Petite Friendly Blazers: Theory Gabe and Sparkle and Fade

Meet Gabe, my new blazer plucked from the Bloomies sale. I wasn’t sure about him at first, but the real bf Nick encouraged me to take him home.

Leggings: H&M; sz 2 
Blazer: Theory Gabe sz 00 (sleeves folded in)
Wedges: Tory Burch Sophia sz 5.5

Gabe is Theory’s most classic blazer – they offer it season after season in their popular “tailor” fabric, in black and at least two other colors. Bloomies online has both the Gabe blazer and Max C. pants in sz 00, as well as the matching Betty sheath dress which is on my work wishlist. 

Continue reading for my review…

Satchel: Speedy 25 w/ DIY pin Necklaces: ebay gray pearls & J.Crew crystal chains



Fit: The shoulders are narrow (but padded) and the torso is cut very slim, but the length and sleeves will be quite long on tiny petites.

For pant or skirt suit purposes, I encourage shorter petites to stay away from Gabe because of the long length. The full suit looked terribly matronly on me, but i think it works as a boyfriend-style blazer.

Measurements: 23″ length, 14″ across shoulders, 13.5″ across the waist, and 24″ long sleeves (I have them folded under in the pics by several inches!)

Quality: I think this jacket is tailored impeccably. 96% wool, 4% lycra – the ultimate, comfy suiting material that never wrinkles. Fully lined with three working pockets. Made in the USA.

Value: The $375 retail tag is steep, but you can find Theory on sale at Saks, Bloomies, Neiman and the like. Or you can wait for one of their Friends & Family sales to get 20% or more off. Theory suiting in their “tailor” fabric is well worth the investment in my opinion.

I’ve been looking for a longer “boyfriend” style jacket for a while, but I actually wasn’t sold on Gabe until I tried on this one from Urban Outfitters:


Yeech! Can you note all the differences? I won’t even go through a full review with this one.
– long shapeless silhouette = lab technician
– too-long lapel draws eyes to the crotch instead of the waist
– lack of shoulder structure makes posture look droopy, etc etc.


Readers – What do you like to pair your longer blazers with?
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  1. Tranggy wrote:

    Btw any tip on looking for Theory sales? From your posts it seems you found quite a few good pieces at Bloomingdales with printable coupons.

    Just locate a Theory outlet mall near NYC so I'll have to make a plan to head there for President's Day Sale in Feb!

    Posted 1.10.11 Reply
  2. Tranggy wrote:

    Haha I just came over Really Petite's blog to read about her quest for the Theory tweed suit, then read your call-athon post to hunt down the Theory jacket. You girls are so dedicated!

    Thanks for the advice – yeah I think I'll return the jacket and wait for a sale. I'm somewhat afraid that the Gabe B will be sold out just like the Tweed jacket, but it seems that it's still everywhere. Bottoms are always such a problem since I need a curvy fit, so I guess the quest for a fitting theory skirt has just began!

    Posted 1.9.11 Reply
  3. Hi Tranggy! Ah that sure is a dilemma.

    Do you have a Theory outlet near you? It's such a shame to pay full price (even at stores like Bloomies, Neiman Marcus, or Saks you may be able to find the Gabe using a 20% off friends and family coupon at times). The outlets also ship for $15 if you have a particular style name and fabric you're looking for. If you know the color and fabric of your Gabe blazer (shoudl say so on the tag) it might be easier to find another skirt to pair it with that could possibly fit better than the Joanie.

    The Joanie actually fit nicely on me after a hem, but I wouldn't shell out $200 for it if it's not perfect for you. Another blogger (really petite) posted a nice looking full black suit she found at a Theory outlet last week and I'm sure the other Theory outlets would carry it too. If you have the tag info (which I believe she posted) the Theory outlet stores can look it up in the system for you. I wouldn't do the Theory jacket with AT skirt if it doesn't match, because if you aren't 100% confident in it then you'll probably feel uncomfortable during interviews – and any suit/garment costing that much should make you feel 100% confident!

