Extra Petite is a fashion and lifestyle blog by Jean that provides styling ideas and shopping information. This blog also aims to share fashion suggestions and solutions for women who want to look stylish and feel confident at any height or size. Her style is still very office friendly most of the time, while also being very colourful and on-trend.
After being an Amazon customer for over a decade, I’m thrilled to work with them today and share my Prime Day picks! Thank you to Amazon for sponsoring this post. Out of curiosity, I did a poll on Instagram and it turns out 80% of you guys are already Prime members! So if you’re in that 20% and thinking about joining, you can sign up for a 30-day free trial (students get an amazing 6-month trial) and start accessing the deals. I’m a last-minute shopper and packer, and the free 2-day shipping (and free returns on apparel & shoes) that come with a Prime membership has saved us on more than a few occasions!
Quick note on my outfit: I found this maxi dress on Amazon Fashion, and although it’s not a Prime Day deal, it is very affordable and a compliment magnet! The design is petite, pregnancy, AND nursing-friendly plus comes in several beautiful prints. I adore how the full skirt flows and moves, and that the front buttons are all functional. I recommend getting your usual size (or size down), as the gathered waistband is extremely stretchy. XS was unavailable when I ordered, so I got a S which is big on me. The material does shrink in the machine dryer, and a S is floor-length on me post-shrinking with flats on (I’m 5 feet tall).
What is Prime Day
Prime Day is an annual 36 hour event where Amazon Prime members can find tons of deals & discounts in pretty much every category! It starts today (Monday, July 16th) at 3PM EST and ends tomorrow night.
Prime Day Top Picks
I usually first head to the Amazon devices section (which has some of the steepest discounts on Prime Day), then check out their fashion & travel department and kitchenwares! Delsey Helium Spinner Suitcases(Sizes: 21″ Carry-On, 25″ Medium, and 29″ Large) The deal: 30% off
So stoked to see our go-to checked suitcases on extra sale! The regular Amazon price is already discounted, and Prime members get an additional 30% off, taken at checkout. For checked luggage (which need to survive a serious beating on repeat), these Delsey suitcases have well exceeded our expectations, especially for the price. They’re lightweight, expandable, durable, and roll quite smoothly. We used our 25″ Medium one for years before buying a second one in the same size. The two bags can be rolled together easily back-to-back (see pic)!
If you’re a Samsonite luggage fan, this 2-piece suitcase set from them is on super sale (over 60% off)!
Kindle E-reader The deal: $30 off the entry level Kindle, and $40 off the bestselling Kindle Paperwhite
I’m FINALLY getting myself a Kindle Paperwhite after using the free app on my phone for so long! Over the past year I’ve really tried to disconnect from social media and emails before bed and instead try to “unwind” via reading, but when my books are stored on my phone, it doesn’t quite work out. The backlit screens on phones can also strain the eyes before bedtime, so I’m long overdue to switch to a reader device!
Theory Lanai blazer The deal: 30% off select apparel
I love Theory’s clean, collarless jackets (see similar on me). Their slim blazers in 00 regular usually fit me pretty well in the shoulders and torso, but petites may need to get the sleeves shortened.
New Balance sneakers The deal: up to 65% off, depending on the style / color / size
My good friend works at NB and recommends the stylish Coast V3 sneakers for casual wear, running, and studio workouts. The black color is the most deeply discounted at $23 (starting in sz 5), but all four colors are at a great price!
6 Quart InstantPot The deal: 40% off This is a Prime Day bestseller so don’t miss out if you are interested! We have the 6 quart one and I also gifted one to my mom last year. She literally uses it for every available function including pressure cooking, steaming, rice cooking, and even to make yogurt at home, whereas I mainly use it just to pressure cook stews and soups. I also recommend getting the glass lid (25% off) so you can easily pop it on to store leftovers in the fridge, and also use the lid for slow cooking.
I also wanted to point out another way to shop my Amazon favorites! A while back, I started congregating my most-used purchases over the years into this Shop page and have gotten SO much great feedback from you guys! This page includes my must-have garment care items (like a sweater shaver, petite hangers, portable steamer, etc), fashion finds, and random little knick knacks like my beloved microwave popcorn popper. I’m continuously updating this, so check out the “All Favorites” list to see everything at one glance. Remember to click on the little upper right corner icon for any fit / sizing commentary or my quick notes on each item!
My last month of pregnancy will be spent shamelessly repeating any outfits that still fit! When I’m not in stretchy dresses, this striped tee has been so soft and comfy plus lightweight in the summer heat. The draped peplum is forgiving even in my third trimester, so has been perfect on days when I don’t feel like fielding bump commentary from strangers ; ) I usually wear it super casually with my thinner H&M mama leggings (now on sale for $6!) and Nike Free Sneakers (sale colors).
Sidenote: My suitcase in 21″ is sold out at most stores, but I just found all the colors on sale at Neimans for 25% off! I steal this one often from Nick because it’s very low-maintenance (hasn’t gotten any scuffs or marks) and lightweight. They also make a pink one with floral lining!
Sale Baby Finds
Reading through your comments in my gift card giveaway post, it sounds like workwear and shoes are a priority for many of you (so I’ll definitely be posting more on those soon!), but there was also a surprising amount of interest in baby items! As promised, here are some top sale baby picks (with commentary from experienced mama friends) that I’ve purchased or received as gifts so far:
DockATot Deluxe Lounger
$137.90, originally $185
A rare sale on this mom-favorite baby docking station! Additional covers by this brand are pricey, but I found more affordable lounger and bassinet covers (to fit Boppy, DockAtot, Stokke, Halo, UPPAbaby, and several other brands) by Little Moose in TONS of cute prints! We received both the DockATot and the Snuggle Me loungers – the latter has a a sling-like design in the center that “hugs” your baby, whereas the Dock-a-Tot has a larger flat middle surface. Every baby is different in what they prefer (so we’ll find out soon), and I’ve heard amazing things from moms about both!
