Lookbook: Sweater Dress + Simples


Crewcuts Mohair Dress sz 10,  Theory blazer sz 00 (similar),  thrifted Talbots belt

CL Simple 85 Pumps in metal rouge, Sparkling Sage necklace (not worth full price), Talbots earrings

This cozy sweater dress was my favorite find from J.Crew’s final sale. I would’ve loved a longer length, but my search for sz 12 came up empty.  I paired the heathered knit against a classic black blazer, and broke up the gloomy color scheme with rich jewel-toned accessories.

These “ruby slippers” are a recent addition to my shoe family. They’re metallic rouge patent from a few seasons ago, and the heel height is a lower, comfortable 85mm (mine measure 3.25″). They were a random store return and marked down quite a bit. I can’t thank Elle enough for the sale alert! Since I’m trying hard not to hoard, my Elisa 100’s in a similar color have already been sent to a new home where I hope they will get lots of love.

Trying to stay warm in: J.Crew Lady Day Coat (2010), leather gloves from Mom, Goyard tote, H&M; tights


Continue reading for more photos…

I struggle with styling my difficult hair, so I was very happy to see Wendy’s braided bun tutorial. See her original look here. Since I just got my hair cut into short layers, my braid was very small with lots of stray pieces. I used my trusty bumpit and spin pins to get more volume at the crown and to secure the final bun.

I had an appointment that day at 9tailors, a Boston clothing company specializing in custom-designed, made-to-fit dress shirts and suits. I chatted with the founder, Sam, who (at 5 feet tall) understands the importance and challenge of finding well-fitting clothing. We flipped through pattern books and fabric samples, and I’ll be returning soon to learn more about their women’s offerings. If any readers have tried 9tailors, I’d love to hear about your experience.

Imagine a custom blazer in lovely colored wool…sweatersimple

Nick and I wrapped up our day at Marliave, a French-American place in downtown Boston. I’m usually very indifferent about restaurant food, but I absolutely loved the “Sunday Gravy” pasta (requested linguini instead of gnocchi). It was fresh, whole tomatoes stewed with beef, lamb, and pork until creamy, served over house-made pasta. This place prides itself in using fresh & local ingredients (yada yada), but I could actually taste it in this dish. I killed it!

PS – Marliave has dollar oysters every day from 4-6PM and 9-10PM : )
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  1. lin wrote:

    you always have a good eye on how to put things and what would look good together. great purchase on this dress. i really like the third pic….very professional and sophisticated with a touch of elegance. 🙂

    Posted 1.16.12 Reply
  2. Stephanie wrote:

    I have a custom-made suit form 9tailors and love them. (As do my brother and my cousin… the whole family is in love.) They really do try to make sure that you are happy with what you think you're getting and, when you finally do get the clothing, that you're happy with the way it fits.

    Posted 1.16.12 Reply
  3. - A wrote:

    Love the necklace you have on, it definitely adds a pop of color to the outfit. Do you know where I can find something similar?

    Posted 1.16.12 Reply
  4. Anonymous wrote:

    love your hair!

    Posted 1.16.12 Reply
  5. -DoNaH- wrote:

    How cute is this outfit… Modern classic.. Like it

    Posted 1.16.12 Reply
  6. I love your outfit. It makes you look so tall! Very classy…

    Posted 1.16.12 Reply
  7. I love the dress Jean, I would never have guessed this came from the kid's dept. Very nicely styled and I love the necklace as well!

    Posted 1.16.12 Reply
  8. I love how you subtly added the ruby colour into your outfit, Jean! You look so beautiful as always 🙂

    Posted 1.16.12 Reply
  9. Vivi wrote:

    Your shoes caught my eye! They are so lovely 🙂 I'm a fellow Bosten resident–Sibling Rivalry is also has amazing food!

    Posted 1.16.12 Reply
  10. annie wrote:

    Where did you end of up getting your CLs on sale?? didn't think that was possible!

    you look soo fab' love the whole look!

