May 2014 | what jess wore

May 30, 2014

The Perfect Maxi

Banana Republic vneck maxi
Banana Republic Black Knit Patio Dress, XSP 
(See another view taken at my parents' here)
Zara laminated chain sandals (very old review here)

As briefly stated in my previous post, Banana Republic brought back my favorite maxi from two years ago in black. The empire waist is very flattering and the material they used is so soft, stretchy and comfortable. I measured this year's version after I washed and air dried it and the total length measures 51". For fit reference, I'm 5' 2 1/2". I also recently learned I'm a quarter inch taller since I've been saying that I'm 5' 2 1/4". Every little bit counts right? Getting back to the topic at hand, the petite length is perfect for me with flats or with wedges because the bottom hem hits right at my ankle as you can see above. My navy version of the maxi is still too long and drags on the floor even after hemming. It irks me that I didn't ask my tailor to make it shorter and I'm debating if I should bite the bullet and get it hemmed again.

Note that LOFT has a very similar vneck dress (review here) in many colors including white! If only LOFT offered the dress as a maxi as I'm sure their price point would have be much better especially after one of their 50% off promotions. I'm not sure why the white dress isn't available in petites yet unless it sold out. However, sometimes it just takes a while before the petite version makes it to their website.

Here are my picks for this weekend's Ann Taylor (40% off tops, no code needed) and LOFT (50% off select styles with code FRESH, and 50% off sale styles) sales. I didn't see anything else that I wanted so I haven't placed my order yet because I don't meet the minimum free shipping at either store. If only they combined shipping for both of their stores the way Gap Inc. does for all of their online stores/brands.

Woven back cardigan
Seamless cami (reminds me of a favorite cami I own from Gap a few years ago)
Nautical lace cardigan
Lou & Grey sketchbook stripe layering tee
Modern skinny ankle zip jeans in white
Scallop cotton eyelet dress (review here)
Seahorse print side ruffle bikini bottom (review here, it also has a cute matching bikini top but not many sizes left)
Strappy bow sandals

Have a lovely weekend!


May 26, 2014

Off Duty Outfits & Memorial Day Sale Recommendations

Happy Saturday! I planned to wear this #outfit for traveling but it was a tad chilly this morning.  At least I have a picture and I'm sure I'll have an opportunity to wear this while I'm in Philly.
Zara utility jacket (old)
Chambray Shirt (old, reviewed here)
Ann Taylor Gallery tote in black (last year's version, reviewed here)

Greetings from Philly! I packed the above outfit to wear while traveling but between the chilly morning and the predictable A/C on blast I opted for jeans and a cute tee.

LOFT casual tee
Old Navy Rockstar super skinny jeans in campfire wash (old)

I'm visiting my family and running a few wedding errands this week but I wanted to check in and share some of my favorite finds from my most recent LOFT haul. They currently have 40% off everything and a flash sale for 60% off sale styles. My latest online order wasn't a winner since I only kept two pieces mentioned below but that means more money that I can put towards other things I really love.

LOFT Sunday best

Scallop Cotton Eyelet Dress
Size: 0P
Fit: Fits true to size but the waist fits bigger per the measurements below.
Measurements: 32" chest, 28" waist, 33" length
Love and would recommend. I ordered this and the mixed cotton eyelet dress to compare but this dress was the clear winner. The thicker material, eyelet and scallop details made it look more expensive and better quality while the other one was too thin, see through and a bit shorter for my liking. I think this dress looks best when worn alone due to the pleats at the hip which can make you appear wider. I threw on the cardigan for church because I packed a little too light and didn't have anything else that matched better.

Eyelet Sleeve Cardigan
Size: XSP
Fit: True to size to one size larger. This is a relaxed fit cardigan more suitable for casual wear. If you want to wear it for more dressier events over dresses then you may want to consider ordering one size down.
Measurements: n/a
Love and would recommend. The pretty eyelet details on the sleeves caught my eye and I was going to order it in white but I tried the rainwash blue which looks more like a pastel mint color. The fabric is very soft and smooth to the touch.

Other recommendations:

Lou & Grey Mesa tee - Petite-friendly fit in sizes XXS and XS. Note: This tee is not part of their current sale but I'm keeping this in my cart/wishlist! As seen on Cee Cee Wong here.

