November 22, 2012

Travel Diaries: What to Pack for a Caribbean Cruise

I'm going on a Caribbean cruise in a few days and I thought I'd share some packing tips with you as well as what I'm bringing.


Below are a few tips I've learned over the years. 
  • Know the dress code. It's always fine to wear shorts and tees during the day, but there are ususally at least one or two formal nights that you should plan for.
  • Dress for the destinations. Think through all the possible scenarios you could experiencelounging on the beach, snorkeling, kayaking, hikingand plan your outfits accordingly.
  • Bring layers. No matter how close to the equator you are, it's going to be freezing on board in the dining room.
  • Plan for two outfits a day. One for the day and one for the evening.
  • Mix and match. Stick to one color palette and choose items that you can remix to get more than one wear out of them.


Below is a sneak peek of a few things I'm bringing on the cruise. I stuck to bright colors, fun patterns and lightweight, comfortable fabrics. Stay tuned for the cruise outfit posts coming in a week!

For the flight:

Shirts + accessories:
Tops + Accessories

Bottoms + shoes:
Bottoms + Shoes

Here's the complete list of what I'm packing:
  • 3 shorts
  • 3 skirts
  • 5 dresses
  • 3 blouses
  • 5 tees
  • 2 tanks
  • 1 sweater
  • 3 bathing suits
  • 1 pair board shorts
  • 2 pairs of dress shoes (one bright, 1 neutral)
  • 1 pair of sandals
  • 1 pair of flip-flops
  • 1 pair of water shoes
  • 2 pairs of sunglasses
  • 1 hat
Readers - Do you plan this much before going on a vacation? Is this overkill?

November 20, 2012

J. Crew Excursion Quilted Vest Review

J. Crew Excursion Quilted VestJ.Crew Classic Mini in Felted WoolJ.Crew Factory Skirted Dress Coat; Hue Tights; J. Crew Perfect-Fit Long-Sleeve Tee; Banana Republic Factory Flats; Color Bubble BIB Statement Fashion Necklace - TurquoiseSelima Sun for J.Crew Sophia Sunglasses; Factory Enameled Dot Bangle  

I built this outfit around the Excursion Quilted Vest in Herringbone from J. Crew. I'd been looking for a vest that I could wear to casual events in lieu of a winter jacket and when I saw this option from J.Crew, I fell in love. It has an old-school vibe from the tweed pattern, but the double zipper and black trim give it a more modern twist. I thought I'd be able to pair it with a lot in my wardrobe. 

I ordered a small hoping it would be provide more shape around my waist than in the picture on J. Crew (see here). Unfortunately, it didn't work. The vest is too big and it isn't tailored around my waist. This makes my waist look like the same width as my hips. As a taller girl, this is a big faux pas. People call us big already, so the last thing we want to do is wear over-sized or ill-fitting clothes.

Overall, here are my thoughts:
  • SIZE: The jacket fit fine in the arms and the length was fine, sitting just on my hip. 
  • FIT: There was little to no shape around my waist. As a tall girl, it's extra important to accentuate our smaller areas to make us look more feminine and prevent us from looking "bigger". I hate it when people say that! 
  • MATERIAL: The vest is made of polyester and is filled with a thin layer of down. When I took the photos it was in the high 30's and I was definitely colder than I thought I was going to be.  
  • DETAILS: I love the double zipper, standing collar, and black trim. 
  • COLOR: I LOVE the pattern and the neutral hues make it an easy item to pair with.
While I think this vest could be tailored to give it more shape, I think I will end up returning it and seeing if a smaller size does the trick.

Readers - Have you had any luck with puffy vests?

November 14, 2012

Outfit Ideas: Red Mini Skirt + Pop of Plaid

J.Crew Classic Mini in Felted Wool
J.Crew Classic Mini in Felted Wool; J.Crew Perfect-Fit Long-Sleeve Tee; J.Crew Factory Classic Button-Down in Flannel; Hue tights; Aigle Ecuyer Riding Boots; American Eagle Necklace; H&M Earrings
J.Crew Classic Mini in Felted Wool
J.Crew Classic Mini in Felted Wool
J.Crew Classic Mini in Felted Wool

I decided to start a regular type of post called "Outfit Ideas." These posts can be thought of as inspiration and likely won't contain the tall tips and tricks you're used to seeing in my other posts.

I wanted to start this type of post for a couple of reasons:

  1. Not everything I wear is a tall size. I'm actually on the shorter side of tall and therefore wear a considerable amount of regular-sized clothing.
  2. I haven't been posting as much as I'd like because I feel like every time I post, I need to share something monumental or inspirational (it takes me a lot longer to put together a thoughtful post). I'd rather be more consistent in posting than only posting once in a while.
Now, let's talk about the outfit I'm wearing above. 

I wore this ensemble out to breakfast on Sunday morning. I tried pairing plaid with a bright red skirt and I love how the thin red stripe in the plaid shirt matches the red skirt perfectly. This helps to pull the outfit together. I'm also loving how seasonal this outfit feels. All I need is hot chocolate and Christmas songs. Is it too early for that?

If I wear this again, I would try flats instead of boots to give it a softer, more feminine look. I feel like fats would also make my legs look longer because they wouldn't truncate my leg at my knee. 

November 10, 2012

Review: J.Crew Factory Skirted Dress Coat

J.Crew Factory Skirted Dress Coat
J.Crew Factory Skirted Dress Coat; J.Crew Sandwashed Silk Tee; J.Crew City Mini Skirt; Anne Klein Zya Pumps; Selima Sun for J.Crew Sophia Sunglasses; Hue Tights
J.Crew Factory Skirted Dress Coat
J.Crew Factory Skirted Dress Coat
J.Crew Factory Skirted Dress Coat
J.Crew Factory Skirted Dress Coat

Above, I'm wearing the J.Crew Factory Skirted Dress Coat in Viridian Green. After a number of discounts and promo codes, I bought the coat for well under $100 which is pretty reasonable for J.Crew Factory and for a winter coat. Here are my thoughts:
  • SIZE: Because I have rather small arms and a small chest, I ordered a size 2. Even though I had tried on other J.Crew Factory jackets in the past, I was worried that the sleeves might not be long enough. Luckily, the sleeves measured to be about 24.5" and fit me perfectly. The length of the coat is obviously shorter on me than intended (I'm 5'10"), but again, I don't mind.
  • FIT: The waistband hits me a little bit higher than it's supposed to, but I kind of like how it becomes more of an empire waist, which lengthens my legs. The coat is particularly slimming, thanks to the a-line shape and gathering at the waist.
  • MATERIAL: The material is a combination of wool, polyester and viscose. It's certainly not the warmest winter coat that I own, but it's fine for the 40-50 degree weather. Additionally, it's fully lined.
  • DETAILS: The tabs at the cuffs add some interest and I think the collar is fun to wear popped. It makes me feel a lot cooler than I actually am ;)
  • COLOR: I LOVE the color. It's so fun, bright and unexpected. It will certainly cheer me up on a dreary winter day.
I know I'll be getting lots of wear out of this coat!

Readers - Would you wear a bright coat like this?