Express petites // Cocoon cardigan + swing dress

casual fall outfit swing dress cardigan sweater express petites

The short swing dress

One of my favorite casual silhouettes is the short swing dress – just add a patterned scarf or knit layer for the cutest cool-weather outfit! The problem with swing dresses off-the-rack is they’re usually too long on petites, and a shorter length is key for balancing out a looser and wider cut. This option, however, by Express petites is nicely-proportioned for someone shorter, and doesn’t require any hemming on me!

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The cocoon cardigan

Another piece I’d recommend from Express’ current collection is this 100% cotton dolman-sleeve cardigan with a draped, cocoon silhouette. It comes in black, maroon, and a versatile “neutral” color (like oatmeal)! Pieces like this are usually very oversized, but the petites sizing here has 3/4 length sleeves and doesn’t overwhelm a shorter frame. I tried on both xxs petite and xs petite, and personally preferred the latter for a little more length and slouch (and also in case 100% cotton shrinks in the dryer). The stretchy, ribbed knit material is on the lighter side, which may be why it’s labeled a cover-up instead of a sweater.


Dress in xxs petite: 28″ length, 21.5″ sleeve length, 13.5″ across armpits.  I’m 5 feet tall and this is a mini length on me.
Cardigan in xs petite: 24″ total length.

Other Recommendations:
  • High waist stretch performance ankle jeans – I have these in 00 short (see on me), and they’re one of the most comfy and flattering jeans I own. I usually get a waist gap with Express’ low-rise or mid-rise cuts, but the high waist fit styles fit nicely. Unfortunately short lengths are sold out, but regular is still available – the hem is actually raw-cut, so perhaps these can be thrown in the machine washer & dryer and then cut to fit.
  • Petite Plush London tee – the softest, coziest fleeced tees. I got this in regular sizing (see on me) before I knew it came in petites, and it’s on the low-cut side on me. In comparison, the petite sizing is proportioned to fit smaller throughout with a slightly higher neckline.
  • Petite 1 button jacket:: a very sturdy-weight blazer that fits me well in sz 00 petite – the sleeves are just a touch wide on me, but I’m pretty particular about that. Pair this fall-ready hue with black pants and a neutral blouse for the office. There is also a coordinating pencil skirt which actually fits me well in the waist, but the length is too short on me for for a work skirt. I did see that a very petite reviewer who is 4’8″ mentioned it was just right on her!

boston petite style blogger photographer
Thank you to Express for partnering on this post.


34 thoughts on “Express petites // Cocoon cardigan + swing dress

  • Reply Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog September 24, 2017 at 11:30 pm

    You look super cute in the short swing dress. The cardigan is a great colour, too!

    Charmaine Ng |

  • Reply Sincerely Ophelia September 24, 2017 at 11:59 pm

    What a cute swing dress for the Fall! The ruffles are adorable. Le boy caught a glimpse of it while I was reading and he said he liked it as well! I love the color of the cocoon cardigan btw! <3

  • Reply Marjorie September 25, 2017 at 2:21 am

    Loving this grey dress so much!

  • Reply Rena September 25, 2017 at 3:11 am

    Your swing dress is absolutely super cute and I love that you wear it with the cardigan!
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

  • Reply Michelle X Pan September 25, 2017 at 3:18 am

    Oooh I love the sleeve and hemline detail on the dress, adds such a nice and girly touch!

    – Michelle –

  • Reply Rachelle September 25, 2017 at 6:27 am

    That dress is adorable on you, love this look.


  • Reply michela September 25, 2017 at 6:43 am

    love your cardigan so much!!

  • Reply Michael @ Mile in My Glasses September 25, 2017 at 8:17 am

    I absolutely love your outfit Jean! The colours are so gorgeous!

    I hope you have a great Monday!

  • Reply Jennifer Hu September 25, 2017 at 9:15 am

    Pairing a suede jacket with a black or white swing dress would be great for fall!

