Ann Taylor adjustable waist pants & more J.Crew sale reviews

I posted most of these photos already via Instagram, but due to numerous inquiries on fit I wanted to share a few thoughts on here. After J.Crew upped their discount to extra 40% off final sale, I couldn't resist stopping by a store again. I got there minutes before they closed but these patterned strapless dresses immediately caught my eye.
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J.Crew Ella Strapless Dress in garden floral (extra 40% off) and medallion paisley (item #72213)

I certainly don't need a strapless dress, and usually avoid buying things for the "great deal," but the combination of a vibrant pattern, great fit, and value ($24 for fully-lined, 100% silk dress with pockets and bust boning) swayed me to purchase. I made it work appropriate today with a blazer and some neutral pumps.

Fit: J.Crew womens clothing (notorious for vanity sizing) is usually a big miss for me, so I could not believe how similar this 00 regular fit to 00P's from other stores. The torso was just perfect on me snugness-wise, the bustier length was not too long, and the structured bust cups was not too roomy. The hips were slightly wide on me (but no bigger than BR or AT 00P hips), which I DIY altered by slimming 1" off each side and tapering in at the bottom. Length was also unexpectedly great for regular sizing, and hit me right above the knee.
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Measurements: 00 regular measures 14.25" across the top of bust, 12" across the waist, 8" bodice length, 20.5" skirt length, 17.5" approx hips, and 17.5" bottom opening (not factoring in the slit).

Price: These are on sale online, but in-store pricing was lower at $24 for the silk floral, and approx. $36 for the sateen-like medallion paisley (both prices are after the extra 40% off and are final sale). If you locate your size at any store in the country, I believe they ship to homes for $7 or $8. If you want to use store locator, I feel the best time to call is right when they open so the inventory system is accurate, and so SA's have time to look stuff up.
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Ann Taylor petite pants (2 colors), DIY dot blouse, Ferragamo bow low pumps (this year's version)

Next up...I've had a burning desire for classic red pants all year, especially since seeing Phiphi & SPG's ensembles...

I've already tried popular options Gap slim cropped pants and J.Crew minnie pants and both did not work out (terrible rear view with the Gap, too big Minnies with difficult to alter side zipper). When Ann Taylor came out with red Chelsea crops earlier this year, I did not even bother trying them knowing the sizing.

Imagine my joy upon walking past these adjustable-waist options at my local store. The adjustable feature is popular in childrenswear for growing young'uns, but why it hasn't expanded into adult markets is beyond me. Most women I know fluctuate at least 5lbs give or take, so even if you aren't extra petite, the adjustable feature is valuable. The funny thing is, based on the item description, it seems that Ann Taylor merely intended for these tabs to be decorative!
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Before cinching       ---->     After cinching

Although the waist tabs looks obstructive, I noted that they are easily masked by a blouse, either tucked or untucked. The material feels slightly suiting-like, but due to the composition (poly/rayon/spandex blend), I am uncertain how they hold up with wear. My ideal material for these would be a premium lightweight wool, but asking for the right fit, material, color and price point would just be too much. Please note that the pants in the photo are about two sizes up from what I would ideally take in Ann Taylor. They are a 0P (smallest sizRe my store carries), and I think one size down from online would work wonderfully for someone my size, after being cinched. Also, the one review online suggests that these run smaller than Ann Taylor's typical pants. I will definitely be ordering during the next sale.

Lastly, I snapped quick pics of this red knit dress which I ordered online and subsequently returned. The fit was small and grazed over my figure with no alterations needed - usually, when an item looks curve-hugging on the model online, it tends to fit acceptably on me. However, the lines on the front of this dress are actually small perforations (holes) whereas I was hoping they were piping or even just seams.

Readers - Did you pick up any of the above? For owners of the adjustable-waist pants, I'd love to hear how the fabric holds up.

PS - Due to many repeat entries, it's taking me longer than expected to draw the winners of the LOFT gift card giveaway. I hope to do so by the end of this week - thank you for your patience and to those who followed the guidelines!