Mustela Newborn Gift Set
$22.90, originally $34.99
I bought some items after a friend raved about this brand! This is what she wrote for me to share: “Their products (made in France) are super gentle, hypoallergenic, and made of natural ingredients. We first tried their foam shampoo, which really helped when my baby had cradle cap / dandruff. Their cleansing products and lotion also keep my little one’s skin so soft!”
Aden + Anais 3-pack Silky Swaddling Cloths
$29.90, originally $45
My friends rave about these – despite the multitude of “easy” swaddles on the market with velcro and zippers, they say sometimes you just want a classic mutipurpose swaddle cloth. We have both the regular and silky swaddles, and the silky ones feel soo good. I “tested” one out and now love napping with it. The silky fabric is super lightweight, breathable in the summer heat, and generously sized.
Nuna Rava Convertible Car Seat (for up to 65lbs) or Nuna Pipa Lite Car Seat(for 4 to 32lbs)
Rava is $374.90, originally $500 // Pipa Lite is 25% off (on regular sale; not part of Anniversary Sale)
Nick and I have not yet settled on a stroller, but we did buy the Nuna Pipa car seat (not on sale) due to many strong recommendations and also since it’s compatible with the strollers we’re considering. Multiple baby store associates said Nuna car seats were their hands down pick for safety (due to more stringent European standards), comfort for baby, and ease of use.
We were originally going to go for their super lightweight Pipa Lite (on sale), but an important thing to note is the Lite MUST be used with the car seat base, so it’d be an extra piece we’d have to bring if traveling by plane. Two of our friends who were very happy using either the Pipa or Pipa Lite just bought the Rava at the Anniversary Sale price for their kids’ next stage.
Loulou Lollipop Teether + Clip Holder
$16.90, originally $26
From a friend: “My baby has loved his since 3 months. Other moms are always asking me where it’s from!” This one other design is not on sale, but I think every bubble tea lover needs it! (use with the interchangeable clip holder from the sale teether)
Make My Day Bucket Bibs
$11.90, originally $18
From a friend: “Cloth bibs get stained so badly once solids start, these are super easy to clean and adorable to boot. They’re made of a good quality silicone material that’s safe for baby, and you can even pop them in the dishwasher!” (I got this darling pearl necklace one, which is not on sale unfortunately)
Halo swaddle sleep sacks
$25.90, originally $40
We got SO many recommendations for Halo sleep sacks & swaddles (also lots of votes for Love To Dream swaddles which let your baby sleep with arms up). The Halo ones included in the Nsale are a premium quilted cotton muslin version, but you can find the regular cotton versions for $22 on Amazon (along with over 3,000 reviews)!
The Honest Company Baby gift set
$32.90, originally $50
From a friend: “I always have one of these sets on hand for a last-minute gender reveal party or baby shower gift. It comes nicely packaged in a wooden box, and all the products inside are good, but more importantly, practical for new moms!”
Stokke Tripp Trapp Chairin sale color (read reviews and see all colors) Save $63
From a friend: “Compact, sleek, ergonomical, and can be used for years as baby grows up. Just make sure to look into the different components because the base doesn’t come with the baby, toddler, or tray attachments.”
Zoli baby nail file
$26.90, originally $41
This set comes with extra filing pads for a lower price than the standalone nail file ($35)! From a friend: “This is a must-have for filing sharp little nails. It does take me a little time to file, but such a safer alternative to using clippers.”
EZPZ bapron & eating mat set
$25.90, originally $40
How cute is this milk & cookies apron set? I first saw these since one of my friends brings it on-the-go for her baby to eat out of. It suctions to a table or tray surface, and I like that it’s dishwasher and microwave safe!
I’m not shopping much for this pregnancy anymore, but there is a HUGE maternity selection in the Anniversary Sale including clothing and shapewear, nursing bras, support pillows and more. And in case you missed this maternity update in my big Nsale roundup post:
Ingrid & Isabel Maternity Active Pants
$29.99, original $78
These are NOT part of the Anniversary sale (so anyone can shop, cardholders or not!), and just got marked down 60% with all sizes in stock! These thick, sturdy leggings are my absolute favorite maternity bottoms for working out, travel, or running errands. Sz XS has lasted me from late first trimester through the third so far because the belly panel can be worn either fully up or folded down. And cropped length = no hemming needed! I have another pair of floral maternity active pants from Old Navy, but the panel only reaches mid-belly so is not nearly as comfortable!
In recent years, Bermuda has become the go-to babymoon capital for east coasters! It’s just a quick hop and a skip away (2-hour flight) from Boston, and even though it’s an island with white sandy beaches, it’s located well north of the Caribbean with no known risk of Zika. This was our first trip there, so I wanted to share some highlights from our short visit and also some things I wish we knew beforehand!
Sidenote, this BP scalloped tote bag (under $50) is back in stock this year! It makes a durable everyday work or travel bag (and I really load it up each time), especially on trips like this where I wanted something that can also withstand a little dampness if I took it to the beach or pool. The bag itself is lightweight and made of a faux “saffiano leather” that’s easy to wipe clean. See the size of this tote on me in this blog post.
Getting Around on the Island
There were so many little areas that we wanted to explore, like various beaches, caves, and other sights, but we didn’t plan ahead in terms of transportation. The island is small (~1 hour drive from end to end) but the attractions and major towns are fairly spread out. If you’re a “sit on a beach all day with book & drink in hand” type of traveler, then this is no issue! But if you want to hit up several attractions around the island, then I recommend renting a means of transit for a day of exploring. Visitors cannot rent a regular car in Bermuda, so the choices for getting around are taxis (pricey due to gas being over $8 / gallon), public bus, ferry, or scooter / electric minicar rentals. We would’ve loved to rent a minicar, but they were fully booked for a month out!
