Spring Wedding Outfit + Quest for Nude Pumps

Got this email from a reader: "Can you show outfits a petite guest could wear to a wedding? My closet is full of business attire. I'd like to dress up, but tastefully and appropriate for a wedding."

I think weddings are the perfect excuse to go out and buy a dress. Life's too short to not wear pretty frocks. H&M is probably the first place I'd look, but BCBG or even Forever 21 offer viable options for a Spring/Summer wedding.

If I absolutely must pull something from my closet of dull business attire, I would choose a colorful sheath dress. A la the Asos pencil dress. This is how I could wear it conservatively for work:
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Dress: Asos Tailored Pencil Dress in Petite 0/UK 4, hemmed (buy here)
Pumps: Ann Taylor Perfect Pumps sz 5 (buy here)
Blazer: Theory sz 00  Akoya pearls: eBay

And for a not-too-formal wedding, I'd make the following changes:

1. Lose the blazer, or swap it for a cute cropped jacket or a shrug or elegant wrap
2. Instead of conservative pearls, don a statement necklace
3. Swap plain pumps for chic heels with a platform
4. Add a small evening bag or clutch
5. Get nails did and gloss your lips
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Necklace: Forever 21 Beaded Bib Necklace (buy here, also comes in teal)
Bangles: H&M   Wallet: LV   Nails: Essie Jelly Apple

I don't like the quality of F21 necklaces, but I was drawn to this chunky piece. After I got home I coated the metal in cheap clear nail polish (reader tip - thank you!), and now store all my costume necklaces in individual plastic bags, as that's supposed to prevent oxidation.
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Pumps: Nine West "Rocha" in Taupe, sz 5.5
Swing Jacket: Banana Republic sz 0 (old, altered)
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I got this dress back from the tailor, and the alteration cost almost made me weep. Tailor said $10 for the hem, but $25 total if I wanted to keep the back slit (it had to be reconstructed like so). So byebye $50 to get both dresses shortened. See reviews of this dress by fellow petites in the Alterations Needed Forum. Elle did a post on regular vs petite sizing and Ping did a post on the petite.

Next up, a pair of true nude (not brown, not porcini) pumps is a wardrobe must-have, so why is the perfect pair so darn hard to find? I thought about going straight to the popular Corso Como's that Elle has...



...but I wanted a slight platform to further elongate the leg. Below are three options that I entertained:

1. Enzo Angliolini "Kylin" in Nude, sz 6 (5.5 was sold out)
Thoughts: the platform was chunky (look at that thick sole in the back view) and wide. Pointy toe not as classic as almond.
Verdict: Return

2. BCBG "Tinas" in Tapioca Santos, sz 5.5
Thoughts: the color was an effervescent pearly white in person...very bridal and definitely not nude. Toe a little too round for my liking. These DID fit very snugly though...so the 5.5 either runs small or is true to size.
Verdict: Return
3. Nine West "Rocha" in Taupe, sz 5.5
Thoughts: 5.5 fit well, but pinched my toes (never happens!). Not a fan of the wooden sole and heel (I think it makes the shoe looks cheaper). Also, Target's Mossimo Versie in Taupe is a very close dupe for this shoe at less than half the price.
Verdict: Best for me out of the three...but pinched toes hurt. Return.

Here's a look at all three compared to the popular Ann Taylor Perfect Pumps. See how the Ann Taylor ones just have a cleaner and sleeker silhouette? That's why I shall remain a loyal PP wearer.
I will say that my quest for the perfect nude pump has finally ended, in a huge splurge. They're not perfect because they don't have a platform, but I've been considering them for a while and they were love on my feet.

Everyday Makeup for Beginners (Updated Video) & Small Giveaway

I've received many emails from women who are just starting out with makeup, and are unsure where to begin. I was in the same boat a year ago, but have since ended up with a simple routine that works for me, for the time being. My skills are rudimentary, so I'm hoping to learn tips from a beauty guru friend soon.
I did think twice before posting this (as the internet is a haven for people who like to criticize and judge), but I'm pretty comfortable with my bare face. As one discovers and uses more makeup, I think it's important to not become dependent on it to feel acceptable. That being said, makeup can really do wonders to enhance features. Nature gave me small eyes and stubby lashes, but in this video you can see the effects of some simple shadow and liner.


