Ann Taylor Outlet Vintage Crochet Lace Dress in Navy


Ann Taylor Factory crochet lace dress in navy blue (not black) – item # 280570
Left: Fit of 00 Petite as-is   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.
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.


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:

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


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.

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!


75 thoughts on “Ann Taylor Outlet Vintage Crochet Lace Dress in Navy

  • Reply Dita Indah Lestari May 25, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    KEEP BOTH. but i love the navy one.. πŸ™‚

  • Reply Anonymous May 25, 2012 at 11:39 pm

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

  • Reply jen chung May 25, 2012 at 11:44 pm

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

  • Reply Unknown May 25, 2012 at 11:44 pm

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

  • Reply Dr. Juris May 25, 2012 at 11:50 pm

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

  • Reply Mai Heart May 25, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    I have the same phone case!

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

  • Reply Kristen Morita May 26, 2012 at 12:10 am

    Definitely the navy!

  • Reply Jackie May 26, 2012 at 12:30 am

    Keep both!

  • Reply Carla Krae May 26, 2012 at 1:38 am

    This idea has potential.

  • Reply Nandar May 26, 2012 at 1:38 am

    Keep both

  • Reply Nandar May 26, 2012 at 1:38 am

    Keep both

  • Reply Suzie Q May 26, 2012 at 1:43 am

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

    Suzie Q

  • Reply mylittlevanity May 26, 2012 at 1:44 am

    love both that so cool

  • Reply jennifer May 26, 2012 at 1:45 am

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

  • Reply Anonymous May 26, 2012 at 1:49 am

    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…

  • Reply newpetite May 26, 2012 at 2:27 am

    I like the navy version.

  • Reply My Style May 26, 2012 at 2:32 am

    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..


  • Reply Anonymous May 26, 2012 at 3:33 am

    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™

  • Reply p.lynn May 26, 2012 at 4:20 am

    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!

  • Reply Kelly Dillon May 26, 2012 at 4:50 am

    love that lace dress!! so cute! πŸ™‚

  • Reply Natasha Fatah May 26, 2012 at 7:19 am

    Great finds girl.
    That black lace dress looks great with the belt!

    ~Natasha Fatah~
    ~Natasha Fatah~

  • Reply Kimberly May 26, 2012 at 7:20 am

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

  • Reply littlenashua May 26, 2012 at 8:59 am

    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.

  • Reply couturecoco May 26, 2012 at 9:08 am

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

  • Reply janellass May 26, 2012 at 9:09 am

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

  • Reply Anonymous May 26, 2012 at 9:17 am

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

  • Reply Anonymous May 26, 2012 at 9:43 am

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

  • Reply Anonymous May 26, 2012 at 10:02 am

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

  • Reply enitsirhceab May 26, 2012 at 10:33 am

    keep both! love the black shorts. where is it from?

  • Reply Anonymous May 26, 2012 at 11:11 am

    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 Thank you.

  • Reply Shannan May 26, 2012 at 12:45 pm

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

  • Reply Elle May 26, 2012 at 12:55 pm

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

  • Reply REESHELL May 26, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    i like the navy dress very much!!


  • Reply Claud May 26, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    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™‚

  • Reply Petite JD May 26, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    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.

  • Reply Alterations Needed May 26, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    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. =)

  • Reply Anonymous May 26, 2012 at 1:42 pm

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

  • Reply Kiwi May 26, 2012 at 1:53 pm

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

  • Reply Anonymous May 26, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    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™‚

  • Reply xoxoCat May 26, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    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.

  • Reply Dr. Juris May 26, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    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!

  • Reply Kellie May 26, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    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™‚

  • Reply Joy May 26, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    Both! Also, I love your phone case <3

  • Reply Cua Wendy Moua May 26, 2012 at 6:42 pm

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

  • Reply Bela Anzu May 26, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Reply Bela Anzu May 26, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    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.

  • Reply TINA May 26, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    I will keep the navy because its length will be more flattering.

  • Reply Kat May 26, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    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™

  • Reply doxyloo May 26, 2012 at 11:23 pm

    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.

  • Reply Fashion Blawger May 27, 2012 at 12:58 am

    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

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