Recent Fashion Hits and Misses: LOFT and Ann Taylor Edition

Ann Taylor and LOFT purchase review by Wardrobe OxygenAnn Taylor and LOFT, I just can’t quit you. Sometimes I walk in your store and walk right out. Sometimes I go online and want everything, sometimes I’m underwhelmed. Often when I place an order I return 99% but that 1%… that’s why I keep coming back. Here’s the latest items I’ve ordered from these two retailers:



LOFT Primavera JacketPrimavera Jacket – 16 Petite, Navy

How CUTE is this jacket? And it also gets rave reviews! Oh gosh I love it, I’ll throw it over a dress, wear with a simple tee and jeans, it’s the kind of jacket that will work with other prints – a striped shirt, a patterned silk scarf. It’s also pretty timeless, something that has been in style before and won’t look like a fashion has-been piece in a year or two or five.

I got it, it’s not as bright and unique in person. That’s likely a good thing for most, but for me it wasn’t quirky enough. The fabric is also a bit stiff, so it stuck out at my chest. It’s a pretty jacket, and one I think that would be flattering on a smaller or less busty person. But I just wasn’t thrilled enough to keep it. May be a hit for some, but a miss for me.

LOFT Short Sleeve Sheath DressShort Sleeve Sheath Dress – 14 Petite, Black

We all can use a dress like this in our wardrobe. The tailored but not tight black dress that can work for the office, for a funeral, a wedding, a cocktail party, a Date Night, an awards gala all with the switch of a necklace and shoes. And the 14 petite fit me really nicely, nips and tucks all in the right places.

However, this is a stretchy ribbed dress. This is not ottoman ribbed which is heavy and solid with a bit of give, but more like a lightweight ponte knit that stretches in all directions. It is also not lined. If it was a heavier fabric and the skirt lined, even if it was twice the price, I’d keep it and love it and wear the heck out of it. But the fabric choice and lack of lining made it so cheap looking and feeling. I believe I used the term “Under $50 ASOS dress” in my last hits and misses post; this too gives that feel. I think if I were younger I’d find it a nicer dress, but now I want a dress that will keep its shape and mine, especially for the occasions where such a silhouette is appropriate. Miss.

Lou and Grey Signaturesoft Sweatshirt DressLou & Grey Signaturesoft Sweatshirt Dress – XL, Black

I haven’t had much luck with Lou & Grey in the past, the sleeves are always super narrow and the shape in general is geared towards a leaner frame. But I was willing to take a chance and because I know they run narrow went with an XL.

It’s clear I like it, I wore it in this outfit post. However, I will not be putting this baby in the dryer and I wash it inside out on the gentle cycle. It’s the kind of fabric that is super soft and cozy… and prone to shrinking, pilling, and fading. So far so good but in general with clothes from LOFT and Lou & Grey be more cautious than the washing instructions to keep the color, shape, and length. Hit!

LOFT Single Button BlazerSingle Button Blazer – 16 Petite, Ivory

This is awful. It looks like a lab coat and has just as much tailoring to it. Nice fabric, nicely constructed, but the weight of the fabric mixed with the boxy fit just makes it look dorky. Miss.

LOFT Double Breasted BlazerDouble Breasted Blazer – 16 Petite, Navy

Clearly I like this jacket, I wore it in this outfit post and have worn it two other times since. Because it’s a boxy shape, I think I could have sized down to 14 but chose to stick with 16 worrying that the 14’s arms may be too snug. But it’s a nice finish that will work with LOFT’s trousers, the buttons are smooth shiny gold, it’s lined, and looks well made. Hit!

LOFT Redhot Square Silk ScarfRedhot Square Silk Scarf – Spicy Orange

The print is an orange-red with navy, black, and ivory. It’s a smaller scarf, the size of a bandana. This is what I wanted, with a thicker neck I find larger square scarves to be an awkward size – too small to double comfortably, but single knot I look like a flight attendant. This is a great length to roll and knot, to wear cowboy style tucked into the neck of an open shirt, to tie on the handle of your handbag or around a low ponytail. Just know the navy stands out so don’t think you can easily pair this with black and not look a tad off. The price is awesome when they have 40% off. Hit!

Ann Taylor


Ann Taylor rose garden pleated blouseRose Garden Pleated Collar Blouse – XL Petite, Atlantic Navy

A silky patterned blouse is a wardrobe workhorse. Pair with trousers or a pencil skirt, wear with a suit, style untucked with skinny dark jeans, tuck into dark bootcut jeans… I loved this print’s colors, the interesting neckline, and that it came in petite.

The XL petite fit, was a tad loose but I think the large would have been too snug in the bust. It’s a really gorgeous and unique print that would work with navy, various wine and red shades, ivory, camel, denim, green, and gold. Machine washable polyester that looks far more expensive than its pricetag. Technically this is a hit, but keep reading…

Ann Taylor Rose Garden PantsRose Garden Pants – 14 Petite and 16 Petite, Atlantic Navy

These pants looked like a really great shape. I loved the black piping at the bottom; like pajamas but not the true pajama trend. I figured the print would look great with a crisp white shirt, a navy cashmere turtleneck, a burgundy blouse, even a denim jacket. And well, I loved the idea of a jumpsuit look by pairing it with the rose garden blouse.

