Shuttered Doors

At the start of the pandemic and our "two week" lock down, which morphed into a three month lock down, I was worried about the small local businesses. Who would be able to weather the storm? I saw so many getting creative, hosting Instagram live shopping sessions, building web shops, offering curbside pick up and private by appointment in store browsing.

As much as it would pain me to see the Targets of the world replace our small businesses, there is another group, that has been struggling for sometime, the larger brands like Gap, J.Crew, and Ann Taylor. I was devastated when my town closed its Gap location, but I remember they gave fair warning; there was time to appreciate those final days and purchases. (Silly as it may seem, I was hesitant to purge my closet of the very last piece I'd purchased at that Gap, a strange sentiment, but visits to that store were a big part of my middle school and high school years.)

Since then, I've noticed closures come with less and less warning. Stores are open one day and closed the next, often with as much surprise to the employees as to the patrons. When Ann Taylor sent out their email about filing for Chapter 11 a few days ago they were full of assurances, promising a brighter future. So when I showed up at their New Haven store today, I was a bit surprised to find a tiny sign on the door stating that they were closed, and as I peered through the now empty windows I could see the last bits of the shop being dismantled. Just yesterday I was on their website checking to see if the piece I wanted would be at that store, today it's gone. Had I known my previous visit was going to be my last, maybe I would have put more than 15 minutes in my parking meter and taken the time to browse rather than making a quick exchange and heading out.

Not much of an exit for the very first Ann Taylor store which has been in New Haven since 1954. No announcement, no goodbye, just a quite disappearance.

 beige leopard dress, white bag, slide sandals, aries necklace-10.jpg beige leopard dress, white bag, slide sandals, aries necklace-3.jpg beige leopard dress, white bag, slide sandals, aries necklace-12.jpg beige leopard dress, white bag, slide sandals, aries necklace-7.jpg beige leopard dress, white bag, slide sandals, aries necklace-13.jpg beige leopard dress, white bag, slide sandals, aries necklace-4.jpg
The Rundown
Leopard Dress Ann Taylor Factory
White Slides Ferragamo similar
Micro Perry Satchel Rebecca Minkoff c/o Shopbop
Aries Pendant Necklace Mejuri
Midi Stackable Diamond Ring c/o AUrate New York
Necklace S.V. Decker
Gold Croissant Ring Etsy
Thin Gold Ring Etsy
Sunglasses Ray-Ban via TJMaxx


  1. That dress is so pretty! And wow, I didn't realize that location was their first store, that makes it even sadder that it's closed!

  2. Such a cute dress on you! Such a shame the store closed! My sister came over the other day we were goign to checkout the largest branch of a store near us, and it was closed! Nothing on the website, just a sign in the store that hadn't been updated saying it was closed because of the virus. I laughed my head off when I saw a post from the brand on social media stating all the stores that were reopened that day - with that store on it. I still don't think it's reopened, although there were a handful of other stores in the shopping centre closed too.

    I think this pandemic will really impact a lot of brands and it will be interesting, if a little sad, to see what happens a year or so from now!

    Hope that your week is off to a great start! :)

    Away From Blue

  3. I did such a lot of my shopping in New Haven at that store - I was sad and a little nostalgic when I read the news that it was closing (and, of course, all of grad school friends and I were messaging back and forth about it). And, wow, it's been open for such a long stretch there.

    Courtney ~ Sartorial Sidelines

  4. When the pandemic first began, my instinct was the same - what would small businesses do, I wondered? How would they manage? It never occurred to me to worry about large chains, despite knowing that many have been dealing with flagging sales for years. Small businesses, it turns out, knew how to great creative, while many of the giants did not. In retrospect, this probably shouldn't surprise me as much as it did. Even the way they've closed their doors, like Ann Taylor in New Haven did, without warning and with little more than a printed sign in the window, speaks to business practises that are antiquated and don't make sense in the current market - and when I say that, I mean the pre-pandemic market. It amazed me, before this all happened, how out of touch with consumers my local Gap store seemd to have become. I think many stores will wind up going the same route, but it won't really be because of the pandemic it - the pandemic will just have accelerated the process. Still, it's sad to see something you love disappear so suddenly. I've never been an Ann Taylor shopper but I've admired many of their pieces on you, this beautiful dress in particular.

  5. Sadly, I don't think they'll be the last! I hope most brands can weather this storm, and especially those small businesses. In other news, you look fabulous in this wrap!
    xo Annie
    New England Romance

  6. That is so sad! I know that so many businesses have been struggling right now, it is heartbreaking. I love that dress on you!