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

Leave a Comment


  1. bloggity wrote:

    hello! you have been so helpful in guiding me in building my professional attire! I came across the marisa fit skinny ankle pant, and unfortunately the waist and booty area are too big. i remembered this post, but when I looked up Zoe fit on LOFT, I couldn't seem to find it. Did they discontinue the Zoe fit line?

    Additionally, do you have any recs for dark black skinny pants or jeans, aside from the LOFT modern skinny pant?

    thank you!

    Posted 11.17.15 Reply
  2. Anonymous wrote:

    I love youre blog!! im not petite, im just shortie haha , i love the zoe ankle pants, but i never try it, i wear banana sloan fit stretch in size 2, a little bit loose, do you think zoe ankle runs in similar size vs sloan fit?? Thnaks

    Posted 8.4.14 Reply
  3. In regards to present day fashion, the fitness world has created a craze of certain items such as gym tank tops and yoga pants that are worn as casual wear by many people on a daily basis, whether they attend a gym or not.weight lifting pants.

    Posted 4.20.14 Reply
  4. I like your design in the waist. This bootcut jeans for women will definitely be the perfect choice for all people.

    Posted 3.21.14 Reply
  5. fsession03 wrote:

    That is a brilliant website development however the customer support is extremely horrific. They charge you the duty and tax upfront at the time of purchase, but when you return the order, they want you to go deal with your local custom which they don't have any information. They are certainly not as great as the fresh specialist websites referred to as which i possessed decided to buy preceding.


    denim jeans

    Posted 3.15.14 Reply
  6. Thank your tips very much! Thanks to your guides in details, I could sew black bootcut jeans for women myself.

    Posted 3.13.14 Reply
  7. Love these black bootcut pants! Can't wait to buy this at Chicos FAS.

    Posted 9.29.13 Reply
  8. Anonymous wrote:

    I also would love to know the answer to this question–can you really wash these pants and expect them look good? I just bought 3 Marissa's.

    Posted 9.23.13 Reply
  9. Anonymous wrote:

    I just bought several pairs of Marisa trousers, and they claim they are machine washable. Have you washed yours, and if so, did they shrink? I'm hesitant not to dry clean them, even though it is not listed on the care tag…

    Posted 9.23.13 Reply
  10. Jane wrote:

    I would like to mention that is a website that makes custom pants for women. You can select a fabric and send us your measurements. Pants are ready in about 2 weeks. If your "butt bunching" is referring to fabric that gathers at the top of the back thigh, we eliminate that by cutting out that fabric when the back of the pants is cut out.

    Posted 9.23.13 Reply
  11. ajgazmen wrote:

    Jean, I saw you at LOFT petite section, today, too =) LOL
    My husband couldn't believe that I was hoarding the pants because it was extra 40% off entire purchase AND double $25 cash back ($50!) per $50 spent.
    Which means I'm going back for more pants. I am actually a JULIE; however, I don't know why I never went into LOFT until YOU posted your reviews.
    Again, thank you. I shall never pay for pants to be altered. I was screaming & jumping for joy… to finally find that perfect fit =)

    Posted 9.22.13 Reply
  12. Anonymous wrote:

    I was LOFT today (in VA) and I saw pictures of you at the Petite section. That is pretty awesome!

    Posted 9.18.13 Reply
  13. Your photos are evidence for the fact that if you wear the right pants it can really accentuate your body shape. I am sure it is a great feeling to wear pants that fit just right.

    Posted 9.16.13 Reply
  14. gina wrote:

    Those pants look great! I'm looking forward to trying the new LOFT pants after reading about them on quite a few blogs.

    Have you tried Express pants? Back when I first started practicing law, I had similar measurements to you (26" high waist and 33" hips), and the Express editor size 0 fit me very well. It was the only relatively affordable store where I could buy suits and have the pants fit right off the rack. I'm average height (5'5"), so I don't know if that makes a difference, and I wasn't quite as slim as you are. They also sometimes carry a 00, but that was a bit tight on me. I've gain a few inches in the past 3-4 years and no longer wear a 0, so I don't know if Express pants still fit the same way now, but it may be worth a shot if you haven't tried them before.

    Posted 9.15.13 Reply
  15. Hi Jean, the bootcut is very flattering on you! May I please ask how wide is the leg opening? Thank you.

