Lookbook: Spring Crochet and Citrine (& yummy brunch!)

This outfit mixes new Spring finds with trusty old favorites. The vintage-inspired crochet lace dress is not everyone’s cup of tea, but I loved it last year (sold out at full price) and was ecstatic that Ann Taylor brought it back to its Factory stores. The citrine belt is something I coveted from their ads earlier this year. When I saw a lone XS lingering at my local store, on sale, I knew it was meant to be.

Vintage Lace Dress: Ann Taylor Factory sz 00P (taken in)
Similar: (in-stores in regular sizing) (for casual) (pricier, w/ sleeves)
Cardigan: Martin & Osa   Belt: Ann Taylor Exotic Skinny Belt sz XS
Slingbacks: BR (similar) Bag: Speedy 25 Trench: Theory sz P (similar in 00P)

Yellow has been my accent color of choice for the past year. This belt may be out of some of your comfort zones, but trust me – if you pick it up, it will quickly become a closet workhorse.

I wore this to a late brunch with friends on Sunday. We gorged on fresh oysters, lamb burgers…
…and a buttery rich “lobster hash” topped with a perfectly poached egg.
I took Jen here last week for her first oyster experience, during which we slurped ourselves silly.

Off the rack, the crochet dress fit tent-like on me. My tailors took it in along both sides (had to reattach side zip) but it still lacked shape definition. They then took it in more along the two back darts, and the dress came to life.

Retail price: $198, plus 40% off promo, plus a random coupon = around $100. Alterations cost: $40. This is pricier than any dress I’ve bought in a long time, but it’s one of those pieces that just make me happy!


Le tailors stressed that the non-stretch lining and delicate crocheted lace should NOT be tight or too fitted. I think they did a fantastic job. The dress now has a sultry silhouette, yet there’s still room for me to move, sit, and eat. See how this dress in 00P fits on Cee, who has a good 4 inches of height on me.


If you don’t have an Ann Taylor Factory near you, they’re pretty good about using “style finder” to track down an item and ship it to your home. Usually though, they will only do this if they don’t already have your size in-stock. If you have an Ann Taylor or LOFT card, shipping is free unless the item is on clearance.

Readers – Did anyone else pick up this dress or the skirt version?

66 thoughts on “Lookbook: Spring Crochet and Citrine (& yummy brunch!)

  • Jen April 18, 2011 at 1:13 am

    Loooooove the post-altered dress on you! You got it back from the tailors so quickly too. I'm dying to get mine back to see how it fits. Also, I'm totally jealous of your citrine belt. I managed to find a green whip-snake belt but I'm still dying for a yellow. 😀

    Thanks for taking me to my first oyster experience!

  • Alterations Needed April 18, 2011 at 1:23 am

    Pretty! Your tailors did a great job! I like how you paired it with the navy trench…navy and yellow are two of my favorite color pairings. 🙂

    Ah! Oysters! I've never had them either, and the texture freaks me out. They look like they'd be the ickiest, slimiest things on earth. LOL.

  • Really Petite April 18, 2011 at 1:24 am

    The dress looks amazing on u post alterations! Love it with the belt:-)

  • herwaisechoice April 18, 2011 at 1:29 am

    Wow, that is a GORGEOUS dress Jean! White lace/crochet is perfect for summer and I don't know how it can't be anyone's cup of tea! The tailors did a great job and it fits amazingly. Love the yellow accents as well and the great casual grey sandals!

    Have a great week Jen!

  • herwaisechoice April 18, 2011 at 1:29 am

    Oops.. I meant Have a great week Jean 😛

  • Sharon April 18, 2011 at 1:30 am

    You smiled in some of these photos!! Hahaha just throwing that out there since you mentioned mine and Kileen's smiles.

    P.s. You and your bf are adorable together.

  • Peggy April 18, 2011 at 1:43 am

    dress looks great on you! You have really inspired me to get a tailor! I just need to find a good one now. I bought a Target dress tonight I had loved and it was 75% off, so I bought it big in hopes of getting it altered!

