Casual work: Seahorse print + vintage pearl cabochon


Oh, J.Crew online final sales…I usually try to steer clear, but was reeled in last month by this playful seahorse print. A few of you warned that it was sheer, but I was still unprepared for the paper-thin “dress” that can scrunch up to fit inside my palm. In my haste to order, I mistakenly overlooked that this was filed under “beach coverups” and not dresses, so can’t complain too much!
This dress has indeed served as an easy beach cover-up, but I’ve also tried to stretch the number of wears into the office. The sheerness was easily addressed with the aid of my trusty skin-colored bra and slip skirt (have this one in both colors – XS fits well). I dressed up the casual cotton material with some vintage pearl cabochon pieces and gold accents, plus a basic blazer.
Off the rack with no styling, this dress was dubbed by Nick as my “hospital patient on the loose” gown. I got a regular XXS which I suspected would be long, but it is also a roomy fit throughout (some J.Crew tees in this size are very fitted). Measurements of mine are 14″ across the shoulders, 16″ across the armpits, 18.5″ across the bottom hem, 33″ length – hopefully the 100% cotton will shrink a bit in the dryer. 
seahorse4I considered hemming this dress to wear as a shift mini, but decided it’d be more versatile left as-is. Until I get it in a dryer, this old trick of belting a too-long straight dress came in handy yet again. If you like this print, it’s also available in the form of shorts (kids size 12 remaining, but final sale) – see them on Tam.

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  1. SandA wrote:

    Hi, I know this is a super old post, but I’m considering getting this dress from Poshmark and wondered if it did end up shrinking in the dryer?

    Posted 6.16.21 Reply
  2. Jean wrote:

    Hi Eunny, I popped into a store to see it in person and there wasn't any left? I thought the wrap ties looked a little funny on the mid-section, but the dresses were apparently very popular.

    Posted 8.26.13 Reply
  3. Jean wrote:

    Thanks! It's old from J.Crew

    Posted 8.26.13 Reply
  4. Jean wrote:

    Hi Elaine – the long ones were gifts from my friend (from the Philippines) and the double strand are from Nordstrom rack. I've also bought pearls from China on eBay.

    Posted 8.8.13 Reply
  5. Jean wrote:

    Hi there- thank you for your kind words. I think the answer largely depends on what job function/industry you want to be in 5-10 years. If you're certain the investment management or financial advisory sector is for you, then I would go for the CFA. If there is any chance you're interested in a job switch into another function or industry, I feel an MBA is much more recognized and valued outside of the IM and financial advisory niches. I completed my CFA to help move into a very different field of work from where I started – the move essentially set me back a few years in my career progression, but now I am much happier now. In my specific line of work, they valued a CFA more so than an MBA, so I was motivated to finish that certification. However, outside of my line of work, the CFA holds pretty much no weight. I know this wasn't very helpful – good luck in making your decision, and in whichever path you decide to pursue!

    Posted 8.8.13 Reply
  6. Jean wrote:

    Jillian, please feel free to email me at extrapetiteblog at I'm a little behind on emails but would be more than happy to share my experience with the process!

    Posted 8.8.13 Reply
  7. Manon wrote:

    The dress is so cute! I would never have guessed it was a beach coverup :p

    p.s: The Alice + Olivia dress in your linked post is lovely :3

    Posted 8.8.13 Reply
  8. Cheryl wrote:

    Cute dress. I love your bracelet. It's amazing.

    Posted 8.8.13 Reply
  9. Jillian wrote:

    Hi Jean,
    I remember you mentioned you opt for laser hair removal due to sensitive skin. I'd like to ask you a couple questions… thinking of taking the plunge myself but would like to get a sense of reasonable pricing (paying full price vs. waiting for a groupon). Do you have an email address you could share that I could contact you at? Thanks 🙂

    Posted 8.7.13 Reply
  10. Eunny wrote:

    Very cute!
    By any chance have you looked at the new Banana Republic Issa collection? Any thoughts?

    Posted 8.7.13 Reply
  11. Anonymous wrote:

    Hi Jean! I've been following your blog for long time and admire both your savvy fashion sense as well as your professional credentials.

    I have been working for 4 years in the financial sector and am thinking about moving forward with my career. I know that you are a CFA charterholder-which do you think is more worth it-the CFA or an MBA? From what job postings I've seen, more seem to require an MBA rather than the CFA. Do you think the charter helped you? If costs weren't a factor, would you have gone for the MBA rather than the CFA?

