2010: A Blessed Year of Blogging

Just popping in to say hello and happy (almost) new year to my readers!  I'm currently vacationing with limited internet access, so I've had to keep up with blog reading via iphone only.

Earlier tonight was the petite meetup, which came together thanks to Kelly and the Alterations Needed forum. It was quite fun meeting this group of fellow bloggers and readers. The height comparisons, Theory blazer swaps, and loud chatter of small bra sizes and going commando may have drawn some attention to our table. Thank you Kelly for organizing and thank you ladies for coming! Especially Jess, who braved the 2 hr drive. Check out Kelly's post here and Jess's post here for more photos!
Christina/ChibiChic, Grace, Kelly/AlterationsNeeded, Me, AubreyOhDang the honest commenter, and Jess/Stylepint

And a candid...
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Photo courtesy of Jess (Stylepint)

Earlier this week I also grabbed drinks with Kelly and another one of my favorite bloggers, Liane of Petite XXS! In person, Kelly is gregarious and witty and Liane is softspoken and sweet. Both are tiny! It was a treat to spend time with them, and I almost got to see Elle too who was stuck in LA on a layover.
(Liane, Me, Kelly) - Photo courtesy of Kelly's iphone (none of us brought a camera!)

On a separate note, Jessy of The Little Dust Princess kindly organized the 2010 petite secret Santa exchange on the Alterations Needed forum, open to any ladies around the world who were interested. For my recipient I was excited to draw PetiteXXS, and the cute and little Kileen turned out to be my Santa! Please visit Jessy's post for links to all the participants. I was thrilled to receive:
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Electronic lash curler, Essie "Hot Coco" polish (seen here), and Shisem lashes! Thank you Kileen!!

More surprises from bloggy friends:
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Fun stationary and makeup from DSK Steph, very pretty R&R lip gloss from Petite Little Girl, a handmade glasses case from PetiteXXS for the sunnies I won from Vicky's Daily Fashion, and NYX goodies from Sophia. I also received a very unique photo frame from Nelah!
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I was also surprised to receive two packages from non-blogger friends. I briefly mentioned in old comments that I could not find the popular "Airy Fairy" Rimmel lipstick at local drugstores, and lo and behold...

I now have two thanks to my dear readers DoubleZeroP and Jennifer from Canada! I couldn't help jumping up and down as these were such unexpected and thoughtul surprises. Jennifer also sent a wonderfully soft olive pashmina and a coral F21 ring.

Whether it's an email, comment, or (unnecessary but greatly appreciated) gift, the kindness of my readers and fellow bloggers is overwhelming to me. Thank you ladies again for your friendship and support throughout 2010, and I look forward to getting to know more of you in the new year. *Hugs!*

LOFT Holiday Outfit Series & Sweet Velvet Petites Sale

I wanted to do a quick post about the holiday outfit series that fellow blogger Tara of Mix and Match Fashion posted this week (first post starts here). For the past 4 days, Tara featured some of her favorite bloggers in holiday ensembles containing LOFT items. Tara is a teacher (a rather stylish one, may I add) who loves LOFT. As many of you may already know, LOFT offers a 15% discount for teachers on every purchase, possibly combine-able with sales. You just need to apply online or in-store for a savings card.

I haven't shopped at LOFT for a while because I'm slightly sized out of their dresses, skirts, and pants. However, I did score 4 of their awesome long cardigans a while back which fit great. Working with what I have, this was the best I could do for "festive":
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Dress: J.Crew paisley dress as seen here, sz 0P altered
Cardigan: LOFT V-neck long cardigan sz XXSP
Skirt: Sweet Velvet Petites Grace Pencil Skirt sz XS, pinned back

I love the thought of layering a dress under a skirt to make it more versatile. However, the ensemble I have here just doesn't work. My dress is empire-waisted and the skirt is low-rise. Ideally you'd need a fitted dress that tucks in nicely, and a naturally high-waisted skirt. To be attempted again in the future...
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This Sweet Velvet Grace Pencil Skirt in XS sits lower on my hips, which was surprising because an earlier S.V. item I tried on in XS was quite snug. I prefer my skirts to come up to my natural waist, but this could work for others who are a little bigger than me, or for those who prefer skirts to sit on their hips. I think low-rise may be the intended style for this skirt, as seen in the stock photo.
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I have a full review planned for this Sweet Velvet petites skirt later, where I will touch more on fit and quality. I wanted to mention now that they are having 40% off their entire online store until December 31st, 2010, with code CHRISTMAS. Kelly and I both tried on the Audrey Dress a while back, which fits very tiny in sz XS.
*Disclosure: This skirt was gifted to me by Sweet Velvet Inc.

