Tuesday, March 30, 2010

BR/GAP/ON F&F

      Did anyone take advantage of the BR/GAP/ON Family & Friends weekend? I know the unspoken rule is to wait until after the F&F, because everything seems to go on sale afterwards, but I saw a few things for my niece on the ON website that I wanted to get for her birthday which were already on sale. I know I always say I don't like ON, but for babies/children they are very inexpensive--perfect for sprouting babies, and like it's GAP counterpart, not everything for girls is PINK! I admit, I did make a few purchases for myself before I checked out. A saw a pair of rubber "studded" flip flops from ON, and this dress from BR peaked my interest:


      It looks somewhat similar to another BR dress I tried on a few weeks ago, only this time it actually comes in Petite sizing, so I thought, "Why not?". I needed to get over that $100 mark to get free shipping anyway and nothing else was really grabbing me. I opted for this toasted almond color instead of black and for a size 00P. I had no expectations for this dress. In fact, I had no intention of ever keeping it:




      Regular price is $130, and is made of 71% Rayon, 27% Nylon, 2% Spandex.  It looked pretty great on, surprisingly. Great length and short enough in the torso, and fitted around the hip area. It was much more fitted than on the model in the picture. I should have expected so given the description of the material. It is a thick material, but still very stretchy...and unforgiving in this size. Don't be fooled, I'm wearing a Yummie Tummies camisole under this dress! I think I've put on a few extra pounds since I started my temp project. I haven't quite figured out how to eat properly while working the long hours. So until those pounds come off, the cami is here to stay! The lighter color doesn't help either, but I really don't want another dark-colored dress. I'm still on the fence about it, but I'm leaning towards keeping it. If you like sheath dresses, this is definitely one to try out. The unique seaming also helps the shape of the dress and is very flattering. If you don't like your dresses quite so fitted, try sizing up. I'm not sure how it will look, but it will be more forgiving (and probably won't require any SPANX-like garments).


       Here is what I purchased for my niece for her 1st birthday:




      [Almost] All little girls love a little tutu.


      Halter maxi:




      So cute, huh? My niece is a little on the smaller side, so I hope she grows into it by the time summer comes around. I hope her mommy doesn't think they are too "grown-up". I hope to have a mini-me to dress up some day (just not any time soon).

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Monday, March 29, 2010

Uh oh...

...it's now an obsession:

Bloch Giselle Roll Up Flats (Black, size 6.5)

      But if they work, then why not stock up, right? I sized up half a size this time, just to see how they would feel. But I honestly don't feel a difference, so if you don't like your flats so snug and you are considering these shoes, you'll probably want to go a full size up. The BR dress I purchased during the F&F sale is for sure going back this weekend (see tomorrow's post!). It's OK, though. I don't feel disappointed about it at all. I'd rather have these Bloch flats, plus, I've been so impressed with H&M lately, $90 for a dress seems outrageous! 


   I also have my eye on these Bloch Arabian Charina snakeskin flats in Pearl (pic courtesy of Zappos):


   I'm going to have to save up for these.

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Friday, March 26, 2010

Ballet Flat Search

     Not only do I have a difficult time finding clothes, finding shoes is a nightmare. And not because my feet are small. Quite the contrary. I have size 6 feet, quite average...maybe even slightly large for my size (my friends who are about my size have size 5 feet). My problem? Hyper-sensitive, bony, and very narrow heels. Oh and how can I forget? My right foot is 1/2 a size smaller than my left which makes sizing even more difficult. Heel grips, moleskin, foot petal strips, sock liners, you name it, I have it. Just about every shoe or sandal cuts in, and rubs against my skin causing blisters, callouses, and open skin. Oh and the narrow heel problem makes finding pumps or ballet flats without a strap just about impossible! The only (affordable) brand that I can find that will stay on my feet (with a little help from foot petals) is Lauren by Ralph Lauren--my saving grace. Otherwise, I'm looking at Prada, Loubous, Jimmy Choos, etc. Sure my feet look nice, but my bank account does not. *sigh*. Since I have been working a little bit, I've found a need for a pair of comfortable flats that I can wear on the street walking from the D.C. Metro to the office. Not an easy feat. Ballet flats need to have that elastic heel, but a very soft one so that it won't cut into my boney ankles and heels. I already purchased these Me Too Legend ballet flats from Endless:


     Everyone always raves about how comfortable they are on other forums, so I figured, why not? They look super cute in the picture and they come in a ton of different colors (16 to be exact), so if these work, I can buy one in each color to match every outfit! 

