Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Recyling a Favorite Combination

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I'm not one of those people who wake up every morning, excited to conjure up a chic outfit for the day. On some days there just isn't time, and on others there is no motivation.

As a result, I've been embracing the beauty of recycled clothing combinations. If I discover a pairing I really like, I'll keep them together on the same hanger for easy dressing in the mornings. My reused combos usually entail:

1. Blouse with either an interesting pattern, color, or details down the center like ruffles or pleats. Details down the center tend to look best under cardigans or blazers, as they have a lengthening effect.
2. Fitted cardigan
Blouse: LOFT ruffled shell sz XXSP (similar here)
Sweater: J.Crew Chiffon Ruffle Cardigan sz XXS (similar here)
Shorts: H&M sz 2

See this outfit and other bloggers' LOFT items featured on LOFT's facebook album here.
Skirt: Banana Republic Paper Bag skirt sz 0 P (gifted by a reader) (similar here)
Shoes: Marc Fischer, thrifted  Belt: J.Crew  Ring: YSL Arty


Skirt: Ann Taylor Tropical Wool Pencil Skirt sz 00P (altered)  

Jeans: Gap Legging Jeans in "faded dark" sz 00P
Booties: Target sz 5.5  Ring: YSL Arty in coral, sz 5

Just make sure you rotate recycled pairings amongst different audiences! My friends give me a hard time for wearing my favorite pieces week after week ; )

Readers - How often do you "recycle" favorite pairings? Or, do you try to never repeat an outfit?


  1. i love the weathered wood cardigan! it goes so well with everything. you have some amazing outfit combinations with the LOFT shell too. i'll have to wear mine soon after seeing these pictures.

    as for me, i try not to repeat an outfit, but it's especially hard with dresses. accessories do make a huge difference though!

  2. I have the weathered wood and that LOFT shell and love it too! I always repeat outfits because I tend to go for my favorites..LOL

    And Jean- you could NEVER be boring!!! You alway look amazing and beautiful no matter what you wear!! :D

  3. I looove every single outfit. May I ask what lipgloss are you wearing? It's the perfect pretty pink! Your Marc Fischer heels are GORGEOUS, can't believe you found them at a thrift store. I'm going to have to look much harder at my local thrift store for shoes. I have a question about the jeggings. I have yet to purchase them, lol! I gained about 10 pounds (102 lbs. now) and I don't know if I should still buy size 00P or do you think it would be too tight and I should go one size up? Thank you so much in advanced! :)

  4. This is why I love your blog. You're so stylish yet relatable! Don't get me wrong, I love dressing vicariously through some fashion bloggers who seem to have loads and loads of clothes. But I think most of us tend to repeat our fav outfits (and neglect a significant portion of our closet or at least I do).

    Nevertheless the outfits you put together are always so stylish but I think still "wearable" enough to give the average girl solid ideas. Love the weather wood with the Loft shell! I would have never thought to put those two shades of pink together. Now I wish I had kept my J. Crew cardi, lol.

    P.S. I received the Theory skirt today. Thank you so much, I love it!

  5. I love your outfits, dressing it up and down! From your first picture, I spotted your nail and I love that color! Can you tell me which brand and color it is?

  6. Your makeup looks flawless! I definitely recycle outfits. I typically go through phases so I will wear a cardigan with the same blouse over and over but with different pants/accessories. And then I will wear that pairing to death until my next phase in a month or so!

  7. I love the taupe-y nail polish! What is it may I ask? =0P
    I have to agree that a cardigan and an interesting blouse really can be the bread and butter for a wardrobe. Can't go wrong there! Love the different accessories that you placed, especially that YSL ring.

  8. I recycle the same outfits. haha I'm sure many people are the same. I mean, no one has a never ending closet! None of my friends question my recycled pieces though. :P I like your outfit in the third photo! Very slim/fitted and looking sharp, as always! : )

  9. I like to incorporate cardigans and belts into most of my outfits, including the one I blogged about today! Ruffles, too, are very flattering on us petites.

    Question- how do you manage to take such good quality photographs of yourself? Do you use a timer or have someone take them? I just started taking pictures for my blog and they always look terrible!

  10. I wear a lot of similar outfits day after day too but occasionally change it up when I feel "inspired" which isn't very often. :) Then again my work environment is likely more casual than yours.

    I really like all of your outfits and they aren't boring at all, I think with interesting prints or embellished tops, it's hard to go wrong from there!

