Friday, March 13, 2015

Ann Taylor

It's actually quite difficult to inconspicuously take selfies in a rose garden, but I gave it a shot.  This rose garden is in the middle of campus, and I visit at least once a month during the school year and at least once a week in the summer.
A better pic of the outfit:
Little girl was sick, so this was my "I may have to dash from the meeting to my car and then care for a sick toddler without getting to change, but I still want to look good" outfit.

I recently wandered into an Ann Taylor, for the first time in years.  I walked in, noticed a lot of black and grey suits (blazers, pants, and knee-length pencil skirts), basics like button-down shirts in white and light blue, and a few cardigans and dresses.  The colors were all muted, and the fits looked flattering but conservative and just a bit old (like higher rises than I think a 30-something should really be wearing, while not stylishly high-waisted). I really didn't deviate from the center isle as I walked towards the back of the store, although I did do a stop in the shoe department - the shoes were a bit more stylish in my opinion than most of the rest.  Then, just as I was hitting the very back of the store, a lone red blazer jumped out at me.  Really, I'm pretty sure it leaped off the rack and shouted "Look at me!  I was made for you!"  It was the wrong size, but a helpful saleswoman figured out that we could order the right size online and have it shipped to me free.  And here it is.  

There are some additional interesting looking items on the website, but my local store didn't seem to stock any of them.  I'll give them another chance when spring items come in though - given that the spring items online look so promising.

Overall, based on this visit, I think Ann Taylor is a good store to check out if you are in need of basics - a new black suit, some new basic button-downs, etc.  It's also good for work shoes that are stylish but reasonably priced.  I didn't purchase any, so I can't speak to comfort or quality.  I love my new red blazer, but I think it is an exception - Ann Taylor is probably not the place to go if you are looking for a stand-out statement piece.  If you do shop at Ann Taylor, watch out for fit.  They carry petites and talls, which is great, and they have a wide range of sizes.  I am wearing a 4p above, so someone as much as 3 sizes smaller than me (down to 00p) would be able to get a good fit.  But, while the clothing looks well tailored and of a good quality (nice lined wools for example), it will easily tend towards being just a a tad too big, "forgiving," and old for 30-somethings like us, unless you are careful.  I would recommend always trying on a size or two smaller than you think fits, just to see - chances are that it will fit as well, and look a little younger.

Oh, and I had to show you the photo of this blazer on the website, because it is *awful*! 
I think creative styling is required for some of the Ann Taylor items.  Reviewers of this jacket uniformly hated the sleeve length - in between a full sleeve and a 3/4 sleeve.  I loved it, because I immediately imagined wearing a full-length shirt sleeve sticking out, or wearing a statement bracelet or watch with it.  And wearing the red blazer with the matching red skirt?!  Ugh.  Unless you are 60, in which case - fabulous!  :)  I am totally going to be the 60-year-old wearing the red suit.

(Blazer: Ann Taylor, on sale here in petite and here in tall, white button-down shirt, Ann Taylor from about 10 years ago!, pants: Express columnist pant, belt: Banana republic (I'll take a better pic of it another time - it's a cute dotted calf hair), shoes: Salvatore Ferragamo, from Filene's Basement.  I love and use these shoes so much that I am actually starting to contemplate buying full-price or almost full-price Ferragamos...  I'm not quite ready for that, but the idea is starting to play around in my brain.)


  1. So who took the picture of you in the garden????

    Everything i buy at Ann taylor makes me look frumpy. So at least I know its not just me.

    1. I took the pics! I used my timer app, and set my phone on top of my bag on a low bench. Hence the funny angle.

      Yes, not just you. :)

  2. Except, of course, for that nice red blazer! ALthough it would look weird I mean. I can't wear color that well. Its scares me.

  3. it looks so much better on you than on the model