A Guide to Petite Dressing: Do's, Don'ts, and a Few Tips

If you haven't noticed from my pictures, I'm a petite gal. I'm talking a 5'2" lightweight who has to hem all her pants and frequently wears heels just to feel normal. But I've come to terms with being small- in fact, I've embraced it. I may not be able to wear anything off-the-runway, but I have dressing for my body down to a few simple rules.

1. Shop with an open mind. Don't let yourself get frustrated. Of course, when dressing your body, there is always going to be trial and error (this goes for any shape or size). You have to try things on to find out what fits! If you try on 3 pairs of jeans and none of them fit, it is not a reflection of your body- there is nothing wrong with you. You just need to find what works for you (and everyone goes through this). Which leads me to my next point...

2. Expect that you will have to get things tailored. Again, this isn't just for us petite ladies, but this applies to everyone. Designers and manufacturers make clothes in standard sizes- its annoying, but they have to do that. They cannot make an infinite amount of pieces that will fit any size or shape. This in and of itself does not make the fashion industry evil- it makes it possible. What will make them evil is if they make clothes that are unalterable. Like I said, standard sizes will not be made for your specific body and that doesn't mean its your fault. It means that most people have to tailor their clothes to fit them. Yes, that is more expensive and an inconvenience, but everyone has to do it. Don't quit if it doesn't fit. And don't throw a tantrum about how you can't shop. Sometimes you'll get lucky and a line will provide petite sizes. Usually, I have to hem my pants, skirts, and dresses. It is how I personalize my wardrobe to make it fit me.


3. Look for clothes that are tailored. As a general rule of thumb, look for clothes that fit close to the body to show off your petite frame without overwhelming it. Stay away from oversized and overly-voluminous. This doesn't mean that an oversized boyfriend blazer will never work, but it means it usually won't.

4. Pants: Your pants should fit close to the body, like a skinny jean or straight leg pant. If it has a flare, wear it with heels- this will actually make your legs look miles long. Never wear a wide leg or flare with flats unless you want to look short AND stubby. With skinnier pants, like jeans, you don't always need to hem them. In fact, I cuff a lot of my pants to about ankle length, which looks lengthening and slimming. In terms of the rise, I always prefer a higher rise- this will lengthen your legs and cover up unflattering parts of the tummy.

5. Tops: Always balance out your top and bottom. With a skinny jean or pant, most shapes of tops can work (except overly voluminous. See #3). Even a flowy silk tank will work if it fits close to the body. I know I've discussed the virtues of a peplum top before, but I can't overemphasize how much I love peplums. They're great for petites because they nip in at your tiny waist and give you an hourglass shape with just enough volume and interest to work. With a more flared pant, make sure you are wearing a fitted top that is no longer than pocket-high. If it is too long, tucking it in to a higher-waisted pant will give your body the right proportion. And always err on the side of tailored blouses in a pinch!
Petite 2

6. Dresses and Skirts: The rules for dresses are pretty much the same- look for tailored shapes that fit close to the body and aren't voluminous. That fun drapey-dress may be trendy and look great on that 5'10" model, but it will probably drown your petite frame. I like to hem my dresses a few inches above the knee (depending on the occasion- make sure its appropriate) to lengthen my legs. A seam around your waistline is a good indication of a nicely-tailored dress. Don't wear a drop-waist...ever! The same goes for skirts- that trendy midi-skirt is not for you!

7. Jackets and Coats: As much as I loved the look of the round, oversized coat that I saw walking the streets of London, I hated every single one I tried on. Look for jackets and coats with a lot of structure with seams that nip in at the waist (a similar mechanism to the peplum) to emphasize your shape and not overwhelm your frame. The length should be on the shorter side (not below your butt) or you'll look like a kid in her mom's work clothes.
Petite 3
8. Don't be afraid of heels! As uncomfortable as many pairs of heels can be (and usually are), every woman, no matter her height, should embrace the feelings of power and confidence that come from a great pair of heels. I love the extra boost even the smallest of heels give me. For petite girls especially, look for heels in a lot of different shoes- even if its small, it can make you feel a foot taller. I recently got this great pair of Sam Edelman wedges that are only a couple inches high but are comfortable enough to wear all day. The difference they make in terms of the length of my legs is incredible- and they're just a few inches!! Specifically, look for pointed-toe heels- not only are they so on trend right now, but they can look incredibly chic and are incredible flattering.

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June Birchbox Review

Check out my Birchbox items and review!

This month, I received my first ever Birchbox. Some of you may know that Birchbox is a monthly package of samples and full size beauty, make-up, skincare, and lifestyle products all for the bargain price of $10. After watching the tantalizing preview video, that featured such items as the Origins Charcoal Mask, I had fairly high hopes. Though I haven't used all of the products yet, I wasn't thrilled by the selection.

