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Closet Cleanout!

Downsizing my wardrobe.

So the Shrimp currently lives in a fifth wheel RV. Here’s a picture of the ShrimpHouse.

The ShrimpHouse.

We downsized from a realhouse a couple years ago. I was stationed out of town and started in a vintage Airstream. When my hubby decided to join me, we got a toyhauler, which was cool for a while, but our needs changed, and we switched over to this bad boy. It’s a Cardinal fifth wheel, and it’s got 3 slideouts. It’s roughly the same square footage inside as my brothers 1 bedroom Sydney apartment. We consider it tiny living, but really, it’s about three times the size of the tiny house that lives where we are parked.

Big bedroom, with plenty of closet storage.
A section with built in drawers.
The kitchen and living area.
There’s even a fireplace, and a massive television pops up in front of those bottles.

We’re not lacking anything in the RV. It’s got a big living area, nice kitchen, with full size residential fridge, dishwasher, 3 burner gas stove, oven and convection microwave. It’s got an electric fireplace, huge pantry, and lots of closet space. A LOT of closet space.

While we’ve loved living in our RV, we’ve decided to start a new adventure, and it means downsizing even further… Which means getting rid of some of the stuff in my closet, because this girl doesn’t have nearly as much room for clothes. Plus, let’s face it, how many clothes will I wearing on it anyway?

Yep, we’re moving on to a boat!

I know it looks big, but that’s just cause I’m so small. She doesn’t look nearly as big once we dropped her in the water. We think our quality of life and adventures are going to grow, but I really need to shrink my outfits. There’s only a tiny amount of hanging lockers, and even less drawers. Good thing I was already planning to design a capsule wardrobe!

So I’m going to start putting up some of my petite clothes on here. There’s a bunch of really nice stuff that I bought for my book tour or other interviews, that I’ve only ever worn once or twice, and I really won’t have use for again. Keep an eye on my instagram @shrimptank and here for my gently used goods.

So, anybody else here live in an RV or on a boat? Let me know in the comments below and tell me how you manage a small wardrobe.

 

 

Small on the Earth

It’s not just what I am, it’s what I want to be.

As a petite person, I find it hard to find small clothes. There are so few people who cater to petites. Some department stores might have petite sections, but it’s all grandma clothes. Some other places have clothes for smaller women, but they’re generally fast fashion outlets that make cheap clothing that will fall apart in a couple of washes.

It’s not just petites that have problems. I know plus size girls also complain about being able to find things that fit that are also stylish. I decided to do something about it, and create my own line.

I discovered some horrible things.

Consumers complain they can’t get certain clothing, but we’re party to blame. As people increasing demand cheaper clothing, faster fashion, and constant variety, people who make clothing are looking for cheaper ways to make this clothing. They’re designing clothes to be disposable. They’re only making certain sizes, because now that they’re outsourcing to places like China, they’re obliged to make 1000 minimum item runs. That doesn’t mean that they make 1000 of a certain item. It means they have to make 1000 of each size, and each color.

So I want to make a 7 piece capsule wardrobe. If I want to be conservative, and make a couple of different color options, say white and blue, I then also have to work out how many sizes I want to make. Do I go with S, M, L or do size 0, 2, 4, etc. If I was to have my clothes manufactured somewhere like China, even if I only do two colours, and S, M and L, I am now looking at 4200 pieces I have to manufacture. For a start up line. How on earth would I sell 4200 items to petites? It’s insane. So if one tiny line has to make 4200 items, imagine what places like Zara or H&M are producing?

I don’t want to make disposable clothing. I want to go back to the days where you had a few beautiful items that you could wear over and over. Things that were slightly more expensive, but that lasted forever. Things that were timeless, and didn’t go out of fashion a week after you bought them. People make fun of preppies, but you’ve got to hand it to them. They’re pretty environmentally friendly when it comes to their wardrobe. They own staple items, and wear them for 20+ years. They mend things. They hand them down. Their stuff doesn’t go out of style. (Well, to them anyway) When my dad was a designer, there was a couple of seasons. Now there are 52.

