Pleated Skirt & Pearls (and dress becomes a top)

Crochet lace dress: Ann Taylor Factory (altered) (similar here and here)
Blazer & Pleated Skirt: H&M; sz 2 (similar under $18)
Shoes: Aldo  Purse: Chanel taupe lambskin M/L flap  Pearls: eBay

This old H&M; skirt survived several rounds of blog sales. The knee-length A-line is not my silhouette of choice (much prefer fitted pencil skirts for my body type), but I held onto it as it’s unlike anything else in my wardrobe. For this outfit I broke out my girliest pieces – pretty lace, polished pearls, and delicate peep-toe pumps.

This is my second attempt at the dress worn as a top. The first attempt did not go so well. When done right, this is a great way to get more wear out of your favorite dresses. But for the pairing to work, the dress must be somewhat fitted and short enough to hide under the skirt, and the waist line of the dress must also be lower than where your skirt waist will hit. This dress was made nice n fitted by my tailors, but the length is a tad too long for this skirt. For a good example, Anh is the queen of this tip. I was also inspired by Callandra wearing this dress as a pencil skirt.

To break up this neutral palette, I added a juicy lip. Revlon Colorburst in Coral was too firetruck-red for me on it’s own, so I layered on my fave Super Lustrous Lipgloss in Coral Reef. Here’s an obligatory twirl:

PS – Nordies lovers, on Friday 5/13 Nordstrom purchases through ebates will receive 12% cash back (one day only). This is a good opportunity to pick up designer or beauty items that typically don’t qualify for extra discounts. Other retailers that have 12% increased cash back this week include Sephora, DSW, Gap, BR, and many more (full list). For info on how ebates works, visit my post here. If you need a referral link, click here.

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  1. grace wrote:

    LOVE the pleats and the gorgeous lip color! I think that was the first thing that caught my eye – that lip color.

    Gorgeous Jean, just gorgeous!

    Posted 5.16.11 Reply
  2. Gigi wrote:

    I saw a model in a NJ Gap store ad this weekend that looks JUST like you. She was even wearing an outfit I think I've seen you wear. Was that you? Do you model?

    Posted 5.16.11 Reply
  3. b_ra wrote:

    i love this outfit! I'm glad the skirt survived blog sales. It's unique and the colour is gorgeous! Also, great touch with the lipstick!

    Posted 5.16.11 Reply
  4. Great outfit! I've been meaning to try this with my dresses too.

    Good tip with the lipstick, I never thought of that. I think my colour palettes must be too matchy-matchy then!!


    Posted 5.16.11 Reply
  5. Memosne wrote:

    I know this is a little late to the extra petit bandwagon, but I absolutely love your blog. <3 I've just stumbled across it, thanks to Jen from From Head to Toe, and I'm in love.

    Your style is so classy, simple, and ladylike. ^__^ Very inspirational. Thank you for being you!

    Posted 5.15.11 Reply
  6. {julee} wrote:

    you are seriously so pretty! love love love the lip color with the neutrals.

    Posted 5.14.11 Reply
  7. MizzJ wrote:

    You are looking just lovely here! I'm so glad I kept my pleated a-line skirt as well – it seems to be extremely in trend this season!

    Posted 5.14.11 Reply
  8. Annapurna wrote:

    This dress works great as a top! I remember thinking that when I saw it at the factory store in watertown and wondered why they did not make a top (as they did make a skirt).

    I also like the navy, cream, and taupe pairing for spring. The blazer is gorgeous…is it a recent purchase? As for the skirt, there is no reason for you to shy away from the A-line…I think it flatters you just as much as the pencil skirts – as long as you keep them just above the knee (in one of the pics, the skirt fell at your knee…it looked fine but you looked taller in the pics in which the skirt hit just above the knee).

    I ended up returning the factory crochet lace dress (in PO) and getting the boatneck one from the regular Ann Taylor, in regular 00. I would have had to alter the factory dress as The price was the same, lol. The v-neck sat funny on my ginormous nursing boobs, the shoulders rode up on me, and the back was loose. The boatneck was more flattering on me anyway. Interestingly, the factory 00 looked matronly on me whereas the regular 00 fit just like the 0P. Further, there is a slight difference in the material; the factory store dress has a greyish tinge and more "craft-y" texture whereas the regular store dress is has a golden tinge and the lace to me looked less prone to snags. We will see!

