Warm winter days: Caramel stripes + leather panels


J.Crew Schoolboy blazer in petite (on sale), Forever21 skirt with leather panels added (similar)
Robert Rodriguez cashmere dolman sweater (similar), YSL heels (similar),  Chanel WOC
In the midst of a cold, snowy spell this week, I dug out these photos from milder days in southern California. I saw this skirt on Wendy a while back, and was surprised that the base was from Forever21. She has a penchant for adding leather accents to mass-market clothing (ie. this ASOS blazer), effectively transforming them into unique, customized pieces. I loved the resulting skirt on her, and couldn’t believe she had a second one made to share!
stripedskirt1 For brunch with friends in LA, I wore this simply with a cozy cashmere sweater. This is one of my oldest eBay finds, and I love the casual fit and generous dolman sleeves. It took Nick about 5 years to accept his girlfriend dressing like a bat, but that milestone has been passed.

I’ve also worn this skirt to work as shown with the blazer. I was initially hesitant, since the skirt is snug on me as evidenced by the creases across the hips. However, the longer length helps, and it received so many compliments and inquiries at my office. My colleagues are dazzled by my creative and thoughtful friends – every time they ask where a skirt is from, the answer seems to be “custom” or “hand-made” (cue boggled-looking eyes). And speaking of thoughtful friends, I completely have Cee to thank for letting me know about these shoes for sale!
This blazer was a real workhorse during my last trip. Here it was with festive red pants, and here’s another casual pairing for touring the plentiful craft breweries in San Diego. When trying to pack light for a variety of occasions, you can’t go wrong with items in this neutral color. 

stripedskirt5(had slipped into comfy flats for the car ride…not barefoot!)

These photos were actually taken at a rest stop between LA and San Diego. We stopped for a potty break, and stayed for the beautiful sunset after the storm.

Readers – Hope you’re having a wonderful week, and staying warm and dry!
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  1. minnieyao wrote:

    I really like how you paired the striped dress with the black cropped sweater!

    Posted 2.6.13 Reply
  2. Christie wrote:

    That is such a fabulous idea to add leather trimmings to a more basic item! Totally feel inspired by this idea.

    I love this outfit on you, the neutral blazer paired with the skirt is amazing!



    Posted 2.6.13 Reply
  3. Suzie Q wrote:

    I love the way you styled the striped/leather skirt with the neutral colored blazer. Looks so modern yet classic. The custom-made skirt looks so great on you and Wendy!

    Suzie Q

    Posted 2.6.13 Reply
  4. Mary-Irene wrote:

    I think you may have sold me on that JCrew Schoolboy blazer! It really seems so versatile!

    Posted 2.6.13 Reply
  5. Anonymous wrote:

    i really love this outfit, jean! and i totally laughed at the bat comment haha!

    Posted 2.6.13 Reply
  6. Oooh, I love this outfit! I remember seeing the skirt on Wendy and you both look amazing in it! I'm constantly inspired by the way you can mix and match high and low end pieces to make such classy outfits.

    Posted 2.6.13 Reply
  7. Niters wrote:

    Did you add the leather panels yourself? Amazing!

    Posted 2.6.13 Reply
  8. newpetite wrote:

    One of my most fav look!! Love the color scheme and the leather panel ad everything!! Can you tell me more about the flats you are wearing here.

    Posted 2.6.13 Reply
  9. Anonymous wrote:

    Very cute look! When I saw the first photo, I was instantly reminded of Wendys Lookbook – must be the warm socal weather vibe!

    Posted 2.6.13 Reply
  10. Anonymous wrote:

    At first glance, I thought I was on Wendy's blog. Your post in the first picture is exactly the type of posture that Wendy has all the time. Nothing's wrong with it though as I like both of your blogs. Also, I love the jcrew boyfriend blazers as they are very classic. Although I must say that I am getting tired of seeing the same blazers on pretty all the bloggers in the petite and non-petite community. I wish other brands can be featured more too so we can have more options (also, I am thinking that's one of the reasons jcrew prices are so high because of the rising media/popularity). On the upside, it's good to see the same pieces being styled by different bloggers in different ways though.

