C’est la vie + cropped sweater reviews

cest la vie sweater

c’est la vie sweater (in navy or coral), ASOS dress (review), Kate Spade pumps and phone case – (on clearance) love the credit card slot

My wardrobe is heavy on skirts and dresses, so I’ve been searching for shorter-length sweaters that are more flattering with these pieces. With skirts, not having to tuck in a longer top means less unsightly lumps and lines. And layering a short top over a dress (as shown above) adds versatility without the efforts of tying and tucking. I found two pieces that I’m very happy with, and wanted to share details while sizes are still in stock.

This c’est la vie (“that’s life”) sweater is actually from the F21 kids department, but is available in 4 sizes up from the one shown above. My friend was placing an order so I added 2 sizes to try – my usual size L, and also an XS to serve as a cropped sweater. For sizing reference, my friend typically wears a 2P and kept the girls L for a similar look.

girls L (left) and girls XS (right)

cest la vie sweater2
The fit of the XS was what I was hoping for in a shorter sweater to wear with dresses and high-waisted skirts. The length of the L is better suited for someone my height to wear casually with pants / jeans, but please note it is wider throughout. Based on the difference between the two sizes I tried on, I’d estimate a S would have also fit fine for a cropped length. The stripes are navy (also available in a coral pink), and the text is printed on in black script. I love this sweater and see it getting a lot of wear.

Measurements of girls XS when lying flat and unstretched: 14″ across armpits, 12.5″ across waist, 18″ long sleeves (estimated, since the shoulders/sleeves are raglan style), 16.5″ length.
Measurements of girls L: 16″ across armpits, 19″ long sleeves, 14″ across waist, 19.5″ length.

Material is a stretchy thin knit, comprised of 82% cotton, 18% nylon. If possible, I recommend keeping all sweaters and cardigans out of the machine washer / dryer to avoid excessive pilling and color fading. I usually hand wash and then lay flat to dry.
modcloth cardigan

Ann Taylor crochet dress (old) and chevron skirt (old), Target chambray shirt

Next up is this short cardigan from Modcloth which has over a hundred rave reviews. Most ladies mentioned that it ran small, and I would agree as this S feels 1-2 sizes smaller. If you have questions on what size to get, some of the reviewers list their exact measurements and what size they ordered (plus an occasional fit photo), which is very helpful. I also read a lot of positive comments on the good quality material, which was surprising given the fully synthetic content (80% acrylic, 18% nylon, 2% spandex). Once I tried it on though, I do agree that the knit is nice and soft, and not too thin. These come in 4 colors and are cute, casual alternatives to wearing blazers with dresses.

Measurements of size S cardigan when buttoned up and un-stretched: 15″ across armpits, 12″ across waist, 14.5″ length, 18.5″ sleeve length. 

I also wanted to share a review of this previously-mentioned Gap navy striped dress. The style of the dress is so cute and the material (stiffer but sturdy, slightly stretchy cotton) is a quality blend of 97% cotton/3% spandex. The pleated skirt is full-style but flattering in my opinion, and there are side pockets and an invisible back zip. Sadly, the fit did not work out for me. Here’s the size 0 petite off the rack:

gapdress1I don’t usually wear this size, so how it fits on me is not a fair gauge of whether the dress runs true to size. My friend who wears 2P tried it on and said it was just a tad snug, so it may either fit true to size or run a half size big. The length is pretty short, so I wouldn’t recommend the petite sizing for anyone over 5’1” unless you are OK with a mini dress.

Measurements of a 0P: 13.25″ across shoulders, 17.25″ across armpits, 13.5″ across waist, 16.5″ long sleeves, 5.5″ across middle of sleeve, 32″ length.

