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.

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...

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...

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.

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

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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