Items from Old Navy's Give & Get

by - Wednesday, March 30, 2011
I'm a huge fan of Old Navy, but their sizing leaves much to be desired. I'll still be order happy, but I really should not get my hopes up. Every item in my most recent purchase is going back to the store... unless you think otherwise?

I had high hopes for this Old Navy eyelet tie-Belt dress in white, size XS because it's so preppy but girly at the same time. Doesn't it remind you of Lilly Pulitzer at the Hamptons? The dress is made of durable cotton and came with a built-in slip. Right away I noticed how large it was. Nevertheless I tried it on, thinking that if I cinch the sash (also built-in), I could make it work. Nope, my hips look humongous. And not in a good way.

Next is the Old Navy Shiffli Shift Dress in white, size XS (currently sold here). Like the dress above, this one came with a built-in slip and is made of durable cotton. I'm a sucker for eyelet, can you tell? :) I wish the skirt flared out more like it did on the mannequin, so this will be a return for me as well.

The last item I bought was the Old Navy Lightweight Roll-Up Camp Shirt in olive green, size XS (currently sold here). I'm loving the pretty color as I've been on a military kick lately. It's super lightweight and great for the upcoming hot and humid weather. I thought it fit me pretty well, but I will wait for a super sale.

See a similar top on Honestly Kristen.

In a funk

by - Tuesday, March 29, 2011
I'm experiencing styling block. It's a term I made up, like writer's block for bloggers. So today's outfit is another inspired copied look from my favorite retailer, J.Crew. If there's one thing I'm good at, it's copying. Imitation is the highest form of flattery, no?
jacket: Abercrombie & Fitch
top: LOFT
shirt: Hollister
pants: LOFT

*J.Crew image courtesy of J.Crew

Living under a rock

by - Sunday, March 27, 2011
When I was taking my "walking" picture for PFC #6, I wanted to pull my hair out because I couldn't get the timing right. I looked to be tip-toeing in one picture and standing flat footed the next. Until... Kimmie mentioned that her camera can take multiple shots on a timer. Umm... that was exactly what I needed! I googled my camera's specs, and lo and behold, even my oldie of a camera has that option. (So be sure to check out yours too) Sigh. I've been missing out all this time.

To make up for it, when I took pictures for this J.Crew-inspired outfit, I twirled and danced around like a little girl. Hopefully nobody in the highrises next to my building was looking out their window. No pictures because it's embarrassing. Poses are so unnatural to me, so expect lots of walking/more natural shots in the future. Yay!
necklace: Cara Accessories
top: Gap
sash: J.Crew
tights: American Eagle

*J.Crew image courtesy of J.Crew

The Vintage Scarf giveaway winner

by - Friday, March 25, 2011
The winner of The Vintage Scarf giveaway is Jarucha!
Congrats! Please respond to my email with your mailing address within 48 hours. I'll mail out your scarf the next business day.

Thank you to Paula + The Vintage Scarf for letting me host. And thanks to everyone who participated!

Petite Fashion Challenge #6: Dress Up Your Basics

by - Thursday, March 24, 2011
Hosted by Jess @ Stylepint, Petite Fashion Challenge #6: Dress Up Your Basics has us starting off with jeans and a tee, and dressing it up to show off your personal style with accessories, jewelry, etc.

I took the easy way out and picked a blazer and scarf *chagrined* But, I went out of my comfort zone and wore heels. It's progress, even if I only wore them during this photo shoot. Baby steps, I tell myself.

Silly as it seems, I couldn't bring myself to poke holes in my beloved theory blazer, so I taped the flower pins on. Yes, another ghetto fabulous solution to my fashion dilemma. Knowing me though, instead of a holey lapel (since I wouldn't have gotten the placements right in one try), tape seems like a great decision now.
blazer: theory
flower pins: LOFT (currently sold here)
scarf: American Eagle
tee: H&M
jeans: LOFT

On second thought

by - Tuesday, March 22, 2011
I have small feet for my height. And since pictures don't lie, I should have worn my pointy-toed shoes with these pants. For some reason the almond-toe looks off -- like it's that one stubby toe sticking out amidst regular-sized ones. Too gross? Sorry for the mental image.
top: LOFT
belt: J.Crew
jacket: Esprit
bag: Chanel

Look for less: Proenza Schouler PS1 -> Mossimo Messenger

by - Saturday, March 19, 2011
I first saw this Mossimo Messenger bag (pictured below right) on Blue Paper Lanterns and Petite Early Morning Style and literally gasped out loud. If I didn't know any better, I would have thought it to be an exact replica of the Proenza Schouler PS1 (pictured below left / buy here) which I've talked about wanting in the past.