64 comments:

  1. I love the floral dress and red pants :)

    http://pinktistic.blogspot.com

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  2. I really hate when people refuse to read and follow instructions!
    I really like the medallion sateen dress. Must call in the AM. Thanks for the info. :) elle

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    1. This blog is an exact representation of skills. I appreciate the blogger for posting the most excellent thought. This topic posted by you is trustworthy. I like you recommendation.Your recommendation is of well use to people. A great article post, this is something very interesting. A great concept that reflects the excellent thoughts of the writer. USA Lifestyle

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    2. I have bought pants through all seasons for years, these are perfect and hold there press well, perfect for the business casual pants. thanks for the amazing stuff.
      Visit Devon and Jones

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  3. hi Jean.

    i just wanna say how glad i am that you show photos of your face! *lol* i've been clicking on your other petite bloggers' links (e.g.: phiphi and sewpetitegal), but always get put off by their 'headless' shots. i think i speak for all when i say - we readers wanna SEE who we're following and reading about. it's nice to have a face to body and posts. i wish i could see more of this with all the other petite blogs - would definitely make me A LOT more interested to follow them.

    i do note you didn't do this pre-2010, but am sure glad u do now ;-)

    x.x.
    JC

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    1. Hi JC! As much as I also like to put a face to a personality, I do respect others' desire for privacy. The Internet is a crazy place and I understand why many women would not wish to put their real identity out there.

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    2. yes very true about privacy. However I love the way you stand by your ideas and fashion suggestions. It does help of course that you happen to be very pretty! ;-) Nevertheless I love your tips and honest reviews. I used to work for fashion magazines in the early 2000's and saw the deterioration of content, basically no real fashion advice was left, it all became about product placement. I never bother buying any magazines now - just look at blogs as they are more honest. -still.

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    3. Partially about privacy, more so about being self-conscious in my case :) "Headed" photos do look better and I am thankful for those bloggers!

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  4. Here's to integrity! Props to you for putting the time in to fish out repeat entries.

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  5. Love that floral dress on you! Im waiting for the 30%-40% off on the sale at Ann Taylor and yet to check out the Jcrew. Im generally not very lucky with Jcrew.

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  6. Love the jersey dress, too bad they made the lines like that, it would have been perfect!

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  7. Hey Jean I am looking at getting the Lava Dress from BR for work, are you the one telling us that BR doesn't carry 00 Petite size in store? That's too bad for me since I found a coupon for 40% off in-store to use in a few days, (but I am not willing to pay full price online!) I am hoping the length will work for me since most reviews said the petite is a little too short for work (33 3/4" petite length, 36" for regular and I am 5'4")...I bought 2 dresses from H&M when I went up to NYC 2 weeks ago, they are short (I measured only 31" length for the size 4) so I am hoping the extra 2 3/4" from the BR dress will add just enough length for me to feel work appropriate. What do you think?

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    1. I rmbr she said yes 00P in stores, no xxsp in stores. I have experienced the same at my local non-factory RRs.

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    2. Hi there - I think most stores that offer petite DO carry 00P in stores. I just haven't found any xxsp except at the outlets.

      If you are 5'4" then it doesn't hurt to try on both the petite and the regular...most of my BR dresses are usually the "right" length for me, so considering how I'm 4" shorter than you, it could be borderline acceptable for work. Doesn't hurt to try though!

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  8. Hey Jean!

    How did you slim the sides of a silk dress?! I altered my polyester dress this weekend but there are parts of it that crinkled and looks "bacon-y." The tension on my singer was set at 6. I also tried, 7, 8, and even 9 with not much more luck. Any suggestions?

    Thank you!
    -MyHanh

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    1. Hi MyHanh! Talking about thread tension confuses me so much...I think I just got lucky that the one tension I've set my machine at for the past 10 years happened to work for this silk dress. I wish I had actual tips...but maybe Sew Petite Gal can assist?

