Petite Fashion Challenge #6 – Dress Up Your Basics

Petite Fashion Challenge 1
Blazer – Theory Amanda B., size 00
BlouseLOFT Corsage button down, size 00P (altered)
Sweater Vest – Theory, size XS (similar)
Top – H&M, size XS (hiding under the button down)
Jewelry – Honora pearl necklace, jet bead necklace, vintage brooch, sterling silver bangles

The theme of this month’s Petite Fashion Challenge, hosted by Stylepint, is “Dress Up Your Basics”:

For this challenge, start off with a jeans and tee basic look (it can be any style or color) and dress it up to show off your personal style with accessories, jewelry, and whatever you’d like to add.

My basics are my favorite pair of skinny jeans (quite literally, the only pair that have ever looked good on me) and an simple grey H&M t-shirt, that unfortunately is hiding in this photo-shoot. I wear a fitted tee under most of my outfits, especially in the colder months. Not only do they give an extra layer of warmth, but they can be a great way to cover up a scandalously low neckline, or just give a small bit of color to peek out from under other items.

Petite Fashion Challenge 3

I love menswear inspired looks, so I try to integrate that into my personal style when I can. I used my tried and true method of tucking in when you have a short torso to pair the striped button-down with the classic blazer, which is a very boyish look that I love. I took this one step further by adding a shrunken sweater vest that reminds me of a men’s three-piece-suit. *swoon!*

Petite Fashion Challenge 2

To off-set being so boyishly dressed, I needed girly items like the long necklaces and vintage brooch on the jacket lapel (more signature items of my personal style). The feminine cut of the skinny jeans and classic almond toe pumps also help “girl-up” the outfit.

Petite Fashion Challenge 6
Petite Fashion Challenge 4

I love love love these shoes! I’ve worn them endlessly ever since I picked them up almost two years ago! I highly suggest grey pumps…they are surprisingly versatile and a twist on the basic black pump.

See the rest of the stylish Petite Fashion Challenge entries by going to

For those of you who did not participate, how would you dress up jeans and a t-shirt?

Disclosure – Clicking or purchasing through the links in this post may yield commissions for See the Alterations Needed Disclosure for more details.

Join the Conversation


  1. says: CynthiaC

    Looks like we both did the blazer and jeans look! :) If you work at a casual office that allows denim, you could totally wear it to work!

  2. says: Ski Petite

    Cute vest! I have been looking for a vest but I can't find one that seems to fit just right. I don't know if I just feel uncomfortable in them or what. But I love the look and the red detailing on you.

  3. says: hurricanekerrie

    This outfit is so cute, one could even wear it to work–you know for casual friday. I love the vest with the blazer.

  4. says: Cee

    Great layering job, Kelly! You're wearing all my favorite items, but together. With the exception of the vest, but I'm going to have to add that to my wishlist :)

    PS – I like this new photo spot. Looks beautiful and secluded.

  5. says: Amy Adkins

    I love how you make menswear sharp looking and still feminine. I'm learning so much from your blog!! I bought the Cole Haan Grey Suede pumps (after seeing how fabulous and versatile they looked on you!), but I'm afraid to wear them for fear they get wet and ruined!!! Have you worn yours in the rain ever? Any advice??

  6. says: The Little Dust Princess

    I love that so many of the PFCs used a blazer to spice up their outfit. Definitely a classic combo. Great job, Kelly!

  7. says: PetiteLittleGirl

    This outfit is totally you, Kelly :) I love your new photo location. You look so put together as always. Great job with this challenge.

  8. says: R.L.

    I love how this outfit is like a "cumulative exam" of all the nifty tricks you've shared with us about petite fashion. Texture, tucking in, accessories, etc… And you should totally tag this post to your "AN in the wild" category ;)

  9. says: Alterations Needed

    @CynthiaC – Yes! I liked your blazer and jeans look! You should wear it more often.

    @Ski Petite – Thanks! I have a more structured houndstooth one that just doesn't fit right, but this one is cashmere/wool, so it fit nice and stretchy. A little shrink in the wash helped too. ;)

    @Vicky – Thank you Vicky! I loved your jacket look too!

  10. says: Alterations Needed

    @Cee – Thank you Cee! A way to get a similar look is to wear a v-neck cardigan, 1/2 buttoned, under a blazer. I've had a few people compliment me on my "vest" when I wear cardigans like that. ;)
    Glad you like the new photo spot! I still have to find the perfect spot at our new place, but this one worked really well!

    @Amy Adkins – I've worn those suede pumps EVERYWHERE! I try not to get them wet, but sometimes, it's unavoidable. Before you wear them, spray them with a suede protector spray. It helps protect them from dirt and water stains, and makes them easier to clean later:
    Suede Protector Spray

    @The Little Dust Princess – Yes! Blazers were popular this PFC!

  11. says: Alterations Needed

    @PetiteLittleGirl – Thanks! I like the photo location too. Hopefully I'll get better at utilizing the pretty location in my photos. ;)

    @R.L. – LOL! You're so right! It totally is a culmination of my "tips". I hope I passed the exam. ;)

  12. says: SewPetiteGal

    Love the outfit and what a gorgeous setting!! I have several vests and am always at a loss of how exactly to wear them – I never thought of pairing it with a blazer! I'm going to try this tomorrow :)

  13. says: Simple subtle style

    You look great! I love the vest and pumps. I've been thinking about getting some gray heels and you're definitely convincing me!

