Ann Taylor Outlet Vintage Crochet Lace Dress in Navy

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Ann Taylor Factory crochet lace dress in navy blue (not black) - item # 280570
Left: Fit of 00 Petite as-is   Right: Fit with 1-2 inches pinched back at the waistline
 
I was feeling burned out this week and decided to treat myself to a few minutes of holiday sale browsing. Since time was limited, I chose only one store - the hit-or-miss Ann Taylor factory ("hit" for me today). If you really loved Ann Taylor's vintage lace dress from years past but missed out, it's back at their factory store now in navy blue. The retail price ($169.99) is actually $30 less than last year, and there's 40% off everything going on this weekend. If you're a card member, remember you can get free ship from any store to your home on non marked-down items.

I was really excited to see this dress in navy, but since I already have the ivory version, I snapped a pic of it on the hanger and started to leave. However, something in my head told me the fit looked different from last year, and back in I went to try it on.
navylace
Belt: pre-owned reversible Hermes "Constance" (a beloved birthday gift) sz 70, extra holes punched

Sure enough, it's a bit slimmer than last year's. It's still a little loose at the waist, but much better than this "before" pic. And more excitingly for shorties like me, the length of the 2012 version is about 1.5 to 2 inches shorter than 2011's. I love the new length on someone my height (5 feet tall). I splurged on the ivory version last year...

and spent quite a bit getting it altered, but the one aspect my tailor couldn't alter was the length. I love the look of the dress so much, but the length has limited me to wearing it for about 3 hours total. I'm short-calved, so (unless the dress/skirt is fitted) above-the-knee lengths work much better for me. Each time I tried to pair it with a hip-length blazer for work, the proportions just didn't look right without sky-high, neutral heels. And when I tried to wear it as a top, the skirt part kept poking out. I kept scrutinizing the scalloped hem for any possibility of shortening it, but no luck.

Here's a comparison of my ivory from 2011 (also 00 Petite) versus the navy from 2012 to show the length difference. PLEASE NOTE the ivory has been taken in width-wise several inches by my tailor. 2 inches of length may be nothing to some, but makes a huge difference on short legs.
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So what did I do? I brought little miss navy home with me. As much as I love the romantic look of the ivory, I think it might need to go to a new home instead of gathering dust in my closet. I'm just hesitant to part with it (yet). Since the navy almost fits, I plan on taking it in from the back myself, and just wearing it belted in the meantime.

Here's some other items that caught my eye, that are renditions of regular store stuff from last season:
ATfactory
Left: White poplin blouse w/ chiffon tiers, item # 280701, $49.99 before 40% off
Right: Tiered blouse + white "stone" necklace - lost the item # but blouse is $54.99 before discounts

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Drape neck blouses in beige-taupe, teal, and a rich burgandy red (sorry, true color did not come out). I really liked the front part of these (trying on an XSP above - no XXSP's in sight) and can see myself wearing it both tucked and untucked for work, but the back part bothered me as it's simply knit. I'm starting to dislike items where the front looks nice and luxe, but someone clearly took a shortcut on the back to possibly save on costs. I left the store with just the navy dress.
ATfactory2
Readers - What should I do? Keep the navy and sell the ivory? Keep both (in case I have a growth spurt), or return the navy?

I won't be able to answer any comments, questions or emails until June. Thank you for your patience!

75 comments:

  1. KEEP BOTH. but i love the navy one.. :)

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  2. DO KEEP BOTH! :)
    One of my favorite pieces on you is the ivory dress, looks very lovely on you! :)

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  3. Keep both! But if you decide to part with the ivory, please email me :)

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  4. Alter the navy one and sell the white one. It fits better and you'll wear it much more than the white one.

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  5. Orrrr.....you could turn the ivory into a skirt and a top (separate) and alter the navy to fit, thus keeping both. :)

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    1. I agree. However, if you use the bottom to make a skirt, the top might not be long enough.

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    2. In order to combat the length problem of either, I'd probably make the waist of the skirt out of a separate ivory material, since otherwise the crochet would unravel. This would have the added benefit of cinching the waste, not that she needs it!

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  6. I have the same phone case!

    I love the navy lace dress. definitely a keeper!!

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  7. Both dresses are gorgeous. Keep both! But I'll buy the white one if you decide to sell it =)

    xoxo,
    Suzie Q
    www.StyleCueBySuzieQ.com

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  8. love both! but if you sell the white one, lmk! where do you sell some of your stuff so i can get it ;)

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  9. To express my true opinion, I do not like the navy one at all. It's not that it's unflattering on you, I just don't much prefer the dress itself. The white one is cute though. Definitely keep the white, especially now that you have invested all the expenses in it and the bother of taking it to the tailor and all...