Some of the top spots everyone kept recommending to us include Jobson’s Cove Beach, Turtle Bay at Clearwater Beach, the Crystal & Fantasy caves (admission starts at $22 per adult), Aquarium & Zoo, and the Naval Dockyard. We didn’t make it to any of those, but did get to explore Admiralty House Park in Hamilton (a short $10 cab ride from our hotel), and thought it was a GEM! Almost all the locals we spoke to during our visit had fond memories of going to Admiralty with their families / friends and cliff jumping. There were cliffs of various heights for thrill-seekers, a shallow calm bay area where kids were swimming, and several caves to explore with striking vignettes like this one below. Note there are only a few port-a-potties there in terms of “facilities.”
The caves (above) + cliffs (below) at Admiralty House Park
Shallow swimming area // When the paved path ends, the caves are to the left!
We stayed at the Hamilton Princess on a press visit – thank you to the hotel for providing accommodations over the weekend. It’s located right in Hamilton (Bermuda’s capital) on the harbor, and within a 10-minute walk of the ferry, several restaurants, and some shops. The hotel has two pools on-premise and also a private beach club 20 minutes away (via a complimentary shuttle), so I’d recommend staying there if you want to have access to town and some nightlife options, and also a beach!
Note most restaurants in Hamilton (especially by the waterfront) were pretty pricey. We ended up eating at our hotel twice on the harbor, and walked into town once for some yummy Indian food at Ruby Murrys (note this restaurant is pretty dark inside, ambiance-wise).
Breakfast, afternoon tea, and early evening bites at the hotel complimentary for Gold Club members
Crab & thai chili pasta at Marcus Samuelsson’s restaurant (one of the hotel’s 3 on-property restaurants)
Water hammocks at the Princess Bermuda beach club (accessed via complimentary shuttle)
The hotel’s beach club is about 10 minutes down the road from the island’s most popular attraction, Horseshoe beach – it looked very busy when we drove by in the shuttle, so we didn’t head over. While at the beach club, we did follow some other guests on a walk along a little path (that goes behind the row of cabanas for rent) and found this spectacular view from above!
Those of you who’ve visited Bermuda, what areyour favorite beaches, restaurants, or hidden gems?
Happy Nordstrom Anniversary Sale day! “Bump” and I had fun shopping a preview, although I felt like a zoo specimen with gawks from strangers left and right and a multitude of “you must be due next week…or tomorrow!” comments ; ) Luckily, my feet have stayed the same size (bracing myself for the final month) so I made a beeline for the shoe department, and had my trusty measuring tape to gauge fit on everything else! Read on for my sale reviews, and a special giveaway at the bottom!
Most of you need no intro to Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale, but for new shoppers, it’s an annual event where new arrivals from popular brands are introduced at heavy discounts (sometimes 40% or more)! Prices go back up before Fall. I love that there’s always a huge range of sizes included (xxs / 00 petite clothes and size 4 and up shoes), plus free shipping & return shipping on all online orders.
When: July 12: Early Access begins today for Nordstrom cardholders! July 20: Public Access begins. Sale ends and prices go back up on August 6. How to shop Early Access:
Popular items sell out within a day or two, so if you don’t want to wait, you can apply for a Nordstrom card (one of the few store cards I have due to the benefits, like credit for free alterations). If approved, you can log in immediately afterwards to start shopping the sale online. Right now they’re also offering a free $40 bonus note after your first purchase.
If you’re not a cardholder, bookmark your favorites by logging in and clicking “Add to Wishlist” at the bottom right corner of each item page. You can still view sale items, but just can’t purchase until July 20th.
1. Blondo Waterproof Ankle Boots – $99.90, originally $150 – (4 colors, sz 5-12, TTS)
Blondo has been on my radar for a while for their waterproof boots! I was so excited to see fashion meets function in this very classic ankle bootie. The leather feels durable (“cognac” looks better in-person than online and is a true medium brown), the 2.5″ block heel is stable and manageable, and the ankle opening is not too gaping on me. I’m trying on a sz 6 (smallest in store) and ordered my usual size online. For reference, I take 5 or 5.5 in most shoes, and usually get the latter in boots to fit cotton socks.
There is also a taller, below-the-knee version of these waterproof boots which I ordered to try after seeing these magical words in the item description: “Shorter knee-high shaft; ideal for petite customers.”
2. Blank NYC convertible faux leather jacket – $64.90, originally $98 – (3 colors, TTS)
A thicker moto jacket that fit best amongst a whole bunch that I tried. The convertible aspect is just a bonus – simply button-snap the hood on for a more casual, street-style look. Blank NYC does a great job on their affordable, faux leather materials. The outer here is pebbled and fairly matte, accented with deep-toned hardware. The sleeve length on me is at the cusp of not needing hemming. Measurements of XS (the sturdy material takes up some thickness): 15″ across shoulders, 17″ across underarms, 20″ length, 23″ long sleeves. In comparison, this Blank NYC jacket that I have blogged multiple time is more cropped and “shrunken fit,” with narrower sleeves and a thinner material.
3. Cole Haan Tali Bow Flats – $99.90, originally $150 – (5 colors + leopard print, sz 4-12, runs 1/2 size big)
Super sleek, feminine flats that are perfect for work or regular wear. They make the feet look so dainty and the pointed front did not cramp my toes! Quality is very nice with leather uppers, leather lining, and a rubber sole. The only non-rave reviews are due to sizing, and I did find these to run half a size big (trying on 4.5 here). Color choice is tough amongst 3 versatile neutrals, a classic “pop of color” red, or the the gorgeous leopard with black bow.
