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!

89 thoughts on “Warm winter days: Caramel stripes + leather panels

  • Reply Erin February 6, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    The leather panels add such a cool vibe to this skirt! I love how pretty and polished you can make an outfit of neutrals look.


  • Reply Adelia Ng February 6, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    Help! Jean! Do u hv any recommendations to remove stains inside branded bags? I've one that I've used for abt a year. The outer side is still perfect, but the inner fabric looks so worn n dirty now :'( . I don't want to pay so much for professional cleaning. Any tips to do it at home?

  • Reply Annab00nana February 6, 2013 at 10:42 pm

    Great blog! You have such a sophisticated modern style! I was wondering if you have any suggestions about finding & styling leather leggings?

  • Reply Jessica @ Here(and)Now February 6, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    Wow, what a wonderful idea! I have never thought of adding leather panels to a basic pencil skirt! Genius my dear!

    Enter My Lendperk Giveaway

  • Reply Anonymous February 7, 2013 at 12:06 am

    Is the schoolboy blazer considered a classic/year round piece from J.crew? I'd love to pick one up for myself, but I'm afraid I can't shell out $162 (current price of the camel blazer) at the moment 🙁

  • Reply Lien February 7, 2013 at 12:08 am

    When looking at your photos, I was thinking the background looked an awful lot like what I normally see from my drives between San Diego and OC/LA and lo and behold… It sure was!

    As always, you look absolutely lovely! Love the wooden heel on those pumps!

  • Reply lauralcornelius February 7, 2013 at 12:34 am

    What a great idea. The skirt looks much more polished with the leather accent. Your hair always look so gorgeous by the way!

  • Reply Joyce February 7, 2013 at 1:58 am

    Hey Jean! Was just wondering how long you've been with Nick… And if by any chance, if it's not really getting anywhere, you should let him go, so he can come to me! 🙂 It's time to share! Thanks, bye!

  • Reply Giovanna February 7, 2013 at 10:06 am

    Such a cute look! Love love love that skirt! I can't believe it's a diy'd F21 skirt!


  • Reply Anonymous February 7, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    Hope u are hunkered down n safe from nemo jean!

  • Reply Sandy a la Mode February 8, 2013 at 1:08 am

    you look soo gorgeous, girl!!! love the stripes!! such a classic look!

    Sandy a la Mode

  • Reply Anonymous February 8, 2013 at 4:19 am


    I would suggest you stay out of Jean's business unless you want to attract bad karma…just saying….

  • Reply PetiteAsianGirl February 8, 2013 at 9:52 am

    I'm sure Joyce meant that in jest ; ) We've been together 8 years and he's a keeper!

  • Reply PetiteAsianGirl February 8, 2013 at 9:52 am

    Good eye, Lien, and I hope you've been doing well!

  • Reply PetiteAsianGirl February 8, 2013 at 9:53 am

    It is a piece that has been brought back for several years now (and similar versions available at the outlet but quality looks lower). If you can wear regular and non-petite sizes, I've seen it go for lower in-stores during late winter sales.

  • Reply PetiteAsianGirl February 8, 2013 at 9:54 am

    I got mine from H&M; (faux leather) and WendysLookbook has a video on styling them!

  • Reply PetiteAsianGirl February 8, 2013 at 9:57 am

    Hi Adelia – Unfortunately I have never attempted to do so, but a quick Google search shows some recommendations. You can also google within The Purse Forum site where I see members have shared tips depending on the types of bags. Good luck!

  • Reply PetiteAsianGirl February 8, 2013 at 9:59 am

    Thank you! Hope you are too if you're in the northeast.

  • Reply Anonymous February 8, 2013 at 11:29 am

    jean did you buy this jcrew jacket during one of their sales? right now the camel is only just about 30% off. trying to decide if its worth it to buy it now or to wait and see if this goes on further markdown.. i hate buying retail price and most of the time 20… 25… 30% doesnt do much for me. My interest is piqued when i spy 40%+ … especially on sale items. i cant help it if im cheap!

