$15 outfit: Navy Silk Dots Blouse + Wool Bell Mini Skirt

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Talbots silk blouse ($12) and no-brand wool skirt ($3), both from Savers thrift store & DIY altered
Over the past few months, some of you may have noticed a shift in content on this blog. When I first started blogging, I focused largely on finding clothing that fit and flattered, suitable for my career and lifestyle. I ordered and tried on a large volume of items and posted many reviews. This year, due to a number of reasons, that type of content has been giving way to more posts on second-hand items, or posts on restyling existing items in my wardrobe.
silkdotswoolbell3 For me, this shift first started in the spring with a new job and studying for the CFA. Having little free time meant that I really had to prioritize what to spend free time on, and shopping (& returning things that don't work out) fell lower and lower on the list. It continued after I re-discovered sewing, which really opened up the possibilities with the secondhand market versus mainstream retailers. And lastly, there comes a time in general when one's wardrobe becomes sufficiently full of the same brands and styles, and a more critical eye must be applied when shopping...

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I know that many readers follow this blog primarily for the item reviews, and thus apologize that there won't be as many from me going forward. Despite shopping less frequently, I hope to continue my fashion journey by putting more thought into each purchase, in hopes of creating a well-curated wardrobe of quality, versatile pieces that each get sufficient love and wear. Thank you to everyone who is still following along, and especially to those who have been doing so for years!
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And now, a few words on today's post. These items were found at a New Hampshire thrift store during an extra 50% off sale. Since thrift store stock is hit or miss, and my DIY alterations are risky, I usually don't visit unless there is an extra sale (you can sign up for email notifications). Not all items at these stores are "inexpensive," and not all of them can be salvaged for modern-day wear. However, you can definitely get lucky and score nice pieces that are lower-priced and better-quality than what's available in retail stores.
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I was quickly drawn to this 100% silk blouse with the tags still attached, but it was priced accordingly at $24 before the discount. It was a size 10 and required a complete alteration overhaul in the shoulders, torso, and sleeves. I saw potential for a classic piece (also great for layering), and took the risk. It did not come out perfectly, but I am satisfied with the results. I took step-by-step photos of the alterations and can share if anyone is interested.

This skirt was a beautiful cream 100% wool, but was mid-calf length (easy hem job) plus a size too big in the waist (more difficult alteration job). I got lazy and shrunk it by drying it on high heat. I do not recommend doing this to any wool items that you care about. Out of three attempts to shrink wool in the dryer this year, 1 came out okay and 2 (see J.Crew pants) came out with the wool looking noticeably worn and damaged. You can even see in the above photos that the original skirt was smooth, and the post-dryer skirt is crinkled despite aggressive ironing. The zipper also got warped. The size did shrink down successfully, but at a cost, and I will not be taking this shortcut with smooth wools going forward.

Pearl necklace from Nordstrom rack and chain from the thrift store
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Readers - Have your own (wardrobe) shopping habits and goals shifted over time? If so, how?

138 comments:

  1. Great outfit. I love the classic combination of red, white and navy. <3

    xoxo
    Sexy Little Things

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  2. I don't remember how I found your blog, but it was within the past year. I subscribed precisely because I loved seeing your clothing alterations and meticulous evaluations of fit. Your approach to fashion has given me a new appreciation for fit, quality, and potential. To date, I haven't found another blogger who is so dedicated to pointing out why certain clothing items don't work, and even showing how they can be improved.

    (Living in a different country means I don't really benefit from product reviews, anyway!)

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    1. I couldn't have said it better myself! I wish I had the skills to alter clothing because I would LOVE to do that! You have unique pieces that you would never guess were thrifted. It makes me want to take a few classes.

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    2. My thoughts exactly! I love you blog and I think its awesome its growing right along with you. I too wish to be able to sew, but more importantly I wish to have an eye for these awesome pieces. I would never have thought you could morph those pieces into such wearable staples.

      Congrats on your success!
      Have you ever considered making a video serious of your alterations? I completely understand how busy you are, but a lot of your readers comment on how we wish we could make such lovely items. Maybe you can do a video alterations tutorial. Its not to important figuring we could just search youtube. Thought I'd mention it.

      Love your blog!
      Essence

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    3. i love your blog as well Jean. As Heather said, i also found your blog luckily one day and have been an avid follower since. being a fellow petite, i loved your reviews and also the way you put simple pieces together to create gr8 outfits. i was a tomboy before and everything i wore used to be 2-3 times larger than my body. i have recently become fashion conscious and find your blog to be an inspiration. i wish this had happened to me years ago but still better late than never.
      KEEP UP YOUR GOOD WORK!

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  3. I'd be interested in seeing the modifications you did on the blouse here. As a newer visitor, it's the modifications that I find most interesting (that and the potential for seeing new outfit combinations that are slightly outside my own personal style but that I still find appealing). Just thought you might appreciate the feedback :-)

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  4. You have been wearing the Eddie bag a lot recently, and it makes me want to invest in a red handbag as well! I've been following your blog for the past two years, and I love every one of your posts. I admit, my favourite are the item reviews (since Canada share many stores with US), however I mainly follow your blog for the quality content and photographs. I love how a drabby shirt and oversized skirt became such a chic ensemble! It makes me want to pick up sewing!

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  5. Navy, cream, and red are my go to colour combinations. You look absolutely impeccable here. (:

    I have been following you for ~1 year now but this is probably the first time I'm posting with my blogspot/google name on. I think just watching you style the items you buy is very inspirational and your method of shopping meticulously has definitely influenced me to be more choosy rather than just buying everything that "fits" as you have stated.

    I'm still a high school student so I have no idea what it is that attracts me to your blog but I always look forward to a new post from you and this blog is definitely one of my favourite reads. I've always wanted to start a blog for myself but I get a little bit bashful at the thought haha.

