Tiny shoe find: Payless Girls’ Fynn Ballet Flat

How long have I been looking for a new pair of black flats? Probably no fewer than a million and a half years. My search grew more active in the past few weeks because I’m going to Ireland in less than a month and I really needed to find flats that would be comfortable enough to wear sightseeing but decent enough to wear out for a night on the town. Also important? I wanted the cheapest pair I could find. Yes, black flats are a staple and worth investing in, but I wanted a pair that I wouldn’t mind ruining in the mud that comes with Ireland’s near-daily rain, or, to be honest, leaving behind to make more room in my suitcase for souvenirs!

I went Ireland-shoe hunting last week and struck out at Target, Dillard’s, Macy’s and a few other stores before finding the perfect pair in the most unexpected place: The kids’ aisle of Payless.

These flats are pretty much everything I wanted. They’re the rare pair of children’s flats that are not boxy and awkward but rather fit like normal women’s shoes. They’re simple, but I love the pleats, and they’re cut high enough to avoid unsightly “toe cleavage.” They have a great, sturdy non-skid rubber sole, which should keep me grounded on slick streets and not wear out like the soles of some flats (I’m looking at you, Missoni for Target). And, at $14.99, they’re completely mud-friendly! Awesome.

It’s hard for me to give you an idea of how these run, size-wize, because I wear anywhere between a 5 and a 6 in adult sizes, but I can tell you, definitively, that I am a size 3 in children’s shoes. Here’s the Fynn flat next to one of my (new!) Converse All-Stars, also a children’s size 3. Hope that’s some help for figuring out how they would fit you!

You can buy these in black here, and the site has them in white and brown, too. They also have the same shoes in adult sizes, 5 and up, here, but they’re pricier at $24.99. Still, though, a steal for a cute, comfortable pair of flats!

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Shopping win, and a shoe acquisition

We have several Marshalls stores in my area, but I don’t visit them very often — I’ve always had trouble understanding their organizational system, and stores I don’t understand make me nervous. But I’ve been on the hunt for new shoes, and Jean from Extra Petite posted a few weeks back that TJ Maxx/Marshalls is good for “chic shoes in extended sizes,” so I thought I’d give it a try. Turns out I’m taking Jean’s advice on everything from here on out, because I struck gold at Marshalls. Not shoes, but still gold.

Because I am your standard college student, I live in jeans. Unfortunately, I never seem to find jeans that fit me well. In the past few years, I have found two styles that I’m happy with: Old Navy’s The Flirt Skinny, which no longer exists, and Levi’s 524 Boot Cut, which runs about $46 a pair at Carson’s, a store that doesn’t let you apply coupons toward Levi’s. I thought I had found a great deal Monday, when I found a pair at Kohl’s, where I could use a coupon and get them for $34.

Marshalls today? $16.99. And in a better wash, too. I almost fell over. I bought two pairs, thinking I can get one altered for heels and one for flats.

$16.99 darker-wash pair from Marshalls, left; $46 ($34 with coupon) pair from Kohl's, right.

So yeah, that made my day.

Then, success part 2: I found a pair of shoes at the Famous Footwear next door. My shoe priority was a pair of black shoes that looked nice but were easy to run around in (a.k.a. journalist shoes). I had planned to just get new flats, but I found Oxfords in my size on the clearance rack, and I couldn’t pass them up.

I’ve wanted Oxfords for a long time, and I’m so glad I finally found a pair! Admittedly, I’m not sure how to wear them with anything other than pants, so I’d love some advice there. I want to try them with dress shorts — any tips? Also, I instinctively bought normal black laces to dress them up, but the ribbons are quickly growing me. Should I keep them?

Anyway, I didn’t get around to the hours-long mall adventure I had planned for the day, but I had a pretty successful 2-hour trip. Cheers.

Oxfords: Hot Kiss Oxy in black, sz 5.

Going green for Earth Day (sort of)

Earth Day isn’t technically until the 22nd, I think, but my town apparently decided today was a good day to celebrate. We had a beautifully sunny day, and a great festival. A few blocks were closed off for vendors to set up with food, pamphlets, crafts and the like.

I kept an eye on the jewelry tables in search of something turquoise, because I’ve been looking for a turquoise necklace for a while (Okay, since Nina Garcia recommended it. I’m slowly but surely chipping away at that Hundred.). It’s been difficult finding something I like — most of the turquoise at Forever 21 is part of “hippie”-looking jewelry with feathers and such, and more simple-looking pieces at other stores have been expensive. But! I found the perfect necklace today.

The detail in this picture is not fantastic, but you can kind of tell that it’s pretty and kind of delicate, but also intricate — lots of curls and twists and nice accents. The turquoise is pretty and gives a pop of color, but it isn’t “in your face,” either. Perfect for me. And only $10, supporting a local craftswoman! Love it.

Outfit for the day? I needed something that was cute and put-together in case I ended up doing work stuff, but I also had to look casual enough to fit in at an Earth Day celebration (very, very laid back atmosphere). I kept it simple — denim skirt and sandals, and a green shirt to fit the theme.

