Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Jen does jeans

Jennifer Aniston looks amazing in jeans, from sophisticated to girl next door, she gets it right every time!

This classic coat looks sophisticated with rolled up jeans and boots. The narrow fit and light weight fabric of the jacket maintains a strong vertical line which is further emphasised by the narrow rolled up skinny jeans. Wider jeans would have upset the balance and proportion on her almost petite size frame (5'4 3/4in).  

Channel the look
* Minimal jewellery
* Scarves
* Pair jeans with leather belts in tan, brown or black
* Stock up on basic black, white and grey to mix and match with jeans
* Stock up on jeans; long ones, skinny ones, scruffy boyfriend ones 
* Roll hems for this season's look
* For those of us going into winter, killer boots with jeans

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What to wear reminders

If you find yourself only wearing 20% of the clothing in your closet, then try this solution: When you see an inspiring picture of an outfit in a magazine or online, then cut it out or Snagit and paste it on the inside of your closet door. This really helps for those times when you are getting dressed in a hurry. It acts as a reminder to wear some of the pieces lurking at the back of your closet and to wear what you already have in different ways. These are just some of the pictures I'm using as reminders this week.


I'm using the picture above to remind me to mix prints and also to try wearing a belted shirt over my summer dresses. The blazer over top reminds me of a forgotten blazer I have tucked away in the back of my closet. I also like how the blazer tones the look down and adds much needed warmth for early spring days.

This picture here serves as a reminder to wear my navy blazer over a particular summer dress I had almost forgotten about.  I usually wear the dress on warm summer days with sandals but with boots and the blazer, as in this picture above, I will get some use out of it in spring too.

Okay, here I'm reminding myself to buy that cute pink scarf I've been wanting for a while.  I love it with the denim here. I have a warm skin tone so the pink will need a yellow undertone to work for me. 

This serves as a reminder to wear flimsy textures with my denim. I like the idea of dressing my denim up for daytime sometimes too.  

Little reminders here. Layered necklaces, cuff bracelets and belted cardi under the jacket. Love those shoes!

I love the killer shoes with these black capri's. Here I'm reminding myself to reach for my nude heels  instead of my trusty black pumps with my capri's.

Every one of these pictures is reminding me to wear an item of clothing I already have but in a different way. This helps to keep my look current and inspire me on those "I've got nothing to wear" days. My shopping becomes more focused on building different looks with items I already have.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Jacket update

Keeping one's style current can be as simple as changing how we wear what we already have. Update your look with these little tricks this spring.

Mix it up by wearing a dressy jacket in a casual way.  Denim shirts are very trendy this season and layering a denim shirt under a jacket as in the picture above is very "Spring 2010". The look is all about the bottom layer being longer than the jacket and scrunching the sleeves so the under layer peaks out. Petites will need to keep their denim shirts cut close to the body to avoid unnecessary bulk.  The open, unbuttoned look adds visual length to Petites and being perfect opposites on the colour wheel the blue and coral tones offset one another so well and is particularly flattering on this model's warm skin tone.

This fun nautical look is a classic and chances are you already have a black or navy jacket in your closet. Here the look is updated by scrunching the jacket sleeves up and exposing the sleeve underneath to its fullest. This look is particularly good for Petites in that the jacket length is at high hip level thereby creating the visual illusion of longer legs. Black and white or navy and white looks amazing on those with cool (pink) skin tones. If you are unsure of your skin tone compare the colour of the inside of your wrist against the wrists of a couple of friends next time you are in a group. Look for predominant yellow undertones versus predominant pink undertones in the skin. Yellow = warm and pink = cool.

Here again, playing with proportions as in short over long is a very current way of wearing jackets.  This black jacket with the waterfall frill detail and scrunched sleeves would look equally gorgeous  over a sparkly mini dress for evenings. See my Trend Watch post for an example of Jennifer Aniston's interpretation.

Military jackets are big news this season and always stylish Kate Moss does it so well here with denim skinny's. Showcasing the tips we've already discussed, Kate wears 3/4 jacket sleeves revealing long sleeves underneath and mixes proportions by wearing the jacket shorter than the top underneath. This look, as you can see, works equally well with a trendy military style jacket or a classic style jacket which you may have lurking at the back of your closet.

