Sunday, September 18, 2011

Help me decide: Ann Taylor Halter Trench Dress

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I ordered this Ann Taylor Halter Trench dress a few weeks ago when they offered free shipping on any purchase. However, I can’t decide whether I should keep it or not. The dress fits me much better than expected for a 00R. The halter straps are a bit long and need to be shortened. I did pull both straps up and tied them with a hair tie in these photos. Other than that, it fits me well all around. The length is also perfect for someone my height.

My only concern is that where would I wear this dress to? Obviously, I can’t wear it to work because of the naked back. It looks OK paring with a cardigan. However, IMO, this dress was meant to be worn by itself. I also ordered this double-weave utility skirt (in 00R as well). I didn't even bother to take any photos because the fit was way off for me. FYI, additional 40% off everything ends today (in-store and online).

I need your opinions, ladies. For $60.00, should I keep it as a special occasion dress? Should I return it because I won’t get much wear out of it? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much for your input and enjoy the rest of your weekend =)

What I am wearing:
Dress: AT Halter Trench dress - 00R (buy here - additional 40% off)
Shoes: BR Jacky Platform Pump (buy similar here or here)
Cardigan: Gap - XS (buy similar here or here)
Watch: Michael Kors 5128 in rose gold (buy here or here)



Hmm.. definitely return. There's something about the overall look that just doesn't fit with you - it's too rough, bulky, and angled. And for $60 it's DEFINITELY not worth it.


You're right, it looks better without the cardigan. If it won't get much wear like that, I'd say return it.

Simon Yang

Return it. You can easily achieve the look with a real trench, short sleeve trench or sleeveless trench coat.


return it if you are not going to wear it that much. then you can use your $ to buy something you'll use more, and like better


I agree with everyone else. Return it if it won't get much wear. I especially like Simon's comment about achieving the same look with a sleeveless trench. If you ever bought one of those, then you could definitely wear it to work.

Really Petite

I think I sort of know you and I don't think you will wear looks alright but the whole halter thing isn't you....

I say return!!!! Pretty pics though


Gosh! love this dress and fits you so well! I can think of various places where you can wear this.. like a summer BBQ, A picnic, bowling with friends, Kids Birthday Party, Zoo with kids :) Like you said this dress is not to be paired with cardigan or a Jacket.

Natasha xoxo

This is a hard one. It's a definitely something "different," however, i too couldn't think of a location to wear it. I vote for a'll probably end up in your closet all season :(

xo, tasha
twenty-something blog

lovely pettit_mom

The Dress look good on you. nice idea to put cardigan for cover to your back. I keep looking any idea for office outfit and still I have no idea what to wear for meeting a governor next month with my husband. I honestly searching through blogger and your one of my favorite so wish me luck, lol....thank you for sharing

John B. Marine

This dress tends to have a combination of tough and chic. This one is more on the chic side with the halter design. All I can say is... it's up to you. If you don't think this dress is as wearable and adaptable to going to many places, then by all means, return it. I'm a guy speaking on this, but even I know that no garment or outfit is ever stylish if you feel you can not utilize it fully for various occasions. If you don't feel you can make the most of an outfit or garment for whatever occasion, then there's no need in having that garment. So it's really up to you here, Sydney.

Regardless, this is a very nice halter dress!


I like the way John B. Marine put it. Very much to the point.
Also I noticed that whenever a blogger (including me) feels the need to post for keep or return, it means the piece should definitely go back, it means she doesn't love it. :)

Pratishtha Durga

I would say, return it. If you are unsure, then it's probably not what you want badly. Love your blog. Following you now. Do check out my blog and follow if you like it.

easy petite looks

I think you have a pretty solid answer from the onlookers, lol. I always have the "when would I wear this?" dilemma.

girly girl

I would say return it. It's an OK dress so I'm not crazy about it. :)


I truly love this dress and the fit looks really good on you but if you're not going to get any wear out of it of course you should return it. Sometimes I keep an item in my closet for a couple of weeks and keep track of how many times I reach for it. If it hasn't been appropriate for any occasion within a 4 week period then I return it.


the dress looks really great on you but i would have to say that I'm kinda stumped on what occasions to wear it to as well. i would say to return it...

but i do have to say that i am LOVING that MK watch on you and those nude pumps match your skin tone perfectly!


Keep it! It looks great on you! You can probbly wear it to your daughter's school event or outdoor parties or something like that, of course not on cold season! Like I said, you've got what it takes to wear this chic looking outfit!


really pretty dress


i saw this at AT too! LOVE it from the front - classy, sleek, beautiful on you. from the back - tacky and unprofessional. return! i know it's a good deal but there will always be good deals. only buy what you will wear!


It's definitely fun and interesting...but like you said, when would you wear it? I would personally return!

John B. Marine

No matter how lovely a garment or outfit is, if you can't utilize it properly, there's no point in keeping it. It would basically be a waste of money and extra clutter. You would want something you can wear, utilize, and keep wearing until you feel like it's time to pick up some other clothes instead. A trench would suggest cool (not necessarily cold) weather. However, a halter design suggests warm (not necessarily hot) weather. So you have something that is as much of a mismatch as wearing a mini skirt with bare legs and cold weather boots (like sheepskin boots (like UGGs)). Anyhow, this is really up to you. I forgot to mention that the pumps you wear with this dress are lovely, Sydney.


I own way too many dresses that never get worn (still don't know what I'm saving them for!) So I'd say return, even though $60 isn't bad for a dress that fits you pretty well.


I think the dress is pretty on you, but for $60 I can't help thinking about the H&M trench dress that was $35 or $40 and probably would fit you better! I'd say return and save that for something you love more.

lhamo Mashutzo

its good to see someone who is a Complete Lady...


Lovely dress and cardi!


I think it looks wonderful on you! <3 It goes perfectly with the cardigan!

Lost in the Haze


it looks great on you but i would return it. im all about utility, and if you cant wear it very often, unless its a gala dress, its not worth keeping. i really need to get a pair of nude shoes...

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Thank you so much for your input! This dress is going back =)


Cute dress but glad you return it. For $60, I would buy something else you like more. One thing I have been trying to do lately is asing myself a few questions before making any purchase. It helps a lot.

1) will i wear it more than one time?
2) where can I wear it to?
3) how many ways i can wear it?
4) do not let the sale price blindside me, do i really like it?


It looks like it could be such a nice work dress if you could find a way to cover the open back. Really unfortunate that it doesn't mix well with the cardigan, but possibly it would work better with a blazer that has a similar collar style?

I say return, because it doesn't look like it'll get a ton of wear. It has this businessy feel to it, which could make it awkward for fancy social occasions, but again, it's not work-appropriate either. For $60!


Hi sydney! I think the dress fits you great. I'd say keep if the back wasn't a halter. It looks like a work dress, but obviously you can't wear it to work unless you wear a cardigan over it. i think that's a pain.
BTW -- I got you a few packages of the spicy roe sauce. I picked it up myself too and forget how good it is until i made it this weekend. i'll ship it out to you this week. :)


such a great dress girl! love it. xo

Ellen H.

whether or not you decide to keep it, i think its lovely the way you styled it with nude pumps and a cardi! very unexpected twist on classic chic] :]



fits perfectly on you but i would return it if you cant wear it to work and might only wear it once in awhile. i do love your nude pumps!

Coffee Cream and the Caffeine

I love your dress !

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