Packing tips for business trips

For the past few weeks, I’ve been shuttling between NY/NJ for work. Travel is lonely and draining, but at least I can now pack in my sleep. I started out with a little roller suitcase, but as time went on, packing became progressively more minimalistic. Young me used to bring pretty dresses, cute handbags, and even hair appliances in anticipation of living it up in the city after work…now, my “extras” consist of one oversized sleep shirt for hotel hibernation. I’ve gotten it down to one tote bag, clunky laptop contained.

My trusty Longchamp Planetes Tonal tote (5-star user reviews!)
Outfits for 3 days (clockwise, from upper right): Target blouse, J.Crew necklace, AT blouse, Sparkling Sage necklace, H&M blouse, pearl necklace, AT lace skirt, AT knit skirt, BR suiting skirt (all newly slimmed for super cheap in Asia…woohoo), Theory basic blazer.

Navy and Emerald

J.Crew Lady Day Coat sz 00P in "oasis green,"  H&M blouse, blazer & clutch, Yesstyle skirt
Adrienne Vittadini boots, Target girls tights, Amrita Singh necklace, F21 belt, MK Tortoise watch

This ensemble was from my 2011 J.Crew lady day coat review post - I just forgot to post the outfit underneath. Despite your encouraging words to keep the H&M emerald dress, I wasn't too sad to part with it as I've already overindulged in the color. This shade of green is flattering on many skin tones and easy to pair. It can be elegant or preppy, depending on what you do with it.

High Heels: One Man's Opinion

[This is a guest post by Nick, boyfriend of Jean. See his other posts here.]

Someone requested I write about my most and least favorite fashions for women. Great idea! I'm going to focus on the latter.
Maybe you saw Jean's recent photo of Stuart Weitzman boots. Or maybe you remember when I showed a liking for well-broken-in Tory Burch Revas. These are two of my all-time favorite looks. Actually, no, let's call them favorite pieces. Because they look pretty good, but—more importantly—they're functional. And the main function in this case is being able to use your feet in the way for which they've been biologically evolved.
 In the immortal words of Jessica Simpson, "These boots are made for walking."

So, if one of my favorite aspects of women's fashion is stylish flat-soled footwear, you might be able to guess one of my least favorites...

Diane Von Furstenberg for Gap Kids Collection - March 15, 2012

Some weekend sale notes first:

1. The black skinny jeans that I'm wearing here are now $19 (45% off). They come in 5 lengths!

2. Ann Taylor is running 40-50% off a large portion of their current merchandise w/ ANNSPRING, plus extra 50% off sale items. The beautiful Crimson Wool Crepe Jacket and matching Crimson Skirt I posted about last year are left in 00P & up for $150 total. Not exactly cheap, but that's over 60% off and shipping is free. All of their suiting is about a size too big on me, but my friend has this set and it's very elegant on her.

3. There's a new H&M printable coupon for 15% off 1 item, expiring 2/26/2012.

I heard rumblings about the DVF for Gap Kids line last year, but nothing more until just now. I had my fingers crossed for some signature wrap dresses in beautiful prints to squeeze into. The previews look adorable for children, but unfortunately a bit juvenile for grown women. Price points from $23-$88+ are fairly high for Gap Kids and will probably be excluded from most sales. Who knows, though...we could be pleasantly surprised in-person. Here are two pieces with "potential" for adults poking around in the kids department:
Big sis & little sis (or, petite mommy & daughter) matching dresses:
Large stone print shift dress. Lots of garments in this print, also in bright yellow and green:
Photos from Flare.

Readers - Will you be checking out this collection for either yourself or a little one?

DIY Dolman Sleeve Dress Transformation

Thank you all for your honest opinions on my last post. I liked both H&M dresses but wasn't in love with either. Your comments confirmed the features that were bugging me, and I didn't want to keep something that wasn't perfect! I ended up parting with the emerald (already have other items in that exact color), and taking matters into my own hands with the mint:

Drawing a pattern based on my bust and shoulder measurements:
Chop chop!
"Click to Read More" to see how this turned out!

