Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Which Do You Prefer: A Jump for Joy or a Romp in the Sack?

Tis the season of higher hemlines and tighter textures. As a petite woman, these types of trends can be tricky. In the spirit of both trends, I've been scouring my closet for options that would fulfill another trend: the one-piece. I love a good romper or jumpsuit, even with the occasional hassle of almost completely stripping down whenever nature calls.

For petites, you need to consider three factors when purchasing a jumpsuit:

1. Length of pant - Nothing more than an inch above the ankle. Even with a nude sandal or flat, the shorter hem will truncate your legs and make you appear shorter than you actually are.

2. Width of pant leg - If purchasing a jumpsuit with a more fitted (or potentially tapered) leg, opt for something in a dark or nude color. These colors will lengthen and slim your body as long as the hemline reaches from the top of your ankle to right below your ankle. If the leg is wider, you need the length to be one to three inches below your ankle. This gives you the opportunity to wear a wedge (for a more casual look) or a thin strap high heel sandal (for a night time look) that will give you more height and proportion your body more appropriately.

Nasty Gal After Midnight Jumpsuit
3. Proportion of top-to-bottom - You MUST try on a jumpsuit. Particularly on petites, the proportions can be off and you will need to determine if you need alterations. The waistline should sit at your natural waist so that your legs look ALMOST TRIPLE the length of your upper body. The proportions would be 1 : 2.75 (top : bottom) on an average-sized woman (5'4" or taller). This is a model-type proportion, meaning that the goal for a model is to have her legs be as close to triple the length of her upper body for maximum aesthetic effect. For petites, though, a 1 : 2.5 proportion is more doable. For example, as a petite, from my shoulders to my natural waist I'm approximately 14 inches. For me to look "model balanced" in a jumpsuit the measurement from my natural waist to my hemline should be at LEAST 38 inches, making my whole jumpsuit about 53 inches total. That leaves enough room for me to wear heels that push me closer to model height. I'm 5'2" and in heels I'd be around 5'5" or 5'6". For a more tapered leg on the jumpsuit, I'd aim for a measurement of 35 or 36 inches from waist to ankle. This is more in line with petite proportions.

For petites, the additional factor should be considered when purchasing both a jumpsuit or a romper:

FABRIC! FABRIC! FABRIC! You want something that breathes and has movement. Cottons are best, with linens running a close second. The linens are harder to iron so make sure you're in natural or lighter colors to disguise the inevitable wrinkles. If you find a one-piece you love in a synthetic fabric, again, make sure the fabric is flowy or loose. The cutout trend is still popular, and can provide some ventilation for a less breathable fabric. If you decide on a strapless jumpsuit, make sure the bodice is structured so that you do not lose your shape. I don't suggest a romper for many petites, as it can look juvenile if you are very slender or inappropriate if you are very curvy. But, hey, if you're feelin' it, WEAR IT!

Below are some jumpsuit and romper options that are petite-friendly:

TFNC Plunge Bustier Jumpsuit
ASOS Bandeau Jumpsuit (available in petite sizing)

NY Collection Jumpsuit - Macy's

Topshop Jumpsuit
H&M Jumpsuit

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Independence Days

Happy 4th my dears! This post is a little different. For the last 24 hours I've been listening to the underrated Kelly Rowland's introspective new album "Talk a Good Game" and you can definitely tell that she's feeling a lot more independent these days. And it led me to thinking about my own independence. A little more than a year ago I walked (sprinted, ran, was dragged, was pushed) away from a relationship in which I felt very restricted. We both did. Walking on eggshells, watching our words, indulging in destructive behaviors... very unhealthy in the end. It didn't help that I was in the middle of my second year of teaching unpredictably difficult 7th and 8th graders. (Let's just say a student threatened to set the school on fire and start with my classroom. He was promptly expelled.) Needless to say, once all the dust settled and we each had spaces of our own, both of our worlds saw the sun again. And my 2012 Independence Day felt more personal than ever before.

I had my own place. I had my friends. I had my family. I had my Munki (for five days at that time). And I had this sense that I was the person I always wanted to be. And then I wanted more. I wanted to be more. See more. Accomplish more. Feel more. Think more. Connect more. My spirit exploded like fireworks. And even though, like a sparkler that's just been lit, there are times when my shine starts out as an ember, and has moments of dying down, I burst and dance and my furious fire burns through all the way to the end, having brought smiles and excitement to anyone willing to experience me. And vice versa. I have amazing people in my life. I have a crazy, amazing little lady love with four legs and immeasurable heart. I have a mom who makes everyone realize just how important, hard, and undervalued the responsibility of being a homemaker is (you try taking care of a house, bills, familial obligations, 2 kids - both with ADD and one with autism, and a small side business of tailoring/sewing/crafting). I have a great place to live with a great person to live with (shout out to Erin AKA Karisma).

