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!

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  1. KAY wrote:

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

    Posted 10.22.17 Reply
  2. Linsey W wrote:

    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!!

    Posted 10.14.17 Reply
  3. Karin wrote:

    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.


    Posted 9.26.17 Reply
    • Mel wrote:

      Looks like the XXSP is sold out :'(

      Posted 9.28.17 Reply
      • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

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

        Posted 10.18.17 Reply
  4. nash wrote:

    loooove the cardigan😍

    Posted 9.26.17 Reply
  5. Jandrew wrote:

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

    Posted 9.26.17 Reply
  6. Michelle wrote:

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

    Posted 9.26.17 Reply
  7. Michelle wrote:

    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 .

    Posted 9.26.17 Reply
  8. Boss Lady wrote:

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

    Posted 9.26.17 Reply
  9. 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

    Posted 9.26.17 Reply
  10. Catia wrote:

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

    ♥ The petite Cat ♥

    Posted 9.26.17 Reply
  11. 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

    Posted 9.26.17 Reply
  12. Joling wrote:

    Such a beautiful outfit! Love this dress!

    xo, Joling

    Posted 9.26.17 Reply
  13. Shannon wrote:

    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!

    Posted 9.25.17 Reply
  14. I love this color for fall! X

    Posted 9.25.17 Reply
  15. I love a bell sleeve sweater so this dress is now on my must-have list! Thanks for sharing it!

    Posted 9.25.17 Reply
  16. Christina wrote:

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

    Posted 9.25.17 Reply
  17. Sam wrote:

    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!


    Posted 9.25.17 Reply
  18. susan mcmackin wrote:

    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!

    Posted 9.25.17 Reply
    • Jean | Extra Petite wrote:

      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?

      Posted 10.18.17 Reply
  19. Love this dress! Express has super cute fall clothing options!

    Posted 9.25.17 Reply
  20. Daria wrote:

    love it! great job ! -Daria

    Posted 9.25.17 Reply
  21. I love this dress is beautiful

    Posted 9.25.17 Reply
  22. Jennifer Hu wrote:

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

    Posted 9.25.17 Reply
  23. I absolutely love your outfit Jean! The colours are so gorgeous!

    I hope you have a great Monday!

    Posted 9.25.17 Reply
  24. michela wrote:

    love your cardigan so much!!

    Posted 9.25.17 Reply
  25. Rachelle wrote:

    That dress is adorable on you, love this look.


    Posted 9.25.17 Reply
  26. Oooh I love the sleeve and hemline detail on the dress, adds such a nice and girly touch!

    – Michelle –

    Posted 9.25.17 Reply
  27. Rena wrote:

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

    Posted 9.25.17 Reply
  28. Marjorie wrote:

    Loving this grey dress so much!

    Posted 9.25.17 Reply
  29. 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

    Posted 9.24.17 Reply
  30. You look super cute in the short swing dress. The cardigan is a great colour, too!

    Charmaine Ng |

    Posted 9.24.17 Reply

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