  11. I wasn't sure how that weathered wood cardigan could go with different outfits, but now I see! It's a great color!

  12. I really love that top and cardi together on you; you're so gorgeous as always!

  13. if i recycle i try to not wear it more than once a week. its more of personal pet peeve of mine.

    love the ruffls and cardi!

  14. Love the outfits! Gorgeous colors and gorgeous pairings, as always. I definitely see the lengthening effects of the ruffles at work under the cardigan!

    Question: I know you've mentioned having the sides slimmed on blouses before. In your experience, how costly is this alteration? I have 2 of the Ann Taylor Pleated Silk Neck-Tie Blouse in 00P and both are a little bit boxy on me. I know silk is supposed to flow nicely and not be tight, so I'd probably need about a half inch to an inch taken in from each side.

  15. I definitely repeat outfits. I try not to do it too often with the same audience, but I am guilty of falling in love with one outfit and then wanting to rewear it again and again :)

  16. i totally know what you mean by waking up in the morning....and not knowing what to wear. i try to be creative, but i always end up wearing the same combo. lol i wear my faves all the time too.
    i love all the diff outfits, my favorite outfit is with the shorter paper bag skirt! i like the business casual look.

    btw did you watch the girls tell all on the bachelor. if you haven't, go watch it! i need someone to dissect the show with me. lol

  17. ohh one last thing, what lip gloss are you wearing? it such a pretty pink!

  18. You look lovely in each of your outfit variations!

    I end up wearing the same outfits over and over. But as long as I'm not seeing the same people each time I wear it, it doesn't matter that much. =)

  19. you look the same in all your blog posts. Some sort of skirt, cardigan, and blouse. Please be a little more original. Its getting boring.

  20. off-topic: but i love your nail polish color!

    i tend to wear the same outfits over and over again (i'm a creature of habit), but it doesn't seem as noticeable since most of my clothes can be defined as "basics" anyways

    one of my favorite spring outfits is tailored white button-down from club monaco (the vanessa shirt), skinny jeans from j-brand (the 10-inch), and brown loafers (the penny loafer in zinfandel from cole haan)

    and when it gets cooler out, i just toss on a yellow pashmina to go with it. i wear that outfit all the time, but no one ever really notices. or maybe they just assume i have 10 of the same white shirt ;] (in actuality, i have 2)

  21. Oh I recycle outfits all the time! I might change up the accessories. As long as I don't wear the same combo to work in the same week I'm good :)

  22. I'm definitely a chronic repeater. My style is very minimalist though so I think it might not be as easy to tell (at least that's what I'm telling myself!)

  23. I wonder if "anonymous" is petite. We all know that petites are limited in the cute items we can find to spice up our wardrobes. I think you do it beautifully, Jean. I've been reading for just a couple months now and have already been inspired to mix some things up and be more careful about some of my skirt lengths.

    Now, if I could just find a great blog for dressing my really slim husband, I'd be set! :)

  24. You look sharp and gorgeous in these colors. I have a love for anything with ruffles, bows, pleats and flowers. They look pretty when worn with a simple blazer, jacket or cardigan. I recycle my outfits all the time (too often) especially my pants lol.

  25. Jean, as usual, you look so put together and absolutely beautiful in each of your shots. I never can seem to leave my jeans behind. We have a love affair :D So yes, I tend to repeat my outfits all the time. I find inspiration through your site to switch things up a bit. I picked up a few skirts because of you :P I do love that ruffle shell and find it so pairable with everything! I have a friend who, in college, refused to wear the same thing twice in one quarter. Now, she says she wears the same thing over and over again. In her words, she refers to her college self by commenting "what was I thinking!?" Much more practical.

    I also can't leave the cardigan behind :D And my coworkers would never comment about me wearing the same thing over and over again because... they wear the same things over and over again. Haha...I sure do love my engineers =)

  26. What a beautiful way to recycle! I just finished the 30x30 and am more inspired than ever to remix what I've got. You look fantastic! xoxo Kiki

  27. I try to do what you've done in your photos there... take the same items and change it up a little by wearing different pants/skirts, or a different cardigan, or different accessories. I used to wear the exact same outfits almost every week, but now I try not to. It's a good way to think creatively and show that your clothes work in lots of different ways! :)

  28. @Anonymous @Anon: according to you, mb Jean lacks diversity. but according to us, you lack the balls to identify yourself. Using "anonymous?" I mean really...if you're going to judge/criticize/suggest, be daring enough to say who it is from. Otherwise, it discredits everything you have to say, and if you're already taking time to write something, don't be a fool and hide behind the "anonymous" option.