Sorry for the awful pic — people walked in on my retake, so I had to stick with this.

I love that the majority of this outfit is old. I’m fairly sure I wore this top/cami combo for picture day Sophomore year of high school (okay, that’s four years, which isn’t a long time in real-world time, but it’s an awkward time frame). I’ve had the skirt since eighth grade, but I just started wearing it last year — I think during high school the only acceptable kind of denim skirt is a mini skirt, not something knee-length and flouncy. Now I wear it all the time.

The shoes are the only recent purchase. A “tiny find,” I got them from the kids’ aisle at Target last spring. Twice last summer, I saw small children wearing them at my job. Always a fun time. The stones are not quite turquoise — more green than blue — but when my feet and neck are so far apart, and there are plenty of clothes between, it works.

Shirt — Carson’s. Cami — Aeropostale. Skirt — Gap. Sandals — Target. Necklace — Handmade locally.

Finally! A Little White Dress!

You know how there are those things that you think for months, “I need one of those?” But you just can’t find one that works for you? That was me and the Little White Dress. I’ve wanted one for a while, and it was on my to-find list on my big shopping adventure a few weeks ago, but it just didn’t happen. They were all frilly or sheer or just fit terribly. So sad.

But! Today I had a few hours to kill, so I decided to pop into my town’s two resale shops. The first one was not so great, though I might try to sell some clothes there. At the second one, though, I struck gold. An adorable American Eagle Little White Dress — in my size! — for $10. Plus, it has POCKETS. As you know, any dress or skirt with pockets gets huge points from me. I couldn’t pass it up.

It didn’t come with a belt, but I thought it needed one — it looked mildly little-girl on its own, so I added my brown braided ‘leather’ belt in hopes of making it look more mature. I love the way they work together — the colors work, and the belt adds some more shape to the dress, too.

Close-up on the fabric. Kind of floral-doily-thing, but not obnoxiously so.

If I keep it up with the brown belt, I’ll wear the dress with my brown leather sandals (currently being repaired, so no photo 😦 ). How do you style your Little White Dresses? Nina Garcia, who is apparently my new idol even though I’m still not really sure who she is, suggests metallic shoes, turquoise jewelry and a few other things in The One Hundred (which I should buy at this point, I Google tips from it so often). Turquoise was already on my to-buy list, and I think it would work well with the white dress and the leather accessories. Love it.

SHOPPING OVERLOAD.

Yesterday was an adventure. I had cleared my schedule and designated it the official shopping day of “Operation ‘Dress Like a Grown-Up.'” I ended up spending a total of 7.5 hours shopping, about 6 of them at my mall. This is a complete record for me — I kind of hate shopping, because I have trouble finding things that fit — but it went fairly well. I got some things I’ve needed for a while (cropped denim jacket! white blouse!) and some good work-appropriate tops, too. I went to a ton of different stores. Some worked (LOFT, Gap, H & M) and some didn’t (I didn’t even make it in the door at Ann Taylor — all I could see were neutrals, so I fled).

What I got:

  • Cropped Denim Jacket
  • One skirt
  • One pair of nice black pants
  • Four blouse-ish tops
  • One casual tank top
  • One cardigan
  • One sweater
  • One pair of shoes
  • One necklace
  • One pair of earrings

Ready to see them? Read on!

Jacket: Gap Cropped Denim Jacket, XS (full price online, but it was on sale in store). My prize find of the day. I have wanted a cropped denim jacket forever, to wear with all of my dresses. This one was on sale for $27. You really can’t beat that. Skirt: Forever 21 Breezy Floral Skirt in Cream/Pink, S (also available in black and navy). My mom bought this for me, actually, which proves that she has better style than I do. You can’t really tell from the photo, but the cut is extremely flattering. (Yes, fine, this is not a “Grown-up” outfit, but I really like it so I put it first. The adult stuff is coming, I promise.)

Top: LOFT Petite Soft Peasant Tee in Coral Glow, XSP (also available in turquoise, brown, green & white). It looks red here, but it’s more of a pinkish-coral color. Skirt: Banana Republic skirt I found at Goodwill the other day, 0.

Top: LOFT Petite Ruffle Neck Blouse, 0P. I’ve been looking for a white blouse, and I like this one. It’s a bit sheer, but with a cami underneath it works fine. Pants: LOFT Petite Marisa Pants, 00P (can’t find on the site, but similar here). They claim they’re supposed to be long, don’t hem them, but they’re about an inch too long on me. Super soft, though.

Cardigan: LOFT Petite Front Pocket Cardigan, XSP (Normally $45 — on sale now for $20! Also in navy online, store had black and brown as well)

Top: New York & Company Ruffle Trim Mercer Tee in Web Gray, XS (also available in black and raspberry). I wanted a ruffled top because my roommate always wears them to work and looks great. This is the best-fitting one I found all day.

Top: H & M Blouse (no online shopping, boo). The photo is terrible, sorry. I promise it’s more flattering in real life.

