Blush Bow and Pink Tweed (& simple button alterations)


Gap bow blouse (similar) and BR swing jacket (both old), Prada Saffiano tote
I’m relishing every moment of the 60-70 degree temps that’s perfect for textures and light layers. I know that such weather is short-lived in Boston, and soon I’ll be relegated to style-quashing black tights on a daily basis.

This jacket is one of my all-time favorites, and I’m not sure if I’ve ever shown this simple alteration that can really change up the look of an item. My mom bought this for me five years ago from the Banana Republic outlet (back in the day when actual regular store merchandise with the tags crossed out was for sale there, versus the “made just for outlets” crap currently). I loved the crosshatch texture and swing shape, but the big shiny black button made it look mod and childish.
A quick switch to a neutral tortoiseshell button made the entire jacket look more expensive, not to mention much more versatile. I have a few items in my closet waiting in line for button transformations – as soon as I can find the perfect pairings.
I love the silhouette of cropped swing jackets as an alternative to fitted blazers. Wearing so many of these has really whetted my appetite for a cape, but I fear looking like Batwoman. pinktweedandbow

pinktweedandbow4Readers – What other little change-ups have you done to garments that end up making a big difference?
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    Posted 11.6.12 Reply
  2. Great post, and effortless styling!

    Posted 9.17.12 Reply
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    Posted 9.16.12 Reply
  4. Susan wrote:

    Hi Jean,

    I love that J Crew tweed mini skirt on you. Quick question – so I accidentally put my wool skirt in the wash and dryer. It turned from a size 2 to a size 000 (don't know if that size even exists!). It definitely shrunk a lot. I haven't taken it to the dryers yet and was wondering if you had a similar experience or any tips on how to "unshrink" shirts made of wool. Let me know. Thanks!

    Posted 9.15.12 Reply
  5. Lauren wrote:

    That Prada bag of yours is ridiculously gorgeous. A fantastic investment piece, to be sure!

    Posted 9.13.12 Reply
  6. sophié wrote:

    actually…I really like the pastel colours… the outfit looks smart and sophisticated.

    Posted 9.13.12 Reply
  7. ktfrek wrote:

    Jean, this outfit is lovely! I remember seeing your blog a long time ago, so I've caught myself up quite a bit. You definitely need to start a side business to help style people at work. Wonderful blog!

    Posted 9.12.12 Reply
  8. Anonymous wrote:

    The whole look..looks great!
    I want to ask you why did you choose the Prada bag with the 2 sided zippers?is it more structured than the one without sided zippers?

    Posted 9.11.12 Reply
  9. what a gorgeous skirt on you — looks lovely! xo

    Posted 9.11.12 Reply
  10. Victoria wrote:

    Your ruffle tie blouse is oh so cute! Looks great on you. I love your mustard belt too.


    Posted 9.11.12 Reply
  11. such a cute skirt girl, love it!

    Sandy a la Mode

    Posted 9.11.12 Reply
  12. There is NOTHING that I do not LOVE about this ensemble. Beautiful. Flawless.

    Posted 9.10.12 Reply
  13. Anonymous wrote:

    Agree with "1yrold" and with this comment. I think the combination of this colors makes the outfit look washed out and a different, brighter color would have worked better.

    Posted 9.10.12 Reply
  14. Suzie Q wrote:

    What a simple and yet great idea with the switching of the buttons to make it a completely chic look. I love your blush blouse!

    Suzie Q

    Posted 9.10.12 Reply
  15. miha.ela wrote:

    So cute with the yellow belt!

    Posted 9.10.12 Reply
  16. I absolutely hate the outlets/factory stores now. Don't give me a second rate line! I don't want it!

    Posted 9.10.12 Reply
  17. Rachelle wrote:

    your outfit are always so classy. Love it!

    Posted 9.10.12 Reply
  18. I love this look, It is such a great look for work!


    Posted 9.10.12 Reply
  19. Sassy T wrote:

    It's amazing how different a change of buttons can make to an item.

