Black on Black: Turtleneck tank + (faux) leather skirt reviews

black on black 2

American Apparel top (14 colors) sz M, DIY leopard foldover clutch (tutorial), YSL heels
H&M; skirt sz 2 (similar) and kids denim jacket (old, similar), vintage Hermes belt c/o LXR & Co (invite)

Although I try to buy items suitable for both work and weekends, much of my wardrobe is intended for the office. I wanted to add some pieces that were primarily for fun, but basic and versatile enough to become staples. I had donated the tube tops and minis from my college days, and was overdue for some age-appropriate replacements.
black on black 4
At the top of my shopping list was a black turtleneck tank and flared black skirt. A little black skirt is the easiest starting point of a nighttime ensemble, but somehow I only had a suiting one. With the tank, I love the sleek and elegant look of a higher neckline, plus extra coverage up top helps balance out shorter or tighter bottoms. I also wanted a cropped length for the top – not belly-flaunting short, but just short enough to wear with skirts without having to tuck excess length in and get unsightly bulges.

I ended up finding exactly what I wanted for the tank at American Apparel. The model photo is not too alluring, but I saw potential for a nice & slimming basic. Please note that their policy gives only store credit for returns, and the price for this item in-store was $2 lower. I first grabbed an XS and struggled to pull it over my head, then wheezed for breath once the turtleneck was on and resembled an overstuffed link of sausage in it. I ended up sizing up to a M for more comfort and length, but do note that the armholes are less fitted as a result. I’m very happy with this piece and have been getting mileage out of it paired with minis, pencil skirts (pic), and A-line skirts alike.
black on black 1
This skirt was a recent find from H&M;’s “Divided” juniors department. I was drawn to it for the flattering high-waist and flared silhouette. The faux leather is more matte than shiny, and is free of weird odors (which oftentimes accompany rubbery faux leather). The material has a good weight with an attached lining inside. I also like the less-trendy concealed back zipper – now if only it had pockets as well!
black on black
The skirt is fairly full, but not too overwhelming for a petite frame. Front and back photos of each piece: black on black 5
Skirt – measurements of the sz 2 are 12″ across the waist, 32″ across the bottom width, and 15″ length. 50% polyester / 50% viscose, made in China. Top – measurements of a sz M when lying flat (material is thin and stretchy) are 14″ across the armpits, 12″ across the waist, and 14″ length from shoulder to hem. 95% cotton/ 5% elastane, made in the USA.
black on black 3
I wore this outfit for a night out with friends, then with a casual jacket and flat shoes for a day of traveling. The pieces didn’t wrinkle after hours on a plane, and were plenty comfortable for moving around in. 

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  1. Crystalin wrote:

    Love love this with the denim jacket. The perfect balance of casual yet dressy.

    Posted 9.19.13 Reply
  2. Anonymous wrote:

    Love your blog, keep it up. I had a suggestion.I love your clothes and would love to get similar ones (specially some of the older ones). Would you like to setup a tab on the blog where you sell your old pieces that you no longer need or care for? I am sure petite people would love to get their hands on them and you can get rid of old stuff and buy new ones:) Or do you already use poshmark? can you direct me to that if you do?

    Posted 9.19.13 Reply
  3. this is one gorgeous and classy outfit, jean!!

    Sandy a la Mode

    Posted 9.17.13 Reply
  4. Anonymous wrote:

    I just bought the skirt today and have a long sleeve black turtleneck that will be perfect. Love it!

    Posted 9.17.13 Reply
  5. you are beautiful, I am into black clothes so thank you for the idea

    Posted 9.17.13 Reply
  6. Anonymous wrote:

    Hi, I saw that skirt in H&M; in Ireland and it looked so high on the model that I didn't try it. I'll give it a try now. It looks great on you!

    Also, you wear lots of dresses for work. What do you do to avoid the unsight bumps from tights or underwear? I've never seen you in dress where you can tell the tights waist. I got that effect with some of my thinner fabric dresses, even if I wear a slips under. I look cut in half. Help! 🙂

    Posted 9.17.13 Reply
  7. Hi, I have to say that I really like your outfit and your blog too. Thank you for all inspiration 🙂

    Posted 9.17.13 Reply
  8. Christine wrote:

    Such a great outfit – so chic! I love that the shirt is just long enough to sit on top of the high waisted skirt, not to show TOO much skin, but also leaving a little space so it's still considered "cropped". It's nice to be able to get out of work attire sometimes and dress up in outfits like this 🙂 The pairing of the denim jacket gives the outfit a different look which I think is a great mixture of casual and dressy! Hope you had a great weekend 🙂


    Posted 9.16.13 Reply
  9. Suzie Q wrote:

    I love this look, Jean! I got a black turtleneck cropped tank too recently from ASOS, which was at a decent price. I love the look that you paired with the flared leather skirt!

    Suzie Q

    Posted 9.16.13 Reply
  10. An Nicole wrote:

    I love the outfit, especially the skirt. I was trying to find a leather one that was full but not too poofy.


