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.


36 thoughts on “Casual work: Seahorse print + vintage pearl cabochon

  • Fear the Fellow August 5, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    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! 🙂

  • kileen August 5, 2013 at 11:46 pm

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

  • eliz August 5, 2013 at 11:56 pm

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

  • Anonymous August 6, 2013 at 12:29 am

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

  • Happiness at Mid Life August 6, 2013 at 12:39 am

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


  • ancasdiary August 6, 2013 at 12:57 am

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

  • Le monde des petites August 6, 2013 at 2:23 am

    Love the original print of this dress!!!

    Le monde des petites

  • Sylvia Fashion August 6, 2013 at 3:42 am


    I love your style <3

    Kisses Sylvia :*

  • infotour-africa August 6, 2013 at 5:32 am

    Wow you look great. I like your frock and hair very much. I also like this frock.

  • Elisabeth August 6, 2013 at 6:18 am

    Love the seahorse pattern!

    E from Helsinki

  • Maggie Adofo August 6, 2013 at 7:10 am

    This looks beautiful on you. Even if it is a swimsuit coverup. 🙂

    Maggie A
    Love Mavin

  • FashionEdible August 6, 2013 at 8:49 am

    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.

  • Janine Eccleston August 6, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Cute! I feel like patterns are sometimes really hard to pull off but you did a great job!

  • annie August 6, 2013 at 11:26 am

    lol, if only hospital patients looked as stylish

  • pretty little things August 6, 2013 at 11:30 am

    great dress girl — love it with the belt and jacket! xo

  • countrygirlcityfashion August 6, 2013 at 11:54 am

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

  • AlexisB August 6, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    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!

  • New Mom and the City August 6, 2013 at 12:04 pm
  • Michelle August 6, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    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.

  • Anouka K August 6, 2013 at 2:42 pm

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

  • phiphis blog August 6, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    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.

  • elaineyni August 6, 2013 at 5:32 pm

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

  • Suzie Q August 6, 2013 at 6:07 pm

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

    Suzie Q

  • I am A Love Addict August 6, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    I love your dress

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

  • Anonymous August 7, 2013 at 4:00 am

    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

  • Anonymous August 7, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    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).

  • Eunny August 7, 2013 at 8:43 pm

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

  • Jillian August 7, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    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 🙂

  • Cheryl August 8, 2013 at 3:53 am

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

  • Manon August 8, 2013 at 9:42 am

    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

  • Jean August 8, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    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!

  • Jean August 8, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    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!

  • Jean August 8, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    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.

  • Jean August 26, 2013 at 11:26 pm

    Thanks! It's old from J.Crew

  • Jean August 26, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    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.

Comments are closed.