H&M pleated dress (and free shipping code)

handm brushstroke dress5H&M; dress (wearing sz 2, use code 1991 for free shipping until August 10th)
Zara pumps (similar starts in sz 5+) + bow shoe clips from eBay, Theory trench (old, similar)

I was drawn into H&M; recently by this pretty combination of mustard, navy, and cream. These colors are great for end of summer, plus will be easy to pair with tights going into cooler weather.
handm brushstroke dress1The style of this dress is nothing new – I think I reviewed it a year ago in red, before it was brought back repeatedly in solid navy, bright yellow, and more. Combined with this new print, however, I thought it was a good buy for work (wore it twice already with a cream blazer or this navy cropped cardigan) plus is fun enough to wear outside the office. handm brushstroke dress

handm brushstroke dress4Fit: H&M; doesn’t make petite sizing so most of their designs are intended for someone taller than me (at 5 feet tall). This dress has the typical issue of the torso being a little long, armholes slightly low, and the waist falling an inch or two below my natural waist. Usually this is an easy alteration of shortening the shoulder straps, but the neckline is high here so that would end up chokingly tight. A tailor would need to re-cut the neckline lower when doing that alteration (which I plan on asking mine about), or one could just wear a belt high like shown here, to visually cheat and raise the waistline. I think this dress is doable as-is belted and with heels on someone my height, but the proportions would look ideal on someone a little taller. The width was a good fit throughout.
handm brushstroke dress3
Measurements of a sz 2 (shown): 15″ across the armpits, 12.25″ across waist, 35.5″ total length. If you’ve never shopped at H&M; before, please note the sizing is European and runs about 2 or 3 sizes smaller than American numerical sizing. Material is 93% polyester / 7% spandex with decent weight, and is unlined with a concealed back zipper. Back view:
handm brushstroke dress2
While at H&M;, I also saw two racks of this crinkle full skirt in a taupe-lilac as well as basic black. Online there is also a beautiful jewel-toned teal perfect for next season. I love the dramatic silhouette of a fitted waist and a very full-shaped skirt, which is great for parties and special occasions. I brought the taupe color home to try on and will snap photos soon.
H and m skirt
The length is midi-length and hits me squarely in the calves, which means hemming will be needed for shorter ladies. The waist however was a perfect fit at about 12″ across on a sz 2. The material is an embossed spotted texture with good weight, with a concealed back zipper and pockets.
dotted blouse
If you’re looking for anything else to get with the free shipping code 1991 (no minimum that I know of!), I’d recommend this tie-neck dotted blouse (reviewed here) or these cute bow hooks (several colors) that I picked up for my kitchen towels. Please note that the last time I checked, H&M; does not accept online returns in stores so they would have to be mailed back.

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  1. Anonymous wrote:

    I ordered this dress online, but I swear the pattern is with black, not navy!

    Posted 8.11.14 Reply
  2. I love this combo of print and color!

    Posted 8.10.14 Reply
  3. Patti Seagraves wrote:

    How do you get the knotted belt appearance? I really like the look, but cant figure it out! 🙂

    Posted 8.9.14 Reply
  4. Jia S. wrote:

    Love this outfit! The trench is so cute!

    –Jia xx
    Oh! So Chic!

    Posted 8.8.14 Reply
  5. Unknown wrote:

    Hi! I just tried to comment and it didn't work…oh well, let's try again. I was wondering what size belt you're wearing, width-wise? I'm a college student, so I usually buy pretty cheap belts that don't do so well folded. Would something more pebbled and malleable be better? Thanks!

    Posted 8.7.14 Reply
  6. Jean wrote:

    Hi there – I'm getting it raised a little but in these photos it was not altered. I'm confused about the one on the website and think they might have made two really similar versions with just that neckline difference! I have this disclaimer in my post so no one orders and is disappointed: "**Update: a few ladies noted that the neckline of the dress online looks different/lower than the one I got in-store. Everything else looks the same so just wanted to point that out!**"

    Posted 8.7.14 Reply
  7. Anonymous wrote:

    Did you alter the dress? On the H&M; website, the neckline doesn't seem to be sitting very high at all.

    Posted 8.7.14 Reply
  8. Classic and so chic!

    Posted 8.6.14 Reply
  9. Anonymous wrote:

    thank you! this looks indeed perfection!