As I was looking into where I could get small production runs, with high quality fabrics and manufacturing, and devoid of any type of sweatshop labour, I started knowing more and more that I didn’t just want to make small clothes, I wanted to be small on the earth.

There’s an amazing documentary on Netflix called “The True Cost‘ and it can explain the true cost of fashion way better than I can. I already knew I wanted to go small, make lasting clothes, and hopefully, manufacture right here in the US, but this doco reaffirmed everything for me.

Please watch it before you buy your next $5 t shirt.

 

Petite Style Tips – V necks

A V neck is always flattering on a petite frame.

I’m only 4’11” and I’m totally fine with rocking my short stature. I don’t feel the need to “dress taller” but I do try to wear clothes that are flattering on my petite frame.

One of the easiest fashion tips for a petite person is to wear v necks. Whether it’s a shirt, a dress, or a swimsuit, a v neck will elongate your neck. Like vertical stripes, it helps to make you look long and lean. Whether you’re flat chested or have full figured, the v neck is still flattering.

Eva Longoria is 5'2". She's wearing a plunging v neck dress, and t-strap shoes. Both are considered elongating for petites.

Eva Longoria is 5’2″. She’s wearing a plunging v neck dress, and t-strap shoes. Both are considered elongating for petites. The one solid color is also flattering on shorter ladies.

I’ve found a couple examples on Amazon of both short and long v neck dresses, that would totally match Eva’s style.

One of my favourite brands, Anatomie Style has a top that hits all the right notes for petites. A v neck, vertical stripes, and one colour. Paired with pair of black pants, or a short black skirt, it will be flattering, and a great addition to your petite wardrobe.

Lara Lace
LARA LACE-SLEEVE V-NECK

Way back when many of Hollywood’s finest were petite women, they knew how to dress. You’d have never known that Liz Taylor was only 5’2″ when she was on screen. Here she is, wearing a flowing v neck caftan. You can find one to suit you over in the SHOP section.

Elizabeth_Taylor_in_Kaftan_blue_medium
This swimsuit has a plunging v neck, as well as vertical cutout detailing. This makes the eye go up and down the body, creating the illusion of length.

 

 

 

 

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Anatomie Summer Sale

Get 20% off Anatomie

Anatomie is having a 20% of summer sale. I got an email from them this morning about a sale on their clothing, which was funny, because my Facebook memory today was of our trip to Europe last year, where I packed almost all Anatomie clothes for my trip.

anatomie sale

Last year while on a trip to Miami, I went to the Anatomie warehouse store, and got to see ALL of their clothes. The place was pretty amazing. While they’re not petite specific, they did have a lot of petite friendly items. They also had a seamstress at that store, so that if you found a pair of pants you liked, they would hem them right there to make them fit properly. Now that’s customer service! I wanted a capsule wardrobe for Europe, because I was carrying a backpack only. I got two pair of pants, the Kate Skinny Cargo in Navy and the Andrea Contrast Panel Legging.  Neither one needed hemming for me. The leggings were so comfortable for the plane ride, but still looked dressy enough while sitting in Business class and the lounges.

I got three tops, all in white. The Trina, a Bailey Jacket and a blossom top, which is long lace mesh sleeves. Even though it was going to be hot, a lot of places we were going to be visiting required sleeves. The mesh is great, because you’re covered, but can stay cool.

Trina Racerback Tank and Bailey Mesh Jacket over top.
Trina Racerback Tank and Bailey Mesh Jacket over top in Tuscany, Italy.
Trina Racerback Tank in Santorini
Trina Racerback Tank in Santorini
Andrea Contrast Pants in Italy
Andrea Contrast Pants at the Colosseum.
Kate Skinny Cargo Pants in Germany
Kate Skinny Cargo Pants in Germany

The pants could be hand washed in a hotel sink and hung up at night, and we dry the next morning. Same with the tops. The mesh jacket dries in about an hour!

