Petite Blogger Spotlight: Bivi of Alive as Always

Bivi 1This week, I’m shaking things up with a fresh perspective from Bivi of Alive as Always.  I’ve been following her for a long time because I can’t get enough of her razor sharp wits and delightful style.  You’ll find a treasure trove on her blog.  From interviews with illustrators to tasty recipes to–my favorite–spotlights on ethical fashion designers, her blog is always exciting to read.  

Now, at 5’3″, most American and European designers would consider her a textbook petite lady, but in her home country of Indonesia, she’s actually taller than average!  After spending time in Germany, though, she got to experience what it’s like to be petite–and she’s offered up some of the things she learned about fashion while she was there.

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Petite, huh? Now that’s a word I never thought would be used to describe me. With the height of 161 cm—which, if online length converters serve me right, makes me about 5’3”—I’m actually one of the tall ones among my girlfriends. Pair that up with a mature face, people tend to think I’m older than I am—repeatedly mistaking me for an older sibling to my big sister and the twin to my late mother. But all of that changed the minute I moved to Germany.

Living in a country where the average woman is an inch taller than me, for the first time in my life, I was considered the small one—granted, that most of the girls in my class were 5’6” at best. Delivery men and landlords kept asking me if I was already at a legal age of 18 when I was already 21.

It was here, too, that I discovered a sudden passion for clothing. I’ve shopped more than I’ve ever shopped in my life and, ironically, in a country where my size is considered small. I could shop in the children’s sections—which saves a lot of bucks, I must say. I could buy oversized items and make them look adorable on me. But, to be honest, I prefer getting secondhand stuff instead of buying new. Here are some of the things that I have learnt from the experience:

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SIZE IS SECONDARY

First and foremost, when it comes to thrifting—whether you’re petite or not—you should know that there is a very slim chance of finding an item which will fit you perfectly right. And that’s okay! You should first look at the style of the item, whether or not you will get a lot of wear out of it, and see if it can be altered into something you’d prefer. Then and only then can you look at the size and see if it’s possible for you to wear it at all despite it being a few sizes too big. Then we move on to the next one.

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LEARN TO SEW

You don’t have to be a pro about it, it’s fine. Just learn how to put a thread through a needle and sew a hem or take in a waistline—anything simple that will be very useful to tackle the size problem. If you’re afraid of making drastic changes, do it like me: fold the waistline and sew it in place. That way, if you need to take it out again, you can just pull the thread loose. Of course, if you want to take it a step further and actually learn how to sew your own clothes, that would be even better.

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LOOK TO YOUR INNER CHILD

As everyone who is categorised as petite would tell you: never underestimate the children’s section. Well, I’m just here to repeat the message. I can’t tell you how many times the children’s section saved me—or more like how my size saved me because children’s clothes are just so much cuter. I don’t know how the section works in the U.S. but in Germany the sizes are based on your height, so it’s so much easier to find an item which will no doubt fit you better than adult clothing.

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FIND OTHER OPTIONS

Aside from thrifting—both online and offline, you can also find ‘new’ clothes by swapping with friends. The best part of this is you can ask a friend with similar sizes as yours to do it. You can even make a whole party out of it, gather all your similar-sized friends and serve out drinks and snacks with the clothes. This would not only be the perfect chance to give addition to your wardrobe, but also get rid of something you don’t wear anymore and grab that top of your friends’ which you may or may not have been eyeing for some time now—score!

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EMBRACE YOUR SIZE

You know, being petite isn’t so bad. I think it’s actually the perfect excuse to be able to wear oversized stuff without having to bust out our wallets buying the newly delivered boyfriend items. At least, that’s what I decided to do. Often, I forgot to look at the size tag on items before I dragged them to the cashier. With everything fitting too big on you and the whole boyfriend/oversized stuff being back on trend, our petiteness actually allows us to be chic without trying too hard. Embrace that and swim in those sweaters—because we can!

Okay, I guess that’s it from me! I hope these tips would really help you find clothes for your size—though I still feel like a fraud calling myself petite. By the way, I blog over at Alive as Always, where I usually show off my mostly thrifted outfits, interview illustrators, share recipes, take you on my adventures  and—best of all—showcase ethical fashion. Do come by and say hello!

