I wore this outfit last week to work and I felt very Classic Allie. My sister bought me this scarf a few years ago when she visited London and I love pairing it with stripes. And well, we all know I love stripes! I put away laundry this weekend and was floored how I have a drawer of almost all striped tees, but I wear them all and they all have different purposes, fits, and colors. This one I recently picked up at Ann Taylor; I like the notched hem and leather elbow patches which makes it look a bit more polished than a traditional tee, and I liked the sale price!
Search Results for: label/Ann Taylor LOFT
Last night I got my latest order from Ann Taylor LOFT. As I mentioned on my Facebook page last week, they had 30% off full-price styles. I ordered some items from LOFT in the past few months and almost all of them have been a fail for me. However, I had seen many bloggers raving about their spring line, so I decided to take a chance.
What I ordered and what I thought:
On the LOFT Facebook page, someone mentioned how this top was way overpriced – almost $50 for a polyester tee shirt? With the 30% off deal it seemed to be a more reasonable price. I was imagining it with jeans like in the photo, but also with a leather skirt, with a navy fuller skirt and peeptoe heels, even under a suit jacket. I thought it would be unique, versatile, fun.
Yeah, it’s a cheap-feeling polyester tee shirt with an elastic band at the waist.
I chose a size Large, which seemed too big for me. It gapped at the armholes, exposing my bra. The neckline was also large, sliding off a shoulder showing bra strap. The elasticized waist wasn’t tight enough to stay at the waist and blouse out, and the top was so darn long that it couldn’t be worn without being tucked in. Did I mention it felt cheap? It’s the same weird nubby polyester of my brown and blue dress from last spring, but at least in a dress it seems to work. This top would be awesome… if the price was more like $30 and it fit more like it does on the model (she HAS to have it clipped in back!).
I thought this dress would be a perfect addition to my wardrobe for spring. I have a LOFT dress from last spring that has a grosgrain waistband, and it has a nice fit. Black, 100% polyester, a flattering cowl neckline and subtle bubble skirt, I was thinking this dress would be cute for work with a colorful woven or my black patent belt, but also could be glammed up for a wedding or date night.
Another fail. Again, LOFT has used really cheap material. This dress is black, but it’s a sheer polyester that is so cheap it looks almost like dark gray. White the exterior is a floaty (yet cheap feeling and looking) organza-like fabric, the interior is a very tight-fitting opaque black polyester. There is a size zipper which is necessary to get this dress on, and even when on I found the lining to be extremely fitted to the point that it rode up when I walked or sat and required adjustment just to walk from the bed to the full-length mirror. This dress looked as though it cost $25 and was purchased at H&M.
I ordered a 12 Regular, which technically fit – it fit in the bust, it fit in the ribcage, the waist hit at the right place, the skirt in the right place (note –if you are tall this dress will be very short). however the really snug-fitting lining made it do weird things from the waist-down. I can’t even imagine how this would fit on a woman who has more curves in the hip area.
I know I am not the only person who occasionally forgets her personal style. For those who have been reading for a long time (and those who know me IRL) are thinking, “What the heck is Allie doing ordering this sweater?” I know my sister is thinking, “There she goes again.” All my life, I go through phases where I think I will start wearing subtle neutral colors, pieces that are beautiful based upon their detail and shaping, than color. I imagined wearing this sweater with jeans and all my champagne pearls, with a statement necklace like the model, or with my black leather skirt and some fun booties.
This sweater is gorgeous in person, I think moreso than on the model. It has a heavy weight, but the knit is sort of spongy/stretchy so it still has lovely drape. A size large fit me like the model, but a bit longer in the body. It would look amazing with some weathered jeans and beaded jewelry, with white jeans and a bold silver cuff, and yes, with a black leather mini and ankle booties. It does have dolman sleeves, which isn’t the best on a woman with a large bust and broad shoulders, but it’s a really lovely sweater than looks expensive and seems to be made with care. It’s just not my personal style.
I didn’t take this out of the plastic, I found it really goofy looking in person. I was thinking it could be cute with a blazer and jeans, or as a fun alternative to a tee, but it looked so muddy and cheap in real life, I didn’t even upwrap it and try it on.
I was looking forward to these tees. A few years ago, I got some pima scoop tees from Banana Republic that were perfection – a refined knit with a slight sheen that could dress up or down, a flattering scoop that elongated the neck but didn’t show bra straps or too much cleavage, a mix of fabrics that could handle the washing machine and didn’t stretch out over time. I still wear my Banana tees from time to time, but they are really showing their age. I thought these tees from LOFT would be a worthy replacement. I ordered four of them – Spring Orange (pictured), Shimmer Pink, Navy, and Black. I ordered all of them in size Large Regular.
Each shirt fit differently. The black tee is a hint too large, the navy one so long it covers my crotch, the orange one gaps at the neck and has shorter sleeves than the rest, the pink one fits me perfectly. Also the actual fabric varied from piece to piece – some seemed thinner than others, some seemed to have more Lycra. Again the pink was my favorite of them all.
As for the colors, the Spring Orange is the most random color – it’s like neon salmon and slightly faded; I own a highlighter this color and I don’t like using it. Think Spam, think weird orange drink that comes in gallon jugs, think Laffy Taffy. Now, some women could rock this color, but I feel very few. The Shimmer Pink isn’t as vibrant as I had hoped, but it’s a pretty color that can get your fix of Honeysuckle for the season. Black and navy were rich and true, the navy a nice inky dark shade that looks polished.
I will be returning at least the Spring Orange, and most likely the Black.
Since my old beloved Ann Taylor denim pencil skirt is now too large, I have been looking for a replacement. I thought this may be a good choice – it’s not heavy denim, I liked the wide waistband and clean lines.
This skirt doesn’t look at all like denim in person. It’s a thin stretchy fabric with a slight sheen that may look denim-like in the right light. The fabric is so thin, it doesn’t hide a single thing (unlike my old stretch denim pencil skirt which was made of the same fabric as stretch denim jeans). On top of it, the skirt seems to run really tight in the hips/butt. While a 12 Petite fit me in length and the waist, it looked painted on. Also, I found the two slits in the back to be a weirdly conservative touch for such a skirt. This skirt just confused me and is being returned.
