Thursday, July 12, 2012

Mint Dress + Cabochon Necklace (& some Ann Taylor reviews)

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H&M dress (old, DIY altered), Ann Taylor necklace (may still be in stores for $19.88)

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Ann Taylor hit it out of the park last season with this cabochon necklace. If I didn't know better, I could've mistaken this for costume jewelry passed down by someone's grandmother. It has good weight and makes a statement against any backdrop. I especially love wearing it with large pearl stud earrings to really bring out the white stones. It's now on final sale for a mere $19.88 (sold out online) - I shelled out more, but it's earned its worth in wears. Thankfully, I no longer work on a team of fashionistas who used to chastise me for wearing favorite pieces too much.
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These taupe pointy patent pumps are also a recent Ann Taylor purchase...

They would've never been on my radar if it weren't for my friend Ping's helpful review. I ordered my typical Ann Taylor size 5, and have been very pleased. Ever since sending back these Porcini perfect pumps over 2 years ago (I had just started working and was very thrifty...got them for 30% off but wanted to wait for 40% off), I've wallowed in regret countless times. There have been so many outfits that just needed a subdued taupe pump - and now that void is finally filled.

These pumps have a lower 3 and 1/4" heel which is very manageable, and is made of leather inside and out. In my opinion, these are fairly comfy, but not as comfy as the almond toe perfect pumps...because frankly, no one's feet are shaped like a triangle at the tip. Small sizes are currently sold out online, but I have seen occasional pop-backs.
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I also ordered this Polished Cotton Cropped Jacket to try on during their extra 40% off sale items promo. I thought the cropped length would be flattering on a petite frame, but something looked off - the long lapels were too reminiscent of a tux to me. Also, now that my arms are sore from ironing my BR Factory white dress so many times, I'm avoiding wrinkle-prone cotton suit separates. I tried this on so hastily that I forgot to take measurements.mintcabachon3
While returning the jacket at my local store, this beautiful ponte skirt in "avocado" caught my eye. In person, it's a lovely chartreuse color, almost like a muted lime green. The skirt runs smaller than their normal suiting skirts, but sizing is tricky with ponte - 0P was a tiny bit big on me, but a 00P would probably be too fitted around the tush and short for work. If you can fit regular sizes, my solution would be to order one size down in regular sizing (compared to the size you take in petite) to get the 1.5" of extra length for work.

These skirts reminded me of my bright blue ponte skirt from AT, which I've stopped wearing to work because it's borderline too short. The material felt softer than prior seasons but may be more pilling-prone as a result. One very pleasant surprise, though, was that the new ponte skirts are now fully lined, making them hang smoother and feel like much better quality. Am definitely adding the avocado to my wishlist for when a sale hits!mintcabachon1
mintcabachon4 Readers - Have you picked up any of these Ann Taylor pieces? If so, I'd love to hear how you style them.

87 comments:

  1. Dear Jean,
    I stumbled upon your blog a few months ago and glad that I did. Thank you for all the countless hours you spent to review and inform or share info about a product. Your style sense is professional, chic, fun and snappy as well.
    The necklace is great with all above outfits!
    thanks again. and yes, i'm only 5ft as well.

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  2. Did you get a haircut? Your hair looks amazing!

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  3. Argh, now I need those pumps and the necklace! My local AT is right next door to my son's Gymboree class - heading there on Sat and keeping my fingers crossed that the necklace is in stock!

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  4. I liked how you tied the scarf to your purse. It's really cute! Would you consider doing a post on how you iron your clothes? I have some pieces that are really difficult to get all the wrinkles out. It would be nice to get some tips on how to maintain and care for clothes. Thanks!

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    1. Hi there - I really don't have any ironing tips. I don't usually iron at all but a recent white cotton dress was so wrinkly it required it. I like certain polyesters or thicker materials like wool or tweed that don't wrinkle.

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  5. I actually just bought that necklace today on final sale! What a coincidence. AT is right next door to the store I work at so I can't help but wander in to admire things :)

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  6. I swear, I use this website so much just to get inspiration of what to wear at work. Looking forward to raiding Ann Taylor this weekend, to my wallet's disappointment.

    Vivian

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  7. i really like the blue dress on you. Is it from AT too? Btw. Do you know about the AT flagship store on Madison Ave. Their sales are much better than other AT stores in NYC. Just wanted to share with you :)

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    Replies
    1. Dress is from H&M. I don't think I've ever been to the flagship store. If they have extended petite sizing, then I'm there!

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    2. i'm not sure if they carry it since i typically wear S but i'll check next time i stop by.