Lou & Grey Stripe Tee Dress - See it on me here. Trying size XXS, the drop waist didn't do anything for my figure but it's worth trying on if you have a lithe frame and less hips.

Lou & Grey Stripe Mix Dress - See it on me here.Trying on size 00, it's a racer back style with an exposed zipper so I returned but it's really cute, well made and easy to throw on under a denim jacket.
Mixed Stripe Pocket Skirt - XXS regular runs large and fits like size XS or S. Beautiful thicker jersey material and it has pockets!

*Would not recommend:

Chambray Sleeveless Shirtdress - I ordered this in 0P but it runs big (fits like a sack) and the unexpected drop waist with the tie-sash is not flattering. It doesn't look like the online stock image and I was really disappointed.

Modern Skinny Ankle Zip Jeans in Grey Pinstripe - I reviewed these jeans in my last review here and I'm sad to report that they stretch out horribly. I've shrunk them a second time but I have yet to wear them again to see if it sticks this time after drying them on high heat a full 40 minutes.

Recent Banana Republic finds

I also popped into Banana Republic after church yesterday after not shopping there for months. I was pleasantly surprised to find that they brought back my favorite maxi from two years ago which I have in navy. I wear it to death more than I care to admit. This year's maxi dress is now a petite-friendly length with no hemming required (it falls about 1" above the ground on me). I also found the white dress recommended by Annie which runs small despite the stretchy material so I sized up to a 4P. Lastly, I spotted a 00P of the Marimekko Collection Kivet Full Skirt in store (it must have been a return) so out of curiosity I tried it on. It fit comfortably high on my waist so I'd say it runs big because my waist currently measures 27-28". See it on Wendy here and Vicky here. Sorry I don't have any pictures to share because my mom was using my phone to play Candy Crush.

Happy shopping!


May 18, 2014

Live, Love, LOFT

Here is an overdue review of my 50% off LOFT haul from earlier this month. Better late than never right? They're currently having 40% off everything with code FIRSTLOOK. Naturally there are a lot of cute new arrivals so I ordered a few items that caught my eye. Many thanks to Annie for her generous birthday present because I was really trying to be good and wait for another 50% off promotion before making any further purchases.

I also saw a few items I ordered in store today and I think I may have more items to return but we'll see.  LOFT doesn't have the best stock images and I hope they can step up their game. I much prefer their Instagram pictures with real working women like this picture. Their Vancouver based visual merchandiser, Cece Wong, is another great source of inspiration. If you love LOFT and Ann Taylor then you may want to follow their career feed. Recently, every Tuesday they've been hosting a giveaway and I won by default the first time I entered because there were very few entries. Ha. It's mostly been marketing promotion stuff with their logo on it but still cute nonetheless.

Eyelet Stripe Softened Shirt

LOFT Eyelet Stripe Softened Shirt
Vintage Gucci crossbody purchased from The Bargain District

Size: XXS regular
Fit: Runs 1 size larger, relaxed fit
Measurements*: 15.25" shoulder, 35.5" chest, 38" waist, 25.25" length, 24" sleeves
Purchased and love. This is the kind of blouse you feel very chic in as soon as you put it on. It looks very beautiful and high quality in real life too. See it on me here without a cami. It's very versatile and can be worn unbuttoned or tied at the waist over a maxi.

*UPDATE: I just washed and laundered this blouse today and it seems to have shrunk a bit despite washing it in cold water and air drying. The shoulder now measures 15", the chest measures 34" and the sleeves are now 23". Everywhere else is the same. I don't know if anyone else noticed the same thing but please let me know. It still fits me thank goodness.

Modern Skinny Ankle Zip Jeans in Grey Pinstripe 

LOFT Modern Skinny Ankle Zip Jeans in Grey Pinstripe

Size: 24/00 regular
Fit: Runs 2-3 sizes larger. Note that I usually wear 26P/2P at LOFT for their jeans.
Measurements: 29" waist, 27" confirmed inseam as stated on their website
Purchased and love. I purchased these jeans at 40% off today but I figured I might as well review them now while it's current since I am slow to post and then things sell out which negates the helpfulness of my review. These jeans are very soft and a tad thin so be mindful of which undergarments you wear. 00 regular is still a tad loose on me especially in the seat so I'm going to try to shrink it a bit in the dryer. The 27" ankle length inseam is perfect on me though while the petite version was was probably 24" inseam. I first tried on 00P and it fit me very well except for the inseam which means it also runs 2-3 sizes larger depending on how tight you like to wear your skinny jeans.

