Warm winter days: Caramel stripes + leather panels


J.Crew Schoolboy blazer in petite (on sale), Forever21 skirt with leather panels added (similar)
Robert Rodriguez cashmere dolman sweater (similar), YSL heels (similar),  Chanel WOC
In the midst of a cold, snowy spell this week, I dug out these photos from milder days in southern California. I saw this skirt on Wendy a while back, and was surprised that the base was from Forever21. She has a penchant for adding leather accents to mass-market clothing (ie. this ASOS blazer), effectively transforming them into unique, customized pieces. I loved the resulting skirt on her, and couldn’t believe she had a second one made to share!
stripedskirt1 For brunch with friends in LA, I wore this simply with a cozy cashmere sweater. This is one of my oldest eBay finds, and I love the casual fit and generous dolman sleeves. It took Nick about 5 years to accept his girlfriend dressing like a bat, but that milestone has been passed.

I’ve also worn this skirt to work as shown with the blazer. I was initially hesitant, since the skirt is snug on me as evidenced by the creases across the hips. However, the longer length helps, and it received so many compliments and inquiries at my office. My colleagues are dazzled by my creative and thoughtful friends – every time they ask where a skirt is from, the answer seems to be “custom” or “hand-made” (cue boggled-looking eyes). And speaking of thoughtful friends, I completely have Cee to thank for letting me know about these shoes for sale!
This blazer was a real workhorse during my last trip. Here it was with festive red pants, and here’s another casual pairing for touring the plentiful craft breweries in San Diego. When trying to pack light for a variety of occasions, you can’t go wrong with items in this neutral color. 

stripedskirt5(had slipped into comfy flats for the car ride…not barefoot!)

These photos were actually taken at a rest stop between LA and San Diego. We stopped for a potty break, and stayed for the beautiful sunset after the storm.

Readers – Hope you’re having a wonderful week, and staying warm and dry!

89 thoughts on “Warm winter days: Caramel stripes + leather panels

  • Julia February 6, 2013 at 12:40 am

    You look elegant with the caramel+black combination! LA to SD is not a long drive, but for longer road trips or flight travels, what do you usually wear? I am very curious and hope one day you would have a post dedicated to the comfy but still presentable travel outfits (sweatshirt+jeans maybe? jk!)

    Julia from Closet de Jules

  • PetiteAsianGirl February 6, 2013 at 12:45 am

    Sweatshirt + soft leggings (yes, I know fashionistas out there are cringing) are the best! I have an old kids UCLA hoodie and H&M; kids leggings that I've worn to pieces. Jeans might be too restricting if they're a skinny style and end up cutting off circulation. If you want to look presentable, just make sure to wear a longer top or tunic to cover up the crotch with leggings and some comfy but chic black flats.

  • Michelle February 6, 2013 at 12:53 am

    Love the leather paneling on this skirt. The color combo looks great on you. Another favorite. If I had a Pinterest, I would be Pinning this. 🙂

    It is tough when your significant other does not always love an item as much as you, huh? I have put lots of items back on the rack after seeing the disgusted face. :/

    Those heels are awesome! I really should try pumps.

  • Anonymous February 6, 2013 at 12:55 am

    Jean, did you attended college at UCLA? just wondering….

    I love your blog a lot because I get to learn about fashion. Thank you.


  • PetiteAsianGirl February 6, 2013 at 12:59 am

    Don't let the SO's scrunched up nose dictate your style! Stay strong and wear what you love ; )

  • PetiteAsianGirl February 6, 2013 at 1:00 am

    Thank you, Grace! I almost did (loved it there), but went to school in Boston instead.

  • Stephanie Lam February 6, 2013 at 1:16 am

    I love that skirt on you!! The skirt is perfection!! Do you know if Wendy sewed it herself or if she brought it somewhere?


  • Lulu February 6, 2013 at 1:34 am

    That sweater…it's amazing!