    Posted 1.9.11 Reply
  4. Tranggy wrote:

    Hi Extra Petite!

    After browsing your blog for a while. I decided to stop by Theory today, and wow, Gabe B in 00 fits amazingly. I was so thrilled that I bought the jacket at full price, since it's the only jacket that has fitted so well so far (ouch!!)

    Exactly as you mentioned, the Theory bottoms – Joanie pencil skirt and all the 5 pants I tried on – unfortunately all fit terribly. My favorite pencil skirt is actually the same as yours, i.e. Ann Taylor tropical wool, but I'm size 0P. Sadly the black of AT doesn't quite match Theory…

    Now I have a dilemma: either keep the Joanie skirt and shorten it (it fits but is not as flattering as the AT skirt, so I don't love it), or search high and low for something else that can go with the Gabe B jacket. At $200 I'm hesitant to keep a skirt that I don't love. What's your advice? Have you come across bottom pieces that go well with the Gabe B? I need a suit for interviewing/ starting out in a conservative profession (law), so sadly I don't think I can get away with the Theory jacket + AT skirt.


    Posted 1.9.11 Reply
  5. Do you have the tutorial for this DIY pin? so adorable!

    Posted 9.25.10 Reply
  6. Jillian wrote:

    Hey! I just measured my Rory, and the length is 25.5" in size 00. I actually saw it at Bloomies this weekend, so if you happen to be nearby one, maybe you can try it on. I think you're right, though, you may still swim in it (I am 5'2", 32B, 24" waist, 33" hips and it's perfectly boyfriend on me) 🙂 My tailor charges me $35-40 (Santa Monica, CA prices) for taking it in at the shoulders. I know, it's more expensive, but the reason why I do it is b/c it looks better. Reason being, the sleeves gradually taper as you get to the cuff. When shortening at the shoulder, you still keep that taper. I am sure you have skinny arms like me, so it lays SO much nicer. If you're only taking off an inch, it's probably not going to make a big difference, but if you're shortening any more than that, it is something to consider. Anyway, just food for thought. Boo on the solid lining of your Gabe. 🙁

    Posted 9.20.10 Reply
  7. You guys are right…I am mislabeling this by calling it a boyfriend fit jacket. When I scrunch up the sleeves though, it does give off a little boyfriend vibe, but I know it's too tailored to be a bf jacket. And again, thanks for all the tips on styling. I'm going to play dress up trying some of them out.

    Tabitha – thanks dear : ) My hips are just a little more narrow than yours but J.Crew skirts are too big in 00P. You should try Ann Taylor skirts in sz 00P. They almost work on me and the material is quite decent (I feature the tropical wool pencil skirt in quite a few posts) but I still had to get the hips taken in for a hefty $25.

    Elle – I've been lucky with my Bloomies and outlet, but I've also had the Bloomies SA call around before to ship a small size. They are usually happy to search for it!

    Michelle – I knooow I need to get the sleeves taken up, but the cost ($25) is so painful. Since I already wore it I can't return it, so I guess…fellow petites let me know if anyone is interested in it.

    Jillian – hi there! I just scoped out the Rory blazer online and saw that it is 27.5" in length. Since this one was just 23, I am a little scared to think how long the Rory would be on me. Since you are taller I can see it looking nice on you. And you're right…Gabe is usually lined in striped fabric, but I was surprised to see solid on this on. Hmmph! So odd! Interesting point too about having the sleeves taken up from the shoulders. Have you had that done, and if so how much was it? I asked my tailor about it and she said she was just going to shorten from the cuff and then move the row of buttons up.

    Vicky – you're right, totally not a fair comparison : ) But the Theory jacket was quite deeply discounted so it made no difference to me whether I was spending $40, or $100.

