Thursday’s TPS Report: Graphic Animal Print Skirt

Our daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

Ann Taylor Graphic Animal Print SkirtWe’re liking this animal print skirt from Ann Taylor, even though (or perhaps because) the print primarily looks abstract to us.  Bright pastels, we think, would particularly pop against the skirt — we’d wear it with a basic white tee and a bright yellow cardigan.  It’s $88 at Ann Taylor, available in sizes 00 to 18.  Graphic Animal Print Skirt

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  1. Love this! Very stylish, but also appropriate for the office!

  2. Corporate Tool :

    If this makes the model’s midsection look pouch-y I can only imagine what it would do to me.

    Oh well.

    • I wish there was more love out there for belly pouches. I think they look very feminine and sexy, personally, but all the clothes are there are designed to hide them rather than flatter them. *sigh*

      That having been said, I love the skirt. I saw it and immediately thought, “Wow! <3"

      • Delta Sierra :

        Sei: yes, I agree with you. I’m happy if a skirt minimizes my middle, and I’ll wear Spanx at work to help it along. But I’ve quit having fits over it. Yes, I have a little tummy. The world will have to deal with it. Anyone wants to think less of me because of it, you go right ahead, honey. I have better things to have a nervous breakdown over.

        • Delta Sierra – thank you! I live in a country where flat tummies (baby or not) are a way of life (no plastic surgery – the women here are just made that way). Nice to know I’m not alone with my tummy (though the end result – my little boy – is so worth it:)

    • I agree with Corporate Tool — I love that the skirt is available in size 00 through 18, but if the size 00 model looks chunky in it, I can only imagine what it will “accentuate” on my body!

    • Yeah — belly pooch may be cute on the size 00 model, but on me … larger, with belly pooch courtesty of 2 c-sections, not so much.

  3. I’ll pass on this one, but a solid Thursday suggestion nonetheless. Thanks, C/Kat!

  4. Looks really short to me. I know it can look different on a tall model, but I’m also very tall.

    • Same here. If it’s that short on the model, it’s going to be about the same on me. And if it’s a few inches above the knee when I’m standing, it’s probably going to hit mid-thigh (or higher) when I’m sitting. *Not* good.

  5. I love that its available in a wide range of sizes, but I’m not loving the print or the high waisted style — if it makes that model’s stomach looks pudgy, I can only imagine what it will “accentuate” on me ;-)

  6. Not loving it. I am generally a fan of Ann Taylor, but from a distance the print looks like strange hairy beetles, footballs, or giant horseshoes.

    • anon - chi :

      Strange hairy beetles – ha! Now that is all I can think about when I look at it. Creepy.

      I also noticed the belly pouch thing but wondered if it was an effect of how the model was standing. Still, a tight-fitting skirt is liable to do that …

  7. Ann taylor has had quite a revival lately, as others have remarked. I recently got this dress on sale there — sort of a black and white Ikat print.
    I’m thinking of wearing it with a black cardigan, and some sort of colorful accent, maybe red shoes or a red necklace? Thoughts or other good ideas?

    • @A – that is one cute dress. I would wear black, suede peeptoe slingbacks. I know that’s against the new style trend of wearing contrasting, not matching, shoes with dresses… But that’s just me. I think a print dresses look better with matching shoes most of the time, creating a visually pleasing and elegant look. When I try to do the colored contrasting shoe, it looks like I’m trying too hard…

      • Delta Sierra :

        I agree about the trying-too-hard thing. Next saleslady who tells me about making something Pop! gets the dead eyeball. Everyone is so afraid of matchy-matchy this year, but I think it’s simple and elegant. And, in this case, it would focus attention on that beautiful Ikat print, I love Ikat too much. I’d do black shoes, black necklace, and deep cobalty blue cardigan. Tres chic.

        • I agree with Delta. Adding a red shoe to the already busy pattern of the dress is overkill and the trendiness veers a bit too far from classic and appropriate officewear.

          In fact, my boss recently told me about having to let go a female employee who wore red shoes and Louboutins to work. Just sayin…

    • I would totally go with the red shoes. Black would be too matchy.

  8. Ann Taylor skirts these past couple seasons emphasize belly pooch. If the model doesn’t look good in it, most of us won’t either.

