‘Tis the season once again for Black Friday deals. Yep, welcome to my annual post from that time of year when I attempt to get most of my annual shopping over with all at once.
This year’s deals and, consequently, haul, were smaller than in previous years. I gambled and lost on a few items that really weren’t my style. But on the bright side, my ship-to-the-border purchases went seamlessly, thanks in part to a friendly border agent who generously waived some of the duties on my way home. Yep, sometimes you get lucky.
This year’s haul included:
I’ve had very hit-or-miss experiences with Anthropologie in the past. Some of my favourite unique items come from there, but on the other hand, I find a lot of their pieces fit weird and don’t flatter me. Plus, their prices are very steep. Since Anthropologie’s store in Montreal doesn’t stock petites, I find it’s a far better deal to shop online with shipping to the border. That gives me free shipping and low-priced flat rate returns for the items that inevitably won’t fit.
As usual, Anthropologie’s sales aren’t all that great. The 30% they offered sitewide for Black Friday is about as good as it gets for this brand. So I took a chance on a few items I’d been coveting.
First up was this gorgeous lace embroidered midi dress in a sort of rose-plum colour:
Dress: Leticia Embroidered Lace Midi Dress, size XSP, $154 USD at Anthropologie (reduced from $220)
While midi length is usually terrible on me, I thought that the high slits and the petite length might compensate for that. I sized down my order to an XSP based on past experience with Anthropologie dresses fitting loose, and took a chance:
Unfortunately, this dress just didn’t work on me at all. Sizing down was a bad call in this case, as the waist and hip area was super fitted and, thus, too tight. The midi length was, sadly, as unflattering as I feared it might be, even despite the leg slits. And the top was too low.
I really wanted to like this dress. But nothing about it worked for me. Sadly, I sent it back.
The next item I tried to order from Anthropologie was this turquoise fringed cropped v-neck sweater. I figured the colour and neckline would be good on me, and the style seemed a little more fun and modern than my typical conservative basic sweaters:
Sweater: Joy Fringed V-Neck Sweater, size XSP, $84 USD at Anthropologie (reduced from $120)
On me, though, this was just bad-bad-worse:
Yeesh. This looked cheap and boxy and just plain awful in every way.
Cropped styles can be tempting when you’re petite because the length is good, but if they are oversized and not fitted, they won’t define the waist. This can be very unflattering for us petite pears, since the combination of a boxy cropped top and rounder hips just makes the whole body look bigger. Unfortunately, that seems to be the case here.
This one went straight back to the returns pile.
Finally, I grabbed this t-shirt on a whim to round out my order, mostly because I love travel, and I’m always looking for comfy tees in petite-friendly sizes:
T-shirt: Sol Angeles Cities Graphic Tee, size SP, $54.60 USD at Anthropologie (reduced from $78)
And here it is on me:
And, it’s actually really cute. The length is good, the fabric is super soft, the fit is not too boxy, and I’m a sucker for a good graphic tee. So even though it was way more expensive than I’d ordinarily spend on a t-shirt — especially after taxes and exchange rate — I decided to keep it. Hey, it’s cheaper than a plane ticket to all those cities, anyway. (And for the record, yes, I have been to all of them.)
Once again, I placed a large order at Macy’s, which has been my go-to place for Black Friday deals on a variety of petite-friendly brands for a number of years.
Frustratingly, Macy’s still hasn’t dealt with two longstanding annoyances for Canadian shoppers. For one thing, its website still won’t accept a US shipping address combined with a Canadian billing address, forcing me to phone in and place my orders manually each time. For another, Macy’s still insists on dividing orders into multiple shipments, and it makes it impossible to tell ahead of time how many shipments will be sent. When I’m being charged $5 US per received package by my border mail place, this can quickly add up.
This year’s haul included the following pieces:
My first piece was this metallic holiday fit-and-flare dress by Robbie Bee, a brand I was unfamiliar with but was interested in trying out. I thought it could be an elegant holiday-season piece:
Dress: Robbie Bee Petite Metallic Dress, size PS, $54.99 USD at Macy’s (reduced from $79)
In person, alas, it wasn’t nearly as elegant looking:
The fabric is really, really shiny. And cheap looking. And plasticky. And did I mention shiny? Nobody should have to wear sunglasses to see my dress. And while the fit is pretty decent, the dress overall looked very old-ladyish on me. I sent this back immediately.
Speaking of holiday pieces, I had high hopes for this two-layered shiny mesh blouse. I thought it would fill a niche for times when I didn’t necessarily want to wear a dress — which, let’s face it, is often cold and impractical in Montreal winters — but wanted to add a little bling in my outfit nonetheless:
Blouse: INC International Concepts, size PS, $59.50 USD at Macy’s
But on me, the fit was somewhat less than ideal:
In person, this had — yeesh — puffy gathered shoulders. The arms were too short and too tight. The camisole piece’s straps were too long and pulled weirdly around the bust area. The whole fit was weird. This was just nope, nope, nope. I sent it back as well.
