The sales continue: Ann Taylor Friends & Family picks

Sale season is officially in full swing, and I’m back today with a few fitting room snapshots from officewear fave AT (take 40% off with FRIENDS40). I tried on a few sweater dresses that didn’t work out, however was pleasantly surprised by this flared sweater skirt. The waist of an xxs petite fit perfectly which doesn’t usually happen with this brand, plus can accommodate a small range of sizes because it’s a stretchy knit.  The sweater material here is medium to thick in weight, with the waistband being a little thicker and more durable in feel. The material up close is a dark navy sweater with two sizes of dots, reminiscent of an abstract animal print.

Next up is this crochet lace dress brought back from the legacy AT archives. I own this dress in two colors from many years ago and they are both undoubtedly amongst my favorite pieces. I wanted to see and try it on in person, since you never know how quality and fit changes over the years!
AT crochet dress

The crochet lace feels slightly thinner than past years’ but is still a good sturdy weight and made of 100% cotton. It is also still double-lined with an invisible side zipper. The cut of the dress is almost exactly the same as the initial version, roomy through the torso and hits at my knees (a more recent version ran an inch shorter). You can see a few reviews online complaining about the boxier fit. Good news is the double lining allows for easy alterations – I did them myself years ago (see photos of the stitching) and thought it was one of the easier at-home projects.
The trick is to go underneath the first layer of lining only, and shape the waist by taking in the two (or 4, if necessary) darts. No zipper alterations were necessary for this beginner-level job. Please note the dress is shown as a mini-length on the model, but the petite 00 hits me at a more work-appropriate length.
at crochet lace dress
Below is another sweater skirt I tried on – I wanted to show it so shoppers don’t confuse it with the navy dots version in pic #1. Even though the product names sound similar, the black skirt material is thinner in comparison and there isn’t really a thicker area for the “waistband.” The fit felt even smaller than the navy dots and was pretty snug on me at the waist (~24″). Although the fit of this was good, I found the navy one to be of notably better quality and more exciting in design.
ann taylor black sweater skirt

 AT sweater flounce skirt, trying sz xxs petite

Next up is this feminine lace blouse in a peach pink color. This piece caught my eye online immediately and the quality of the lace didn’t disappoint in person. The trim is a faux leather material, and please note there is no lining or attached undertank so you need to wear a nude bra or camisole. Fit was slim and sleeves were about an inch too long, typical of most petite shirts on me. This seemed to be a popular one as only two sizes were left at my local store. I thought it was really pretty but not sure how often I’d wear it personally given the color.

ann taylor lace button up shirt
Here was another pretty blouse with small jewel clusters. The material is described as “crepe” online which can sometimes be flimsy and iffy…the material of this shirt though has good woven weight and is a medium weight crepe. I wanted to point out that the length of the shirt felt shorter than others I was trying on, so the petites may not be for anyone over 5’1″ or 5’2″ ish.

Ann taylor jewel cluster shirt, size xxs petite

ann taylor crepe jeweled shirt
And here was a tweed jacket from the sale section (trying on 00 petite over a thicker sweater)…I already have a LOFT one in a really similar color scheme, but wanted to share this for anyone interested. It’s a nice neutral piece for both work and weekend wear, has a matching skirt, and I saw lots of positive reviews online.

ann taylor tweed jacket
I thought this dress was gooorgeous in this season’s advertisements, but it likely needs alterations on a petite frame. A shift style dress is intended to be boxier, but needs to be offset by a shorter mini length, and should have a slight triangular shape from the armholes down to the hem versus be completely rectangular. On the plus side, the material was dressy and a medium to thicker weight, the dress was fully lined, and the jewels did not look cheap in my opinion.

AT jeweled dress in 00 petite (left as-is, right with hem folded up)

ann taylor jewel shift dress
Whew! And that’s it for today. I haven’t had the luxury of shopping too often with work, but took full advantage while on a mini vacation! I left with the shrunken-fit cropped sweater reviewed previously (FYI, it’s marked down lower in-stores than online) and the Chanel-esque chain belt tried on with the black crochet dress above (punched 2 extra holes in the XS). I had been debating over the cropped sweater for a while, and kept on putting together outfits that could just use a shorter cable sweater. I am working on a project with AT later this month for which I picked the navy sweater skirt to feature, so will share more photos of that piece as well.

PS – other sales going on this weekend only: 1) take 25% off everything at Kate Spade with code BEMERRY with free ship & returns to the U.S.  ** Update: Piperlime is offering 30% off their KS items through 11/18!** I haven’t looked at their selection in a while and it’s tough narrowing down holiday gift options for KS bag-loving friends! Any recommendations of bags from there would be awesome. 2) Take 25% off dresses and jewelry at Anthropologie, prices as marked. Tons of items in petite sizing, including this fun dotted “Rokin” dress with good reviews. A few readers have mentioned that if you call after placing an order, customer service may waive the shipping cost for petite sizing items as a courtesy, since that selection is online-only.

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  1. Anonymous wrote:

    Hi! I am debating getting the jeweled shift dress off eBay and was wondering what your measurements were so I could get a better idea of sizing for me? I'm 5'3 120lbs and a 32C. Do you think the 0P would work for me?? Thank you!!!