    Posted 8.4.14 Reply
  10. Jean wrote:

    Aw…thank you so much! I asked for layers that frame the face and then have my hairdresser use razor shears to thin it out underneath all around. I straighten this with a flat iron since it's a little too short to curl using my usual routine.

    Posted 8.4.14 Reply
  11. Lubna Omar wrote:

    Wow, that is such a beautiful print dress! I don't usually find such interesting prints/patterns at H&M;, but this one is definitely a score. It also goes so well with the navy Theory coat. xx

    Lubna | ELLE VOX

    Posted 8.3.14 Reply
  12. Anonymous wrote:

    Jean, your hair looks absolutely perfect! What did you get? Layers or just face framing? You did tutorial on your hair routine some time ago, do you still stick to the same routine?

    Posted 8.3.14 Reply
  13. Jenn wrote:

    Hi Jean, I just noticed someone (who I will not name…) changed the layout of her blog to be frighteningly similar to yours. I had to do a double take.

    Posted 8.2.14 Reply
  14. Yo wrote:

    Thank you so much for your reply!!!! The old post's really helpful! xx

    Posted 8.2.14 Reply
  15. Ahh! I think that might be an issue for me, then, since I'm about 35.5" in the bust but the rest of my measurements are almost identical to yours. Do you think the dress has alteration potential? I've since tried on the size 4 but it was way too wide on me. Maybe I can take it in in the waist and sides? I didn't pay attention to the construction though.

    Posted 8.2.14 Reply
  16. Vanessa wrote:

    Ahh I love the entire outfit! Your blog gives me hope that petite women like me (4'11) can still dress well without looking like a twelve year old in heels (heh). I love your style. 🙂

    Vessi :: art & petite style blog

    Posted 8.2.14 Reply
  17. Jean wrote:

    I hate those kind of work days, but your comment made my morning! Am flattered and happy to help offer a mid day break : )

    Posted 8.1.14 Reply
  18. Jean wrote:

    Aw thank you, Ashleigh! I love both of those pieces and hope you'll get lots of wear out of them as well : )

    Posted 8.1.14 Reply
  19. Jean wrote:

    I'm so sorry about the technical troubles! That sounds frustrating and I will definitely look into the issue. I have addressed loose armholes from the bottom as well, like with this dress in this old post: http://www.extrapetite.com/2012/03/diy-alterations-how-to-slim-sleeves.html

    If it's sleeveless, I would see if there's enough looseness in the chest as well to start slimming a few inches below the armhole and take that stitch all the way up to make the armhole narrower.

    Posted 8.1.14 Reply
  20. Jean wrote:

    Hi there – it's about 66 inches long : )

    Posted 8.1.14 Reply
  21. andrea wrote:

    This is such a great H+M find! I ordered one after reading this post…can't wait to wear it to work this fall/winter with navy tights and my navy patent J. Crew heels! Thanks!



    Posted 8.1.14 Reply
  22. Jean wrote:

    I did get a long overdue cut…thank you! : )

    Posted 8.1.14 Reply
  23. Jean wrote:

    Thank you for your kind words, Katrin! Congratulations on entering the workforce and best of luck in your new advertising role : )

    Posted 8.1.14 Reply
  24. Jean wrote:

    Hi Lisa! I think it might be snug for a 30F because it just has ~ an inch of room for me and my bra is 30A.

    Posted 8.1.14 Reply
  25. Opalette wrote:

    I bought the same dress a few weeks ago — love how you've added the coat! I plan on wearing it once it gets a little cooler out. 🙂

    Posted 8.1.14 Reply
  26. I love your style too! Such a great dress 🙂

    Check out the B.A.D blog: blogaboutdesign.com

    Posted 8.1.14 Reply
  27. Beautiful dress! I have to say that this is the perfect look to welcome this coming Fall!
    Mad For Fashion For Less
    Become a Fashion Fan: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mad-For-Fashion-For-Less/310725935696887

    Posted 8.1.14 Reply
  28. I saw that dress in store the other day and thought it was really cute, but I didn't feel like trying it on. Apparently I should have, it looks amazing on you!

    Posted 7.31.14 Reply
  29. I love this dress! Just wondering how it fits in the bust? Is it just right or roomy for you? I wear a 30F bra so I'm afraid it will be too small on me in the bust. I am debating whether I should order a 2 or 4. It's out of stock in my size in every store in Boston so I want to get it right so I don't have to pay return shipping.

