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My First Ann Taylor Experience

I decided to break from my regularly scheduled programing (fashion posts with a music tie in) to discuss my first foray into a new (to me) brand.  It was quite the experience, so it warrants it's own format!

Why I never shopped Ann Taylor before: I could probably try to say it's not my usual style, but that would be an accidental lie as I love Banana Republic and J Crew and they're relatively similar stores, or at least attract some of the same customers.  I think we all have brands we deem "not us" and never give it a second glance.  

The awakening: You all know that I'm a novelty print whore queen.  I don't care if it's real vintage, vintage reproduction, or something from H&M...I go where the prints go!  The day after I sprained my wrist (I was in denial that it was a "real" injury and assumed it was "just sore", so I was using my wrist extensively...#smart) a snowstorm hit Denver (so lame as it's spring) so being bored I was looking at stores online.  Unique Vintage is selling an exclusive Oblong Box Shop skirt currently that has pineapples all over it.  I have not yet acquired it, and none of my blogger friends seemed to have either, so I was Google Image searching to see if anyone had reviewed it.  And then this Pineapple skirt from Ann Taylor popped up.  Whoa.  I quickly clicked the link and saw there was a sale!!  Half off various products, including this skirt!  I don't believe in fate, at all, but I opted to pretend that I did to justify making an impulse purchase.  But, it wasn't that easy...

Sophie's Choice moment: When you're at a store you've never shopped at and fall in love with an item, you try it in on in a fitting room, duh.  Online is trickier!  This is their size chart that was clickable next to the pineapple skirt:

I combed the Internet like nobody's business to find a blog post or other review that spelled out how Ann Taylor did their sizing !  It was snowing...I had the time (lame wrists be damned!).  I couldn't find any, so I had trouble picking a size for myself.  So I'm going to lay out what my dilemma was, in hopes it helps somebody now or in the future who stumbles upon this.

My sizing thoughts:  I'm a 25-26 inch waist.  Maybe a smidge more or less, depending on meals and if I'm running a lot, but if I ever say I'm 25 inches or 26 inches I'm being accurate and truthful one way or the other.  According to their size chart, I should have ordered a size 2 or 4.  I didn't know what to do.  To compare, in Pinup Girl Clothing, I am a small in their skirts and unless otherwise noted, their skirts tend to be for 26-27 waists in smalls and they fit me perfectly.  But perhaps more similarly, I'm a 0 or even 00 in J Crew and Banana Republic, and Ann Taylor struck me as being cut from the same cloth brand sizing wise.  If that chart was accurate and I went for the zero, it would be snug but not unbearable.   (I own smaller waisted items, though it's not something I highly recommend.)  That said, though I intend to wear a lot of crop tops with this bad boy over the summer, the tighter it is the less room there is to tuck in other kinds of non-crop top shirts.  But I didn't want to accidentally go too large either.  What was I to do?!  

I texted a few people who may have known their sizing and I got vague answers like it is "vanity sizing" or I'll be "fine" if I got with what I would usually go with.  But without knowing actual measurements, it was still kind of tricky.  I took to Instagram and found a blogger who had already modeled this skirt and asked if it ran "true to size."  She was nice enough to respond, "Yes!"  But even then I realized what a vague question I asked as I didn't wanna be rude and ask her size/waist measurements.

Ultimately I went with the 2, as it was listed at below the fullest capacity of my sometimes waist but was in the right neighborhood.  I figured it should fit, one way or the other, with vanity sizing or not.  They couldn't be off more than an inch, right?  Sounds logical enough, no?

Moment of Truth!  The UPS man gave me my package, not unlike Santa, and I'll admit that I was a little nervous.  Would it fit?  If not, what is the return process like and could I exchange it for the sale price?  Oh, the woes of shopping with a new brand!  I opened it up and my eyes immediately told my brain it was probably too big but to try it on anyway just in case.  Well, I was not only swimming in it, but here is the measurement I took of it just so I had proof at how off the size chart was:

This is roughly the listed measurements for their sizes 8 or 10!  I get that vanity sizing is a thing, but I guess it confuses me because I'm generally the same size in most stores/brands, whether they're known for vanity sizing or not.  The size I got my skirt in seemed ridiculous, at least in a cold hard numbers way.  It had to be exchanged.