      I opened the box in excitement. 

      They looked nice, and seemed pretty soft. But something was rather stiff about the elastic heel. I slipped the first flat on to my right foot, and.... I knew right away that they had to go back. =( I could already feel the digging into my ankles, and wearing them for long periods of time was not going to be pretty. They definitely had to go back. I brought them to UPS that same afternoon. I shoved them back into the box so quickly, I forgot to take a picture! I really should be used to having to return shoes because of discomfort, but it never fails, I always feel disappointed when a shoe doesn't work. If you have some not-so sensitive feet, I would definitely give the Me Too Legend Flats a try. Unfortunately, they just did not work for me.


     On Tuesday, the other two pairs of flats I ordered arrived in the mail. This is the first box:


       
      They are Me Too Lulu4 ballet flats in Pine Green. The first thing I thought when I pulled these shoes out of the box was: This flower is GIANT!! LOL. The shoes themselves also looked a little large which concerned me a little bit. I slipped them on and they fit really well! Lots of padding in the footbed. The right shoe was a little large, which was expected...but otherwise really great! The back of the heel was pinching just ever so slightly, but nothing a little Dr. Scholl's can't fix. Overall, I really liked these. But SO isn't so fond of them. HAHA. 


    This is what the little shoe tape looks like:






     I highly recommend this Dr. Scholl's tape. If there is a spot in your shoe that constantly rubs, then just put this little tape inside and it will solve the problem. It is thin, yet soft and cush-y. You can find it in the foot care aisle of your drugstore. I think I will have to place a heel grip in the right show to help it fit better, but that's no skin off my back.


       I put them aside and moved on to the next box, the Block Giselle Roll Up Flats. I purchased them from WinkNYC.com with their new customer code: CSS8 for 30% off.  They look super comfortable in the picture, and I've heard of women saying that they are super comfortable, and the nude-ish color (actual name of the color is "Cigar")? Perfect! So here they are:


  
So pretty!


      I was slightly taken aback when I first opened the box, but the moment I slipped them on, I was in LOVE. I can honestly say, that these are most comfortable flats I have ever put on. EVER. No digging. No pinching. Absolutely comfortable right out of the box. I didn't even have to slip on a sock liner. WOW. The Me Too Lulu flats do have more padding in the footbed, but these are still way more comfortable overall. I HIGHLY recommend these. They are TTS, but they fit like a true ballet slipper--very snug...but not uncomfortably so. If you like a little wiggle room in the toes or have a wider foot, you might consider going up half a size. These shoes are making me consider returning the Lulus and ordering another pair of Bloch since they are a more classic shoe, and probably will stand the test of time. The Lulus are a little bit more trendy, and with minimal income its probably best not to keep them. I'm about 80% sure I'm going to send them back. I'll have see if I can get another pair of Bloch flats first!








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Monday, March 22, 2010

EOTD

      I've been so busy lately, I haven't been able to post as frequently as I'd like. But I've come to the realization, that even though I might not have much to say, many of us don't necessarily want something to read, but just something to look at. So I'm really going to try harder to post more "Ensemble of the Day" posts, even if my EOTD doesn't seem to me to be out of this world,  it may still be inspirational to some of my readers and that should be good enough, right? So for the sake of this blog, I'm going to backtrack a little bit and post a few of my outfits from  the week. [I apologize for the bad pics. Apparently my lack of picture-taking and modeling talents is more evident when I take photos at night before bed].


This is the outfit I wore last weekend in T.O.:

Tommy Hilfiger Tunic Sweater (Grey, XS), Lululemon Wunder Under Tights (Black, size 4), Eric Michael Vogue Over the Knee Boot.


A few outfits from the work week:


Club Monaco Merino Wool Turtleneck (Orange, XS), Wilfred by Aritzia Stretch Skirt (Black, XS), HUE Lace Tights, Lauren by Ralph Lauren Ballet Flats (Black Patent, size 6).


