Ann Taylor LOFT – My Recent Purchases

Last night I got my latest order from Ann Taylor LOFT. As I mentioned on my Facebook page last week, they had 30% off full-price styles. I ordered some items from LOFT in the past few months and almost all of them have been a fail for me. However, I had seen many bloggers raving about their spring line, so I decided to take a chance.

What I ordered and what I thought:

field spots print tee ann taylor LOFT

On the LOFT Facebook page, someone mentioned how this top was way overpriced – almost $50 for a polyester tee shirt? With the 30% off deal it seemed to be a more reasonable price. I was imagining it with jeans like in the photo, but also with a leather skirt, with a navy fuller skirt and peeptoe heels, even under a suit jacket. I thought it would be unique, versatile, fun.

Yeah, it’s a cheap-feeling polyester tee shirt with an elastic band at the waist.

I chose a size Large, which seemed too big for me. It gapped at the armholes, exposing my bra. The neckline was also large, sliding off a shoulder showing bra strap. The elasticized waist wasn’t tight enough to stay at the waist and blouse out, and the top was so darn long that it couldn’t be worn without being tucked in. Did I mention it felt cheap? It’s the same weird nubby polyester of my brown and blue dress from last spring, but at least in a dress it seems to work. This top would be awesome… if the price was more like $30 and it fit more like it does on the model (she HAS to have it clipped in back!).

ann taylor loft draped woven dress

I thought this dress would be a perfect addition to my wardrobe for spring. I have a LOFT dress from last spring that has a grosgrain waistband, and it has a nice fit. Black, 100% polyester, a flattering cowl neckline and subtle bubble skirt, I was thinking this dress would be cute for work with a colorful woven or my black patent belt, but also could be glammed up for a wedding or date night.

Another fail. Again, LOFT has used really cheap material. This dress is black, but it’s a sheer polyester that is so cheap it looks almost like dark gray. White the exterior is a floaty (yet cheap feeling and looking) organza-like fabric, the interior is a very tight-fitting opaque black polyester. There is a size zipper which is necessary to get this dress on, and even when on I found the lining to be extremely fitted to the point that it rode up when I walked or sat and required adjustment just to walk from the bed to the full-length mirror. This dress looked as though it cost $25 and was purchased at H&M.

I ordered a 12 Regular, which technically fit – it fit in the bust, it fit in the ribcage, the waist hit at the right place, the skirt in the right place (note –if you are tall this dress will be very short). however the really snug-fitting lining made it do weird things from the waist-down. I can’t even imagine how this would fit on a woman who has more curves in the hip area.

scallop stitch sweater ann taylor loft

I know I am not the only person who occasionally forgets her personal style. For those who have been reading for a long time (and those who know me IRL) are thinking, “What the heck is Allie doing ordering this sweater?” I know my sister is thinking, “There she goes again.” All my life, I go through phases where I think I will start wearing subtle neutral colors, pieces that are beautiful based upon their detail and shaping, than color. I imagined wearing this sweater with jeans and all my champagne pearls, with a statement necklace like the model, or with my black leather skirt and some fun booties.

This sweater is gorgeous in person, I think moreso than on the model. It has a heavy weight, but the knit is sort of spongy/stretchy so it still has lovely drape. A size large fit me like the model, but a bit longer in the body. It would look amazing with some weathered jeans and beaded jewelry, with white jeans and a bold silver cuff, and yes, with a black leather mini and ankle booties. It does have dolman sleeves, which isn’t the best on a woman with a large bust and broad shoulders, but it’s a really lovely sweater than looks expensive and seems to be made with care. It’s just not my personal style.

sequin stripe tee ann taylor loft

I didn’t take this out of the plastic, I found it really goofy looking in person. I was thinking it could be cute with a blazer and jeans, or as a fun alternative to a tee, but it looked so muddy and cheap in real life, I didn’t even upwrap it and try it on.

basic scooped tee ann taylor loft

I was looking forward to these tees. A few years ago, I got some pima scoop tees from Banana Republic that were perfection – a refined knit with a slight sheen that could dress up or down, a flattering scoop that elongated the neck but didn’t show bra straps or too much cleavage, a mix of fabrics that could handle the washing machine and didn’t stretch out over time. I still wear my Banana tees from time to time, but they are really showing their age. I thought these tees from LOFT would be a worthy replacement. I ordered four of them – Spring Orange (pictured), Shimmer Pink, Navy, and Black. I ordered all of them in size Large Regular.