Meh. It’s cute, but nothing to write home about. I usually have great success with LOFT jewelry – it’s well made, unique, stylish, looks more expensive than its pricetag. This doesn’t look expensive – it looks as though I could find it at Forever 21. It’s a nice length, but the chains are so light and the teardrops so heavy, it all jumbles together between the breasts and you lose the detail in the necklace. Return.
Yet again, not much luck with Ann Taylor LOFT. I want to love them, I want to have success, but again I am disappointed in shoddy work and cheap fabrics. Every so often they have a true gem (like my leather mini skirt), but I am seeing more often that they are missing the mark on what used to be their staples – great jeans, quality knits, fun accessories.
Have you checked out LOFT’s new spring line? Have you found any winners?
Many of you ask me to recommend footwear brands that offer comfort and style at a reasonable pricepoint. So when Payless ShoeSource contacted me regarding their comfort line, I knew I had to review it for you!
Comfort Plus by Predictions and Dexflex Comfort are Payless lines of shoes that come in regular and wide sizes 5 to 13. With memory foam insoles and flexible outsoles, these shoes are uber comfortable for walking and standing all day. When I visited my nearby Payless location I was really impressed by how these lines incorporate popular fall fashion trends. From pointed toes to leopard print, classic oxfords to booties and “shooties,” one can find on-trend shoes for work and play. I chose the ‘Karmen’ round-toe pump in wine, a hot color this season. The suede-like finish looks great peeking out of suiting trousers, paired with work dresses, but for this post I chose to dress them down with boyfriend jeans.
The shoes really are as comfortable as they claim. I wore them one day to work and found them comfortable enough to take a brisk walk of a few blocks on my lunch hour and didn’t get any blisters, rubbing, or hot spots. Standing was also comfortable; I got stuck standing the majority of my Metro commute home and wasn’t shifting my weight the whole trip like I usually do. All this comfort, seasonally-appropriate style, and less than $30! I’m glad to find Payless as a source for budget-friendly comfort shoes!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Payless via Burst Media. The opinions and text are all mine.
Sweater: Kensie | Tee: Ann Taylor | Pants: Ann Taylor (old – similar petite/regular version, plus version) | Shoes: Jessica Simpson | Belt: Halogen | Bag: Chancebanda via MYHABIT | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban
I love huge sweaters like this, so perfect to snuggle up in when the temperatures drop. This weekend I wore it as a cardigan with a simple tee and jeans, but tried wrapping and belting the sweater and found it looked more polished and appropriate for a casual day at the office or going out to brunch with my friends. I love the color story and it has fun knit elbow pads for interest.
The bag is a recent MYHABIT score; I had some credit stored up and this bag went on mega sale making it only $19! The blue is no longer available but they do have it in brown and plum. I don’t love the lining which is a plasticy feeling acetate, but the leather and color is great, I love that there’s short handles plus the adjustable crossbody/shoulder strap, an outside pocket for my SmarTrip card and phone, and plenty of interior pockets to keep me organized.
As for the tee, it’s on a mega sale right now – when I bought it, it was $24.99 and then 60% off that price. I got it in the black and white and the navy and oatmeal colors – you know me, I can’t resist a good price on a great striped tee!
I have made some recent purchases from Ann Taylor, here’s my reviews of the pieces!
As soon as I saw this dress in the store I HAD to have it! Unfortunately they didn’t have my size in the store. However the next day, Ann Taylor had 40% off and free shipping so I got it online. I ordered a 12 Petite, since that seems to be my standard size with this company.
The dress is exactly in person as it looks on the model – intense cobalt shade, nice weight of ponte, cute hip pockets, exposed back zipper. However, it runs small in the arms and bust. If I had a smaller chest (we’re talking a B), and therefore smaller arms, as 12 Petite would have fit – it looked great everywhere else. So I exchanged it for a 14 Petite, which I love and have now worn twice. I think it looks cute with bare legs, will look great with black opaque tights or boots, and come spring will still look sassy.
I wore this dress here and I really like it. It has an unusual silhouette, is stretchy and comfortable, and can dress up and down with ease. I wore it with a wide belt, but also think it looks great (and more dressy) without a belt, or could use a skinny belt for a pop of color or shine.
I got this dress in a 12 Petite and almost considered trading it for a 12 Regular – it runs a bit short in the waist. However, I stuck with petite because it fit so well in every other location.
I got this in a 12 Petite and had to struggle for several minutes to get it zipped up, Once on, it looked ridiculous – too tight in the body, gaping at the armholes, waistband a hair too high on the waist yet the length was still to the top of the kneecap. Would be cute maybe on a straighter figure. I also found it to be a bit too casual – I thought it would be a pretty dress for a wedding, but on the fabric looked more work-appropriate (though the silhouette really isn’t).
Not sure what I was expecting with this skirt, as I already own a blue ponte skirt from Halogen (here). This skirt is a gorgeous cerulean blue – different from my cobalt ponte skirt. It is also shorter – same length as my orange Ann Taylor mini skirt. The waistband is invisible – a band of wide elastic inside and a back zipper. Cute… but a very simple thin ponte skirt free of lining, details, or anything making it more special than the one I have from Halogen. I also find the $78 pricetag to be a bit ridiculous – again, there is no lining, no fancy silhouette or details. You could find a similar skirt at any other retailer for around $50.
It doesn’t shed glitter everywhere, and like all my other belts from Ann Taylor it is well crafted. Fits true to size, is sparkly without being too blingy for work. Would be cute with a simple black shift or in the beltloops of gray tweed trousers.
Returning because… well I just don’t need it. I got it at 40% off, but still don’t see the need for such a belt in my wardrobe at this time.
Have you taken advantage of the recent Ann Taylor promotions? Any great purchases?