    But I've digressed. I will definitely support whatever you do from here on out and I'm excited to see the posts that come!

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  6. Oh my god I am so glad you are finally formally not-recommending shrinking wool items in the dryer. As a fiber nerd myself (and a woolhead in particular) it hurts my soul every time I see a blogger do this. Wool fulls (aka "felting") both lengthwise and widthwise, so it's no surprise to me that any items such as zippers would end up warped and puckering -- the e.g. 6 inches of fabric it was attached to before are now only 5, so there's too much zipper and no place to go!

    Besides that, you compromise drastically on the fabric quality -- when wool is fulled under heat and moisture, the scales on the wool fiber shaft open up, lock against their neighbours, and close up again like tight claws, so that the overall item loses a great deal of elasticity and drape, and also a lot of its sheen. You've noticed this yourself! Many lovely winter items are made out of fulled/boiled wool, but there the effect is intentional, and controlled for from the start. Trying to full an perfectly lovely item of clothing that wasn't designed to be treated that way is just - heartbreaking.

    Yay for alterations that involve measuring and cutting, and beautiful wool fabric which will remain as lovely to the touch as the day the garment was made! :)

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  7. I started reading mostly because of the very indepth before and after views of what is flattering and what is appropriate for work. I didn't really benefit from the size reviews as Im not as tiny but the tips on resizing sleeves, collars and waistbands were invaluble. I would definitely love to see a step by step DIY on the shirt, I have a lot from my mom, 80's style, that I would love to update and wear with more tha pencil skirts! Keep up the blogging, I, for one, am thoroughly enjoying your new direction!

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  8. The fact that you are working towards having a well curated wardrobe is what keeps me coming back. That is likewise my goal and it is easy to get caught up with shopping at the same retailers only to discover that your wardrobe looks more like a uniform and less like a representation of your personal style. I am likewise petite so I appreciate the alterations and it has inspired me to do the same.

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  9. I love seeing your posts with thrifted and/or DIY'd items! I'm happy that you'll be doing more going forward because some of the brands reviewed aren't available everywhere. : ) With that said, I'd love to see your step-by-step (for ALL future DIY posts too) and use it as a learning tool! I'm bad at hemming jeans/pants, but I do have good experience taking in waists and slimming my skirts. I've been doing this lately, after coming across a couple of skirts that I loved, but had no smaller sizes.

    You took a big risk with the wool skirt, but at least it was only $3! I think I just got lucky with shrinking my BR silk blouse a couple of months ago.

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  10. Jean, please keep blogging! I'm actually really loving seeing your posts on restyling existing pieces and thrift store finds. You make them look so good showing that you CAN re-purpose and style older pieces and still be fashion-forward.

    Many young women have had to change their shopping habits, I'm sure; I know I have! Back in 2007 (ish) I went shopping maybe twice a week and didn't even really look at the price tag! Now I'm blessed to go shop for myself twice a month...maybe and I have to think very carefully about what I buy and how much I spend. That can totally suck but I'm really thankful that I've learned how to budget and restyle and sew (somewhat). Now I can be happy (and build plenty of outfits) with less.

    And I'm almost finished with my "Wardrobe List" (items I'd like that I don't yet have)!

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  11. Hi Jean, I would love to see how you altered the shoulders of the top! I recently altered a blouse by slimming the sides but it didn't quite fit right because the shoulder and collar area was made for someone larger than me! What would be an easy fix for this?

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    1. I've been discouraged to alter silk. What are the differences when sewing silk vs cotton or poly?

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  12. Hi,

    I started following your blog a few months back and absolutely love it! Actually, you have inspired me to look into taking sewing classes. Having said that, I noticed in this post that you mentioned having step-by-step photos for altering the blouse. Can you please respond to this with how I can have them?

    I'd really appreciate it!

    Again, your blog is very inspiring !! Keep up the great work :)

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  13. It's wonderful that you have a strategic direction for your blog - and you're not afraid to change it. Love your alterations posts, too, because there comes a time when we all realise that we have too much 'stuff' and it's time to trim down (figuratively and literally!).

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  14. I realized that I was too focused on getting a good deal on clothes while ignoring that I made compromises on them when I could have used that $$ on something more expensive and that I loved. For example, last year during one of BR's sales, I kept 3 merino cardigans which was a great fit but they were black which is a lint magnet. I was attracted to the fantastic price while ignoring that I don't really care for black. Plus that purchase meant that I now had 6 black cardigans and 2 grey ones, when I favored the grey ones more. Now I have a personal rule of not buying anymore black clothes as well being more conscious of whether I really like the article of clothing or if I like the price more.

    Another revelation of mine was that I bought clothes that were snug and that would be a problem if they shrunk in the wash, which happened with a AT top (that I bought 7 of). I presume I was too caught up in my excitement of finding clothes that fit my petite frame. So now, I keep mind that I should be buying clothes that has some room. -Annie

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  15. Yes yes please share how you altered the blouse and skirt! I love your visual teaching style and i actually like the more diy direction of your blog! Thank you!!

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  16. I honestly love that your blog has evolved from being more than a "buying a bunch of things and showing it off" blog to one that gives us insight on how to have a better overall wardrobe. I've always admired your eye for things that I never would've considered.

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  17. I love your alternation I have started tips and DIY section on my blog. I am going to post under $3.00 skirt to soon. Hopefully you will be able to see what I do with it. From one petite to another! Wichifashionblog.blogspot.com

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  18. I LOVE your blog! I found it because I was looking for diy tips. Before that, I never read fashion blogs. Now that I have, I particularly like yours because it's more about what looks good on, rather than how to look like someone else. I love a timeless look, and many fashion blogs are about what's hot right now, regardless of quality or if it suits your body.

