Ann Taylor Outlet Vintage Crochet Lace Dress in Navy

navylace1

Ann Taylor Factory crochet lace dress in navy blue (not black) – item # 280570
Left: Fit of 00 Petite as-is Β  Right: Fit with 1-2 inches pinched back at the waistline
I was feeling burned out this week and decided to treat myself to a few minutes of holiday sale browsing. Since time was limited, I chose only one store – the hit-or-miss Ann Taylor factory (“hit” for me today). If you really loved Ann Taylor’s vintage lace dress from years past but missed out, it’s back at their factory store now in navy blue. The retail price ($169.99) is actually $30 less than last year, and there’s 40% off everything going on this weekend. If you’re a card member, remember you can get free ship from any store to your home on non marked-down items.
I was really excited to see this dress in navy, but since I already have the ivory version, I snapped a pic of it on the hanger and started to leave. However, something in my head told me the fit looked different from last year, and back in I went to try it on.
navylace
Belt: pre-owned reversible Hermes “Constance” (a beloved birthday gift) sz 70, extra holes punched

Sure enough, it’s a bit slimmer than last year’s. It’s still a little loose at the waist, but much better than this “before” pic. And more excitingly for shorties like me, the length of the 2012 version is about 1.5 to 2 inches shorter than 2011’s. I love the new length on someone my height (5 feet tall). I splurged on the ivory version last year…

and spent quite a bit getting it altered, but the one aspect my tailor couldn’t alter was the length. I love the look of the dress so much, but the length has limited me to wearing it for about 3 hours total. I’m short-calved, so (unless the dress/skirt is fitted) above-the-knee lengths work much better for me. Each time I tried to pair it with a hip-length blazer for work, the proportions just didn’t look right without sky-high, neutral heels. And when I tried to wear it as a top, the skirt part kept poking out. I kept scrutinizing the scalloped hem for any possibility of shortening it, but no luck.

Here’s a comparison of my ivory from 2011 (also 00 Petite) versus the navy from 2012 to show the length difference. PLEASE NOTE the ivory has been taken in width-wise several inches by my tailor. 2 inches of length may be nothing to some, but makes a huge difference on short legs.

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So what did I do? I brought little miss navy home with me. As much as I love the romantic look of the ivory, I think it might need to go to a new home instead of gathering dust in my closet. I’m just hesitant to part with it (yet). Since the navy almost fits, I plan on taking it in from the back myself, and just wearing it belted in the meantime.

Here’s some other items that caught my eye, that are renditions of regular store stuff from last season:

ATfactory
Left: White poplin blouse w/ chiffon tiers, item # 280701, $49.99 before 40% off
Right: Tiered blouse + white “stone” necklace – lost the item # but blouse is $54.99 before discounts

 

ATfactory1

Drape neck blouses in beige-taupe, teal, and a rich burgandy red (sorry, true color did not come out). I really liked the front part of these (trying on an XSP above – no XXSP’s in sight) and can see myself wearing it both tucked and untucked for work, but the back part bothered me as it’s simply knit. I’m starting to dislike items where the front looks nice and luxe, but someone clearly took a shortcut on the back to possibly save on costs. I left the store with just the navy dress.

ATfactory2

Readers – What should I do? Keep the navy and sell the ivory? Keep both (in case I have a growth spurt), or return the navy?

I won’t be able to answer any comments, questions or emails until June. Thank you for your patience!

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75 Comments

  1. Yay for your Hermes belt!
    I love how it is an easy dress up to my outfits! As a petite fashionista, I am excited to see how you wear it too! <3

    A Preponderance of Fashion

    Posted 5.27.12 Reply
  2. doxyloo wrote:

    I love that your iphone cover is an old school gameboy! LOL.

    I like the ivory color better than the navy, although you make a good point with the length and it not getting enough wear. If you also love the navy and think you would wear it more, sell the ivory.

    Posted 5.26.12 Reply
  3. Kat wrote:

    That is very pretty lace dress! Nice find! I really do like the navy one. I really like the ivory too… ok ok… I'm not help πŸ™
    aneyeforfashion.blogspot.com

    Posted 5.26.12 Reply
  4. TINA wrote:

    I will keep the navy because its length will be more flattering.
    Tina
    http://2petite.blogspot.com

    Posted 5.26.12 Reply
  5. Bela Anzu wrote:

    I think the ivory dress looks lovely on you even though it's a tad longer. It looks more fresh and youthful, and would work well for the daytime and summer. It's a classic.

