I talked about my Canadian Black Friday purchases in Part 1 of this post. Now in Part 2, I’ll give a rundown of what I bought south of the border.
For Canadian petites, for whom cross-border shopping is often a matter of necessity, not luxury, it can be the only time of year when prices are even semi-reasonable. For the past few years, I’ve gotten in the habit of doing most of my annual clothes shopping in late November, taking advantage of the available deals to help offset the high costs of duties, taxes, and the exchange rate against the Canadian dollar. I generally make a large order of items at a few key retailers, ship to the border, drive down, try everything on, take back only what I like, and return the rest.
So what did I pick up this year?
My go-to US department store for petites clothing delivered once again with some great deals on basic wardrobe staples. Macy’s was running door-buster specials on Black Friday and — convenient for Canadians — pre-Black Friday items across all its brands.
First, I kicked things off with this cozy turtleneck sweater dress by Calvin Klein:
Calvin Klein just gets petites. Everything about the fit on this one was fabulous. It pairs well with leggings and boots for winter, and can be worn alone once the weather gets warmer. It’s even purple. So yeah, I just had to have it.
Sweater Dress: Calvin Klein, size PS, $79.99 USD (reduced from $134)
Still taking full advantage of my colour’s popularity this season, I jumped on this great deal on a Calvin Klein wool walker coat:
I don’t really need this coat. I already have a wool coat for those in-between warmer winter days — purchased in last year’s Black Friday haul, as a matter of fact. Okay, so it’s not the gorgeous Sicily winter coat I lusted after but that sadly was made for a woman at least six inches taller than me (sob!). But it’s pretty. And it’s purple. And in classic Calvin Klein fashion, it fits me like a glove. Well, with the sleeves rolled once, anyway.
Let’s face it: A Montrealer can never own too many coats, am I right?
Coat: Calvin Klein, size PS, $99.99 USD (reduced from $275)
Then, it was time for some cashmere. I stocked up on these v-neck cashmere sweaters by Charter Club, which have been wardrobe staples for me these past couple of years. At $39.99 apiece (down from $139), how could I resist? Unlike my other purchases, these were sure bets, as I already knew that they would fit.
I already own a handful of colours of these, including charcoal grey, maroon, and of course, purple. During the promo, I picked up two more, in teal and classic navy:
INC International Concepts
On a whim, I ordered this crocheted shift dress from INC due to its rock-bottom clearance price:
It’s not my usual style; BoHo chic is always something I try but never quite manage to pull off, and the loose style without a defined waist is not generally flattering on me. But I couldn’t resist the price, so I figured I’d give it a shot. The worst that could happen was that it wouldn’t fit, right?
Well, it didn’t fit. The loose beltless style overwhelmed me, and the asymmetrical midi length was very unflattering. Maybe if it had a belt and a little less fabric, it could have been a comfy summer dress. As it was, I was forced to return it. Oh well.
Next were these black stretch ponte leggings by Style&Co:
I’m not generally in the habit of wearing leggings as pants. It’s a trend that I never liked, and I don’t find the look of leggings and an oversized top or sweater to be at all flattering on my petite pear frame. But there are times when a pair of leggings can come in handy, so I’m always on the lookout for a petite-friendly pear that won’t bunch up at the knees. These seem to do the trick; the fit is good, the length is perfect, and the fabric is rich and thick and seems like it will hold up reasonably well.
Leggings: Style&Co, size PS, $19.99 USD (reduced from $42.50)
Speaking of Style&Co, which is Macy’s house brand, I took a chance on this chiffon-hem top because of the great price:
It’s available in a dozen different colours; the one I purchased, Bastille Grey, is a medium warm grey. Unfortunately, when I tried it on, I saw why it was so inexpensive: The fabric is thin, the colour is paler in real life than in the photos, and the chiffon hem only serves to call attention to the widest part of my body. Sadly, this one’s going back.
Top: Style&Co, size PS, $15.99 USD (reduced from $34.50)
I also took a chance on another on-trend item against my better judgment: This Ralph Lauren cold-shoulder t-shirt:
Cutout shoulders have been a thing for a couple of years now, but they’re a trend I essentially ignored. After all, when you’re petite with narrow, sloping shoulders, the last thing you want to do is make them look narrower and more slope-ey. (Not to mention, I’m a pale-skinned freckled redhead who is usually trying to keep my shoulders covered from the sun.)
But hey, we’re all of us fashion victims from time to time; I thought that the combination of it being petite-sized and in a colour I like might make up for all of that. No such luck; the stretchy fabric clung in an unflattering way, and the cutout shoulders were every bit as bad an idea in practice as in theory. This one’s getting sent back, too.
Top: Ralph Lauren Petite, size PXS, $31.49 USD (reduced from $69.50)
I had high hopes for this collared sweater, also by Ralph Lauren:
I quite like the look of a layered collar and hem; whenever I try to actually layer a sweater over a blouse, it bunches up and looks terrible. Unfortunately, in person, it was way too big on me. If this is a petite small, then I don’t know who they’re making the bigger sizes for, because it was enormous. I reluctantly sent it back as well.
Sweater: Ralph Lauren Petite, size PS, $51.99 USD (reduced from $99.50)
Finally, this isn’t a petite item, strictly speaking. But I picked up this lariat necklace:
Long necklaces are tricky on petite women; it’s hard to avoid being overwhelmed by a too-long chain hitting at the wrong place. This simple chain isn’t anything fancy, but it’s adjustable and subtle — basically what I was looking for to complement some few blouses and tops. Sometimes an outfit is all in the accessories.
Necklace: Lucky Brand, one size, $27.30 USD (reduced from $39)
So, overall verdict for Black Friday 2017? Mixed.
All my purchases were from two stores — GAP (and its sister brands) and Macy’s. The availability of petites at other retailers has gone far downhill in the past few years, and I just couldn’t find anything worth splurging on anywhere else. Ann Taylor / LOFT, Nordstrom, Anthropologie, Laura Petites, and The Bay were all having promotions, too, but I struck out at all of them.
Even with the Black Friday deals, the prices of the Macy’s items were quite expensive once I factored in the weak Canadian dollar and all the tax and duty I had to pay. My credit card is not very happy with me right now.
On the plus side, I did pick up a few wardrobe staples that are likely to get a lot of wear. And I quite like my new purchases. I think they should tide me over for a while. At least I hope so, because I’m all shopped out for a while.