This post contains affiliate links and Corporette® may earn commissions for purchases made through links in this post. For more details see here. Thank you so much for your support!
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
Workwear sales of note for 3.24.23:
- Ann Taylor – 40% off everything
- Athleta – 20% off shorts, swim, linen & more
- Banana Republic Factory – 40% off everything; extra 15% off purchase
- Boden – Up to 50% off
- Brooks Brothers – Clearance styles to 70% off. Some pretty serious markdowns!
- Express – 40% off dresses & tops
- J.Crew – 25% off your purchase; up to 50% off special-occasion styles
- J.Crew Factory – Up to 50% off everything; extra 15% off 3 styles; extra 20% off 4 styles; extra 50% off clearance
- Sephora – Up to 50% off select beauty
- Talbots – 25% off select styles; 25% off markdowns
Some of our latest posts here at Corporette…
And some of our latest threadjacks here at Corporette (reader questions and commentary) — see more here!
- What are your favorite parts of a typical day?
- At what point in your life (age, income level, whatever) were you able to take an annual vacation?
- What shoes can I keep at the office to go for mid-day walks (that go with everything)?
- How do you release stress or trauma that’s stored in the body?
- What are the best “networking for women events” you’ve ever been to?
- I feel like we’re burning through any savings we acquire…
- I hate my job and make 30% of what DH makes – should I quit?
- What do you keep in your office?
I ordered this a few weeks ago and returned it because the skirt and pants were not lined, which makes for a very uncomfortable wear given the fabric. The skirt is pretty darn short, too. Yikes.
I should correct myself. The pants were unlined, but the skirt actually was lined — it was just too short. And, as someone else pointed out, it flops awkwardly when you sit down.
I just saw this jacket on AT.com this afternoon and loved it. I did notice that the description did not mention that it was lined. Thanks for this comment. I was concerned about this very thing.
Wow that is a short skirt for the office. Also, does anyone else think that the jacket and skirt would not work well together? I feel like the draping of the skirt would make for a very confused look.
I love the clover melange look, but did not realize the pants were not lined. I almost purchased the pants with the jacket a couple weeks ago (glad I didn’t now). I agree that the skirt appears to be too short for the office and that it’s questionable whether the jacket would look good w/ it, but I’d consider wearing the skirt without a jacket somewhere other than the office (problem is I don’t go many places outside the office where this skirt would be appropriate…meh!).
What is with Ann Taylor lately? They used to be my go-to place for suits, and when I tried looking last weekend they had 2 options in the entire store, 1 of which was hideous and totally inappropriate for work. They seem to be turning into a slightly more conservative Anthropologie, geared towards the wealthy at-home wife set. Is it just me, or have other people noticed a change too?
I completely agree. I happen to know people who work with some senior execs at AT. I registered my complaint with them — basically, that as a lawyer, I had come to count on AT for classic, well-made, not-super-expensive suits that were appropriate for court and that over the last year or so, all I seem to find at their stores are suits that don’t fit the bill (e.g., 3/4-length sleeves, ruffles on the jackets, ruffles around the hem of the skirts, etc, etc.). The response I got was that the brand is moving in a more “fashionable” direction. Disappointing. I shop at Banana now for suits and the sales rack at Nordstrom.
I COMPLETELY agree!!!!!!!!!!!!! I went there just yesterday to get a few new fall suits and left with a cardigan! yes, you heard me – a cardigan! I prefer plainer suits and then spice it up with shoes, jewelry, tops (I work in a fairly conservative law office). There options were ridiculous, though! they looked way too young and way too unprofessional. I don’t like to look too “flirty” in the office! I am 29, but feel like these are either for 22 year olds or “day ladies” (who don’t work).
the associate told me “yes, we are trying to go more business casual and “fun” to appeal to a broader base.”
J. Crew is also a good option for classic suits. I find them better made than BR and more timeless. J.Crew is a little pricier than AT or BR, but you can often find the suits on sale online and if you get their emails there are frequiently free shipping or 20% off coupons.
@DH: According to this blog, the *new* Ann Taylor is targeting a *new* customer with a more “modern” look.