Black tank from Jessica Chaus, which I got at Marshall’s during the first trimester of my pregnancy. I loved it then because it wasn’t maternity, but worked with my changing shape. It was funny, after I had Emerson I tried on this tank and it looked so DUMPY, I was surprised. I now realize it was because I had more hips and tummy postpartum than I had at 12 weeks of pregnancy. Now it seems to fit again – nothing spectacular, but a tank that is work appropriate and I think is more flattering than this picture leads you to believe. With it are my straight dark jeans from NYDJ – the only jeans that still fit and flatter. I whipped out some fall shoes early – my gray strappy heels from Miz Mooz (do need some black or funky colored sandals but haven’t seen any I adore and fit…). The necklace is new and from Ann Taylor (sale), and the bracelets are old and also from Ann Taylor.
Hair is washed and conditioned then air dried. Our bathroom is still unavailable as that the contractor came by this week to retile it. The tiles never quite stuck properly after the remodel and have gotten loose. He is working on another house in the neighborhood and offered to come by and fix a couple things around the house for free. So the bathroom is off limits, and it is keeping most of my beauty products hostage (the husband didn’t think to clear the medicine cabinet before they started work). So no product, but I do have my curling iron available so I just put it on high and hit big sections, let it cool, put a bit of face moisturizer on my hands and finger combed to separate but not frizz up. Makeup is Max Factor Pan-Stik, Nars blush in Orgasm, Pop Beauty shadow palette for Brown Eyes (khaki and black), Tarte’s Indelible Wink in black, Bare Escentuals Buxom lip gloss in Dolly, and DiorShow mascara.
The other day I saw an article on The DC Goodwill Fashionista about how she used to loathe Ann Taylor until this season. I have to agree that this season is looking pretty fabulous at Ann Taylor, but I have always been a fan of the store. I don’t feel that there is anything wrong with being a destination for great corporate wear. In this day and age, it’s hard to find good suits and workwear that isn’t dowdy, and isn’t Amanda Woodward. But the past couple of years Ann Taylor hasn’t been all corporate. They have had fantastic accessories, flattering and chic cocktail dresses, and some really great wardrobe staples like pencil skirts, current yet not overly trendy denim, fun casual tops. In fact, I am a bit sad that Ann Taylor isn’t as reliable of a shop for the ever-necessary interview suit. I don’t want to have to buy a new black pantsuit with every new New York Fashion Week – I don’t have that sort of fundage and most of the country is in the same boat as me.
But Ann Taylor has been a fave of mine for over a decade. Every time I am rocking a cool piece of jewelry and get a compliment from a stranger, they are always shocked when I say it’s from Ann Taylor (especially this necklace). Though it’s costume jewelry, the golds and silvers hold up great – these bracelets are years old yet still look fresh. This necklace is unique looking, expensive looking, versatile. Last night after work I changed into a bright cobalt scoop tee and my mom commented on how nice it was – the fit and the unique color. Ann Taylor! My two favorite summer wrap dresses (black and blue) are from Ann Taylor and with a quick change of accessories they can go from flip-flop casual to looking great for work or even a wedding. Yes, it is weird to be wearing an item and walk down the Metro platform at Gallery Place/Chinatown and see another woman in the same frock, but I have that happen FAR more often with Target, Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, J. Crew and I have even had that happen with ten-year old items from Express and with items I have found at thrift stores.
Ann Taylor, and really any other chain store is a great place to find wardrobe staples and little accents. I know and have worked with and been friends with those women who have a bit TOO much brand loyalty and they look like a walking billboard for a store. I remember when I worked at Express I would have women who would come in sometimes more than once a week to make purchases. They had more clothes from the store than I did with my 40-55% discount (and the need to wear it every day). Having that intense of brand loyalty can make life easy, but it can make life pretty darn boring. But one can’t blame the retailer for every woman in DC running around in triacetate suiting, you have to blame the shoppers who are afraid or not educated on how to take such items and put their own personal spin on them. I am an Ann Taylor fan, and love them more than trendier mass retailers like J. Crew and Banana Republic because though their concept and look may change from season to season, their sizing hasn’t changed that drastically, their quality and pricing hasn’t changed that drastically, they maintain a clear concept, know their customer, and provide just the right balance of really wearable corporate attire and fun trendy pieces to update a woman’s entire wardrobe. So thank you Ann Taylor, for making necklaces I have worn as Matron of Honor at an elegant evening wedding, have worn to the beach with a vintage tee and flip flops, on casual Friday, to an art exhibit opening and to a job interview. And thank you Ann Taylor for making clothes I can wear out to a club, dinner with the husband, a wedding, a bridal shower, work, and the grocery store. Yes, there are millions of women with this same necklace or the same denim skirt, but your store makes it easy for those pieces to look unique on my body!
Ann Taylor: 25% off EVERYTHING!
Yep, that means sale, clearance, you name it (of course it doesn’t include gift cards – I used to HATE it when people would ask that when I worked retail. Come on, THINK before you speak). PLUS you get free shipping if you spend $100 or more!
Code valid May 8 through May 10. Only valid at Ann Taylor online and store (this coupon doesn’t work for Ann Taylor Loft or the factory stores).
As always, if you need the actual coupon for in-store shopping, drop me an email and I will send it your way! There has to be some good stuff, I stopped by the Connecticut Ave. location in DC last night and it seemed as though half the store was on sale – shoes, accessories, tons of clothing and suiting (all I bought was a $10 top). Much on the sale rack was full price just last week!
It’s starting to feel like fall, so I HAD to whip out this poncho from Ann Taylor and my tall boots! While I’ll miss summer, I do enjoy fall fashion and it’s been great to sleep with the windows open and add an extra quilt to the bed!
This poncho was a splurge, but as I said in this post, it’s a classic that will look great for many years. I knew I’d wear it in a casual manner like this for errands and weekend “Mom Style,” but also think it would look elegant in the office over blouses and trousers. I was excited to see these boots match this bag from Fossil; I haven’t featured it on the blog since this post but am really feeling brown leather this season. The bag is big enough to carry everything I need for a weekend on the go!
Shop the post:
Someone asked me in the comments what I chose to purchase for the Ann Taylor Friends & Family which took place a couple weeks ago.
