Lookbook: Spring Crochet and Citrine (& yummy brunch!)

This outfit mixes new Spring finds with trusty old favorites. The vintage-inspired crochet lace dress is not everyone’s cup of tea, but I loved it last year (sold out at full price) and was ecstatic that Ann Taylor brought it back to its Factory stores. The citrine belt is something I coveted from their ads earlier this year. When I saw a lone XS lingering at my local store, on sale, I knew it was meant to be.

Vintage Lace Dress: Ann Taylor Factory sz 00P (taken in)
Similar: (in-stores in regular sizing) (for casual) (pricier, w/ sleeves)
Cardigan: Martin & Osa   Belt: Ann Taylor Exotic Skinny Belt sz XS
Slingbacks: BR (similar) Bag: Speedy 25 Trench: Theory sz P (similar in 00P)

Yellow has been my accent color of choice for the past year. This belt may be out of some of your comfort zones, but trust me – if you pick it up, it will quickly become a closet workhorse.

I wore this to a late brunch with friends on Sunday. We gorged on fresh oysters, lamb burgers…
…and a buttery rich “lobster hash” topped with a perfectly poached egg.
I took Jen here last week for her first oyster experience, during which we slurped ourselves silly.

Off the rack, the crochet dress fit tent-like on me. My tailors took it in along both sides (had to reattach side zip) but it still lacked shape definition. They then took it in more along the two back darts, and the dress came to life.

Retail price: $198, plus 40% off promo, plus a random coupon = around $100. Alterations cost: $40. This is pricier than any dress I’ve bought in a long time, but it’s one of those pieces that just make me happy!


Le tailors stressed that the non-stretch lining and delicate crocheted lace should NOT be tight or too fitted. I think they did a fantastic job. The dress now has a sultry silhouette, yet there’s still room for me to move, sit, and eat. See how this dress in 00P fits on Cee, who has a good 4 inches of height on me.


If you don’t have an Ann Taylor Factory near you, they’re pretty good about using “style finder” to track down an item and ship it to your home. Usually though, they will only do this if they don’t already have your size in-stock. If you have an Ann Taylor or LOFT card, shipping is free unless the item is on clearance.

Readers – Did anyone else pick up this dress or the skirt version?

Leave a Comment


  1. Sarah wrote:

    I too have this dress! However have not even worn it yet! Late post but I've just discovered your blog 🙂 I love that we have similar tastes and you are gorgeous.

    Posted 3.3.12 Reply
  2. cocoxmelon wrote:


    I also live in the Boston area and I was wondering where you get your alterations/tailoring. I'm 5' 2" on the curvier side. It's always difficult finding the items that fit my size and shape.

    Posted 5.10.11 Reply
  3. omg I love your dress! Your tailor did an amazing job and I love how you paired it with yellow. Looking great as always! Keep up the great work!


    Posted 4.28.11 Reply
  4. Lovely dress… Gorgeous couple!!


    Posted 4.24.11 Reply
  5. Anonymous wrote:

    I'm so late in replying, but I just wanted to say that there is a similar dress at Banana Republic for about $165 (less with discounts). The size 00P runs small. I could barely wiggle out of it and I'm about 5 feet, 93 pounds.

    So I guess this is for anybody who hasn't bought a white crochet dress. =P

    Posted 4.23.11 Reply
  6. @Tania Hi Tania, I actually went to sewing school full-time a while back (when I had free time) and it's just not for me. I'm not talented nor patient enough to be a good sewer. I made a few prom dresses for myself, but now I'd much rather shell out for alterations (as painful as it still is) than do the work myself. It just depends on the person! I know some who have found great solace in sewing and DIY.

    @Yuni Lol! Yuni, not double! I think I paid the max that the dress is worth to me ; )

    @Mindy J. L. Hi Mindy! I think you've mentioned peep toe pumps a few times and I see peep toes just like any other pump. Only thing is, make sure the peep hole isn't too big so not too much of your toes stick out (that is unsightly). Otherwise, I wear them all summer in non-business formal settings : ) Definitely works nicely with shorts in the summer – I'll try to do one soon when the weather actually warms up!

    @R.L. Isn't the citrine belt a-mazing? I know you said you don't have a vivid color pairing imagination though : )

    @Anonymous Hi there, I actually haven't dyed my hair in a few years. I think the color showing through is just the hair "lightening" – not sure why. And my raggedy ends are my previous highlighting job showing through the black.

