H&M Bow Print Dress + Red Suede Pumps

hm bow skirt

H&M dress, ASOS top, J.Crew pumps, Chanel flap, mixed pearl necklaces (similar at 50% off)

For me, this dress was one of those pieces that didn’t really stand out on the rack or even when tried on, but came to life with a little styling. I loved the idea of a flirty print in a classic black-and-white color scheme, but the dress alone on me was very youthful. When layered under a blazer or top, however, it became more of a fun accent piece versus an explosion of bow-mania. I’ve also worn this to dinner simply with a black faux-leather jacket and some black opaque tights and booties.

hm bow skirt1

I’m wearing a sz XS and it fit well throughout except the waist was a little low for me. To remedy this, I shortened the straps ~ an inch on each side (in the fitting room pic below, the shoulder straps are already clipped up).

The dress is unlined and the quality is average for H&M.; The material is 98% poly, 2% elastane (pretty stretchy) with small ridges/ribs. The bow print on both sides of the torso is cut off at some awkward places, but is mostly concealed when worn under a jacket or blazer. There is a very short metal zipper at the upper back.

Below right: dress strap inside-out to show the easy alteration

bow dress

I had red pumps on my shopping list this year for adding a pop of color to more subdued outfits. I purchased these J.Crew ones on eBay, and the color in-person is more orangey – should’ve learned my lesson by now ordering shoes via auction sites! Here are a few other options in more optimal shades of red suede, each with good customer reviews:

red suede heels

Halogen (available down to a size 4), AT mid-heel (40% off, sz 5+), Enzo Angiolini (sz 5.5+)

hm bow skirt2

This cropped sweater is from ASOS Petites, but it sold out by the time I received it (product link in case it pops back into stock). When shopping online for cropped tops to be worn with dresses or high-waisted skirts, I suggest measuring from the top of your shoulder to your natural waist to make sure the shirt won’t be too short. This top for reference is 15.5″ long. For work, I always still wear a black camisole tucked in underneath with skirts to avoid inadvertent flashes of belly. Some affordable options that could be styled similarly:

black cropped tops

F21 ribbed sweater, F21 faux leather trim top (under $10), Leith jersey tee (under $12)

hm bow skirt3

Leave a Comment


  1. jessica wrote:

    lovely sandals

    Posted 12.26.14 Reply
  2. Katryn yip wrote:

    amazing ! Love how you style 🙂 Is the dress high waist ? Will it be very short? Was thinking should wear leggings a not 🙂

    Posted 11.3.14 Reply
  3. Amazing high heels in red colour………………….visit our sites for getting high heels on another stylish trendy footwear or clothes.

    Posted 3.5.14 Reply
  4. leslie wrote:

    Thanks Jean!!! Love the blog!!! =)

    Posted 12.13.13 Reply
  5. Jean wrote:

    hi Kelly – it does have the double flap so I keep the extra chain looped inside both flaps and then close them, if that make any sense?

    Posted 12.13.13 Reply
  6. Jean wrote:

    Hi Leslie – oh no! I'm sorry to hear that. I wear the same size across all H&M; stuff so didn't think to delineate. I'll make a note in the future if I realize it's juniors and not womens.

    Posted 12.13.13 Reply
  7. Jean wrote:

    Hi there – Thank you! I got a size S but did have to take it in along both sides.

    Posted 12.13.13 Reply
  8. leslie wrote:

    I ordered the dress online after I saw it on your blog…ordered an extra small……when it came in the mail it was a JUNIORS XS!!!! sadly I had to return it and now its sold out…..sooo sad!!!!! Next time can you let us know if its H&M; juniors vs. H&M; womens???? Thanks! xo

    Posted 12.13.13 Reply
  9. Anonymous wrote:

    Hi Jean! That outfit is great; I would have never thought of pairing the two, and the dress with bows would have been mediocre alone. What size did you get for the asos sweater?

    Posted 12.12.13 Reply
  10. Just bought this dress in sale. Very good and super cute with bows. Thank you Jean. Love your blog even I'm not a petite. Love from Portugal

    Posted 12.11.13 Reply
  11. yawniebug wrote:

    If you're looking for cheap red suede pumps I would go ahead and try the Zita by INC International Concepts. It's being sold at Macy's right now. Even better: I think they're on sale! They have small sizing too! They are beautiful and incredibly comfortable.

    Posted 12.9.13 Reply
  12. Kelly wrote:

    Does your bag have the double flap inside? How do you usually shorten the chain?

    Posted 12.3.13 Reply
  13. Crystalin wrote:

    This dress is absolutely adorable on you!

    Posted 12.3.13 Reply
  14. Great post! Very pretty photos! I like best the one where you are by the window, it shows off both the interesting architecture of the window, while also drawing the consumer eye to the interesting design of your outfit. Great job!


    Posted 12.2.13 Reply
  15. Jean wrote:

    Hmm, good question and not stupid at all. I have a feeling traditional etiquette would suggest the couple's last name, but my friends are not married so that didn't even cross my mind! I got the first name initials. On a sad note, just realized the fine side print says the round dishes are decorative only and not food safe : / Hope you got to take advantage of today's sales!

    Posted 12.2.13 Reply
  16. Anonymous wrote:

    Interesting! When you purchase monogramed gifts, do you use the couple's last name initial or two different ones for their first name initials? sorry for such a stupid question!