Not much. That’s why I didn’t respond.
However in the past few days, Ann Taylor has been offering 40% off the entire store (this promo is still going on today!), which led me to return, try a few things and make some purchases. Here’s what I got during Friends & Family as well as a visit to my local Ann Taylor last Friday:
Heavyweight cotton/spandex blend that actually looks like silk. Fully lined. Nice wide waistband. Comes in 12 Petite, which is my perfect size in Ann Taylor. Has black AND navy in it. Can it be any more perfect? I didn’t try on, I just purchased and dashed.
Well it fit great, but the print was dreadful on me, really emphasizing the mama pooch. Also on the body, the off-white background ended up looking a bit dirty and strange. I think this would look spectacular on a woman with less curves, and a woman with darker or more pale skin than I for better contrast.
Another piece I just bought without trying on. It’s a linen blend so it’s more refined than a classic tank. I loved the colors that also had navy and black in it, as well as shades of purple and indigo.
This tank runs LARGE and LONG. I bought a large and almost returned it for a medium. Even though it’s a loose tunic on me, it doesn’t gape at the neck and armholes, and keeps my bra under wraps. The fabric makes it a great shell for work, but I can also see it with white jeans for a night out on the town, or with denim cutoffs and flat sandals for a weekend cookout. Big fan – if it came in another color, I would probably purchase it, though this time in a medium.
I loved this scarf as soon as it arrived at Ann Taylor but the $58 price tag totally turned me off. Come on, it’s a woven scarf, why the crazy dollar amount? Then Ann Taylor put it on a mannequin in the window, taunting me each day as I walked to work. I started analyzing my spring wardrobe, and saw a need for a scarf that worked with navy as well as black. So when the store went 40% off, I went to try on the scarf.
The only Ikat Trance scarves left in the store were on mannequins, so I had to strip one. I tried it on in the fitting room with Friday’s outfit and loved how it hung on me – not too floppy, not too stiff. I then tried it tied around the waist like a sarong over my jeans and thought it would look pretty cool like that with a white tank and a bunch of beaded necklaces come summer. Since I was returning the Shibori Print Pencil Skirt that day, I felt more justified in purchasing the scarf. Once I got home I thought of many more creative ways to wear it and make it worth the price!
Thursday as I was scrambling to find something to wear to fashion:district I thought, “I wish I had a subtly sequined top.” I then met Deb from Real Girl Runway for dinner before the show, and she was wearing one! I decided it was a sign and my mission to find a sequined top that would catch the light, but still be subtle, and even possibly work-appropriate (love the concept of daytime sequins though it rarely can be carried off).
I found this tank on the sale rack, and with the 40% off deal, it was only $24.00. The Petite Large fits perfectly – snug but not clingy, and not too long. I think it would look great with my black tux jacket and jeans, but also alone with vintage denim or even dressed up, tucked into a taffeta fuller skirt with wide belt and peeptoe heels (another concept I am loving and wanting for this summer).
And that’s it. I know, would have expected more from me, being a self-proclaimed Ann Taylor addict. However I don’t really NEED anything right now that they have in their stores. That’s not to say they don’t have some gorgeous pieces right now, it’s just that I need to stick to my budget, and shop smart.
Have any of you found any scores at Ann Taylor with their Friends & Family or 40% off promotion? I would love to hear about them!
When my pants get too big, I do a happy dance.
Finally! I have eaten less, I have eaten better, I have exercised more, it is paying off!
When my pants get too big, I boast to my husband.
Look baby, Look how much room is in the waist! The thighs! I’m whittling away!
When my pants get too big, I want to try on my whole wardrobe.
This is off to Goodwill, this to be donated to my friend, this is ready for the trash! Woo-hoo! What fun!
When my pants get too big I get sad.
These are my favorite pants, my beloved pants. My pants that make me look tall and leggy pants.
Now they look a bit dumpy, a bit frumpy.
Shall I get them tailored?
Wait ten more pounds?
Replace them with a newer smaller-sized model?
I dash to the computer for some online window shopping. Ann Taylor, Nordstrom, J. Crew, Banana Republic, Gap, Anthropologie, Macy’s, even Saks. I know what places fit me well, both my shape (even smaller) and my personality.
No luck. Nothing that perfect.
Will these even tailor well?
Will I ever fall in love with a pair of pants again like I loved these pants?
Maybe I’ll have one of those cookies that the lady in Accounting baked.
What the hell.
Maybe it will make my pants fit better.
Hi Alison, I just bought this skirt from Ann Taylor and I love it. It’s so pretty and fits great but I have no clue what to wear with it. The other day I wore it with a black v neck sweater, black tights and pumps but I want versatility. Does it only go with black? Can I wear it to work? What would you wear it with? Thank you!
I love the Ann Taylor Quiet Leopard Print Skirt and have been fighting myself to not buy it. I don’t need it but boy every bone in my body wants it! So I shall live vicariously through you and offer some ensembles that I would totally rock if I owned the clothing.
Such a skirt doesn’t have to be only paired with black, it actually lends itself to looking great with other jewel tones. Deep indigo, berry, and shades of teal would be gorgeous with it if there is a connecting color and/or fabric. I used black as the connecting fabric and various luxe fabrics to connect to the sheen and print of the skirt. A velvet blazer, chiffon blouse with a floppy bow, sheer but lacy hose and corset-inspired booties combine for an outfit that is a bit over the top but quite chic. I’d wear a deep wine lip and several coats of mascara to complete the look for this fall.
Sheen and sparkle can be worn for daytime if you balance it with more traditional pieces. I paired the skirt with a crisp white button-front shirt and gray suede pumps to keep things from looking too After-Five. However, I did add more shine with a statement necklace and bracelet so the skirt didn’t look out of place. By choosing gray jewelry, the shine is toned down to make it look more boardroom than ballroom.
Not Your Basic Black
A black sweater is a logical choice for such a skirt, but it can look pretty boring if not accessorized properly. I took a classic fitted black merino wool turtleneck, but upped the glam factor with sleek tall boots, a skinny belt to define the waist (wear the sweater untucked), and brushed gold jewelry. This could be worn with anything from patterned hose to opaque tights to make it winter-appropriate.
