Petite Fashion Challenge # 7 - The Little Black Dress

This month's Petite Fashion Challenge is hosted by Jessy of The Little Dust Princess. Be sure to visit Jessy's blog to see her and all the other ladies' entries!

The Challenge: "A little black dress (LBD) is essential in every woman's wardrobe. Adding a pop of colour to your LBD will change up its look and make your dress a little less boring. For this challenge, add a pop of colour (or two) to your little black dress to change up the look. You could add anything from an accessory to a blazer, or even nail polish!"

Soo...this is embarrassing, but do you ever read something and only retain the beginning and end, completely forgetting (or ignoring) the middle part? I read Jessy's challenge a few weeks back and remembered "LBD" ..."change up the look"..."add an accessory to a blazer"...but somehow completely missed the emphasis on color.

Today I went back to re-read her challenge and was like...huh?? Color?! So please pardon my derelict entry.
Little Black Dress: Theory "Yeneth" sheath dress sz 0 (similar)
Blazer: Theory "Gratian" sz 00   Pumps: Ann Taylor Oxford Pumps
Faux-Fur collar: H&M  Necklace: Talbots  Peep-toe heels: Aldo 

I wear my LBD's without much color nor adornment. I think the simplicity of a sleek black dress is what makes it classic and beautiful. However, when keeping it simple (and especially with black, which shows the outline of a garment very clearly) - a perfect fit becomes even more important.

How to Style a Leopard Cardigan for Casual and Work Wear

I know a few readers also picked up this Ann Taylor Wild Leopard Cardigan (still left online in all petite sizes), which I am pleased with so far. The print is a soft faded leopard, and the colors are suitable for all seasons. I'm sure it will become a wardrobe favorite of mine.
Top: Ann Taylor Factory Petal Shell sz XXSP
Pants: Ann Taylor twill crops sz 00P (similar)     
Shoes: Aldo (old) Pearls: ebay Bag: Chanel m/l flap

I wanted to demonstrate how one can transform a basic top, pants, and cardigan ensemble and make it suitable for various occasions, just by tweaking the garments and accessories.



Lookbook: Mixing Textures

Playing with brights is fun, but sometimes it's just easier to reach for comfy, muted shades. To zap some interest into an outfit full of mellow pieces, I like to mix fabrics and textures.
Jacket: Theory Gratian Tweed Blazer sz 00 (old)
 Top: LOFT Hidden Placket Blouse sz XXSP (similar - use SPRING40)
Pants: Ann Taylor twill crops sz 00P (similar)     
Shoes: BR leather & patent peep toes (similar in wedge)   
Purse: Chanel taupe lambskin M/L flap  Necklace: Talbots

I love these twill pants, but every time I see photos of the crotch bunching, I cringe. Lesson learned is that flat-front, looser, side-zip pants (versus center zip) are not my friend. 

Lookbook: Spring Crochet and Citrine (& yummy brunch!)

This outfit mixes new Spring finds with trusty old favorites. The vintage-inspired crochet lace dress is not everyone's cup of tea, but I loved it last year (sold out at full price) and was ecstatic that Ann Taylor brought it back to its Factory stores. The citrine belt is something I coveted from their ads earlier this year. When I saw a lone XS lingering at my local store, on sale, I knew it was meant to be.
Vintage Lace Dress: Ann Taylor Factory sz 00P (taken in)
Similar: (in-stores in regular sizing) (for casual) (pricier, w/ sleeves)
Cardigan: Martin & Osa   Belt: Ann Taylor Exotic Skinny Belt sz XS
Slingbacks: BR (similar) Bag: Speedy 25 Trench: Theory sz P (similar in 00P)
Yellow has been my accent color of choice for the past year. This belt may be out of some of your comfort zones, but trust me - if you pick it up, it will quickly become a closet workhorse.

Loving Now: Vibrant Jewels

For the accessories-challenged dresser, vibrant jewels are an easy way to spiff up a basic ensemble. Unfortunately, good yet affordable ones are hard to find. My main problems with costume jewelry are cheap metals that rust and oxidize (I was told to store metal jewelry in individual ziploc bags), and jewels that fall out of their settings.
The foundation for this work outfit is a little girls' white tee, and plain trousers.
Tee: Old Navy Girls Tee sz L   
Cardigan: Gap XS (old)  Pants: Limited (taken in)
Bag: LV Speedy 25 Heels: Banana Republic (old)
Turquoise Montauk Necklace & Westhampton Earrings courtesy of Amrita Singh

I'm sure many of you are familiar with Amrita Singh jewelry. Her "Hamptons" collection is exactly what I was looking for, full chunky pieces that come in at least 6 or 7 vibrant colors. The pieces are 18k gold-plated brass with "jewels" made of lightweight resin stones.