Each shirt fit differently. The black tee is a hint too large, the navy one so long it covers my crotch, the orange one gaps at the neck and has shorter sleeves than the rest, the pink one fits me perfectly. Also the actual fabric varied from piece to piece – some seemed thinner than others, some seemed to have more Lycra. Again the pink was my favorite of them all.

As for the colors, the Spring Orange is the most random color – it’s like neon salmon and slightly faded; I own a highlighter this color and I don’t like using it. Think Spam, think weird orange drink that comes in gallon jugs, think Laffy Taffy. Now, some women could rock this color, but I feel very few. The Shimmer Pink isn’t as vibrant as I had hoped, but it’s a pretty color that can get your fix of Honeysuckle for the season. Black and navy were rich and true, the navy a nice inky dark shade that looks polished.

I will be returning at least the Spring Orange, and most likely the Black.

polished denim skirt ann taylor loft

Since my old beloved Ann Taylor denim pencil skirt is now too large, I have been looking for a replacement. I thought this may be a good choice – it’s not heavy denim, I liked the wide waistband and clean lines.

This skirt doesn’t look at all like denim in person. It’s a thin stretchy fabric with a slight sheen that may look denim-like in the right light. The fabric is so thin, it doesn’t hide a single thing (unlike my old stretch denim pencil skirt which was made of the same fabric as stretch denim jeans). On top of it, the skirt seems to run really tight in the hips/butt. While a 12 Petite fit me in length and the waist, it looked painted on. Also, I found the two slits in the back to be a weirdly conservative touch for such a skirt. This skirt just confused me and is being returned.

long layered teardrops necklace ann taylor loft

Meh. It’s cute, but nothing to write home about. I usually have great success with LOFT jewelry – it’s well made, unique, stylish, looks more expensive than its pricetag. This doesn’t look expensive – it looks as though I could find it at Forever 21. It’s a nice length, but the chains are so light and the teardrops so heavy, it all jumbles together between the breasts and you lose the detail in the necklace. Return.

Yet again, not much luck with Ann Taylor LOFT. I want to love them, I want to have success, but again I am disappointed in shoddy work and cheap fabrics. Every so often they have a true gem (like my leather mini skirt), but I am seeing more often that they are missing the mark on what used to be their staples – great jeans, quality knits, fun accessories.



Have you checked out LOFT’s new spring line? Have you found any winners?

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32 Comments

  1. Guest
    September 22, 2013 / 11:55 pm

    Thank you for this blog! Very helpful.

  2. August 9, 2011 / 11:26 pm

    Ugh, I hate when stuff like this happens. I often shy away from shopping online for this exact reason – I am SOOOO OCD about touching things to know what they feel like/fit like before I buy them, I don’t know if I could ever buy anything other than shoes online. I hate how good they can make certain things look online yet are terrible when they get to you in the mail. Good thing they take returns! 🙂

  3. August 9, 2011 / 11:26 pm

    I have had some luck lately at Loft, but I went to the store because I have had trouble buying online. I found some cute tops and they were 40% off plus on clearance so I got good deals. I do agree that they have went down in the last few years!

  4. August 9, 2011 / 11:26 pm

    Wow, the goal of this post wasn’t to get you so upset. Also didn’t realize people were as rabid about clothing brands as they are about football teams…

  5. Grrr...
    August 9, 2011 / 11:26 pm

    Loft is awesome and you all are mad because you mail order 2 pieces and you end up not liking the 2. There are a zillion items to choose from at the stores…PICK ANOTHER ITEM LADIES!

  6. March 24, 2011 / 6:27 pm

    Tinyjunco, I think your comment is hysterical! It made me think of the stuff you have to drink before your gestational diabetes test when pregnant! 🙂

  7. March 24, 2011 / 6:27 pm

    Sad! I’m glad it’s not anything I put on my spring wish list, but that’s still crappy.

    I tend to only buy things there when they’re super-super on sale. I really prefer regular Ann Taylor, but the one here has closed.

