My mother always taught me the value of bargain shopping, of searching through the 50% off rack to try to find something that I would have normally walked past because it wasn’t on sale, but could now afford because it is on sale. This is a bit of a problem that I have now because there are certain stores that I flatly refuse to walk by if there is a 50% or more sale on the whole store. I know that doesn’t seem like a problem, until it is a holiday weekend and every store is holding some sale similar to that. Then I have to choose my absolute favorite stores and avoid all the others.
There are plenty of stores that I can avoid no matter what type of sale is going on, however Ann Taylor and Loft are not two of those stores. Over the last year, I have been making a conscious effort to create a work wardrobe for when I return to the civilian world. After several years of being in the military, the idea of wearing nice, girly clothing to work every day is exciting, but a bit scary. As I looked at my clothing wardrobe last year, I knew that I was going to need a lot of essentials to get started. I knew that I was going to need dresses, blazers, skirts, shirts, blouses, pants, heels, wedges, and flats. Essentially- I needed to revamp my entire wardrobe which mostly consisted of jeans, some fitted shirts and a couple of casual skirts.
So that brings me to why I go to Ann Taylor and Loft when they are having these sales. Both stores carry clothing that is perfect for work and can also double as weekend wear as well. They also have wonderful petite sections, which make my life so much easier. At all of 5’2, I can only really shop for dresses that are not in the petite size range and even sometimes that is stretching it. If I want to buy pants- they have to be petites, otherwise I have to take them to a tailor to get several inches chopped off the bottom, which is just a pain in the rump. Sometimes I am willing to do it, but most of the time I know that if it doesn’t fit as is, nothing is going to be changed about it.
Because of the way that Ms. Taylor designs her clothes, I can guarantee two things about them- they will wear well and they are not likely to go out of style anytime in the near future. Neither of these stores really cater to fads and whatever the most modern thing is at the moment, generally they are full of classic cuts and clothes that have small details that make them fun. The profession that I am in, is not one of the most creative in the world, but I can add a bit of fun by being smart about what I buy. So, for your viewing pleasure, here are a few outfits that come almost exclusively from Ann Taylor and Loft. One thing to keep in mind is this- I buy almost all of these clothes when they are on sale, which means I rarely pay more than forty dollars for a pair of pants at Ann Taylor and even less for most items at Loft.
-Curvy skinny jeans and sweater are from Loft, shirt is from Ann Taylor
-Curvy pants and shirt both from an Ann Taylor sale
-Shirt and Skirt from an Ann Taylor sale (please forgive my photography skills, they will get better)
One thing to note for anyone who wishes to shop at these stores, they carry what they call ‘curvy’ and then ‘normal’ cuts. I am one size smaller in the curvy cuts than I am in the normal cut and the curvy cut actually fits me a good bit better, but sometimes it is not available in my pant of choice. Also, many of the shirts and dresses seem to run a bit big, especially those that are sized on the small, medium, large scale. At these stores I am either a small or a medium, while at other stores I am regularly a medium or a large.
So, this is another journey into my closet and hopefully there will be many more fun filled outfits and places to share. Be on the look out for an essentials post some time in the near future (which will definitely contain more pictures). Until then, enjoy your shopping.
*Disclaimer: I am suggesting these two retailers of my own accord and am not affiliated with either Ann Taylor or Loft.