Outfit: Mean Green

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I know I say this a lot, but I need to give up sugar.  It’s not a weight loss thing–I keep getting some bad stomachaches when I have too much sugar, and I’ve also noticed that my energy levels have been really low these days.  I’m hoping that a sugar fast will help, and hopefully one day I’ll be able to have small amounts again.

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So far, I’m just trying to get through a whole day without it.  This morning, before I threw out my jar of cookie butter, I had a nice big spoonful of it.  And while I was at my parents’ over the weekend, I just had to indulge in a yummy Toasted Almond bar.

It ain’t easy.  I crave sugar like you wouldn’t believe, and I get really cranky without it.  At least I’m not throwing temper tantrums or anything–yet.  Heck, I’m this close to stopping this post for a quick ice cream run.  It’s taking all my willpower to keep writing.

Anyway, let’s change the subject for a bit.  I’ve been a big thredUP fan for a while now, so imagine my surprise when they wanted to work with me!  They carry a giant selection of pre-loved clothes at good, good discounts, so it’s kind of like thrift shopping online for brands I actually like.  I got to pick out some cute end-of-summer/fall clothes, and I’ll be revealing those in the next few posts.  First up are these Forever 21 shorts–I haven’t seen mint green, high-waisted shorts anywhere else before, so I was excited to scoop up this pair!

If you’re interested in snagging some F21 pieces, use the code Forever50 for 50% off first-time orders!  You can go straight to the Forever 21 stuff right here.

Top: thrifted

Shorts: c/o thredUP

Shoes: old, ModCloth

Bag: old, ModCloth

Outfit: Over Troubled Water

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Some days, the struggle is real.

I got up early to take these pictures, and in my haste to get ready in the morning, I knocked over a glass candle holder in my bathroom…and then I stepped on a broken shard.  Which I didn’t even realize until I was trailing blood all over the floor.  Thank goodness for a carpet-free apartment, right?  I bandaged up my foot and got dressed and out the door like a champ, and then the real challenge began.

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For a long time, I’ve really wanted to take pictures at this very covered bridge, right as the sun was coming up.  I thought nothing could be prettier or more quaint than the dawn breaking over the river.  That’s what I was determined to get, bleeding toe or not.

Instead, I got to the bridge just in time for it to start pouring.  The storm came on so suddenly and unexpectedly, and I was just stuck here for about an hour.  I don’t think you can tell by the pictures, but the whole time I was being lightly misted with raindrops and splashes from the river below.  I had nothing better to do, so I just kept snapping away until the storm blew itself out.

It wasn’t really so bad; the views were lovely from where I stood, and under a gazebo nearby, two men were playing guitars and singing over the rain.  Still, I was so disappointed that I didn’t get my sunrise pic–foiled again!

Maybe the blogging gods are trying to get me to take it easy, but I tell you what: it’s going to take more than a sore toe and a stormy sky to stop me.

Top: old, ModCloth

Skirt: old, ModCloth

Shoes: old, ModCloth

Bag: old, ModCloth

Watch: old, Olivia Burton

The August Ipsy Bag Revealed!

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Ipsy is like playing a monthly round of White Elephant.  You never know what you’re going to get–it could be something you can’t live without, or it could be a total dud.  And after it’s over, you end up trading stuff with your mom.

This month, I unwrapped my bag and wound up with a whole lotta useless.  And the one thing I did like…well, I’ll tell you about it below:

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IT Hair Care 12-in-One Amazing Leave-in Treatment

I got excited about this stuff because it promises so much: it gets rid of frizz and tangles, it repairs damaged hair (ooh that’s me!), it adds body and shine, the list goes on.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t get past the greasy, thick feeling it had on my hair.  I made sure to use the recommended amount, but still, my hair just felt like I hadn’t washed it in a few days.  No bueno.

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Formula X Nail Polish in Dollface

Okay, I really, really liked this one!  I prefer very pale nail polish colors, and this one fit the bill exactly.  It went on smoothly and still hasn’t chipped (after three days, for reference).  Sadly, I accidentally left my sample at the nail salon.  I’m going to take that as a sign from above that I should go ahead and buy a full-size bottle.