      The tights above were a little bit of an afterthought. It's that time of year where it's super nice and warm in the afternoon, but early in the morning when I have to catch the bus, a bare leg isn't such a great idea. I couldn't find plain black tights, so I just threw those on. I would normally wear those tights with boots and a knee-length skirt so the pattern won't overwhelm the outfit.

H&M belted shift dress (Black, size 4), Betsey Johnson plaid-patterned tights, Aquatalia by Marvin K. rain boots, Olivia Harris handbag (Dark Teal Patent).

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Monday, March 15, 2010

New Dresses!

     [OK...before I show you my new dresses, I just have to mention something about a previous post of mine: My "how-to" guide on how to figure out your bra size. This post was actually a work in progress for about a week and the last thing I did was add pictures. But I think that as I added the pictures, I deleted part of the "how-to". It was only last night did I realize, that I didn't give full instructions on how to get the band size! DUH! These long work days are really getting to me, apparently. So if you are interested, please go back and read again. It's fixed now, I swear. And I'll try to get more sleep so I can post properly. =P]


    So, I went home this weekend to Toronto. I actually cut my work week extra short, and did only 30.5 hours (in 2.5 days, no less) so I could come home and hang out with the SO...and get a haircut!


   But before I actually got my haircut, I made a trip to H&M just for fun. I had no intention of buying anything (as always), but I saw some really great stuff and could not resist.


    First, I tried on this satin-y high-waisted skirt. It also comes in a strapless dress. I picked it up in a size 2, and I could not zip the it up all the way! Definitely needed a size 4.



      I thought it looked pretty awesome, but I decided not to get it just because I wasn't sure how often, or if I was going to wear it at all. Loved it, though. I forget the price. Either $29.99 or $39.99CA. I'm still thinking about it, but, it's not in the budget right now.

      Next, I tried on this pretty little boho top. Sorry, it's kinda see-through,  but we're all girls here (I think? LOL). I'm wearing it in XS. So cute. I wanted this too, but decided against it. Since when is boho-chic really my style anyway? I still think it's cute though. I nice change from my usual classic/slightly edge-y style.


     I don't own that many dresses, but after moving to D.C. and realizing that I can't get through the summer in a suit everyday because of the ridiculous swampy humidity, I decided that as much as I dislike them, I'm going to need some work appropriate dresses.  I really do hate dress shopping, but this trip around, I found some great ones at H&M. I found a pretty work casual dress that came in yellow, grey, black, and a light khaki color. It looked pretty cute on the hanger, but I wasn't getting my hopes up. I do not do well with dresses. I took both a size 2 and a 4 into the fitting room with me...and good thing I did. I was *not* going to fit into a 2. I'm a sucker for anything yellow, so I proceeded to put it on first without regard to the size:


     Quite surprisingly, it looked very nice and fit in all the right places. And it was in a 4! Which means the 2 was SO *not* going to fit. I usually find it difficult to find dresses that tie around the waist, because I tend to look like a little boy with my little ruler-shaped body. But the belt loops on this dress were actually high enough on the dress to be flattering. Could it be that I could actually see some curves?? The overall length wasn't too bad either. It hit naturally about mid-knee on my 5'1-self. I could probably do without hemming, but I think I may hem it an inch or so to help lengthen the leg line. I loved the yellow, but I ended up getting it in grey, as it is more appropriate for a conservative work environment. If I didn't have to be so watchful about what I spend, I would have gotten it in two colors. The price was $39.99CA.

      This next dress I tried on I absolutely LOVED:


      A strapless piece with a little cross-over sweetheart neckline and ruching around the front of the bodice and some [soft] hidden boning. I put this on in a size 2, and could not even zip it half way up. As you can see, I look like a little sausage in this size. It was VERY SMALL...but so adorable! I ended up purchasing it in a size 4 (without trying it on first) and brought it home. Even the 4 was a little tight, but I do think it is part of the fit--the emphasis on a tiny little waist and then a very slight tulip skirt. I was so excited to keep it, until I saw a rip in the seam on the front of the skirt. UGH! So I was forced to return it and I couldn't find a replacement in the right size. It cost $39.99CA. So disappointed. But ...when I returned the dress to the store on Queen St. in Toronto, I began looking through the racks again, just in case, and found this great little black sheath dress, also $39.99CA.


