Simple striped shift dress (& Yoox sandal review)

Striped Shift Dress5

Gap kids dress (now <$10) sz L, altered, Left: J.Crew bag, hat from Khatu (similar)Glitter Pink sandals
Right: H&M; scarf, Coach court bag (current version), Adrienne Vittadini booties (similar), U.O. watch

Being smaller-chested, one style dress that I’ve come to embrace is the shift mini. However, this cut often toes the line between looking like a big ole (albeit comfy) pillowcase, versus something chic. For me, an ideally-fitting shift should graze over the widest parts of my body (chest and hips) while maintaining straight lines on each side, and follow a slight A-shape from the shoulders down to the hem. A higher hemline helps balance the looser cut, and flat shoes can help balance the shorter length. I initially thought this dress fit passable off-the-rack, then started to notice the pillowcase effect in some photos. After some trial and error, about 1-inch slimmed along each side maintained the shift style for me without being too shapeless.
Striped Shift Dress1
I wore this dress with minimal styling over the weekend, with a sun-sheilding hat, bright bag, and flat strappy sandals. It’s too early for boots, but I just snapped a few photos to show how easy it is to transition this for Fall. My shoes in both pairings are usually touted as “no-no’s” for petite women, but I can’t help but love ankle-strap / ankle-length footwear! Choosing a neutral color and wearing with higher hemlines help mitigate the leg-truncating effect.
Striped Shift Dress3 This dress is 100% cotton, made in Indonesia. The inside is a terry-like material. If the length fits well as-is, I would suggest keeping it out of a dryer. My size L before alterations measured: 12.75″across the shoulders, 15.5″ across the chest, 18.75″ across the bottom opening, and 31″ length.Striped Shift Dress4
Last month, while ordering this handbag, I remembered that size 5 gal Crystalin (how cute is she?) had luck with small sandals from the same website. I started browsing by size and fell into a black hole of options, without even leaving the sale section. I’ve been looking for flat, neutral sandals that aren’t too plain, and ended up ordering these from Glitter Pink (not the most alluring brand name for grown women, I know…).
Striped Shift Dress
The shoes turned out to be exactly what I wanted, with my only complaint being the time it takes to get in and out of the double buckles. The fit by the toes is on the narrower side, as the straps fit across the top of my feet without much extra room. My size 5.5 measured 9.25″ down the insole, and 3 and 1/8th” across widest part of the footbed. I also want to note that although I didn’t have any issues, the placement of the ankle straps may be uncomfortable for some depending on where they hit. If this style isn’t for you, I see the same brand makes a variety of sandals and flats.
Yoox flat sandals

Glitter Pink sandals (3 colors, on sale) 

I ordered both taupe and white, and returned the latter (used the $6 UPS label for all my returns and received my refund within a week). I love the idea of white strappy sandals, but they were unfortunately not as flattering on my short legs. These shoes are made in Italy and are leather throughout – wonderful quality for the price, which is a rarity these days. The bottoms are imprinted with “Vero Cuoio.” I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen those two words and wondered half-heartedly what they meant, but wasn’t curious enough to ask my friend Google. Apparently, it indicates a full leather sole and is “the mark of the Consorzio Vero Cuoio Italiano, a trade association whose primary goal is to support and increase the sole leather culture, and to train the consumer to be able to autonomously recognize, distinguish and appreciate the quality of genuine Italian sole leather” (possibly questionable source). Shoe trivia for the day : )

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  1. Rosie wrote:

    Thanks! Wish I could. I've since moved (missing for the Russian grocery, fresh bagels, the ding-ding of the green line, and the Armenian cobbler shop) and am now based outside the Boston area, but do keep us posted!

    Are you going to do a post on behind-the-scenes of your Loft photo shoot? I'd love to hear what it's like to be a model for a day. 🙂

    Posted 8.6.13 Reply
  2. Jean wrote:

    Thank you! It does require the extra step of alterations to not be too kiddy, but thankfully just a straight line on each side : )

    Posted 8.6.13 Reply
  3. Jean wrote:

    Becky – thank you for stopping by and saying hello! Just checked out your account and love many of your pins.

    Posted 8.6.13 Reply
  4. Jean wrote:

    Thanks so much, Rosie!! Since you are local, hope you'll consider coming to a shopping event later this month that should be pretty fun (will post info on Thurs!)

    Posted 8.6.13 Reply
  5. Jean wrote:

    Hi Anna, thanks for sharing your review! I have started reading it and also been reading some of the author's interviews on the web…she's inspired me to view even fast fashion purchases differently. In one of her interviews she acknowledged it may be hard for some shoppers to change where they shop entirely, but if they can approach all purchases with the intention of making them last (vs disposable, throwaway junk) it is a big first step.

    Posted 8.6.13 Reply
  6. Jean wrote:

    I will definitely try to do one – started working on a video many months ago but gave up due to time, but will pick it up again soon or at least for a post! Right off the bat I would recommend a quality black suit in lightweight wool (for all seasons), tailored to fit, in a material that doesn't wrinkle (try it on sitting and walking around at home). Next, some must's for me are a classic trench coat (again, multi-seasonal) and some flattering dark denim without fading or whiskering that is tailored to fit. After you have those, my next personal favorite is a cropped tweed jacket instead of another basic blazer, because the tweed is easy to dress up with work pieces or dress down with the aforementioned dark denim.

