Style in a Suitcase, Part 1 – Gingham and Lace

For the past ten days, I spent some time on both coasts living out of a suitcase. As temperatures varied from 30 to nearly 80 degrees, I had to pack wisely (lots of layers!). I also had to plan for a variety of occasions. I ended up bringing (from left to right)…

3 jackets: Black Theory blazer, Uniqueen tweed jacket, Gap cardigan jacket
4 pairs of shoes: Calvin Klein leopards, Adrienne Vittadini booties, CL pumps, ebay (no brand) boots
2 pairs of pants: Seven for all Mankind olive jeans, plus purchased Old Navy ones in Russet Brown
3 skirts: Ann Taylor olive lace pencil skirt, camel wool mini, vintage herringbone mini
2 clutches/crossbody bags: H&M; brown bag and Chanel WOC
7 tops: Gap nudes & gingham, Target chambray, H&M; ivory shell, crewcuts sweater, AT leopard cardi

I tried to take photos each day to share with you guys some easy, packing-friendly outfits. The above was more than enough and probably could’ve lasted me for a month : ) First up is this dressier ensemble which I’ve already worn to work. Both shirt and skirt travel nicely – the gingham material never wrinkles on me, and you can just roll up soft lace skirts when packing.

Shirt: Gap Boys Gingham sz S (6-7)   (J.Crew petite version)   (Gap womens version)
Earrings: Talbots    Clutch: Chanel WOC    Belt: BR Factory
Lace Skirt: Ann Taylor (old)  Tights: H&M;   Pumps: CL Decolettes

I balanced out the boxy, boyishness of the gingham shirt with a more feminine lace bottom. Without any slimming, the shirt is still a bit poofy from the back when tucked in, so I like to conceal that at work by layering a blazer on top. Continue reading for some fit photos of the gingham shirt…

This is what the Gap boys shirt looks like in it’s natural form, untucked and with sleeves uncuffed. As you can see, it is very short and boxy, and the sleeves hit my arms at 3/4 length. After all, it was designed for boys aged 6-7.  When styled, it looks much better. I’m not recommending it as a good fit (sz S will not work on anyone taller than 5 feet), but a true, crisp gingham is hard to find, so I’m happy with this one. Measurements of a Boys sz S: 14″ across shoulders, 17″ across armpits, 22.5″ length, 16″ sleeve length, and 3.75″ across the sleeve opening.


I know a children’s S sounds horrifically small, but this shirt runs big for kids sizing. While in San Diego, the fun and charismatic Kelly of Alterations Needed showed me her J.Crew boys secret wash shirt in classic gingham (similar in addison gingham), boys size 10. I liked it so much on her I got one for myself (was ~$23, see on me). As you can see below, the Gap S/6-7 is exactly the same as the J.Crew boys sz 10 in the shoulders and torso width. The J.Crew one is marginally longer in total length, but the sleeves are several inches longer.

The material of the J.Crew one has a vintage worn feel w/ tiny check. The Gap one is more crisp w/ large check. Check out Kelly’s post for an informative gingham review.


These pebbled leather pumps are a much-loved gift (although in my honest opinion, my Ann Taylor perfect pumps are more comfortable for prolonged wear). I love having a “caviar” leather accessory set now.

Readers – I’ve closed further commenting on this post. As always, thank you to those who shared thoughts and opinions in a respectful manner. I’ll try to respond to your questions soon!
When you purchase through the links on this blog, I may earn a commission. Thank you for your support!

When you purchase through the links on this blog, I may earn a commission. Thank you for your support!

For Daily Posts

Leave a Comment


  1. Nina wrote:

    Back to the actual blog post…fantastic! I am the worst packer and this was so helpful! Please please please Jean, add a post on your travel beauty and skincare – part of always looking so put-together is the always polished and appropriate makeup you wear. I am probably one of your older readers but as a lifelong petite (lol) I so appreciate all of the effort you put into your blog. Happy New Year!

    Posted 1.3.12 Reply
  2. Anonymous wrote:

    LEAST favorite outfit for sure.

