A boost for As and Bs: The Little Bra Company

***Use code EXTRAPETITE15 for 15% off your entire TLBC purchase (good til Oct. 2010)***

To me, a good push-up bra is a must-have accessory - one that I leave at home for work and family gatherings, and whip out for weekends and going out. Finding ones that suit my petite frame has never been an issue, because my mom buys them for me by the dozen in Asia. In this half of the hemisphere, however, The Little Bra Company (TLBC) bras are amongst the best that I've tried on.

I first heard about TLBC from Alterations Needed  - see her posts here and here. They specialize in A and B cup push-up bras in band sizes ranging from 28 to 36. TLBC recently contacted me and kindly offered to send a sample, as well as sponsor a giveaway for readers (stay tuned!). I used their size guide and determined that I was a 32A - no surprises there.

Here is a demonstration of how their strategic push-up bra compares to one I got years ago from a department store. First up, TLBC Angela T-shirt bra, $52:
Left: Lily of France push up in 32A (from JCPennys)
Right: TLBC "Angela" in 32A (sold here)
H&M dress, sz 2

Continue reading for more pics.

H&M Haul + 20% off entire purchase printable coupon

Click here to print out the H&M coupon, good 'til June 6th, 2010 in U.S. stores only. 20% off your entire purchase is pretty awesome for a place like H&M! Even those who frown down on the quality can probably find some good basics during this sale - tees, tanks, socks, etc.
This is what I picked up today (sorry for the terrible iphone pics! snapped these hastily at work in dim lighting):

1. H&M "Trend" peachy-cream bodysuit with mesh panels, sz 2, $24.95 before discounts. The color is so much prettier in better lighting, I promise. I have absolutely no idea how to wear this, and will probably return it because it's too trendy for me. Suggestions?

2. Petite-friendly bangle bracelets! $7.95 per bunch. When I slipped these on I couldn't believe that they stayed on my wrists. Only after purchasing did I notice they were size XS/S - good thing I didn't grab a M or L! They measure about 2.5 inches in diameter and are "hand made" - not sure where, though. Each set comes with three colored bangles, 1 wood one, and 1 thin gold bangle.

3. More accessories - Divided bold summer earrings in coral, $5.95 and really pretty linen scarf with navy background and cream and gray flowers, $9.95.

4. Divided white cuffed trouser shorts, sz 2, $17.95 - my fave purchase of the bunch. Per my last post - I love trouser shorts for summer! These also came in black, which are perfect year-round, but my size was sold out:
I also picked up one last thing for a secret DIY project, lol. To be showcased next week only if successful. Hope everyone has a great holiday weekend!

Reader Request: How to Look Older in Casual Attire

Reader Request: "I'm a 23 year old 5ft 90lb Asian girl who often gets mistaken for a 15 year old (or an 18 year old on a good day). Can you offer any fashion advice on how to look more your age? Specifically when it comes to casual clothes. I'm in grad school in the sciences and don't have the benefit of wearing nice professional clothes."

Being the approximate age and size of this reader, I set out to illustrate her situation. I put on my "grad student of the sciences" ensemble: sweatshirt, jeans, sneaks, and a curious face. I avoided makeup and pulled my hair back into a simple ponytail. I pictured my parents nodding vigorously in approval (their mantra is: a minute wasted on makeup, hair, or fashion is a minute that could've been better spent on studying). End result - below left.

Before (left): Ready to get carded for a PG-13 movie.
After (right): A few changes make a big difference in age.
 Left: Gap hoodie PXS, A&F kids tee sz M, True Religion "Joey" kids sz 12, New Balance sneaks kids sz 4
Right: Banana Republic top PXXS, J.Crew cardigan XS, True Religion "Stella" kids sz 12, Cole Haan flats sz 5

To keep casual and grad school-appropriate (I'm picturing long treks across campus and hours studying in the library), I avoided high heels. I wouldn't call myself fashionable, so keep in mind these aren't tips to look more stylish, or taller - just more mature:
And although this isn't fashion advice - I feel that looking more mature or sophisticated truly starts at one's face. Asians, especially, tend to have young baby faces that can really be transformed with a little eyeliner, mascara (on curled lashes), and bronzer. The products I'm wearing can be found in my everyday makeup for beginners video. Huge difference:
Continue reading for more suggestions...

