The sleeveless trench

sleeveless trench 2 waysLeft: Ann Taylor trench dress via c/o gift card & top (old), Kate Spade heels, DIY clutch
Right: AT striped top (old, current version) and tote, J Brand jeans, JCrew heels
Faux pearl necklace from a friend, BR sunglasses c/o

**AT friends & family sale has been extended! Use code FRIENDS40 for 40% off** I’m a big fan of the classic trench coat, and have been intrigued for a while by it’s sleeveless sister. Similar to a vest which has been around for centuries, it allows for interesting layering, plus can keep vitals warm when you don’t need a full-on coat. This piece from Ann Taylor is listed as a trench dress but I found the material to be nice and sturdy, better suited for a jacket in my opinion. I first tried on my friend Khatu’s and was pleasantly surprised by the fit – the torso, waist placement, and total length in petite sizing fit well for a jacket (roomier as a dress) with no alterations needed.
sleeveless trench4
The vest-like nature of this jacket makes it a great candidate for showing off sleeves with prints and interesting details. I wanted to show how it looks paired both with a skirt/dress, as well as more casually with jeans.
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And here is this season’s signature tote in the taupe color. As mentioned before, it’s noticeably less structured than the pink version from spring. That one didn’t need a base shaper but the version from a year ago did, so I’m reusing that shaper here. You can make your own at home out of any stiff, cut-able material but I do like the sturdiness of a plastic one.sleeveless trench3

Back view: sleeveless trench2

Trench is unlined and has faux-leather trim (matte, does not look cheap) with zipper closures at the pockets. The material is a good quality 99% cotton/1% spandex which is one of my favorite fabric blends. Measurements of a 00 petite are: 11.25″ across the shoulders, 15.5″ across the chest and 14″ across the waist when fully buttoned up, 13″ top to waistline, 33″ total length.

sleeveless trench1 670
Thank you to Ann Taylor for sponsoring this post! Shop the look & similar pieces below (PS – I did get to try on the striped tee below with faux-leather elbow patches and a size xxs petite fit great. I didn’t need it as mine from years ago still serves its purpose, but just wanted to share):

57 thoughts on “The sleeveless trench

  • Anonymous August 10, 2014 at 9:26 pm

    Lovely…!I was checking a "trench skirt"yesterday.wondering which would be more versatile.dress or skirt 🙂


  • Vanessa August 10, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    It's so pretty! I've been looking for a trench coat for a while now, but this might be something to look into if I can't find a coat that I like.

    Vessi :: arts & petite style blog

  • Amanda Hawkins August 10, 2014 at 9:45 pm

    Gorgeous pieces! The items you feature are always so versatile, and I absolutely love that!

    – Amanda | The Chic Counsel

  • Li August 10, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    Very cute! I still don't have a regular trench coat!

    Li @ SimplyLi

  • Anonymous August 10, 2014 at 9:52 pm

    What size are you wearing Jean? I only see 2P online

  • Jean August 10, 2014 at 10:01 pm

    Hi Shenu! It'd be different for everyone of course, but for me I prefer the dress since it works as a jacket : )

  • Jean August 10, 2014 at 10:01 pm

    00 p …darn, must've sold out!

  • Mei Fleming August 10, 2014 at 10:31 pm

    Love this trench! And like that it can double as a dress.

  • Miss Hot Couture August 10, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    I like it with the shoes as well as by itself as a dress!

  • Christine de Leon August 10, 2014 at 10:48 pm

    love both outfits! such a great way to show the dress's unexpected versatility

    from – The Lion's Den

  • Kelly Marie Keating August 10, 2014 at 11:24 pm

    I love this trench paired with the striped tee. It shows off the pattern in such a casual yet styled way. I would never know how to wear something like this without these outfit ideas. Excellent post! xoxo, Kelly

  • Nandar August 10, 2014 at 11:52 pm

    Could you please let me know where you got the pearl necklace? I am so in love with it. I also would like to request you to do a post of how you organize your jewelries? Pretty Please 🙂 Thanx in advance.

  • Liz | Shopping My Closet August 11, 2014 at 1:56 am

    Definitely prefer the dress as a vest/jacket! Love how you paired it!

    Liz @
    Come by! Weekly Style Me Wednesday fashion blog link-up

  • Megan August 11, 2014 at 2:20 am

    Love it! I had just bought this but didn't realize how I could style it so differently! I love it paired with jeans!