    Posted 1.3.12 Reply
  3. Anonymous wrote:

    If you have followed both ladies since the beginning …and I can say yes I have as a loyal reader, having found them both thanks to AlterationsNeeded right when they started blogging… then you will be appalled… From a combination of blog posts, emails, tweets, and other details that I've picked up over the years, this is an obsession. It's beyond buying the same clothes as someone who inspires you (c;mon, who doesnt do that?). It's an obsession over a person and everything they do, and it'd scare the hell out of me if I were Jean.

    Jean, hopefully this will be the last of the drama and thank you for allowing us to voice our opinions.

    Posted 1.2.12 Reply
  4. Anonymous wrote:

    @anonymous 10:03 pm–umm isn't it a bit hypocritical for you to post as "anonymous" when you're criticizing other commenters on not "showing a name behind an opinion?" ooh i already have written rp directly, but no response since i bet she knows she's wrong and can't really give a good justification as to why she does what she does.

    as to answer your questions–the petite blogger community is very, very nice and welcoming and really none of them want to be involved in drama and take sides publicly. it's pretty obvious though that rp is not as accepted by some of the other petite bloggers. i never see her in any of the petite blogger meet ups or is tweeted often at all by *some* of the other petite bloggers and not just jean. there are a few petite bloggers that do acknowledge and are friendly with rp, despite the whole copycatting thing. as for big companies–they definitely don't read petite blogs as in depth as most readers do and actually realize that rp is copying. you're right though, those big companies should be notified of the copying–i'll write those companies emails stating my dissatisfaction with their support of a cheater/stalker.

    Posted 1.2.12 Reply
  5. Anonymous wrote:

    @Anonymous I for one have DEFINITELY voiced my opinion to her on twitter through my real name and through comments. My comment was mysteriously never published, of course, and tweet ignored. I wouldn't be surprised if other readers have done the same and met with same outcome. These were not negative comments, just feedback on blog similarities I noticed. Does that satisfy your question?

    I too am going to read copying blogs less (RP is not the only one out there, other fashion bloggers have blatant copiers too) and also look at other bloggers who support such copiers under a new light.

    Posted 1.2.12 Reply
  6. Anonymous wrote:

    Jean, happy 2012! I don't usually comment but I wanted to say I love your blog and I've learned a lot from it. I like that all your looks are very wearable. There are a lot of fashion blogs that make me wonder – where could they possible go dressed like that. Anyway, this looks reminds me of Atlantic-pacific
    Nothing wrong with having a similar outfit. I just wanted to share another blog that I like a lot.

    Regarding the reallypetite issue. It's nice to know that I'm not the only that thought she copies everything you do. I don't mind seeing a similar look on another blogger but when it happens so often and it goes beyond the clothing (I.e. Blog layout) it becomes creepy. It's also interesting how your personality reflects through your blog. I mean, I don't know you but you seem very approachable whereas the other lady seems like the type of people that always want to give the impression that their lives are perfect. Someone told me that we believe people will like us if we make them believe everything in our life is great but the reality is that when you are honest, authentic and admit that things are not perfect but that's ok, that's when people will like you. The reallypetite lady just seems unrelatable (is that a word?). Had she just taken responsibility for her actions, instead of accusing everybody of hating her, everything would have been fine. I don't want to be mean to her as it seems she puts a lot effort on her blog and there is value on having the same item reviewed by somebody else with a different body type. Just give credit where credit is due and keep it real! Sorry for the long post.

    Posted 1.2.12 Reply
  7. Anonymous wrote:

    Jumping in here…I visit this other blog and there are thousands of readers, and it is supported by all the bloggers that I follow in the petite community -ok well maybe not EP- through comments and blogroll links. They all seem friendly. If these copying allegations were indeed true, and they seem quite intense, then why are readers hiding behind anonymous personas and not showing a name behind an opinion? Why not voice your opinions to the copier directly? Why would other petite bloggers and big companies supporting someone who copies as much as you guys make it sound?

