Petite Lookbook: Prim and Proper

Thank you everyone who entered my Valentine’s Day giveaway. The winner this time is Thuy! Please visit this post for the selection details. Please email me within 72 hours to claim your prize : )

A while back I posted about one of my favorite ways to wear a cardigan – tucked into a pencil skirt. I wanted to show how this can work nicely for longer cardigans, as long as they are thin and fitted.


Cardigan: LOFT XXSP (similar here in 12 colors)

Silk Pleated Blouse: J.Crew sz 0 (taken in)
Tweed Skirt: Theory 00  Rings: Topshop
Belt: J.Crew sz S (extra holes punched)
Vintage Pendant: “Peri” Cameo (from here)
This is how I used to wear this cardigan for work. Atrocious! Thank you, photos, for enlightening me. The long cardi hanging over the pencil skirt left no room for body definition.

Here is the same exact sweater and skirt done over again. Ideally the cardigan would be more fitted in the torso, but the look is already cleaner and the overall shape definition is greatly improved.

 Skirt: Ann Taylor Tropical Wool Pencil Skirt in 00P (taken in) – new color available!



For this prim outfit, I reached for my favorite vintage Peri cameo. Vintage trinkets look beautiful over delicate materials like silks, chiffon, and lace (as shown here). This is probably one of my most-worn accessories (can be donned as a pendant or a pin), and the best part – it was under $10 on eBay.

Readers – Have you tried the tucked-in cardi for work yet?
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  1. Wytane wrote:

    Really neat look, love it!

    Posted 4.3.13 Reply
  2. Anonymous wrote:

    I'm a bit slow at jumping on this tucking-cradigan-into-skirt bandwagon but THANK YOU! I tried it for the first time at work today and it looked so much more polished than just having my cardi loose. Genius!

    Posted 5.29.12 Reply
  3. Kate wrote:

    Where is the top from?

    Posted 3.21.11 Reply
  4. Kate wrote:

    So, so gorgeous! So happy I discovered your blog!

    Posted 3.21.11 Reply
  5. Just bought a long cardi myself yesterday at Banana Republic – would never have thought to tuck it in, but you've inspired me. I'll see if I can pull it off as well as you do! BTW, totally using your belt loop idea lately – you've saved me from having to donate a few of my too long belts to the Good Will!

    Posted 2.18.11 Reply
  6. MizzJ wrote:

    What a good idea! I never would have thought of that, although how do you avoid bumpage due to the cardigan being tucked in?

    Posted 2.18.11 Reply
  7. Jean, thanks for your post! I actually posted about your advice on my blog and rearranged my work outfit today! HA! 🙂

    <3, natasha

    Posted 2.17.11 Reply
  8. Cee wrote:

    This is a great look on you Jean. I've tried this look, but either my skirt was too low-waisted or the cardigan wasn't long enough because there was bunching that I couldn't smooth out. More reason to go shopping soon? I think so 🙂

    Posted 2.17.11 Reply
  9. Leena wrote:

    it looks like a totally different cardi tucked in! you look amazing, and i love all the beautiful accessories. immaculate as usual! 🙂

    Posted 2.17.11 Reply
  10. I love the first picture. Make it ur profile pic=)

    Posted 2.17.11 Reply
  11. Tara wrote:

    I really would love to know your secret on being able to tuck in cardis without bumps and bulges…I totally can't figure it out! You look amazing!

    Posted 2.17.11 Reply
  12. Congratulations to the winner!

    So you know how you included this jcrew belt you're wearing here in your favorite things giveaway that I received? I wear this belt to death. Wear it w/everything. Wear it to sleep even! Last part as an exaggeration to allow you to fully understand how much I love it and appreciate it.

    and yes, I love wearing cardis tucked in, esp if it's a high waisted skirt.

    Lastly, I see what you're doing here: You're hair flirting w/us.

    Posted 2.17.11 Reply
  13. Nata wrote:

    I just tried this for the first time today! I was a little skeptical b/c I'm not quite as tiny as you but it made a HUGE difference 🙂
    I posted the before & after pictures in my blog:

    Thanks for inspiring me to try something new today!

