Winter layers: Knit blazer + mixed prints

knit blazer mixed prints1
Zara heels w/ shoe clips from eBay, DIY peplum top (similar), J.Crew coat and boys gingham shirt

After my interest was piqued in-store, I ordered this blazer online (also available in solid red, navy, and navy stripe) and have since been very pleased. The material is stretchy and super comfortable, plus the working pockets are a nice touch. If you are taller than ~ 5'1" and do not want a "shrunken fit" blazer, I would recommend the regular sizing over the petite. I tried on a regular XS in this post and think that length looks better if you usually wear jeans or pants. I kept the petite since I'm most often in skirts and dresses, which I've learned look more flattering with shorter jackets.
knit blazer mixed prints3
In response to a few requests, I'm working on a "staple series" of posts featuring items that have been the foundation of my wardrobe. A ponte/knit blazer is definitely on that list - I wear my striped and solid ones on heavy rotation, plus use this as a "lining" inside coats on especially cold days. If you don't already own a versatile navy and white striped version, I'd recommend this jacket in that pattern.
knit blazer mixed prints
^ Jacket back view. Aside from a visible torso length difference of 2-3" and sleeve length of ~1" (when uncuffed, the sleeves here are "bracelet length" on me) between the regular and petite sizing, I unfortunately can't speak with certainty about differences in width. I remember the regular sizing fit fine but it was over a sweatshirt I was also trying on, so I'm not sure how it'd look with a regular, thinner top.

Measurements of the petite XS: 15.5" across the armpits, 14.5" across the waist when buttoned, 13.25" across shoulders, 19.5" back - 20.5" front torso length, 20.25" sleeve length. Stretchy 85% cotton, 15% polyester, unlined.
knit blazer mixed prints2 The simplest rule to remember when mixing patterns is to use prints in contrasting sizes. Stick to a palette of 1-2 colors if you want to be safe, and layer with neutrals. Boden does this well - their spring catalog is full of gorgeous print-mixing inspiration!

62 comments:

  1. Love the cute little bow clips on your pumps!

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  2. Love this!! I love that peplum top so much i bought the mod cloth one!Love your style.Any idea of doing a valentines day outfit? :)
    Shenu

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    1. Hi Shenu! Hope you're enjoying the modcloth top! Every day feels like Valentine's day for me so no special outfit...hope you have a good one with your special someone!

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    2. That's true!!All your outfits are lovely!I was stucked at home with my hubby and 5 year old son due to snow in Tokyo!!Hope you had a great time!!

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  3. hi jean. do you mind that it is unlined? I bought a similar blaz er from urban outfitters that was also unlined which ended up pilling and mishapen after one machine wash
    how does the old navy one hold up?

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    1. Hi Jodi, I don't mind - even the J.Crew one (which retailed for much more) is only partially lined up top so it doesn't do much. I would keep any jackets out of the dryer though, and lay flat to dry. THe dryer seems to do the most damage with misshaping items.

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  4. Sold out online ):

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  5. Awesome!! I love the pattern mixing! The blazer and the coat are the perfect layering. I wore a mixed patterns look the other day, you are welcome to check it out in my blog.
    Xo
    Carelia

    "The Maximalist" Blog post on:
    MySmallWardrobe.com

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  6. Love your outfit! That's an amazing green coat!

    Http://www.hiteastyle.com

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  7. Love your green coat!!!

    www.yulistariandkustari.blogspot.com

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  8. Love your layering here..and your hair looks gorgeous!

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  9. Love how you layered and mixed patterns with this outfit. The bow clip-on for the heels is such a cute and clever idea! Didn't even know that they make those for shoes, but it's perfect since I'm currently obsessed with bow shoes :)

    Suzie Q
    www.StyleCueBySuzieQ.com

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  10. It seems I'm in agreement with all the previous commentators, but I just wanted to add my support of your layering here :-) It looks really classy and pulled together! Usually I think of layering as somewhat casual, but you make it look perfect for the office! And the soft brown of the bag is GORGEOUS against all the navy blue!
    -Ruthanna

    www.polishedpinstripes.com

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  11. Very curious about the navy and white striped version of the ponte/knit blazer. I'm not very brave in mixing patterns, but you may have just given me courage to try it one of these days. Thanks for the tip!