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  8. arghhh...i just don't know what i love more...the dress or that necklace! both are AMAZING. i can't seem to get enough of nude heels either! you look adorbs!

    xoxo, jenn
    the stylish housewife

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  9. I am in LOVE with this entire look. You look so polished and gorgeous! That dress is amazing.
    Creamy

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  10. Love how you styled the necklace. Isn't it fabulous?! And so jealous of that bag!!! Cute idea with the scarf.

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  11. Love the sophisticated look! Gorgeous necklace and so versatile!

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  12. I love how pristine your outfits are and how detailed you've become with picking out things that actually flatter you. You certainly have an eye for catching these things :)

    kat
    aneyeforfashion.blogspot.com

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  13. The Ann Taylor ponte skirt looks amazing in that chartreuse color! If you are interested, I came across a dupe by Halogen at the Nordstrom Anniversary sale for $46 (orig. $69).

    http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/halogen-seamed-pencil-skirt/3271600

    Cardholders can purchase this now in petite or regular sizing, however non-cardholders will have to wait until 7/20. The closest color to chartreuse is their “green gold”, but from what I can see, it doesn’t look as vibrant as the AT version. The fabric for both skirts seems similar as well (spandex, rayon). However, the length is longer at 21” compared to the AT version at 18.5”.

    Lol, you have taught me to be so thorough hence the long comment! I ended up purchasing a 0P in plum (purple nectar) and teal (blue ocean). I suspect a return or costly alterations, as I am only 4’11”.

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    Replies
    1. THanks for the details! I just checked it out. I wasn't familiar with this skirt last year and the commenters keep referring to how amazing previous versions were in comparison! Hope it works out to you, and if it doesn't, you should try the AT and compare.

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  14. Hi Jean,

    If you don't mind me asking, where did you get your iPhone case from?

    Thanks. :)

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    Replies
    1. Hi Danielle, I don't know the seller as I got it from a friend for my birthday, but she said she ordered it from etsy.

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  15. I love that necklace on you, such a beautiful and classy pairing!

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  16. Love the mint dress + statement necklace. Very classy outfit!

    Kimberly
    http://skinnyjeansandotherthings.blogspot.com

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  17. hey little lady. damn did u get tanner? looking so even toned and summer-tastic! Love, pinning!

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    Replies
    1. I was going to say the same!! Jealous of your tan. Looks like you got a hair cut too and it looks really nice. Reminds me I need to get haircut too. I got me too many split ends, not cute. LoL

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  18. i love how you alter all these items! gorgeous dress and i loveee the mint colour!

    Laura x

    demure-porcelain.blogspot.com

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  19. That's a great statement necklace and the fit of that dress is perfect on you!

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  20. the color of the dress is amazing! love the way you styled the dress!

    xoxo
    Mady

    thegirlfromthemirror.blogspot.com

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  21. Beautiful dresses! Love them all.

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  22. I am so glad I came across your blog. I watched your videos on youtube about your chanel bags, and then came here.

    I like how your style is feminine and chic without exposing too much skin. My personal style is quite similar, but I am a much larger sized (in width, but not really in height) lady than you! If I lost a lot of weight, then I can look here for more ideas about where to shop!

    On this outfit, I love the mint colour and I like how you tied a scarf to your chanel flap. It reminds me of how ladies who tote Hermes birkins tie twillies and scarfs on their bags. This is a different look for the classic flap, which I think keeps it looking fresh with your outfit.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! I think I was subconsciously inspired by birkin toters with their scarf-decorated bags.

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  23. This outfit is complete perfection!
    Love this color on you, the shoes work beautifully, the scarf is such an elegant touch and that necklace...I LOVE that necklace!!
    You look gorgeous!!!
    XOXO

    http://www.princessmartha.com

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  24. Ur so beautiful. It makes a huge difference if u have a pretty face Cuz u basically look really good in whatever u wear. Any tips in what to wear or cover ups (makeup) if I'm not as drop dead gorgeous like u?

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    Replies
    1. Without makeup, my look is very simple and I've often been mistaken for a young teen. I have a few makeup videos on this blog - please just go to the right hand sidebar and search for beauty or videos on YouTube.

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  25. i love how you styled the necklace with different coloured dresses! gorgeous combos and the pumps are really pretty on you - the shade is a perfect neutral! xox P

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  26. I would not have thought about mint + blue, but they look beautiful together! I'm in love with your blue dress! Is this a recent purchase? I looked for that AT necklace when it first went on sale but couldn't find it :( So much for the lack of fashionistas living in Ohio LOL.

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    1. SPG - unfortunately, blue dress is very old from BR factory.

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  27. i never tried those pumps, wish i would have listen to ping's review. oh well, didnt need them then, suppose i dont suddenly need them now!

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  28. You look elegant and pretty in all those sheath dresses, and it's amazing how your statement necklace elevates your outfits.

    I was wondering what material the H&M mint dress is made of?

