Petite Lookbook: Rosebud Peplum Dress

A few weeks ago I tried on a floral dress at F21 (#5 in this post) and fell in love with the vintage-y rose print. The fit was good, but I thought it was a little overpriced ($20) for a tee shirt dress from F21. Thankfully, a few hours later, I found a similar dress in a darling peplum cut. Peplum (definition): short overskirt usually attached to a fitted jacket or dress.

These photos do not do this dress justice because the flounce skirt got crumpled up in my suitcase. I ironed it out later with my hair straightener but was too lazy to re-take pics.

Dress: Pretty Good sz XS
Belt: F21 sz S Cardigan: Martin & Osa sz XS

This dress was a random find at TJ Maxx. The discount environment at those stores make me purchase items that I don’t even like or need. I worked at Marshalls as a teen, and used to hoard any and ALL clearance clothing & shoes that came remotely close to fitting me. Anyone else guilty of that?

Needless to say all of that stuff has been donated by now, and as a result I am “traumatized” by places like TJMaxx/Marshies. This dress was a lucky find in the juniors department (the petites section is twinset-laden and horrid), and was priced exactly the same as the F21 dress I had passed up earlier.

This is also my first sweater from M&O.; I LOVE this longer-length cardigan! I have been wearing it so much – buttoned up over leggings, or open with my spring dresses. I like the fit of the XS, but later realized that XXS is available online in this summer weight long cardigan (on sale).

Sandals: I.N.C. low wedge sandals (similar here in Cognac – love, love, love)

Now for the alterations…(note how much better the flounce skirt looks when not crinkly)

This dress in a juniors XS basically fit due to the elasticised waist, however there were a few issues. The neckline was too plunging, the armholes were too big, and the sides were too wide.

I had not visited my tailors for months, and didn’t want to break the streak for a $20 dress from TJ Maxx. Oh how I wish I have my beloved sewing machine & serger in Boston! But for the time and space being, rough hand-stitching will have to get the job done. I whipped out my needle and thread and stitched in the following:

Ta-da. DIY alterations to address common problems faced by petites.
When you purchase through the links on this blog, I may earn a commission. Thank you for your support!

When you purchase through the links on this blog, I may earn a commission. Thank you for your support!

For Daily Posts

Leave a Comment


  1. Tiffany wrote:

    you look great! I love peplum dresses too, they are so cute on. I love the print of yours.

    I just got a cardi from Martin + Osa too and I really love the quality.

    Posted 4.27.10 Reply
  2. the color of the cardigan..been searching for the same color with no success so far 🙁

    Posted 4.26.10 Reply
  3. @Janice – I don't own or use hair products other than drugstore shampoo/conditioner, sadly. I do have one little trick though, will show later : )

    @ vix – that's what I keep trying to tell my Dad! He has a walk in closet the size of my bedroom filled with pants all bought for under $20. But he is a "petite" man and of course 99% of the pants do not fit.

    @ Irene – sorry for the confusion, no F21 stuff at TJMaxx. The dress is some random brand "Pretty Good."

    Posted 4.25.10 Reply
  4. CynthiaC wrote:

    @Jessica Mei: Marshall's and TJ Maxx are owned by the same people as Winners in Canada.

    Posted 4.24.10 Reply
  5. Irene wrote:

    OMG I'm in LOVE with the Peplum look – that dress looks great on you! And I had no idea that they sold F21 stuff at TJMaxx!

    Posted 4.24.10 Reply
  6. Ooooooh, you have a serger!?! I think I need one of those, so I can do some minor alterations. What kind do you have?

    That is such a pretty spring look! I love how you've styled it.

    Posted 4.24.10 Reply
  7. such a lovely dress! i'm loving ur outdoors shots, too:) have a great weekend!

    Posted 4.24.10 Reply
  8. Vix wrote:

    Agree about peplums on the hip-challenged…this dress looks great on you. [And I forgive you for posting a link to that lovely blue dress that is not in my budget right now!]

    I grew up on TJ Maxx/Marshalls buys and have had to wean myself off the notion that it's better to have 4 pairs of $20 pants that fit badly than 1 pair of $80 that fit well. Of course I'm all for $20 pants [etc] that have a killer fit!

    But they can definitely be a good resource. I don't find much in clothing there, but I do score some great accessories every so often!

    Posted 4.23.10 Reply
  9. nicole wrote:

    that dress is adorable! and it looks great on you with the belt and the cognac sandals! and i love how you paired the outfit with a mustard yellow cardigan, very vintage chic. i love it! hope you have a good weekend! xo

    Posted 4.23.10 Reply
  10. April wrote:

    Aww you look soo great! You have incredible legs!

    Posted 4.23.10 Reply
  11. janice NY wrote:

    Love the floral + yellow combo, super cheery! It's impressive that you have your own sewing machine and can make simple alterations… ultimately, what a useful skill to have especially since most clothes won't fit us petite girls perfectly!

    Also, you must do a post about what hair products you use to get such volume =)

    Posted 4.23.10 Reply
  12. What a cute and colorful Spring outfit!

    About M&0 – They're closing this summer! If you like anything from there, get it soon. And keep a look out for clearance sales as summer gets closer.

    Posted 4.23.10 Reply
  13. I agree that TJ Maxx definitely has good stuff if you are picky / lucky. I know readers have mentioned some pretty sweet deals that they've scored.

    @ J-Ezzy – lol! AMNTH…def know what you mean. When I first tried on this dress you could see everything through the armholes. And wow, props to you for going just 1x a month to the mall in your backyard…not possible for me.

    @ Midori – not pathetic at all…straps is already more than what some women can do. There's a good reason why I didn't show "after alteration" closeup pics, lol.