  9. Hmmm – what animal is that supposed to be exactly? I would wear it!

  10. Don’t like it, but it seems like the length (22″) should be ok on most non-model people.

  11. I LOVE this. And the pooch would totally be solved by just wearing an untucked shell or short-ish sweater. And with my no-waist, I don’t tuck anything in anyway. I’ll definitely buy this if it goes on sale!

  12. Ann Taylor is having a buy 2 get 25%, buy 3 get 40% off sale with coupon code ANNSTYLE. But I agree with Selia – this skirt looks like a strange hairy beetles print.

  13. I was just looking at Ann T dresses. For the most part, they look really tight, short, and unforgiving on the models. I am not rushing over to the store! I like the skirt here though.

  14. I have an interesting experience where I can never find anything at AT worth buying but always find really nice tops at their outlet store. It’s weird. I just bought two really cute long sleeved shirts at their outlet store for a great price.

    • Delta Sierra :

      Outlet stores are great. I love taking a spare hour or two to really look through them, in my life-long campaign to gather fewer pieces, but really good ones. I like classics, and it seems maybe a lot of them end up at the outlet stores when trendier stuff has been picked up in the original store? Last week at a Saks Last Chance I found a Missoni scarf hidden under some other stuff. Originally $250, now $99. No flaws or picks. I know, that much for a scarf! But the colors will go with practically everything I own, I can wear it for years, I can wear black pants and sweater and this scarf and look good, and I have always loved the Missoni prints, will never get tired of it. Ergo, worth the $, as what they seem to call an investment piece.

      The store also had an actual Christian Dior evening gown, originally $22,000, yes, 3 zeroes. (On sale to a lucky size 4 for $2,249.) I’d never had a chance to get my hands on such a thing, so I looked at it. Hm. Very nice. Drapey chiffon top, big full chiffon skirt, pale watercolor floral. Inside the top was a beautifully-made corset, attached. Apart from that, I dunno, I don’t see where the $22k went.

  15. I think the tummy issue comes from AT raising the placement of the waist of the skirts. Lower waists are far more flattering on most women. Hate the high-waisted trend (and I have a flat stomach).

    • Totally disagree, though mayber our definitions of “most women” differ. I love the higher waists. I’m tall and can’t tuck anything in on most low-waist skirts, plus the lower waists widen me. I find higher waisted skirts much more flattering on plus size women than lower waists – they emphasize narrower parts of the body and provide a more streamlined look, and may you look taller / thinner.

      • I agree lk. I am not skinny these days, and I have a high-waisted skirt that I love – I wear a wide belt over it to break it up a bit, though. I think it’s very flattering, but who knows, maybe everyone is thinking that I look “chunky”. Probably are, if they seriously think this model looks “chunky” in any way, shape or form. Crazy.

      • I think the higher waists look good as long as you’re looking at someone straight on. However, while I am not plus size nor a 00, turn to the side and every last bit of pooch is revealed and I feel like I look pregnant.

      • I prefer the higher waisted skirts as well and am a pear shape with a long torso. Anything with a lower waist tends to make my legs look stubby and hips look bigger than they already are because they draw the focus away from my small waist to my bigger hips. Additionally, with a higher waist I don’t have to worry about my shirts being too short when I sit down.

      • I’m in your camp 100%, lk. I’d love to see more options for long torsos. Usually, “Tall” sizes just seem to have longer inseams, but otherwise the proportions of the garment are the same as regular sizing.

        • Funny to hear the responses from taller, longer torso’d gals. I guess I’m giving advice to myself about lower waist skirts being more attractive on me: I’m 5’3″, size 4/6, hour glass shaped, and have an average torso for my size. Teehee.

  16. Not loving this print. Am I the only person who misses the old Ann Taylor? The new, more modern stuff is great, but I hate that AT has pretty much gotten rid of the large selection of more classic suits. AT used to be my go-to store for sophisticated, classic pieces. I am loving the new AT shoe selections though!

    • Me too. The new stuff is cute, but I wish that they hadn’t done away with their suit selection. All of my favorite suits came from Ann Taylor before the switch.

