One Suit Two Ways

A review of the Ann Taylor Bi-Stretch Suiting and how it fits on a petite size 14 frame by Wardrobe Oxygen

Ann Taylor reached out asking if I'd like to try their new suiting collection and I jumped at the chance.  Long-time readers of Wardrobe Oxygen know I used to be a major Ann Taylor fan and regularly recommended their suiting. In recent years I haven't found the suiting as high of quality… no more.  Their bi-stretch suiting collection is the quality, fabric, and fit I've been looking for. Ann Taylor's suiting goes up to a size 18 and has petite and tall options.  All this and… it's machine washable! Really! I decided to try out their Long 1-Button Blazer and Ankle Pant in their Bi-stretch fabric and found it versatile enough to go from desk to drinks, work to weekend with ease.  The suiting is a non-shiny subtly ribbed fabric that looks at home in a boardroom, but is classic enough to glam up for a cocktail party or evening affair.  I love that this collection has a variety of pant cuts, blazers, skirts, and even tops in the same fabric and color.

A review of the Ann Taylor Bi-Stretch Suiting and how it fits on a petite size 14 frame by Wardrobe Oxygen

Blazer: Long 1-Button Blazer in Bi-Stretch c/o Ann Taylor (14 Petite) | Pants: Ankle Pant in Bi-Stretch c/o Ann Taylor (14 Petite) | Striped Top: J. Crew (old; similar) | Beaded Top: ASOS (14; same cami in plus sizes) | Leopard Pumps: Ann Taylor (this year's version) | Strappy Heels: ASOS (similar) | Feather Earrings: Etsy (similar from same shop) | Gold Chain Earrings: Clara Earrings c/o Jenny Bird | Gold Bracelet: Large Chloe Cuff c/o Jenny Bird 

A review of the Ann Taylor Bi-Stretch Suiting and how it fits on a petite size 14 frame by Wardrobe Oxygen

You saw this same blazer Friday on the blog.  Since receiving this suit I've worn both pieces separately, enjoying the versatile fabric and straight from the box fit. Since the suiting doesn't have any identifying details or even a flashy button, they are pieces that can be worn again and again without being obvious.  Friday I dressed the blazer down with a tank and jeans.  Here I make the suit perfect for the office.  I love mixing patterns, especially stripes with leopard. 

A review of the Ann Taylor Bi-Stretch Suiting and how it fits on a petite size 14 frame by Wardrobe Oxygen

blazer | pants | striped sweater | leopard pumps | earrings | bracelet

A short-sleeved lightweight sweater is a nice alternative to a blouse and provides a nice look when you remove the blazer.  Consider dressing up the look with a small square scarf tied at the throat.  Kitten heel pumps are dressy while still being walkable; a leopard printed shoe is more versatile than you would think, working with black, brown, and most any color under the rainbow.  This look would look great with a flat shoe like a pointed-toe pump, an oxford, or a loafer. I've always been pleased with the quality of Ann Taylor shoes. These are a couple years old but these at Ann Taylor are the same name, shape, and fabric and receive rave reviews from customers.

My friend Tanvi also received a suit from Ann Taylor; she chose the same suit but in grey.  Hop over to her blog to see this suit on a different frame in the other color option and read her tips on power dressing.

A review of the Ann Taylor Bi-Stretch Suiting and how it fits on a petite size 14 frame by Wardrobe Oxygen

blazer | pants | camisole | strappy heels | feather earrings

A classic black suit is easy to dress up for a cocktail party, the theater, even a wedding.  A switch of blouse, shoes, and accessories and you're glammed out ready to party!  I love ASOS for dressy shells and tops and that's where I got this double-layer cami with adjustable straps.  ASOS can be hit or miss with fit and quality, but they have free shipping and returns so it's easy to try and not have buyer's remorse.  I also like that ASOS has a broad size range and carries a variety of brands and pricepoints. 

A review of the Ann Taylor Bi-Stretch Suiting and how it fits on a petite size 14 frame by Wardrobe Oxygen

I bought these earrings at Etsy over a year ago.  I didn't consider that my hair is dark and the black feathers get a bit lost, but the subtleness is sometimes good.  Having a dressy yet not flashy earring lets the beaded camisole stand out and the whole look is more refined than it would be with more sparkle at the ears.  Adding a bit of gloss over the lipstick makes the same makeup look feel more festive and evening appropriate.  