    Posted 9.10.12 Reply
  20. Annabelle wrote:

    I'm surprised how much of a difference the button makes there; I'll have to keep an eye out for that in my own clothes!

    Posted 9.10.12 Reply
  21. Great job on the buttons! I own a cape and I thought it would make me look like "batwoman" but I wore highs heels and tights with it so it didn't look too bad. I think you can pull it off. =)

    Posted 9.10.12 Reply
  22. Erin wrote:

    It's amazing how the most subtle of details can totally change a look! I love what you did with the button, and this jacket looks gorgeous in that pale blush monchromatic outfit. I'm definitely trying to savor this weather, too!


    Posted 9.10.12 Reply
  23. You look so pretty! I love the soft, feminine colors. I love the button switch, it really makes a big difference!

    xo, Yi-chia

    Posted 9.10.12 Reply
  24. Swing jackets are so tricky for me. You did it really well.

    Posted 9.10.12 Reply
  25. sophié wrote:

    thank you darling girl- beautiful ensemble as always! So true about buttons changing the look of certain pieces. I am (sadly) incapable of alterations – but can just about manage sewing buttons. I bought a cheap tweed riding jacket that fits me well – changed the nasty buttons it came with by sewing vintage beautiful leather ones and voilå ! An expensive looking riding jacket. Btw anyone knows where to source good quality vintage buttons? Especially the old fashioned leather ones are now impossible to find…

    Posted 9.10.12 Reply
  26. lin wrote:

    i like the subtle colors and the whole look of this outfit. even though the skirt is shorter, the way it is styled, it still looks classy. the change of a button does really do wonders to that jacket.

    the only change that i've done to my garments are substituting buttons.

    Posted 9.10.12 Reply
  27. Kristi wrote:

    I love everything about this look 🙂 Classy, feminine and well-fitted.

    That button change-up made a huge difference!

    Posted 9.10.12 Reply
  28. Anonymous wrote:

    Hi Jean, there are so many colors in your skirt (blue, pink, yellow..).Maybe you should consider wearing a shirt in one of those colors in order to bring out one of the colors in the skirt. Let me know what you think 🙂

    Posted 9.10.12 Reply
  29. 1yrold wrote:

    ummm sumhow i dont like this outfit which is rare for me as i luv all your this is so dull…:(( sorry…

    Posted 9.10.12 Reply
  30. Wannabe chic wrote:

    Hi Jean, I am actually right now contemplating alterations to some long skirts to make them asymmetric high-low skirts (short in front, long at the back). I intend to wear them with long boots. You are right. A simple change can make an item so much more wearable, and I am continually inspired by you! By the way, love all your thoughtful posts, like the one on finances and the recent one on designer items in the workplace.

    Posted 9.9.12 Reply
  31. Mere M. wrote:

    I can't say it any better than Franziska. Before I discovered this blog this spring, I thought about my clothes and my body in a very different way. Like a lot of other women, I blamed myself when clothes didn't flatter me and assumed my only option was losing weight, even when my biggest challenge has always been finding clothes small enough for me.

    Anyways, I actually only intended to say that I think it's amazing what a difference one button made for that coat. I bought a red trench coat off eBay while in England last year–it was my first colorful coat and exactly the bolt of color I needed after months of my black coat, black tights, and black flats. Oy. Oxford. Anyways, long story short, it was from New Look, but when I switched out the dozen cheap-looking gold buttons for tortoise shell buttons, it looked a lot less like a £15 coat! I'm not saying I could pass it off for a Burberry close-to, but it did help!

    As always, you look stylish and lovely. Thanks for doing what you do. : )


    Posted 9.9.12 Reply
  32. Franziska wrote:

    Jean –

    Although we are kind of on opposite sides of the size spectrum, I have learned so much from you about making clothes fit and work better for my body. Just this weekend I purchased a flannel shirt in a size larger that fit in the arms but was too large in the waist but with a little sewing and cutting, it fits perfectly now! I also bought a J. Crew schoolboy blazer in a size tall (I learned from you that clothes come in different heights…thank you!) and am replacing the buttons. Anyway, just wanted to tell you that you inspire ladies of all sizes and we are all making better decisions for our closets.


