Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Neutral Heels (and small feet woes)

Women seem to be born with an innate passion for shoes. We often get teased by (straight) men who don't understand how we can never have enough shoes- but as we all know, there is a limitless amount of styles, heel heights and colors to be had! We need casual cold weather shoes, fancy cold weather shoes, shoes to go with our new dress, shoes that look good with skinny jeans, etc., and trying on lovely pair after lovely pair of heels makes the whole shoe-shopping process all too fun....

....for most. If you're like me and have awkwardly shaped size 5 feet, shoe shopping can be hell!  Most stores don't even carry size 5, and if they do, it's that ONE pair of really ugly and outlandish high heel sneakers, or a modest librarian-like pair of black pumps (which I own). This is why I love Zappos!

Even if I don't find something I like or that's in my price range, I take comfort in the fact that Zappos will always have a decent selection of size 5s, with free shipping/returns and a super-fast delivery to boot. Along with my currently unsuccessful hunt for rain boots, I've also been on the hunt for neutral heels. Neutrals are very "in" this season (according to Harper's Bazaar), but the real reason I want a pair is simply for formal occasions in warm weather (and something to match a favorite Ann Taylor dress!). Something sexy but classy, neutral but not boring. And not insanely priced, either. My hunt led me to this pair here:

I love the piping, which adds flattering structure and just a bit of snazziness. The reviews for the shoe are all over the place, though, so the jury's out until these arrive in the mail!

Here are some other neutral-toned heels that I saw and loved (but aren't the right price or size):

Elizabeth and James

Anne Klein

Nine West

Do you have a favorite pair of neutral-toned shoes? If not, what's your preferred formal shoe for warm weather?


Monday, March 28, 2011

2 1/2 Lessons Learned.

Spring break is over and I'm back up at school. Although my break unfortunately wasn't filled with Florida sunshine or cute derby hats, there were some pleasant parts, such as a golf/lunch outing with my mom, some best friend bonding, and a few shopping excursions. There were some unpleasant parts that I won't go into detail here, but it was a mixture of the pleasant and the unpleasant that inspired today's post:

21/2 Lessons Learned:

*    *   *

Lesson 1 (shopping): Stop, STOP buying "safety items."
Whenever I see something that looks like it will fit me, I am compelled to buy it. Why? Because so few things fit, I have some strange impulse to buy everything that fits as if I will never find anything like it again. 9 times out of ten, these items are tank tops. Tank tops are stretchy, so they always look small, and they come in such an array of colors that I'm always convinced that I need another in a different shade to really complete my wardrobe. But in reality, I RARELY wear them!! I think I wear about 2: a pretty floral one from LOFT that I wear frequently because I have a lack of clothing with patterns, and a mauve-colored one from AE that looks good with my J.Crew ruffle tank. The others sit in my drawer, pulled out maybe once a year.

This also applies to cardigans (and I know some of you readers have the same cardigan addiction that I do!). What I end up with is a closet full of cardigans and tank tops, which are almost all plain and solid-colored so they don't look that cute together, and no more money to buy anything else. Problem.

Lesson 2 (romance): Just because someone is compatible with you for external reasons, doesn't necessarily mean they'll be compatible with you on a deeper level.
WOW that sounded just like an eHarmony commercial! But it's true. I was once convinced that a guy was absolutely perfect for me: he has same values and tastes, a great family, a kind heart, plenty of ambition, intelligence, and attractiveness to boot. After a few years of confusion, and several recent frustrating conversations, it seems our personalities just don't seem to mesh well romantically despite how compatible we thought we were once. Disappointing, but I guess that's life. Which leads me to my 1/2 lesson....

Lesson 1/2 (life): Expect to be disappointed.
I know, it sounds like a downer, and perhaps it is. The reason why this doesn't count for a full lesson is because I haven't fully learned it yet. I always, ALWAYS get my hopes up super high about absolutely everything, and I'm usually let down about 90% of the time. My mom has been warning me about this since I can remember ("well don't get your hopes up, Elizabeth..."). Friends frequently cancel, group project members often slack off, boyfriends are forgetful, and packages arrive late. I count on people to always stick to their word just as I count on the weather forecast to be accurate- bad idea! I end up feeling so let down, when I shouldn't have depended on chance in the first place. I need to stop assuming, and expect less: that way, when awesome things actually do happen, they're that much more awesome.

