Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Alterations: BR Black Sheath Dress

Following the tradition of AN & PAG, I wanted to share my very first experience going to a professional tailor in the US.  I've been "saving" up a pile of clothes that I wanted to get altered, and goodness, my first tailoring bill was quite a shock!  But I'm still trying to be in denial about that and focus on the results instead!

Luckily I live only 5 minutes away from AN’s favorite tailor, so I didn’t even search around for any other tailors.  The experience was definitely no fuss.  I went into a dressing stall and put each item on one at a time, came out and stood on this small platform in front of some full-length mirrors.  The tailor proceeded to pin the garment down to fit while discussing options and prices and different ways to make it look better.  A week later, everything was ready for pick-up!

Some of the alterations were more successful than others, and this is one of the more successful ones.  I bought this black sheath dress literally years ago when Banana Republic first came out with 00P sizes.  I remember thinking at the time that I was so happy that I found such a wardrobe staple that actually fits!  Well, years and many petite blogs later, I realize now how ill-fitting it really was.

Here are the before and after pictures... hopefully you can see the difference!

Front View

Side View

Before, it was too long, too baggy, and rather shapeless.  She basically just took in the sides (which was more expensive because of the side zipper) and hemmed it, and what a difference it made!

I threw on some newly acquired long-strand pearls along with my Ann Taylor peep-toe pumps (post) and it was amazing how much more "grown-up" I instantly felt!

Pearls: Nordstrom 6 mm Glass Pearl Necklace in White
Shoes: Ann Taylor Sofia in size 5.5

I really love the way it turned out, but the nit-picky me is questioning whether it’s still a tad too long.  Right now it’s hitting me about mid to lower knee, and I was considering taking the hem up another inch or two to slightly above the knee:

 Now                                                   Shorter?

I feel like right now it looks more professional and mature, but shorter looks more proportional and youthful.  What do you think?  Should I leave it as is or take it back to the tailor?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Review: Urban Outfitters Part III

This is the last part of my Urban Outfitters review.  It's a little bit of a mixed bag, so bear with me.

First is the Pins And Needles Frill Tie Back Tunic ($16) in XS:

It's called a tunic, but I found that it was long enough that I can probably wear it as a dress:

I actually quite like this one, since the tie-backs make it very fitted.  Definitely a more casual "dress" but very comfortable and the blue is neither too dark or too bright.  It also comes in ivory and grey, and I think I might be keeping this one.

Next is the Kimchi Blue Watercolor Dress ($29) in XS:

Unfortunately the neckline on this was too low and was showing half my bra:

The fit would be perfect if the straps were taken up by a couple inches.  I didn't really like the print when I first saw it, but I suppose it looks a little better on.  Not sure I like it enough to try to tinker with the straps though.

Next is the Bycorpus Scalloped Lace Short ($6) in XS:

This one almost looks smaller on me than it does on the model!

It's pretty sheer, so definitely only for lounging around at home by yourself or with a significant other.  It does make me feel all pretty and feminine, and gives me hope that other UO shorts can run small as well.

And then there's the not so great, starting with the Cooperative Sunday School Dress ($58) in XS:

On me, it bears little resemblance to their stock photo:

I almost wondered if they sent me the wrong dress because the material is very stiff.  Even belted, I don't see how it would drape like it does on their model.  I feel like I'm wearing a blue burlap sack... definitely a return!

Also not great is the Truly Madly Deeply Leaves Slub V-neck Tee ($9) in XS:

I knew it was going to be loose-fitting and was planning to layer it like a tunic:

But even then, I think the armholes are too low and the V-neck too deep.  And for some reason the graphic was centered instead of off-set like in the stock photo.  Not a keeper for me.

And finally, the Pins And Needles Chiffon Waves Tunic ($9) in XS was also a fail:

The neckline and armholes are super low and this picture was taken with the shoulder seams already yanked up halfway down my back, otherwise you'd be able to see my whole bra.  The chiffon ruffles are pretty but the tunic material is really thin and feels like it's starting to pill already.  I'll be returning this one as well.

And that's it!  Again, I'm overall pretty pleased with my first UO experience, because there's quite a few potential keepers in the bunch, including several dresses and skirts and the pretty lace blouse.  Their sale prices with additional discount coupons are pretty reasonable.  One downside is that they do have quite a bit of selection on their site, which can be slightly overwhelming to browse through.  But their free shipping and free return shipping encourages me to try things that I otherwise may not have (although I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing!).

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Review: Urban Oufitters Part II... Skirts!

The second part of my UO review will be all about skirts!  I didn't realize I'd ordered so many... with the extra 10% off coupon, I think I just went and got all the skirts that were on sale and still left in my size!  But that turned out to be a good thing because apparently UO is a great place to find petite-friendly skirts.

But before I get started on the skirts, I wanted to show the Kimchi Blue Lace Panel Blouse (from the last post) in the other 2 colors:

I really like it in the light grey as well.  It pairs well with a black cami underneath.  The black color I would pass on because you can't see any of the pretty details.

