my after-Christmas sale picks

The post-Christmas sales are aplenty, have you been browsing them this week? You’ll find my sale picks below of stuff I’ve been seriously eyeing for months.

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Top row, left to right: J.Crew flounce dress in wolfstooth, taffeta skirt in Stewart plaid & fair isle sweater.

Promo code SHOPSALE at J.Crew provides an additional 40% off on the items above. I have been eyeing the houndstooth dress and Stewart plaid skirt ever since they were released but refrained from purchasing due to my pregnancy. They are both under $50 now with the SHOPSALE code. Love the cropped length of the fair isle sweater, it’s a fresh update on this winter classic.

Bottom row, left to right: Madewell tartan plaid shirt, embroidered star jeans & metallic tank.

Promo code BIGSALE at Madewell provides an additional 30% off on my picks above. I hope someone buys these embroidered star jeans, they are so retro cool. The tartan plaid shirt is so festive and the metallic tank is the perfect holiday party layer or date night standout.

Have a great Thursday! xx

my top maternity tops

One type of maternity clothing item I’ve been largely avoiding is the maternity top. Instead, I’ve been acquiring non-maternity oversized sweaters and tops so I can wear them long after the pregnancy is over (blog post on that soon, but you can scroll through my blog posts since the early fall to view the various non-maternity sweaters and tops). Also, there are a lot of maternity tops out there that simply aren’t my taste. I stay away from tops with the telltale maternity ruching on the sides (I find them itchy) and those tops with the above-the-belly belts/overemphasized empire waists.

But one attribute that I really appreciate in a legit maternity top is the long tunic length. It covers all the elastic maternity panels (or under-the-belly exposure) of your jeans, leggings and pants. You can raise your arms with confidence that your belly or panels won’t show. You can’t really do this with a non-maternity top unless that top is a truly a tunic.

Here are my personal picks for maternity tops:

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Topshop maternity plaid shirt in olive.

I bought this 100% cotton button-down shirt in my usual pre-pregnancy Topshop size of US 4. It fits me perfectly. It’s very soft and I love the extra-long length. I plan on wearing this shirt post-pregnancy with leggings since it covers everything you want covered.

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Gap maternity striped long-sleeve tee in dark grey stripe and neutral stripe.

I am literally obsessed with these Gap striped tees. The material is so soft and cushy, it feels like a dream against your skin. I wear these a ton as my first layer under sweaters and blazers/jackets. I like the higher neckline too for keeping out the cold and for being a fab backdrop to your favorite necklace. I bought my usual pre-pregnancy size of XS and the fit is spot on. It’s definitely fitted though and will show off that pregnant belly, but in a very cute way. My favorite feature is the lack of side ruching and that it’s not a tent. I will be wearing these post-pregnancy, the long length is key and it doesn’t creep upwards.

I’m wearing the tee here.

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Kimi and Kai maternity zip collar sweatshirt in black (also available in grey or navy).

I purchased this sweatshirt in black (during Black Friday) in a size XS and it runs true to size. It’s longer on me than on the model in the stock photo, so I like wearing it with my fleece-lined leggings (everything is covered). You can leave the collar up all the way or fold it over. The sweatshirt has a flattering fit while being very cozy. You can also unzip the collar for a different look. Since it has no ruching, I plan on wearing this post-pregnancy.

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Liz Lange for Target maternity lace detail top in rose and wild fern.

I like this top because the shoulder area is nicely fitted and the lace detail in the front and the lattice detail in the back are very pretty and feminine in person. I have this top in a dark purple color (which has since sold out), but I think the dark green and blush pink colors are gorgeous. It’s currently on clearance for under $7, nice! This can easily be worn post-pregnancy and that is what I plan to do.

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Hope you liked my maternity top picks and reviews.

Have a great day! xx

my maternity jean picks

Good morning, how was your Christmas or Hanukkah? Hope you had a wonderful and joyous holiday with your loved ones. If you follow me on Instagram, I announced yesterday that we’re having a baby! We are beyond thrilled to welcome our little miracle in 2017.

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So, let’s talk maternity jeans. Jeans are generally the base of my wardrobe, regular and maternity-wise.