    There are so many reasons to have a well curated wardrobe. I live in an older house with the tiniest closets ever. My husband and I share a closet that is one normal door-width wide. Keeping our kids' clothes straight is a job enough, much less trying to find something for ourselves. Good clothes last so much longer, and will have more sentimental value because of that. Those are just practical reasons, not to mention the environmental and economic reasons. I still love shopping and getting new things, but I'm so much more conscientious, as you are.

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  19. I have been finding myself thrifting or going to stores I would never go to like Marshall's or even Target for clothes...mostly because I am on a tight shopping budget since saving for a house is my #1 priority. I really dislike having to spend so much money on regular priced items and then taking them for alterations...so I like this idea of thrifting items that will need alterations but in the end they are still more affordable.

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  20. My mom had great sewing skills... n she always told me to learn basics... but I never did. Now I regret!! really regret!!

    Moral: Listen to MOMs... they are always right!!!!

    OK, you did an amazing job! Love all the posts, though i don't comment often.

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  21. I love that you are so thoughtful about your fashion choices and I am so inspired to see what you can do with alterations! It's nice (especially in this economy) that not every outfit comes straight off the rack or is a full-priced item.

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  22. Wow great finds and amazing alterations! Inspires me to do the same. :)

    xo - Sheila

    http://sheislovely1.blogspot.com

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  23. I started following your blog a while back (can't remember how I found you). I'm not a petite at all (am 5'7"), but I love reading how you style outfits, how you choose your pieces, how to tell if something "fits" and if it is flattering, how to find classic long-lasting pieces, etc. The reviewing and measurement of new pieces is not really relevant for me. I'd love to see a blog post on what the key pieces of your wardrobe are and why. Also maybe what pieces you are still hoping to find. As someone who works in a conservative office but still wants to dress stylishly, I really appreciate your insight and your classic style. Please keep blogging :)

    Christie

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  24. I appreciate the reviews, but as a non-petite, I follow for your style pairings more. You have such an eye for colors and styles, and I use your outfits for inspirations! So no need to apologize, maybe this will curtail certain bloggers who seem to rip off entire outfits of yours without giving credit.

    Love the blouse!!

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  25. Very well done for a $!5 budget!

    http://www.designers-artists.com

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  26. Jean, I LOVE the sewing tutorials, thrifting, and re-mixing in the blog. in the blogosphere of shopaholic-ing, your recent posts have been inspirational and refreshing :)

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  27. Yes, please show your step-by-step of the alterations. I would love to see them, as I have a large pile of clothing at home that I'd like to alter instead of donating or selling on EBay.

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  28. All your recent thrift store finds makes me wish that the Savers on my side of town did not close down! The before picture of that skirt is too funny!

    I see that you are giving your Edie purse a lot of love! :) I have been styling all of my weekend outfits around my Tillary purse lately.

    And no worries about the shift in blog content! As cheesy as this sounds, I stick around because you are a nice person and it is more like I am getting updates on how a friend is doing! :)

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  29. Jean, I know there was recent controversy about you and a plagiarizing blogger. Without bringing up any names, I just want to say this post especially the second paragraph shows that what you represent and your approach to style is polar opposites from the copier. And in my mind it can be imitated but never replicated. I read this blog for your careful thoughts behind clothing purchases and for the career and life you have outside of shopping.

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  30. I love your thrift tips Jean! Would love to hear more about your adventures. I would love to experiment too if I had time and a sewing machine. I really love your style and how you can make such timeless pieces

    For me, my shopping has changed dramatically, but I still have bad habits. I love sale shopping for great items, but it can be hit or miss. However, this is better than I used to be. I used to buy trendy tees or clothing that wouldn't last too long. Now I buy pieces that are multifunctional for both work and leisure and would last longer in both style and wear. :) Your blog is my #1 favorite!! Can't wait for your next post! I would love to see your step by step alterations. Maybe I'll try one of these when I go to my parents house and then borrow my mom's sewing machine :)

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  31. I love your thrifting/alterations stories and I think a lot of people like myself are eager to learn from you! You look really beautiful in all your "thrifted" outfits, and I agree that retailers have been pretty disappointing as of late in both style and quality.

    On an unrelated note, I noticed that you always have very nicely groomed yet also very natural looking eyebrows. I know you have done some makeup tutorials in the past, so it would be great if you filled us in on how you maintain them. Also, are you wearing a nail color in these photos? Your manicure looks beautiful.

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  32. Jean, I have been a follower of your blog for years and have loved the shift in content over time. While not a petite gal I have been a loyal follower for the thought, care, and insight you put into your purchases and the similarities we share in the way we shop. Classic, versatile pieces to fill out a well polished wardrobe. I appreciate the focus on vintage clothing as I love that it can be altered to fit nearly any body type (case and point, I shop vintage and am in no way petite). Thank you for your honesty and inspiration in the content you continue to produce.

    And in another note, I love the combination of navy, white and red above. The patent (blue?) pumps are fabulous as well.

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  33. I only came to your blog for the first time about 6 months ago and what keeps me coming back are posts like these. I buy second-hand, almost exclusively, for budget reasons, for ethical and environmental reasons, and as I am learning, for stylistic reasons - I like not having what other people are wearing! Keep up the good work! I like your style and your savvy.

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  34. I love you blog because of its fashion. high end, clothes from the mall , or clothes from the thrifts stores; it's all about making it fit, and looking put together. I appreciate your blog, and whatever you choose to share with us.

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  35. Like Jean, my closet is mostly from similar stores - Banana, J.Crew and the like - many are petite friendly or are in petite sizes and they're easy to find. Lately, I'm getting more and more into local/Canadian brands. Going to events more and more often, either to cover as media (most of the time) or just an as an attendee, I have the opportunity to discover new people. And really, as a Toronto-based style/lifestyle blogger, I feel like it's my JOB to wear local! So yes, I have to say that my closet is slowly changing - and for the better, too!

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  36. I love your style! I initially started following you because I shop at the same stores and your tips work well for my life in corporate America. One of the first times I saw you was on your YouTube channel, and you were wearing a navy blue and white striped dress from Ann Taylor Factory Store that I also own.