    Posted 9.16.13 Reply
  11. Susu wrote:

    I love you outfit (actually I love almost everything you wear). 🙂

    I was thinking of getting the skirt too, but since I live far away (by Finnish standard) from nearest H&M; store and the online store doesn't offer any measurements on the skirt, I was thinking if you could help me and tell how long the skirt is. Also does the faux leather need the lining? I saw one without lining for a bit cheaper and liked it better but I'm not really expert on skirts…


    Posted 9.16.13 Reply
  12. you look so chic jean — and I want that leopard clutch!! xo

    Posted 9.16.13 Reply
  13. very pretty.

    Posted 9.16.13 Reply
  14. Dice wrote:

    Love this outfit on you, Jean! I'm going to search for this skirt at my local H&M.; Thanks for sharing! =)

    Posted 9.16.13 Reply
  15. Olivia J wrote:

    Love the faux leather skirt. It's amazing how nice faux leather is, even at places like H&M; and Forever 21. It's great to have leather "investment" pieces, but I'm also a fan of faux pieces to your outfit! Great post.

    Corporate Catwalk
    Facebook Page

    Posted 9.16.13 Reply
  16. Linda wrote:

    Oh my gosh, we are outfit twins haha! I always love your detailed reviews on petite clothing but am glad to see you are wearing something a bit different than the usual conservative work outfits you post. You look great.

    Posted 9.16.13 Reply
  17. Joanne Ku wrote:


    you are gorgeous, inside and out. your posts never cease to amaze me!


    Posted 9.16.13 Reply
  18. Beautiful!
    You guys can find similar fashion items at at great prices.

    Posted 9.16.13 Reply
  19. MizzJ wrote:

    Love this different look on you! I saw that skirt recently in H&M; but wasn't sure hope nice it would look on. Now you've convinced me I should try it lol

    Posted 9.16.13 Reply
  20. Jean,
    I think you look great as always! I keep seeing that belt in your posts and I love it. When I try to search for one online I keep finding the one with the H buckle instead of one like yours. Then I see the price!!!! Do you have any recommendations for a more affordable alternative?

    Posted 9.15.13 Reply
  21. Anonymous wrote:

    I love the pieces you're wearing, on trend with the faux leather skirt and a basic top.

    Today I stopped in an AT Loft store and right above the Petite clothes was a huge banner with you as a model! I was so ecstatic, I wanted to try on all the items you were modeling. Way to go!

    Posted 9.15.13 Reply
  22. Literally just drove straight to H&M; after seeing this outfit, unfortunately, not as cute on me as you. Felt like the amount of body in the skirt swallowed me up and the one I tried on had a weird pleat next to the zipper that looked like I had a tail. Too bad, I really wanted to wear this exact outfit to my bday. You look great! Love it!

    Posted 9.15.13 Reply
  23. Maya M wrote:

    I recently purchased a very simmilar leather skirt and also have a turtleneck cropped top. I love this look on you, but hadn't thought of pairing the two pieces. I'm so excited to try this look for myself now!

    Maya| Petite & Unique

    Posted 9.15.13 Reply
  24. Anonymous wrote:

    how is this in any way slutty? GTFO hater

    Posted 9.15.13 Reply
  25. Anonymous wrote:

    Wow! Rude… The skirt doesn't look that short and I don't think it looks slutty at all. Sounds like a jealous troll here. So negative and ugly.

    Posted 9.15.13 Reply
  26. Linda sua saia, adorei as composições!
    Denise –

    Posted 9.15.13 Reply
  27. J.E.P. wrote:

    I had the same problem with the skirt but felt the 4 was slightly too big in the waist,so I kept the 2 but when I wear it I put it on over my head and bring it down. lol.

    Posted 9.15.13 Reply
  28. wow you look so pretty and chic! I love your faux leather skirt and your bag! 🙂

    Ester @ Drawing Dreaming

    Posted 9.15.13 Reply
  29. Dreamer wrote:

    Hello, I am also a young professional, now working in hospitals. In my search for professional clothes, I realized that the only store whose pencil skirts and button down shirts fit me perfectly was H&M.; I am still on the look out for pants, but surprisingly Kohl's has juniors' dress pants that fit well, though since I am shorter than you and wear flats, I have to hem them. Sweaters can be worn professionally, and really anything modest and not too plain (in the case of a plain long sleeved sweater, a statement necklace) would be appropriate. Banana Republic and Ann Taylor in store is usually too big for me, the Limited's sleek clearance tops work but not their pants, and consider Express. Their tops definitely fit but sadly their Columnist and Editor pants do not on me. Hope this helps.

    Posted 9.15.13 Reply
  30. Connie wrote:

    Absolutely adore this outfit!
    xo, Connie
    I have a giveaway on my blog right now and would love it if you'd stop by and enter! <3

    Posted 9.15.13 Reply
  31. super joli avec la veste en jean's, j'adore!

    Posted 9.15.13 Reply
  32. Lovely outfit! So modern, love it!!!

