California casual

casual basics1

Talbots petite cashmere c/o, Ferragamo vara pumps (current version), Ann Taylor clutch
Mossimo skirt (similar here on sale for $36 or pencil style on sale for $30), H&M; girls jacket

We’re back to reality and all its rain, sleet and snow after an extended stay in sunny CA. I’m a little behind in posting, so please bear with me for a few unseasonably warm pairings. Every time I fly, I try to make do with a minimal selection of clothing to avoid overhead bin struggles. The pieces here are basics I’d recommend for any casual wardrobe: 1) soft cashmere pullover; 2) weathered denim jacket; 3) navy striped skirt; and 4) nude flats (in this case the 1″ Vara heels rival the comfort of flats). I love all the items here with exception of the skirt, which is on my list for an upgrade this year.
casual basics2
For a while one of my dresses served double duty as a striped skirt, but the excess bulk up top was not ideal. I then came across this Mossimo petites skirt on clearance at Target. For those who’ve asked about sizing, Target petites starts in XSP which fits similar to a 0 – 2P at other stores, and stretchy ponte items may run a little smaller. Unfortunately, this skirt shrunk and is now too tight in the tush for my liking.

casual basics
In shopping news, this is the best time of the year for bargain hunters as retailers try to clear out 2013 merchandise. Prices in-store are almost always better than online. I love the deep markdowns but don’t love coming home with unnecessary junk, so am trying to reel it in after a recent spree.
sale purchases
Ann Taylor extra 50% off sale in-store only – white crepe pants (sold out online but you can search locally using “Find in Store’) for $29.99, my favorite find. My desire to own white trousers has always been thwarted by poor fit, thin material, or glaring pocket lines showing through. Maybe I had a few too many holiday treats, but I was happily surprised by the fit of these. The low-rise waist has a small gap but not enough to require alterations, and the slim-cut legs end right at my ankle. The pants are also fully lined with no front pockets, eliminating the issue of see-throughness.

Banana Republic extra 50% off sale in-store only (extra 40% off sale online) – This was certainly not a necessary purchase, but I picked up these ankle pants in another color. The red-orange “New Vermillion” was at my store in various sizes for $11.99 (from $89), and the “Butternut wood” tan was around $22 post discounts. I would’ve loved a true camel color, but something about that yellow-y shade of brown was less than desirable.

J.Crew extra 40% off (final) sale in stores and online -for some reason, there are items still full price on J.Crew’s website that are on several rounds of markdown in-store. I picked up button-up shirts for my brother ranging from $12 to $18 (down from $70-100), and a Ludlow wool flannel sportcoat for Nick which was $158 in-store (saw several both on the east and west coast) despite being full price online. And for me, just a cozy PJ set so I no longer have to steal Nick’s pants when our heat cuts out. The bright cerise flannel set is full price online but $36 in-store.
Designer shoe sale going on at all the major dept stores – 2 years ago around this time, I got my beloved Stuart Weitzman boots at Bloomingdales for 35% off. The after-sale price is not low by any means, but I have yet to find more flattering tall boots for keeping legs warm. I stopped by again this year and saw these 50/50 wedge boots (pictured above on the left, 2.75″ high wedge), currently 40% off. I ordered a sz 5 through their system (free shipping for cardholders) to try on. Update: only sz 6 and up remaining. If anyone else is interested, the item info is: F13 Boot, 00808618852741 610/45 $358.80.

Lastly, the extra 50% off sale items in Anthropologie’s home department (extra 25% off for clothing) w/ code WARMUP is worthy of mentioning. The sale is also going on in-stores. I was tempted by all the whimsical knick knacks but am waiting to find the right home first : )

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  1. Anonymous wrote:

    I got the Sloan pants in orange too. Out of ideas on how to style. Pleeeaase help:) love all your outfits!!

    Posted 1.16.14 Reply
  2. Posted 1.11.14 Reply
  3. Yay! An outfit with low-heeled shoes!

    Posted 1.8.14 Reply
  4. Jean wrote:

    Hi there – aw thank you! I almost always wear an undertank/shirt under cashmere to prolong the # of wears before dry cleaning, but this one is so soft/comfy I haven't been …eek. I do get my cashmere dry cleaned and it is costly, but I have also hand-washed some. If you do go that route at your own risk, I'd recommend cold water and laying flat to dry – avoid hang drying b/c it'll stretch out the shape of sweaters. Good luck!

    Posted 1.8.14 Reply
  5. Jean wrote:

    Hi Anh! Probably not the exact same style but denim jackets don't vary too much : ) I think it's a sz 10, maybe 12 but will go home and check. It fit well except in sleeve width so I slimmed it roughly from the inside.

    Posted 1.8.14 Reply
  6. Jean wrote:

    Hi there – I couldn't find a link anywhere unfortunately, and they're sold out on the site. My order was cancelled because no more 5's, but if you're a sz 6 I know there are several companywide, including at the Chestnut Hill, MA store as of a few days ago!

