Petals, Brights & Stripes at the Boston Public Garden

public garden floral stripes1

Equipment Brett blouse (gift last yr from my friend Elle), Ann Taylor striped dress (similar on sale)
Ted Baker clutch c/o (PS – Nordies’ half-yearly sale has begun! Great source for shoes down to a sz 4)

Nick and I were rushing through the Public Garden en route to lunch with friends, but couldn’t resist pausing to enjoy the unusual peace and quiet. The ducks and swans were gliding leisurely on the lake, and the blooms on the trees were spilling over onto the lawn. It’s moments like these that make me fall in love with Boston all over again.
public garden floral stripes

On my casual wear shopping list is a simple, navy & white knit striped tube skirt. For a basic piece to be worn for years to come, I’ve been looking for something with a sturdy weight and durable material. The ones I’ve tried have been thin and flimsy, or in pilling-prone materials that may not last through washes. It seems easy enough to make with the right fabric find, but til then, I’ve been re-working items in my closet to fill the void. This old dress from Ann Taylor is an office favorite…for slightly more casual outfits, I shortened the length by folding excess fabric over the top of a belt, then buttoned a shirt over the entire upper half. at striped dress Works best for more fitted dresses – 1) Add belt; 2) Fold excess length over top of belt; 3) Conceal w/ blouse

Equipment receives rave reviews from silk blouse lovers, but the cut of most of their items is not petite-friendly. I tried on several styles and the “Brett” fit the most narrow across the shoulders and torso. Since these tops are in regular sizing, the sleeves will be long on petite-length arms. I’ve been enjoying this one as a vibrant, casual-fit top (wearing size XS), and may pay to get the sleeves shortened. public-garden-floral-stripes4While looking for a fun alternative to solid-colored nails, I found that take-out chopsticks can come in handy. Simply dabble some opaque-formula polish onto a piece of cardboard or glossed paper, and stamp the polish evenly onto pre-painted nails. I’ll be using the same method to try flowers next with ~6 circles as petals, and a different colored one for the center.
polka dot nailsWhen stamping with your weaker hand, I found it easiest to rest the wrist of the hand holding the chopstick against a counter top, and move/rotate the hand being stamped. I initially started with toothpicks but the dots were tiny and tedious to do…after switching to chopsticks, it took less than 2 minutes to finish both hands.

public-garden-floral-stripes3This is a scheduled post. I will try to answer any questions upon my return : )
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  1. I love this look! I recently posted an outfit on stripes and it would look great on you since we are similar in frame.

    Posted 6.1.13 Reply
  2. The colors are actually quite creative. I didn't think asian complexions like ours could pull off yellow, but you obviously proved that wrong. Boston looks so beautiful, too.

    Posted 5.29.13 Reply
  3. An Nicole wrote:

    I love this outfits, especially the vibrant top. I need to figure to how to tie my blouses correctly. They always seem to come undone or gets loose.


    Posted 5.29.13 Reply
  4. Stripes are the best way to increase the attractiveness. And I love your outfit; you are look gorgeous with it.

    Posted 5.29.13 Reply
  5. Shirley, I'll have to keep my eyes peeled in case they bring it back like they kept doing with the crochet dress!

    Posted 5.27.13 Reply
  6. Aw, crossing my fingers that they will bring it back like they usually do for popular styles : )

    Posted 5.27.13 Reply
  7. Hi there – congrats on your job! Dress code definitions can vary wildly from office to office, so make sure to observe what your higher-ups wear regularly and on casual Fridays and make sure not to stray from that. For my office, business casual means a skirt no shorter than 2" above the knees or dress pants, plus a blouse that covers up the shoulders and upper arms. I usually wear this with a blazer or cardigan. The distinction from business formal is that the blazer is not required. For casual Fridays I wear dark jeans (not too tight) with a blazer and heels, but I know some officers are much more casual on true "casual Fridays."

