As far as shopping goes, I’m proudly promiscuous. I possess an acute understanding that great pieces can be found anywhere, from teenage-targeted mall chains to dusty thrift stores. That doesn’t mean I like everything on the racks, but I’ve cultivated a highly trained eye for spotting items I know will look good (expensive, even) and play into my personal style. That said, there are a few stores I stay away from for no other reason than the fact that I’ve never had luck with them in the past.
Ann Taylor’s one of those stores. I’ve been inside a few times and checked out the brand’s site, but never found anything I connected with, and didn’t love the signature mom-like “career” cuts.
However, a few weeks ago, in the throes of an online shopping K-hole, I came across the site when searching for cropped denim. I’m not sure how the World Wide Web led me to Ann Taylor, but I was looking at an $89 pair of blue skinnies that resembled a certain Citizens of Humanity style that I recently tried on a few times and love but ended up not paying the $178 asking price.
I wasn’t thrilled about paying the $8.95 shipping fee but took a chance on Ann Taylor’s Modern Super Skinny in Deco Blue.
You probably know where this story is headed: I absolutely love them, and I’ve worn them every day this week. The end. Seriously, I bought the petite version, and the 25.5-inch inseam is perfect with sneakers and ankle boots, and I’m probably going to order another pair in white.
While buying the jeans, I noticed the site was stocked with other sleek pieces I really, really liked, such as an oversized marled cardigan, a boxy cropped trench, and a blue round-neck button-down trapeze top. And it’s only getting better—in November, designer Austyn Zung, the creative director at LOFT debuted her first collection with Ann Taylor for Spring 2016, and it’s pretty spectacular.
An Oscar de la Renta alum, Zung clearly understands both style and her consumer, creating pieces that give a new definition to “workwear,” a somewhat dirty work as far as fashion goes.
So good, right? And the jeans are, too, so I’m definitely looking forward to adding some new mass-market retailers to my arsenal—Ann Taylor’s prices are right in line with Zara, for the most part—and plan to keep checking back for the spring collection, but I pretty much need those cropped pleated denim kick flares, pictured above, to live.