Shades of Plum
When I saw this skirt, I thought of my Ann Taylor black peplum top as a good match – a peplum looks great with a pencil skirt and is a trendy touch that lets the wearer get more bold with accessories. Just because the skirt is a blue-purple doesn’t mean you can only wear that color purple with it. Choosing a similar color with a slightly different tone can make an ensemble look very luxe if you do it carefully. For this, I chose a plum colored shoe with more red to it, and pulled that color up with a necklace with the same tones. I added a pair of black fishnets to make this ensemble more of a date look, but you could make this work-appropriate with different hosiery and/or footwear.
If you have even read this blog once, you would know that one of my favorite retailers is Ann Taylor. I find their clothes appropriate to my life, whether it’s a day at the office or a night on the town. The prices are reasonable for the style and quality, and they offer apparel that is unique, but classic – pieces that look stylish now but will also be stylish seasons from now.
Ann Taylor has really upped the style for their most recent collections – amazing details like zippers, faux fur, haircalf, and leather trim. I have been going gaga over the current line – the cobalt and aqua colors are so rich and beautiful, and the silhouettes so modern yet classic. This is a purposeful change by Ann Taylor, and they are continuing this trend with their new store designs.
“The new Ann Taylor is chic and stylish with a more fashion forward direction to address the needs of today’s modern working women,” said Lisa Axelson, Ann Taylor’s Head Designer and a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). “Our new concept stores are a reflection of our new fashion direction. They are light, modern, feminine, and designed to showcase the full Ann Taylor collection while making our client feel comfortable and welcome.”
As you know, I attended an event on Monday at the new concept Ann Taylor on 13th Street NW in DC (right at Metro Center). A gorgeous store that showcases the apparel, the New Ann Taylor is just what Lisa Axelson states – light, modern, and feminine while still being welcoming.
Last night Ann Taylor had a private event at Lost Society co-hosted by Washingtonian magazine’s fashion editor Jill Hudson. The event was also in partnership with Vital Voices Global Partnership, an international non-governmental organization that identifies, trains, and empowers emerging women leaders and social entrepreneurs around the globe, enabling them to create a better world. This soire gave Washington media mavens, philanthropists and fashionistas the opportunity to see Ann Taylor’s holiday collection and learn more about Vital Voices.
While we sipped champagne and dined on adorable mini steak sandwiches and pecan pies, Ann Taylor’s PR Director Andrew Taylor informed us about the thought process behind the new Ann, introduced Alyse Nelson, Vital Voice’s President and CEO, and emceed a fashion show of the current Ann Taylor line, modeled by Washingtonian staff. After we got to spend time rocking out to DJs Broads and get a closer look at the Ann Taylor holiday collection.
The new holiday collection is so luxe – I drooled over a dress with a floaty micropleated chiffon skirt and then a tough leather bodice, there’s a version of my new cobalt shift from Ann Taylor that is fire engine red with gold zipper detail, I desperately want their champagne-colored sequin and crystal mini skirt, and couldn’t stop petting all the faux fur pieces. Lots of cashmere, lots of pieces that just feel so good to the touch. Pieces that are on-trend and hip, without being overly trendy. Investment pieces.
If you haven’t yet heard, Ann Taylor’s Friends and Family event is going on now – save 40% on the entire store online and in person. And if you would like to see one of the Ann Taylor new concept stores, Ann Taylor has already opened select new concept stores in major cities across the country including New York, Boston, Miami, Boca Raton, Dallas, Atlanta, and Seattle.
Now that the cast is off and the swelling has gone down, I can finally get into the spring fashion spirit! Here’s a few things I have recently purchased and like very much:
1. Well all know my adoration for stripes; when I saw this shirt at J. Crew Factory was only $21 I had to try it. I love the fit, the shape, the fabric, everything. It’s tempting to get it in gray as well!
2. I don’t ever shop Walmart, but I was on vacation in a small town where it was the only place to go to get a pair of shorts for Emerson. While there, I found these shorts by Faded Glory for $12.94 and I must say they’re pretty great. Good length that is comfortable yet not dowdy, a bit of stretch so they’re flexible but also keep their shape, and a nice non-dorky wash. Totally got rid of the cheesy neon skinny belt and will likely do an at-home distressing on them, but not too shabby. As with any shorts, I went a size up for a better fit.
3. I don’t own this EXACT shirt from Boden, but unfortunately the one I got is no longer on the site. This shirt featured is the Eliza Top, and I own the Eliza, but in a cerulean and navy stripe (yep MORE stripes!). I absolutely positively LOVE this shirt; I love silk but hate washing it (this shirt is machine washable); I like ¾ and bracelet-length sleeves now to protect my scar but stay breezy (this shirt has it), and I love a top that is casual like a tee but can dress up for work (wearing it right now with a pair of trousers and pumps, looks great tucked into a pencil skirt, and this weekend wore with boyfriend jeans). The Eliza Top from Boden is a regular in their collection and a great addition to many wardrobes!
4. I now own five pairs of Nine West’s Flax pump (black, natural, silver, peacock print, red and black spotted haircalf). I know that seems a bit insane, but it’s a pretty perfect shoe. Single sole, pointed toe, walkable heel height, and a nice price. I’ve been wanting a “nude” leather pointed toe pump for over a year, but find each pair is too pale, too dark, too pink, too something for me. The Flax’s Natural Leather is a pretty perfect shade for me, and I love having a shoe that looks great with both pants and skirts.
5. Another silky shirt with an in-between sleeve length! This is the Sophie Blouse from Dobbin Clothing, and while it has the same basics I like from the Boden Eliza Top, it gives a completely different effect thanks to the details. Slightly crinkled silk, gold buttons down the front, and blousy sleeves. The color makes it work with black, brown, ivory, and denim quite nicely. I often wear this blouse untucked with dark wash narrow jeans, but also wear to work tucked into ivory tropical wool trousers.
