Draped sweater 2 ways + small waisted work pants

officewear business attire outfit ideas for petite women

Uniqlo top xs (4 colors; new lightweight version), H&M skirt (similar), J.Crew Factory pants 00 petite (waist runs small), Leith heels 5.5 (sexy but pricier alternative), Gucci belt 70 (sizing info; similar style for less)

Draped Sweater Styled 2 Ways

I featured this knit top back in a March e-newsletter (subscribe here!), and also wanted to show how it looks with a skirt! The beauty of this piece is in the minimalist cut, from the elegant higher neckline to the draped sleeves. This is a piece that you can mindlessly throw on with basic black pants and flats and still feel chic in! Uniqlo has since come out with a newer, more lightweight version in a few good neutrals (black, ivory, taupe) and a fun mustard yellow. My older top is in their 3-D knit, and the newer one is labeled a lacy sweater with great reviews.

Here’s how it looks styled in a more feminine pairing, fully tucked into an elastic-waist skirt:

pleated skirt dolman sweater top classy outfit

Uniqlo top xs (new version), H&M skirt 0 (fits like 00; longer midi length hits mid calf on me), Shop Moss earrings, similar sandals, Goyard tote

Affordable work pants that run small

If you’re very petite and have trouble finding pants that fit in the waist, this style below is a must-try! I mentioned last year that the J.Crew Cameron (see my review) were one of the few pants to ever fit me without alterations. Their Factory store came out with the Ruby pant, a more affordable version of this high rise, narrow waisted style for under $40. While the fabric is different (a little less dressy than the Cameron), the fit is equally good. I’m trying on 00 petite here in navy and they are fitted throughout with no waist gap, so run smaller than LOFT, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, and other J.Crew pants. For reference, my waist and hips are 24″ and 32″ respectively.

PS – More good news from JCF, my animal print sweater (see on me) is fully restocked and on sale!

work pants with small waist for very petite women

JCF pants 00P (waist runs small), Gucci belt 70 (my review), Sam Edelman mules 5 (very similar)

Do you guys like this top styled better with pants or a skirt?

asian fashion blog pleated skirt uniqlo top petite stylehermes constance belt stylish work office outfit for petites


55 thoughts on “Draped sweater 2 ways + small waisted work pants

  • Reply Anjiline Sirsikar May 13, 2019 at 11:41 am

    Wonder why you never promote T.J. Maxx or Nordstrom Rack. All your items are heavily priced, particularly that $460.00 belt.

    • Reply Jean | Extra Petite May 14, 2019 at 10:31 am

      Anjiline, based on all the comments you have left this year (including ones shaming women who sew -which by the way is a good skill to have if you are concerned about saving money- and the degrading remarks you made about stay at home moms), I don’t think my blog is for you. I’ve always mixed high and low and this particular post shares multiple affordable finds in addition to a designer belt. I encourage you to seek other blogs focused on bargain finds which may better suit what you’re looking for.

      • Reply Elsa W. May 14, 2019 at 5:32 pm

        So glad to see you standing up for yourself and your site, Jean! The top(s), skirt and pants you linked to were $20, $30, and $40 (even less with the current promotion on JCF’s site), respectively; so to say “All your items are heavily priced,” is just factually inaccurate. It’s disappointing to see how some people are incapable of appreciating your site for the lovely, inspiring, educational and aspirational resource it is! Maybe instead of following and commenting on what you “never” do (which is another inaccurate statement), this person could try starting a blog of their OWN, where they can feature items from whatever retailers they prefer! 😉
        Love and light,

      • Reply Anjiline Sirsikar May 15, 2019 at 8:28 am

        To you and all your supporters- I have never shamed you or your site. It is a great site. I was stay at home mum myself once, and i worked hard as a professional to be self sufficient and build a wardrobe with classic affordable pieces i dont believe in splurging on high end pieces like most women do ! I dont have any insecurities, as mentioned by one blogger. But i will take your platform to say,
        I want people to talk about what we as women are trying to do, not about how we look doing it. It’s fun to look stylish, but if that is the only thing the world i looking at then they miss out on so much more we have to offer than just standing looking pretty in each post !

