H&M Reviews: Tweed Jacket, Trench + Mint Sheath Dress

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I’m blogging less these days, but still tweeting as I go. Please follow me on Twitter for more timely coupon/deal updates and fitting room photos. Last week, I stopped by H&M; and tried on the following (my only purchase was #5):

1. Tweed blazer, item #055671, $40 after coupon (see a size 6 on my friend styled with the silk Blythe blouse). Comes in peach or blue tweed with black trim, and runs about 1 size big compared to most H&M; blazers. I’m trying a sz 2 – on me, the shoulders are a bit wide, torso is roomy and the sleeves are long and wide. Would look nice as a work jacket on someone who can fill it out more. The black trim makes these easy to pair with simple black pencil skirts or sheath dresses.

2. Trench coat w/ navy piping, item #032933, $48 after coupon, sz 2 . I’m not in need of another trench, but I wanted to show this for anyone who was. I was drawn to the dark khaki trench material, the expensive-looking tortoiseshell buttons, and the navy piping (love that they didn’t skimp on this – it’s all around the collar, on the front flap, front pockets, ends of sleeves, and down the back). Sleeves are long for someone my size. They can be shortened, but you’d probably lose the lovely piping.

3. Sheer blouse with pleated bib, item #037371, $24 with coupon. The front of this blouse reminds me of an old J.Crew top that many readers have asked about. I didn’t try this on because the color combo does nothing for me, but it might come in other colors!

4. Knit houndstooth pencil skirt, sz XS, $14.36 with coupon. No tag so I couldn’t get an item #. XS fits me well but is not snug in the waist like a size 2 would be. To determine whether a skirt is too snug for the office, I like to look at the side view. If it has a tapered / pencil shape from the butt/hips down to the knees, then it’s fine. If it’s starting to curve in under the tush like an “S” shape or curves in the front by the tummy/thighs (like so), then it’s too fitted for work.
I liked the shapely look and fit of this skirt (just needs a hem), but passed as I already have a black and white print knit pencil skirt from Ann Taylor. Also as an FYI, it’s unlined with a back zipper.

5. Mint sheath dress, sz 2, item #059894, $40 after coupon. I fell completely in love with the color and shapely bottom of this dress. It’s from H&M; “Trend,” which is slightly pricier than their regular line, but I feel like the quality is noticeably better.

Features include: Seamless dolman/kimono-style sleeves, single wide pleat down the front, side bottom panels, tapered below-the-knee pencil skirt, back zipper, and lower slit (the type that’s actually possible to make longer when you hem the length). Material is a thick stretch ponte. This retro-inspired silhouette would be so effortlessly chic on someone taller. On my 5′ tall self, however, a hem is needed plus high heels to balance out the wider top half.

Update: Here’s how the sleeves look when the arms are down (& hem pinned up):

Between this mint dress and the emerald one hanging in my closet, I’m trying to pick one keeper. Both are below-the-knee pencil sheath dresses in a spring shade of green, and cost the same (after an additional discount for makeup on the mint). Here are my thoughts:

+ I don’t own anything in that color, can be worn to work, stretch ponte is more comfortable
– Top half is trendier than what I typically wear & can overwhelm a small frame if not balanced out

+ More classic silhouette
– Can’t be worn to work (due to neckline), pulls across the back on me, thin material so some lining shows

Nick prefers the mint because it reminds him of what ShoeMart (Filipino department store) salesladies wear. What can I say – I was inspired by our recent trip : )

Readers – Mint or emerald?
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  1. Tiffany wrote:

    Emerald! The color of the mint dress is really lovely, but the dress itself is underwhelming. The emerald dress looks amazing on you!

    Posted 2.13.12 Reply
  2. Anonymous wrote:

    argh I hate big sizes! I just bought a blazer from h&m; that I'm supposed to tailor myself to make it fit 😛 got encouraged from our writings.. actually! I've been buying loads of stuff (shirts, skirts..) that do not fit but now that I know that I have the possibility to MAKE them fit, it feels like a whole new world of clothes have appeared! 😀 previously I've only bought clothes that fit perfectly (except dresses that I can easily change) and I really didn't buy that much 🙂 so big thank you for your blog!

    Posted 2.13.12 Reply
  3. ruthie wrote:

    Emerald all the way!! 🙂

    Posted 2.13.12 Reply
  4. Anonymous wrote:

    I usually love mint colour, but in this case the emerald definitely definitely suits you more 🙂 mint dress looks too overwhelming on you…

    Posted 2.13.12 Reply
  5. gigiofca wrote:

    Emerald. The dolman isn't working for me in the mint one. It's definitely a great shade for you. You'll find something else in that shade as it's very 'in' right now. More spring releases will come and so will a better dress. Love the color & fit of the emerald. Also looks cute w/your blouse for the 2nd look you shared. Good luck deciding.

