2013 Favorites & Thank You

Relative to 2012, this was a year of less (30-40%, including gifts accepted) shopping new items, and more trying to make use of existing pieces plus experimenting with sewing. Nevertheless I still had a number of additions from my usual favorite retailers and pre-owned marketplaces. Here are some of my favorite, most-worn items added this year:
year end favorites1
1. Denim jacket (original post, shop similar in girls or petites, or plenty of options at thrift stores) – a piece that I’ve historically avoided due to reminders of my less-than-chic style in middle school, this has since proven to been a travel staple. It goes effortlessly with most outfits, helps dress down fancier pieces, and is so easy to maintain/wash. For petite figures, I like a shrunken fit and cropped length, so the jacket doesn’t truncate the leg line.

2. Coach bag (review post, shop new or preowned) – from a brand that I’ve nearly dismissed after recent years of abundant logo print, this bag is now one of my favorites. I fell in love with the quality and functionality of vintage Coach, not to mention the affordable prices. I also purchased another Coach – the small crossbody turnlock bag. I went the new route as I couldn’t find yellow pre-owned, and have to say I prefer their their older leathers. The pointy leather flats in this photo also get a mention as I was impressed by the quality, comfort and value of my first Gap footwear purchase.

3. Statement faux pearls (original post, shop similar) – RIP due to my own forgetfulness, but thankfully for the time being I can double up my long strand of real pearls gifted from one of my best friends. You can find similar long pearls on eBay by searching for the length and width (mine are 8-9mm wide, and approx. 65 inches long).
year end favorites2
4. White blazer (original post, shop very similar under $35) – after a little DIY sleeve tailoring, this jacket from the often petite-friendly H&M; was my most worn blazer in warmer weather. The affordable price tag made it less nerve-wracking to wear often and freely eat jello/spaghetti/splashy noodle soup in.

5. White silk blouse (original post, shop similar) – one of my favorite closet staples, this never fails me for a classic look worn alone or for its collar layer as shown here. I scored it at a thrift store (did have to perform alterations) and feel the silk weight / quality of blouses today don’t compare to that of the past.
year end favorites36. Bronze pumps (original post, shop here or similar) – I’m not in love with this specific pump style, so the favorite aspect is more so the surprisingly versatile color. Kate Spade Licorice pumps have a higher front, and I personally prefer less coverage and more toe cleavage. I wasn’t sure about keeping these until I realized how bronze went with so many outfits, serving both as a neutral in lieu of brown or nude, or as a statement shoe adding a little shine.

7. Waist-cinching reversible belt (original post, shop similar on sale) – We’ve gone through all the tricks to loop, fold in, or tape down excess belt lengths, so I was particularly excited to get another belt that fits snugly at the waist with minimal excess material. I don’t know what these belts are called (with the little nub that pops into the holes, versus the standard buckles with prongs) but I am a big fan of the clean look. This was a vintage Hermes find and I love both the versatile black and brown sides.
year end DIY
In the DIY realm, my favorite sewing projects to date are these striped “dress” separates as well as this leopard foldover clutch (tutorial here).
year end DIY scallop
You can also find beginner-level tutorials posted this year for a scallop hem skirt (animation made by my little brother who received all the technical genes in the family), a knit maxi skirt, or an elastic waist A-line skirt.

After finding a tailor whom I’ve grown to trust, I also became more experimental with complex alterations. Again, these alterations are risky so I was just sharing my experiences and not recommending doing so.
year end alterations

I’m fortunate to have my blog photos taken by my sweet and patient boyfriend, who started out a few years ago with no experience and now impresses me daily with his work. We’ve had so much fun taking photos of each other at various locations, as well as getting the rare picture together (although on a weekly basis, a kind elderly passerby is likely to stop our blog photo session and insist on helping us take one together ; )
year end favorite scenes

