Video – How to improve basic outfits: floral top edition

I was snapping some photos for my next wardrobe staples post and felt motivated to get back on YouTube! It’s been a whopping two years since I’ve uploaded a new video, but I’ve gotten many requests from ladies who are just starting to build up their wardrobes. Frankly I find it a bit awkward yapping away into my camcorder, but I suppose it’s good to push myself out of my comfort zone once in a while : )

Outfit details:
Intro – Loft ruffle dress (old), Ann Taylor necklace, Loft floral top
Work outfit “before” – J.Crew cardigan, H&M; skirt, Ann Taylor pumps (all old)
Work outfit “after” Modcloth cardigan, thrifted skirt, Kate Spade pumps, Ann Taylor tote and clutch (old), Sole Society heels (review)

Casual outfit “before” – A&F; jorts, old navy flops
Casual outfit “after” – H&M; shorts (old), Talbots sandals c/o (review), Sole Society reversible tote c/o (review), Ann Taylor belt (old), Old Navy outlet hat


69 thoughts on “Video – How to improve basic outfits: floral top edition

  • Ariana Röthlisberger August 8, 2014 at 2:00 am

    I love those kind of articles – they help me soooo much! The difference (especially in the work outfit) is amazing. And you are as cute in the video as you are on the pictures 🙂

  • Heidi's Wanderings August 8, 2014 at 2:01 am

    The outfits are so cute. I really like the first set of pics. And the video is great.

  • Dressed with soul August 8, 2014 at 2:16 am

    Step out of the comfort zone in my opinion is not only regarding outfit combinations a good decision 🙂 Nevertheless I love your updated outfits <3

  • Vickai! August 8, 2014 at 3:24 am

    Jean-ius! Love how you break it all down. Am totally guilty of the "rectangular" work outfit. =

  • Carol from Petite Style Online August 8, 2014 at 3:36 am

    It's great to see you back on youtube! Thanks for sharing your great tips 🙂

  • Angie J. August 8, 2014 at 4:31 am

    very informative! love the finished outfits (although I think the raggedy shorts didn't look that bad!) and you are so cute Jean 😀

  • Paula Walsh August 8, 2014 at 4:40 am

    Loved this Jean and looking forward to more. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Claudia Regen August 8, 2014 at 5:19 am

    So helpful, thank you!

  • TaraMixandMatch August 8, 2014 at 6:36 am

    Love seeing your videos, looking forward to more 🙂

  • jannyisms August 8, 2014 at 7:05 am

    This is a great tutorial. I never thought to break up an outfit into the three simple components you described but it totally makes sense. I'm absolutely guilty of the rectangular silhouette thing. I usually focus so much on covering/hiding areas instead of highlighting and flattering the whole figure. This is a helpful reminder to reframe my perspective. Thanks for creating this video!

  • Olivia August 8, 2014 at 9:08 am

    I loved the video!! 🙂 thank you for the tips as I learn to update my wardrobe to a more grown up look!

  • Shelly August 8, 2014 at 10:18 am

    Totally loved this video, it definitely helped in giving more details about the changes in outfits 🙂 – welcome back to YT! Thanks for the tips – can't wait to give it a try!

  • Sasa Zoe August 8, 2014 at 10:25 am

    $15 dollars? These are awesome pairing!Love to see more videos:) XO

  • Joyce August 8, 2014 at 10:27 am

    I'm so glad you're making videos again!

  • Florence August 8, 2014 at 11:16 am

    Love it!

  • Juliana @ Veste Básica August 8, 2014 at 11:18 am

    I loved the video! Só informative. I felt that I really learned something! Will be sharing this on my own blog. Thank you and keep'em comin'! Beijos!

  • Raven August 8, 2014 at 11:31 am

    I love this video. You introduced some great tips and was very informative. The outfits are like seeing a girl transform into a woman. Thank you for inspiring my next work outfit!

  • the Florkens August 8, 2014 at 11:39 am

    This! I love this. I think this is where I struggle.. I find something is the "good" but I never know how to just bump it up to that next level and make it "great." I like the idea of putting thought each day into Color, Silhouette, and Details. I definitely need more "detail" pieces in my wardrobe, along with much fun colors and patterns like that Loft top. Thank you so much for sharing! I'm going to put these tips into action!


  • maryeb August 8, 2014 at 11:46 am

    I am so glad you decided to make videos again. You do a great job of describing all the detailed elements that go into creating a great outfit in general, but especially for us fellow petites. Thanks, Jean! I'm looking forward to your next video.

  • Anonymous August 8, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    I love these type of posts and I love the video. It's amazing what a few changes can do to an outfit and thank you so much for sharing your tips with us!

  • Temi Truly August 8, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    Great post! Love the 1st transformation!!!

    ❤ Temi Truly
    New Blog Post: July Lust List

  • Anonymous August 8, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    Thanks so much! It was really helpful for me that you spelled out so many principles behind your decisions: color, silhouette, detail, as well as making sure patterns are of different scale when you mix them. Thanks so much!

