White skirt black flowers

WHBM floral skirtWhite House Black Market skirt (in petite) c/o, H&M; turtleneck, Kate Spade heels (current color)

I paid a quick visit to NYC last week for both work and blog projects, and loved getting to catch up with old friends at favorite spots. Highlight meal of the trip was at Maharlika (on an unexpectedly gorgeous day), which I recommend if you find yourself in the east village. Nick and I cook a pretty mean brunch at home so we don’t usually get it at restaurants, but exceptions are made for their Filipino-style silog breakfasts – fragrant garlic fried rice topped with a perfect egg and side of protein…happy sigh.
WHBM floral skirt1
I packed this outfit for a meeting, choosing pieces that could also serve for going out or casual wandering. The turtleneck and faux leather jacket are great transitional pieces that travel well without wrinkling. The skirt is conservative in style and length, but the beautiful print makes it more exciting than my average pencil skirt, and something I’d wear onto dinner or drinks.

WHBM floral skirt3
For those who have not tried WHBM sizing before, the fit of their petites line feels consistent with other American work wear brands for most items. I tailored this skirt (size 00 petite) about one size down in the waist and hips to fit. Because there is no waistband and there are seams down both sides, the job was easy enough for me to DIY at home (although the lining did complicate things a bit). You can see the subtle difference in the before and after photo below. Slimming the sides ~2″ raised the waistline closer to my natural waist and the hem to right at my knees.
WHBM floral skirt alteration
In comparison, I also tried on a dress from their instantly slimming line in the same size, which ran at least one whole size small. I needed to size up for it to be work-appropriate and the length hit 2″ above my knees, so I’m curious how the regular sizing would fit. The material was very stretchy with an interior almost like banded layers of shapewear. If you are looking for a fitted LBD (or LWD), I’d suggest giving dresses from that line a try (also see Sydney’s review). Both items I tried were good quality and fully lined, and I’m already eying new arrivals like this charming dress with (removable) bow belt and piped tweed jacket.
WHBM floral skirt2

Blank NYC faux leather jacket (reviewed here)

Below is a quick snapshot before heading home. This purse was a gift from a generous friend who knows my style well – it came to me monogrammed (!) and also comes in black and cream on final sale. It’s a great size, and the material is like a saffiano leather that’s durable enough for me to haul my laptop in and travel with. As an FYI I do want to note the metal top clasp does not stay closed.
airport style

J.Crew bag, Ricardo 20″ spinner suitcase, Gap “real straight” jeans, Uniqueen (sadly out of business) jacket

I also wanted to do a quick review on this H&M; drape blouse, since a number of you have asked for an update. Thank you ago to the ladies who suggested this as an alternative to the Pleione one at Nordstrom (see review). This is the fit of a sz 2: h and m drape blouse reviewI did decide to keep the H&M; version as the shorter length from all angles fit better on my shorter frame, and the price point made me less concerned about likely spills and stains. However, there are noticeable differences in quality with the Pleione one winning on that front. Although both blouses are sheer, the sleeves and back on the H&M; are very see through. The material of the H&M; close up looks cheaper, almost styrafoam-y. The material of the Pleione one has good weight and drapes more smoothly, bearing greater resemblance to silk. If I weren’t a perpetual klutz and lover of bright red sriracha sauce, I might’ve opted for the Pleione version.


73 thoughts on “White skirt black flowers

  • Olyvia March 14, 2014 at 1:34 am

    I often have problems with skirts hanging too low on my waist (blaming it on my long skinny torso). Did you ever post how you slim your pencil skirts so that they raised the waistline? Your pencil skirts always looks so amazing on you! I need to find out how to make my skirts look like that 🙂

  • Chantelle March 14, 2014 at 1:49 am

    I really love how you update us on your solutions to styling and comparison pieces. Such a great idea, and very informative for us readers.

  • Happiness at Mid Life March 14, 2014 at 1:57 am

    I am a big fan of WHBM and have been buying their clothes for years. I have a very similar pattern skirt from previous seasons and love it.

    Love how you paired it with such classic pieces. And I just adore those heels!


  • Mei Fleming March 14, 2014 at 2:24 am

    I LOVE this skirt on you! It's so classy but the print gives it some edge. I also LOVE that you paired it with a moto jacket. I've never tried WHBM so I'll have to try it out sometime. You look stunning. Beautiful photos in NYC with a classic yellow taxi!