  • SewPetiteGal February 6, 2013 at 1:46 am

    Jean, these pics are gorgeous! I'm loving the dusk-y / cloudy backdrop as well as your ensemble. I don't think it's possible for you to put together something poorly.

  • Anonymous February 6, 2013 at 1:57 am

    Jean, could you please share with us what kind of camera/lens you use for shooting the gorgeous pictures on your blog?

  • Anonymous February 6, 2013 at 2:04 am

    love the skirt and pumps! do you mind sharing how much you got them for and where? cant afford to pay full retail for them.

  • jenn~the stylish housewife February 6, 2013 at 2:05 am

    wendy is THE best at customizing pieces by adding faux leather panels/pockets! i love this skirt on you too! and totally LOL'ing at the "bat" comment. i have heard similar comments from the hubby. =)

    xoxo, jenn
    the stylish housewife

  • Carol Li February 6, 2013 at 3:32 am

    I love the skirt on you. At first I thought it was very wendy-esque and then read on to find out that it was gifted by wendy!


  • Anonymous February 6, 2013 at 3:49 am

    How do you clean the skirt with the leather panels? Does it go into the washer/dryer?

  • Fauxionista February 6, 2013 at 4:23 am

    Great skirt and love the almost dusky background of the pics!


  • Anonymous February 6, 2013 at 5:45 am

    just chanced upon your blog only recently, but i have to say, it's now one of my favourites! i Love your style!

  • Petite Adventures February 6, 2013 at 7:16 am

    Great skirt!

    Kate xo petite-adventures.blogspot.ca

  • Anonymous February 6, 2013 at 7:29 am

    I love the skirt..it looks amazing 🙂


  • Sahar Fallah February 6, 2013 at 7:30 am


    I have a question regarding this post of yours:

    About the shoes!I also have very small feet and it's hard to find shoes that feet and don't come out of my foot!
    I see something like a stretch band behind the shoe. is that a trick to hold the shoe tight around foot or it's just part of the shoe?
    i appreciate if you can send me an email or make a post about this.

  • Rachelle February 6, 2013 at 8:01 am

    Love this outfit, and the wooden heels are perfect.


  • Lissy February 6, 2013 at 8:06 am

    Ahh the skirt is fab, how creative! I'm wishing for some warmer weather.

  • mary @ BGjournals February 6, 2013 at 8:44 am

    recently got that same blazer for myself and love it–though it looks much better on you. and so funny that nick has finally reached that milestone with you—i love that cozy sweater!

  • Anonymous February 6, 2013 at 9:40 am

    Hi Jean,
    I am petite, but curvy, and have a really hard time finding long shirts/tunics that cover my hip and lady areas, haha. Any recommendations? Thanks!

  • Janice // twoaftertwenty February 6, 2013 at 9:49 am

    Absolutely love this ensemble. Those caramel stripes are amazing with that jacket!

  • Anna D Kart February 6, 2013 at 10:01 am

    Love the camel blazer and you look absolutely lovely in both outfits. Very elegant


  • Shira February 6, 2013 at 10:12 am

    Love that skirt and blazer-such an awesome neutral look! xoxo

  • pretty little things February 6, 2013 at 10:18 am
  • lisacng @ expandng.com February 6, 2013 at 11:09 am

    How kind of Wendy to share that skirt with you. It's so cool! Love it with the sweater (LOL bat) and the blazer. Very nice photos at the sunset rest stop!!! I love that you're always prepared with the camera and that you actually wear these outfits IRL and weren't planning for a shoot & totally nailed it!

  • Rosie February 6, 2013 at 11:59 am

    The camel blazer is now just $129.99 at jcrew.com. I have the blue one and get so many complements on it. That shows the power of a well tailored garment — thanks, Jean, for teaching me the importance of good fit!

  • Rosie February 6, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    Sorry, that's $139.99. Still a deal!