This style also comes in a low, 1.75″ block heel pump! I think the “waterproof” in the title must be a typo though, as that would be too good to be true. Based on the item description, these might not run big like the flats do.
4. Topshop Jamie petite jeans – $49.90, originally $80 – (starts in sz 24 waist and runs very small)
Boy do I miss wearing my high-waisted jeans! I’ve raved about Topshop Jamie jeans so many times before (see older posts), as they do an amazing job of “holding” the tummy in for that super streamlined, leg-lengthening look. I saw these in-person and they are a slimming, true dark blue with a slight step-hem great for showing off your shoes or ankle booties.
Sizing info (can be confusing): First number is for waist, second number is for length. 30 length is considered “regular” and usually = a 26″ inseam or shorter, 28 length is considered “petite” and usually = a 24″ inseam or shorter. Waist runs very small so I would go up at least one from your usual denim size. Pre-pregnancy, I wore 23 to 24 in most jeans, but sometimes size 25 x 28 in Topshop would still be too snug.
5. Tory Burch Benton flats or low pumps – save over $80 – (sz 4-13, TTS)
Nordstrom had a similar version last year that sold out quickly during Early Access! Once again these are sleeker and more flattering on the feet than typical Tory Burch flats, as they have a feminine almond toe (vs. their traditional round toe), a smaller logo medallion, and show just a hint of toe cleavage on me. Plus they don’t have the unbearable elasticized back of TB Revas! These would also make a great work and commuting shoe.
6. Longchamp convertible tote – save $65 – (5 colors)
An NSale classic, this expandable tote also tends to sell out on the first day! I wanted to show the size against a 5 foot tall frame. When not expanded, the capacity is good for everyday school or work use. When expanded, it should work as an overnight or weekender bag. I have a few Longchamp totes and they are very easy to clean just by washing in warm water with a little soap, then hanging dry.
7. Sam Edelman Maurine Bootie – $99.90, originally $170 – (3 colors, sz 4-13)
Sam Edelman is one of my go-to brands for sandals and booties, but their prices can get up there. The introductory discount on these is huge! The caramel suede is a versatile neutral, and you can also adjust the ankle opening slightly with the buckle. I was worried the buckle might be uncomfortable but it is not at all (hits above my ankles), and the suede on these is so pliable and soft.
8. Barefoot Dreams cardigan – $76.90, originally $116
Another NSale classic that you guys absolutely loved in previous years! It’s insanely plush and soft, just note the cocoon length is a little long on shorter ladies (I have the sleeves cuffed up). I’ve gifted these to my mom and aunts and will likely be living in it myself post-partum. For a low-maintenance color, the “Pacific blue” actually seems very versatile and is more of a versatile gray hue! I reviewed both cardigan & cami here in more detail (also see it on me here).
10. Lancome Genefique value set ($150 for two 1.69 oz serums + small eye cream; $236 value)
Both Nick and I have been using this serum (apply under moisturizer) now since my relatives in China introduced it to us a few years back (they use it religiously over there!). I don’t believe in skincare miracles, but we both do feel use of this over time contributes to smoother and more even skin tone (and so far so good on fighting major wrinkles). This year’s NSale value set comes with an extra little eye cream, and it qualifies for the 7-piece PLUS bonus free gifts with purchase so you get a lot of freebies. You can split the value set with a friend, or give one as a gift. Read customer reviews for this serum here.
Okay here’s just one more … Diptyque mini candle set ($55; $75 value) – This always sells quickly! I get them annually for gifts (always very well received). And if you’re “gifting to self,” the scents go a long way with even a light burn, so the mini candle sizes last a good amount of time!
– 1. STATE leopard pump (also in solid colors) – $59.90, originally $90 – (sz 5-12)
I always get questions on my old leopard pumps, which are basically “neutrals” in my book! My local store did not have these, but this brand usually runs TTS for me. The low cut dip front + open d’orsay side is usually a very leg-flattering combo.
– La Canadienne Waterproof Stefanie boot – save $170 – (comes in suede or leather; sz 5-12)
Several of you have recommended this premium, waterproof boot brand to me over the years! My similar Aquatalias are still going strong, but I wanted to review these for anyone interested. I tried on a ton of tall boot arrivals in-store, and none of them were petite-friendly except for this style. There is still a 1″ gap or so at the top opening on me, but would probably be close with jeans or fleece tights on. The upper foot and shaft are insulated for warmth, and feel very soft and cushioned throughout. Nearly all the non-5 star reviews are complaints about a narrow calf fit, which is great news for ladies who need that!
– Nike Free RN shoes – $74.90 from $100 (3 colors, sz 5-12)
My all-time favorite sneaker style. So lightweight, stretchy, and comfortable it’s like walking or working out on air. The “rose / gunsmoke” color is a lot prettier in-person (more or a true rose pink than purple) than my poorly lit photo above!
– Nike Air Max Thea sneakers – $78.90 from $105 (sz 5-12)
Another popular, very lightweight sneaker with a more stylish, street look. This grey color is also lighter & nicer in-person!
– Zella leggings
Since so many of you are interested in (or are already fellow fans of) Zella leggings, I wanted to recap 5 different sale options here. I own and adore two pairs of the high waist live-in womens leggings, basically “living in” these pre-pregnancy:
My cousin, who’s the same size as me pre-pregnancy, has a few pairs of Zella kids leggings (Sale – $22.90) in size 10-12(L) and really likes them for yoga and light workouts! I actually never tried hers on – I felt them and noticed the material was definitely thinner, but if you don’t mind that, then their kids lines is a great price and may fit extra petite ladies without alterations! They also have maternity live-in leggings on sale with a 27″ inseam, and high rise “lite” live-in crops with a short 20″ inseam.