Brick and Mortar pilgrimage.  I'm no stranger to returning clothes I bought online via mail, but if there's the option of doing it in person I will.  Plus, an exchange is quicker that way.  So I trucked on down to a mall and nervously went to their Ann Taylor store.  For some reason I had it in my head that like, the employees would be scary and snobby.  I have no idea where this odd preconceived notion came from, but for some reason that's what I thought!  And of course, I was probably having my least fashionable day of 2016 in that I was wearing skinny jeans, rain boots, and a striped hoodie that I've had for a decade.  Meh, it was going to snow again and I had just come from my mechanic.  Plus my wrist was still bad and I was taking care of a sick I was in "give up mode" all around. BUT my point with this tangent is that (and maybe you other fashionistas will agree) when in an actual store being dressed up, the clothes you're wearing can lend itself to a cheery conversation that's more natural and bonding than say, shopping in your gym clothes.  Plus if the conversation leads to the fact that I am a fashion blogger, I assume I'm to be taken a little bit seriously in that I know what I'm talking about with my clothes?

ANYWAY, I couldn't read either or the cashiers as I was in line and finally it was my turn.  Luckily the woman was SUPER nice, jovial, and beyond helpful. (I felt silly for thinking Ann Taylor employees wouldn't be!)  She immediately understood my dilemma (I didn't need to pull out the above screen shots of how the size chart lied to me) and even immediately said she could tell I probably wasn't a 2 just looking at me because we were similarly built.  The bad news was that they were out of my needed size, a 0, in this store.  But she called the next store over, and luckily they had one and put it on hold for me.  I immediately jogged up the highway to get it, tried it on before exchanging, and breathed a sigh of relief.  It fit!  It's a tiny bit looser, but not in a noticeable way at all.  AND I was able to exchange it for the sale price, so that too was a relief.  

Final Ann Taylor Thoughts...  I do like this brand now, quality wise, now that I know how to navigate it.  Upon any other non-in person purchases, I'd probably go straight for a zero with more confidence that it's the correct size.  The brand itself is not 100% my style, but it appears to have both some staple pieces and fun pieces that are worth checking out.  I'm happily subscribed to their email list, so I imagine something will catch my eye and heart again.

AND, since the purchase and exchange, they've added a feature on the site to find "Your True Fit."  You plug in a store that you shop at, with your size and info and it prompts you to which size you'll likely be.  I plugged in Banana Republic and all it's related intel as it pertains to me, and the size for this skirt that was suggested was a 0, which is the skirt I walked away with.  Seems like an accurate system they have implemented!  Phew!

Other Outfit Deails:
Tank-Forever 21
Bag- Kate Spade 
Shoes- Ralph Lauren via DSW
Instagram: @laurenblair_donovan /Twitter: @hello_blair /Google Plus /Tumblr/ Blog Lovin' /ModCloth Style Gallery /YouTube Comedy Channel /


  1. What an adventure to get this skirt! Sizing can be so tricky, I glad you figured it out. The skirt is so you and it's gorgeous! Lauren and the Pineapple caper!


  2. What a cute skirt!! Pineapples are my favorite too :)

    Enclothed Cognition/Bloglovin

  3. That skirt is FABULOUS! I too have always chalked Ann Taylor off as "not for me" for absolutely no reason. I am definitely going to have rethink that after seeing this awesome skirt! Good to know with the sizing too - wow that's a big difference!


  4. Ugh, I'm sorry that getting this skirt in the right size was a bit of an odyssey! Ann Taylor is pretty bad with vanity sizing, but I've gotten pieces from there that I return to again and again! It's especially good for workwear (aka the same times you might wear head-to-toe Banana.)

    That said, this skirt is absolutely darling on you, and I love it with the stripey top!! I'm so glad they still had your size available in the relative vicinity of where you were!

  5. That pineapple skirt is so cute!

  6. What a gorgeous skirt! Absolutely love the print!

  7. This skirt is adorable and totally you! If you hadn't said it, I would never guess it was from AnnTaylor. I shop there sometimes and find they're similar style wise to Banana Republic. Awesome that you hit the sale price too! Great review with the sizing too. I do the exact same thing wih trying to find as many reviews as I can with sizing.

  8. This skirt is amazing on you- just your style! And ugh, I wish that online sizing charts were ACCURATE. I don't care what the number is (ie, "size") just give me the correct measurements so I can pick out the right item.

    Le Stylo Rouge

  9. Sizing in each brand could be tricky, so good to know that Ann Taylor has its own sizing too. What about skirt, it has lovely print,which is just perfect for summer, Lauren ;)

  10. You know, it's so funny because before I got to the part where you mentioned the size you actually needed, I immediately said, she needs a zero! The reason I knew this is because I worked at Ann Taylor, so I'm very familiar with their sizing! Their shorts and skirts run large, so you will certainly always be a 0, unless they change their sizing, but it's been about 7 years since I've worked there and it hasn't yet changed. Their pants are VERY tricky because the cuts and styles are entirely based off of your body shape, which are broken down by different name categories. For instance, their 'Julie' pant is for more curvaceous women, with smaller waists and larger hips and butt. If you ever have a question about their sizes, you can always message me :) With all that said, the skirt is SUPER cute and one that I wouldn't expect from Ann Taylor; I love the way you've styled it here! Thanks so much for sharing, beauty, and I hope you're having a great week so far!