Jacket tips for Petites
  • Wear short jackets over long tops. Play with proportions
  • Scrunch sleeves up and leave sleeves underneath long or rolled over jacket sleeve
  • Wear jacket and under layer open - this creates the visual illusion of being taller
  • Fabrics must be light weight with limited texture or your Petite frame will be overwhelmed
  • Keep under layers close to the body - avoid bulk
Now its time to go shopping in your closet for suits which haven't seen daylight for a while.  Bring out the jackets you thought you could only wear with  matching bottoms and wear them. Have fun!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Trend Watch

There are some weird and wonderful trends out there, some of which I admire from a distance and others I totally love and bookmark for my own style.

I love Jennifer Aniston in this menswear inspired tuxedo blazer. This is a great "go to" cover-up for evenings instead of a wrap.

Ali Carter looks fabulous in her draped skirt, but it's the white jacket here that I'm lusting after.  This is a must, must have for summer and this is the one I'm after!  The single button just under the bust and the length at high hip level will be super versatile and leg lengthening on my petite frame.

Vanessa Hudgens does this relaxed button front style so well.  I for one am oh-so-happy to see narrower belts again. I don't often wear baggy-on-top clothing but this will be fun for summer.


Do you remember when mixing denims was a total no-no! Well, now it's all about mixing it up and wearing it from head to toe. This picture of Christina Hendricks is a perfect example of how I would love to wear it. Dark jeans, close fitting light denim shirt with high hip exposed and nude shoes.  Lovely!


Friday, April 9, 2010

Petite Fashion Myth - update

 Short women can't wear long dresses
"There's nothing like the presence of a floor-sweeping gown, so why should diminutive darlings have to miss out? A long column dress can actually lengthen your figure, especially in a solid colour with a cropped jacket, and worn with the right pair of heels - wedges for day, platforms for night - it's a flattering silhouette regardless of height." Flare

Nicole Richie at  5'1" tall looks amazing in long dresses. 

  So, it's confirmed then...  "short women can't wear long dresses"   definitely is a fashion myth. 

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Spring Dress Fever

I'm so impressed with Dress Barn's spring dresses I just had to share.  Did you know they also have a new Petite Collection?  I didn't... what a nice surprise!

Their sizes run 4-16 and 14-24. Check their website here for more information. I love this cute dress for summer. My legs are not my best feature but I've recently discovered the perfect length for me,  the thinnest part just under my knee, and there you go!... I'm wearing dresses again. This coral colour is perfect if you have a warm skin tone.

This belted dress looks fabulous on! I tried the size 4 and found the lower hip just a little too snug for my "M" shape (hour glass shape) so, for a size 4 Petite with a straighter body shape, it would be perfect (check MyShape if you aren't sure of your shape). The length once again on my 5'1" frame was perfect, just a little under the knee. The warm orange/pink/brown tones will suit those with warm skin tones.

Another cute dress, so lovely with the green cardi, and we all know cardi's are really big this season.

I adore this dress.  I tried a replica in pale blue at Macy's. It looks great on and this one at Dress Barn is a third of the price.  I love how these two styles (above and below) are so forgiving on the hip area.

Okay, it's confirmed! I officially have dress fever... or is it Spring fever? mmmm...

Friday, April 2, 2010

Spring shopping at Macy's

I went shopping this week for spring clothes to celebrate the warmer weather we've been experiencing here in Canada.  My first port-of-call was Macy's.  A little bird had whispered in my ear about the Macy's International Savings Card for international travellers valid for 30 days at any Macy's entitling one to 10% off throughout the store. I was absolutely amazed to get an extra 10% off on items already marked down by up to 60%.  This card is available at the gift wrapping department - photo i.d. is required. Thank you Macy's I put it to good use!

I'm a size 4 dress and this size 4 dress fits like a glove. I will have the straps shortened by 1cm to lift the armholes slightly.  The length is perfect, at the narrowest point just below my knee. 