    Posted 2.6.13 Reply
  11. Arts wrote:

    Jean, are those shoes comfortable? I love high heels but don't find comfortable ones very often.

    Posted 2.6.13 Reply
  12. gorgeous look – i love that blazer on you and especially how versatile it is. all of your stylings show just how many ways it can be worn giving different looks. the skirt is TDF.

    xox P

    Posted 2.6.13 Reply
  13. Hi Stephanie – her tailor (Hector in LA) did it.

    Posted 2.6.13 Reply
  14. Thank you! Cee (blogger at Brighten Day) helped me buy them pre-owned from someone selling them for a little under $200.

    Posted 2.6.13 Reply
  15. Dry clean – I wouldn't recommend putting anything leather into the washer or dryer.

    Posted 2.6.13 Reply
  16. Hi Sahar – that's actually all leather and part of the design of the shoe (two colors in the back). It's not elastic or stretchy.

    Posted 2.6.13 Reply
  17. Hi there – I'm wearing 00P here.

    Posted 2.6.13 Reply
  18. Of course (& thank you!)! Specific camera and lens info are linked here: http://www.extrapetite.com/p/about.html

    Posted 2.6.13 Reply
  19. Anonymous wrote:

    Hi Jean, I'm looking to buy this blazer. What size do you wear? I think we are the same size. I never bought anything from Jcrew before and wanted to make sure that I get the right size since it's final sale.

    Posted 2.6.13 Reply
  20. choochooli wrote:

    Hi Jean, this is my first time commenting on your blog, even though I've been a reader for a long time. I subscribe to many blogs via my google reader, but yours has always been one of my favourites! I love reading through whatever you have to say, they're always so thorough and well researched! Your thriftiness is another aspect that I love so much. I recently starting blogging too, and one of the inspirations was your blog and passion for style, so thank you! 🙂 I'm less than a month into the process, but I've already noticed that blogging has made me more aware of my wardrobe, what my tendencies are, and what I should try to develop it further.

    Great outfit, I love every single piece, I love the photography too!

    Posted 2.6.13 Reply
  21. Rosie wrote:

    Sorry, that's $139.99. Still a deal!

    Posted 2.6.13 Reply
  22. Rosie wrote:

    The camel blazer is now just $129.99 at jcrew.com. I have the blue one and get so many complements on it. That shows the power of a well tailored garment — thanks, Jean, for teaching me the importance of good fit!

    Posted 2.6.13 Reply
  23. How kind of Wendy to share that skirt with you. It's so cool! Love it with the sweater (LOL bat) and the blazer. Very nice photos at the sunset rest stop!!! I love that you're always prepared with the camera and that you actually wear these outfits IRL and weren't planning for a shoot & totally nailed it!

    Posted 2.6.13 Reply
  24. Shira wrote:

    Love that skirt and blazer-such an awesome neutral look! xoxo

    Posted 2.6.13 Reply
  25. Love the camel blazer and you look absolutely lovely in both outfits. Very elegant


    Posted 2.6.13 Reply
  26. Absolutely love this ensemble. Those caramel stripes are amazing with that jacket!

    Posted 2.6.13 Reply
  27. Anonymous wrote:

    Hi Jean,
    I am petite, but curvy, and have a really hard time finding long shirts/tunics that cover my hip and lady areas, haha. Any recommendations? Thanks!

    Posted 2.6.13 Reply
  28. recently got that same blazer for myself and love it–though it looks much better on you. and so funny that nick has finally reached that milestone with you—i love that cozy sweater!

    Posted 2.6.13 Reply
  29. Lissy wrote:

    Ahh the skirt is fab, how creative! I'm wishing for some warmer weather.

    Posted 2.6.13 Reply
  30. Rachelle wrote:

    Love this outfit, and the wooden heels are perfect.


