Boston Sunset // Off Shoulder Sweater (Dress) Season

off shoulder sweater casual fall outfit idea

The days are now crisp and cool (in Boston, at least…certainly not on the West coast from what I hear!) and off-shoulder sweaters are back with a vengeance. I love that they can be warm and comfortable, yet the shoulder-baring detail makes it chic enough for a date or a night out with friends. I was eying this cute dress for a while and finally ordered it, but the length was several inches too long on me. Typically this would just require a simple hem job, but I’ve never hemmed sweater knits and am wary of doing so (if any of you have, let me know in the comments how it worked out!). I figured my best bet would be to find pieces that are supposed to be longer tops instead of actual dresses!

sweater dress plaid blanket scarf fall outfit boston

This sweater comes in three fall-ready colors fit the bill, hitting right around where I’d want for a casual dress (the sleeves are regular length so I have them rolled up per usual). It’s also cute as a tunic with leggings and ankle booties for an everyday casual look. For extra warmth I layered a soft blanket scarf on top, and will probably wear this with navy or gray tights and boots next time. Here’s how the sweater looks un-belted:

olive off shoulder sweater dress nordstrom

Leith tunic sweater xs, Vince Camuto booties (old, similar avail. in 8 colors & sz 5 – 12)

I wanted to share a few other Fall finds that I came across at Nordstrom, some of which are on pretty good sale right now. These three types of items come back year after year, and I always get questions on options best suited for petite women!

Madewell Fleet Utility jacket: I’ve tried on my share of utility jackets, and this one starting in xxs had one of the slimmer fits in the shoulders and throughout the torso. The 100% cotton material is medium weight (thinner than my other army jackets) which makes it less bulky than thicker ones, and the “Military Surplus” color is a perfect weathered olive green. An older color in this jacket just got marked down, and is going quickly!

Paige Lou Lou Flare jeans in petites (temporarily 40% off): It’s amazing how trends and personal tastes fluctuate over time, as I was obsessed with flare jeans in high school, then wouldn’t touch them with a 10 foot pole, and now am super intrigued by them again because of how flattering they can be. I’ll have more on them in upcoming posts, but I had to mention the popular Paige Lou Lou style is temporarily 40% off right now. These are sold at a variety of stores each year and very rarely get marked down much, especially not this early in the season and with all sizes in stock! I took my regular 24 in these – the darker color, slightly higher rise (these are mid-rise, not really high) and slimming silhouette are super flattering together. Please note the length is pretty long even in petite sizing, so I need about 1.5″ hemmed off.

Billabong plaid shirt dress – if you’re looking for a comfortable and warm plaid shirtdress, this one fit better than most others I’ve tried on. The “thigh grazing” length looks rather short on the model, which was a tell-tale sign to me that it’d fit petites nicely as a normal length. The 100% cotton material has a slightly nubbly, textured flannel feel to it, and is a little more comfortable against the skin than the Caslon dress I reviewed in this post.

off shoulder sweater dress nordstrom fall outfit_extra petite

I hope those of you who picked up this blanket scarf love it as much as I do…it’ll definitely be making many more appearances styled in other outfits! I mentioned this before, but it’s a little thinner than most blanket scarves, making it easier to fold and style for those who tend to feel overwhelmed by the truly oversized ones.

olive sweater scarf booties cute fall fashion ideas

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  1. Jenna wrote:

    > Typically this would just require a simple hem job, but I've never hemmed sweater knits and am wary of doing so (if any of you have, let me know in the comments how it worked out!).

    There's a guide here which looks quite comprehensive:

    I'll admit, I've often cheated and just used fusible interfacing without stitching anything…I'm not very hard on my clothes, so I can get away with that.

    Posted 10.16.16 Reply
  2. DanFeng Li wrote:

    this colour is out of order! so sad…

    Posted 10.11.16 Reply
  3. You look so pretty, Jean!
    Julia // Little Miss Haute Couture

    Posted 9.30.16 Reply
  4. Anonymous wrote:

    Love the blanket scarf! I notice you are obsessed with them during the fall and winter time and I cannot wait to see them featured more in your future posts!