        Good luck to EP and You !
        Proud Mum, Wife, Senior Policy Advisor

        • Reply Leah M May 15, 2019 at 10:54 am

          “Your blog is okay/ average it is not for professionals you offer no new content apart from just standing and showing off clothes that most women dont care for and dont have time to buy. Stay at home moms or women who need to kill time will do such needle work. We need more women in STEM. We need more women to defy stereotypes and your blog fails to deliver this.”

          Anjiline, this is a comment by you in a previous post. I remember it as it did not rub me the right way. Either you have a short term memory or a quick change in outlook, which I would applaud.

          • Cindy May 15, 2019 at 6:28 pm

            What strange comments, by anjiline. You want to promote women in STEM which is commendable but I don’t think you’re going about it the right way . There’s a more positive way to do it. Everyone has their own hobbies and interests. Fashion is one of them for myself and other women. And men.

        • Reply Paige May 15, 2019 at 1:21 pm

          Anjiline, I found your blog: https://prettyset.wordpress.com/

          Please do not disparage others because they don’t do things the way that you do. There’s room online for everyone. If anything, (and even if there is room for everyone), you should be glad that Jean doesn’t do just low-cost outfits because it’d be a more direct competitor to your website.

        • Reply Leigh May 15, 2019 at 4:44 pm

          It’s a blog about petite clothing for goodness sake!

        • Reply Heidi May 17, 2019 at 1:48 am

          “Your blog is okay/ average it is not for professionals you offer no new content apart from just standing and showing off clothes that most women dont care for and dont have time to buy. Stay at home moms or women who need to kill time will do such needle work. We need more women in STEM. We need more women to defy stereotypes and your blog fails to deliver this.”

          Wow. You come to a fashion blog and than proceed to berate the owner for posting about fashion. That’s some weird cognitive dissonance you’ve got going there.

          You want to promote STEM by putting down housewives, women who can sew and women who like fashion. What stereotype exactly are we trying to defy here? That housewives, women who sew and love fashion are too stupid for STEM jobs? Is that it? Only those who reject frivolous pursuits are worthy of STEM? And why is it only these traditionally feminine pursuits are regarded as frivolous. What about collecting cars? Or motorbikes? Or pc games? But sure let’s all look down on feminine things.

          Well, I’m a woman in STEM and I’m here to break this stereotype. I love fashion. I can sew. I’m currently taking a break from a high flying career to look after my baby.

          But I almost didn’t go into STEM. Oh no. I thought despite my marks in school, I was too girly, too feminine, too interested in ‘silly, frivolous’ pirsuits to fit in with all the guys. I’m glad to say I was wrong. It’s time that STEM is a man’s club (no silly girly housewifey ways here; only tomboys please) stereotype dies. I dread to think how many young bright minds have rejected STEM paths because shock and horror they liked traditionally feminine things.

          Please stop discouraging young women by telling them that their hobbies are a waste of time. It is possible to be good at STEM and be interested in clothes, sew and take time out to be a SAHM you know.

        • Reply Jennifer May 19, 2019 at 5:07 pm

          Yes she shares a lot of clothes that are out of my personal budget, but there’s no reason not to use them as inspiration! I’ve bought similar, high quality items at thrift stores, garage sales, and poshmark! It’s about creating looks, not buying every single item Jean posts.

      • Reply JANET May 15, 2019 at 10:13 pm

        I love your blog, especially your attention to hitting a wide array of price points. Every item I have purchased, Via your blog, has been absolutely perfect! Thank you for sharing your life and your style!

      • Reply ANJILINE SIRSIKAR May 16, 2019 at 10:59 am

        Good luck to you Jean and all your supporters this blog is not for me. I just cared enough to question your choice and ask for alternatives. I will not be visiting your blog or suggesting them to my professional friends as they share my view of finding affordable pieces. Student loans, retirement savings, caring and supporting our elderly parents and saving for my child’s college is a priority for many Americans including me. Only after we have met these priorities , then can i afford to buy high end pieces you showcase like that Gucci belt worth $460.00. Save first for a smooth retirement and splurge later that is a prudent choice i make and urge others to make each day.

