Summer Picnic + Pleats at Boston Public Garden

summer picnic romantic couples date boston blogger extra petite

For effortless summer outfits, I often turn to the dresses section of my closet. I love a classic sheath or shift for professional wear, a flowy maxi for casual days, or a shapely fit & flare for special occasions. Lately, I’ve gone out of my comfort zone and experimented more with romantic midi lengths, which I know can be polarizing with petite women. This in-between length is usually shunned as a “don’t” for petites, but style boundaries are meant to be pushed (also in my opinion, a pair of nude shoes always helps)!

pleated midi dress petite fashion summer cocktail dress outfit

I’m partnering with Banana Republic to share their latest dresses arrivals, many of which are available in petites and usually fit me without alterations needed!

banana republic petite dresses boston fashion blog

This pleated midi dress got so many compliments from passerby! This would be a beautiful piece for summer weddings or garden / cocktail parties. The color scheme is a blend of peach, pinks, beige, and navy, and the material has a satiny slip-dress feel to it. There’s a full lining and also decorative bow ties on each shoulder for an added feminine touch. Note the fabric is non-stretch, and is a little less fitted on me around the bust and waist (see measurements below) than typical BR dresses in stretchy fabrics. A big plus is that this dress can be hand-washed, so no costly dry cleaning needed.

Measurements of 00p: 14.5″ across armpits, 13″ across waist, 43″ total length. Side zipper entry.

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banana republic petites pleated dress summer wedding outfit

Other styles from Banana Republic that caught my eye, in a range of silhouettes:

– Floral sheath dress – for work to weekend layering, I like looking for classic sleeveless-cut dresses with a V or scoop neckline. These features allow the dress to be easily layered over a collared button-down shirt, or over a thin turtleneck on cooler spring or fall days.

– Ruffle fit & flare dress – The little black dress updated with soft ruffles along the hem and sleeves, and a horizontal lattice band to accentuate the waistline.

– One-shoulder maxi dress – on extra sale, and still available in small petite sizes. See the striped version on me here – I found the length to work on my 5′ tall frame without alterations, and the lined material is breezy and comfortable for warm days. Note the dress is fairly straight cut, so there’s not much shape to it unless the waist belt is tied.

summer picnic spread pleated dress boston MA

Thank you to Banana Republic for partnering on this post.


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  1. Hi Jean, I clicked on the link and it looks like this dress isn't available in petite, only women's. Do you think it sold out or just hasn't made it online yet?

    Posted 7.18.17 Reply
  2. Hi, I'm an italian blogger…I was in Boston some days ago, for my honeymoon (also in New York and Washington): I loved that city!! Parks, cafes, restaurants, historical buildings, markets…everything! ♥ greetings, Laura from Italy

    Posted 7.11.17 Reply
  3. Jean wrote:

    Hi Denise, I'm so happy to hear that! Enjoy your beautiful dress!

    Posted 7.10.17 Reply
  4. Jean wrote:

    thank you, Linna! I know what you mean about the stock photos … oftentimes they don't do the items justice, and sometimes it's the opposite, lol!

    Posted 7.10.17 Reply
  5. Jean wrote:

    Haha I still would not call myself fashion-forward like many other bloggers (I just wear what I love and works for my body type), but yes, a lot does evolve a lot over 7 years! Off the top of my head, some of my biggest lessons in fashion are: 1. well-fitting does not necessarily mean tight. I got a lot of items tailored to be pretty snug in my early adulthood, but find to be too tight or form-fitting for my style (and changing figure!) these days. 2. Keep an open mind when shopping, as departments brands don't really matter. I've ended up finding favorites from the most unexpected places (including the little boys department!), and brands intended for audiences way younger or older than I am.

    Posted 7.10.17 Reply
  6. Denise Ross wrote:

    I saw this BR dress online and never gave it another thought. When I saw it again featured on your blog, I had to try it on. I bought it today and it's just as magical in person. Thank you for such a great buy!

    Posted 7.9.17 Reply
  7. This dress is so stunning! I love the gorgeous length and this beautiful setting.
    Julia・Little Miss Haute Couture

    Posted 7.7.17 Reply
  8. Rachel wrote:

    Lovely photos! Beautiful look!

    Posted 7.7.17 Reply
  9. Mizeats wrote:

    Such beautiful pics! You look so gorgeous in that pretty dress, Jean!

    Posted 7.6.17 Reply
  10. Looks like an amazing day! Loving these pictures, your dress is beautiful!

    Posted 7.6.17 Reply
  11. Jenn Wang wrote:

    How GORGEOUS! Love those pleats and shoulder ties! I love how versatile the dress is – you could wear it to a wedding or to a picnic in the park. And your picnic is just too picturesque!


    Posted 7.6.17 Reply
  12. Linna wrote:

    That BR pleated dress looks gorgeous on you! I clicked on it on the BR website and it would not have caught my eye otherwise!

    Posted 7.6.17 Reply
  13. These photos are BEAUTIFUL!!!
    Love that skirt! It's so feminine!
    xo. Kari

    Posted 7.6.17 Reply
  14. I love post,the dress is super cute
    The Pink Pineapple
    New post:

    Posted 7.6.17 Reply
  15. These photos are so beautiful! X

    Posted 7.6.17 Reply
  16. Such a pretty dress and I totally agree, a great one for Summer weddings!


    Posted 7.6.17 Reply
  17. Anonymous wrote:

    I noticed that one of your most popular posts (how to look older) was from many years ago, and the style of that post feels quite different from your more recent posts (I think you even said in it that you didn't know anything about fashion). You've come a long way! I'd be really interested in reading about your biggest lessons learned in blogging, fashion, and other areas over the last few years.

    Posted 7.6.17 Reply
  18. Your photos look absolutely gorgeous, Jean! I love your dress! It looks lovely!

    I hope you have a great Thursday,

    Posted 7.6.17 Reply
  19. Super loving this colorful pleated dress. And so cute at the picnic!!!

    XOXO //
    SINCERELY OPHELIA | NYC Petite Fashion Blogger

    Posted 7.6.17 Reply
  20. Beautiful dress and photos! I'm always drawn to the feminine details like the shoulder ties — such a pretty touch and perfect for Summer!


    Posted 7.5.17 Reply
  21. That dress is beautiful, I absolutely love the little ties on the shoulders! I'd love a dress like this for summer!

    Sarah Lilly || The Lilly Mint Blog

    Posted 7.5.17 Reply
  22. mybeautrip wrote:

    Your skirt is amazing!Beautiful photos.

    Posted 7.5.17 Reply
  23. You look beautiful. Serene setting!
    See my latest post:
    // don't be silent
    born bred BE – a blog by Alexia

    Posted 7.5.17 Reply
  24. Beautiful place! 😉

    Posted 7.5.17 Reply
  25. I absolutely love the colours of your long dress. It's so girly and is perfect for a picnic – speaking of which, I really need to have one this year!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    Posted 7.5.17 Reply

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