    Now I have the same goals as you- I'm buying less but I am looking to curate a quality wardrobe that feels both fun and functional, and I'm looking for new ways to style the clothes I already have. I look forward to sharing this journey with your blog :)

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  37. Thifting also makes it more difficult for people to steal your identity. :P Love your outfit as always!

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  38. Great post Jean! You are one of the FEW sensible fashion bloggers around. Keep it up

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  39. I love this blog and your style. I'm another one who is very interested in your alterations- my long waist together with small shoulders and torso mean nothing ever seems to fit. After a staggering alterations bill last fall, I'm trying to DIY- but I'm a beginner! So I think your thrift finds and alterations are inspiring!

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  40. yes u must show ur steps lady! DIYs are fun, but not if we dont see how it can be done, and at least get educated on your new hobby. Great job btw, working with different types of fabrics. I like the evolution of this blog.

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  41. I love the bag!!!
    kisses from Milan and Prague
    http://sienastyle.blogspot.cz/

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  42. When I read that you shrank that skirt the voice in my head started off like this, "Oh my God, she did WHAT? Aahhh nooooo!" - But the skirt still looks lovely! I love seeing your step by step guides to alterations, even though I'm pretty good at sewing (I studied fashion design)... I'm always stunned at what you make of you thrift store finds! You're fab :)

    x
    Sabrina

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  43. I have been a follower of extrapetite.com for a little over a year. I remember I first came here via Wendyslookbook when she recommended to her reader to come over here for official wear styling tips. So i followed along.

    I can't say I will miss the reviews. I live outside of Europe and the Americas and those discount posts and reviews I didn't identify with. that and the fact that I am no petite at 5"7', shrinking and alterations are also a tad foreign.

    Still, you are an inspiration to me for my work wardrobe. Thanks to you I can now were a floral skirt to the office! I look forward to more styling & saving lessons from you. Thank you for your openness.

    With Love from Kenya.

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  44. Amazing how thrift store pieces and some sewing skills can turn into such a chic outfit! You inspire me to learn how to sew and tailor my own clothing! I often pass up pieces I love at the thrift store just because they don't fit. Off to the sewing machine I go!

    You are an inspiration to all, Jean! :) <3

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  45. I love this outfit! Very cute and fresh and great for other places besides work. I think this new direction will be interesting. I found the endless item reviews a bit boring myself, but I also see how they could be helpful. I think so long as the post has a balance of detailed content, but aren't super long with tons of images, then I think all is fun to read.

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  46. Helo from Romania! I've been reading your blog for some time now and I am always glad to learn from your DIYs. Please do post the one for this shirt, I have one 100%silk at home which needs altering and I would really need some tips! On the wardrobe matter, I was an obsessive shopper until last year, when I decided to switch to a more mature wardrobe. In consequence, a lot of my old clothes went out and were replaced with silks, wools, cottons etc. And many of them come from a local thrift market. Since I've discovered this market my clothing budget is high and my wardrobe is full of cheap but high-quality items! Thank you for all your advices, they really help!

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  47. Hi! Thanks for your blog posts and reviews. I enjoy your posts a lot since I too am petite. It gives me a new perspective on shopping for fit and quality. Recently, I have decided to do a closet overhaul, editing my closet to reflect a more polished and consistent sense of style. My resolution as of late has been to shop for quality pieces that fit well as well as reflect age appropriateness. Thanks again for your blog posts. It has helped me a lot throughout this year.

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  48. Still following along dear. I enjoy dressing before as I buy garments and put into tailor and have myself a magazine for inspiration then. Unfortunately I was not blessed to be a good sewer that's why that didn't progress. From there I shift to buying ready to wear dress and trousers as well as skirts. But I think a customize pieces workS well not just like buying new and alter it.It's all in my thoughts right now,thanks that I able to read this post of yours about changes, enlightens me in some point.:)

    audrinajulia.blogspot.com

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  49. Contrary to what most people have said, I am disappointed that there won't be as many item reviews going forward. I look to your reviews to see what items are petite friendly such as H&M knit peacoat jacket (which I bought), Jcrew's lady day coat, etc. However, I still support the path you're taking. I find a lot of value in the wisdom you impart in regards to fit and proportions. In addition, I really liked your articles on (1) on to look older, (2)streamlining your wardrobe, and (3) building up your work wardrobe.
    -Annie

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  50. I am 100% for you reviewing second-hand items or restyling from your existing wardrobe! It's much more meaningful, sustainable and creative than constantly persuading readers to purchase purchase and purchase new pieces! Looking forward to the future of Extra Petite :)

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  51. Love this look. Admittedly, I don't thrift, but seeing how easily and beautifully old pieces can be reworked into something new and classic makes me reconsider my devotions to Banana, J. Crew, Express, and T.J. Maxx.

    Good on you for protecting your content and individuality. Hopefully this transition will prevent others from capitalizing on your creativity and dedication to style :)

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  52. I really love how you've shifted your focus actually. I think the fashion blogging community sometimes focuses a bit too much on always buying new things and spending a lot of money, which for a lot of people isn't always feasible. So I applaud your change and hope you become an inspiration for others; style and fashion aren't about amassing a ton of clothes never to be worn. And I think that's really easy to forget in our very consumerist society.

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  53. This is such a great post! I have been following your blog since 2010! I remember seeing you on a Loft "Petite Bloggers" post on Facebook, and that's when I began following your blog as well as several other petite fashion bloggers. I have been with you for a lot of your journey, and I have enjoyed all of your posts. I intend to stay with you, of course, because it's only sensible to re-style and "go shopping in your own closet" (as my friends and I call it). I think it's very inspirational to see you working with things you've already purchased and mixing it up. I absolutely loved your videos this summer, because they were largely focused on styling with what you have, and not running out to buy new. All of that said, I have also benefited from the fitting room and size reviews. Though I am not as tiny, your reviews do help me to judge whether I will need to size up or down (or not bother at all), which is particularly helpful when ordering online. There are enough other petite bloggers out there where we can still get this incredibly helpful information, so you should do what you feel is best for you and your blogging future. Thanks for all you do for us petites! I honestly feel as though the blogging community have put this category on the map, and major retailers have begun taking us more seriously by bringing us more, better options because of it!