I took a trip to Target today and ran towards the shelves when I saw a display full of this bag. Boyfriend could only laugh and shake his head while following in my footsteps. Surprisingly, he turned out to be the one who really liked the bag on me, while I was the one waffling.

The price can't be beat (currently selling for $34.99) and I liked how it came in a variety of colors. However, I could not get over how strong the bag smelled -- and not in a good way. Thinking I might just had picked up the smelliest one, I went and sniffed all the other colors. Turns out they all emitted the same odor. I suppose it's what faux leather smells like, but it was worse than a bad perfume. I wonder if letting it air out would help? In the end, I didn't end buying the bag. Of course I never buy anything boyfriend likes, and what I do buy he doesn't like :) Thank goodness the bag doesn't come in the same gorgeous shade of red as the Proenza Schouler, or I would've been in big trouble.

Excuse the pregger pics below. I either have a food baby or bad posture. Probably a combination of both.

Another (better?) shot of my outfit:
top: H&M
necklace: H&M
belt: Express
jeans: LOFT

*Proenza Schouler image courtesy of bagcraze; Mossimo Messenger image courtesy of Target

LOFT hits and misses

by - Thursday, March 17, 2011
I went crazy at LOFT with all their sales/promos lately. As in making-multiple-trips-to-the-store and placing-orders-within-a-few-days-of-each-other crazy. But hopefully this is it for me for awhile, or you'll find me in line applying for a SA position.

I've been lusting after this LOFT Abstract Floral Print Pencil Skirt in violet tulle, size 00P (currently on sale here) for what seems like forever. 00P fits me perfectly everywhere except the hips/butt! I've never had a problem with tightness in that area of my body until I tried on this skirt. It's not too noticeable when I'm standing straight, but if I ever attempt to sit down, you can bet there will be a giant split down the back seam. I was able to pull up the skirt in order to sit down, but I'm sure it will get old and repetitive fast. So now my dilemma is: 1) Keep the 00P and have the tailors let out the back, 2) find a 0P and probably get it altered around the waist or 3) return and forget that I'm in love with this print?

See the same skirt on cute and little.
Update: I went and exchanged for a 0P (comparison pics below). I can now sit down without hiking up the skirt :) But it looks a bit big across the waist. Keep or return?

I went to great lengths to hunt down this LOFT Tie Neck Drapey Blouse in white, size XXS (currently sold here). Okay, it wasn't an epic journey, but I paid close to retail because I really wanted this blouse. It's a wrinkle mess out of the package, but hopefully hanging it up in the shower will smooth it out (still haven't gotten around to researching steamers yet). What I like: the airy-ness, the tie sash (me + sashes = win), can be dressed up or down (already have many outfits planned), the long-sleeves, and the fit.

I also ordered this LOFT Woven Ruffle Neck Dress in white, size 00P (currently sold here). The skirt is really pretty with a slight shimmer up close. I definitely have to go up a size -- the ribs and stomach area felt too tight for comfort. I think if the dress goes on further sale, I would seriously consider it.

See the dress on petite mom and little peanut.

This LOFT Pansy Blooms Ruffle Shell in vanilla, size XXSP (currently sold here) didn't initially catch my eye, but I thought I would give it a shot. The print didn't look as vibrant in real life (I cheated and played with Photoshop). I thought the top fit me pretty well, albeit a bit short, so I think the regular version would suit me better. The collar was kind of stiff, enough that I couldn't get it to lay open like the model. It's going back to the store.

See the top on Proudly Petite.

Finally, I ordered these LOFT Watercolor Flower Pin in all three colors, neutral, pink, and olive (currently sold here). See, I told ya I went crazy because I never order multiples. Originally I was going to pick my two favorite colors and return the third. Now that I have them in my possession, I'm torn. Help me pick two colors and give me a good reason not to keep all three!

Better late than never

by - Wednesday, March 16, 2011
I'm always late to designer collaboration parties. Well, no more! I bought this Zac Posen for Target Brocade Tie Dress in floral print, size 1 from Elle's blog sale (check it out if you haven't yet) because I fell in l-o-v-e. I know I was supposed to stop buying useless dresses this year, but if I was to make an exception, this dress is it. And I will be making up occasions to wear this dress, whether boyfriend likes it or not :)

What drew my eye was the print. It is absolutely gorgeous. It's made of a pretty brocade material that I can see being worn all year round. Because I couldn't wait to show off this dress, do excuse my navy blazer with black tights/shoes pairing -- I had to make do with what I had in my closet. Though would this be the perfect excuse to go shopping for a black blazer? I digress.