According to MyShape I am an "M" which is an hour glass shape, although I dont have the classic very narrow waist.  I can attest to the fact that this dress is very flattering on an "M" shape. Macy's have more of these styles, so, if you are a size 4 Petite  approximately 5'1" tall you can shop online at Macy's for these with confidence.
I've been looking for a medium heel sandal for everyday use and these are extremely comfortable.  I don't have the thinnest ankles in town but because the ankle strap is placed quite low, I feel I can get away with it.  I wear a size 6 and this shoe fits well.  I would have preferred the colour in a lighter nude shade, but chose comfort over colour this time.  I'm wondering whether it would be possible to lighten this tan colour somehow. Any suggestions? 

These cute little white Sketchers are a staple item in every Petite girl's wardrobe, me thinks.  Once again, size 6 ran true to size and very comfortable.

I bought this cute top in both white and coral.  They will be easy-to-wear basics to wear with jeans this spring. I have a warm skin tone, and the coral is a great colour for "Springs" with green eyes.  Sorry I don't have a picture of it in the coral colour to show you, however, if you click here you will be able to see it. If you have a cool skin tone, then stay with the white colour.

At $18.00 you can't go wrong.  The styling is great if, like me, you need to hide a little winter padding.  It will look great topped with a jacket worn at high hip level.

I could only find a Petite SM which fits me well enough. Although a Petite XS would have been better.  It fits exactly like the one in the picture. There is a little extra space across the chest at the lace yoke, so, I'm hoping it will shrink just a wee but, if it doesn't, it will be just fine.

Happy Easter shopping!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

#1 Petite Misconception

Petite in the clothing industry does not mean thin,  it ...  means short ;-)

Source: Sarah Jessica Parker 5'4" via Petite Resource

The #1 misconception surrounding the words "Petite Woman" is that we are tiny, thin women with waif-like bodies.  The reality is that only 8% of all petite women weigh 100lbs (45kg) or less.

"Petite refers to an all over proportioning of the body from head-to-toe, not left to right. A petite woman can have the same bust and hip measurements as someone much taller but is challenged to find clothing that fits because of her shorter body frame".  Kim Williams Dahlman of Bella Petite

 These models are realistic examples of the average Petite body
Source: V-magazine

Being short (5'4" and under) means that we Petites are always aiming to look taller. And when we are a little heavier than our ideal weight we also want to minimise our weight, visually.  Its all about accentuating the positives and de-emphasizing the negatives. 

Source: Lane Bryant

It's a fact that my body weight fluctuates by approx. 11lbs (5kg) at different times of the year namely at Christmas and during winter. I've just come to the realisation that I need different size clothing in my wardrobe. Yes, really!  In the past I would just tough-it-out until I had lost the extra weight.  This is definitely not good for the soul. Toughing-it-out-times are when I lose confidence and generally do not feel good about myself.  So, no more! I am going to concede that my body actually changes from time to time and take the right action to make sure I stay feeling good.

Better choices
To stay feeling good I realise I will need to be vigilant against impulse shopping and choose clothes and colours that highlight my positives and camouflage my not-so-perfect areas.  

Source: JC Penney

... and I'm going to be a good girl and persist in the Petite Departments because I may just save a little money on alterations!

Petite jackets are cut shorter

Petite arm lengths are shorter and armholes are cut higher

Source: Lane Bryant
Petite dresses and skirts are cut shorter

Source: Lane Bryant
Petite trousers are shorter in the rise and in the leg

I will let you know how I progress.  I'd love to hear about your experiences with Petite Sizing, so please  leave a comment if you have a moment. 

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Mixing Patterns and Prints

Mixing patterns and prints is a hot trend for Spring 2010. 

Source: Vogue

And here are some mixed patterns and prints available in Neiman Marcus for Spring 2010.

How to mix patterns and prints
  • Keep it to maximum two different patterns or prints
  • Repeat at least one colour in both
  • Or keep the background colour the same
  • Using a solid colour as a third garment will help to tone it down
Keep patterns and prints in proportion to your height and shape.  Smaller patterns and prints will look better.

There will be an abundance of patterns and prints in stores in the coming months. I've decided to give mixed patterns and prints a bash. I'll be stretching my comfort zone because I'm a no pattern kinda girl.  In previous blogs I've mentioned how I'm a Natural Girl because I prefer relaxed, easy-to-wear clothing in block colours, so its going to be interesting to see whether I can pull it off. 

What do you think of this new trend?  Are you going to give it a try or will you sit this one out?