Windowpane + Red (and Banana Republic petites reviews)

windowpane blazer red pants

H&M; blazer (reviewed here) & blouse (very old), YSL heels
Ann Taylor petite pants, tapered (old, similar in “New Vermillion” now 40% off)

A few of you have asked for additional styling ideas for this windowpane blazer. I’ve been keeping it safe by starting with a black and white color scheme, then picking one accent color to add interest. Here I swapped blue suede shoes for my favorite red pants, and used a blouse with vertical detail down the front center. The large square print on the jacket can feel ‘widening’ at times, so the blouse line helps to visually slim and lengthen.
windowpane blazer red pants2
This $10 H&M; blouse from 2011 has now lasted years of regular wash and wear. The launch of their U.S. online store was so highly anticipated, but I was surprised by the small selection as compared to what’s in-stores (usually it’s the other way around). Shipping is $5.95 and return shipping is the same (no online returns to actual stores), but you can sign up for their newsletter for occasional coupons. Their items are hit or miss quality, but they do run smaller than any U.S. brand, and can last if you take care of them.

I also have a few try-on photos to share from BR, where there’s currently 40% off everything both in-stores and online. I show mostly skirts and dresses on this blog, because shopping for pants can be dismal. To date I have yet to find any adult pants that don’t require alterations (please share if you are similarly-sized and have!), and have had pants ruined by alterations 4 times out of 5.
BR Sloan pants 2
Left: Banana Republic Martin Suit Pants in 00P – Once upon a time I owned a pair of BR Martin pants in the same size, so these were the first pair that I picked up to try. In the words of a friend, the “street breaker” look was not for me. These would’ve needed significant reshaping, which has never been an alterations success story for me. These do have good reviews online, so would probably fare better on those with curvier hips and thighs.

Right: Banana Republic Sloan Fit Ankle Pants (houndstooth, or 8 solid colorsin 00P – I almost didn’t want to try these after the first pair, but they were worlds better for me in terms of fit. I noticed the Sloan pants online have amazing reviews (many from petite ladies), and can now see why. The fit is not perfect on me, but close. It’d still require taking in at the waist (a more straightforward alteration than hip/leg reshaping), which will hopefully eliminate some of the crotch crease, and the lower leg area has some wrinkling. This is a common issue for me due to having bow-shaped knees, so the wrinkling may not occur for others. I went home and ordered both “porch green” and navy with the current 40% off.
BR sloan pants

Gap pointy flats in sz 5 – happy to see they’re back! I picked up the leopard & rec. sizing down if between sizes

I posted this photo on Instagram a while ago, but was impressed by the fit of this BR Sloan Sheath Dress (40% off, also in black). Apparently Sloan indicates their slimmest fit, so I’ll be on the lookout for more styles in the future. A 00P was slightly loose on me in the hips typical of most BR dresses, but very nice and fitted in the torso. This type dress is the perfect transition piece between the office and dinner/drinks at night. On my wishlist is a dress just like this, but in a true red and wool or ponte material. I was enticed by the silhouette and fit of this one, but the color wasn’t right for me (the poor lighting in my photo makes it seem fluorescent…it’s actually a nice coral red). and the material is like a thick twill. There is also black lining behind the neckline to create a thin ‘trim’ of sorts.
BR red dress
This was also shared on IG already, but one of my favorite tweed sheath dresses has been brought back by BR Factory (it’s their outlet store so they do not have online shopping, but can ship from store to home for $5 if you call). I received an email a while back from a member of BR Factory’s petites merchandising team, asking for fit and quality feedback on their Fall products. They were not looking for any blog exposure, just email feedback, so I was more than happy to do so.
BR tweed dress
Out of all the items I received c/o their team for review, I was most excited by the return of this tweed dress. It was interesting to compare the same piece from from Fall 2010 and now. The fit is very similar (a rarity with the trend of vanity sizing), except the two aspects that I had to alter/adjust back then are now fixed. My dress then hit me below the knees, and the current version is at a flattering length right above the knees. The old belt was too big and hard to poke holes d
ue to the grommets, but the new one is sized to fit. The past version had wool content and an enamel belt buckle and retailed for $99.99, and the current version is 86% poly, 14% rayon with an all-fabric belt and retails for $109.99. I pointed out the trend of lesser quality materials, but know that this has happened across the industry.

I did note however that my wool blend dress had a looser weave which caught snags on the tweed, but this synthetic version is a tighter, smoother weave. For anyone interested, here is the tag (if you call right when outlet stores open, they are more willing to search for stock and process a phone order). Measurements of my 00P are 15.5″ across the armpits, 32-32″ total length, 12.5″ across the waist, and 17″ across the hips. It’s fits well on me in the torso and waist with some room in the hips, but not enough to require alterations. Dress is fully lined with pockets and a back slit, and is made in China.