  • choochooli February 6, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    Hi Jean, this is my first time commenting on your blog, even though I've been a reader for a long time. I subscribe to many blogs via my google reader, but yours has always been one of my favourites! I love reading through whatever you have to say, they're always so thorough and well researched! Your thriftiness is another aspect that I love so much. I recently starting blogging too, and one of the inspirations was your blog and passion for style, so thank you! 🙂 I'm less than a month into the process, but I've already noticed that blogging has made me more aware of my wardrobe, what my tendencies are, and what I should try to develop it further.

    Great outfit, I love every single piece, I love the photography too!

  • Anonymous February 6, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    Hi Jean, I'm looking to buy this blazer. What size do you wear? I think we are the same size. I never bought anything from Jcrew before and wanted to make sure that I get the right size since it's final sale.

  • PetiteAsianGirl February 6, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    Of course (& thank you!)! Specific camera and lens info are linked here: http://www.extrapetite.com/p/about.html

  • PetiteAsianGirl February 6, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    Hi there – I'm wearing 00P here.

  • PetiteAsianGirl February 6, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    Hi Sahar – that's actually all leather and part of the design of the shoe (two colors in the back). It's not elastic or stretchy.

  • PetiteAsianGirl February 6, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    Dry clean – I wouldn't recommend putting anything leather into the washer or dryer.

  • PetiteAsianGirl February 6, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Thank you! Cee (blogger at Brighten Day) helped me buy them pre-owned from someone selling them for a little under $200.

  • PetiteAsianGirl February 6, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Hi Stephanie – her tailor (Hector in LA) did it.

  • phiphis blog February 6, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    gorgeous look – i love that blazer on you and especially how versatile it is. all of your stylings show just how many ways it can be worn giving different looks. the skirt is TDF.

    xox P

  • Arts February 6, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Jean, are those shoes comfortable? I love high heels but don't find comfortable ones very often.

  • Anonymous February 6, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    At first glance, I thought I was on Wendy's blog. Your post in the first picture is exactly the type of posture that Wendy has all the time. Nothing's wrong with it though as I like both of your blogs. Also, I love the jcrew boyfriend blazers as they are very classic. Although I must say that I am getting tired of seeing the same blazers on pretty all the bloggers in the petite and non-petite community. I wish other brands can be featured more too so we can have more options (also, I am thinking that's one of the reasons jcrew prices are so high because of the rising media/popularity). On the upside, it's good to see the same pieces being styled by different bloggers in different ways though.

  • Anonymous February 6, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    Very cute look! When I saw the first photo, I was instantly reminded of Wendys Lookbook – must be the warm socal weather vibe!

  • newpetite February 6, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    One of my most fav look!! Love the color scheme and the leather panel ad everything!! Can you tell me more about the flats you are wearing here.

  • Niters February 6, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    Did you add the leather panels yourself? Amazing!

  • city petite February 6, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    Oooh, I love this outfit! I remember seeing the skirt on Wendy and you both look amazing in it! I'm constantly inspired by the way you can mix and match high and low end pieces to make such classy outfits.

  • Anonymous February 6, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    i really love this outfit, jean! and i totally laughed at the bat comment haha!

  • Mary-Irene February 6, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    I think you may have sold me on that JCrew Schoolboy blazer! It really seems so versatile!

  • Suzie Q February 6, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    I love the way you styled the striped/leather skirt with the neutral colored blazer. Looks so modern yet classic. The custom-made skirt looks so great on you and Wendy!

    Suzie Q

  • Christie February 6, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    That is such a fabulous idea to add leather trimmings to a more basic item! Totally feel inspired by this idea.

    I love this outfit on you, the neutral blazer paired with the skirt is amazing!



  • minnieyao February 6, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    I really like how you paired the striped dress with the black cropped sweater!

  • Erin February 6, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    The leather panels add such a cool vibe to this skirt! I love how pretty and polished you can make an outfit of neutrals look.