    Aimeehx3/Claud/Cee/Sunny – hooray for being Gabe twins : ) I believe you are each a bit taller than me so I imagine that it fits beautifully on you guys.

    Cat – hmm, I actually don't know many style "names" to recommend for you. I love my theory blazer in the Branden cut but it's old (but pops up on eBay). If you are even a little taller than me, then Gabe may not fit too long. Jessica (first commenter) mentioned that the suit combo fits nicely on her and she's just 2 inches taller than me, I believe. Definitely try out the set in store! If your industry is conservative then it might be perfect.

    Posted 9.20.10 Reply
  8. Tabitha wrote:

    Oh what a beauty you are! Do J Crew pencil skirts work for you? I'm 5 ft 4 but have no hips ( 34 on a good day but usually 33.5 inches) I struggle to find skirts that hug my hips and the tailors round here are hopeless. Any reccomends for skirts?


    Posted 9.19.10 Reply
  9. Tabitha wrote:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

    Posted 9.19.10 Reply
  10. Elle wrote:

    The Gabe looks so good on you, I tried it on today and it's rather fitted on me…definitely more of a classic style than boyfriend, imo. I love blazers with dresses, I love mashing the dichotomy of feminine and masculine.

    Also, where do you find all these theory jackets in small sizes? I wish the bloomies here discount theory more. 🙁

    Posted 9.18.10 Reply
  11. Jessica wrote:

    Hey! It's called the "Rheul Blazer".. I think it's like $200 =X It's actually not a long blazer, but it's a slouchy one.. SO beautiful! CM doesn't have an online store and it's all flash so sorry can't link! If you go to their website, click on collections and it's in beige there (but they have it in black too)

    Posted 9.18.10 Reply
  12. Somehow you wear both of them well. The Theory still seems too well-cut to be a boyfriend jacket. LOL your comment about the UO and crotch! My manager is more relaxed except when attending Town Hall meetings so I haven't worn blazers (thankfully) for years now. I do make sure I have one in the closet just in case. Way back then though, I used to wear BF jkt with leggings or skinny trousers and floaty tops – just like you did. Or with mini skirt and fitted T.

    Posted 9.18.10 Reply
  13. Michelle wrote:

    I definitely think you should get those sleeves altered on the Theory jacket. Folding them under takes away from its full potential. The collar and pockets are beautiful. I love the one button. You wear it so well! Especially with the necklace(s)!

    I agree with you completely on the second one. Lol about the front view. The crotch might be less obvious with a pair of jeans.

    Posted 9.18.10 Reply
  14. I am Khatu wrote:

    I love the pin! UO gives a more relaxed fit as to Gabe, it looks more corporate… They're both cute, just depending on the look you're going for.

    Posted 9.18.10 Reply
  15. MSodapop wrote:

    I love the blazer!

    Posted 9.18.10 Reply
  16. Tiffany wrote:

    I actually like the 2nd blazer better! The first blazer is not really a boyfriend blazer fit, I think the 2nd blazer fits as how a bf blazer should fit. I like it! I think with dark skinny jeans, it would be an outfit that I would wear.

    Posted 9.18.10 Reply
  17. Jillian wrote:

    Hi Jean,

    Just recently found your blog–love it.

    Have you tried the Theory Rory jacket in the Tailor fabric? The 00 may be too big on you (I am a bit bigger than you across the shoulders, bust and in height) but it's more of the boyfriend look (straighter through the waist and a bit longer in length).

    Also, I would suggest having the sleeves taken in at the shoulder so that you won't have to worry about missing buttons, etc. Either way, the great thing about the these Theory blazers is the lining is striped, so you can just roll the sleeves up, right?! 🙂

    Regarding the UO blazer, I ordered a different one by Silence and Noise with cute ruched sleeves that I am awaiting arrival…I have an Elizabeth and James boyfriend blazer with sleeves just like them and LOVE IT. I am hoping the UO one will be just as great for a fraction of the price.