The 16 was too big. Even as a petite, the rise was so high it almost hit my ribcage and was loose. The 14 was too snug on the rear and a hair too short to wear with my favorite pumps. I got home from work and with just my bedside light on, tried on the 16 with the blouse and loved the look. I added black pumps and my gold bamboo earrings and deep wine lips. Karl said it was badass, a look that would get major props in person but be panned like crazy on the blog. I took a photo and texted it to some friends, one said she’d have to see it in person because it didn’t have much shape. I switched to the 14 and knew while the pants fit, I had no desire to showcase my rear in tight unlined thin silky pants. Then the next morning in full light I tried it on again. And then I carefully folded both pairs of pants and the blouse and put them back in the box to return.

If the pants came in a 14.5, I likely would have kept the set. I would have worn it to work and my boss would have made a joke about me wearing his grandmother’s curtains or couch and my coworker would have backed me up by saying it’s very on trend and he’s an old. I would have strutted outside to Starbucks or somewhere for lunch and would likely have some woman compliment me on my look. I’d come home on an outfit high and ask Karl to do a shoot. I’d feel all hot and fabulous in my outfit, smile and strut for the camera and then he’d give me the memory card and my confidence would end up in the toilet. Oh. My. God. Did I really spend all day in this outfit? Look at my ass, look at my belly! Why didn’t he notice that the blouse moved and you can see my bra in some of the photos? I don’t look like I’m wearing a grandmother’s couch, I AM her couch! And then two weeks later I’d wear the blouse with dark jeans or navy pants. The floral pants would recede further and further into the back of my closet until one day in April where I decide to try them with a different top or a blazer and maybe they’ll catch me on a day when I like the look and wear them again. Or maybe that would be the moment when I decide to list them on Poshmark.

I still think the combination is utterly awesome, and each piece could look fabulous on its own. But keep in mind the flowers are placed in different places on the pants depending on where the bold of fabric was cut. I had visible ovaries in the 16, while the 14 was a different placement. So I hate to say this is a miss, it’s a nice fabric, a nice cut, a fun pattern, a great combo. But just not for me right now.

Ann Taylor Bell Sleeve Silk BlouseBell Sleeve Silk Blouse – Large, Bright Geranium

I’m a sucker for a statement sleeve. This blouse looked like a lot of fun, yet still wearable to the office. I envisioned it tucked into classic trousers or untucked with dark jeans and heels. The color wasn’t quite as pretty in person, the sleeves were inches past my fingertips making it impossible to do most anything, and it was too tight in the bust. Miss.

Ann Taylor Eryn leopard haircalf pumpsEryn Leopard Print Haircalf Pumps

I’ve been looking for a pair of leopard print haircalf pumps with a not too high yet slim heel, a pointed or at least almond toe, not too orange, not too brown, not too white. These looked good, and they also look really good in person. However they run very narrow and I couldn’t even fit my heel in them. I have bought Ann Taylor shoes before and never found them to run so narrow. If you have narrow feet, these shoes are a hit. Otherwise, miss.

Ann Taylor Leopard Haircalf BeltRounded Buckle Leopard Print Haircalf Belt – L

It’s not a skinny belt, it’s not super wide. It’s a classic belt, no weird details to date it. The perfect size to change up the look of a dress, to cinch a sweater coat, and fit in wide belt loops. Hit!

Ann Taylor Stitched Ribbed SweaterStitch Ribbed Sweater – XL, Winter White

This sweater is too big for me, but it was a final sale. I was sad, it makes me look like a football player, but I took it with me on a weekend getaway in case it got chilly and late at night we sat on the couch in our room watching TV and I put this on and it was so soft and cozy… I won’t be wearing this out of the house, but gosh it’s a lovely soft and cozy sweater for lounging. And while I feared it was the type of knit to pill everywhere, I haven’t had that issue. That being said, I haven’t yet cleaned it. If it wasn’t final sale I would have returned it so I guess it’s a miss though I was wearing it just this morning when drinking my coffee and scrolling through Instagram…


  1. Vika
    April 6, 2018 / 11:06 am

    I see that Ann Taylor blocks negative reviews (“your nickname has already been taken by someone else” to every possible entry)—so here’s my review of the 2018 “box pleat tee”: What looks drapey and flowing in the photo is actually cheap, cheap shiny polyester with a too-large neck. The “pleat” would need to be partially stitched to make it hang properly. Haven’t bought Ann Taylor for a while, and won’t be back.

  2. March 3, 2017 / 6:38 am

    great post! I love that you put why the items were a miss or hit. I recently had issues with sizing with H&M several trips back and forth to the store. And MANGO too, but that was for my hubby not me. Sizing, got to love how sizes change on different items and for different companies.