    The navy is interesting to look at since it has contrasting colours, and as you said the shorter length is more flattering on you. It would be nice to keep, although at a glance, it doesn't stand out.

    So, if you only wanted to keep one, I'd keep the ivory instead of the navy, although both are nice. I'm looking forward to see what you decide.

    Posted 5.26.12 Reply
  6. Bela Anzu wrote:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

    Posted 5.26.12 Reply
  7. Keep the navy. Navy is the new black. As for the ivory, keep it until you are sure of parting with it.

    Posted 5.26.12 Reply
  8. Joy wrote:

    Both! Also, I love your phone case <3

    Posted 5.26.12 Reply
  9. Kellie wrote:

    I LOVE the cream lace dress on you, so please don't sell it. It's both classic and romantic. The navy lace dress is pretty too, but it doesn't have that "wow" factor that I feel comes with the ivory one. I think if you want to keep ONE only then just keep the Ivory one, but if you are open to keeping both, then you should because I know you could make the navy one work πŸ™‚

    Posted 5.26.12 Reply
  10. Dr. Juris wrote:

    In order to combat the length problem of either, I'd probably make the waist of the skirt out of a separate ivory material, since otherwise the crochet would unravel. This would have the added benefit of cinching the waste, not that she needs it!

    Posted 5.26.12 Reply
  11. xoxoCat wrote:

    I completely agree with you…I remember looking for a sequinned top for a party last year and I couldn't find any that were sequinned on both front and back. It looked a bit cheap, imo.

    Posted 5.26.12 Reply
  12. Anonymous wrote:

    Hmm, keep the navy and sell the ivory! Unless you're willing to put more effort into making the ivory wearable. Something that fits better may come along. By the way, I love your gameboy phone case πŸ™‚

    Posted 5.26.12 Reply
  13. Kiwi wrote:

    I'm sure many people will buy the ivory one. It'll be such a cute look in the summer.

    Posted 5.26.12 Reply
  14. Anonymous wrote:

    Sell the ivory dress… I would buy it from πŸ™‚

    Posted 5.26.12 Reply
  15. Hmm…if you don't mind ALWAYS wearing it belted, would you consider taking the white dress up at the waist, adding a seam, in order to make it shorter? The bottom part might need some re-slimming if you do this, since bringing things higher might mess up the perfect slimming you already had done by your tailor. You're good enough now at simple alterations that I bet you could do this yourself with a free evening and glass of wine. =)

    Posted 5.26.12 Reply
  16. Petite JD wrote:

    Hey Jean! Did you see if they had any good shoes at the outlet? They seem to always have different options every time I go.

    Posted 5.26.12 Reply
  17. Claud wrote:

    Oh Jean, difficult decision, the ivory one is so romantic and soft but I think the navy is so classic and chic. Anytime I have to choose between any color and navy…I go with navy. I love that color a lot. πŸ™‚

    Posted 5.26.12 Reply
  18. REESHELL wrote:

    i like the navy dress very much!!

    xoxo

    Posted 5.26.12 Reply
  19. Elle wrote:

    Don't sell either…I know you have a no dupes policy but I just adore the cream crochet dress on you. πŸ™‚

    Posted 5.26.12 Reply
  20. Shannan wrote:

    Keep both. I like the ivory one and I don't think that it is too long. It is lovely.

    Posted 5.26.12 Reply
  21. Anonymous wrote:

    Hi Jean,
    I would love to have your ivory dress if you decide to sell it. I've been looking for that style for a while. Please email me at camydn2001@gmail.com. Thank you.

    Posted 5.26.12 Reply
  22. keep both! love the black shorts. where is it from?

    Posted 5.26.12 Reply
  23. Anonymous wrote:

    The white one looks prettier on you, but of course that's my opinion! But I would keep both

    Posted 5.26.12 Reply
  24. Anonymous wrote:

    keep the navy and sell the ivory. i think it's a good idea to avoid duplicates

    Posted 5.26.12 Reply
  25. Anonymous wrote:

    Navy is your color. Lace in cream is ubiquitous, anyway.

    Posted 5.26.12 Reply
  26. janellass wrote:

    I agree. However, if you use the bottom to make a skirt, the top might not be long enough.

    Posted 5.26.12 Reply
  27. I love the navy version so would definately keep it. Thanks for taking the time to share, good luck with all your exams!