I’m with you – I miss the more conservative, classic Ann Taylor. I am still wearing suits I bought there 5 years ago because they are so classic. But now, the suit selection is limited and most suits are “online exclusives” (so inconvenient for me b/c I can’t try them on in the store before buying). And the other clothing is getting more trendy.
I guess their sale of suits was suffering because of the recession and unemployment rates???
Maybe so. But who can afford to buy a new, frilly oragami blouse every two months just because it is on trend this week? I can’t afford NOT to buy classic, well-made clothes.
I agree. Ann Taylor does not have the quality or selection like it used to. Where do people go the most often for good quality suits? I recently found a nice black pant suit at Banana Republic.
I love the color but eek, that skirt is short! I’m usually more of a J.Crew suiting fan because AT seems to have mostly synthetic fabrics and fewer matching optinso, so it is disappointing to see this great wool suit isn’t lined and that the skirt won’t work for work! Any other great dark green suits out there???
Re: length. Don’t forget that these are photographed on tall models. I tried on a similar skirt in the store recently, the “Kate” version, and on me it hit right above the knee. But I thought it looked awful on with the matching blazers: I think its noteworthy that they don’t show a picture of it as a suit online.
I tried on that suit in a different pattern in the store. The jacket fits well but I’m short and the skirt was short on me. Also there is no way to sit in the skirt because it falls open. Disaster. I might just get the jacket.
I feel like that skirt would make anyone look fat.
Ann Taylor should only be bought on sale.
there’s a 20% off code for AT in the recent People Stylewatch (or something) on newsstands now.
I tried this on as well. I’m 5’8 and it was way too short for work/court. I love all of the new designs that Ann Taylor has right now-especially jewel tone sweaters and shells, but the suits look and feel very cheap.
Ann Taylor has been a real disappointment in quality lately. I’m petite, so I have to buy online, and I used to love the fact that I could always count on AT. However, I bought a suit (on sale) this summer, and it’s been so bad that I wore it once and will throw it away. Despite being slightly too big, the seams pulled apart at stress points (shoulders, from lifting my arms forward, and rear, from sitting down), so the whole suit looks like it’s falling apart. It was embarassing by 10 am. Unfortunately, I had it tailored before wearing, so I can’t return it. It looks so bad I won’t even donate it.
The crappy suit I got was unlined, but it was a summer linen blend, so I figured they didn’t line it to make it lighter. However, to not line wool pants and skirt for a suit is unforgivably shoddy. Seriously, I’m not buying AT anymore!
Really loving the skirt.
Conservative suiting: Lands’ End, Talbot’s
Large size ranges–petites, talls, plus
Ann Taylor was without a head designer for a while – but now they have a new one, and she is focused on getting back to work clothes and formal clothes.
I’m told that if we give it some time, there will be better suit selections – and more of what we want and expect from Ann Taylor.
That skirt is too short. However, there a couple of great knee-length pencil skirts in the Ann Taylor stores now.
you are right, there were pretty pencil skirts. but they didn’t have matching jackets! I am at a firm where I need suits – not separates – every day but friday.
I agree with everyone’s comments about the quality and styling of AT clothing having changed for the worst. I’ve pretty much stopped looking at their clothing.
Maybe its just me but I hate lined pants. They always cling in unflattering ways to me even if i buy a size up. Anyone else have this problem and have suggestions?
I really have to have a wide leg trouser for the lining to be comfortable. Otherwise it’s just too tight in the hip/thigh area. I don’t typically have that issue if pants are unlined. I’m also in a warmer climate where lining isn’t desirable, so it’s not something I really look for in a pant unless it’s a wool pant.
Unlined pants are actually a symbol of higher quality in pants…most higher end brands (Theory) don’t put lining in their pants. I had lining in my pants…I tend to wear tropical wool fabrics and they don’t need a lining…if you have a scratchy fabric you do. It’s funny b/c I really like the new direction of Ann Taylor…I hadn’t shopped there in years b/c they had gotten way too dowdy and frumpy for me (I work in a professional environment but it doesn’t mean I don’ want to look good/stylish) and recently checked them out based on some of the things I had heard and I was really surprised. I think they’ve taken a turn for MUCH better…there are some great basics (jackets, pants, skirts) and then some more fashion-y things. The fit is much better than I remember it being last time I was in there…it used to be so boxy.