The fit did worry me, but after asking for measurements, I was pretty sure I'll be ok. The bust area wasn't a problem for me; in fact there's plenty of room. What ended up being an issue is my ribcage. That area was kind of tight! Now I find myself touching my ribs periodically -- to do what, I have no idea because I can't make them magically shrink. I think I'll be able to live (and breathe) alright for a few hours in this dress. Anything more then we might have problems.

I did have a wtf moment when putting on the dress. I couldn't zip up the back by myself, so I twisted the dress around until I could reach the zipper. Then, not realizing there is a small zipper in the chest area, I forced my arms through the straps. I was ready to take pictures until I looked down and saw that the top half of the bow had flopped over. Eep! Luckily, it'll be an easy fix with some thread and a needle. Even a newbie like me should be able to "sew"... right? I ended up sticking a piece of tape on to keep the bow up for these photos. All in all, I happy with the dress. Thank you Elle!

Next up on my list? Perhaps getting my hands on something from Lanvin hearts H&M... and not just in my dreams.
blazer: theory
tights: American Eagle

*Zac Posen for Target stock image courtesy of College Fashion

J.Crew skirts + cardigan

by - Monday, March 14, 2011
Being able to shop again is a wonderful feeling :) Stop #1, J.Crew.

First is the J.Crew Double-serge pencil skirt in bronzed ochre, size 00 or 0P (currently on sale here). Silly me, both sizes I tried on were too big and now looking back, I can't remember which size I was wearing in the photos. I wish 00P was available when I ordered, but even if it had fit, I probably would have returned the skirt. In person, the color didn't seem as vibrant as on the model, so I was disappointed. I did like how the material was nice and thick though.

See the same skirt on cute and little and Extra Petite (did I miss anyone?)

Next is the J.Crew cotton bell skirt in mauve morning, size 00 (currently on sale here). I love my J.Crew wool bell skirt so much that I wanted to try out the cotton version too. I remember the 00 in wool felt a bit tight on me, so I went home with a size 0. I would recommend sizing down on the cotton version because the elastic didn't feel as tight. I ultimately returned the skirt because I noticed this color also comes in J.Crew's pencil skirt version*, which I decided I would rather own. Now I just have to cross my fingers that this color makes it to sale.

*On an unrelated note, the citron pencil skirt color looked so promising online, but in person, not so much. So buyer beware!

See the same skirt on SewPetiteGal and Vicky's Daily Fashion.

Lastly, the J.Crew Perfect-fit mixed-tape cardigan in bronzed twig, size XS (other colors currently sold here). I first saw it on the chloe conspiracy and was smitten with the various ways that she styled this cardigan. It's a color that I don't own in my closet, so I took a chance even though it's final sale. After trying it on, I'm iffy about the color on my darker skin (darn it, Chloe makes everything look so good!). The fit is fine (I would probably prefer it to be a tad looser), but because it's final sale, I'm determined to find ways to make it work. Any recommendations on good color pairings?

How I layer

by - Saturday, March 12, 2011
I have a love for layering. I started doing this because my office's temperature runs hot and cold like a girl on PMS. That and also playing with accessories is fun. There is no right or wrong, but I thought I would share what tends to go on in my head:

- I almost always wear a cardigan or jacket, unbuttoned. It's the easiest way to layer and wear different colors/textures.

- Belts and sashes are my best friend. Sometimes I even double up. It helps break up the top from the bottom half.

- Simple necklines (crewneck, v-neck, etc) look great with necklaces or scarves. I pretty much feel naked without something around my neck.

- Statement necklaces look great under or over collared shirts.
- When I push up my sleeves or wear short-sleeve tops, bracelets are my go-to.

- I treat necklaces, belts, sashes, and scarves interchangeably. Scarves can work as belts, sashes can work as scarves. I've even used long necklaces as belts.

Keep proportions in mind
- If my top half consists of multiple layers, I like to keep the bottom half simpler (or vice versa).

- If I'm wearing long sleeves on top, I'm more inclined to show off the legs and wear heels. In reverse, a strapless top with pants.

- Vary the lengths. Ie: a longer tee underneath a blazer, a cardigan over a tucked-in shirt, a cropped jacket over a top, shirt sleeves rolled up over a jacket.

Do you agree or disagree with any? What other layering tips do you have to share?

The Vintage Scarf giveaway - CLOSED

by - Friday, March 11, 2011
When Paula, President and CEO of The Vintage Scarf contacted me about hosting a giveaway with one of their scarves, how can a scarf lover like me resist? Their online boutique sells one of a kind vintage scarves -- so be sure to check them out!

Giveaway rules:
The contest is open to everyone (US and international) and will end on March 25, 2011 at 6pm EST. A winner will be selected by a random number generator and announced soon after. The winner will receive the exact square red scarf with white polka dots that I modeled below. Winner will have 48 hours after the announcement to respond with their mailing address.