    Posted 2.17.11 Reply
  14. Ping wrote:

    ohh pretty pics, esp the 1st one. you're hair is growing so long, i love it.

    definitely makes a huge difference with the cardi tucked in. much better and shows off your figure.

    i also like pencil skirts with shorter & more fitted cardigans!

    Posted 2.17.11 Reply
  15. Yes! I've done this before and I love the look of it (of course I forgot to take pictures LOL).

    Where did you get that blouse Jean?

    Posted 2.17.11 Reply
  16. Phil wrote:

    Wow Great Pics, I love your Look, just Beautiful 🙂

    Posted 2.17.11 Reply
  17. Your hair is so pretty when it's sort of waved! Is it naturally like that? 😀 I really like the cardigan tucked in. It shows off your figure much better. : )

    Posted 2.17.11 Reply
  18. Vicky wrote:

    I love both looks, Jean. I don't think the BEFORE pictures are "atrocious". 🙂 It's more of a laid back stylish look. I'm trying to get a Peri Cameo pendant like yours and Annie's and hoping to get both green and pink. 🙂
    OMG your hair looks gorgeous!

    Posted 2.17.11 Reply
  19. I love the cardigan tucked in. I have a long black card that I can't wait to tuck into a red pencil skirt. Thank you for the inspiration!

    Posted 2.17.11 Reply
  20. You look amazing! I love that olive cardigan on you!! I think I've mentioned it before haha :p Tucked in with a skirt is genius!!!!!! It really looks good on you! Gives you a lot of definition 🙂 Your "before" look doesn't look terrible either! I love both 🙂

    Posted 2.17.11 Reply
  21. what an excellent idea! that outfit looks fabulous on you =)

    Posted 2.17.11 Reply
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    Posted 2.17.11 Reply
  23. Anh wrote:

    That first picture is AMAZE-ING! Love it. Gorgeousness. =)

    Posted 2.17.11 Reply
  24. petite-ish wrote:

    You look so sophisticated! Love the details, like matching skirt/shoes and belt/sweater. Sorry I haven't emailed you back, work has been busy busy.

    Posted 2.17.11 Reply
  25. I love this look. Thanks for the idea! I can't wait to try it this Sunday at Church!

    Posted 2.17.11 Reply
  26. Edwina wrote:

    You look too cute 🙂 Love how the colours work together in this outfit! The olive green is truly beautiful. Also, the necklace is just too darling 🙂 I can't help but notice how u did ur belt. I never thought of putting it in a knot like that. I might try next time, it looks interesting!

    Posted 2.16.11 Reply
  27. grace wrote:

    I LOVE it tucked in – completely more sophisticated, and really adds shape. Having it untucked does make it seem more frumpy. Not horrible – just looks older, and less "youthful". I don't have many skirts, but I'll have to try that next time – though I'm not sure how good it will look good on me since I do have a belly…

    I LOVE that first photo of you.

    Posted 2.16.11 Reply
  28. @Ski Petite I tend to overdo it now…but gosh darnit I like having a waist and hips again!

    @Michelle Lol! Oh Vegas weather and crazy classroom temps.

    @Justine Amazingly, this sweater laid smooth under my skirt. Which is great because it's so long it would'be been bulgy inside undies or a control bottom!

    Posted 2.16.11 Reply
  29. Justine wrote:

    I love it tucked in! A picture can tell you a lot.

    btw, did you tuck the skirt into your underwear/control top so you don't have the lumps and bumps?

    Just Better Together

    Posted 2.16.11 Reply
  30. Michelle wrote:

    Gorgeous! I have been lusting for a cameo since seeing both you and Annie wearing them! I especially love your delicate blouse!

    I have not tried the tucked in cardigan, yet! My classroom is unusually warm…hits eighty degrees by the end of the day! Is taking awhile to get the problem solved. :/ So basically, no sweaters for me!

    Posted 2.16.11 Reply
  31. Ski Petite wrote:

    What a difference tucking it in makes. I have never tried the tucked in cardi, but I definitely need to try it now. Looks really professional with that blouse, as well.

