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.

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Leave a Comment


  1. REESHELL wrote:

    what a funny story :p congrats! i love reading your blog!

    Posted 8.13.12 Reply
  2. Lisa wrote:

    Congratulations! I know how hard the exams can be and so admire you for doing such a great job. All the best to you.

    Posted 8.13.12 Reply
  3. Anonymous wrote:


    Posted 8.13.12 Reply
  4. Anonymous wrote:

    congratulations jean! i love your blog! when i passed the cpa exam, i was beyond excited.. so proud of you!!

    Posted 8.13.12 Reply
  5. Vidya wrote:

    You are my hero Jean!
    Hugs from Sydney, Australia xoxo

    Posted 8.12.12 Reply
  6. That's a very charming story.
    Thanks for sharing it.

    ~Natasha Fatah~
    ~Natasha Fatah~

    Posted 8.12.12 Reply
  7. Phoebes wrote:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

    Posted 8.12.12 Reply
  8. a rose wrote:

    I love the 2nd and the 4th picture! Congrats again on the exam.

    Posted 8.12.12 Reply
  9. Suzie Q wrote:

    Aww, that's such a cute story. Congrats!! That must be such a huge sigh of relief to get rid of that tall stack of books! Love the dress, especially paired with the blazer.


    Posted 8.12.12 Reply
  10. Anonymous wrote:

    Hi Jean,

    You look amazing…as you always do! 🙂

    Big congrats on the CFA! I'm a working mom and student so I know how tough it is to juggle it all.

    Posted 8.12.12 Reply
  11. I have been reading your blog for quite some time and would like to leave my first comment here! Congratulations not only on the CFA but also being such an inspiring figure! 🙂

    Posted 8.12.12 Reply
  12. Vivian wrote:

    Oh! And congratulations on finishing your CFA!!! (=

    Posted 8.12.12 Reply
  13. Vivian wrote:

    That's a sweet story! I wish to meet you someday and that dress is beautiful! I've been looking for a lace dress myself but nowhere to be found, until today but I feel it's a bit loose on the bust area… By how you did, adding darts or intaking it in more if there are any, will it help slimming the fit even if it's just the lining you are darting? How will it affect the outside look?

    Posted 8.12.12 Reply
  14. Chloe wrote:

    Isn't it great meeting real life blog readers in person? One of the best (amazing) things about the internet and fashion blogging, I think. Big congrats to you, Jean! Hope you celebrated by doing something fun, you deserve it!

    Posted 8.12.12 Reply
  15. R.L. wrote:

    I'm glad you decided to keep both lace dresses. And big congratulations! I would love to hear about your studying schedule and how you found your balance as clearly it worked!

    Posted 8.12.12 Reply
  16. tt wrote:

    i love your shoes! i've been trying to get that particular shade of red for a long time!

    Posted 8.12.12 Reply
  17. congratulations again Jean! you've accomplished so much! you look fantastic in that dress – i love it on you. and you styled it perfectly! xox P

    Posted 8.12.12 Reply
  18. MCS wrote:

    Congrats on the big news.

    Posted 8.12.12 Reply
  19. tracyata wrote:

    Congrats! My boyfriend recently found out he passed level 2 and will not start preparing for the last one. Living with him I know the commitment it takes to successfully prepare for that exam. Way to go!

    Posted 8.12.12 Reply
  20. Anonymous wrote:

    Hooray! Such an accomplishment!! How are you celebrating? =)

    You make this outfit gorgeous. Especially love it with the blazer. I was ecstatic to find it on sale a few months back, but it was sadly too cropped for my super long torso.

    Posted 8.12.12 Reply
  21. Love the navy & red, your necklace is darling, too!!


    Posted 8.12.12 Reply
  22. Mary Ann wrote:

    Gorgeous dress – I love it! And nice job on the alterations – I've done that one in particular too many times to count, haha! 😉

    Posted 8.12.12 Reply
  23. Anonymous wrote:

    I thought your big news was an engagement but congrats on finishing the CFA!!!! If I were you, I'd burn those books!!! LOL 🙂

    Posted 8.12.12 Reply
  24. you are very lovely! Congrats to your completion of CFA! I am currently taking CPA and will be done by next Feb hopefully. Then I'll move onto CFA too.