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  10. the lace dress is amazing! you're so right, the 2 dresses are so alike...the drape neck blouses are such statement pieces in a wardrobe! can't wait to see how you will style the pieces! by the way, love the way you review pieces..

    xoxo
    Mady

    thegirlfromthemirror.blogspot.com

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  11. The navy just seems too "dark", the white would be perfect for summer :)
    On the other hand, I am really loving the drape neck blouses, especially the beige one you are modelling - so chic! Gaahhh I wish we had Ann Taylor in Canada :(

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  12. i love the ivory dress on you more than the navy, but the 1.5-2 inche makes such a big difference! i think the length of the navy dress ultimately makes it better fitting than the ivory. i'm sad that the length of the ivory is unchangeable due to the scalloped hem!

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  13. love that lace dress!! so cute! :)

    http://www.kellydillon.com

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  14. Great finds girl.
    That black lace dress looks great with the belt!

    xoxo
    ~Natasha Fatah~
    ~Natasha Fatah~

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  15. I would definitely keep the navy and sell the ivory - it looks beautiful on you and the length is much more flattering! :)

    http://www.pennypincherfashion.com

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  16. I don't know how heft the crochet fabric is, so this might not work, but I successfully removed a scalloped lace hem from a friend's too long wedding dress, trimmed off the excess, then reattached it to remove over 2" of length. It's a bit tedious because I had to pick a place on the lace where I was going to trim it off and try to follow the curves of the design, and I sewed it back on with invisible thread, but it can be done. Check yours to see if the scallop is cut as a separate piece and sewn on, or if it is all in one with the dress. Most scallop lace hems I have seen are sewn on at the end, so you could (potentially) have the ivory hemmed.

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  17. I love the navy version so would definately keep it. Thanks for taking the time to share, good luck with all your exams!

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  18. Navy is your color. Lace in cream is ubiquitous, anyway.

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  19. keep the navy and sell the ivory. i think it's a good idea to avoid duplicates

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  20. The white one looks prettier on you, but of course that's my opinion! But I would keep both

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  21. keep both! love the black shorts. where is it from?

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  22. Hi Jean,
    I would love to have your ivory dress if you decide to sell it. I've been looking for that style for a while. Please email me at camydn2001@gmail.com. Thank you.

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  23. Keep both. I like the ivory one and I don't think that it is too long. It is lovely.

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  24. Don't sell either...I know you have a no dupes policy but I just adore the cream crochet dress on you. :)

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  25. i like the navy dress very much!!

    xoxo

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  26. Oh Jean, difficult decision, the ivory one is so romantic and soft but I think the navy is so classic and chic. Anytime I have to choose between any color and navy...I go with navy. I love that color a lot. :)

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  27. Hey Jean! Did you see if they had any good shoes at the outlet? They seem to always have different options every time I go.

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  28. Hmm...if you don't mind ALWAYS wearing it belted, would you consider taking the white dress up at the waist, adding a seam, in order to make it shorter? The bottom part might need some re-slimming if you do this, since bringing things higher might mess up the perfect slimming you already had done by your tailor. You're good enough now at simple alterations that I bet you could do this yourself with a free evening and glass of wine. =)

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  29. Sell the ivory dress... I would buy it from :)

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  30. I'm sure many people will buy the ivory one. It'll be such a cute look in the summer.

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  31. Hmm, keep the navy and sell the ivory! Unless you're willing to put more effort into making the ivory wearable. Something that fits better may come along. By the way, I love your gameboy phone case :)

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  32. I completely agree with you...I remember looking for a sequinned top for a party last year and I couldn't find any that were sequinned on both front and back. It looked a bit cheap, imo.

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  33. I LOVE the cream lace dress on you, so please don't sell it. It's both classic and romantic. The navy lace dress is pretty too, but it doesn't have that "wow" factor that I feel comes with the ivory one. I think if you want to keep ONE only then just keep the Ivory one, but if you are open to keeping both, then you should because I know you could make the navy one work :)

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  34. Both! Also, I love your phone case <3

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  35. Keep the navy. Navy is the new black. As for the ivory, keep it until you are sure of parting with it.

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  36. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  37. I think the ivory dress looks lovely on you even though it's a tad longer. It looks more fresh and youthful, and would work well for the daytime and summer. It's a classic.

    The navy is interesting to look at since it has contrasting colours, and as you said the shorter length is more flattering on you. It would be nice to keep, although at a glance, it doesn't stand out.

    So, if you only wanted to keep one, I'd keep the ivory instead of the navy, although both are nice. I'm looking forward to see what you decide.

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  38. I will keep the navy because its length will be more flattering.
    Tina
    http://2petite.blogspot.com

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  39. That is very pretty lace dress! Nice find! I really do like the navy one. I really like the ivory too... ok ok... I'm not help :(
    aneyeforfashion.blogspot.com

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  40. I love that your iphone cover is an old school gameboy! LOL.

    I like the ivory color better than the navy, although you make a good point with the length and it not getting enough wear. If you also love the navy and think you would wear it more, sell the ivory.

