Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Finding the silver lining.

Today I found out some disappointing news. I can't go on the camp staff Adirondacks/Lake George trip, which I have been looking forward to for months, because I'm not 21 yet. Although I went last year (and had an absolute blast), the owner of the property does not want us under-21s on site (for liability issues I'm sure.) What makes it worse is not only do I turn 21 in a few months, but there's only 2 of us underage, so the entire rest of the staff gets to go.

From last year's trip

Major disappointment. I was upset for the rest of the evening after I found out. But, as I've learned from being someone who does not handle disappointment well, I need to learn to cope! First, I allow myself to be upset and dwell on my disappointment for a bit- I think "getting the sad out," as I call it, is necessary. I get all my negative feelings out of my system once and for all. Next, I take charge of the situation and turn it into something positive. I called up my best friend, who had invited me to her house in Rhode Island that weekend originally, and asked if I could still come since I had a change of plans. She said yes, and now I have a fun-filled beach weekend ahead of me! Nighttime beach fireworks and all.

Misquamicut, RI! I used to go to my friend's beach house here every summer.

Sometimes it's not about finding the silver lining, it's about creating it. I hope to come back from this weekend's festivities with fun news and photos to share. :)
What are you doing this 4th of July weekend?
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Hope you all have a great holiday,

Friday, June 24, 2011

Banana Republic Embroidered Shell review, plus a surprising find.

In the midst of my crazy 2-job schedule, I managed to find time to do some shopping (there's always time for shopping, right ladies?). I heard there was a sale at Banana Republic, so I anxiously headed over to the mall to find this pretty embroidered top that I had fallen in love with there a few weeks ago:
When I first saw it, I knew I should wait a few weeks until it went on sale, since Banana Republic ALWAYS has sales. Sure enough, today I found it for 40% off! I was sad, however, to learn that BR no longer combines discounts. :( Oh well. I couldn't be happier with the pretty little shell, which fits very well:

Shell: Banana Republic, sz. 00P (buy here)

It is rather see-through, so I need to wear a camisole underneath. The length is perfect and the armholes are just the right size- well done, BR! I've found they're pretty hit-or-miss when it comes to accomodating narrow shoulders. I could've actually worn a size or two bigger than this one for a more boxy vintage feel, but decided I like the length as it was. My mother told me that my oh-so-fashionable grandmother wore a top just like this one in the 60s, which makes me happy. :)

I also stopped by New York & Company to pick up a pair of cheap sunglasses for camp (note to petites- their frames are great for small faces!) and ended up buying a shirt there as well. I wasn't expecting to find anything there, since they usually run quite large. However, I couldn't pass up trying on this shirt since it was such a good price, and in my favorite color:

Top: New York & Company, XS (buy diff. pattern here)

Shocking! My only problem with it is that it's synthetic fabric (I tend to stick to cotton), but that's not a big deal. Another surprising find for petite fit!

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I'll be heading to Southampton in a few weeks, so I'm saving my shopping until then! I hope you are all having a wonderful summer!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

L.L.Bean: Great for totes, awful for slim petite clothing.

I love button-down shirts. You can roll up the sleeves and wear it with a pair of jean shorts for an effortless, classy casual look, or wear it with slacks, pencil skirts and/or a sweater for an instant professional look (hello, teacher wardrobe staple!). Finding good ones for reasonable prices has been difficult: the shirts that the always-petite-friendly H&M carries are of questionable quality and are usually too tight, and have buttons that only start mid-way down. I've found gems at Banana Republic and Brooks Brothers, but I need a more affordable option to fill out my currently limited professional wardrobe.

So what store came to mind for affordability and quality? L.L. Bean, of course! I never cease to be amazed by how well their products hold up, namely my beloved tote:

Perfect for picnics!...and pretty much everything else.

I was super happy to see that L.L.Bean not only has a petite line, but also a GREAT selection of oxford shirts at reasonable prices! I ordered a pink pinstripe oxford shirt in XSP:

Mind you, I wasn't expecting a fit as tight as a Hollister button-down, but rather a somewhat loose, relaxed fit like the one shown on the model above. I specifically ordered the SLIMMER FIT, rather than the classic fit...but here's what I got:

No no no!

An XSP, which I was hoping would fit somewhere in the sz. 0-4 petite size range, ending up being as wide as an 8P (Not that 8P is wide! It's just too wide to be considered an XS.) Since my mom is a size 8 petite, I had her try on the shirt, and of course it fit her perfectly. In other petite lines such as Talbot's, she is a medium petite. So why do they call it an XS if it actually fits like a M? I'm not talking normal vanity sizing, either. Here's a comparison of three different brands of button-downs:

Hollister's XS fits me quite snugly, but I prefer not to wear it since teen-store clothing makes me look more like a high schooler than I already do. Brooks Brothers' size 0P is ideal: not too tight, but comfortable and flattering. L.L.Bean's size XSP is petite-friendly in the length and shoulder width, but much wider.

Moral of the story? Curvier/bustier petites may benefit from L.L.Bean's more relaxed fit, since the length and shoulder width is true to petite size. Slim petites, stay away!! Unless you're at least a size 8, don't expect to fit into L.L.Bean's shirts.

I'll stick to the accessories!