How to Style: Basic Cardigan & Pencil Skirt Combo for Work

The J.Crew chiffon cardigans that almost every petite blogger ordered on sale have arrived, and I liked them but didn't love them. Elle said it simply - the arms are snug but the torso is not fitted.

Worn plainly, it's nothing to write home about: 
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Cardi: J.crew Chiffon-Placket Cardigan sz XXS in "weathered wood" - buy here (sale extended)

This is what one size up (XS) looks on me (XXS sold out in Gold while in my cart...gah!):
I am returning this as it's too big all around. See the same color in XXS on Vicky.

In the spirit of "making it work," I spent an hour rifling through my closet for possible pairings, and ended up recording the following video:



Variation # 1 - Tuck it In
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Variation # 2 - "X" then Belt
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Belt: Ann Taylor Perfect Patent Skinny Belt in Granite, sz S (extra holes punched)
Vintage "Peri" Cameo pendant: eBay
Read Kelly's analysis of the "X-shape" for cardigans.

Variation # 3 - Open & Accessorized
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Readers - Which version is your favorite? Please share your own tips on how to style the cardi & pencil skirt combo : )

Extrapetite's 2010 Gift Guide...for Guys

This is a guest post written by Nick, boyfriend of PAG.
 
Hello again, readers of Extrapetite. If you've come across this post on your own, chances are you're not a guy. And if you are, might I suggest a more gender-appropriate website—ESPN, maybe? 

In the interest of helping you petite gals shop for the men in your lives (and in my own interest of dropping a few blatant hints) I've assembled this list of last-minute gifts that most dudes may appreciate. 

1. Socks and Underwear
An underrated gift. They're useful long-term, but they also provide short-term value by delaying laundry during a holiday season full of more important activities such as watching college football games and pretending to like egg nog.

With socks, go for anything but white because we have plenty of those. Try black or gray ankle socks, and if you live somewhere cold, something from Smartwool or the J.Crew camp socks. For underwear, anything brand name to spruce up our existing collection of threadbare Fruit of the Loom.

2. That Thing We Love But You Can't Stand
Maybe it's our high school backpack, a pair of old Vans, or an ill-fitting thrift store plaid shirt. Whatever it is, we should've tossed it long ago, but part of the reason we love it is because you hate it. Well, now's your chance to upgrade for us. As long as the new thing is equally functional, we'll probably be cool with it. A few good conversions:
 
Replace: Ski jacket with cinched waist, neon accents and 10 years of accumulated lift tickets
With: Wanaka Down Jacket by Patagonia

Replace: Cracked and peeling jersey of a player who’s been traded to another team
With:
Vintage NFL t-shirt from Junk Food Clothing

Replace: Shirt that used to be my dad’s and smells like moth balls
With: Sunwashed flannel shirt from J.Crew (look for these on sale in-store)
 
3. Video Games
This gift comes with a caveat—you must let us actually PLAY the game, without reprimand, at least four days a week for the first month, and then twice a week every week thereafter. Also, keep in mind we have more video games than you know about, so do a little snooping to see what we’ve already got. NBA 2k11, Call of Duty: Black Ops and Red Dead Redemption are solid options available for both PS3 and XBOX 360, ranging in price from $40 to $60.

4. Craft Beer Sampler
Do you know a guy who loves beer? And I don't mean that like, "he really loves Bud Light." If he's ever spent over half an hour wandering the beer aisle just to pick a six-pack, he'll appreciate a nice sampling of craft brews. Follow this easy mix-and-match guide:

Match any of these brands:
Stone, Rogue, Sierra Nevada, Harpoon, Avery, Allagash, Anderson Valley, Brooklyn, Great Divide, Founders, Dogfish Head, Rogue, Victory, Troegs, Surly, AleSmith, Lagunitas...basically if you haven't heard of it, that's probably a good thing.

With any of these words:
India Pale Ale (IPA), Brown Ale, Ale, Porter, Stout, Belgian, Winter, Seasonal, Limited, Hops

5. Non-Douchey V-Neck T-Shirts
Until last year, I’d never worn a v-neck t-shirt for two reasons: 1) I don't have a waxed, tattooed chest that I want to show to the world; 2) I refuse to buy a plain t-shirt if it costs more than the $5-for-10 pack of Hanes. But last Christmas my mom got me these Premium Pima Cotton V-Necks from Banana Republic. At 3 for $44 (combine-able w/ sales and coupons), I'd never buy them for myself, but if I had more I'd wear them every day. They only dip a little more than a crew neck, and they’re fitted without being tight.

