Complete with Pleats

modcloth navy pleated skirt spring outfit ideas

Whistle through the Workday top xxs c/o, Pleats as Punch skirt xxs c/o, Dream of the Crop cardigan (16 colors!), Zara heels (old), Ann taylor tote (old)

Every once in a while, Nick and I find ourselves making an impromptu stop at the Boston library. We love popping by in the mornings, to people watch and reminisce around the courtyard (where we said our “I do’s”) like an old married couple. If you’re visiting the city and looking for a food-meets-historical landmark activity, I’d recommend making a reservation for afternoon tea sets overlooking this courtyard! You can see a picture of it here in my Boston guide.

navy pleated skirt spring petite style blog

With Spring (hopefully) around the corner, I’m partnering with Modcloth today to share some petite-friendly pieces, each of which fit me without alterations and don’t require dry cleaning (always a bonus)! I like to scour customer reviews for hints that an item runs small or short, which can pay off in the form of well-fitting finds for me.

spring outfit ideas boston public library courtyard

This pleated skirt at 18.5″ long works well for shorter ladies, and an size xxs fits a 24″ waist off the rack (no stretch at the waist). The outer material is on the lighter weight side, but there’s a full lining along with an invisible side zipper. It hits about two inches above my knees which is a safe length for most offices, but I wouldn’t recommend it for workwear if it hits you any shorter.

My oldie but goodie cropped cardigan makes yet another appearance (see it also styled here and here) – it’s one of Modcloth’s core pieces, and has been tweaked and updated over several years now. It comes in a rainbow of colors, and is so easy to throw on over dresses and high-waisted skirts. Mine here is old, but I also have one from their latest version in size XS, which fits me the same.

modcloth spring work outfit petite fashion blog

If you’re looking for a feminine shell to wear under blazers or cardigans, this one is lightweight and has a slight texture to it like crinkled silk (it also comes in black). An xxs measures 15″ across the armpits (no stretch) and is about 24″ long in the front, 27″ in the back. It hits me at the hips and the back just covers my tush like a tunic top, so this would also look cute paired casually with leggings or skinny jeans.

Below are a few other new arrivals that caught my eye (spring dresses galore), and are available starting in size xxs! Thank you to Modcloth for partnering on this post.


38 thoughts on “Complete with Pleats

  • Reply Charmaine Ng | Architecture and Lifestyle Blog March 29, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    I love, love, love cardigans in the summer. They work well for an office where the aircon is blasting!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  • Reply La Bijoux Bella | by mia March 29, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    Such classy and sleek look for the office … love the style! 🙂

    ❤LA BIJOUX BELLA❤ | BY MIA | A Creative Lifestyle Blog

  • Reply SONIA GEORGE March 29, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    Hi Jean,

    I've been following your blog for a while and you do a wonderful job, you are one of my favourite bloggers. This outfit is beautiful.
    As a reader from the UK, however I am continually very surprised at the huge discrepancy in sizing between UK and US sizes (even when purchasing the correct UK size that is supposed to correspond to the US one).
    I purchased the Modcloth pine green skirt with fan print that you wore one Christmas and was shocked at how large the XXS was on me. I was able to try the skirt on over another dress and it's very voluminous on me, whereas you look lovely and proportioned in it.
    I am around 5ft 1" tall and you look exceptionally slim, so I imagined that I would not fit into the size of clothes you wear. I recently also made my first purchase from Ann Taylor and went with my gut, choosing a size smaller than recommended based on the size guide and still found that I could have gone a size smaller. Additionally Ann Taylor's significant discounts and sales aren't available to international customers (I did write to them about this) making their (undeniably lovely) clothes plus shipping very costly for those of us outside the US.
    Anyway I continue to enjoy reading your posts, and taking inspiration from you, keep up the fantastic work!

  • Reply Briana Nicole March 29, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    I love that shade of blue on you! Looks great & it is such a gorgeous skirt!