    Posted 9.9.12 Reply
  33. newpetite wrote:

    The Jacket looks so much better with the newer button. Ive done that and normally I cut off the extra fabric or tassels or embellishments.
    Love the neutral look and the simple makeup.

    Posted 9.9.12 Reply
  34. I did this on a vintage black cashmere sweater that had simple buttons but seeing that it was such a beautiful sweater, I wanted to add a little sparkle to it so I changed the buttons with two vintage clip on earrings…it looks beautiful now 🙂

    Posted 9.9.12 Reply
  35. You tie such perfect bows!! One of my favorite things to do to tops and shoes is sew on or glue on bows 🙂 (you can see I'm sort of obsessed with them) but they just make everything better in my opinion. I also love to add lace to plain pieces I'm bored with. P.s. your eyelashes are fantastic!

    Posted 9.9.12 Reply
  36. Denysia wrote:

    That jacket does look better with the different button!
    I've added a zipper to the back of a sweater, to add a cute effect.

    Posted 9.9.12 Reply
  37. Looks fabulous! I'm anxious to see some of your tights/stockings outfits…I live in Western NY so the cold is a battle for me, too!

    Posted 9.9.12 Reply
  38. i havent really thought of switching out buttons. i should keep that in mind. it did totally transform that jacket!

    Posted 9.9.12 Reply
  39. So loving this look! The colours suit you so well and I love what you've done to that jacket. You're right, it looks more expensive and classy now!


    Posted 9.9.12 Reply
  40. Anonymous wrote:

    Your makeup looks different, but in a good way. I love your lip color and blush (or bronzer?) The fake eyelashes could be a bit shorter to look more natural-looking. But fake eyelashes aside, your last photo is gorgeous.

    Posted 9.9.12 Reply
  41. aww.. the cape. I keep trying them on, and they keep going back to the rack. Maybe I'll try on kid sized one soon. I'd love to see you in some 😉

    Posted 9.9.12 Reply
  42. The blouse is so pretty, I would wear it!


    Posted 9.9.12 Reply
  43. I love how class this outfit is! Plus, you are outstanding in these pictures. If you like these kind of classy might also like :

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    Posted 9.9.12 Reply
  44. Hey Madam very nice. I like the colors a lot for fall. Have you seen an outfit I wore to a surprise wedding proposal? Check it out at

    Posted 9.9.12 Reply
  45. cheryl wrote:

    I've removed attached belts that were too high/low on me, cut off embellishments (ribbon ties that were fussy, tassels at the end of a rope belt, ugh!). I've also sewn closed the leg area of a shirt dress (button up front) as I was always so worried that the placket wouldn't lay flat when I sat down.

    i love the button change you've done with your jacket! I had a gorgeous blazer that I changed the buttons on. It had sparkly marcasite and filigree metalwork buttons (1 button closure, and 1 extra button on the hangtag) and I changed it out for a neutral button. The original pairing was just too strange..!

    Kept the filigree buttons and repurposed them as sparkly hair ornaments. =)

    Posted 9.9.12 Reply
  46. Michelle wrote:

    Love seeing another way to style this cute skirt. Elle had made it look so good, that I was keeping an eye out for it to go on sale at my store. I was able to get it for less than $30!

    I have some buttons I want to switch out, as well. One dress in particular has silver buttons on the arms, but I also want to be able to pair it with gold, so those buttons need to be replaced!

    Posted 9.9.12 Reply
  47. I have definitely done the same, switching out buttons to make the garment look more polished! I have also removed some embellishments to make it less trendy, and more classic.

    In any case, love the neutrals that you're spotting on this outfit. 🙂

    Posted 9.9.12 Reply
  48. sequin wrote:

    you look pretty and nice 🙂

    Posted 9.9.12 Reply

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