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This is a quick post that I found in the "unpublished" archives from many months ago.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!

Extra 30% off everything at Martin & Osa - XXS basics galore

Thanks to Chloe, I was able to snag two of these sweaters today with an extra 30% off, making them just $27.65 each after two rounds of discounts. I love my mustard yellow cardigan (from previous post) so much, I hope these fit just as well. Got it in hull gray in XXS and navy in XS. Discount is applied at checkout on top of existing prices - no code needed.

$100 gets you free shipping. Great opportunity to stock up on petite-friendly basics:

1. Striped V-Neck Sweater in XXS - $35

2. Quintessential V-Neck tee in XXS, 100% cotton, comes in 12 colors and is just $10.15

3. Skinny Wrapped Leather Belt in XS - most stores make only XS/S as one size, so this belt should fit fairly small. $16.90.

4. Chloe's pick - this gorgeous 100% silk watercolor dress in XXS. I had it in my cart, but after much deliberation swapped it out for some bright shorts for the bf.

Don't forget to use ebates for an extra 3% back! I've been using ebates for everything from clothing to flights to even taxes! Click here for a referral to join.

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).

Review: Ann Taylor LOFT items in XXSP and 00P

Popped into a LOFT store today for the first time in ages, and was surprised to find several 00P and XXSP items in stock! Armed with my 30% off coupon (print here), I tried on the following:

1. Cotton Wrap Dress in 00P - decent fit and classic silhouette, but the material was crisp cotton. I personally prefer wrap dresses to be in jersey material that conforms more to the body. Verdict: no buy.

2. Tiered Knit Skirt in XXSP - probably the worst of the bunch. Based on the model photo, I envisioned this skirt would sit high on the waist. Instead, a XXSP was so large at the waist that it had to sit at my hips, and the length covered my knees. The knit tiers were also just too much for a petite garment. Verdict: no buy.

3. Knit Empire Waist Dress in XXSP - There was once a time when I found empire-waisted dresses to be flattering ... and that time has passed. I'm sure this dress would look better with heels, as in the model photo, but the flowy and longer skirt was unflattering on me. I also think it looks better in solid colors than prints. Verdict: no buy.

6. Ruffle Front Top in XXSP - I actually really liked the close fit of this top and the easy-to-wear lightweight cotton material. This top also comes in white and a taupe-gray ("coastal fog"), but were sold out in small sizes. Verdict: Would have bought this in the white. I'm not too sad that my size wasn't available, because this is rather similar to the J.Crew Grand Ruffle Tank that I'm sure all of you are tired of seeing!

7. V-Neck Cardigan in XXSP - there were lots of petite cardigans available, but I was drawn to the longer length on this one. Comes in three colors. The XXSP on me was a close fit, and very comfy. This pic really doesn't do it justice esp. because the cardigan blends into my jeans. Verdict: would have bought, if I had not discovered Martin & Osa's lightweight long cardigan.

8. Bow Chain Tank in XXSP - sorry again for an unclear photo, but this is a rather darling tank and comes in navy or white. There is a chiffon bow, plus delicate (removable) chains across the front. A XXSP was very tiny, and I probably could have sized up. My only issue with this is the ribbed knit ... I'm not sure why, but I don't like ribbing. Maybe because it adds a millimeter of extra bulk, I don't know. Verdict: no buy, but I still find this to be very cute, and can see it tucked into a white or khaki pencil skirt.

So all in all ... no score for me from AT, LOFT, BR, nor Bloomies! I'm almost in disbelief! I'm trying not to buy something unless I absolutely love it, regardless of how cheap or on sale it is. Hopefully this discipline pays off soon, in the form of a small Chanel gray flap : )

Anyone else check out the sales that started Tuesday? Hopefully you guys fared better than I did!

Petite New Arrivals & 4/20 Sales

Looks like I'm not the only one excited for 4/20...so many great sales start today, I'm not sure where to begin. Some of my favorites...

Get 40% off all regular-priced BR jewelry online with code: BRBLING. Good for today only and ends at midnight EST. I'm trying to incorporate bolder jewelry into my wardrobe...my picks are the Perseus Earrings and the Whisper Ring.

Right when I think I've had enough Ann Taylor for the season, they come out with charming new pieces that I love. I check that website at least every other day, so I don't know how items have sold out before I even discovered them! A total bummer because there is 30% off AT & LOFT from 4/20-4/25 with code FRIENDS, sale items included.
I fell in love with the Heavy Lace Pencil Skirt and the Vintage Floral Lace Dress shown above, but apparently 00Ps went like hotcakes. I'm going to be stalking the links hoping for a re-stock. Steal-worthy styling tip - pairing lacy white with cognac brown leather to avoid looking over the top girly-girl.

For stuff still left in 00P, they did restock the Tropical Wool Pencil Skirt I am wearing in this post in "ground pepper." I've been very pleased with this skirt so far, but petites any smaller than me may need alterations. And my one LOFT new arrival pick - the oh so pretty Cascading Ruffle Silk Dress in 00P. I haven't had much luck with silk pieces in XXSP, but this is numerical sizing plus it has a side zip, so there could be hope.

Lastly, Bloomingdales' Private Sale "officially" begins today and ends on Thurs. They have a bunch of $25 off every $100 coupons (ask for them in-store) which are stackable with their existing sales such as 15% off shoes, 30% off select handbags, 40% extra off certain sale items. PLUS, you get bonus certificates ($15 for every $100 spent) for future use on top of all that. I've had my eye on this baby in cream.

Phew...Happy Shopping! I know I'll be rummaging for a self-bday gift at one of the above sales : )

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.

Extra 40% off LOFT sale items with SALE40

Loft Marisa Pants available in 00P, $36

LOFT is having a great sale today with 40% off on top of already reduced items. Just a quick post showcasing my picks before all the tiny sizes are gone...

Their Marisa Cotton/Linen Twill pants (pictured above) have unique side pocket detailing. They are on sale for just $36 and are still left in 00P. AlterationsNeeded had luck with their Marisa cut a while back, shown in this post.

This grossgrain necklace tee in XXSP can jazz up a plain pencil skirt or a pair of jeans, and is just $21. The tee material is 100% cotton so I can see it fitting well. I also like this ruffled bib tank (just $12) left in several colors - it's not in petites, but comes in womens XXS. The ribbed knit looks stretchy, so it just might work! And last but not least, if you missed this ruffled dress (shown here on PetiteXXS in her old blog) during the last sale, it's still available in 00P in black for $36.

That's it from me! You can search their sale section by sizing, which is pretty convenient. Happy shopping!

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.
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