Getting away from the holiday fails and back to the well-loved basics, I decided to take advantage of the annual cashmere sale at Macy’s and pick up another one of these wardrobe-staple v-neck sweaters that I basically live in all winter:
On me, as predicted:
This wasn’t exactly a gamble. I own these in a half-dozen colours already, and this heathered purple is basically my favourite colour. I knew this would work, and it does. I’ll be adding this to the rotation.
My second attempt of the day at a midi dress was this floral belted dress by Tommy Hilfiger:
Dress: Tommy Hilfiger Belted Midi Dress, size 4P, $92.99 USD at Macy’s (reduced from $134)
And here it is on me:
I actually found myself liking this dress.The colours are beautiful and rich and just my style. The belt creates a flattering waistline. And even though the midi length is still tricky to pull off, I find that the asymmetrical chiffon hemline here makes this one work a great deal better than the last one.
It’s not perfect by any means; the neckline is too low, but that will be easy enough to fix by taking up the straps a bit. But even so, I find myself liking this enough to keep it. With the right heels and accessories, it will make a great late summer / fall occasion dress.
My experience with Michael Kors’ petite line is hit-or-miss at best. While I appreciate any designer who actually makes petite-friendly pieces, I find that a lot of their styles don’t tend to flatter me all that well. But I gambled on a couple of things this time.
First, this tie-sleeve red sweater:
Sweater: Michael Kors, size PS, $44 USD at Macy’s (reduced from $88)
In person, this didn’t quite look like the one on the model:
In person, the red was more fire-engine bright red than subdued, classy dark red. Orangey-reds don’t work for me at all, and this was no exception. Furthermore, the fit was boxy and unflattering. And the tie-sleeves, while a nice detail, made it hard for me to roll the sleeves up a bit, which I would need to do as they are a bit too long on me. This went into the returns pile.
Then there was this little red lace-print sleeveless top:
Top: Michael Kors, size PXS, $32 USD at Macy’s (reduced from $64)
Here it is on me:
This might look cute for the holidays, and the fit is actually pretty decent. But the thing is, it’s asymmetrical — something that was hard to tell from the website photos — and I think it makes it look crooked and a bit weird on me as a result. I debated this one a bit but ultimately sent it back.
Consistently one of my favourite petite brands, Calvin Klein just understands fit. Frustratingly, I can’t buy their petite clothes here, due to Hudson’s Bay being colossal jerks about their exclusivity deal. But I can get them from Macy’s in the US and ship to the border.
This year, I opted for just one CK piece, this snakeskin camisole:
Camisole: Calvin Klein, size PXS, $26.99 USD at Macy’s (reduced from $39)
As predicted, this fit me perfectly:
This is a cute wardrobe basic that will work well under a jacket or blazer. I can always use a new one or two of these. I decided to keep this.
Style & Co.
Speaking of wardrobe basics, I opted to pick up a couple more of these pocket t-shirts from Style&Co., in yellow and in dark green:
T-Shirts: Style&Co., size PS, $9.99 USD at Macy’s (reduced from $14.99)
These have a relaxed, casual fit that is a bit loose right now, but I know from experience that they will shrink a bit in the wash. These are cotton basics that will end up in heavy rotation in my wardrobe for sure.
I also took a chance on this checkered denim crop jacket, mostly because I couldn’t resist the sale price:
Jacket: Style&Co., size PS, $25.60 USD at Macy’s (reduced from $64)
Unfortunately, this was proof that a good deal does not necessarily equal a good buy:
Cropped and boxy is bad on me. Cropped and boxy is bad on me. Cropped and boxy is bad on me. Maybe if I repeat that often enough, I’ll learn my lesson and stop trying to buy pieces without defined waistlines. This was another one for the returns pile.
My only Black Friday purchase in Canada in 2019 was from Banana Republic, which was having a 50% sitewide discount that also applied to sale prices, making for some great deals. I took advantage of this to order this plaid button-down shirt:
Shirt: Dillon Classic-Fit Flannel Shirt, size XS Petite, $35 CAD at Banana Republic (reduced from $95)
And here it is on me:
This is great! I love the colour, the fit is comfy and relaxed, and I already have gotten a bunch of wear out of it.
The fabric was lighter and thinner than I expected — more of a blouse than a flannel shirt. But that’s okay. It’s casual and the colour is great. The only problem was that it was too big on me in the initial Petite Small that I ordered, so I had to exchange it for the Petite Extra-Small. But after that, it fit great.
Definitely a keeper.
To wrap things up
Mediocre deals, poorly fitting items, and a few misfires characterized this year’s Black Friday haul. I’d say it was a disappointment, except that I did end up with a few new loves and a couple of replacement wardrobe staples.
Seeing as how I didn’t really need a ton of new clothes at this point, I’d say I’m satisfied overall with this year’s shop. But I have to keep reminding myself to buy stuff that works for my body, rather than things I wish would work for me. At the end of the day, it’s better to play up your strengths than to fight your flaws.
Happy holidays, all!