  • Reply The pink pineapple September 25, 2017 at 9:24 am

    I love this dress is beautiful

  • Reply Daria September 25, 2017 at 9:31 am

    love it! great job ! -Daria

  • Reply Alexa M Johnson September 25, 2017 at 9:44 am

    Love this dress! Express has super cute fall clothing options!

  • Reply susan mcmackin September 25, 2017 at 10:52 am

    I got this dress in burgundy and I LOVE it! I want to wear it with boots and tights in cooler weather. Haven’t decided what shade of tights yet. Any recommendations? I have black or tan boots to wear with it!

    • Reply Jean | Extra Petite October 18, 2017 at 10:53 am

      Hi Susan, sorry for the late reply! I’d definitely do black tights with black boots, and maybe even charcoal gray with the burgundy dress?

  • Reply Sam September 25, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    Love this combo, and that cardi looks super cozy for fall! I’m so glad that Express expanded their petite line. It’s nice to have more options!


  • Reply Christina September 25, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    Love this outfit, Jean! The perfect wear to work combo that is also chic enough to confidently wear after work for dinner/drinks!

  • Reply Shannon L Mahaney September 25, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    I love a bell sleeve sweater so this dress is now on my must-have list! Thanks for sharing it!

  • Reply Neeltje | Thoughts in Style September 25, 2017 at 4:47 pm

    I love this color for fall! X

  • Reply Shannon September 25, 2017 at 8:46 pm

    This is so adorable! It is so girly and cute and very flattering! I love Express for petite sizes, I have a favorite pair of flared jeans from there that remind me of the 70s!

  • Reply Joling September 26, 2017 at 12:14 am

    Such a beautiful outfit! Love this dress!

    xo, Joling

  • Reply Jessie Flores September 26, 2017 at 1:43 am

    Love this. Was also wondering if you have ever done a hair tutorial? I know it’s not your usual subject but would love to know how you get those perfect undone curls. ;D

  • Reply Catia September 26, 2017 at 3:27 am

    Such a classy outfit! Love the dress and the shoes 🙂
    Always come here for petite advice!

    ♥ The petite Cat ♥

  • Reply Petite Teacher September 26, 2017 at 10:48 am

    What a great dress. I imagine it is very wrinkle-friendly and since I am even smaller that you it has got he appropriate length for in the classroom. It’s a dress you can style chic and casual and since I just love applying small changes to create huge effects (in fashion and life)this is very appealing to me. The colour is also one that goes so well with so many other colours, so not just a great dress, but a versatile one as well. Thanks for sharing this with us. Love, Lieske

  • Reply Boss Lady September 26, 2017 at 11:15 am

    That dress looks like it was made for you! Beautiful worn and great combo with the cardigan ♥️

  • Reply Michelle September 26, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    I love your outfit and the cardigans . I want to get the cardigan , however when I go the express website , it’s not on sale .

  • Reply Michelle September 26, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    Love the cardigan and outfit . Tried to purchase however it’s not part of the sale

  • Reply Jandrew September 26, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    This lovely swing dress is a great silhouette, darling I love a dress that has some movement!
    Dress The Part

  • Reply nash September 26, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    loooove the cardigan😍

  • Reply Karin September 26, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    Hi Jean,

    Where were you able to find the XXS petite size for the dress? I don’t see the available online or nearby stores.


    • Reply Mel September 28, 2017 at 1:18 am

      Looks like the XXSP is sold out :'(

      • Reply Jean | Extra Petite October 18, 2017 at 10:52 am

        Hi ladies – the XXSP is now available in a new, charcoal-ish color! Check it out before it’s sold out again!

  • Reply Linsey W October 14, 2017 at 4:38 am

    I love the cardigan so much I ended up buying one for myself.
    It shrunk quite a lit in the washer and dryer, but i still wearable with a little stretching (I got a petite xs too as we are about the same size).
    On another note Abercrombie and Fitch has some great lace camis and blouses right now!!

  • Reply KAY October 22, 2017 at 7:23 pm

    This dress is so pretty, wanted to get one but it ran out of the XXS petite size in all three colors😔

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