Favorite blog-related experiences this year included hosting several Boston events, during which I got to meet some amazing local women. Thank you all so much for coming out to chat and shop, especially during rainstorms or 20 degree temps! I also loved getting to spend time with and meet old blog friends all over the country. Another highlight for me this year was getting to work with LOFT on their fall Petites campaign. I’ve been a longtime customer of Ann Inc. brands for their work-appropriate petites selection, and was so excited for the opportunity. Thank you to lovely readers and friends who sent me emails and comments with your kind words, as well as some photos which I’ve shared below! I’ve saved and cherish all of them.

loft photos 1
loft photos 3
loft photos 2
And lastly, a few other looks from 2013. Each outfit is simple but stays true to my (evolving) personal style, mixing pieces old and new, both retail and pre-owned, with a dose of DIY work:

year end outfits

Thank you to each and every one of you who stop by this site. Thanks for taking time out of your day to interact (through comments, tweets, FB and IG posts…) and allowing me to get to know you over the years. I’m so appreciative of all your readership, tips shared, and support. Wishing you a happy and healthy 2014!

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Leave a Comment


  1. i really like your blog and the effort you put into it! i just can hope that one day i will be able to do such good quality posts as well!

    Posted 1.8.14 Reply
  2. Jean wrote:

    Hi Alison, I've seen slightly similar at Talbots but can't find an online link. Also C Wonder has belts in that style with interchangeable letters as the buckle, but I saw it in person and the belt strap and buckles are on the wider side. Will keep a lookout for similar for less!

    Posted 1.7.14 Reply
  3. Jean wrote:

    If you Google/web search the topic there are a lot of posts, some even mention gritting the pearls through your teeth to gauge authenticity. Of course these are after the item already arrives, so the only tip I can give pre-purchase is to look at user feedback. There are a lot of affordable akoya pearl items online and the reason that is possible is because they are lower quality, misshapen, etc. I have one with several imperfections but they don't bother me. Good luck!

    Posted 1.7.14 Reply
  4. Jean wrote:

    Hi Adelina, "A" is right in that I lost it somewhere while traveling and was so bummed b/c I loved it. If you ordered it then lucky you – hope you enjoy! I'm so happy to have helped shift your perspective on building a wardrobe – for me, it's really made a difference on confidence in many other aspects of my life. Happy new year and I'll be sure to pass along your kind compliments to Nick!

    A: that is so sweet of you – your thought alone is enough! At the end of the day it's just a piece of jewelry, and if anything, teaches me the lesson to take better care of belongings : )

    Posted 1.7.14 Reply
  5. Hi Jean! Thank you for taking so much time and effort to posting this look back on 2013! All your posts are very organized and well-thought. I also love all the advice you give, especially on how to reuse items or to save money while still looking chic. I'm looking forward to your future posts!


    Posted 1.7.14 Reply
  6. A wrote:

    Yes, Jean mentioned she left it somewhere (maybe a hotel?) and now it's gone. That necklace is no longer available on Ann Taylor so she couldn't purchase it again even if she wanted to. I wished I had bought it when it was still available so maybe I can gift it to her or something, but I thought the necklace was a bit too extravagant looking for everyday wear, so I didn't buy it.

    Posted 1.5.14 Reply
  7. Petite-ish wrote:

    Congrats on all the amazing achievements this year! Love your 2013 purchases/gifts and DIY projects, especially the dress/top separates and scallop hem. And that coat – swoon! Looking forward to following your rising star in 2014. Happy new year!

    Posted 1.4.14 Reply
  8. Anonymous wrote:

    One big reason why I love coming back to your blog all these years is because your bf is a great photographer, his photos really boost the aesthetic appeal of a style blog.

