Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Raw Hem Jeans: Fashion's Gift to the Short Legged

Raw hem jeans are everywhere this fall, and luckily for this 4'10 3/4" lady, it's a super easy DIY. When you are constantly having to cuff or hem your pants, and even "short" lengths are too long, a style that only requires cutting away length is welcomed with open arms. I also really like the step hem, so I took the cutting a little further and created a petite sized step.

 I probably own about 10 pairs of jeans, but only wear the same 3 over and over again, so picking one to cut up wasn't too hard. I've had this pair for years, and even though I hardly wear them, I still couldn't bring myself to get rid of them. Perhaps I subconsciously knew I would need them for a DIY project in the future, or maybe I just hoard clothes....

First step is estimating the length, so I took a pair of pants that had a good length and measured them up to the jeans I was cutting up. If you want a step hem, make sure you are measuring for the longest length. My mom hooked me up with sewing essentials, so I have this nifty tracing tool and paper that lets me mark where to cut. Sometimes I also use a pencil or pen, but that is a little more permanent so be extra careful where you mark.

Next just cut a straight line across where you marked, or not if you want something with more of an undone look. For the step hem, I cut it all one length first, and made smaller vertical cuts where I wanted the step to start and stop. Then you cut straight across again, but this time only on the area you want shorter.

I ended up wanting a more cropped length then the original pants I measured from, so I tried them on and re-cut several times before getting the right length. I also wanted some more stressing, so I made some cuts at the knee. When I was done, I took a suede brush (a small brush with really stiff bristles), and kept brushing along the freshly cut edges until they started to fray a little bit. I didn't do too much, as I know they will continue to fray with ware and washing.

There you have it, a DIY with shorties in mind. What are your tricks for styling short legs?

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Embrace Yourself

I love graphic tees, but I'm also very picky about them. I like it when my shirts are unique and really say something about my personality. My Roller Girl T-shirt is a clear ode to my klutzy-ness, and my newest addition follows the same train of thought, and is all about what makes you, you. Your flaws play a huge role in what makes you an individual, so embrace them! I have a lot to embrace, and still a lot of work to do when it comes to owning them.

It's been really exciting to see the various movements toward accepting diversity of all kinds in our culture. While we still have a long ways to go, it is a step in the right direction. Maybe one day, we'll accept that generally people aren't "flawed," they are just unique, and there aren't wrong or right ways to be a person.

On to the clothes...
This outfit has a couple of what I like to call "Deal Makers." When I'm on the fence about whether or not to purchase something, I take the decision very seriously (because financial goals, of course), but there are a few details that can really sell it for me:
1. Buying for a good cause- I found this t-shirt from For Better Not Worse, a clothing brand that donates a bag of food to children in need, while at Unique LA, a pop up market that has local designers and artists. I already loved the shirt, so knowing that my purchase would be doing some good locally, made the decision easy. As a bonus, they had a special that day where they were donating two bags of food for every shirt sold. Can't beat that deal!

2. A dress or skirt with functional pockets- I still don't understand why all dresses and skirts don't have pockets. Pockets can exponentially increase the utility of an item! When I'm at the office and want to go get a quick snack, I don't want to bring my whole purse just to carry my keys, a credit card, and phone, and I don't want to hold all that in my small hands either. Even a lot of women's pants don't have functional pockets, and it's really sad. Show me a cute dress and I'll like it, show me a cute dress with pockets and I have to have it.

What features of a product really get you? What are some of your "Deal Makers"?

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Boyfriend Jeans

 There is a long list of trends that petites are not supposed to wear, but that's absurd. Petites can wear any trend or style as long as you get the right fit and proportions. Sadly it can be hard to find clothing with the right proportions, so sometimes you have to be creative and make it work. I like to shop at thrift stores for creative solutions, often vintage clothes have a smaller fit for women, and since trends tend to come back, sometimes you can find items that were trendy years ago and are now back. At thrift store prices, I also don't feel bad about experimenting with diy projects or trying out a new trend I'm not sure about.