    NEW POST up…



  • Tina March 14, 2014 at 2:27 am

    I'm a new follower and absolutely love your style. Can you share some info on the leather jacket pictured above? Also I've been looking for an inexpensive tweed jacket. Do you have any recommendations on where I can find one?

  • AZ March 14, 2014 at 2:35 am

    Hi Jean,

    Could you please share information about the flats that you wore in the very last picture? Thank you!


  • Christine de Leon March 14, 2014 at 3:04 am

    what a fantastic skirt! I think it definitely looks better after the alterations!

    from – The Lion's Den

  • Indah Pertiwi Yuliana Sari March 14, 2014 at 3:27 am

    hi, did you bought the skirt in petite size or regular?

    please reply to indahpertiwiy@gmail.com

    thank you

  • Dressed with soul March 14, 2014 at 4:22 am

    I love the skirt, too and pairing a look with a moto jacked I like always so much. I neither don´t know WHBM but I'll have to try it out 🙂

    You are a really beautiful woman with a wonderful taste!

    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena


  • Yvonne Laura March 14, 2014 at 5:08 am
  • Siyaam Ally March 14, 2014 at 5:29 am

    Absolutely gorgeous! So chic and elegant 🙂

  • Maggie Adofo March 14, 2014 at 5:43 am

    I loove looks that can double up for day and night. You look great! 🙂

    Maggie A

  • SydneysFashionDiary.com March 14, 2014 at 8:49 am

    This outfit is so you – polished and classy. A simple alteration really makes the world of difference. I love the white blouse on you as well. I stopped by a local H&M; last week but couldn't find it. Might have to order it online. Thanks for the shout out and have a wonderful weekend =)

  • Zhan na March 14, 2014 at 8:58 am

    You look so pretty in that monochrome skirt, the print is gorgeous. In your second outfit I liked how you put denim and classic blazer, they look very chic together. Wish you a very nice weekend! <3 xoxo

  • Mackenzie Rakers March 14, 2014 at 9:03 am

    I cannot find boyfriend jeans. What style are your gap jeans here?

  • Melanie Crd March 14, 2014 at 9:41 am
  • Graciella Bredehoeft March 14, 2014 at 10:02 am

    Hi Jean:
    You look gorgeous! I was wondering who takes your pictures outside? They are great. Also wondering if you ever sale some of your stuff?? Ok enough with my questions right!? Love your blog!

  • Joules March 14, 2014 at 10:31 am

    I love this outfit! The print on the skirt is very pretty, and I like the simple color palette you went with. I really want to start experimenting with big layered necklaces like this too–you always make it look so chic!

    I'm curious–what shoes did you wear for walking when you were out and about?

    Style by Joules

  • Jean March 14, 2014 at 10:35 am

    Thanks, Olyvia! I don't have a tutorial, but fellow blogger Mary Ann has a very detailed one on slimming the sides of a skirt which I've pinned. This tutorial involves a waistband which is more complex. http://www.pinterest.com/pin/7599893092994778/

  • Lauren March 14, 2014 at 10:37 am

    Absolutely gorgeous skirt that looks great, especially after you took it in. I have a few pencil skirts I need this done on and am just not brave enough to do it myself. Props to you!

    Lauren / http://www.casualglamstyle.com

  • Jean March 14, 2014 at 10:37 am

    Hi Tina! That one is from Blank NYC (got it at Nordstrom) and is faux leather. Anthropologie has a tweed jacket on sale now, and if you don't mind the risk of shopping on ebay there are numerous options on there from Asia sellers.

  • Jean March 14, 2014 at 10:37 am

    Hi AZ! they are very old from Cole Haan, found at Marshalls

  • Jean March 14, 2014 at 10:38 am

    Hi Indah – it was in petite sizing. There were some sizes available when I posted last night but they look to be gone now – maybe check back for restock or see if some of your local stores carry petite?

  • Jean March 14, 2014 at 10:38 am

    Gap real straight cut with destructed wash

  • Jean March 14, 2014 at 10:39 am

    Thanks Graciella! My boyfriend Nick takes my outdoor photos. I usually donate my no longer worn stuff or pass it down to my same-sized cousin.