    Posted 9.14.13 Reply
  16. An Nicole wrote:

    Thanks for the reviews. I find trying on pants to be one of the most frustrating things for me as most pants will either fit by butt or my thigh, never both. I would love to know of any pants that you would recommend.


    Posted 9.13.13 Reply
  17. Oh my gosh, you look FANTASTIC in pants! The ankle pants too! You should definitely invest in a few more pairs for your work wardrobe, they really lengthen you and show off your adorable figure! 🙂

    Posted 9.11.13 Reply
  18. Dice wrote:

    Hi Jean,

    Thanks for responding back to me. =) The shoes fit me (sz 5), but there was some toe cleavage and I agree that the toe area is quite narrow. I was debating about returning it as I wasn't sure if toe cleavage is acceptable. However, I guess it's more of personal preference, right?

    Posted 9.10.13 Reply
  19. Jean wrote:

    Adelina – thanks so much for all your kind words, and I am so happy to hear that the tutorial was of use to you! I admire that you have been so hands-on with building and perfecting your wardrobe. Congrats on your new job and best of luck for your first day : )

    Posted 9.10.13 Reply
  20. Jean wrote:

    Thank you, Kit! It was an honor to showcase their petite proportions.

    Posted 9.10.13 Reply
  21. Jean wrote:

    You are very kind, but there's no abs down there : ) I'm not qualified to do a fitness post as I just work out lightly…I don't enjoy it at all but try to push myself to run on the treadmill 2-3 times a week and do light weights (5-10lb) for arm toning.

    Posted 9.10.13 Reply
  22. Jean wrote:

    Hi Claud – tough to be in between petite and regular sizing! The petite boot cut might work on you with flat shoes, and the hem could be let out about .5-.75 inches. 00P unfortunately looks sold out currently, though.

    Posted 9.10.13 Reply
  23. Jean wrote:

    Hi Candice! I returned them because the toe area of a sz 5 was uncomfortably narrow for me, plus they didn't show any toe cleavage for me (I like a little bit). When I initially tried them on a while back I only had a size 6, so unfortunately mis-gauged the fit of the toe area because the bigger size was roomier plus showed toe cleavage : / Did they work out for you?

    Posted 9.10.13 Reply
  24. Jean wrote:

    Hi there – I haven't tried any of the adhesive bras yet, but my friend swears by the Nu Bra. Here's an option at Nordstrom that seems to be for smaller-chested ladies:

    She showed me them in person but I of course didn't try them on…they look of decent quality and she said she's worn them nearly 10 times and they stay on very nicely. Hope you find a good option!

    Posted 9.10.13 Reply
  25. Jean wrote:

    Hi Anly! I am planning a post soon, I did start using the Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Stick (in Khaki color) since my old video as a creamy liner/shadow. I love it!

    Posted 9.9.13 Reply
  26. Jean wrote:

    Hi Anna, I haven't, but have tried some of their other 00 stuff…fits pretty decently! Wish it were a little more affordable for the quality.

    Posted 9.9.13 Reply
  27. Anna wrote:

    I'll definitely have to check these pants out, I'm impressed by how small they look on you off the rack. Btw, have you ever checked out Club Monaco's pants? I find them to be the best fitting for petite women.

    Posted 9.9.13 Reply
  28. Anly Beck wrote:

    Hi Jean,
    Can you show us how you put on the eye makeup on? You seem look different than the last one you posted on youtube.

    Posted 9.9.13 Reply
  29. Anonymous wrote:

    Hi Jean, I know this isn't quite related to your post but I really need to ask. I've seen a few gorgeous dresses with really really low backs; like right-above-the-butt kind of low. And often times they also have a sort of cut that although not strapless, you'd still need to use a strapless bra under them. I had seen your post on making a bra work for the low back dress you wore but the dresses I'm talking about are much lower and I don't think that method would work unfortunately.
    I know I could just not wear one at all, but as I'm so small chested (about 30a), I think it looks better with one. I need your advice!! What do i use for a backless and pretty-much-strapless dress?
    I've searched it up and seen some of those adhesive bras, but do they actually work, especially on small-chested girls? Have you ever tried them? If they work that'd be awesome but I'm just really skeptical about them

    Posted 9.9.13 Reply
  30. Candice wrote:

    Hi Jean,

    Why did you return the petra suede pumps? I think you might have mentioned it in a recent blog post, but I can't seem to find it (I did a search on your blog).