  • kileen April 18, 2011 at 2:00 am

    This dress looks absolutely gorgeous on you!! I'm going to have to resist pretty hard from buying this dress as I'm well over budget already this month. The citrine belt is perfect with it!!

  • Jarucha April 18, 2011 at 2:42 am

    It looks fab after the alterations…you have shown how tailoring can bring a clothing item to the next level. I want a yellow belt too!

  • Anonymous April 18, 2011 at 3:10 am

    hi: love your outfit, yellow is color of choice for spring.
    a bit off topic, did you dye your hair? i love the color on you. what brand and color did you choose?

  • Aubrey April 18, 2011 at 3:16 am



  • Mindy J. L. April 18, 2011 at 3:24 am

    Amazing! I've been really wanting a lace dress this season… hrm… haha tempting!

    Oh I've noticed you're wearing peeptoe pumps in the picture… I'm not sure how light color peeptoe pumps like the ones you're wearing would look on a petite girl like me, especially with sorts in the summer…? I'm begging you to please do a summer outfits post with peep toe pumps! Haha!

  • R.L. April 18, 2011 at 4:11 am

    You're posts are always so timely! I picked up the citrine belt over the weekend and was hoping you'd do an outfit post on it. Can't wait to see what else you pair it with! And tailors did a fantastic job on the alteration.

  • Tania April 18, 2011 at 4:39 am

    Hi Jean,

    I've been your follower for awhile now. Just want to share that being a petite myself (5' tall), I was unhappy with the fit of most ready-to-wear clothes in the market so I taught myself how to sew. And although I still shop from time to time, I sew most of my clothes now.

    I think some sewing skills could come very useful for petite people like us, like knowing how to shorten pants/skirts/dresses, altering the side seams or bust area, etc. Sewing has helped me reduce my clothing expenses by a great deal. I now know how to alter the clothes I buy, which is great when I see something beautiful in the store that doesn't fit me.

    Have you ever thought of sewing? I bet you'll have lots of fun doing it. Plus, you'll have greater knowledge and appreciation of good quality clothings.

    Anyway, I just want to share that with you. Love your blog! Keep up the good work!

  • Yuni April 18, 2011 at 5:09 am

    Ummm you could have paid double that and the dress would still have been worth every single penny! I'm hesitant to wear all-lace bc I'm afraid it'll look too childish on me, but in all seriousness, that dress is the most fantastic piece ever on you! It looks like it was made for you, fit and style! Thanks for the generous picture post, the food looks amazing.

  • Tara April 18, 2011 at 5:42 am

    Goregous, gorgeous, gorgeous! I love this dress on you! I loved it at AT last year as well!

  • Bela Anzu April 18, 2011 at 5:59 am

    This outfit you put together with the lace dress and belt looks gorgeous, and you look beautiful Jean!

  • Vanilla April 18, 2011 at 6:05 am

    really you can pull off any outfit!! i love your style.:)

  • Cee April 18, 2011 at 7:14 am

    Jean, I'm thinking of returning my lace dress because you look 100x better in it than I do! And I have a feeling alterations would cost me a bundle. $40 actually sounds like a decent deal for alterations such as this one (I'm assuming this is pretty complicated given the crochet). Perhaps I'm getting ripped off, but I remember other non-complicated dress (imo) slimmings costing me $35 in the past.

    Perfect choice of styling as always. So spring!

  • NikkiSho April 18, 2011 at 7:17 am

    Elegant!! i like it

  • Alissa April 18, 2011 at 8:06 am

    Love this dress. Will be heading to the AT Factory store near me to look for it! Thanks for all the great ideas!

  • Ying April 18, 2011 at 8:27 am

    Absolutely gorgeous! I think always say that when I comment, but really. I love everything you wear and style. And you and your boyfriend are a gorgeous, gorgeous couple!

  • Annapurna April 18, 2011 at 8:29 am

    $40 in this area is not bad for the alterations. Your tailors have great fit advice as well. I also love the yellow accents.

    I like that you resisted the urge to wear jewelry… it would have overwhelmed the crochet. Less is definitely more here.

