Signature Style: Classic tweed, pencil dress, and pearls


Asos Petite dress (similar and similar), H&M; blouse, Jacket c/o Uniqueen sz S (my review)
Louboutin cap toes from eBay, Talbots necklace, Chanel classic flap, Ann Taylor belt

My style has evolved immensely over the years, but there are certain looks and pieces that I will always and instantly feel like “myself” in. I am uncontrollably drawn to pencil shapes, pearls, drapey blouses, tweed, and a little Chanel…and this outfit embodies it all. Looking back on my first few posts (here and here), I embraced these pieces and aspired to channel this look even when I was clueless about putting together outfits.

If asked today about my signature style, I can answer with confidence (after years of experimentation and cultivating my wardrobe) that it’s comprised of:
– a combination of classic and feminine looks
– figure-defining but not revealing silhouettes
– a variety of soft textures; and
– a mix of splurge pieces and bargain finds
peachcream2 I’ve tried to “get more” out of my dresses before by wearing them as a top, but the bottom part just became too uncomfortable when layered under another skirt. Inspired by the combo at the bottom of this page, I did the reverse here with a very lightweight blouse…

It was much more comfortable than the other way around, and easier to keep in place (tied a knot in the front center and tucked it in, then folded the back of the blouse under a skinny waist belt).

Splurge: Chanel taupe flap   Steal: Talbots outlet pearl necklace (a longtime fave for $11)

I am a bit obsessed with these cropped tweed jackets from Uniqueen (see full review here) but I do want to note a few things:

– This jacket definitely runs smaller than that of Western brands, however sizing appears to be slightly inconsistent. A “Small” is equivalent to an XXS-XS in American sizing or H&M; 2-4. I heard from the owner that several ladies were disappointed that the jacket was too small, so I want to reiterate this. As for consistency…I tried on a total of three jackets – two fit me perfectly (except for sleeve length) and one was too big. I expressed my concerns to the owner and she has asked her factory to be very careful when hand-cutting the pieces, however I suspect there may still be some inconsistencies.

– I initially suggested simply pulling out the tinsel-like metallic trim. That worked well for me on my first jacket, but I yanked them out too hastily for this one and you may see that the edges of the jacket are now curved up. They won’t flatten back down no matter how much I pull on or iron them. If you want to remove the sparkly trim, please, please do so carefully at your own risk.

– The “Cream Ivory” is not ivory – it is a stark white. I have gotten a lot of wear out of this with spring/summer colors, neutrals, as well as denim.

– Last but not least, there has been such a response from you guys for Uniqueen tweed jackets that I asked if they’d consider some reader giveaways. They agreed, so please stayed tuned for a chance to win one of your choice.


Readers – What do you consider to be your signature style?

90 thoughts on “Signature Style: Classic tweed, pencil dress, and pearls

  • Bela Anzu June 23, 2012 at 5:05 am

    I really enjoyed reading this post, probably because I've been reading your blog for a while. I tend to gravitate towards warm colours and jewellery, fitted pieces and feminine dresses.

    When you said that you liked figure defining, but not revealing silhouettes, it reminded me of Edith Head. She said "A dress should be tight enough to show you're a woman and loose enough to prove you're a lady." Have you heard that quote before?

    Thanks for introducing us to UniQueen's tweed jackets! I haven't had issues with them so far and love how I can use it to layer my outfits.

  • ♥ Cassandra (Backtofive) June 23, 2012 at 8:18 am

    That's such a classy outfit! I like you! You look so pretty!

  • Anonymous June 23, 2012 at 11:06 am

    I love how you always look so polished. Being someone who struggles with being fashionable, I want to thank you for the inspiration.

  • Johanna June 23, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    Jean, I just found this blog and love it – I'm always looking for inspiration to a classic timeless style and you just gave me so many ideas.

    I have one question: You mention that you are very conscious of your spending and investing. I admire that you are able to save about half your income every month. If you don't mind, would you share how you do that? Do you set up a budget for yourself, or do you have a different system to save money? Do you save money each month for fashion?

