by - Monday, July 30, 2012
Today's look is about subtlety. At first glance, a black blouse paired with jeans is a pretty simple outfit. Upon a closer look reveals a black on black palette with varying textures and prints. I took a relatively busy blouse with polka dots and ruffles and offset this with a plain makeshift tie. The outcome? My favorite aesthetic, a little feminine meets a little masculine.
sunglasses: Walmart aviator (similar)
lips: Maybelline Color Sensational Lipcolor in coral crush (sold here)
necklace: gift from aunt (similar)
top: Ann Taylor cascading ruffle blouse - gift from Elle (similar)
ring: Forever 21 pearlescent cluster (similar)
belt: Express (this season's sold here)
bag: H&M (similar)
sandals: Ann Taylor Iris bow patent leather (sold here)

Old Navy Fitting Room Reviews + 25% Off

by - Friday, July 27, 2012
Until Mon. July 30th, Old Navy is having a 25% off sale on almost everything. Print out in-store coupon here (if link doesn't work, go through to download) or use code ONSAVE25 for online purchases.

1) Drawstring-tube jersey maxi dress in charcoal stripe, size XS (sold here) - This maxi has been on my wishlist for a long time. Small sizes sold out quickly online and in stores, so I've been patiently waiting for returns. I lucked out and found a lone XS hanging on the rack. The material is kind of thin but comfortable. The fit is pretty decent overall, but XS P would fit me better, especially the length. I can only move up the drawstring waist so high before I start to look ridiculous. Since petite sizes are all sold out, I brought this home with me and plan on taking it to the tailors for a hem. After the promo, the maxi is $22.46 in stores and $24 online.

2) Ruffle-trim tie-belt dress in white hearts, size XS (sold here) - I was drawn to the printed hearts of this dress after missing out on J.Crew's heart throb items. Besides the print, the length is about the only thing I like about this dress. The torso is roomy, neckline a bit low, and armhole is too big. I passed. The dress is $22.46 after promo online and in stores.
I didn't see any more prints online besides the hearts, but in stores I also saw two polka dot versions, black/white and red/beige (below).

3) Whatever J.Crew releases, it's a pretty safe bet that Old Navy will soon follow, at a much more affordable price point. A perfect example is this polka dotted boat-neck sweater in sea salt, size XS (sold here), which happens to also come in a heart print much like J.Crew's Tippi in heart me. The sweater is thin and pretty much on par with Old Navy quality. The fit is pretty decent on me, but I worry it may shrink due to the material being 100% cotton. I did end up taking the sweater home with me to think about it some more. I'm not sure if $18.71 after promo is worth keeping or if I should wait for further reductions.

4) Rockstar super skinny jeans in sea salt, size 2R (sold here) revamped for 2012 in a rainbow of colors. I tried on last year's version in the same size (2R) and found the front to fit well, but the behind to be baggy. This year's version turned out to be the exact opposite, looks nice from the back but too many creases in the front. I strongly recommend trying on various pairs in the same size because I've seen Old Navy clothing to differ by a couple centimeters all around.

Both last year and this year's length is comparable, hitting just above the ankle bone on me. I felt last year's white color is more of a true white while this year's is more ashy. I passed. The jeans are $26.21 after promo online and in stores.

5) Rockstar super skinny jeans in honeycomb, size 0R (sold here) - Just for kicks, I also tried on the same pair of jeans a size down. I remember I had trouble zipping up last year's version. This year's? I got it to zip up but didn't feel and look at all comfortable. Yuck.

6) Printed cuffed shorts (3-1/2") in blue plaid, size 0 (item #: 143133) featured below left is a sale item, which I don't see any more of online. From my experience, Old Navy's shorts sizing is pretty consistent. This one fit as expected, with ~1 cm waist gap, which is fine with me. Not that I need any more gingham items, but I couldn't decide, so I did bring it home to think about further :D The shorts are $11.25 after promo.

7) Patterned chambray shorts (3 1/2") in green stripe, size 0 (sold here) featured below right is a new release. I heart stripes and the green is such a cheery color. I felt this pair fit exactly the same as the blue plaid version, with a similar waist gap. I passed on the shorts because for $17.21, they're still a bit pricey.

Along with the green, the patterned chambray shorts also comes in a pretty navy stripe version.

Happy shopping!