LOFT tile print top empire waist shell

Weekend travel #outfit

Size: 00P
Fit: Runs two sizes larger as noted in my previous review here.
Measurements: 33" chest, 31.5" empire waist, 23" total length
Purchased and love.  This top caught my eye and I couldn't stop thinking about it because of the beautiful pattern. 00P fits better than 0P but it's blousy on me and you can clearly see that in the below picture on right. The back view shows how wide/boxy it still is. I'm going home next week to see my family so hopefully my mom can help me cinch the empire waist to create more of a shape.

Tiered Lace Riviera Shorts with 4 Inch Inseam

LOFT Tile Print Empire Waist Shell - 00P

Size: 00 regular
Fit: Runs 2 sizes bigger
Measurements: 12" length, 30" waist
Purchased and love. These beautiful shorts fulfill my crochet shorts void. I appreciate the 4" inseam since it's not too short on me. I'm normally uncomfortable in short shorts but these are just right without making me feel self-conscious.

Embroidered Bodice Dress 

LOFT embroidered bodice dress in 0P. Love, love the beautiful details. I'll try to work on a blogpost of my 50% off haul soon.

Size: 0P
Fit: 1 size bigger (in the empire waist), true to size everywhere else
Measurements: 32" chest, 29" empire waist, 34" length, 12.5" straps for a 6.25" drop
Purchased and love. This gorgeous white dress looks exactly as pictured on LOFT's online stock image. I was worried it'd be too thin and see through but it works for me with nude undergarments since it is lined. It's a bit little loose on my small bust but doesn't detract from the pretty details. I haven't cut the tags off yet in case I come across a 00P to compare.

Cropped Denim Jacket in Refined Blue Wash


Size: XSP
Fit: Runs 1 size larger, boxy fit (This is an updated fit assessment following my previous review.)
Measurements: 35" chest, 31" along the bottom hem, 17" length, 22" sleeves, 11.5" upper arm circumference
Purchased and love. I reviewed this denim jacket before and this jacket has since sold out online but I hope you can find it in store. The refined blue wash is a very soft and versatile for the spring, summer and into the fall.

Pleated V-Neck Dress

LOFT Pleated V-Neck Dress

Size: XXSP
Fit: Fits 1 size larger. I would say XXSP fits like XSP.
Measurements: 28" chest, 26" empire waist, 34" length
Purchased and love. I bought this same dress in red last year and regretted it because it ran a little big in the arm holes and the material was a little thinner making it more suitable to wear at home. I was pleased to discover that this year's version is cut smaller than last year's version. The darker colors I bought (both navy and black) make them easier to throw on as a casual dress to wear out under a light jacket. The pleated, gathered detail at the chest also enhances small busts giving them the illusion of being 1 cup sizes bigger. ;)

Fan Stitch Cotton Sweater

LOFT Fan Stitch Cotton Sweater

Size: XS regular
Fit: Runs 1 size larger
Measurements: 36" chest, 32" waist, 36" hips, approximately 24" sleeves (there were no shoulder seams but I measured from where they would be.)
Purchased and still deciding. I really love the details of this sweater and yes it's another white article of clothing I picked up. All white anything draws me like a bee to nectar. However, I'm on the fence about this sweater because a picture doesn't lie. It does just look like another sweater online here where I can look at it objectively.

Seahorse Print Side Ruffle Bikini Bottom

Cute #seahorse print #bikini bottom from @loftgirl.

Size: Small
Fit: True to size
Measurements: 26" unstretched, stretches to 35" comfortably
Purchased and love. I am usually take an XS in swimsuit bottoms and wish I had ordered the right size. I gained many inches in my waist this past year and thought I needed a size S but I may just give these to my little sister and reorder them again in my size. This bikini bottom provides very good coverage in the rear and the ruffles are nice touch so they don't look too high rise. Venus bikini top recommended by Annie.

 Zara Floral Top With Frills (Ref. 2553/59)

Zara Floral Top With Frills

Size: XS
Fit: Boxy, cropped fit
Measurements: n/a
Did not purchase but would recommend. I didn't purchase this top because the arm holes were too big on me as pictured. It's a cropped fit hitting at my hips. However, I would recommend this if you plan to wear it under a cardigan or blazer. If you wear it by yourself then you may want to wear a bandeau to prevent side boob/bra exposure. I originally saw this top featured on Miriam's Instagram here.