    Posted 1.2.12 Reply
  8. Anonymous wrote:

    Anonymous @ 7:50 PM

    Sounds like the Copycat blogger has spoken…

    Posted 1.2.12 Reply
  9. Anonymous wrote:

    @ anonymous 7:50 pm–this lace + gingham outfit? just one example of RP's copying. if you actually have followed for awhile, RP has always copied everything jean has done. every time jean changes her banner, rp changes her banner to something completely similar. every time jean changes her blog name– rp changes it to something similar. every time jean changes her sub-header ("the quest for fashion that fits"), rp changes her sub-header to something similar. every time jean buys a skirt, shirt, blazer, dress, ETC— rp has to buy the EXACT same thing. every time jean posts an outfit, there rp goes and posts the same outfit a few days later. it's actually very scary. i'm starting to think jean has a crazy stalker on her hands. SINGLE WHITE FEMALE, anyone? seriously. it's not a few times, it's been rp's entire blog where she has copied jean. it wouldn't be a big deal if blogging wasn't a source of income and is meant for creative purposes.

    if rp copies everything jean has posted, why should rp be compensated money and gifts? it's like cheating on a test, rp is benefiting off of someone's "studying and hardwork" or rather, in this case, jean's hardwork and creativity. i am for one, going to boycott rp's blog– i really did try to give her a chance to become her own blogger, but now i know she will never change and is too delusional and crazy to own up to her single white female antics.

    Posted 1.2.12 Reply
  10. Anonymous wrote:

    Do you really think bloggers should post links to other bloggers that have bought or styled the same thing? Should Jean link to her so readers can see outfits on both ladies? There are countless other people who have styled outfits like this before either, do thy all need to be linked too? I think links are only needed when an idea should be credited.

    Posted 1.2.12 Reply
  11. Anonymous wrote:

    maybe it's not copying, but she could easily link extrapetite and say something like ( see a similar outfit on this blogger) but nope none of that

    or she could say she saw inspiration somewhere

    maybe it's just a coincidence, but it would be nice if she linked extrapetite's blog since they did post around the same time so readers can see outfits on both ladies

    Posted 1.2.12 Reply
  12. Anonymous wrote:

    To anon at 4:47 I don't see how Jean's ideas are original. Pairing a gingham shirt with lace? I've seen that in J.Crew's catalog as well as other fashion blogs. Let's be honest, even though Jean looks amazing, the real gem of Jean's blog are item reviews for petites, not originality of putting together outfits. There are plenty more creative outfits out there in other blogs. That's why I don't really see the big fuss about RP's "copying". Please don't tell me that you think Jean's outfits are original…if so, then you haven't really haven't read other fashion blogs

    Posted 1.2.12 Reply
  13. Elizabeth wrote:

    I just found your blog and I love it! I am 5'1 and love reading fashion blogs but never can relate to what the bloggers are wearing because they are so tall! I also love how your pieces are things I can actually buy! (I just ordered the tweed jacket!!!!) Thanks so much for giving us short people hope to look stylish and still dress for our body size! You are the best! I can't wait to get my spring inspiration from your blog and not look like an idiot wearing cool stuff that doesn't fit!

    Posted 1.2.12 Reply
  14. ahhh i'm crazy about gingham. 😉 i recently find some great gingham shirts deals on lands end canvas. it's totally worth checking out jen just placed my orders. Hope the quality is just as good as jcrew's
    happy new year!

    Posted 1.2.12 Reply
  15. Vanessa wrote:

    Jean, thanks for responding to my question in another section. I appreciate the time you take to respond to your readers. I discovered your blog mid last year and have been following it eagerly ever since- you have an excellent sense of style.

    Posted 1.2.12 Reply
  16. Kiwi wrote:

    Love your style and outfits, as always.
    I wanted to ask you… Do you have any tips for tucking in a cardigan so it's not so bulgy in the skirt? I've tried to tuck in cardigans, but they usually make my skirt look bumpy and awkward.