Petite Fashion Challenge #18: Impress Your Date

by - Thursday, July 26, 2012
Hosted by Amber, Petite Fashion Challenge #18: Impress Your Date has us creating an outfit to impress our date. Generally, we wear what makes us feel good, regardless of what other people think. But what is your secret for making your outfit a little more memorable? Bonus points for pics taken with your dates or on a girls' night out!

Sorry I didn't try for bonus points this time, so instead I'll take a trip down memory lane...

DH isn't going to let me forget this, but I believe for our first date, we ate lunch at Silver Diner and then played a round of mini-golf afterwards. I'm positive I remember lunch correctly because I thought it was a splurge for two broke college kids. The ironic thing is, as we started to make money in our careers, our dates progressively became cheaper, lol. My memory's fuzzy on the mini golf portion because I don't remember why I dressed casually. I'm pretty sure I wore my typical teenaged summer uniform of a polo, denim skirt, and flats. I either said to myself 1) this is me, so take it or leave it, or 2) my competitive nature rears its ugly head when I mini-golf (every millimeter counts if I want to make that hole-in-one! So dressy clothes and teeter-tottering in heels simply won't do).

Fast forward a few years, I can confidently say that my secret for making outfits more memorable is playing up my best feature, my legs. I could argue that I subconsciously knew it back then too, but truth is, I was easily influenced (A&F ads, anyone?) and just wore the shortest skirt possible.

For mile-long legs, I pair short shorts with heels (preferably nude, not too tall but enough to achieve better posture, hence illusion of slimmer legs). My skirts nowadays are longer and somewhat (?) more age-appropriate. Typically I wear shorter skirts with flats and longer ones with heels. But for a night out, anything goes. In general, skirts won't make my legs look as long, but they're a great alternative for when I want to feel more feminine.

For this challenge, I went the skirt route and started with a blank white slate. I like wearing white because of the contrast against my naturally darker skin tone. Bright lip color and lots of jewelry later, I'm all set for a semi-casual night out.

Be sure to check out all the other participants' entries!
lips: Maybelline Color Sensational Lipcolor in coral crush (sold here)
tee: H&M (similar)
ring: River Island oversize bow (sold here)
necklace as sash: Forever 21 jersey & chain (similar)
skirt: Express (similar)
nails: MAC Cool Reserve
sandals: Ann Taylor Iris bow patent leather (sold here)

Spot the Stripes

by - Wednesday, July 25, 2012
The third time's the charm for these adorable striped flats (if I may say so myself). The first pair fit much too small. The second pair was bought on sale, waiting to be worn with the right outfit. As it sat there, J.Crew decided to discount the flats even further, so back goes pair #2. Say hello to pair #3, bought during the recent final sale (which for once I didn't dread over fit).

That's my Goldilocks moment of the sale season.

Have a great day!
lips: Revlon ColorBurst in rosepearl 014 (sold here
necklace: gift from aunt (similar)
sweater: Old Navy button-back 3/4-sleeve pullover (similar)
ring: Spotted Moth via Kendi's giveaway (similar)
bracelet: Madewell nautical knot (similar)

At It Again

by - Monday, July 23, 2012
Alright, even I might be reaching my limit of wearing pinks and blues together. Here's to one last pairing for awhile the week.

Have a great Monday!
sunglasses: Walmart aviator (similar)
necklace: gift from aunt (similar)
tank: Ann Taylor sequin front (similar)
belt: Old Navy grosgrain (similar)
pants: Ann Taylor Chelsea cropped (sold here)
scarf as sash: eBay (sold here)
shoes: Via Spiga Missy (similar)

Mixed Up

by - Thursday, July 19, 2012
For today's look, I accidentally discovered "suspenders" from the ties of my blouse. I love little bits of masculine touches in my outfits, but at the same time, finding ways to also add in feminine elements for a better balance. A couple girly jewelry pieces later and I'm out the door.

