Business formal style // scallop shell + tweed jacket

what to wear to an interview_professional office outfit

Outfit c/o Ann Taylor: tweed jacket xxs petite, scallop sweater shell xxs, pencil skirt 00p (waist altered), leopard flats sz 5, suede pumps (sold out; similar)

When I first started building a “grownup” wardrobe, a pair of black pants and a black pencil skirt were amongst the first additions. Over the years, though, these pieces became overlooked as my closet expanded to more playful prints and colors (guilty of always reaching for blush or navy!). Call it a return to basics, if you will, but I recently found myself re-inspired by these simplistic pieces. Black pants are the foundation of this recent outfit, and a black pencil skirt here completes this timeless, professional look!

business formal professional interview work outfit
Today’s post is in partnership with Ann Taylor – U.S. shoppers can use code GETMORE to save up to 40% off your purchase! Several of you have asked for more conservative office outfits, suitable for business formal dress codes and professional networking events. This look fits the bill, however as an important note, I’d swap in a skirt without a front slit (like this seasonless stretch pencil skirt) for work wear. To help save on costly dry cleaning, each piece in today’s post -including the skirt suggested above- is either hand or machine-washable!

Here’s how this outfit looks with the chic leopard flats (also in a kitten heel version!) I featured last week:

work office style flat shoes petite clothing

The sweater shell, elevated

I hope some of you were able to grab this darling scalloped sweater shell after my recent post! It exceeded my expectations, as I didn’t realize the scallops have a thin contrast trim which makes it look more expensive. It’s so cute paired with all different skirts (mini, flared, pencil) that I’m tempted to get the navy as well – based on the reviews, it sounds like the navy one has a white contrast trim. Unfortunately this top doesn’t come in petites sizing. The xxs regular is a longer hip-length on me, thus is best suited for tucking into bottoms.

chanel style tweed black white jacket ann taylor petite

The timeless tweed jacket

I first featured this jacket a year ago, and have since worn it with skinny jeans, boyfriend jeans (with a slouchy tee), trousers, ankle pants – you name it. I usually add a brooch and a pile of pearl necklaces to give it that iconic Chanel look. Ann Taylor sent me the current version (pictured in this post) which I compared to last year’s. I shrunk mine last year in the machine dryer on high heat (do so at your own risk), and noted that this year’s version off-the-rack measures the same as my old one post-shrinking. It’s still a boxy fit by nature, so perhaps try a size down if you want that little cropped jacket look. Note this is unlined, the pockets are functional (you need to snip the threads tacking them shut), and the inside edges are piped in a black trim.

Measurements of jacket in xxs petite: 13″ across the shoulders, 16″ across the armpits, 20″ sleeves (bracelet-length), 20″ total length.

classy pencil skirt work wear petite women fashion blog

The classic black skirt

This one has a twist with the slit in the front – it’s on the sultry side, so I’d stitch it shut about halfway to make it work-appropriate. It was hard to capture in photos, but this particular skirt has a ridged texture fabric, which stayed wrinkle-free after a full day of wear! As with most of my AT bottoms, I had 2″ taken in so that it’d sit higher up on my waistline.

ann taylor petite outfits back bay boston
If you need additional pieces for the buy-more-save-more deal, I always turn to their jewelry section! This knot lariat necklace has several great reviews, pearlized stud earrings can add an elegant touch to any outfit, and this metal bangle is a slimmer version of my statement cuff from there (bendable to fit small wrists). From the new arrivals section, also check out this floral swing top which I just saw on a friend and thought it was very cute (makes a good piece for layering under blazers and cardigans)!

Thank you to Ann Taylor for partnering on this post.

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Leave a Comment


  1. Bernice wrote:

    I love this outfit! I have a very similar Banana Republic skirt in 00P and the waist is still a little big on me. You mentioned here that you had it altered 2 inches in. Im afraid to get it altered without it affecting the overall skirt. How do you recommend tailoring the waist of skirts?

    Posted 8.31.17 Reply
  2. Bernice wrote:

    I love this outfit!

    Posted 8.31.17 Reply
  3. Kate wrote:

    I was wondering if I could ask you a somewhat random question: I have a pair of Rag and Bone frayed hem jeans from the anniversary sale I need to hem. Is it ok to cut these myself? And if so, what would you suggest? Thank you!!

    Posted 8.27.17 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Hi Kate! Yes it’s definitely ok to cut them yourself if they have a raw edge hem, however here area few tips:
      – make sure you wash and dry them first, since the length might shrink after doing so and then they might end up too short!
      – cut a few millimeters longer than where you’d like the fraying to end up at, to give you some space to fray the edges out with scissors
      – after cutting off some length, I would use needle and thread to just stitch a few times at both side seams to reinforce them, so the sides dont start coming apart!

      Posted 8.28.17 Reply
  4. Lily wrote:

    Great post, love these classic wardrobe pieces. Some of my classic wardrobe pieces are in grey since I like the softer colour in comparison to black.