    Posted 9.30.16 Reply
  5. mybeautrip wrote:

    Amazing dress and this scarf looks great!

    Posted 9.30.16 Reply
  6. Cute outfit! So excited for sweaters and fall weather!


    Posted 9.30.16 Reply
  7. It's great when you can use being petite to your advantage instead of a frustration! I've been known to get excited when dresses are rated as "too short."

    Posted 9.30.16 Reply
  8. this sweater dress is perfection and i love how you paired it with that scarf! i hope you have a wonderful weekend!!


    Posted 9.30.16 Reply
  9. Rachel wrote:

    I love your scarf! Looks so cozy 🙂


    Posted 9.30.16 Reply
  10. This one looks gorgeous.
    Darlene |

    Posted 9.30.16 Reply
  11. m wrote:

    Hi Jean! I've got the same style Vince Camuto booties in a tan color. I've tried so many different types of no-show socks with them, but they still show! For this reason, I don't wear the booties as much =/. Do you wear socks with yours? If so, could you link the exact ones?

    Posted 9.29.16 Reply
  12. Rachel wrote:

    That dress looks perfect on you! Gorgeous!

    Posted 9.29.16 Reply
  13. I love that dress on you! It's perfect styled with a thick belt. So cute!

    Lifestyle by Joules

    Posted 9.29.16 Reply
  14. Ev wrote:

    Perfect dress 🙂

    Posted 9.29.16 Reply
  15. Mei Liang wrote:

    Hi Jean! Leith sweater dresses are usually not too petite friendly, happy to see you still gave it a try, I don't think it looks long on you at all! I have a Leith sweater dress that I accidentally shrank in the dryer (to my advantage!) and now it's more of a midi dress which is better as there's more fabric to cover my legs in the unexpected winds of San Francisco!

    Pieces of Mei

    Posted 9.29.16 Reply
  16. Anonymous wrote:

    Love everything you basically put on! Question thou, how do you keep your wardrobe organized? Where do you put all the clothes and shoes? =P please do a post =)

    Posted 9.29.16 Reply
  17. Love your style! Those open-toe booties are cute!

    Posted 9.29.16 Reply
  18. Jen wrote:

    Love this tunic sweater and those shoes!

    Jen | affecionada

    Posted 9.29.16 Reply
  19. Sasa Zoe wrote:


    Shall We Sasa

    Posted 9.29.16 Reply
  20. Love it. Currently wearing my blanket scarf right now!

    Posted 9.29.16 Reply
  21. Anonymous wrote:

    Good morning Jean! I am loving this Boston crispness. Wore my equestrian boots for the first time to work this morning! I sew and tailor quite a bit (though am in no way a pro!) and I have taken in knits before (easy through the body and sewing down a too-high neckline) but hemming them, I have only found this workable when there is a banded hem, as I take it in above the band and then steam and press it (similar in the way you re-attach hems on jeans). If it is a straight rib or cable, it can be more difficult. The couple of times I did this, I shrunk the dress in the dryer and that did the trick. The other time I had a black knit dress and found a pretty satin sash and sewed it to the bottom after hemming. It elevated the dress (blouson top and fitted bottom) and hid the hem with that extra detail! Hope this helps! 🙂 Gwen Kennedy

    Posted 9.29.16 Reply
  22. BW02 wrote:

    That scarf is AWESOME with your dress and I don't even like plaid lmao.

    Posted 9.29.16 Reply
  23. Wow, I love this dress!! Love how you paired it with a scarf, so festive 🙂 Also, this bridge used to be my walk from Beacon street to Kendall Square everyday, so pretty!!
    xx Tess | Sequins are the New Black

    Posted 9.29.16 Reply
  24. How cute! Loving that scarf♥

    Posted 9.29.16 Reply
  25. Anonymous wrote:

    I love this dress! And the scarf is a nice touch 🙂
    Fash 'n' fudge
    Fash 'n' fudge

    Posted 9.29.16 Reply
  26. I love your style! X

    Posted 9.29.16 Reply
  27. You off-the-shoulder dress is perfect for the weather you have now in Boston and you look simply amazing!
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

    Posted 9.29.16 Reply

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