Fall hues: Plum, navy + grey at work

work outfit ann taylor skirt long cardiganAnn Taylor skirt, turtleneck (10 colors) + open cardigan (4 colors, also in petite) c/o
Baublebar bib necklace (also at Nordstrom), Sole Society heels (similar in "taupe")

I'm a pencil skirt girl through and through, and the rich plum and navy hues on this one caught my eye. It fits true to size for AT pencil skirts so I did have to get the sides taken in so that it sits higher at my natural waist. I went the easy route with a top that's the same color from the pattern, but it also pairs well with neutrals like taupe and grey.
work outfit pencil skirt long cardigan
I rarely wear longer cardigans with my pencil skirts (as demonstrated in this styling video) because I feel boxy when they end at the widest part of my hips. I tried on this cardigan with this outfit and surprisingly liked the results (also very cute with slim ankle pants). I think it works better because the length pushes the sweater into duster jacket territory, well beyond the hips area, and the material moves swingily to frame the skirt. I'm wearing an XS regular which was the smallest size at the time, and it's a little loose and long in the sleeves on me. It's odd, several times now I've gotten something only to see it become available weeks later either in petite, or a smaller size! I see this cardigan is now online in xxs regular and petites (albeit just one color), both of which would fit better on smaller-framed ladies. If you don't mind wearing regular sizing, I saw the baked sesame color in-person and it's a versatile light camel with pink tones, prettier in-person.
business outfit turtleneck sweater pencil skirt
Turtleneck sweaters are a fall/winter staple and I thought this one fit nice and slim plus comes in many colors. I'm wearing my usual size xxs petite with the sleeve cuff folded up. The weight of the wool-blend material (update: I personally don't find it to be itchy - but please read the online reviews as some did) is on the thinner side so tucks well into skirts without being bulky.
business formal outfit blazer pencil skirt
For a business formal environment, swap the cardigan for a blazer (this one is from J.Crew). Speaking of J.Crew, their latest size 000 petite, as terribly unnatural as that still sounds, finally produces a pencil skirt that may no longer require alterations (and my staple No 2 wool skirt is currently on sale). I haven't tried it on yet in the new size, but according to their customer service the No. 2 wool skirt in 000p measures 12.25" waist and 15" hips, compared to their 00p with 13.5" waist and 17.25" hips - quite a big difference. Now wouldn't it be lovely if AT followed suit with a new similar size, at least for skirts and pants?

Measurements of this skirt in 00P pre-alterations: 13.25" across the waist, 16.5" across the hips, 20.25" length. The material is stretchy overall and feels like a medium-weight textured twill, with the inner waistband lined in grosgrain ribbon. It's classic pencil skirt style with an invisible back zipper and leg slit, and is fully lined. I was pleased to see the pattern was lined up on both the side and back seams!office outfit pencil skirt cardigan sweater I'm late to the game with Essie's "Chinchilly" polish but better late than never...it looked more regular grey online but is a beautiful taupe-grey hue in-person. And here are some of my top recommendations from the entire Ann Taylor sale that are still available in small sizes. I've either tried on for fit or own these items, some from years ago:

Speckled fringe sweater dress is a must for lovers of Chanel-inspired style. Every so often AT comes out with a Coco classic that just needs a strand of pearls. The last tweedy fringe jacket sold like hotcakes so I don't expect this one to be in stock long The xxsp is a comfortable, stretchy fit that hits above the knee. It's not form-fitted on me but you can add a thin belt for more waist definition. This one will transition well into winter with black or dark colored tights. And good news - the tag on the actual dress says hand wash cold, not dry clean only like the site!

Flowy sweater skirt, now finally available in petites sizing (also in black)! No alterations needed on this one at the waist, and the stretchiness will comfortably accommodate big lunches. The material is a medium-weight, smoother tight knit and the waistband is thick and "holds" stuff in. And hooray for machine wash cold.

- Contrast tipped perfect shirt - their stretch perfect shirts in general fit me well off the rack in xxs petite. The tipping on this one is a sharp way to spruce up a basic navy button-up. This one can also be washed at home.

- Petite supersoft long cardigan - this was one of the items I was most excited about from their latest collection, unfortunately the color I wanted does not come in petites and XS regular was too oversized on me. It caught my eye most when styled chicly as a sweater coat on this page. I would've gotten this if it came in petites in either the cream or a lighter grey.

- Bright red swing coat (my review here) at a very good price for a jacket post-discounts.

- Signature tote in 3 colors - a basic, lightweight faux-leather school or work tote. See older variations on me over the years in multiple colors. The Modern Saddle color is already marked down making it just $50 after discounts.

- Per usual, my favorite layered faux-pearl necklace (see 10 ways I've styled it) or this simpler oversized pearlized necklace. They also have jewelry box-staple faux pearl studs for just $14 with great reviews.

Fit and flare sweater dress - see my review here and it styled differently here. Please note that to get the fit shown in my photos, I shrunk mine a bit in the dryer as mentioned in my review. I was happy to see the reviews on there from readers of this blog!


  1. I love this plum and navy color combination! Beautiful outfit for fall, great style!


  2. I love your cardigan!!
    Abbie E.

  3. Love the colors together! And those heels are great!


  4. This colour combo is very pretty and classy! Perfect for work!


  5. Gorgeous colors for fall!

    Ann | http://annrobiefashion.com/

  6. Absolutely loving the plum and grey pairing. So chic!!

    Enclothed Cognition

  7. Beautiful burgundy colors, perfect for fall! Thanks for the recommendations!


  8. I love the skirt! Yes, the JC 000P is a petite girl's dream come true. Finally.

  9. That is such a stunning necklace! ♡♡

    xoxoBella | http://xoxobella.com

  10. Obsessed with this outfit especially your skirt<3

    Shall We Sasa

  11. This is such a cute skirt! I love the burgundy and navy blue pattern. It's very preppy!

    xx, Diane || http://www.dizined.com

  12. This outfit is so chic and classy. I can totally see it as the perfect outfit for a thanksgiving dinner at your man's family or even for a business lunch. SO beautiful

  13. That pencil is absolutely gorgeous! Love it paired with that matching sweater and statement necklace. I agree with you on the cardigan length--it hits you at just the right spot!

    Lifestyle by Joules

  14. OMG, 000P sizing exists!? Wow, learn something NEW every day, I guess! I'm NOT into skirts/dresses, BUT I liked these AT sweaters- will look up.

  15. Hi Jean, I have been a follower of your blog for about 2+ years now and just wanted to say you are totally killing it in the last 10-15 posts!! I love them since you are showing ideas for affordable and chic outfits (except the lovely but very expensive Stuart Weitzman boots :)).

    Keep up the good work! And please showcase ideas for more affordable outfits (in addition to expensive designer brands). Thanks!

  16. You look very elegant in this outfit, I love the pencil skirt and you picked the perfect necklace to go with it, absolutely stunning.

    Also our blog has relaunched, check out our escapades in Paris and tell us what you think thank you.

  17. So lovely and a perfectly feminine way to dress for work. Thanks for the detailed reviews, the turtleneck is definitely going on my list now that I'm moving to a place that gets snow. :)

  18. Have not tried a 000p skirt, but do have a blazer! The shoulders on it fit well, which is the biggest issue I have with outerwear. Sleeves are still a bit too long, but I have short arms and they're still within acceptable range (or at least that's what I tell myself)


  19. I am loving the plum. You are making me want to buy a plum top!


  20. Lovely color combination!


  21. Oh gosh, I love turtlenecks <3 I think you paired your outfit really well, so much so, I'd love to get everything! :3


  22. I lovet this color, you look great


Pin It button on image hover