My online shopping strategy for maternity clothes in general was to pick retailers that allowed me to make easy returns at a physical store location and not to spend obscene amounts of money for clothing that would be worn for a window of time. And oh yeah, not frumpy or uncomfortable. I wanted to dress like me, as much as possible.

The fit of my regular jeans and pants were the first to be tested by my pregnancy. I tried less expensive jeans from Target and they did not work well for me. The length was too long and the overall fit was weird. I most especially did not like the fabric of the Liz Lange pair I had ordered. It was stiff and scratchy.

I decided to order a few pairs of premium jeans from denim brands that I already loved and had in my closet. I waited for them to go on sale or I could use coupons (e.g., Gap cash) as I loathe to pay full price for clothing.

As of now, there are five pairs of maternity jeans that I have purchased and worn on the regular. Please note that I purchased my usual pre-pregnancy size of 25 or size 0 for my maternity jeans. You will also notice I stuck mostly with the skinny jean style because I wanted to balance out my growing belly and the typical voluminous tops and sweaters I’ve been wearing during my pregnancy.

I also picked the side inset elastic panels instead of the full or demi-panel for my maternity jeans. I have a pair of full panel (where it totally covers your belly, up to the bottom of your bra) leggings and I really dislike the feeling of the panel fabric. It also doesn’t allow for your top or sweater to drape like it’s supposed to since it keeps sticking to the panel. I also thought I could do the half-tuck of my top into the jeans since there’s a button and fly (they’re usually missing when you have the full or demi-panels), but that hasn’t worked out successfully for me because I don’t want the side inset elastic panels to show. The only downside to the side panel is that you don’t get use of the front pockets since that’s where they place the elastic. You can’t win them all, I guess.

Here are my maternity jean picks:

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Madewell maternity skinny jeans.

I think these are my number one pair of maternity jeans. The fit and length are perfect for me and I love the drop-hem detail. The only sticking point is that the button and fly is ornamental only so you must pull them up and down like leggings. BUT, this is the same reason why I love these jeans the most. They don’t slide down while wearing them, at all. They stay put and I don’t tug them up like the rest of the jeans you see below. I hope they will fit until the end of my pregnancy and so far, so good.

I’m wearing the jeans here, here and here.

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Paige Denim maternity grey skinny jeans (more sizes here & here).

The soft denim fabric of this Paige pair is almost otherworldly. They feel like an old, favorite pair of leggings. I’m a huge fan of grey jeans so I was happy to find this maternity pair from Paige Denim. They are a little too long for my inseam but I just cuff them up. I really love the fit and feel of these skinny jeans.

I’m wearing the jeans here, here and here.

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GAP maternity legging jeans in indigo (also available in solid black and dark indigo).

These are the budget pair of the group and I recommend these Gap maternity jeans. The length and fit work very well for me and they suck everything in rather nicely. I like the high back to these jeans and fabric is substantial (more like traditional denim instead of legging/jegging material).

Since these Gap jeans were a very recent purchase, I’m wearing the jeans only here.

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DL1961 maternity cropped flare jeans.

These are my least favorite pair of maternity jeans but the only reason why is that I should have sized down with this pair. I have these in a size 25 but I bought these online from Shopbop and by the time I realized they had a loose fit, the return window had expired. Not a big deal because I do love the cropped flare (perfect for my sock boots and slipper mules) of the jean and it’s my only non-skinny pair of jeans of the bunch (it’s nice to have a relaxed fit some days). The material is extremely soft and very stretchy, they are ridiculously comfortable to wear. So, size down on this pair and be aware that the fabric is very stretchy.

I’m wearing the jeans here, here and here.

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Current/Elliott maternity black nearly skinny jeans.

My disclaimer for this black pair of Current/Elliott maternity jeans is that I don’t have this exact pair. I have a black pair of the maternity Stiletto jeans (that I love and are my second favorite pair of maternity jeans), but unfortunately they are sold out at Shopbop (where I purchased them). However, Shopbop does have a blue denim pair of maternity Stilettos available (here). Black maternity jeans are a must because they will be your dressiest pair of jeans and the elastic inset panels are the least obvious. So, you could wear a regular length top instead of the usual tunic length option.

To give you a general idea of black maternity skinny jean outfits, I’m wearing my Current/Elliott maternity Stiletto jeans here, here and here.

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Hope you found my maternity jean picks and reviews helpful.