  • Jean March 14, 2014 at 10:40 am

    Thank you, Joules! I wore my SW 50/50 boots for touring around

  • Meli22 March 14, 2014 at 10:48 am

    I've been a solid customer of WHBM for almost two years now. The quality is really wonderful and though they rarely have coupons (at most 25% and 30% on black friday), many things make it to sale and can be really affordable. Plus, 5% off and free shipping for returning customers (see rewards program they have) is great. I'm glad to see you featuring them and hope you do more reviews with their items!

  • Caroline March 14, 2014 at 10:58 am

    Very pretty outfit, Jean! I'll have to try that restaurant when I'm in the area. Garlic fried rice sounds very tasty. 🙂


  • Natali March 14, 2014 at 11:29 am

    That 1st outfit is very feminine and sophisticated and the 2nd one is perfect casual outfit!


  • Nala T March 14, 2014 at 11:29 am

    I really like the skirt and the drape top!!


  • EM March 14, 2014 at 11:35 am

    I really love that skirt, it's very sophisticated and it has a lot of personality.


  • Terese aRobin March 14, 2014 at 11:41 am

    Love it!

    Where did you get that lovely black leather jacket? You always seem to find the ones that fit us petite ladies the best 🙂

  • this is lemonade March 14, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    Wow those heels really glam up an already super chic ensemble! Love this post and can see the weather was great. Beautiful 🙂

  • Suzie Q March 14, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    Love this elegant and chic outfit! Great photos capturing NYC backdrop well! Hope you enjoyed your NYC trip!

    Suzie Q

  • jannyisms March 14, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    I love Maharlika! Next time you're in NYC I highly recommend their sister restaurant, Jeepney– more of a Filipino gastropub vibe and great comfort food and drinks. Their kamayan dinner is a gluttonous delight 🙂

  • Sam Cole March 14, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    I love silog breakfast, we grow up eating them and they are relish ! Next time I am in NYC will def stop by. Love the styling here. Classic and sophisticated, very Jean.


  • Sandy March 14, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    You always look stunning, the skirt looks perfect on you, and love your hair, oh, BTW, I got the GAP jeans in, hip and thigh fits perfect except the waist is a little bit big, but I can manage that with a belt, thank you so much for your suggestion on the sizing….xoxoxo

  • rodelma lopez March 14, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    I saw that blouse at H&M; lately, thanks for the review

  • Melanie March 14, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    What a perfect skirt! I really want to have this one now! Exactly what I like!


  • Cindy Zhou March 14, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    The link for jcrew bag goes to ann taylor. Could you correct it Jean? Wanna buy that bag, wanna buy that bag~~ Thank you! <3

  • A Petite Treat March 14, 2014 at 8:51 pm

    The outfit is so classy! I love the pairing of the turtle neck and necklace! Look fabulous as always Jean!

    A Petite Treat

  • Ann March 14, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    Yay the Ann Taylor necklace is back! Time to stock up before it's gone again!

    You look chic and gorg as always Jean!

  • Shira March 15, 2014 at 12:25 am

    I absolutely love this look- so chic and beautiful (just pinned it!) and also loving the tweed jacket in the other look as well!


  • Gloria Ip March 15, 2014 at 1:28 am

    fabulous look and you are absolutely beautiful [: i love your skirt especially, it's really elegant and trendy! looking forward to seeing more posts from you and keep up the great work lovely!
    if you're interested, let's follow each other! do let me know!!


  • Tina March 15, 2014 at 2:05 am

    Thanks for the info Jean. I'm a petite Chinese gal too and it is hard to find close that fit. Most things are either too long or too wide.

  • simply bliss March 15, 2014 at 4:19 am

    they are currently selling this blouse (similar) in nordstrom rack for $14 🙂 link to picture of blouse: http://www.lyst.com/clothing/two-by-vince-camuto-roll-tab-sleeve-wrap-front-highlow-top-shadow-heather/
    Vince Camuto is petite friendly too ^.^ I got mine in heather grey. it's cotton but it drapes really well.

  • almostinsiders March 15, 2014 at 6:00 am
  • Midnight Cowgirl March 15, 2014 at 11:45 am

    That skirt is beautiful!

  • Anonymous March 15, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    Hi Jean, LOVE your blog! Just wondering, under the white H&M; shirt, what did you wear underneath if it was so see-through?

