Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Petite Fashion Challenge #13: Professional Outfit For Under $100

Sorry for being late, but at least I get participation credit? The outfit I planned for this post didn't work out and I had to change plan. However there was absolutely no time for me to take decent outdoor pictures, so I will compensate by posting two outfits. Both were this week's work outfits. This challenge was actually great for me because my everyday wears are typically below $100 (not counting shoes and accessories).

The Challenge:
Stylish for under $100: Put together a professional outfit (excluding shoes and accessories) for under $100. Bonus points if you can put together a completed outfit including shoes and accessories for under $100.

Outfit 1:
Banana Republic factory tweed dress ($45)
Karen Millen cardigan (steal at outlet for $25)
Ann Taylor pumps
pearl necklace from auction
Ann Taylor factory bracelet

Total $70

Outfit 2:
Loft blouse ($20)
Loft jacket ($50)
Gap corduroy leggings ($30)
Aldo booties
Ann Taylor belts

Total $100

Thanks Annie for hosting. Don't forget to check out all the challenge outfits here.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Windy Weekend + A Sewing Machine Question

What a windy night. It felt like the whole house was going to be blown away! I planned to not get out today but the sun tricked me into thinking that it would be nice to take a short walk in the afternoon. The walk was short alright. Besides strolling around the house to find two pieces of fallen shingles, I made it as far as the end of the driveway. Brrrr....
Jcrew stadium cloth coat from 2011
Old Navy Rock Star Jeggings (size 0R)
Target boots
J.Crew scarf
Banana Republic Factory hat

I have a question to the DIY sewing experts out there. I have given a couple of pairs of my pleather leggings to my Dad to trim and hem recently. He finished one pair - simple black no pattern pleather legging; however when he started the second pair - this snake patterned pleather legging, he could not get the sewing machine to work. The thread would go for a bit and stop. The thread would be broken. My Dad tried adjusting the settings and changed needles but made no difference. The sewing machine works perfectly with a different material.  Any idea what to do with it? I would really appreciate it if you can relay my question to someone who might know the answer. 

Happy Sunday!!!

Friday, February 24, 2012

A Week In Outfits + H&M Jackets

Besides the tweedy outfit I wore on Wednesday, and had some outdoor photos taken, I have some more outfits to share this week - some of them I actually am very proud of.
Outfit 1:
This is the denim skirt I bought from Loft last weekend.  Remember I said it was roomy on the waist? Well, I "fixed" it by tucking a thick sweater. With that the belt is not even needed. It's there for the look, not for function. *buy here*. I love this new necklace I found from H&M last weekend. It's cute and versatile. A close up here.
Outfit 2: 
This is quite interesting as well. Everyone thought I was wearing a shirt and a skirt. But in fact I was wearing a dress and a shirt over it. I tied a knot with two corners of the shirt and used a wide belt to hide all the extra fabric. I was pretty pleased with myself now that I find another way to wear this dress. 

Both pumps are from Ann Taylor. I keep these two pairs at work so I can always change to them from boots. They are very comfortable and low enough for a whole day of wearing.
Outfit 3:
Chambray and tweed.
I can't get enough of tweed jackets these days. Wonder why. :)

On to a different subject. I want to share some nice looking jackets I found last week from H&M. With the 15% off coupon, these jackets are pretty decent in price - even the $50 one is a steal in my opinion.
  • Best deal of the pile. This jacket retails around $20. It's cropped and sleeves are just right. It runs very small. I had to size up to 4 to be comfortable.  Nicely made. Fully lined. I think H&M can easily price this jacket at $35 and still expect it to sell. 

  • This jacket is my favorite of the bunch. The material is silky and it drapes very nicely. Well made and highly recommend. If you are like me and work in an A/C building in the summer, I would recommend that you get it for a chic throw on to keep you warm in the building. This jacket actually comes with a belt - I didn't know it until I came home and found two belt loops on the side. I don't see myself belting this though, it kinda kills the drape. Retail price: $50. I'm wearing a size 2.