PS - Do excuse that unsightly right sleeve peeking out underneath my blouse. I didn't catch it until it was too late.
sunglasses: Old Navy round metal-hardware (similar)
lips: Revlon ColorBurst in rosepearl 014 (sold here)
necklace: Ann Taylor oval pearlized (may still be in stores; similar)
belt: Zara kids via fur vest (similar)
bracelet: Madewell nautical knot (similar)
ring: River Island oversize bow (sold here)


by - Wednesday, July 18, 2012
I shy away from mixing prints because I'm not very good at it. A floral outfit while standing in front of a brick wall ---> "wall of flower" mumbled really quickly = wallflower ---> definition of wallflowers are shy people. Too much of a stretch? Moving on then :)

This floral skirt is one of the rare printed items I own. I've paired it multiple times with solid colors before venturing out to patterns via gingham. The experiment today is head-to-toe florals. I paired two similarly hued prints but broke up the pastel palette with brown accessories. Initially uncertain, the look is slowly growing on me. What's your take on wearing similar patterns together?
necklace: gift from aunt (similar)
top: Abercrombie & Fitch (similar)
bracelet: Madewell nautical knot (similar)
ring: Forever 21 textured horse shoe (similar)
belt: J.Crew piped glitter (similar)
bag: H&M (may still be in stores)
sandals: Ann Taylor Iris bow patent leather (sold here)

Bow and Crochet

by - Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Adding to my 10 ways to wear a lace dress post, look #11 is simple and girly, with all credits going to Oscar de la Renta. I've been going through a minimalistic phase, so sparse accessorizing in today's outfit worked nicely to keep other elements from competing with the heavy crochet. Sometimes less is more.

Have a great Tuesday!
lips: Maybelline Color Sensational Lipcolor in coral crush (sold here)
necklace: gift from aunt (similar)
sash: J.Crew (similar)
dress: Ann Taylor vintage floral lace (similar)
bag: Chanel M/L flap (similar)
sandals: Ann Taylor Iris bow patent leather (sold here)

Squares & Stripes

by - Sunday, July 15, 2012
I've been married for three weeks now. Nothing really feels any different, except for that ring on my left hand. This is the first time it's making a noticeable appearance on the blog, and probably the fifth time I've worn it in real life. I'm not alone though, as DH has worn his even less often than I have. We really are meant to be, lol.
bracelet as necklace: gift from SewPetiteGal (custom order from her Etsy shop)
belt: Old Navy (similar)
shorts: American Eagle (this season's sold here)

Photo thanks to DH

Bow Tied

by - Friday, July 13, 2012
I'm not sure why it's happening now, but I've been on a home decorating kick lately (browsing Etsy for little knick knacks sure is addicting!) As part of the process, I moved my non-jewelry accessories from the closet over to my makeshift-desk-as-vanity. One of the little treasures I rediscovered is this polka dotted bow tie. So for today's outfit, I added a little whimsy to an otherwise staid look.

Have a great weekend, everyone!
sunglasses: Old Navy round metal-hardware (similar)
bow tie: American Eagle (similar)
cardigan: Talbots epaulette boyfriend (similar)
shirt: Abercrombie & Fitch oxford (similar)
belt: J.Crew (this season's sold here)
ring: Forever 21 pearlescent cluster (similar
Forever 21 mixed bangles (this season's sold here)
pants: Express Editor (this season's sold here)
bag: H&M (may still be in stores)

Black, White & Poppies

by - Wednesday, July 11, 2012
It never gets old wearing a white tee and jeans. Throw on a colorful scarf, heels and voila! Instant new outfit.

Happy Wednesday!
sunglasses: Walmart aviator (similar)
lips: Revlon ColorBurst in rosepearl 014 (sold here)
scarf: J.Crew silk blend printed (recent - should still be in stores)
tee: H&M (similar)
bracelet: Madewell nautical knot (similar)

Guest Post: Summer Crushin' - Beauty Favs and Wants

by - Monday, July 09, 2012
I'm the guest blogger today over at simplyvonne, talking about a couple of my summer beauty favorites and wants. Check it out here.

Anchors & Knots

by - Sunday, July 08, 2012
It's hard to believe that just last weekend, a derecho hit most of the Mid-Atlantic. Behind me is a small sample of the aftermath. Some areas suffered much worse damage, ie: fallen trees, with cleanup still ongoing. A week later, I think 99% of power has been restored in the area, businesses are again running at full capacity, and lives are pretty much back to normal. One thing that hasn't changed? We're still experiencing a heatwave.
necklace: Ann Taylor oval pearlized (may still be in stores; similar)
tee: American Eagle deep v-neck (similar)
bracelets: gift from SewPetiteGal (order from her Etsy shop);
Madewell nautical knot (similar)
scarf as belt: eBay (sold here)
shorts: American Eagle (this season's sold here)
bag: Longchamp medium LM metal tote (sold here)
flats: H&M (recent - may still be in stores)

Shades of Pink

by - Thursday, July 05, 2012
Is there such a thing as pink overload? The girly girl in me thinks not.