    Posted 1.4.14 Reply
  9. Every Weekend for the past 6 months I have enjoyed reading your blog (I discovered extrapetite.com 6 months ago). Things have changed so much for me this past year and a large part is linked to you Jean! Your blog has changed my perspective on my wardrobe and by extension myself! It gives me a lot of happiness everyday when I get up in the morning and start to get dressed. I now have an ever expanding well rounded wardrobe because of the education I have received from extrapetite.com. Thanks for a great 6 mos! Of couse, I went back to past posts so I feel like I know you Jean! I am a photographer so I have also enjoyed seeing the fantastic photography. Nick has come a long way. He could go pro you know.
    Anyhow, I have one qs. I noticed you said something about your Ann Taylor Necklace in this post. I have been thinking about purchasing that necklace ever since I saw your post and I finally have ordered it. But, you don't wear it anymore? Did you lose it? Did you continue to like it? I just wonder because you said something about your forgetfulness?

    Posted 1.4.14 Reply
  10. Patty wrote:

    I love your style. It is truly inspirational.


    Posted 1.4.14 Reply
  11. Angel wrote:

    Jean, you are an inspiration for bloggers! your style has evolved so well, your content remains interesting and useful, but most importantly, you showcase the quintessential modern female professional. Keep doing what you're doing, and happy 2014!


    Posted 1.3.14 Reply
  12. I love your fashion sense and style. It has inspired me to do dress my best every chance I get. This post was awesome! Wishing you all the best in 2014.

    Posted 1.3.14 Reply
  13. I LOVE your style!!!

    Posted 1.3.14 Reply
  14. EM wrote:

    Blue just seems to be your color! Congratulations on your journey, it looked very exciting! Many more excitement for the 2014 year.

    Posted 1.3.14 Reply
  15. bluepolkadotpjs wrote:

    It's been such a joy reading your blog this year. Hope you have a wonderful 2014 ahead of you!
    Btw, I was admiring your pearl necklace for a while, and thank you so much for describing the pearl size and the length. It is very helpful. But, how do you know if it's a true akoya pearl necklace when you are buying it from ebay? Any tips on buying genuine akoya pearl jewelry? I always appreciate the effort you put in the posts and also your responses. It has helped me a lot building up my wardrobe!

    Posted 1.2.14 Reply
  16. Suzie Q wrote:

    Aww, I love this post! Such a sweet, thoughtful comprehensive look from this past year on various aspects of your blog. Congratulations on your well-deserved success with all of your amazing collaborations! Looking forward to seeing more great styles and DIY this year!

    Suzie Q

    Posted 1.2.14 Reply
  17. B Trendy wrote:

    Happy New Year!!! and congrats for your success with the blog!!!! I really love the way you change a big skirt into a "classy skirt"!!! I really enjoy with your outfits!!!!


    Posted 1.2.14 Reply
  18. I love this post! I think this is one of the best fashion blogger 2013 post I've read to date. It feels like you put a lot of thought into this post, and I like how it is organized as well as the thoughtful review of each section (versus just throwing a bunch of pictures in review up on the blog). This is rather wonderful. GREAT JOB!!!!!


    Posted 1.2.14 Reply
  19. i love your style! i can't wait to see what 2014 has in store for you!!


    Posted 1.2.14 Reply
  20. Anonymous wrote:

    I love your blog. I've been a long-time reader and I appreciate and look forward to your posts. I hope you keep going with it for many years to come! 🙂
    Happy New Year!


    Posted 1.2.14 Reply
  21. Alison wrote:

    Love the posts and the DIY projects. I clicked on the 'sale' link for the waist-cinching belt and its $228.00!!!!!!!!!!! Do you know of any alternatives.. 🙂 ?

    Posted 1.2.14 Reply
  22. Happy new year! I've been following your blog for a while, and your style inspires mine a lot!

    Posted 1.2.14 Reply
  23. You have such a classic & beautiful style! Happy 2014!

