Easy outfit pairing: Monochromatic plus a print


LOFT Petite blouse (similar in XXS-XXL; love but no petites), Cole Haan heels, ebay pearls, Chanel WOC
Ann Taylor tropical wool pencil skirt (old color, 00P taken-in) and leopard cardigan (similar)

This outfit is from early Fall, before I sold the yellow heels to a lovely reader. An easy tip for wearing prints and patterns is to pair them with monochromatic pieces. Or, if you tend to wear a lot of solid basics, add some interest to your outfit with a print layer in the same color family

After buying this cardigan (and now some pumps), I’ve come to realize what a versatile “neutral” leopard print is. It’s definitely one of my wardrobe staples. As long as the print is done right (classic color family, not too gaudy or cheap), it pairs easily with so many things. In this old video, I show several ways to wear this cardigan.
In the video, I also talked about defining your waist by tucking in your cardigan. I’m sure this styling trick has been around for ages, but I was so ecstatic to accidentally learn it last year, during the process of getting dressed. Check out before and afters to see what a difference it makes. I tried to switch it up here by overlapping the front, wrap-style, before tucking it in, but this look was met by my coworker’s wrinkly nose. Oh, well – chalk it up to experimentation.


33 thoughts on “Easy outfit pairing: Monochromatic plus a print

  • Chloe November 17, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    Aw, sad to hear you sold those heels! I do love a good yellow pump and I loooove how they pop with your outfit.

    And I agree – leopard is one of my favorite neutrals. It goes with brown, it goes with black, it goes with gray, it goes with everything! The only thing it probably doesn't go with is…uh. Cheetah? Maybe? Love it. <3

  • Ella Pretty Blog November 17, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    Love the color of your blouse – it complements the leopard print so well. Also loving your pearl necklace/s (can't tell it it's one or a bunch layered together LOL!). I checked out your ebay link for the necklaces – I have to figure out what akoya pearl refers to…off to google!

  • The Little Dust Princess November 17, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    Leopard is one of my fave prints! : ) I like how this outfit looks without the cardigan tucked in! Loving the behind shot ; )

  • Kellie November 17, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    gorgeous as always!!

  • Krista-Rae November 17, 2011 at 10:45 pm

    I love this outfit! I really like the cardi with that blouse.

    I definitely regret not purchasing this cardigan when it was available.

  • Laura November 17, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    This is SUCH a pretty outfit! I've been looking for a not-expensive and not-cheap looking leopard cardigan for ages! I actually kind of like the cardigan tucked in wrap-style, at least from this picture.
    – Laura S

  • Michelle November 17, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    I cannot believe how many pearls there are on Ebay! Wow!

    That skirt is a great fit!

  • Forever Fashion November 17, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    Omg! I have that cardigan!! 😀 I love it!!! And I have the matching skirt haha! I just dont wear it at the same time! Amazing style! You look beautiful!!


  • ~Lara~ November 17, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    Very chic! Like the colors you chose and styling looks great 🙂

  • Megan November 17, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    GREAT OUTFIT! You put it together so well. I wish AT sold more of those pencil skirts in that color!

  • Rosie November 18, 2011 at 12:12 am

    Jean — did you see your blog was featured on the Capitol Hill Style blog? (Which, coincidentally, is the only other style blog I have time to read besides yours!) It's in this post.

    Keep up the good work! I love how you emphasize polish, style, value and fit instead of flashy brand names and trends. I've become so much pickier about the fit my clothes ever since I've started reading your blog. And even took some "old" things to get tailored since my sharpened eye now sees many of my non-petite clothes don't fit right.

  • Jenny November 18, 2011 at 1:23 am

    Hey Jean!
    Love your outfit, especially the color of that pencil skirt! 🙂

    I also purchased the "chunky heel city sandals" when you did a post about the their big sale/deal in the summer. I'm not sure if you have this problem, but whenever I wear them, the sling back falls off within minutes of walking in them. If you have this problem, or have experienced this problem with your other shoes, could you please share some tips on how to prevent them from sliding off? THANKS! 🙂

  • Sidney Salim November 18, 2011 at 1:42 am

    Leopard print has been my favorite this season 🙂
    Love your outfit very much. Your work outfits really inspire me a lot.

  • Kiwi November 18, 2011 at 3:05 am

    I love this outfit. The leopard print cardigan and yellow heels are beautiful.

  • 1to24 November 18, 2011 at 4:01 am

    Cute look! I just bought a patterned cardigan, so I will be trying this out. I actually like the wrapped tuck. When I first saw it I kept on reading to see if you explained what you did because it kinda looks like you knotted it or something in the first picture

  • Katie November 18, 2011 at 6:20 am

    i agree, i love a good leopard print, that cardigan looks great!

    Katie x

  • NeutraKris November 18, 2011 at 7:50 am

    This outfit is so classy. I'm going to check out your cardigan tips right now! Cardigans are one of my all-time favorite accessories!