If you are just starting out with makeup, feel free to play around and skip steps that you don't need. For example, if you have great skin, then concealer and foundation may not be necessary. If you don't like the feeling of eye paint aka liner, then you can skip the liquid liner and instead darken the liner eyeshadow.

Products used: Make Up For Ever Duo Mat Foundation in shade 203, MAC Select Cover-Up in NW25, Rock & Republic Blush (sadly discontinued) in Immoral, ELF Eyelid Primer, NYX Smokey Eyes Palette, Lorac Liquid Liner, and Lancome Definicils Mascara.
At first I was overwhelmed with the selection of shadow brushes, but I guess they really do have their own purpose. I recommend at least the following: flat shadow brush, precision shadow brush (for lining), and fluffy blending brush. You can get them for $1 to $3 a pop on ELF (be sure to search around for coupon codes).
As I'm wearing more makeup, I realize the importance of taking it all off at the end of the day. I absolutely love Lancome's Bi-Facil eye makeup remover. It's very pricey at retail but I buy the sample-size bottles in bulk on eBay (can you tell I love eBay?). I've tried a few drugstore brands and some irritated my eyes so badly I went and asked for my money back. Lancome's remover is super gentle and a few wipes is all it takes.

Readers - I am trying to find a liquid waterproof liner that has amazing staying power but won't break the bank. I've retired my old cheapie NYC $3 liners because they flake off. This $23 one works beautifully, but is too pricey for me. Any suggestions?

Ann Taylor & LOFT Fitting Room Reviews

1. Ann Taylor Factory cornflower blue sheath, sz 00P. On sale for 40% off plus 25% off coupon. I liked the simple silhouette of this sheath and the asymmetrical ruffle detail.

Verdict: Pass. Material was "crinkly," torso needed slimming, and the length needed hemming.
2. Ann Taylor Factory petal front shell, XXSP. On sale for 25% off plus another 25% off coupon. Petite sizing available only in dusty mauve or blue. It seems to be a trend for AT Factory to bring back all the regular store favorites from one whole year ago. I missed out on the silk version from last year because small sizes sold out while it was still pricey. The factory retail price is quite high for the significantly shoddier material.

Verdict: Purchased in blue. This top was likened to a wedding cake or fishy scales by Twitter friends, but I was drawn to all the ways Chloe wore the regular store version last year.
3. Ann Taylor Factory chiffon-trim cardigan, XXSP. On sale for 50% off plus another 25% off coupon. 

Verdict: Pass. I wanted to like this, pockets and all, but the rayon material felt very crappy.

Christian Louboutin Simple Pumps vs Ann Taylor Perfect Pumps

Two beautiful shoes, two very different price points.
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Louboutin Simple 100 Pumps (buy here) vs. Ann Taylor Perfect Pumps (buy here)
Video Review:

Vest & dress: H&M  Beaded necklace: F21 (buy here)  Nails: Revlon Tropical Temptation

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Top: H&M ruffle bib blouse sz 2 (old)
Jeans: Gap Legging Jeans in "dark rinse" sz 00P
Bag: LV Speedy 25    Ring: YSL Coral sz 5

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More comparison shots:
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It wasn't easy tracking down a nude sz 35. The stores were full of a "bone" color, which unfortunately is more of a bridal, eggshell white. Right after I got these, an SA managed to find the original shoe I was coveting (New Simples - just like Simples but with a thin 1/2" platform). Those are now en route to my grubby hands, so I will need the help of dear readers in deciding which nude CL's to keep.

