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?
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  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

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