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  12. hi Jean, what size is that Crewcut boy shirt? It looks like it fits you very well. I'm looking for something like that but hard to find the right size that fits. thanks Jean

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    1. Hi there - it's a 10 I believe. More details here: http://www.extrapetite.com/2012/01/style-in-suitcase-part-1-gingham-and.html Be warned that boys shirts are boxy and actually don't look good on women unless layered under something, so if you can wear 00P I'd suggest that for a little more 'shape' !

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  13. Layering perfection here! I love the checkered shirt, layered with stripes, then a blazer, and finally coat. It's soo soo chic!

    NEW POST:: VALENTNE's WISH

    www.eyelikefashion.com
    www.eyelikefashion.com
    www.eyelikefashion.com

    xoxo

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  14. I love this look for the office!
    sheenavirmani.com

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  15. Love this outfit. As someone else said, the jacket is unfortunately sold out in grey online - any suggestions on where to find a similar one?

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    1. @ Lisa and anonymous poster above-- I just noticed that Gap also has a grey classic ponte blazer in petite sizes. It is lined. Not sure about how the fit compares to the ON version, but right now it's $88 plus 30% off.

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    2. Hi Lisa! Thanks Jan for the suggestion. I also noticed ponte/knit blazers at H&M in grey and other colors.

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    3. If you're still looking, I just bought one (similar light grey) at Target for $30. Not lined though.

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  16. TBH, the layering of the tops looks awkward-it would have looked better without the peplum top underneath

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  17. Love so much your pumps!!!!

    xoxo from Dubai

    Le monde des petites
    http://www.lemondedespetites.com/

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  18. jean, i love your shoe clips! who on ebay did you buy them from?

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    1. hi there - it was years ago and I remember it was a one-off seller and not one with a store : /

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  19. Hi Jean,

    I was the anonymous person last time asking about the shoulder width of this blazer during your last post, to which you replied you should carry a tape measure in your purse from now on :)

    Anyways, I ended up purchasing the white/navy stipe in XS regular - I couldn't get the petite XS because I live in Canada. I have the measurements of the regular XS, but to those reading this I managed to shrink it a little bit in the dryer so these are the measurements post-shrinkage: 16" across armpits, 14.5" across the waist when buttoned, 13.75" across the shoulder, 21.5" front/back torso length, 21" sleeve length.
    It fits me very well throughout but as you said, the shrunken fit of the XS petite does look better with skirts/dresses so I'll be wearing mine mostly with trousers/jeans! :)

    And I can't wait for your staple series, so excited! :)

    - Sarah

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    1. Sarah, thank you for taking the time to provide the detailed regular measurements (despite post shrinking!). I'm glad the striped version worked out for you!

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  20. You forgot to mention the other great thing about ponte blazers…they pack better than woven fabrics! My question (as it usually is) is about laundry. Dry clean, hand wash, machine wash with laundry net and hang dry, or none of the above? :)

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  21. Hey Jean! I love that green coat. I have a question if you don't mind -- I am not an IG member so couldn't ask there, but what size is the shirt you're trying on in this pic? http://instagram.com/p/kLSP7SF3uP/ (I love that blouse!)

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    1. Hi Allison! I am trying on XXS petite and it fit well except the sleeves were a little long (but I have very short arms). Please also note the material is sheer and requires a skin colored bra.

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  22. I have to disagree with most of the above here. I think the layering looks sloppy with the peplum top. It's pushing the blazer out in a weird way.

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  23. Hi Jean,

    I've been following your blog a long time and have found myself becoming careful of the fit more and more- thank you very much.
    I work in consulting which also requires a professional attire at all times which means I end up buying a lot of black, navy and grey. On the other hand, I love color and would love to add some to my wardrobe at work.
    Could you give some tips?

    Thank you.

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    1. Hi there! I'd suggest picking out your favorite color, then looking at a color wheel to note neighboring as well as opposite colors. You can build out your wardrobe into colors starting with these shades, which are easy to mix and match together. For example, I love blue, and feel it pairs well with neighboring colors green and purple, and is really nice with an opposite color like yellow. Your existing wardrobe of navy and grey should layer on nicely as neutrals to these colors. Good luck experimenting!

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  24. I'm amazed at how you can wear so many layers and not look puffy. I do like the simple formula for mixing of patterns. I never noticed that before and I think it could open up some ideas. I appreciate that because sometimes I see things and I know it doesn't "work", but I can't put my finger on WHY.

    I like learning more about the basics of the wardrobe. I've really worked hard to keep my wardrobe streamlined this year. I pretty much kept my resolution not to buy before altering and it's very liberating. I am not swayed by sales or flighty trends. And getting dressed is easy since everything fits well.
    Could you do a post on what to bring/wear to a conference? I find that boring black suits are a dime a dozen, yet I want to stay professional.