    Posted 1.16.12 Reply
  11. Elle wrote:

    This outfit is perfection…I was going to say something about it when you tweeted a preview last week but was stumped by the twitter word limit so here goes: I wasn't a fan of the dress when you first blogged about it but you really transformed it. The statement necklace, the red belt and ruby shoes pulled it together perfectly. I also need to start practicing your bun tutorial because my hair is a mess right now. At this point I am just working on making sure the bun stays in tact…the volume achieved by teasing is pretty advanced for me. 😀

    And that bowl of pasta is making my mouth water…ahhh so hungry right now!

    Posted 1.16.12 Reply
  12. Josie Chen wrote:

    Such a sophisticated look!
    & I love those shoes 🙂

    10x for the inspiration!

    Josie from Fashion on the Road

    Posted 1.16.12 Reply
  13. Katie wrote:

    that blazer fits you so well! i can never get a winter coat over a blazer so have to carry it separately 🙁 i love love that woollen dress too..

    dollar oysters, cool idea! how come you're indifferent to restaurant food, do you usually cook lots at home instead? (if so, would be cool to have some cooking ideas!)

    Katie x

    Posted 1.16.12 Reply
  14. So jealous of your CLs! You should do a review on CL's and how their fits/heel heights are. I'm thinking about owning a pair but don't know if I should get the 85's or the 100's!

    Posted 1.16.12 Reply
  15. Rosachiara wrote:

    You look so classic and sophisticated…


    Posted 1.16.12 Reply
  16. You look gorgeous Jean! Please update us on 9tailors. I would love to know how it works out for you.

    On a side note, I actually check your blog everyday hoping for a new entry LOL! It's addictive!

    Posted 1.16.12 Reply
  17. The dress is lovely!

    The Life After

    Posted 1.16.12 Reply
  18. This look speaks utter sophistication…And I love the rich colors you chose to spruce up the dark tones of the dress and coat. Most def' how I'd combine them (I'm a red tones addict)

    Posted 1.16.12 Reply
  19. aaw, poor Ping.

    I love how you did your hair here w/the part in the front. It's more youthful than just all your hair brushed back in a bun. & braiding adds an interesting casual mix to the sophisticated do.

    I wanted to buy leather gloves on black friday for $50 & the size actually fit my tiny little hands, but Brett was so adamant about how I didn't need them and wouldn't let me get them. Then I showed him this post as a way of saying, "see I should've gotten them bc look how classy Jean looks with hers." and he replied, "but that's bc she lives in Boston! we live in San Diego & you haven't even worn your honeycomb sweater." sigh. hahaha.

    Though you had mentioned that this sweater was a bit steep for being kids, in the end, I think it's definitely worth it. The tights help minimize attention to the the short length.

    Posted 1.16.12 Reply
  20. Olivia wrote:

    Yet another stylish ensemble and helpful post! – Thanks again Jean!

    Posted 1.15.12 Reply
  21. Trang wrote:

    Your hair looks great up Jean! I love this look on you.

    Posted 1.15.12 Reply
  22. This is a gorgeous outfit and I love your hair up! You look so polished and chic!

    xx Vivian @ http://diamondsandtulle.blogspot.com

    Posted 1.15.12 Reply
  23. Genie wrote:

    You look awesome in this combo (red shoe+sweater dress)



    Posted 1.15.12 Reply
  24. newpetite wrote:

    Love this braided bun look and the dress! Gorgeous!

    Posted 1.15.12 Reply
  25. rjs wrote:

    I love sweater dresses! I love that you paired it with a blazer. Might I suggest a navy blazer? I like wearing gray and navy together as it's not as a depressing and adds a bit of interest. I love how you did your hair, but I think it makes you look way older than you actually are!!

    Posted 1.15.12 Reply
  26. Love the sweater dress and seeing you in darker outfits lately. : )

    Posted 1.15.12 Reply
  27. You look classic and beautiful. Love the ruby pumps!

    Posted 1.15.12 Reply
  28. R.L. wrote:

    Love the sweater dress and how you accessorized it! Not kiddish at all. And I always love your food descriptions/pics. Is Nick's shirt chambray?