    @Sharon Lol! Not just smile, I meant you guys both have the same RADIANT smile.

    @Jen I learned a little secret … to ask my tailors to do alterations "on the spot" ! They're awfully quick. Now I'm too impatient to wait and come back the next week ; )

    Posted 4.21.11 Reply
  7. @Anonymous Hi Lannie, I'm Chinese and my bf is half Filipino : ) The tour of my place would be 2 minutes long because I live in a TINY apt! I enjoy keeping my clothes condensed in my itty bitty closet on those "slim" hangers and I put several items on each hanger out of necessity.

    @jenny @Lizbeth Hi Jenny and Lizbeth, this place is called Cognac Bistro in Allston/Brookline, but my friends have been telling me Town in Copley is a must try for brunch! They have lobster stuff too.

    @xoladiihoneyxo Good memory…Jen actually bought both skirt and dress ; )

    @Ping You need to go to a new tailor! Or just use Nordstrom for all alterations, lol!

    @Sarah Thank you, Sarah! I love all those bloggers. I'm glad you found good, new reads!

    @Claud Ah Claud. You probably noticed that I'm crochet saturated with the ModCLoth skirt, that lovely H&M; dress you recommended, plus this dress. I actually sold the H&M; dress to Jen and put the money saved towards alterations for this dress : /

    @Heather Lol! I guess smiling is a good thing! Someone asked if I was unhappy in a previous post so I'm trying to smile wide now.

    @Elaine A (TOBeautyReviews) Raw oysters is definitely something you can either love or hate! You and Kelly both seem slimed out : )

    @Annapurna Funny you're on the lookout for lamburgers. I dont ever order it – I think lamb is too overpowering in such a huge dose, but my bf had been on a quest to try them around boston. Apparently Cafeteria Boston on Newbury has the worst one, and Cognac Bistro (this place – in Brookline) has a darn good one according to him. And yes weird they didn't want to bring bateau dress to petites!

    Posted 4.21.11 Reply
  8. @Alyssa THank you!! I just reposted your tip.

    @Sunshine What did you get?? It took me a while to figure out the $75 minimum when it wouldn't work ; )

    @Cathy C. Thanks Cathy! I'm with you – my going out wardrobe is seriously lacking. I love H&M; though for cheap dresses. THe solid bandage ones work great for me, and are usually $30 or less! I wore one in a post last month titled "fashion thursdays" with booties : )

    @AubreyOhDang! Aubs, you are very perceptive. The XS isn't small enough for us. I punched 2 or 3 extra holes, and after brunch was WAY too full so I loosened my belt : )

    @Janine aka J-Ezzy @ *La Dolce Vita* Hug accepted! Lol! I've been called "Jen" a lot in recent posts/emails…is it because I'm featuring a Jen? hehe

    @cindyrella Hiya, this place is in brighton/Brookline and it's called Cognac Bistro, but there is a good brunch place right in the city at Copley Square called Town! THey have lobster brunch options too.

    @Lizbeth Woohoo…more crochet…to be honest I'm completely saturated by it already! And it's not even warm enough to wear these pieces yet : )

    Posted 4.21.11 Reply
  9. Sunshine wrote:


    Thank you so much for your tip! I used it and it works (with orders over $75). yayy!

    Posted 4.21.11 Reply
  10. Alyssa wrote:

    SO cute! I have bought way too many lace/crochet things since it became so popular!

    And, completely unrelated to this post, but I am so excited since your post on vibrant jewelry: Amrita Singh.com has 50% off everything until mothers day! code: mom11

    Posted 4.21.11 Reply
  11. Cathy C. wrote:

    Jean, love your blog! I had ample time today so I went back to read a lot of your older entries.

    Are you planning on doing an entry for 'party' clothes? Ever since I got a 'big girl' job, my wardrobe has been lacking anything substantial for the bar.

    Thanks! Cathy

    Posted 4.21.11 Reply
  12. thought i wrote this; must not have saved.

    noticed 1 extra hole in your belt. is it bc this belt is THAT small or u punched an extra one? I actually like to punch an extra one smaller than the one I need so it looks normal, like how others wear theirs. haha

    Posted 4.21.11 Reply
  13. Ria wrote:

    Just found your website. You have Great style!

