Business casual bow // plaid flannel + winter white skirt

professional office outfit ideas tory burch work laptop bag

Banana Republic top xxs petite (also in navy) on sale!Ann Taylor pumps sz 5 on sale!(also worn here), Talbots cashmere sweater petite P (current version), Club Monaco trench xs, altered, J.Crew skirt, altered (old color), Tory Burch tote (also worn here)

For fellow lovers of flannel and all things bows, this plaid top (on sale!) is the perfect marriage of the two in a piece that’s versatile for both work and casual wear! I’ve also worn it tucked into a flared black miniskirt for a festive gathering. It also comes in a navy plaid for those who prefer darker colors! Here I’ve shown how this shirt looks either layered under a crewneck sweater, or worn by itself. I took these photos on a more mild (but windy!) day, so would add charcoal gray tights to this outfit for colder winter days.

what to wear to work in the winter_wool pencil skirt
My Club Monaco Hanne trench is from last year but is still available in an olive color. Note I got the sleeves shortened, and the lapels are wide so I need to drape them strategically for a shorter frame. They have a similar option this year with adorable ties on the sleeves – see my fitting room review of the current version.

I also wanted to share two good Friends & Family sales going on right now:

Lord & Taylor F&F sale with an awesome bonus shoe & boot sale today – Code FRIENDS gets you 30% off most items, 15% off beauty (great for stocking up on everyday favorites), but the best deal is for today only, you get extra 40% off shoes & boots (some brands excluded)! You can filter by shoe size, as I saw lots of everyday boots and booties starting in sz 5 for well under $100 (some for under $50) with this extra discount.

Macy’s F&F sale – Code FRIEND gets you extra 30% off your purchase + 15% off beauty. These F&F beauty discounts are great for those who missed Sephora VIB where so much was sold out! I stocked up on my everyday favorite foundation (in linen) and lipcolor (in velvet teddy). Macy’s also has a cream tweed pencil skirt similar to this one (winter textured pencil skirts are impossible to find latley) that should be alterable for a petite frame. There’s also a more colorful tweed pencil skirt available starting in 0P.

trench coat business casual work outfits for petite women
I just took this cashmere sweater out of storage from last winter and was so sad to find multiple, decently-sized holes chewed through it (of course I didn’t notice until I was already out and about wearing it)! I keep my sweaters stored in under-bed drawers which are NOT airtight / vacuum sealed unfortunately, but I scatter lots of cedar blocks throughout the drawers to ward off moths and silverfish bugs. Clearly that did not work, and now I’m scared to examine all my beloved knits from that drawer for damage. If you have any effective tips to fight sweater-loving pests, please share in the comments!

white pencil skirt petite women work wear


35 thoughts on “Business casual bow // plaid flannel + winter white skirt

  • Reply Erin Palicki December 7, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    I’m so sorry that happened to you – it’s distressing to find a garment ruined like that! I make sure I have cleaned all my garments before I put them away for the season, because you never know when you might have spilled something that doesn’t show. To make sure, towards the end of the season I turn the hangers on clean garments backwards, and make sure not to wear them again. I don’t have any tips other than making sure things are clean – I once took a wool suit out of storage and was horrified to see it had been destroyed by moths! I think cleaning and then storing in a clean, airtight container would go a long way towards keeping things undamaged.

  • Reply Linna December 7, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    You look lovely and chic per usual 🙂

  • Reply Jandrew December 7, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    Love your fabulous work look, very chic ! The black and white shoes move this look from good to great ! It’s in the details!
    Dress The Part

  • Reply Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog December 7, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    So gorgeous! Love the white skirt, such a classic look! ❤

  • Reply Violet December 7, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    Love the versatility of this top! Lavender is also a deterrent. Perhaps in combo with the cedar? I’d also sand the cedar before you pack away (to refresh the scent) and maybe once every couple of months to be cautious.