    Posted 8.5.13 Reply
  7. you are really an inspiration…am into your blogs every week and it is so awesome to learn from you…thanks

    Posted 8.5.13 Reply
  8. Rosie wrote:

    Just saw the feature on LOFT! Wohoo! You look great.

    Petites (and my hometown) represent!

    Posted 8.5.13 Reply
  9. Anonymous wrote:

    Yees, that would be great!! 🙂

    Posted 8.5.13 Reply
  10. I JUST FOUND YOU!! I found you on Pinterest and I just came how and creepily looked through all of your outfits. I have so many ideas now! I live in Upstate NY so the weather here is pretty similar to yours especially in the winter. I never knew how to look cute in the winter. I just pinned about 15 of your outfits in the last 15 minutes. Thank you!
    I have never found a blogger with "my style" that makes me say "That would be so cute on me" at every post.
    Happy Summer!

    Posted 8.4.13 Reply
  11. Anonymous wrote:

    I've been eying that Gap Kids dress! It looks great on you.

    Posted 8.4.13 Reply
  12. I absolutely LOVE those sandals!!

    A Petite Treat

    Posted 8.4.13 Reply
  13. You look amazing in the dress! I wished i can pull off the stripe-y trend as well as you.

    It makes me look short and fat! :/

    But anyway, I like the late summer outfit style better! 😀

    Google + / Twitter / Bloglovin

    with love, Cassandra xx

    Posted 8.4.13 Reply
  14. Joy wrote:

    cute sandals! They look good on you. I don't think they make your legs look short at all. I love the look of them, but too bad I have wide feet. My double-strap sandals also annoy me, because they take twice as long to put on lol, but I love the look of them.


    Posted 8.3.13 Reply
  15. Anna wrote:

    Hi Jean! I just wanted to share with you an interesting book I recently read, "Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Fast Fashion". I found it relevant to your blog and the idea of "quality" products. After reading it, and a few weeks later, discovering your blog and others similar, I felt convinced that I should consider more high end products. It actually got me out of my rut in blogging.(:

    I actually wrote a review of it here, if you'd like to read it:

    Posted 8.3.13 Reply
  16. i love the casual easy fit of this dress! super cute!

    Posted 8.3.13 Reply
  17. Anonymous wrote:

    Love this idea! I'm a medical school student who will be transitioning into 3rd year next year and I'm sure I will need a professional wardrobe then and throughout my career. Your posts are wonderful and thoughtful, Jean. Thank you!

    Posted 8.2.13 Reply
  18. Adore the stripes!

    Posted 8.2.13 Reply
  19. Rosie wrote:

    Yes, as Grace says above, "vero cuoio" is just Italian for "genuine leather".

    Posted 8.2.13 Reply
  20. Dee wrote:

    I love that black coach bag! I'm definitely gonna try and find a cheaper one on ebay though. Yikes at the regular price on the official coach page.

    Posted 8.2.13 Reply
  21. Stylegodis wrote:

    A great outfit anticipating the fall season!

    Posted 8.2.13 Reply
  22. Love the dress!

    Posted 8.2.13 Reply
  23. Yes. Please!! x

    Posted 8.2.13 Reply
  24. Grace wrote:

    Vero Cuoio just refers to the outer sole as "real leather".

    Posted 8.2.13 Reply
  25. Carrie wrote:

    Because of this outfit, I'm totally looking forward to fall. 🙂


    Posted 8.2.13 Reply
  26. gul wrote:

    Please… Please do it . I am also in similar situation .

    Posted 8.2.13 Reply
  27. jules wrote:

    love those sandals! thanks for the recommendation!


    Posted 8.2.13 Reply
  28. Love the shoe reccomendation. Would love to hear any other flat shoes you would reccomend for petite girls.

    Posted 8.2.13 Reply
  29. so very cute! i love the styling for both seasons. xo

    Posted 8.2.13 Reply
  30. fedali wrote:

    What a cute dress! So easy to wear and I love the sandal with it as well.

    Posted 8.2.13 Reply
  31. Simple and fun dress at its best! Love the addition of the scarf and sandals.


    Posted 8.2.13 Reply
  32. Michelle wrote:

    When you mentioned a "no-no" for petites, it reminded me of the first PFC you hosted. 🙂 Some white sandals are tricky for me…they remind me of a little girl going to church. I love the nude that you kept. They will pair with so much.

    Posted 8.2.13 Reply
  33. I love ankle-strap heels/shoes regardless of the petite "rule" 🙂 I think yours are a lot of fun!

    Posted 8.2.13 Reply
  34. Crystalin wrote:

    OMG, these are so cute! I'm so glad you found a pair of sandals off When I first stumbled upon the site and all their amazing shoes, I was a bit hesitant, like is this a fake site. But after doing a little research I felt confident enough to order. They have so many great sale items. And the fact that they have small sizing is amazing 🙂

    Posted 8.2.13 Reply
  35. Excellent – A striped dress was on my Summer must-have list! This is a perfect example 🙂

    Posted 8.2.13 Reply
  36. I like the stripes! They make the summer seem cooler somehow 🙂

    Posted 8.2.13 Reply
  37. Anonymous wrote:

    Hi Jean! Can you please do a post on what you consider to be your essential wardrobe pieces? I'm just starting to create a professional wardrobe and I'm not sure where to start and it would really help me out a lot! I've only been reading your blog for the past few months and I LOVE your sense of style! Thank you so much for all the effort you put into it.

    – Nina 🙂

    Posted 8.2.13 Reply

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