It seems to me that AT has been compromising quality and sensibility in order to be more “fashion-forward”. Don’t get me wrong, I like my suits to be sleek and modern (I’m still young!), but not to the extent that my clients and colleagues are fixated on the risque skirt length- it just doesn’t seem kosher. Add on the fact that the clothes have a “cheaper” feel in terms of the fabrics (and the lack of linings as so noted by previous posters), and it’s just as feasible to buy suit pieces with a lower price tag.
For the longest time, Ann Taylor was one of my gold standards; but with the recent decline in quality and in appropriateness, I find my money has been better spent elsewhere
Glad to know others are having trouble with AT– was beginning to think it was me/my tastes were chaning! It used to be my go-to place for petite suiting, but now it is pitiful in there! They seriously need to get it together.
Agreed that the skirt is too short. I have never really shopped at Ann Taylor very much – I have one 3/4 sleeve black jacket that is about 8 years old that I wear all the time in the summer, but that is it. I would go there and get really annoyed by the fact that all of the sizes were inconsistent – I would wear a 6, then a 10, then a S or M – there was no rhyme or reason. So I stopped – I mostly get work stuff at Banana or Jcrew.
Banana is my new go-to suiting store to replace AT. The quality of their suiting is excellent and lasts forever if cared for properly.
Case in point: a few weeks ago, we were hit with a notice for an emergency TRO hearing for that afternoon. I had JUST taken the suit I keep in my office for such emergencies to the cleaners. I happened to be wearing blackc BR Martin dress pants, so I ran out to BR and bought a black suit jacket. I’ve had those pants for at least five years, yet the brand new jacket matched perfectly – the pants hadn’t faded at all.
I’ve always been a BR fan, but now even more so that I have seen how well their stuff holds up.
Ann Taylor runs big?
I was hoping it was that JCrew and BR ran small. I have been fooling myself. (Okay, not really. Just in denial.)
ITA with all the comments on the change in AT though, and Loft for that matter. I can NEVER find anything with a matching jacket. We are a bit less formal here in the SW, but, I still need a jacket for court!
Side note – Overstock.com appears to have some decent looking Anne Klein/Larry Levine/Guess (ie. the same stuff they have at the mall) coats for $125 or less. If only I could make up my mind what size to buy.
I was hoping it was that JCrew and BR ran small. I have been fooling myself. (Okay, not really. Just in denial.)
Well, it’s not like there’s some sizing god that ordains that YOU are a size X from on high. People fit some sizes in some brands and other sizes in other brands. Plus, since very few people are shaped exactly like fit models, which brands run “big” or “small” on them often depends on how those brands (and specific garments within those brands) are cut to fit over specific areas of the body.
In other words, ain’t much point in worrying about being delusional or about hinging any sense of self on a particular numbered size.
Thank you, ladies! I am 43-years -old and I find it almost impossible to find a suit somewhere in between matronly and teeny-bopper. For oral arguments, I tend to where very conservative suits even if they are for older women. However, I live in South Florida and we can get away with a more casual look for minor hearings in circuit court or meetings. I, too, loved Ann Taylor but the frilly look and short skirts are ridiculous – especially considering the new taboo on wearing nylons. I have a cardigan from AT that I purchased in February that is already falling apart. When I graduated from college in 1989, I bought a grey pencil suit at the Limited for $50 and it lasted for more than 15 years. It was better quality than anything at Banana Republic or J. Crew and I wish that I could still fit into it!
Ladies, I just called AT corporate headquarters and left a message for them to check out this site. I suggest that you all do the same. There are still a few women who have jobs and who want quality clothing in this country.
well, in that case, i have to say that I actually *like* the new direction AT is going in, and i’m surprised by all the AT hate on here. the suits need some work, but so much of their stuff this season was dramatically better than it has been in recent seasons. (honestly, i haven’t liked much there since they did that big 50 year or something celebration a few years back.) hope their new designer tackles revamping their suits next (and not by doing weird sarong styles!) but I picked up a few great items that i’m getting lots of use out of and compliments on this season. granted, i do not have to wear a suit every day. but they did some great LBDS, some nice blouses, some fantastic pumps and the sales have been terrific this season.
