Navy lace dress + burgundy accents (& a big day)

navylacered
Ann Taylor Factory dress (similar), thrift store belt, on the mark necklace c/o Stella & Dot

Although I generally try to avoid owning duplicates, I have to admit there are some dupe favorites which I've never regretted buying (namely, AT factory chiffon shells, Asos pencil dresses). I feel like this lace dress in ivory and navy are individually special enough to warrant keeping both. The factory price was not bad, plus I performed DIY alterations to improve the fit.
navylacered1
Navy, burgundy and camel are some of my favorite classic colors. They are easy to style and have me dreaming of fall pairings. I am so stoked to finally add a camel bag to my collection, and expect it to get plenty of wear. I started making a review video and hope to finish it soon.

navylacered3
This dress is office-appropriate when paired with a blazer, and transitions easily into a sultry piece for after-work drinks or dinner. It may be a little low-cut for some, but an advantage to having a smaller chest is that such necklines can still look acceptable versus too sexy. Above: adding a taupe jacket from H&M for work:
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This dress fit decently off the rack but was slightly boxy on me. Thankfully, it took about 10 minutes to alter at home. The quality is very good for an outlet item and it was even double-lined. I merely turned the dress inside out, pushed up the innermost lining, and took in the torso from the pre-existing darts on both the front and the back. This effectively nipped the waist in more and contoured the overall torso for a closer fit.navylacered5
(Darkest stitch is the line I added to the pre-existing dart)navylacered2
On a separate note, last Tuesday was a big day for me and I'm touched by the kind words from you guys. I was on the train going to work when Level 3 CFA exam scores came out. The program took a mental and physical toll on me while working, and I was so relieved to be done in three years. My apologies to fellow commuters who had to endure the girl in happy tears so early in the morning.

When I got off the subway, I passed by a woman stopped on the sidewalk, scrolling frantically on her phone before jumping up and down with joy. "CFA?" I asked. She nodded with a smile from ear-to-ear and pulled me into a warm hug. I went on with my commute, happy as a clam.
balloon
Came home this weekend to a sweet surprise from Nick's parents, and books ready to go into storage!

Later that day, I received a message from none other than the woman outside the subway, saying that while caught up in the moment she forgot to mention she was a reader! I am continuously amazed to meet so many hard-working and driven (in various aspects) women who enjoy reading this blog, and sometimes we cross paths in the most random ways.

126 comments:

  1. What a sweet story! Congrats to you and her both!

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  2. Congrats on passing the exam! I took my professional engineer exam before and I know the exact feeling of passing an exam that you studied for so long :)

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  3. That dress looks stunning on you!

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  4. that is a great look on you! and congrats!

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  5. congratulations! and kudos to you for getting it done within 3 years while working!

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  6. I know I said congrats via twitter - but seriously congrats! I was so happy when I finished my masters degrees. It brings with it such a sense of accomplishment, and yes, fuel to go on to tackle the next task!

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  7. A big congratulations to both you and your reader! :) I love the stacked books idea! :)

    You are getting really good with making your own alterations! The dress almost looks like an emerald color in the pics. It is gorgeous paired with the burgundy.

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  8. Wonderful post. Friendship, fashion, career...

    LOL about the advantage of being small chested!

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  9. congrats on passing the exam! you are an inspiration for women who work 9-5 and you still find time to be fashionable and blog about it for the rest of us to enjoy!

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  10. Congratulations on the exam results! I love the idea with the taupe blazer and the lace dress... the only problem now is to find enough money and where these things in my size can be found.

    Vivian
    js-go.blogspot.com

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  11. Congratulations to you and your reader, Jean! I'm looking for a Prada bag myself - would you recommend the one you have or something smaller?

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  12. What an awesome story! Congratulations to both of you! I really love this dress — I wish there were an AT outlet near me!

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  13. Congrats! I know the CFA exams are brutal and I'm glad you passed!

    Plus that lace dress looks awesome on you.

    I wish I was of the mindset to buy those shells when Ann Taylor was still selling them.. still can't find anything similar.

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  14. That is a very nice outfit especially after you put on the blazer...adore your tote :)
    x
    cammi
    http://www.cammilicious.com

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  15. Love your blog and wanted to say congrats on the CFA! I passed this time last year and I felt at least 20 pounds lighter after I realized I won't have to go through that again :)

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  16. Woohoo!!! Congrats on passing the CFA exam!! And for altering the dress so perfectly :)

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  17. You always look so put together. I love this outfit!