    Anyway, I mostly pair my boyfriend blazers with skinny/ straight legged pants and longer flowy tops and, of course, heels.

    Posted 9.18.10 Reply
  18. Vicky wrote:

    Forgot to mention. The brooch looks really cute. Great project.

    Posted 9.17.10 Reply
  19. Vicky wrote:

    You are comparing two different price range ($300+ vs. under $100) items with two different looks, so I don't think it's fair. My only UO experience was the Peplum jacket, so my impression of them is that they use cheap material, cheap labor to achieve some trendy/stylish look. The bf blazer is a success in my opinion. It does just that. A casual loose fitting easy look. I really like it on you. The lapels are a bit long for my liking, but that's the look they are trying to achieve. The Theory jacket is a theory jacket. It's beautiful, and it's well tailored. If you decide to keep it, I hope you'll have the sleeves taken in. (That's the first thing I noticed when I saw your first picture. My eyes are getting trained now. Haha.)

    Posted 9.17.10 Reply
  20. stylepint wrote:

    The theory blazer looks good, especially unbuttoned. I prefer the look of the second blazer cuz it's more casual and relaxed looking even though it's shapeless and such…that's kind of the point of boyfriend blazers right? But I do admit, it doesn't look that flattering on you.

    Posted 9.17.10 Reply
  21. Oh my goodness, your Speedy bag charm is to die for! Love, love, love!

    Posted 9.17.10 Reply
  22. Callandra wrote:

    The difference between the two is amazing! The quality of each garment is so easy to see in each picture. I haven't ordered anything from UO yet and I'm really not tempted to at this point. Thanks for the review!

    Posted 9.17.10 Reply
  23. Ana wrote:

    I love the pin added to your bag. Such a lovely touch! The Theory blazer is decidedly stylish and fits you perfectly.

    Posted 9.17.10 Reply
  24. aimeehx3 wrote:

    I was wearing the Theory Gabe today! It fits nicely for my petite figure. =]

    Posted 9.17.10 Reply
  25. Em wrote:

    hm. i don't know how i feel about the theory blazer as a bf blazer. it looks great for work, but seems too conservative and structured for casual dressing.

    while the UO blazer looks poorly designed and constructed, i think a similar cut in the bodice (straighter with less nipping at the waist), without the awkward lapels, would be better as bf blazer.

    i'm not much of a blazer person (it reminds me of being at work, lol), but i think they'd be great with a short sexy/girly dress and killer heels. the masculine/feminine contrast is fierce. 🙂

    Posted 9.17.10 Reply
  26. cat wrote:

    interested — when it comes to theory blazers, what style do you recommend for suiting if not gabe?

    i need to buy a suit soon. i was planning to buy a gabe/maxc(pants)/golda(skirt) combination…
    i am in one of the most conservative fields in terms of dress (law), so "matronly" might not be a terrible thing if it manages to make me look older — but i would like to avoid looking like i'm "dressing in grown-up clothes," if you know what i mean, at all costs!


    Posted 9.17.10 Reply
  27. Ugh…that UO jacket…the baggy sleeves, the shapeless torso…those lapels!! The horror!

    Gabe's looking good! That style always looks frumpy on me (but I keep trying b/c the fabrics/colors are to die for). Perhaps my short-waisted body type just doesn't agree with that length of blazer.

    Posted 9.17.10 Reply
  28. Sunny wrote:

    Ooooh you created a lemming, I own a charcoal Gabe suit (sz 0) and the sheath dress would be great under the jacket. I actually think the 2nd blazer works as a nice bf blazer for you if you rolled up the sleeves. I avoided this trend because I didn't think I could pull off longer jackets, in response to your question.

