Speaking of surprisingly cute fall merch, mass-market retailers Ann Taylor and JCPenney are stepping away from the shoulder-padded mock turtlenecks and acid-wash Mom jeans they're usually associated with, and are instead busting out fashionable items for people who don’t DVR Lifetime specials. Last year, Ann Taylor lured Senior V.P. of Design Lisa Axelson away from Club Monaco to revamp the brand, and her new collection starts trickling into stores next month, with everything landing by September 1. Even seasoned (and, okay, snobby) fashion writers like us were surprised, and found a lot to love, from leopard ballet flats to boyfriend blazers. Axelson’s jewelry seems, dare we say it, Lanvin-inspired. Think pearl-and-grosgrain necklaces.
And with JCPenney about to open its first Manhattan location next week, the store is upping its designer cool factor. Their simple, casual knits aren't half bad — if we squint, we can almost see Mary-Kate in one of their light-gray sweater dresses or fedoras. Almost. Taking a page from Target, they carry lines by well-known designers. (American Living, FYI, is code for inexpensive Ralph Lauren.) For fall, we can't help but like Allen B. by Allen B. Schwartz’s cropped leather jackets and plaid button-downs. Charlotte Ronson’s I Heart Ronson line sticks to her theme of downtown girly hipsterwear. Check out her belted sweater vests and pleated skirts. (Both Allen B. and I Heart Ronson have been at the store since spring '09.) Click ahead for some picks that just might surprise you.
Most Viewed Stories
Looks Like Kate Middleton Is Enjoying the View in Canada
Trump Campaign Manager Accidentally Refers to His ‘Abuse’ of Women on Live TV
Finally Someone Called Donald Trump a Giant Baby and It Was Michelle Obama
22 Intimate Lost Photos of Marilyn Monroe
Prince Married to Commoner Still Too Good to Tweet
Democratic Women Senators Are Very Concerned About Donald Trump’s Weight
It’s Finally Possible to Understand What Happened to Amanda Knox
Kim Kardashian Assaulted by the Same Guy Who Grabbed Gigi Hadid
Ask a Boss: My Co-worker Wants Everyone to Call Her Boyfriend Her ‘Master’!
The Very Uncomfortable Experience of Rewatching Election in 2016
From Our Partners
The Zoe Report
powered by PubExchange
Latest News from The CutTaylor Swift and Calvin Harris Have Been ‘Texting,’ Because Even Famous People Aren’t Above Trying to Be Friends With Their Exes
They’ve reportedly buried the hatchet.Teen Asking Self to Homecoming Is the New John Cusack Holding a Boom Box Over His Head
He said yes.Megyn Kelly Roasts Trump’s Campaign Manager for Claiming He Doesn’t Make Sexist Comments
“Kellyanne, this is an issue for him, is it not?”Is Your Hormonal Birth Control Making You Depressed?
A new study found a link between hormonal birth control and depression.Trump Campaign Has Sexist Plan to Fight Allegations of Sexism
Talking points say they should hammer Hillary for Bill’s sex scandals, though even Republicans think that’s a terrible idea.How a Belgian Fashion Upstart Learned to ‘Feel French’
How Y/Project’s Glenn Martens went from teen skate-park poser to the toast of Paris Fashion Week.A Woman in London Was Run Over by Men on a Moped for Ignoring Their Catcalls
She was walking home from a shopping center.Watch the Chloé Livestream
Enoy!California Eliminates the Statute of Limitations for Rape and Other Sex Crimes
Previously, charges generally had to be filed within a 10-year window of the alleged crime.Brad Pitt Reportedly Takes Voluntary Drug Test, Is ‘Cooperating Fully’ With DCFS Investigation
After reportedly being accused of child abuse.
She told Howard Stern about the qualities she’s looking for in a man.Kim Kardashian Assaulted by the Same Guy Who Grabbed Gigi Hadid
She reached out to French officials after he ran up and kissed her ass.Your Zits Are Actually Keeping You Young
New research suggest they are nature’s anti-ager.Rihanna’s Paris Fashion Week Show Involved a Lot More Purple Satin Than Anyone Was Expecting
Pastels were a major theme.Looks Like Kate Middleton Is Enjoying the View in Canada
It’s a beautiful country!College Student Printed Out Her Roommate’s Subtweets and Posted Them in the Dorm in Today’s Best College Drama
She printed out every subtweet and posted them on a bulletin board.The Y Is Back in YSL, But Not Much Else Is Yet
Anthony Vaccarello’s debut collection falls back on label classics. Plus: Young Parisian designers experiment.Prince Married to Commoner Still Too Good to Tweet
Their 'first tweet' was not impressive.Finally Someone Called Donald Trump a Giant Baby and It Was Michelle Obama
It was inevitable.What’s Going to Happen to Angelina’s Jewelry From Brad?
She has quite a few personal pieces from Brad Pitt that might wind up on the auction block.