      • Reply Lori May 27, 2019 at 1:27 pm

        Good for you Jean!
        I love the way you mix high and low. It’s ideas for every price point and just because I may be at a low end this year does not mean I don’t want to inspire for a higher quality/price point. I have found your blog sooo useful in developing my wardrobe and appreciate all of your posts. Keep it up and do not let negative comments upset you at all.

    • Reply Lizclaire May 14, 2019 at 12:00 pm

      Anjiline, I’ve been a fan of Jean for years. I love how she mixed and matched from high end to affordable. It depends what your looking for, both websites you are talking about are not cheap either. Most of Jean clothes are affordable. What’s wrong if she wore an expensive belt. Don’t bring down other women just because of insecurities. If you have nothing good to say other people keep it to yourself.

    • Reply Jenny Hua May 14, 2019 at 12:39 pm

      Actually quite a few pieces featured do show up at N.Rack and TJMaxx and its always a treasure hunt to find quality pieces that will last.

      I got that skirt from H&M a few months back for a steal at $10 to fit my baby bump. I don’t think Jean is advocating folks to buy high end items although its a slurge to have a nice accessory as a staple and showing folks how to achieve a look or get styling ideas. There are affordable items to use in place of what she has selected to get a similar look without breaking the bank. I love all the candid feedback for petite sizing and quality of materials in addition to sharing more personal struggles readers can relate to which I find very valuable as well as my husband who reads the blog. Keep it up Jean! (Btw my mother taught me to sew when I was in high school and I’ve been self learning since, in addition to cooking, DIY, being thrifty, gardening. I hope to pass on these values and skills to my own daughter as she grows)

    • Reply Leigh May 14, 2019 at 1:42 pm

      I actually think she does a great job of mixing expensive/inexpensive items. I have pieces from Target & H&M that she’s featured. I love TJ Maxx and Nordstrom Rack but those stores are so hit or miss. That’s another thing I love about this blog is you can easily find the items she posts about for the most part. I feel like if she featured items from stores like you mentioned it would frustrate me if I couldn’t find them. Keep doing what you’re doing Jean! You have the best petite blog and I love your sense of style!

      • Reply Anjiline Sirsikar May 16, 2019 at 9:22 am

        Agree she does have a great style what she wears and chooses to promote are two separate proponents. We have no right to question people choice of attire, its unconstitutional. I just was looking for an alternative and questioned her platform for more economical pieces. If you offer a blog as platform then learn to accept constructive criticism as feedback, isn’t that how we grow ?

        • Reply Leigh May 16, 2019 at 10:31 am

          It seems that most of her followers with myself included thinks she promotes economical pieces too. There were budget friendly items in this post. When you offer criticism at least let it have some basis. Otherwise you’ll get pushback.

        • Reply Mary Ellen May 17, 2019 at 12:20 am

          Thank you! For years I have been unable to find clothes that fit me. I now no longer waste my time shopping. I wait to get your blog. If I like it, I can order it right there and then. And the best thing, it always fits!!

    • Reply Valeri Pighini May 14, 2019 at 5:21 pm

      Anjiline. I’ve been following Jean for several years now and notice that most of the clothes she promotes are quite affordable, and even some things from Target and Old Navy. Only certain pieces are a little high priced for me, but she always offers suggestions and shows something similar. I think Jean’s blog is very tasteful and honest. Say, one other thing… have you ever looked at Wendyslookbook.com? Now that is really expensive, but it’s so fun to look at what she wears. It’s all just looking at a fashion magazine, right? Jean does an excellent job and I like her very much. Please try to be kind. Thank you.

      • Reply Paige May 15, 2019 at 2:26 am

        Anjiline, I found an old comment here left by you: https://www.pennypincherfashion.com/full-skirted-flurry/

        “May i just say ! I love your skirt and how you paired it with the jacket. Beautiful pictures. Keep blogging and i will follow .

        Follow me @

        www. simply-set.com”

        I take it from this that you once tried to run a blog yourself and, based on the defunct website, it didn’t work out so well. So, you should know yourself how difficult it is for Jean to do what she does and, without a doubt, how well she does it.

        Jean created a space online that make women who have never had a space before feel seen and validated. Now there are many bloggers of all sizes (and I hope to see more of them), and so many of them are where they are because Jean is a trailblazer.

        Bless your heart, Anjiline. Your comments make me think you need it, a lot.