    Posted 7.30.14 Reply
  30. Gigi Katz wrote:

    so classy! thanks for the code will certainly use it. xx. gigi. http://www.gigikkitchen.com

    Posted 7.30.14 Reply
  31. Anonymous wrote:

    Thank you for the FREE shipping CODE. I just used it!

    Posted 7.30.14 Reply
  32. Katrin wrote:

    Dear Jean, I just want to thank you! Your Blog really changed my life. I graduated from college a few months ago and just started working in an advertising agency. I always felt uncomfortable about my appearance, because I still wear the same clothes in the same way I did in College – not really feminin or grown up. I never knew exactly how to change that and was struggling to find a style that really fits me. I'm so so glad I found your Blog. You're such an inspiration to me! Thanks from germany! K.

    Posted 7.30.14 Reply
  33. The dress and trench combination is fabulous. Love the print on the dress it's so classy and chic

    Posted 7.30.14 Reply
  34. I love the way you have tied the belt on the coat!


    Posted 7.30.14 Reply
  35. If I'm not mistaken Jean did you get a haircut? Your hair looks great! The dress is very flattering on you!


    Posted 7.29.14 Reply
  36. Suzie Q wrote:

    I saw this dress displayed in store recently and was immediately drawn to it, but unfortunately there wasn't anymore on the rack. Love this dress on you and how you styled it with the blue trench!

    Suzie Q

    Posted 7.29.14 Reply
  37. Jos wrote:

    So elegant and chic .Loving this look and the blazer


    Posted 7.29.14 Reply
  38. Anonymous wrote:

    I love how you wear your long pearl necklace many different ways. Please tell me how long is your necklace?

    Posted 7.29.14 Reply
  39. Yo wrote:

    I've tried to leave you a comment for three times but none of them got posted somehow… I was on Safari. Now switched to Chrome…. If this one gets through, I think the website might have some compatibility issues with Safari.

    Anyways, thank you for sharing, Jean 🙂

    I wanted to ask how do you usually deal with the too big armholes besides lifting the shoulders? Most of the time when i see a nice blouse, its armhole would be too big for me. When I lift my arms, a bit of my bra gets revealed from the holes. Is this not acceptable for work attire?
    (I really wish this comment finally gets through………..)


    Posted 7.29.14 Reply
  40. Ashleigh wrote:

    I'm a new reader as of last week and I have to say that I am OBSESSED! Petite myself, at 5ft feet tall with a size five foot who looks twelve, am thrilled to see a real person reviewing real items with such variety. So far, I have purchased the black and white striped skirt from modcloth and the leopard heels from Nordstrom! Thank you, thank you!

    Posted 7.29.14 Reply
  41. Revital wrote:

    such a cte dress! love it!


    Posted 7.29.14 Reply
  42. Love this! And I love the additional picks you included at the end. I'm always looking for appropriate, yet feminine skirts. These days it's tough to find good silhouettes and skirts that don't just cover your bum. 😛

    Posted 7.29.14 Reply
  43. Anonymous wrote:

    Jean, I was having a horribly stressful day at work, but seeing your new posts always offers a much needed reprieve 🙂

    Posted 7.29.14 Reply
  44. AlexisB wrote:

    That dress looks great on you! I've tried that dress in its various incarnations, but my short torso and wide hips make it a no-no for me.

    Anthropologie is also offering free shipping today. The code is JUSTBECAUSE. I ordered a few items. Most of the sale items I looked at were still available in XSP and SP. I didn't look at full-priced items.

    Posted 7.29.14 Reply
  45. That jacket is a perfect length and I love the print of the dress!

    xo, Kyla

    Posted 7.29.14 Reply
  46. Surprising that this dress is H&M.; It's so chic esp the way you styled it.l


    Posted 7.29.14 Reply
  47. Wonderful dress! Love your style! <3
    You look stunning!!!!


    Le monde des petites

    Posted 7.29.14 Reply
  48. I agree with this dress being perfect for end of summer. Love that trench, love this look! Bow hooks are adorable!


    Posted 7.29.14 Reply
  49. Eva wrote:

    You have impeccable style.

    Posted 7.29.14 Reply

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