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    2. Eek! I purchased some silk a couple of years ago but have yet to touch it (too scared) so I'm sorry to say that I don't have any experience with it. And like Jean, I also don't usually play with the tension setting. When I work with slippery fabrics, I tend to guide it firmly with both hands. Um, I know that's not very helpful - sorry!

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    3. No that's plenty helpful! Thank you, ladies! I guess, I'll have to do a couple of more practice pieces! :)

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    4. Try adjusting the size of your stitch to a smaller size? That's helped me in the past, but I agree that silk is a scary difficult fabric...

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  9. Look at those abs! May I ask what kind of exercise regimen (if applicable) you follow?

    The Ella dress looks gorgeous on you and you got an amazing deal! I would also love some adjustable waist pants (but more for letting out than cinching in) - will have to check those out next time :)

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    1. Lol...I don't really have a regimen but I lift light weights (10lbs) and do planks and crunches. That's it....I should really do more cardio, but I just get so bored by prolonged workouts.

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    2. Ahh, a good core workout! I took a pilates / yoga combo class last week and thought I was going to keel over. Instructor asked, "How long do you want to plank?" Crazy lady next to me said, "2 minutes!" I started cheating at around 30 seconds :D

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  10. The red pants look nice on you :)

    Would you like to follow each other?
    http://blog.dawnelia.com

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  11. I love that red dress and the adjustable waist pants are definitely something I'd try! Oh, to eliminate that horrible waist gap >_<

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  12. I am totally with you on the adjustable waist feature to carry over to adults!

    xo, Yi-chia

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  13. pants are great! i love that colour!

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  14. Hi Jean, stumbled on your blog a few weeks ago and have been an avid reader since :) I love the Ella dress on you but I'm pretty sure it wouldn't work on me!

    Also, something random, but that I've been wondering -- any chance you can do a brief post/comment on what nail colors are appropriate for a business casual workplace? Or is it better to go without nail polish completely?

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    1. Hi Sophia - for a business CASUAL workplace, I think you can wear whatever color you want. At work I see women with nails in every shade of the rainbow. For a business formal environment or for an interview, I'd probably just stick to lighter shades like cream, light pink, peach, or french tips, etc.

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  15. It's might not be that people didn't follow directions; I read the directions carefully and would never enter anything twice unless allowed but I kept looking for a "submit" button. I don't know if my first attempt went through or not but if I did more than one, it was an accident.

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    1. Hi Vanessa! I completely understand situations like that where it's a technical glitch or user confusion. The ones I were finding were the same ppl re-entering a second day, then again a third day, etc.

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    2. That's terrible! I wouldn't do that so I guess I assumed no one else would either!

      I saw your reply above about planks. I haven't been doing them long but I guess now I have more motivation since they worked on you!

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  16. Those pants are amazing!!!!!!!
    I really need to check those out!
    XOXO

    http://www.princessmartha.com

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  18. I find that strapless dresses slide down a lot and I'm constantly tugging at it to keep it in place. Do you notice that at all?

    <3Maggie

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  19. WOW! i have NEVER seen adjustable pants for adults!!! my son has a few pairs and i always thought that would be amazing to have as an adult! ha ha! i am shocked at how great they look...not bulky at all! what a great review!

    xoxo, jenn
    the stylish housewife

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  20. Hi Jean!

    I love your blog. Thanks for all the fashion tips. Anyway, I've been wondering for a while now, and I have a question. In your case, when you wear strapless dress, what types of bras do you usually wear underneath that doesn't show any strings or that are not visible to the outside. I tend to stay away from strapless-anything because I don't really know what to wear underneath?
    If you have a moment, please give some advice of what to wear underneath with any strapless-anything? Thank you for your time.

    Btw, love the floral J. Crew dress. I have an engagement party to go too in the next few weeks, and I thought this dress if perfect for it.