  • This jacket is thick and warm. It has a very beautiful camel color. It also comes in navy. Sleeves are too long for me but I love the color enough to overlook a lot of things. I would wear it as a coat in the spring or fall, over sweaters.  The sleeves are quite roomy if you don't layer. Retails around $40. I'm wearing a size 2.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tweed on Tweed, and Animal Print

I bought the tweed jacket and skirt separately from Loft last year, never thinking of wearing them together. I thought it would be too much. BUT, I was wrong. I love how it turned out. Add animal print red scarf and red bag for a pop of color. Voila...
Loft jacket and skirt
Ann Taylor Scarf
Ann Taylor purse
Via Spiga boots
Ann Taylor Factory bracelet

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Fitting Room: 2012 LOFT Spring New Arrivals

Loft is having a 30% off the whole store sale right now, and with 2 $25 rewards cards for every $50 purchase, the prices are right. I haven't stepped into a Loft for a long time. Their winter selections have been bleh for me, so I was pleasantly surprised at their cute spring pieces.  The whole store was filled with bright yellow, neon, green, red, blue; and lots of lots of patters - stripes, snakeskin, you name it. Between yesterday and today I scored a grand total of 6 rewards card, and I know exactly what I'll be getting with them when the time comes. hope they still have my sizes left.

Here are some fitting room pictures.

First, shopping outfit - Abercrombie gingham shirt, H&M pants, Via Spiga boots (so comfy that I wear them to the mall), Loft sweater, Ann Taylor belt. 

1. Painter Stripe Boatneck Tee ($54.50, pxs) and Polished Denim Pencil Skirt ($49.5 00P)
The Tee is a casual non-fitted top. Very flowy, feminine and pretty. A little pricey. Purchased to mull over.
The denim skirt is a great dark chambray color that I've been looking for since last year. So even though it was a bit roomy on the waist, I brought it home. I plan to belt it.

2.  Vintage Stripe Shift Dress ($79.5 - L: size 0, R: size 0P)
 This dress is one of my favorite of all the Loft finds. I prefer the belted look. I took the 0P home because 00P is a bit tight on the arm hole opening.

3. Snake Print Colorblock Sweater Dress ($89.5 size xxsp)
Fits very well. But no thanks. Too much snake skin for my liking.

I'm outrageous!!! While I was finding the link to this dress, I realized that the same dress in petite sizes is $10 more than the regular and tall sizes. Speechless. What the heck, LOFT?
The dress is very flattering in person. I love how it makes my drumstick arms actually look semi-feminine. This was one of the pieces that I was planning on purchasing with my rewards card.  

5. Rugby Stripe Sweater Dress ($44.99 size 00P)
This dress had so much potential, but was just way too big and long on me. The material is also a bit see through, so I passed on this one. See it on Annie here.

6. A-Line skirts with front pockets - I can't find this skirt online, and can't remember exactly how much it cost. prob. around $50-60.
I like the color and the shape. Not in love with the two pockets. The bottom hem also looks questionable. Passed. 

The concludes my fitting room picture sharing. I also ended up getting this Textural Stitch 3/4 Sleeve Sweater Jacket in xsp. See it on Annie. I encourage you to try this jacket on, because it may surprise you like it did to me. :) 

Lastly I wanted to share with you a jacket I almost kept but returned thanks to this outfit picture - Marled Sweater Jacket in xxs (purple marl). The purple marl color of this jacket only comes in regular sizes. So I ordered an XXS to try on. I like the color a lot. After receiving it, I was excited that it was not too long and it even fit me decently. I decided to take an outfit picture to decide its final fate. Oh the horror ... drumstick arms!
I ended up laying this sweater jacket against the Old Navy one in XS and found out that the arms are 1.5 inches wider than the ON one. Back to the store it went. 

Have you shopped at Loft this weekend? What did you score? Please share. I also was looking high and low for the scarf on this model but was told that it was sold out in store. I couldn't find it online either. Anyone saw it?
Update: I found the scarf through style finder and received it in the mail today. Love it!!!