6. Handmade Gifts
These are wonderful and we will tell you how much we love them and how we will cherish them forever. What we won't tell you is that we'd love it even more if you knew how to hand-make an iPad. Which brings me to our last gift...

7. iPad
I don’t need or even really want an iPad. But let me put it this way, if I found one under the tree on Christmas morning, there would be no need for a gift receipt.

No more sales, J.Crew!

The typically sale-stingy retailer is having sale after sale this season. J.Crew is currently having 30% off sale items again w/ code MUSTHAVE (ends Monday, 12/20/2010) and there are some new markdowns. After a successful order last week I tried to avoid further browsing, but in the end I caved to get some colorful cardi's. Thanks reader Jennifer for letting me know and Elle for posting.

Aside from the items I reviewed in this post, here are 2 more picks for petites:
 1. Double Cloth Coletta Coat - new markdown! Select colors are on sale for about the same price I paid for the Lady Day coat. I've always loved this silhouette more than the Lady Day but it was not on sale until now. Sale colors in regular 0P are gone already, but there were a few left with Thinsulate the last I checked.

2. Merino Chiffon-Placket Cardigan in XXS - I took after Kelly and got Rosewood and Gold. These are now just $21 after discounts from $78, and XXS is left in many colors! They aren't too eye catching in the stock photo, but I was sold after seeing one on Prosephina in the Alterations Needed forum. I think this little cardi will become one of those petite favorites.

*Also get 3% cashback on J.Crew from Ebates (referral link).

Readers - Any other recommendations from today's sale?

YesStyle Review: Korean Fashion Cardigan and Pencil Skirt

Another review, you say? Yes, I am rather prolific this week. I first heard about YesStyle from Sophia and also read about Nelah's picks. Sophia is very tiny, so the thought of her having several finds from there was intriguing to me. After placing my first order, I received many questions from you guys regarding YesStyle. So here you go...(keep in mind both items I bought are from the brand "The Mari," and each brand on there can vary in sizing and quality):
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The Mari Contrast Trim Knit Cardigan - one size ($60, comes in 2 colors)
The Mari Pencil Skirt - sz small/ Korean 55 ($28, comes in 3 colors)
Gray tights, H&M   Perfect pumps, Ann Taylor

Video Review
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I would say the size chart on YesStyle is inaccurate, to the benefit of petites. The chart equates a Small/ Korean 55 to a US size 4-6, when in my experience this skirt fits more like a US 00 or XS/0.
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Before buying, I thoroughly researched their store policies. It's important whenever purchasing online to do your research so that there are no surprises! I've written some out but the full polices are here.

Shipping & Order Time
- Shipping to the US and Canada is free for orders over $150
- For orders under $150, shipping to the US is $9.99 and to Canada is $16 (more countries here)
- YesStyle uses Express Shipping by DHL which comes with a tracking number
- For many items, YesStyle needs to procure the merchandise from their vendors before shipping to customers. Right below where you select size/color for an item, you can see whether the item is "Ready to Ship" or "Ships within 7-14 days." You are not charged until the item ships.
- My experience: placed order on October 30th, got shipment notification & tracking # on November 10th, and got package on November 12th. Express shipping from overseas is fast!

Returns
- Returns are accepted for store credit only. You must contact their customer service within 14 days to get a RMA code. See full policy here.
- There is a domestic address to mail your returns to in the US. Return shipping is the buyer's responsibility. Returns are not processed until the items are received at YesStyle's headquarters in Hong Kong (they ship it there themselves from the domestic address).

As you can see, their return policy is not the best. Given my struggles with fit, I was hesitant to order pricey items that could only be exchanged for store credit. My advice is to measure carefully, and inspect all the product photos (each item usually has plenty of model photos) for any potential fit or quality issues. If you plan on ordering, use code EXTRAPETITE for $5 off $20 or more.
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Disclosure - YesStyle.com is an advertiser on my blog, however I am not affiliated with the company. I do not earn commission through the links or coupon code, and the garments shown here were purchased by me.

Review: J.Crew Double Cloth Lady Day Coat in Petite 0

 honor of the J.Crew sale this weekend (25% off and free ship for orders over $150 with code PRESENTS) I wanted to get this review out for you guys. I haven't had a chance to catch up on blogs, respond to comments or emails yet, but will do that later this weekend : )

I tried to touch on everything in the video, but please let me know if you have any questions. Here are the measurements of a 0P: 14.5" across the shoulders, 17" across the armpits, 14" across the waist band, 33" total length, and 21" sleeve length (I mistakenly said 20" in the video). To see this same coat on another petite, visit Cynthia at Shorty Stories (she is about 5'2").