First, I did not receive the Origins mask. Ok, maybe I had my heart a littttlle bit set on it- considering my growing love for skincare and never-ending breakouts, I thought I was a shoe in for this item. Alas, I was not so lucky. Instead, the only bit of skincare (despite my indication on my personalized survey that this is what I was interested in) was a sunscreen- The Coola Classic SPF 30 Cucumber Moisturizer for face. I was skeptical, but then I saw it stocked on the shelves at a very nice spa in LA and decided not to judge a book by its not-so-well-known name. I've only tried it once and it seems fine. The smell is very cucumber-y but the sunscreen itself is a bit oily. It seems like it will be a good summer travel product.

I also received a nail polish as part of the Birchbox + Color Club line in Mod in Manhattan. It is sort of a pinky-white shade, and one that I really like for a fresh summer manicure. I will definitely be trying it soon!

Next is an Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner in blue. I'm not much of a blue eyeliner fan, and I'm certainly not skilled enough for the finesse of applying liquid liner, but I actually sort of like it. It is a bit easier than other liquid liners I've tried (its in a more solid pen form), but it doesn't go on particularly smooth. I think I'll use it in the future, but only if I'm feeling adventurous.

The last two I haven't tried. An Amika hair nourishing mask which I gave to my mom for her finer strands and a Juicy Couture perfume sample. Yawn. Like I haven't received a thousand of those before. Come on Birchbox, try me! Finally, the little hair twistband was a cute touch, but not something I really need. 

Please enter my Firmoo giveaway!

My Summer Beauty Essentials- New Video!

      As my newfound obsession with beauty products grows (I'm waiting on my first Birchbox- expect a full report), I wanted to share with you my summer beauty essentials. You know, those products that you just can't get through the hot summer days without. While I have too many to count at the moment, I was able to edit them down to 6. Enjoy!

Get the products!

Just Call Me Betty

Draper Francis, that is. With my new haircut and these low-wedge Sam Edelman sandals, I feel instantly brought back to the 60's. Add on a vintage looking walking short or pair of capris, plus the patented icy demeanor, and I'm channeling the still living spirit of January Jones. 

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New In: Sole Society

Just discovered: Sole Society on Nordstrom.com. Life = changed.

The To-Do

Is there a better time to tick a bunch of things off of your to-do list than the summer? The weather is beautiful (at least here in SoCal), the days are longer, and I have a part-time internship that leaves me with plenty of time for doing productive things...if only I could actually get myself to do them *sighhh*. Well that is why I am making a to-do list and publishing it here, so you can all hold me accountable if I haven't done it by the end of summer!

1. Get back in shape. Since I've been home, the positive effects of all the walking I did in London have been eradicated by the hours I've spent sitting in my car in traffic. So, to get back into bikini-shape, I'm hitting the gym and the Pilates studio a few times a week. I'm only one stomach flu away from my goal weight (joking, of course!)

2. Explore LA's great nightlife. With the incredible selection of bars and clubs from one of this country's entertainment capitals, it seems almost criminal that I've barely been to any of them. So I've made it a goal to go out with friends, enjoy some good drinks, and have a good time (poor me, I know). I recently discovered Perch, an amazing rooftop bar downtown (with no cover!) and it has definitely become my new favorite spot. 

3. Go to museums. With the Getty, LACMA, and more, LA is actually a pretty cultured place (not all of us consider Keeping Up With the Kardashians to be high-class culture). Even better, the Getty's annual Saturdays off the 405 free concerts have started again, and I will definitely be checking out Geographer's July show. 

4. Spend more time outside. Considering I am a lucky girl to have a pool in my backyard and a wonderful canyon for hiking up the street, there is no excuse for me to sit inside all day watching TV. Well, except for the intense valley heat. But anyways, I could use the tan. Have you seen how pale I am?

5. Eat. This may seemingly contradict my first goal, but there are so many restaurants I've been meaning to try (Hinoki & The Bird, Trois Mec are just a few). I cannot wait to get my foodie on!

Summer Style Staples

Every girl needs her go-to summer pieces to throw on when the temperature is rising and her energy is waning.

Summer Style Essentials

The go-to summer outfit that is great for a casual day out, looks fresh, and keeps you cool all day. This summer, I'm swapping out my heavier jeans for something lighter (so I'm not sweating through my clothes). My new Vince tee is always a great go-to for simple summer chicness, while a denim vest adds that hard-to-attain cool factor. Of course, a good pair of walking sandals is crucial for the hot weather, and I love these that have just enough heel to give me a little boost! I love crossbody bags for their versatility, and they feel more seasonally appropriate. And I've already discussed how much I like the new Clinique CC cream (with an SPF)- definitely another summer must-have!