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  54. I like the DIY alteration posts better than the reviews. I am a student and almost always buy second-hand clothes. So I love your posts on thrifted items. I cannot buy new items frequently (and if I do, I always buy from crazy sales), so the reviews are not as helpful for me.

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  55. I buy a majority of my clothes at this great thrift store (that sells mostly Tablots, Ann Taylor, and Banana Republic items for $3). I personally like the shift if your blog, though I've been reading you for about a year I think. I used to see your blog and try to find items similiar in thrift form, since I wasn't shopping at those stores. But now, I see your blog as a way to hone in on my own eye for style-- being able to see potential in things and being very strict in terms of what isn't working. I've tossed quite a few items (easy to do when they are inexpensive) because I want everything to fit right.

    Like others have said, you've inspired me to learn to sew! I'm signing up for classes soon. I hope this opens up even more possibilities for me in terms of my wardrobe.

    Though I'm about 10 years older than you, I find your professional style just perfect for me. Your style is polished and classic and you incorporate trends but in a carefully thought out way.

    I echo the requests to see how you alter, since that may help some of us newbies too. Also, I love your evolution with accessories... when I see your older posts, I can really see how you've developed your style.

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  56. Hello Jean, I love your blog and have been following for over a year. I don't mind the shift in your blogging content. I much prefer your DIY and repurposing of old/thrifted items. I am petite and although the reviews are nice, I don't rely too much on them as I read your blog for some styling ideas moreso than for the items that I can buy as a petite. I can sew and often have to alter my clothes to fit me so it is nice to see bloggers like yourself doing the same and encouraging their readers to wear clothes that FIT.

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  57. As a 57yo petite follower of your blog, I am thrilled to see you using alterations as a way of being responsible with our wardrobe. While we keep concentrating on 'college' education, we seem to be losing the practical/creative skills such as sewing. It is very rewarding to be able to see what you can create with your own hands.

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  58. I love that you're doing more DIY! In truth, much of my impulse buys over the last year have been because of your posts, so more DIY posts will help calm my shopping urge - and encourage me to find great thrifting places here in NYC. Really love reading your blog. :)

    http://fashionablylatesisters.blogspot.com/

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  59. Jean, I've been a reader for a long, long time, but I don't comment very often. As someone who is short, but not a size 0, I've always appreciated knowing who is selling "short" items. However, I must say that I really appreciate your new direction. I didn't necessarily read it as you will stop blogging, only that you will move towards curating your own dream wardrobe and helping your readers do the same thing. I am going to love that because I don't have time (or money!) to go out and buy everything new each season. I want to buy quality pieces that will last me for years and that I can wear over and over again. Good luck in your new adventures, I can't wait to read about them!

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  60. You look so beautiful! I love this entire outfit, so classy and chic. The skirt looks amazing on you and I actually don't mind the crinkles because it looks like it was meant to be that way. Though I love reading your reviews, I'm equally as interested in how you take thrifting finds and making them look like new and fresh items. :)

    xo, Yi-chia

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  61. I love your blog, and I am REALLY inspired by the thrift store alterations. I would really like to see the step by step alterations of this blouse. I am very intimidated by doing my own alterations, but you are inspiring me to give it a try!

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  62. I like this shift of the content of your blog as I am neither petite nor American. But I am Asian and I love to see how fellow Asian style themselves, making them look older ! And I love that this blog reflect the style of a real person and not a professional blogger whose wardrobe is exclusively made of designer products!
    Looking forward to your future posts!
    Sim

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  63. I'm definitely inspired to go thrifting through all your posts. I've had my sewing machine sitting around for the longest time. Would love to see your step-by-step directions for the shirt!

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  64. Love your blog, Jean, especially your thrifting entries. I enjoy seeing how you put things together, and I've been trying similar items in my wardrobe for new looks! Also, I'm being much more careful with my purchases, making sure they fit well and pair with several items. So, thanks for all the inspiration, and please keep blogging!

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  65. I adore your blog b/c you have a great way of seeing potential in thrifted items and creating something new! That is the 'theme' of my blog as well. I love visiting your site to get inspiration and to see how you look so put together without spending an arm and a leg.

    www.beautyandbows.com

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  66. I love your finds and the alterations you did to them! I didn't even notice the wrinkles in the skirt until you mentioned them. I think the direction you're going in with your blog is great. I'm less inspired by the bloggers who have something new to wear every single week, and more so by the ones who show creative, thoughtful ways to rework what's in their closet. Looking forward to seeing more Jean!

    -Erin-
    http://onetwosummer.blogspot.com/

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  67. Love your blog and you made me wish I had sewing skills I would love to be able to alter my own clothing.
    xo
    Rachelle
    htt://pinksole.com

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  68. OMG I'm amazed at your vision, if I saw that skirt I would completely walk by it!

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  69. Hi Jean,

    I'm extremely happy with the turn this blog took, as I find myself in the same situation. I feel very drawn towards sewing, but I don't have much practice and I can totally benefit from your DIY alteration posts. This is why I hope you will post somewhere the step-by-step photos of the alterations performed on the blouse.
    Keep up the great work.. I've read your entire blog and saw your style evolve so beautifully with time !

    Irina

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  70. Hi Jean,

    I really like your blog but lately I feel like you're stuck in a style rut with skirt, blouse and jacket combo.

    I dare you to push the envelope and try new styles especially for non work style.

    Please take this as positive criticism rather than an insult!