Friday, February 17, 2012

A Week in Outfits

I have been sick for almost a week. Flu-like symptoms. Jasmine was sick too, but recovering. She's turning 12 this weekend. Hopefully she's well enough to enjoy her dinner out and cake. Work has been crazy as always, but I still tried to look my best every day even though there was less and less time to do so. Since there was no time for picture taking, I made sure to capture the outfit with iphone every morning in the bathroom on my way to the cafeteria. So here we go - a week's worth of iphone outfits.
Outfit 1:  (Copy Exact from Jean's post here)
Ann Taylor leopard print cardigan (xsp, J.Crew version here)
H&M double placket sleeveless top (xs)
Old Navy Rock Star jeggings (size 0, black on sale for only $19 today)
Ann Taylor pumps (buy here)

Outfit 2:
Old Navy stripy sweater (After New Year Clearance for $3)
Loft factory tweed skirt (00P)
Via Spiga Valerie Leather platform boots (sz 6, my favorite boots nowadays, buy here)

Outfit 3: 
What goes around comes around fur vest (sz xs, TJMaxx)
Zara A-line skirt
Via Spiga Valerie Leather platform boots (sz 6, my favorite boots nowadays, buy here)
Pearl necklace

Outfit 4:
J.Crew top
Loft pleated skirt (00P)
Jessica Simpson boots
F21 jacket
Ann Taylor pineapple necklace 

Outfit 5:
Ann Taylor factory sequins top (xxsp)
Ann Taylor cardigan (gifted from Annie)
Banana Republic factory skirt (00P)
Ann Taylor pumps
Ann Taylor belt
MK watch
Pearl necklace

Outfit 6:
J.Crew merino wool dolman sleeve sweater (old, xs)
Michael Kors multi-layered skirt (old, size 0)
Ann Taylor belt
Amrita Singh necklace
Via Spiga Valerie Leather platform boots (sz 6, my favorite boots nowadays, buy here)

Last but not least, for those of you who missed my tweet earlier this week, introducing my new baby - Chloe Paraty in wood.

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Review: J.Crew Tillary Tote

My love of bags are well known by now. :) When I saw this bag on the new J.Crew catalog, I had to do a double take - its shape is a lot like the Celine luggage tote that everyone is in love with. See the Celine version on Easy Petite Looks. I have been looking for a satchel/tote in non-black neutral color - brown, camel, cognac, so I ordered one hoping that it will fit the bill.  This would be my work horse bag that will fit more than just a wallet and iphone. I called the store first to see if I could see one in person, but learned that it was an online only item, so the only way to see it in person is to buy one. So I did.
When I opened the box that contained this bag, I couldn't believe how big it was. 
Online measurement: 11 1/2H x 11 3/4W x 3 5/8D. 
My measurement: Bottom width = 12"; Top width =19"; Height (middle of the bag) = 12"; Depth = 6 1/2"

I can't get over how ridiculous this bag look on me. It looks like the bag is carrying me. :) After the initial shock, I examined the bag carefully. The craftsmanship is very good. The bag is well made and the leather is supple. The color (warm sienna) is pleasing, and very easy to go with different outfits. The inside of the bag is fully lined and has both a zipper pocket and a split patch cell pocket. The bag has a zipper top which I like a lot. I do not like totes that only has a magnet closure. Things fall out easily and if you are in crowded areas, it's an easy target for thieves. Another nice thing about this bag is its two hidden front and back exterior pockets. In the picture the small front flap with a zipper can actually be opened (closed by hidden magnet) and you will discover a roomy front pocket. Same thing in the back of the bag. The zipper is just a decoration.
So for those of you non-petites, I highly recommend this bag. I think $328 is a good price for the quality and look.  I had Bryan hold this bag for me to see how it would look on a 6 foot tall person (he resisted at first, but couldn't stand my nagging, and gave in.)  The bag looks very attractive on a taller person. (Sorry, no picture to share, you wouldn't think Bryan would allow me to take pictures of him holding this bag, would you?) For me, this is no-doubt a return. Kind of sad, but I think I found my dream bag after all. 

The bag comes in color "blue sea" as well, which obviously is in higher demand than warm sienna. The expected ship date for the blue sea is currently May 21st, 2012.