    Posted 5.26.12 Reply
  28. I don't know how heft the crochet fabric is, so this might not work, but I successfully removed a scalloped lace hem from a friend's too long wedding dress, trimmed off the excess, then reattached it to remove over 2" of length. It's a bit tedious because I had to pick a place on the lace where I was going to trim it off and try to follow the curves of the design, and I sewed it back on with invisible thread, but it can be done. Check yours to see if the scallop is cut as a separate piece and sewn on, or if it is all in one with the dress. Most scallop lace hems I have seen are sewn on at the end, so you could (potentially) have the ivory hemmed.

    Posted 5.26.12 Reply
  29. Kimberly wrote:

    I would definitely keep the navy and sell the ivory – it looks beautiful on you and the length is much more flattering! πŸ™‚

    http://www.pennypincherfashion.com

    Posted 5.26.12 Reply
  30. Great finds girl.
    That black lace dress looks great with the belt!

    xoxo
    ~Natasha Fatah~
    ~Natasha Fatah~

    Posted 5.26.12 Reply
  31. love that lace dress!! so cute! πŸ™‚

    http://www.kellydillon.com

    Posted 5.26.12 Reply
  32. p.lynn wrote:

    i love the ivory dress on you more than the navy, but the 1.5-2 inche makes such a big difference! i think the length of the navy dress ultimately makes it better fitting than the ivory. i'm sad that the length of the ivory is unchangeable due to the scalloped hem!

    Posted 5.26.12 Reply
  33. Anonymous wrote:

    The navy just seems too "dark", the white would be perfect for summer πŸ™‚
    On the other hand, I am really loving the drape neck blouses, especially the beige one you are modelling – so chic! Gaahhh I wish we had Ann Taylor in Canada πŸ™

    Posted 5.26.12 Reply
  34. My Style wrote:

    the lace dress is amazing! you're so right, the 2 dresses are so alike…the drape neck blouses are such statement pieces in a wardrobe! can't wait to see how you will style the pieces! by the way, love the way you review pieces..

    xoxo
    Mady

    thegirlfromthemirror.blogspot.com

    Posted 5.26.12 Reply
  35. newpetite wrote:

    I like the navy version.

    Posted 5.26.12 Reply
  36. Anonymous wrote:

    To express my true opinion, I do not like the navy one at all. It's not that it's unflattering on you, I just don't much prefer the dress itself. The white one is cute though. Definitely keep the white, especially now that you have invested all the expenses in it and the bother of taking it to the tailor and all…

    Posted 5.26.12 Reply
  37. jennifer wrote:

    love both! but if you sell the white one, lmk! where do you sell some of your stuff so i can get it πŸ˜‰

    Posted 5.26.12 Reply
  38. love both that so cool

    Posted 5.26.12 Reply
  39. Suzie Q wrote:

    Both dresses are gorgeous. Keep both! But I'll buy the white one if you decide to sell it =)

    xoxo,
    Suzie Q
    http://www.StyleCueBySuzieQ.com

    Posted 5.26.12 Reply
  40. Nandar wrote:

    Keep both

    Posted 5.26.12 Reply
  41. Nandar wrote:

    Keep both

    Posted 5.26.12 Reply
  42. Carla Krae wrote:

    This idea has potential.

    Posted 5.26.12 Reply
  43. Jackie wrote:

    Keep both!

    Posted 5.26.12 Reply
  44. Definitely the navy!

    Posted 5.26.12 Reply
  45. Mai Heart wrote:

    I have the same phone case!

    I love the navy lace dress. definitely a keeper!!

    Posted 5.25.12 Reply
  46. Dr. Juris wrote:

    Orrrr…..you could turn the ivory into a skirt and a top (separate) and alter the navy to fit, thus keeping both. πŸ™‚

    Posted 5.25.12 Reply
  47. Unknown wrote:

    Alter the navy one and sell the white one. It fits better and you'll wear it much more than the white one.

    Posted 5.25.12 Reply
  48. jen chung wrote:

    Keep both! But if you decide to part with the ivory, please email me πŸ™‚

    Posted 5.25.12 Reply
  49. Anonymous wrote:

    DO KEEP BOTH! πŸ™‚
    One of my favorite pieces on you is the ivory dress, looks very lovely on you! πŸ™‚

    Posted 5.25.12 Reply
  50. KEEP BOTH. but i love the navy one.. πŸ™‚

    Posted 5.25.12 Reply

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