Video: What to wear with red + new style resolution

I’ve been trying to find different ways to wear old items, instead of constantly buying new stuff. Looking through my closet, I spotted this beautiful skirt which has not gotten much wear. I initially struggled to pair items with this bolder color, but after understanding some general color schemes (blog readers, I apologize for the repetitive content), I can now give this skirt the love it deserves.

Find your perfect red skirt:

Ann Taylor Wool Mini in petite & reg 0-18 (10000003953 for 40% off 1 item. Thanks, Chloe!)
Express Double Weave Pocketed Pencil Skirt in 00 – 12 reg (use 9372 for $30 off)
Ann Taylor Wool Crepe Pencil Skirt in petite & reg 00-18 (use GIFT50 for $50 off)

J.Crew Wool Crepe Pencil Skirt in petite & reg 00-16
The Limited Stretch Wide Waistband Pencil Skirt in reg 2-16 (use 404 for $15 off $50)

Color schemes shown in video:
1. Black and/or White – Clean and Crisp:
– H&M; lace-neck blouse (similar)
H&M; $9.95 white blouse, AA sheer dot tights, Ann Taylor Patent Pumps, eBay pearl studs
– LOFT lace print tee, BR belt, c/o t+j Designs bracelet, Talbots tweed flats (similar)
Also try: a freshly-ironed, white button-down shirt with patterned pumps, or a black & white striped top.

2. Neutrals – Soft and Warm:
– (from this post) Gap blouse, Michael Kors tortoise watch, Calvin Klein leopard pumps
– Makeshift camel shawl (love this camel crewneck pullover)
Also try: pairing neutrals + red with brown, cable, or herringbone tights. 

3. Prints and Patterns – Fun and Modern:
– (from this post) LOFT floral top, Jcrew cardis, CL Simple pumps, Target Versie pumps (review)
– Ann Taylor leopard cardigan (similar in XS-XL) (similar in cashmere), Gap button-up shirt
Also try: layering chambray under prints and patterns for a casual look.
After reviewing this video, I realized with chagrin that every outfit was a top tucked into the skirt. I spend an inordinate amount of time at work, and my go-to outfit has morphed into the blouse + pencil skirt + pumps. Now that I have plenty of those, it is my style resolution to push myself out of that comfort zone, and build an interesting casual wardrobe that’s reflective of my personal style.

When I first started blogging, my goal was merely to find some work clothes that didn’t make me look & feel like a kid playing dress-up. After that foundation was achieved, I made some fashion resolutions in 2010, and now one more. Many of us (or myself, at least) are not born stylists, so it’s a continuous learning experience to dress ourselves well, in a way that flatters our bodies and helps us feel confident. For that reason, I’m thankful for the opportunity to share my trials and errors through this blog, and I’m thankful for your tips & constructive feedback.

Readers – What are your style resolutions? What would you like to refine, develop, or change about how you dress?

70 thoughts on “Video: What to wear with red + new style resolution

  • Reply Anonymous December 9, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    Great pairing video! Where did you get your polka dots tights? They're so cute.

  • Reply JCatcher December 9, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    I love your child-style-to-chic-adult segment. I'm 4'10, 97lbs and am looking for some suggestions regarding casual style. I'm currently studying for my masters, and I work for a university that has an extremely casual dress code. I largely work with undergraduates, so any suggestions on how to look my age–23–rather than 17 would be much appreciated! Thanks for your wonderful blog!

  • Reply Anonymous December 9, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    Hi Jean, I enjoyed your video, thanks for taking my camel suggestion to a whole other direction! ;-). Note that while a camel coat or blazer are aspirational (btw, Forever21 had an amazing camel blazer, be sure to check out their wares) the look works with a simple cardigan button down or crew neck sweater in a rich camel color (I pair mine with Chanel two tone heels which I highly recommend for perhaps your next splurge). Regarding trying something new, here are a few ideas, you can probably get away with some more dramatic tops, perhaps your recent trip to Spain will inspire you to try something bolder with a black cinch-waist belt (as opposed to your usual skinny or 1-inch belts)–with your black hair, white skin the look would be great, just be sure not to go too overboard (i.e., edge it up a bit, no bun or flamenco dots). I highly recommend Anne Fontaine blouses, they are sadly not cheap, but worth the splurge on an end of season sale. I also think you can take the lessons of your red skirt and apply it to other bold color pencil skirts (teal, mustard yellow). That's all I got. Happy "extra" holidays! –April *ps, for your reader who asked about grey skirts, I like magenta, cobalt blue or bright yellow (NOT banana yellow). More classic is blush pink.