    Le monde des petites

    Posted 9.15.13 Reply
  33. kileen wrote:

    I love this look on you, Jean! This is a perfect casual fun look and I'll have to scope out the skirt at my H&M.;

    Posted 9.15.13 Reply
  34. Tabet wrote:

    Beautiful pictures and a great look! 🙂

    Posted 9.15.13 Reply
  35. Pragmacat wrote:

    I'm always hesitant to wear skirts shorter than knee length because I tend to encounter unexpected breezes (especially if and when my hands are full). Do you recommend wearing anything in particular underneath them to prevent embarrassing mishaps?

    Posted 9.15.13 Reply
  36. Anonymous wrote:

    I was looking for a way to contact, but could not find a link, so apologies if this isn't the correct place to ask questions.

    I'm a young woman, fresh out of college and need professional clothes, but cannot find anywhere that fits me. The only place I can buy jeans is PacSun (00short). I have, roughly, a 22 inch waist and 32.5 inch hips and 19 inch thighs, approximately. Even their jeans gap a bit at the waist. I'm 5'2" and am disgusted with the way I look, but there's really nothing that I can do about it.

    Not handy with a sewing machine (cannot afford one either, working retail right now). I've searched and searched. F21, Banana Republic, The Limited, Macy's, and others just hang off of me. Do you know of any website or store that would fit me?

    Please answer!

    – Highly distressed young professional

    Posted 9.15.13 Reply
  37. I have the same skirt and love it too! Isn't it so fun and flippy? I'm petite but I have bigger hips than you so I had to go for a 4 so that I could get into it – that often happens to me in the alternate universe of H&M; sizing.

    Posted 9.15.13 Reply
  38. Ming lee wrote:

    Hope you don't show off your "south side" when you bend over this one is kinda slutty

    Posted 9.15.13 Reply
  39. Amazing outfit!! Love the skirt with the belt combination!

    Posted 9.15.13 Reply
  40. Mary-Irene wrote:

    Thank you for the great review. I've always wondered about AA sizing.
    I am enjoying the flared skirts that are showing up this fall. It's such a flattering look. The black on black is really great on you.

    Posted 9.15.13 Reply
  41. Anonymous wrote:

    Thank you for sharing the skirt with us! I am so happy he is available in Germany, too.

    Posted 9.15.13 Reply
  42. Carol Li wrote:

    I love this outfit on you. It's nice to see a more casual side to your outfits.

    Posted 9.15.13 Reply
  43. Anonymous wrote:

    What a gorgeous outfit! I'm a sucker for different black textures paired together! A departure from your work looks, but equally well put-together! I must go look for that skirt at H&M;!

    Just so you know, there are some great items listed on the Alterations Needed forum this weekend. And I have brand-new Ferragamo, Cole-Haan, and Aquatalia boots for sale. Yes! All in black! They end tomorrow night. Please help me give them a loving home!;=US_Women_s_Shoes&hash;=item2a313d2cbc&rt;=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2562

    Thanks for the fabulous post!

    Nancy Paula

    Posted 9.15.13 Reply
  44. J.E.P. wrote:

    I have gotten lots of use out of the same AA crop top, and have also worn it with a similar H&M; faux leather skirt from last year (except it is pale pink). Now, I might have to get the matte black one, too! A black long-sleeved turtleneck is also on my list of must-gets. Any ideas? As for denim jackets, I was also searching for a great one for several years, and finally found one that I love from Madewell last year. It's just called the Jean Jacket in Storm Cloud wash and they always seem to carry it. I've always thought that you would like it because the fit is similar to the one you are wearing here, but it's in adult sizing. They have an XXS, and for reference I am probably a size larger than you and I wear the XS.

    Posted 9.15.13 Reply
  45. Olyvia wrote:

    What a great upgrade weekend-wear (instead of tube tops/mini's, hehe)! I am tired of tucking long shirts under skirts/pants just to look proportionate for my petite-short-legged frame, so I'm happy that the cropped top is trending! I hope this means we will see more crop tops on the market, which makes perfect length shirt sizes for us petites 😉

    Posted 9.14.13 Reply
  46. This skirt is amazing, Jean! I like how you paired it that makes it appropriate for an everyday look.

    Posted 9.14.13 Reply
  47. AlexisB wrote:

    Super duper cute! Was wondering just today when we would see you in leather.

    I'd like to suggest Target's petite ponte knit pants with faux leather detail. The material is thick but the fit is like a legging. I received two pairs today – x-small and small. My legs are not thin so they didn't work for me, but I think they'd be perfect on you. The x-small measured 13 in. across waist, 16 in. across hips when laid flat.

    I know I always suggest Target stuff, but I promise I don't work for them! I just really love Target. 🙂

    Posted 9.14.13 Reply
  48. Kai-Li wrote:

    love the full leather skirt!

    Posted 9.14.13 Reply
  49. Popos wrote:

    I was eyeing the leather skirts at H&M;'s web shop.. thanks for the review!!

    Posted 9.14.13 Reply

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