Rustic.Spring (+ Ann Taylor Reviews)

May 19, 2013

Ah, spring. What a wonderful time of year to be alive. I recently discovered a new running trail that is off the beaten path and is quiet even during rush hour. Being able to run outside with gentle breezes and a clear sky is seriously a priceless gift. I went through my blog folder earlier today and found some unpublished drafts from February in which I sound absolutely dejected. I should really consider a move to somewhere permanently warm and sunny.

Gap Jacket | Everly Mother of Pearls Button Blouse | J. Crew Crinkled Silk Tempest Skirt | Forever 21 Necklace | Marc by Marc Jacobs Rose Gold Watch | Tory Burch Daria Top-Handle Satchel Bag | Zara Basic Court Shoe
Ann Taylor is running a secret sale that is valid through Monday night. Take an additional 50% off sale items (no code needed).

My last Ann Taylor order, which consisted mostly of clearance-priced spandex/polyester blend tops, elicited a giant "meh" response from me when I tore open the package. The prices are attractive (mostly $9.99-$19.99 before additional discounts) but the tops themselves were pretty mediocre. All of the styles reviewed below are final sale so if you plan to order please order sparingly and be prepared for disappointments. I spoke to one of AT's customer service representative and voiced my concern about sizing when I ordered so was able to return some of the merchandise (AT's return policy is not as relaxed as J. Crew's, so there's a good chance that one's request will be denied).

It's been a while since I last ordered clingy tops from Ann Taylor so I was a bit dumbfounded when it came to choosing a size, in case you are wondering why I ordered a few different sizes below.

My favorite of the bunch is the Cross Drape Top which is about $10 with additional discounts. Both colors pictured below are size XXSP (what I normally order from AT), which fits me but looks a little tight from some angles. I think someone my size can try the next size up in this style. Colors in the stock photos are fairly true to life.
Cross Drape Top | XXSP | Blue Waltz
Cross Drape Top | XXSP | Roasted Carrot
The Asymmetrical Drape Top is a touch dressier than other styles reviewed today and is worth the price (~$7.50 with discounts). Since there are some sheer panels, a strapless bra is required for those who are iffy about bra straps being visible. This style fits true to size.
Asymmetrical Drape Top | XSP | Salt
I am quite indifferent to the Ruched Long Sleeve Top. At this price (~$5 with discounts), some people might buy it just to wear as loungewear. The material is clingy and not uncomfortable but I just don't care for the design. The fit is similar to the fit of the Cross Drape Top reviewed earlier so take a size up if you don't like tops that are too formfitting.
I have mixed feelings about the Side Ruched Sleeveless Top (I apologize for the blurry pictures, I was trying to get this review up in time for the sale). The style is flattering as shirred sides have a slimming effect but the head opening is a little small (and my head isn't particularly large). 
Side Ruched Sleeveless Top | XSP | Wineglass
The item I was initially mostly hopeful about is the Striped Pleated Shoulder Top (on sale for $5 with discounts) but in person the color, gray with shimmery stripes, is less-than-impressive. I do think it's a good value for a top that can easily be dressed up or down.
Striped Pleated Shoulder Top | XSP | Silver Frosted Heather
For those of you who are always missing a black shirt in your closet, there are a lot of styles on sale in this color. The Petal Sleeve Scoop Neck Top has a more relaxed cut and the Twist Front Top is more formfitting.
Petal Sleeve Scoop Neck TopTwist Front Top
Some quick picks for those of you who need a place to start browsing: Silk Cotton Camp Shirt, Striped Cotton Snap Front Sweater Jacket, Pierre Printed Stripe Camp Shirt, Exotic Tote, Pearlized Navy Statement Necklace, Exotic Clutch, Striped Pencil Floral Silk Scarf, 3/4 Sleeve Wrap Dress, and Rian D'Orsay Leather Kitten Heels (also in pink).

If you want me to provide measurements for the tops reviewed here (I left out measurements because all of these tops are stretchy so I wasn't sure how useful unstretched measurements were) or if you have additional questions, just leave me a comment or email me directly.

Happy shopping!

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