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    1. Hi Janki! I love jersey printed dresses for a conference, with a swing jacket or blazer up top! Keeps it professional and very easy to roll-up/pack, while not conforming too much. I'm impressed and inspired that you've been keeping up your resolution!

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  25. The ponte blazer is on sale for $9.97 for dark grey or $12.97 for black in the clearance section. The extra 15% off works with it too!

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    1. Wow, is this in-stores? DIdn't see the deal online

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  26. I really love your videos in youtube. They are very helpful, especially for Asian girls, like me. Why did you stop making videos?

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    1. Hi Xi - thank you for your kind words. I've been on a hiatus because I've been too busy with work, but would like to start up again in the future!

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  27. Thanks for your tip on these blazers! I purchased all three colors and kept all three because they fit so well on someone as small as me. :)
    I posted about them here (http://littlebrietta.blogspot.com/2014/01/it-fits-petite-banana-republic-dress.html) and also wore the striped navy/white one again here (http://littlebrietta.blogspot.com/2014/02/jcrew-hughes-suede-purse-review.html).

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    1. They look great on you, brietta!

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  28. Hey Jean! I saw you on LOFT website in the petite cover page! I had to click back because I thought the model looked familiar. Anyway, it was a pleasant surprise to see you there. Congrats on your success with fashion. =)

    -Ngoc

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    1. Aw - thanks so much, Ngoc! I appreciate your kind words.

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  29. Great outfit, Jean! You look really chic and your green coat is just fab!
    Oriana x

    www.stylexis.blogspot.com

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  30. I've been enjoying your posts for winter work wear and wardrobe staples--very practical and useful. Although I admire various blogs' posts on special occasion outfits and dressy attire, I can't really incorporate much of them into my life since work days and casual days occur WAY more often than weekends and date nights!

    Also, brilliant idea with the big kids shoes in previous posts! I too wear a women's size 5 and want to try kids stuff, what is the big kids equivalent??

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    1. Thank you! For shoes, it depends on the brand, but a womens 5 may be either 3 to 4 in big kids. I take a 4 in boots or sneakers and go down to 3 in more 'delicate' shoes or flats.

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  31. Hi Jean. I discovered your blog a month or two ago and I love your style! I just graduated from university and have been slowly building up my professional wardrobe with my tiny budget. I've been so frustrated with everything not fitting at the stores but your blog has given me ideas on where to look for the basics. I've bought the old navy blazer in this post and it fits perfectly. Thanks again for your advice!

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  32. Hi Jean,

    Thank you for pointing out the jacket length fit. I do have a question regarding this if you would be so kind to answer.

    I have a short body and longer legs ratio, which I previously thought looked ugly and always tried to hide by wearing longer tops and cardigans. I do have a few short jackets, and I'm curious as to which length would be more flattering on me. Sometimes i feel the short torso looks weird and try to elongate it.

    also, how would you alter jeans that ride halfway down the butt?

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  33. Hello Jean

    I love your green jacket as a pop of color piece. It's beautiful.

    http//aeroplaeandapparel.blogspot.com

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  34. LOVE.
    -Alex of http://snippetswithalex.wordpress.com

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  35. Hi! I was just wondering if you had the BR pants hemmed? I just ordered them and they seem to be a normal length pant on me, and I'm debating whether to keep them longer or get them shortened. :)

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  36. I've been lurking for a long while, i might as well join in the fun! Layering a monochrome look in subtle patterns is a great idea. And that green is gorgeous, it wouldn't be much good for a cold Montreal winter morning, but when spring finally decides to come, now you're talking! Keep up with the awesome DYI, it's given me the punch to take out the sewing machine!

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  37. This has been a tremendously useful post! I used to overlook ponte blazers as too casual for my profession. But after you post, I got a ponte blazer in grey and it has perfectly elevated my "casual" look. Plus, it is perfect for layering warmth as you say so I can bring out my lighter and more colorful Spring coats. I'm obsessed now! I ordered a second ponte blazer in "indigo" and can't wait for it to arrive! I just passed your URL to a Nordy petite saleperson who needs to know your blog!

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  38. Hi Jean! I was wondering, as one other person who also posted the same question: Did you have to hem the pants? What size is the one you are wearing?

    Thank you!

    Kyung

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  39. I love your coat what brand is it?

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