanesa Dress, since it was still hanging in my closet with tags and all.

Click "Read More" to see the fit of a J.Crew P0 blouse.

Altering Linen - Ann Taylor Loft 00P Linen Pants

Dear Big Apple -
I'm sure you are fun and glam and packed with yummy restaurants on every block, but I'll never know cuz I'm doomed to 12+ hr workdays and greasy takeout for every meal. Love, PAG

On a more pleasant note, while home on Christmas vacation I found these great linen pants in my mom's stash of clothing and kept them (thanks, Mom!). Now, my mom is several inches taller than me (and over 20 lbs curvier) so I don't know what happened there with the genetics. Anyhow, she's a great bargain hunter and found these Ann Taylor loft pants in 00P at some crazy discount store for a mere $7. 
 $9.99 plus 30% off ... oh yes.

A typical lackluster and unflattering fit from Ann Taylor Loft 00P pants, which is why I don't really shop there:
The waist was a tiny bit loose, but I didn't think it was loose enough to be taken in. I was, however, convinced that the hips down through legs needed to be significantly slimmed/tapered and the length hemmed. I brought these to my beloved Hemmingway tailors, and they said ....

Petite Lookbook - Bright Fuschia and Tweed

I'm home in Boston today to get Lasik surgery to correct my -6.5 vision! Hopefully this is the last morning that I will wake up near-blind, fumbling for my glasses. I'm SO nervous ... wish me luck!

Anyways, I'm so glad I decided to keep this mini from H&M Trend. I initially tried it on in all black, and it looked a little stuffy. I think a pop of fuschia does the trick! I would wear this outfit when at my firm's own office, but it's not conservative enough to don at a client.

Side note - I brought a few skirts to Florida, but it was so surprisingly cold (25 to 50 degrees) that I never broke them out. In the Northeast, black tights have become more than acceptable for the workplace throughout Fall-Winter. In typically warm places like Florida, however, I didn't know whether or not that was appropriate. It just didn't feel right wearing black tights when it was gorgeous and sunny outside (albeit very cold) and I did not see a single woman wearing them! Thoughts from readers?
H&M Trend Tweed Skirt sz 2 (similar here in XS - I'd chop off that chiffon trim) (not exactly similar, but same idea and very cute in 00p)
Banana Republic Silk Cap Sleeved Blouse 00P (similar here in cotton/chiffon)(and here in silk in PXXS)
J.Crew Merino Cardigan womens XS (similar petite-friendly style here - $48) (and here - $40) (and here - only $32 with EXTRA20! Gorgeous colors available in all 3 styles ... I might have to get!)
H&M 40 den Tights 
Aldo Arnoldoa Pumps (sold here - just got the bone patent in 36 .. gorgeous, but half size too big) (similar here but I prefer the Aldo's for a much better price)

Now if I can only learn how to smile!
Click "Read More" for more pics.

Theory Tweed Suit: Gratian Blazer and Joanie Skirt in "Lecture"

My first "outfit" post! I've been refraining from doing outfit or lookbook posts because, frankly, I don't really know how to style my stuff. I buy things that I think look nice on their own, and wear them plainly with basic tees and pumps. This leads to my fashion-related resolutions for the new year:

1. Learn to better accessorize and "style" my outfits.
Reading other blogs led me to realize how much my outfits desperately lack accessories and that fashionable punch. I own merely 2 pairs of earrings (BR ones from here and the Chanel studs worn in this post), pearl necklaces "borrowed" from my mother, 4 handbags, and a closet full of mediocre shoes.

2. Write down and prioritize the items I am coveting. Save deliberately towards these items, and avoid impulse purchases.
At the top of this list - Chanel small gray classic flap with silver hardware.

3. No more splurge coats. 
I'd love to move to the West Coast in a few years or so, where my beloved coat collection would serve little purpose!

As these are resolutions that I'll be working on throughout the year, I wanted my first look to be a simple outfit that requires little styling. The Theory Lecture Gratian Jacket and Joanie Skirt which I bought in this post finally arrived, and together they make what is easily the most lovely and well-fitting suit I own. Each piece works as well on its own as they do together (readers will def. be seeing them as part of future outfits). The Lecture texture is unique without being too "different" for the business world.
Theory Lecture Gratian Jacket in 00 
Theory Joanie Skirt in 00
BR Monogram drape-neck silk tank in womens XS
J.Crew chiffon floral hair elastic turned pin
Aldo Arnoldoa Satin Pumps in 36 (35's fit much better)

The only alteration I need on this suit is a simple skirt hem, which should be about $10 since it is unlined (really, how does Theory get away with selling a thin, UNLINED skirt for $190??). In the pics I have it temporarily pinned up 2 inches - does it look like a good length? After a big meal, the skirt in size 00 is *almost* too tight, but I know a 0 will sit too low on my waist/hips for my tastes.

As for the tank, BR Monogram unfortunately only comes in regular women sizes so I had to have about an inch taken in on each side. It cost about $15 to alter since it is 100% silk. I really love the Monogram line with its nicer materials, design, and workmanship, without too much of an increase in price from regular BR stuff. This top was on sale for only $25 or so; I especially like how the wide neckline drapes delicately.
I've been hunting for a pretty flower pin for the past month, but it was hard since I refused to spend more than $10. I finally found this chiffon hair elastic with jeweled center at the J.Crew outlet for only $4. It came in fushchia and green too but of course I chose basic black. After lots of struggling, I managed to remove the glue-gunned hair elastic, and replaced it with a safety pin secured by a piece of felt - voila! J.Crew now makes these with both hair clip and pin attached - why didn't they start doing that sooner?
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