Sunday, July 31, 2011

Petite Clothing Review: Work Attire from the Outlets

I finally was able to take some photos of my most recent purchases at the wonderful Tanger outlet mall in Rockville, NY (we took a visit on our way back from the Hamptons). During this outlet trip, my main goal was to find teacher attire for my upcoming student teaching: I needed well-fitting slacks, and I was lusting after another non-iron shirt from Brooks Brothers. Needless to say, the trip was a success!! Here are my great petite finds:

I wasn't even planning on visiting AT Factory, since I'm always horrified by how the prices of the made-for-the-outlets clothing are often more expensive than the sale prices of the good quality normal-store clothing. However, I decided to take a peek anyways, and I'm glad I did! Turns out their trouser pants are roughly the same quality and price as LOFT, AT's sister store, with the exact same fit system. As advised by my tailor, I always go for the low-cut modern fit, which is the appropriate cut considering my short stature and low butt-to-thigh ratio. For slim-legged  ladies with a bit extra in the derriere, stick to low cut pants as higher cuts won't drape properly and will cause bunching (as taught to me by my tailor, Noemi!).

Pants: Ann Taylor Factory Store, Modern Fit, sz. 00P

With heels, no shortening is necessary! The length is perfect as is. I also picked up a pair in a subtle plaid pattern:

I realize they draw attention to my backside, but I prefer to err on the side of overly flattering than overly frumpy (as long as it's tasteful, of course)!!
While in AT, I also found a nice top:

Top: Ann Taylor Factory Store, sz. XXSP(Watch: Vintage)

The quality of this top is nothing exceptional, but it's good enough, and it fits very well. I'm very fond of bunched necklines, since they draw attention away from my tiny bust and give my narrow neck/shoulder area some dimension (note: if you are also narrow on top and wider at the hips, bunched or gathered necklines are a great way to balance your figure!). This top could be worn as is during the warmer months, and paired with a blazer during the colder months. The black and white coloring and subtle pattern makes it super easy to pair with pretty much any solid blazer or cardigan.

Lo and behold, I found my petite non-iron shirt!! Although it wasn't the exact fit I wanted (I wanted the more feminine "tailored" fit), this "fitted" shirt works just fine, and it's my favorite color:

Shirt: Brooks Brothers Factory Store, Miracle Shirt, Fitted, 0P

This shirt fits me how a "classic" fit would fit most women- slightly looser and a bit more modest. The cut is perfect, and the sleeves are the perfect length (although I think I look hideous with the sleeves rolled down!). The quality is great for a made-for-factory shirt: when I asked the saleswoman the difference in quality between the factory store shirts and those from the regular store, she said the only differences are what country the shirt is made in, and a slightly lower thread count. It still has the same non-iron "miracle" fabric as the regular store's shirts have.

I have never had any luck with Gap (they usually run HUGE), but I remembered reading something about a petite-friendly pair of Gap pants in the Alterations Needed forum, so I decided to give the store a try. I am so happy I did, because I was SHOCKED by how well these pants fit:

Pants: Gap Skinny Pant, sz. 1
(Shoes: Payless Shoe Source, sz. 5. These pants are dying to be worn with a cute pair of flats, but I had to make due.)

I'm guessing these pants are meant to fit average-sized ladies as a cropped pant, although the tag didn't mention anything about it being "cropped." What's even more shocking is that the sz. 0 was too small!! Just to make sure I wasn't going crazy, I checked out a different style of pants in sz. 00, and sure enough they were super long and too big. This pair alone is magic, I guess. Even so, I will no longer write off Gap as being hopeless.

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Successful shopping trips are such a mood-booster, even more so when I'm pleasantly surprised. I'll soon be posting about a slight tragedy that happened with my Brooks Brothers shirt, as well as some wonderful news regarding a J.Crew cardigan.


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Down by the bay...

Sorry for the delay in posts (I have a big clothing review coming up!) but after coming back from LI, I've been consumed with camp life. The craziness of a 7am-6pm (and sometimes overnight) workday has me wishing I was I was back here:

Going for my first sail (with our junior skipper Lucas) on the Great Peconic Bay! I love how we're practically the same height, and he's 9 years old.

Tank top: LOFT, sz. XS
Shorts: Vineyard Vines, sz. 0
Belt: Vineyard Vines

I've mentioned before (possibly too often?) that I love boatnecks. Imagine my delight when I accidentally put on my tank top (reviewed here) backwards one day, and discovered the new boatneck look not only seemed like it was meant to be worn that way, but looked BETTER than it did when worn the correct way! There's no telltale tag, either, so I'm definitely going to wear it backwards from now on. Hooray for accidental fashion discoveries.