    Posted 5.27.13 Reply
  8. Hi Metta! Sorry if I missed your email. I have tried some from aritzia before and was pleased with the sizing. I'd browse there more often if they would open up here in Boston!

    Posted 5.27.13 Reply
  9. Hi there – I feel the exact same way in regular stiffer button-up blouses (the ones typically expected to be worn under suits). I look for thin fabrics that drape nicely, such as more fluid silk or silk-like polyester. This creates a more feminine look vs manly and boxy. I sometimes prefer polyester blouses (can be found at Ann Taylor, H&M;, LOFT petites, etc) to silk because they are machine washable.

    Posted 5.27.13 Reply
  10. My friend got it for me from an Etsy shop – you can search for monogram phone covers there.

    Posted 5.27.13 Reply
  11. That is such a great idea about he outfit! I need to DIY my nails nowww!

    Sending you loads of love ♥♥♥
    See you over at BACKTOFIVE !

    Posted 5.27.13 Reply
  12. Tiny Poems wrote:

    Hi Jean,

    Loving your blog, your posts and your helpful tips for petite women.

    I love wearing blouses/button up shirts, but since I'm petite, they look extremely unflattering on me (they kind of box up). However, they look really flattering on you.

    Could you do a post on what to look out for when buying button-up shirts/button-up blouses?

    Posted 5.27.13 Reply
  13. wowowow..i like the way you look so the nails i learned a new way to stamp my nails…thanks

    Posted 5.26.13 Reply
  14. Anonymous wrote:

    Where did you get your personalized iPhone case?

    Posted 5.26.13 Reply
  15. Irene wrote:

    Awwww…you look super cute Jean! Love the nails and the backdrop is stunning! Looks like the weather in Boston isn't too bad right now – my sister is up there now 🙂

    Posted 5.25.13 Reply
  16. Anonymous wrote:

    Omg the view! The trees, flowers, grass…. it's like heaven 🙂

    Posted 5.25.13 Reply
  17. metta wrote:

    Hi Jean! I guess the email on petite-friendly silk blouses never reached u! U may wish to try out silk tops frm aritzia. I've got thr Bergen top in xxs and it fits so well. Other blouses that I've tried are
    the usha (also ok in xxs) and the Sid (xxs is huge).

    I've tried the Brett before and it was huge!

    Hope this helps : )

    Posted 5.24.13 Reply
  18. I love this bag … your blog is nice i found you on Utube but i subscribe to your Utube chanel your article and reviews are very interresting … Kiss Kitty xoxox

    Posted 5.24.13 Reply
  19. Love the photos! You look gorgeous!

    Posted 5.24.13 Reply
  20. Great look!love the bag!!

    Posted 5.24.13 Reply
  21. The Public Garden is one of my favorite places in Boston when I used to live there! Your photos look so pretty with all those flowering trees 🙂

    I've had that same issue too with Equipment blouses being a bit large. I'll have to look at the Brett!

    <3 sarah

    Life By Appointment 

    Posted 5.24.13 Reply
  22. MizzJ wrote:

    Wow this post has been so useful lol. I need to try that trick with my dresses! And the chopstick idea too!

    Posted 5.24.13 Reply
  23. I LOVE the clutch with this outfit and cute transformation of dress to skirt. What a great tip to use chopsticks for nail art!!!

    Posted 5.23.13 Reply
  24. Shira wrote:

    Love the stripes with the yellow and floral clutch is gorgeous! The photography is also amazing.

    Posted 5.23.13 Reply
  25. Suzie Q wrote:

    I love how you reworked the shift dress into a skirt. I love the color of the blouse and the blooming flowers in the background. Hope you're enjoying your trip!

    Suzie Q

    Posted 5.23.13 Reply
  26. This is so cute!! I love the dress-turned-skirt – I need one like that! Gorgeous shoes too, so classy.