    Posted 9.17.10 Reply
  29. Angie wrote:

    hey, what's wrong with lab technicians? lol just kidding. I really like the theory one on you. a bf blazer for petites, finally! the colour and shape is really flattering

    Posted 9.17.10 Reply
  30. Erin wrote:

    I always look to Kim and Kourtney Kardashian when it comes to styling long blazers… moreso Kourtney than Kim. They have a great collection and always look so stylish. Best of all, they hardly ever look as tiny as they are!

    Posted 9.17.10 Reply
  31. Nelah wrote:

    Both blazers look terrific on you but I personally like the second one more. The first blazer is very dressy and classic while the second one looks more casual and young. I can see myself wearing that second bf blazer to work since my corporate dresscode is business casual and most people are underdressed anyway.

    Posted 9.17.10 Reply
  32. Cee wrote:

    Great find! High five for being theory tailor twins 🙂 Everything you described about the jacket was true to me too, from the fit to the fabric. The color of the jacket matches your speedy perfectly!

    Besides the traditional skinny jeans look with boyfriend blazers, I actually think it might work well with a dressy tshirt and shorts, paired with heels. I'll have to go play in my closet sometime.

    Posted 9.17.10 Reply
  33. Claud wrote:

    I luv luv the beautiful look of the Gabe blazer. This my all time fave piece from theoty. I have the same blazer on black size O and the measures seem to be a bit shorter on the sleeves and lenght but the rest is about the same as yours, which is very interesting. Hmm..mine is a few years old maybe this explains. It looks a little big on you still but I think is a keeper piece. The quality is amazing. I wear mine with the sleeves folded inside out which shows the beautiful striped lining.So all I have to do is roll the cuff and not get it hemmed 😉

    Posted 9.17.10 Reply
  34. Thanks guys for the suggestion…seems like tighter on the bottom / shorter skirts is the way to go.

    Jessica – do you have a link to the silk blazer?

    Nicole – thanks for all the suggestions! I need to get the sleeves taken in but $25 is so much to swallow plus the buttons will be chopped off awkwardly. I'm avoiding it and just "scrunching" for now.

    Annapurna – good points. This is why I like to post…to get valued opinions like yours! I agree I can't see this for a true casual outfit. I've been wearing it to work once with skinny black pants and once over a shorter dress, both times with the sleeves scrunched up which I think added to the casual look.

    RL – I actually don't know if Gabe is the perfect boyfriend blazer : ) I think it's intended to be classic suiting, and after reading Annapurna's points I now long for a bf blazer that is more slouchy, to wear over casual dresses and jeans. Keep us posted in your search.

    ANd I agree, I think I'm going to stop trying on blazers at U.O. I always order for a 'cheap thrill' (not that this was that cheap) hoping to be pleasantly surprised, but with things like blazers I still prefer to go to good old Theory. And oh I made the rose/chains as a brooch for a jacket..but the bf said it looked tacky…bah!

    Posted 9.17.10 Reply
  35. R.L. wrote:

    Love how you styled both blazers! I've been searching for the perfect petite boyfriend blazer and your review has convinced me the Theory Gabe is the one for me. 🙂 Bummer about the sleeves being too long though. But I would probably roll them up or tuck them in like you did.

    The UO is almost an adequate cheap alternative for those who can't find the Theory blazer at a reasonable price. But there's just something about details that sometimes make the designer pricier stuff simply worth it.

    And I love DIY rose. Do you plan on wearing it as brooch as well?

    Posted 9.17.10 Reply
  36. Oh that Theory Blazer is GORGEOUS! That UO blazer does nothing for you and it's very shapeless.

    I always try to pair my longer or "boxier" blazers with skinny pants or jeans to balance it out a bit.

    Great job on the DIY!