    IMO, when you're wearing the same things, it shows us that you're human and you have a natural affinity to buy/wear certain items (be that it's a blouse, cardigan, skirt "of some sort"). Thus, making you relatable, at least to those of us that have the same attraction to the same items. That's why we follow certain bloggers. and if it's boring, we all have options to follow other people or create our own blogs.

  29. @AubreyOhDang! @Anonymous - Oh Aubrey, that's why we all love you...well said!

    I'll also add in here that there is a difference between a fashion blogger and a style blogger. Fashion bloggers are constantly trying new looks, jumping on new trends, want to have Marc Jacob's babies (eww), and, in my opinion, often look a bit ridiculous chasing after whatever new trend has popped (I almost wrote pooped...close) into Forever 21.

    I see Jean (and hopefully myself) as a style blogger. She has a distinct personal style, and her blog is all about finding the clothing items that not only fit her well, but is also in align with her personal taste and style.

    Style bloggers are real people, with real jobs, real financial budgets, and hopefully a cohesive closet from which they can pull beautiful outfits that FIT & FLATTER.

    I'll take a well dressed "style blogger" over an over-hyped "fashion blogger" any day. ;)

  30. @Anonymous 2:14 am. From another "Anonymous" (who doesn't have blog and is a bit lazy more than anything, so please don't yell at me!), I sort of see what you mean, but (1) it's winter, so the type of outfits that are weather appropriate are limited by practicality, (2) this post was about recycled outfits, so seriously, come on, (3) having a consistent style is considered by many as... having a consistent style (versus a haphazard mishmash of clothes that have only in common the fact that they fit you!). That being said, it's clear (and she has said as much) that this blogger finds it easiest to pull on a skirt, ruffly blouse and cardi most mornings. For you, that's boring -- for me, I admire the way she puts it all together!

  31. Lovely Jean! I too have a "uniform" that is handy on those maniac mornings when nothing comes together. I usually use my weekend time (if I have any) to stretch myself out of my comfort zone and do a little style experimenting and harness any inpiration I've come across during the week. Love this post ;)

  32. Jean blogs with a specific purpose - to share/review professional outfits & petite pieces for her readers. For women, workplace attire is pretty much limited to all the things you mentioned, plus a few more. Pencil skirts, blouses, cardigans, blazers...what more do you want from this blog? If you want a bit more "originality", then obviously this blog isn't for you. I suggest blogs like The Man Repeller, Susie Bubble, and Bryan Boy.

  33. somewhat o/t but your lashes look amazing!

  34. I totally agree with Alteration's Needed. I <3 this blog AND this outfit. When I first discovered Extra Petite (not long ago, truthfully) I read all the way back to the first post, I liked the outfits and style so much and I never thought it was boring. Take that, Anon.


  35. The shell is definitley gorgeous on you! And girl, you rock EVERY outfit you post! You are so inspiring, I love seeing what you are gonna wear next!

  36. I love all of your outfits, Jean. When I found something that works for me, I tend to stick with it. I wear the same outfits from week to week. Wearing the favorite outfits make me feel good. I don't have to try new things constantly to make me feel good.

    P.S: Keep up the great work! I hope that all of your readers appreciate you as much as I do.

  37. Aw! Jean! I love this post!! You look so beautiful in all your pics! I also love the grouping of bangles. Did those come in a set, or did you throw that together?

    I love every outfit combination you created here! Now that my classroom is no longer eighty degrees, I can actually wear shells with cardigans! Yay! :)

  38. Jean!

    You are stunning in that first pic, your lashes are so long!!! (what's your secret?) I love the pairing of long cardigans and skinny belts...

    I recycle outfits all the time - but not in the good way which takes actual creativity. Still working on it in that department...my newest secret weapon is jewelry! :)

    PS - I called the Chanel boutique in Bloomingdale's on Chestnut Hill - the sweetest SAs (they are a bit elitist at the stores in Saks here in TX) told me that all of the black medium double flaps in lambskin were sold out nationwide at the moment. *sigh* They might be getting another shipment in sometime soon, but will miss out on the 20% sale...perhaps it wasn't meant to be at the moment. I'm on the waiting list though for the first shipment in and I still can apply the 10% if I open up an account later on - thanks for the heads up though, you are the best! <3

  39. Please do a short post on your go-to everyday make-up look and hair. Cause I just love your look, so natural yet pretty! :) Thanks in advance Jean!

  40. Oooh really like the colors of the shell and it is a perfect pairing with that cardi. Works beautifully with casual and work attire, a good "go to" look.