  • Reply PetiteAsianGirl February 8, 2013 at 11:35 am

    I bought this before their slew of final sale markdowns because I wasn't sure how low the more classic camel color would go down to, with my size still in stock. I paid more than I would've liked – $150 at just 25% off. I guess the extra cost has been made up in wears since then.

  • Reply Anonymous February 8, 2013 at 11:40 am

    Thanks for the fast reply! strangely that makes me feel better … if you can choke on $150, i suppose i can too. You look fantastic as usual! Youre such an inspiration. Btw- Im in NY and the snow is coming down fast. Stay warm in bean town!

  • Reply Anonymous February 8, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Dressing like a bat? You're funny. But who doesn't like a cashmere sweater, dolman sleeves or not? And the stripes!! Love the skirt. The outfit looks great!

  • Reply Anonymous February 8, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    ı love your fashıon style.. whats your job ? ı think you're fashıon designer because you're very professıonal.. greetings from TURKEY

  • Reply Anonymous February 8, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    is nick going to propose soon? 8 years is a long time. its about time you guys got married! 😛

  • Reply Malu Swartjes February 8, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    Such a lovely outfit! Very well styled! 🙂
    Discover my Stylish Confessions♥
    Discover my Stylish Confessions♥

  • Reply Regine Karpel February 8, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    Love the look!
    the pieces are great!

  • Reply Anonymous February 8, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    This colour combination looks great, very chic! The blazer has great detailing too, very nice.

  • Reply Anonymous February 8, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    Love the black sweater combination with the skirt – can you share the brand name/style of the sweater?

  • Reply FashionEdible February 9, 2013 at 12:37 am

    Classy outfit! I love seeing how people alter store-bought pieces!

    FashionEdible Blog

  • Reply Anonymous February 9, 2013 at 12:59 am

    do you just come to her blog to look at all the pretty pictures? if you took the time to read what she wrote directly under the pictures, youd see she tells you exactly what brand the sweater is and where she got it from.

  • Reply Rosie February 9, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    Stay warm! I used to live in your "corner" of the world but moved elsewhere, and I must admit I'm a tiny bit jealous of your snow! I love how the world becomes so peaceful and white once the sun finally emerges.

  • Reply GEMMA February 10, 2013 at 4:42 am

    Amazing pictures! You are awesome;)

    Come say HI: http://www.gemmamonclus.blogspot.com

    Love, Gemma

  • Reply skepticthanks February 10, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    I can't believe it took too long for me to discover your blog. i'm 5 feet 2 inches and filipina, i also have similar measurements, shop at kids departments,thrift for sport, almost have to have EVERYTHING altered to fit, at least altering is a lot cheaper here in the Philippines.
    It's good to know I'm not alone!

    Keep the posts coming please!

  • Reply Anonymous February 11, 2013 at 10:26 am

    @Anon — you can get 30% off now with the code STYLE30, which makes the camel jacket just $100.

  • Reply Anonymous February 15, 2013 at 12:01 am

    Thanks Jean – I just saw this comment now =) is it weird that I felt super excited that you replied to my post? I'd prefer to go for the petite sizing (I have a short torso and short arms), so I'll be keeping an eye for a good sale 😀

  • Reply Nadia Cohen February 15, 2013 at 9:01 am

    Luv this look…you make stripes look good.

  • Reply Chi November 18, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    Hi Jean, I've been desperately scanning the entire internet for this YSL heel (either the Charlotte or the croc-stamped one) but have no idea how the sizing runs and the internet isn't very helpful on that point. I'm pretty consistently a 5.5 in US heels. Could you tell me what size you purchased (also what size you usually wear in US), and maybe even the insole length? Thanks so much for your help!

  • Reply Anonymous January 25, 2014 at 11:40 am

    Hi Jean,

    I was wondering if you've had to do any alterations on the Schoolboy Jacket? I have the 00P as well, but the sleeves seem very wide and frumpy (even though I'm bigger than you are). Yours look much better and more fitted. Do you have suggestions on whether I should get mine tailored? Thanks so much!

  • Reply Unknown December 28, 2016 at 11:01 pm

    Hi, I have the same question and I don't see the answer in the link above anymore 🙁 Can you please share again? I, too, love the beautiful pictures you take!

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