Winter neutrals: Classic trench + silk stripes (& Stuart Weitzman Park Boots Review)

Burberry trench sz US 2 (similar), thrifted Ann Taylor top (DIY re-sized), Ann Taylor skirt & necklace
Longchamp tote (similar with zipper), Hue tights, Louboutin Decolettes, H&M; gloves

Last January, I remember treating myself to a study break during Savers thrift store’s 50% off day. While speeding through the racks looking for quality fabrics, I came upon this $3 Ann Taylor blouse. Although the referee stripes are a little dizzying, I loved the clean lines of the hidden-button collar and the airy 100% silk material. It was just a tad boxy…but sure made for good sewing practice!
As it was my first time re-sizing a blouse, my workmanship was decent at best. Even though I finished this project over a year ago, it hasn’t gotten much wear due to a peek-a-boo gapping problem at the chest. I probably cut it a little too narrow there, but just noticed that this was an issue even when the top was oversized (see upper left photo). A little double-sided fashion tape did the trick – for months I was too lazy to go find this tape, and only have some now thanks to Nick’s mom.

For the full steps I took to re-size this blouse (including narrowing the shoulders, slimming the torso, and shortening and slimming the sleeves), please see this post. I used the exact same approach and even the same well-fitting blouse for the pattern:
On an unrelated note, here’s a quick review of some Stuart Weitzman boots that I tried on and returned. They were over half off at Bloomies from $595, and are currently on sale at Nordstrom and a few other retailers ($298 here – don’t forget that Nordies is pretty good at price matching). I am hooked on Stuart Weitzman boots for their buttery soft leather, sleek silhouettes, and relatively slim shafts, but this style just did not work out for me.

*Boots are a deep, non-shiny black leather. Photos below were lightened to show the detailing*


Style: Tall boot with classic-style foot, almond-shaped toe and manageable 3.5″ heel. Inside zipper that goes up halfway, and slim patch of stretchy material (like on the 50/50s) down the back center.

Foot fit: I usually wear between 5 and 5.5 in American brand shoes, and size 5 in SW boots consistently works for me. The middle part of the footbed on these boots felt narrower than usual, and was a very snug fit on me at that point.

Shaft height: Shaft of a sz 5 measured 13″ tall from the back and about 14.5″ tall from the front, measured from the base of the foot not including heels. Please keep in mind that as sizes get bigger, shaft height and circumference may also increase slightly. These were too high for me and hit awkwardly at my lower knee, about an inch above where womens tall Hunter boots do, for reference.

Shaft circumference: Measured about 12 and 5/8th inches around the widest point on a size 5. These are a little wider than the 50/50 because the shaft composition is more leather, and can still stretch a bit due to the back panel. They fit me at my calves, but were too wide at the top opening (which is probably designed to hit at the wearer’s calves). They would’ve fit better circumference-wise over a pair of jeans, but I am looking for boots to wear mostly with tights or bare legs.

I cannot speak to the comfort as I only tried them on for a few minutes, but the quality appeared to be excellent and the leather was extremely soft. Alas, the tall black heeled boot search continues…

stuartweitzman_park1 Hrm, seeing these photos reminds me to try on skirts/pants at home and test how they fare after a little sitting. I almost always do this, but was so excited to have found this Ann Taylor skirt on clearance (months after admiring it as a new arrival) that I ripped the tags off and wore it to work right away. Within 10 minutes of sitting, deep creases formed on both sides which can’t be fully ironed out, even on my highest setting. Oh well – I love the mix of herringbone and faux-leather trim, and will suffer through the creases until a higher-quality replacement is found.


83 thoughts on “Winter neutrals: Classic trench + silk stripes (& Stuart Weitzman Park Boots Review)

  • Reply lv January 26, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    This is a beautiful look! I love the shirt and necklace!


  • Reply Andrea January 26, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    Hi, Jane!

    I just want to say — wow! I'm so glad I found your blog: we have the same measurements, down to our shoe size and weight! I've been browsing like crazy and I love your tips! It's so hard to find clothes that fit. 🙁

    And I'm totally in love with this outfit, haha. 🙂

  • Reply Anonymous January 26, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    Hi Jean,
    I love the outfit (and your blog)!
    Also, I totally get your boot-dilemma– most tend to be too wide to wear with tights. Not sure how warm you'd like your black boots to be (I'm from Canada, so these are the right temperature), but I found these a month ago and really love them:

  • Reply Anonymous January 27, 2013 at 9:58 am

    I love neutrals, great outfit! Very elegant

  • Reply PetiteAsianGirl January 27, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    (Thanks SW for posting below!)

    I love these bags. The "planetes tonal" style is a little more structured than the standard "le pliage" thin nylon styles. I have both and they have lasted me for years. Very lightweight and water-resistant in the rain/snow (not completely waterproof, of course). The Longchamp store also claims they do complimentary repairs, but it takes several weeks.

  • Reply PetiteAsianGirl January 27, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    Glad you like them! I am going to hold out b/c they are too similar to what I already own, but am happy you were able to find your size on sale : )

  • Reply PetiteAsianGirl January 27, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    Thanks for the suggestion! I've definitely eyed a few VS style boots. Haven't found any yet with a low and narrow enough shaft but the general styles I've seen look very classic.