  • Adelia Ng February 6, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    Help! Jean! Do u hv any recommendations to remove stains inside branded bags? I've one that I've used for abt a year. The outer side is still perfect, but the inner fabric looks so worn n dirty now :'( . I don't want to pay so much for professional cleaning. Any tips to do it at home?

  • Annab00nana February 6, 2013 at 10:42 pm

    Great blog! You have such a sophisticated modern style! I was wondering if you have any suggestions about finding & styling leather leggings?

  • Jessica @ Here(and)Now February 6, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    Wow, what a wonderful idea! I have never thought of adding leather panels to a basic pencil skirt! Genius my dear!

    Enter My Lendperk Giveaway

  • Anonymous February 7, 2013 at 12:06 am

    Is the schoolboy blazer considered a classic/year round piece from J.crew? I'd love to pick one up for myself, but I'm afraid I can't shell out $162 (current price of the camel blazer) at the moment 🙁

  • Lien February 7, 2013 at 12:08 am

    When looking at your photos, I was thinking the background looked an awful lot like what I normally see from my drives between San Diego and OC/LA and lo and behold… It sure was!

    As always, you look absolutely lovely! Love the wooden heel on those pumps!

  • lauralcornelius February 7, 2013 at 12:34 am

    What a great idea. The skirt looks much more polished with the leather accent. Your hair always look so gorgeous by the way!

  • Joyce February 7, 2013 at 1:58 am

    Hey Jean! Was just wondering how long you've been with Nick… And if by any chance, if it's not really getting anywhere, you should let him go, so he can come to me! 🙂 It's time to share! Thanks, bye!

  • Giovanna February 7, 2013 at 10:06 am

    Such a cute look! Love love love that skirt! I can't believe it's a diy'd F21 skirt!


  • Anonymous February 7, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    Hope u are hunkered down n safe from nemo jean!

  • Sandy a la Mode February 8, 2013 at 1:08 am

    you look soo gorgeous, girl!!! love the stripes!! such a classic look!

    Sandy a la Mode

  • Anonymous February 8, 2013 at 4:19 am


    I would suggest you stay out of Jean's business unless you want to attract bad karma…just saying….

  • PetiteAsianGirl February 8, 2013 at 9:52 am

    I'm sure Joyce meant that in jest ; ) We've been together 8 years and he's a keeper!

  • PetiteAsianGirl February 8, 2013 at 9:52 am

    Good eye, Lien, and I hope you've been doing well!

  • PetiteAsianGirl February 8, 2013 at 9:53 am

    It is a piece that has been brought back for several years now (and similar versions available at the outlet but quality looks lower). If you can wear regular and non-petite sizes, I've seen it go for lower in-stores during late winter sales.

  • PetiteAsianGirl February 8, 2013 at 9:54 am

    I got mine from H&M; (faux leather) and WendysLookbook has a video on styling them!

  • PetiteAsianGirl February 8, 2013 at 9:57 am

    Hi Adelia – Unfortunately I have never attempted to do so, but a quick Google search shows some recommendations. You can also google within The Purse Forum site where I see members have shared tips depending on the types of bags. Good luck!

  • PetiteAsianGirl February 8, 2013 at 9:59 am

    Thank you! Hope you are too if you're in the northeast.

  • Anonymous February 8, 2013 at 11:29 am

    jean did you buy this jcrew jacket during one of their sales? right now the camel is only just about 30% off. trying to decide if its worth it to buy it now or to wait and see if this goes on further markdown.. i hate buying retail price and most of the time 20… 25… 30% doesnt do much for me. My interest is piqued when i spy 40%+ … especially on sale items. i cant help it if im cheap!

  • PetiteAsianGirl February 8, 2013 at 11:35 am

    I bought this before their slew of final sale markdowns because I wasn't sure how low the more classic camel color would go down to, with my size still in stock. I paid more than I would've liked – $150 at just 25% off. I guess the extra cost has been made up in wears since then.