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  71. You are the reason I've become so stylish lately. I tell all of my friends about your blog and how it has inspired me over the past year to "step out of the box" Thank you for your tips and passion for timeless fashion :)

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  72. Hi Jean! I absolutely love your blog and have been following you for almost a year now! I really appreciate your focus on thrifting and restyling -- not only is it a great way to be more creative with your style, but also environmentally friendly :) I was just wondering if you have any recommendations (perhaps do a series??) on how to get started with self alterations. I'd love to learn how to alter and sew my own clothes and it's always overwhelming trying to figure out where to start at the beginning. Any advice would be fantastic! Thanks for keeping up with such an awesome blog for us petite girls!

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  73. I love the new direction your blog is taking! Its one thing to get stuff from the retail store and style it and totally a different ball game when you get the thrift store goodies and make it work for you! But thrifting can be a little addictive :-D So I always have to maintain a check on that as multiple $3-$4 items can add up!!

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  74. I am impressed with your re-vamping of the thrift store items. I love shopping at thrift stores but usually rely on my Tailor for making size changes. Getting more into thrifting and "shopping your own closet" are good things for the planet and as you say - more free time!

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  75. I LOVE that you are blogging about clothes bought from a thrift store. My entry-level job makes it hard to buy clothes, but your blog is helping me figure out how to take budget items and make them chic. Very helpful!!

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  76. I love your blog!! Thanks for inspiring me to mix & match and not be afraid to dress more boldly (prints, colors, jewelry). I wear scrubs during the week, so I only get to dress up on weekends..it's a good time for me to be a bit more adventurous(and I like to think about my weekend outfits during my work week). You have also inspired me to be more selective when I shop now. I have a few things that I really want, and when I go to the mall, I don't just buy everything in sight b/c it's "cheap" or "on sale". I thoroughly think about it now. Thanks for everything (: You're doing an awesome job!!

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  77. hey Jean

    I started reading your blog accidentally, then came back again and again to read all the contents. I love your blog even if they are not reviews...I like your style and even the food journey you take occasionally, is interesting, even though I'm a pure vegetarian :)

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  78. I've been interested in shrinking wool, but have never had the courage to try! Did you shrink them before altering the hem? I've had by eye on a pair of wool pants that are at the perfect ankle length pre-shrinking.. but the waist needs a bit of work. Did you find the hem of the skirt had changed as well?

    http://www.xjole.com

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  79. Hi Jean,
    I changed my shopping habits a lot lately. I want to build a proffesional 30 year old woman wardrobe. All my clothes are from before I had my kids, I was 26 and still shopped very spontaniously. Now I spend less money, but buy more expensive clothes:-) I decided not to buy anything unless it is a basic piece. I realised I have no presentable basics! Can you beleive it?
    You are a great inspiration, your style is exactly what I would like to look like! I even started a sewing course, because I am tired of spending money on trendy cheap clothes, only to find them unwearable after couple washings. So my plan is to save up for some basics (blazer, coat, handbag, shoes...) and combine them with DIY pieces or deals:-)
    Please excuse my english, I am from Prague and english is my second language (best excuse ever as you said ones:-)

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  80. Hey Jean,
    I, too, have been into sewing. I would love for you to share the tutorial of altering the blouse! My email is vangdiane@gmail.com. Thanks! And as always, beautiful outfit. I actually am liking the content much more now than before!

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, I forgot to say this, please share how you altered the blouse.-)

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  81. I am seriously impressed by your thrifting and alterations skills. Also, the shift in your content is great, because it is shifting with you as you and your style (and buying habits) evolve. That's all us blog-readers want to see, anyway; a peak into someone's closet and a little advice to be gained along the way. Your blog continues to be one of my absolute favorites.

    -Lauren

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  82. i love the direction that you are taking. i will continue to read your blog no matter what you decide to post on!

    xox P

    phiphisblog.com

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  83. i realy like your blog and i'm following you on bloglovin
    xoxo
    http://thirtiesinthecity.blogspot.de/

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  84. I love what you did with the skirt. My shopping habits have changed. I used to get items for full priced but now I go straight to the clearance or sales racks. It's just easier on my wallet, considering how much I shop. I do check out the new arrivals and see if I can perform some DIYs to mimic the look.

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  85. I love your blog and frequently recommend it. I found you earlier this year, but have read some of your older posts. I like the direction your blog is taking. My favorite aspects of the blog are the DIY posts and how items are styled/restyled.

    On another note, I've been thrifting for nearly 25 years. I have a beautiful vintage navy mini skirt (wool) that I have no hope of ever getting back into. I think it would be perfect on you. Do you think you'd be interested in the skirt? It's so beautiful I'd rather give it to someone who may appreciate it. I can send you the measurements if you're interested.

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  86. Can I say, without knowing you personally, that I am soooo so proud of you?!!! You have an awesome personality and style. Keep up with the blogging, no matter what the content is, you have tons of support from your blog viewers including myself.=)

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  87. Love your outfit! I only recently discovered your blog, and have been enjoying it, so obviously the new content is perfect for me. :)

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  88. I think it's great that your blog is evolving with you! As I appreciate fitting room finds and reviews, I also LOVE your DIY posts because they have really inspired me to look around and see what I can DIY too! So, thanks for your DIYs and I'd love to see the DIY of that blouse! Silk for that price and polka dot, cute!

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  89. i love this thrifted and diy'd outfit jean! and yes, i do appreciate the box retailer reviews, but it's also really nice to see outfits that can't be copied exactly & rather provide inspiration.


    xo julesinflats.com

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  90. I have to say that I am really excited for more coverage about items being reworked and thrifted on your blog! Your style and alterations have been an endless source of inspiration! I can't wait to see what's to come! :]

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  91. I think my favorite thing about your blog is your eye for alterations and how to make specific items work in an outfit. I don't have sewing skills myself, but I do know a good tailor, and it's instructive to see how relatively minor changes take pieces from okay to great!