I feel like mistakes often repeat themselves until a lesson is learned. What lessons have you learned recently, whether silly or serious?


Saturday, March 26, 2011


I'm so excited! I've been given my first award, the Stylish Blogger Award, by Patti over at The Young and the Prepless (be sure to check out her wonderful blog!)

Recipients are supposed to share 7 things about themselves. I've only been blogging for about a month now, so this is a great opportunity to share some things about me that you probably didn't know:

1.) I have never, ever played a sport on a team.
I am pretty much as girly and athletically-challenged as it gets, unfortunately :(! I wish I was good at sports, because I'm very competitive and think I'd have lots of fun if I wasn't so wimpy. I'm attempting to start golfing with my mom, though, and we'll see how that goes...

Me at the driving range  yesterday, trying in vain to remember all of the things Mom taught me about a proper swing...

2.) I have a job where I dress up as characters at kid's birthday parties.
 If you have been to a kid's party in the NYC/Westchester/Fairfield area and a princess was there, it might have been me! I sing and play games at kid's birthday parties dressed up as various familiar characters/princesses. It's fun but super-stressful: I never know what might happen!
                                         yours truly^

3.) While I may dislike most sports, I LOVE watching NY Rangers hockey.

I'm  a big hockey fan...random, right? My good friend who I used to date is a big Rangers hockey fan (and a hockey coach at a private school in MD) and he succeeded at getting me hooked on the sport. Something about it makes it more appealing to me than any other sport...I'm actually sitting here watching a Rangers game right now...

4.) I hardly ever buy anything full price.
After realizing how easy it is to buy something for a discount price, I usually manage to avoid paying full price for anything! Whether it's using coupons, waiting till sale weekends, using my student discount or relentlessly searching the internet, I'll always try some method to avoid spending lots, and almost everything you'll see featured on my blog will have been purchased with a discount.

5.) My favorite book/movie is Gone With The Wind.

Everytime I was sick in high school, I would stay home and watch Gone with the Wind. I've probably seen the super-long (yet amazing) movie at least 30 times! I got the book a few Christmases ago and now I can't decide if I like the book or the movie better, since they're both so great...and yes, I swear I'm a Yankee!

6.) My entire family is short.
Here's a family picture from my high school graduation in 2008:
Now, 3 yrs later, my little brother's the tallest at 5'5.

7.) I was first introduced into the blogging world when I came across the blog Extra Petite.

As a very small 20-yr old, I've struggled a great deal when it comes to shopping, and not being mistaken for a high-schooler. I was THRILLED to find a blog written by Jean, a 20-something young petite woman who is almost the exact same size as I am! From there, I found a whole community of petite young women who have shared their wisdom and tips. I also found my way into a blogging community that shares a similar love for classic/preppy style, and decided to make my blog a combination of the two.
And now, I'd like to share the award with 5 wonderful blogs that I've recently discovered:

1.) Town and Country Prep
2.) To Brighten My Day
3.) Proudly Petite
4.) Preppy Perfection
5.) WhatMissLoves

Check out these great blogs if you haven't already. And recipients, you're welcome to participate if you choose! 

Here are the rules:
1. Link back and thank the person that gave you the award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Award 5 recently discovered blogs.
4. Contact them and tell them about their award.


Friday, March 25, 2011

Wish List! (6 Friday Favorites)

I realize I forgot to do a Friday Favorite last week! Forgive me, I'm still a rookie when it comes to blogging.
Today, I thought I'd share 6 favorites that I'm currently lusting after (I couldn't pick just one):

Wish List: 

If only I had the funds! That's what happens when you're a college student. *sigh*

Have a lovely weekend,

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A new J.Crew skirt, and an alarming 90% decrease in profits for J.Crew

Alright, so perhaps I'm being overly eager with this summery outfit, considering this is the weather forecast where I live:

But, my new J.Crew Factory skirt came in the mail today, and I wanted to share it with you:

(why yes, that is the shirt/earring combo in my header image!)
Shirt: H&M, XS
Belt: Vera Wang Simply Vera, S
Skirt: J.Crew Factory, sz 0 (here)