  • Anonymous February 8, 2013 at 11:40 am

    Thanks for the fast reply! strangely that makes me feel better … if you can choke on $150, i suppose i can too. You look fantastic as usual! Youre such an inspiration. Btw- Im in NY and the snow is coming down fast. Stay warm in bean town!

  • Anonymous February 8, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Dressing like a bat? You're funny. But who doesn't like a cashmere sweater, dolman sleeves or not? And the stripes!! Love the skirt. The outfit looks great!

  • Anonymous February 8, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    ı love your fashıon style.. whats your job ? ı think you're fashıon designer because you're very professıonal.. greetings from TURKEY

  • Anonymous February 8, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    is nick going to propose soon? 8 years is a long time. its about time you guys got married! 😛

  • Malu Swartjes February 8, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    Such a lovely outfit! Very well styled! 🙂
    Discover my Stylish Confessions♥
    Discover my Stylish Confessions♥

  • Regine Karpel February 8, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    Love the look!
    the pieces are great!

  • Anonymous February 8, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    This colour combination looks great, very chic! The blazer has great detailing too, very nice.

  • Anonymous February 8, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    Love the black sweater combination with the skirt – can you share the brand name/style of the sweater?

  • FashionEdible February 9, 2013 at 12:37 am

    Classy outfit! I love seeing how people alter store-bought pieces!

    FashionEdible Blog

  • Anonymous February 9, 2013 at 12:59 am

    do you just come to her blog to look at all the pretty pictures? if you took the time to read what she wrote directly under the pictures, youd see she tells you exactly what brand the sweater is and where she got it from.

  • Rosie February 9, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    Stay warm! I used to live in your "corner" of the world but moved elsewhere, and I must admit I'm a tiny bit jealous of your snow! I love how the world becomes so peaceful and white once the sun finally emerges.

  • GEMMA February 10, 2013 at 4:42 am

    Amazing pictures! You are awesome;)

    Come say HI: http://www.gemmamonclus.blogspot.com

    Love, Gemma

  • skepticthanks February 10, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    I can't believe it took too long for me to discover your blog. i'm 5 feet 2 inches and filipina, i also have similar measurements, shop at kids departments,thrift for sport, almost have to have EVERYTHING altered to fit, at least altering is a lot cheaper here in the Philippines.
    It's good to know I'm not alone!

    Keep the posts coming please!

  • Anonymous February 11, 2013 at 10:26 am

    @Anon — you can get 30% off now with the code STYLE30, which makes the camel jacket just $100.

  • Anonymous February 15, 2013 at 12:01 am

    Thanks Jean – I just saw this comment now =) is it weird that I felt super excited that you replied to my post? I'd prefer to go for the petite sizing (I have a short torso and short arms), so I'll be keeping an eye for a good sale 😀

  • Nadia Cohen February 15, 2013 at 9:01 am

    Luv this look…you make stripes look good.

  • Chi November 18, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    Hi Jean, I've been desperately scanning the entire internet for this YSL heel (either the Charlotte or the croc-stamped one) but have no idea how the sizing runs and the internet isn't very helpful on that point. I'm pretty consistently a 5.5 in US heels. Could you tell me what size you purchased (also what size you usually wear in US), and maybe even the insole length? Thanks so much for your help!

  • Anonymous January 25, 2014 at 11:40 am

    Hi Jean,

    I was wondering if you've had to do any alterations on the Schoolboy Jacket? I have the 00P as well, but the sleeves seem very wide and frumpy (even though I'm bigger than you are). Yours look much better and more fitted. Do you have suggestions on whether I should get mine tailored? Thanks so much!

  • Unknown December 28, 2016 at 11:01 pm

    Hi, I have the same question and I don't see the answer in the link above anymore 🙁 Can you please share again? I, too, love the beautiful pictures you take!

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