    Posted 4.20.11 Reply
  14. Midori wrote:

    oh my god that lobster hash looks amazing.

    Posted 4.20.11 Reply
  15. am i that tired that i can't spell?!?

    sorry, Jean!!

    would you take a hug from me??

    Posted 4.20.11 Reply
  16. daisy351 wrote:

    Love the dress, looks gorgeous on you jean! And the food pics are making me hungry…it's almost lunch time at least

    Posted 4.20.11 Reply
  17. the dress is so beautiful on you, Jen!! also, brunch looks freakin amazing! i would love to try something like that and you and your man are beyond adorable.

    btw – thanks to you, i'm extremely hungry…omw to get oatmeal, womp womp — haha

    Posted 4.20.11 Reply
  18. Melyssa wrote:

    You look so cute and I love your style 🙂

    Seeing your food pictures makes me hungry Lol

    Posted 4.20.11 Reply
  19. cindyrella wrote:

    awesome outfit! everyone needs a tailor like yours.

    wheres this restaurant! this nyc chick will be visiting boston this weekend 😀

    Posted 4.19.11 Reply
  20. Lizbeth wrote:

    I just received the newest issue of Instyle and Kate Hudson is on the cover wearing a crocheted top! I don't know if it's a dress or not, but you are ahead of the trends!

    Posted 4.19.11 Reply
  21. Wow your tailors did a fantastic job! I love the final look on you!!! I love the pop of yellow : )

    Posted 4.19.11 Reply
  22. the dress looks stunning on you. It's perfect for spring especially since it's finally starting to warm up

    Posted 4.19.11 Reply
  23. Anonymous wrote:

    I happened to stumbled upon your blog and I'm hooked. Hope to see more. I love the writing and your classy style! And what a hot b/f you have! What nationality are you and your b/f? Most of all I'm in love with your organization and clean look of everything from your clothes to your make up to this blog. Can you do a post showing us your closet and a tour of your place and how you keep everything organized? Oh do a post on your daily routine. Okay now I sound totally stalker-ish. LOL.


    Posted 4.19.11 Reply
  24. jenny wrote:

    where was this brunch place you went to? the food looks amazing! i also live in boston and this restaurant seems like a must-try.

    looking fabulous as always.

    Posted 4.19.11 Reply
  25. Oh Jean, the belt and the dress look so pretty on you!!! You honestly made me want to invest in a yellow-tone accessory!!!

    Posted 4.19.11 Reply
  26. Michelle wrote:

    Wow! That lace dress is too gorgeous! Great outfit for a brunch! I want that lobster hash!

    You and Nick chose some great picture spots! They came out lovely!

    Posted 4.18.11 Reply
  27. Erica wrote:

    WOW, that dress is BEAUTIFUL! And I think it's so awesome that you and Jen got to hang out. Jealous! Especially because I love Boston! 🙂

    Posted 4.18.11 Reply
  28. Lizbeth wrote:

    the dress looks great on you! your tailors did a fab job. Where did you go to brunch??? the food looks so great! I live in Boston and besides shopping for myself and my home, I love good eats!

    Posted 4.18.11 Reply
  29. Its absolutely gorgeous and you're beautiful! =] The brunch looks so yummy. Did Jen bought similar patterns but in a skirt instead?

    Posted 4.18.11 Reply
  30. prosephina wrote:

    Your tailors did a great job altering that dress! And the hem is perfect, glad you kept it :))

    Posted 4.18.11 Reply
  31. Leena wrote:

    you know i wasnt too crazy about that dress, but you seriously make everything look amazing! and how delicious does that lobster hash look! yum!

    Posted 4.18.11 Reply
  32. April wrote:

    OMG Jean that dress is gorgeous and yum on the brunch!!! 🙂

    Posted 4.18.11 Reply
  33. Ping wrote:

    jean i'm jealous of your amazing tailors. if i went to my grumpy old man, he would have charged me more than an arm and a leg.

    Posted 4.18.11 Reply
  34. Sunshine wrote:

    oh and lobster hash? what a genious idea! anything lobster = om nom nom *drools*

    Posted 4.18.11 Reply
  35. Sunshine wrote:

    Ahhh Jean, how funny that I just did a post on white dress + yellow accessories too. Different styles, but same context hehe. Yayyy for yellow (my fav color)!