I got this "cinnabar" skirt for a great price- about $30 during this past weekend's sale, which I paid for with  leftovers on a J.Crew gift card. The 18" length is short enough to be flattering on a petite, but long enough to wear without worries of exposing the unexposable. I styled it in a classic/vintage-inspired outfit with a retro thick black waist belt, and a boatneck striped tee. The skirt's quality is decent, but not as good as would be expected from the regular J.Crew store: it is extremely wrinkle-prone and relatively simple in structure. I like its simplicity, however, and the texture is nice and smooth. The elastic waist fits perfectly- definitely petite friendly, which isn't that common for J.Crew!
 (I wore these shoes from Clarks on the bottom, but for some reason the stripes on my shirt were oddly distorted unless I cropped the image.)
*   *   *

While browsing my blog feed this afternoon, I came across this alarming post from blogger Alexis at J.Crew Aficionada. In it, she quotes an article discussing the 90% decrease in J.Crew's income during their last quarter. The question surrounding this decrease is why? Personally, I think it's because the brand is alienating their loyal customers that admire the brand for its classic style, by introducing funky styles that go beyond updating into re-inventing. A perfect example is these...pants?...from my older post about J.Crew:

Hmmm. I'm not against the brand updating its look, but pieces like these are too far for a brand that prides (prided?) itself on classic American style. I feel like this re-invention may be what led to the crazy drop in profits.

Why do you think J.Crew's profits decreased by 90%?


Monday, March 21, 2011

A well-fitting jacket + a Vera Bradley teapot

Since I'm spending my spring break at home in cold, dreary suburban New York (it SNOWED this morning!), one of the most enjoyable ways to spend the time continues to be shopping. And since I hardly ever fit in anything I like, I never end up spending obscene amounts of money (one of the advantages of being petite!).

I've been on the hunt for a well-fitting, simple spring jacket. And where did I finally find one? H&M, of course! The quality is nothing spectacular, but I knew I wouldn't be able to find a better-fitting jacket anywhere else:

Jacket: H&M, sz 2 (in stores now)
Tee: Banana Republic, XS
Jeans: Abercrombie sz 14 kids, ancient!
Boots: Ralph Lauren, sz 5

I didn't wear a scarf in the picture so you could get a better look at the jacket, but I feel like this outfit is naked without one! The canvas-y, thick cotton jacket  fits well around the waist and its length is perfect, although the arms could be a bit shorter (for reference- I'm 31-25-34). It's good for that awkward too-warm-for-a-coat, too-cold-to-go-without-one season, especially if you're like me and don't like wearing sweatshirts when it can be avoided.

Where did you find your spring jacket?

On the same day I bought this jacket, I also stopped by our local Simpson & Vail tea shop with my mom and brother to pick up some specialty green tea. And who was the tea for? My 14-yr-old brother! Ever since his tae-kwon-do black belt ceremony, he's had a taste for green tea. I thought this was a bit peculiar, but as we were walking in, we walked right by another young boy in a martial arts uniform. Go figure!

As soon as we walked in the door, I spotted THIS lovely item:

A Vera Bradley tea pot! In Pinwheel Pink, nonetheless! The recovering Vera Bradley addict inside me couldn't resist. It was just too pretty, plus it was on sale for $15.

And I have the bag to match:

I'm not sure where I'm going to keep this pretty pot. At school, I live in a teeny house with 6 girl friends, and anything in our kitchen is bound to break. I never really use teapots either, but now I'm inspired to!

Hope your weather is better than New York's,

Friday, March 18, 2011

Time for sandals, petite fashion challenge & a quest for whale rain boots!

Us New Yorkers had a FANTASTIC sunny day today! The thermometer hit 70 degrees, which meant it was officially time to transition from boots to sandals. I was thrilled to break out my new silver pair of wedge Jack Rogers

I decided to incorporate them into the latest Petite Fashion Challenge hosted by Style Pint:

Dress up your basics: Jeans + tee.

