Casual Fall: Olive jeans, soft cashmere & scalloped lace


Seven olive legging jeans (similar available in short inseam), Gap kids lace top
Vince cashmere cardigan (similar), Calvin Klein leopard pumps (this year’s version)
Every so often, I like to rifle through my closet for pieces that have not been getting much love. Sometimes the lack of wear is due to seasonality, but sometimes it’s indicative of a poor purchasing decision. Such is the case with this top – I bought not one, but two very similar lace shells, neither of which were touched in the past 6 months. This is also the reason why I now try to deliberate over every purchase (whether it’s $15 or $1500), because each new item that adds little value is just unnecessary consumerism and wasted closet space. That being said, mistakes still happen, and hopefully the item(s) can just find a better home.


This sweater, on the other hand, is an old favorite found years ago while combing eBay for “100% cashmere” treasures. It was stowed away for the summer and I was thrilled to re-discover it. Each time I cuddle up in the soft and cozy material, I’m reminded of why one should not settle for itchy, pilling-prone knitwear.

Lastly, these olive jeans were a staple last Fall, but I eventually grew tired of the too-long length bunching up at my ankles. When hemming jeans, it’s probably common knowledge to go with the “original hem,” when the tailor removes the original hem with the pressed/faded marks and re-stitches it to the shortened leg opening for a natural look. Previously, I’ve paid ~$25 to get this done in the name of saving time, but on my last visit to a nearby tailor, the price was bumped up to a whopping $36 per pair! It’s probably still worth the hours of DIY labor spared, but I stubbornly brought the jeans home to hand-hem at my leisure (translate: they will still be un-hemmed this time next year).
If anyone is interested in a petite-friendly lace shell, I am selling this white Banana Republic Mad Men one for $30 including S&H; (U.S. address only, please). Size is XXS Petite and the fit is very small, like an H&M; size 2. For fit reference, in those review photos I am ~ 90lbs and 5 feet tall. Please leave a comment to claim if interested and contact me.

Readers – How do you decide when to part with an item, and where do you like to donate or sell your pieces?

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  1. Gayle wrote:

    OK, where the hell have I been? I'm a five foot tall fashion fanatic who is always on the prowl for great petite looks and good buys. Love Extra Petite!

    I second your comment about refusing to wear itchy/scratchy sweaters. A lot of us petite gals seem to have sensitive skin to boot. Add in the fact I am a redhead and I can just look at something scratchy and break out in a rash. I've given up anything in wool or various blends with wool, nylon, angora, ramie, etc. Give me good cashmere or cotton. Otherwise I'd rather go with fleece or a great knit. Thank goodness I live in Southern California where sweaters aren't entirely necessary.

    You seem to love redhead friendly colors and I am thrilled! I deem you an honorary Ginger. :–)

    Posted 11.1.12 Reply
  2. Debra wrote:

    Hi Jean! Love this look. I think the edginess of the leather belt contrasts well with the ladylike lace top. And a cashmere sweater. Sigh….what more could a girl ask for? You & I are the same size & I would LOVE to shop your closet! 🙂 About perging….I give my clothes to either my friend or donate them (tax write off when you have an itemized list ladies!)

    Lovin' your blog girl!

    Posted 10.23.12 Reply
  3. beautiful combination!

    Posted 10.18.12 Reply
  4. Love the casual look of your outfit.


    Posted 10.16.12 Reply
  5. Love the casual look of your outfit.


    Posted 10.16.12 Reply
  6. I love everything about this look – gorgeous pieces that could be dressed up or down, and I love how you combined them here. I agree – $36 is way too much for an original hem job… if you haven't done a tutorial about it before, would you consider doing one in the future? I have just gone through my Fall clothes and have many that I don't want in my closet, but am having a hard time parting with them. I hope I can pass them along to my sister or a friend before considering other options

    Posted 10.14.12 Reply
  7. gabbeezy wrote:

    I love the lace top! Reminds me of something Leighton Meester would wear on Gossip Girl. This ensemble would look great in my Gossip Girl collection on SocialBliss!

