Oxford shirt + around-the-world skirt


JACHS shirt (in pink or blue; can’t find this exact combo anymore), J.Crew schoolboy blazer
Ann Taylor block heel pumps c/o (40% off), custom skirt thanks to SewPetiteGal, Prada tote

After starting my career in ill-fitting, stuffy dress shirts (similar to this “before” top), I swore off collared button-downs for a while. Only in recent years did I discover how the right material or details -think pretty silk, chambray, or prints – can make these shirts stylish and fun to wear.

I got this top for 50% off thanks to Elle‘s helpful sale tweeting last month, and love the plaid crested pocket (pictured further below; possible DIY idea), contrast collar/cuffs, and textured fabric. The site describes these shirts as chambray, but I feel the material is more like an oxford weave. It’s a good shirt for wearing un-tucked over jeans, or to work tucked into skirts or slacks. An XS fits casually loose on me, and the sleeves are not excessively long. Measurements of an XS: 17.5″ across armpit, 13″ across shoulder, 16″ across waist, 22″ approximate length, 22″ sleeve length. 
This custom map skirt from the talented SewPetiteGal remains one of my most special pieces. I can’t wear it too much as it’s such a recognizable piece – but every time I do, it manages to garner new compliments. I hope she has time in the future to open up her Etsy store again, so we can access more of her beautiful creations!


Nail polish – Essie “Hot Coco”

I love the versatile camel color of this J.Crew blazer, but these photos illustrate one of my biggest issues with it. The wool and lining are very thin, especially on the sleeves, and always looks crinkled from the slightest arm movement. The wrinkles don’t stay, but are just present. I’m not sure if other owners of the wool schoolboy blazers have experienced the same issue.
I wore this outfit a few weeks back on a warmer day, and have been looking for the right tights to stretch it into another season. I’m thinking dark navy hosiery paired with same-colored pumps will be a good alternative to the standard black with black. Now if only I can find a shade dark enough so I won’t look like a smurfette!

PS – Ann Taylor’s current promo is 40% off all full-priced shoes, no code needed. For those who already own their classic “perfect pumps” (loving the seasonal dark jade in suede) and want the same comfort in a varying style, I’ve become a big fan the block-heeled pumps (closer photos here). They are sturdy without looking too matronly, and I’m enjoying not having to pull stuck thin heels out of sidewalk cracks.


58 thoughts on “Oxford shirt + around-the-world skirt

  • Kisti Belle December 5, 2012 at 12:35 am

    You look amazing, I love that skirt! Your blog post is reading my mind as I'm thinking of wearing a skirt tomorrow to work for the first time! 🙂

  • Alison December 5, 2012 at 12:40 am

    Such a fun skirt! Love the print 🙂
    You look gorgeous!

    xoxo Alison

  • Nathyness December 5, 2012 at 12:47 am

    You have the world on your skirt! How awesome is that? Genius combination too. It's academic chic with a touch of whimsy. Love it.


  • jenn~the stylish housewife December 5, 2012 at 1:24 am

    i love this skirt every time you wear it! and the backdrop in these pics is so beautiful!

    xoxo, jenn
    the stylish housewife

  • Anonymous December 5, 2012 at 1:31 am

    Love this outfit! One of your better ones. How did you do your hair like that? Its got the perfect amount of swoop lol.

  • CoastWithMe December 5, 2012 at 1:41 am

    Wow!!! What a unique and gorgeous skirt! Love the way you styled this outfit! You look beautiful my dear!

  • Megan December 5, 2012 at 1:59 am

    Preppy style at it's finest! Love this look, Jean!

    Also, about the schoolboy blazer– I have noticed the same issue with mine, but it's less noticeable on my navy blazer. I'm just grateful that the wrinkles don't stay. I have definitely been considering a camel colored one… but my goodness, does that color ever go on sale? haha!

  • Carol Li December 5, 2012 at 3:17 am

    I love the skirt on you. Sewpetitegirl is so talented!


  • I Am Alexa December 5, 2012 at 5:51 am

    Awesome skirt and I love that camel blazer! 🙂


  • The Petite Blogger December 5, 2012 at 5:56 am

    such a cool skirt!!!! you really pull off this smart look!!!

    xoxo jenna

  • Rachelle's Jewelry Box December 5, 2012 at 5:57 am

    Great skirt you look,great.

  • Elissa December 5, 2012 at 7:43 am

    Your last line actually brings up a question I have – when you get your heels stuck in cracks, does the leather ever come off/get ruined on the heel? (It's happened to me a few times) If yes, is there a way to fix it or do you just retire the shoe for good?


  • My Dressy Ways December 5, 2012 at 8:08 am

    Beautiful, love the styling and the photos are perfect!

  • Ashley December 5, 2012 at 8:11 am

    Love your outfit!! That skirt is too pretty!

    With Love,

  • Laura at Simply Lowcountry December 5, 2012 at 9:13 am

    Awesome skirt!!!



  • cpalmisanodillard December 5, 2012 at 9:22 am

    While short, I'm not particularly petite but I simply MUST follow your blog as I am so impressed at how well everything is tailored to fit you. I really must start investing in items that do the same for me!

  • Star White December 5, 2012 at 9:32 am

    Such a classy look! What a great skirt!


  • Maureen December 5, 2012 at 9:43 am

    Beautiful! Looks like Harvard campus in the background 🙂

  • Lynzy December 5, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Absolutely head over heels for that skirt! How cute! Is she going to be selling them?

    xx Lynzy

  • FashionEdible December 5, 2012 at 11:16 am

    What an awesome skirt! Super clever design and you matched it perfectly with the rest of the pieces!


