Swoon: Ann Taylor Loft

As a huge fan of J.Crew, I was surprised to see that Ann Taylor LOFT is giving them some competition in the upscale-yet-still-casual-chic department. At prices considerably cheaper than JC, they also feature phenomenal sales.  I wander into Loft every now and then and I like a lot of the things I see, but I have yet to buy. Until today when I found the cutest dress that was on sale, PLUS an additional 50% off. Wow!  I also tried on some of their newest stuff they just got in and was pleasantly surprised at the fit. Sometimes their stuff doesn’t always fit me super-well, but today was the exception.

Check out this fun silk dress. I was attracted to it online but once I tried it on in-store, I liked it even more. The fit is easy and flattering and while you definitely do need a slip underneath the skirt part (a little too sheer to go bare, in my opinion), the length was just right on me. It appears a little short on the model, but she must be much taller than I am (I’m 5’7″).  The back is a slight racerback on the shoulders.  At $40, I’ll be wearing this the rest of the summer, and carrying it into fall with leggings or dark tights w/ boots and a belted sweater.

This tank top is divine – those silk rosettes on the sleeve are so feminine and the perfect uber-chic touch. This one came in three different colors; I tried the navy. While I didn’t purchase this one (it’s still full-price), I’ll definitely be keeping my eye out for it on the sale rack.  I think this is a summer-only piece; I would really hate to cover over that shoulder detail underneath a cardigan.

I wish I had seen this dress in store – I’m curious how it fits. For my body type (an hourglass shape), I’d probably choose to belt it to play up my smallest feature (my waist).

Finally, I had seen these silk cargo pants on their Facebook fan page. Someone had commented that only the super-skinny could wear these and pull them off. AT Loft replied that in fact, they were very versatile for any body shape and showed several of their employees of varying shapes & sizes wearing them. I snatched up a pair to try and I couldn’t believe it – they really were flattering. And so comfortable! While I’m not loving the styling of this particular photo, they are really cool and could go so well with a variety of items. A perfect fall-transitional pair of pants. They also come in black as well, although the army green is more fun, in my opinion. At $98, they aren’t exactly an impulse-item buy, so they’ll be something else I’ll keep my eye out for. Anyway, it got my wheels spinning on all the things I might wear with them. Definitely try them on if you’re in the store – you might be surprised at something that’s out-of-your-typical-box, fashion-wise.

All in all, I was impressed. Ann Taylor Loft was on the edge of frumptastic for the past few years but they’ve really stepped up their game. I appreciate their J.Crew-esque styles at a lower price point. It’s definitely not the same quality as J.Crew, but if you’re wanting the look-for-less, they’re your girl. Bravo, AT!

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