    I would love to know how to be better at saving and then investing when I would like to purchase a timeless purse for example. I know so many women who love fashion and want to afford a great designer piece but don't know how to arrange savings each month and spending in a way that makes them happy.

    Thanks so much!

  • Jessica @ Here(and)Now June 23, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    A tweed jacket is on my wish list, and I love the styles offered by Uniqueen… I just need to narrow it down to one and pull the trigger! You look fabulous… classy and "now"

  • alittlepetite June 23, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    so classic! love the neutrals!

  • Caitlin June 23, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    Blush pink is one of my favorite colors for this summer!

  • phiphis blog June 24, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    what a great look – your style is timeless and classic. it is just so wonderful to see different ways to use a dress. i've not yet used a dress as a top, given how you've had difficulties with the hem, but the concept is interesting. looking forward to seeing the uniqueen giveaway.. have been reluctant to go ahead just given the sizing issues, as you've reviewed. they look fantastic on you tho!

    xox P

  • Anonymous June 24, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    Hey Jean,

    I'm usually a lurker on here, but wanted to comment on Uniqueen tweeds since the topic has come back up. Just bought a jacket from them using their 15% birthday discount and have also noticed the sizing/measurement inconsistencies: shoulder, bust, and waist widths were all about an inch larger than what is listed on their website (which exacerbated fit issues on me as you can see below). I've emailed them feedback and they essentially gave me the same reply.

    I actually bought the Flower tweed jacket, which is extremely similar to the No.5 except with a slimmer + longer/uncropped torso to better suit my figure (5'2" with proportional shoulders, a very narrow ribcage, and practically no curves above the waist) and fewer color options (I wanted black, so that wasn't important to me). Was a bit worried about the synthetic fabric blend but it turned out as expected, which was a relief. The drape is quite nice yet problematic on me because the weight & lack of structure in the fabric coupled with the fact that there are no closures meant that wearing the jacket open (as intended) with arms at my sides resulted in the opening to be too wide at the bottom and the jacket falling into a bell shape around my stick-skinny upper body. =( Basically, I don't have proportionate curves on top like you do to fill out and hold up the jacket in its proper shape. Just goes to show that petite women are equally varied in size/shape and we each have our own issues/strategies to tackle when buying clothing. Nevertheless, I'm keeping the jacket (with sparkly trim intact since the shine adds dimension to what would otherwise look like a black square on me) despite the width measurement issues since it fits alright in the shoulders, and will sew in some hook-and-eye closures soon.

    Thanks for reading,

  • Joy June 24, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    This looks so good, like you're off to have tea with the queen.
    That white jacket is gorgeous on you.

  • Rinny June 24, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    You look so elegant and polished Jean! I love the white tweed jacket and how you made the blouse look like it was part of the dress by tucking it in and belting it – genius! I'll have to try that myself one day 🙂

  • what.jess.wore June 24, 2012 at 11:07 pm


    I loved this look a lot when I got a sneak peek of it on Instagram. 🙂 Cheers to another great post.

    Did you return the Uniqueen jacket that didn't work out for you? I bought a few things but the return shipping fee to Korea is so expensive so it almost wasn't worth it.

    Based on your rave reviews this past winter, I also located the H&M; blouse you're wearing in the both ivory and green color. I'm sure you get this a lot but your reviews (and other tips) have definitely helped me find versatile, quality pieces at a great price so thank you!



  • Chloe June 25, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    You look gorgeous, Jean! I also think it's one of my favorite things about fashion blogging–creating and curating our own individual, personal styles. I'm not sure what my personal style would be called, but I love feminine pieces with a colorful (and sometimes edgy) twist. So fun! <3

  • lisacng June 25, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    A great signature style for a reason! So amazing classy but also very modern. I am still developing my personal style.

  • Tim Mcgraw June 26, 2012 at 6:35 am

    love your blog x

    On The Floor (Ven A Bailar)

  • Anonymous June 26, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    Really beautiful ! I love your blog !
    I'm not petite but I'm asian and look like a child… Your tips to look older and more ladylike are so helpful!

  • bibi June 26, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    awesome outfit and stunning necklace.

  • PetiteAsianGirl June 26, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    I have been wearing them folded under and safety pinned, but thank you for reminding me – need to alter them as soon as I have time!