  • Reply PetiteAsianGirl January 27, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    Hi Kaity – Thanks for sharing! Am checking it out.

  • Reply PetiteAsianGirl January 27, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    Ah – makes sense!

  • Reply PetiteAsianGirl January 27, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    Thanks for the suggestions! Hope it works : ) And anon – sorry about the mishap, but the cool wool jacket sure sounds unique.

  • Reply PetiteAsianGirl January 27, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    They are 10mm pearls from eBay

  • Reply PetiteAsianGirl January 27, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    I do have one, but not Jiffy…mine only works on light fabrics and spurts water everywhere, so may have to upgrade : )

  • Reply PetiteAsianGirl January 27, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    Just looked them up – gorgeous boots! A little tall for me with the platform, but sure are beautiful.

  • Reply PetiteAsianGirl January 27, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    They are Hue control top opaque hose – love them! And I wear earmuffs.

  • Reply PetiteAsianGirl January 27, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    I didn't out of laziness, but I am sure that the proper method would entail using a thinner needle! Good luck!

  • Reply PetiteAsianGirl January 27, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    Bela – I'm so happy to hear! I would actually love to take one myself again as an adult (since so much of what I learned as a teen was…forgotten). You will have to share some of your first at-home projects with us.

  • Reply PetiteAsianGirl January 27, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    You can make sure to have it altered to fit properly (usually if the waist is too loose and the skirt sits low on your hips, it's easy to rotate and turn around). You can also use double sided fashion tape which is very handy, or sew in some non-slip / non-skid strips on the inside waistband.

  • Reply Erin January 27, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    This outfit is so polished and chic. Great job on the alterations!


  • Reply chiara January 28, 2013 at 12:52 am

    Love the whole outfit.I whish I had your sewing skills…

  • Reply Serena Aloserlikeme January 28, 2013 at 8:22 am

    OMG…I love this outfit…and you're so pretty!
    So classy…

    A loser like me

  • Reply Sandy a la Mode January 28, 2013 at 10:05 am

    you look amazing girl! love this neutral and black look! so classy!!

    Sandy a la Mode

  • Reply lisacng @ January 28, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    Love the blouse and skirt combo! Love the photos with the stonewall background too. LOVELY!

  • Reply Bree TheUrbanUmbrella January 28, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    such a beautiful outfit! LOVE that blouse! <3

  • Reply Princess A January 28, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    The outfit is well put together & I love the necklace to bits!

  • Reply Anonymous January 29, 2013 at 11:49 pm

    Great Look! I've followed your blog for a while. Your blog really give me, a petite girl, inspiration and confidence to dress myself. Thank you!!
    Can I ask what nail polish you wear in the picture?

  • Reply Dahlia January 30, 2013 at 7:24 am

    I just found you blog and I absolutely love your style! I'm by no means a petit person, a bit bigger that your average person even. I still like your style, tough I can't maybe get the same peaces I love the way you dress your self and how you present your clothes. So Iäll come in here again, to get inspired and to see your lovely style!


  • Reply L.E.N January 30, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    I found your blog yesterday and was immediately drawn to it!
    Spending three hrs, I read all of your posts to the very first one…
    Amazed your jaw-dropping talent to adjust outfits.
    Because I have the same problems finding clothes:
    I'm asian living in Japan and 5.1 F tall!

    So, thank you so much for your valuable information!

  • Reply gaby February 1, 2013 at 11:49 pm

    Great shirt !!! Love your look and creations!!!
    If you have time check out my post !!!


  • Reply Anonymous February 4, 2013 at 12:00 am

    Wow this looks so elegant! Love it

  • Reply ilun February 4, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    The trench coat tops this outfit so well!

  • Reply Chanel Wee February 26, 2013 at 10:08 am

    Hi Jean, I want to thank you for being such an inspiration. I particularly liked your layering of necklaces and how the entire look is complemented, and not overwhelmed, by the trench I must confess that I will be shamelessly deriving my look for my college admissions interview from this – elegant, stylish and work-appropriate! Sadly the only part of the outfit which will look somewhat close to yours will be my blouse…but nonetheless thank you! You're a lifesaver!

  • Reply Eylem December 14, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    Hi Jean, I occasionally come across your blog due my never ending search for narrow calf dress boots. I am not as petite as you are, 5'4", but I have 12" wide calves and living in Boston I am always in need of boots that I can wear to work, what a pain. I recently came across another blog by Little Contessa, she has 12" calves too and looking at how these boots look you probably are in the same boat. Please let us know if you can find fitting (also not fitting) boots. That will save all of us a lot of time and money. I am tired of buying and returning boots, and to be honest I do not feel like paying $500+ for a pair and only wear it a season. Heels do get damaged very quickly, especially if you walk, and it is VERY expensive to get them repaired. I do not understand how cobblers make money when they charge $30 for the simples cap change…so I refuse to spend money on repairs.

  • Reply Anonymous July 26, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    Hi Jean! I noticed that you have both the simple 100s and décolleté 858s. I was wondering which were more comfortable for you? Also, are you the same size in both? Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.