    I tried on the bateau crochet lace dress in the regular store…regular sizes make me look so matronly. Weird how they offer the dress in regular and petites in the outlets but only in regular in the retail stores.

    Where did you get lamb burgers???? I am always on the lookout.

  • Annapurna April 18, 2011 at 8:30 am

    Oh, Happy Patriot's Day!

  • Kiki April 18, 2011 at 9:32 am

    Ohhhhhh, WOW! You look stunning! xoxo Kiki

  • Elaine A (TOBeautyReviews) April 18, 2011 at 9:56 am

    I'm such a sucker for lace and this dress looks amazing on you! I'm glad you kept it and got it tailored. I think it was worth it especially if it makes you feel fantastic! The navy coat with the pop of yellow peaking through is absolute perfection. Sigh…Jean why do you DO this to me? 😛

    I've had oysters and I'm actually not a fan…I think the textures doesn't sit well!

  • Banhannas April 18, 2011 at 11:23 am

    Navy and gold are classic color combinations but I liked how you chose the new IT color: citrine with the navy! It is a really nice color on you, who would have though olive tones can sport yellow colors so well?! I about how to wipe away some drool looking at your food pictures…especially the lobster and that poached egg…ahhh you tease. =0P

  • Heather April 18, 2011 at 11:27 am

    OH my goodness…fashion and food indulgence. I loveeeee oysters. You're so lucky you live in an area where they're readily available. Love how you're smiling more and trying new poses (:

  • Claud April 18, 2011 at 11:33 am

    Oh Jean …this dress is definetely my cup of tea and you know. You look gorgeous and the post alterations job is amazing ^^ Now, did you end keeping the HM crochet dress? That brunch looks yummy indeed 🙂

  • Sarah April 18, 2011 at 11:42 am

    I stumbled onto your blog about two weeks ago while searching for advice on shoes for small feet and I just finished reading every entry about two days ago. Your fashion tips and examples are fantastic, and are really helping me update my wardrobe to be more adult and more feminine! Not only that, but you also introduced me to several other fantastic petite fashion blogs, namely "Wendy's Lookbook", "Alterations Needed", and "From Head To Toe".

    Thank you again, from a grateful Asian petite!

  • metta April 18, 2011 at 11:42 am

    u look amazing in the dress. it's beautiful!!! i have been loving yellow too. it's one of those colours that scares people but is actually extremely versatile to work with.

  • Sunshine April 18, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    Ahhh Jean, how funny that I just did a post on white dress + yellow accessories too. Different styles, but same context hehe. Yayyy for yellow (my fav color)!

    Btw, I seriously had doubts about this dress when you first posted it. I love crochet/lace but I thought this design was too busy/matronly. Your post-alterations completely sold me though. You totally own the dress, and if it makes you happy then buy the skirt too haha. 😛

    I'm really jealous that you have such fantastic tailors. I have given up hope on alterations altoghether 🙁

  • Sunshine April 18, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    oh and lobster hash? what a genious idea! anything lobster = om nom nom *drools*

  • Ping April 18, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    jean i'm jealous of your amazing tailors. if i went to my grumpy old man, he would have charged me more than an arm and a leg.

  • April April 18, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    OMG Jean that dress is gorgeous and yum on the brunch!!! 🙂

  • Leena April 18, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    you know i wasnt too crazy about that dress, but you seriously make everything look amazing! and how delicious does that lobster hash look! yum!

  • prosephina April 18, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    Your tailors did a great job altering that dress! And the hem is perfect, glad you kept it :))

  • xoladiihoneyxo April 18, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    Its absolutely gorgeous and you're beautiful! =] The brunch looks so yummy. Did Jen bought similar patterns but in a skirt instead?

  • Lizbeth April 18, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    the dress looks great on you! your tailors did a fab job. Where did you go to brunch??? the food looks so great! I live in Boston and besides shopping for myself and my home, I love good eats!

  • Erica April 18, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    WOW, that dress is BEAUTIFUL! And I think it's so awesome that you and Jen got to hang out. Jealous! Especially because I love Boston! 🙂

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