    Regards,
    Grace

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    1. Hi Grace! Thank you for your kind comment. For strapless dresses, I've been wearing my Sascha bra from the little bra company

      http://www.extrapetite.com/2010/05/boost-for-as-and-bs-little-bra-company.html

      It's the only strapless I've had so far that fits snugly enough to not slide down, plus it has a little bit of push up padding in the cups. Sometimes, TJ maxx or marshalls might have strapless bras with small bandsizes too.

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    2. Thank you for the response Jean!

      All the best,

      Grace

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  21. Wow, $24 fully lined, print, fit, and silk! OF COURSE! Great buys! And whoa again on the adj. pant waist. Great to see that ugly bunching didn't occur. Funny that they might be for decorative reasons but you made it work!

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  22. i did give in to the j. crew sale, although i havent made it to the store yet. i've been looking at the two tone cashmere sweater in the red since it came out, and am excited it finally went to sale! also picked up a few tunics, leopard flats and the chunky cashmere sweater, which will likely go back. a few days ago i shopped the kids section, so i'll see how those turn out!

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  23. Ahhh...your blog is not good for the pocketbook! :). I was on the fence about both dresses bc I've already ordered a ton from this sale, but seeing how good they look on you had me calling a SA...they're doing a nationwide search as I type this!

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    1. Hi Caroline - did she find any for you? They're so pretty. Be warned though that these Ella dresses run smaller in the torso than other J.Crew items!

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    2. They found the garden floral and are still looking for the medallion paisley. I wear a 2 (I'm actually 5'7 1/2 and not petite, but love your style and writing) but ordered a 4 in this. Really hoping to get the medallion in a 4, or I'll have to call back to do a search for a 6 and then alter. it's tough being taller but having the Asian proportions of narrow hips!!

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  24. That pink and turquoise dress was a-may-zing on you!!!

    ~Natasha Fatah~
    ~Natasha Fatah~

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  25. I really like that floral dress. And I saw your instagram with the H&M blazer paired with it. Great dress... and blazer color!

    I tried on some things at J.Crew yesterday, it wasn't fitting the way I had hoped. Also, their sizes run QUITE large...

    kat
    aneyeforfashion.blogspot.com

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  26. I NEED those adjustable pants in my life. Do you think that the cropped length in regular sizing would be long enough to fit like full length pants?

    http://ohtheendlesspossibilities.blogspot.com/

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  27. Love the strapless dresses! Beautiful.

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  28. I'm in love with the J Crew floral dress. Such a great steal! Too bad I missed it. Thanks for the excellent detailed review of the fits!

    xoxo,
    Suzie Q
    www.StyleCueBySuzieQ.com

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  29. Hi Jean!
    Love your blog and it has transformed my wardrobe (my team agrees)! Work in financial services (business casual) like you and actually just had my second baby so was in a state of constantly changing sizes for a couple of years. Now that I'm largely back to my normal size, am super excited to rebuild a wardrobe almost from scratch. Would love to see a future blog from you on how to rebuild a wardrobe (or what foundational classic pieces one should have) with each new season. More immediately, Would love some tips or posts on casual weekend wardrobe (prefer non dry cleaning) - casual but still cute/classy/elegant... I'm sick of my plain GAP t-shirts.

    Thanks and you are very talented! Do you offer wardrobe consulting services?

    Best,
    LHK

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  30. Fantastic dresses, and styled beautifully!I love the feel of these photos.

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  31. Great dresses from JCrew!! I'm definitely going to look for those. Are the SF pumps comfy?

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  32. Nice one! I like it so much, I wish to be one of them.

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  33. I was sort of on the fence about the ella dress in garden floral before...but seeing your post sort of pushed me over the edge. I was able to find one locally but it wasn't as marked down as the one in your store. Regardless, $40 for a pretty spring dress seems well worth the price. Thanks for the heads up!

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  34. p.s. the 40% off sale is still happening in stores...and I am hopeful that it'll continue through the weekend. J. Crew is getting their new arrivals in stores next Wednesday so they must be eager to get rid of spring merchandise!

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