    Posted 2.16.11 Reply
  32. @Banhannas Yes the last I looked there was one nearly identical to this for $6 plus $2 ship!

    @PetiteLittleGirl I remember the same ensemble on you…it made you look very long and lean!

    @Maya Topshop

    @Gracie Hehe they're two different skirts…I realized I had photos with the same cardigan in the plain wool skirt so I changed back into it for comparisons sake : )

    @PetiteXXS I talked briefly about getting both my tropical wool pencil skirts altered in an olllld video about building a professional wardrobe. Both had different types of seams and had to be altered differently (neither was a simple straight up and down the sides) and both came out NOT perfect. Very bummed about that! Unless their sizing changed significantly, I'd say you would definitely need alterations. I wore mine for a while before finally convincing myself it didn't look good baggy.

    Posted 2.16.11 Reply
  33. Kristen wrote:

    Love everything about this outfit – so polished and put together! That necklace is a great personal touch too.

    Your hair looks fabulous here too. Jealous!

    Posted 2.16.11 Reply
  34. PetiteXXS wrote:

    First of all, I have to say that your hair is looking fantastic! I'm so guilty of wearing the cardigan like your "before" pics too. I think I feel more comfortable wearing it like that, but it really does look much better when things are tucked it.

    Btw how did you take in your AT tropical wool skirt? I just got my very first AT pencil skirt in 00P and it's sort of passable as is, but I remember your post before and am wondering if I'm just not seeing the ill fit. If the alterations are simple/cheap enough, I might consider taking it to the tailor.

    Posted 2.16.11 Reply
  35. Gracie wrote:

    Really love the updated look. The former version is a bit of hider, and actually ages you a bit. The updated definitely brings back the youth and very age appropriate.

    Is it the same skirt for all the pictures? The color (potentially lighting) difference between the first/last pics with the rest makes me think otherwise.

    Posted 2.16.11 Reply
  36. Maya wrote:

    Fantastic tip! I love the rings also– where are those from?

    Posted 2.16.11 Reply
  37. Jenn wrote:

    I'm in love with the outfit in the first picture! I definitely need to try this look. I usually just belt my cardigans.

    Posted 2.16.11 Reply
  38. Cathster wrote:

    awesome look! I would have never thought to wrap the belt like that!

    Posted 2.16.11 Reply
  39. Pretty outfit Jean! I love to tuck everytthing in…it makes such a diff!!

    I love my vintage cameo brooch- such a nice addition to an outfit!

    Posted 2.16.11 Reply
  40. lisa wrote:

    omg the caridgan looks a billion times better tucked in.. it really shows off your teeny itty bitty waist!!

    love the cameo necklace so pretty on you!

    Posted 2.16.11 Reply
  41. Jackie wrote:

    This look is so chic!! WOW! I love the first pic of you.

    I need to try that =)

    Posted 2.16.11 Reply
  42. Jenny wrote:

    this outfit looks fab!!

    i love the belt idea too, now i know a cuter way to tuck the belt in ^___^

    Posted 2.16.11 Reply
  43. I wear my same cardigan to death. I've been tucked it into a pencil skirt too. Thanks to you 🙂 It makes such a huge difference especially for petite ladies. You look great in this outfit. I also like the matching belt. The cameo necklace adds a special touch to this outfit.

    Posted 2.16.11 Reply
  44. Banhannas wrote:

    I didn't think that the long cardigan looked that bad at first but it really does look fabulous and ten folds better tucked in. Love the vintage look on your blouse, the color is really dreamy. That cameo was under $10?! Ebay gives me a headache at times but for that kind of piece I think I will give it another try. =0D

    Posted 2.16.11 Reply
  45. kileen wrote:

    i agree that the tucked in blouse definitely accentuates your figure better! i love how it looks with longer cardigans. with my shorter cardigans though, i usually will add a waist belt on top of the cardigan just to give it some shape as well.

    the cameo necklace is perfect with this look. and i'm loving your rings too!

    Posted 2.16.11 Reply

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