Feminine favorites: Ivory crochet + nautical stripes

lace crochet and stripes3

Ann Taylor Factory dress (from 2011), H&M; blazer (may still be in stores, item # 067391 $34.95)
Ann Taylor patent pumps, DIY skirt (last worn here), Stella & Dot “ever after” necklace c/o

This dress was part of a duplicate purchase that I have no regrets about. Whether worn alone or layered, the girly crochet and scallop details brighten up my morning. My office is an A/C ice box this month, so blazers and layers have been essential. It doesn’t look like Ann Taylor brought this style dress back for a 3rd year, but you never know…lace crochet and stripes1I was just thinking of stowing away leftover fabric from this skirt, when I learned about “Skirting the Issue” via Sew Petite Gal. This is a month-long initiative started by two ladies to sew items for charity. They accept your homemade donations and help distribute them (this year it’s girls skirts for foster home closets, pillowcases for children’s hospitals, blankets, and more), provide clear tutorials, and encourage participants to look for local organizations in need. The ladies also happen to be excellent writers and had me drawn in to an evening of reading.

Simple Simon and Co

My skills are nowhere near the level to be making serious garments for others, but an elastic-waist skirt I think I can do! I’ll be sitting down on Sunday to attempt some using their provided girls size chart. I love the feeling of wearing garments hand-made with care (have been spoiled by several talented, gracious friends who sew), and hope that some of the recipients will too.
lace crochet and stripesLooking at these photos, the skirt in this outfit was actually too short for work – office standard is no higher than 2″ above the knees. Mental note to wear it a little lower on the waist next time (benefits of an elastic band), and fill up any elongated waist space with a wide belt. lace crochet and stripes2 To keep this dress looking white, my typically lazy self has been diligent about washing it after every 2 wears in the summer. Even though the tag says dry clean only, I gently hand wash cold in the sink (focusing on neckline and armholes, where perspiration is more likely to develop into stains) then air-dry. Deviating from care tag instructions is always at your own risk, but since several readers also own this dress, I just wanted to share that hand washing vs. costly dry cleaning has worked so far for me.

When you purchase through the links on this blog, I may earn a commission. Thank you for your support!

When you purchase through the links on this blog, I may earn a commission. Thank you for your support!

For Daily Posts

Leave a Comment


  1. So awesome that you are involving the boys, Janki! Did you look up Dell hospital and confirm they accept the donations, or were they on a donation list? Please do keep me posted on how your pillowcases come out.

    Posted 7.15.13 Reply
  2. Thanks, Kelly! I tried my friend Ping's tutorial here http://allaboutfashionstuff.blogspot.com/2013/05/easy-hair-tutorial-soft-waves.html

    Posted 7.15.13 Reply
  3. Thanks Kelsie! It's just from outdoor activities despite lots of sunscreen…I've tried a few self-tanners, but they unfortunately always rub off on clothes.

    Posted 7.15.13 Reply
  4. Thank you! I did one a while back, but the basic easy idea is to start with a lightweight printed layer, then build up sticking with colors in the same color family and/or neutrals. http://www.extrapetite.com/2011/07/petite-fashion-challenge-9-work-attire.html

    Posted 7.15.13 Reply
  5. Unfortunately I won't have time to sew garments for sale, but I appreciate you even being interested! : )

    Posted 7.15.13 Reply
  6. THanks for the tip – I've heard about Woolite many times, but does it actually clean deeply enough to remove perspiration or stains?

    Posted 7.15.13 Reply
  7. Thanks, Heidi! I tried to follow my friend Ping's tutorial here but my hair doesn't hold as well. Her hair always looks amazing http://allaboutfashionstuff.blogspot.com/2013/05/easy-hair-tutorial-soft-waves.html

    Posted 7.15.13 Reply
  8. I love the lace and striped combo. GENIUS and super chic!
    Please check out my fashion blog for new post today.



    Posted 7.15.13 Reply
  9. Adorable outfit!

