Thursday, January 27, 2011

Review: New Banana Republic Petite Finds

I feel like it's been forever since Banana Republic came out with any real winner for petites, so imagine my surprise when every item in my last BR order was a hit in terms of potential!

First is the Mosaic Print Eve Wrap Dress in XXSP:

Even though wrap dresses are touted as a wardrobe essential for petites, I usually find that even when I wrap them as tightly as I can humanly manage, most are too low-cut and loose everywhere except for at the waist where it's tied.  This one is probably the best-fitting wrap dress that I've ever tried on (including my other LOFT ruffle wrap dress), probably because there's a bit of stretch in the smooth silk/viscose material.

It's a definite winner for me in terms of fit, but is still quite expensive at $84 after discounts.  I also wonder about the versatility of the print:

For some reason I wasn't able to find this dress on their site when the recent 35% off sale was on.  But now it's back... must be another item BR was "saving" for after the sale like Kelly of AlterationsNeeded had discovered.

Next is the Textured Mini Skirt in XXSP:

I bought this one because all the reviews said it runs too small... which was a good sign for me!  Although it's strange but I don't see those reviews anymore on their site, I wonder if BR removes negative reviews when an item doesn't sell well.

I think it looks better IRL than in the stock photo.  The waist is slim enough to sit near my natural waist, and the "mini" length hits me at a good spot.  It's also fully-lined which is a plus.  

Cardigan: LOFT V-Neck Long Cardigan, size XXSP

My only quibble is that the slight A-line shape flares out a bit (although not even as much as the J.Crew Wool Bell skirt).  But since I managed to re-buy it at the current sale price of $18, I think it's a keeper!

Last is the Vertical Ruffle Cardigan in XXSP:

I've accumulated quite a collection of cardigans this season from LOFT & J.Crew, so I don't really need another sweater.  But I got it on a whim because I was drawn to the "vintage green" and also wanted to see if BR sizing has improved any.

Love the material which is incredibly soft.  Fit is slightly slouchy but I suspect will be better after a wash/dry.  It also comes in a pretty light pink, but is still quite expensive despite coupons ($52) so I won't be keeping.  Although if it ever goes on super sale, I probably wouldn't mind adding it to my collection :)

If anyone is interested, BR currently has 30% off everything until 2/3 with code BRJAN30, although it sometimes shows 20% so you might have to clear cookies to get it to work.  It's rare that I don't find a single lemon in an entire order from any retailer, so I hope BR continues to improve their style offerings and sizing and finally give the petite favorites LOFT & J.Crew some competition!  

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Lace Skirts: H&M vs. LOFT

Remember back when I posted about the LOFT lace skirt?  Well it seemed like most of you liked the style but not so much the fit of it on me (and I agreed!).  I also mentioned back then that Kileen was kind enough to pick up the popular H&M lace skirt in my size for me... and I knew I would have trouble deciding!  And since I'm planning to make a return trip this weekend, it's final decision time!

And here they are... the H&M pencil vs. LOFT scallop-edge lace skirts:

More views of the H&M:

I know there's quite a bit of size inconsistency in this skirt, but the fit of the waist was pretty good on me (mine measured 12" across).  The length, however, hit me below the knees and I felt slightly overwhelmed in it since the material is a bit stiff as some of you had mentioned.  And to be honest, it wasn't the most flattering side view since my behind isn't *ahem* quite generous enough to fill it out.

As for the LOFT skirt:

Again, it sits low on the waist and can only be worn underneath tops, unless I get the sides slimmed as Jean suggested.  This skirt ended up being $20 less than the H&M, so I guess I wouldn't terribly mind getting it altered.  Here's how it would theoretically look after alterations, which comes a lot closer to how it's supposed to look:

I love the silhouette of the H&M pencil skirt, but I'm leaning ever so slightly towards the LOFT, since I generally wear skirts in casual settings and not to work.  But the LOFT skirt does require a trip to the tailors, as well as a little more TLC in care (hand vs. machine wash)... decisions, decisions!

Which would you go with?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Mustard Yellow Vs. Gold

Tallying the votes so far for the J.Crew cardigans from the last post, it seems like the majority favorite was the Gold - which was actually my first choice as well since I'd been wanting a mustard yellow cardigan for a long time.  I initially thought that it was close enough... until I spotted a truly mustardy yellow cardigan from a Banana Republic outlet store a little while back.

And look at the difference!

I love that the BR cardigan seems to be the exact color of Jean's lovely Gap jacket, and that's what convinced me to buy even though the fit was rather long.  After picking it up, I subsequently spotted the same cardigan on Vicky here and Sydney here.

A few more views of the BR zip cardigan:

And the J.Crew Merino Chiffon Placket Cardigan again in Gold:

And for a direct comparison:

I think fit-wise, the J.Crew cardigan is probably more flattering.  But I do love the mustardy goodness of the BR sweater.  What do you think... should I keep either or both?  And thanks again to everyone who voted on the last post, based on your feedback I'll be keeping the Mansfield Blue, but am still thinking about the Heather Graphite & Weathered Wood.

Monday, January 10, 2011

J.Crew Merino Chiffon Cardigans Galore!

As I'd mentioned before in the last J.Crew post, I scooped up several of the Merino Chiffon Placket Cardigans when they went on sale for $21... four to be exact!  And here they are... all in size XXS:

 Above: Heather Graphite & Mansfield Blue
Below: Weathered Wood & Gold
Jeans: A&F Kids Maddy Skinny, size 12

Now I'm sure most of you have already seen this cardigan on many other petite bloggers, so I won't go into too much detail about it.  Basically the concensus was that it has a slouchy fit and rather tight sleeve cuffs.  Suffice it to say it fits pretty much the same on me, but here's a fun little animation to demonstrate the 360° view:

I couldn't figure out how to make the image quality better... but hopefully you get the point!

Even though I got them at a great price, it seems like four is an excessive number to keep, especially given the fit... but I really can't decide which one(s) to send back!  I don't have any of those colors in my closet, so couldn't narrow it down based on that.  And knowing me, I'll probably just procrastinate until it's too late to return any of them lol :X

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Free Zoya Nail Polish: My Picks

I'm not a huge nail polish junkie by any means, and can barely paint my own nails.  But when I heard that Zoya is giving away 3 free bottles of nail polish for being their Facebook fan with the code FB2011 (just pay $6.95 for shipping), I couldn't resist taking a look.  But I was immediately overwhelmed by their gazillion choices (including my namesake) and had no idea where to start!  Luckily Google was extremely helpful as always, and I was able to narrow my choices down somewhat.

I found Scrangie to be a pretty helpful site with tons of Zoya swatches... for example:

I also liked these colors that Jen reviewed:

And then there were a whole bunch of random swatches found on Google Images:

As you can see, I was mainly looking for neutrals that I might possibly wear to work, and also some fun shades for toes... but there's still too many options!  And since the promotion ends on 1/7, I need some help deciding, STAT!  :P

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