Lookbook: Sweater Dress + Simples


Crewcuts Mohair Dress sz 10,  Theory blazer sz 00 (similar),  thrifted Talbots belt
CL Simple 85 Pumps in metal rouge, Sparkling Sage necklace (not worth full price), Talbots earrings

This cozy sweater dress was my favorite find from J.Crew’s final sale. I would’ve loved a longer length, but my search for sz 12 came up empty.  I paired the heathered knit against a classic black blazer, and broke up the gloomy color scheme with rich jewel-toned accessories.

These “ruby slippers” are a recent addition to my shoe family. They’re metallic rouge patent from a few seasons ago, and the heel height is a lower, comfortable 85mm (mine measure 3.25″). They were a random store return and marked down quite a bit. I can’t thank Elle enough for the sale alert! Since I’m trying hard not to hoard, my Elisa 100’s in a similar color have already been sent to a new home where I hope they will get lots of love. 

Trying to stay warm in: J.Crew Lady Day Coat (2010), leather gloves from Mom, Goyard tote, H&M; tights


Continue reading for more photos…

I struggle with styling my difficult hair, so I was very happy to see Wendy’s braided bun tutorial. See her original look here. Since I just got my hair cut into short layers, my braid was very small with lots of stray pieces. I used my trusty bumpit and spin pins to get more volume at the crown and to secure the final bun.

I had an appointment that day at 9tailors, a Boston clothing company specializing in custom-designed, made-to-fit dress shirts and suits. I chatted with the founder, Sam, who (at 5 feet tall) understands the importance and challenge of finding well-fitting clothing. We flipped through pattern books and fabric samples, and I’ll be returning soon to learn more about their women’s offerings. If any readers have tried 9tailors, I’d love to hear about your experience.

Imagine a custom blazer in lovely colored wool…sweatersimple

Nick and I wrapped up our day at Marliave, a French-American place in downtown Boston. I’m usually very indifferent about restaurant food, but I absolutely loved the “Sunday Gravy” pasta (requested linguini instead of gnocchi). It was fresh, whole tomatoes stewed with beef, lamb, and pork until creamy, served over house-made pasta. This place prides itself in using fresh & local ingredients (yada yada), but I could actually taste it in this dish. I killed it!

PS – Marliave has dollar oysters every day from 4-6PM and 9-10PM : )

63 thoughts on “Lookbook: Sweater Dress + Simples

  • CynthiaC January 15, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    Jean, you should wear your hair up more often! So sophisticated!

  • anny January 15, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    i love the volume on your crown .is this u get from the Japanese bumpit ? i ordered for myself from ebay but still waiting for receive.i hope it works for me bcoz i have very fine hair badly need volume πŸ™‚

  • Jackie January 15, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    This look is so gorgeous!!! I love your necklace ^^

  • andreae January 15, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    Great post! FYI: i found that same exact necklace at Nordstrom Rack for $34.

  • Halima January 15, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    Gosh, you are incredibly beautiful! The jumper dress is super chic. <3 xo

  • Babybubblz January 15, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    I absolutely love this look! You make me want to def try Theory blazers!

  • Lisa L. January 15, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    Very eager to hear about 9tailors, Jean. It would be such a find!

  • Victoria January 15, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    I loveee your hair! I cannot do fancy buns to save my life but I love it on you! You and wendy both look great in them πŸ™‚

  • annie January 15, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    I'm curious as to what brand of gloves you're wearing. They sseem to fit you well. Are they leather?

  • Sandy January 15, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    Agree with @annie. I have so much trouble finding gloves that fit my small hands!

  • Carrie January 15, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    you look very professional! i love that you added that necklace. it puts a nice touch to the outfit!


  • Elaine A (TOBeautyReviews) January 15, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    Beautiful as always Jean, I love the colour of your new pretty shoes!

  • Happy_Days_2012 January 15, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    You look amazing Jean! I love the way your hair looks. I'm actually thinking about trying another one of Wendy's hair tutorials on myself. Hopefully the outcome will be as great as yours. I also love your entire outfit. Great job in styling it!

  • Michelle January 15, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    That is awesome that the kids size fit! I think the length is better short!

    Love the ruby jewel tones you chose to accessorize with. And I love how you styled your hair. πŸ™‚

    Those dishes look amazing! My in-laws will be in Boston for the marathon (would love to join them, but not sure if we will be able to make it over), so I will have to tell them about Marliave.