Bargain Finds at Bloomingdales Pre-sale

If you have the chance this week, check out the sale racks at Bloomingdales' women and kids departments. This Thursday (5/27), they are having 40% off already-reduced items plus additional 20% off with coupon, but they are pre-sale-ing this weekend. I didn't have a coupon, but the SA was happy to give me both discounts upon being asked.

At my store alone there were 3 racks of Theory sale merchandise, plus plenty of contemporary womens' stuff. With an extra 40% + 20% off tacked on, the prices weren't bad at all...so go soon before everything is picked over! My tip for petites is to not look only for your tiny size. If you find something you like, more often than not the SA can help locate your size at another store.

I wasn't planning on stopping by the kids department, but racks of "premium" white denim caught my eye. Petites who wear up to a sz 25 can probably fit in kids jeans (they go up to 14 or 16), but may need a hem job.. This is what I tried on:

1. True Religion Girls Julie skinny jeans, kids sz 12. $106 $33.07. These are currently on Bloomies online for full retail price. Click here for the adults version.

Pros: I love the weight and stretch of TR jeans - I already own the same style and size in dark denim, so I knew that I would like these.The length was good, and could probably accommodate someone 2 inches taller than me.

Cons: My biggest issue with their kids jeans - and this is a biggie - is that they use a SNAP button closure! It looks just like a real button, but I guess snap is easier for little kids. I'm guessing the inseam was 29-30 inches, based on how much I had to cuff.

Continue reading for more sale finds...

Review: Petite Suiting Under $500 - Theory sz 00

This is my last post in the petite-friendly suiting series. I rushed to put this up today, because there are two Theory sales going on this weekend - rare! The most classic suit from this brand retails for about $620 (jacket + pants), but this weekend you can grab it for $465 after sales.

Since the items are still quite expensive, my picks from this sale are Theory's most classic items in their popular "Tailor" fabric. They make new items in this fabric season after season, so it's the perfect choice for an investment suit. The suit is currently available in 4 colors:

1. Gabe B. Blazer in sz 00
2. Max C trouser pants in sz 00 (view here on AN post-alterations)
3. Betty Sheath Dress in sz 0 (view here on DiaryofaShopper and here again styled differently - #15)

And just for fun, a slim work pant that I loved here on Stylepint: Theory Ibbey Pant in sz 00.

Now for my review:
Jacket: Theory Branden Jacket, sz 00
Pants: Theory Mark B pants, sz 00
Blouse: Ann Taylor sz XXSP
Patent pumps: Nine West sz 6

Continue reading for more...

Trying a new XXS brand - Rachel Roy (30% off + free ship)

I've been eying the Rachel Rachel Roy collection for a while now ever since discovering that they offer size XXS. I went to Macy's to check out the fit, but of course there were no XXS or even XS's! Thanks again to Chloe, I just found out that Friends & Family is going on right now at Rachel Roy with 30% off (no code needed) plus free shipping for purchases $75 +. Perfect excuse for me to try out this brand.

Since I have no idea how this line fits, I'm going to stay away from pants and jackets. It's not a petite line, so most items may require a hem or shortening of sleeves. Here's what's in my cart:

1. Striped Fitted Cotton Skirt in XXS. 19" long. Only $24.49 after two rounds of discounts. I expect this skirt to be much longer and less fitted on me than on the model. I'm hoping to make it work appropriate with a blazer.

2. Elastic gathered-waist skirt in XXS. 18.5" length - perfect for me. I first saw this linked on 9to5chic and have been interested in it ever since.

3. Antique gold necklace, on double sale for $25.89. I've been looking for a bolder piece like this to brighten up my solid-colored dresses.

4. Twisted double layer dress in XXS. Colorful 100% silk and lined - not bad at all for $70! I have no occasion to wear this, so I'm going to pass on this item.

