Sunday, October 14, 2012

Review: Ann Taylor Petite Silk and Silk-like Blouses

In continued pursuit of petite-friendly silk blouses, I ordered a few to try on during Ann Taylor's last 30% off sale. They currently don't have white, my top choice, but do carry a range of jewel tone and wintery colors. A nice long-sleeve collared blouse can be a workhorse for the office and on the weekends, both worn alone and layered under something for a pop of color. Here are the ones I tried on, in the order of slimmest to loosest cut:
1. Petite Silk Legacy Blouse, 2 colors, 91% silk/95 spandex. Untucked:
atblouses3
Tucked in:
atblouses2
Likes: The fit for me was perfect as a dress shirt. The blouse is cut to be close-fitting and tapers in at the waist, allowing for minimal poofing when tucked into skirts. The sleeves hit just at the right length. Touch of spandex makes the material stretchy and didn't pull on the buttons when I moved my arms around. The other rose quartz color looks beautiful, like a blush pink.

Dislikes: The material in purple had too much sheen for me and reminded me of silk charmeuse. The fitted dress shirt style makes this more appropriate for the office and less for wearing casually over denim. Also on the pricier end of their blouse options.

Measurements of a 00P: 11.5" shoulder to shoulder, 15" across underarms, 22" long sleeves, 22" total length, 13.5" across waist.

2. Petite Covered Placket Long Sleeve Shirt, 4 colors, 100% polyester. Untucked:
atblouses1
Even though I was looking for a silk blouse, I loved the look of this top online and wanted to give it a shot. I've had luck with Ann Taylor's polyester - one of my favorite blouses from there looks and feels like silk to me, but is actually 100% polyester. I wear it much more than I probably would with silk, because it's so easy to maintain and wash.

Tucked in:atblouses
Likes: Out of the 3 I tried on, I think the cut and design of this one was my favorite. I personally love clean vertical details that go down the front, as I feel they are lengthening and look great peeking out from under a jacket/cardigan. This blouse reminds me a lot of a front placket blouse AT had in 2011 that I missed out on. The cut is not too fitted nor loose, and suitable for tucking in or wearing with jeans. The reviews online mention "gapping" at the front buttons, but this was not a problem for me probably due to my smaller bust.

Dislikes: Length may be short for someone taller than me. The polyester is slightly coarser than my old favorite blouse, and isn't as vibrant in color as the green verdigris in silk (#3 below). Before I tried on blouses #2 and 3, I did a mini blind fabric test by examining and feeling the materials only. #3 below was the winner for the more fluid material and vibrant color, and it just so happens to be the 100% silk one.

Measurements of a 00P: 12" shoulder to shoulder, 15" across underarms, 16" across waist, 22" long sleeves, 22" total length.

3. Petite silk camp shirt, 5 colors, 100% silk. Untucked:
atblouses6
Tucked in:
atblouses5
With denim:
atblouses4 Likes: As previously mentioned, the color in person is very vibrant. The material feels nice and has good movement. Price point after AT's frequent discounts is lower than that of other 100% silk blouses on the market in petite sizing. I usually do not like the camp shirt look due to boxy chest pockets, but these pockets are more discrete.

Dislikes: Cut is looser and sleeves are longer than the 2 blouses above. They are marginally too long for me but nothing like the super long-sleeved regular-sized silk blouses, and I can possibly wear the sleeve cuff folded up like in the photo paired with denim. There are buttons on the middle of the sleeve intended to be used when the sleeves are rolled up. If I keep this blouse, I would remove those buttons and also slim the torso and sleeves a tiny bit.

Measurements of a 00P: 12" shoulder to shoulder, 16" across underarms, 16.5" across waist, 22.75" long sleeves, 23" total length.

Verdict: Still undecided and slightly torn. I prefer the design and fit of the second, but the material of the third. Price differences were slight (~$10) after discounts and a cardmember reward. I am leaning towards the third, and snapped photos of it in my last post but have not worn it out yet.