  • SS January 15, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    I really love the color of necklace and beautiful shoes. I love your new hair style too, it looks elegant. I saw Wendy's post too, just gave up. looks too complicated for me!

  • Anonymous January 15, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    Can you do a hair tutorial? Love it!

  • Petite and Hungry January 15, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    you look amazing!

  • BKDolceVita January 15, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    You look great, as usual! I absolutely love your blog. I wish you lived in NYC, I would ask you to put my closet together and style me up. πŸ™‚

  • Ellie January 15, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    Lovely post as usual! I love your blog so much. I read some other fashion blogs, but only yours do I follow closely. Your posts and pictures are all so professional and pretty πŸ™‚

  • LC January 15, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    Oh dear, I hope you didn't wear this outfit today! I nearly froze to death in the North End. I love how adult that crewcuts dress looks on you!

  • lea1285 January 15, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    i love this outfit…and having that i am a petite girl i honestly appreciate your blogs πŸ™‚ i am 4'11 and size 0 so all my clothes has to be altered and i was always embarrassed to shop in kids section..lol…but after finding your blog i have learned that i can make it work…I recently found your blog so i am honestly so happy that you can show us how petites can also be fashionable πŸ™‚
    have a great day!!!

  • Ping January 15, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    jean — weird i can see your page here and comment but not at the other comp. :/
    you look so purrrty in this outfit. i love that sweater dress!!! it's too cute and it fits so nicely. your pasta looks so yummy! *drools* — literally!

  • R.L. January 15, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    Love the sweater dress and how you accessorized it! Not kiddish at all. And I always love your food descriptions/pics. Is Nick's shirt chambray?

  • Beautygirl24 January 15, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    You look classic and beautiful. Love the ruby pumps!

  • The Little Dust Princess January 15, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    Love the sweater dress and seeing you in darker outfits lately. : )

  • rjs January 15, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    I love sweater dresses! I love that you paired it with a blazer. Might I suggest a navy blazer? I like wearing gray and navy together as it's not as a depressing and adds a bit of interest. I love how you did your hair, but I think it makes you look way older than you actually are!!

  • newpetite January 15, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    Love this braided bun look and the dress! Gorgeous!

  • Genie January 15, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    You look awesome in this combo (red shoe+sweater dress)



  • DiamondsandTulle January 15, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    This is a gorgeous outfit and I love your hair up! You look so polished and chic!

    xx Vivian @ http://diamondsandtulle.blogspot.com

  • Trang January 15, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    Your hair looks great up Jean! I love this look on you.

  • Olivia January 15, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    Yet another stylish ensemble and helpful post! – Thanks again Jean!

  • AubreyOhDang! January 16, 2012 at 12:36 am

    aaw, poor Ping.

    I love how you did your hair here w/the part in the front. It's more youthful than just all your hair brushed back in a bun. & braiding adds an interesting casual mix to the sophisticated do.

    I wanted to buy leather gloves on black friday for $50 & the size actually fit my tiny little hands, but Brett was so adamant about how I didn't need them and wouldn't let me get them. Then I showed him this post as a way of saying, "see I should've gotten them bc look how classy Jean looks with hers." and he replied, "but that's bc she lives in Boston! we live in San Diego & you haven't even worn your honeycomb sweater." sigh. hahaha.

    Though you had mentioned that this sweater was a bit steep for being kids, in the end, I think it's definitely worth it. The tights help minimize attention to the the short length.

  • Sensy~Style January 16, 2012 at 1:07 am

    This look speaks utter sophistication…And I love the rich colors you chose to spruce up the dark tones of the dress and coat. Most def' how I'd combine them (I'm a red tones addict)

  • The life after January 16, 2012 at 3:07 am

    The dress is lovely!

    The Life After

  • Wendy's Lookbook January 16, 2012 at 3:31 am

    You look gorgeous Jean! Please update us on 9tailors. I would love to know how it works out for you.

    On a side note, I actually check your blog everyday hoping for a new entry LOL! It's addictive!

  • Rosachiara January 16, 2012 at 4:56 am

    You look so classic and sophisticated…


  • Mindy J. L. January 16, 2012 at 5:04 am

    So jealous of your CLs! You should do a review on CL's and how their fits/heel heights are. I'm thinking about owning a pair but don't know if I should get the 85's or the 100's!

