A Risky Alteration: BCBG Pleated A-Line Dress

This is a quick post that I found in the "unpublished" archives from many months ago. When my mother first gave me this dress, my initial reaction was ... hrm, interesting.

I tried it on and sauntered around the house, as each member of my family gaped in horror, expecting the worse. "Im not with child," I snapped at my dad and grandma. 
BCBG tweed dress, sz 0

What to do with such a dress? The ginormous pleats overwhelmed my petite frame and made the dress difficult to alter. My mom instructed me not to alter it, and instead save it for when I am pregnant. That is just so like her to buy me something that won't be worn until a decade down the road, if at all. I remember when I was 10 years old, she bought me these purple, carrot-shaped, Route66 brand jeans in kids size 10, 12, AND 14. I didn't hit size 10 until I was about 16 years old, and by then I had probably burned the jeans. Moral of the story: I did not want this dress sitting around for 10 years waiting for me to grow into it. I was determined to make it wear-able.

You can't tell in the photos, but the material is a light blue tweed, which is actually beautiful in person. Such a shame that the fabric was used on this tent instead of a nice, fitted, sheath dress!

Pleats are always tricky, plus this dress was fully lined. Simply taking in the sides wouldn't work, as the fabric being taken away would pull on the pleats. I spend an hour brainstorming and putting in a few stitches myself to see what type of alteration would work. This is a rough sketch of what I ended up getting:
#1 - stitch shut the pleats on the upper body. #2 - slim down both sides of the upper body to give it some definition. When I took it to Hemmingway Tailors, the ladies agreed. They also suggested slimming the dress all the way, as the full skirt would pouf out too much if only the torso was taken in. The poor side pockets were forfeited in the process.

Life with PAG: Bye bye big apple

See ya "Manhattan home":
Hello again Boston bed:
I got to leave my NYC project early to attend to some work back in Boston. Everyone was so jealous that I got to go home. Some of my coworkers have been out there since last August, and will probably be there for the rest of this year! Although I had tons of fun and good eats while in NY, nothing quite compares to being in my own cozy little apartment.
Two quick packing tips:

1. Hotel hangers can harbor gross stuff. I started packing entire outfits on my own "slim" hangers, which ended up being quite efficient.

2. Handbags that fold down save a lot of space. Pictured: Longchamp Le Pliage and LV Speedy 25

Snapshots from the dining diaries with my fave coworkers:

Couldn't read a word on the menu @ Del Posto.
Stuffed with steak @ Bobby Van's
Trying to eat light for once @ Sushi Samba
Steakfest again @ Quality Meats
Closeup of meal: 3 filet sampler, green beans w/ cashews, parmesan waffle fries, and a huge sirloin:
Thank you readers for all the foodie recommendations after my last NYC post. Jessica suggested some hearty ramen from Ippudo, and I ended up going twice for classic (left) and modern (right). Now I am determined to "brew" my own tonkotsu broth, but I read that it takes 12+ hours.

Went to Boston's Beer n' Bacon festival during my first week back. There were tons of beer samples from local breweries, as well as pig-themed nibbles from local restaurants. I was bloated for the rest of the day.
Inhaling a bacon-flavored mini chocolate cupcake with maple frosting:
The end. Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Petite Lookbook: Rosebud Peplum Dress

A few weeks ago I tried on a floral dress at F21 (#5 in this post) and fell in love with the vintage-y rose print. The fit was good, but I thought it was a little overpriced ($20) for a tee shirt dress from F21. Thankfully, a few hours later, I found a similar dress in a darling peplum cut. Peplum (definition): short overskirt usually attached to a fitted jacket or dress.

These photos do not do this dress justice because the flounce skirt got crumpled up in my suitcase. I ironed it out later with my hair straightener but was too lazy to re-take pics.
Dress: Pretty Good sz XS
Belt: F21 sz S
Cardigan: Martin & Osa sz XS (similar here in XXS)

This dress was a random find at TJ Maxx. The discount environment at those stores make me purchase items that I don't even like or need. I worked at Marshalls as a teen, and used to hoard any and ALL clearance clothing & shoes that came remotely close to fitting me. Anyone else guilty of that?

Needless to say all of that stuff has been donated by now, and as a result I am "traumatized" by places like TJMaxx/Marshies. This dress was a lucky find in the juniors department (the petites section is twinset-laden and horrid), and was priced exactly the same as the F21 dress I had passed up earlier.

This is also my first sweater from M&O. I had always seen them on the likes of ChloeConpiracy and Stylepint, but never came across an actual store until last week. I LOVE this longer cardigan! I have been wearing it so much - buttoned up over leggings, or open with my spring dresses. I like the fit of the XS, but later realized that XXS is available online in this summer weight long cardigan (on sale).