        • Reply Anjiline Sirsikar May 16, 2019 at 9:12 am

          Thank you for taking the time out of your not so busy day i assume since you had time to search me out and my previous blog to offer this beautiful comment on penny pincher. I closed my blog not because it did or did not work which is none of your business. I closed the website due to greater cause which i am committed to that is securing defending our homeland and proudly serving the American people.
          Also I put my needs last, the needs of the people of United States come first, then comes my family and then me. Hope this clarifies any doubts you may have about me.

          • Naomi May 18, 2019 at 1:01 pm

            Is it none of our business? You yourself said: “If you offer a blog as platform then learn to accept constructive criticism as feedback, isn’t that how we grow ?”

    • Reply Sazna May 15, 2019 at 11:31 pm

      I have followed Jean’s blog since 2012, and I love all her content. I do not buy everything from her blog, but she does have a mix of affordable and expensive items of clothing and accessories. Regarding T.J Max and Nordstrom Rack, from a personal experience of petite women, it is hard to find petite clothing in those stores. Those stores carry a variety of beautiful items of clothing but not for petite women like me. Jean’s blog has been very helpful now that I am shopping for my little one. Thank you, Jean, your blog is fantastic.

    • Reply MICH M May 19, 2019 at 3:18 pm

      This is an especially petty comment given that the main pieces being highlighted in this post are a $20 Uniqlo top and an H&M skirt…

  • Reply Janine May 14, 2019 at 1:02 am

    That is such a cute top! I honestly can’t decide which way of styling I prefer, both look really good. I like how effortlessly chic it looks with the work pants though, very much an outfit I would wear to the office.
    xx Janine

    • Reply Ro Burns May 14, 2019 at 10:36 am

      The skirt and belt combo is EVERYTHING!! Love it.

  • Reply Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog May 14, 2019 at 2:07 am

    I love these looks, Jean! ❤️✨ I really appreciate your work outfit posts, they’re so inspiring! 🙂

  • Reply Betty | CHALK Academy May 14, 2019 at 2:13 am

    Thanks for sharing this cute top! I love that it can be dressed up or down (I’m picturing jeans). These types of tops often swallow my small frame, but the side profile photo here is reassuring!

  • Reply Roses for Fridays | by mia May 14, 2019 at 3:25 am

    Love ♥️the simple and beautiful ways of wapearing a draped sweater!

  • Reply Michael @ Mile in My Glasses May 14, 2019 at 3:45 am

    I love your draped sweater, Jean! It looks so nice – especially the colour!

  • Reply Rena May 14, 2019 at 4:02 am

    You look fantastic in both looks!
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

  • Reply Gary Melican May 14, 2019 at 10:51 am

    Love both styles.

    Slightly favouring the pleated skirt!

  • Reply Gwen May 14, 2019 at 11:28 am

    Jean – love the draped top with the pleated skirt. Somehow it seems a perfect combination for this never-ending wet and chilly spring weather. I hope you had a wonderful mother’s day! xo

    Gwen Kennedy

    • Reply Jean | Extra Petite May 15, 2019 at 9:36 pm

      Thank you, Gwen! The dampness and wind here is relentless this season. Hope you had a chance to go enjoy the tulips in town this month (it was short lived per usual)!

  • Reply Joyce May 14, 2019 at 11:53 am

    Both looks are great!
    Would you mind sharing, is your Hermes belt 24mm or 32mm? It fits so well on you!

    • Reply Hana May 14, 2019 at 3:11 pm

      I would love to know details about the H belt as well. 24mm or 32mm?

    • Reply Jean | Extra Petite May 15, 2019 at 8:44 pm

      Hi Joyce and Hana! This one is the 32mm one. I also have the smaller 24mm size which you can see in older posts for size reference, if you put Hermes belt in the search box!

      • Reply Joyce May 16, 2019 at 4:45 am

        Thank you Jean!

      • Reply Hana May 16, 2019 at 1:33 pm

        Thank you, Jean! Love your low/high mix styling. That H belt looks like one I can spurge on and wear for many many years.

  • Reply Tanya May 14, 2019 at 2:47 pm

    Love both looks.
    How do
    You style your ponytail to look so full?