  • Reply Jean March 29, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    Hi Sonia! I'm sorry to hear about the sizing issues … I know that can be frustrating, especially with international shipping costs! Since all women have unique proportions and carry our weight in different areas (and I know my own weight has really fluctuated over the years), things can definitely fit differently even if we look like we have similar body types. That's why I try to include measurements whenever possible, and encourage shoppers to compare that to their own clothes. I will say most brands' "size charts" are almost never accurate (not sure why!!), and if I were to order based on those, things would almost always end up too big.

    With the Modcloth pine green skirt, mine measures 12" across the waist or about 30 cm (which fit snugly on me, personally) – does yours measure differently? If so, they might've changed the fit from 1.5 years ago (when I got it) which would be unfortunate.

  • Reply SONIA GEORGE March 29, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    Hi Jean,

    Thanks for your quick response! The Modcloth pine green skirt I have also measures 12" across the waist. I'm still going to try to wear it though! Thanks again.


  • Reply Ambar Ahmed March 29, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    Fabulous outfit and venue! I've always loved the BPL 🙂

    I'm forever on the hunt for the perfect cropped cardi – would this ever go on sale? I'd like to stock up if there's ever a promo. Old Navy was my go to for cropped cardis since the price and fit was on point, but they've sadly stopped stocking them.

    Also wanted to share this with you and your readers:;=17 amazing, work appropriate dress, originally $50, now on sale for $16 with F&F; promo code BUYNOW. XS Fits me perfectly without alterations (5'3", 100lbs) and I always get compliments. I had 2 and recently bought 5 more while they had a large offering of both solid colors and prints. They're that good! Easy, no thought required outfit. Just add pumps and pearls and you look like you spent hours getting ready and not 5 minutes 🙂

  • Reply Mizeats March 29, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    Such a beautiful setting and outfit!

    I can see why you and Nick return there every so often!

    I really love the look and color of the pleated skirt.

  • Reply Lisa Smith March 29, 2017 at 7:46 pm

    Hi Jean! I enjoy reading your blog and reviews. Can you provide a review for the Zara shoes. I have been looking for a navy heel, and the Zara heel looks perfect.

  • Reply Jen March 29, 2017 at 8:09 pm

    Obsessed with this skirt on you! x

    Jen | affecionada

  • Reply Jeffi John March 29, 2017 at 9:56 pm

    Hi Jean,
    Do you have any recommendations on where to get a similar pleated skirt in red? I recently ordered one from Express, but felt it bunched up too much in the waist!
    Thank you!

  • Reply Jeffi John March 29, 2017 at 9:57 pm

    Hi Jean,
    Do you have any recommendations on where I can find a similar style pleated skirt in red? I recently bought one from Express, but had to return it because it bunched up too much in the waist.
    Thank you!

  • Reply Anonymous March 29, 2017 at 10:05 pm

    Hi Jean, I read your Boston guide. I'm wondering if you have recommendations for boba around the area. Boston doesn't seem to have too many tea shops unlike places on the west coast. I recently moved here and I'm missing my bubble tea!

  • Reply Yna March 29, 2017 at 10:49 pm

    I love the skirt! It looks like it'll transition really well from workwear to weekend attire 🙂

  • Reply Sarah Lilly March 29, 2017 at 11:27 pm

    That skirt is beautiful paired with that mint coloured top. I love pleated skirts, they are so flattering and that one is the perfect length on you!

    The Lilly Mint Blog

  • Reply Lisa March 30, 2017 at 1:32 am

    Thanks, Jean, for wading through the large amount of Modcloth inventory to find some more cute pieces. My first purchase from them last year was the white scallop neckline dress you found! Looks like I should check out that cardigan next.

    Also, in case anyone else was disappointed about Nordstrom running out of the pre-sale Sole Society Savannah block heeled sandals in smaller sizes so fast (my size 5 disappeared in a flash!) I did just place an order this evening on the Sole Society site – they must have just added these today because I've been visiting their site daily and plugging in "Savannah" in the search engine with "no results" coming back until this evening 🙂

    And as another side note, for any fellow Sephora beauty insiders, I was able to snag a Stila liquid lip color sample in "Patina" that you had worn recently in the petite Express lace dress post – code is "Patina". How timely was that sample?!