  • Always Maylee December 5, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    You look so classically chic! I love this skirt, SPG is so incredibly talented! 🙂

    xo, Yi-chia

  • Anonymous December 5, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    Such a cute outfit! I think your brown AV booties + mustard tights would look great with this outfit.

  • Stephanie Lam December 5, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    So cute! I wish they still had the color combo of your top! 🙁


  • Anonymous December 5, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    You look like a very chic geology professor! I love it!

  • Anonymous December 5, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    *whoops meant geography

  • lisacng @ expandng.com December 5, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    A very academic outfit! Lovely, as always!

  • GEMMA December 5, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    Amazing skirt!

    Check out my blog where I already posted my second issue of my magazine!


  • Fashion Foward Mommy December 5, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    You look great! The first time I saw this skirt, you wore it with the peplum attachment and I thought it was a fabulous piece then; today's ensemble showcases this cool skirt very well. Great look!



  • Michele December 5, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    Funny you mention dark navy tights since I just solved the same problem! (I used to have bright blue tights from Delias…but never knew what to do with them). Forever 21 60 denier tights in navy are opaque but quite dark and classy.

  • Janki December 5, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    I've had a cobbler fix them. I tend to get the back of the heel nicked a lot. I must be a clumsy walker. It's not that pricey, about $10 or so.
    These block heels are great! I have stayed away from them since they remind me of the heavy heels I used to wear in the late 90's. With my scrawny calves I must have looked silly. These look very stable and fun. One of the things I don't like about thin heels is that often I get comments from male coworkers (if we are walking somewhere) about my feet hurting. They usually don't, but still I don't want it to LOOK like they do.
    Question: How do you keep your shirt so well tucked? Mine always bunches up.

  • Eva Wu December 5, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    Amazing outfit! I love everything about it!

  • Jennifer Benbow December 5, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    That skirt is fabulous, and matching your bag to your jacket looks well-coordinated and less expected than matching it to your shoes. Love it!

    I've been following your blog for a few weeks now, and I consistently adore your outfits and tailoring tips! I've gotten a bit lazy in my work attire (all of my favorite pieces seem to need a hem here, a button there, and I can't stand the thought of taking such simple fixes to my tailor when I have a perfectly good sewing machine), so this has been the perfect kick-start for me to put some thought into my outfits again 🙂

    I feel terrible pointing out a little typo the first time I leave a comment, but it's the only one I've ever seen in your writing, and since you seem so attentive to detail and precise in crafting your entries, I thought you might like to know: "managers" ought to be "manages." Cheers!

  • newpetite December 5, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    That is a fabulous skirt! SPG is super talented and love the fabric print. I like how youve paired it with the blazer and the purse matches too!

  • Isabelle Carpenter December 5, 2012 at 5:54 pm
  • Vicky December 5, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    Jean, I noticed the wrinkle issue on this jacket as well, and didn't keep mine because of it. I have 2 schoolboy blazers. One is red in felted wool from last year, and I don't see the problem; the other one is the navy jacket which comes in a different texture. No problem there either. I think this jacket looks wrinkly because of the fabric (felted wool) and the color combination. The jacket I bought (twice) both had a problem in the front – one flap had trouble laying flat, and i think they were both on the same side. I really love the color of this jacket though despite all the issues.

  • Anonymous December 6, 2012 at 6:31 am

    Amazing outfit, that skirt is so unique! Love the colour of the shirt as well, really nice combination!

  • Anonymous December 6, 2012 at 6:33 am

    Very chic blazer, the detailing is very nice!

  • bella December 6, 2012 at 9:09 am

    Gorgeous! Love the hair too.

  • Becky December 6, 2012 at 10:40 am

    Blazers get my MVP petite pick. Good find!

  • Sacha December 6, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    Hue makes a dark navy tight that is very nice. I wear navy to work quite often, and this one is the best I have found!

    In Canada you can find the brand at The Bay and Legs Beautiful… not sure about in the US!

  • Rita December 6, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    I love how you matched our jacket to your bag, Jean! Very stylish!

    Just curious, what is the building that's in the background of the shoot? 🙂

  • Olyvia December 7, 2012 at 9:47 am

    Your hair looks amazing in the photos! Besides the wrinkly sleeves you pointed out, thus is one of my favorite outfits on you!

  • Petite Adventures December 7, 2012 at 11:27 am

    What a stunning skirt! I've been looking for a map-print skirt for so long – so happy to see they actually exist!

    Kate xo petite-adventures.blogspot.ca

  • Anonymous December 7, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    jean, are you picking up anything from the ann taylor 40% sale items event going on right now? just made my haul and was wondering if you knew about it too! 🙂

  • Claudja Williams December 7, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    love the schoolboy blazer

  • I.V.Y. December 8, 2012 at 3:49 am

    You are so gorgeous. I saw your video on Youtube once about styling hair into a bun and today, I happen to land on your blog page. I call it divine intervention. I will stay tune to your blog from now on. Love lots!

  • Sally N. December 9, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    I love your style! And your clothes fit so well, I'm inspired to start getting my clothes tailored and DIY easy alterations. Does your blog have an instagram account by any chance?

  • PetiteAsianGirl December 9, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    Thank you – I sleep with it in a loose bun, and it's hit or miss in the morning!

  • PetiteAsianGirl December 9, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    Elissa – The cobbler can "patch" it with leather paint or something to make it look better from afar, but it never really is the same again.

    Janki – Shirt tucking isn't usually an issue for me, but sometimes I've tried keeping it inside underwear or more fitted shapewear (but then you do run the risk of the top of the shapewear or undies getting pulled out above the skirt/pant waist line…eeks!).

  • PetiteAsianGirl December 9, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    Thanks! Just got some from Talbots with their 40% off sale, but will check out F21 if these don't work out.

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