  3. JE
    March 2, 2017 / 1:03 pm

    I love reading your ‘hit and miss’ posts. Our body shapes are very different (small bust, long waist, athletic) and I share your misery about getting a flattering fit. I appreciate your standards for a ‘hit’ as a reminder that it’s worth it to buy quality clothes and not settle for cheap and almost-okay fit. And that I’m not alone in my experience with sending stuff back that doesn’t work for me.
    Sheath dresses are my new go-to item in my new job in administration. I’d like to rave about the Lands’ End ponte knit sheaths — modest neckline, pockets!, at-the-knee hem, 3 sleeve length options, and doesn’t look like a mess after sitting all afternoon. Petite, regular, tall and plus sizes too — what’s not to love about that?

  4. Kinshasa Vargas-Pile
    March 1, 2017 / 7:42 am

    I love Ann Taylor Loft! I usually get compliments on everything I purchase from there.

    However, I wish there was more consistency in the sizing.

  5. Cinder
    February 28, 2017 / 11:18 pm

    Love that you’re my size

  6. Patricia
    February 28, 2017 / 10:01 pm


  7. February 28, 2017 / 7:35 pm

    I totally need a neck scarf. Such a trendy accessory!


  8. crtfly
    February 28, 2017 / 5:16 pm


    I don’t quite understand why you returned the floral shirt. You liked it so much and it fit you well. The pants I understand but then I don’t like patterned pants, period.

    I’m also looking for a white blazer. I’m thinking that I might have to go to a linen, safari style jacket to get what I want. i like the outdoor, adventure vibe to a safari jacket and I don’t care if it is out of style.


  9. Kate K
    February 28, 2017 / 4:53 pm

    Your thought process on the Ann Taylor pants and blouse absolutely made my day. I have been there so many times.

    I know I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again: these are my favorite posts. Yes, it’s entertaining but it is such a good reminder for me when I get frustrated with shopping. It is hard work buying clothes (especially when you’re on the cusp of plus-size or plus-size) and online shopping requires such a time commitment. While I wish more of this worked for you, I relate so much to sending back so much of what you bought. (I was literally at the post office this morning with four bags to send back to ASOS.)

  10. February 28, 2017 / 12:11 pm

    Oh my gosh I’m the same way! I love their prints but nothing ever fits. All the tops are too tight and don’t have any stretch. Everything is way to structured so you can only have one body type (slim) to fit into anything. I end up buying scarves there. Too bad b/c I really want to shop there.


    • El Sparks
      March 1, 2017 / 12:08 am

      not true… loft sizing is noticeably generous compaired to ur standard US size. And thats to accentuate clients of the exact opposite from slim. might i suggest that u play with sizes next time u go in to AT Loft. since the shirts as u mentioned are small, i can only assume u shop in the petites, the hem is shorter as well as narrow. try the full size tops, one size up than u wear in petites.

  11. Sara
    February 28, 2017 / 11:34 am

    I have only ordered clothes from LOFT once, and it was a disaster! They charged my credit card twice for my order. When I called to ask them about it they told me they were aware of it, but didn’t refund my card until after that call. I returned five of the six items I ordered and that was an ordeal, too. For some reason I couldn’t track my return online using any of the information on my packing slip. It took them more than a month after they received my returned items to credit my card. I’m never ordering from them again. Ugh!

  12. Lynn
    February 28, 2017 / 10:30 am

    Yay! These are my favorite posts! I have the same experience at these stores: sometimes I walk in and want all the things, and other times it’s a big “nope.” Thanks for sharing the struggle with us!

  13. Amy
    February 28, 2017 / 9:32 am

    These are always my favorite posts! I really wanted to love that white blazer from Loft. I’ve been looking for one forever. I sized down and brought it home after seeing it in store. And then…I tried four times to make it work with an outfit. The proportions are all wrong on my short torso and the buttons made it look cheap. And I think it had shoulder pads… Agree it is a miss. Back to the drawing board.

  14. Patricia
    February 28, 2017 / 9:13 am

    Those floral pattern pants look like a “miss” even on a size 2 model! And with “visible ovaries” to boot. Snort into my teacup!
    I do have a few Ann Taylor pieces in my closet. A boxy beige jacket comes to mind. It sounds boring as hell but it’s a great cut and when I wear it with pants and booties, my legs look miles longer. I used to fit their pants perfectly but that was a few pounds ago. I haven’t tried recently.
    I always enjoy your hits and misses posts. I love your willingness to try and experiment and push a few boundaries….I’m also pretty sure my grandma had too much taste to have a floral print couch like that.

  15. cDs
    February 28, 2017 / 8:32 am

    I feel the same way! I wish their sizing was more consistent because I’m usually just guessing when I order so a lot of it goes back
    x0x0 Caro

    • El Sparks
      March 1, 2017 / 12:02 am

      the sizing is generous… u always wanna start with a size smaller than ur norm and work ur way around to wut feels best.

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