So cheers to Independence Day. And cheers to a country that (mostly) allows us all to have independence! 

Feel free to share below what makes you feel independent! Celebrate yourself!

A Few Moments from the Last 365 Days of Independence

Munki, one year later (and 35 pounds bigger!)

At my cousin Zoe's graduation

A happy, fulfilled, and optimistic ME!

From my students on the last day of school. So sweet to say.

One of my favorite people: Thom!

With my ATG Mama Jenny and my soror/friend/roomie Erin before the Dalai Lama came out!

Dalai Lama at my alma mater University of MD, College Park; SO INSPIRING!

Celebrating 10 years of Alpha Theta Gamma Multicultural Sorority, Inc. with a few of my sisters!

Munki Love

My fave: Lupe Fiasco at The Fillmore with Erin!

Feel the love: Happy Valentine's Day from some of my students :-)

Working on my novel... hopefully will be done in 2014 :-)

With my lovely co-worker/friend Anna (who'd just revealed she was pregnant!)

With my Mama on Thanksgiving!

The incomparable Joseph Gordon-Levitt! (insert infatuated-teenager-style marriage proposal)

More Munki Love

Two of my lifelines: Vernice and Jasmine

The original school crew: Georgia, me, Lien, and Thom

My amazing brother Justin, who inspires me because even with autism he is now a working man at NIH!
You can overcome limitations and labels with perseverance, strength, patience, and support! I Love You!

My brother Chico's art at a Georgetown gallery

My brother-from-another-mother Chico 

My first quince with my former student Jessica

Munki's first 4th of July!

Right after ending a challenging year of teaching

Day of adoption: Munki HarleyQuinn Morgendorfer

Celebrating my friend Kara's 40th Birthday!

Full body shot of me and Kara (we looked fantastic, right?!?!)

Close-up of the DC Divas ;-)
My first purchase after six months of not shopping: a $10.50 pair of Banana Republic trousers (originally $89.50 - woot!)

With my cousin LT

My forever fave: Incubus (shirtless Brandon Boyd in the center) at the DC101 Chili Cookoff

With one of my favorite people EVER: Stephanie

Thanks kids! Now off to a new school to have an impact on the youth of my hometown: DC!!!

Monday, June 17, 2013 Paris


As someone without a passport, I spend lots of my time contemplating where I'll go first once the time and money align. Admittedly, I never had the sort of love affair with Paris that most girls have, particularly those with a similar affection for fashion. I prefer the allure of the whitewashed shores and hillside homes of Mykonos, Greece. Or navigating the crowds of a Chinese fish market. Possibly trading heels for flats for Rome, Milan, and Venice during a visit to Italy.

The main draw to France for me would be the architecture. And I will walk the Louvre before I'm too senile to fly.

Aside from that though, the women of France, specifically Paris (but of course!), are so effortlessly pulled together that people-watching is of Olympic level. I'd be awarded with gold assuredly thanks to my constant perusal of blogs and books that focus on the chic and offbeat of the French. My favorite designer Alexander McQueen always invoked the flair of France in his lines' designs following a five-year stint at Givenchy.

I recently read somewhere that French women tend to have style that relies on curated closets devoid of trends and plump with personality. They look at their closets and see a dress they wore earlier in the week and think how great it looked then and how great it would look today. Americans don't even want to be tagged on Facebook wearing the same tee if it's worn on separate occasions. As I surveyed my own wardrobe, it just felt... CLUTTERED. Even with a walk-in I still have enough clothes to almost fill three dressers. Taking inspiration from those European muses, I used a critical eye and purged seven grocery bags of clothes and shoes, ready for donation to my colleague's daughters. Soon, I'll explain how I did just that, but for now, know that you have lots of sartorial repetition to look forward to on this blog :-) I'd encourage the same for you. It's not just frugal -- it's French! Which is an acceptable excuse for just about anything.

Have fun!


Check out some of my favorite French reads below: - French Fashion Blog where writer Betty consistently infuses charm into her ensembles. Her street shots are typically my favorites. - French Fashion Blog with tons of photography images from around Europe. Love the mix of rocker, street, and girly style. The blogger is a professional photographer, hence the cool layout, dynamic images, and clever pairings. - from her hair to her smirk to her name, everything about this blogger is unique and poetic. Even her name - Coline - rolls on the tongue like a full-bodied red wine. I love how her photographs of the most seemingly banal items -- a shower rack, miniature bottles cuddled in the corner of her tub - are suitable for mounting boards and heavy ebony or cherrywood frames.