I decided to jazz up basic jeans and a tee with a scarf, jewelry and a snazzy pair of sandals. Casual, but classy, this is something I'd wear around town and campus. I stuck with cool tones for a transition from winter to spring, with my spearmint tee (J.Crew's Perfect Fit Tee) as the base color, and pink accessories. To show off my shoes, I cuffed my jeans to the ankle- these are the Forever 21 dark skinny jeans from my previous posts and they're perfect for cuffing. Long earrings always compliment a scarf, especially when they have the same tone (I wouldn't wear gold earrings with this outfit).
All this outfit needs now is a cute designer bag!

How do you style your basic jeans + tee?

On another note, I'm on a quest for a pair of whale rain boots! The catch: they have to fit my size 5 feet. I fell in love with this pair from Target:

Unfortunately, they do not come in Size 5. :(
And there's no equivalent pair in kid's sizes. I have been told that Hunter kid's wellies are best for size 5 feet, but at $75 and no cute patterns, I'm not impressed. I know Hunter is best for quality, but I just can't bring myself to spend that much money on a pair I don't love!

Unlike those of you fortunate to get away for spring break, I'm stuck at my parent's house all week. Not so bad though, considering I was a bit homesick. :) Unfortunately, this 70-degree weather won't last and it's supposed to get cold and rainy over the next few days...I'll be needing those rain boots ASAP!

Do you have a favorite pair/brand of rain boots?

Think spring,

P.S.- Blogger Proudly Petite is hosting a wonderful J.Crew gift card + Coach bag giveaway! Check it out here.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Oh LOFT, the constant disappointment!

Sorry for the lack of fashion-related posts, but I'm waiting to go home for spring break and get my spring/summer clothes back up here. I'm also waiting for the stores to get their new spring lines in- bring on the pretty skirts and sundresses!
I did take a trip to the mall recently though, and noticed there was a fantastic sale at LOFT, a known petite-friendly store. What do I find when I go in? The same thing I find EVERY time I go into a LOFT:

1.) SERIOUSLY small petite selection.
Just head to the waay backk...yes, that one wall there.

2.) Ugly clothes, or an entire wall of blazers and cardigans (which I don't need.)
All the cute clothes? Those would be in the regular-sized section. Where are all the lovely items that I've see online? Not here, obviously!
 (You're cute, pink cardigan, but you're not what I'm looking for!)

3.) Tops that don't all.
You're XXSP tag is deceiving!

I recall that this twist shell got a poor review on fit from a blogger- give us the link to your post if it's you.

Yet what do I love about LOFT that keeps me coming back? Their PANTS! <3
Their pants have a true petite fit. Nice and short, but their slacks are just long enough to cover a pair of heels, and their skinny jeans stop right at the foot!

A 00P always fits me perfectly. However, I am not in need of pants. I bought a bunch of LOFT slacks in the fall for student teaching/fieldwork, and 2 pairs of jeans over the summer, and I'm set. Therefore, I haven't had a successful trip to LOFT in ages.
I guess LOFT caters mainly to a professional wardrobe, but I see cute stuff online that I could definitely rock casually. I'm just afraid to buy online since their stuff never fits me in-store!

What are your LOFT experiences, if any? 


Sunday, March 13, 2011

5 Reasons to Love Vintage Jewelry

I've mentioned in the Alterations Needed forum before that when it comes to jewelry, I always go for vintage. For the best finds, my favorite place to go jewelry shopping is at the antique stores in Cold Spring, NY:


 The town is adorable, and filled with antique and vintage stores with reasonably-priced clothes and accessories (unlike the super pricey stores in the city)! I always leave my day trips to Cold Spring with a ton of vintage jewelry. Why do I prefer vintage, do you ask? Here's why:

1.) It's beyond affordable.
If you go to the right places, you can find great pieces for a STEAL. I would stay away from stores specifically geared towards selling jewelry, and would instead head to antique stores that sell a variety of items from clothing and accessories to furniture and knick-knacks. These stores will usually have a jewelry section and won't be as pricey.

2.) Many styles are timeless and elegant.
I LOVE pearls. Can't get enough. The great thing about pearls is that they've been in style for decades, and antique stores are usually full of pearl jewelry! Even for those of you who are into bolder looks, bright and funky jewelry from the 60s and 70s can usually be found right alongside the more classic items.
Here are some of my favorite vintage pearl finds:


I had been looking for a pearl cluster ring like this for AGES! And by some miracle, it fit my size 4 finger, which brings me to my 3rd reason...