To enter:
- Be a public follower through Google Friend Connect (left-hand sidebar)
- Visit The Vintage Scarf and leave a comment with the name of your favorite scarf. Also include your email if it's not visible in your profile/blog.

For extra entries (leave a separate comment for each entry):
1. "Like" The Vintage Scarf on Facebook
2. Follow The Vintage Scarf on Twitter
3. Tweet about this giveaway, ie:  
 @BrightenDay scarf #giveaway c/o @VintageScarf
4. Post about this giveaway on your blog

That is! Good luck to everyone!
scarf: c/o The Vintage Scarf
top: Gap
belt: Forever 21
bracelets: Forever 21, Old Navy
skirt: Express (this season's version sold here)
 shoes: rsvp (currently sold here; the real deal)

30 for 30: The recap for Winter 2011

by - Saturday, March 05, 2011
Whew! I am DONE. Who wants bubblies? It's on me *pops bottle*

Just a couple of thoughts to close out the last 30 days:

1) Did ya notice a theme? Bows galore! Staring at these pictures have really opened my eyes as to how many items I own with bows on top. And if it doesn't already come with a bow topper, I create my own. I'm officially bow crazy. (Everyone know I'm beyond help when it comes to scarves, so we don't have to go there, hehe).

2) My favorite outfit is from day 10. When something feels right, you just know. Also, like how I knew day 23 was a disaster -- but I still wore the outfit out. Still don't know what went on in my head that day.

3) Not shopping wasn't nearly as tough as I thought -- until this past week. I couldn't close out my browser fast enough, so I ended up reading (and lusting) after gorgeous picks by so many bloggers. If that isn't bad, the sale prices almost killed me. But no worries, being the lemming that I am, I plan on going binge shopping soon.

On to the picture recap with my 30 items:
day 1   //   day 2   //   day 3   //   day 4   //   day 5
day 6   //    day 7   //   day 8   //   day 9   //   day 10
day 11   //   day 12   //   day 13   //   day 14   //   day 15
day 16   //   day 17   //   day 18   //   day 19   //   day 20
day 21   //   day 22   //   day 23   //   day 24   //   day 25
day 26   //  day 27   //  day 28   //  day 29   //  day 30

Thank you for taking the time and following along with me on my first 30 for 30! All your kind words and encouragement meant so much. As of right now, I don't know if I would participate in another one (need a long nap to clear my head). But who knows? I may feel the itch come spring :)

My mini-hibernation from blog posting officially starts... right now.

30 for 30: The End.

by - Friday, March 04, 2011
It's only appropriate that I finish out this 30 for 30 by proclaiming my love for J.Crew once again... through copying channeling another outfit of theirs. I thought the ruffles peeking out underneath the model's skirt was absolutely adorable. I should have hiked up my skirt more to let them shine.

Stay tuned for a full recap of the past 30 outfits tomorrow!
cardigan: Old Navy
belt: Forever 21
ruffles peeking out underneath skirt is a dress: J.Crew
tights: Forever 21

*J.Crew image courtesy of J.Crew

30 for 30: Pouf

by - Thursday, March 03, 2011
Nope, I'm not wearing a petticoat underneath the dress. Somehow wearing a fitted sweater caused the skirt to balloon at the bottom. I think this is an interesting look on me and I kind of like it. If the hem is any longer (I'm picturing ballgowns), the poufiness would just swallow me up. Have you tried skirts/dresses in this style? If so, how do you like it?
sweater: Abercrombie & Fitch
belt: Express
dress: Plastic Island
tights: Forever 21

30 for 30: Fresh ideas

by - Wednesday, March 02, 2011
I'm running out of ways to tie scarves. And running out of ways to pair tops with pants, but that's another story. While browsing Esprit, I noticed that their stylists accessorize the heck out of scarves. Cha ching! I couldn't have asked for better timing.

I'm also no longer living in a cave. If my Facebook is any indication though, there will hardly be any updates.
scarf: Esprit
shirt: American Eagle
necklace: H&M
belt: Forever 21
pants: LOFT

30 for 30: A problem with lint

by - Tuesday, March 01, 2011
My Old Navy black cardigan picks up lint like craaazy. I spent a good 10 minutes last night running a lint roller over it. Two sheets and an arm workout later, it's not perfect but acceptable. I just make sure I don't end up standing too close to people. Don't want them giving me the stink eye.

Would it help if I stick the sweater in the dyer? I'm pretty sure the fabric content is 100% cotton, so I've always hung it up to dry to prevent shrinkage. I don't separate my whites and colors when washing --- perhaps that would make a difference? Or I could just not buy any more black cotton items. Any tips or advice would be much appreciated :)
top: LOFT
belt: Forever 21
pants: Express
bag: Chanel

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