  • Reply Little December 7, 2017 at 5:13 pm

    It’s very difficult to get rid of moths. To try to kill the moths eggs (not visible but they may be there) put some boiling water in a tub, completely submerge your sweater pushing it under the water with a spoon or something. Do not move the sweater in the water or else it will felt. Pull it out handling it as little as possible when the water is completely cold. Spin cicle in the washing machine and let dry on a flat surface. You won’t ruin the sweater if you just submerge it. I worked with cashmere and merino etc and to dye the wool boiling water is used. If you have more money than time bring the sweaters to the dry cleaner. To monitor the moths buy some sticky moth traps with pheromones. You’ll see them in the trap even a couple of years from now. Other things don’t work. I read a lot about it because I had moths in the past and I still have an occasional one in my traps 5 plus years later (I put new traps every season). I submerge all my woolen sweaters in boiling water once a year. Never had a hole since.

  • Reply stella December 7, 2017 at 5:30 pm

    When trying to keep silverfish and moths away from my stored clothes, some type of desiccant (e.g., silica gel packets) has always worked for me.

  • Reply Keilexandra December 7, 2017 at 6:26 pm

    The only effective way of fighting moths that I’ve found is clean clothes stored in airtight plastic bins. I add a lavender sachet for scent, but really it’s keeping them physically out that is important; anything else is only a probabilistic deterrent.

  • Reply Mavi December 7, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    You can put naphthalene balls in your closet if you do not mind the smell that it leaves on clothes. For me it works and also scares the cockroaches.

  • Reply Jessica December 7, 2017 at 7:19 pm

    So cute! I love those heels

  • Reply Keri December 7, 2017 at 7:39 pm

    Oh my goodness this outfit is perfect! By the way, I always love how you show such a variety of ways to style one outfit in each post!

    Enclothed Cognition

  • Reply Jocelyn December 7, 2017 at 8:23 pm

    If it’s an absolute favorite you can send it to alterknit in nyc for repair by mail. They can fix and alter sweaters. I’ve used them several times and they’ve been great.

  • Reply Trish December 7, 2017 at 9:19 pm

    Moths, carpet beetles and silverfish. Yuck! They all will eat holes in wool and other natural fibers, including carpets in areas that don’t get walked on much like in corners and under furniture. To protect rugs, vacuum often. To protect off season clothes, wash or have them dry cleaned before you store them for several months, even if they look clean to you. A little perspiration, fragrance from perfume or body lotion, a few crumbs or a bit of liquid from food or a beverage that got on an article of clothing but isn’t visible to the eye is all it takes to get the attention of these insects. After they’re clean, wrap the clothes in cotton cloth (cotton muslin can be purchased cheaply by the yard at craft stores) put them in air tight plastic storage bins or boxes or resealable bags (2 gallon “zip lock” bags are available at some grocery stores and probably on line), add put some dried lavender, bay leaves, sage, whole cloves (not ground!) or a combination of any of those into porous sachets (also available at craft stores) and add to the bags. Seal tightly. If you think any of your clothes might have eggs or insects, they’re too tiny to see, put items in sealed plastic bags, squeeze out air, and freeze for a few days. Take the bags out, let them return to room temperature, and then repeat. In case of condensation, let clothes air out before storing again. It can be time consuming but necessary to protect good clothing.

  • Reply Trish December 7, 2017 at 9:26 pm

    I forgot to add….my father had a cousin who worked for a business that fixed holes in fabric. I remember her telling me they took fibers from the hem or another inconspicuous area and wove them into the fabric over the hole. My city is very small compared to Boston so Boston would probably have places like that too.

  • Reply Mizeats December 7, 2017 at 11:13 pm

    Hi Jean, so sorry to hear about your sweater! 😥 I have not dealt with the issue yet but I read that garments made with animal material like wool and cashmere are prone to this issue so a thorough cleaning of these type of garments is a must. I also read that warm and dark spots in drawers can attract an infestation so it’s good to vaccum these areas regularly. Good luck! On a different note, love this work look! Love plaid!

    • Reply Mizeats December 9, 2017 at 3:12 am

      Hi Jean – I should clarify that I don’t have a lot of wool and cashmere sweaters as I usually layer for the cold. When I read my statement about thoroughly cleaning the sweaters I realized that it unintentionally came off sounding like you aren’t cleaning them sufficiently. Sorry! I just meant that imperceptible stains could be a factor.