    -Jenn
    Chīsana Blogger

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  18. Congrats love! What an accomplishment! And thank you for continuing to blog while you were and still are so busy. If you ever need a break, come over to LA =)

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  19. Congratulations!! That is awesome! I can imagine all the crazy days and nights you would have spent studying.
    This dress looks so good on you! Goes well with the blazer too!

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  20. Congratulations to you both and thank you Jean for all your great blog posts even while you were busy with studying/work/Life.

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  21. Congratulations Jean. I'm so glad your hard work has paid off and in three years! I'm sure a huge weight has been lifted from your shoulders. I'm sure the other commuters didn't mind your tears of joy.

    Now go celebrate and have a good time in that beautiful ensemble. :)

    xo,

    Jess

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  22. Your story really made me smile! What a coincidence that she turned out to be a reader of your blog. Congratulations to you both! You're truly an inspiration to me :)

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  23. What a wonderful story! So glad to hear about the CFA (and incredibly impressed as well!). I'm sure having the stress off will be a great relief. Congratulations to you (and to your reader1)

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  24. you are very lovely! Congrats to your completion of CFA! I am currently taking CPA and will be done by next Feb hopefully. Then I'll move onto CFA too.

    Wish you enjoy your life even more now :)

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  25. I thought your big news was an engagement but congrats on finishing the CFA!!!! If I were you, I'd burn those books!!! LOL :)

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  26. Gorgeous dress - I love it! And nice job on the alterations - I've done that one in particular too many times to count, haha! ;-)

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  27. Love the navy & red, your necklace is darling, too!!

    xoxo
    Cassidy

    http://norebeccaforayear.blogspot.com/

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  28. Hooray! Such an accomplishment!! How are you celebrating? =)

    You make this outfit gorgeous. Especially love it with the blazer. I was ecstatic to find it on sale a few months back, but it was sadly too cropped for my super long torso.
    ~Shirley

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  29. Congrats! My boyfriend recently found out he passed level 2 and will not start preparing for the last one. Living with him I know the commitment it takes to successfully prepare for that exam. Way to go!

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  30. Congrats on the big news.

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  31. congratulations again Jean! you've accomplished so much! you look fantastic in that dress - i love it on you. and you styled it perfectly! xox P

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  32. i love your shoes! i've been trying to get that particular shade of red for a long time!

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  33. I'm glad you decided to keep both lace dresses. And big congratulations! I would love to hear about your studying schedule and how you found your balance as clearly it worked!

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  34. Isn't it great meeting real life blog readers in person? One of the best (amazing) things about the internet and fashion blogging, I think. Big congrats to you, Jean! Hope you celebrated by doing something fun, you deserve it!

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  35. That's a sweet story! I wish to meet you someday and that dress is beautiful! I've been looking for a lace dress myself but nowhere to be found, until today but I feel it's a bit loose on the bust area... By how you did, adding darts or intaking it in more if there are any, will it help slimming the fit even if it's just the lining you are darting? How will it affect the outside look?

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  36. Oh! And congratulations on finishing your CFA!!! (=

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  37. I have been reading your blog for quite some time and would like to leave my first comment here! Congratulations not only on the CFA but also being such an inspiring figure! :)

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  38. Hi Jean,

    You look amazing...as you always do! :)

    Big congrats on the CFA! I'm a working mom and student so I know how tough it is to juggle it all.

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  39. Aww, that's such a cute story. Congrats!! That must be such a huge sigh of relief to get rid of that tall stack of books! Love the dress, especially paired with the blazer.

    xoxo,
    www.StyleCueBySuzieQ.com

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  40. I love the 2nd and the 4th picture! Congrats again on the exam.

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  42. That's a very charming story.
    Thanks for sharing it.

    ~Natasha Fatah~
    ~Natasha Fatah~

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  43. You are my hero Jean!
    Hugs from Sydney, Australia xoxo

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  44. congratulations jean! i love your blog! when i passed the cpa exam, i was beyond excited.. so proud of you!!

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  45. Congratulations!

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  46. Congratulations! I know how hard the exams can be and so admire you for doing such a great job. All the best to you.

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  47. what a funny story :p congrats! i love reading your blog!

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  48. what a lovely dress :)




    http://chocolatefashioncoffee.blogspot.com/

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  49. Congratulations, Jean! I'm so happy for you. I was the same excited/crying girl when I found out I passed the bar. It's so nice to see the results of one's hard work!

