LOFT redesigned pants & new Zoe petite trouser fit

loft zoe pants 3

LOFT Zoe bootcut pants c/o, top altered from Kate Spade dress,
J.Crew Everly pumps, Parentesi bag (sold out), Ann Taylor necklace c/o

I received a gift card from LOFT (and asked for a few to share!) to try on their new pant styles. This was timely, as I’ve been looking to expand my wardrobe beyond my usual skirts and dresses. According to a booklet that came in the mail, their pants were redesigned this season after research with over 10,000 women. Changes based on feedback included lifting the rear/back rise, slimming the legs and thighs, and adding reinforcement inside the waistband like in men’s dress pants amongst other tweaks.

LOFT shoppers are probably familiar with their signature Marisa (straight through hips) or Julie (curvy through hips) cut pants. I have friends who swear by these, but both cuts fit roomy on me throughout. When I heard that there was a new Zoe cut this season that runs the narrowest through the hips, I was eager to give them a try.

loft zoe pants 2

Each store does carry petites, but I went online for the biggest selection. There were quite a few styles/materials to choose from in the Zoe cut alone, so I was stoked to find some helpful reviews by a very petite customer (thanks “Ardie!”). She reviewed three Zoe styles and noted that the custom stretch bootcut (pictured here) and trouser cut ran smallest, with just a bit of taking-in needed at the waist.

On someone my size (for reference, currently about 25″ at the high waist, 32.5″ hips) the hips, rise, and legs fit well throughout, with about 1.5″ of room in the waist that would need to be taken-in. The length on me is appropriate with 3.5″ heels.

LOFT zoe boot cut pants

For fellow ladies who can’t find pants that fit right off the rack, Kelly did a helpful post on the next best thing – how to choose pants that can be successfully altered. She notes to look for an appropriate rise, no excessive waist gap, a flat front, and smooth fitting thighs. I second all of these based on mistakes from personal experience. Too much taken in at the waist or hips could result in awkward pocket placement (see my “bad tailoring signs” post). Too high of a rise could result in pants that can’t even be pulled on post-waist alterations (see same post). Too much slimming at the thighs and legs just from the outer seam could ruin the trouser shape and the flow of the leg crease (have had a few Theory pants messed up this way…sobs…).

A waist alteration for unlined pants like these costs $15-$25 at the average tailor, and is necessary to correct sagging or creasing at the crotch that result from a loose waist. I wanted to show the actual fit of these pants, so all photos in this post are pre-alterations. I also wanted to note that while I was in the fitting room during a recent visit, a sales associate saw that my pants were loose in the waist and handed me a card for $10 off a full price purchase (“full price” includes those 40% off everything type sales…as long as there is not an actual markdown sticker on the tag). She said it was a small gesture for customers that may still need alterations on their pants, so be sure to ask for one if that’s the case!

LOFT zoe boot cut pants1

I also wanted to show the Zoe ankle pants in cotton blend (3 colors):

These were similar to the bootcut in the waist/hips/thighs, but felt a little looser in those areas. For someone my size, these would require the same waist alteration as the style above. Even though I love the color of these, I plan on keeping & altering the bootcut as they were more fitted and flattering for me personally.

LOFT zoe ankle pants1


The measurements of my Zoe bootcut in custom stretch, sz 00P are 14″ across waist, 7″ rise, 16.5″ across hips, and 30″ inseam. Measurements of of the Zoe ankle pants are 14″ across waist, 7″ rise, 16.75″ across hips, and 25″ inseam. In comparison, a Marisa pant in 00P I tried on was 14″ across the waist and 18″ across the hips, so I’d recommend that cut for those who want more room in the hip/butt area.

loft zoe pants 1

73 thoughts on “LOFT redesigned pants & new Zoe petite trouser fit

  • Özge September 4, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    Amazing look , , i love your style !!!!

  • Anonymous September 4, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    I love the rich merlot color of the ankle pants…very nice for fall!

  • Tia September 4, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    Such a great review! Thanks for always taking the time to be so detailed and thorough!
    xo Tia

  • Valerie September 4, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    Too cute! All of the pairs look fantastic on you, and I love that blue and white peplum top!


  • joliene wade September 4, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    Those Zoe ankle pants are awesome! I love the color.

    Young SF Lady

  • Ann September 4, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    Yay! A rare pants review! Coincidentally, I've ordered the ZOE boot cut pants in Midweight Loft Scuba a couple days ago, so they've yet to arrive, but I'm curious how those compare to the Zoe Boot cut custom stretch pants that you have on. If they fit as great as the ones you have on, then I will be a happy camper. For some reason, my legs just doesn't look good in skirts, so I'm very glad you're expanding your wardrobe choices to beyond skirts and dresses! 🙂

  • pleinvanity September 4, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    Great review as always! 🙂 I have a hard time finding pants that fit with minimal alterations and the Loft's petites selection is always a go-to place for me. I found the Marisa pants are usually the best fit for me. I'm pretty similar in measurement to you and would love to try out the new Zoe Petite styles!

  • Victoria September 4, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    Love your post. I will give this pants a try. Thank you.

  • Petite Hues September 4, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    I'm always in search for well fitting work pants, but never really had much luck with the waist and hip areas. I've tried on the LOFT Marisa Pants before, and they never really worked for me since they were just wide throughout. I'm so happy to hear about these Zoe's. Thank you so much for the review and the helpful $10 off tip, I never knew they did that, but that's very thoughtful of them. Do you have any tips on preventing or know why pants might bunch up in the crotch area? It seems to happen to me outside of trousers too.