    • I’m with you 100% – ever since the switch, I walk in AT, try a couple of things on, am completely underwhelmed and frustrated by fit, and walk out. I have not bought a single item from the “new” lines yet. Although my parents just got me a gift card there for my birthday (used to be my favorite store), so any good recs would be welcome on specific items!

      • I can’t resist jumping on this bandwaggon! I miss being able to walk into AT, love most everything in the store, and know my size. For years it was my go-to for work and play. Sadly, the new AT just doesn’t do it for me. Shopping has gotten so much harder!!

        • Corporate Tool :

          And the suits are fairly expensive for the quality. I’m not spending $500 on a suit that is not going to be in style next year. Let alone whether or not it will be wearable.

  17. As a general rule, I avoid animal print at work. It seems like there’s a HUGE male/female gap on that one – Animal print is ok for women to wear (I think largely because it’s sexy) but there’s no way it’s the professional choice for a man.

    Am I totally off base here? Are animal prints the same as florals or botanicals now? Are they just artsy and a little edgy?

    I try not to wear prints that a man couldn’t get away with on a tie. Uptight? I am happy to be attractive and feminine at the office, but I try to avoid things that are readily classified as “sexy” around the people I work with. (I night on the town is a different story!)

    • I’d agree that animal print is inappropriate like 90% percent of the time. That lawyer I saw in court wearing a slightly-on-the-short-side leopard print skirt and red patent heels? Oh. Lord. No. (And I really wish I was making this up.
      But just a little bit of an animal print blouse peeking out from underneath an otherwise conservative black suit or a chunky bracelet or scarf? Could definitely be doable…

      • I agree, animal prints in moderation. I would also do an animal print in subdued colors….for example, I might not wear an orange and black leopard-print skirt, but I might wear the same pattern if it were in dark gray and black, and with a black sweater on top.

    • I’ve never seen a man wear ruffles, polka dots, or hot pink, either, but none of those are unprofessional for women to wear (in moderation).

    • I love that rule! I’m always trying to guage whether something is going to pigeon hole me as not-as-professional — I will be using that the next time I’m trying to decide whether something is office appropriate or not – Thanks!

  18. I think the model only looks “chunky” in that skirt because you’re staring directly at her midsection in that picture. In the context of a whole outfit, it would look fine and so would most women (and if they were worried, they could just wear it with something untucked).

  19. Delta Sierra :

    I’m wondering what people think of this. Has anyone tried it? It’s basically a lapel pin with a Swarovski crystal, aimed at holding your gaping v-neck together. I dunno. I think it would call too much attention to an area I don’t want people staring at. Although there are different colors, so the black one in a black top might not stand out too much. Pearl on white. Hm.

    • I use quilt basting safety pins on the inside of my shirt. They don’t rust, they are really long, and they hold the WHOLE space between the buttons together. I love them. And I have some shirts that are just cut *that way* that have 5 safety pins.

    • Interesting. When I read your description, I was prepared to be horrified, but they are small enough that it might be okay on the right shirt/dress. I certainly think that you’d want them to blend more than stand out. I have some cowl neck shirts and dresses that I hide safety pins in (they really are completely hidden) and I prefer the safety pin when you really can hide it, but in cases where that’s not an option I might be willing to try this…

      • Another fan of safety pins here. I think bedazzling my cleavage would draw attention to it.

    • I always have this problem and I hate always having to wear camis, so usually I’ll either have my seamstress sew it shut or add a little piece of fabric to make it look like a cami is under there. The plain sewing usually runs me about $5 and the cami-style sewing usually $10 maybe $15 if it’s a hard fabric to match. While, it is extra money to spend, the time it saves me from having to worry about popping out or safety pins showing is worth it to me.

    • delurking :

      My first thought was stripper dancing for her next meal.

  20. I love the old Ann Taylor and the new Ann Taylor, but not this skirt. If you wear a print to work other than on a scarf, it had better be one that looks good from close up and from a distance. Prints that represent a particular item are less good in that regard than geometrics. This print could really be visually misinterpreted!

  21. test – my earlier comment got eaten. I don’t like this print one bit, and the fit seems unflattering, but the 22 inch length seems like it would be ok on non-tall people.

  22. Pink Shoes :

    Looks like someone set coffee cups down on this skirt. I don’t like the pattern at all — looks like stains everywhere. YUCK.

  23. ew. not a fan.

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