I hope you are all managing to find some time to relax and get some beach time in. I'll leave you with this picture, our five-year-old friend Abby who loves nothing more than to slurp on raw clams from the bay:


I guess it's an acquired taste.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Heritage. (Hamptons/Twin Forks pt.1)

I've always thought that ancestry is fascinating- especially if you're American! It's fun to discover the stories of your ancestors and the history of how your family was pieced together. In the spirit of learning about our roots, my mother and I visited the historic Sherwood-Jayne house in the Long Island town of Setauket, NY, where several generations of my ancestors (the Jaynes) lived from the early 1700s to the turn of the 20th century. Our docent was wonderful and taught us not only about our ancestors, but also some really interesting facts about life in the 1700s. Here's what we learned:

The front part of the house is where the Jaynes lived, all the way from the 1730s(ish) to 1907. In 1908, the Sherwoods moved in and added the addition in the back. 

A "luxurious" table of the 1700s! Notice how TINY the plates were. The pewter tableware was considered extravagant. How...fancy?

After Pompeii was discovered in the mid 1700s, everything "Pompeii" was considered all the rage. As a status symbol, families would have traveling painters come in and paint their walls Pompeii-style to give their rooms a flare of luxury. Wallpaper hadn't become popular yet, as buying and shipping it from Europe was a hassle. These painted walls were covered up for years by wallpaper, until Mr. Sherwood moved in and decided to re-wallpaper. When he discovered the painted walls, he thought it was so interesting/bizarre that he decided to leave it.

There weren't too many original Jayne pieces of furniture in the house, but this lovely four poster bed happened to be one of them. And what was even cooler....

My name was on the coverlet!! earlier Elizabeth Jayne. :)
After the Jayne name was "married" out (the Jaynes are on my and my mother's maternal side), the name has been passed down as a middle name. My grandmother, my mother and I all have Jayne as our middle name.
These coverlets weren't usually made by the women of the family, but rather by professional weavers. This one had gorgeous detail! Or maybe I'm just partial because it's a blue and white combination (my favorite!).

I always joke about how much I hate Long Island. Go figure, it's the center of my heritage. As least it's in Suffolk county and not in Nassau (yuck)! Unlike my Dad's side of the family, my mother's side has been in America since the Mayflower, so they've left behind a lot of history on US shores. I wish I knew half as much about my Dad's side of the family as I do about my Mom's, but it's harder finding family information/artifacts when most of it's located across the globe.

Have you researched your heritage/family roots? What interesting stories about your ancestors have you discovered?
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My next few posts will be about my adventures in the Hamptons and the Twin Forks of Long Island. There's so much to share, I had to break it up into several parts. I'll also be doing some petite fashion reviews from my purchases at the oh-so-awesome Tanger outlets!


Saturday, July 9, 2011

Rhode Island: Misquamicut beaches, Watch Hill shopping!

I had a wonderful time this past weekend in Westerly, RI with my best friend- a trip to the beach was much needed! We spent the daytime relaxing at the Misquamicut beaches enjoying the salty sea air (one of my favorite smells!) and the cool waves.
I've mentioned before that my friends and I are complete opposites, but I think this photo of me and my best friend sums it up perfectly:

Right before beach fireworks- gorgeous sunset!

Total opposites until the end, but we love each other anyways.We got plenty of sun lying on the beach all day (despite my best efforts, I still managed to get sunburns) and enjoyed gorgeous painted skies at night.

Although hard to see, in the above picture I am wearing a striped boatneck shirt I found at a shop in Watch Hill, a BEAUTIFUL little community in Rhode Island with some great shops, gorgeous houses by the sea, and the best sunset anywhere.

My absolute favorite Watch Hill shop (where I bought the shirt) is an adorably preppy boutique called Christina's Ltd. Below are some images I found online of inside the shop :

And a photo I took myself:

Everything was so pretty! I knew I could find the Lilly online for better prices, but I did splurge a teeny bit on the boatneck striped shirt: I LOVE boatnecks (so flattering on narrow shoulders!), I love stripes, and I love 3/4 sleeves. It's a snug, flattering fit that can be dressed up or dressed down...and it looks great with my other Watch Hill purchase, a pair of coral starfish earrings:

Paired with the shirt:

I can't recall the name of the store that I bought these in- but I remember the store also sold Jack Rogers and Vineyard Vines clothing.

Speaking of Jack Rogers, College Prep is hosting a wonderful Jack Rogers giveaway!  Click on the picture to see the post:

I'll definitely be rocking my JRs next weekend in Southampton. Can't wait!

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I'm so excited to have reached 50 followers. Thank you so much for reading!

Hope you're enjoying your summer,