    The dress looks lovely and fits wonderfully after your alterations. I love it with the blazer and burgundy accents for work!

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  50. Congrats, Jean! I passed my Level 3 too! No more studying for us! To celebrate my legit CFA status, I've started my own blog on splurging within a budget. Thanks for all the fashion inspirations!

    Phoebe

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  51. loving this pairing of caramel black and red! Im starting to get excited for fall colors too!

    -Nico

    www.SatinAndSalt.com

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  52. congrats on your CFA!! (i completed my ACA in london last year, which i think is something similar..) I find it hugely inspirational that you combine a strong working life with your creative passions on your blog :)

    LOVE the navy lace dress, esp with the red soles of the louboutins!

    katie x

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  53. congrats on successfully passing your CFA... what a relief! You are a beautiful and intelligent woman, and someone that I definitely look to for inspiration (currently pursing my PhD!)
    xx
    Here&Now

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  54. love the outfit and colour combination x
    and congratulations on the CFA, excellent :) x

    http://dancing-in-high-heels.blogspot.co.uk/

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  55. congratulations! you are truly an inspiration, especially to recent college graduates like myself. eat well and rest well because you deserve it <3

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  56. Many many congratulations! Your story, blog and personality inspires me.

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  57. Congratulations!!! That's so cool. Enjoy it all and pat yourself on the back some more ;).

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  58. Congratulations! You deserve it! :D

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  59. Congratulations again Jean! That's a wonderful story about meeting a reader who also passed her CFA exam. I'm glad you've finished and are now able to relax and move onto a different phase in your life.

    Those CL burgundy pumps look beautiful every time you feature it in your blog.

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  60. Congrats to you! Hope we could came across somewhere too one time.:)Love your Ann Taylor dress it looks so elegant on you.The overall outfit is gorgeous!

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  61. first off, congrats! this is such a cute story <3

    secondly, the dress looks gorgeous on you!

    x
    Angie
    sundaybelle.com

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  62. Hi ! this outfit looks upmarket. Much more so than anything else posted so far. Not sure if it the quality bag & shoes or the sophisticated colour combo... what do you think did it?

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  63. Congratulations! I heard the CFA is hard - I can't believe you manage CFA and a blog at the same time - that is truly amazing !

    Love the outfit - I have the same H&M blazer in black and it's great!

    http://www.tstyledme.com

    Tien

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  64. Jean,

    You are obviously a woman of many talents! Congratulations on passing the exam. I hope you celebrated big time!

    LOVE those burgundy shoes.

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  65. Congrats, it must feel wonderful to have all your hard work pay off! You look gorgeous in this dress, I love the navy color.

    xo, Yi-chia

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  66. Congrats Jean! I had to laugh at your small chest lets you get away with lower cut tops without looking scandalous. I have been saying that for years! one of the few upsides to not being well endowed in that area!

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  67. Congratulations Jean! You really are inspiring. I am about halfway through the CPA exam process, which I'm doing while working full-time, and these exams really take their toll.

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  68. Yay! Congratulations Jean! So happy for you! And you look fabulous as always. I love the bag on you. I'm a little sad that I didn't end up getting it but I think I'll still keep it on my wishlist :)

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  69. CONGRATS! AND LOVE THE DRESS!

    THE GLITTER LIFE IS VEGAS BOUND! http://theglitterlife.wordpress.com/2012/08/13/vegas-baby/

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  70. The best little story. I love those kinds! Congrats on everything!

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  71. Congratulations on passing - that certainly makes a commute much more enjoyable! Great outfit - navy/burgundy is such a wonderful, classic work combination.

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  72. Awww how wonderful for the both of you - such an uplifting story. Congratulations on overcoming the long hard slog to success! The dress (and the beautiful wine red shoes) is just the business for celebrating. You look gorgeous in it :)

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  73. A hearty congratulations on passing! I'm not sure how you are, but it's been a while since I've been out of school and getting back into the full study mode has been hard whenever I'd had to take these career related exams.
    I LOVE the story you shared. Your blog is the best! I love how you share these tips, talk about your life, and also are so responsive to our questions (esp on FB). All while studying and working full time.
    I saw a parishoner wearing this dress yesterday after church and inside said "That's Jean's Ann Taylor factory dress!".
    Can't wait to see more with that fantastic bag.

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  74. Congratulations, Jean! All of your hard work definitely paid off. : ) I love the v-back of this dress. The front is one of the more low-cut things I've seen on you in a while, but you still manage to pull it off in a classy way. Great look!