Returns are only by mail, for a $7.50 flat rate (but I'm probably going to return via USPS first class for less $, if needs be). Do any petite ladies have experience on sizing with this brand?

PS - Also get 2.5% cash back on Rachel Roy with ebates!

LOFT petite items - extra 40% off sale

Today LOFT is having another "sale on sale," so I wanted to show some items that I've tried on before which are included. Unfortunately the other sale codes are not stackable with this, but shoppers can get an extra 3% cash back with ebates. Click here for my previous review.

Cotton Wrap Dress, $79 now $41.99 (no more 00P's online; only 0P+ )

V-Neck Hip-Length Cardigan, $50 now $23.99 (PXXS left in Vanilla color)
**Edit - Not the same sweater ^, but apparently very similar. Sorry for the confusion!

I also like the Navy Linen Trousers in 00P (now $35.99) and this drapey Silk Skirt (now $23.99) that Alterations Needed is modeling here.

Designer styles in the little girl's department

Over the past few seasons, I've noticed more and more designers expanding into children's collections. Phillip Lim, Chloe, and Marc Jacobs are just a few examples of labels you can find at Saks kids. Aside from the lower price tag, these miniature renditions may also fit tiny petites better.

Womens: Burberry Prorsum S/S 2010 knotted skirt trench, $3,495.
I fell in love with this, and apparently other women did too because it sold out quickly.
Kids: Prorsum kids knotted skirt trench
Still outside my budget for a trench, but this costs one-third the adult price for a very similar style. I believe sizing on kids trenches goes up to a 12; call the NYC Burb store for the best kids selection.

Here is another Burberry - the lovely ruched epaulette trench modeled by Emma Watson. Click here for the kiddie version. Sigh, lucky little girls...
Read on for more children's finds.

Petite Lookbook: Little Lace Sundress

As temperatures start warming up, the little lace sundress (LLS) is the new LBD. After missing out on several versions by Ann Taylor, Zara, and F21, the lace stars finally aligned and I stumbled upon this at H&M:
Lace mini dress: H&M "Divided" sz 4
Wedge Sandals: I.N.C. sz 6 (similar here for just $23)
Bag: LV Speedy 25; Scarf: Gucci; Belt: F21

At just $34.99, I had no qualms shelling out for this dress. Ann Taylor's $200 version is nice, but I'd never forgive myself if, say, a dollop of sriracha or chocolate ice cream made it's way onto the white lace. More photos after the jump.

Giveaway Time!

Petites designer Henrietta Pertuz generously agreed to award her Newport Blouse to one lucky reader. In case you missed my previous posts, here I am modeling her Lisa bustier, and here I am wearing her Molly dress.

Giveaway prize: Henrietta Pertuz Newport Silk Blouse ($148)
In Sage Green (above) and Hydrangea Pink (below)
Winner will get her choice of color as well as size (comes in size 0P to 12P; I will email a size chart to the winner). This blouse is made of 100% silk imported from Italy - so luxurious! It slips on for a comfortable fit and has a keyhole back closure. Henrietta's items are designed for women 5'4" and under, so if you are taller, this top may fit differently on you.

I think the Newport Blouse is a great giveaway item because it can be flattering on women of various ages and body types. For work, I can see it tucked into a high-waisted pencil skirt or worn under a blazer. Continue reading for the giveaway rules...

Neiman 1-Day Sale: 30% off all Longchamp totes + Free Ship

A quick post to share that Neiman Marcus is having a one-day sale on certain designer items both in-store and online. Plus free shipping at any price with MAYNM (thanks Ms.Shopportunity!)

I noticed that all of their Longchamp bags are on sale for 30% off, which is really rare. This is a good opportunity to pick up one of their foldable totes. These bags aren't the most unique, but I love them for being so lightweight and travel-friendly. Refer to my previous review on all their sizes.

Click image below to go to the sale. No coupon code needed.

The above one is...interesting, and folds into a leather bracelet. It is way overpriced, but rest assured that the regular Le Pliage ones are more affordable. More sale picks after the jump.

