Navy lace dress + burgundy accents (& a big day)


Ann Taylor Factory dress (similar), thrift store belt, arrow necklace c/o Stella & Dot, Louboutin Simple 85 patent pumps, Prada Saffiano Double Zip Tote

Although I generally try to avoid owning duplicates, I have to admit there are some dupe favorites which I’ve never regretted buying. I feel like this lace dress in ivory and navy are individually special enough to warrant keeping both. The factory price was not bad, plus I performed DIY alterations to improve the fit.


Navy, burgundy and camel are some of my favorite classic colors. They are easy to style and have me dreaming of fall pairings. I am so stoked to finally add a camel bag to my collection, and expect it to get plenty of wear. I started making a review video and hope to finish it soon.


This dress is office-appropriate when paired with a blazer, and transitions easily into a sultry piece for after-work drinks or dinner. It may be a little low-cut for some, but an advantage to having a smaller chest is that such necklines can still look acceptable versus too sexy. Above: adding a taupe jacket from H&M; for work:


DIY Alterations

This dress fit decently off the rack but was slightly boxy on me. Thankfully, it took about 10 minutes to alter at home. The quality is very good for an outlet item and it was even double-lined. I merely turned the dress inside out, pushed up the innermost lining, and took in the torso from the pre-existing darts on both the front and the back. This effectively nipped the waist in more and contoured the overall torso for a closer fit.


(Darkest stitch is the line I added to the pre-existing dart)


On a separate note, last Tuesday was a big day for me and I’m touched by the kind words from you guys. I was on the train going to work when Level 3 CFA exam scores came out. The program took a mental and physical toll on me while working, and I was so relieved to be done in three years. My apologies to fellow commuters who had to endure the girl in happy tears so early in the morning.

When I got off the subway, I passed by a woman stopped on the sidewalk, scrolling frantically on her phone before jumping up and down with joy. “CFA?” I asked. She nodded with a smile from ear-to-ear and pulled me into a warm hug. I went on with my commute, happy as a clam.


Came home this weekend to a sweet surprise from Nick’s parents, and books ready to go into storage!

Later that day, I received a message from none other than the woman outside the subway, saying that while caught up in the moment she forgot to mention she was a reader! I am continuously amazed to meet so many hard-working and driven (in various aspects) women who enjoy reading this blog, and sometimes we cross paths in the most random ways.


126 thoughts on “Navy lace dress + burgundy accents (& a big day)

  • Reply Anonymous August 14, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    Congrats to you. What a huge accomplishment. I can't figure if you've gotten more tan or is it just the pics, but you look very polished (as usual). Please do tell us more about the bag. I love the classic color.

  • Reply Kat August 14, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    Congrats Jean! See… knew you could do it! And looking lovely as always!

  • Reply Tiffany August 14, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    Congratulations! And great look! I really love the shoes for some reason, they're really calling to me haha

  • Reply Jane August 14, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    Hi Jane,

    I am looking for the H&M; blazer (Item 981950, Yellow, Size 4) you and really petite have shown at your blogs. Have you seen it in your local stores? Thanks a lot.

  • Reply lisacng August 14, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    4:17 PM

    Very pretty dress, great alteration, and congrats again on finishing the level 3 exam! You deserve lots of love and rest and yes, put those books away 😀

  • Reply Sarah August 15, 2012 at 12:00 am

    You are so inspiring! Congrats

  • Reply Caroline August 15, 2012 at 4:14 am

    Congratulations Jean, that's an amazing accomplishment! The dress looks beautiful on you, but then again, what doesn't?!

  • Reply Kristi August 15, 2012 at 4:43 am

    Congratulations on passing your exam! It must be nice to have your life back 🙂 Thank you for continuing to blog throughout your studying!

  • Reply Stella August 15, 2012 at 8:18 am

    Beautiful dress and congrats!

  • Reply Anonymous August 15, 2012 at 10:55 am

    Congratulations, Jean! I've been a silent reader all this while and this post was particularly inspiring because I'm taking cfa level 1 in December!