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  1. wow, i love that blazer!

    Posted 9.25.13 Reply
  2. Discover men's sweatshirts with ASOS. Shop for a range of men's sweatshirt styles, from hoodies to college sweat shirts.

    Posted 9.7.13 Reply
  3. Anonymous wrote:

    Jean, your blog is addicting. 🙂 The tweed dress is so flattering…thx for sharing your great finds! I was wondering if people can share ways to wear the sleeveless style with dropping fall tempatures (besides cardigans on top)? Thank you!

    Posted 9.4.13 Reply
  4. Dice wrote:

    Love the tweed dress!

    Posted 9.4.13 Reply
  5. LaLaaLove wrote:

    Hi Jean,

    I'm 4ft11, 25" waist, and I've found the Ricki's ( pants in a size 0 to work really well for me. They don't have petite sizing, but all pants come in a shorter 30" inseam. I've been wearing the same pair at least once a week during each of my five four-month internships, and they've held up remarkably well.

    Posted 9.3.13 Reply
  6. Jessy wrote:

    I picked up the BR dress recently and thought it looked familiar! I love the fact that it has pockets.

    Posted 9.3.13 Reply
  7. Tam wrote:

    How funny–I just snagged that BR Factory tweed dress this weekend while it was 50% off for Labor Day. Such a great fit and deal! It's nice that you are able to give them some feedback about what works and what doesn't. I thought the length and fit through the torso were perfect.

    Posted 9.2.13 Reply
  8. The last two looks are my favorite.

    Maggie A
    Love Mavin

    Posted 9.2.13 Reply
  9. Holy heck Jean, you look incredible in those Ann Taylor trousers!!
    I'm on a huge hunt for a pair like this, particularly in black and tan, because I think they're a classy item and make me look my age. Being 4'11 really makes me want to dress like less of a teenager as it reduces the amount of comments I get about how young I look. Your blog is a real inspiration, thankyou!


    Posted 9.1.13 Reply
  10. Hey Jane, I think we are very similar in size, I wonder how are you going to get the 00P sloan fit, I have waist problem too. I bought every color they offer! =P

    Posted 9.1.13 Reply
  11. IYL wrote:

    I love the styling and the colored pants really set off beautifully against the windowpane blazer. Good job! 🙂

    Posted 9.1.13 Reply
  12. metta wrote:

    Doll, aritzia has awesome clothes that fit petite frames very well. I love their silk blouses and pants.

    Posted 9.1.13 Reply
  13. I actually find slimming pant legs to be much simpler than altering a waistline. What would you suggest as the easiest way to alter the waist?

    Posted 9.1.13 Reply
  14. Why is it considered rude to point out a woman who is overweight but fine to criticize a petite, thin woman? Bullying a woman for being too thin, especially when she can't control it, is the same as bullying a fat woman who doesn't want to be. A close friend gets this criticism all the time and wishes she could gain weight but can't. She's generally healthy and it's just rude to point out her thin figure in a judgmental way. Jean is beautiful and as long as she is physically and psychologically healthy, her weight and figure is no one's business but her own.

    Posted 9.1.13 Reply
  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

    Posted 9.1.13 Reply
  16. Anonymous wrote:

    You look great as always! I have that same shirt (charity)and it is still in rotation.

    Posted 8.31.13 Reply
  17. You definitely did a great job styling this outfit! I love the pop of color from the pants. Definitely tie this whole look together, not making it look dull.

    Google + / Twitter / Bloglovin

    cassandra xx

    Posted 8.31.13 Reply
  18. Anonymous wrote:

    Let me preface by saying that no offense to anyone on fashion blog here. It seems we women can get so wrapped up in the fashion sense and forget what is a healthy weight for your body. At 5 ft tall if you are less than 95lbs you are by definition underweight by BMI. If it was your child who is underwt, will you worry? then why ignore your own health. just my 2 cents.

    Posted 8.31.13 Reply
  19. Anonymous wrote:

    I work for Banana, and I just wanted to let you know that 'Sloan' has nothing to do with the fit, and is in fact just a patented material that we make many dresses, pants, and skirts in. I am petite (though not quite as petite as you) and the 00P in most everything Sloan fits me perfectly because the material is so stretchy. You should try the new sloan leggings — they run a little small and they're super cute :]

    Posted 8.31.13 Reply
  20. Kai-Li wrote:

    love the windowpane blazer. I just saw a windowpane dress on O Magazine and was going to post one of my own.