    Posted 10.10.12 Reply
  8. I love your whole outfit, especially the contrast you have with the lace top, belt and cardigan. I would never have thought of buying things from Gap Kids!

    Posted 10.9.12 Reply
  9. CamMi Pham wrote:

    love this outfit very casual chic
    Cammi @

    Posted 10.9.12 Reply
  10. Anonymous wrote:

    Hi Jean! Quick question and request: would you consider writing a "closet tips" post? It would be great to see the inside of your closet and how you keep shoes, bags, jeans, sweaters/knits, etc organized. You seem like someone who has it all figured out!

    Posted 10.9.12 Reply
  11. You Look really very beautiful in this outfit.

    Posted 10.9.12 Reply
  12. Rachel wrote:

    Target totally has leopard look-alike pumps in store right now! Picked up a pair yesterday for $30.

    Posted 10.8.12 Reply
  13. Love your top!

    Kate xo

    Posted 10.8.12 Reply
  14. Althea wrote:

    Hi Jean,
    I have been wanting to get the Saffiano lux tote, may i know what is your model number? thanks alot!

    Posted 10.8.12 Reply
  15. manu wrote:
    Posted 10.8.12 Reply
  16. manu wrote:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

    Posted 10.8.12 Reply
  17. That is a perfect combination, the olive jeans and lace top are fit very well. I must ask one more thing, Do you really 5 feet tall? But it doesn’t look like that. Don’t sell it because you are good on it.

    Posted 10.8.12 Reply
  18. Hi Yolanda – I haven't heard back from the first lady, so please email me at extrapetiteblog at if you're still interested. Thanks!

    Posted 10.7.12 Reply
  19. Thanks for the post, Susan! Unfortunately, my machine doesn't get as close up to the original stitch as I'd like it to…for a seamless connection between original hem and new hem. As a result I've been hand-sewing, which is pretty tedious with thicker denims.

    Posted 10.7.12 Reply
  20. Thanks for the tip, Michela! Too bad I don't live close to them : /

    Posted 10.7.12 Reply
  21. Interesting! Thanks for sharing the video.

    Posted 10.7.12 Reply
  22. Hi Nora – you are right, I think it's important to envision what you can pair a new piece with using items existing in your closet. I've returned many things that seemed great on their own, but after bringing them home, I realized I could not pair more than a handful of outfits with them using existing items. You can do that mentally before buying, or actually try to do pairings after buying (if returning things is convenient for you).

    Posted 10.7.12 Reply
  23. Hi Rebecca! Yes it does make sense…you need to make sure the new leg opening gets tapered in a little more so that it matches up to the length of the original hem that was cut off.

    Posted 10.7.12 Reply
  24. Hi Mailei- I never heard from the first person so please email me at extrapetiteblog at if you're still interested. Thanks!

    Posted 10.7.12 Reply
  25. I think it was "borrowed" by Nick from his dad, and now it's mine : )

    I can't imagine temperatures "going down" to 80's! Oh my!

    Posted 10.7.12 Reply
  26. It's a size L : )

    Posted 10.7.12 Reply
  27. Hi there – Unfortunately, I don't have many tips..I would just suggest keeping them folded up versus on hangers (which will stretch knits out), laying them flat to dry after hand-washing, or, if you prefer not hand-washing, getting them dry cleaned every so often to avoid wear and tear from a washing machine.

    Posted 10.7.12 Reply
  28. Yep, must be the same one!

    Posted 10.7.12 Reply
  29. I would love to find a seamstress that works out of her home, but it's also hard to build up trust with new tailors. It's a shame your friend moved!