    I also wanted to ask you a question: I just found out that I'll be taking a fortnight-long business trip to new york in January. I'm from Singapore, however, where its summer all year round, so sleeveless shells, sleeveless dresses, skirts (you get the idea) are all I have. Without buying anything too expensive, since I'm not likely to wear heavy winter clothes here, how do I turn my outfits for work into winter appropriate work clothes?

  • Reply DSK Steph August 15, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Congratulations Jean!!!

  • Reply AubreyOhDang! August 15, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    you are getting SOOOO good at these DIYs. and i can't believe how quick it takes you. francois would charge me $35 for sure.

    congratulations again doll!

  • Reply Cristie Xu August 15, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    Congrats on your exam! I just found your blog and am your newest follower/fan!

  • Reply Mong August 15, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    Very pretty dress!

  • Reply Jacqui August 15, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    Congrats, and what a wonderful story! By the way, I was wondering how you get your hair so voluminous 😛

  • Reply Sheila August 15, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    What a sweet story! Congrats! 🙂


  • Reply Shamelessly Overdressed August 16, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    Hi Jean! Congratulations on passing the CFA – that's amazing! As a fellow young professional by day / blogger by night, I can definitely relate to how challenging it is to balance your professional life and blogging pursuits (not to mention your personal life)! You are an inspiration to us all! 🙂

    I've been a follower for awhile now, but this is actually my first comment. Your blog is definitely one of my all-time favorites…as a petite gal, I can relate and always look forward to your posts! I also love your classy style and helpful shopping tips.

    Anyway, just wanted to say hello and congrats! Keep up the awesome posts! 🙂

    Love from a fellow petite blogger,

  • Reply Candice August 18, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    Congrats, Jean on passing the CFA! =) I love the lace dress from this post.

  • Reply Anonymous August 20, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    After admiring that blue lace dress ever since you first posted it, I finally had the opportunity to get to an Ann Taylor outlet. Alas, they had no size 0 petite left in stock. I tried it in the 00, and while I could squeeze into it, and (according to other shoppers) it looked good, it just felt a little to snug (particularly in the bust). It also felt a little short on me (I am just under 5'3"). I think a regular size 0 would have been perfect, but I guess it was not meant to be.

    Congratulations on passing the CFA.

  • Reply Lori August 23, 2012 at 7:45 am

    Congratulations Jean! I love reading your blog. I was wondering, do you have any recommendations of places to go for smaller size bracelets and ring sizes? I have very slender wrists and fingers and have a difficult time finding jewelry that doesn't fall off! Thanks!

  • Reply Rosie August 24, 2012 at 10:42 am

    You are always so chic! love it Congrats on passing the CFA

    if you have a moment please check out my latest post

  • Reply LeeAnne, Style N Season August 25, 2012 at 2:57 am

    Congratulations! I know how tough CFA exams are. Not only because they are not easy, but the organization ensure its exclusivity by using normal distribution and expensive fee just to take them! I took only CFA lesson for level 1, because I needed the knowledge for work, but since I'm not particularly in finance, that's it!
    Have you fulfilled the four-year work experience requirement, as well?
    Again, congrats, clever gal!

    Visit me:
    LeeAnne, Style N Season

  • Reply Stalla August 29, 2012 at 6:00 am

    Congrat's Jean, that's an amazing accomplishment!! The dress looks are very beautiful on you, pretty dress!! but then again, what doesn't?!!

  • Reply Stalla August 29, 2012 at 6:01 am

    CFA level exams and study material in Schweser

  • Reply M August 30, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    Congratulations on your CFA – Level 3 accomplishment Jean! I'll admit that I don't particularly know what that means (I'm nowhere near finance/accounting in my nonprofit job), but it sounds difficult. Thanks for keeping up with posts for us all this time you've been preparing. It's awesome to see how all your hard work and studying has paid off!

  • Reply Anonymous September 9, 2012 at 7:05 am

    Hi Jean. I am a new reader to your blog. First of all big Congrats to your accomplishment. I love how creative you are with your stye. Thanks for sharing so many wonder ideas.


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