    Posted 8.30.13 Reply
  21. Anonymous wrote:

    Hello!! i was wondering if you could share which hair salon you go to and which stylist you see to get your haircut? I'm new to Boston and have thick Asain hair

    Posted 8.30.13 Reply
  22. AlexisB wrote:

    Hope you don't mind me posting a couple links. The first link is for a blouse similar to the one you are wearing with the blazer. The second link is for a white button up blouse with black trim that I just purchased. It is a little too long for my frame, but it was a perfect fit in the shoulders.

    BLACK TRIM BLOUSE:—petite/prod.jump?ppId=pp5002880341&catId;=cat100300004&N;=1405&pageSize;=96&topDim;=Color&topDimvalue;=whites&dimCombo;=Color|&dimComboVal;=whites|&currentDim;=Color&currentDimVal;=whites&colorizedImg;=DP0819201318262089C.tif

    WHITE BUTTON UP:—petite/prod.jump?ppId=pp5002290762&catId;=cat100300004&N;=100630160&Nao;=96&pageSize;=96&pN;=2&extDim;=true&topDim;=Categories&topDimvalue;=shirts+%26+blouses&dimCombo;=Categories|&dimComboVal;=shirts+%26+blouses|&currentDim;=Categories&currentDimVal;=shirts+%26+blouses&colorizedImg;=DP1120201218423157M.tif

    Posted 8.30.13 Reply
  23. Suzie Q wrote:

    Great reviews! That's so great that the BR petite merchandising team reached out to you for feedback. With your detailed constructive feedback, hopefully, it will help improve their petite line more. I saw the tweed dress at the Factory store recently, and I passed up on trying it on since I already have a gray tweed sheath dress. However, I wish I would have given it a try-on after seeing how great it looks in your post! Have a great Labor Day weekend!

    Suzie Q

    Posted 8.30.13 Reply
  24. CynthiaC wrote:

    I'm not sure I like the window pane blazer very much. It kind of looks retro 1970s in a bad way. At least it isn't yellow or orange. Just being honest.

    Posted 8.30.13 Reply
  25. annie wrote:

    I recently tried on a pair of ON Diva Skinny Ankle Pants and it was a snug fit for me (size 2P, 5'1, 100-105lbs). The fabric is thin and I could have also tried sizing up too. You could give that a try.;=1&pid;=525427042

    Posted 8.30.13 Reply
  26. Very cool look in the first pic 🙂

    Do you want to follow each other, let me know?!

    Posted 8.30.13 Reply
  27. Annie Mall wrote:

    Great reviews, thanks! I'm a size 25 in skinny jeans (Urban Outfitters BDG specifically) and 4'11". In spite of Jcrew petite tops being pretty massive on me, I've had good luck with their Cafe Capri 0P. Maybe the 00P or 0P will work for you as well.

    Posted 8.30.13 Reply
  28. An Nicole wrote:

    Thanks for the reviews. Banana is one of my go-to stores for work-appropriate/professional clothes, but I can't seem to fit their pants either. I have yet bought a pair that didn't require to get alterations. Like you, I also have the bow-legs.


    Posted 8.30.13 Reply
  29. Petite-ish wrote:

    Yay for reviews (I've missed your reviews)! I missed out on that BR tweed dress the last time around, so I'm excited to see that it's back. Also excited that you're spotlighting pants because for a hospital job, pants are a necessary evil. As for BR pants, my recommendation is to try the logan fit in 00P in stretch materials. They are my best fitting pants from BR and I own 3 pairs (though it's possible that the fit has changed since 2011 when I bought them). The only other pants that fit me well off the rack are H&M; size 2 bottoms. I have one pair of Mango pants (from the Hong Kong store) that fit. Loft pants in 00P tend to fit in the front without a crotch crease, but are usually too wide. I've had good luck getting them altered (at our friend Hemmingway's) by just slimming along the sides.

    Posted 8.30.13 Reply
  30. cwka09 wrote:

    Hey Jean! I love the coral on you. I actually bought a skirt in that colour a while back but it hasn't gotten as much wear as I thought it would. What colour tops would you suggest for a skirt that colour?

    Posted 8.30.13 Reply
  31. Carol Li wrote:

    I love the red pants with the window pane jacket 🙂

    Posted 8.30.13 Reply
  32. Olivia J wrote:

    Great work outfit! I'd wear this to work! The red dress fits your perfectly!

    Corporate Catwalk
    Facebook Page

    Posted 8.30.13 Reply
  33. That tweed sheath looks really cute!

    Posted 8.30.13 Reply
  34. Rose C. wrote:

    Love a good ol' red-white-and-black combo! You look fab, as usual. Have a great weekend! xx


    Posted 8.30.13 Reply
  35. Özge wrote:

    You look very sweet 😉

    Posted 8.30.13 Reply

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