Grab Your BFF and Get to Ann Taylor: The Friends and Family Sale is On

ann taylor friends and family sale This post is sponsored by Ann Taylor, but written by your regular friendly blogger Kat.

Ann Taylor’s Friends and Family sale is ending TONIGHT, with the entire site being 40% off with code FRIENDS40 until then. Sales are so much fun to shop with friends, and I’d love to hear what the Corporette community has bought already, is still considering buying, and is going back for more! I’m absolutely loving the patterns and textures I’m seeing, all amidst the classic shapes we know and love from Ann Taylor. Some of my favorites are below — but which are your favorites? 

Bold Patterns for Work

Bold patterns are a lux, sophisticated way to inject a ton of personality to your workwear. Pair them with neutrals to play it safe, or try mixing patterns and textures to have a bit of fun.  Some of my favorites from the sale:

ann taylor patterns

Above: dress / skirt / dress / blouse

  • Modern Geo Tie Waist Dress – I love this one for work and beyond! To make the dress more versatile, don’t forget that you can always top it with a slim cut merino sweater in navy to wear it just as a skirt; you can also layer it with a thin navy turtleneck beneath it for winter. The dress is $159 full price, available in regular and petites, and sizes 00-14; in the sale it comes to $95.
  • Colorblock Pencil Skirt – The slanted color block pattern here is amazing — classic but interesting at the same time. White and navy are the obvious things to pair it with,  but I’d also urge you to try it with a pale blue. The skirt is $89 full price, avilaalbe in regular, petite, and tall sizes 00-18, and comes down to $53 in the sale.
  • Diagonal Stripe Wrap Dress – Wow, I love this. It usually drives me batty when patterns don’t line up just so, but it looks intentional and artsy here — and the flattering, feminine colors somehow remind me of a tie.  The dress is available in regular and petite sizes 00-14, and it’s $98 full price, but comes to $58 in the sale. (There are actually a TON of great patterned wrap dresses if you’re looking, and this particular pattern also comes in a silky wrap blouse.)
  • Bird Ruffle Sleeve Top – While ruffles and birds aren’t for everyone, I think this top shows that you can still “put a bird on it” and be professional — love the way the pattern just looks abstract at a difference, and the unusual mix of pale peach and a brighter, almost fuschia-like pink in the pattern — interesting and great. The highly-rated top is $79.50, but comes down to $47.70 in the sale — it’s available in regular and petite sizes XS-XL.

Sophiticated Textures

Texture is a fabulous way to elevate your wardrobe — depending on how textured a fabric is, it can almost read as a pattern — but it’s far easier to mix and match pieces and colors without sticking to neutrals.  Ann Taylor’s new collection showcases a ton of great textures; some of my favorites include:

ann taylor texture

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Sponsored: Ann Taylor’s Suiting Event Starts Today

ann taylor suit saleDisclosure: This post is sponsored by Ann Taylor, but written by your regular friendly blogger, Kat Griffin.

Ann Taylor has a ton of great sales, but if you’ve noticed, the suits are rarely part of those sales — except for the rare Suiting Event, which just started, and now offers 30% off all suits.  There are some great women’s suits in the sale, including:

All Season Stretch Suiting

I’ve always been a fan of Ann Taylor’s all-season stretch suiting — it’s such a great basic for every working woman.  Wear it with cashmere and merino in the winter; with cotton and linen in the summer… it really is seasonless.  This lovely “smokey charcoal” suit (pictured below) caught my eye, but it’s also available in black, navy, a beigy “stone beach,” and a light brownish “dark stone taupe heather.” Pictured below:

  • All Season Stretch Two-Button Jacket, was $169, now marked to $118. The jacket is lined and has besom pockets; it’s available in regular and petite sizes (limited sizes only, alas!).
  • All-Season Stretch Pencil Skirt, was $79, now $55.  It’s available in regular and petite sizes 00-18.
  • Modern All-Season Stretch Trousers, were $98, now $68.  They’re available in regular and petite sizes 00-18. (The same color is also available in Ann Taylor’s other two main cuts, the curvy cut and the signature cut.)

suit-sale-1

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Sponsored: Gorgeous, Affordable, Quality Shoes from M.Gemi

mgemiThis post is sponsored by M.Gemi, but is written by your local friendly blogger, Kat Griffin.