    I am keeping the similar Gap one, for the time being, anyways : )

    Posted 10.7.12 Reply
  30. Thanks, Ann! A trim was long overdue : )

    Posted 10.7.12 Reply
  31. Ashley wrote:

    Super cute outfit!! Love your lace top and cheetah heels 🙂

    With Love,

    Posted 10.7.12 Reply
  32. Nora wrote:

    Jean, I've just started watching ALL of your videos after seeing the latest Prada saffiano one and I just want to tell you how much I adore them! I'm also petite (but just in height – I'm def bigger widthwise) but I have learned to pay more attention to fit from everything you've done.

    I was wondering if you'd consider addressing some of the criteria you use when purchasing new pieces. I know that you've said that you are more careful in what you purchase nowadays but for example with that red thrifted skirt – when you bought it, did you know that you could pair it with so many pieces? Is that something you do a mental rundown in your head of what outfits you can have befor eyou buy it? Does that just depend on price point?

    Anyway, just wanted to say I'm a fan. Also your hair looks so great in the videos!

    Posted 10.7.12 Reply
  33. Milna wrote:

    Looking good as always!!!
    Kisses Milna!

    Posted 10.7.12 Reply
  34. I donate my pieces to Salvation Army or Goodwill. I also send my unwanted clothes back home so that they are distributed to needy people.

    Posted 10.7.12 Reply
  35. sophié wrote:

    lovely outfit and wearable look too – not like some other blogs where the outfits are just for posing in. Personally – not keen on lace as I find them itchy – unless super high quality and expensive! To answer your question I go through my wardrobe at the start of the season and eliminate things that are no longer 'right'. this is hard – like teeth extraction – but it needs to be done as we live in a small central london flat. Otherwise our clothes would take over and we would be living in a giant wardrobe. I no longer bother selling on e bay as its just not worth it. The fees are too high and there are too many fraudalant buyers. Just not worth the hassle so they go to charity shops.

    Posted 10.5.12 Reply
  36. Love this cute, casual look. : )

    Posted 10.5.12 Reply
  37. Anonymous wrote:

    You look so pretty and the outfit looks really good on you!
    I ponder a lot when I go shopping so that I don't regret buying something; therefore, I usually only donate clothes that I are starting to look worn-out.

    I have a wonderful mother who hems my jeans for me 🙂 but I'm sure there are tutorial videos on youtube.

    Posted 10.4.12 Reply
  38. Amy Yang wrote:

    As always, you look so great. I love love love your outfit ~

    Posted 10.4.12 Reply
  39. Anonymous wrote:

    Jean, you are totally overpaying for the hem jobs. I pay $10 with my tailor to keep original hem and $6 otherwise & I live in NYC!

    Posted 10.4.12 Reply
  40. Hi Diana – since you're the first to reply, please email me at extrapetiteblog at with your address. If you changed your mind, please let me know as well so I can respond to the other ladies below. Thank you!

    Posted 10.4.12 Reply
  41. Sorry, Julzmak! I only ship where I can track the package, to be safe.

    Posted 10.4.12 Reply
  42. Great decision to part with your item considering it hasn't been worn for a long time. I also go through my closet every once in while and donate any clothes that don't fit or are not my taste any longer. Love the cashmere sweater!

    Posted 10.4.12 Reply
  43. Anonymous wrote:

    Hi Jean,

    Love your blog in helping us all make smarter clothing decisions.

    I know you have a lot of readers and thought this might be a good spot to bring attention to this cause.

    Please watch the PBS documentary posted below and share with others!

    Posted 10.4.12 Reply
  44. Rebecca wrote:

    Hi Jean! I've read your blog for awhile but have never commented. I am also petite but not as petite as you (5'3", 105 lb). I have issues with skinny jeans – they are always SO long and bunchy. When I get them hemmed with the original hem re-attached, they look weird because the hem can't really be "evenly" put back on, if that makes sense – because the jeans are more tapered at the bottom than up higher where it has to be re-attached. How do you deal w/ this issue when you do your own hems? BTW $36 for original hem reattachment is ridiculous. I pay $25 (I live in DC) and even that is painful.

    Posted 10.4.12 Reply

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