  • Liz | Shopping My Closet August 8, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    Great video!

    Liz @
    Come by! Weekly Style Me Wednesday fashion blog link-up

  • Li August 8, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    Great video! I have a floral top from J.Crew that I love. I Usually wear it with a skirt, but I may try something new!

    Li (

  • nisprihtime August 8, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    A well-fitted cardigan makes all the difference! Only recently realized how tired my selection was – a cropped version goes a long way!

  • beautylanparty August 8, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    Your new place looks perfect for filming! So much sunlight! 🙂 Loved the looks as usual – would not have expected less. Enjoy your weekend!

  • Arianne @ Glitter Geek August 8, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    I love this!! So great for those of us who have a bit more trouble putting together a desk-to-dinner outfits. I love the changes in the first outfit. They really make all the difference!

  • andrea August 8, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    You did such a good job on this video Jean! I realized I need to invest in a cropped cardigan to wear with my pencil skirts this fall!


  • Caroline August 8, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    awesome! thanks jean! I love your videos – keep 'em coming! you may be petite, but you have great, big personality which shows more easily on video 🙂

  • rodelma lopez August 8, 2014 at 7:30 pm

    love the before and after look jean… great posts

  • Allison August 8, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    You are so cute. Love this!

  • Anonymous August 8, 2014 at 9:00 pm

    This is so helpful! Recent stress has led to me going to work in easy, bland, boxy outfits. I feel so much better when I look cute. Your instructions make it feel really easy to make outfit upgrades 🙂

  • Angela August 8, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    This was awesome! I hope you make more posts /videos like this in the future. I am about to start work after university and so I am just starting to build my work wardrobe. Your blog has been super helpful! Thank you so much!

    Question for you: when would I wear a normal length cardigan then? With trousers? For reference I am 5'1. You would not believe how incredibly hard it seems to be to find cropped cardigans right now. Maybe my luck will improve come fall/winter.

  • A Golden Tulip August 8, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    Love this video, the three steps are so versatile and this vedeo really helps in understanding each in detail and with examples. Your style is amazing.


  • Anonymous August 8, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    Awesome video! I loved your outfit combinations. Your blog posts are always a style inspiration to me. Also, congratulations on your engagement! Best of wishes! 🙂

  • Anonymous August 8, 2014 at 11:33 pm

    Very informative! Thank you so much for posting videos again. I feel like dumping all my clothes and rebuild a whole new wardrobe…

  • Miss Hot Couture August 8, 2014 at 11:51 pm

    What a cute video! This may be slightly off topic but I really enjoyed your makeup and hair tutorials before!

  • ladysarahinlondon August 9, 2014 at 6:38 am

    You are very clever! Amazing transformation, proving good fit is everything.

  • Koffee Pause August 9, 2014 at 8:25 am

    What a lovely video, Jean. I love how you explain things, it's so clear and straight to the point. I'm looking forward to watching your next videos 🙂

  • Amanda S August 9, 2014 at 9:44 am

    This was wonderful! Please keep the videos coming!

    One question, where is the necklace from during the intro to the video?

  • Anonymous August 9, 2014 at 10:08 am

    Hi Jean, thanks for posting practical video on daily mix and match. I know it might be a bit early to ask, but I have been looking for a fitted coat (ideally in wool/cashmere) for the winter. I know that you have recommended JCrew's lady day coat earlier, but I was wondering if there is any other alternative coats (any brand is ok) with a feminine and fitted silhouette. I came across Weekend Max Mara's Riom Short coat on Bloomingdale's website, though the price tag of $895 was totally breaking the bank. It would be great if you could let me know any more affordable options available. [I prefer darker colors such as black, navy, or grey.]

  • Anonymous August 9, 2014 at 10:55 am

    Love the pink top in your video! Where can I get it? Thanks!

  • Anonymous August 9, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    Thanks – great advice. I didn't realize that a cropped cardigan could make such a big difference.

  • Vanessa August 10, 2014 at 12:07 am

    So glad to see you back on Youtube Jean! I really loved how you explained your wardrobe change choices as opposed to just showing us the outfit. I feel a lot of fashion Youtubers only show the end result but not the process. The video was very informative. I loved it!

    Vessi :: arts & petite style blog

  • Anonymous August 10, 2014 at 12:10 am

    Jean, I love Ann Taylor floral skirts and always buy a bunch, only to be puzzled by how to wear them, since they are so colorful (only green and purple, or embroidered blue)… can you give some advice?

  • Sharon August 10, 2014 at 1:42 am

    Hi Jean,
    Love your blog.
    I find that most of your outfits involve wearing heels. I'm a busy mom of 2 young kids and need to be on the go 24-7; heels don't fit my lifestyle! Can you give us non-heel people tips on what to wear to elongate our frames? Any tips?
    Thanks so much.

  • Anne-Laure R August 10, 2014 at 3:47 am

    Merci pour ces conseils!! il va falloir que je révise mon anglais!! Continuez à me faire rêver!!

