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


Ann Taylor Factory dress (similar), thrift store belt, arrow necklace c/o Stella & Dot, Louboutin Simple 85 patent pumps, Prada Saffiano Double Zip Tote

Although I generally try to avoid owning duplicates, I have to admit there are some dupe favorites which I’ve never regretted buying. 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.


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.


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:


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.


(Darkest stitch is the line I added to the pre-existing dart)


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.


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

  • Lauren August 12, 2012 at 1:09 pm

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

  • alermy August 12, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    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 🙂

  • Annabelle August 12, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    Congrats, that's great!

  • Kaolee August 12, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    That dress looks stunning on you!

  • Pia August 12, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    that is a great look on you! and congrats!

  • Anonymous August 12, 2012 at 1:46 pm

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

  • Sydney August 12, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    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!

  • Eva Wu August 12, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    the dress is so beatiful!

  • Michelle August 12, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    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.

  • Kelly Mao August 12, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    Wonderful post. Friendship, fashion, career…

    LOL about the advantage of being small chested!

  • Elissa August 12, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    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!

  • Vivian Fan August 12, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    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.


  • CynthiaC August 12, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    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?

  • Phoebe August 12, 2012 at 3:13 pm

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

  • Lisa - respect the shoes August 12, 2012 at 3:28 pm


  • Kishane August 12, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    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.

  • CamMi Pham August 12, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    That is a very nice outfit especially after you put on the blazer…adore your tote 🙂

  • Anonymous August 12, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    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 🙂

  • Meg @ August 12, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    Woohoo!!! Congrats on passing the CFA exam!! And for altering the dress so perfectly 🙂

  • Jenn August 12, 2012 at 3:59 pm

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

    Chīsana Blogger

  • WendysLookbook August 12, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    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 =)

  • newpetite August 12, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    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!

  • Olivia August 12, 2012 at 4:40 pm

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

  • what.jess.wore August 12, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    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. 🙂



  • Amy August 12, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    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 🙂

  • Katherine August 12, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    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)

  • Juicy Joyce August 12, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    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 🙂

  • Anonymous August 12, 2012 at 6:57 pm

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

  • Mary Ann August 12, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    Gorgeous dress – I love it! And nice job on the alterations – I've done that one in particular too many times to count, haha! 😉

  • Cassidy Short August 12, 2012 at 8:37 pm

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


  • Anonymous August 12, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    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.

  • tracyata August 12, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    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!

  • MCS August 12, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    Congrats on the big news.

  • phiphis blog August 12, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    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

  • tt August 12, 2012 at 10:09 pm

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

  • R.L. August 12, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    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!

  • Chloe August 12, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    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!

  • Vivian August 12, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    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?

  • Vivian August 12, 2012 at 10:21 pm

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

  • refinedfits August 12, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    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! 🙂

  • Anonymous August 12, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    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.

  • Suzie Q August 12, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    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.


  • a rose August 12, 2012 at 11:08 pm

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

  • Phoebes August 12, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Natasha Fatah August 12, 2012 at 11:53 pm

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

    ~Natasha Fatah~
    ~Natasha Fatah~

  • Vidya August 12, 2012 at 11:59 pm

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

  • Anonymous August 13, 2012 at 12:06 am

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

  • Anonymous August 13, 2012 at 12:37 am


  • Lisa August 13, 2012 at 12:45 am

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

  • REESHELL August 13, 2012 at 12:58 am

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

Comments are closed.