Monday, June 10, 2013

My Week in Photos May 31 - June 10

The last ten days have been quite a whirlwind! As the school year was closing, I was feeling less and less inclined to look like anything other than an ad for the local City Sports store. So I put together a fashion challenge for June so that I'd have some motivation to look halfway human during this lazy time of year. Between my eighth graders' promotion ceremony, the DC Pride Festival, a retirement party for two of my sweet co-workers, and our 7th grade awards ceremony, I didn't even want to think about grading finals, cleaning my classroom, or all of the chores around the apartment that still need tending to. More detailed outfit breakdowns are coming, but for now, here's a quick rundown of the more fun times of the last 240 hours :-)

Clockwise from left: with my eighth graders who I had as seventh graders; my polka dot OOTD; my black and white OOTD; with my chica Georgia at the DC Pride Festival; at home after giving myself a blowout; with my co-worker Danielle at the retirement party; with my co-worker Jim (AKA JT) at the retirement party (and, no! he wasn't one of the retirees!); with Thom at the DC Pride Festival; my "collar" OOTD (even though you can't see the collar, haha..... it's gold studs).

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Pink Polka Dots and Canary Yellow Cardigan

Cardigan: Old Navy (sale for $4.99); Polka Dot Blouse: TJ Maxx ($12.99); Black flared skirt: H&M ($17.95); Fuchsia pumps: H&M ($24.95)

This is a really quick post about the outfit I wore to work yesterday since I got a load of compliments on it. It's actually been hanging in my closet as a "potential" outfit for over a week now. We had a spurt of warm weather in DC and then were smacked with a straight week of rain and under 70 temps. Not exactly bare legs weather.

At the first chance I put on this outfit. I've been eager to wear this blouse again, as it has one of my favorite features -- a self-bow neckline. The top is super sheer and sleeveless, and since I'm a teacher, I put a tank underneath and a cardigan over top. I like the contrast of the yellow against the black and fuchsia pink. It really pops, especially atop a black flared skirt. I finished things off with a pair of fuchsia platform pumps that are in desperate need of some sort of "foot slipping forward" prevention pad.

Sorry for the wavy mirror. I left my flat mirror at my previous place. It looks great in the living room but isn't the best for outfit selfies :-) I am seeking a replacement! Hopefully one that doesn't resemble a fun house warped reflection of myself.

Happy Saturday, sweets!

Monday, May 6, 2013

A Couple Shades of Grey

Black tank: Forever 21 $2.50; Grey with black lace vest: Forever 21 (old); Grey stretch corduroys: Old Navy Rockstar Jeans on sale for $8.99; Nude studded pumps: Steve Madden from TJ Maxx $49.99

This past weekend was very ho-hum. I mainly ran errands and worked on sprucing up my bedroom in my new apartment with my friend/roomie/sorority sister Erin. I was needing a day of "dressing up" after two days of being in a tank and leggings, so even though my day consisted of popping into Target and returning a foldable table to my mom, I put a little effort into my ensemble. For some reason, just putting on a pair of fancy pumps is enough to lift my mood to a noticeably better level. You feel taller, walk a little straighter, and carry yourself with a little more confidence. And those heels are no joke. Though probably a half size too small, I could not resist their Valentino feel (at 10% of the original's price), and thus I forked over the cash to call them mine. It was a little breezy in DC that day so I threw on the vest for an additional layer of warmth and comfort. The microcords are easy to move around in, a necessary characteristic for a day of carrying tables and moving furniture.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Fifty Shades of Green

So despite the fact that it's the end of March, there is a slushy blanket of snow preventing Munki and me from having our afternoon run-around. To put me back in the mood for what the color of the season SHOULD be, I hunted down some green pieces that run the gamut from mint to hunter.

When styling green with other pieces, use the color chart below so you end up looking nature-inspired instead of like Peeta-inspired camouflage. (Yes, a "Hunger Games" reference!)

And if you're feeling really bold, you can do your own colorblocking or ombre effect by creating a head to toe green outfit starting with dark or light at the top and fading to your feet. Add a contrasting pop of color to be on-trend.


Check out some of my picks below. Everything is under $100!!!


H&M Maxi Dress $19.95
H&M Sheath Dress $34.95

Zara Gathered Dress $59.90

Zara Dress with Cutout Sleeves $89.90
Forever 21 Woven Sheath Dress with Belt $29.80


H&M Blouse $17.95
H&M Top $17.95

                                                                                   Zara Blouse with Zip Front $39.90

Zara Medium Height Sandal $79.90

Zara Suede Handbag $89.90

Forever 21 Heart Lock Shoulder Bag $24.80

Forever 21 Faceted Drop Earrings $4.80

I hope you saw some things that you like and are inspired to incorporate this beautiful shade from nature into your wardrobe this spring. It's a color that wakes us up and provides a fresh feeling to any outfit. Have fun experimenting with the variety of shades of this happy color!