    Posted 5.23.13 Reply
  27. Anonymous wrote:

    Hi Jean!
    Lovely photos!! I adore the way you style everything! You're so inspirational and I wanted to get some advice or insight from you. I just got offered an office job where we dress business casual and have casual Fridays. Could you possibly do a video or a post on what is considered "business casual" and what could be worn on "casual Fridays"? If you want to just answer me on here, it's fine too! (: Thanks Jean!

    Posted 5.23.13 Reply
  28. This is great!! I love using essential pieces for multiple looks and pairings. You look beautiful as always 🙂 Love the last pic of you- looks like you're daydreaming about something really happy

    Sunny with a side of…

    Posted 5.23.13 Reply
  29. Anonymous wrote:

    I love this dress and wish Ann Taylor would rerelease it! One of my friends found it at the outlet but when I went they had one left in a really big size!

    You look like you are dreaming about a boy in the last pic 🙂

    Posted 5.23.13 Reply
  30. ....... wrote:

    I'm really petite and I find that wearing my button downs that way are the most flattering! great outfits and your photos are impeccable!!! xx. gigi. food and beauty blogger @

    Posted 5.23.13 Reply
  31. Love what you did to the dress, such a great idea! Love it with the yellow as well. And such gorgeous photos, love me some Public Garden in the springtime, or, all seasons really…. 🙂
    xx, Emily
    so anthro

    Posted 5.23.13 Reply
  32. Jessy wrote:

    Very cute springtime look at such a beautiful park! I love wearing dresses as skirts. : ) Hope you're having fun in Europe, Jean!

    Posted 5.23.13 Reply
  33. Sarah wrote:

    Lovely idea! But did you notice that the dress is visible under the yellow blouse? Looks impeccable with the chambray, but, in my opinion, not so much with something sheer.

    Posted 5.23.13 Reply
  34. love this trick!! the outfit is adorable! x

    dipped in yellow

    Posted 5.23.13 Reply
  35. New Petite wrote:

    Love the top mixed with stripes and florals!

    Posted 5.23.13 Reply
  36. Love the pattern mixing with stripes and florals!

    Posted 5.23.13 Reply
  37. Joules wrote:

    Love this post! I particularly want to try the button down shirt over dress/skirt idea you've got going here. I feel like I never quite know how to wear button downs, but this idea seems perfect.

    Gorgeous setting, too!

    Style by Joules

    Posted 5.23.13 Reply
  38. Fabulous outfit! You look beautiful. I missed spending time in the Common the last time I was in Boston.

    Posted 5.23.13 Reply
  39. Anonymous wrote:

    Absolutely love it!!

    Posted 5.23.13 Reply
  40. Dice wrote:

    Gorgeous, Jean!

    Posted 5.23.13 Reply
  41. I really need to try the turning a dress into a skirt trick! xo

    Posted 5.23.13 Reply
  42. Anonymous wrote:

    This is still my all time favorite dress on you and I love how you've reworked it for casual looks. Sadly, I found your blog too late and the small sizes were sold out even in the factory version. The dress is now on my (inyour)dream(s) wish list. =P

    Posted 5.23.13 Reply
  43. Anonymous wrote:

    You are gorgeous Jean as always!!!!!!!! LOVE the colors of your outfit!Perfect for spring!!

    Posted 5.23.13 Reply
  44. I am Khatu wrote:

    So jealous of your spring photos. I totally missed out on this.

    Posted 5.23.13 Reply
  45. Looks great! I've been using your tips on turning dresses into skirts just like this. Really helps fill a few voids in my closet! Thanks 🙂

    Posted 5.23.13 Reply
  46. Charlotte wrote:

    This outfit is so lovely! you're so cute and feminine 🙂

    Posted 5.23.13 Reply
  47. Amy wrote:

    I love the top paired with the dress!

    Posted 5.23.13 Reply
  48. poppypixie wrote:

    Cute nails 🙂

    Posted 5.23.13 Reply
  49. Rachelle wrote:

    Love how you turn the dress into a skirt and you mani is so cute.


    Posted 5.23.13 Reply
  50. great look!

    xoxo from rome

    Posted 5.23.13 Reply

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