  • Elaine Atkins August 10, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    Ha Jean I have that top!! Love that our styles are still meshing up after all these years 😛

  • Anonymous August 11, 2014 at 7:24 am

    Thanks so much for sharing the transformation! The work outfit is such an upgrade!

    But I have a question: whenever I wear such high rise skirts, my stomache starts to hurt after a while and I could never have lunch wearing such a skirt. Has anyone experienced the same? Do I just have to get used to the feeling or haven't I found a skirt that really fits yet?
    Thanks Lizzy

  • Anonymous August 11, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    I have the same problem with high-waisted skirts as Anonymous above. The ones that look right often feel uncomfortably tight around the waist, especially when I've been sitting down for a long time, or during lunch.. Is this normal for other people? If so, how do you deal with it?

  • Millie Scimia August 11, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    These are SO helpful and you're so good at the videos Jean! I even shared this with my sister, definitely would love to see more of these in the future 🙂

  • Cat August 11, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    This was so incredibly helpful! I love how you explain why you made each change. I can look at the before and after and see that the 'after' is better, but not WHY it is better. Thank you! More youtube videos like this please!!

  • Suzie Q August 11, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    Yay, welcome back to doing YouTube videos! 🙂 You're so well articulated! Love the styling tips that you provided and how you centered both the work and casual pieces around one top!

    Suzie Q

  • Jean August 12, 2014 at 11:53 am

    Hi Lizzy and anonymous below – I know what you mean which is why I LOVE elastic/stretch waisted skirts. I have a few from Ann Taylor and also some with a regular waistband front and stretchy waistband back. These are my most comfortable skirts by far so I look for this feature when shopping, as a bonus. If you often experience discomfort then I'd stay away from non-stretch high waisted pieces.

  • Jean August 12, 2014 at 11:55 am

    Hi Sharon! With flat shoes, I would stick with slimmer silhouettes such as skinny jeans/pants (love Gap legging jeans or the Banana Republic sloan pants) as well as shorter hemlines for skirts and dresses to balance out shorter legs. In the second outfit here my heels are less than 1" (PS – really low wedges can actually be just as comfy as flats!) and I also suggested skin-toned flat shoes.

  • Jean August 12, 2014 at 11:57 am

    Hi there – you can apply the tips here such as picking a color from within the pattern and pairing with a top in that color, or go completely neutral aside from the skirt and pair the print with just white, black, tan, navy etc pieces. For a bolder look, you can also try opposite colors (ie. i think blue looks great with yellow, green with purple) or neighboring colors (blue with green, red with orange) with your top and skirt. If you're worried about looking too colorful I'd always stick with neutral pumps.

  • Jean August 12, 2014 at 11:58 am

    Hi there – it's actually a dress from LOFT. Ann Taylor had really similar too, but both are from last season so may be sold out : /

  • Jean August 12, 2014 at 11:58 am

    I'm going to keep my eyes peeled, but haven't really started trying on and searching for coats yet : ) You know I love a good coat so I'll certainly be posting about this! I do love the J.Crew coats though and wear them the most.

  • Jean August 12, 2014 at 11:59 am

    Hi Amanda – it's from Ann Taylor and is current : )

  • Jean August 12, 2014 at 11:59 am

    Thank you so much : )

  • Jean August 12, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    I wear my normal length cardigans a lot with pants or jeans – I think it didn't work as well here just because as mentioned, the hips were the widest part of my skirt and then it just goes kind of straight down below halfway my legs. Trousers could have a bit of a boot cut shape or skinny jeans can be really lengthening, so the hip length cardigan looks a little less boxy. If you like cropped cardigans I recommend the one I'm wearing here from Modcloth! Lots of colors too.

  • Petite swede August 12, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    Really loved this post and youtube video. And the way you altered and improved the outfits was great. More of this kind please 🙂

  • Anonymous August 12, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    Anonymous below here. Thanks for the response, Jean! I will keep my eye open for elastic waist bands.

    I paired a pinkish patterned top with a maroon skirt today, and they look great together! I never would have thought to do it before your hint about just keeping things in the same color family.

  • neurosciency August 13, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    very helpful, thank you!

  • Anonymous August 15, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    You are absolutely my favorite!

  • Anonymous August 18, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    Very well made vidoe, and thank you so much!

  • Anonymous August 20, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    Hi! I stumbled on your blog by googling keyword "petite" because hello I'm asian too! XD

    Just wanted to say I looove your blog! You have such great taste and such a ball of positive energy! (And if you dont mind, I would like to slip in a congratulatory note on your recent engagement!) 😉

    Anyway I have somewhat a weird request (if you do entertain any that is). I'm wearing a hijab and being a small even in the Asian community, its a bit diffficult for me to mix and match things. So I would like to request if you could share a point or two about an ensemble of long sleeves with pants/long skirts? It would be great if you can do this! 🙂


  • Anonymous September 12, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    very helpful! Thanks!

  • Anonymous January 16, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    Hi Jean,
    I love this post and they way you styled the sheath dress, I'm a short waisted petite are you more evenly proportioned? Do you think I could wear this?

Comments are closed.