    Wish you enjoy your life even more now 🙂

    Posted 8.12.12 Reply
  25. Katherine wrote:

    What a wonderful story! So glad to hear about the CFA (and incredibly impressed as well!). I'm sure having the stress off will be a great relief. Congratulations to you (and to your reader1)

    Posted 8.12.12 Reply
  26. Amy wrote:

    Your story really made me smile! What a coincidence that she turned out to be a reader of your blog. Congratulations to you both! You're truly an inspiration to me 🙂

    Posted 8.12.12 Reply
  27. Congratulations Jean. I'm so glad your hard work has paid off and in three years! I'm sure a huge weight has been lifted from your shoulders. I'm sure the other commuters didn't mind your tears of joy.

    Now go celebrate and have a good time in that beautiful ensemble. 🙂



    Posted 8.12.12 Reply
  28. Olivia wrote:

    Congratulations to you both and thank you Jean for all your great blog posts even while you were busy with studying/work/Life.

    Posted 8.12.12 Reply
  29. newpetite wrote:

    Congratulations!! That is awesome! I can imagine all the crazy days and nights you would have spent studying.
    This dress looks so good on you! Goes well with the blazer too!

    Posted 8.12.12 Reply
  30. Congrats love! What an accomplishment! And thank you for continuing to blog while you were and still are so busy. If you ever need a break, come over to LA =)

    Posted 8.12.12 Reply
  31. Jenn wrote:

    You always look so put together. I love this outfit!

    Chīsana Blogger

    Posted 8.12.12 Reply
  32. Woohoo!!! Congrats on passing the CFA exam!! And for altering the dress so perfectly 🙂

    Posted 8.12.12 Reply
  33. Anonymous wrote:

    Love your blog and wanted to say congrats on the CFA! I passed this time last year and I felt at least 20 pounds lighter after I realized I won't have to go through that again 🙂

    Posted 8.12.12 Reply
  34. CamMi Pham wrote:

    That is a very nice outfit especially after you put on the blazer…adore your tote 🙂

    Posted 8.12.12 Reply
  35. Kishane wrote:

    Congrats! I know the CFA exams are brutal and I'm glad you passed!

    Plus that lace dress looks awesome on you.

    I wish I was of the mindset to buy those shells when Ann Taylor was still selling them.. still can't find anything similar.

    Posted 8.12.12 Reply
  36. Congrats!

    Posted 8.12.12 Reply
  37. Phoebe wrote:

    What an awesome story! Congratulations to both of you! I really love this dress — I wish there were an AT outlet near me!

    Posted 8.12.12 Reply
  38. CynthiaC wrote:

    Congratulations to you and your reader, Jean! I'm looking for a Prada bag myself – would you recommend the one you have or something smaller?

    Posted 8.12.12 Reply
  39. Vivian Fan wrote:

    Congratulations on the exam results! I love the idea with the taupe blazer and the lace dress… the only problem now is to find enough money and where these things in my size can be found.


    Posted 8.12.12 Reply
  40. Elissa wrote:

    congrats on passing the exam! you are an inspiration for women who work 9-5 and you still find time to be fashionable and blog about it for the rest of us to enjoy!

    Posted 8.12.12 Reply
  41. Kelly Mao wrote:

    Wonderful post. Friendship, fashion, career…

    LOL about the advantage of being small chested!

    Posted 8.12.12 Reply
  42. Michelle wrote:

    A big congratulations to both you and your reader! 🙂 I love the stacked books idea! 🙂

    You are getting really good with making your own alterations! The dress almost looks like an emerald color in the pics. It is gorgeous paired with the burgundy.

    Posted 8.12.12 Reply
  43. Eva Wu wrote:

    the dress is so beatiful!

    Posted 8.12.12 Reply
  44. Sydney wrote:

    I know I said congrats via twitter – but seriously congrats! I was so happy when I finished my masters degrees. It brings with it such a sense of accomplishment, and yes, fuel to go on to tackle the next task!

    Posted 8.12.12 Reply
  45. Anonymous wrote:

    congratulations! and kudos to you for getting it done within 3 years while working!

    Posted 8.12.12 Reply
  46. Pia wrote:

    that is a great look on you! and congrats!

    Posted 8.12.12 Reply
  47. Kaolee wrote:

    That dress looks stunning on you!

    Posted 8.12.12 Reply
  48. Annabelle wrote:

    Congrats, that's great!

    Posted 8.12.12 Reply
  49. alermy wrote:

    Congrats on passing the exam! I took my professional engineer exam before and I know the exact feeling of passing an exam that you studied for so long 🙂

    Posted 8.12.12 Reply
  50. Lauren wrote:

    What a sweet story! Congrats to you and her both!

    Posted 8.12.12 Reply

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