Dressing Room Diaries: Pattern Play

I popped into Ann Taylor on Wednesday to do a quick dressing room diaries and ended up taking home a new pair of black pants. We’re not going to discuss the fact that I own a bazillion pairs of black pants but I will tell you why I couldn’t leave the store without these.

Dressing Room Diaries is when I go into stores and try on their clothes so you can see how they look on a woman over 25 who wears a size larger than 2. I am 5’4″ tall and weight 145+ pounds. I have an inverted triangle shape with wide shoulders and straight hips. I also have long arms and a long torso.

Jenifer Connolly wearing faux suede leggings and cabled poncho from Ann Taylor
Turtleneck Cable Poncho // Faux Suede Side Zip Leggings

This cabled poncho called me from the window because I’m loving everything winter white this fall. It has a dramatic collar and comfy shape which makes it perfect weekend wear. It’s available in XS/S or M/L. I’m wearing the XS/S which has plenty of room. These faux suede leggings have everything going for them. The softest nap and plenty of stretch plus a side zipper. I wish more pants were made with side zippers. They’re flattering without adding extra bulk on the tummy. I’m wearing the chocolate color in size 10, which is a bit loose, so they run true to size. They’re also available in a pale gray color, regular and petite, 0-16.

fair isle sweater and straight beige pants from Ann Taylor on A Well Styled Life
Fairisle Sweater // Straight Pant in Melange

This soft Fairisle sweater has a touch of wool, alpaca, and spandex so it is cozy and warm. The sleeves have a slight bell shape but aren’t sloppy, get in your food, type full. I’m wearing a regular in the medium which is large on me. Petite medium would be a better fit for me. These are Ann Taylor’s straight pant which comes in curvy, classic, and regular. I’m wearing the regular in 10 which is a bit loose so it runs true to size. This style pant comes in tons of colors and is a great, machine washable basic.

Jennifer Connolly in Ann Tyalor dressing room trying on plaid poncho and tweed leggings
Houndstooth Shawl Collar Poncho  //  Audrey Pant in Houndstooth

This look has barely noticeable pattern mixing because the colors are similar, and the houndstooth size varies so much. I’ve admired this poncho for a while, so it was fun to try it on. It’s a winter white, soft gray color combo, available in one size. The pants are high-waisted, front zip, in a bi-stretch fabric that are clearly pulled up too high which gives me what is affectionately known as camel-toe. Google it if you must:) They have a zipper detail at the hemline which is totally obscured by turning them under, so I would need the petite. These are a black and white houndstooth that shows as gray. They’re also available in tall for you statuesque ladies.

These high-rise velvet skinny pants are available in tons of colors and the perfect counterpoint to oversized sweaters and ponchos. Post lunch, I was not feeling “skinny” so admired them on the display

wide leg pants ans brown sweater from Ann Taylor on Jennifer Connolly of A Well Styled Life
Cozy Crew Neck Sweater // Knit Wide Leg Pants

This crew neck comes in 5 colors, regular and petite. I’m wearing the dark toffee heather color in a medium, regular length. It’s a fuzzy, boucle type knit that’s super cozy. These pants came home with me. They’re a twill knit, no waistband style with a hidden side zipper and slightly wide legs. They have a beautiful drape and will dress up or down. They’re available in regular, petite, and tall. I’m wearing the 8 regular which I bought and hemmed 2″. If they’d had the 10 petite in store, I would have bought those. They’re machine washable and pack beautifully.

Style tip- wider legged pants provide a great balance for broad shoulders. When worn with a short and/or slim-fitting top, they give the illusion of curves for straight figures.

Are you a plaid and tweed lover?

Have you entered to win this cashmere travel set?

Thanks for reading ladies and remember to wear what makes you feel confident.



  1. Thank you for your suggestions. Your outfit ideas are helpful for us petite gals. I am also about 5’4” tall, and similar weight range.

  2. You look great in those black pants! They are very flattering.

  3. Thank you so much! Your try-on was so helpful to me because we are close in height/size and I really like your style. You look femininely tailored, if that is a style. I really like the gray poncho outfit on you. Have you done a Saturday errand day try-on? Jeans?

  4. The knit wide leg pants look much better on you than the online model at Ann Taylor. I can see why they were a must buy.

  5. You look amazing in that turtleneck cable-knit poncho — so pretty!

  6. Christine says:

    Love the poncho – definitely my style. I have 3 ponchos/capesthat I wear in fall and spring, as I live in the Pacific Northwest. You look great in the wider pants. Not a style I can pull off, as I am short-waisted with narrow shoulders.

  7. Like all your suggestions.

    I can keep up with you what is popular at the moment


  8. I love the wide pants, and they have a side zipper and come in talls—major plus! I’m going to order them, too. I rarely order from AT as we don’t have a store nearby for returns, but I’ll take my chances on this one.

    I think the bar at Nordstrom is for the husbands—they are less likely to complain about their wife’s shopping if they are a bit mellowed out ?

  9. I wear black pants 75%. of the time because I have such comfortable boots and shoes for black pants. I think that’s the reason. I am going to look for a pair of grey loafers to get my grey pants out of the closet more. I love everything especially the poncho but my experience with them is wearing them once and after that grabbing a jacket. I’m always tempted though. My inner fashionista wants it.

  10. Freda Witt says:

    Love the pants, and the sweater you are wearing with them is very flattering on you. This outfit is something I would find I could wear on many occasions.

    1. Lois Williams says:

      You look great in Ann Taylor clothes, one of my go to stores. I’ve added some wider legged slacks to my wardrobe this fall too. I really enjoy your dressing room posts, thanks for sharing ?

  11. Diane Reynolds says:

    Thank you for stopping by Ann Taylor:) There isn’t a store near me so my shopping is done online. It is so helpful to see the clothes on the average woman. I also appreciate the attention to detail you provide when trying on the clothes. Thank you!

  12. I know I certainly buy more after a glass of wine. Gone is the “Do I really need them?” or “It is far too pricey.” and out pops “I want that!” lol

    It’s nice to meet your grown children’s friends. They are such a big part of their lives and we get to peek into that relationship. Enjoy!

  13. Francesca says:

    So many things to love thank you Jennifer!! Love the white poncho and the toffee sweater.
    Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful time with your daughter!

    Really like your site!

  14. Those black pants are lovely!

  15. Pat Gibbons says:

    I would love the cashmere travel set in charcoal – it looks very cosy and would be great on a plane trip!

  16. You made me laugh w/that remark about the pants! 🙂 Nice try-on session!

  17. Deborah Fischer says:

    Love the idea of cashmere anything but a cashmere robe and pajamas sounds Devine.

  18. Pat Watters says:

    I too have a couple of dozen pairs of black pants, but can always find a reason for more!

  19. Love the knit wide leg pants. I’ve been looking for a dressier pair of black pants and these are so pretty. Definitely going to order.

    1. I brought them on this trip and am loving them. They also come in Navy but the black is sort of perfect.

  20. Longing for winter weather and cozy clothes in our humid tropical clime. Love the fair isle and thoughts of velvet. Thanks for the fashion show.

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