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There is a *really* close version of this ring online in coral and cream. I must go hunt for the coral! 
Polish is Essie "Hot Coco" courtesy of my lovely secret santa ; )
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Coat: Petite Double Cloth Lady Day Coat in 0P
Shoes: Tory Burch sz 5, Ring: Forever 21 sz 6, Earrings: NYC market Tights: Forever 21 one size

**See this coat reviewed on another petite (smaller than me), Alterations Needed.

Cascading Flutter Shell in XXS regular:
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Top: Cascading Flutter Shell in XXS regular
Jeans: Gap legging jeans in "dark rinse" sz 00P, Booties: Target Mossimo sz 6

Overall this tank was a comfortable fit, and I can see myself wearing it with jeans or tucked into pencil skirts. Originally only the green was on sale, but all colors are on sale now! Great little filler to get the free shipping. And I promise...my olive kick is officially over : )

Petite Lookbook: A Venture into Victorian

Ruffled top tucked into slim pencil skirt = standard work fare for me year-round. It's pretty much foolproof for those just starting to build a work wardrobe. Back in January I posted the same outfit recipe here, and it almost pains me how plain I was (outfit and face alike!). Thank you blogger friends for providing fashion/beauty inspirations and critique over the year. My style has surely taken a turn for the better after reading blogs and reading all your comments.

Although the jist of this ensemble hasn't changed, I've been trying to spruce it up with simple accessories. Add monochromatic tights and pumps to stay warm (and elongate the legs). If you're always a black tights on black pumps girl...try gray on gray or olive on brown for a change. Feminize the look with some bold costume jewelry. Having almost never worn jewelry last year, I make a huge effort now to wear at least one piece every day.
Top: Ann Taylor ruffle blouse XSP - similar here
Skirt: Theory Joanie Tweed Skirt sz 00 - similar here and here  
Heels: Ann Taylor Perfect Pumps sz 5   
Gray tights:  H&M Divided 40 den
Cameo bracelet: Topshop (from bf's London trip)
Chain Necklace: LOFT    

This blouse fits surprisingly small for an XSP, especially for silk. I did spend a hefty $25 to get the sleeve cuffs brought up (see pre-alterations photos here), but my pet peeve are ill-fitting sleeves so I always shell out for the alterations.
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I have to say I probably won't buy LOFT necklaces again. After just one wear this final sale chain necklace oxidized and had that terrible metal smell (this happened to all my F21 necklaces so I never buy those anymore either). It left a rash on my neck so into the trash it goes...

Readers - what are your go-to ensembles for work?

Forever 21 and Gap Petites Review

Hello readers, I hope you guys had a wonderful weekend! I woke up lazily this morning, browsed my phone while still in bed, and was completely floored to see my friend DSK Steph's "welcome" post. After reading her words as well as the ridiculously kind comments from some of our mutual readers, I think I have a perma smile glued on my face. I am so blessed to have so many of you as friends - both fellow bloggers and readers alike. Many of the earrings I showed in a previous post are back in stock on Steph's site, at very affordable prices too, so visit her blog if you are interested.

On a separate note, I tested out my flip cam in hopes of doing reviews while items shown are still in stores...
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Video Review
YouTube screen capture system...won't you take mercy on me?


Items shown:
1. Forever 21 Zippered Slinky Knit Dress, sz S, $14.50 (buy here in 3 colors)
2. Heritage 81 Cable tights sz S, $6.80 (buy here in 4 colors)
3. Forever 21 ring in sz 6 (can't find online, but there were lots in-store)
4. Forever 21 olive teardrop earrings, $4.80 (buy here in 3 colors)
5. Gap cowl neck sweater sz XS Petite (buy here - XSP is back in stock in charcoal!)
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 Faux-Shearling Booties: H&M sz 36  Belt: Ann Taylor Patent Belt sz S  Cardi: LOFT sz XXSP
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Along with the Gap cowl neck sweater I also ordered two more pairs of Gap legging jeans, in their faded medium wash and classic "rinse" wash. I cut this part from the video review because it was too long. In short, faded medium = too faded and whiskered. Classic rinse is actually a nice dark blue (thanks Pam/wallbounce for the tip!), however the material on both are paper thin and stiffer than my original "faded dark" pair. After much debate I'm returning both, so buyer beware that material and sizing can be inconsistent on those jeans from wash to wash.
And just wanted to show how the Gap cowl neck sweater fit on me in XS regular (for ref I am ~5 ft, 90 lbs). I am wearing XSP in the video. Hopefully the vid w/ flip cam is easier on the eyes/ears than previous ones. Thank you guys for watching!
 
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