    My own shopping has shifted toward buying fewer but better pieces; I don't have so many holes in my wardrobe any more that I need to buy a lot at any given moment, so I try to make it count when I do buy.

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  92. Not so in love with the skirt. But the silk blouse looks amazing. You always look so nice in polka dots. I love the other polka dots DIY project you did too, the one with bow tie.

    I would love to read more DIY blogs!!

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  93. I would LOVE to see the step-by-step pictures, Jean! Actually, about two years ago, when I started reading, I asked if you had heard of any blogs that specifically did alterations for petites. You said you hadn't really and I thought about starting my own.

    Then I realized I have three crazy children and am married to the Marine Corps!

    So thank YOU for expanding this part of your blog. I absolutely LOVE it and have continued to excitedly anticipate more and more posts on DIY alterations.

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  94. Great alterations on the pieces. Your eye for clothes potential is so amazing. I am really interested in getting into sewing and alterations, due to your awesome showcases, but am a complete newbie to sewing. Any resources that you recommend when you first started? Or did you just do it on the fly?

    xoxo,
    Suzie Q
    www.StyleCueBySuzieQ.com

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  95. Could you do a post on your top 10 work dresses? This would be helpful for those of us new to the blog. I am trying to build my work closet.

    Thanks Jean!!! It is NOT helpful to readers to buy all of H&M / Ann Taylor/ and Banana Republic. haha

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  96. Hi Jean!
    I would just like to echo previous sentiments that I will continue to read your blog no matter what direction you take. I am a little sad that you'll no longer be posting reviews, since I love reading through your posts/tweets to see what is available in stores. My work hours really restrict my shopping to maybe 2-3 times per month, so your blog has been so helpful in directing me to certain items and stores thereby saving unnecessary browsing (free time is so precious for me!). You've also influenced me to try on numerous items that I would initially dismiss if I just saw it hanging on the rack. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know how much you've inspired me to try certain things and that I really appreciated your detailed reviews!

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  97. Beautiful alterations, Jean! Good job!

    Yeah, I have definitely scaled down shopping too much. Most especially on stuff I may not even use, or use as much as I would like to. I create a wishlist so I can really dig deep down for bargains (if it's possible) and focus on those things I really need in my wardrobe. I am on a college budget so that's a big factor in my spending. But I have never been so much happier with my wardrobe since I started reading your blog, so I have you to thank for.

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  98. Thank you Jean for this post and for being so open about your process for changing direction. I don't remember how I found your blog, and I am not a "small" petite at size 14. I also don't know how to sew (yet). I have however, been reducing my wardrobe in an effort to love each piece I have and wear it. I have been much more careful about the items I bring in and am undergoing a reduction of clothing that does not currently work. I take better care of my clothing since there is less of it.

    I am also considering pieces that I would have thought were too expensive for the type of life I lead, because I can see that having one or two expensive things that I love and use often is better than many cheaper items that I do not love so much.

    I have appreciated seeing all of the items you have reviewed. It has helped me refine what my own particular taste and style is. Thank you.

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  99. Thank you for this post. I am a big fan because of your versatility.
    http://wineonmydress.blogspot.mx/

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  100. You're so talented. I wish I could sew like that.
    & this outfit is pretty patriotic. Beautiful!

    http://shortandsweetjoy.blogspot.com

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  101. I love the idea of a curated wardrobe. I have difficulty doing that because I either end up with a very linear similar style of clothing, or a missmash of a little of every style. I would love to hear you share how you curate your wardrobe so that I can get better at it too!

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  102. thank you for being more selective about your pieces. the environment will love you for it<3 lol <3 I'm glad to see the content shift.

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  103. Hello from a french petite following your blog for...well some time.
    Funny cause I am currently in the same process reducing my shopping time and budget to nearly nothing (I mean clothes and shoes shopping) and shopping my closet instead.
    I do have enough clothes for the time being but do need to alter quite a lot to have them fit.
    That is the reason why I really think your blog is inspiring.
    Would you then accept to share with us the photos you took regarding the alterations of the silk shirt: I do have myself a nice silk blouse waiting desperately but I am stuck with the sleeves slimming and shortening so to see how you did would be very helpful for me and others as well. Many thanks in advance.

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  104. I love how you tailored that blouse. I would love to see the step-by-step. From your previous posts, I am so glad that you opt for easier alterations that are so beginner-friendly. I have my own sewing machine and all, but it's gotten very few uses.

    Do you have any recommendations for choosing/wearing blouses? I have a small frame and it's often so difficult to wear blouses without appearing boxy and boyish. So jealous that you're able to piece them so effortlessly!

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  105. Love your blog and your thriftiness. Please do share the photos from the blouse alterations. It is something I have unsuccessfully attempted in the past.

    I also have another question about belts. How do you manage to keep your belts in place with skirts and dresses that don't have belt loops? Mine are constantly moving around.

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  106. gorgeous look - i love anything polka dots! xo

    http://allthingsprettyandlittle.blogspot.com/

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  107. Hi Jean,
    I might have started reading this blog largely because of the reviews (which I do love, because you provide such thorough and honest critique of items, making your opinion truly valuable), but I definitely continue to read it because of you. There is such quality and charm to every blog post that I appreciate just about everything you put out. I love that your blog has evolved with you. =)
    ~Shirley

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  108. I only recently found your blog and I love it precisely because you show how to take thrift store items and re-imagine them to fit you and your style. Please share what you did to alter the blouse. I might have to do the same to a couple of tops that I found at my local Goodwill.

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  110. such a gorgeous look! I would love to see more posts about you DIY alterations and thrifted finds! I'm still trying to learn to shop less often and make better use of the things that I already own.
    www.sugarfilledcloset.com

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  111. I would definitely love to see the step by step process!