I snapped this “clipped back” photo to show how I would’ve liked the dress to fit, but realized it was too much tailoring work. Specifically, narrowing the shoulders and torso while maintaining the symmetric pleat detailing around the back would be a tricky job. I do think the dress is adorable though, if the sizing and length options work for you.
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  1. Lately, I have been loving yellow and stripped navy blue top 😀


    Posted 3.14.14 Reply
  2. awww, they yellow dress is sold out!! Your look fab!

    Posted 3.11.14 Reply
  3. Love with this look and color! You look great!

    Posted 2.25.14 Reply
  4. Layering the sweater over a dress is a great idea. The color is fab!

    Posted 2.7.14 Reply
  5. Giovanna wrote:

    Seriously IN LOVE with your first look! Too cute! Love the color pop!


    Posted 2.3.14 Reply
  6. Jean wrote:

    Chelsea, thank you for your kind compliment! I'm hoping to do a 'staple series' over the next month on my most-worn basics and the ways to pair them.

    Posted 1.30.14 Reply
  7. Jean wrote:

    Thanks so much, Susan! I love their selection and price points (esp with those 40-50% off sales).

    Posted 1.30.14 Reply
  8. Jean wrote:

    The red one is Talbots from a thrift store, and the brown tortoise patent is from Ann Taylor last season…might still be in stores as it was still online as of last week : )

    Posted 1.30.14 Reply
  9. Kstylick wrote:

    I like the first skirt 🙂 That flared skirt will going to be sexy on me. XD I hope that maybe we could follow each other on Bloglovin and/or GFC, Facebook?

    Please leave me a comment on my blog and follow by blog!


    You can also like my Facebook page.


    I will follow you back! 🙂

    Korean Fashion

    Posted 1.29.14 Reply
  10. Anonymous wrote:

    Jean, where did you buy the belts you wore in the last two pics?

    Posted 1.29.14 Reply
  11. susanB wrote:

    i just went on the loft.com site, and there you were, advertising for the petite section! you look beautiful! love the petite clothes at the loft.

    Posted 1.29.14 Reply
  12. Chelsea wrote:

    Hi Jean, love your blog and your style! Do you think you could put together a post on wardrobe basics and how to build a wardrobe that can be mixed and matched? I know most of the time I feel at a loss for even where to begin and it would be great to get tips from someone who is always so put together!

    Posted 1.29.14 Reply
  13. Jean wrote:
    Posted 1.29.14 Reply
  14. Jean wrote:

    Hi there – I posted a full review of the dress here: http://www.extrapetite.com/2014/01/dressed-down-pencil-skirt-asos-dress.html

    For a US 0 I would say it does run small compared to other US brands.

    Posted 1.29.14 Reply
  15. Noniek wrote:

    I love the yellow skirt!

    Posted 1.28.14 Reply
  16. Awesome reviews!

    Posted 1.28.14 Reply
  17. Anonymous wrote:

    hi Jean, this is not related to this post. The Ann Taylor stripe top you wear with the scallop skirt in a recent instagram picture is really cute. Is it current right now? or old. Thank you

    Posted 1.27.14 Reply
  18. neon skirt T___T i love it!!!


    Posted 1.27.14 Reply
  19. Joanna Le wrote:

    I ran out to purchase that GAP dress the moment I saw you post it! Unfortunately, the fit wasn't good, :(. I was hoping it would work out, but GAP sizing is really hit or miss for me. Uber bummed! I'm gonna bookmark that ASOS dress though.. Love the full skirt!


    Posted 1.27.14 Reply
  20. Love the yellow asos dress styled with this sweater on you! You look so stylish!




    Posted 1.27.14 Reply
  21. Anonymous wrote:

    You're entitled to your own opinion, but I hope you realize that your comment is simply body snarking. I am the exact same size and build as Jean, and that has been my healthy, steady state body since high school. I would also like to point out that as someone who is 5'0" and less than 100 pounds, a fluctuation of even a few pounds (which is natural for any woman) can make a huge difference in how I look.