6. I mentioned my desire for delicate gold this spring, and I am still loving my Rebecca Minkoff cuff; I also picked up this dangly but not too jingly bracelet from Nordstrom for $24; it doesn’t look cheapy, it’s stretchy and doesn’t get in the way when I type.
7. This Panama hat is only $17 from J. Crew Factory. Runs a bit wide, but I like that because I can twist up my hair and tuck it in the brim to keep my neck cool (or hide bad hair).
8. Me and my Lifetherapy bracelets – it’s an addiction! I love turquoise, I have a few bracelets from the company in blue (see here) so it brightens up my current collection, and this one has an Aquarius symbol! I like that these bracelets are just one long cord; I’ve been known to also wear them as a long necklace with tanks in the summer!
9. Seriously, the Converse Shorelines are my jam! I’ve missed having casual tennis shoes for spring and summer, and these are so easy to slip on, no heel blisters, and no looking as though I’m wearing shoeboxes on my already chubby feet.
10. Linen always looks like such a mess on me. Well this spring I’ve given up being crisp, and have embraced the casual wrinkled-ness of linen. My J.Jill white linen big shirt is great knotted over distressed jeans, and these pants (the Julie fit from LOFT) I love with a simple cotton knit sweater, silk blouse, or with a denim shirt.
Outfit posts have been few and far between because it was slow and difficult getting dressed with the arm, and honestly pretty depressing. I gained weight and lost muscle being so sedentary during my time on disability, and just putting on a tee shirt could leave me in tears. And then, much of my wardrobe didn’t work with the cast, only having one arm to put myself together after using the bathroom, the stiff swollen arm and all that jazz. But I feel SO much better, have much more flexibility and less swelling and am feeling like myself again. So stay tuned, for actual posts of me wearing these new pieces!
Can you possibly help style Loft’s Lou & Grey Ottoman Stripe Dress in Intense Burgundy? Love the dress but am struggling with what to wear in the cooler months of Autumn. Thanks SO much!
What a cute dress (also available in two other color combinations), how did I miss this during my many trips to LOFT? It is a great transitional dress, and quite a versatile color combination. Here’s a few ideas to wear the Lou & Grey Ottoman Stripe Dress as the weather gets colder:
The easiest way to transition a short-sleeved dress for fall is with a denim jacket and boots. This year, denim jackets are prevalent in stores, so you can find a fit and wash that works for you. With the color of this dress, you can do anything from distressed light denim to a crisp dark resin finish. As for boots, any height will do, go with what looks most flattering for your body type. I chose a shorter boot to balance the volume of the dress, but if the dress is shorter on you or not as full a knee-high style would also work. Here, color is also up to you; brown, gray, camel, or black would work, but if you choose black be sure it’s a more casual boot (not super shiny, lower heel, rounder or chunkier toe) to complement the casual style of the dress. To add some warmth, sweater or cable tights in a color similar to the shoe (gray with gray, brown with brown or camel, gray or black with black) would fit the casual feel nicely.
Who’s to say your layers have to be over the dress? A thin fitted turtleneck is a great way to extend your summer dresses into the cooler months. For this look I kept the under layers consistent with opaque non-shiny tights to match the turtleneck. A pair of booties adds some heft to the bottom of your figure to balance the casual style and volume of the dress.
A long cardigan or sweater coat would work really well with a dress of this type. To make it dressier enough for a business casual office, I decided to stick with all black. A sleeker bootie with a heel will dress up the look without looking out of place. A smoky eye would add an artistic edge to the look; a pendant necklace would be a nice way to add interest and a bit of your own personal style.
I’m slowly filling in holes in my wardrobe. Though I lost some weight from Whole30 I am still not the same shape and size I was last winter so I need to do a bit of purchasing. I’m also noticing how some of my “classic” items aren’t all that classic. For example, Monday morning I was wearing a cream sweater (see below) with cream trousers and thought brown shoes would be perfect. I went up on a shelf in my closet to pull out my “classic” brown suede booties and realized they have a hidden platform, a weird chunky toe that points up a bit, and the brown is very reddish (these are the booties I’m describing). Yep, they’ll be on eBay before the month is through! Anyway, below are items I have recently tried, some I have loved and kept and others that didn’t make the cut:
I have a green leather jacket, a blue leather jacket, and a fake leather jacket but I really want a black leather one that is a classic fit, classic cut, and can be something I wear for a long time. In high school I had a black biker jacket, I wore it all four years and into college. I still have it, but it’s a very dated silhouette and I’d like a simpler version. This jacket from Halogen appealed to me because there weren’t any funky details, it’s under $300 for real leather, and it comes in petite. A big issue with previously purchased jackets is the sleeves are too long (or with the faux leather, it has bracelet sleeves which makes it hard to wear with long sleeved clothes, and well, faux leather isn’t very warm).
The jacket is well made, and like all the other Halogen leather pieces I own, very soft. This isn’t a classic biker jacket with the notched collar, but with a moto snap collar and then the wide placket to be able to zip up the jacket. The details are subtle so it’s a piece that will stand the test of time. A petite large fit me nicely, and I am usually a generous 12 or slim 14 in coats and need bust space. The sleeves weren’t too tight with a lightweight sweater, and the lining was soft against bare skin.
But I returned it. I didn’t LOVE it, and honestly, it looks so similar to my green leather jacket. It’s a little too polished for what I want; right now I want something that can wear a bit, dress up maybe with a midi skirt, but mainly be what I throw on with a tee shirt and jeans. While this is a great price for a high quality leather jacket, I am still looking for the right one for me.
During the Nordstrom Anniversary I purchased this skirt to replace this skirt from Hinge that I wore to DEATH last winter. Yeah, no. The skirt emphasized everything I’d like not emphasized and I realized it’s because the flare is right from the waist. So I returned it and decided to try this skirt from Halogen; the pleats start lower and are better managed (no belly pleating).
This skirt runs small. I purchased a 12 (my normal size in Halogen) and regular (more length for work) and I could hardly pull it over my rear and I couldn’t zip it more than an inch. Oh, and the description doesn’t mention that it’s textured, like a mini waffle weave.
