Video – How to improve basic outfits: floral top edition

I was snapping some photos for my next wardrobe staples post and felt motivated to get back on YouTube! It’s been a whopping two years since I’ve uploaded a new video, but I’ve gotten many requests from ladies who are just starting to build up their wardrobes. Frankly I find it a bit awkward yapping away into my camcorder, but I suppose it’s good to push myself out of my comfort zone once in a while : )

Outfit details:
Intro – Loft ruffle dress (old), Ann Taylor necklace, Loft floral top
Work outfit “before” – J.Crew cardigan, H&M; skirt, Ann Taylor pumps (all old)
Work outfit “after” Modcloth cardigan, thrifted skirt, Kate Spade pumps, Ann Taylor tote and clutch (old), Sole Society heels (review)

Casual outfit “before” – A&F; jorts, old navy flops
Casual outfit “after” – H&M; shorts (old), Talbots sandals c/o (review), Sole Society reversible tote c/o (review), Ann Taylor belt (old), Old Navy outlet hat

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  1. Anonymous wrote:

    Hi Jean,
    I love this post and they way you styled the sheath dress, I'm a short waisted petite are you more evenly proportioned? Do you think I could wear this?

    Posted 1.16.16 Reply
  2. Anonymous wrote:

    very helpful! Thanks!

    Posted 9.12.14 Reply
  3. Anonymous wrote:

    Hi! I stumbled on your blog by googling keyword "petite" because hello I'm asian too! XD

    Just wanted to say I looove your blog! You have such great taste and such a ball of positive energy! (And if you dont mind, I would like to slip in a congratulatory note on your recent engagement!) 😉

    Anyway I have somewhat a weird request (if you do entertain any that is). I'm wearing a hijab and being a small even in the Asian community, its a bit diffficult for me to mix and match things. So I would like to request if you could share a point or two about an ensemble of long sleeves with pants/long skirts? It would be great if you can do this! 🙂


    Posted 8.20.14 Reply
  4. Anonymous wrote:

    Very well made vidoe, and thank you so much!

    Posted 8.18.14 Reply
  5. Anonymous wrote:

    You are absolutely my favorite!

    Posted 8.15.14 Reply
  6. very helpful, thank you!

    Posted 8.13.14 Reply
  7. Anonymous wrote:

    Anonymous below here. Thanks for the response, Jean! I will keep my eye open for elastic waist bands.

    I paired a pinkish patterned top with a maroon skirt today, and they look great together! I never would have thought to do it before your hint about just keeping things in the same color family.

    Posted 8.12.14 Reply
  8. Petite swede wrote:

    Really loved this post and youtube video. And the way you altered and improved the outfits was great. More of this kind please 🙂

    Posted 8.12.14 Reply
  9. Jean wrote:

    I wear my normal length cardigans a lot with pants or jeans – I think it didn't work as well here just because as mentioned, the hips were the widest part of my skirt and then it just goes kind of straight down below halfway my legs. Trousers could have a bit of a boot cut shape or skinny jeans can be really lengthening, so the hip length cardigan looks a little less boxy. If you like cropped cardigans I recommend the one I'm wearing here from Modcloth! Lots of colors too.

    Posted 8.12.14 Reply
  10. Jean wrote:

    Thank you so much : )

    Posted 8.12.14 Reply
  11. Jean wrote:

    Hi Amanda – it's from Ann Taylor and is current : )

    Posted 8.12.14 Reply
  12. Jean wrote:

    I'm going to keep my eyes peeled, but haven't really started trying on and searching for coats yet : ) You know I love a good coat so I'll certainly be posting about this! I do love the J.Crew coats though and wear them the most.

    Posted 8.12.14 Reply
  13. Jean wrote:

    Hi there – it's actually a dress from LOFT. Ann Taylor had really similar too, but both are from last season so may be sold out : /

    Posted 8.12.14 Reply
  14. Jean wrote:

    Hi there – you can apply the tips here such as picking a color from within the pattern and pairing with a top in that color, or go completely neutral aside from the skirt and pair the print with just white, black, tan, navy etc pieces. For a bolder look, you can also try opposite colors (ie. i think blue looks great with yellow, green with purple) or neighboring colors (blue with green, red with orange) with your top and skirt. If you're worried about looking too colorful I'd always stick with neutral pumps.

    Posted 8.12.14 Reply
  15. Jean wrote:

    Hi Sharon! With flat shoes, I would stick with slimmer silhouettes such as skinny jeans/pants (love Gap legging jeans or the Banana Republic sloan pants) as well as shorter hemlines for skirts and dresses to balance out shorter legs. In the second outfit here my heels are less than 1" (PS – really low wedges can actually be just as comfy as flats!) and I also suggested skin-toned flat shoes.

    Posted 8.12.14 Reply
  16. Jean wrote:

    Hi Lizzy and anonymous below – I know what you mean which is why I LOVE elastic/stretch waisted skirts. I have a few from Ann Taylor and also some with a regular waistband front and stretchy waistband back. These are my most comfortable skirts by far so I look for this feature when shopping, as a bonus. If you often experience discomfort then I'd stay away from non-stretch high waisted pieces.

    Posted 8.12.14 Reply
  17. Suzie Q wrote:

    Yay, welcome back to doing YouTube videos! 🙂 You're so well articulated! Love the styling tips that you provided and how you centered both the work and casual pieces around one top!

    Suzie Q

    Posted 8.11.14 Reply
  18. Cat wrote:

    This was so incredibly helpful! I love how you explain why you made each change. I can look at the before and after and see that the 'after' is better, but not WHY it is better. Thank you! More youtube videos like this please!!

    Posted 8.11.14 Reply
  19. These are SO helpful and you're so good at the videos Jean! I even shared this with my sister, definitely would love to see more of these in the future 🙂

    Posted 8.11.14 Reply

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