I'm a pencil skirt girl through and through, and the rich plum and navy hues on this one caught my eye. It fits true to size for AT pencil skirts so I did have to get the sides taken in so that it sits higher at my natural waist. I went the easy route with a top that's the same color from the pattern, but it also pairs well with neutrals like taupe and grey.
I rarely wear longer cardigans with my pencil skirts (as demonstrated in this styling video) because I feel boxy when they end at the widest part of my hips. I tried on this cardigan with this outfit and surprisingly liked the results (also very cute with slim ankle pants). I think it works better because the length pushes the sweater into duster jacket territory, well beyond the hips area, and the material moves swingily to frame the skirt. I'm wearing an XS regular which was the smallest size at the time, and it's a little loose and long in the sleeves on me. It's odd, several times now I've gotten something only to see it become available weeks later either in petite, or a smaller size! I see this cardigan is now online in xxs regular and petites (albeit just one color), both of which would fit better on smaller-framed ladies. If you don't mind wearing regular sizing, I saw the baked sesame color in-person and it's a versatile light camel with pink tones, prettier in-person.
Turtleneck sweaters are a fall/winter staple and I thought this one fit nice and slim plus comes in many colors. I'm wearing my usual size xxs petite with the sleeve cuff folded up. The weight of the wool-blend material (update: I personally don't find it to be itchy - but please read the online reviews as some did) is on the thinner side so tucks well into skirts without being bulky.
For a business formal environment, swap the cardigan for a blazer (this one is from J.Crew). Speaking of J.Crew, their latest size 000 petite, as terribly unnatural as that still sounds, finally produces a pencil skirt that may no longer require alterations (and my staple No 2 wool skirt is currently on sale). I haven't tried it on yet in the new size, but according to their customer service the No. 2 wool skirt in 000p measures 12.25" waist and 15" hips, compared to their 00p with 13.5" waist and 17.25" hips - quite a big difference. Now wouldn't it be lovely if AT followed suit with a new similar size, at least for skirts and pants?
Measurements of this skirt in 00P pre-alterations: 13.25" across the waist, 16.5" across the hips, 20.25" length. The material is stretchy overall and feels like a medium-weight textured twill, with the inner waistband lined in grosgrain ribbon. It's classic pencil skirt style with an invisible back zipper and leg slit, and is fully lined. I was pleased to see the pattern was lined up on both the side and back seams! I'm late to the game with Essie's "Chinchilly" polish but better late than never...it looked more regular grey online but is a beautiful taupe-grey hue in-person. And here are some of my top recommendations from the entire Ann Taylor sale that are still available in small sizes. I've either tried on for fit or own these items, some from years ago:
- Speckled fringe sweater dress is a must for lovers of Chanel-inspired style. Every so often AT comes out with a Coco classic that just needs a strand of pearls. The last tweedy fringe jacket sold like hotcakes so I don't expect this one to be in stock long The xxsp is a comfortable, stretchy fit that hits above the knee. It's not form-fitted on me but you can add a thin belt for more waist definition. This one will transition well into winter with black or dark colored tights. And good news - the tag on the actual dress says hand wash cold, not dry clean only like the site!
- Flowy sweater skirt, now finally available in petites sizing (also in black)! No alterations needed on this one at the waist, and the stretchiness will comfortably accommodate big lunches. The material is a medium-weight, smoother tight knit and the waistband is thick and "holds" stuff in. And hooray for machine wash cold.
- Contrast tipped perfect shirt - their stretch perfect shirts in general fit me well off the rack in xxs petite. The tipping on this one is a sharp way to spruce up a basic navy button-up. This one can also be washed at home.
- Petite supersoft long cardigan - this was one of the items I was most excited about from their latest collection, unfortunately the color I wanted does not come in petites and XS regular was too oversized on me. It caught my eye most when styled chicly as a sweater coat on this page. I would've gotten this if it came in petites in either the cream or a lighter grey.
- Bright red swing coat (my review here) at a very good price for a jacket post-discounts.
- Signature tote in 3 colors - a basic, lightweight faux-leather school or work tote. See older variations on me over the years in multiple colors. The Modern Saddle color is already marked down making it just $50 after discounts.
- Per usual, my favorite layered faux-pearl necklace (see 10 ways I've styled it) or this simpler oversized pearlized necklace. They also have jewelry box-staple faux pearl studs for just $14 with great reviews.
- Fit and flare sweater dress - see my review here and it styled differently here. Please note that to get the fit shown in my photos, I shrunk mine a bit in the dryer as mentioned in my review. I was happy to see the reviews on there from readers of this blog!