Fun at Topshop Petites

Work & travel have consumed my life (blogging from SoCal right now : ), so I apologize for the lack of posts and responses to questions. Unfortunately I don't have any interesting posts ready, but I dug these pics out of my phone to share.

Topshop and I have a love-hate relationship - their styles are trendy and their Petite size 0 fits undeniably small like H&M size 2. But their prices are insane for impractical, trendy styles and their quality is just a step up from F21. And for those who don't live in NYC ... shipping is a scary $15. I love my Topshop moto jacket from this post, but at $120 ... that's more than what I pay for Theory suit jackets on sale!

I was determined to find something springy-y and/or floral during this visit. I was all hyped up for H&M's Garden Collection, but was surprisingly unimpressed and did not buy a single piece. Topshop did deliver in the floral department, but I probably could have gotten 3 things at H&M with the same money.

1. First up is the Floral Frill Top in 0P, $44. Ended up buying this top despite the horrific price for a 100% polyester cropped tank. I was drawn to the peach and teal color combo against the taupe. Outfit post to come soon showcasing this little top.

2. Lace Floral Shawl Tee in 0P, $50 - nothing special, and a satiny skirt with lace trim. The skirt was very tiny and I had to wear it high up on my waist just to get the zipper up.

3. Knitted Striped Jacket in 0P, $85. Basically a navy cardigan with gold buttons and chain detailing:


4. Floral Playsuit in 0P, $100. I was really impressed at how petite this romper was cut. Most sleeved rompers that I've tried on were way too long in the torso, resulting in excess fabric bunching above the waist. This petite romper probably won't fit anyone taller than 5'2". One aspect I did not like was the strong, structured shoulders (too trendy) and of course the price was exorbitant.

5. Unidentified dress in 0P, $240. Interesting, but takes the fairy concept too far. The sales associate could not believe the price either.

6. Lace Slip Dress in 0P, $90. This delicate little dress fit me well, but was much too sheer. It would also look nicer on someone bigger in the bust.

7. Floral Knot Back Dress in 0P, $70. This was a neat little summer dress, but I found that it ran much bigger than everything else I tried on. The 0P could definitely fit a 2 or even 4P. The entire garment drops straight down at the sides, so the tie belt is the only aspect giving it some shape.

Petite Lookbook: Pretty in Pewter

I've been wanting to try Ann Taylor's "Tropical Wool" pencil skirts, but the $108 price tag scared me. They also don't carry 00Ps in store anymore (unlike BR), and I never felt compelled enough to order online. During their 40% off sale last week, I wandered into a store and lo and behold there was a 00P hanging on a rack, in a color that I've been loving this season!
Tee: H&M sz XS
Skirt: Ann Taylor Tropical Wool Pencil Skirt in Soft Pewter, 00P
Shoes: Ann Taylor Exotic Pump in 5.5 - on sale again!
Pearls: eBay

While I was in the store, I also couldn't help but try on this cute swing jacket in a matching fabric. They had it in 0P only, but I was surprised by the slim fit. I think a 00P would actually be perfect on someone my size for wearing over dark denim or black suit pants. It's currently on sale here for $112.50 from $228, and still left in 00P!
I also tried this jacket on with the matching skirt, but it was hideous pewter overload. I will spare readers from the pics.

Review: Petite Suiting Under $200 - Banana Republic 00P

For my second suiting review, I wavered between Ann Taylor and Banana Republic. Both retailers offer suiting in 00P, at similar price points with similar coupons and sales. BR ended up winning because they continue to offer 00P in-store, whereas Ann Taylor stopped doing that last year (boo AT).

A summary of their lightweight wool suiting options, available in black and charcoal gray:

1. Suit jacket - retails for $198
2. Martin trouser pants - retail for $98.
3. High-waisted pencil skirt - retails for $80

Shoppers should never pay retail for BR suiting because they have such frequent sales. Just make sure you sign up for their e-mail updates! The best is their 40% off a single full-priced item on certain Wednesdays (in-store only), which brings the price of a full suit well below $200. They usually hand out those coupons for a future week when you make a purchase, but if you ask really nicely, they usually won't mind just giving you one!
First up, the Lightweight Wool Jacket with Martin Pants in 00P (click pics to enlarge):
 
And the back:
Stock photos:

The waist and hips of the pants:
I think most female professionals have tried on a BR suit at one point or another, so I'll keep the pantsuit review short.

Pros: 00P fits well at the shoulders, waist, and hips on me (5 ft, 94-95 lbs), especially when compared to the Express suit I tried on in Womens 00. Frequent promos = deals to be had. Easy to try on and purchase in-store.