– Caslon high/low tunic – $29.90, originally $49 – (starts in xxs petite)
This slouchy fleece-lined top is back from last year, albeit in only a few petite colors! Looks very drab online but the slouchy silhouette and dolman sleeves are more casual-chic once it’s on!
– Leith ribbed cocoon cardigan – $45.90, originally $69 – (5 colors, xxs to xxl)
Similar style as last year but in a lightweight ribbing and actually a little shorter in length this time. I’m a big fan of slouchy circle cuts and this Fall-perfect brown spice (a beautiful burnt orange) color, but fit is still a tad long on someone 5 feet (I have the sleeve cuffed as well).
– BlankNYC suede moto jacket – $125.90, originally $188 – (2 colors)
Love the deep olive suede color, but XS fits a little big on me and sleeves would need hemming. Would recommend to someone who is usually a size 0 to 2. I have gotten the majority of my moto jacket sleeves altered though with zippers, so don’t let that be too big of a deterrent if you love everything else!
– Gibson drape front blouse – $45.90, originally $68 – (5 colors, starts in xxs petite)
Draped wrap blouses might be one of my all-time favorite styles. They look elevated paired simply with jeans, tucked into skirts, or with ankle pants for work. I have older favorites in this same look in black and white, so ordered this one in the green to try.
Before I dive into today’s post, I wanted to share two major sale dates coming up this week! I’ll be covering both the infamous Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (early access begins Thursday, July 12th bright & early) and Amazon Prime Day (begins Monday, July 16th noon PST), so mark your calendars to come check the blog! I’ve been combing through all the sale previews, and will be posting petite-friendly reviews and some of the best deals in fashion, home, and of course, some baby stuff (which I’ve been knee-deep in with research lately)!
On the topic of Amazon, this lace dress (comes in 3 colors) is one of my random finds from a small overseas brand that I typically wouldn’t order from directly. However, it’s currently Prime eligible (with free shipping & returns), so I had nothing to lose trying it on. I was pleasantly surprised – although the quality is not standout (but very fair for the price) and I did make some alterations, the dress is overall a very pretty piece that has garnered lots of compliments!
Cut-wise, this dress is not maternity but has a slightly higher waistband that can accommodate a growing bump. I’ve heard from several of you who were happy with it for either wedding guest wear, engagement photos, or for a bridal shower outfit! The length is intended to be “midi,” so works on shorter ladies without hemming needed. There is a side zipper entry, and the outer is an embroidered sheer mesh overlay with an attached nude lining that ends at the knees. Unfortunately sizing only starts in S and above, so will be wide on very petite ladies without alterations.
Size S measures: 15″ across shoulders, 17″ across underarms, 15″ across waistband, 13″ from the top of shoulders to top of waistband, 52″ total length, 22.5″ sleeve length. I got sz S and had the sleeves slimmed and slightly shortened via the armholes. Both the lining and mesh outer fabric have some stretch, except for at the waistband.
For our maternity photos we hired Lace & Luce, a sweet Italian-Canadian couple who were a treat to work with. Jen & Salvatore actually found romance by chance – Jen was vacationing in Italy and got a flat tire, Sal came to the rescue of the damsel in distress, and the rest was history! We did both a sunrise and sunset session with them in two different towns. This set of photos is from sunset in Ravello, which has the most stunning, sweeping views! Jen & Sal took us on a walking tour around town, hitting up several of these charming little nooks and vignettes. They also referred us to Kuts Flowers, a sweet florist who rents her vintage Fiat 500 car for photos. As I mentioned before, we adored our few hours in Ravello and would definitely want to spend a night or two there if we go back!
When planning our Positano visit, we knew exploring the gorgeous coast via boat was an activity we definitely wanted to do. I was debating between a private sunset rental or a small group boat tour for me and Nick, but after learning that my family would also be in town, we went with a private all-day rental, which turned out to be a blast. I got a lot of questions about our experience, so will try to answer some of them here!
When to Book
If you want to do a boat tour, I’d recommend booking in advance for the first few days of your trip. That way if the weather is poor, you have a few backup days to reschedule.
Boat Tour Company
I emailed a couple different companies, and Blue Star Positano was the most responsive with the best reviews on Tripadvisor. It’s run by a husband & wife team – Elisabeth was warm and helpful leading up to and during our visit! In disclosure, after I completed our booking, I mentioned that I’d be writing about the experience, and we ended up receiving a discounted rental. You can also get a discount on private rentals if you book direct and pay in cash. I’d highly recommend them, as my family loved the whole day from start to finish (and my aunts took a few hundred too many photos to show for it)!
Excursion Options (Group vs Private)
Small group tour:
9AM to 5PM, 80 Euros per person, max 12 guests on the tour
Private boat rental:
10AM to 5PM, starts at 900 Euros depending on the boat, max 12 guests on the boat
You can read more about group vs private tour options here, but if you’re traveling with less people, I thought the small group tour was a great price for a daytrip (for reference, a speed ferry ticket to Capri is over 20 Euros per person, one way). For a private rental, you get the freedom of choosing your own path and stops. The two popular routes are the same as what’s offered for the group tour: either to Capri Island or along the Amalfi Coast. We ended up choosing Capri, but I’m sure you also can’t go wrong exploring the little nooks and beaches along the Amalfi Coast.
Our Trip Itinerary
Our private boat had a bathroom, a nook downstairs with a bed for resting, and came stocked with cold beverages (including water, prosecco, beer) and snacks for us. Here are some of the stops & highlights from our day trip between Positano and Capri:
Stopped at Capri Island
Because my family had never been to Capri, we chose to dock and disembark for about 2 hours on the island. From the marina, you can either take the funicular cable car (2 Euros) or a taxi (~30 Euros) into Capri town center. It was very crowded with tourists by late morning, and for a short visit, there wasn’t much to do other than browse upscale designer shops and eat gelato (they make the cones at this place right in front of you!). In hindsight, I could’ve done without this stop and spent more time either on the boat or at a coastal beach!
