Many of us grew up with Ann Taylor as a cornerstone in our wardrobes. The brand generally makes getting dressed easy, coordinating pieces, colors, and prints to help busy women pull a look together quickly.
But when you dress head to toe from a brand or a single store, you start to lose your personality and authenticity. While I’m all for a system that helps you create a uniform of sorts, you run the risk of missing out on the opportunity to develop your own unique style.
Today, as part of our “What to Buy at” series, I rounded up my top picks from their new arrivals. These are the best, most practical, and polished pieces that, when paired with your other wardrobe staples, create a modern outfit that doesn’t look so “Ann Taylor-y.”
These posts are inspired by my years as a personal stylist. Before a client arrived at our shopping appointment, I would spend hours going through stores, selecting only the best pieces, and filling up her dressing room. It was such fun for me, and immensely helpful for our clients, who worked with us because they didn’t have the time or patience to shop independently.
Think of this series as just that; these are the pieces I would put in your dressing room, based on everything I know about our readers who are looking for help creating a timeless, classic, modern wardrobe on a realistic budget.
What to Buy at Ann Taylor
Currently, Ann Taylor has an overwhelming selection of new arrivals. I reviewed every single item, filtering each one down by considering price point, wearability, size range and styling options.
Spotted Camp Shirt, $69
I am absolutely crazy for this camp shirt style in a fresh blue and white print. It’s the easiest thing to throw on with your dark jeans to work from home or take it to the office under a navy suit.
Puff Sleeve Top
Puff Sleeve Top, $55
Maybe you’re venturing out on your first night out in, oh, say six months 😉 and you want something that feels like the opposite of a sweatshirt. This sweet puff sleeve top is perfect to pair with a slim pair of black ankle pants and a manageable heel.
It’s fitted, feminine, and the polka dots are the palest shade of pink – so pretty. This top would be especially nice if you are narrow in the shoulders and looking to bring some balance to your waist and hips. Skip if you are broad-shouldered.
Tie Waist Shell
Tie Waist Shell, $55
I can never pass over a tie waist top, and this one is ideal for readers in warmer weather climates. The cut of the neck, along with the detail at the waist creates visual interest without adding layers. You can wear it with any bottom, from jeans to dress pants. Black bottoms of course will look timeless, but consider adding a color like a deep burgundy or green to lean into seasonal colors.
Leather Belt, $50
If you are looking for a classic trouser belt, in either black, cognac (above) or NAVY stop what you are doing and order this. It’s so hard to find a simple, stylish belt that looks expensive at a reasonable price.
I ordered this in the cognac to pair with jeans and a white top. You can also wear this over a sweater dress or blazer – though you may considered sizing up if you are going to add it on top of a bulky piece.
Tortoise Pumps, $128
These were an incredibly popular pair of heels last year that are recently back in stock. I have these, and am always surprised how comfortable they are considering their height. The tortoise print works as an elevated neutral, so you can wear it with anything and they add a just a little extra kick of style.
All sizes, also available in a slingback style.
These days, long cardigans look more like sloppy bathrobes that have seen better days. By mixing the softness of a cardigan with the structure of a coat and you get a “coatigan”. A genius solution to stay cozy but looking polished. I’m crazy for it.
Pair with your black jeans for a busy day at home, or throw over a black dress for the office. So many options!
Moto Jacket, $169
Moto jackets have been a wardrobe staple around here for years, and for a good reason. It’s the perfect piece to add as a layer and bring some modern edge to your outfit. It elevates a tee shirt and jeans and tones down a feminine floral dress. This specific piece in a mushroom color will add structure and texture to any outfit combination.
Boatneck Top, $90
If “tops to wear with jeans” are on your shopping list for fall, this elegant boatneck top in a navy and white print is a great option. Throw it on, give yourself a half tuck, add a pair of boots and call it a day.
Wrap Skirt, $79
I couldn’t tell you the last time I wore a skirt, so I ordered this to shake things up a bit. I love the print and faux leather detailing. I’m going to keep it simple and pair it with an of my black fitted sweaters and a pair of boots.
Mock Neck Sweater
Mock Neck Sweater, $79
Finally, I’ve never met a turtleneck I didn’t love. It doesn’t matter the style, from fitted to oversized, I wear them all the time. And you don’t get more classic than a mock neck, ribbed sweater for the fall. Pair with your favorite jean, a pair of hoop earrings and ankle boots for the the easiest and chicest look possible.
Our Content is Inspired by Our Readers
Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers.
Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist View Post and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail.
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