Cons: The cut isn't bad, but it leaves something to be desired. I can see myself donning these pants for "everyday biz casual wear," but I don't feel like a million bucks in the full suit. My profession doesn't require me to wear a suit that often, so when I do, I want it to look great. Also, the pants could still use a little tailoring on me (take up hem and take in thigh bagginess), the jacket is a tad long on me, and the material (96% wool, 4% elastane) shows wrinkles.

Life with PAG: NYC weekend

This weekend, the boyfriend came down to NY and we enjoyed a wonderful few days of mild weather and good eats. And by "mild," I mean downright brisk on Saturday. I was all excited to break out the short shorts, but instead was shivering in this outfit:

Jacket: Topshop Petite 0 (their petite jackets fit so tiny!)
Scarf: Gap 
Bottoms: H&M leggings in girls 11/12
Sunnies: Nordstrom $10, borrowed from bf

Thankfully, food and shopping saved the day. During the week my coworkers always want to wine and dine, so on the weekends I hunger for cheap craveable grub. Pardon the crappy cell phone pics...

Weekend kicked off w/ cocktails and $1 Oysters (Mon-Fri, 5-7pm) at Lure Fishbar. I slurped down 20 of the little suckers, then had a greasy slice of pizza and gelato before bed : O (gluttony face)

Met up with friends the next day at Estancia 460, a little place in TriBeCa with Argentine flair. Huevos Hombre (2 poached eggs on country bread w/ proscuitto and home fries) was just $12. Ate all this with an extra plate of fries : O
Din din was at Smoke Joint in Brooklyn with an old college girlfriend. We could smell the meat smokin from half a mile away...yum. It was affordable, too - 3 of us ate and drank for $56 plus tip. Got both pulled pork and ribs, but I don't love the meat at bbq as much as I love the comfort sides - corn on the cob, mac n cheese, beans w/ sausage, cornbread, cole slaw... : O

The next day I was craving soup dumplings, or xiao long bao, and headed to tourist fave Joe's Shanghai in Chinatown. I am Cantonese and would take delish Canto food over Shanghai grub any day, with the sole exception being mini soup dumplings. 

There was a 30 min. wait at Joe's for the juicy little buns stuffed with pork, shrimp, and "soup." $6.65 gets you a steamer filled with 8 of these, and $4.65 gets you a ginormous bowl of minced chicken w/ corn soup.

My friend wanted to prove to us that you can get just as good soup dumplings without the wait, so after Joe's we hopped over to Shanghai Cafe and ate a couple more. Although there indeed was no wait and the dumplings were tasty, the skin on these were thicker, and the restaurant was lit with odd fluorescent lamps. Prices were exactly the same. I think I'll return to Joe's next time.
Slurp slurp : O
^ Wearing my new, super overpriced cropped top in 0P (sold here). Just noticed that the website lies ... 100% cotton my ass, tag reads 100% polyester.

So...all in all a wonderful weekend, but filled with excessive gluttony. I've been trying to eat healthy at home this year, but being away from home opens the door to so many temptations. I can't wait to roll off this project and go back home.

Hope everyone had a great weekend! New Yorkers ... let me know your foodie faves so I can hit them up before I leave here for good!

AE Outfitters - Additional 30% off Clearance and Free Ship at ANY Price

Thank you Erin for sharing this coupon! I know that most grown women prefer to not shop at AE, but this is actually a pretty great deal for some tiny basics that don't scream teeny bopper. Use code "83461705" for 30% off clearance, and no code necessary for free shipping at any price (now through Sunday).

Fellow petites - I recommend checking out the basic tees and cardigans with inconspicuous logos, as well as their shorts in 00 and pants in 00 Short. AlterationsNeeded and I both had luck with their tiny cardigans a while back. The fit was so small that I should probably size up to an XS. See her post here and mine here. Some of my picks:

Basic Tops:
1. U-Neck Modal Tee (I love modal!) or Boyfriend V-Neck Tee in XXS or XS - $5 and $7
2. Cardigan Jacket in Navy (actually had my eye on this for a while) sz XXS - $21
3. Lace Trim Softest Cami in XXS or XS - $10.50

Basic Bottoms:
1. Favorite Boyfriend Jean in 00 Short - $21
2. Favorite Pant in Gray in 00 Short - $14

And cute flats: Zebra print flat in sz 5 - $14
 

Spring Work Outfit - Contest Entries

Happy Friday! I am so excited to share the entries from the Spring Outfit contest. I couldn't have asked for better participation and cuter outfits. Thank you ladies so much! Without further adieu, here they are displayed in the order in which I received them. If you like someone's style, be sure to check out her blog (linked if available)!
Click pics to zoom:

1. Amanda of A.Co
 Smart Set top, Jacob skirt, Givenchy tights, Aldo shoes, necklace from India, belt was a gift
 

2. Callandra
Ann Taylor jacket, Banana Republic top, LOFT trouser jeans, Fioni pumps, F21 bag, Lane Bryant necklace

3. Catherine N.
Esprit white cotton bodysuit, F21 white tank, wool pleated Banana Republic skirt, Betsey Johnson belt, Pour La Victoir heels, Ann Taylor pyramid necklace.