    -Arianne

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  112. I actually love that your focus is now more about how to make pieces work rather than just buying a bunch of stuff to admire for 5 minutes. Like you, I don't really have time to do a bunch of shopping (and returning), so I've definitely shifted more toward finding the right pieces and making them work, instead of buying a pile of stuff and going through trial and error. This way, I have more money to invest in truly good, high quality things that will last. I'll gladly trade in 5 Forever 21 polyester blouses for a timeless silk blouse, thank you.

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  113. Long time reader, first time commenting. Can you please share how you altered the shirt? You can send photos to my email sayhe@yahoo.com. Absolutely love your blog. I love thrifting and appreciate your evolution of valuing consignment. I have a collection of beautifull thrifted blouses and have been debating on DYI alter or bring to taylor. Your tutorial will be greatly appreciated.

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  114. Thank you for being so inspirational! Being a stay at home mom who used to pound the concrete jungle and spend thousands of dollars on clothing a year is no longer acceptable today. I am a constant fixture at thrift stores in our area so you bring breath fresh air to thrifting. You have transformed so many readers views on how to look at something differently and most importantly showing us how to make an ordinary item extraordinary. I will Definately be checking in to see all the new re-designing you do. Great job!

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  115. Very nice style!!! I always wondered how could people buy a complete outfit for less than a shirts price, I spend a lot of money on clothing, and its p***es me off, because every time I try to save a bit of money, I end up buying a new dress for a party... Maybe because I am not very good at combining different styles ... Your blog is of a big help... thank you

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  116. I can't remember how I found your blog, but I love it no matter what you feature. I am larger than you so the product reviews do not necessarily help me. I love the pictures, and the emphasis on fit and quality. I find that inspirational. Keep up the good work and know I will be reading regardless.

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  117. I was in awe of your blog when I first found it a little over 2 years ago. I remember immediately combing through your archives on that very day. I loved it back then and I love it now! Thanks for allowing us to follow along on your style journey. I look forward to every post of yours :)

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  118. I'm actually growing to love your blog these days for the precise reason that it has evolved. There are so many blogs out there that show reviews and brands that are lovely to look at but aren't so relevant to me. I enjoyed looking at many of them when I first started reading, but I guess I'm enjoying watching the innovative progression in yours! Especially as the fashion scene in UK is very different to the most parts of North America perhaps.
    So please do keep up the sewing side of things when you have time. You have an inspiring way of remaking things as you've done with the wool skirt. I enjoy getting ideas from seeing your remodelling of items that I would simply have bypassed in a shop! Thanks for sharing all your ideas :-)

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  119. I love that you alter things -- it is a completely mind blowing thought that such a thing is possible. It is hard for me to find clothes that fit, and I LOVE this part of your blog, and I'm so happy to read that you are going to focus more on it!! You are so inspirational! And it is true -- you can be so much more unique when you do things this way instead of just buying whatever you can find anywhere!

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  120. Hi Jean:

    First-time commenter but have been following you for a while.

    I love that you blog takes an honest approach to dressing up. A lot of blogs I come across focus a lot on acquiring the next trend piece or new item currently in stores. While this is fine, it is a bit discouraging because for me as the end-recepient, I feel like "I can't keep up" or "this is what needs to happen to be deemed stylish". Being a busy working parent who lives on a budget, my wardrobe choices have drastically changed over time. I mainly focus on buying versatile classic pieces in the best quality I can afford. I have a very limited wardrobe space, and I am constantly critical of my purchases, think about its longevity and quality of the item. I do have a blog, which is my own personal creative outlet outside my familial responsibilities. And, I mainly focus on recreating inspiring looks with what I have, and that works for my lifestyle. I have learned a lot from you, despite the fact that I am not petite in the least.

    coverupchic.blogspot.ca

    Thank you for your ongoing inspiration

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  121. What do you do to your hair? It is always so gorgeously wavy!

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  122. You look so chic and what an amazing job on the alternations. I wish I have that kind of talent, seriously! Amazing and love the photos.

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  123. I thrift a lot and your blog has now become very useful to me so glad you are posting more about thrift items.

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  124. I would like to get more into thrifting, and hope that I can use inspiration from your site to get savvy with my sewing machine to better alter items to my frame. Putting more thought into what I buy has led me to buy less items, but that are of a higher quality and therefore price tag... but I hope it ultimately leads to a polished and cohesive wardrobe that will carry me through the transitions during the second half of my 20s.
    I love your blog, and enjoy all the content
    xx
    Here&Now

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  125. Hi Jean--

    I think it's admirable that you're evolving from the savvy shopper/consumer to a creative producer. You've also taken to heart the concept of opportunity cost, and how your time has become increasingly valuable (post-cfa, new job, better sewing skills). These are huge personal developments, and you should be proud! Keep up the ambition and inspire us all.

    Let us know when you launch your own line of clothes. :)

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  126. Great outfit.Love your dotted blouse and bag.



    http://www.shopjessicabuurman.com/

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  127. Love. Love. Love.

    Polka dots rock & this skirt is adorable.

    http://theleatherskirt.blogspot.com/

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  128. I'm a fairly new follower, and I love your refashions. It's good for the wallet and the planet, and it's great seeing someone with your sense of style tackling the sometimes iffy world of thrifting and refashioning.

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  129. Like other designers, MK is always giving back and after the tragic earthquake in Japan, Michael decided to help.michael kors coffee mongram tote

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  130. Love this look so elegant and chic!

    Sofia

    stylishlyinlove.blogspot.com

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  131. I just stumbled across your blog from a mention in a Huffington Post article and am in love! Being petite myself (5'1), I am always struggling with how to dress more chic and look my age (30)! Loving all the outfits and links...I just hate when I find something I like and they no longer carry it. Happens to me on Polyvore all the time too :-)

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  132. I really like the idea of this new type of content. You're saving the environment by restyling what you have already.

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