    Anyway, I hope you will have a great start to 2012. Happy new year =]

    Posted 1.2.12 Reply
  17. Anonymous wrote:

    ^ Anonymous 3:43 – To you it can be "just clothes" but blogging these days is a BUSINESS. Don't listen to bloggers saying it's just a hobby yada yada, just look at all the ads and affiliate shopsense links (and oh there are plenty). A blog with Annie's traffic probably makes upwards of 1k a month, as my friend's does and she even has less followers. I find affiliate links annoying, but if a blogger introduces me to something new or puts a lot of effort into posting that helps me, then fine I'll give them some revenue. Half of that other blog's readers and sponsors probably have no idea extrapetite exists, so she can continue passing off borrowed ideas as original. Bottom of the line is bloggers run CREATIVE businesses and should not use someone else's ideas repeatedly, not to mention act childishly when readers provide feedback. It's unethical and unprofessional.

    Posted 1.2.12 Reply
  18. May wrote:

    @ anon at 3:43pm

    i agree with you that fashion blogs are there to inspire others but when you have a blog of your own and is inspired by someone else…yes, you should give credit where it's due. not only that but when you lose your own sense of style and start looking like someone else, where's the originality. she has not only imitated jean in her personal style, it was also in other areas as well (i.e. background design). it was only after the back lash that she got then she changed her background design. i don't hate her & i doubt others hate her since we don't personally know her….we are just tired of her copycat ways. *sigh*

    sorry, jean, for the long explanation and having to put these things on here.

    Posted 1.2.12 Reply
  19. Kimberly wrote:

    I never would have thought about pairing a gingham shirt with a lace skirt. The result is actually quite interesting. I wouldn't be able to pull it off (especially in Hawaii where everyone is dressed very casual), but you look great 🙂

    Posted 1.2.12 Reply
  20. Anonymous wrote:

    Isn't the point of having a fashion blog to inspire others? I often find myself going out to buy what I see on blogs (including this one) because I admire their styles. Perhaps Annie just admires Jean's style as we all do. I don't understand all the hate. I can understand the frustration, i am sure Jean tskes a lot if time to pick out and write thoughtful posts, but in the end…it's really just clothes people! Annie if you read this, you should just credit Jean so that everyone shuts up!

    Posted 1.2.12 Reply
  21. Michelle wrote:

    You styled this nicely…especially loving that belt!

    You and Kelly have me wanting to try out this gingham! And it is free shipping! My husband laughed at me when I stated aloud after reading Kelly's post: "I need to call my local J. Crew and ask if they accept kids returns."

    I would love to see pictures of your meet up with Kelly! Glad your travels went well!

    Posted 1.2.12 Reply
  22. littoBites wrote:

    omg! how did you make that shirt look so fashionable? I never was into plaid until I saw you and frmheadtotoe wear it… It looks adorable on her and so classy on you. I always thought those shirts were very Aero/AE and would make me look like a teen again. Now I'm curious after your review =D

    Posted 1.2.12 Reply
  23. Megan wrote:

    Wow, you fit so much in that tiny suitcase!! I'm definitely going to try to take example from you. I always end up packing wayyy too much when travelling! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Posted 1.2.12 Reply
  24. Gorgeous Jean…love the two together!

    Posted 1.2.12 Reply
  25. I just got the blue gingham shirt you reviewed a few days back from H&M.; Lucky for me, there was just one left in size 2! While I love JCrew, I feel I can often find a similar item at another store for less. The bargain shopper in me just can't bring myself to spend double the price.

    Happy New Year!


    Posted 1.2.12 Reply
  26. Tam wrote:

    Jean, I always feel so inspired (while at the same time humbled) by your packing posts. You are so good at packing light! While I feel confident that I can put together cute, well-fitting outfits on vacation, I need to take some cues from you and learn how to do more with less. I usually pack everything but the kitchen sink. I am resolving to stop doing that this year! I'll be waiting anxiously for your next posts on how to remix what you brought along with you on your vacation.

    Happy New Year!

    Posted 1.2.12 Reply

Get the newsletter!

What updates would you like?