Filling in the Gaps – Ann Taylor Chambray Blouse & J.Crew Handbag



If only I had this outfit for the 4th of July…but I did not, and my streak of being a poor summer dresser continued because I just wasn’t happy with my outfit. But one good thing did come out of it. As I tossed around my wardrobe, grumbling about how I had nothing to wear, I realized a chambray blouse would solve a lot of my summer woes. The very next day, I picked up the Luxe Chambray Blouse from Ann Taylor (on sale) and am really glad I did.

If you were to take a look at the style inspirations I’ve collected on Pinterest, you’d see a lot of looks with button downs, and specifically, chambray (like this & this). I was having a hard time recreating the looks I wanted without a chambray blouse, and a lot of my summer items, like those in seersucker, just weren’t working with a lot of my wardrobe. This blouse is closing the gap quite nicely.


And now, I’d like to introduce you to the newest addition of my handbag collection. It’s not red, which is a huge step in the right direction for me, and fills another hole I’ve had in my wardrobe.

I’ve been on the lookout for a light brown, satchel style or saddle-bag style handbag for literally years. The perfect handbag has eluded me for a few reasons:

1. They’re often too big for my height and frame.
2. The strap is often way too long and non-adjustable for a suitable length on short lil’ me.
3. The color just wasn’t right.

Then I saw this baby smiling down on me from a shelf at J.Crew, and it was love at first sight.


I love the clean, boxy construction, turn-lock closure, soft leather, and best of all…short, petite-friendly shoulder strap! The leather seems a little prone to scratches, which I’m sure will drive me batty the first few times I carry it out.


Oh…the menswear looks I have planned for this little guy…so excited! :)

For more petite bloggers in the Ann Taylor Luxe Chambray blouse, see Jean.

Disclosure – Clicking or purchasing through the links in this post may yield commissions for See the Alterations Needed Disclosure for more details.

Join the Conversation


  1. Love, love, love that bag! Plus, the necklace chambray combo is gorgeous. I definitely tried that top on and it didn’t fit very well, so I was bummed. Glad it worked out for you though- I’m definitely going to keep looking, because I love chambray.

  2. says: PetiteLittleGirl

    Love the bag, Kelly! Such a gorgeous piece. I don’t think I’ve seen it in store before. I’ll have to remember to check it out the next time I am at the store. It goes perfectly with your outfit and it’s so you =)

  3. says: Michelle

    Wow! This is definitely one of my favorite looks that I have seen you wear!!  I am in love with that bag!!   Proud that you did not opt for the “flame” option! 

    1. Wow…one of your favorites huh? ;)
      When I was paying, the sales associate said, “this bag is so cute! We already sold out of the red!” I’m sure my eyes got really wide in excitement. LOL.

  4. says: Amber

    This is kind of a different look for you and I love it! I was just at at today and I passed up that shirt… Totally regretting it! Ugh. And the jcrew bag looks perfect, great choice. :)

    1. People seem to be polarized on the AT chambray shirt. I like it because it’s a darker chambray and more tailored fit, but a lot of people want a more relaxed, lighter wash chambray. I’m sure you’ll be able to find it if you still really want it. :)

  5. Love that bag Kelly! I was just thinking it’s quite menswear inspired – like a petite and feminine version of a briefcase!  That shirt looks great on you – for some reason chambray or denim shirts always made me think of “country” but you, Annie and Jean are definitely changing my mind on that one!  This shirt would look amazing with that new white pencil skirt you got too!

    1. “a petite and feminine version of a briefcase” – Yes! I love that description!

      Chambray is a bit “country” but has been turning into the summer fabric du jour of a lot of very stylish men, and now it’s trickling down into women’s wear, which a-okay with me! ;)

      I almost wore the white pencil skirt for this outfit! I agree, I think they’ll look amazing together.

  6. says: Cee

    Everyone’s buying new bags lately! It goes without saying I’m feeling the itch too lol. Congrats on this new purchase, Kelly! The leather looks so scrumptious, especially in the last photo. I see some light scratches, but I think it only adds to the bag’s character. Wear her well!

    1. LOL! I know! So many beautiful handbags floating around these days. I haven’t bought a handbag in almost two years, so I was very due.

      I’m hoping the leather will wear well, despite all the scratches. ;)

  7. says: Sage

    Love the red skirt! This is much more stylish than I was on the 4th of July. But I’d never be able to hold all my junk in that tiny bag! :)

    Your blog gives me the best style ideas. I would love to see a post on “big” petite ladies. I’m 5’0” but I’m a size 8, so I have different issues with finding the right fit.