    Posted 2.13.12 Reply
  6. Anonymous wrote:

    Definitely the emerald. Better fit and shade.

    Posted 2.13.12 Reply
  7. Evelyn wrote:

    I like the mint, more expensive looking.

    I have that trench! – except I bought it last year in Feb in NYC when I was on holidays. They must have remade it for this season 🙂

    Posted 2.13.12 Reply
  8. Jen C wrote:

    I vote for the mint!

    Also, I didn't comment on the Jason Wu post, but I just wanted to say, good call in offering them to your friends. I was in love with the collection from the lookbook, and even lined up early for it, but I've decided to return the 2 clothing items I bought after further consideration in front of the mirror.

    Posted 2.13.12 Reply
  9. Diana wrote:

    Disclaimer: Both look great on you; you are one of those lucky girls who can pull off almost anything. But if I HAD to vote one or the other, I'd vote emerald. I don't know if it's just the photo, but there's something a little awkward about the way the shoulders/sleeves of the mint one sit. Maybe it's just a little big in the shoulders? It just doesn't have that "made for you" look that so many of your other clothes have.

    As for the emerald, the color is just so vivid and refreshing, it shows off your slender waist, and it has such lovely, elegant lines that it is still flattering, even though it is a longer length. I also think it could easily be made work-appropriate with a cami or a cardigan.

    Posted 2.13.12 Reply
  10. Jen wrote:

    The tweed skirt looks nice! I love the colors of both the emerald and mint dresses. I really wanted the emerald one but couldn't find it 🙁 The mint one, I'm liking everything but the sleeves. I wonder how it looks with your arms down to your sides?

    Posted 2.13.12 Reply
  11. Vivian wrote:

    I like them both! But yeah, the emerald neckline is too low for what i normally see you in for work. But I do like the sillouhete on that emerald one better. If you don't pick the emerald green, I'll buy it off of you. (= I've been looking for more dresses like that (not for work of course) but as you know, Hawaii isn't cool enough to have H&M; so I've been having a hard time finding one elsewhere.

    Posted 2.13.12 Reply
  12. becka wrote:

    Hi Jean! I'm loving the mint colors on all the new spring lines but the cut on this dress isn't very flattering… Keep the emerald dress and wait til you find a mint dress in a cut that you love.

    Posted 2.13.12 Reply
  13. Michelle wrote:

    Oh! Good point about the arms down! I think the dolman sleeves can look good on more flowy materials, but since this is a thicker knit, it may look strange.

    Jean – Both these items "as is" are a no. I like your idea of higher hems for both. The mint sleeves are just bugging me. Not just the armpit area, but the sleeves in general are not flattering enough on you. You have such nice arms, they are hiding them!

    But…all these impressions could be changed once the mint one is styled. It is a fun canvas to work with! And you did say Nick liked it.

    And congratulations on your newest endeavor! I just Googled what the CFA III test is. :p With all this preparation you will do great! 🙂

    Posted 2.13.12 Reply
  14. I'm really curious what the mint dress looks like with your arms down. With you hand on your hip, it shows off the dolman portion (as I'm sure was your intention) and there's something odd looking about it. Maybe I'm not used to a dolman sleeve on a fitted dress? I like the color of both and would ordinarily vote emerald but it seems a little limiting since you can't wear it to work.

    Posted 2.13.12 Reply
  15. Jenn wrote:

    Too bad they don't have the mint dress in an emerald color! Although I love the emerald color, the mint color dress gives me the effortlessly 50s vibe. I feel that with the proper hemming and accessory, the mint dress would be a better fit for your closet. Not to mention the versatility of being able to use the dress for work and play!

    Posted 2.13.12 Reply
  16. Emerald! I do not like the top of the mint dress – it's too much and overwhelms your petite figure.

    Posted 2.12.12 Reply
  17. Anonymous wrote:


    Posted 2.12.12 Reply
  18. xoxoCat wrote:

    I love both. The white one has an amazing cut, but the other one is a gorgeous colour.

    Posted 2.12.12 Reply
  19. emi wrote:

    Oooh I just got the pink tweed blazer the other day! Full priced in Canada unfortunately 🙁 Really loving that blazer though; definitely gotta try to hunt that one down~

    And I say emerald. The colour looks gorgeous on you 🙂

    <3 emi

    Posted 2.12.12 Reply
  20. Anonymous wrote:


    Posted 2.12.12 Reply
  21. Wendy wrote:

    I like the mint one more but the sleeves looks kinda funny. o.o Maybe you can cut it off. LOL.

    Posted 2.12.12 Reply
  22. Phlox Rose wrote:

    Mint FTW!!

