Review: Petite Suiting Under $150 - Express 00 / 00 Short

Over the next month, I'll be doing a series of reviews on petite-friendly suiting at three different price points. I want readers to keep in mind, however, that the prices listed are full retail prices. So although the title reads $150, this suit can be acquired for less when on sale.

I debated between doing H&M or Express for the most affordable category, and ended up choosing the latter. Although H&M runs smaller (a 2 fits me perfectly) and is more affordable (full suit is around $80 retail), their suiting material can be downright cheap-looking sometimes. So when Express had a sale, I ordered the following suit for not much more than an H&M one: 

Reviewing: Express Studio Stretch 1-Button Jacket in 00 ($98), and Editor Pants in 00 Short ($48), both in Medium Charcoal. 

Front and side views:

Flat-as-a-pancake-derriere view:

The butch n' sassy look:

Stock Photos:

Despite how bad the suit may look on me at first glance, the problem lies primarily in the fit of the pants. If you look again at the above photos, the tailoring of the jacket is not perfect, but the overall fit is actually quite slim. The sleeves would need to be shortened because it's not "petites," but that would be the only alteration for me. For the price that I paid, I have few complaints about the jacket.

Quick Review: Ann Taylor Petal Shell and Perfect Pumps

Sorry for yet another Ann Taylor post, but I wanted to share the last of my work loot from last week. This top didn't catch my eye the first time around, but I added it on with my shoe spree:

The top doesn't look like much online, but the details are so pretty in person. The shirt itself is a stretchy and soft rayon/spandex blend that actually draped and fit as expected. The arm holes are trimmed with layered chiffon, and the petals are hand-sewn on with beaded centers. My only complaint is the larger-than-usual arm holes, but I can deal with that. Here's how it looks under a jacket and tucked into a skirt:
Jacket: Theory Gratian Blazer sz 00
Skirt: H&M sz 4 (waist and sides taken in, hemmed)

Annnd my shoe spree:
AT Pumps (in exotic, black leather, black patent, and soft pewter)

I admit I did go a little crazy, but I don't like shopping for work shoes. When I find something that works I tend to grab it in a variety of colors, then wear them happily for the following year. These pumps are exactly what I was looking for - classic, round toe pumps showing just enough toe cleav. with a comfy, work-appropriate 3.5" heel.

A word of warning, though - if you are between sizes you should probably size down. I can wear a 5.5 to 6 normally and I bought these pumps in sizes 5 and 5.5. Also, I take back what I said previously about AT carrying 5's in store ... that was a complete and utter lie told to me by a sales associate! The closest store to me carries 6.5 as the smallest size. How crazy is that?

AT Perfect Pump in Soft Pewter (sold out online, but still available in this purrty, rich Cognac color)

Petite Lookbook: Classic Black Coat

Outerwear is one of the hardest things to shop for as a petite - and alterations alone can run pretty high. I spend a lot on my outerwear, but I feel like the cost is justified. Cold weather in the Northeast settles in around October and stays until April, so I get tons of wear out of them. Not to mention, a nice coat definitely makes dreary winter days more tolerable : )
Coat: Burberry F/W08 sz 2 (read about alterations here) (2009 version sold here)
Leggings: H&M sz 2
Scarf: Abercrombie cashmere
Bag: Chanel Petite Shopping Tote
Shoes: Target Mossimo nude pumps sz 5.5

Shop winter coats in petite-friendly sizes:

1. The J.Crew Lady Day Coat and Wool-Cashmere Plaza Coat in P0 are still lurking on final sale in numerous colors. I've heard that their coats run smaller than their tops, but cannot vouch for this myself. Price was just lowered today to $150, but wait for EXTRA20 or EXTRA30 if you can.

2. Nordstrom Wool-Blend Walking Coat in Juniors XS is a very inexpensive option. This coat was introduced to me a while back by a reader. There are 90+ reviews giving it an impressive 4.5 out of 5 stars, and it should run small since it is juniors sizing.

3. Victoria's Secret Classic Wool Coat in P0, on sale as well. First came across this coat in a thread on the Alterations Needed forum. Per the reviewer (who is a tad bigger than me), the fit was decent, however the quality was not great.

4. Mackage Penelope Coat in XXS. Whenever someone hears that I'm a coat fanatic, they tell me that I have to try Mackage. According to the size chart, an XXS is for women measuring 32-25-34.5, which sounds like a P0 to P2. Any petites have experience with this brand?