    1. Thanks Sage! LOL…I was much less stylish than this on the 4th…there was a lot of grumbling and tossing of clothes around. :P

      I would love to do a post on non-itty bitty petite style! I think I would need a live model, but I don’t have a test subject! I don’t know many petite ladies outside out blogging. :(

  8. I have a lot of trouble finding good bags too.  More often than not, when I see one that I like, it’s way, way too heavy – even if it’s the right size.  How do you find your new bag’s weight, especially after you factor in the keys, wallet, phone and some make-up?

    1. Hi Cynthia! The bag by itself is surprisingly light. There’s not much hardware to weight it down and leather is sturdy and boxy, but thin. With my keys, wallet, smart phone, and compact, my scale says it only weights 3 pounds, but I’m not so sure that’s accurate. :P

  9. says: Kileen

    what a beautiful structured bag!!  i’m in love with the color and can just imagine it with all your different outfits.  and the dressy chambray was definitely a great buy!

  10. says: Couturecoco5

    LOVE your whole outfit and the new bag – I have been looking for a light tan bag for years too! Is it just a ‘petite’ thing? lol! I’m saving up for a Birkin or Kelly or Peekaboo though (investment).
    I love my chambray shirt too – wearing it often this Summer – what little there has been of it in dreary UK. It’s a BR one though as you might remember. Really beautiful quality and I didn’t mind paying full price for it.
    Oh your bag is soooo lovely!

  11. says: Guest

    I have a problem with bags too.  Sometimes, it’s too big.  And even if I *DO* find the right size, it’s often too heavy!  How’s the weight on this one, Kelly?  Especially after the keys, wallet, phone and lipstick go in?

  12. says: Tara

    I’ve been to at least 3 different Ann Taylors looking for that shirt but have yet to find it in my size…oh well!  Looks great on you!  Love the bag!

    1. Call Ann Taylor and ask them to look for it in the store system! You can get it shipped to your house ($7.50 unless you have an Ann Taylor card AND add a full price item to your order. Only full-price ships for free). That’s how I found mine. :)

  13. says: R.L.

    I love the sleek lines of the bag!  And I love the outfit, especially the colors.  Do you plan on getting the AT shirt slimmed?  The 00p still seems a tad too big on you, but gorgeous nonetheless.

    1. Hi R.L.! I thought about getting it slimmed, but now I’m not so sure. Chambray is supposed to be a lose fit, and even my boyfriend said, “everything you have is fitted, it’s nice to have a change of pace and have something a little relaxed looking.” I’ll wear it as-is for now and see how I feel about it after a few wears.

  14. says: Diana

    My favorite part about that outfit is actually the red skirt. Is that recent JCrew, or is it from a few seasons ago? I recently learned that JCrew’s 00P usually fits me, which is opening up new, expensive worlds of fashion. (Ha!) I like the bag too, but I just got a leather bag that serves a similar purpose. Mine has multicolored stripes on the inside; I always like when the inside fabric is pretty and unique.

  15. says: AUBS*

    hm…still haven’t received my chambray.  i hope by today’s end.  Would love to see this chambray w/the supernova necklace.  You look great!

    1. Fingers crossed you get it today! Did you order the Aeropostale one too? If you did, post it on FitReview! I wanna see how that one fits. :)

      The first thing I did was pair the AT chambray with the Supernova necklace…it looks great together!

  16. Ahhh…the reveal!! The bag is so lovely..!!!! I thought of you when I got my dark red wine Chanel flap recently:) Now I must get some dark red pumps!!! LOL 

    Love the AT chambray on you- glad you finally got it!

  17. says: Vicky

    Congrats on your new bag, Kelly. Love! I saw this bag in J.Crew the other day and really loved it! The only thing that prevented me from getting yet another bag home was the fact that you mentioned in your post – the bag seems to be prone to scratches. I hope it won’t be an issue for you, because it’s soooo pretty.  BTW, really love the color of your skirt!!! 

  18. says: cinny

    I tried on the chambray blouse too but found that it would need some alternation to be a slimmer fit for me to be comfortable. I also saw how they dressed the mannequin at the store – and they always had to pin up the back of the blouse. Hmm… I’m too lazy to deal with tailoring now.

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