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  75. Love this look...the dress is a classic as are your accessories...
    congratulations on finishing everything!!
    And it must be so wonderful to feel the love and support of your readers :)
    XOXO

    http://www.princessmartha.com

    http://www.facebook.com/princessmarthablog

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  76. Congratulations to you and your reader. All your hard work paid off. I'm glad you decided to keep both dresses. You have created so many wonderful outfit with the ivory dress. I can't wait to see what you outfit you'll come up with the navy dress.

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  77. congrats jean! i love how you styled the dress, and your new bag is a great addition!

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  78. Congrats! I love the dress and how it looks on you. I still can never get my belt to sit as well as yours does on your dress. :)

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  79. Congratulations on such a momentous accomplishment! The CFA is SUCH a challenging program - so you deserve all the congratulations and accolades :)

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  80. Congratulations! I love your blog! I am also petite and reading your tips really helps me out. Your hair is awesome too. Do you ever share your hair styling tips? If not, can you? I would love to know what products you use and how you style for "everyday hair".

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  81. You always have the cutest outfits! I love it! So creative and such a great look! Question for you, where do you typically start looking for shoes in your size? One of my favorite spots is www.ShoeFavor.com but they are redoing their site right now.

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  82. Thanks for such an excellent post! I've been reading all your blog entries and love them.

    I read your how to look older blog post, and it definitely helps a lot...I was hoping that you could write a post about dressing fashionably while in college. A lot of your posts are geared towards work-suitable outfits but I would love one where you talked about fall semester class appropriate outfit if that were possible.

    I typically wear J. Crew cardigans, J. Crew chino shorts, Lilly Pulitzer skirts with cute prints on them paired with t-shirts, and have some sundresses. I'm having trouble finding suitable tops and also outfits for when the weather gets chillier.

    Thanks!

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  83. CONGRATS!!!!!!! I am really happy for you. It's the highest honor for studying so hard and you deserve it.

    And you look amazingly flawless, happy as a clam and all. Great story! Something you can remember for the rest of your life!

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  84. Congrats Jean!! This means we get to see more posts, right? :)

    On a completely separate note - I'm new to the professional world, and was wondering if you could do a post on personal investing/saving, etc.? Or perhaps recommend some personal favorite finance bloggers? Thanks!

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  87. Eep! Sooo happy and excited for you for passing such a difficult exam. Congrats and if I were there I'd give you the biggest hug too! <33333

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  88. Jean, i LOVE your Prada bag. perfect match with your Hermes belt (brown/togo). love love love!!!

    x.x.
    JC

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  89. Congratulations to you and your reader! I love this look, too. : ) I have a 3/4-sleeved navy lace sheath dress and have been wondering how to style it without looking like a shabby Kate Middleton clone. I will probably be stealing this navy-dress/burgundy-belt combo in the future. ;)

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  90. congrats on meeting another reader, i am so happy for you...love the outfit and what you did with the dress...

    xoxo
    Mady

    thegirlfromthemirror.blogspot.com

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  91. Congrats on passing CFA Level 3! I'm a huge fan of your blog & style but am usually not one to post. My husband received news that he passed Level 3 as well last week!

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  92. Hi jean, I know you have reviewed gap kids jeans in the past. I was wondering if you could review these gap kids ponte pants sometime?
    http://www.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=60512&vid=1&pid=911730&scid=911730012

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  93. Congrats Jean!!! I know it's hard work and everything will pay off! You're at the beginning of a new venture. How exciting for you and your love ones! :)

    P.S. That lace dress looks amazing on you!

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  94. Congratulations to you both! I've been a reader for over a year now, maybe even two(!) and I have always admired your work/blog balance. I will be starting my graduate job in September as a trainee accountant so the next three years will be a similar challenge for me with the ACA.
    I hope I can keep blogging on the side though, without it affecting my studies. Thanks for being such an inspiration :) x
    Isabel

    Monochrome Magpie

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  95. Congrats on passing!! You are truly an inspiration. I think it is wonderful that you were able to work and study at the same time. Hopefully in the future I can do the same. Once again, congratulations! The hard work definitely paid off. :)

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  96. Congrats to you. What a huge accomplishment. I can't figure if you've gotten more tan or is it just the pics, but you look very polished (as usual). Please do tell us more about the bag. I love the classic color.

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  97. Congrats Jean! See... knew you could do it! And looking lovely as always!