    Posted 8.27.17 Reply
  5. Anonymous wrote:

    just wow

    Posted 8.27.17 Reply
  6. Mizeats wrote:

    Looking classy and sharp, Jean!

    Posted 8.27.17 Reply
  7. Anna wrote:

    Beautiful work wear outfit!


    Posted 8.26.17 Reply
  8. Jia wrote:

    Hi Jean! Looking so gorgeous!! Is the jacket the one in the color Caribbean Sand on the Ann Taylor website?

    Posted 8.26.17 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Thank you, Jia! Yes it’s the Caribbean Sand

      Posted 8.28.17 Reply
  9. Maria wrote:

    Jean, I just love your style! It’s so classic, elegant and chic. You’re my fashion muse 🙂 Would it be possible for your next AT partnership to get a code that also works in Canada? There’s so many items that I wish I could purchase but the extra costs make it too expensive. I just love your business formal/casual posts-those are the ones that I find really helpful. Thanks so much for your help.

    Posted 8.25.17 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Hi Maria! As mentioned to Isabelle above, I am very sorry that international shoppers are usually excluded from AT’s promos. I feel ya! I have no say over that despite voicing my thoughts multiple times in the past. I encourage you to reach out to their customer service, since it always helps for brands to hear feedback from their shoppers!

      Posted 8.28.17 Reply
  10. Pam wrote:

    In love with this, babe!
    So formal and gorgeous♥

    Posted 8.25.17 Reply
  11. Jessica wrote:

    Who was the designer for the sunglasses?

    Posted 8.25.17 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Thierry Lasry

      Posted 8.28.17 Reply
  12. Linna wrote:

    Gorgeous styling of Ann Taylor clothing per usual, Jean! I love AT and I am definitely eyeing that jacket!

    Posted 8.25.17 Reply
  13. Cathy wrote:

    Jean! Those sunnies! Which ones are they? Love.

    Posted 8.25.17 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Thanks Cathy! THey are by Thierry Lasry.

      Posted 8.28.17 Reply
  14. Rachel wrote:

    Love the look! You can’t go wrong with the classic black and white combo. Too cute!


    Posted 8.25.17 Reply
  15. Isabelle wrote:

    This outfit is beautiful! I wish you had a promo code for people who don’t live in the U.S. I’m in Canada and the 40% would have helped a lot (exchange rate + shipping costs).

    Posted 8.25.17 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      Hi Isabelle, trust me, I feel frustrated for international shoppers! I’ve brought this up to AT many times before. I’m sure if more international shoppers speak up with input to their customer service, the volume in numbers would help.

      Posted 8.28.17 Reply
  16. Rachelle wrote:

    Love this classic work look and how cute are these flats?


    Posted 8.25.17 Reply
  17. Such a lovely outfit! I really like the scallops. X

    Posted 8.25.17 Reply
  18. I always love your style Jean! I had never seen scallop cuts till I was on your blog and I absolutely love them!

    I hope you have a fantastic Friday!

    Posted 8.25.17 Reply
  19. Rena wrote:

    Such a wonderful elegant combination!
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

    Posted 8.25.17 Reply
  20. Elizabeth wrote:

    This business formal look is so chic yet cute at the same time! I love the scalloped details <3 🙂 So pretty!

    XO, Elizabeth

    Posted 8.25.17 Reply
  21. miki wrote:

    Love this outfit sooo much!
    Miki x

    Posted 8.25.17 Reply
  22. Val wrote:

    This is my favorite Jean. Really chic and always classic.

    Posted 8.25.17 Reply
  23. Anamarie wrote:

    Thanks, Jean, for comparing between this year’s and last year’s tweed jackets. The comparison and deatil description is very helpful 🙂

    Posted 8.25.17 Reply
  24. The scallop hem looks gorgeous on you. I love the jacket too. Monochrome at it’s best. Ann Taylor is totally rocking it in terms of classic styles!

    XOXO //
    SINCERELY OPHELIA | NYC Petite Fashion Blogger

    Posted 8.25.17 Reply
  25. Rose wrote:

    Splits in the front of skirts make it not appropriate for my office when I sit down in meetings.

    Posted 8.25.17 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      I agree! That’s why I wrote this particular one is not recommended for a business environment.

      Posted 8.28.17 Reply
  26. I have yet to get a “grown up” wardrobe – I’m lucky my workplace allows us to dress casually. That being that, I’ll need one some day. Love the jacket you’re wearing, it’s super cute!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    Posted 8.24.17 Reply
  27. Kay Nguyen wrote:

    Great outfit! You’re gorgeous as always <3

    Posted 8.24.17 Reply
  28. Mel wrote:

    Loving the scallop top and the black skirt! You always have a classy style 🙂

    Posted 8.24.17 Reply
  29. Liv wrote:

    Love the black skirt it’s going to so versatile! Am I the first to comment??

    Posted 8.24.17 Reply

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