Left – in Capri town center (dress details)
Right – one of the little grottos we stopped by for a peek
Sailed around Capri island
After getting back on our boat, we leisurely sailed around the island hitting up some popular sights like the Faraglioni rock formation (below) and a little green grotto (above). Based on reviews, it seems like each of the captains are very knowledgeable about the area, and can talk to you as little or as much as you want about the history and different sights. We opted not to do the blue grotto, as it was 14 Euros per person with a long line of boats waiting.
Docked for lunch at a small fishing village
Elisabeth of Blue Star recommended stopping by Nerano, a small fishing village on the route back (between Sorrento and Positano) to get their local specialty dish Spaghetti alla Nerano. Our captain helped coordinate with Il Cantuccio, a restaurant right on the water, and a little boat came to shuttle us from our boat to the restaurant dock.
Took a shuttle boat to shore for Spaghetti alla Nerano (with zucchini & parmesan) – yummy!
The chewy texture of the fresh noodles with lots of parmesan, fresh basil, and zucchini chunks was a hit with my whole family (half portions pictured above)! Be sure to ask for the menu there and order off of it (or stick to the delicious zucchini noodles), because we had a little misunderstanding. Upon arrival, the waiter asked if we liked fish – I said yes, not realizing that would count as ordering! We never saw a menu and he ended up bringing everyone the same fish that turned out to be quite pricey (albeit good).
Cooled off with an ocean swim
My cousin wanted to swim, so our captain sailed us to a quiet little area with calm waters (and lots of little fish) to jump into. Our boat had plenty of floatation devices and pool noodles for guest use. The water was cool in late May, but should be better to swim in June – August.
Spotted dolphins while watching sunset
We extended our day rental (150 Euros for 2 additional hours) so that we could enjoy sunset with my (photo-obsessed) family! You won’t see a full out sunset on that side of the coast, but the colors do get pretty and the lighting became soft for iconic photos between 6 to 7PM. A completely unexpected surprise was getting to see dozens of dolphins swimming and jumping alongside our boat on the ride back to Positano – couldn’t have asked for a better end to the trip!
I’ll have a blog post about our Bermuda trip soon, but this was one of my favorite looks while in the colorful town of Hamilton! This tile print maxi dress is from Bloomingdales’ exclusive Aqua line. It’s non-maternity but the elastic waist makes it very bump friendly, and the same print comes in a peplum top that can also accommodate a growing bump. Both the dress and the top have adjustable shoulder straps – a key feature for helping sleeveless items fit better, especially on petite ladies!
I also wanted to share a little temporary tweak that I made to this dress. For someone who is not pregnant, I think this dress would be proportionate as-is since the top tier hits around my natural waist. But since said waist is now very protruding with a third trimester bump, I wanted to visually draw the waistline upwards to a narrower part of my body. I used temporary hemming tape and some safety pins to secure the top tier of the dress a few inches shorter (after folding it under and ironing flat), so that section now ends below my bust empire-style. You can also just use a loose stitch to hem the top part and take it out later on.
Fit-wise, I’m wearing an XS in this maxi dress so would say it runs true to size if not slightly roomy. The elasticized waist measures 13″ across when lying flat, and stretches up to 18″ across. The dress is good quality in a cool & comfortable material that does not wrinkle easily, and is lined. The shoulder straps tie in the back, and I have them secured pretty short to help “lift” the entire dress and raise the hemline (for reference, I’m 5 feet tall and wearing block heels here).
In lieu of a finicky strapless bra, I’m wearing my trusty adhesive Bristols 6 nippies (in the lightest color, sz B) which I live in each summer! And my exact Baublebar earrings are sold out, but here are two other pretty pink threaded options at a great price right now: Samba ball drop earrings and hoop drop earrings.
Here’s a few other affordable Aqua pieces that seem petite-friendly (based on reviews / fit on the model):
Thank you to Bloomingdales for partnering on this post.
Happy Fourth! We just got back to sweltering Boston and spent the morning up north doing one of our favorite activities – picking delicious fruit at Parlee Farms! Over the years, we’ve enjoyed picking fresh peaches, berries, apples and pears at local farms, but cherries are a first for us and they did not disappoint. The cherry window is very short, so be sure to go soon if it’s on your list! I blogged before about this farm and their delightful cut-your-own flower fields – the owners were telling us they planted an acre of sunflowers as well this year!
In sale news, my striped dress here is currently 40% off with free shipping (no minimum). Continue reading below for a few other holiday sales going on right now!
– Striped midi dress sz XS (40% off; straight-cut style), worn above at the farm. As fewer and fewer pieces in my closet fit these days, I’ve been shamelessly repeating outfits from head to toe! More photos of today’s outfit can be found in this blog post .
As some of you saw on Instagram, my grandpa has not been doing well so we visited him in LA over last weekend. For the elderly, I feel like physical health is almost directly linked to one’s spirits. The moment he saw us, his face completely lit up and he joined us out and about for the first time in weeks! The trip was worth it just to see him that radiant, excitedly snapping pictures (for his social media which he takes very seriously, lol!) and chowing down at all the restaurants we took him to.
Top left: Traditional Chinese / Taiwanese breakfast at Huge Tree Pastry in Montery Park, CA. Sweet tofu pudding with peanuts, sticky rice rolls (fan tuan), baked sesame bread, and fried donut sticks (you tiao) dipped in soy milk. My grandparents are from Northern China whereas I was born in Southern China. I’m more partial to savory breakfasts and dim sum for that reason, but these simple, authentic dishes made them so happy and nostalgic!
Top right: Udon and tempura at Marugame Udon. Simple but satisfying. Only get the tempura if it’s fresh out of the fryer, as some of it looked rather soggy from sitting around.