    Kat
    gingerandthegeek.com/kitty-corner

  8. March 24, 2011 / 6:27 pm

    Yup, that’s exactly what I was thinking!

  9. Anonymous
    March 21, 2011 / 7:35 pm

    I shopped at Loft for years, and honestly had to have a self-intervention to stop shopping there. I recently did a very honest, very thorough review of my whole wardrobe, and almost all of my “never wear again” pile was from Loft. Their clothes look cute on the surface, but fit really weird, and the quality is very hit-or-miss. Once things are washed, they get stretched out, faded, pilled, baggy… you name it! I don’t even walk in there anymore, since I’m afraid I’ll get seduced again by stuff that looks yucky on me.

  10. March 17, 2011 / 1:50 pm

    I see a lot of US stores are becoming cheap. I used to find a lot of great clothes at Target. Now a lot of the things I find look cheap. I can’t buy anything at some stores anymore since the fabric is too thin and cheap. It might be since I only shop there once every 2 years when I get to the US, but still, it’s been a long time since I’ve been happy with a purchase.

    On the other hand, I’m loving Uniqlo and their cheap but well made shirts!

  11. March 17, 2011 / 12:09 pm

    Sing it! I am so disappointed in LOFT lately, and they have been a favorite of mine for years. I have two boxes of stuff I am returning this week. What is going on over there?

  12. March 16, 2011 / 9:16 pm

    Yup, that’s exactly what I was thinking!

  13. March 16, 2011 / 1:48 pm

    Sad! I’m glad it’s not anything I put on my spring wish list, but that’s still crappy.

    I tend to only buy things there when they’re super-super on sale. I really prefer regular Ann Taylor, but the one here has closed.

    Kat
    gingerandthegeek.com/kitty-corner

  14. March 16, 2011 / 12:30 pm

    Allie-Yes I stopped in and they really did have some cute items. I got a shift dress on sale and love it! But their spring line is adorable as is Zara, Club Monaco and a few others. Too much good stuff!!!I LOVE the scallop stich sweater you got and if the 30% comes back I will definitely snag one of those.

  15. March 16, 2011 / 10:25 am

    Tinyjunco, I think your comment is hysterical! It made me think of the stuff you have to drink before your gestational diabetes test when pregnant! 🙂

  16. Anonymous
    March 16, 2011 / 3:17 am

    The Loft store we have here is awful. Uptight, and I never find anything. This last weekend, I went to a different location. I had to figure out what I really had to have! I couldn’t make up my mind. It helped that I have been getting toned, and I am now in size small! What a surprise to me! I ended up buying three shirts, not realizing they were all the same color. Oh well! They looked great. I can’t wait to go back.

  17. March 16, 2011 / 2:15 am

    Love the honesty and detail here! I hate it when these places go cheap on the fabric– and especially when you put trust in ordering from them online!
    La Petite Marmoset

  18. Bianca
    March 16, 2011 / 1:19 am

    Thanks for sharing this! ITA that the quality of their clothing has significantly decreased – I went from making quite a few purchases on a monthly basis to one blazer so far this year. I will say I’m surprised by Talbot’s though, they’ve become my new go-to-store. Clearly they have a new designer or something bc the dresses are fab!

  19. March 16, 2011 / 12:39 am

    “…think weird orange drink that comes in gallon jugs…” oh Allie, this just made me crack up – (fair warning, this is going to get gross) i’m in the middle of doing a ’24 Hour Urine Test’ (just routine). it’s pretty much how it sounds – lovingly collect every drop for a whole day and keep it in the fridge in a big jug, then haul it in to the lab……the kicker is, guess what color the jug is? bleargh!!!

    and to top it all off, the directions on the side of the jug finish with ” Do Not Drink Contents!” Good think i read all the way to the end….thank you for making me laugh about this one!! have a great day, steph

    p.s. feel free to delete if this is too gross! 😉

  20. March 15, 2011 / 9:50 pm

    I just got some nice trouser jeans from there but everything else has disappointed me as well this season. I cannot get past the nasty fabrics. -A

  21. Anonymous
    March 15, 2011 / 9:36 pm

    Loft was my favorite store for years and the last 2 years they have really gone down hill. The clothes don’t fit right and the material is cheap. How did this happen? I have more luck at the limited now.