  14. says: betty;

    i love the red lining on the vest, though it's a minor thing it stood out for me =]
    i've seen that a lot of people wore blazer for this particular challenge, but everyone pulls it off so well especially you b/c of the ruched sleeves
    i love it <3 great job

  15. says: Alterations Needed

    @kileen – Thanks! I feel like I wear these necklaces a little too much, but I guess that makes them part of my signature style. ;)

    @SewPetiteGal – Yes! Try it! It's one of my favorite looks that I don't utilize nearly enough.

    @Kimberly – Thanks Kimberly!

    @Simple subtle style @Olyvia – I am really not exaggerating when I say grey pumps go with everything! They're my "go-to" shoes, and I know I've gotten a few other petite bloggers on the grey pump awesome-train. ;)

    @betty; – Thank you! I love the red piping on the vest as well. It's little details like that that can really make a garment, or an entire outfit, more interesting.

  16. says: Stylepint

    I love the little details that you add to your outfits to make them extra special like the piping on the vest, the striped shirt, and the vintage pin. I always love your menswear-inspired outfits and this one is no exception. Plus, I'm totally digging your photo location! =)

  17. says: Canadianpetite

    Love the little details in this outfit but still not busy-looking. I agree with the shoes…Is this at your new home?

  18. says: Elle

    This outfit is so you Kelly! I love that you added the shrunken sweater vest under your blazer. Everything is so well thought out but go so well together!

    And I completely agree with you on gray suede pumps, a must-have!

  19. says: curls-and-pearls

    Kelly, love the vest underneath! I think both you and Jess do menswear with a feminine twist perfectly! Where are you taking these photos? they turned out beautifully.

  20. says: PetiteXXS

    Lovely new location! Is it private enough to take pics without onlookers? If so, I'm jealous!

    The outfit is definitely and completely you! So many layers and textures to look at :) I know Jean loves her skinnies but I actually think I prefer your boot cut jeans on you.

  21. says: Girl Hearts Makeup


    I'm petite like you and I was wondering do you think petite people look nice in high waste shorts?

  22. says: Slayerbabe

    You are really great at layering, I'm trying to improve that bit now and you're looks are still a great inspiration :)

  23. says: fashionforteens

    Love this outfit! You always have the best blazers-especiallt theory blazers. THis is so polished and pulled together. Great job!

  24. says: Alterations Needed

    @Stylepint Aww…thanks! I always enjoy your menswear inspired looks as well.

    @Canadianpetite – Yes, these photos were taken at my new place. Still have to find the perfect spot, but this one is pretty good. ;)

    @Jen HaHA – Thanks! It was a lucky find during a Saks Fifth Avenue sale a few seasons ago.

  25. says: Alterations Needed

    @Elle – Thanks Elle! ;)

    @curls-and-pearls – Totally agree! Jess does menswear really well. These photos were taken just outside the new place I'm moving into. I'm excited that it's so photogenic! :D

    @PetiteXXS – Yes, my new place luckily has a private yard! I'm so excited! A neighbor could see me posing if they're nosy enough, but for the most part, I'm hidden from prying eyes.

    I go through moods where I prefer the bootcuts to the skinnies and vice versa…I'm going through a skinny jean period, but I'm sure I'll be back to my bootcuts soon. ;)

  26. says: Alterations Needed

    @Kiki – LOL…I didn't even think about it like that, but you're right. Most people stopped at three. I went all crazy and went for four!

    @SILVIA NAVARRO – Thank you! ;)

    @Girl Hearts Makeup – Of course petites look good in high waisted shorts! Just be mindful of your body proportions. If proportionately you have a short torso and long legs, then it's probably not a good look for you (I have a short torso and high waisted styles look awful on me), but if you have a proportionate body type or a long torso, you can pull it off.

  27. says: Alterations Needed

    @Slayerbabe – Layering can be tricky. You have to keep the layers thin so you don't look bulky, and mix different textures so it looks interesting.

    @Magda – Thank you Magda! I like being small too, except when I go shopping and things don't fit. ;)

    @fashionforteens – Thanks! I adore blazers, so I make sure the ones I buy are versatile and fit well. I got lucky with this one…bought it on sale at the outlet and no alterations needed!

  28. says: Banhannas

    You really got the menswear down pat! The striping of the vest really brings more girly elements as well as those tiered necklaces.

  29. says: Kimchi Girl

    Ditto to everyone else: I LOVE it! I envy your knack for looking so put together. I wonder if this ensemble would work w/ a pencil skirt too? Like, if you wanted to feminize it even more?

    As for your ?, I, too like putting on blazers to dress up my basic jeans/t-shirt outfits. that, and heels!

    thanks for sharing Kelly…looking fwd to your next OOTD!

  30. says: Girl Hearts Makeup

    thank you! I was debating whether to buy a really pricey pair of high waist shorts from Topshop and you just made my decision final. :)

  31. says: TigerLily

    Wow, I love that vest + blazer look. And paired with that striped shirt, it looks very chic! I also love the way you incorporate blazers in your daily wear, and the jeans you wore makes you look much taller, how did you do that? I guess i must hunt that jeans ;)


  32. says: Petite in the City

    I would have never thought of wearing a vest under my blazer! I have so many black heels, I'm definitely going to try to get grey ones next! Great outfit!


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