  • Bruna Correa September 4, 2013 at 1:03 pm
  • Mei Fleming September 4, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    WOW! Perfect fit! Both top and bottom.

    Please visit my blog for summer looks from Hawaii!

    thanks! xoxo

  • Arts September 4, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    Oh my gosh, the Loft custom stretch pants are amazing! I order a regular Julie, and always have to hem the pants about 2". So when I saw the option for a 32" inseam, I ordered a couple of colors and I have to tell you – this is the first time in my life, I put on a pair of pants and they. just. fit.

    Thank you, Loft.

  • Anonymous September 4, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    Hi Jean! What size are you wearing in the LOFT Zoe custom stretch bootcut pants? The smallest size I see online is a 2P.

  • Hannah September 4, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    They look so good on you!
    Champagne Lifestyle on a Beer Budget

  • Chic Trends September 4, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    They look great on you! I happen to also be a petite lady (5'1) so I may need to check these out! Really like the red trousers.

  • Sage Jackson September 4, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    Sorry if I missed it, but who makes the leopard pumps you are wearing in this review? They are so cute. Thanks!

  • evelyn September 4, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    Hi Jean, this is a great review! Excited to try these on as well.

    You mention in this post that ill-fitting waists can lead to bunching/wrinkling at the crotch area. I also frequnetly have trouble with pants bunching underneath the rear. What is the problem (aside from not being well endowed in the behind) that causes this, and what alterations do you make? Thank you!

  • Le monde des petites September 4, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    Nice outfit!!! Love it!!!

    Le monde des petites

  • sA only September 4, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    Great review!!

    And the cutting looks great on you!

  • Lady Indo September 4, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    The pants look really great on you, and your wardrobe in general is gorgeous.

    Looking forward to the giveaway!! 😉

  • Panina September 4, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    What a timely review! I had just discovered the Marisa pants at Loft last week and thought they fit well but not perfect on me. I tried on 00P for trousers and bootcut, bootcut hugged my curves really well, but there was bunching in the thighs and crotch area, but my butt looked amazing! The trousers fit looser, which I like, but it was roomier in the thighs than I'd like. I'll be sure to look for the Zoe and see if those fits me better. Thanks for the review Jean!

  • Olivia J September 4, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    Jean. You have the best review. I'm always in search of the perfect pair of pants for work!

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  • pretty little things September 4, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    that peplum top is adorable on you! xo

  • Lori S H September 4, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    Those look amazing on you!!! I am excited to see how they fit my 5"1 96 lb curvy frame!

  • Adelina Franco September 4, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    I just finished altering a blouse thanks to your tutorial! I am thrilled with it. Even though it's not perfect, it's pretty close. I had been thinking about trying it for weeks and finally went to the thrift store to pick up a few blouses. I had none in my closet! I'm starting a new job and it's a pretty big deal for me, so I have been scouring your blog for weeks in preparation for this day! So far my wardrobe has become much more functional and I have to say pretty! I now have (among other things) a pair of perfect pumps because of research and messaging you, three pencil skirts- thanks to your tutorials on slimming skirts at the knee area, three new scarves- thanks to your help again because I messaged you asking for the measurements of your scarf that I love and of course you answered me! Thanks Jean for all that you do. Keep doing it! It makes life so much easier for us petite working girls!!!

  • Bridget September 4, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    ooh those are great! Exactly what I'm looking for for work pants =)

  • Anonymous September 4, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    You look killer in these pants — thanks for the heads up on a good style.

  • Kai-Li September 5, 2013 at 1:06 am

    what a great office outfit! the blue just pops! great review on the pants!

  • Tyrone September 5, 2013 at 3:42 am

    Lovely pant . I like your style.

  • Denise September 5, 2013 at 10:03 am

    I'm petite but have brought Julie, I have a small waist and will try the Zoe and maybe Marisa pants.

  • Jean September 5, 2013 at 11:18 am

    Hi Ann, I read in the reviews that the Scuba zoe's ran bigger than the other styles and in the 'custom stretch' material, but that could just have been for those reviewers. Hope they work out for you!

  • Jean September 5, 2013 at 11:19 am

    I have not figured it out…it usually happens to me when the waist is a little loose so everything sags downward in the center, but other than that have no idea!

  • Jean September 5, 2013 at 11:20 am

    Hi there – I ordered a 00P and they must have sold out quickly! I hope they restock and in more colors.

  • Jean September 5, 2013 at 11:20 am

    Hi Sage – they are Calvin Klein pumps from a year or two ago, but I've seen similar from them in pretty much the same calfhair material.

  • Jean September 5, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Hi Evelyn – butt bunching is the worst! I don't think there are alterations that can fix that because I feel the root of it is the cut of the back panel, the back rise (could be too high for your behind shape), and the hips altogether. I ordered the BR Sloan pants which I thought fit pretty decent in the houndstooth, but the solid colors really show a lot of butt bunching in the back. I've played around with the fabric on potential alterations but it does not go away, so unfortunately can't offer any help.

  • Denise September 5, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    I wonder if the zoe ankle pants are in the stores?
    Love the dark color.

  • Sage Jackson September 5, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    Thank you Jean!

  • Anonymous September 5, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    I hope so too! Thanks for taking the time, much appreciated!

  • Claud September 5, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    I love this entire outfit. The blue shoes…gorgeous. I just got a pair of blue pointed shoes from Zara, I can't wait to wear them. I always have the hardest time finding the perfect pant. The 00Ps, fall short on me and if I go with the regular size then the 00R fit is too big. I am wondering how the loft Zoe's length would fit on me?

  • Anonymous September 5, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    Jean, why do you have such perfect abs? will you be doing any fitness post some time? love all ur outfit ideas!!

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