    (Couture and Crayons)

  41. love the looks and makeup. What mascara are you wearing? Your lashes look gorgeous in the close up.

  42. I agree with all of the above except for the first anonymous poster! I travel quite a bit for work so having "go to" fabulous outfits is a must. I am still trying to figure those out but your blog is definitely helping. Also, I would also love for you to do a blog about your morning routine as you always look so effortlessly put together!

  43. Very cute outfit! And totally easy to transition. I used to rely on the silk blouse/sweater combination when traveling for work as they don't wrinkle as much and are much more comfortable than suits. Great post.

  44. Thank you guys for your comments, which are always a pleasure to read. I'm glad I'm not the only pairing (or even outfit) repeater. I'm trying to become more of a minimalist and donate or sell everything that doesn't get worn at least a few times a month!

    @April Tweeted you my thoughts!

    @R.L. I'm so glad the skirt worked out and now you have your full boucle suit! And you are definitely not alone..there are whole sections of my closet that are neglected, usually items purchased because of a sale.

    @Crystal Luvz @Banhannas It's Hot Coco by Essie...gifted to me by the lovely Kileen as part of our petite secret santa exchange!

    @ShortBlonde Hi Elizabeth - responded to you via your blog ; )

    @Ali Hi Ali, having tried on that blouse I know it's a simple slimming alteration, but for silk my tailors would probably charge $20-$25 per top. Every tailor charges differently, though! And oh, make sure you don't get too much taken in...but it sounds like you already know how it should flow and fit : )

    @Ping I haven't watched it yet!! And the gloss is Revlon pink pop : )

  45. @Anonymous What can I say - I'm a creature of habit. Never tried to be anyone's style icon lol...this blog is just about my day to day outfits and shopping trial and error : )

    @Lydia That's funny, i was reading kerry of Little Nashua blog and she mentioned her sig. other is small in build...but she makes him clothes! I bet there are blogs out there, but they may be a little too metro fashion for your husband : )

    @grace You know, I never saw this shell online! So glad I found it in stores and you have it too. It is definitely a year-round top.

    Aubrey, Kelly, Anonymous 3:09, Jessy, Julie, and all the ladies beyond - I heart you guys! Totally made my day to come out of work and see this outpour of support, wit, and humor lol.

    Kelly, funnily enough I think I've specifically labeled myself in a previous post not as a fashion NOR style blogger...petite fit and fashion is a very specific niche in my opinion unlike the fashion trendsetter bloggers.

    @extraluggage @Recovering Shopaholic That is very sweet of you two. I'll do a hair routine post soon, but makeup I'm waiting until after I learn a few tips from a friend next month : )

    @Tiff I'm cheating! I think I'm wearing falsies in that photo! Mascara doesn't do much for me...my lashes are so sparse and thin they need more help than that to show up in photos lol.

  46. Really love your lip & cheek color in the first photo! What are you wearing for blush/lipstick?

  47. @Anonymous Thank you! It's Rock & Republic blush in "tease" and Revlon lip gloss in "pink pop." I love Revlon Super Lustrous glosses in pink pop and coral reef : )

  48. Both men & women who never repeat an outfit AMAZE me. lol It seem so impossible for me. I think I wear the same type of "at home clothes" (I believe they're called pajamas) almost every day! Steph = #fashionfail rofl

  49. I try and create different outfits and not repeat, but some of my favorite combos, like a cardi and bangle set, make it in many different looks.

    Your floral print and cardi is a good match and I liked how you created different look with them!

  50. Hi Jean,

    I have the same cardi. Have you tried to handwash it or are you sticking to dry clean only? Thank you and hope you are having a great weekend.

  51. Hi PAG,
    Do you ever felt soft materials (like cardigans), ruffles and warm colors make you appear TOO feminine and less powerful? I have been following your blog for a while and really like your interesting top + cardigan look. But a good friend of mine recently criticized my outfit for being not powerful enough. I then discussed this with many people. Most of them agree with my friend that those ruffle tops, cardigans and warm colors I have been wearing are not helping me look powerful. But I have seen you wear those elements a lot. So have you ever felt the same way?

  52. I'm late to comment but have been following this convo on Twitter of course. Think it's kind of funny that anon commented on this post when it's clearly about recycling oufits. But no matter, your readers clearly love you and obviously you're doing something right because everyone keeps coming back for more! :)

    I wouldn't have thought to pair these two pieces, but then again, my color coordinating skills are no match to yours!

  53. You have really great work on fashion, I have also some collection on the spring fashion I hope you like it


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