  • Anonymous March 15, 2014 at 11:15 pm

    Hi Jean, do you have any coupon promo code for those Warby Parker sunglasses? thanks

  • Anonymous March 16, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    Hi Jean,

    Just to let you know, there's a stretch striped skirt at Forever 21 for $8.80 that's 95% cotton and 5% spandex. In my experience, stretch items at F21 tend to run small.So, you might have some luck with this.


  • Modna Prawniczka March 16, 2014 at 6:19 pm



    Allright, okay, the draping blouse is really nice (both Pleione and H&M;) but how do you iron such drapey things?? 🙂


  • Anonymous March 16, 2014 at 10:13 pm

    Hi Jean,

    Love your blog. Like you I am petite, Asian and a CFA charterholder. I am from Manila and I am glad to know that you enjoyed your Filipino style silog breakfast. Next time try adobo, tinola and sinigang.

    Great outfit as always! = )


  • Anonymous March 17, 2014 at 1:07 am

    Oh no, Uniqueen is out of business? I was thinking of buying a jacket for law school :(((((((

  • jenessasheffield March 17, 2014 at 11:31 am

    What a stunning outfit, perfect for Spring. You have such a classy style, Love it! Have a fab day.


  • Petitetomatoes March 17, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    Beautiful outfit! I love the city pictures!

  • Jean March 18, 2014 at 1:03 am

    Steamer, or hang it in your bathroom while taking a hot shower!

  • Jean March 18, 2014 at 1:04 am

    Thank you very much for letting me know! I will check it out if I find myself near a F21 store.

  • Jean March 18, 2014 at 1:05 am

    Hi there – unfortunately I don't. I haven't seen coupon codes before or where discounts could be had. If you are thinking about ordering, I wanted to note that the lens are not completely opaque (so someone looking at you can slightly see your eyes). I just wanted to point that out since I noticed it's typical of many of their sunglasses.

  • Jean March 18, 2014 at 1:06 am

    Thank you! I wear a wireless skin-colored bra (got mine from victoria's secret).

  • Jean March 18, 2014 at 1:07 am

    Oo, someone seconded the VC recommendation as well. I'll have to check out Nordies rack to look for it on sale!

  • Jean March 18, 2014 at 1:08 am

    Aw thank you and I hope you like the necklace! I owe my thanks to an anon reader who pointed out the restock…otherwise would still be borrowing my friends' on weekly rotation.

  • Jean March 18, 2014 at 1:08 am

    Sorry Cindy! I fixed the link, or you can search J Crew Claremont tote. If they don't have the color you're looking for, check back early mornings eastern time as they restock any returned merchandise.

  • Jean March 18, 2014 at 1:10 am

    PS – it's an extra 40% off now with EXTRA40

  • Jean March 18, 2014 at 1:11 am

    Hi Sandy! I am so glad you like the jeans! I'm bummed to hear they are a little loose in the waist, but I guess the problem with many items is if they fit perfectly in the waist they'll then be uncomfortably snug in the hips or thighs. Mine fit in the waist but are borderline very fitted in those areas which is why I wish I sized up.

  • Jean March 18, 2014 at 1:13 am

    Of course you would know your Filipino eats : ) I'm convinced to hit up Jeepney next – if only the kamayan dinners weren't at such limited times!

  • Jean March 18, 2014 at 1:13 am

    Hi Terese! It's by a brand called Blank NYC and I got it at Nordstrom. Their items are faux leather.

  • Jean March 18, 2014 at 1:14 am

    Great to hear that their quality lasts! I feel that's becoming more of a rarity these days. Thank you for the tip on the rewards program – I didn't notice it but free shipping is a great perk.

  • Jean March 18, 2014 at 1:15 am

    Sher, thanks so much for saying hello! Best wishes from this side of the world to yours : )

  • Jean March 18, 2014 at 1:16 am

    I know, I was so sad to hear the news!

  • Sandy March 18, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    no worries, maybe after I dry it, it will shrink a little… the hip and legs fit perfectly…it's always so hard for me to find a pair of jeans fits because I am short, but I am glad i found this one, and the price is unbeatable too…thank you thank you…;)

  • Dice March 19, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    Great outfit and review, Jean! It's a shame Uniqueen is out of business. I loved their items (even though I didn't own anything from them), but their clothes were a bit expensive.

  • iDreammart May 17, 2014 at 3:06 am

    Amazing outfit gives a trendy magnificent look. IDreammart is specialized in providing fashionable Authentic Chinese Dress with an awesome verities.

Comments are closed.