      I put this on in a size 4. A good choice, since I was not having any luck with anything in a size 2. Like the first dress, the belt sat high on the waist, which is so rare for non-petite dresses. I could probably benefit from taking the belt up just SLIGHTLY higher, because the zipper in the back of the dress does "bubble" up a little bit, but it's not too noticeable. The belt is made from the material similar to the dress, just thicker, which I really liked. I really can't stand those plastic belts that come with a lot of dresses as it tends to "cheapen" the look of the outfit, IMO. The dress is also the perfect length and requires no hemming. I figured, since I had to return the other one, I might as well buy this one to replace it! So I returned to D.C. with two work dresses. YAY! H&M is a really great store to check out right now if you are looking for some great dresses if you are as tiny or smaller than I am.

    One last thing that I purchased--but actually online, was a pair of Lululemon Wunder Under Pant with non-functional zipper.  When I pulled them out of the bag, I immediately wanted to return them. The zipper looked really strange, and well, non-functional! I decided to put them on anyway (because you never know, right?), and I fell in love with them! I purchased them in a size 2 (XXS), but I could have also gone with a size 4 (XS). They go right down to the ankle. I apologize for the side-ways picture, but I'm feeling too lazy to fix it:


      If you're wondering about the haircut, it turned out really nice! No pic yet though...sorry. The SO wasn't in a photograph-taking mood...I guess because of the nasty weather Toronto was having--cold, windy, and wet. But here he is sitting in Starbucks playing on his beloved iPod:



      I hope you all have a great week! Hopefully I won't be so busy at work that I can actually post something mid-week! Ciao!

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Friday, March 12, 2010

What's *your* size? (EDITED)

     [AHH! So sorry. I realized after re-reading my post like a week later, I deleted part of my "how-to". Without it, it's not very good instructions. Not sure what happened there. I must be really tired these days with the 70-90 hour work week. Here's a re-post if you are interested. My bad.]

So I decided to dedicate this post to bras. In particular bra size. Just because it's one of my pet peeves when I can just look at a woman walking down the street and I can already tell that she's wearing the wrong size bra. 80% of women wear the wrong bra size, and I'm sure that a lot of us tiny petites are a big part of that number. I find that we just like to go with the smallest common size (32A) because it is the most accessible, and well, most women just don't know how bras are *supposed* to fit. For the longest time, I thought that I was a 32AA. I just didn't fill out a lot of A cups! Then I realized that, in fact, I was not a AA. =/ So how do we figure this out? My first recommendation is to go somewhere like Nordstrom's to get a bra fitting. Not VS. They have no idea what they are doing. If you aren't comfortable with some stranger in your fitting room, these are some instructions:

(1) Figure out your band size. With a (non-padded, minimal lined) bra on, stand up straight, and measure around your ribcage just under the bust. Add 2 or 3. Whichever # will give you an even #. (Not 4 or 5! That is the old way.) I personally measure a 27. So I add 3 to get 30.

 

(2)  Figure out your cup size. Measure around the widest part of your bust.

 
(3) Figure out your cup size. The difference between the number you measured in (2) and your band size (from Step 1) will give you your cup size. If there is one inch difference you are an A cup. If there is a two inch difference you are a B cup, etc. etc. Here's a chart:


            0 inch difference = AA
            1 inch difference = A
            2 inch difference = B
            3 inch difference = C
            4 inch difference = D, etc.


    I think many women will be surprised, especially with petite women about what their actual bra size is. Not a 32! But a 28 or 30 band. If you are petite, buying a bra made specially for petites can give a little room to change sizes. I am a 30B, and usually a 32A will just not fit unless that bra fits particularly small. The wire will leave indentations in the center of my chest. That is definitely a sign that I need a smaller band or a petite size. If the bra is a petite 32A then I find it will definitely fit me better than a regular 32A. I fitted my mom for a bra, who has a much larger chest than I do, because I was just sick of seeing her in the wrong bra. She went from a 44B to a 36DD!! And to think she wanted to buy a A cup for more "push-up". We were in the fitting room in Nordies and she was totally in denial. Finally she's come to accept her true size (well, a 38D, because she can't stand the thought of being a DD), but she's so much happier with how her clothes look. Uhh, yyeaaaa! LOL.