    Posted 9.17.10 Reply
  37. Hanna wrote:

    Wow, the Gabe blazer really fits you very well! I think a boyfriend style/fit would work since it really tapers close to your torso and it is so super flattering. I could barely notice that you tucked in the sleeves, good thing you still have some of the button detailing though! I really like the color of the UO blazer but that's all I like about it lol. You can really see the difference of a boyfriend blazer WIN and a boyfriend blazer FAIL.
    I like to pair boyfriend blazers with a floaty dress! Have a little bit of the dress peeking out at the bottom of the jacket. =0D

    Posted 9.17.10 Reply
  38. Tara wrote:

    Gabe is a handsome jacket!

    Posted 9.17.10 Reply
  39. Annapurna wrote:

    Although it is clear that the UO jacket doesn't fit you as well, I actually like the slouchy fit better on you as a BF jacket.

    The Gabe is a very pretty jacket (and you look amazing, as always) but quite frankly it seems too tailored and dressy to be a true "boyfriend" style jacket (the kind you would wear with jeans, leggings etc). It might be hard to pull off casually. I am also not loving the proportions on you.

    I had a lot of jackets like the Gabe when I first started working in the late 90s – they work best with short (above the knee), slim skirts. As you noted, the full suit looks matronly.

    Posted 9.17.10 Reply
  40. kali wrote:

    I don't have any longer blazers but these look really nice on you! I don't even have a "normal" blazer -they're always too big or ill-fitting on me.

    Posted 9.17.10 Reply
  41. DSK Steph! wrote:

    <3 <3 <3 your TB sandals!

    Posted 9.17.10 Reply
  42. PetiteXXS wrote:

    I do see the difference between the two! But since I don't own any Theory blazers yet, I would definitely get the other more fitted Theory blazers first before I venture to boyfriend blazers… Still not sure how to pull that look off because I think that on petites, it's much easier to cross the line from casual chic to sloppy & ill-fitting… but it helps to have an impeccably tailored blazer!

    Posted 9.17.10 Reply
  43. nicole wrote:

    lol I like your observational note on how the longer lapels point to the crotch, that made me laugh. Gabe looks like the perfect boyfriend! er…blazer, I mean haha, it fits you well, except, are you planning to get the sleeves taken in?

    I love the overall outfit, esp your multiple strands of pearls. So chic and well put-together 🙂
    I also love the little rosette that you attached to your LV bag! it's all in the details.

    And for longer blazers, I like wearing them with leggings or skinny jeans. Leggings, because it covers my bum just in case my top falls short of covering it. I just like a slimmer more fitted silhouette on the bottom if the jacket is longer to elongate my overall body/silhouette. I hope that makes sense haha.

    Posted 9.17.10 Reply
  44. That Gabe Theory jacket looks great on you.

    Posted 9.17.10 Reply
  45. Mimi wrote:

    i love that pin you have on your speedy! it goes well with it. 😀

    <3, Mimi

    Posted 9.17.10 Reply
  46. You look amazing! I love that first outfit!

    Posted 9.17.10 Reply
  47. I love the layering of the necklaces – and yes, definitely can tell the difference between the first and second jacket. You have encouraged me to check out Bloomingdale's and Nordstrom for Theory now. So far, no luck!

    Posted 9.17.10 Reply
  48. I don't think I could pull off an oversized/loose blazer, but I have one that is about hip length with princes seams, and it kind of looks like a riding jacket. So, that's how I tend to wear it – with slim jeans or pants, and a button-down underneath.

    Posted 9.17.10 Reply
  49. Can't believe how teeny you are… that 00 still looks large on you… but I guess it is suitable for a boyfriend style blazer.

    I like to wear oversized blazers with tight mini dresses… or anything otherwise streamlined =)

    Have a great day Jean!

    Posted 9.17.10 Reply
  50. Jessica wrote:

    Great post =) Funny because I have a relatively short torso too, but my Gabe Theory jackets aren't long for me! =P They are like my shorter ones!

    I like the longer blazer with short skirt look (with tights in winter). There is this SUPER nice silk blazer from Club Monaco that I've been eyeing, but it's way too expensive full price. Hoping it will go on sale soon!

    Posted 9.17.10 Reply

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