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Follow MJ on Bloglovin'

As some of you may have heard, Google Reader will no longer exist as of July 1st- this means that you will have to find some other way to follow my wonderful blog. If I may, I would highly recommend switching to Bloglovin'! This is a GREAT tool for keeping track of all of your favorite blogs in one place (whatever the blogging platform may be). Once you set up an account, you can also get the awesome free app- I'm constantly checking bloglovin' for new posts when I'm out and about and have a free moment. If you're not following a ton of blogs already, bloglovin' can help you find the best ones in whatever category interests you! It's easy to set up an account and use, so you should switch ASAP before your feed disappears! You can follow me here.

To import your blogs from Google Reader, check out this cool tutorial!

Village Walk

I love a great floral short for the summer- I wore this particular pair to our Father's Day BBQ. Splashing a cute pattern across the classic summer staple dresses them up and adds a bit of interest. Pair them with a tee for a casual day out, or a nice blouse and heels for a night out on the town (instead of the ubiquitous LBD). 

OOTD via Instagram

Getting my culture on! I saw the Scottsboro Boys today at The Ahmanson in Downtown LA, and I really enjoyed it. Its an interesting, thought-provoking show that is both a drama and a macabre musical. Of course, this show inspired two takes on my outfit of the day- one dark and one light. 

Another Glasses Giveaway with Firmoo!

I am happy to announce that I am hosting my second giveaway with glasses retailer, Firmoo.com. As you can see from my last posts about them (here and here), Firmoo offers some classic and cool eyeglasses and sunglasses for great prices, and there are a few potential prizes:

1. Multiple winners will win $20 E-voucher used on any frame at Classic Series. Some frames are under $20.
2. If you are selected as a grand prize winter, you get a totally free pair of choice at Classic Series, shipping included!
  Also, have I mentioned they have a first pair free program? Pretty cool right? Here are a few of my personal faves:

So, here are your tasks:

1. Mandatory: Please visit the Firmoo.com website and let me know which glasses you would love to win in a comment below! (You must visit the site and leave a comment to qualify).

3. For an extra 5 entries: Follow @marissajoyp on twitter!

4. For an extra 10 entires: Follow me on Bloglovin!

*I've extended the giveaway until July 15th! Good luck!*

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The Uniform

For those of you that don't spend all of your spare time scouring other fashion blogs for the latest trends and coolest street style (like myself), let me give you a little update on what's currently going on in that big, wide, world of fashion. 

As I've mentioned before, black and white is having a moment. And so is this geometric wrap skort (oh yeah, there are shorts in the back), which can be seen, in some version or another, on every editor, publicist, and intern alike. This simple striped blouse is a great, easy summer piece, so its no wonder that so many bloggers and fashionistas are sporting similar tops. When it comes to shoes, the strappy summer sandal still reigns supreme, heeled or flat. Like I've said, simple jewelry is the way to go, like this basic gold bracelet and ring. Finally, the it-girls are revealing all with clear, lucite clutches and nude nail polish.

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Bollywood and Highland

For a fun girls' day out, I went to the Chado Tea Room on Hollywood and Highland with my sister and my mom. Considering we love afternoon tea (some hot tea, sandwiches, scones, and cakes are possibly the best afternoon pick-me-up), we absolutely loved this place!

Making Connections

I recently purchased this beautiful ring bracelet from La Suite 105 by Anne Sisteron in Beverly Hills, and it has become one of my everyday jewelry pieces. Click through to find out why!


Just a few little moments since I've been home!

Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream: A Review

As a continuation of my search for beauty-beginner-friendly products, I recently tried a sample of the new Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream. Click to check out my full review!
(An Instagram pic of me wearing my CC Cream- I use the "light" shade)

3 Awesome Outfits for 3 Job-Securing Interviews

If, like me, you're still looking for a summer job, chances are you've been planning out what you will be wearing on your various potential interviews. Well, don't sweat it, because I've got you covered. If you're applying for a more conservative position- such as at a bank- then the good ol' suit and simple blouse will do. However, if you're applying to a job in a creative field- fashion, entertainment, etc- then have a bit more fun and dress to impress.

The Chop

If Karlie Kloss chopping off all her hair the day before the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show is any indiction, the chop is in and here to stay. Even Vogue has deemed it the cut of 2013. Well, it may have taken me awhile to get around to it, but I finally embraced the short-hair-don't-care attitude and cut inches off my chest-length tresses. 
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