  • Reply Diva Dealzz December 8, 2017 at 4:19 am

    Your looks and styles are adorable.

  • Reply Petite Teacher December 8, 2017 at 4:26 am

    Lovely blouse. Would be a great pick for teachers too. Very comfortable, very light and super stylish. Thanks for your inspiration and have a great weekend. Love, Lieske

  • Reply Michael @ Mile in My Glasses December 8, 2017 at 4:54 am

    I love your flannel shirt Jean! It’s so cute and perfect for mixing into outfits! Thanks for the great inspo!

    I hope you have a lovely Friday!

  • Reply Yao December 8, 2017 at 11:47 am

    I always hand wash cashmere sweater and put them in big zip lock bag. Add a moth pill inside the zip lock. It is quite simple and never fails.

  • Reply Kackie Cohen December 8, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    I love blouses with floppy bows! So feminine and versatile: ladylike with skirt and heels, jaunty with jeans and ballerina flats. I use a silk scarf to add a bow to a top that doesn’t have one of it’s own.

  • Reply Cindy December 8, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    A very classy look~! I never thought of wearing plaid like that for work. Definitely have to give it a try.

  • Reply Adree December 8, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    Love your blog, and your links to where to buy. But most of your combos are tuck in at the waist. Would love to see some styles that can compensate for a less than flat belly. I try to accentuate the positives – legs, small waist, petite.

  • Reply Anna December 8, 2017 at 10:24 pm

    Freezing things is a good way to kill any bugs you can’t see. Also, I’m always a little concerned about keeping my clothes air tight for months at a time, so I use zippered allergy pillow protectors (got mine at target) for storing wool. They’re meant to keep allergens like pollen and dust being absorbed into your pillows, so they’re probably pretty impenetrable to bugs. Zip them shut with your choice of smelly deterrent (cedar, lavender, etc)!

  • Reply Ginny December 9, 2017 at 4:33 am

    Jean, I just ordered the Banana Republic shirt based on your recommendation. You have elevated my personal wardrobe to a level where I now enjoy shopping (on line). Thank you!

  • Reply Ticket for Adventure December 9, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    The bow blouse is so cute! And thanks for listing some of the sales going on. The Macy’s Friends and Family sale seems really good.

  • Reply Alexa M Johnson December 9, 2017 at 10:50 pm

    Love the outfit!

  • Reply Jennifer December 10, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    Aw, I’m sorry to hear about your sweater! Nonetheless, I really like your outfit. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Elizabeth December 10, 2017 at 4:54 pm

    I’m in love with this business casual look, especially the plaid flannel top that you paired with a white pencil skirt! So pretty, and the color palette is super feminine and perfect for the winter! <3 🙂

    XO, Elizabeth

  • Reply Elaine December 10, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    cashmere is so luxurious and soft but i avoid it at all costs for this reason! my burberry scarf has a hole in it and ive decided i’m done with cashmere. ://

  • Reply Maureen December 11, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    That’s terrible. Those pesky buggies. 😩 I don’t work in an office setting but you make me want to. Your clothes and style always look so put together. I love plaid so I was drawn to your blouse. It’s the classic black and white shade that is super timeless! Hope your week is off to a great start!

  • Reply Carol December 12, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    Your outfit is very cute. I love the blouse!

    Regarding the pest problem: you have to try to figure out exactly what is eating your woolens. I currently have a problem with black carpet beetles — they loved my merino wool sweaters and have also eaten some cotton items. These critters won’t be deterred by lavender or cedar. The website below has some good information.

  • Reply The pink pineapple December 12, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    Beautiful and classic outfit

  • Reply Ginny December 17, 2017 at 7:43 am

    Wishing you and your family the many blessings of the holiday season. Thanks for the wonderfully detailed posts specific to petite women. We now have an advocate in you. Living in Florida I can’t wait for your spring and summer ideas.

  • Reply Caro January 5, 2018 at 1:40 pm

    Hi Jean,
    I loved this outfit so much I bought the shirt. Unfortunately after one wash (delicate), the shirt shrank a lot! Did you have the same issue? How did you wash yours? Thank you for your help.

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