Winter Work to Weekend: Thick Pine & Wool Squares


J.Crew honeycomb sweater (similar), thrifted Ann Taylor skirt, Burberry coat, Ann Taylor pumps (now $64)

This basic outfit combines two of the warmest pieces in my wardrobe. I found this Ann Taylor skirt at Savers thrift shop for $3 a while back, and liked the thick 100% wool and quality. It’s probably my only success story ever with shrinking a wool item in the dryer. Due to the texture, any damage made to the material by the dryer was not visible (unlike these poor J.Crew pants or this thrifted skirt, which now look faded and worn). I kept opening the dryer at 15 minute intervals to check on progress, before finding success in the fit. It shrunk almost 2″ in width, and 1″ or so in length.
For running errands and on the weekends, I’ve been trying to stretch more wear out of work pencil skirts by rolling up the waist for a shorter, more casual length. This definitely creates some bunchiness at the waistline and hips, but can be concealed under a longer, thicker sweater and/or a roomy jacket.


Gap jacket from a season ago (similar), Chanel bag, Cole Haan flats  

Several readers brought up the issue of the rotating skirt, which I’ll take a stab at addressing soon. This picture reminded me of a similar problem that I hear about often – how to prevent belts from shifting off garments without belt loops. I mentioned this once to a guy friend and he was baffled about how or why a belt would be worn without belt loops : )

For those who enjoy wearing belts for non-utilitarian purposes, one way to keep it from shifting off a skirt is with double-sided fashion tape. This is also useful for keeping any extra length of belts from flapping around, if you don’t want to pull it into a loop as shown here. One strip of tape can be cut up into at least two smaller pieces, but they’re still pricey for what they are. Note: Do not substitute regular double-sided tape for use on clothing…I did that once and it left behind a sticky residue that wouldn’t come out.

Readers – Any other solutions for the shifting belt strap, or recommendations on getting clothing tape for less?

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  1. Anonymous wrote:

    I have a fully lined pencil skirt. The outer layer is made of 100% wool. The lining is probably made of polyester. I tried your method of shrinking the skirt. The outer layer shrunk to a desired length and fit (well, kinda tight… but I am cool with it). But the inner layer doesn't shrink. Now I have to deal with altering the inner layer – lining. haha! It's quite funny looking now.

    Posted 1.3.13 Reply
  2. Samantha wrote:

    What a great idea to get more use out of pencil skirts by rolling them up for a casual look! That's genius Jean! I LOVE my pencil skirts but could never make them "work" for the weekend!

    And thank you for the fantastic giveaway! Hope you had a Merry Christmas!

    xo, sam
    **Style of Sam**

    Posted 12.27.12 Reply
  3. Samantha wrote:

    Wow!! Thanks – never thought of this!

    Posted 12.27.12 Reply
  4. Hi – your site is fantastic and the photos are amazing. Could you and/or your photographer bf maybe share some tips for taking such great photos? I appreciate the choice of backgrounds – a generally uniform colour with some details like the steps for interest – but I think what really makes them is your variety of poses which look so at ease and natural. Even when you're smiling at the camera it looks spontaneous! It's also interesting to see how they have developed since the earliest posts. Thanks

    Posted 12.26.12 Reply
  5. I am becoming OBSESSED with your site!!! Love all of your outfits. Gorgeous! x

    Posted 12.24.12 Reply
  6. Love your skirt – the pattern is fantastic! Very chic.

    Kate xo

    Posted 12.24.12 Reply
  7. Melanie wrote:

    Love it!

    Love xx
    Melanie ~

    Posted 12.23.12 Reply
  8. bettina wrote:

    Great pairings, especially love the army coat paired with a conservative outfit. Happy holidays Jean!

    Posted 12.23.12 Reply
  9. Anonymous wrote:

    Hi Jean, thank you for this post. I don't work in a corporate environment so I find your casual/weekend outfit posts are more useful to me. I hope you'll post more casual outfits like these as I like to copy them. 🙂

    Posted 12.22.12 Reply
  10. HI Jean, this outfit is so chic:) Have you heard of the color theory? I noticed that you looked really in brighter colors. Do try some brighter color pairings soon:) Happy holidays!

    Posted 12.22.12 Reply
  11. Cool style! So stunning!

    Posted 12.22.12 Reply
  12. Jenn wrote:

    I've always needed help on the rotating skirt issue AND the skirt-that-rides-up-when-you-walk-issue. I can't wait to see your post on the first issue.

    Also, I've been using those really tiny/thin rubber bands for hair to hold my belts in place. I've been using black because that's what I have on hand but I'm sure the clear ones would work the best:;=1356141453&sr;=8-16&keywords;=clear+rubberbands

    Granted, they do break sometimes but it's so helpful, especially when you don't want to tuck in the belt.

    Posted 12.21.12 Reply
  13. i love your style!

    ❤The fashion witch❤

    ★My store on line★

    Posted 12.21.12 Reply
  14. Suzie Q wrote:

    Love the hunter green colored sweater, it looks lovely with the trench! Great ideas in ways to shorten the length of the skirt for weekend wear.

    Suzie Q

    Posted 12.21.12 Reply
  15. Ann wrote:

    I love the first pic!!
    So classy and beautiful<3
    But I think I prefer if the skirt is a darker colored piece though.