Sweater: Gap Cable Knit Sweater in Heather Gray, S. I felt silly buying a cable-knit sweater on March 31, practically spring, but it was beautiful and soft and on sale, so I had to have it.

Top: Pacsun Kirra Gauze Braided Strap Babydoll Cami in “Hot Pink,” XS (also available in pink, purple and a purple/blue floral). My one “silly purchase” of the day, but if this doesn’t scream “I’m moving to California,” I don’t know what does.

Accessory finds: Forever 21 Itty bitty Cameo necklace (I made that name up, can’t find it online, but you can get its fancypants big sister necklace here). I also bought Forever 21 Faceted Rhinestone Studs.

Shoe Find: Target Merona Makana Cutout Sliver Wedges in Pewter, 5 1/2 (Also available in red, yellow, blue, white and black. Full price online, but on sale in my store). I love everything about these shoes. The metallic color is cool, and you all know how much I adore wedges. Plus, the way my nail polish shows through cracks me up. I’m wearing a coral-ish shade now, left over from the wedding, but I can’t wait to see how these shoes look with my standard electric blue.

Also: I finally bought the bullet and bought a bikini, but if you think I’m modeling it for you, you don’t know me very well. I can’t figure out how to link to it directly, but if you check out Aerie’s Swim Guide, it’s the navy ruffly eyelet one.

So, that was my shopping extravaganza. I might shop a little bit today, because I’m going into the city, but after that I’m done until summer.

How do you think I did? Did I make good work-wear purchases? What else do I still need?

PS — I’m experimenting with different ways of giving outfit information. This post was loosely modeled after the style over at Extra Petite, with the links and such, but I also like the simpler style of Style Pint. Opinions?

Goodwill Hunting

(Parade of the lame titles. Never ends.)

We talked yesterday about how I see a lot of my fellow bloggers shopping at stores I can’t afford, like Banana Republic and Ann Taylor and such, and so I was worried about putting together an “adult” wardrobe. I’ve also noticed a lot of people saying that they’re getting things “thrifted.” With these two ideas in mind, I decided to pop into my local Goodwill this afternoon. I’d never been in there before, but I had some spare time, so I decided to take a look. Best. Idea. Ever. I found a ton of things I wanted, and only three that fit, but still. Ready to hear about my pro find?

On the skirt rack? A beautiful Banana Republic pencil skirt in a size 0. For FIVE DOLLARS. It’s too long, so I’ll have to pay a little extra for alterations, but still. These are usually $70 skirts. Mine will probably come to $20, max. Brilliant.

Current length — too long, yes?

Awkwardly tucked to where I'll probably have it hemmed.

I tried on several blouse-ish looking things from Ann Taylor and LOFT and Express, but none fit quite right. I ended up with this simple-yet-nice short-sleeved Gap sweater. I love gray, and it’s soft, so I was pleased with it (not to mention its $3 price tag).

The one less-practical purchase I made was this Cherokee cardigan, size XS. It’s way too bright to wear in a work setting, I think, and the fit isn’t perfect, but it was $4 and we all know I love argyle, so I couldn’t pass it up.

This last one isn’t a Goodwill find, just a recent purchase. I was out in a new town to see a movie yesterday and chanced upon the biggest Forever XXI I have seen in my whole life. Seriously. I almost wept. You know how those stores are always tricky to navigate because there’s so much stuff and they’re so unorganized? So, yeah, I was a little overwhelmed so I didn’t find much. But this skirt was just sitting out on a table, and when I saw it, I had to have it.

I love the length — long enough to be work-appropriate, but still short enough to be flattering. And look at the pretty print! All for about $14.

Today was a mini-shopping day — just the quick stop at Goodwill — but I have tomorrow cleared to run around town and buy, buy, buy. Using that checklist I put together to try to assemble a *~*Professional Wardrobe*~*. Wish me luck!

Tiny Find: Old Navy’s Skinny Cropped Pants

I know there’s a serious niche out there for petite fashion blogs. I’m 4’11”, size 0, so those blogs have a special place in my heart — I read them pretty often. I wouldn’t try to start one of my own, because so many others are already doing it so well — I love Alterations Needed, Extra Petite and Stylepint.

But still, once in a while, I’m going to find something that makes me really happy as a small person, and I’m going to post about it. It is so, so rare for me to find pants that fit perfectly without needing to be shrunk or shortened, so when I do, like I did today, it’s an exciting event.

Today’s find is Old Navy’s Skinny Cropped Pants. I grabbed a pair because I saw “cropped” and thought they might be close to decent — Old Navy’s pants are usually too long on me, but short enough that I can get away with rolling or cuffing them. When I tried these on, I almost fell over. They are, without exaggeration, a perfect fit.

They’re decent, wear-to-work material, and they come in black and gray. The leg is nicely fitted, not too tight but not baggy, and they’re just the right length to wear with flats. Plus, at $35 and no need to blow an extra $10 on alterations, they’re a steal. I might go back and buy another pair.

For your benefit, front and back views here. Sorry for the wonky alignment, the low photo quality and the wrinkly pants, but you get the idea.