The black skirt I'm wearing above is the Staring At Stars Tulip Skirt ($13) in XS:

This is actually one of my favorites out of the bunch.  It's 100% cotton and the fit is fantastic. 

The details aren't showing up well, but there's a row of buttons running down the center front and some ruching along the back.  The snug waist is perfect for tucking in tops, and the bottom doesn't flare out too much so it's good for wearing under tops as well. I don't have a casual black skirt yet so this is definitely a keeper at a mere $13.

#2: The Lucca Couture Chiffon Drape Skirt ($18) in XS:

This is a sort of a tulip skirt with pockets and an exposed zipper down the back:

The chiffon drapes well and feels great, and I like that the waist also fits snugly without needing a belt.  The only con is that it kinda flattens me out on the side view, so I'm still on the fence about this one.

#3: The Pins And Needles Eyelet Skirt ($13) in XS:

I almost couldn't pull this one over my hips!  I kept thinking that there must be a zipper somewhere but there was none... just an elasticized waistband in the back:

It would probably look a lot better when not so wrinkly, and I do like the fit.  It's also fully lined and has pockets, and is also a bargain at $13.  I already have a casual white skirt from LOFT though, so I'm not sure if I should keep this one.  I'm also not sure how I feel about the eyelet pattern/texture:

#4: The Pins and Needles Hook & Eye Full Skirt ($18) in size 0:

The fit on this one is more loose, and it sits on my hips rather than my waist:

The material is a heavy-weight knit, which feels solid, and there's these giant hook-eye closure detailing down the sides.  I'm just not super excited about this one though... It's okay but I'm probably going to pass.

#5: The Kimchi Blue Tiered Skirt ($18) in size 0:

This one also sits on my hips rather than my waist:

And as you can see, there lots of extra material at the waist.  And even though it looks okay from some angles, it just doesn't feel like it's fitting right.  The material is polyester and the drape is slightly stiff.  Verdict: probably return.

#6: The Kimchi Blue Lace Stripe Skirt ($27) in XS:

This skirt was also reviewed by ExtraPetite, and the details are so pretty!

The fit is fine since it's an elastic waist.  Again, the cons are that the lace paneling doesn't go all the way around and that it requires a slip.  What I didn't know is that the color is a little hard to coordinate.  I tried it with tops in white, nude, black and stone (above), and nothing really looked right. 

I'd also got it in black, and with indoor lighting it looks like you can get away with nude-colored underwear and no slip... but I can't guarantee what it'll look like outdoors or in bright lighting!  I don't think I'm going to keep either though, for the above reasons and also because I'm already keeping too many things from this order!

Phew! I think that was my longest post yet!  But all in all, I'm very happy with my UO experience so far.  It seems like their skirts with partial or full elastic waists run extremely small, while regular zippered skirts run bigger and sit on my hips.  With free shipping and free returns, I'm definitely keeping them on my list when shopping for skirts!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Review: Urban Outfitters Part I

My first time ordering from Urban Outfitters was a surprising semi-success!  They offer free shipping and free returns, which meant free reign with my ordering, and I ended up placing 2 orders because they sent me a 10% off code a few days after I placed the first one.  The first package just arrived today and I already have too many items to blog about in one post, so this review will be in 2-3 parts.

First is the Kimchi Blue Lace Panel Blouse in XS:

I've been looking for some lace items and had previously struck out at F21, so it was a very pleasant surprise to put this on and find that it fits!

It's pretty delicate so I'm afraid I'm going to tear it every time I put it on or take it off.  But I'm really happy it fits because I actually ordered it in other colors too with the 10% off, so I can't wait to see what they look like.  The blouse itself is sheer, and here's how it looks without and with a cami underneath:

I suppose the length is a little on the long side, and I forgot to see what it looks like tucked in.  I'm wearing it with the Cooperative Solid Pull-on Skirt in XS.  The skirt has an elastic waist and does fit, but the material is slightly stiff and doesn't seem to drape well.  I don't think it's special enough for me to keep at $38.

I was also surprised at the fit of the Kimchi Blue Print Chiffon Sahara Dress in XS:

The waist band actually fits snugly without any stretchy ruching or the like, and for once I actually needed to unzip the side zipper to put something on!

Here's a close-up of the print, which is grey-ish with flecks of blue and purple:

The dress is lined and feels like very solid construction.  It was on sale for $39 which isn't too bad.  I was so excited about the fit that my first thought was to keep, but now I'm sort of second guessing myself.  I feel like the style is a little girlish but the print is a little matronly, so I can't decide if it's too old or too young looking.

Next is the Kimchi Blue Ruched Sleeve Dress in size 0:

This one was shapeless as is:

But didn't look too bad when belted:

The material is a cotton/silk blend with a subtle leaf pattern.  It's on sale for $29, which is definitely a good price for a dress, and also comes in black.  I'm a little tempted to keep this one!
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