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    1. Hi Bela - thank you! The material is 100% poly. It feels like a thicker ponte and is very smooth to the touch. It holds up nicely and didn't pill/get fuzzy with wear like knits.

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  29. You always look so elegant and beautiful. I love every single one of those dresses on you. And that necklace is pretty amazing, definitely a great buy!

    xo, Yi-chia

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  30. I love that necklace SOOOO unbelievably much!!! I love big statement necklaces like that with a slight vintage feel! Congrats on your find, it definitely does go with every outfit you've paired it with! : D

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  31. I didn't think I can pull off vintage-looking necklaces, so I passed on your version and got the white/glass stones instead. I've been wearing mine non-stop as well, from all-white outfits to v-neck blouses to extremely casual outfits. These necklaces seriously are such statement makers! I walked into an Ann Taylor store with the necklace on a few weekends ago and 3 SAs stopped to comment on it, lol. Probably trying to butter me up to buy more things.

    PS - Not sure if you care, but cabochon is spelled with 2 o's :)

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    Replies
    1. I LOVE your pearl version. Thank you for the spelling correction!

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  32. Jean - that necklace looks fabulous on you. I'll have to check out my local AT to see if I can scrounge one up. :)

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  33. I have to remind myself, "Thou shalt not covet thy favorite blogger's mint dress!" (But I do, anyways.) I love your style and this particular look is lovely!

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    Replies
    1. Aw, thank you, Mere! I love this mint dress so much - hopefully they'll bring it back in a shape that doesn't require crazy sleeve reconstruction!

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  34. Yeah, it's official, you look good in everything! :)

    ~Natasha Fatah~
    ~Natasha Fatah~

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  35. Hi Jean,

    I LOVE your site!! The necklace looks lovely on you :) I was trying to find it in the stores but had no luck.

    I just had a question that you could hopefully answer: I am at an office job so I sit for 8 hours each day, and every time I wear a skirt, it wrinkles in the front and back. Do you have any tips for keeping it looking pretty?

    Thanks in advance for your answer!

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    1. Hi Grace - thank you! Usually when I buy skirts, I look for knits or lightweight wool. Before I decide whether or not to keep something and snip off the tags, I'll wear the item briefly at home and sit around, etc. If it wrinkles then I usually send it back. This is the reason I have so few cotton skirts (like J.Crew's cotton pencil skirts) - they usually wrinkle without fail after a few sittings.

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  36. Beautiful necklace! I also like the pumps and the scarf.

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  37. Hi Jean, I read your blog religiously and would greatly appreciate your advice on whether you think it is appropriate to wear designer pieces to a conservative corporate office. I, too, love and own a few Chanels and Loubs, but I am a little hesitant to wear them to my office because they are so readily identiable. What are your thoughts on this topic? My office consists of mostly women, and I would hate to be the target of any catty remarks. Thanks for all the hard work you put into your blog- it definitely shows!
    - MCL

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    1. Wow, what an interesting question, and a dilemma I remember facing several years ago in a similar situation. Sorry to offer an unsolicited two cents, but I veered more toward safety and conservatism because I didn't want to complicate work with more issues than necessary. In certain work environments, it is best to leave your personality at home and just be work-focused and not provide distractions that will get people talking. In the end, though, it probably depends on your personality. If you are able to ignore reactions to your wardrobe and still outperform everyone else, then let your personality shine. If reactions are going to get in the way of the way you perform at work, then avoid doing things that provoke them. Good luck!

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    2. This is MCL, the poster of the question. Thank you for your opinion, Anonymous! I actually wanted to go back and edit my comment to request reader opinions as well =)

      I am of your mindset as well, tending to err on the side of caution in the workplace. However, I started rethinking this issue because Jean frequently features work outfits with Chanel bags/Loubs. It's not clear to me if she wears the "designer" outfits for blog purposes and then trades the purse and shoes for more "practical" pieces for work, or if she really wears her designer outfits to the office. If it's the latter situation I would probably reconsider wearing designer things to the office, because in my opinion, Jean is really spot-on as to what is appropriate. Anyways, I would love to hear what other think on this issue!

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    3. I have struggled with this question as well. I think it also might depend on what part of the country you are in. Some cities are a lot more fashion forward and designer labels are everywhere. And other places like Colorado, where I live, fashion is almost non-existant. I wouldn't dream of wearing my Louboutins to a Colorado office, but I might if I lived in NY or Boston.

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    4. I live in CO too, and I'm not used to the indifference to fashion here. I am definitely the most overdressed person wherever I go...miss the East coast! :). I did getvthe last AT necklace today. The pendant style in this necklace is a nice alternative if your local AT is out of the bib style. It was marked down to $14.99, and I also got the matching bracelet for $9.99!!! Thanks for the inspiration, Jean!