A review of the Ann Taylor Bi-Stretch Suiting and how it fits on a petite size 14 frame by Wardrobe Oxygen

I do plan on taking the pants to the tailor and have them shortened just a hair so they are actually ankle pants.  This will make them look less corporate and work with a broader range of shoes.  But I really like the fabric and fit of this suiting.  I haven't tried washing the suit yet. I'm pretty surprised it's washable because it's far more structured than other washable suiting I've tried, and it's fully lined.  I'll report back if I'm brave enough to try washing it and how it turns out.  I was provided the suiting to feature on Instagram in a single post, but chose to share the suit here on the blog because I really think it's super nice and has made me an Ann Taylor fan once again.  

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21 Comments

  1. Sandra
    May 8, 2019 / 9:02 pm

    I need a suit for a meeting next month, and of course I came to your blog for ideas on where to find one. I haven’t had a need to buy a suit in over 10 years and what I have is outdated and doesn’t fit. This suit in the gray color as shown in Tanvi’s blog is perfect. I love how it fits her and the color is great. Now I need to go test it out and see if it works for me. Thank you for your reviews. They really do help so many of us. xo

  2. Marisa
    April 4, 2019 / 6:09 pm

    Question about the pants – I have a few old pairs from AT that have a permanent front crease, which I love. Do these pants have a crease that lasts through washing, or did you need to actually iron them to get the crease? Thanks!

    • April 4, 2019 / 6:11 pm

      They do not have a permanent crease, they will need to be ironed to maintain one.

  3. April 3, 2019 / 11:37 pm

    Glad to know the quality is back. Nothing like a suit to make us all feel chic easily. I swear I’m more productive in a jacket!

  4. Jennifer Chu
    April 2, 2019 / 1:49 pm

    I am VERY excited that it’s fully lined and machine washable!

  5. April 1, 2019 / 8:03 pm

    Okay reading the comments makes me wonder if I am weird for not having suit issues other than I look really old in them?

  6. Cynthia
    April 1, 2019 / 6:29 pm

    You’re right — this looks like a totally different suit in the glam photos. Amazing!

  7. Suzanna
    April 1, 2019 / 3:29 pm

    I love Ann Taylor burbhave koved away from their business clothes the past few years. This post made me put on my schedule to head over there soon! Thanks for all the tips

  8. Rose
    April 1, 2019 / 3:07 pm

    This might sound silly but when you wear a cami like this with spaghetti straps do you wear a regular bra and don’t remove your blazer or do you do strapless?

  9. Sierra Delta
    April 1, 2019 / 2:30 pm

    Please wash the suit! I’m trying to banish dry cleaning from my life, but I really, really, really also want a blazer and haven’t bought one because reviews of washable ones have been so unencouraging. . . (But don’t wash it just yet — I’m trying to have a No Spend April!)

    • April 1, 2019 / 3:17 pm

      LOL I will wash it but not likely this month… I have some events coming up where the suit may be the perfect choice. But once I wash it I will report back!

  10. April 1, 2019 / 1:29 pm

    I love how you styled it – both ways! Soooo chic. I have yet to wear a suit with a cami. I too am worried about sweating and getting it discolored like Dianne. But you have inspired me to give it a shot.

  11. JMS
    April 1, 2019 / 10:33 am

    Love this suit on you! And Tanvii, too—her blog looks great and I’ve bookmarked it.

    • April 1, 2019 / 10:43 am

      Oh I’m glad you like her! She’s a wonderful person and I am so glad I’ve gotten to know her IRL!

  12. Mary Ann Tinsley
    April 1, 2019 / 10:11 am

    These pants are so flattering on you!

    • April 1, 2019 / 10:44 am

      Right? They’re comfortable too, and the pockets don’t bow out. Big fan!

  13. Dianne
    April 1, 2019 / 8:48 am

    Question here-

    How do you protect the armpit area of the suit jacket?????
    When I wear a cami under a suit jacket I end up sweating up the armpit area of the suit jacket- which is gross!
    So, I stopped wearing the combination.

    • April 1, 2019 / 10:42 am

      I really haven’t had that issue but I do love dress shields for situations like this. They can be put into the blazer and no one is the wiser. They make disposable ones but I prefer reusable ones that you can pin in: https://amzn.to/2Vbzll8

      • Lisa
        April 2, 2019 / 8:32 am

        Hi, Alison,

        I love your blog. I especially love seeing pictures of happy you in bright colors. It gives me the courge to wear happy colors too.
        Thank you
        Lisa

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