Not pictured: Nick and I had dinner one night at Kazu Nori handroll bar after the elderly went to bed. We love Sugarfish so had been meaning to try this! Very simple concept with few but good quality ingredients (fresh seafood, warm rice, crisp nori seaweed wrapper) together hit the spot. Also enjoyed the meal pacing – each new roll is made once you’re done with your previous one.
Not pictured:Din Tai Fung is always a hit. The CA ones have a few extra options that I didn’t see in Seattle.
Top Left: We also tried a few different places in Grand Central Market in downtown LA, and thought this sampler platter at La Tosataderia was yummy. Each of the mini tacos and ceviches had a slightly different flavor profile. The seafood cocktail in the back was good, but I wish it came in a half portion.
Top Right: Tofu stews + short ribs at SKD Tofu House. We’re deprived of great Korean food in Boston, so no trip to LA or NYC is ever complete without some!
While the grandparents napped, Nick and I snuck off to Smorgasburg food market on Sunday for some Shrimp Daddy platters and Chi Chi Dango shaved ice! These dishes brought us right back to Hawaii and were so good on a hot day.
We drove by Echo Lake one day and decided to stop and stroll around. What a beautiful little respite not too far from central LA! We spent about an hour enjoying the lotus flowers, and watching the plentiful turtles, ducks, and bird mamas with their babies. They also have swan paddle boats if you go with kids!
And just like that, the third trimester crept up on us! I shared here that we’ll be welcoming a baby girl, and she already has dad wrapped around her little finger. Nick talks to my belly first thing each morning and reads us a bedtime story every night. Things are starting to feel quite real, and I’d be lying if I said we weren’t a little nervous and scared of what’s to come!
I’m realizing in hindsight that the second trimester was the honeymoon phase. It’s when first trimester symptoms tend to subside (for me, at least), your energy is back, and you generally feel pretty cute sporting a growing bump! Fellow moms-to-be, be sure to soak in this middle period and take lots of photos ; )
Since several of you have asked, I started at around 94 lbs and gained 20 so far. I “popped” around months 5 to 6 and the bump’s been growing quickly since. Baby is only about 3.5 pounds, so the other weight is her “house,” fluids, and a lot of blood flow and padding all around! I’ve heard from many other expecting mamas, concerned about too little or too much weight gain (or about their bump sizes). Every pregnancy is unique, and we all carry differently and gain weight at different paces. Try to embrace the changes as they come (despite unwarranted commentary from others – more on that below), and I wouldn’t be concerned unless your doctor is!
Current Maternity Favorites
Below the bump underwear. I tried a few different brands, and these were my favorite with a nice and low front dip! So much more comfortable than just sizing up on regular underwear. Size S has worked for me from the second trimester onwards.
Generously cushioned sandals (read my review; runs wide). I don’t care that these look a little orthopedic … they’ve been a godsend for tired and sometimes swollen feet. Have heard SO much great feedback from you guys on ’em as well!
Bra band extender. These are hanging on their last hook now, but have been a bra-saver since my first trimester.
Striped 3/4 sleeve dress (see on me). Professional enough for work, but also cute and quite comfy for casual wear! This dress would be a perfect fit on someone a little taller, since the bump ruching hits a few inches too low on me (I’m 5′ feet). I forgot to return this, but it worked out as I keep reaching for it now despite the loose hip area!
Cropped active pants (see on me). These still fit and have held up nicely after 6 months of rigorous wear (gym, travel, hiking, errands), so are well worth the price IMO. Black is most versatile for me, but FYI Amazon has grey on major sale!
Floral flared dress (see on me). My go-to when I need to dress up or just want to feel pretty! ASOS tends to run small compared to US brands. The size 2 maternity fit me well around 25-28 weeks and is now very snug in the torso.
Lounging leggings (see on me). Super comfy and an absolute steal for $8. Note these are a thin cotton legging, compared to the thicker active pant mentioned above.
I had shooting pains in my hip that grew increasingly worse (likely from my expanding uterus pressing on a nerve), until one day I woke up and could barely move. Nick stayed home to carry me to & from the bathroom, and I thought I was done for for! I called my OB and she simply recommended looking up stretches for sciatica on YouTube, and easing in some workouts to strengthen my hip and pelvic area.
After doing sciatica stretches at least twice a day (simple child’s pose can feel amazing!), occasional prenatal yoga, and working out 2 to 3 times a week, the difference has been incredible. I did not work out throughout IVF and my first trimester, enjoyed getting back into it during my second trimester, but now it’s dreadfully hard motivating myself to continue into the third trimester! However I know staying fit can only help, with overall health as well as labor and recovery. Since I’ve been getting a lot of questions on workouts, my personal trainer helped me record a few simple strengthening moves which I’ve saved to my Instagram profile (under the dumbbell icon, viewable only on mobile phones).
Sleep & Baby Movements
I’m thankful for no pregnancy complications, but rolling over feels like an Olympic sport these days! And I love how despite the loud grunts, groans and thuds coming from my side of the bed all night, Nick snoozes soundly and obliviously through it all.
I was so giddy after feeling the first baby flutters. I was completely unaware how strong the movements would get! Her tumbles and kicks wake me up a few times each night, and I find my belly poking out in the oddest angles. Although I complain about the lack of sleep, feeling these movements are my most favorite thing in the world right now.
Body image & Things people say
If you haven’t seen this IG post yet, give the top comments a read as they had me cracking up! I must’ve crossed over some threshold recently, because the daily commentary I get now range from “OMG I thought *so & so* was huge until I saw you!” (accompanied by wide eyes and a gaping mouth) to “are you carrying multiples?” to social media messages about “getting thick.” Sure, some of these may sting initially, but remembering the little growing life inside makes all of these bodily changes worth it and more.