Have a great day! xx

denim on denim

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Free People lace-up denim tunic (old, similar here, here & here); DL1961 Lara cropped flare jeans; Zara shiny sock boots.

Good morning! Here’s my denim on denim outfit from yesterday. This look is easy to do because you don’t need to worry about matching anything (since everything matches with blue jeans). Then I added some subtle sparkle with the sock boots. Done and done.

Have a great Tuesday! xx

grandpa cardigan

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Madewell Seedstitch cardigan in cabernet; Old Navy floral blouse (sold out, similar here, here & here); Current/Elliott Stiletto jeans in black; Vaneli ‘Bebel’ harness ankle boots in dark brown charm leather; Target neckerchief in dark red.

I’m very excited for this special time of year, I can’t believe Christmas is this Sunday!

This is a follow-up post to my last minute gift ideas post (read it here) and the grandpa cardigan is still on sale with an additional 25% off with promo code LATEBIRD. Free shipping at Madewell too, just sign up to be part of their rewards program (membership is free).

I also purchased the marled onyx color cardigan which is an almost-black grey. I sized up to a size Small (I’m normally an XS at Madewell) and the sleeves were comfortable over my long sleeve blouse (so glad I heeded the online reviews that the sleeves ran a little tight). There’s no wool fiber so it’s not the warmest cardigan on its own, but it’s a warm layer nonetheless. I also wore it under my puffer coat yesterday and I was not overheating at all, so it’s a worthy winter layer.

Love the slouchy drape and the front pockets, I’m pleased I finally found a flattering grandpa-style cardigan. And I paid well under $40 for each cardigan. I’ll be wearing these over my button-down shirts this winter.

Have a great Monday! xx

last minute gifts (on sale!)

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Petal earrings.

These pretty statement earrings are on sale at J.Crew and promo code HOLIDAY gets you an additional 40% off. I’m planning to wear statement earrings with my hair up and a cozy turtleneck a lot this winter.

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White chelsea ankle boots.

White ankle boots are really trending this season. I think it looks especially fresh with dark colored skinny jeans. This pair are also available in black and they are currently 40% off at Nordstrom.

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Seedstitch cardigan in marled onyx, cabernet and hthr sand.

Love this slouchy grandpa cardigan, bonus for the pockets. This is already on (final) sale at Madewell and promo code LATEBIRD yields an extra 25% off. The online reviews say the sleeves run a little tight so if you plan to layer this cardigan over a long sleeve shirt, you may wish to go up one size.

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Hope you like my picks. Have a wonderful weekend! xx

warm #ootd

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Free People oversized turtleneck sweater in navy (on sale here); Madewell skinny jeans (old, similar here & here); Vaneli ‘Bebel’ harness ankle boots in dark brown charm leather; J.Crew Playa earrings.

I’m so glad I got another Free People oversized sweater during Black Friday. I’m wearing my usual XS size and it’s a generous and flattering fit. It’s lightweight but there’s wool and alpaca in the yarn, so it is deliciously warm. Simply perfect for this polar vortex weather today. The sweater’s cozy turtleneck begs for a ponytail and statement earrings.

Stay warm! xx

sporty plaid #ootd

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J.Crew festive plaid shirt; GAP legging jean in dark indigo; New Balance 410 sneakers in black/white.

Today I went for comfortable and festive since Christmas Eve is only ten days away! I’m also dressing “light” before the polar vortex descends upon us tomorrow.

Happy Wednesday to you! xx

got velvet camis?

Hello, happy Saturday to you!

As promised, this is a follow-up to my earlier post about my recent J.Crew purchase of velvet camis (see it here). As you may recall, I originally bought J.Crew’s velvet camis in my usual size of 0. However, I returned them because they were too short on my longer torso. Also, the length did nothing for the ruffle hem of the cami and the cropped length of the plaid lady jacket. I didn’t want to give up on this gorgeous velvet cami however (it’s too gorgeous to pass on), so I ordered it in size Tall 2 in two colors–dark amber and brunswick blue (unfortunately, black and deep jade were sold out in Tall 2). They finally arrived this week!

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J.Crew quilted plaid lady jacket, velvet cami in dark amber; Current/Elliott Stiletto jeans in black; Mossimo Stacy stretch booties in black.