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  41. Yay for your Hermes belt!
    I love how it is an easy dress up to my outfits! As a petite fashionista, I am excited to see how you wear it too! <3

    A Preponderance of Fashion

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  42. Hey Jean!
    This is kinda random but can you do a blog post on Sunglasses? I've had such a hard time finding sunglasses that fit me(since i'm asian with asian features; no nose bridge, high cheeks, small face) etc. And i've noticed that you have a few pairs of sunglasses that seem to fit you well! Also i've heard about "asian fit" sunglasses but i'm not sure what they are. I really value your opinion!:)

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  43. Prefer the ivory over the navy. Definitely sell it to another owner (who will probably love it!) if you believe the navy will be more suitable and have more wear.

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  44. I like ivory one better I think. I love the cowl neck tops! They look like you can wear them with anthing! But boo, no XXSPs!? T_T

    I love you phonne case too :D

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  45. Sell the ivory, keep the navy!

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  46. I like the ivory more, but you should keep both. You can always wear and pair them differently. :)

    And about that Pencil Skirt in ASOS, if I'm 5'4" should I go with the petite sizing or regular?

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  47. Constance is oh so gorgeous on you!!! I like the length of the navy but I'm still much more drawn to the ivory and would vote to keep that one. I'm a little surprised that this dress is one piece rather than the typical 2-piece (top sewn to skirt) type which would have made shortening much easier. What would it look like belted with the top pulled over a little as a blouson effect while shortening the overall length?

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  48. Keep both, they're really precious! Plus the ivory will pop against a tan!
    xxx

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  49. Can I please have a mini-rant in your comments section. I went shopping yesterday and I felt so frustrated that so many shops used clips to make their clothes more figure conscious on the mannequins. I feel so excited when I see a great fit on a mannequin and then look at the clothes on the rack and it is shaped like a flour sack. Thanks, I feel so much better with that off my chest!

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  50. This dress is beautiful! The belt really completes the look.

    I'm a new follower and LOVE your blog! Would love the follow back! Enter my giveaway for a Nordstrom and Starbucks gift card!

    The Pretty Pinhead

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  51. I was just recently reading a mag and the crochet look is very in! I think the lighter one is better for this time of year and the darker for an evening out.

    xo

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  52. I really like the navy one. Keep it and sell the ivory.

    I love the dress when belted.

    Helen

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  53. i like the ivory color more. may i ask what nail polish color you are wearing?

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  54. Do you bring a belt with you when you go shopping? .. because I think that's genius!

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  55. Hi. I think that all of the clothes that you choose look nice on you; however, if you don't enjoy wearing your ivory dress, anymore, and prefer to wear the navy one, now, then I guess this is a sign that you should give the ivory dress away and wear the new one.

    I have a question for you, as well as your readers: As a grown, small woman, have you been bullied by children, who assume that you're their age, or do you just try to avoid places where they congregate? I'm nearing my late 20s and am tired of hearing children laugh and make comments about me to themselves due to my small frame- other adults are able to walk alone or exercise in their neighborhood without being laughed at.

    Thanks.

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  56. Jean, someone copied your tutorial!! http://naomimoore94.tumblr.com/post/23990206659/refashioned-blouse

    Raffy

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  57. Love this dress! looks fantastic on you! May I ask where you got your phone case?! ohh the memories of the game boy back in the day! :)

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  58. I'd say if you're not feeling the ivory, maybe it's time it finds a new home.

    Also, your blog has been such an inspiration to me! I've had the WORST time finding office-appropriate outfits as a petite South Asian woman. Thank you!

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  59. First off, I LOVE your iPhone case. :)

    Second, it all depends on if you're really going to wear the ivory dress or not. I have a habit of hanging onto clothes because I might possibly one day wear it again. Which almost never happens. If you can't hem the dress, and that really bothers you, enough so that you'd wear something else instead of it, then I would sell it. But, if the hemline is just a small nuisance, and you really love it, then hang onto it, and play with accessories. If you then find it in your closet after another year, and you haven't really worn it, I think you have your answer.

    I would keep the navy dress. :)

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  60. Thanks for your post! I live in CA and picked up the Ann Taylor vintage lace dress this past weekend.

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  61. Ivory is perfect for the daytime in blazing summer heat! Navy is great for everything else! Tough choice! Navy looks a bit more dressy...

    acupofteashirt.blogspot.com

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  62. Keep both!!!! I'm not sure if you know but thought I'd share for others who are students... Ann Taylor has a discount for students who present their student ID!!! 20% off!!! Here's the link... http://www.anntaylor.com/ann/editorial/AT-Lookbook/Style-for-Students/cat50006

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  63. oh i totally dislike tops where the front looks luxe and the back is just cotton. same w/sequins and what not. i'll pay extra people!!!!

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  64. Hi Jean! I was wondering about your Hermes belt. What size waist are you to fit a size 70? I am 24" waist. Was looking at a size 65, 70 or 75 belt. Would like enough belt material on the end to sit on my hips and will punch more holes to wear higher waisted. Thanks!

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  65. I say keep the navy and sell the ivory.

    Taylyn.
    www.onlyforthesweetest.com

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  66. I love this look! I actually didn't pay much attention to this dress because I have in ivory too, but seeing it paired up like this made me want it! I called around and actually found a 00P on final sale! Thank you for making me re-think this dress! :)

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