    POST:: 2013 RECAP



    Posted 1.2.14 Reply
  24. kimmie wrote:

    Happy new year, Jean! I love your blog photography these days (or, I should say, Nick's!) and how you have been rewearing existing items more instead of a constant stream of new purchases this past year. I really enjoyed seeing your blog doing so well and yet constantly improving, and you deserve all the good things that have come your way! I'm also so glad to have met you this year, and hope that our paths can cross again in the future 🙂 Thanks for all the wonderful inspiration!

    Posted 1.2.14 Reply
  25. love the white blazer and striped dress, can I buy the same online? Just for my reference, what is the size for you? I think i'll be the same size as well.

    Posted 1.1.14 Reply
  26. Happy New Year, Jean. You do a great job on your blog–and I admire your restraint in re-styling already-owned pieces and saving for the things you really want to invest in. As a woman who grew up with 2 sisters and a mom who sewed all our clothes for years, and someone who did clothing alterations while I was pregnant with my son years ago, I love your DIY alterations posts. Well done!

    Posted 1.1.14 Reply
  27. Happy New Year! Thank you for your wonderful blog! Please keep up the excellent work! I am so looking forward to your work in 2014! I hope that you are happy and well! Once again, thank you!

    Posted 1.1.14 Reply
  28. Eileen63 wrote:

    Happy New Year, Jean! I don't often comment but I am a big fan of your blog. You are such a fashion inspiration to me even though I'm old enough to be your mom. You have a never-fail style that's elegant and classic and easy on the wallet. You're a lovely young lady with a sharp mind and talented boyfriend. I hope to enjoy your blog for many more years. Thank you for all your hard work.

    Posted 1.1.14 Reply
  29. Beautiful!! <3 Happy New Year and I can't wait to see what this year has in store.

    Maggie A

    Posted 1.1.14 Reply
  30. al3xz3t wrote:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

    Posted 1.1.14 Reply
  31. Ann wrote:

    Yay! Happy New Year Jean! Here's to many, many more blog posts to come! ;)))

    Posted 1.1.14 Reply
  32. Emilia wrote:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

    Posted 1.1.14 Reply
  33. As I sewed so much in the past your regarding posts remember me always to use my sewing machine – unfortunately I´m the the most sloppy sewer in this world 🙂 You are always really inspiring in each case and I thank you so much for your good, hard and inspiring work.

    Happy New Year!

    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena


    Posted 1.1.14 Reply
  34. Carol Li wrote:

    Happy New Year! Looking forward to reading your 2014 blog posts 🙂


    Posted 1.1.14 Reply
  35. Happy New Year. I so enjoy your elegant blog. Here is to another great year!

    Posted 1.1.14 Reply
  36. Happy New Year Jean! Congrats on an amazing year! Thanks for hanging out, excellent gab fests, and the waterproof boots (and not judging as I stomped in the snow like a 2 year old…I realized afterwards it was the first time I had seen snow in 10 years!). Hope you and Nick can make it out later this year for a little SoCal wedding. 😉

    Posted 1.1.14 Reply
  37. Jen K wrote:

    What an exciting year this has been for you Jean! Looking forward to see what this new year will bring for you and your blog. 🙂

    Best wishes,

    Posted 1.1.14 Reply
  38. Katherine wrote:

    Best wishes for a wonderful 2014! Happy NYE Jean 🙂

    Posted 12.31.13 Reply
  39. Franziska wrote:

    It looks like you had such a great year, Jean! Thank you for the inspiration (across all body shapes and sizes) and for always keeping it classy (even when it was hard to!). Can't wait to see what 2014 brings for you!

    Posted 12.31.13 Reply
  40. I love that my favorites on you are your favorites on you!

    Posted 12.31.13 Reply
  41. zozo wrote:

    Love to see your DIY and alterations posts–my biggest inspiration for learning how to sew.
    I've missed some of these posts somehow. The Boston Public Library one is gorgeous.
    Wishing you & yours health, happiness, peace, love & substance! 🙂
    x atelier zozo

    Posted 12.31.13 Reply

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