I bought some  510 Levi's (not to be confused with the famous 501) at a thrift store in downtown LA and they provided the perfect boyfriend fit for me! They were loose, but not overwhelming. They were a little long, but nothing a little cuffing couldn't fix. I felt like they were a true boyfriend fit for my frame. If I wear them low on my hips, I get the low, slightly dropped crotch that is prevalent with men's styles. Bonus: I can also wear them as well fitted high-waisted jeans as long as I wear a belt since the waist is a little big.

 At the thrift store, they were in the women's section so I assumed they were a women's style, but it turns out they are LITERALLY boyfriend jeans. Apparently, 510 is a Men's style and somehow I fit in a 29 X 30? Mind. Blown. The more I shop, the more I discover that the only place to shop for women's clothes is outside the women's department.

When wearing boyfriend jean's I like to preserve the chill vibe and keep it simple with a loose top and some cute shoes (these one's are Steve Madden heels). The jewelry is pretty simple, a solitaire necklace that I always wear and a few bracelets. 

Beauty Note: I was inspired by this article on pigtail buns on StyleCaster, but at first I thought there was no way I would be able to pull this look off. I tried a more subtle half up take on the trend and am really excited with the result!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Roller Skate Girl T-shirt

There is nothing better then a good tee. They are comfy, easy to wear, and have potential for a really unique outfit without much effort. I came across what is potentially my favorite T-shirt ever while poking around a small boutique chain in LA called Varga. The tee is super soft, has an excellent drapy/flowy look, and is thin without being too transparent. This shirt tells the dramatic story of a cute roller girl out for a casual skate when she gracefully executes a jump, but instead of sticking the landing, she falls flat on her face. As a fellow klutz, I really related with the Roller girl and immediately knew that this was the perfect shirt for me.

While the image was perfect, I was a little hesitant about the fit when I first pulled it off the rack. It has a loose boxy fit, which is usually a bad sign for me as a petite lady. I was pleased to find that while it does have a boxy fit, the shoulders and arm holes fit well, making it the perfect loose shirt without looking "too big". The hem also hits in just the right spot. I have a particularly short torso so a lot of tops are particularly long on me. On someone with a longer torso, this may fit slightly cropped.

I was really impressed with the quality of the material and the creativity, so I looked up the brand, Sadie & Sage. They are a small Southern California based clothing brand who's products are "100% Made With Love" and you definitely feel the love when you wear this shirt. Unfortunately, Sadie & Sage is wholesale only and Varga doesn't have it on their online store either, but I was able to find it here on a site called Dolls Kill (I've never ordered or heard of them before so I don't really know anything about them other then that they sell this shirt, which I suppose is a sign that they have good taste). I will absolutely be keeping an eye out for more shirts and products by this brand. Anyway, done raving about this shirt... for now.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

3 pieces petites should definetly buy in the kids department

There are a lot of advantages to being 4' 11 ¾"  tall, but shopping for adult clothes is not one of them. This obstacle has made me develop a love for the kids section. Most petite women are familiar with the idea that kids clothing is less expensive then adult clothing, but there is also a lot of clothing that actually fits better too! No need to worry about being limited to t-shirts with unicorns and rainbows (unless of course you're into that, which would make the kids section a sitting goldmine!), because now kids dress like mini adults. Today, its even easier to find trendy, adult styled clothing in the kids section, giving us petite ladies, endless opportunities. After years of shopping in the kids department, I've found that a few types of clothing in particular have the perfect fit and whenever I'm on the hunt for one of those items I hit the kids department first.