Petite Bustier Pieces that Run Small

Ever since I discovered Chloe's blog, I've become corset and bustier-obsessed (see my fave Nanette Lepore corsets on her here and here). Sadly, I have yet to come across a nice (non-racy, non-gothic...) structured bustier that fits me right. Either the boning is awkward, the molded cups are too big, or the length is too long. I came close to taking an F21 one to the tailor, then realized how silly that was.

When I first browsed Henrietta Pertuz's petites collection, my eyes were instantly drawn to the gingham Lisa bustier and the seersucker Ford dress. These pieces come in sizes 0P-12P, and have the classic bustier shape I am seeking with some contemporary details. Henrietta kindly offered to send me the Ford dress, and without hesitation I asked for the smallest size - 0P.

To my surprise, the 0p was too small for me. Not just a little suck-in-yer-tummy small, but much too small. I guess this is promising news for ladies who are more petite than I am. The back closure of the dress is comprised of a zipper at the skirt, and hook-and-eye closure clips at the bust. I managed to get the zipper up but there was no hope for the clips - I hastily snapped some photos (see bottom of post) and returned the dress to Henrietta. This is what she sent back, in size 2P:

Top: Henrietta Pertuz Lisa bustier, sz 2P (sold here)
Pants: brand unknown, waist taken in by my tailor
Shoes: Banana Republic 5.5

Wear it 3 ways: Henrietta Pertuz "Molly" Dress

Happy Monday, readers! I have some exciting news for this week : ) Today I am thrilled to share a new petite-friendly brand with you guys, and later this week there will be a giveaway (open internationally) so readers will have a chance to win something special by this brand.

Henrietta Pertuz clothing is not just "petite-friendly" - the entire line by the NYC advertising account exec-turned-fashion designer is made especially for women 5'4" and under. There are no signs of boxy suits or matronly dresses in her petites collection. Just fitted bustiers, silk pleated dresses, adorable cuffed trouser shorts, and more goodies. Per Henrietta, her line consists of affordable "investment pieces" made with luxurious fabrics and quality workmanship. Special attention is paid to all aspects of fit. Her contemporary collection reminds me of my beloved Theory, but more feminine and colorful.

Brand Snapshot:

Designer: Henrietta Pertuz, 34. Click here to read her petite shopping tips.
First Collection: Fall 2009
Sizes: 0P to 12P (may expand to 00P to 14P)
Ships to: USA (free), Canada, UK, Australia, Japan, and South Africa
Return Policy: 30 days
Price Range: $118-$195
Items Made In: USA

Henrietta sent a few items from her collection for me to try on. Today I will show the "Molly" dress, and on Wednesday I will show the "Lisa" bustier and announce the giveaway subsequently.

Dress: Henrietta Pertuz Molly in 0P
Jacket: Theory Gratian in 00
Pumps: Aldo Arnoldoa.

Finding the Right Skirt Length (Petite Edition)

In your opinion, which of the skirt lengths below look best on me?

A. 2 inches past the knee; B. at the knee; or C. 2 inches above the knee:
Please, please excuse the zombie expressions and gnarly hair in this post. I couldn't bother to get dolled up for these photos.

A while back, one of my readers (thanks Elaine!) emailed me a link about determining one's ideal skirt length. The formula seems complicated, but the concept is simple: the most visually appealing skirt length shows 50% skirt and 50% leg. I will now walk through the "formula" ...

Petite Lookbook: Peach and Pleats

Lately, I've been trying to push my style outside of my comfort zone...especially color-wise. A year ago I wouldn't even have touched peach or salmon, and definitely not mustard yellow!  
Cropped Ruffled Top: Topshop Petite 0 (sold here)
Skirt: H&M "Trend" size 4
Cardigan: Martin & Osa XS
Bracelet: Akoya pearl necklace

*Petite skirt alert* - The waist on a sz 2 was unbelievably small, so I had to size up to a 4. I am in love with the silhouette of this skirt - slightly tulip-shaped with a high waist and well-placed pleats. The higher waist elongates short legs, and the pleats enhance nonexistent hips. As an added plus, the material is sturdy and does not wrinkle, and the zipper is heavy and gold-toned.
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