I briefly mentioned this cape in this post, but think it deserves a proper review, especially since I wrote a review over a week ago on Nordstrom and it has yet to be published, and because other Wardrobe Oxygen readers mentioned the same issue with it.
While I own a lot of Vince Camuto and think they’re a great choice to wear runway-inspired trends without spending a ton, they sometimes go too cheap or get a trend completely wrong. This is one of those times. The cape is made out of a suiting-like material (and a cheap scratchy suit at that) and lined only in acetate; this isn’t outerwear but more like a weirdly shaped blazer. And it is weirdly shaped; I ordered a Large and it was huge on me, I looked as though I was in the Talking Heads. On the models the button seems to be near their navels, on me it was closer to my crotch; buttoned the collar gaped and looked cheap and unbuttoned it tented out. The armholes were very low down, I couldn’t get my hands out unless my arms were bent, and then only the first half of my forearms. No way could I reach the pockets. Mega fail.
I now own two pairs of these pants. I wore them here in black, and now I also own navy. These pants are the perfect work pant. You can machine wash them (I line dry, I hang by the legs, making a crease and a clean look by matching the seams to one another and using the weight of the pant to make the legs taut), they’re stretchy, yet hold their shape all day and through multiple wears, look professional/pair nicely with blazers, and the lack of lining does make them not as polished but more comfortable for business casual offices. Though they have belt loops, the waistband is very flat so it doesn’t look bulky under fitted knits. The pockets are ridiculous, I can’t even fit a credit card in them but again, no bulk. I purchased the 14 petite and they are a comfortable fit and comfortable length with mid-height heels. The Marisa Fit is best for me because while I have a booty, I don’t have a very hourglass shape. The Julie Fit of these pants is better for curvy frames, and the Zoe Fit is great for straight shapes with smaller booties; they all come in Regular, Petite, and Tall. All this and under $80 (and then LOFT is always having some sort of promotion!).
I thought I ordered a Large, I ordered a Medium. It fit, but it fit too well to the point of looking dated. I think if I exchanged it for Large Petite I’d like it better. This sweater is very soft, perfect for those who can’t deal with wool and scratchier fabrics. The knit is tight so no need for an under layer for modesty. It looks expensive and elegant, a classic. This sweater would look nice with jeans, but I think can dress up and look quite lovely with a button-front shirt underneath, or paired with a pencil skirt or work trousers. However, I mentioned this sweater in my post where I was looking for a fisherman sweater and this sweater is NOT that. This is a tailored, ladylike sweater. A great sweater, but you won’t be mistaken for Ernest Hemingway in it for sure!
Gotta love it when the sale item is the one you like best! I cheated a bit with this sweater, I had borrowed the lavender version of it from Gwynnie Bee this summer. From Gwynnie Bee, I ordered a Large and it was a bit too heavy and boxy for me. However, in cream I thought a Large would be quite Hemingway-esque. But like the other Lands’ End sweater I seemed to flake out and ordered a Medium (what I wear in Lands’ End for most knits and dresses). When it first came I thought it was too fitted to accomplish my goal, but I tried it with different items in my wardrobe and decided this size is more flattering and versatile. I wore it this weekend sightseeing with my Gap Real Straights rolled like boyfriend jeans and my Converse Shorelines and as mentioned above, wore it to work with cream tropical wool trousers and booties. I’ve styled this sweater at home with my pleated leather skirt and also like it over a denim shirt. It has a boatneck and gold buttons in back which makes it look a bit more expensive and special than a traditional cable, but may limit your styling. At the time of writing this, there were still lots of sizes available in Petite, Regular, and Plus.
This is not something I needed, but per my post Wednesday, something I bought to hopefully wear to a wedding. I really wanted this in blue but it was out of stock so I ordered it in black, 12 Petite. I ordered for the wedding, but thought the fabric and style would make it year-round wearable and versatile enough to dress up and down. Glad I ordered petite because this dress is LONG! Like even in petite I’d need to wear heels to not have a train long. And that’s not where the fail ended for me. The sleeves are a weird length (longer on me than in the photo) that look too casual for the rest of the dress (and tight too), the neckline was so low I’d have to pin to hide my bra, and the wrapping in the middle added bulk instead of flattering my curves. A plus is that it fit nicely in the torso and over my hips and rear; the fabric is opaque and heavy enough to not cling. I’m glad I didn’t get the blue because I may have fallen in love so much with the color I would ignore the faults in the dress. I think this dress would look far better on someone who is taller, and I think it’s made for a woman with her curves below the waist; some hips would really make the skirt flow nicely.
So now I want to hear from you, have you purchased anything lately that is phenomenal? Anything so awful fellow readers should get a warning? I learn so much from all of you, I’d love to know what’s on your radar!
I swore off LOFT for a while, the quality had really gone downhill and the sizing was inconsistent. However, this winter I tried them again and found some great wardrobe staples that were the quality I remembered from before and a 14 petite pant, especially in the “Julie” cut fits me quite nicely. I haven’t really been a pants person in recent years, but after being in a cast so long I really enjoy more effortless clothing and pants allow me freedom. I’ve been gravitating towards more pants for the workweek, and have to say most of the pants I now own are LOFT.
While I paired the pants in this post with an ivory jacket, I wore them to work with a black boatneck tee (see here on Instagram) and out to dinner with a bright green silk drapey sleeveless top. Crazypants can be versatile!
Before you do any online shopping, use Google (or I prefer Good Search – online search engine that donates a penny to the charity of your choice every time it is used!).
Today I made a purchase at Ann Taylor Loft. When I got to the checkout it asked me to add any promotional code. I didn’t have a promotional code, but I searched “Ann Taylor Promotional Code” on Good Search, and the third site I went to had a code that gave me 20% off my order! Last week I ordered a gift for my mom and the site also asked if I had a promotional code. After doing about two minutes on a search engine, I found a site that offered me 15% off AND free shipping!
A few minutes on your favorite search engine can save you lots of money on your holiday and personal shopping. Take the time and reap the savings!