3. Many styles are smaller-fitting.
I don't know if women from previous decades had smaller fingers and wrists, but for whatever reason, I always seem to find vintage jewelry that fits. Like the above size 4 ring, or this lovely little gold watch that fits my teeny wrist:

The watch is from the 80's when delicate styles were in, as opposed to today's more larger watch styles. I can't believe I bought it like this: it's proof that there are other women out there with toddler-sized wrists.

But for those of you that aren't in need of small-fitting jewelry, there's sizes all over the spectrum. Many pieces have already been custom-fitted to their previous owner, therefore coming in a wide array of sizes that aren't always offered in stores.

4.) The fun of the find
Shopping for vintage jewelry is always an adventure. It's exciting to pass by a storefront and see a large display of jewelry I have yet to look through, and similarly exciting when I discover a nook of an antique store I hadn't seen the first time that is filled with jewelry.

Two years ago, I was on a mission to find a silver necklace that wasn't too shiny or flashy. I wanted something with a short chain and a small, simple pendant (you will not believe how hard it was to find this!). When I finally came across a little love-knot pendant necklace from the 50s, my heart skipped a beat (I'd show you a picture, but I left the necklace at my parent's house). It was perfect! There's nothing like finding EXACTLY what you want, in the right fit and for the right price.

5.) The stories
Often when I buy a vintage piece, I wonder about the person who owned it before me. Were they given this as a gift from their spouse? Or was it a hand-me-down from their mother? Where did they wear it to?
When I find a little inscription, that makes it all the more special.

* * *

Of course, my favorite place to get vintage jewelry is from my mother's jewelry box. If only she'd let me keep a few pieces!....


Friday, March 11, 2011

the Friday Favorite: Suzi Sells Sushi by the Seashore

Strange title, right? 
It's actually the name of my new favorite nail polish, Suzi Sells Sushi by the Seashore by OPI:

I haven't been a big nail polish fan these past few years. My go-to look has been some quickly slicked on clear polish, just for a bit of shine. However, one very winter-bluesy day I decided to paint my nails an actual color for a change (a bright coral color) and decided I loved the look! The stuff was cheap, though, and unfortunately started to chip instantly. One of my nail polish-obsessed friends recommended OPI, so I headed over to my local nail salon and spent an awkward 20 minutes trying to decide which shade I wanted to get (there were so many choices!).

Pretty pink Suzi was the winner: elegant, not too loud, and a perfect match for my skin tone:

Do you have a favorite nail polish brand/color? Or do you prefer to keep it natural?

**Note: Each Friday I'll be featuring a style-related "favorite" of the week. This week it's nail polish, next week....who knows?** :)

Have a pretty weekend,

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Spotlight on: Vineyard Vines

Although the company's only been around since 1998, Vineyard Vines is already a well-loved icon of preppydom that I'm sure you preppy readers already know and love. For those outside the preppy realm, however, the brand's pretty much unknown (my college friends have NO idea what Vineyard Vines is! Remember, my college is in the middle of hippie country). For my petite readers, I'm delighted to tell you that Vineyard Vines is petite-friendly! (yay!) I recently went on a MASSIVE shopping spree at the VV outlet, and thought I'd share a few finds:

 T-shirt: XS Banana Republic
Belt: Vineyard Vines sz XS
Skirt: Vineyard Vines sz 0
for reference, my measurements are 31-25-34, and I'm 5' tall.

This was my first time trying on bottoms at the store, and I was thrilled! (In my past visit to the VV in Southampton, I've only tried on tops such as their susie-fit polos, which I also had success with.) The company doesn't have a petite line, but many of their smaller-sized items have a petite-friendly length and waistline.On me, the size 0 fits well in the waist and especially in the length, which I was really happy about when buying these shorts:

I got this picture from the website, since my pair is back at my parents house. I bought them in a lovely shade of blue (my oh-so-favorite color), and was very happy with the length, which was flattering to my shortness without being "hooker shorts," as my mom would call them. I also liked the lack of frills on the waistline, which gets in the way when I choose to wear them underneath my shirts rather than over.