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  98. Congratulations! And great look! I really love the shoes for some reason, they're really calling to me haha

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  99. Hi Jane,

    I am looking for the H&M blazer (Item 981950, Yellow, Size 4) you and really petite have shown at your blogs. Have you seen it in your local stores? Thanks a lot.

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  100. 4:17 PM

    Very pretty dress, great alteration, and congrats again on finishing the level 3 exam! You deserve lots of love and rest and yes, put those books away :D

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  101. You are so inspiring! Congrats

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  102. Congratulations Jean, that's an amazing accomplishment! The dress looks beautiful on you, but then again, what doesn't?!

    http://notpetitejustsmall.blogspot.com

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  103. Congratulations on passing your exam! It must be nice to have your life back :) Thank you for continuing to blog throughout your studying!

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  104. Beautiful dress and congrats!
    http://creamandtulle.blogspot.com

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  105. Congratulations, Jean! I've been a silent reader all this while and this post was particularly inspiring because I'm taking cfa level 1 in December!

    I also wanted to ask you a question: I just found out that I'll be taking a fortnight-long business trip to new york in January. I'm from Singapore, however, where its summer all year round, so sleeveless shells, sleeveless dresses, skirts (you get the idea) are all I have. Without buying anything too expensive, since I'm not likely to wear heavy winter clothes here, how do I turn my outfits for work into winter appropriate work clothes?

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  106. you are getting SOOOO good at these DIYs. and i can't believe how quick it takes you. francois would charge me $35 for sure.

    congratulations again doll!

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  107. Congrats on your exam! I just found your blog and am your newest follower/fan!

    underahhundred.blogspot.com/

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  108. Congrats, and what a wonderful story! By the way, I was wondering how you get your hair so voluminous :P

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  109. What a sweet story! Congrats! :)

    Xoxo,
    Sheila

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  110. Hi Jean! Congratulations on passing the CFA - that's amazing! As a fellow young professional by day / blogger by night, I can definitely relate to how challenging it is to balance your professional life and blogging pursuits (not to mention your personal life)! You are an inspiration to us all! :)

    I've been a follower for awhile now, but this is actually my first comment. Your blog is definitely one of my all-time favorites...as a petite gal, I can relate and always look forward to your posts! I also love your classy style and helpful shopping tips.

    Anyway, just wanted to say hello and congrats! Keep up the awesome posts! :)

    Love from a fellow petite blogger,
    Sarah
    http://shamelesslyoverdressed.blogspot.com

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  111. Congrats, Jean on passing the CFA! =) I love the lace dress from this post.

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  112. After admiring that blue lace dress ever since you first posted it, I finally had the opportunity to get to an Ann Taylor outlet. Alas, they had no size 0 petite left in stock. I tried it in the 00, and while I could squeeze into it, and (according to other shoppers) it looked good, it just felt a little to snug (particularly in the bust). It also felt a little short on me (I am just under 5'3"). I think a regular size 0 would have been perfect, but I guess it was not meant to be.

    Congratulations on passing the CFA.

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  113. Congratulations Jean! I love reading your blog. I was wondering, do you have any recommendations of places to go for smaller size bracelets and ring sizes? I have very slender wrists and fingers and have a difficult time finding jewelry that doesn't fall off! Thanks!

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  114. You are always so chic! love it Congrats on passing the CFA

    if you have a moment please check out my latest post
    www.lifeisjustrosie.com

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  115. Congratulations! I know how tough CFA exams are. Not only because they are not easy, but the organization ensure its exclusivity by using normal distribution and expensive fee just to take them! I took only CFA lesson for level 1, because I needed the knowledge for work, but since I'm not particularly in finance, that's it!
    Have you fulfilled the four-year work experience requirement, as well?
    Again, congrats, clever gal!

    Visit me:
    LeeAnne, Style N Season
    http://stylenseason.blogspot.com

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  116. Congrat's Jean, that's an amazing accomplishment!! The dress looks are very beautiful on you, pretty dress!! but then again, what doesn't?!!

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  117. Congratulations on your CFA - Level 3 accomplishment Jean! I'll admit that I don't particularly know what that means (I'm nowhere near finance/accounting in my nonprofit job), but it sounds difficult. Thanks for keeping up with posts for us all this time you've been preparing. It's awesome to see how all your hard work and studying has paid off!

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  118. Hi Jean. I am a new reader to your blog. First of all big Congrats to your accomplishment. I love how creative you are with your stye. Thanks for sharing so many wonder ideas.

    Mindy

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