Have a great weekend ahead!
sunglasses: Walmart aviator (similar)
necklace: gift from aunt (similar)
scarf: The Limited large dot (similar)
shirt: Abercrombie & Fitch oxford (similar)
belt: H&M (similar; similar)
pants: Ann Taylor Chelsea cropped (sold here; similar)
tote: Bath & Body Works (recent - should still be in stores for $1.25)


by - Wednesday, July 04, 2012
A little red, white, and blue on this Fourth. Have a fire-cracking time! God, I'm cheesy.
sunglasses: Walmart aviator (similar)
tank: Ann Taylor sequin front (similar)
belt: H&M (similar; similar)
necklace/bracelet: gift from SewPetiteGal (order from her Etsy shop)
bracelet: Madewell nautical knot (similar)
pants: Gap broken-in straight khakis (sold here)
bag: J.Crew Tillary tote (the real deal)
shoes: Sperry Top-Sider Bluefish (sold here)

J.Crew Reviews: Poppy + Heart Prints

by - Monday, July 02, 2012
I have a slight obsession with poppies, both in real life and in prints. When J.Crew first released their poppy print in only an iPhone case, I actually considered getting a smartphone, just so I have a reason to buy the cover. That's how ridiculous I am. Thank goodness it didn't come to that when other items in this poppy print slowly trickled in.

A quick search on J.Crew's site on "poppy" yielded a couple items from the women's collection: one-piece swimsuit and a bikini. Kids were luckier this time around, with choices between capris and shorts. Of the four items, I knew the capris would be too short on me and the swimsuits wouldn't get enough wear, so shorts it is!

The crewcuts Girls' chino short in pretty poppies in bright red, size 14 (sold here) are currently $49.50, but since I love the print so much, I figured it's worth buying to try on. If I can't justify the price, at least I'll know my kids' size if it makes it to sale.

There's a bit of a waist gap but the nifty adjustable waistband solved that issue. I'm so used to wearing short shorts that the length of these make me feel old, lol. But really, it's not a bad thing and will just take a little getting used to. The only part I didn't love is the creasing down the front. They felt fine when worn, but photos don't lie. Because the creases look particularly visible, I've decided to return the shorts.
necklace: Forever 21 twisted chain (similar) / top: Ann Taylor asymmetrical drape (similar) / flats: Mossimo Desta ballet (similar)

When I was at the store returning the shorts today, I spotted the same poppy print on a silk blended scarf. Woohoo! Not that I need any more scarves, but I couldn't resist. I can finally quit obsessing over this print now. It's lightweight, colorful, and a great addition to any summer and fall wardrobe.

I couldn't find the scarf online, but for those interested, the style # is 85138 and it is marked down to $34.99 in stores with an additional 30% off right now, for a total of $24.49. Please keep in mind that it's final sale.

J.Crew's heart throb print is part of last winter's collection. I remembered seeing a SA wearing a blouse in this print and loved it on her. Of course, said blouse sold out rather quickly. Unlike the poppy print from above, I didn't stalk their website to see what other items were released in the same print. So I was pleasantly surprised to see this J.Crew Pleated jardin skirt in heart throb in red, size 00 (check sale section in stores) pop up online.

The full skirt with its longer length is a deviation from what I normally wear. However, I was attracted to the combination of feminine silhouette with the heart print. I feel like with this type of skirt, it needs to be worn higher-waisted, so to achieve that look, I had to use a belt to keep the skirt in place. I briefly considered having tailors take in the waist, but it's probably going to cost more than I'm willing to spend since the side pockets would make it a candidate for complicated alterations. This skirt was also a return.
necklace: gift from aunt (similar) / top: Ann Taylor asymmetrical drape (similar) / belt: Express (similar) / bracelet: Forever 21 chain link (similar) / bag: Chanel M/L flap (similar) / shoes: Miu Miu leather pointed toe (similar)

Have you bought anything from J.Crew lately?

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