Last week it felt like summer, this week it has returned to typical DC March weather – windy and chilly. Glad I kept my sweaters in the closet!
Today I will be walking from my office to Georgetown to meet my sister for her follow-up MRI (proving she is tumor free!) so I wanted to wear comfortable shoes – these pumps are perfect for this – work-appropriate yet can handle a 20 minute walk in the city.
You guys know I adore Ann Taylor LOFT clothing, well they now know it too! Check me out on LOFT’s Facebook page and be sure to check out the other fabulous bloggers they have featured (and if you leave a comment it would be very lovely…). There will be more photos in the future of me and other bloggers, so check back in a couple of weeks!
While we’re discussing LOFT, they currently have 30% off everything in their stores and online (use code GOFORIT)! I found the selection of sizes online to be a bit lacking, but ordered some jeans and a sweater and am crossing my fingers that I have style success. My last order with them was about 70% success, and 30% in a bag ready to be returned this weekend, however I have had more success with them this season than I have had in years. Good job LOFT in having more consistent sizing and achieving on-trend fashion with a usually budget-friendly pricetag.
And while we are discussing sales, Lands End Canvas is currently having an additional 20% off all their sale merchandise and free shipping on orders over $50! Use Promotion Code CANVASPLUS20 and PIN 2050.
My cousin Samara is in college, studying Fashion Design. She is tres stylish, and also tres talented! She just started a brand of adorable wrap charm bracelets called Ribbonwood by Samara. Check out her Facebook page for more pictures of the beauties and to find out how to score yourself one. I can totally see this as a staple in my summer wardrobe with sundresses and sandals!
It has been an interest week for Internet news – if you follow me on Twitter you know my opinion on Marie Claire’s choice to run that blog post by Maura Kelly, what I think of sides like Weardrobe and Chictopia, and the baby who died due to Farmville. I really feel that every blogger in the world has written enough on the subject (some because they really have strong feelings, others in a sad attempt for hits and SEO) that I don’t need to.
Weight Watchers has been a bit of a bust the past two weeks – work has been utterly insane (that morning I decided to shower and lay out my clothes the night before and instead woke at 4:15 but it was still painful when that alarm went off), and I have missed two weeks of meetings because of late days in the office. I don’t own a scale (and never will – I find a scale causes me to obsess over a number and not health). I have made a promise to myself to get back on track and go to my meeting next week no matter what.
It’s Halloween weekend, what are your plans? Have a great costume set up? We plan on taking Emerson Trick or Treating Sunday, and Saturday night we’re going to a midnight showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show (and yes, we had this planned far in advance of this week’s Glee episode)! I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!
Sales, sales, everywhere is sales… yes I am changing the lyrics to this song (which is a cover of this original) but there’s some insanely good sales going on this weekend that I just HAD to share with you.
At Old Navy, get 25% off your entire purchase with the code TREAT. Code is valid until the end of the 18th. A few restrictions: not valid on Everyday Steals, Hot Deals, Clearance (anything ending in $0.97 or $0.99) or Today Only Deals. I think this top is an office attire staple and I love the variety of colors available; this chunky turtleneck would look great with skinny jeans or ponte pants for the weekend; I love the leather-look pockets on this dress (and love that it comes in regular, tall, and petite!).
Up to $50 off full price dresses, jackets, sweaters, and more. Note this doesn’t include their Monogram collection or leather jackets. No code necessary, deal through October 18. I love their Gemma Wrap Dress and this print is something that would look great all seasons of the year; this lace pullover is fantastic – wear over a white shirt for the office and a camisole for a night out! Other favorites on promotion:
I know, right? 50% off? Get thee shopping, pronto with code STYLE50, this deal ends October 20th. I think this bird print shirt is amazing, this faux leather pocket cape looks even better in person, and their buttoned-up boiled wool cape is so awesome, I wish I could justify the purchase (for the record, I’ve tried it on, it fits great, I am a Large Petite).
No specific date that this is to end and no code needed. Do note it’s not valid on Lou & Grey merchandise, but it IS valid on in-store purchases as well as online. It does feel that LOFT is constantly having deals, but they’re also constantly getting in new merchandise that doesn’t seem to last long online. So if you see it and love it, get it while you can! I’m loving this belted cardigan, and think this variation on the chambray shirt would look modern and fresh with jeans or a midi skirt. Some other pieces I like that are on promotion:
Lands’ End is my go-to for quality yet reasonably priced winter weather gear. They have two promotions going on right now. Get 30% off select “fall essentials” (not sure exactly what that is but seems like a lot) with code LEAF, PIN 9223 through October 20th. But you can also get 25% off all full-priced merchandise with code MAPLE and PIN 1610 through October 21st. I love my packable down vest so much, I’m seriously considering this packable down jacket from Lands’ End and can’t decide between the polka dots or basic black. I’ve also had this Sport Knit skirt in black in my shopping cart for a while and may pull the trigger now that it’s 30% off. These and a few other pieces I’m admiring:
Madewell continues to impress, and a 30% off sale prices makes it easy to buy some fab fall and winter fashion. Use code PICKMEUP, which is valid through October 20th. I love the classic look of their Otis boot, the unique color and slouchy coolness of their Firelight Pullover, and the perfect color and shape of their Berliner Satchel.
Code SHOPFALL will give you 30% off at J. Crew through the 19th of October. Their Majesty Peacoat truly is perfection and a classic piece that will be chic for years to come; their Jackie Cardigan is always a popular piece and nice to get on sale; and I am loving the pale lavender shade and the cool size zips of this lambswool sweater.
One of my favorite stores for great style at great prices; 30% off clearance makes it even nicer! Use code YAY30 through the October 19th to save. As for the deal on outwear and cold-weather accessories, no code is needed. Some of my favorites like this camo tee (imagine it with something dressy like a sequined or lace pencil skirt or under a denim jacket), this adorable flared leather skirt in black or brown, and this pleated maxi which I own and adore. As for outerwear, I love the color and details of this coat, find this long hooded belted puffer to be something any city commuter would love, and think the price is nice on these leather tech gloves.
Any sales I missed? Share them in the comments!