  • Reply dietingfashions December 9, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    Love your ideas and outfit resolutions! I need a lot of guidance after having two kids and now my body has totally changed. I was inching towards a matronly "mom" style and it was scaring me. My style resolution is to look professional, feminine but with a bit of an edge.

  • Reply Jessica December 10, 2011 at 2:40 am

    Hi Jean,
    I really enjoyed your review on Chanel handbags and so I was wondering if you had any recommendations for a chic woman's brief case? I am looking for something classic, chic, and not too flashy, that will last through the years. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you!

  • Reply Andrea December 10, 2011 at 10:17 am

    Maybe, tucked-in dress shirt and skirt is your "style." No reason to depart from a look that works GREAT on you and that you're comfortable with!

    As for me, my style resolution is similar to yours! Rediscover pieces in my own closet, also to pare down my closet to pieces that fit my sense of style. I absolutely can't shop for new clothing until I do this!

  • Reply V December 10, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    Hi Jean! I was wondering if you have ever had your tailor let out coat sleeves, and if so, how much did it cost (in other words, was it an expensive operation, more so than the opposite procedure, i.e., shortening sleeves)? I've let a ton of gorgeous coats pass me by simply because the sleeves were too short, and now I'm at the point where I'm wondering if I should call in the services of a tailor just so I can finally score my dream coat (minus the sleeve length). Thanks Jean – your blog was actually the one that introduced me to the wonders of tailoring! 🙂

  • Reply PetiteAsianGirl December 10, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    @CoffeeBreakCrn I can't remember the last time I was asked that. It must be years ago…and thankfully so : )

    @Andrea Thanks so much, Andrea. I always appreciate it as well when bloggers showcase different ways to style existing pieces versus only posting new purchases. It's easy to get caught up in the flood of sales and deals this season, and end up with a pile of unnecessary new things.

    @Anonymous I'm not an expert on dressing for other body types, but in my mind the tucking in look will work for top heavy, short waisted ladies if the waistline of the skirt doesn't come up too high (and thus making the waist look even shorter). For top heavy ladies I also think slightly flared silhouettes work on the bottom (for skirts, maybe a slight A-lined skirt or mini) and I also like bolder colors on the bottom with neutral on top, to draw the eye downwards and balance out the top & bottom. I could be speaking nonsense, so anyone who is more knowledgeable on dressing for this body type, please feel free to pipe in.

    @Anonymous I ran out of hair products a few months ago and have been using the bf's Head & Shoulders 2 in 1 … not recommended since it's a bit drying : )

    @R.L. I think to mix prints there has to be a difference in the prints – either in the size of the spots or the color or actual print design itself. My sweater and shoes are too similar : )

    @M Haha – it's "Fashion for Dummies," a gift from my boyfriend's mom.

    @Alice Gu Hi Alice, I went with the simples because I would get more wear out of them. I don't wear platform shoes often because I don't have occasions to. Also there was a sizing difference even though both were a sz 5. The new simples that I received ran bigger and the heels slipped slightly. Good luck deciding!

    @Ella Hi Ella – One coat should be fine : ) I think most normal folk wear the same coat every day. Be sure to look up the temperatures on before you go. Have fun!

    @Anonymous Thanks! It's from a Savers thrift store and is Petite Sophisticate brand. I posted the original fit here:

    @Anonymous I'm from Guangzhou – very close to HK!

    @Danielle I deal with VPL and visible tuck lines as well. In my last post with the bow top and red skirt, a number of readers shared their tips for fixing this. From the sounds of it, I think a pair of shapewear or spanx shorts are key for tucking tops into, underneath skirts!

  • Reply PetiteAsianGirl December 10, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    @Allison Hi Allison – Thanks so much for saying hello and for your comment. The basis of my blog has always been to document my experiences, lessons learned, and also to share great tips that I've learned from others. I'm not a fashion expert, and thus always welcome constructive opinions. I'm so glad to hear that you've found my blog to be helpful and even enjoyable. Thank you for being a reader, and here's to sharing more tips with each other in the future!

    @Anonymous That sounds like a sleek and classy go-to look! I'd love to find some work-appropriate black boots, eventually.

    @Anonymous Hi there – for gray, I like April / anonymous's tips below. Personally I've worn my gray skirt with olive and beige ( ), burgandy ( ), and I also like it with purples and print ( – I know the skirt in this post is actually light purple).

    @Anonymous Thanks! They are American Apparel and a gift from a fellow blogger. I've seen similar at Nordstrom Rack and other discount stores like TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and Filene's Basement.