Pregnant Wife Observations
Leaving you guys with the latest notes from Nick’s pregnancy diary, per popular request. As our journey continues, you can follow along on his Instagram or Facebook for more “observations,” new dad perspectives, and less-than-flattering photos of me!
I don’t change up my everyday makeup too often, but after swapping in a new foundation and bronzer for summer, I’ve gotten so many compliments on the resulting look! I used to gravitate towards matte everything, as I thought it looked more age-appropriate. Lately, though, I’ve been loving a little more luminosity to add dimension to my makeup. And based on your comments, the effect apparently passes as “pregnancy glow!”
I’m partnering with Sephora today to share my summer makeup regimen, which includes both very old and new favorite products. Some of these are on the splurge side, but they literally last me months if not years (especially the bronzer and brow powder)!
After washing my face, I apply facial moisturizer then sunscreen, and will get dressed or do my hair while the sunscreen sets. I’ve found a few great sunscreens over the years and will do a separate post on that! I also apply Bite Beauty agave lip mask (in lavender) before bed, so my lips are hydrated in the morning and serve as a smooth base for lipcolor.
NARS Sheer Glow Foundation (I use “Fiji” regularly and “Punjab” when I’m tan)
Foundations get very mixed reviews, because it can be so personal based on your skin type. My former holy grail (Laura Mercier flawless fluide) was sadly discontinued, so I picked up half a dozen samples at Sephora hoping to find a long-lasting, lightweight foundation with buildable coverage.
This NARS foundation worked best for my skin – it looks natural and stays put all day (with setting powder), even in humid conditions! Despite the words “sheer” and “glow” in the product name, I actually feel that it provides pretty good coverage, and the finish is just slightly luminous. I got a little foundation on my lips in this post, and you can see how the coverage level makes them look nearly nude.
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer (I use “custard” – also comes in a mini size)
This is still the best concealer in my arsenal, creamy enough for the delicate under-eye area and with enough coverage for redness around my nose and chin. I dot this on and pat it in with my fingers after foundation.
Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder (also comes in a mini size)
I don’t need to say much about this iconic favorite! In the summer, this has been critical for keeping my foundation in place all day and also for providing a smooth, set base before applying additional powder products like bronzer and eyeshadow. I gently press this powder on with a large, fluffy brush.
Anastasia Brow Powder Duo (I use “ebony”)
I’ve bought every format of Anastasia brow products (pomade, gel, pencil) and find the powder duo to be the best value. It lasts forever without risk of drying out, and looks natural when applied with a light hand. To save time, I use a slightly fuller brush to quickly sweep some color along the center of my brows, then use this more refined brow brush to outline my arches and complete filling them in. Finish by brushing the powder through with the spooley end of the brush, to make brows look less stark.
Too Faced Better than Sex mascara
Despite some very mixed reviews online, this is still one of the best mascaras I’ve tried. It makes my nearly nonexistent lashes look fuller and longer. I don’t use a lot of mascara, so I always buy the mini size to keep it as fresh as possible.
NARS velvet matte pencil in “red square” (a vibrant, flattering red-orange)
My favorite, bold summer color never fails to garner compliments! For longer-lasting color that survives hours of eating and drinking, I’m still obsessed with Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick for everyday wear. I’ve tried a few lower-priced liquid lipsticks and the staying power is just not the same (and looked more caked on the lips)!
From the liquid lipstick selection, “Lovecraft” (see this blog post for swatches) has been my everyday go-to, and they also have a shade, “Malice,” that’s a great dupe for NARS’ Red Square! These liquid lipsticks are very pigmented – you only need to use a tiny bit so one tube lasts a looong time. A Sephora Beauty Advisor showed me how to “sheer it out,” which has been my new favorite way to use these! Simply paint a little dab of the liquid lipstick along the center of your lips, rub your lips together to blend, and then use your fingertip to finish spreading the color out. This looks very natural for everyday wear, and is quick to apply before running out the door.
I know Becca highlighters are a cult favorite, but as a highlight novice, I couldn’t bring myself to splurge on a standalone one. So when I saw Becca’s gorgeous new gradient bronzer with highlighter in “Sunrise Waves,” I may have gotten just a little excited! This compact is gorgeous and versatile, since you can angle your brush at different shades of the bronzer, and pick up some highlight on the sides only if you want extra glow.
Another longtime favorite of mine that has just the slightest hint of glow is this Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Bronzer in “Tropical Days.” I’ve raved about this before and wear it in most blog posts. It was a splurge, but I used it nearly daily for two years and there’s still tons of product left! Compared to the Becca bronzer in Sunrise Waves, this has less of a highlighter sheen (may be better for professional wear) and the bronzer end applies a little darker in color, so is great for contouring under the cheekbones as well.
Aside from the bronzer itself, a good application brush makes ALL the difference for me between murky brown splotches vs a luminous glow. A few Sephora Beauty Advisors used this soft, fluffy #50 flawless powder brush on me to test bronzers in-store. I picked it up and have been so happy with the natural-looking touch of color that the brush deposits! (In this post I’m using #50.5, the mini travel version that may have been discontinued). TIP: another benefit to #50 is it’s angled on both sides, so you can use each half of the brush for a different product (ie one bronzer, one blush). I also love using the tip on this brush for contouring cheekbones.
Lancome Bi-Facil eye makeup remover + Farmacy makeup meltaway balm (both are holy grails!!)
I love makeup with great staying power, but also want the quickest nighttime removal process possible. I start with Lancome’s Bi-Facil to remove my eye and brow makeup. It’s so gentle on the eyes, yet effective taking off even waterproof makeup. Nothing else compares! I then apply the Farmacy cleansing balm and wash everything off with a warm cloth. I raved about this balm in this blog post and demonstrated how it easily takes off even tough liquid lipcolor!