LOFT redesigned pants & new Zoe petite trouser fit

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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!

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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.

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

  • Reply Jean September 10, 2013 at 12:02 am

    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?

  • Reply Jean September 10, 2013 at 12:09 am

    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.

  • Reply Jean September 10, 2013 at 12:10 am

    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.

  • Reply Jean September 10, 2013 at 12:11 am

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

  • Reply Jean September 10, 2013 at 12:13 am

    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 : )

  • Reply Dice September 10, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    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?

  • Reply Theresa Baum September 11, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    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! 🙂

  • Reply An Nicole September 13, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    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.


  • Reply Russian Chic September 14, 2013 at 10:00 pm

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

  • Reply gina September 15, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    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.

  • Reply Julia Galaxy September 16, 2013 at 3:46 am

    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.

  • Reply Anonymous September 18, 2013 at 7:25 pm

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

  • Reply ajgazmen September 22, 2013 at 5:35 am

    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 =)

  • Reply Jane September 23, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    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.

  • Reply Anonymous September 23, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    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…

  • Reply Anonymous September 23, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    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.

  • Reply Susan Howell September 29, 2013 at 3:53 am

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

  • Reply bootcutjean13 March 13, 2014 at 12:56 pm

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

  • Reply fsession03 March 15, 2014 at 4:46 am

    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.


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  • Reply fashionwomen21 March 21, 2014 at 10:14 am

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

  • Reply Ana T. Garcia April 20, 2014 at 7:14 am

    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.

  • Reply Anonymous August 4, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    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

  • Reply bloggity November 17, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    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!

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