    Looking forward to more spring and summer looks from your blog!

    Cheers from Seattle!

  • Reply Sophie Spiegelberger March 30, 2017 at 5:47 am

    Mint and navy is such a nice combination!

  • Reply Mizeats March 30, 2017 at 6:11 am

    Also, thanks for compiling so many great places to visit in your Boston guide. I recommended it to a friend who will be visiting soon, and I will definitely use the next time I'm back! 🙂

  • Reply Pamela Gonzalez March 30, 2017 at 7:22 am

    You look fabulous!
    A little pleat always makes my day♥

  • Reply August Harvest March 30, 2017 at 8:39 am

    This skirt is sooooo beautiful and you look great <3

    'Share' by August Harvest

  • Reply Marisa Schirrick March 30, 2017 at 10:06 am

    Hi – What is the bag?

  • Reply Anonymous March 30, 2017 at 10:06 am

    Hi – what is the bag?

  • Reply Ewa Macherowska March 30, 2017 at 10:29 am

    Beautiful skirt 🙂

  • Reply Aria Di Bari March 30, 2017 at 10:31 am

    Loving this navy outfit, that skirt is gorgeous!

  • Reply pork &amp; cookies March 30, 2017 at 10:38 am

    Happy to see more options in smaller sizes!

    -Kirsten // pork & cookies

  • Reply Khanh Nguyen March 30, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    You are so beautiful, love your style <3

  • Reply mybeautrip March 31, 2017 at 2:39 am

    Such a beautiful pleated skirt. This is the perfect length!

  • Reply Rachel March 31, 2017 at 7:38 am

    You look very chic in this outfit! This is definitely perfect for those coffee dates. Great style!

  • Reply Beatriz Moreno April 1, 2017 at 6:57 am

    So feminine and chic!!! Love!!!

  • Reply Jean April 1, 2017 at 11:46 pm

    Hi Marisa – it's from Ann Taylor but old, unfortunately!

  • Reply Jean April 1, 2017 at 11:48 pm

    Hi again Lisa! Funny, I was doing the same thing with Sole Society – it looks like they'll be having more colors in it, too! Let me know how you like it when it arrives. And Sephora beauty insider samples always get me … I always end up placing new orders when a good sample email comes in!

  • Reply Jean April 1, 2017 at 11:49 pm

    ah thank you! I know food preferences are pretty personal, but hope it's helpful for her/him : )

  • Reply Jean April 1, 2017 at 11:51 pm

    Hi Lisa – I love these old Zara heels but haven't seen the same exact style come back (some online right now look pretty similar, but are different in construction). In general, their shoes are pretty on trend but are all over the place for me in terms of comfort and quality. I have another pair that I wear often for the look, but they are painful in the toe area.

  • Reply Jean April 1, 2017 at 11:51 pm

    Hi there – unfortunately, the Express one is the only one that I knew of! Sorry to hear that didn't work out for you : /

  • Reply Jean April 1, 2017 at 11:54 pm

    Ah…sadly, the Asian food and boba scene here doesn't really compare to that on the West Coast. My husband is more of the boba fan here and he just goes to Tea Do. New Dong Khanh in Chinatown is popular for boba drinks, too (more of a mom and pop restaurant but many customers go in just to order a drink).

  • Reply Anonymous April 2, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    I've been looking for navy heels and found a current pair on Zara. Sadlly, they don't carry a 5.5. Do you find their shoes to run true to size? They only have a 5 or 6 offered. Thanks!

  • Reply Anonymous April 6, 2017 at 11:39 am

    What does the c/o mean in the size "xxs c/o"?

  • Reply Emily S. April 6, 2017 at 10:34 pm

    I love this outfit, but now that Modcloth is owned by Walmart, I can't support them anymore. It's always painful for me to buy clothes that I know were made in sweatshops, but there is so little choice these days. I have to draw the line somewhere, so I draw it at Walmart, which treats its employees so poorly. I would love to see you try some of the more ethical and/or US-made brands! I was really happy to learn from you about M. Gemi and its family-owned workshops.

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