1. Denim jacket (original post, shop similar in girls or petites, or plenty of options at thrift stores) - a piece that I've historically avoided due to reminders of my less-than-chic style in middle school, this has since proven to been a travel staple. It goes effortlessly with most outfits, helps dress down fancier pieces, and is so easy to maintain/wash. For petite figures, I like a shrunken fit and cropped length, so the jacket doesn't truncate the leg line.
2. Coach bag (review post, shop new or preowned) - from a brand that I've nearly dismissed after recent years of abundant logo print, this bag is now one of my favorites. I fell in love with the quality and functionality of vintage Coach, not to mention the affordable prices. I also purchased another Coach - the small crossbody turnlock bag. I went the new route as I couldn't find yellow pre-owned, and have to say I prefer their their older leathers. The pointy leather flats in this photo also get a mention as I was impressed by the quality, comfort and value of my first Gap footwear purchase.
3. Statement faux pearls (original post, shop similar) - RIP due to my own forgetfulness, but thankfully for the time being I can double up my long strand of real pearls gifted from one of my best friends. You can find similar long pearls on eBay by searching for the length and width (mine are 8-9mm wide, and approx. 65 inches long).
4. White blazer (original post, shop very similar under $35) - after a little DIY sleeve tailoring, this jacket from the often petite-friendly H&M was my most worn blazer in warmer weather. The affordable price tag made it less nerve-wracking to wear often and freely eat jello/spaghetti/splashy noodle soup in.
5. White silk blouse (original post, shop similar) - one of my favorite closet staples, this never fails me for a classic look worn alone or for its collar layer as shown here. I scored it at a thrift store (did have to perform alterations) and feel the silk weight / quality of blouses today don't compare to that of the past.
6. Bronze pumps (original post, shop here or similar) - I'm not in love with this specific pump style, so the favorite aspect is more so the surprisingly versatile color. Kate Spade Licorice pumps have a higher front, and I personally prefer less coverage and more toe cleavage. I wasn't sure about keeping these until I realized how bronze went with so many outfits, serving both as a neutral in lieu of brown or nude, or as a statement shoe adding a little shine.
7. Waist-cinching reversible belt (original post, shop similar on sale) - We've gone through all the tricks to loop, fold in, or tape down excess belt lengths, so I was particularly excited to get another belt that fits snugly at the waist with minimal excess material. I don't know what these belts are called (with the little nub that pops into the holes, versus the standard buckles with prongs) but I am a big fan of the clean look. This was a vintage Hermes find and I love both the versatile black and brown sides.
In the DIY realm, my favorite sewing projects to date are these striped "dress" separates as well as this leopard foldover clutch (tutorial here).
You can also find beginner-level tutorials posted this year for a scallop hem skirt (animation made by my little brother who received all the technical genes in the family), a knit maxi skirt, or an elastic waist A-line skirt.
After finding a tailor whom I've grown to trust, I also became more experimental with complex alterations. Again, these alterations are risky so I was just sharing my experiences and not recommending doing so.
I'm fortunate to have my blog photos taken by my sweet and patient boyfriend, who started out a few years ago with no experience and now impresses me daily with his work. We've had so much fun taking photos of each other at various locations, as well as getting the rare picture together (although on a weekly basis, a kind elderly passerby is likely to stop our blog photo session and insist on helping us take one together ; )
Favorite blog-related experiences this year included hosting several Boston events, during which I got to meet some amazing local women. Thank you all so much for coming out to chat and shop, especially during rainstorms or 20 degree temps! I also loved getting to spend time with and meet old blog friends all over the country. Another highlight for me this year was getting to work with LOFT on their fall Petites campaign. I've been a longtime customer of Ann Inc. brands for their work-appropriate petites selection, and was so excited for the opportunity. Thank you to lovely readers and friends who sent me emails and comments with your kind words, as well as some photos which I've shared below! I've saved and cherish all of them.
And lastly, a few other looks from 2013. Each outfit is simple but stays true to my (evolving) personal style, mixing pieces old and new, both retail and pre-owned, with a dose of DIY work:
From top left: red pants, mustard skirt, riding boots, boys blazer, jacquard leopard, chain cardigan
Thank you to each and every one of you who stop by this site. Thanks for taking time out of your day to interact (through comments, tweets, FB and IG posts...) and allowing me to get to know you over the years. I'm so appreciative of all your readership, tips shared, and support. Wishing you a happy and healthy 2014!