    Btw, I seriously had doubts about this dress when you first posted it. I love crochet/lace but I thought this design was too busy/matronly. Your post-alterations completely sold me though. You totally own the dress, and if it makes you happy then buy the skirt too haha. 😛

    I'm really jealous that you have such fantastic tailors. I have given up hope on alterations altoghether 🙁

    Posted 4.18.11 Reply
  36. metta wrote:

    u look amazing in the dress. it's beautiful!!! i have been loving yellow too. it's one of those colours that scares people but is actually extremely versatile to work with.

    Posted 4.18.11 Reply
  37. Sarah wrote:

    I stumbled onto your blog about two weeks ago while searching for advice on shoes for small feet and I just finished reading every entry about two days ago. Your fashion tips and examples are fantastic, and are really helping me update my wardrobe to be more adult and more feminine! Not only that, but you also introduced me to several other fantastic petite fashion blogs, namely "Wendy's Lookbook", "Alterations Needed", and "From Head To Toe".

    Thank you again, from a grateful Asian petite!

    Posted 4.18.11 Reply
  38. Claud wrote:

    Oh Jean …this dress is definetely my cup of tea and you know. You look gorgeous and the post alterations job is amazing ^^ Now, did you end keeping the HM crochet dress? That brunch looks yummy indeed 🙂

    Posted 4.18.11 Reply
  39. Heather wrote:

    OH my goodness…fashion and food indulgence. I loveeeee oysters. You're so lucky you live in an area where they're readily available. Love how you're smiling more and trying new poses (:

    Posted 4.18.11 Reply
  40. Banhannas wrote:

    Navy and gold are classic color combinations but I liked how you chose the new IT color: citrine with the navy! It is a really nice color on you, who would have though olive tones can sport yellow colors so well?! I about how to wipe away some drool looking at your food pictures…especially the lobster and that poached egg…ahhh you tease. =0P

    Posted 4.18.11 Reply
  41. I'm such a sucker for lace and this dress looks amazing on you! I'm glad you kept it and got it tailored. I think it was worth it especially if it makes you feel fantastic! The navy coat with the pop of yellow peaking through is absolute perfection. Sigh…Jean why do you DO this to me? 😛

    I've had oysters and I'm actually not a fan…I think the textures doesn't sit well!

    Posted 4.18.11 Reply
  42. Kiki wrote:

    Ohhhhhh, WOW! You look stunning! xoxo Kiki

    Posted 4.18.11 Reply
  43. Annapurna wrote:

    Oh, Happy Patriot's Day!

    Posted 4.18.11 Reply
  44. Annapurna wrote:

    $40 in this area is not bad for the alterations. Your tailors have great fit advice as well. I also love the yellow accents.

    I like that you resisted the urge to wear jewelry… it would have overwhelmed the crochet. Less is definitely more here.

    I tried on the bateau crochet lace dress in the regular store…regular sizes make me look so matronly. Weird how they offer the dress in regular and petites in the outlets but only in regular in the retail stores.

    Where did you get lamb burgers???? I am always on the lookout.

    Posted 4.18.11 Reply
  45. Ying wrote:

    Absolutely gorgeous! I think always say that when I comment, but really. I love everything you wear and style. And you and your boyfriend are a gorgeous, gorgeous couple!

    Posted 4.18.11 Reply
  46. Alissa wrote:

    Love this dress. Will be heading to the AT Factory store near me to look for it! Thanks for all the great ideas!

    Posted 4.18.11 Reply
  47. NikkiSho wrote:

    Elegant!! i like it

    Posted 4.18.11 Reply
  48. Cee wrote:

    Jean, I'm thinking of returning my lace dress because you look 100x better in it than I do! And I have a feeling alterations would cost me a bundle. $40 actually sounds like a decent deal for alterations such as this one (I'm assuming this is pretty complicated given the crochet). Perhaps I'm getting ripped off, but I remember other non-complicated dress (imo) slimmings costing me $35 in the past.

    Perfect choice of styling as always. So spring!

    Posted 4.18.11 Reply
  49. Vanilla wrote:

    really you can pull off any outfit!! i love your style.:)

    Posted 4.18.11 Reply
  50. Bela Anzu wrote:

    This outfit you put together with the lace dress and belt looks gorgeous, and you look beautiful Jean!

    Posted 4.18.11 Reply
  51. Tara wrote:

    Goregous, gorgeous, gorgeous! I love this dress on you! I loved it at AT last year as well!

