Borrowed Stella McCartney for Target: Fitted Lace + Clean Lines


Stella McCartney for Target top (similar) & Ann Taylor necklace borrowed from Elle
Limited(?) pants  & H&M; blazer (both altered), Louboutin pumps
In addition to shopping the pre-owned market, another way to practice sustainable fashion is to swap clothing with stylish friends. August was a low shopping month for me both in volume kept and amount spent, with discipline exercised at my usual favorite stores. However, I had plenty of fun reworking pieces and playing around with borrowed items.
I got to hang out with Elle again last month, and she was so kind to remember my infatuation with her SM for Target pieces from ages ago. I was bummed that the beautiful, petite-friendly collection was only made for Target in Australia. This girly, low-cut top fit me like a glove, so I wanted to balance it out against more conservative pieces with clean, tailored lines. These old trousers and blazer did the trick.

I like certain H&M; blazers for their fitted shoulders and torso, but oftentimes the sleeves are disproportionately wide/long, or have distracting details like ruching. It takes me hours to alter lined sleeves (tutorial here), but this partially-lined jacket only needed slimming and a snipping of the elastics. Even though it saved me some sewing time, I do wish the sleeves weren’t awkwardly half-lined:
yellow blazer alt
When I used to pay for alterations, I almost never had sleeves slimmed. The shortening itself was already a hefty $25, so any extra width was “overlooked.” I eventually realized, however, that baggy, floofy sleeves definitely detract from an overall sleek look:
yellow blazer alt1
Here’s another before and after look on the sleeves. The soft Doctor and Barber tee peeking out is one of my faves – it was designed and screen printed by my friend Ping’s boyfriend (and can be ordered for men or women for $30).
yellow blazer alt2
I loved the blue version of this necklace and strongly resisted a duplicate in pearl. I regretted it for a while, but eventually had my share of fun with Elle’s. It probably was for the best, as I don’t think my coworkers’ eyes could’ve withstood prolonged wear of such bling : )

Readers – Have you participated in local or online clothing swaps? If so, I’d be interested in hearing about your experiences.
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  1. Hi! I have a question. How do you get flare dress pants like this one to maintain a flare shape at the bottom? When I try these types of pants on they collapse at the bottom. I'm 5' even and skinny legs, not sure if this is the reason. Any feedback would be appreciated! Thanks, Mil

    Posted 10.3.16 Reply
  2. KS wrote:
    Posted 11.29.12 Reply
  3. Midori wrote:

    that ruching is GODAWFUL but i love the finished product!

    Posted 9.28.12 Reply
  4. Beautiful necklace! I tried on the blue version, but quickly realized it made my face look rounder than it already is. LOL. Oh well, much better suited for your facial structure 🙂

    Posted 9.19.12 Reply
  5. Tks again for posting the jacket sleeve tutorial. I'm gonna need it!

    Posted 9.17.12 Reply
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    Posted 9.16.12 Reply
  7. Anonymous wrote:

    This top is similar to your top. I think the lace is nice too. Only medium and large left though… Maybe you can slim it? You can get a 20% off code if you sign up for Amazon's clothing email. Still kind of expensive… maybe the price will go down after a while.∣=ATVPDKIKX0DER

    Posted 9.12.12 Reply
  8. those trousers look AMAZING on you! and love the top!

    Sandy a la Mode

    Posted 9.11.12 Reply
  9. Hi there – I would definitely suggest buying them in the right size. I have a pair that is a size up and it always just feels like I have lobster claws on.

    Posted 9.9.12 Reply
  10. I think it would look lovely as well with a pencil skirt (a very ladylike silhouette overall). I returned it back to Elle already and hope to see more pairings from her!

    Posted 9.9.12 Reply
  11. Clearly a few of us were behind the fashion curve : ) Lace and peplum both explode years after Elle snatches these up for bargain prices.

    Posted 9.9.12 Reply
  12. You can check for a marketplace where other ladies sell their clothes, or eBay is my personal favorite.

    Posted 9.9.12 Reply
  13. I usually do not touch the armhole on blazers, so it will remain a little bigger relative to the finished sleeve width. For blouses and shirts I make the armhole smaller and continue the stitch down the upper torso to slim that as well.

    Posted 9.9.12 Reply
  14. I'm glad you enjoyed them! Oh, the lack of heat is such a terrible surprise but we know better for next time. I can't imagine being in wedding attire in that cold wet climate.

    Posted 9.9.12 Reply
  15. Of course! I love it : )

    Posted 9.9.12 Reply
  16. Hi Rachel, I have a serger machine back at my parents house which is the proper way to finish seams, but I have been taking shortcuts and just use the zigzag stitch on my regular machine to sew over raw hems. It definitely doesn't work as well, but I don't have room for a second machine at my apartment. Alternatively you can also leave a wider seam margin and fold it over twice (so that any raw edges are folded under) then stitch to secure.

    Posted 9.9.12 Reply
  17. Hi Shirley! I, too love reading Elle's story about how these pieces came to be. Trust me it was hard to send back the 5 lbs of goodies : )

    Posted 9.9.12 Reply
  18. I have not made jewelry since those fun days of stringing beads as a child, but am definitely open to doing so. Revamping old pieces from thrift stores into modern designs sounds very fun.

    Posted 9.9.12 Reply
  19. Thanks, Jodi! Yes, these photos are taking in Boston, MA : )

    Posted 9.9.12 Reply
  20. Hmm…no great tips from me but I would think to just make sure there is enough contrast. Personally I like either darker than my skin tone (ie. rich mustard yellow) or something really bright like this neon color.

    Posted 9.9.12 Reply
  21. I think it's an XS but I will double check in the laundry : )

    Posted 9.9.12 Reply
  22. You could make a tiny hole in the lining along an inside seam, then remove the elastic from there and stitch the hole back up.

    Posted 9.9.12 Reply
  23. nice top!!!! love the yellow jacket! unfortunately its too hot here to wear one!!!

    i've added you to my daily reading list 😛

    xoxo jenna
    Visit my blog at The Petite Blogger
    Follow me on Facebook
    Find me on Chictopia

    Posted 9.9.12 Reply
  24. Anonymous wrote:

    HI Jean, I have a question with fall season ankle boots. Will it look bad to wear a 1 size bigger ankle boots for petite figure? Hope you can reply.. really need some help.. I'm new to this and i've been starting to build my confidence.. you have nice entries here..

    Posted 9.8.12 Reply

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