The point is that Ann Taylor used to have stylish professional business clothes of high quality and they no longer do.
I am with S. I think for too long AT went into way-bland suits with no sense of personal style, that made the wearer look very junior-girl-just-starting-out, and I like the direction they are going in. I think it’s much more executive and powerful looking to have something that shows some element of personal style, than to wear a boring black suit with no interesting cut or detail.
Have you guys tried Ted Baker suits? High quality, excellent cuts and gorgeous fabrics. His XS is tiny and fits my “corporate -conservative lawyer” cousin who is 4’9″. She talks about petite business suits here:
Also BCBG and Tahari make nice suits for office environments.
Former AT fan
It is really too bad what has happened with AT. All of my suits used to be from there because of the quality of the fabric! The lining was good, too (good for pants especially so that you have cleaner lines and don’t necessarily need hose underneath). Lately, though — maybe for the past couple of years — it is seriously bad. I’m not talking so much about the cuts of the suits (though it has been harder to find classic, conservative suits there), but the QUALITY! The “wool” looks flammable and cheap in my opinion, whereas suits I have from there from even just three or four years back is a better quality wool and holds up longer. I think some of it is that a lot of places (including Banana) are using a lot more spandex in their suits, but still… so many of AT’s suits just look like cheap fabric. If I’m going to go buy a polyester suit from a department store when it’s on sale, I can go do that. But I don’t want to. I’m so sad about AT and I hope that they’ll do the right thing and not cut corners with fabric and lining :) They could at least have a few conservative options to go along w/ their new stuff. And they RARELY have skirts to go along with the jackets… too many pant suits!
AT and to a lesser degree AT loft have been my go-to favorites for years. Their selection this season is more than disappointing… not only is the clothing flat out unattractive, they seem to have cut back on quality as well. FAIL, Ann Taylor.
I’ve bought suits from The Limited every season since 2007 and I always get compliments. I only buy jacket/skirt/pant combos. Nice trendy details, classic style and colors. I live in the South so I need year round, all weather suiting. The Limited always has good sales and I’m able to buy the same sizes every time. Since I wear totally diferent top and bottom sizes, is a miracle.
I also am sad about the new Ann Taylor. As a petite woman, it’s hard to find off-the-rack business clothing that doesn’t need major alterations. The old Ann Taylor seemed to be perfectly cut for me, and the fabrics and draping were great. The new stuff looks and feels cheap. I don’t need ruffly doo-dads on my clothing that will either fall apart or be dated by the next season. If I did, I would ship more at H&M.
I’m glad I found this site because I was wondering if my dissatisfaction with Ann Taylor was just me! I’m a petite and it’s so hard to find clothing that fits but AT petites have always fit me perfectly and offered stylish selections. In fact, I’ve shopped AT for suits exclusively ever since I’ve been practicing for the last 6 years and have always received compliments on my work wardrobe.
Well, last week it was time to refresh my wardrobe so I bought all 3 tropical wool suits that they currently offer (spending about $1,000 after discounts), with the one-button jacket, pants and skirts (for 2 of the suits). I absolutely love the style and fit of the jacket and signature trouser pants, but I just realized the pants are unlined – a definite no for me. They fit great but feel cheap. I also don’t like how the black and gray petite jacket only comes with rouched sleeves rather than the traditional buttons (very trendy rather than the classic look I prefer and my seamstress will charge $40 to fix it). Lastly, the black pants (which I haven’t worn yet) have a 1-inch tear on an inside seam. I’ve already worn the tan suit, and it has the buttons, so I’ll live with the unlined pants until they wear out, but the other two suits are going back, crediting my AT account for $600-700 and making my husband very happy at least.
I suppose I’ll have to find somewhere else to get my suits, which really disappoints me since AT has always been my go-to store. I did purchase the black velvet blazer for the holiday parties, however, and love it paired with jeans or dress pants – much more classic.)
When I asked about the trendy rouching detail on the sleeves, the clerk said it was the latest thing and similar to the $400 Theory jackets. I don’t think they realize they’re losing their strong customer base with stylish yet conservative career women who appreciate classic designs, and that the younger set will not likely be shopping at Ann Taylor instead of Theory or Nordstroms.