    Posted 4.18.11 Reply
  52. Yuni wrote:

    Ummm you could have paid double that and the dress would still have been worth every single penny! I'm hesitant to wear all-lace bc I'm afraid it'll look too childish on me, but in all seriousness, that dress is the most fantastic piece ever on you! It looks like it was made for you, fit and style! Thanks for the generous picture post, the food looks amazing.

    Posted 4.18.11 Reply
  53. Tania wrote:

    Hi Jean,

    I've been your follower for awhile now. Just want to share that being a petite myself (5' tall), I was unhappy with the fit of most ready-to-wear clothes in the market so I taught myself how to sew. And although I still shop from time to time, I sew most of my clothes now.

    I think some sewing skills could come very useful for petite people like us, like knowing how to shorten pants/skirts/dresses, altering the side seams or bust area, etc. Sewing has helped me reduce my clothing expenses by a great deal. I now know how to alter the clothes I buy, which is great when I see something beautiful in the store that doesn't fit me.

    Have you ever thought of sewing? I bet you'll have lots of fun doing it. Plus, you'll have greater knowledge and appreciation of good quality clothings.

    Anyway, I just want to share that with you. Love your blog! Keep up the good work!

    Posted 4.18.11 Reply
  54. R.L. wrote:

    You're posts are always so timely! I picked up the citrine belt over the weekend and was hoping you'd do an outfit post on it. Can't wait to see what else you pair it with! And tailors did a fantastic job on the alteration.

    Posted 4.18.11 Reply
  55. Amazing! I've been really wanting a lace dress this season… hrm… haha tempting!

    Oh I've noticed you're wearing peeptoe pumps in the picture… I'm not sure how light color peeptoe pumps like the ones you're wearing would look on a petite girl like me, especially with sorts in the summer…? I'm begging you to please do a summer outfits post with peep toe pumps! Haha!

    Posted 4.18.11 Reply
  56. Aubrey wrote:



    Posted 4.18.11 Reply
  57. Anonymous wrote:

    hi: love your outfit, yellow is color of choice for spring.
    a bit off topic, did you dye your hair? i love the color on you. what brand and color did you choose?

    Posted 4.18.11 Reply
  58. Jarucha wrote:

    It looks fab after the alterations…you have shown how tailoring can bring a clothing item to the next level. I want a yellow belt too!

    Posted 4.18.11 Reply
  59. kileen wrote:

    This dress looks absolutely gorgeous on you!! I'm going to have to resist pretty hard from buying this dress as I'm well over budget already this month. The citrine belt is perfect with it!!

    Posted 4.18.11 Reply
  60. Peggy wrote:

    dress looks great on you! You have really inspired me to get a tailor! I just need to find a good one now. I bought a Target dress tonight I had loved and it was 75% off, so I bought it big in hopes of getting it altered!

    Posted 4.18.11 Reply
  61. Sharon wrote:

    You smiled in some of these photos!! Hahaha just throwing that out there since you mentioned mine and Kileen's smiles.

    P.s. You and your bf are adorable together.

    Posted 4.18.11 Reply
  62. Oops.. I meant Have a great week Jean 😛

    Posted 4.18.11 Reply
  63. Wow, that is a GORGEOUS dress Jean! White lace/crochet is perfect for summer and I don't know how it can't be anyone's cup of tea! The tailors did a great job and it fits amazingly. Love the yellow accents as well and the great casual grey sandals!

    Have a great week Jen!

    Posted 4.18.11 Reply
  64. The dress looks amazing on u post alterations! Love it with the belt:-)

    Posted 4.18.11 Reply
  65. Pretty! Your tailors did a great job! I like how you paired it with the navy trench…navy and yellow are two of my favorite color pairings. 🙂

    Ah! Oysters! I've never had them either, and the texture freaks me out. They look like they'd be the ickiest, slimiest things on earth. LOL.

    Posted 4.18.11 Reply
  66. Jen wrote:

    Loooooove the post-altered dress on you! You got it back from the tailors so quickly too. I'm dying to get mine back to see how it fits. Also, I'm totally jealous of your citrine belt. I managed to find a green whip-snake belt but I'm still dying for a yellow. 😀

    Thanks for taking me to my first oyster experience!

    Posted 4.18.11 Reply

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