H&M Reviews: Tweed Jacket, Trench + Mint Sheath Dress

*Get 20% off 1 item with this coupon or download the H&M app to your smartphone & shake. Ends 2/14*

I'm blogging less these days, but still tweeting as I go. Please follow me on Twitter for more timely coupon/deal updates and fitting room photos. Last week, I stopped by H&M and tried on the following (my only purchase was #5):

1. Tweed blazer, item #055671, $40 after coupon (see a size 6 on my friend styled with the silk Blythe blouse). Comes in peach or blue tweed with black trim, and runs about 1 size big compared to most H&M blazers. I'm trying a sz 2 - on me, the shoulders are a bit wide, torso is roomy and the sleeves are long and wide. Would look nice as a work jacket on someone who can fill it out more. The black trim makes these easy to pair with simple black pencil skirts or sheath dresses.

Lookbook: Zesty Neon and Finding Balance

Thank you all for the candid feedback on my Jason Wu for Target items. I ended up mailing all the clothes to friends who will hopefully look better in them. On a separate note, I wanted to explain my recent (& upcoming) absence and delay in responding to your questions and emails. Interacting with readers is so important to me, and I feel terrible that my responsiveness has fallen to the wayside.

As some of you may know, I’m currently studying for the CFA Level 3 exam in June. I'm scared just thinking about it and considered closing Extra Petite til then. However, remembering Level 2 with the 10-12 hour workdays then cramming past midnight, never seeing friends or even Nick, and almost sprouting a beard due to lack of grooming...I realized I need this stress-relieving outlet. Please bear with me as posts may be sporadic, and please accept my apology for not being responsive during this time. I have plenty I want to share – like a beautiful walking boot for small calves (twitpic), a costly alterations saga, and photos from my Asia trip – I just need to find some balance.
H&M blazer sz 2, style #037443, $34.95 (altered here), H&M shell and clutch, Talbots necklace 
Crewcuts Cotton & Silk Double-Dipped Skirt sz 10 (taken in), Gap neon sweater, BR heels

The warm-weather outfit in today’s post was from right before my Asia trip. Nick and I had a lengthy layover at LAX and were preparing to set up camp, but Wendy and her boyfriend came to our rescue. We had a delish Korean lunch involving more banchan than I could ever ask for, satisfied Nick’s boba cravings, and chatted away 5 hours before I knew it...

Jason Wu for Target Clothing Reviews

After spending two long nights sleeping on planes, I was happy to be back in the U.S. today. I checked my Twitter feed upon landing (hooray for Twitter, FB, and Blogger not being blocked!) and realized that today was a good day to return...

Me (shooting up from my airplane seat, suddenly alert): "The Jason Wu for Target line is launching this morning! How convenient!!"
Groggy Nick: "Wha? What's that?"
Me (sly smile creeping across face): "Stores open in one hour!"
Unamused Nick: "You're kidding me, right."

I would typically never subject my boyfriend to the madness of women at a collaboration launch, but my local Target is outside of the city and I don't drive in Boston (for good reason). After some coaxing and promises of an "American breakfast" afterwards, we dropped off our luggage and were on our way.
I arrived at 7:45AM and there were about 20 people in line ahead of me. We were told that each shopper was limited to 6 pieces from the collection. I was relieved to hear this, as there were definitely some eBay'ers ahead of me (unless they were generous husbands/grandmothers picking up merchandise for loved ones?). When doors opened at 8AM sharp, I speed-walked in and grabbed every XS I could find. All dresses were already snatched up except for this one, which I was happy to grab:

Style in a Suitcase, Part 4: Blue Tweed + Olive on Repeat

This is a scheduled post. I won't be able to answer any questions until I return. Thank you for reading!
H&M clutch and ivory shell, vintage no-brand boots from eBay, Nordstrom rack pearls

This blue jacket with quilted lining is the sister of my pink one with satin lining worn here. After publishing that post, I noticed that Uniqueen only had quilted versions left for sale on their website. I regret not seeing that sooner and leaving a note for readers, as I know a few of you missed the description and were disappointed by the thicker lining. For any questions and return/exchange requests, please reach out to the company's customer service to see what they can do.
Target chambray shirt (buy similar in 3 colors, in reg/petite/tall), Chanel wallet-on-chain

This blue Malang has become one of my most-worn winter jackets, but it is indeed bulkier all-around due to the quilting (I wish they'd bring the satin back!). This is evident via the wider shoulders and bunchier sleeves on me. I try to balance out the heavier upper with skinny bottoms and heels, and don't recommend it for anyone smaller than me. The upside to the quilting is that it provides incredible warmth, probably equivalent to that of 3+ regular suiting blazers...