  • Katie January 16, 2012 at 5:51 am

    that blazer fits you so well! i can never get a winter coat over a blazer so have to carry it separately πŸ™ i love love that woollen dress too..

    dollar oysters, cool idea! how come you're indifferent to restaurant food, do you usually cook lots at home instead? (if so, would be cool to have some cooking ideas!)

    Katie x

  • Josie Chen January 16, 2012 at 7:22 am

    Such a sophisticated look!
    & I love those shoes πŸ™‚

    10x for the inspiration!

    Josie from Fashion on the Road

  • Elle January 16, 2012 at 8:39 am

    This outfit is perfection…I was going to say something about it when you tweeted a preview last week but was stumped by the twitter word limit so here goes: I wasn't a fan of the dress when you first blogged about it but you really transformed it. The statement necklace, the red belt and ruby shoes pulled it together perfectly. I also need to start practicing your bun tutorial because my hair is a mess right now. At this point I am just working on making sure the bun stays in tact…the volume achieved by teasing is pretty advanced for me. πŸ˜€

    And that bowl of pasta is making my mouth water…ahhh so hungry right now!

  • annie January 16, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Where did you end of up getting your CLs on sale?? didn't think that was possible!

    you look soo fab' love the whole look!

  • Vivi January 16, 2012 at 11:56 am

    Your shoes caught my eye! They are so lovely πŸ™‚ I'm a fellow Bosten resident–Sibling Rivalry is also has amazing food!

  • littlemissandrea January 16, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    I love how you subtly added the ruby colour into your outfit, Jean! You look so beautiful as always πŸ™‚

  • Bravoe Runway January 16, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    I love the dress Jean, I would never have guessed this came from the kid's dept. Very nicely styled and I love the necklace as well!

  • Little Laura January 16, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    I love your outfit. It makes you look so tall! Very classy…

  • -DoNaH- January 16, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    How cute is this outfit… Modern classic.. Like it

  • Anonymous January 16, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    love your hair!

  • - A January 16, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    Love the necklace you have on, it definitely adds a pop of color to the outfit. Do you know where I can find something similar?

  • Stephanie January 16, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    I have a custom-made suit form 9tailors and love them. (As do my brother and my cousin… the whole family is in love.) They really do try to make sure that you are happy with what you think you're getting and, when you finally do get the clothing, that you're happy with the way it fits.

  • lin January 16, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    you always have a good eye on how to put things and what would look good together. great purchase on this dress. i really like the third pic….very professional and sophisticated with a touch of elegance. πŸ™‚

  • Girlie Blogger January 16, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    Wow. Great look. I like the sweater and blazer combo.

  • SewPetiteGal January 16, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    The ruby reds paired with the blacks add such an elegant touch! I have not yet mastered my hair yet with any tutorials (not the tutorial's fault – I am THAT bad with hair) but hope to someday πŸ™‚ LOL about "killing" your pasta. You have me wondering how I can make a gravy pasta at home…

  • Christine Hopkins January 17, 2012 at 9:08 am

    gorgeous outfit! very well styled πŸ™‚

    xx christine


  • grace January 17, 2012 at 11:12 am

    LOVE everything about this outfit! =) You look so classy and sophisticated. I think my hair is much worse – I have strays everywhere, little fluffs on the tops, the sides, needless to say I hate it πŸ˜› I think your hair looks wonderful, despite your saying you have difficult hair.

  • With Each Passing Day January 17, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Love the way you styled the sweater dress. Would have never known the sweater dress is a child size if you didn't mention it. This hair style is my favorite. the hair style is very sophisticated. I'm bum that the Asian bump it didn't work for me. On the search for a new tool.

  • xJOLE January 17, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    Love the marled look of the dress.


  • Kim January 17, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    I love your dress! You always look so chic. =)

    BTW, if you're still looking for boots that are good for thin calves, you might want to try these:


    I just received mine today. I have 13.5in-14in calves and these were quite snug on me.

  • Amy January 17, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    I love this outfit! And I always love your pictures πŸ™‚

  • Fashionable Memories January 18, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    You look gorgeous here!!!

  • Jagiri January 19, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    I love this look so much that I pinned it so I can try to dress like this myself

  • becka January 21, 2012 at 1:55 am

    Gorgeous outfit! Plus, I love how the backgrounds of your photos always compliment your outfit. Beautiful!

  • Urban Jungle Fashion January 23, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    Fantastic Style

  • Anonymous February 21, 2012 at 10:56 am

    This is by far my favourite of your looks πŸ™‚

Comments are closed.