  • A Golden Tulip August 11, 2014 at 3:02 am

    This trench looks so cool as a jacket than a dress.. love how you have styled it..looks great with that striped tee.


  • Anonymous August 11, 2014 at 3:44 am

    Hello, Jean. Those yellow shoes are awesome:)
    And that sleeveless trench is very modern and stylish. Best wishes from Finland –Anu

  • Carol from Petite Style Online August 11, 2014 at 5:10 am

    Thanks for sharing your styling ideas of the sleeveless trench.

  • Lauren Hughes August 11, 2014 at 9:01 am

    I have been thinking of buying one of these for so long – you have styled them beautifully xo

  • Cindy Khor August 11, 2014 at 9:23 am

    I always find it weird to wear sleeveless trench. To me, its like, "What's it for? It can't even prevent the cold". But your post totally highlighted how it can glam an outfit when they are paired correctly.

    But as I'm on a budget, I'll try to source for a cheaper alternative to experiment. Looking good as always. ^_^

  • Taramixandmatch August 11, 2014 at 9:56 am

    I ordered this too, can't wait for it to arrive…hopefully it looks half as good on me as it does on you 🙂

  • caitlinpomeroy18 August 11, 2014 at 10:08 am

    Jean I love how you show two different looks for the same article of clothing to show off the versatility of the piece. I love the lace tee underneath in your first look, as well as how you incorporated leopard print details in both looks. Lovely. Thanks for sharing!

  • Diane Hoang August 11, 2014 at 11:07 am

    That trench is so lovely! I love how you showed two different ways to wear it!

    Diane ||

  • B.A.D I Blog About Design August 11, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    I agree, very pretty trench coat.

    Check out the B.A.D blog:

  • FASHION SNAG August 11, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    Love that trench and how you styled it!

  • Anonymous August 11, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    Too bad my nearby AT store didn't have this in petites! I really wanted to try it on me. Looks really flattering on you. I've been wanting a more budget-conscious Burberry trench dress and this seems to be a good alternative (since I don't want to spend 4x as much). I am a SAHM and I like the way you paired the trench dress with jeans for a more casual and wearable look. Looks like my wallet is going to suffer this month, lol!

  • Suzie Q August 11, 2014 at 7:59 pm

    Love the sleeveless trench! I can see how this piece can be fun with playing with layering in all different ways during the Fall season. Love how you styled it with the lace top!

    Suzie Q

  • Amanda Nguyen August 11, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    As always, lovely blogpost. I've been eyeing that piece on the website since it came out, and now I might just have to snag it.

  • Anonymous August 11, 2014 at 10:20 pm

    Hello Jean, I always love you style and creativity so much. You look so chic in the out fit with the lace top and pretty preppy in the second outfit with the stripe top under the trench vest. My question today is not about this post… I was wondering if you know any good blog on saving money and financial planning especially for readers with children. I have search on the internet and so many of them out there. I just wonder if you have any recommendation on this topic. Thanks very much Jean.

  • Happiness at Mid Life August 12, 2014 at 1:11 am

    This trench dress is such a great addition to my closet. I bought it during the sale and have already worn it. I agree that fabric feels heavier than a dress and it's such great option to be able to wear it as a vest.


  • Meghan Silva August 12, 2014 at 10:36 am

    Yeah I agree I love it as a jacket too.

    Meg | Meghan Silva's Blog

  • Lorena August 12, 2014 at 11:11 am

    Could you do a video on condensing your closet and must have pieces for work and going out? I just seem to keep buying but still wear the same things over and over again! I loved your last video! Thank you!

  • Jean August 12, 2014 at 11:42 am

    Hi Nandar! I borrowed it from a friend but believe it's J.Crew. It is super heavy though. I would suggest something similar like this Carolee necklace but I haven't tried it on for weight:

  • Ashley D'Hooge August 12, 2014 at 7:30 pm

    Hi Jean, in the dress version that you're wearing, do you have a lace top and skirt underneath?



  • Anonymous August 12, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    hey jean, may i ask if you kept the poppy dress from anthropologie? I purchased it but am having a hard time deciding whether to keep it. your thoughts on the dress would be greatly appreciated!

  • Gigi Katz August 13, 2014 at 12:14 am

    love it! great transition piece too. xx. gigi.

  • Shana August 13, 2014 at 1:29 am

    Hi! How did you make that perfect bow on the trench dress?