    Posted 12.2.13 Reply
  17. Jean wrote:

    Hi Laura – if the dress code truly leans more towards casual I can see this with opaque tights (to help lessen focus on the shortness of the dress) and a jacket. If you are taller though I wouldn't recommend it since the hem would be several inches above the knee.

    Posted 12.2.13 Reply
  18. Jean wrote:

    Hi Jacklyn, I just open up the flap and tuck the chain under the flap then close it, so that extra length stays in there : )

    Posted 12.2.13 Reply
  19. Jean wrote:

    Thanks for sharing! Interesting to see the same earring styles from a year or two back still available!

    Posted 12.2.13 Reply
  20. Jean wrote:

    It was hard to choose! I had several friends who bought their first homes this year so got a number of the round initial plates (might've snuck 2 in there for myself : ). Also love the mugs and wine stopper but seems to be a bit much $ for what it is.

    Posted 12.2.13 Reply
  21. Jean wrote:

    Hmm, I haven't seen or tried any of the items in person except for the Lacey wallets, but I do like the look of the Grove Court Maise bags! The little one is $145 and has a convertible crossbody strap which is always a plus for me.

    Posted 12.2.13 Reply
  22. Anonymous wrote:

    any specific picks from kate spade?! : )

    Posted 12.2.13 Reply
  23. Anonymous wrote:

    love c wonder! wondering what you picked up from their monogram shop? everything is so cute!

    Posted 12.2.13 Reply
  24. Anonymous wrote:

    Hi Jean, I remember you once had a post featuring the designer Amrita Singh and I just saw on Groupon they're having a deal on some of her earrings. Just wanted to share in case you were interested. (:


    Posted 12.2.13 Reply
  25. Very sweet, feminine look!!! You are seriously TALENTED!!!!




    Posted 12.2.13 Reply
  26. I love how you styled this dress!!!! So freakin adorable.

    xo, Lindsey

    Posted 12.2.13 Reply
  27. AlexisB wrote:

    Completely in love with this look. The bows are fantastic. On its own the dress looks very little girl-ish. The sweater and pumps make it look more mature and festive. Bonus factor – no troublesome skirt-turning!

    Posted 12.2.13 Reply
  28. Super chic! I love the black and white combo with the gorgeous red pumps!

    Posted 12.2.13 Reply
  29. Dice wrote:

    Love your outfit!

    Posted 12.2.13 Reply
  30. LRB wrote:

    That dress is adorable.

    Posted 12.2.13 Reply
  31. I love this also and I´m so excited that I will try to copy your look with my smilar Chanel bag and some other pieces from my closet 🙂

    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena


    Posted 12.2.13 Reply
  32. Carol Li wrote:

    The skirt is so pretty! Most stores have the same discount levels as Black Friday although a few of them have increased their discount level. I've just written a blog on highlighting the higher discount rates for Cyber Monday 🙂


    Posted 12.2.13 Reply
  33. this outfit is so adorable and lady like on you! xo


    Posted 12.2.13 Reply
  34. I absolutely LOVE what you have done with the dress.

    Maggie A

    Posted 12.2.13 Reply
  35. Gorgeous outfit! Love the bow print!!!
    So cute!!!
    And love the pumps!!!
    So unfortune I don't live in the US…

    xoxo from Dubai

    Jul du monde des petites

    Posted 12.2.13 Reply
  36. Jacklyn wrote:

    Love the combination! Have never thought of wearing a top over a dress!
    By the way, may I know how do you shorten the straps of the Chanel bag? Thanks!

    Posted 12.1.13 Reply
  37. Love how you added the top over the dress! Looks lovely!


    Posted 12.1.13 Reply
  38. Kai-Li wrote:

    cute and flirty… great holiday outfit!


    Posted 12.1.13 Reply
  39. What a cute way to kick off #dressember!!

    Posted 12.1.13 Reply
  40. Anonymous wrote:

    Would you wear this to work in a business casual environment (that leans more to the casual end of business casual)? — Laura

    Posted 12.1.13 Reply
  41. April F wrote:

    so cute! and I love cropped sweaters over dresses


    Posted 12.1.13 Reply
  42. zozo wrote:

    Love how you styled this dress. Very Kate Spade-esque–charming, classic, & chic!

    zozo @ atelier zozo

    Posted 12.1.13 Reply
  43. Jean wrote:

    Hi Carla – I won't be doing that here as this currently fits and functions well as a dress. I did that once before because there was an ample amount of excess fabric to go into two pieces (fabric which would've otherwise gone to waste). It's a risky and time-consuming alteration so I don't usually recommend it.

    Posted 12.1.13 Reply
  44. Suzie Q wrote:

    I love how you transformed an average dress with some classic touches with pearls, Chanel, and red pumps into such a chic look. Well done! Love everything about this outfit 🙂

    Suzie Q

    Posted 12.1.13 Reply
  45. Carla Krae wrote:

    Do you think you'll keep it as a dress? You could always separate the bodice and skirt to get more wear out of the fabric.

    Posted 12.1.13 Reply
  46. Love the bows on this dress. And what a great idea to wear the cropped top over dresses. It really works with this outfit!

    Posted 12.1.13 Reply

Get the newsletter!

What updates would you like?