    Thanks in advance! I know this isn't a finance blog, but as I mentioned, I really admire how far you've come in your career. (You mentioned that you've interned and switched jobs a few times already-which is impressive considering that you seem really young).

    Posted 8.7.13 Reply
  12. Anonymous wrote:

    It's so pretty, love this
    There are many pretty dresses here
    Especially Asian people might like a lot of style
    if you don't like this delete my post

    Posted 8.7.13 Reply
  13. I love your dress

    Two GIVEAWAYS on my blog:
    >>>Persunmall Giveaway<<<
    >>>Bellast Jewelry Giveaway<<<

    Posted 8.6.13 Reply
  14. Suzie Q wrote:

    I love the whimsical seahorse print. You transformed it so well into something chic with the belt and blazer!

    Suzie Q

    Posted 8.6.13 Reply
  15. elaineyni wrote:

    Hi Jean, where did you get the pearl necklaces (double/single long) you've been wearing a lot? Thanks.

    Posted 8.6.13 Reply
  16. Nick is so funny! thanks for confirming that it was so thin. j. crew final sales always manage to suck me in despite my best intentions.

    Posted 8.6.13 Reply
  17. Anouka K wrote:

    The dress is so pretty. I totally love the pattern!

    Posted 8.6.13 Reply
  18. Michelle wrote:

    I picked up the same one in the over-sized paisley print. I was warned by Sydney in my initial post that you said it was thin. I had the same reaction as you…so much more thin than expected. Had no clue it was listed under coverup, but that totally makes sense now. Lol at Nick's hospital patient comment.

    Posted 8.6.13 Reply
  19. AlexisB wrote:

    Super cute! I'm loving this print. I bought a sea horse print scarf (navy background, light pink sea horses) from Target a few months ago. I would love to have a skirt in the same print. Perhaps I will buy some material and follow one of your skirt tutorials.

    Also, Nick is so funny!

    Posted 8.6.13 Reply
  20. Love this outfit, the print of that dress is so pretty and I love how you styled it! Cute shoes and blazer.

    Posted 8.6.13 Reply
  21. great dress girl — love it with the belt and jacket! xo

    Posted 8.6.13 Reply
  22. annie wrote:

    lol, if only hospital patients looked as stylish

    Posted 8.6.13 Reply
  23. Cute! I feel like patterns are sometimes really hard to pull off but you did a great job!

    Posted 8.6.13 Reply
  24. Your belt trick does wonders! It looks like you've hemmed/tailored it. Cute print – It's amazing how the dress has completely changed looks from casual to office-appropriate with your few additions.

    Posted 8.6.13 Reply
  25. This looks beautiful on you. Even if it is a swimsuit coverup. 🙂

    Maggie A
    Love Mavin

    Posted 8.6.13 Reply
  26. Elisabeth wrote:

    Love the seahorse pattern!

    E from Helsinki

    Posted 8.6.13 Reply
  27. Wow you look great. I like your frock and hair very much. I also like this frock.

    Posted 8.6.13 Reply
  28. AMAZING.

    I love your style <3

    Kisses Sylvia :*

    Posted 8.6.13 Reply
  29. Love the original print of this dress!!!

    Le monde des petites

    Posted 8.6.13 Reply
  30. ancasdiary wrote:

    The prrint is so lovely! I like the dress with the blazer, it looks very office-like, but very feminine.

    Posted 8.6.13 Reply
  31. Love how you made a beach coverup work appropriate. The pattern is great and the accessories makes all the difference in the world


    Posted 8.6.13 Reply
  32. Anonymous wrote:

    Love the outfit! Where is your gold belt from? Complements your accessories so well!

    Posted 8.6.13 Reply
  33. eliz wrote:

    Wow totally different with the belt trick. I hate final sales…i get too nervous to order because my sizing varies so much.

    Posted 8.5.13 Reply
  34. kileen wrote:

    i love the seahorse print and the belting trick looks very handy. will definitely have to keep that in mind!

    Posted 8.5.13 Reply
  35. haha, I love Nick's comment! Your hair looks very cute in this post and I love how your styling changed it from hospital to fashionable! 🙂

    Posted 8.5.13 Reply

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