  • PetiteAsianGirl June 26, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    Elle did a tutorial here to get a similar look! Only difference is I tucked my shirt over the belt in the back.

  • PetiteAsianGirl June 26, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    Hi Lisa, Elle did a tutorial here on the shirt tucking

  • PetiteAsianGirl June 26, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    Thank you! I have not seen the lemon in person so I can't say! The cream ivory though is white, though and not really cream.

  • PetiteAsianGirl June 26, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    Thanks! It's Stila bronzer in #1 and I don't think I have on any lipstick, just clear chapstick.

  • PetiteAsianGirl June 26, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    Hi Jane, I completely agree with you that it should be more about the fit than individual items. As for Chanel, I haven't yet purchased any from eBay (yet, I think) but I do have one from Bonanza which is very similar to eBay, except prices are all fixed.

  • PetiteAsianGirl June 26, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    Hi there – please see Elle's tutorial for a similar look

  • PetiteAsianGirl June 26, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    Hi there, I'm using mostly the same products from my makeup youtube video…except I'm using a caviar eye stick by laura mercier and stila bronzer in shade #1

  • PetiteAsianGirl June 26, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    Hi Janki! I tried to explain some sleeve stuff in a video just recorded, but Elle just did a nice and simple one on the tucking : )

  • PetiteAsianGirl June 26, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    Hi Sophie – your signature pieces sound just lovely! I am slowly working on a good rounded collection of handbags (definitely have target pieces in mind but waiting for better prices) and will do a post if that collection is ever closer to completion : ) I think a good evening bag, a nice durable satchel, a clutch (even better if it's convertible), and a roomy tote are good starters.

  • PetiteAsianGirl June 26, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    Thank you shengkx for your feedback and for being a longtime reader!

  • PetiteAsianGirl June 26, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    Bela – I've heard that quote before and never knew who said it, and it has definitely subconsciously stuck with me! Thanks for posting it in its entirety … I'll never forget now : )

    Which jacket did you get?

  • PetiteAsianGirl June 26, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    Thank YOU so much for the kind words! But trust me, I struggle with the same, and the journey of curating your wardrobe and learning what works and doesn't work for you is what makes fashion fun.

  • PetiteAsianGirl June 26, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    Hi Johanna, thank you very much for your comment and suggestion. I would love to do a post talking more about that and sharing my personal experience. It's really refreshing meeting other women who enjoy the topics saving and investing, yet don't frown upon the thought of themselves (or others) spending a lot on a wardrobe piece. To me it's more about the planning and making sure you're getting something you really want, of a good value (all subjective), and that you're still staying well below your means.

  • PetiteAsianGirl June 26, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    Hi Faye, I'm sorry to hear about the inconsistencies you experienced with them, but thank you for sharing about how the flower jacket worked for you.

  • PetiteAsianGirl June 26, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    I actually sent it to Elle of fastfoodandfashion who was interested in it and she sent it back in exchange for a white. The ivory blouse is an all-time H&M; fave! It's so versatile and I'm glad you were able to locate them.

  • Bela Anzu June 27, 2012 at 7:11 am

    I got the Malang (Medium) and No. 5 Tweed (Large) jackets. Your thorough and thoughtful reviews are helpful because they give me a good idea of whether or not I'd like to purchase something online.

  • Caitlin June 28, 2012 at 12:20 am

    I am drooling over that chanel purse, gorgeous!

  • theheadtiltblog July 4, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    Your pictures and the blog are an absolute delight to watch!
    Great work! 🙂

  • Miss Cozzy July 5, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    I love this look, and it definitely flatters you. It's easy to tell when someone's wearing an outfit, vs. when it wearing them. Nicely done. 🙂

  • Kelly July 8, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    Love the color of the Chanel! It seems like it will match with just about anything.

    <3 Kelly

  • Andrea Mandel July 17, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Love the way you knotted the belt to give a little more style! Definitely will be trying that in the future.


  • rodelmalopez June 23, 2013 at 12:01 am

    I like your style so feminine and I always say proud to be an Asian, so classic yet elegant and classy

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