    Posted 2.12.12 Reply
  23. That's tough because both look beautiful on you but I think I am leaning towards the mint! =)

    Posted 2.12.12 Reply
  24. maggie wrote:

    Personally, I think that you should keep the mint dress! Comparing the two, I think the mint is better fitting, and (in my biased opinion) a better shade of green.

    xx maggie

    Posted 2.12.12 Reply
  25. Anonymous wrote:

    Neither sorry 🙁

    Posted 2.12.12 Reply
  26. Susan wrote:

    Thanks for the reviews. Btw, where are your boots from? So cute!

    Posted 2.12.12 Reply
  27. Alexandra wrote:

    The emerald looks much better on you and I think it can be worn to work with a cardigan layered on top.

    Posted 2.12.12 Reply
  28. Anonymous wrote:

    Where do you work?

    Posted 2.12.12 Reply
  29. jen wrote:

    lol SM saleslady uniform! i think they've changed their uniforms 🙂

    Posted 2.12.12 Reply
  30. jules wrote:

    love that houndstooth skirt! would look fab when hemmed. don't like the sleeves on the mint dress though, sorry!

    Posted 2.12.12 Reply
  31. Mary Ann wrote:

    That's a tough choice, but I'm leaning towards the emerald green. I really like the tailoring/seaming details, especially around the waist.

    Posted 2.12.12 Reply
  32. I agree on keeping the mint green dress too, its really unique and looks like its straight from the runway.

    Posted 2.12.12 Reply
  33. Tang wrote:

    I love the emerald and have it myself, but the mint is much more unique in design and colour. So if you have another green dress already, I say go for the mint!

    Posted 2.12.12 Reply
  34. Saimaeve wrote:


    Posted 2.12.12 Reply
  35. Lloyd Lim wrote:

    I think for this case, it is neither. Not sure about the shoulder to sleeve line. Thanks for asking for our opinion!

    – L


    Posted 2.12.12 Reply
  36. I really like the houndstooth pattern of that pencil skirt. (Great tip btw! Will keep that in mind.)

    Both dresses are pretty, but I say keep the mint because you don't own anything in that colour. I am still bugged about the sleeves though – mainly because it has an awkward slouch at the underarms. I prefer dolman sleeves to be wider so people can actually tell it's a dolman sleeve and not just a baggy shirt.

    P.S. just read the hospital gown comment…although it does give that impression, I certainly didn't think of that when I first saw it on you!!

    Posted 2.12.12 Reply
  37. Annie wrote:

    I love the mint one but I think the emerald is more of a keeper because of the better fit. Anyway you can keep both?! 🙂

    Posted 2.12.12 Reply
  38. SS wrote:

    I like mint more than emerald! The mint one is beautiful!!!

    Posted 2.12.12 Reply
  39. Anonymous wrote:

    Emerald!! The top part of the mint looks too frumpy/weird. Emerald looks gorgeous on you!!

    Posted 2.12.12 Reply
  40. R.L. wrote:

    In the spirit of being critical on purchases, I say keep neither. The mint dress is gorgeous but I think the dolman sleeves look awkward on the non-flowly ponte material. Something about the dress is reminiscent of a 60s flight attendant. :/ I much prefer the color and silhouette of your emerald one. Maybe you could wear a cami or mock cami underneath to cover cleavage?

    Posted 2.12.12 Reply
  41. Anonymous wrote:

    mint 🙂

    Posted 2.12.12 Reply
  42. Erica wrote:

    The emerald one looks hot on you! 🙂 There's something funny going on under your armpit with the mint dress. It looks like it doesn't fit right. The neckline also looks boring and seems a bit middle-aged.

    Posted 2.12.12 Reply
  43. Love the mint dress – it reminds me of something Victoria Beckham would design.

    Did you get to visit Manila? We went to Shoemart and Rustans a lot when we were there. Hope to see a post on your trip (studies permitting!)

    I also think the trench looks amazing on you – but since you have Burberry ones, nothing else can compare.

    Posted 2.12.12 Reply
  44. Yukie wrote:

    The shape and material look phenomenal for the mint dress – but the color is too surgeon/scrub-like.

    Posted 2.12.12 Reply
  45. Anonymous wrote:

    i like the mint!

    Posted 2.12.12 Reply
  46. Anonymous wrote:

    Upon first glance, the mint gave me the impression of a hospital operating gown. Sorry, didn't want to be rude…just wanted to be honest. The mint is such a pretty colour though. I think the color would be nice as a blouse. In the end, your judgement is best.

    Posted 2.12.12 Reply
  47. I like the silhouette of the mint dress but not sure if I like the sleeves.

    Posted 2.12.12 Reply
  48. Jane Ko wrote:

    I'm loving the mint!

    Posted 2.12.12 Reply
  49. I like the mint:)

    Posted 2.12.12 Reply
  50. nn21 wrote:


    Posted 2.12.12 Reply

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