    Posted 7.14.13 Reply
  10. Heidi wrote:

    I love how you styled your hair here! Please consider posting a tutorial? 🙂

    Posted 7.14.13 Reply
  11. Unknown wrote:

    Hi Jean! To save time and money on dry cleaning, I've discovered Woolite Dry Clean at Home cloths! http://www.amazon.com/Dry-Cleaners-Secret-Cleaning-14-Count/dp/B0006G3PM8 I've used these several times with good results. Basically you just throw in 3-4 dry clean only garments in a dryer with one cloth for 30 minutes. Viola, dry cleaning at home for a fraction of the price 😀

    Posted 7.14.13 Reply
  12. Jean you always look so amazing!I absolutely love your skirt!

    A Petite Treat

    Posted 7.13.13 Reply
  13. Carol Li wrote:

    I love this outfit on you. Navy & white is such a classic colour combination. I liked how you have added the lace for a twist on the nautical theme.


    Posted 7.13.13 Reply
  14. Lady Indo wrote:

    Looks gorgeous 🙂 I can't believe that skirt doesn't fit your work's regulations though; it's pretty long, I think! 🙂


    Posted 7.12.13 Reply
  15. Anonymous wrote:

    So obvious who the first two anons are . Can tell by their writing style and argument. Lol

    Posted 7.12.13 Reply
  16. Dice wrote:

    Love the look, Jean! Would you be willing to make the skirt to sell?

    Posted 7.12.13 Reply
  17. beautiful, jean!!! love the lace!

    Posted 7.12.13 Reply
  18. Yin wrote:

    Simply beautiful!

    Posted 7.12.13 Reply
  19. this is fab!!! such a stunning look

    Posted 7.12.13 Reply
  20. Oh how I wish I could sew! Love this look on you!

    XOXO, Jenn
    The Stylish Housewife

    Posted 7.12.13 Reply
  21. Belle B wrote:

    I am very impressed with the way you combined so many pieces in your wardrobe, and of course the fact that you now sew your own clothes! The way you expand the versatility of every single item, and how well you take care of them, are definitely inspirational to me.
    Thank you so much, I learn so much from you every time I read your post.

    Posted 7.12.13 Reply
  22. Such a classy outfit! And what a great idea to sew for people that may not be as fortunate!


    Posted 7.12.13 Reply
  23. Laura wrote:

    A crochet top (or crochet anything, really) is not something I would normally gravitate to, but I love the way you've styled this!

    Posted 7.12.13 Reply
  24. looksbymc wrote:

    Love this outfit! Like the two different patterns, they go well together =)


    Posted 7.11.13 Reply
  25. Jessica wrote:

    If you check out Jean's flickr account and click on the details of the picture, you would see that the pictures for this post were taken on July 8, 2013. One day before said blogger posted her outfit. Also, the plagiarism goes beyond merely copying outfits.

    Posted 7.11.13 Reply
  26. Anonymous wrote:

    This is too funny. Check the IP address of the first anon commenter, I bet it's from the LA area.

    Posted 7.11.13 Reply
  27. Anonymous wrote:

    Anonymous– Jean first featured the denim jacket and maxi skirt outfit during her trip to London back in May. It seems to me that Jean and most of her readers have largely moved on from that whole issue. She cannot help it if some people (yourself included) continue to bring it up. Lastly, Jean's recent posts have featured vacations, weekend activities, new brands, philanthropic opportunities, unique outfits featuring DIY items, and item reviews. It hardly sounds like she's running out of ideas.

    Posted 7.11.13 Reply
  28. Anonymous wrote:

    Love this! I too have issues with air conditioners. Could you do some more articles on layering – its not my area of strength. Thanks.

    Posted 7.11.13 Reply
  29. I love how you're styling a dress as a top, making it very versatile and getting as many uses as you can. I learned about Skirting the Issue from SPG also, and think that it's a great way to give back to others. I think I will be doing that this weekend, even though my sewing skills aren't that great yet.

    Posted 7.11.13 Reply
  30. Suzie Q wrote:

    The sewing project sounds like such a great cause! Love this outfit. I wish they would bring back the dress for an upcoming season! My workplace is also conservative on skirt lengths. At least for colder months, I wear black tights for the skirts/dresses that don't make the cutoff so it still isn't really breaking the rules.

    Suzie Q

    Posted 7.11.13 Reply
  31. Anonymous wrote:

    She also posted a denim jacket and long skirt and you posted basically the same a week later. I think you might be running out of ideas and taking advantage of her. I don't think its fair.