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(Left image) J.Crew quilted plaid lady jacket, velvet cami in dark amber; Current/Elliott Stiletto jeans in black; Mossimo Stacy stretch booties in black.

(Right image) J.Crew quilted plaid lady jacket, velvet cami in dark amber; Current/Elliott Stiletto jeans in black; Steven by Steve Madden Razzi mules in blue velvet (more colors here).

As you can see the extra two inches in the body length in the Tall 2 (left image above) was exactly what I needed to show off the ruffle hem under the cropped plaid lady jacket. You can see how short the regular 0 (right image above) was on my torso. Since it’s a camisole top, no need to worry about a tall size’s longer sleeves since there are none. I love it when a plan comes together. Lastly, I found the cami fits my chest better in the Tall 2 than the Regular 0 (no pulling across at all)–bonus!

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J.Crew quilted plaid lady jacket, velvet cami in brunswick blue; Current/Elliott Stiletto jeans in black; Mossimo Stacy stretch booties in black.

I’m very pleased with the brunswick blue and dark amber colors, both colors play up the rich velvet texture of the fabric. The amber reminds me of butter toffee and the blue seems electric and lit from within. They also seem to complement the plaid colors in the lady jacket.

This outfit is ready to go for my next holiday party, yay!

Enjoy your weekend! xx

swing dress reviews

This post is a follow-up to my earlier post regarding how I love swing dresses with over-the-knee boots and my recent online purchase of three swing dress styles. I had updated that blog post with my reviews as multiple deliveries were arriving, but I will copy and paste them here for your easy reference.

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Turtleneck swing dress in olive; Nine West longline cardigan in grey bouclé (old, similar); Stuart Weitzman Lowland over-the-knee boots in black suede (more colors/sizes here & here); J.Crew long oval link necklace in ecru (sold out).

This turtleneck swing dress is on sale for just under $30. I’d hurry in ordering this dress, limited sizes are available. Also, if your size is currently sold out, keep checking back for restocks. I *just* ordered burgundy and grey in my desired size. Let’s hope Nordstrom doesn’t cancel my order as they did for this dress in black.

For the price, I was impressed by the thicker t-shirt knit type of material which made the dress drape well and was soft against the skin. Nordstrom’s website description of the material is incorrect (listed as “100% acrylic”), rather the actual dress tag says its 58% polyester, 38% rayon and 4% spandex. I was hesitant about the acrylic because it always pills, but no such worries now.

Now, let’s talk about sizing. I ordered both XS and S for comparison purposes. The XS was too short on my body, the length hit at an awkward place on my legs. The fit elsewhere was good, but the overall look of the dress looked like I was wearing a child’s dress. The size Small was much better. I’m very pleased with the length and the nice slouchy drape of the dress in the S size.

I also wanted to note that I like these swing dresses much more than the popular Old Navy knit swing dresses. I had ordered several a few months ago and found the Old Navy swing dress to be even more short in length and the sleeves were too tight even though the torso was overwhelming with way too much fabric. Nordstrom’s dress is much more comfortable to wear and the fabric is nicer and thicker than Old Navy’s version.

I think this turtleneck dress looks great with my over-the-knee boots (the length is spot on). I also plan on wearing it with my ankle boots and flats for a variety of looks.

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Ruffle hem swing dress in huckleberry; Theory plaid poncho (old, similar here, here & here); Stuart Weitzman Lowland over-the-knee boots in black suede (more colors/sizes here & here).

This boho-style dress could easily be mistaken for a Free People number but this is at least half the price. It’s on sale for just under $40. I love this dusty shade of purple too.

I’m wearing a size Small in the photo above and it’s the right size and length for me. I also bought the XS for comparison purposes and the XS is too short for me.

This boho-inspired dress is a definite keeper. It’s light enough to wear all 12 months of the year and it possesses the most flattering drape ever. It’s seriously perfect with my over-the-knee boots and I love it layered underneath my plaid poncho. It makes for an easy yet stylish fall/winter outfit. The cozy factor is off the charts. All I need to add are my favorite opaque tights or fleece-lined leggings for when it’s sub-freezing outside. My layering game is strong, haha.

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Do you agree that relaxed fit shorter-length dresses are a natural pairing with over-the-knee boots? If so, I hope you found my reviews and photos useful.

Have a lovely evening! xx

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