Dots and Gingham (With a Before & After Skirt Alteration)

polka-dots-gingham-2Rescued from the mangled trenches of the sale rack, this Banana Republic skirt was on my list of items to check out earlier this season, but sold out quicker than I could get my act together. It must have been a return, because it certainly wasn’t there the last time I was in store. It was a big fit, and some of the embroidered threads that make the polka-dot print had been pulled from rough handling, but I snatched it up immediately.

Before alterations – it sat too low on my waist, was a bit too long, and had no shape on my figure:


And, here she is now:

polka-dots-gingham-1After a waistband adjustment, side slimming and shortening * (it looks a bit shorter in these photos – due to an upward camera angle – than it is in real life. Luckily most people look down on me rather than up…ha! **), I knew exactly what outfit I wanted to put together for it’s inaugural voyage. This pin (from this blog, which is becoming a new must read for me) has been sitting in my Pinterest boards for months, and always in the back of my mind as something I’d like to recreate.

* Note 1 – Thank you to the helpful ladies on Twitter who gave me tips to fix the loose embroidery threads! After an evening of unsuccessful attempts to fix them myself, I pointed them out to my tailor to see if there was anything she could do. When I picked up the skirt a week later, she was kind enough to have fixed them, free of charge. San Diego ladies…Kim’s Alterations in Encinitas has been great for simple alterations (she’s great with denim), and then Francois of La Moda has been handling my complicated alterations flawlessly.

** Note 2 – Fellow shorties…do you ever look in the mirror at your outfit and think it looks great, only to see photos of you in that same outfit, by someone taller (so the photo was taken from above), where you look dowdy? That’s happened to me quite a few times now, and usually in skirts that I’ve left a little longer, around mid-knee or so.  Since most people see me from above, I’m experimenting with hemming my skirts at least to the top of the knee to try and avoid this.


This is definitely a new favorite, and I foresee this outfit on repeat all summer long.

Outfit DetailsJ.Crew Crewcuts shirt (post) :: Banana Republic skirt (altered) (similar at a steal) (interesting silhouette) :: Ann Taylor belt :: Jimmy Choo shoes :: Chanel handbag :: Kate Spade watch (customized) :: Pearl bracelets :: J.Crew necklace :: Loud Love Jewelry ring (c/0) :: Essie Ole Caliente nail color

Join the Conversation


  1. says: Tara

    Love this combo…you look awesome Kelly!  I was hoping to find this skirt on sale also but never was able to come across my size :(

  2. says: R.L.

    Great mixture and good eye for seeing the potential in that skirt!  I think some fitting room mirrors are angled so we look taller and leaner bec I’ve often come home with an item only to realize I actually look dowdy.  Or could be reality kicking in too!

    1. Thank you! And, yes, I’ve definitely had mirrors lie to me in stores. Oddly, the Banana Republic Factory fitting room mirrors make me look great! But my local LOFT fitting room mirrors and lighting make me look awful! It’s amazing what the right lighting and mirror can do for you. =P

  3. says: Vicky

    Very interesting point about other people seeing us from up above so the perspective is different from the pictures. :)  I have to keep that in mind. 
    I have never thought of pairing gingham with polka dots. Have to give it a try.

  4. says: wendyslookbook

    LOVE this combo Kelly!  And I absolutely love the fact that you’re posting more often.  As you can see… I’m a AN-addict! 

  5. That is a gorgeous outfit.  I just found your blog today…twitter suggested I follow you!  I’m quite short, though not always “petite.”  I’m always afraid to hem things, but you’ve made a really good case here!

    1.  Hi Kelly (great name btw ;) )! You found me from a Twitter suggestion? That’s so cool! Maybe I should pay more attention to those.

      Hemming is cheap and easy! And can make such a difference on clothes for us shorties. Definitely give it a try! =)

  6. says: TOBeautyReviews

    Kelly, happens to me all the time rather frustrating LOL!  I love this pattern combination!  Is that a new purse?

  7. says: AUBS*

    i’m looking for someone in the SD area that alters swimsuits.  can you ask kim’s alterations if she can do that too?

  8. says: Janellass

    Call me old-fashioned, but I’d much prefer a white top with that skirt — with texture of some sort, but a white top. I love love love the skirt, but the gingham top with it gives me the jitters.

  9. Great mix of prints here, Kelly!  You look lovely!

    You make a good point about people generally seeing us petites from above.  I’ve definitely realized that what I thought looked like a perfectly-proportioned outfit most likely made me look even shorter from above.  

    I like my skirts to be just above the knee, too, but it sometimes feels a little risque for work, so I generally wear work skirts just below my knee.  Maybe I need to rethink that policy!

  10. says: Lisa Ng

    What a cute mixing of patterns! I’m amazed that you think of how ppl might view your outfit in person. I never woulda thought that way!

  11. says: Le-Ann

    Very cute!  Love that skirt.

    I hadn’t thought of an entire outfit looking different from above, but I have become aware that what looks like a fairly modest low cut top in the mirror can actually look way more revealing from above! 

  12. says: Rinny

    The skirt looks great on you after the alterations were made! I like how you mixed prints but the outfit doesn’t look too busy at all :)

  13. says: KT of

    This is a beautiful example of mixing prints Kel! You look beautiful and classy as always! xo

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