      If the band is a snug at first, don't be alarmed, it will fit like that for a few wears, but after a while will stretch out with wear.  The bra should be closed on the last look, and as the bra stretches you can start using the second hook and eventually the first hook, if you don't replace it by then. Be sure to remeasure yourself at least every year. The body changes as we gain or lose weight, or even as a result of getting older. Also examine all your bras to make sure they're in good shape. They're not really meant to be kept for years and years unless you wear that particular bra infrequently. Other signs that your bra doesn't fit? The band does not sit straight across your ribcage (it should be parallel to the ground all the way around)--instead it rises up in the back. This generally means your band is too large. Also, if your straps are digging into your shoulders, your band is also too large. Most of the support should all be in the band. If it is digging into your skin, try going down a band size and increasing the cup size.


     So the question is, what are my favorite bras? I love Calvin Klein. They are made on the smaller side, so I am able to wear a 32A with no problems. Calvin Klein also comes in petites, including their new strapless bra:

 CK Perfectly Fit Tailored Petites Push-up Bra. Regular Price $44. Comes in Sand Dune and Black.

      Recently they have also released a 30 band size in a few of their push-up bras. Personally, I go with something contoured with no padding. I find that a good contour bra gives good shape, without the padding and minimal lining. One of my favorite CK bras:

 
CK 365 Microfiber Convertible Contour Bra. Regular price, $39. Comes in Black, Sand Dune, and White.


      Another good brand that comes in 30 bands and petites is Wacoal. I only have one of these bras, and it has a racerback, but it is a very good fit. I have it in a Petite 32A. Natori also has 30 bands, but I have yet to try these.


      For sports bras, I've done well with La Senza sports bras in a 32A because there is no real wiring, but it still has "cups". The danger with sports bras is that they all just want to flatten you out! I have a few Champion Shape T-back sports bras (from ChampionUSA.com):

      My most favorite, however, is of course, Lululemon. Lululemon has a wide selection of bras and tops and many come with removable cups for added support and shape. My favorites are the Power Y bra, Deep V tank, and the Power Y tank. The Power Y bra and tank I wear in 4 (XS) and the Deep V tank I wear in either a 4 (XS) or 6 (S). These tend to run VERY small, and even come in a 2 (XXS), which will by tiny, tiny! They are on the pricey side, but they are definitely worth it if you work out regularly (and like to look nice at the gym!).


      Remember, not all bras fit the same.  If the bra is uncomfortable (ex. digging) even with repeated wear and is the right the size, you probably have to try a different brand or style. They're kind of like shoes. We all have different shaped feet, so not one brand or style will fit on you, as it does me.


      Other fashion notes: One of my favorite hat designers, Eugenia Kim, is releasing a line with Target starting April 18th! I'm so excited. Pretty much all of her stuff is way out of my price range to even justify buying one her designs. But Target?? This could change things!!


      On a few other sad notes, over the last few weeks, I found a hole in both my UGGs AND the crotch of my favorites J Brand skinnies. AAAAAHHHH!!! I wear the jeans a lot in many of my posts, and now they have given up on me. They don't sell that particular style anymore in that material except on Singer22.com which they will not let me purchase without a code, so I am on a hunt for a new pair. I have my eye on Paige Blue Heights 10" in McKinley, but I can't find it in my size except on the PPD website (too expensive!). I may have to wait it out, or find a different pair altogether. I also cannot believe I found a hole in my UGGs after only having them two winter seasons! Right in the toe! I have no idea. I had my old pair of UGGs for 4+ years and never came across this problem. Anyways, the good news is that I found a pair on eBay for $95 in Grey. YAY! Thank goodness I've been working these past few weeks. Finally, this is not really fashion related, but one of my friends got married yesterday, and I was unable to make the trip to HK. =( But congrats to him and his new wife! I wish them all the happiness in the world!

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