  • Reply Yesse May 14, 2019 at 3:11 pm

    I love both outfits! You always give great options. I do have a question on how you are able to tuck in the top/sweater into that lightweight skirt and not see a bump? I always have trouble tucking things in (especially sweaters) into skirts without seeing a bump from the sweater hem or getting bunching. I welcome all tips & tricks!!

    • Reply Jean | Extra Petite May 15, 2019 at 8:46 pm

      Hi there – it always depends on the material of both skirt and top, and usually I would not recommend tucking a sweater into a lightweight skirt! But the material on this skirt is pretty substantial and the sweater is thin, so it was less of an issue. The skirt also flares out which helps (would not work so well with a pencil skirt). sometimes I will wear shapewear shorts and tuck a top into the shorts to help smooth everything out!

  • Reply felix May 14, 2019 at 4:10 pm

    Saved as a favorite, I love your web site!

  • Reply Elizabeth T. May 14, 2019 at 4:16 pm

    Love how you styled this sweater <3 🙂 And that pleat skirt is gorgeous! Always love your feminine style, Jean!

    XO, Elizabeth T.

  • Reply Valeri Pighini May 14, 2019 at 6:16 pm

    Jean. I love that skirt! It’s really elegant; it’s the color actually and the material, don’t you agree? …that makes it look so elegant. Of course H&M doesn’t have that color. Still, I love the way you have a link to practically everything you wear and/or something similar. You do a great job. Love, Val

    • Reply Jean | Extra Petite May 15, 2019 at 8:49 pm

      Thank you, sweet Val! Yes I fell in love with the color and the satiny material. I found it in-store and saw it for a hot second online before it sold out : /

  • Reply Joanna May 14, 2019 at 6:30 pm

    You are adorable in everything. I am LOVING the sweater/skirt combo! Can I borrow lol

  • Reply V May 14, 2019 at 9:39 pm

    Loving with skirt. Great job on your blogs btw…I always look forward to seeing your outfits and suggestions. 👗

    • Reply Cate July 16, 2019 at 1:35 pm

      I just ordered the skirt from this post (love the color) and would love some ideas on other colors/styles to wear it with. I know black will probably look good. What do you think about white? Any other color or style ideas would be helpful. Thanks!

  • Reply Beth May 15, 2019 at 5:06 pm

    I love your elegant style, Jean and always look forward to your blogs. I really enjoy when you share pictures of items you have styled for your mother. I am about her age and size:)

    You are doing a wonderful job balancing career, and being a wife and new mommy.

    • Reply Jean | Extra Petite May 15, 2019 at 9:34 pm

      Thank you Beth for the kind and encouraging words! I’ll be sure to pass that along to my mom when I see her this month – maybe after hearing that she’ll be open to being a guest on here again : )

  • Reply Jenny Yang May 16, 2019 at 1:27 pm

    Hi Jean! I love this pleated skirt so much and have been loving your outfits lately with the variety of pleated skirts. I wish uniqlo still carried this one you are wearing – it looks so pretty!
    xx jen

  • Reply Lee S. June 4, 2019 at 11:36 am

    Jean – Please ignore all the negative nancy’s. You cannot please them all! Que the T Swift song…”haters gonna hate hate hate hate…”Typically when a person says something hateful it makes them look like a huge BUTT! Furthermore, they are being nasty because they are not happy with THEMSELVES and they take it out on others.

    You are amazing! You’re site is awesome and I check it often as I am a single professional mama running 2 corporate businesses and I NEED clothing advice! I’m just not as good putting these things together and thankfully there are people like yourself who help me do that! How you dress says a lot about yourself, your character, your work ethic.

    Keep doing you! Heck – just delete those nasty comments. haha. Poof. Like it never happened. Problem solved. lol

  • Reply Ko August 5, 2019 at 11:27 pm

    Hi Jean,
    Just came across your blog – was wondering the size difference between the JCF ruby pant vs. JC Cameron pant. I have the latter, and wear a size 4. I LOVE CAMERON PANTS (yes, they deserve all the caps locking in the world 😉 Im ordering the Ruby pants online so I have no way of trying them out – so I wanted to ask you if the ruby pants fit a little tighter than Camerons? would I need to size up / down? thank you for your help <3 X

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