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

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 LOVE this longer-length 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: 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!

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!