    Posted 5.14.11 Reply
  9. wrote:


    Posted 5.14.11 Reply
  10. Anonymous wrote:

    The skirt looks a little sheer. Do you have any tips on under garments? like slips and no shows?

    Posted 5.14.11 Reply
  11. mai wrote:

    love this outfit!

    Posted 5.14.11 Reply
  12. Mindy♥ wrote:

    Loving all the pics! I love how you worked the dress as a top! <3

    Posted 5.14.11 Reply
  13. Perfect outfit! I love the pleats!

    Posted 5.13.11 Reply
  14. Sarah wrote:

    this outfit is gorgeous! i love how soft and feminine it is, not to mention being able to reuse a dress as a top 🙂 great job!

    Posted 5.13.11 Reply
  15. Looking more and more beautiful!

    Posted 5.13.11 Reply
  16. I am in love with that skirt and am utterly bummed that it's from a past season! Love the sleek new redesign!

    Posted 5.13.11 Reply
  17. Love the skirt and the lipstick! Beautiful spring look.

    Posted 5.13.11 Reply
  18. What a pretty pleaded skirt! Love those matching shoes too. Looking gorgeous as always!

    Posted 5.13.11 Reply
  19. Gorgeous outfit!! Great blog!!

    xx Olga

    Posted 5.12.11 Reply
  20. Di wrote:

    gorgeous~ love the outfit & makeup. accessories looks great too!
    xo Diana

    Posted 5.12.11 Reply
  21. Ping wrote:

    jean i love that skirt! i think you look just as nice in this skirt vs the pencil skirts. hahah the obligatory twirl….a must!!

    Posted 5.12.11 Reply
  22. I actually like A-line skirts on you. Surprised not to see a bold AS necklace w/this outfit, but I guess pearls go better with the theme.

    Posted 5.12.11 Reply
  23. Erica wrote:

    That skirt is gorgeous! Man, I want one! Beautiful outfit. 🙂 Now I want to see what dresses of mine will work as as top…

    Posted 5.12.11 Reply
  24. Anonymous wrote:

    How do you make the belt stay in place? Due to all these wonderful fashion blogs, I have been buying belts. I wore one the other day with my top but my top kept shifting and so did the belt. I spent day pulling at the top and re-positioning the belt.

    Posted 5.12.11 Reply
  25. Elle wrote:

    you look so pretty!!! I am a big fan of this look, I recently bought a pleated skirt too after seeing it on Anh and Jen of HerWaiseChoice. I am glad you didn't sell this skirt because it looks wonderful on you!

    Posted 5.12.11 Reply
  26. I absolutely LOVE how all your outfits always looks so effortless but classy!

    XO -Mallory

    Posted 5.12.11 Reply
  27. Heather wrote:

    I love how you're getting more comfortable with your poses (very sultry on the first pic!). Your outfit is soo pretty – unique but classic. How do you get your lashes to look like that?!

    I just bought shoes from Nordies with only 3% ebate ): This always happens to me…buying things the day before an incentive comes on. Oh woe is me, but thanks for the heads up! (:

    Posted 5.12.11 Reply
  28. R.L. wrote:

    Sooo elegant! Love the mix of neutral colors and of course twirl pics. 😉 I initially thought you had gotten a new lace top. It definitely doesn't look like it's a dress. Well done on being so versatile with it, Jean.

    And thanks for the tip about Nordies! I've been looking for a pair of comfortable neutral flats. I have some TB Revas but have accepted the fact that they just look good and I can't walk around town for hours in them. I'll probably pick up a pair of Attilio Giusti Leombruni Ballerina Flats after seeing them on Wendy and reading the rave reviews.

    Posted 5.12.11 Reply
  29. Kristy wrote:

    I have the exact same skirt and I've been holding on to it very dearly 🙂 I love the pleats, the chiffon overlay, the sateen-ish waist band, just everything about it. This is a very inspirational look. I hope you won't mind if I copy this outfit. It's perfect for work 🙂

    Posted 5.12.11 Reply
  30. Jackie wrote:

    Gorgeous as always, Jean!

    I love this outfit! The skirt is so cute!

    Red lips + tan looks great.

    Posted 5.12.11 Reply
  31. that is such a beautiful dress, i love these pics. your lip color definitely gives the look more excitement!