    Posted 1.8.14 Reply
  7. Julie wrote:

    The skirt and clutch is so pretty. Love the print and color of the skirt and the color of the clutch is so pretty. Great choice indeed!

    Posted 1.7.14 Reply
  8. Anonymous wrote:

    Hello Jean, I love this outfit, very simple yet chic. I think you have such great taste.
    Do you wear a T-shirt under that cashmere pullover? Do you actually dry clean cashmere ? I love cashmere but not love the fact that it's dryclean. Do you think it's safe to handwash and hang dry? Thanks Jean

    Posted 1.7.14 Reply
  9. Anonymous wrote:

    Jean, very nice smart casual outfit. You have any eye for fashion. Just found your blog and very impressed, cheers Nikola

    Posted 1.7.14 Reply
  10. My daughter and I both love your blog! We are both "extrapetite" and love fashion! Your photos, links and advice are great and of course we love your style as well. Keep up the good work!!

    Posted 1.6.14 Reply
  11. Anh wrote:

    Hey Jean! Do you think they still carry that denim jacket at H&M;? What size are you wearing and how would you say it fits?

    Posted 1.6.14 Reply
  12. Kathleen wrote:

    I snatched up those Sloane ankle pants too! They were too good to resist and I love 'em. I actually knew to try them based on your recommendations from previous posts and you're right, they are awesome.

    Posted 1.6.14 Reply
  13. Anonymous wrote:

    I discovered you blog this weekend and now I spend sooo much time here, I´m sure people tell you all the time that you´re beautiful, but still – you´re so pretty! Love your skin, your hair, your smile:D That´s the moments I wish I was a lesbian:D I hope you will write forever, cause I look forward to another inspiration, your style is perfect for me! Magda

    Posted 1.6.14 Reply
  14. love the outfit, but more than anything I am staring at your skin — I need your secrets! beautiful.


    Posted 1.6.14 Reply
  15. Anonymous wrote:

    Maybe they are only in stores? I've been watching for those boots for the past 2 weeks and never saw them on sale nor in small sizes. If others have more info, would love to know!

    Posted 1.6.14 Reply
  16. Carol Li wrote:

    I love how you have mixed your neutrals to create a stylish outfit 🙂

    Posted 1.6.14 Reply
  17. I like also the denim jacket and now I must immediately fetch my denim jacket out of my closet 🙂 Thanks a lot for your great inspiration!

    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

    Posted 1.6.14 Reply
  18. This is so easy breezy California chic! I LOVE!!



    Posted 1.6.14 Reply
  19. Great finds! I have a couple of ponte stripe skirts from BR that was the perfect fit until I forgot to read the washing instructions and now is way too short for my comfort.


    Posted 1.6.14 Reply
  20. Kim Yu wrote:

    I have been eyeing those Sloan pants from BR! Awesome find! The last time I went there the price was still a little high for me. You got a super great deal! I need to stop by tomorrow!

    Great outfit by the way.

    Posted 1.6.14 Reply
  21. Darn! I was just at Banana Republic last Wednesday when sale items were an extra 40% off. If only I had waited a couple more days. 🙂 I love your navy striped skirt and the J.Crew pjs you picked up!


    Posted 1.6.14 Reply
  22. You are beautiful! Love your outfit!!!!!

    Le monde des petites

    Posted 1.5.14 Reply
  23. Jackie wrote:

    I love this simple, chic outfit!

    That PJ set looks so comfy….and you can't beat a good bargain. 🙂

    xoxo Jackie
    Something About That

    Posted 1.5.14 Reply
  24. Love your Style a lot 🙂

    1 Minute Cute Hairstyle!

    Posted 1.5.14 Reply
  25. Love the navy & camel combo – and that Ann Taylor clutch is sooo cute – I'm such a sucker for tassels! Hope you find a great upgrade for the Mossimo skirt – I'm still looking for a navy & white wide-stripe maxi skirt – I like the overall look but it's hard to find one that's just right.

    Posted 1.5.14 Reply
  26. Anonymous wrote:

    hi! could you share the link for the boots? couldn't find it on the bloomingdales website. do you think the sizing fits true to size? i really liked your older version and this one looks even more comfortable with the wedge heel!

    Posted 1.5.14 Reply
  27. Suzie Q wrote:

    I love your California warm winter outfit! Love the nude bow flats and the sweater is perfect. I recently realized that I was missing a basic beige colored sweater in my wardrobe, which is essential due to its versatility in its nude tone pairings. I haven't thought of looking at Talbot before this post! 🙂

    Suzie Q

    Posted 1.5.14 Reply
  28. I like the jean jacket. it is super cute. I have been eyeing one like that from j crew waiting for a sale. I do agree with you in regards to sales after the new years. it is the best. I usually shop around this time for most of my wardrobe. As far as shoes goes, boots are on super sales just before summer starts, but obviously u cant bet on finding anything for sure then.

    Posted 1.5.14 Reply
  29. EM wrote:

    I absolutely adore that necklace, it seems to work so well with your outfit yet doesn't make it so overbearing! And that JCrew pajama set..:)

    Posted 1.5.14 Reply

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