On a side note, Twitter & Facebook friends may already know my latest obsession - this little girls' trench cape. I've been wanting to try a cape silhouette for a while, but wasn't sure where to start. I was afraid of being overwhelmed by fabric, and didn't want to pay too much for a trendy item. I was thrilled to see this kids option online last week and purchased it, but was even more excited to see it in stores marked down to $19.99 plus extra 30% off for cardholders. I asked a sales associate in-store to do a search on which stores had my size in stock, using the item # 175412. They also ship from stores to homes for $6.
gaptrenchcape
GapKids Trench Cape, trying on girls size L(10) on the left and XL(12) on the right

Both a L and XL were okay on me, but the belt was a little high on my waist in the L. The belt loops through the cape across the outer back center, so it is visible from the back (as shown in stock photos). I preferred the shorter length of the L but went with XL for better belt placement. The material is nothing to write home about, but definitely decent for a children's trench at this price. I have to admit I enjoyed running down my hallway playing superhero with this on.

Readers - Which of the three blouses above do you like best?

48 comments:

  1. i think the third shirt was the best out of the three. i like the fabric and length on that one the most. it's also more versatile.

    btw, thanks for posting about the sale. ;)

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  2. Jean, you look good in anything. Makes me want to buy those items just because they look amazing on you.

    But why the cape trench? LOL. For fun or for work? I would've never imagine you'll buy something like that ;)

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    Replies
    1. For fun! I love swing jackets and capes are the next step. I like this one for easing into that kind of silhouette, as it's only half a cape, and the other half a trench (which I already love : )

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  3. Your remark about pretending to be a superhero with the Gap Trench Cape was cute!

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  4. The superhero comment is completely true. I wore it out right after buying it and I couldn't help but feel like wearing a real cape hah. So much fun!

    Mango

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  5. Ann Taylor is having 40% now until 10AM.....there is some great stuff

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  6. The third one looks the best on you.

    I was just shopping at Ann Taylor 3 hours ago and trying on shirt #3 for color "Sweet Date". Because of the silk fabric, the pockets definitely make the shirt look less "draggy". Without pockets (#1 and #2), the shirts just look a little too plain in my opinion.

    Maybe you should get the "Sweet Date" during their surprise sale too! It does look pretty good on our Asian skin color :)

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  7. Hmm, remove the buttons on the sleeve of the camp shirt? I don't like the buttons either since it gives it more of a casual feel, but I think removing them will leave holes that are too large, esp. for such a delicate fabric. Just my thought, but I would like to see how it turns out if you do remove them.

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  8. Hi! I'm a new reader and I LOVE your blog. I'm not extra petite, just regular petite (2/4), but I do have a question that maybe you can answer. My wrists and hands are very small, so I pretty much do not wear bracelets. Have you found anywhere that makes bracelets for small wrists?

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    Replies
    1. As a small-boned girl, I've only had luck with bracelets made for children, so I only own a couple and they're handmade.

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    2. Unfortunately not much, but if you look on ALterations Needed's blog she reviews a few bracelets fro small wrists. I know custom jewelry makers on Etsy can make sizes to order, and kids bracelets are another option. I have some that are either links or stones which I've been able to adjust at home with a set of small pliers.

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  9. I didnt expect that trench cape from gap...nice fine I need to check if they still have it here.
    Cammi @ Cammilicious.com

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  10. i like #3 the camp blouse best. the color is just gorgeous and i LOVED the way it looked with denim! it's a keeper! =)

    xoxo, jenn
    the stylish housewife

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  11. personally I LOVE the first blouse, it fits you beautifully and properly accessorized can go from work to "date night", my two cents.

    Lucy

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  12. I like the 3rd blouse best! Really nice color!

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  13. Third blouse fits you the best . The second one is too wide

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  14. keep the third one! it looks the best and blouses aren't normally suppose to be form fitting. the 3rd one looks more universal than the others.

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  15. The third blouse looks so good on you! I especially love it with the jeans, but it also looks great with the pencil skirt. And I didn't even realize there were pockets on them because they're so well integrated in the design, so you really needn't worry about them! I'd definitely say keep it :)

    x
    Sabrina

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  16. Love the legacy blouse (first one). Fits the best, natural fibers, and looks great. I'm annoyed at AT this year because they only made the Legacy in two colors in petite sizes. Have a black one from last year and love it.