    Posted 5.12.11 Reply
  32. Anonymous wrote:

    Jean, how do you make the belt stay in that position? I always have a problem with that.

    Posted 5.12.11 Reply
  33. Nelah wrote:

    Such a sweet feminine look. I like the colors of everything.

    Posted 5.12.11 Reply
  34. CynthiaC wrote:

    Gorgeous, gorgeous photos, Jean! And yes, the skirt is a keeper – wardrobe should have a bit of variety, after all! 🙂

    Posted 5.12.11 Reply
  35. Anonymous wrote:

    You look great, I wish I could get away with pleats.

    Posted 5.12.11 Reply
  36. Wow I'm glad you kept that skirt! (Or not b/c it would have been MINE! 😛 ) I was actually hoping it was a recent purchase. I totally tricked me with the top being the Ann Taylor dress though – I thought it was a new top!

    I really, really love this look. Beautiful Jean!

    Posted 5.12.11 Reply
  37. Javacurls wrote:

    Love the look! Super cute!!

    Posted 5.12.11 Reply
  38. Pi Design wrote:

    Gorgeous lip colour, lovely outfits!! I like this photoshoot especially your blazer looks nice on it!! wow, I just realized the H&M; blazer, i actually had tried it on a couple of days ago in size4 for me though..

    Posted 5.12.11 Reply
  39. hugstiem wrote:

    That is really intriguing about the skirt silhouette on your body type. Your outfit is beautiful as usual, but I agree that fitted / structured pencil skirts look better on you. I was wondering why all your skirts were like that. 🙂 I wonder if it's because your hips are slim? My hips/butt are much larger than my waist, and I tend to gravitate towards A-line, shorts with flared leg openings, etc.

    Posted 5.12.11 Reply
  40. Gorgeous outfit! xx

    Posted 5.12.11 Reply
  41. DSK Steph wrote:

    You look fantastic! I love the outfit, love the makeup, and love the photos!

    Posted 5.12.11 Reply
  42. Tara wrote:

    lovely as always Jean!

    Posted 5.12.11 Reply
  43. Michelle wrote:

    I love this photoshoot! Even with all the femininity going on, you look like a bad a** in front of that graffitied door…like you did it! :p

    Posted 5.12.11 Reply
  44. Anonymous wrote:

    Love this outfit! I have a similar body type and don't care much for a-lines generally — like you I prefer sheaths/pencil skirts. But I find that a fairly straight-falling pleated skirt that's not too long can be a fun change of pace.

    Posted 5.12.11 Reply
  45. Britt+Whit wrote:

    super cute! you look adorable! I love the skirt with the lace!

    love from San Francisco,


    Posted 5.12.11 Reply
  46. Stephanie wrote:

    first of all I love the new layout revamp! props to you and the bf if he had any hand in helping you 😉 I decided to go for a wider content section too. I still need to modernize the rest of it.
    I think you did a beautiful job pairing that skirt (that was obviously meant to stay in your closet) and the lace dress. I also loved the pop of lip color! 🙂 Great job on catching the twirl action haha.

    Posted 5.12.11 Reply
  47. hypertigur wrote:

    I love this combination a lot, very feminine. For myself I love "poofier" dress because I get to twirl in it and it's so spring! So I must agree, do not sell this skirt!

    Thank you last time for your kind words. I started blogging again and found small shoes!

    Posted 5.12.11 Reply
  48. I skimmed the first paragraph too quickly and after reading the skirt was H&M;, my brain scanned through everything I saw at H&M; yesterday and I did a little, "hrmph! I didn't see that at my H&M;!" Shucks! It's from a past season! I love that full skirt silhouette, and am looking for a nice knife pleat skirt to add to my collection. Love how you paired it with a blazer, that's probably how I'd wear it too. 😉

    Posted 5.12.11 Reply
  49. Pretty!! It reminds me of HerWaiseChoice's skirt and giveaway! Good thing u didn't sell this skirt!

    Posted 5.11.11 Reply
  50. Sunshine wrote:

    omigosh lace & pleats, are we twins or what? 😉

    but your look is definitely more polished than mine! and the coral lipstick is something different but absolutely gorgeous on you. i don't even wear lipstick *sigh* time to learn how to enhance my looks…

    Posted 5.11.11 Reply

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