    Posted 7.11.13 Reply
  32. Anon, thanks for your feedback. I've always asked commenters to please not use names regarding that issue, and thus moderated it. I think it's likely to have similar outfits or the same pieces if people shop at the same places for years. However, I don't wish to speak about the specific topic you bring up other than to just say that for me, it was not about occasional similar clothing choices. I don't expect anyone not directly involved to understand what went on behind the scenes, but hope that at this point, readers on either side can refrain from bringing it up on here.

    Posted 7.11.13 Reply
  33. Ann Robie wrote:

    Stunning look for petit girl! Thank you for one more idea;)

    Posted 7.11.13 Reply
  34. Anonymous wrote:

    You and your fan always directly or indirectly state that another blogger always copy your outfits ideas, but look at this outfit of yours… the other blogger posted an outfit 2 days ago, with the same dress as the top (in black instead of white), and a potka dots skirts instead of striped skirt. I am not saying that you are copying her, but what I'm trying to say is that because you are both petites and shop at similar stores, it is very possible that you both come up with the same outfit ideas. How do you feel if people think that you copied her with this outfit (and in fact you didn't). Not a good feeling, right?

    Posted 7.11.13 Reply
  35. Jessy Dust wrote:

    Love this outfit, Jean! The skirt is so cute. I think you've inspired me to hunt for a similar one. I don't have the skills (or machine) to sew one myself just yet. : )

    Posted 7.11.13 Reply
  36. Ann wrote:

    What a pretty outfit… I wish they'll bring back this dress, esp in the navy color.

    Posted 7.11.13 Reply
  37. Anonymous wrote:

    GORGEOUS OUTFIT – your style has helped me on many occasions on early mornings when I have no idea what to wear to work! thank you 🙂

    Posted 7.11.13 Reply
  38. Allison M wrote:

    Love it! I have yet to wear a dress as a top yet but inspired. Thanks!

    reaches the sky

    Posted 7.11.13 Reply
  39. Janki wrote:

    Oh Jean! Just when I think I can't love your blog any more, you post this fantastic link about helping local charities with sewing. I was inspired to take a beginning sewing class last year due to your DIY. I've been meaning to get some more alterations done but I think I'm going to do some of these projects from Skirting the Issue first! I bought some fun fabric and will do the pillowcases (which is this week's project). I'm going to send them to the Dell Children's hospital here in Austin.

    I hope you've inspired other readers to do the same. If you read the blog you linked to carefully, there is a post with the "Starfish" story (even if you can't save all the starfish, for the one you help, you are a hero).

    I'm taking my boys to Hobby Lobby today to pick out some fabric and make some pillow cases.

    I'm also liking how your are gravitating to longer hems. For us shorties, it's really easy to just hike up our skirts since no one really notices. But I do think I look classier with a mid-knee cap length.

    Posted 7.11.13 Reply
  40. Anonymous wrote:

    love the outfit & hair!

    Posted 7.11.13 Reply
  41. Your tan looks great! Is it a bronzer you're using or au-natural?

    Posted 7.11.13 Reply
  42. I love how easy you make layering a dress look…gorgeous!

    Posted 7.11.13 Reply
  43. Jessica wrote:

    Love your outfit!

    Posted 7.11.13 Reply
  44. Kelly wrote:

    This look is lovely. 🙂

    If I may ask, how did you style your hair? I love the waves and have a hard time achieving a look like this.

    Posted 7.11.13 Reply
  45. Yuen Lim wrote:

    Love this look! Something I will definitely wear (:
    Top and skirt are both so cute!

    The Craziest Paradigm – a 'lil bit of rust & stardust

    Posted 7.11.13 Reply
  46. Lov your dress!!! I want the same! Unfortunately, it's not on sale anymore (and I don't live in the US!!!)
    Your outfit is so nice!!!

    Jul and Mél, from Le monde des petites

    Posted 7.11.13 Reply
  47. lovely outfit! The top looks so great with the skirt… I like it

    Posted 7.11.13 Reply
  48. This may be my favorite outfit you've posted – Sophisticated and fun.


    Posted 7.11.13 Reply
  49. I love the crochet top! The stripe skirt is super cute! I love your style!!!


    Posted 7.11.13 Reply
  50. Amazing look

    Posted 7.11.13 Reply

Get the newsletter!

What updates would you like?