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  17. I just want to point out, fabric content is not only for looks it's also for comfort and health. I have a lot of polyester stuff that looks like silk but I know it's not as comfortable or healthy to wear them. One of these days I plan on ridding my closet of all synthetic fabrics and keep only cotton, silk, wool, cashmere, etc, but too lazy and unmotivated for that yet

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  18. The purple blouse is so rich and formal. You can do more with the third one. I pick the third one, but they're all great choices.

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  19. I like the third blouse the most, but if you don't absolutely love it, I'd hold out for something better.

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  20. i'd say definitely 2nd or 3rd blouse options, as they are more versatile than the 3rd. tks for the reviews!

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  21. those blouses look beautiful on you!

    xo,
    Sandy
    Sandy a la Mode

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  22. I love the cape...I like all the colors of the blouses, but best the second blouse...

    xoxo
    Mady

    thegirlfromthemirror.blogspot.com

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  23. Hi Jean! I'm not sure if anyone mentioned this to you already, but the Ann Taylor Facebook Page made note of your post :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for the heads up! I'm super excited!

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  24. Personally, I like the third blouse more than the second. The fit is fixable, though it's not bad for being off the rack. You'd be stuck with the rougher feel and less vibrant color of the second.

    And thanks for sharing your GapKids find! I've been searching for a small cape for a year now - I'll have to check this one out.

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  25. Love Love Love Blouse #1. I'm always looking for things that fit closely -- otherwise I look like a little kid wearing my mother's clothes. I may get it.

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  26. Jean,
    My favorite is the purple blouse (first one) due to its streamlined simplicity (no pockets etc) and due to the way it accentuates the waist. I can also imagine it with pants (gray perhaps) and even layered with a vest for a "power" office look. Try it and if you like post picture!

    And I actually agree with your choice of the larger trench, don't know why you wanted smaller one. I even happen to think it would have been better if it was longer so the skirt is just covered. But pretty cool item anyways. Love your flats in that picture with some sort of bow? What are these?

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    Replies
    1. THank you! The flats are old, old Cole Haan flats. They do look like bows from afar but are actually horsebit-like details.

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  27. Liked the shades of blouses... thanks for sharing

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  28. Blouses looks nice.
    https://shoesonlineinindia.wordpress.com/2012/10/02/loafers-shoes-slip-on-shoes/

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  29. The second green blouse looks really nice on you, also the first one, but the purple one....not so much...that sheen, that material....Still, isn't the second green one more versatile?? I mean it looks great with that skirt, with jeans it looks just awesome!Plus, green is really your colour! anasblogana.blogspot.com

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  30. I like silk blouses but am hesitant about buying silk because the process kills worms just for beauty. :(

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    Replies
    1. I'm pretty sure they don't kill the worms for silk blouses.

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    2. "The silk farmers then kill most caterpillars by heat, leaving some to metamorphose into moths to breed the next generation of caterpillars. Harvested cocoons are then soaked in boiling water to soften the sericin holding the silk fibers together in a cocoon shape. The fibers are then unwound to produce a continuous thread." - Wikipedia

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    3. Would it be according a buddhist philosophy then not to buy silk? I mean it with respect.

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  31. The jade colored one is so pretty on you, especially with that skirt. The folds on the purple look a little to accentuated with the color. By the way, thanks for posting this. I've been looking for a silk blouse for a while!

    Vivian
    js-go.blogspot.com

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  32. I love the color of the first shirt!

    robbi
    peacelovenhair.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. me too. looks amazing and so shiny.

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  33. The description on the AT website about the Legacy blouse actually lists it as silk charmeuse.

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  34. I don't know how this is possible, but I had the XL/12 in the trench shipped to me after reading this post and its way too big. Maybe the sizing isn't consistent between batches?

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  35. I know I'm a little late on the bus, but I found this when searching the J.Crew Blythe review. Have you ever heard of Everlane? They make beautiful basic silk blouses, and while the range of colors isn't huge, they always have the basics and their blouses do not have pockets.

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  36. you always look good ...It gives me always the feeling to have them too

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