Converse Chambray Comes Out to Play (& small giveaway)

Thank you everyone for your sweet comments on my last post. I caught Nick checking back a few times (he usually never reads my blog) just to revel in your praise. Today we're back to the self-tripod pics, which will become synonymous with good sports being on TV.
Since being unexpectedly welcomed as a "keeper" last month, this Converse for Target chambray shirt has quickly ascended to MVP status within my wardrobe. The shade is perfect (not too denim-y), the material is comfy, and it is just too easy to pair. I can't think of a single bottom that it doesn't go with. If you don't have a similar shirt in your wardrobe yet...you are missing out!
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Necklaces: Layered akoya pearls and cameo (both from ebay)
Cardigan: Martin & Osa sz XS (similar)
Shoes: Aldo sz 36 (too big...need 35) (similar

The fit of a womens XS right off the rack (see original post here) was passable, but definitely not perfect on me. I thought I shrunk it with a wash & dry, but I was wrong. The material must be pre-shrunk cotton, because it didn't get smaller.
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I wore it to my tailors and ended up getting the torso and sleeves slimmed on the spot for a whopping $15 (almost the price of the shirt!). But I couldn't be happier with the results. The subtle 1 inch slimming on both sides and sleeves makes a world of a difference when the shirt is tucked in (before alterations, it was too poofy for tucking).
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Like with any button-up shirt, the key is to make sure the shirt fits with a lil' room to spare at the widest part of your bust. This top looks unflattering on the Target model because it's stretched taught across her chest. Larger chested women should possibly order dress shirts in a size up and then have the sides slimmed and waist nipped in. Nothing looks worse than the buttons right at the chest gaping.
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While helping Vicky hunt for her cameo, I ended up with an extra one. Please fill out the short form below if you are interested in winning this vintage green Peri signed cameo. I'll select the winner at random later this week. Giveaway is open internationally : )
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On a separate note, Target is having buy one get one 50% off shoes right now. If you were considering the Tawny wedges then this isn't a bad deal. Also I've gotten a few questions about my nude Target Virginia pumps. I really don't recommend them (stiff and uncomfortable), but they've come out with another nude/taupe heel that I haven't tried yet called the Pearce pumps. If you're ordering, don't forget to use the retailmenot $5 coupon and ebates for 3% cash back.

Petite Lookbook: Remixing the Petite Favorites

As a blogger and avid blog reader, I enjoy taking inspiration and recommendations from others. It's fun to see the same items or outfit tips on different people, but it's also easy to lose one's style identity within this smaller blogging niche. One way I try to incorporate "identity" into outfits composed of ubiquitous petite favorites is through jewelry and layering. I love shopping on eBay and thrift stores for (hopefully) unique pieces, and layering textures to create a different look.

In this outfit are three petite faves: LOFT cuffed pants (Kelly's signature pants : P), AT Factory shell, and AT skinny belt. I added a little lace vest and a basketweave swing jacket for texture, plus thrifted pearls and my coral ring for a pop of color.

See this outfit in LOFT's facebook pants feature : )
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Vest: H&M Crochet Lace Vest sz XS (very similar here)
Top: Ann Taylor Factory Chiffon Ruffle Shell sz XXSP (info in this post)
Swing Jacket: Banana Republic sz 0 (altered)
Purse: LV Speedy 25  Belt: Ann Taylor Skinny Belt

These pants were from last season, but LOFT has brought back a similar version in the same Marisa cut, cropped length w/ cuffs, in a dark gray melange material and lightweight wool material. Both are currently available online in 00P. 
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Slingbacks: Banana Republic sz 5.5 (old)
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With flats (Cole Haan sz 5) for commuting:
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Ring: YSL Coral Arty in sz 5 (get 6% cashback w/ ebates)
Pearls: thrifted   Earrings: Chanel turnlock studs

Readers - what defines your personal style? How do you keep it unique?

(Closed) - Ebates Spring Fashion Promo & $300 giveaway

**Winners are dimplegirl82, jsgirl1204 & sophialiqin. Congrats! Please email me at petiteasiangirl at gmail.com!**

From now until Sunday, March 27th, Ebates is offering shoppers increased cash back for select retailers. A number of my favorites are on this list:
If you're not familiar with how Ebates works, refer to my previous post. I'm happy to see premium department stores like Bloomies, Saks, and Nordstrom (small shoes galore) participating, because some of their designer brands rarely qualify for discounts.