 #1 Shorts

For most of my pants and shorts I am almost entirely limited to the juniors section to find something small enough for me. My thighs are the biggest issue in the leg area. Most women's clothing have leg openings that are way too big for me, and the juniors shorts generally don't cover much of my thighs at all. While I love a good short short as much as the next woman, their not always appropriate for the occasion. A lot of girl's shorts are cut longer and the leg opening is more narrow making it the perfect size for someone with slender legs who is looking for a little more coverage. Bonus: I find that the kids clothes are made of less transparent materials, especially in white, so I was super excited to find some white shorts that were completely opaque. My go-to for shorts is H&M Kids, they were the perfect fit made from a sturdy but comfortable material and a good price. I bought the same ones in a couple of colors.
Via H&M
Via Old Navy
Via Gap


#2 Relaxed Sweaters

I love the oversized slouchy fit, but when a garment is designed to be oversized, it actually fits a petite lady like a 5 person tent. One would reason that a sweater designed to fit normally would then become an oversized sweater and it would be the easiest shopping trip ever! Makes sense, right? Wrong. Because their designed to be fitted they often taper in at the waist, so while I guess you could say it is still "oversized," it certainly doesn't look like you did it on purpose and instead just picked up the wrong size sweater.

Via Gap
Via Old Navy
Via Forever 21


#3  Tanks

Like oversized sweaters, loose fitting T-shirts that don't just look too big are hard to find.Adult sizes tend to be too long and the shoulders too big. Kids shirts offer a loose fit with smaller shoulders and shorter hems. Some also work great as loose crop tops. Some kids shirts are short enough to be a crop top with a little extra coverage. Generally if you're looking for a loose or oversized fit, the kids section is the place to be.
Via Forever21
Via H&M
Via Old Navy







Sunday, January 24, 2016

How to make it work with a too big waistband

Being a petite lady can make it difficult to find something off the rack that fits just right. Most garments fit giant and oversized, which, fortunately for us, has now become a popular silhouette, but I like to try out other styles too. For me a major issue is waistbands on everything: skirts, pants, shorts, belts, everything. Too many times I have fallen in love with a fabric or style and bought something that is too big, promising myself that I would take it apart and resew it for the perfect fit. Instead it just sits in my "to-do" pile unworn, either completely untouched or in pieces. So instead of being inspired to tackle these projects, I came up with creative (lazy) ways to fix the fit without completely reconstructing it. Here are a few of the shortcuts I have used in the past.


The Easy Elastic Fix

I instantly fell in love with the pattern of these shorts! It was a final sale item online, and typically I would never purchase something that I haven't tried on and couldn't return, but I just couldn't pass them up. Luckily, they were only a couple inches too big, so I was able to fix it with a piece of elastic I already had.

First I measured only the back side of my waist (not all the way around), subtracted 1 inch, and cut my elastic. Pin each end of the elastic on the inside to each side seam then pull the waistband straight so that the elastic is stretched all the way across, and sew the elastic down. This is easier to do with a sewing machine, but I sewed it by hand. You might have to get creative to stretch the elastic and sew at the same time. I held one end between my knees, stretched it with one hand and sewed with the other. You can also try hooking the waistband onto some heavy furniture, or asking a friend to hold it and chat with you as you sew.

When you're finished, the back waistband should slightly gather and fit snugly, but not too tight. This works best with thin, flowy fabrics.



Put a Belt on It


I bought this skirt quite a few years ago with false hopes that I might still be growing. I've probably grown about 1/10 of an inch since then, so needless to say, its still pretty big. This trick is similar to the elastic fix, but less permanent and quicker. It's pretty simple, you just put a belt on! The trick to making it work is to make sure the fabric is evenly distributed so that it looks intentional and not just bunched up. I prefer to use a wider stretchy belt so that it covers more of the fabric and its more secure. This can also works for jeans that are slightly too wide, although jeans are less forgiving.

Poke a Hole in It

This tip requires a special tool, but it has so many uses! If you have a belt that's notch is not far enough to fit, you can use a leather hole punch to place a hole in the perfect place. Make some cool knots and tucks with the excess length.As a bonus, this also works for purse and shoe straps with a buckle.