    Anyone who subscribes to the "only real women have curves" mantra–and equates skinny but healthy to "asexual" and unfeminine–has as much of an attitude problem as the high fashion industry itself.

    Posted 1.27.14 Reply
  22. How cute is that cardy?! It's so hard to find cardigans that don't look matronly. I love it paired with the lace dress.

    Posted 1.27.14 Reply
  23. You look great in everything 🙂 Love the first yellow skirt above! xx

    Posted 1.27.14 Reply
  24. Posh Pearl wrote:

    Love your first outfit so much! I've never ordered from asos before. Would you say the dress fits true to size or runs small? Does the dress have a little give on top? Thanks!

    Posted 1.27.14 Reply
  25. For me it´s the same – and I´m also in love with the yellow Asos dress 🙂 Must immediately look if both is available 🙂


    Posted 1.27.14 Reply
  26. Breukellen wrote:

    I just bought the c'est la vie sweater because you made it look so cute. Hope we're about the same size! Thanks for the awesome review.

    Posted 1.27.14 Reply
  27. Love so much the C'est la vie sweater!!!
    It's great on you!!!!


    Le monde des petites

    Posted 1.26.14 Reply
  28. Anna Wintour wrote:

    Hi Jean,

    I've been sporadically following your blog for over 3 years. I've seen your style take shape and your confidence in your clothing picks grow over the years. It's been something alike watching my own baby grow since she was born. So, it's with good intentions that I share the following observation: it seems you've allowed the world of being in the public eye adversely affect your body. You've grown increasingly gaunt and have lost the healthy amount of meat that lends to a feminine body. (You started out so! = ) ). Don't let the asexuality of the high fashion world eat you alive, dear. While all the clothes and accessories from it are fanciful and wondrous, the models for the products of creativity are nothing but gender-less hangers. I do believe Blair of Atlantic-Pacific aspires to this and has achieved it; any vibrancy she may have had as a woman has long been sucked away.

    Posted 1.26.14 Reply
  29. I never thought of how versatile dresses can be with a properly fitted top! Love the fit of the smaller size, the side by side really emphasis how different of a look you get with the different size. I'm gonna have to go through my closet and see if I can mix and match some things.


    Posted 1.26.14 Reply
  30. Suzie Q wrote:

    I haven't thought of wearing a smaller size in the kids' department before for the cropped sweater look. Such a great idea! I love the sweater paired with the dress-turned-skirt. The Gap dress looks really great with it tailored perfectly, too bad it didn't work out!

    Suzie Q

    Posted 1.26.14 Reply
  31. Lyn wrote:

    I love the c'est la vie sweater, yellow skirt (which is actually a dress) and the striped dress!
    xo Lyn

    Posted 1.26.14 Reply
  32. MizzJ wrote:

    That sweatshirt is adorable! ModCloth is such an "awful" place; there are way too many cute things there.

    Posted 1.26.14 Reply
  33. Petite-ish wrote:

    The first sweater and yellow dress combo is adorable – I love it on you! I've been hesitant to get on the logo sweater/sweatshirt trend because I they remind me of my grade school – high school years (remember gap sweatshirts?) but you make it look so sophisticated and fresh!

    Posted 1.26.14 Reply
  34. Kimberly Jane wrote:

    Love the C'est la vie sweater! I might have to get it now (:

    Posted 1.26.14 Reply
  35. EM wrote:

    I absolutely love the first outfit! It's an absolutely cute and elegant look 🙂


    Posted 1.26.14 Reply
  36. Jean wrote:

    Hi Sara – I've sent it back. If you check the website in the mornings, I've seen several sizes pop back into stock.

    Posted 1.26.14 Reply
  37. x MerZ wrote:

    love the way you paired the dress with a short sweater for a high waisted skirt look! the yellow definitely pulls everything together 🙂

    Posted 1.26.14 Reply
  38. Did you return the gap dress, or will you be selling it?

    Posted 1.26.14 Reply

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