  11. I am like you, I simply love prints! This skirt is really lovely, I don't think I have ever bought from Ann Taylor, and now that you reviewed it, I would be careful, although a measure chart was added. Wow, from the true 0 to 2 - imagine if you had bought number 4? I am glad that they were nice to you there; I guess you are right, when we are dressed with nice pieces, clerks tend to assist us better. I guess - it happened to me sometimes both ways, not "well dressed" and being well assisted and also badly treated. Your pics are so sweet! The skirt with the lovely shoes and bag - all really nice! I hope your wrist is better now and your dog too! And that you have a lovely weekend!

  12. fun post! I love ann taylor! i have this skirt too! runs bigger that the rest of the summer line! glad you were able to get the size you wanted! you rock it!

  13. Ann Taylor is "women's sizing" so I imagine that they run a little larger!! I typically wear XS in "women's sizing." Anyway... that pineapple skirt is super cute, and I love how you mixed the print... you would find such a fun look to share! :o)

    All the Cute 🎀
    Today's Post: Skater Chic...

  14. Wow I love the pineapple skirt so much! Gemma x

  15. Such a fun skirt!

  16. So glad that you figured out the sizing and that you were overall happy with your purchase! I do love the skirt - the pineapple print is so happy! Reminds me of summer! You look gorgeous, Lauren!
    Wishing you a Happy Weekend!!
    xoxo, Vanessa

  17. Figuring out sizing always gives me a headache haha, this skirt is beautiful! I love it!

    Yousra | Mystic Tales

  18. I love Ann Taylor! So glad you are on the bandwagon now. they have some really great things lately. I do think they tend to run one size bigger in shirts and skirts (especially a looser cut). I find the same with Loft. My fitted pants from there seem pretty standard.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

  19. The cutest skirt!

  20. Glad that you finally managed to get the skirt in your size! The print is so cute and so you :)

    Mili | Sharmtoaster

  21. Cute look!! I love it!

    Adi xx

  22. Love that skirt!
    Mademoiselle Coconath

  23. Well, that is a beautiful,beautiful skirt.

  24. My biggest worry about purchasing clothes online is definitely the sizing too but good to know Ann Taylor staffs are great! You look fabulous with that skirt, maybe we'll see more from the brand being featured here?

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

  25. It's a very pretty skirt! I'm probably not as much a print aficionado as you are, but I do love seeing it! :)

    Hope your wrist is better now! :)

    YouTube | Blog: Geekette in High Heels | Instagram

  26. I really like your creativity and this lovely skirt
    many kisses

  27. I never shopped at Ann Taylor either, and to be honest, I am not even sure if we have their physical store in Montreal. However, I've been shopping online quite often during the last year, and figuring out my size became quite tricky!:) I've put on a few pounds, and I tend to size down for some reason, lol.
    Anyway, the skirt you ordered is so fun! I am not a huge fan of bright colours and prints, but this one is so cool! I would love to wear that with a nice white top in summer. Or with a lacy one like you did:)
    Thank you so much for sharing and have a great weekend, Lauren!

  28. You look so beautiful in these photos! You are so photogenic and your skin glows. Your skirt is so cute and love your bag dear. I am a huge Ann Taylor fan. Their skirts fit and flatter.

  29. Looks awesome!
    Have a nice week-end!
    Gil Zetbase

  30. Online shopping can be so tricky! I'm glad they were so helpful when you exchanged it and it looks amazing on you now that you have the right size!

    Chow Down USA

  31. Such a fun print! And I love how you paired it with the stripes and polka dots! Glad you were able to find your right size in the end too! :D Looks great on you!

  32. I love how passion it you are about your fashion :p hahaha. It looks great and hooray for the sale price and the store stocking your size!!! *Those angry moments when just LOVE something and it's not in your size :(*

  33. The skirt is amazing, very original...but I love the so glam!

  34. Very interesting and full of inspiration post! >^.^<
    U look amazing!

  35. How cute is that pineapple print skirt?! Love!

  36. This print is the coolest!

  37. Such a fun outfit as always dear. Happy Monday!
    Xo, Christianne

  38. Thank you for the honest, straightforward review. The (vanity or simply poor quality control) sizing issue is so incredibly prevalent across the modern fashion world. I've encountered it, on both sides of the spectrum (too small/too big) many times over the years and if I must get one, I'll opt for too big, as it's usually easier to have something taken in, lash it with a belt, layer it, etc than to somehow increase it's size.

    ♥ Jessica

    *PS* I do really love this print and would wear it in a heartbeat, too.


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