The Things I Do For Linen

Banana Republic Linen VestTheory Amanda B. blazer, size 00 :: Banana Republic linen vest, size 0 (altered) :: Ann Taylor shell, size xxsp :: Paige Blue Heights jeans, size 24 (hemmed & slimmed) :: Ann Taylor Factory belt, size xs :: Timex watch :: Sears silk pocket square :: J.Crew Edie Purse :: Cole Haan shoes, size 5

I must’ve been a dandy in another life, because this just feels right. I think I’ll switch out the grey jeans for my dark blue skinnies next time…but I’m still really loving this ensemble.

I’ve been drooling over this linen, blue striped vest from Banana Republic ever since it first appeared in stores earlier this summer. It didn’t come in petite sizes, so I tried to put it out of my mind…but every time I stepped foot in a BR store, I went straight up to this little guy to fondle the crisp linen.

Then, the stars aligned…the vest went on sale with an extra 40% off, I received a $15 birthday coupon, and I dug a few Rewards Cards out of my wallet. I found a size 0 on the sale rack and paid a grand total of $2! Of course, it was going to need quite a bit of alterations, but by getting it for so cheap, I was willing to shell out the cash to get it tailored.

It needed to be slimmed and taken up at the shoulder, which meant a good deal of the back panel needed to be re-cut at the back of the neck. I didn’t care about the cost…and I knew my tailor could handle the job since he specializes in custom menswear. I was too excited to take before photos and do a proper alterations post, but $60 worth of alterations later…here she is.

Banana Republic Linen Vest Close

Totally worth it. :)

PS…Vicky also picked up this vest and is challenging her readers to help her style it! What a great idea!


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Join the Conversation


  1. says: Michelle

    I picked this up at the BR in Seattle but then put it back!  I immediately thought of you when I saw it, too!  I just did not know how to work it into my wardrobe.  But this is great!  I love Vicky’s idea of having the readers come up with style ideas!

    Your watch is looking good!

    Loving the pocket square too!

    1. You noticed the pocket square! LOL :)

      Yeah, this little piece isn’t an easy one to style, but lends itself pretty well to my already tomboyish wardrobe. I already have a few more ideas. heh heh

  2. says: Tara

    So, this is how you style a vest :)  I had no answer to Vicky’s post since I don’t own any vest, probably cause I don’t know how to style them!  I think this is the perfect answer to her question!

  3. says: Elle

    wow!!! $60 in alterations!!! It looks amazing on you though and I adore how you style it. I’ve been looking for a simple black vest myself but haven’t found one I liked enough (nor cheap enough so I have no idea how to style it). You are giving me so much inspiration!

    1. $60 sounds a little crazy doesn’t it? But I got it for $2, really really loved it, and I still paid less than full retail for it! I’m not opposed to spending a little cash on items I really love, and considering I didn’t want to take it off last night, I think I made the right decision. :)

  4. says: Kileen

    i love how you styled this look and it’s a very feminine take on a more masculine piece.  the alterations cost was definitely worth it.   and you have me wanting this Theory blazer now too!

  5. Aw, too bad no “adventures in alterations” before and after pic! Those are my fave. The blooms peekin out from below coordinated with the pocket square is pretty much perfection!

    1. I know! I kept putting the before photos off and then remembered in the car on the way to the tailor…too late! But it simply swallowed me, so there probably wasn’t much to see anyways. :P

  6. says: Petite LG

    Holy crap! $60 for alterations? It looks great on you though. I’d love to see how you wear this vest without the blazer. Maybe in another OOTD post? This outfit totally screams “Kelly” =)

  7. says: Olyvia

     the color of the vest is gorgeous! and it looks perfect with the lavendar-ish shell and pocket square!  I think this is definitely one of your top spin-off the menswear style but still keeping it feminine :) 

    1. Thank you so much Olyvia! That’s quite the compliment! :) I found my new favorite summer color pairing with light blue and lavender. This little lavender shell has been getting more than it’s fair share of wear lately. So much so that I had to pick up the matching pocket square to color coordinate! Gosh, I’m such a geek! LOL

  8. says: Rhoda

    What a great alteration! I actually just went to Banana Republic Factory Store today, everything–yes everything, was an additional 40% off! go check it out! :)

    1. I know!! What a great deal!! I was just there last weekend and picked up a cute little pair of herringbone shorts. I only got 30% off, but I already wore them so I can’t return & re-buy. :P

      1. says: Rhoda

        Bummer! I saw the shorts you bought…. Wanted to try them on but trying to only buy clothes right now to teach in :/ I do love a good sale though!

  9. says: Kate Readthisbook

    You look gorgeous! :D I need some advice… I recently got a really expensive Marc Jacobs bag only to realise it looked too big on me! Could you give some advice what type of bags look best on petite people? And is there any way I can look taller with my large tote? :( The size is 14″H x 13.5″L x 2.5″D.5″ drop from handle.18″ drop from strap.I’m about 5 feet. thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Kate! Oh no! So sorry to hear you’re feeling swamped by your gorgeous new handbag! But don’t fret. Quite honestly, I’ve seen petites carry some pretty large handbags and look perfect doing it. The girls who carry it off flawlessly carry themselves proudly and confidently. It’s seriously all about the attitude.

      Try it on in front of the mirror and see if it looks better on your shoulder, hand held, or crook of your arm, as sometimes the way you carry it makes a big difference. If you’re really small framed, try carrying it when you’re a little more covered up, like wearing a blazer, that way your small size and the bag’s big size won’t be such a disparity. And try carrying it while wearing heels, as the extra height might help balance the size of the bag.

      But like I said before, it’s really all about the attitude! If you’re confident while carrying it, it won’t look wrong at all. Hope that helps!

      1. says: Kate Readthisbook

        Thank you so much for your advice. I definitely agree that it’s the way you carry the bag that matters. :) I’ll definitely be carrying it confidently and with heels! 

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