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I was super excited for the new luxury shoe brand, M.Gemi — not only do I have a friend on the inside, but their launch last week went swimmingly, with some styles already selling out.  The basic premise: they sought out the most respected, family-owned specialty shoe factories all over Italy.  There, they conceive, design, source, pattern, last, stitch, and finish all of their limited edition shoes.  Then, they sell them directly to you.  Because they cut out the middleman, they can price their shoes much less than other luxury brands, even though they’re using the same quality leathers and materials.  As an added bit of fun, they’ve pledged to come out with new styles each week.  (You can read more about their process in their FAQs.)

Shipping and returns are free, but they do ask that you return shoes within 14 days of receiving them.

(Pictured at top, clockwise: Farfalla pump, Riveli pump, Fiero pump, Felize loafer.) 

Just launched today: the Reggia pump, in glorious blue. I love the slightly squared toe line, the light padding on the insole, and the soft suede.  It’s available in blueberry and raspberry pink for $248.

Reggia styled1

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Sponsored: Save Time and Sanity with Sassoon’s New Blow and Style Menu

Blow & Style_MR_10Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Sassoon, but written by your friendly local blogger, Kat Griffin.

I’ve written before about my love of blow-outs (including how to make a blow-out last for multiple days!), but here’s what I don’t love about blow-outs: the Question.  You know the one: “How do you want your hair blown out?”

“Um…. the normal way.  With a brush and blowdryer and stuff.”  (I say this because I once asked for a blowout and got a flat-iron instead because that was all they offered, and I was too crunched for time to go elsewhere.)

“Yes, but straight?  Wavy? Glamorous?”

“Ummmm… straight, I guess.”

I always feel a bit dumb for not knowing the answer to this question, and I suppose if I started a Pinterest board, or ripped magazine pages out, I could go to the salon and confidently say, “Give me X.”  But I somehow always forget that this is an issue until I’m in the seat.

So I was THRILLED when I heard about Sassoon’s new service: a blow and style menu that not only names popular styles and makes it easier to differentiate among them, it puts even more options right in my hands, right when I need them: when I’m at the salon.

blow-and-style-menu

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Sponsored: MM.LaFleur Delivers Polished, Professional Looks to Your Door

MMLafleur ReviewThis is a sponsored post, but I really am delighted to tell you about my experience with MM.LaFleur. I’m impressed with their well-made, beautiful clothes, and I thought the Bento Box experience — where a stylist chooses and sends you a box of clothes to try on at home, for free — was smooth as well as fun.

But first, let’s back up: here’s what I knew about MM.LaFleur coming into this. There is some serious fashion and workwear cred behind the brand, which was founded by two ex-management consultants, Sarah LaFleur and Narie Foster, along with their head designer, Miyako Nakamura, formerly of Zac Posen and Jason Wu. Their mission: to take the work out of dressing for work.  They make luxurious clothes with fabrics imported from Italy and Japan, ethically made (mostly) in NYC. Plus, a lot of it is machine-washable and wrinkle-resistant, and that’s made clear right on the shopping pages (not just the product pages!), which I really like.

washable-workwear

mmfleur-bentoThe Bento Box: While you can shop their online store yourself, they’ve recently started offering a “bento box” — you fill out a quick style survey, and then (based on your preferences and needs), you’re sent a box of hand-picked, office-ready looks. You keep what you love and send back the rest.

My Experience: I filled out a quick survey online, and got a box of hand-picked items the next day in the mail. It was reminiscent of a bento box, with fun compartments (including one with a lovely red notebook — mine to keep — emblazoned with “Luck Favors the Brave”). My box contained several dresses (most below: Etsuko, Felisa, Toi, and Lydia), the Tribeca Skirt, the Angelique sweater, a silk scarf, and a luxe-feeling belt (Greenwich Avenue). I loved almost everything — the only miss for me was the skirt, which fit too long for my taste. I was really impressed with everything they sent — the fabrics felt lovely and had the right amount of stretch, the fit was great, and the construction was solid. There were no obvious workwear gaffes like a super deep V, high slits, or things like that, and instead there were intelligent details like pockets and washable fabrics.

A closer look at some of my favorites: [Read more…]

Sponsored: Ann Taylor’s Fall Collection

Ann Taylor's Fall 2014 CampaignDisclosure: This post is sponsored by Ann Taylor, but written by your usual friendly blogger, Kat Griffin.

Ann Taylor has always been one of my favorite workwear brands, and their fall collection is absolutely gorgeous. (And ladies, do note: they’re currently offering 40% off sale styles, with no code needed — huzzah!) I thought I’d take a look at some of the hot new pieces just hitting stores now — readers, do you have any favorites from Ann Taylor’s fall collection?

 

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