    Posted 9.8.13 Reply
  31. Ohh I recognize this top from your dress DIY! 🙂 Love what you have done with this.

    Maggie A
    Love Mavin

    Posted 9.7.13 Reply
  32. Anthea Lau wrote:

    you look incredibly chic and classy in this outfit, and I agree that a little fixing might make those pants fit nicer for you <3

    Posted 9.6.13 Reply
  33. Anonymous wrote:

    The custom stretch bootcut looks very flattering on you. Though personally, I think I prefer the look of the zoe ankle pants.

    Speaking of Loft, I was walking by one of their stores earlier this week and I believe I saw your poster on their display window. It was a nice surprise to see you highlighting their petite collection.


    Posted 9.5.13 Reply
  34. Anonymous wrote:

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

    Posted 9.5.13 Reply
  35. Claud wrote:

    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?

    Posted 9.5.13 Reply
  36. Anonymous wrote:

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

    Posted 9.5.13 Reply
  37. Thank you Jean!

    Posted 9.5.13 Reply
  38. Denise wrote:

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

    Posted 9.5.13 Reply
  39. Jean wrote:

    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.

    Posted 9.5.13 Reply
  40. Jean wrote:

    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.

    Posted 9.5.13 Reply
  41. Jean wrote:

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

    Posted 9.5.13 Reply
  42. Jean wrote:

    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!

    Posted 9.5.13 Reply
  43. Jean wrote:

    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!

    Posted 9.5.13 Reply
  44. Denise wrote:

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

    Posted 9.5.13 Reply
  45. Tyrone wrote:

    Lovely pant . I like your style.

    Posted 9.5.13 Reply
  46. Kai-Li wrote:

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

    Posted 9.5.13 Reply
  47. Anonymous wrote:

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

    Posted 9.4.13 Reply
  48. Bridget wrote:

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

    Posted 9.4.13 Reply
  49. Jean,
    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!!!

    Posted 9.4.13 Reply
  50. Lori S H wrote:

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

    Posted 9.4.13 Reply
  51. that peplum top is adorable on you! xo

    Posted 9.4.13 Reply
  52. Olivia J wrote:

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

    Corporate Catwalk
    Facebook Page

    Posted 9.4.13 Reply
  53. Panina wrote:

    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!

    Posted 9.4.13 Reply
  54. Lady Indo wrote:

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

    Looking forward to the giveaway!! 😉

    Posted 9.4.13 Reply
  55. sA only wrote:

    Great review!!

    And the cutting looks great on you!

    Posted 9.4.13 Reply
  56. Nice outfit!!! Love it!!!

    Le monde des petites

    Posted 9.4.13 Reply
  57. evelyn wrote:

    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!

    Posted 9.4.13 Reply
  58. Sorry if I missed it, but who makes the leopard pumps you are wearing in this review? They are so cute. Thanks!

    Posted 9.4.13 Reply
  59. 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.

    Posted 9.4.13 Reply
  60. Hannah wrote:

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

    Posted 9.4.13 Reply
  61. Anonymous wrote:

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

    Posted 9.4.13 Reply
  62. Arts wrote:

    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.

    Posted 9.4.13 Reply
  63. WOW! Perfect fit! Both top and bottom.

    Please visit my blog for summer looks from Hawaii!

    thanks! xoxo

    Posted 9.4.13 Reply
  64. Posted 9.4.13 Reply
  65. 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.

    Posted 9.4.13 Reply
  66. Victoria wrote:

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

    Posted 9.4.13 Reply
  67. 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!

    Posted 9.4.13 Reply
  68. Ann wrote:

    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! 🙂

    Posted 9.4.13 Reply
  69. Those Zoe ankle pants are awesome! I love the color.

    Young SF Lady

    Posted 9.4.13 Reply
  70. Valerie wrote:

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


    Posted 9.4.13 Reply
  71. Tia wrote:

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

    Posted 9.4.13 Reply
  72. Anonymous wrote:

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

    Posted 9.4.13 Reply
  73. Özge wrote:

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

    Posted 9.4.13 Reply

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