4. Natalie from Vanilla Lavender Delights
Soia and Kyo jacket in XS, BR pencil skirt in 2, Vince Magenta tank in XS, Anthropologie black crop jacket in XS, DVF heels, and 2009 Spring Blue Layette Balenciaga City bag


5. JoAnn of Sidewalk Chalk
Dress: J. Crew (Spring 2009), Shirt: H&M, Shoes: Target, Belt: Fossil

6. Jessica
Cardigan: Gap xs, Tee: Wet Seal xs, Skirt: H&M 2, Belt & bracelet: Thrifted, Purse: From Marshall's-like store, Shoes: Steve Madden 6. For reference, Jessica is 5'2" (31/24/33). She is still a student, but is getting herself prepared to enter the world of petite work dressing : )

8. Megan of JetSetMeg
Gap ruffled sweater with tie sz S, Ann Taylor lace cami sz XS, J. Crew Dottie Shorts sz 00, Alfani nude platforms size 6. For reference Meg is 5'3," and 100 lbs (32 - 24.5 - 32).
 
Do those shorts look familiar? I ordered them a while back in the same size, and forgot to post pics. I'm so glad Meg got them because they look adorable on her. Here is how they fit on me...
Womens sz 00 measured: 14.5" across the waist, 17.25" across the waist, 8" rise, and 10.5" leg opening

9. Erika of OMGIWant
Forever 21 blazer, white striped tee, and scarf. Express grey knit skinnies and Jeffrey Campbell Riser oxfords. Erika is lucky - she works at a law firm where staff can wear young & trendy stuff every day! Tres chic!

11. Inna
Blazer: J.Crew, Pink Cardigan: Gap, Skirt: LOFT, Scarf: Unknown, Shoes: Nine West.

Entire outfit: Theory. 

13. Vaishnavi
Yumi Kim wrap top for Anthropologie in size XS, H&M sweater, Tracy Reese Gainsborough Pencil Skirt for Anthropologie in sz 0, Pearl Necklace and F21 Floral Ring, Banana Republic Renee Wedges. For reference, Vaishnavi is 4'11" 90-95 lbs. She was excited to share that Tracey Reese items in sz 0 run very small!
 
14. Nina
Burberry trench sz 2 from a two Springs ago, Ann Taylor Tropical Wool pencil skirt 00p (which I *just* bought last night in Pewter!), J.Crew Victoria Tissue Cami in XXS, Jessica Simpson "Jessica" pumps sz 6, Tory Burch bag and scarf from Coach outlet. I don't know about you...but I'm curious to see the ensemble underneath as well : ) For reference, Nina is 5'2" and 102 lbs.


Shift Dress: Theory "Betty" sz 0, Cardigan: Ann Taylor LOFT XXSP, Belt; Nordstrom "Another Line" skinny patent belt in sz XS, Bag: Kate Spade, Pumps; Christian Louboutin Simple 70s. Simple, classy, and perfectly-fitting...I will be copying this at work for sure.

Shirt: Tailor-made in Asia, Skirt: Banana Republic Silk Print Skirt 00P, Belt: Banana Republic Stretch Belt XXS in Black/Brown, Shoes: BCBGeneration Emma 5.5 in Moka

 17. Trish
Pencil skirt and cardigan from Banana Republic, belt from LOFT, lace camisole from Old Navy, and nude peep-toe pumps from Marc Fisher. I saw Trish's adorable belt in-store a while back, and am kickin myself now for not getting it! It really ties her Spring outfit together : )

I really appreciate each and every one of you who took the time to enter. It is so nice to actually see readers and your outfits, as opposed to just me babbling about my mundane AT/BR wardrobe. Choosing a "favorite" was so hard - I enlisted the help of AlterationsNeeded and several of my friends!

And the winner is...
Natalie from Vanilla Lavender Delights! Congrats! 

I liked that Natalie had an outfit planned from head to toe, with bright purse and Spring-y trench. She also wore a number of brands that I currently don't own, which was interesting to see. We also really liked Catherine N. and PetiteXXS - who are each rocking their own versions of the crisp white blouse, waist belt, and A-lined skirt - and JetSetMeg. What do you guys think...which outfits are your faves?

PS - If I left out your entry or mis-linked to your blog, please let me know!
 
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