    Posted 2.6.13 Reply
  31. Hi,

    I have a question regarding this post of yours:

    About the shoes!I also have very small feet and it's hard to find shoes that feet and don't come out of my foot!
    I see something like a stretch band behind the shoe. is that a trick to hold the shoe tight around foot or it's just part of the shoe?
    i appreciate if you can send me an email or make a post about this.

    Posted 2.6.13 Reply
  32. Anonymous wrote:

    I love the skirt..it looks amazing 🙂


    Posted 2.6.13 Reply
  33. Great skirt!

    Kate xo petite-adventures.blogspot.ca

    Posted 2.6.13 Reply
  34. Anonymous wrote:

    just chanced upon your blog only recently, but i have to say, it's now one of my favourites! i Love your style!

    Posted 2.6.13 Reply
  35. Great skirt and love the almost dusky background of the pics!


    Posted 2.6.13 Reply
  36. Anonymous wrote:

    How do you clean the skirt with the leather panels? Does it go into the washer/dryer?

    Posted 2.6.13 Reply
  37. Carol Li wrote:

    I love the skirt on you. At first I thought it was very wendy-esque and then read on to find out that it was gifted by wendy!


    Posted 2.6.13 Reply
  38. wendy is THE best at customizing pieces by adding faux leather panels/pockets! i love this skirt on you too! and totally LOL'ing at the "bat" comment. i have heard similar comments from the hubby. =)

    xoxo, jenn
    the stylish housewife

    Posted 2.6.13 Reply
  39. Anonymous wrote:

    love the skirt and pumps! do you mind sharing how much you got them for and where? cant afford to pay full retail for them.

    Posted 2.6.13 Reply
  40. Anonymous wrote:

    Jean, could you please share with us what kind of camera/lens you use for shooting the gorgeous pictures on your blog?

    Posted 2.6.13 Reply
  41. Jean, these pics are gorgeous! I'm loving the dusk-y / cloudy backdrop as well as your ensemble. I don't think it's possible for you to put together something poorly.

    Posted 2.6.13 Reply
  42. Lulu wrote:

    That sweater…it's amazing!

    Posted 2.6.13 Reply
  43. I love that skirt on you!! The skirt is perfection!! Do you know if Wendy sewed it herself or if she brought it somewhere?


    Posted 2.6.13 Reply
  44. Thank you, Grace! I almost did (loved it there), but went to school in Boston instead.

    Posted 2.6.13 Reply
  45. Don't let the SO's scrunched up nose dictate your style! Stay strong and wear what you love ; )

    Posted 2.6.13 Reply
  46. Anonymous wrote:

    Jean, did you attended college at UCLA? just wondering….

    I love your blog a lot because I get to learn about fashion. Thank you.


    Posted 2.6.13 Reply
  47. Michelle wrote:

    Love the leather paneling on this skirt. The color combo looks great on you. Another favorite. If I had a Pinterest, I would be Pinning this. 🙂

    It is tough when your significant other does not always love an item as much as you, huh? I have put lots of items back on the rack after seeing the disgusted face. :/

    Those heels are awesome! I really should try pumps.

    Posted 2.6.13 Reply
  48. Sweatshirt + soft leggings (yes, I know fashionistas out there are cringing) are the best! I have an old kids UCLA hoodie and H&M; kids leggings that I've worn to pieces. Jeans might be too restricting if they're a skinny style and end up cutting off circulation. If you want to look presentable, just make sure to wear a longer top or tunic to cover up the crotch with leggings and some comfy but chic black flats.

    Posted 2.6.13 Reply
  49. Julia wrote:

    You look elegant with the caramel+black combination! LA to SD is not a long drive, but for longer road trips or flight travels, what do you usually wear? I am very curious and hope one day you would have a post dedicated to the comfy but still presentable travel outfits (sweatshirt+jeans maybe? jk!)

    Julia from Closet de Jules

    Posted 2.6.13 Reply

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