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Pacifica Sundreams Lotus Infused Bronzer in Sunkissed

REALLY, IPSY?  I’m about as pale as they come, and they sent me a bronzer that’s about ten shades too dark.  I tried to make it work.  I applied it like a “3” on my forehead, the hollows of my cheeks, and my jawline, but I looked absolutely ridiculous.  No amount of blending was gonna make this work.

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Beau Gachis Paris Pro Series Applicator Sponge

NYX Professional Makeup Born to Glow Liquid Illuminator in Sunbeam

Well, I at least liked the applicator sponge.  It soaked up the illuminator really well and allowed me to dab on just the right amount–no drips, no mess, nada.  The illuminator, though, didn’t work for me.  I have fairly oily skin, so my face gets shiny on its own.  It doesn’t need the help.

Do you get Ipsy bags?  If you do, what did you think of this month’s bag?

By the way, do you like my background?  It’s just a sheet of wallpaper that I got from Paper Source!

Outfit: Off With Her Sleeves

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Last weekend during a Tudors marathon with one of my friends, we spent about half the time drooling over Jonathan Rhys Meyers and the other half over all the insanely gorgeous costumes.  They were all so ornate, with rich colors and sharp angles and you-can-practically-feel-it textures.  That’s why I desperately wanted to put on this dress.  It may not look like anything in Anne Boleyn’s wardrobe, but there is something about it that calls back to those times.  The fabric is so heavy and full, and the paisley print almost looks like it could have been hundreds of years old.

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Dress: old, ModCloth

Shoes: old, Seychelles

Ring: ModCloth

Bracelet: c/o Bead Artistry by Marian

Outfit: Lovin’ in the Sun

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Remember how last time, I went out to take pictures really early in the morning so I wouldn’t be disturbed and ended up being photobombed by a bunch of Tai Chi-ers?  Well, the day after that, I thought I’d try taking some good sunrise pics again.

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Once more, I woke up at 5:30 a.m., got ready, and was on the road by 6.  I drove all the way out to Naperville, which is a good 30-40 minute drive.  I wanted to shoot at this pretty covered bridge over the DuPage River, and I knew I’d never have a chance at getting a good shot at any other time of day.  The river has a walking path beside it, and it’s not long after sunrise that it gets packed with people strolling the shoreline.  When I pulled into a spot near the riverbank, I scanned the horizon and spent a few moments taking in the sight of the sun slowly making its way above my head.  The colors were so striking–saturated oranges and yellows, muted purples and blues all stacked atop each other.  I couldn’t wait to hop out of the car and get cracking.  I turned to pick up my camera, and…

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It was gone.  I left it at home.

After I laughed at myself a little, I hit the road again, picked up my camera, and went to one of my favorite forest preserves nearby to see if I could still get some good sunshine in these pictures.  Happily, the lighting was wonderful and I was even able to finally get some good sunflare shots!  I’m really excited about how these turned out, and while I don’t believe in signs, man, I think it turned out to be a great thing that I ended up shooting here.

Top: thrifted

Shorts: ModCloth

Shoes: old, Urban Outfitters

Necklace: Bristol Renaissance Faire

Bag: old, ModCloth

3 Ways I Dress to Look Taller

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I’ve always loved being on the short side.  Shortness automagically makes you cute, and it’s something a little unique, especially when you’re hardly over 5′.  As much as I love my height, though, I don’t want to make myself look any shorter than I actually am.  Ever since I started blogging, I’ve picked up a few style rules for myself.  I don’t always follow them–and I don’t think you should, either!–but they’re great guidelines for picking out outfits that make me feel confident and get away with rounding up my height to 5’1″!

  1. My skirts are usually cut above the knee. Nothing makes your legs look longer than showing them off!  I’m always at the tailor getting skirts taken up a few inches to land in just the right place. While I do love midi skirts, I have short, muscular legs, so I tend to wear them a little less frequently.DSC_2126
  2. All my pants, shorts, and skirts are high-waisted. Defining your waist is an easy way to make your legs look longer.  Better yet?  Tuck in or knot your shirts or wear a belt for even more definition!dress with dalmatian dog print 

  3. Most of my clothes are fitted. I seldom wear things that don’t have definition–nearly all my dresses have nipped-in waists, my pants are all skinny, and almost every one of my tops is cut close to my body.  The less fabric, the better.  Of course, I have exceptions, like my huge, fuzzy cardigans for winter!

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What about you?  Do you have your own personal style rules?