    Posted 12.21.12 Reply
  16. Noelani wrote:

    Instant weekend update for any outfit, throw a military jacket on it! I have been getting major wear out of a camo version I picked up at Zara this year. Now, if I could just get a Chanel bag too;)

    Posted 12.21.12 Reply
  17. Kelly D. wrote:

    Love your OOTD but noticed that your Gap army jacket was just a bit too long in the sleeves and you had to roll them up. I have the same problem with jackets and anything really that has a long sleeve, Im incredibly petite, only 5 ft tall. If you absolutely love army jackets and camo jackets (and who doesn't) please look at the Gap Kids selection because they are BEST! I purchased two; one army, one camo, both from the little boys department and they were amazing in the fit. All of the proportions were exact and I never have to tailor them like I would if they were the adult sizes. I love your site and your daily outfit and DIY inspirations!

    Posted 12.21.12 Reply
  18. What a great idea to roll up a pencil skirt for a more casual look! So creative! And tks for letting me know not to use double sided regular tape. I had a split second thought of doing that ;).

    Posted 12.21.12 Reply
  19. sophié wrote:

    the way you model this looks fab. However I bought the jumper from j.crew after I saw it on one of your earlier posts and the quality was disappointing. It was on the itchy side to wear and kept leaving fluff on everything else. I had to retire it so its in our local oxfam (charity) shop now…Is it too much to ask to have sweaters made with natural, non itchy fibers? you know quality wool or cashmere, silk…

    Posted 12.21.12 Reply
  20. Anonymous wrote:

    OMG! Brilliant idea. Thanks.

    Posted 12.21.12 Reply
  21. Giovanna wrote:

    Cute look! Loving your sweater! The color and texture are great!


    Posted 12.21.12 Reply
  22. Jackie wrote:

    I just love hunter green on you!

    Yes! Please, please do a tutorial on how to make your skirt stay put!

    Posted 12.21.12 Reply
  23. meaghan wrote:

    When I tuck my shirt into my skirt, I use safety pins as a belt loop. I use the big, quilting pins and use them to make a belt loop on the side seams (you can hardly see the pin this way), and then sometimes near the back zip. Works perfectly, but obviously, the belt has to be thin enough to loop through the safety pin.

    Posted 12.21.12 Reply
  24. Love your look. So classy and elegant!

    Posted 12.21.12 Reply
  25. I love this outfit on you. Different textures and patterns add an interesting touch to the outfit. I'd love to know how to avoid the shifting belt strap. The honeycomb sweater still remains one of my favorite items in my closet. Have a great weekend, Jean!

    Posted 12.21.12 Reply
  26. Anonymous wrote:


    Posted 12.21.12 Reply
  27. Jessy wrote:

    It's refreshing to see you in dark colours. I love this outfit on you, especially your sweater!

    Posted 12.21.12 Reply
  28. Kimberly wrote:

    Gorgeous – I love the color of that sweater and what an amazing find that skirt was…I love Saver's! 🙂

    Posted 12.21.12 Reply
  29. Steffi wrote:

    Um, this is beyond pretty Jean. I love the Honeycomb sweater and wish J.Crew would consider releasing it again.

    Posted 12.21.12 Reply
  30. JulieY wrote:

    Question about the Ann Taylor perfect pumps. Do you think $64 would be the lowest they'd ever go in price? I see there is the 50% off discount right now. Thanks!

    Posted 12.21.12 Reply
  31. S. wrote:

    This looks great, Jean! As for the tape that won't come out, have you tried using white vinegar? If it's the adhesive portion of it, vinegar might remove it. Worth a shot!

    Posted 12.21.12 Reply
  32. Hello! Love the outfit!

    I finger crochet belt loops with sewing thread.

    Posted 12.21.12 Reply
  33. Love your burberry skirt!

    The whole outfit looks so warm n cozy 🙂

    Posted 12.21.12 Reply
  34. You're always so elegant, even in your weekend looks. I love that!

    Unfortunately I don't have other belt tips. I've even thought of adding hidden snap buttons to belts instead of the double sided tape. (Btw, did you try goo gone for the sticky residue that was left when you used regular tape?)

    Posted 12.21.12 Reply
  35. Anonymous wrote:

    I think this is one of my favorite outfits from you – so sophisticated, and very wintery! <3

    Posted 12.21.12 Reply
  36. a simple pearl necklace makes the outfit stand the skirt!

    Posted 12.21.12 Reply
  37. Michelle wrote:

    That skirt was a great find!

    Love the casual picture shots with the rain/hail!

    Posted 12.21.12 Reply
  38. Jane wrote:

    I love that you look so polished even on the weekends! Your thrift finds are awesome–you have a great eye! I really like your pearl necklace. Could you tell me the size of the pearls? 🙂

    Posted 12.21.12 Reply
  39. Abby wrote:

    That skirt is a great find!

    Didn't think about putting tape on a belt. You learn something new every day…

    Posted 12.20.12 Reply
  40. I really like the pine green honeycomb sweater you got from J.crew! Everytime you wear it, it's one of my favourite parings :)! Also kudos for shooting in the rain! I also love the casual outfit with the GAP military jacket. I think I purchased the same GAP jacket a couple years ago :).

    Posted 12.20.12 Reply
  41. It's so perfect for winter 😉

    Posted 12.20.12 Reply
  42. Anonymous wrote:

    This is one of my fav outfits by you! Looking fwd to your post about rotating skirts!

    Posted 12.20.12 Reply
  43. lin wrote:

    nice look, jean. i like the skirt. it's great that you are able to make your work-wear more casual just by shortening the skirt or dressing it down with a casual jacket. that's a very good idea. i'll have to try this. 😉

    Posted 12.20.12 Reply
  44. Erin wrote:

    I love how you made the skirt work for the weekend with some simple rolling. The jacket and sweater are both very chic and conceal any bunching! The colors look great on you, too.


    Posted 12.20.12 Reply

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