  22. Martha
    March 15, 2011 / 7:06 pm

    this is so funny that you posted it today–I went on an ATL shopping spree yesterday! I was in the store–they still had 30% off sales, and I had a 25% off coupon and a gift card. I tried to make sure I was trying new sorts of things, and found several things that I loved–some sweaters (the scoop neck with the zipper in the back–cute!) and other tops, a new pair of jeans, some very out of the box blouses, a great spring jacket, and one pair of work pants. But, I went there with the main purpose of finding at least two pairs of work pants. I’m in between sizes for them now, and their “leg lengthening” pants are REALLY long. They get that effect by making you wear heels. And, frankly, I don’t want to HAVE to wear heels if I don’t want to. So, I’m still hunting for new pants.

    There were a lot of items that were big misses for me, but I still came home with a big bag o’ stuff.

  23. March 15, 2011 / 6:15 pm

    I rarely shop at Loft. I don’t have many items from there, and they seem almost as expensive as AT. I have gone back to my “I’m not ordering online anymore because I can’t try the clothes on beforehand” mentality. Unless it’s Talbots, which fits me really well. But I never pay full price.

    Funny you should mention H&M as I just sort of discovered it. While their clothes are generally too young and flimsy for me, I did just purchase a cute, basic beige dress that is actually lined and seems well made. Regardless, it was only $26, so no big deal if it doesn’t last forever.

    I’ve recommitted to actually going shopping every now and then. It’s hard to do with a toddler and when my kids were young, I ordered everything online. But now that my boys are older I’ve rediscovered how much I love to shop for clothes.

    Anyway, thanks for the very good review.

  24. MeredithJC
    March 15, 2011 / 3:11 pm

    I’ve always been a fan of Loft petite clothing and was completely turned off the other day when I went in to look for grey trousers and was directed to these pants that were a dressy cut but were a thick almost sweatpant material. Bad.

  25. Anonymous
    March 15, 2011 / 3:01 pm

    Loft used to be my go to store. Not anymore. Nothing fits right, everything feels cheap, looks cheap but is certainly not priced cheap… and don’t get me started on their lack of customer service. Thankfully, your blog has given me so many new options – your readers are very lucky to have you.

  26. March 15, 2011 / 2:47 pm

    I’ve also given up on ATL. The quality has gone down and the prices have gone up…a shame since they used to have such nice pieces.

  27. March 15, 2011 / 2:46 pm

    I haven’t been to a LOFT store recently but around the holidays, everything looked shapeless and cheap for the price. However I did score a great white blazer on clearance at the end of last summer and I love it, a real steal and well made. Also you are so right about the Spam pink color, it’s everywhere! lol 🙂

  28. March 15, 2011 / 2:35 pm

    I had the same experience. In the last month I’ve ordered a blazer, knit top, and two blouses that are all returns. (I kept the necklace you returned, although wearing it makes me jingle like a belly dancer when I walk.) The latest blouse I tried managed to be too big AND gap at the chest. Quite a feat!

  29. Leigh
    March 15, 2011 / 2:18 pm

    I have had to stop shopping at Ann Taylor Loft. Their clothes just do not fit me well. I always see things I think are nice when I walk in the store, and always they disappoint. So, I have forbidden myself to go in anymore.

  30. Anonymous
    March 15, 2011 / 2:07 pm

    I wish I had read your critique before I placed my 30% off order which included that first tee – we’ll see if it works any better for me. I used to get a lot of my clothes from Loft but haven’t gone to them nearly as much in the last 2 years. Thanks for taking the time with these reviews!

  31. March 15, 2011 / 1:46 pm

    I’m not a huge fan of their current line. I feel the same way about Gap, though my last order went well — all the others I have returned everything.

  32. March 15, 2011 / 1:37 pm

    I agree their stuff tends to be made out of cheap material and I will only buy stuff on sale there. Overall though they usually have some cute stuff that is good for work. I usually have to try stuff on in the store because ya just never know how it’s going to fit.
    Thanks for the reviews!

    ~Miranda
    http://www.indcfashion.com

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