  • lin November 18, 2011 at 8:53 am

    jean, great sophisticated look yet very chic. i like how everything compliments each other. you certainly know how to put an outfit together. seeing how you styled the leopard blouse in your other post and your cardigan in this post is making me consider investing in a leopard print top… 🙂

  • Sonja November 18, 2011 at 11:19 am

    Beautiful combination. Have you seen the leopard shrug at banana republic? I think it's very petite friendly and just purchased it in the Manchester (UK) store.


    By the way your blog is wonderful, I am a new reader but have become quite dependent on your wisdom regarding work outfits and your tips on skirt length have saved 2 midi length pencil skirts from being dumped. With a significant hem alteration they are now wardrobe favourites.

  • Clara Turbay November 18, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    i find this blog amazing full of great ideas i´d like you check out mine and leave me some comments.

  • Ping November 18, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    very simple, but still very pretty! jean i want to steal all your skirts. love how they are all altered and nicely fitted.

  • Petite and Hungry November 18, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    really really pretty!

  • Lisa Griffin November 18, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    Very cute outfit! i love the pop of color with the shoes in the otherwise monochromatic outfit

  • AubreyOhDang! November 18, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    alterations on this skirt is perfect for your body. I love!

    you know this LOFT shirt? i bought during my obsession w/flowy boxy button-ups stage, but now I dread washing it bc I know i'll have to spend an eternity ironing it. and then one time, i accidently got 1 drop of water on it while ironing, left a watermark stain (that is til i wish it again). I'm glad you are remixing it in this post bc I only saw it once in the mixing textures post.

  • Anonymous November 18, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    Great outfit. Seeing you in a grey skirt reminded me a of a dilemma I'm having right now – what color tights can you wear with a grey skirt? I love my grey pencil skirt but it's too cold to wear it with barelegs now. Thanks for any tips!

  • Anonymous November 19, 2011 at 12:33 am


    I'm a new fan of your blog and love every post. I like wearing skirts as well but I hate the dreaded vpl ("visible panty line"). I'm not a thong fan, so I was wondering if you have any suggestions for avoiding vpl for petites? Thanks!

  • Claud November 19, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Hi Jean, I love this look, so pretty 🙂 I'm kicking myself for not getting this sweater from AT when it was on sale 🙁
    I'm have been always on the fence to wear animal print. But I just got a pair of nice leopard pumps from Nordies that I'm totally in love with ^.^

  • Lorraine November 20, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    Hello from Ireland Jean!

    Just a quick message to say I have recently discovered your blog and love it! My sister-in-law in Boston is having to put up with me ordering Ann Taylor Petites through her because they don't ship outside the US! Hopefully one cobalt blue skirt will soon be mine 🙂

  • PetiteAsianGirl November 20, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    @Ella Pretty Blog Lol, AlterationsNeeded did a good post on pearl shopping once: http://www.alterationsneeded.com/2010/09/how-to-shop-for-pearls.html

    @Rosie Yes I did – I love Belle's blog and her wonderful writing! It was so very sweet of her to feature EP.

    @Jenny I have the same problem with all my slingbacks : / I wonder if I just have to size down next time, or maybe get some non slip grips to put inside the back strap? (I've seen those for sale, but am highly doubtful that they work). http://www.footpetals.com/event/catalog:detail/catalogCode/Strappy-Strips-FP100/

    @Sonja It looks nice over the dress! I'm glad you rescued a few pieces, when all they needed was some simple alterations : )

    @Anonymous Tights are hard…they ruin outfits that I try to put together in the winter. For a gray skirt, (other than basic black tights) I'm guessing dark charcoal gray tights, or maybe a dark navy blue. If you're experimental, maybe a dark burgandy.

    @Anonymous I think VPL has very much to do with the material of your underwear. You should do a search online for no visible line panties and see what comes up. I wish I had more knowledge to share on this matter, but unfortunately I suffer occasional VPL as well. The material of the skirt also matters … wool is more forgiving than thin cotton.

    @Claud Lovely, which style did you get? I saw quite a few on Nordies' site.

    @Lorraine Hi Lorraine! How kind of your sister in law to be your package forwarder. I don't know why AT and LOFT have not chosen to expand internationally yet, like Gap has. I hope you love the cobalt blue skirt. I wish it was better quality and lined, but the striking color makes up a bit for those shortcomings.

  • Pablo November 20, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    Gorgeous outfit! =)

  • Sal November 22, 2011 at 8:25 am

    Great combo of colors! Love your outfit.

    I am hosting a holiday Beauty giveaway on my blog- hope you can make it by =)


  • The_Leather_Skirt_Blog November 22, 2011 at 11:43 pm

    Nice! So well put together.


  • Aaron January 17, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    nice outfit! i have really been liking leopard print this season and you wear it well!

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