    Posted 12.9.15 Reply
  2. Diane Cain wrote:

    Thank you to get sharing this information. But it will be truly great to get some more details!
    Online Clothes Stores

    Posted 7.7.15 Reply
  3. 7 Seven wrote:

    Absolutely beautiful! Thanks for sharing…58eveningdress.

    Posted 11.21.14 Reply
  4. I love the black dress. It's simple yet elegant. Find accessories that will add beauty to your outfit.

    Posted 11.18.14 Reply
  5. Jade wrote:

    Any idea if the Friends and Family sale is applicable in stores? Love your blog…. keep up the great work!

    Posted 11.17.14 Reply
  6. Emma wrote:

    That AT jacket is made tight/short, so a GREAT choice of smaller builds! I saw a BIT disappointed b/c my usual LP didn't fit.

    Posted 11.17.14 Reply
  7. Anonymous wrote:

    Oh, Thank you!
    I didn't expect kind replies from other readers! I would definitely look into Marc NY and Soia &Kyo;, J.Crew. I am 5'1 and slightly under 100 lbs. I do not want to look like a child who borrowed winter coat from her mom. Thanks again ladies!

    Posted 11.16.14 Reply
  8. Jean wrote:

    Thank you! I keep seeing the Cedar Street line at various retailers and it seems like a core, classic collection.

    Posted 11.16.14 Reply
  9. Jean wrote:

    Hah thank you! I feel so many things look a little better in real life than stock images.

    Posted 11.16.14 Reply
  10. Jean wrote:

    Hello – I'll have to rely on the helpful suggestions from the ladies above me! I haven't tried on any parkas myself. I suggested the J.Crew and J.Crew Factory petite puffer jackets earlier this season, and readers who tried those said the fit was good but the weight was not super thick, so not suited for the brutal winters. My friends also wear the Northface puffer jackets which seem warm, but don't come in petite sizing so the sleeves may be long.

    Posted 11.16.14 Reply
  11. Jean wrote:

    Annie – hello and welcome! Please do feel free to share brands/stores that work for you in Canada, since I know several ladies who read here live there and may find it to be helpful! I know a favorite petite-friendly brand there is Aritzia, which I can't wait to arrive in Boston.

    Posted 11.16.14 Reply
  12. Anonymous wrote:

    I am an employee of Kate Spade, and I absolutely heartily recommend either the Cedar Street collection (awesome colors and variety of sizes in Saffiano leather) or the Cedar Street patent leather purses (we rarely do patent leather, and this collection is selling fast!) My advice would always be go into the stores and see the products as the colors do look different in person, and that sometimes is a positive or negative thing.

    Posted 11.16.14 Reply
  13. Anonymous wrote:

    I'm 5'2" and 95 lbs and bought a Soia & Kyo long down coat a few years ago and it keeps me warm in Boston winters. Their XXS sizing fits me well. Buy the styles that don't have the "Michelin Man"-style stitching and the puffer won't make you look swollen.

    Posted 11.15.14 Reply
  14. Anonymous wrote:

    I'm 5'3 so a little taller than Jean but still long winter puffers swallow me up. I recently bought a Marc New York on sale at L&T; that is really nice and not too long!

    Posted 11.15.14 Reply
  15. The navy blue dress is awesome! <3

    Le monde des petites

    Posted 11.15.14 Reply
  16. That embellished dress is so beautiful!
    Dolce Kisses ♥
    Bloglovin | Instagram

    Posted 11.15.14 Reply
  17. Looks good on the younger and smaller petite. Guess I need to lose weight and find younger supplement to take. Quite beautiful, love the lace!

    Posted 11.15.14 Reply
  18. The scallop lace dress is very pretty and classic! So great for petites as it has an appropriate length for the workplace!


    Posted 11.15.14 Reply
  19. Something soooo special about that lace skirt!

    Red Reticule

    Posted 11.15.14 Reply
  20. That lace shirt is so gorgeous!!!

    xoxo One Stiletto At a Time

    Posted 11.15.14 Reply
  21. kim wrote:

    The navy skirt looks better on you than in the AT photos!

    Posted 11.15.14 Reply
  22. I'm excited how wonderful you look in this pale pink shirt and the dress in the last picture! I have a similar sweater like the colour and pattern of the dress – and I prefer it to wear during Christmas time 🙂
    Lovely greetings from Bavaria, Rena

    Posted 11.15.14 Reply
  23. Anonymous wrote:


    I am looking for a puffer for the coming cold winter. Living in east coast I really need thick winter coat. I don't think I haven't seen any down parka or puffer on your blog. Would you like to share your experience with different brands puffers? I am having hard time to find one that doesn't swallow my petite frame and same time long enough to keep me warm.
    Many thanks!

    Posted 11.15.14 Reply
  24. Sasa Zoe wrote:

    The last one is my fav! Love the dress! So beautiful:)

    Shall We Sasa: Holiday Essential Red Sweater

    Posted 11.14.14 Reply
  25. Annie Cauchon wrote:

    Hello Jean,
    I'm so glad I found your blog ! I'm a french Canadian about the same size than you : 5 feet tall and 86 pounds. Shopping is sometimes very frustrating so I'm glad to have ideas and tips that will help me, even if we don't have exactly the same boutiques here than in the US. I love your style and I will continue to follow your blog for sure !

    Posted 11.14.14 Reply
  26. LOVE LOVE LOVE the winter lace top.

    Posted 11.14.14 Reply

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