They also had a seriously adorable collection of belts, and although the belts covered in little whales and pina coladas were too cute, I opted for this beautiful rope knot design that I could wear regardless of the season:

Unlike Ann Taylor and J.Crew's outlet stores, Vineyard Vines' outlet carries clothes from the actual store that are not made for the outlets (shocking!). Therefore their clothes are of the same quality as the clothing in their regular stores, but are usually from the past seasons. Now I know not to pay full-price for store staples like their polos, since I can get the same shirts for half-off at their outlets!

Blogger ROS over at Cincinnati Prep is giving away either a Vineyard Vines or Lilly Pulitzer drink coozie, depending on the winner's choice! The VV ones feature the adorable pink whale logo, and the Lilly ones come in a super pretty Lilly-style floral design. Check out his prep-tastic blog and his giveaway here.

Until next time,

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Today's outfit + flattering colors: what's your "season?"

 I went shopping this weekend and was dying to wear one of my new purchases today, so I decided I would wear my new Banana Republic button-down shirt. Although I got it for student teaching, I wanted to see if I could wear it casually:

Cardigan: XSP, Banana Republic, last year.
Button-Down Sateen Shirt: XXSP Banana Republic (buy here)
Skinny Belt: S, J.Crew
Jeans: 25x29, Forever 21 (buy here)
Camisole: Super old. Who knows.
Boots (Can't really see, but they're knee-high black suede): Size 5, Ralph lauren
Bag: Nine West

Of course, what struck my attention about the BR shirt was its fabulously blue color! I'm very drawn to blue clothes after years of being told that blue is "my color." Everyone seems to have their own flattering green-eyed, brunette aunt looks fabulous in olive, and my dark-haired, brown-eyed friend looks striking in magenta. Considering my entire immediate family has blue eyes and fair skin, we all tend to gravitate towards blues.

There's some kind of science behind flattering colors, which author Carole Jackson made known in her popular 80's book Color Me Beautiful:

(and it still has the 80's cover, too!!) 

Let me just say, this book is AWESOME. It's alright that it's outdated, because flattering colors are timeless and universal (Although the shoulder pads featured in this book's photographs are NOT!) :) Everyone has a season depending on his/her skin tone and hair/eye color. Because I have fair skin with cool undertones, dark blond hair and blue eyes, I'm a Summer. The book has a flattering color palette for each season, which is really helpful to know while shopping and debating whether or not a color is "right" for you or not...especially when your girls aren't there to give a nod of approval.

To find out what season you are, take the test here.

Once you find out your season, you can check out blogger PinkPlaidPhotography's post on color palettes to find out what colors best suit you. 

So are you a spring, summer, fall or winter?


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Is summer here yet?

Here in southern NY, we've been dealing with this for the past few months:
My Dad the day after Christmas- all this from one storm!

While my friends who ski/snowboard have been loving the unusually snowy weather, those of us who need sunshine, picnics and pretty dresses have been going nuts! I know some of you bloggers and readers are lucky enough to be able to escape to warmer places this spring break, but some of us *ahem* will be stuck in the dreariness (at least it's raining today and not snowing!). So I decided I would share some pictures from warmer, more pleasant times to remind us that sunnier days are ahead!

Mmmm, beach. This is me roasting in the Hamptons, enjoying a few days away from the craziness of working at a summer camp. 

Quality mother-daughter bonding, snapping beans in preparation for a clam dinner. Southampton is one of the few places I can rock that Lilly Pulitzer dress! Unfortunately, Lilly isn't very petite-friendly, so it's rare that I find a decently fitting piece. Believe it or not, I'm VERY tan in this picture (normally my paleness is blinding.)

Me and some friends at Lake George (we weren't swimming, we just happened to be passing by the public beach and decided to dip our toes.) I miss wearing sundresses. I love the vintage-y cut of this one, can't recall exactly where I got it, but it's one of my favorites.

At Ellis Island (there's that J.Crew skinny belt from my previous post). I remember that wall I was sitting on was very hot...

At a local polo match. Don't let these boys' Ralph Lauren polos and Ray-Bans fool you- they're actually English! They were my fellow camp counselors, and the camp I work at hires mainly from the UK. They were very excited to see their first polo match- and so was I! The dress I'm wearing is from Urban Outfitters, which isn't a store I usually find things I like at, but I absolutely LOVE this dress.

The sooner the warm weather comes, the better.