    @JCatcher I'm guessing you already read this ( ) but key areas to focus on include: wearing makeup, appropriately, wearing cute flats or boots instead of sneakers, and also try to do blouses and sweaters or casual blazers (love H&M; for this) instead of tees.

    @Anonymous Thanks for all the suggestions, April. Chanel two-toned pumps are certainly on my list. The more I read your suggestions, the more I wish you had a blog (or perhaps photos to share on the ALterations Needed forum for petite women).

    @Jessica Hi Jessica – Unfortunately, I have no recommendations for a chic briefcase : / It's something that I've never shopped for. I wonder if Kate Spade makes something of the like? She has elegant yet feminine work totes.

    @V I've never had that done – but I imagine it should cost the same as shortening sleeves ($25-$40) and it may or may not be possible depending on how much fabric there is to be let out to begin with. Is this a J.Crew coat? I'm only guessing as their sleeves are notoriously short.

  • Reply Karen (littlepiecefnb) December 10, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    I loved this video Jean! You are so cute and it was funny when you used the camel skirt as a stand-in cardi/blazer. haha One of my style resolutions is to be able to dress more grown-up for work and actually buy clothes that fit right or that I love instead of a lot of things I won't wear. Thank you for your inspiration and I will definitely continue to follow your blog! =)

  • Reply Rose December 11, 2011 at 10:43 am

    Wow this was such a helpful post!! I bought a red skirt last year at H&M; that I totally love, but never actually wore out because I don't know how to!!!

    Thank you so much!!!

    xox Rose

  • Reply thatShortchick December 11, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    thanks for this post! I have a red skirt that I've been trying to think of other ways to wear it, other than the classic black+white.

  • Reply Kristin December 11, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    As a petite girl myself, I totally agree that the best go-to outfit is the high-waisted skirt with a tucked-in shirt. What makes me repeat the outfit even more is that I usually don't want to spend a lot of time contemplating the outfit when I'm trying to get out of the house by 8am.

    As far as style resolutions go, I want to trust myself more. I think pushing the envelope is good for branching out but sometimes I stress out about what I'm wearing to the point where fashion become unenjoyable! If I trust myself more with my decisions or resort back to my trusty classics, I'll find a lot more happiness in fashion!

  • Reply Paty December 11, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    I loved all the looks with the red skirt, but my favorite was the leopard-print cardigan. Kisses!

  • Reply Frugalista December 12, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    love love love this post!!!
    I recently got an awesome ann taylor wool skirt from a thrift shop. I paid $9 for the skirt and $35 to get the skirt taken in and hemmed. I'm a size 0 and the skirt was an 8. I love the skirt but I've been having difficulty finding something different to wear with it other than a white or black top. I love your different options

  • Reply Pret Amoda December 13, 2011 at 12:45 am

    you have nice blog its i really like it its awesome for us. see my blog about fashion trends.
    Pret Amoda's New and Latest arrival section is the one stop for women style and clothing. It has must-have women clothing, accessories, Denim Jacket, one shoulder Short Dress, Handwoven Cotton Wool Shirt, Flare Jacket with pencil Skirt and much more. The up-to-date boutique online store has everything that makes someone feel stylish and sexy.

  • Reply Urban Jungle Fashion December 17, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    Your last look was the best. You're a certainly right… i mention it on my blog often… animal print will make you look like a jersey housewife is not done correctly.

  • Reply socorosis January 17, 2012 at 12:12 am

    Hi Jean

    After seeing you in the H&M; white blouse I searched high and low for it to no avail. Today I found the top in a size 8 (normally a 2 or 4) I bought it anyway. When I tried it on at home it fit! But there was a small lipstick mark on it so I decided to wash just that section which was a bad idea because the black 'ink' spread to the white part of the blouse! I am so sad I even bragged to all my friends. Is there anyway to remove this black 'inky' mark?

  • Reply Mounaa bass October 21, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    Hi Jean, I am a new follower of your blog and even though i am not living in the Us nor petite I love how professional your videos and articles are and I am a big fan of your style. I was wondering what is the title of the book your are showing in this video. I would be quite interested to read it if it tells about how to combine colors/fabrics or accessories. Let me know if you would recommend it too ?
    Thanks a lot and keep up with the good job !

  • Reply dynamicsofhappy January 4, 2013 at 4:45 am

    AHAHAHAHHA i don't think you were even trying to be funny, but i died laughing during some parts!!!!
    "the leopard +red is bordering trashy" and when you pulled the camel skirt over you. LOL.

    1 question: if i was going to choose JUST one red pairs of bottoms, would you recommend red pants or red skirt? i am totally sold on getting some red bottoms after seeing your latest cheery reds+printed red scarf look 🙂

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