    @ PetiteXXS … oh god I worked fitting room in high school … shudder.

    @ Gabriela – straighteners are so handy! I started using them to iron out my ribbon necklaces, and moved on to ironing pant/skirt hems, and now random clothing touchups : )

    Posted 4.23.10 Reply
  14. Gabriela wrote:

    Hmmm, and I thought I was the only one who used a hair straightener as an iron!

    I love the whole outfit. Kudos on the DIY alterations 😉

    Posted 4.23.10 Reply
  15. I love the whole look! You look great in the dress! Love the belt too:)

    I totally agree with you about TJMaxx and Marshalls..I always end up buying things and then donating them shortly after. Tons of money wasted!!!!

    Posted 4.23.10 Reply
  16. PetiteXXS wrote:

    I never would've thought to try that color combo but it looks great! Very vintage-y. I don't think I can carry off a peplum dress because I don't have the upper curves to balance it out, but you look very well proportioned.

    I used to work briefly at TJ Maxx in high school and I'm definitely traumatized by those kinds of stores too! I think that's where I started my bad habit of buying lots of junk because it's "cheap" and "almost fits." But mostly I'm traumatized by the having to organize the sheer volume of clothes and pick up after lazy shoppers who leaves things all helter skelter.

    Posted 4.23.10 Reply
  17. Angie wrote:

    I love the background! I didn't know peplum would work on us but it looks fantastic on you 🙂

    Posted 4.23.10 Reply
  18. Midori wrote:

    you look fabulous! i really like the colors of your outfit.

    i find that strap shortening is usually one of the easiest fixes evAr. it's the only one i can take care of by myself…i can't even sew a straight line on a sewing machine. it's pretty pathetic.

    Posted 4.23.10 Reply
  19. The belt just pulls everything together<3
    Very cute^___^

    Miss. P

    Posted 4.23.10 Reply
  20. I like how you paired the dress with the cardigan. Great color combination. I'm still too chicken to wear a cardigan in that color.
    For those of you who would like to purchase a floral dress that has a longer length, check out this item 2072046510 at Forever21. I purchased it online yesterday.

    Posted 4.23.10 Reply
  21. Chloe wrote:

    You know, I always eyeball things and wonder if I can just take them in myself (read: shorten straps- that's usually my biggest problem!) I don't know why I don't do it more. I really should be brave and start practicing on some cheaper garments…because for as much as I like my tailor, I sometimes hate both the money and the time commitment (having to wait 5 to 10 days to get it back!) involved, grrr.

    The dress is darling on you. I love peplum hems- they're good for me (since I lack any sort of waist/hip definition) and give me the hint of curves I only wish I had. 🙁

    Posted 4.23.10 Reply
  22. DSK wrote:

    Hey Ms. ExtraPetite!

    Thank you for stopping by my blog 🙂 It means a lot. I'm so glad to have checked out your blog, your taste is so sophisticated, professional, and fun!

    The Speedy 25 is adorable, I wish I was smaller to be able to wear it without looking awkwardly big hehehe.

    I'm definitely going to plan my bags better in the future if I ever get anymore 😉

    Have a great weekend babe!


    Posted 4.23.10 Reply
  23. I love these shots!!! I have the same issue, (as most of us on here!), too wide and straps are too long, I've had dresses fall halfway down my boobs…ummm, no, I don't wanna be america's next top hooker! (no relation to the show…it just sounds good, lol)

    I live behind a TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Target, Dollar Store, Ross, Ulta, Ann Taylor, the list goes on…so, you see, I must limit myself to going to only ONE of those stores at most once a month (except for the dollar store, unfortunately mines has more food than anything and uh, not eating the preservatives in a box from there).

    BTW – I adore that cardigan!! I may just order the white one in small!! Or I can go to the store @ Tysons…hmmm. I also adore your sandals 🙂

    Posted 4.23.10 Reply
  24. PS
    In Canada, we don't have TJ Maxx or Marshalls…
    but, I do get a little carried away when I find good deals.

    Im always purchasing sale items that look nice, but fit terrible on me.
    I end up never getting it altered and it just collects dust in the back of my closet.

    Posted 4.23.10 Reply
  25. I love this outfit!
    It screams SPRING IS HERE! yay 🙂

    This season, I have become obsessed with florals, but I have yet to find a nice floral dress.
    I love how you paired this with the cognac accessories and the yellow cardigan is my fav.

    Thank-you for your supportive comment on my last post.
    Your right. I think we should wait awhile before trying to be friends again. At the moment, I need to focus on myself..


    Posted 4.23.10 Reply
  26. Megan wrote:

    There is a TJMaxx by my parents home in Dallas that has all upscale designer labels – Alberta Ferretti, Alexander McQueen, Marc Jacobs, etc etc. I bought a Rebecca Taylor sequined tshirt dress for $50. One of those stores that you have to go knowing what you're looking for.

    Love the peplum on you, how sweet!

    Posted 4.23.10 Reply
  27. Jen wrote:

    Oh that dress is DARLING! As soon as I saw it it reminded me of that exact F21 dress you were talking about, which I actually do own and love.

    I'm not ashamed to say that I love TJ Maxx and Marshalls. I do wear the things I end up buying there, you just have to be reallllllly picky about the quality and fit. I've even found size 4 heels there once or twice! <3

    Posted 4.23.10 Reply
  28. I bought a pair of green Steve Madden cowboy boots from Tj Maxx not too long ago, I'M IN LOVE. lol they have good deals, but I'm horrified that the shoes aren't in boxes!! feels like a thrift store.


    Posted 4.23.10 Reply

Get the newsletter!

What updates would you like?