Great for travel. Call and ask them which are the more petite friendly styles. They’ve got great customer service.

 

Another beautiful day in South Florida

Staying cool in a caftan.

One of the perks of living in South Florida is the beautiful weather all year long. In winter, it’s fairly warm in the day and cools off at night. In Spring and Autumn, it’s gloriously perfect. Summer the sun shines, and we get the daily thunderstorm roll through to add to the humidity. It can get a little too hot during the heat of the day, but that’s where the local dress code is a win.

Unlike some places where they wear their jeans all year long, down in places like Palm Beach, everyone slips into something a little more comfortable. Shift dresses and caftans are everywhere. Bright colors, and crisp white are de rigeur. Palm Beach was the home of Lilly Pulitzer, and her spirit hasn’t left the island. Wearing bright colors makes you feel happy. There’s no being a wallflower in a kaleidoscope print.

Palm Beach has more preppy pastels with splashes of bright pinks, but as you head south towards Miami, the colors, like the people, get a little louder.merv

When I was there last week, it was like Miami had issued a uniform. Almost every single lady was moving between the beaches and bars in soft flowing caftans of every length, color and pattern imaginable. It was magical. All these women, flowing around in soft fabrics. Some had plain, short, sheer cover ups to show off their sexy bikinis underneath, others had long silky caftans that looked more like etherical evening gowns. Everyone looked so comfortable, even in the stifling heat. The caftans dry quickly, even when put over a wet bikini. The few people walking around in cut off jeans had wet patches that looked super uncomfortable. The best part about a pretty caftan is I can walk straight from the beach, over to the bars, and get myself a pina colada, and I don’t have to go back to my hotel and change first. You can also tie your caftan back or go one shouldered and make it look like a sexy dress for clubbing after the sun goes down. Everyone had completely different patterns and lengths, so no two women looked alike. It was a beautiful thing to observe.

South Florida is full of resorts. No resort wear wardrobe is complete without the staple caftan.

So  if you’re headed to South Florida, do yourself a favour and grab yourself a caftan or two. It’ll be the most versatile piece in your luggage.

If you’re like me and have trouble finding a caftan to fit your petite frame, I’ve curated a collection of both long and short caftans that will all fit a petite. Check out my Petite Caftan Fit Guide to see how long each length caftan is on an actual petite person, and then find something in your style at the Shop.

Petite Caftans

Living in South Florida, I see women effortlessly breezing around in this heat and humidity in soft flowing Caftans or every color.

I was sad thugh, because I could not find any pretty petite sized caftans. Most were too long, and either drug along on the floor, or required cutting off half the pattern. Even most of the “short caftans” were still too long, and would come down to just below my knees, which makes  a short girl look even shorter.

So, I did some research, and decided that I would find petite caftans. I am working with an apparel manufacturer, and I purchased some samples so that I could make sure that the quality was great, and the lengths were correct.

In the future, I’ll produce my own designs, with my own label, but for now, I’ve got a bunch of perfectly proportioned petite caftans that I’m ready to share with y’all. They are all different designs, and they are also all slightly different lengths. They are all made from viscose, some are crepe, some georgette. There are also some long ones. I’m 4’11” tall, so I’ll post pics of them on me, so you can gauge the length. I’ll be putting them all up in my online store here. Let me know if there’s some you really like, or any color combinations you would like to see in the future, and I’ll make it happen.

Petite length blue caftan
Petite length blue caftan
Hand embroidered animal print caftan
Hand embroidered animal print caftan in petite

Hello world!

Starting Over!

Sometimes in life you just need a do over. Or a fresh start. Or to try something new.

I started life as a fashion model, went to acting, wrote a book, and now I’m going to come full circle back to fashion, with my own fashion blog, and hopefully soon, my own apparel.

This site is geared towards the Shrimps like me. As a 4’11” petite, who wears a size 34 shoe, I know the very real struggle of getting clothes to fit, without a trip to the tailor.