In other news, Ebates wanted to offer my readers another generous giveaway. From now until the end of April, any qualified member (qualified = purchase made through ebates exceeding $25) who signed up - regardless of when - for an account through my referral link is automatically be entered to win. Three winners will each win a $100 gift card of her choice to any of the retailers listed above.
If you're not yet a member, you can sign up here. We each get $5 after a qualified purchase is made.


Disclosure - Ebates is sponsoring this giveaway but I am not affiliated with the company in any other way. For every qualified referral, I receive the referral bonus that is available to all Ebates members.

Review: Asos Petite Tailored Pencil Sheath Dress

**Update: Check your email today for a 20% off code! If you're not an email subscriber, sign up and possibly ask Customer Service if you can have a code (they've been great to me). The red dress is back in stock in Petite 0!**

I'll cut to the chase. I love this dress. It's not a high quality garment and the length on me requires hemming, but the silhouette makes me feel so ladylike. As soon as I zipped up the snug torso, I knew it was a keeper. I envision it with bold necklaces and cropped little jackets.
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Dress: ASOS Tailored Pencil Dress in sz US Petite 0, Red (?)
Buy here in petite (also in black and cobalt) or here in regular (on sale).

When I saw that this dress was titled "in the style of Lady Gaga," I was apprehensive that there would be some whacky feature to it like an exaggerated poofy skirt. After careful inspection...I don't see anything Gaga-ish. I would see this more on someone polished like fellow petite Eva Longoria.

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Sizing: Asos UK sz Petite 4 = US Petite 0 = H&M sz 2. The Petite 0 I ordered definitely fits smaller than sz 00P / XXSP from the typical petite favorite brands like Ann Taylor, LOFT, and BR.


Fit: This dress is cut narrow in the torso/waist, and has pleated full tulip hips. When zipped up, the US sz 1 on me has no room to spare at the chest and waist, but still a few inches of space at the hips. The bottom opening for the legs is narrow. Even with the slit, it's a snug fit past my hips when putting it on. Length on me hits right at the knee. I want to shorten it about 2 inches, but then the back slit would look funky and truncated. Woe is me.

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Measurements: US sz Petite 0 measures 14.75" from armpit to armpit, 12" across the waist, 17.5" across the hips at the widest point, 13-14" across the bottom leg opening, 14" from top of shoulder to waistline, 33" total length down the back center.
 Front and back, inside out (click to enlarge):

Quality: The material feels like a thin, smooth suiting material with a tiny bit of stretch. It is 100% polyester (machine washable), unlined, and the zipper feels kind of cheap. I wore it for a few hours and it didn't wrinkle. Price seems steep for the quality, but to me it's a fair price for a pretty sheath dress that requires minimal alterations.

Shopping Experience: Free shipping and free returns = happy me. Shipping is now tracked, which is great because I know that used to be the main complaint with ASOS orders. My order this time came from Atlanta, GA (versus the UK, like last time) and took about 5 business days to get here.

Colors: Currently, this dress is only offered in Black, Blue, Cafe Creme, and Red for petite sizing. The Cafe Creme is a light blush pink and kind of looks nude on me because I'm so darn pale right now. The strange thing is, I also ordered Red (it looks like a vibrant cherry red on the website) but I was sent an entirely different color. The one I received is a burnt sienna-coral-ish color, and looks just like "Firebrick" from their regular sizing. I'm confused because I don't even see that color as an option for petite sizing! So if you order Red ... you may receive Red, or you may not.

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Dress: ASOS Tailored Pencil Dress in sz US Petite 0, Cafe Creme
 Buy here in petite, here in regular (on sale), or here in linen. 

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Verdict: Keeping both. A rarity for me at this price. I know many of you probably find the Cafe Creme to be terribly unflattering against my skin tone, but I'm going to save it for when I'm tan.

I highly recommend this dress, but it can definitely be hit or miss depending on your body shape. I want to emphasize the narrowly-cut torso and tulip-style hips. If your chest is any larger than mine (I'm wearing a 32A with this dress) then I'd recommend sizing up.

Readers - what do you think of this dress? Did any of you pick it up?
 
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