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
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  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. Anonymous wrote:

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

    Posted 9.5.13 Reply
  14. Thank you Jean!

    Posted 9.5.13 Reply
  15. Denise wrote:

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

    Posted 9.5.13 Reply
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. Tyrone wrote:

    Lovely pant . I like your style.

    Posted 9.5.13 Reply
  23. Kai-Li wrote:

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

    Posted 9.5.13 Reply
  24. Anonymous wrote:

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

    Posted 9.4.13 Reply
  25. Bridget wrote:

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

    Posted 9.4.13 Reply
  26. 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
  27. 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
  28. that peplum top is adorable on you! xo

    Posted 9.4.13 Reply
  29. 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
  30. 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
  31. 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
  32. sA only wrote:

    Great review!!

    And the cutting looks great on you!

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

    Le monde des petites

    Posted 9.4.13 Reply
  34. 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
  35. 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
  36. 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
  37. Hannah wrote:

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

    Posted 9.4.13 Reply
  38. 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
  39. 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
  40. WOW! Perfect fit! Both top and bottom.

    Please visit my blog for summer looks from Hawaii!

    thanks! xoxo

    Posted 9.4.13 Reply
  41. Posted 9.4.13 Reply
  42. 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
  43. Victoria wrote:

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

    Posted 9.4.13 Reply
  44. 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
  45. 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
  46. Those Zoe ankle pants are awesome! I love the color.

    Young SF Lady

    Posted 9.4.13 Reply
  47. 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
  48. 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
  49. Anonymous wrote:

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

    Posted 9.4.13 Reply
  50. Özge wrote:

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

    Posted 9.4.13 Reply

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