  • Soprano2 August 13, 2014 at 8:55 am

    I never would have thought of wearing that piece as a long jacket, it looks great on you Jean. Banana Republic had a sweater this spring almost exactly like the one you're wearing, I bought it in petite M and I love it, I thought that was what you had on.

  • Margaret Dallospedale August 13, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    Hi sweetheart
    You look awesome!
    I really like your style
    Maggie D.
    The Indian Savage diary

  • Anonymous August 13, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    Hi Jean,

    I was wondering if you could help me with something. Ever since I saw you with the red J Crew Edie purse, it has always been on my mind. Now, I saw a listing on Ebay (, and I am thinking about buying it. However, I don't know if this is the real version of just the factory version? Was there a factory version that you know of?

    Please let me know if this is the authentic one or not because I would really love to buy it.

    Thank you,


  • Chantelle August 13, 2014 at 10:58 pm

    These outfits are so perfect! Eeeeek <3

  • Jean August 13, 2014 at 11:55 pm

    Hi Tiffany! It looks like the listing ended – I'm sorry for not seeing it in time! I am not so great at telling the difference between factory and non-factory versions through online photos. In person, I saw both edie bags and thought the material was pretty noticeably different. I think there is a trick in the label, such as Ann taylor or BR uses 3 small dots in their factory labels but not in the regular store. Good luck finding the bag you're looking for!

  • Jean August 13, 2014 at 11:55 pm

    Hi Shana! You can see an old video I have here on tying a trench belt:

  • Jean August 13, 2014 at 11:56 pm

    Hi there – ah, my order actually got stolen off my doorstep last week and I never heard back after filing a claim with UPS. What are your likes and dislikes on the dress?

  • Jean August 13, 2014 at 11:57 pm

    Hi Ashley! Yep, I have the top plus a plain black skirt on underneath.

  • Jean August 14, 2014 at 12:00 am

    Hi Lorena – I'll keep your request in mind, but off the top of my head must have pieces are a tweed pencil dress, a trench coat, dark skinny ankle length jeans, black ankle booties, a knit blazer, and striped shirt. I don't have much to say about closet condensing since I admit I have a decent sized one…

  • Jean August 14, 2014 at 12:03 am

    Hi there – Unfortunately I don't really have many recommendations on this topic, but I did use to read and thought it was well-written. It has a lot of topics relevant for families with children so perhaps you might find it interesting/useful!

  • Jean August 14, 2014 at 12:04 am

    It looks like petite sizing was online-only…bummer! Not sure why they do that. This definitely seems like a good trench dress alternative to Burberry (although I'm a fan of almost anything trench from there!) since it's a trendier piece, and I have to say I thought the material was good for AT : )

  • Shana August 14, 2014 at 12:22 am

    Thanks so much!!

  • Anonymous August 14, 2014 at 11:44 am

    Hi Jean, thank you so much for replying. It means a lot.

    Thank you,


  • Ashleigh August 15, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    Eeeeek! My petite trench dress just arrived and of course I thought of you! Initially, I was bummed because petite 0 was sold out online. I went into my local store and they found it for me in another store. I only paid a little more for shipping. I am starting to notice that I better be on the ball when you post reviews because those items tend to sell out quickly 🙂 You just make everything look so darn cute! Happy Weekend

  • Anonymous August 15, 2014 at 10:43 pm

    Just seeing this blog post. No wonder my size had already sold out when I tried to purchase it last weekend. 🙁

  • Style Insomnia August 16, 2014 at 1:31 am

    I love how you styled this both as a jacket and dress. This truly is a versatile piece that will last for several years and can work with so many things in any woman's closet. I love posts like this that share how you can stretch your money and your closet. Well-written and thoughtful post as always.


  • Cynthia Nguyen August 16, 2014 at 8:59 am

    Love how you styled the sleeveless trench. This just might be the better option since every year…I've never found a decent trench coat without the hassle of spending alot and having to tailor it…especially the arms. My frame is just like you!


  • Anonymous August 16, 2014 at 11:18 am

    Hi Jean!

    Would you happen to be able to post the dimensions of the base shaper you are reusing for this bag? I ordered the bag during the F&F; event and it's being delivered now!

    Thank you!


  • Elisha Kelly November 18, 2014 at 7:17 am

    I like your long coat semi cardigan. It's cool!! Find accessories that will add beauty to your outfit.

  • Princess Elisha November 19, 2014 at 9:36 am

    I like her sleeveless trench. You look chic!!

    New FASHION post on

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