    Posted 1.15.12 Reply
  29. Ping wrote:

    jean — weird i can see your page here and comment but not at the other comp. :/
    you look so purrrty in this outfit. i love that sweater dress!!! it's too cute and it fits so nicely. your pasta looks so yummy! *drools* — literally!

    Posted 1.15.12 Reply
  30. lea1285 wrote:

    i love this outfit…and having that i am a petite girl i honestly appreciate your blogs 🙂 i am 4'11 and size 0 so all my clothes has to be altered and i was always embarrassed to shop in kids section..lol…but after finding your blog i have learned that i can make it work…I recently found your blog so i am honestly so happy that you can show us how petites can also be fashionable 🙂
    have a great day!!!

    Posted 1.15.12 Reply
  31. LC wrote:

    Oh dear, I hope you didn't wear this outfit today! I nearly froze to death in the North End. I love how adult that crewcuts dress looks on you!

    Posted 1.15.12 Reply
  32. Ellie wrote:

    Lovely post as usual! I love your blog so much. I read some other fashion blogs, but only yours do I follow closely. Your posts and pictures are all so professional and pretty 🙂

    Posted 1.15.12 Reply
  33. You look great, as usual! I absolutely love your blog. I wish you lived in NYC, I would ask you to put my closet together and style me up. 🙂

    Posted 1.15.12 Reply
  34. you look amazing!

    Posted 1.15.12 Reply
  35. Anonymous wrote:

    Can you do a hair tutorial? Love it!

    Posted 1.15.12 Reply
  36. SS wrote:

    I really love the color of necklace and beautiful shoes. I love your new hair style too, it looks elegant. I saw Wendy's post too, just gave up. looks too complicated for me!

    Posted 1.15.12 Reply
  37. Michelle wrote:

    That is awesome that the kids size fit! I think the length is better short!

    Love the ruby jewel tones you chose to accessorize with. And I love how you styled your hair. 🙂

    Those dishes look amazing! My in-laws will be in Boston for the marathon (would love to join them, but not sure if we will be able to make it over), so I will have to tell them about Marliave.

    Posted 1.15.12 Reply
  38. You look amazing Jean! I love the way your hair looks. I'm actually thinking about trying another one of Wendy's hair tutorials on myself. Hopefully the outcome will be as great as yours. I also love your entire outfit. Great job in styling it!

    Posted 1.15.12 Reply
  39. Beautiful as always Jean, I love the colour of your new pretty shoes!

    Posted 1.15.12 Reply
  40. Carrie wrote:

    you look very professional! i love that you added that necklace. it puts a nice touch to the outfit!


    Posted 1.15.12 Reply
  41. Sandy wrote:

    Agree with @annie. I have so much trouble finding gloves that fit my small hands!

    Posted 1.15.12 Reply
  42. annie wrote:

    I'm curious as to what brand of gloves you're wearing. They sseem to fit you well. Are they leather?

    Posted 1.15.12 Reply
  43. Victoria wrote:

    I loveee your hair! I cannot do fancy buns to save my life but I love it on you! You and wendy both look great in them 🙂

    Posted 1.15.12 Reply
  44. Lisa L. wrote:

    Very eager to hear about 9tailors, Jean. It would be such a find!

    Posted 1.15.12 Reply
  45. Babybubblz wrote:

    I absolutely love this look! You make me want to def try Theory blazers!

    Posted 1.15.12 Reply
  46. Halima wrote:

    Gosh, you are incredibly beautiful! The jumper dress is super chic. <3 xo

    Posted 1.15.12 Reply
  47. andreae wrote:

    Great post! FYI: i found that same exact necklace at Nordstrom Rack for $34.

    Posted 1.15.12 Reply
  48. Jackie wrote:

    This look is so gorgeous!!! I love your necklace ^^

    Posted 1.15.12 Reply
  49. anny wrote:

    i love the volume on your crown .is this u get from the Japanese bumpit ? i ordered for myself from ebay but still waiting for receive.i hope it works for me bcoz i have very fine hair badly need volume 🙂

    Posted 1.15.12 Reply
  50. CynthiaC wrote:

    Jean, you should wear your hair up more often! So sophisticated!

    Posted 1.15.12 Reply

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