May 13, 2014

My "It" Bag

5/13 OOTD

5/13 OOTD

Top: Striped top from LOFT (old)
Blazer: Black suit blazer from Banana Republic (old)
Pants: Old Navy Rockstar Super Skinny Jeans (730770) in Batman wash (old)
Shoes: J.Crew Sloane patent pumps in soft desert (similar here)

5/13 OOTD

5/13 OOTD

5/13 OOTD

Spring temperatures are finally here to stay (I hope). This means that I feel motivated to put more effort into what I wear once again. Springtime also gives me a reason to pull out my nicer bags from storage. The Lumineuse PM (let's call her Lumi) was gifted to me by my fiancé last year for my 30th birthday. See an old review here comparing it to my trusty Ann Taylor gallery tote.

I'd been lusting after Lumi since she came out a few years ago and I feel blessed that my fiancé gifted me something that I couldn't quite bring myself to pull the trigger on due to the hefty price tag. Just imagine how many LOFT shopping sprees that would fund (especially at 50% off)! Ha. All kidding aside, the classic shape and beautiful embossed leather pulled at my heartstrings and in my eyes it was the perfect black/dark navy bag.

Out of everything I love to shop for I'm most selective about my investment bags. They tend to be a statement piece that helps to pull together my outfits since I don't really accessorize. I was concerned that Lumi would be too big for me since I'm 5'2". However, I've snapped a few pictures of the different ways I like to carry it along with today's outfit and I'm pleased to report that it's a great oversize bag for someone of similar height and stature. Now if only it didn't weigh so much but I really have no cause for complaint. Here's to a fabulous second year with this beauty. ;)

May 07, 2014

Quick Review: A Few Spring Favorites

Coach Factory floral cosmetic case

I've got #spring in my bag. Loving the floral print on this #makeupbag. :)

Measurements: 8.75 x 6 x 2.25 inches

Purchased and love. Coach Factory online is the best kept secret since you can skip the long lines at the outlets. I got this cute cosmetics bag for $33 but I actually spent too much time deliberating how many to order and missed the opportunity to get it for $28. The floral print is so vibrant in real life and it's a larger cosmetics bag with 3 inner side pockets to organize your smaller items instead of just tossing everything in there. I want to get a few more as presents for my wedding when Coach Factory offers additional discounts again. It's perfect for stuffing other small presents inside. I also got my mom the floral print umbrella and packable reusable bag.

Note: If you don't have a Coach Factory account you can sign up directly on their website. I have to warn you that they're really bad about adding new customers (or so I heard) which is why I stopped bothering to ask if anyone wants an invite.

LOFT tile print top empire waist shell

Dear cute top, Why are you two sizes too big?

LOFT tile print empire waist shell, 0P

Size: 0P
Measurements: 35" chest, 32.5" waist, 23" total length
Fit: Runs about 2 sizes larger than LOFT's usual sizing so I couldn't even get away with wearing it as a blousy fit since I have a smaller chest.
Purchased and love. I have it pinned back in the second picture to show what it would look like if I were to have my mom sew a sash to tie it back for more shape. I decided to exchange the top for 00P and I hope it fits because this is the only top I was really excited about in my most recent order (with the rest to arrive this Thursday). I'll try to update this post with updated measurements when I receive size 00P or write a new post next week. ;)

Fendi Brown Tortoise Shell Sunglasses

Brown #Fendi sunglasses $56 at Costco. I didn't get them (trying not to make purchases on a whim) but these prices rival those found at Nordstrom Rack.

Did not purchase but would recommend. I saw these sunglasses today at Costco for $56. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the price. I was so tempted to get them for the price alone but they cut into my cheeks so I passed. The logo is a decent/small size and they're really cute on and worth trying on since they have one pair laid out for that purpose. The sample pair was attached to a security wire by the center (nose bridge) so it kind of ruins the look when you try it on. At least you can see how they look like on your face before you buy them. If you regret it then Costco has a really good return policy.

Note: The glasses I linked to is a random eBay listing of the same sunglasses I saw at Costco. The seller/listing is not affiliated with me in any way nor do I personally recommend them.



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