Monday, June 13, 2011

White Skirt Season

Along with being able to wear bright, fun colors like coral and aquamarine, being able to wear white is one of my top reasons for loving summer fashion. It's unfortunate that white skirt season only lasts a few months! Especially up here in NY where the warm skirt/short wearing weather doesn't really start until May (and sometimes June). In the following outfit, I paired a tight white skirt with a belted loose top:

Shirt: Banana Republic (last season), XXSP
Skirt: Vineyard Vines, sz. 14 girls
Belt: Forever 21 (In Stores Now), S/M
Bag: Dooney & Bourke

At first, I tried tucking the loose-fitting top into the skirt, but it looked awkward and unflattering. Wearing the shirt over the skirt and belting it creates a classy and flattering hourglass shape, although tucking it in might work with a longer pencil skirt. You can find similar loose tops in Banana Republic now, but most of the styles such as this one come pre-cinched.
The belt was a great petite-friendly find I scooped up today from Forever 21! The store had several small styles that shocked me with how tiny they were. The belt I'm wearing above is a size S/M and could fit 25-26 in. waists well with no excess, but they had an even SMALLER size XS/S that would fit size 22-23 in. waists!! I was extremely surprised, considering I had been in every other store in the mall and had no luck finding a well-fitting waist belt (I've heard good things about Ann Taylor belts from you fellow bloggers, but there were a limited selection of styles.)
Although I normally stay away from anything with metal chains, this skinny faux-leather belt has a metal chain detail that is subtle enough for me to like:

I tried to find it online, but had no luck. Although I wouldn't recommend Forever 21 for quality, I would definitely recommend it to any petites looking for a casual, well-fitting find. Regardless of whether or not you're a petite, the store has a great selection of waist belts in all sizes that is worth checking out.

Another favorite white skirt of mine is this linen skirt from J.Crew (pardon my squinting):

Tank top: LOFT, XS (buy here)
Skirt: J.Crew, sz. 0 (last season)
Necklace: New York & Company (in stores now)

This simple look can be worn in a variety of ways, depending on your own personal style. This skirt (similar styles can be found everywhere, including LOFT) flatters both curvy and slim ladies, and gives the waist definition with its thick band. I like this skirt in particular because of its linen material and pockets (I'm a sucker for pockets!)
I'm wearing the skirt with my absolute FAVORITE tank from LOFT, which I picked up in two additional colors today. I love its straight, broad neckline (helps those of us with narrow shoulders) and its bra-hiding straps.
Another good find I came across today was this necklace (featured above) from New York and Company, a store I rarely visit:

I was looking for a sophisticated, statement-ish necklace that wouldn't overwhelm my frame, and this was perfect! Its brushed gold and silver colored metals can be worn with a ton of different colors, and it adds just enough style to an outfit without being too loud.

What great finds have you come across lately?
How do you style your white skirts?


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Help! How should I re-design my room? (+ a lovely Lilly giveaway!)

My room is LONG overdue for a makeover. Mind you, this is my bedroom at my parent's house, which I've lived in since I was 9, and currently live in only during breaks off from school. And nothing in it has changed since I was 9, either! However, I'll be moving back home after I graduate next year, so it's about time for my outdated room to get a classy face lift.

I've removed a whole bunch of stuff (including the curtains), and now I'm left with an empty-looking collection of furniture. Here's what we're working with:

I don't know if you feel the same, but being in a mismatched unsightly room makes me feel unhappy and anxious. There's a definite lack of harmony. (Speaking of which...does anyone know anything about feng shui?)
However, even in the pictures above, my room looks better than it used to, as it was once decked out in floral EVERYTHING (my mom got a coordinating room set from Sears, I think.) Here's all that remains of the floral curtains, bedspread and dust ruffle:

Good riddance!

I'm in a rut for design ideas, though, especially since I have a blue carpet, which limits what I can do with the color scheme, and a limited budget as well.
So what do you all think- how would you redesign my room?
  • What color would the walls be?
  • How would you arrange the furniture?
  • What color would the curtains and bedspread be?
  • What sort of decorative accents should I have? (Something needs to go in-between those windows...)

    Thanks so much! I'd appreciate any ideas and insight you have.
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In other news, I came across a wonderful giveaway on the Re-Lilly blog:

Look at all of this lovely Lilly stuff she's giving away! What a great package! If you'd like to enter, check out the page here.

Can't wait to have a pretty room,

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Don't you love...

how listening to an old mix CD or getting a whiff of a perfume you used to wear can totally bring you back to a different place in time?
I wore this Adidas perfume on my first date!
when a piece of clothing that looks really good on the rack looks just as good on you (or better!) in the dressing room?

I only wish things at J.Crew EVER looked as good on me as they do in the store!
the smile on a kid's face when you buy a cup of lemonade from their stand?

My adorable 7-yr-old neighbor and her best friend were selling lemonade across the street earlier today- only their cups were a dollar each! This isn't them, of course. Just a picture I found on Google. :)

that fresh, pretty feeling you get when you get a new hair cut, or have your nails painted a new color?

Right now I'm loving OPI's "Paint My Moji-toes Red"
how iced coffee can simultaneously cool you down and rev you up?

Yum! These help me survive the long, hot days working at camp.

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Sorry for not posting more! Blogger hasn't been letting me post photos (did this happen to anyone else?), but also, I've been busy doing some MAJOR room redecorating at my parent's house, considering I'll be moving back after I graduate.  My bedroom is starting to look less like a ten-year-old girly girl's floral explosion, and more like an empty collection of furniture. Yuck! I'll post pictures soon, and maybe all of you fashionable readers would be able to give me some interior decorating advice.