Friday, February 10, 2012

OOTD: Tweed and Sequins

This is the outfit I was wearing when the state trooper pulled me over and slapped a $250 citation in my hand. It was a beautiful day, and this dude was so eager to ruin everyone's day that he went right back to his laser gun shooting when I was still reading his scribbles on the little piece of paper - 70 mph on a 45 road. It was highway 290. Since when did highway 290 go down to 45 mph? "Hahahahahah..." That was Bryan's reaction when I called to tell him my misfortune. FYI, Bryan just got a $200 speeding ticket (first ticket ever in his lifetime!) and was pretty upset since he was going downhill on the way home from a ski trip at 10PM with no other cars around him. Downhill is always tricky because if you are not careful you are bound to speed. I asked him why he was so happy to hear my misfortune, he said "It's just too funny! How much is it?" "$250." "You beat me again?!" "I have to win on everything! You should know that." Somehow after this conversation, I wasn't so caught up with the fine any more. 
Outfit Details:
Banana Republic tweed sweater (xxsp, from last season)
Loft sequins skirt (00P, last year, very similar to AT version, but much cheaper. LOVE!)
Via Spiga boots (last worn here)
Chanel M/L flap

PS. I finally put my Red Lambskin Chanel purse on Ebay.Less than two days left. Wish me luck.
Also, I'm also selling this Diane Von Furstenberg Suede Clog in size 6

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

花仙子- My Childhood Love

I'm currently reliving my childhood by watching this Japanese Anime with my kids. When my parents asked me what I wanted them to bring back from China, I asked for two things. One of them was this cartoon series that I was obsessed with when I was a child. I remember how much I loved the theme song, and the pretty pretty outfits "Xiao Pei" - the flower fairy changed into with the help of her flower key.  The story is about the journey that Xiao Pei went through to find the "seven-colored flower". On her journey, there was a handsome prince who would always appear when she needed help.  Watching this series takes me back to the memory lane, and allow me to go back to my childhood.

Don't you just love her cute red dress, and matching red boots? She's in this outfit majority of the time, but every episode will use her flower key to change to a different outfit for a little while for different reasons.  And Mi-mi, the cat is beyond cute.

Do you have a movie or TV series that you wouldn't mind watching again to relive your childhood?

Friday, February 3, 2012

Jason Wu for Target - Sunday 2/5

Update with list of blog posts with reviews: (I scored nothing, but looks like the sizes are generous and it's not petite friendly without alteration)
Jason Wu for Target Clothing Reviews by Extra Petite
Jason Wu for Target Fitting Room Reviews by SewPetiteGal
Jason Wu for Target Haul & Launch Fiasco by The Makeup Drawer
Jason Wu for Target我的實戰報導 by Vege Soup
Jason Wu Looks &Review by The Makeup Drawer
Jason Wu for Target Blouses by Really Petite
Jason Wu for Target Reviews by With Each Passing Day

Jason Wu for Target我的實穿照來了

Another collaboration to be excited about after Missoni. I am expecting a similar experience though - the ridiculous line and the website crashing.  Not all stores would carry the designer items. For a full list of participating Target stores, click here. I'm not crazy enough to fight the lines, but I'd be definitely stalking the website for these items:
Poplin dress - my favorite item in the collection!!! Only $39.99.
The skirt is so feminine. $29.99
I love the gold and black pleat combo, but I think I can use my existing wardrobe pieces to recreate this look!
Pleated shift dress - looks like it's petite friendly. Only $39.99
See 5' Lilliana Vasquez try out the collection here.

Are you excited about this collaboration? Will you be picking a few pieces up on Sunday?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

OOTD: Missoni Dress Restyled

After I shrank this dress in the dryer, I couldn't wait to put it on again. It fit a lot better after shrinking, and I couldn't be happier with this styling without a belt cutting the ziggy-zags in half.  What do you think? Which way do you like it better? Belted or Not?
Missoni for Target Dress (worn here)
STEVEN for Steve Madden Bolerro boots (review here, buy here)
Loft turtleneck (old)
Talbots Saddle bag in Brown Sugar (worn here)
J.Crew Colletta Coat (old, review here)
Ann Taylor necklace
Loft bracelet


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