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    5. MCL - this is a great question and one that I've discussed with fellow female professionals several times. I have a post in the works and you've reminded me to post it soon (hopefully this week). I also appreciate the other responses/tips here and look forward to reading more thoughts on the topic.

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    6. I can't wait for your post! Thanks Jean!
      ~MCL

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  38. I love the necklace on you and it looks stunning paired with all your outfit. I think I may have regret not getting it. =)

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  39. Too hilarious about your fashionista former co-workers! Love your hair pulled back in the middle sheath picture. Tutorial, please? Thanks!

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    1. Hi there - it's just a simple ponytail cinched slightly off-center, with an asian velcro bumpit for extra volume up top : )

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  40. Great outfit!!! That dress looks great on you.

    octoberchic.com

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  41. You're right, the statement necklace certainly has a timeless, "passed down" sort of feel! What site do you use to alert you of sales? I use ShopStyle but wonder if there's a better/faster one!

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    1. Hi Lisa - I use shopstyle too and email subscriptions, but I usually rely on other bloggers and readers for sale alerts!

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    2. Thanks Jean! Yes, staying a top of twitter is the insta way of knowing :)!

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  42. Heheh, looks like the bathroom at my work.

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  43. That is an adorable statement necklace! What a great purchase. I have not seen anything yet at Ann Taylor that I absolutely want. However I did notice that AT is really concentrating on their jewelry.

    Helen

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  44. You look great, Jean! What a great necklace, the turquoise is so versatile with so many different outfits, as photographed by your various sheath dresses! Love your taupe colored heels.

    xoxo,
    Suzie Q
    www.StyleCueBySuzieQ.com

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  45. The necklace is very cool looking. I love your outfits in each & esp the dress w/the jacket.

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  46. I really love how you styled this Jean! I wouldn't have thought of mixing that minty blue/green with the turquoise of the necklace and cornflower blue of the scarf - love it!! :-)

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  47. FYI to ladies who looked for the necklace: The necklace was out of stock at my local store and since it was a final sale item, it didn't show up in their system. My SA called a nearby store, and they took my card info over the phone and are shopping it to me. Your local store SA may be able to call around as well.

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  48. Any maxi dress tips for petites? Every maxi dress is too long or big on me :-(

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    Replies
    1. I like options from the juniors dept. Target has quite a few. They fit smaller width wise, and a hem is one of the simplest alterations you can do or pay to have done : )

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  49. I remember when you DIYed that dress. It still looks great <3

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  50. I remember your post on this dress. It looks great with the necklace. I agree with all the other comments, I think you could look good in anything!

    After seeing the Modcloth top (I think it was called Brandi's Something in the Era) you featured, I signed up to have the Modcloth notify me when it was back in stock. I got the email notification yesterday while I was at work and planned on ordering a size small when I got home. When I checked later last night, it was already sold out in small! I would like to think there are many other petite readers out there who did the same. Ah well, it looked great on you and it may be a sign that it wouldn't have looked as great on me. :)

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    1. Hi Kristi - I'm sorry to hear that! They tend to have low volumes in stock of each piece, and smaller sizes usually go first. I'll keep my eyes peeled for similar items : )

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  51. I love the necklace you paired with this
    class look

    http://pinktistic.blogspot.com/

    Please come comment and follow :)

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  52. I like the mint colour of your dress and the white dress also looks good on you:) and the necklace really fits to everything...

    http://rambutan18.blogspot.de/

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  53. Hi jean

    I love how you tied this bow on your bag. Very classy. Are you able to show me how you did so?

    Ps Love love love ur style. I wish you were my sister. I could raid ur wardrobe everyday hehe :) keep up the fab stuff xxxxx

    Lys ( sydney Australia)

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  54. I wore my AT necklace this weekend, and loved it! Here is our post today featuring it! Thanks again for helping all your readers dress well, but smartly! :)
    http://thedoubletakegirls.com/

    Lindsay and Whitney from the DTG blog

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  55. love your style! also very creative with the scarf on the chanel!

    <3 Kelly
    SavvySelections.blogspot.com

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  56. I bought the AT necklace when it went on final sale. I've received lots of compliments on it whenever I wear it. Thanks for blogging about it. I called my local AT store and asked if they had it before heading over. They were able to hold it for me for the day.

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  57. If anybody has one of these Ann Taylor Oasis Cabochon necklaces that they don't want, please let me know. Thanks! elilly@gmail.com

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  58. Where are your dresses from? The blue, turquoise, white and mint ones from this page? They are gorgeous!

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  59. Gorgeous, love the entire look!

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  60. I really love your outfits. You've made me realize the impact that accessories have on changing the look of an outfit. I love the necklaces that you wear and would love to start wearing some... But I'm required to wear a lanyard with my ID for work. Any ideas on how to be able to wear both at the same time but still get the same impact?

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I love hearing your comments and opinions.

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