You can see more colorful Amrita Singh pieces on fellow bloggers: coral necklace on Cee, black necklace and ring on Jen, emerald necklace and ring on Vicky, coral bracelet on Sydney, turquoise necklace on April, and more.amrita5
Coral rings from left to right: YSL Arty, Topshop, F21
One thing to note is Amrita Singh earrings come in either post or clip-on backings, depending on the style. I really liked this style earring and thought I could make the clips work, but they were not comfortable on my pierced ears. I'm going to buy some post backings and try to DIY-convert these. 
The color of these pieces are so vibrant. I can't wait to pick up some "emerald" items next. Retail prices are more that what I would typically pay for costume jewelry, but you can get 20% off w/ extrapetite or wait for the items to go to sample sale sites like Hautelook (invite link). 
Pirate eye patch - aargh!

Readers - Do you own any Amrita Singh pieces? If so, please share the style name and your thoughts.

Petite Lookbook: Crochet and the Blues

A few weeks ago I saw this darling skirt on ModCloth and fell in love. It had poor reviews, but upon a closer read, I saw most purchasers were just disgruntled at how small/short it ran (jackpot!). The skirt was sold out then, so I signed up for a restock notification. Last week, an S popped back, and I pounced.
Top: Converse for Target chambray shirt, sz XS (taken in) (buy here)
Jacket: H&M sz 2   Belt: came w/ Forever 21 shorts
Skirt: Social Hour Skirt sz S courtesy of Modcloth
Shoes: I.N.C. (old) (similar here
Bag: B.R. Satchel (old)

For those of you who aren't familiar with ModCloth, it's an online retailer founded by a husband-and-wife team who love thrift shopping for vintage finds. A lot of their apparel is hand-picked from smaller, indie designers, and they also have true vintage finds up for sale. New arrivals are updated daily, and the cutest items sell out fast. Shipping is a $7 flat rate, and return shipping is free.
On this sunny but brisk afternoon, I grabbed my trusty chambray shirt and layered on an H&M woven blazer (recent, $34.95). A bright satchel added another dimension of blue, and juicy orange nails brought a spark of interest. I stuck with earthy brown accessories to tie the look together.

Quest for a Classic Red Pencil Skirt

After seeing these beauties on Anh and Elle, I toyed with the thought of getting my own classic red pencil skirt. In China, red symbolizes luck, so I'd finally have something to wear for future lunar new years (I always forget the red undies on that day : / ).

First I got the same Ann Taylor one that Elle has. Sz 0P was the smallest in store, and it was on clearance, but still $40 and required slimming and hem alterations. The material was so stretchy and comfortable, but I wasn't gung ho about spending $65+ on it.
Whoopsies, sorry for the obnoxious "watermark." I hemmed and hawed over this skirt, then magically came across a red 100% wool Petite Sophisticate (RIP) one at my favorite thrift store, Savers (thank you again Kerry for sharing about this lovely chain of thrift store that sorts items by size), for a more wallet-friendly $7.

The skirt felt crisp and new, but upon further inspection, I noticed a splotchy stain on the front. Yuck! "'s a no...time to go..." Poor Nick was getting itchy from the thrift store and I could see he was hungering for the neighboring Taco Bell, so I had to leave it behind.
A week later I was still thinking about it. You know those things that you leave behind and keep on wondering..."what if?" ...well, I realized it's not worth losing sleep over when it costs $7. So back I went. I asked for a discount due to le stain and they kindly reduced it to $4. Score! Here it is post-alterations...

Petite Fashion Challenge # 6 - Dress up Your Basics

This month's Petite Fashion Challenge is hosted by the adorable Jess of Stylepint. Her challenge:

"Dress Up Your Basics: Jeans and a tee is a classic outfit starter...for this challenge, start off with a jeans and tee basic look and dress it up to show off your personal style."

I try to follow a 3-step rule when assembling an outfit. Before, I typically overlooked steps 2 and 3, but have come to realize that the extra bit effort goes a long way in adding dimension to an outfit.

To start off, "tee" doesn't necessarily mean a plain Hanes Her Way 3-pack white tee shirt. I try to buy tees with little interesting details or a unique fit. The shirt below from H&M has small perforated details, cuffed sleeves, a slouchy fit, and is just $12.95.

Tee: H&M sz XS (current)  Lace Vest: H&M sz XS (similar)
Jeans: Gap Legging Jeans in "faded dark" sz 00P (buy here)
Shoes: Target Tawny Wedges sz 5.5 (buy here)
Necklace: eBay  Purse: LV Speedy 35


My second outfit is the classic and easy-peasy blazer over jeans look, perfect for "casual Fridays" at work. Instead of a necklace, an oversized silky scarf is an appropriate accessory. I fell in love with this scarf after seeing it on the lovely Cee of To Brighten my Day. Thank you Cee for sharing the seller info!

Tee: H&M sz 2   Blazer: Theory sz 00
Jeans: Gap Legging Jeans in "faded dark" sz 00P (buy here)
Shoes: Banana Republic sz 5.5 (old)  Purse: Chanel flap sz M/L
Scarf: eBay (buy here)   Belt: Ann Taylor Perfect Skinny Belt sz S
Accessorizing is my weakness, but I've been sticking to my goal of at least one mandatory accessory a day, be it a belt, necklace, scarf, or brooch. Slowly and surely, I hope it will become second nature.

Please visit Stylepint's post to see all the other ladies' outfits for this Petite Fashion Challenge!

New Petite Blogger

I came across a peculiar new blog this morning. This blogger is giving me a run for my money!