Style + Fantastic Finds

Work Week: Ann Taylor Favorites

Are you back in the office?

I’m about to be, and I am a little nervous about it.  I stocked up on masks.  I bought Lysol and Clorox wipes.  I’m thinking about buying a Molekule air filter and wearing it on a chain around my neck ala Flavor Flav.  But beyond pandemic safety protocols, I am also thinking about how to build a chic, comfortable work wardrobe that is also professional.

So this week, we’re going to be talking about work clothes.  And we’re going to start with some favorite new arrivals from Ann Taylor.

Pearlized V-Neck Cardigan

Belted Pleated Skirt

Ann Taylor Button Front Sweater Dress

Tie Neck Blouse

Belted Notch Collar Dress

Cropped Mock Neck Sweater

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  1. Rachel says:

    I have been back in my office since July. Its not bad! I have my own office space, which definitely makes it work better. But I do visit others within my dept throughout the day. I always wear a mask with others and socially distance. I use a common restroom. I sanitize my hands everytime i return to my desk, but I don’t wipe things down so much. You will be ok. I was very anxious at first, but that anxiety has reduced (except when we thought someone might have been exposed to a positive last week–but thankfully was ok).

    November 2, 2020/Reply
  2. Kate says:

    These are fabulous!

    November 2, 2020/Reply
  3. e says:

    This is amazing. I am months or maybe years away from resuming my job from an office setting, but that belted skirt and dress are divine.

    November 2, 2020/Reply
  4. B says:

    These are beautiful pieces! As an educator who has been back in person since August, keep in mind that high-heat machine washability is your best friend when considering pandemic dressing. All my delicates and dry-clean-only pieces have been relegated to the back of my closet until I can safely re-wear clothing without a wash in between!

    November 2, 2020/Reply
  5. Megan Ritter says:

    I’ve been back in my small office located in a semi-urban area since June. The best advice I can give is to know what your boundaries are and practice a script to communicate them. Are you open to walk-and-talks but draw the line at indoor drinks? Know what your risk tolerance is and be prepared for colleagues who have different levels of it.

    November 2, 2020/Reply
  6. Cait says:

    These are gorgeous! As you return to an office setting, I’d love to see any tips you have for mask-friendly styling. I’ve always been a fan of a statement earring but they just don’t work with a mask. Are mask chains the way to go? Are we coordinating our masks to our outfits or is that overkill?

    November 2, 2020/Reply
  7. KG says:

    Best of luck! I have been back since May and echo what others have said- it hasn’t been too bad, but definitely helpful to have a plan for potentially awkward situations- what to say if a colleague won’t wear a mask or if you feel like others aren’t taking appropriate precautions. I also recommend having a stash of backup masks that you keep around your car/purse/desk in case you need to swap out! And as noted, statement earrings are a serious challenge to contend with:)

    Also- I’m dying over the button front sweater dress- SWOON. Thanks again for keeping up the work attire posts!

    November 2, 2020/Reply
  8. BN says:

    Do you have mask recs that are based on effectiveness and style? I went down the rabbit hole of internet research and the most effective are N95s and medical grade surgical masks, both of which are not very fashionable. It seems we have to sacrifice safety for style (or visa versa) and was wondering if you had any thoughts. Thank you!

    November 2, 2020/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I did some research and found a site called Bonafide Masks. A number of reddit and Facebook threads mentioned that they sell legit masks. I bought the South Korean/China KN95s. The difference between those and US approved masks is that to be US approved it must go over your head to create a tight seal. The Asians allow them to have ear loops. I wanted ear loops, so I’m willing to give them a try.

      November 2, 2020/Reply
      • BN says:

        Thank you!

        November 2, 2020/Reply
      • Jen says:

        My husband has been buying the KN95 Honest masks for months now, and that’s all my family is wearing. I have a small face, so my preteen kids and I have been wearing the kid sized ones, and we love them. My husband is a criminal defense attorney, and I help him out in the office and during big court dockets (when I’m not helping my kids with online school.) We feel safe going into courthouse with the KN95 masks!

        November 3, 2020/Reply
  9. Jess says:

    Give me all the mock neck sweaters…..

    November 3, 2020/Reply
  10. Bee says:

    I know the air filter around the neck was a joke, but just in case you’re a fan of Molekule air purifiers, please know they’ve been shown to be FAR less effective than far cheaper air purifiers. To anyone considering them, please don’t buy into the pretty looks and totally bogus Silicon Valley marketing claims about how it’s disrupting the air purifier model.

    November 3, 2020/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I Googled, but couldn’t find an article about this. Do you have one?

      November 3, 2020/Reply
      • Bee says:

        Seems like my comment didn’t go through; check out Consumer Reports (it’s their second-worst rated air purifier) and Wirecutter (their “Research” section includes an entire subsection on Molekule being the worst air purifiers they’ve ever tested).

        November 4, 2020/Reply
        • Belle says:

          Thanks. There’s a glitch in Askismet and the update didn’t fix it, so we’ve had a few issues with comments this week.

          November 5, 2020/Reply
  11. Jessica says:

    Construction was deemed essential in our state so I’ve been in the office non-stop without issue. No masks, but we are in an environment where everyone has their own office. I have not been scared one millisecond, but that could just be that, by nature, I’m generally not scared of things I can’t control. Coworkers and others have been fine – everyone respects each other. We’ve even had regular face to face interviews. To each their own, but I’m very happy to be in a bubble of normalcy.

    November 3, 2020/Reply
  12. ana says:

    Really nice pieces! Love the belted dress and cropped sweater.

    November 4, 2020/Reply