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In case you haven't heard, LOFT has decided to stop offering plus sizes and will return to only offering up to XXL (Retail Dive). If you just took a pause to let out a deep sign of disappointment/frustration/exasperation with an eye roll, you're not alone.
Yet another retailer didn't do the work and blamed sales for their failure.
I know many of you have loved LOFT for plus-size fashion, but I always felt it was done so poorly. Up to size 14, you can have a tailored dress with a self-belt and a collar. Plus size? Here's a swing dress with a round neck.
And so many times, like so many retailers who are lazy with their plus sizing, I found LOFT plus to have long arms, darts in the wrong place (or not existing), too narrow of sleeves, and other issues when a brand just grades up from a smaller fit model or dress form.
The past decade has been a constant rotating door of brands that have decided to appear all-inclusive by either extending their line a size or two or launching a plus collection and then giving up.
The Limited gave up with ELOQUII after less than two years. Retailers like Old Navy and Anthropologie made a big splash with plus size, and then quietly removed those sizes from their stores so they're only available online. Retailers like Everlane will use a plus size model, but only have a few select pieces even available in sizes she could wear.
For brands that do offer a plus size range, it's often reduced SKUs (styles available), and also the color range is reduced. Misses will come in eight colors, plus will be in black, navy, and gray. So many made plus sizes more expensive (yet a size 14 is never more expensive than a 00). And then to have crap fit on top of it? How in the world did they expect to succeed?
As a blogger who strives to offer extended sizing in everything she wears and shares plus size fashion on the regular, I can tell you that plus size women shop. They can drop some serious coin on clothing… if it is done well. And with so many brands coming on the scene doing plus well, it just magnifies the mediocrity of other retailers who do a half-ass job and expect plus size women to be grateful.
LOFT launched plus sizes at the beginning of 2018; that February they had a party to celebrate at their Tyson's Corner shop and I attended. I did a fitting room try-on session and immediately noticed issue with fit. I shared my thoughts with those who worked for LOFT corporate that were at the party. They said it was a soft launch and fit would be improved.
If anything, I found over the years the fit at LOFT to become even more inconsistent. I also found that they brought plus to stores… and then just like Old Navy, slowly began removing it to make more room for straight sizes. They didn't even let it sit there long enough for word to get out that there was a store in the mall with plus sizes. I mean, why go to the mall when there are no stores that fit you? People need to know it exists to shop!
Anyway, LOFT plus is being phased out and it just makes me take another exasperated/weary/annoyed sigh. Readers, please use the comment section to share alternatives to LOFT plus that actually do deserve our hard-earned money and I will do the research on my end to offer such fashion in future advice posts!
Equilibria is celebrating their 2nd anniversary by offering 22% off absolutely everything through 3/23. This is not just for new customers, it's for everyone, even existing members and those who subscribed in the past but stopped. And on top of that, if you have been wanting to try CBD, if you use WARDROBEOXYGEN at checkout, new customers will get an additional 15% off the sale price! If you are curious about Equilibria, check out my unsponsored Equilibria CBD review.
Colleen Rothschild has another fantastic sale this weekend! The Colleen Rothschild BOGO 50% OFF SALE is through 3/21. Buy one, get one 50% OFF sitewide with promo code LUCKY50.
I know I just shared Colleen Rothschild last week, but I am truly a fan, and this sale includes everything, not just select products. I just placed an order to restock what I ran out of; I've learned to not let that happen again. These are the items my husband and I love the most from Colleen Rothschild:
- Radiant Cleansing Balm: I've raved so many times about this oil-based solid cleanser, I sound like a broken record. But truly, it transformed my skin from being T-zone oily with irritation and dryness under my nose and around my mouth to pretty soft, hydrated, and calm skin year-round. You apply a little bit to dry skin, and it dissolves makeup, dirt, etc.
- Extreme Recovery Cream: I ran out and just got more Wednesday and I can already feel a difference from using it again. My skin was so dry, and the dry skin creams I had and was trying to use up just made my face feel greasy. This is uber-hydrating but absorbs so nicely you can put makeup over it no problem. I use it at night and in the winter, I also use it as a day moisturizer.
- Micro-Mineral Resurfacing Scrub: My husband and I are both obsessed with this exfoliant. We keep a tube in the shower. You don't use a lot of pressure, just gently massage on skin and rinse. It doesn't make my eyes burn, isn't too harsh yet very effective, skin glows without feeling raw.
- Glycolic Peel Pads with Blue Agave: My husband is obsessed with these, they remind him of Stridex pads. He isn't big on skincare, but felt his pores were looking obvious and his skin looking “gray.” I let him try one of these pads and he stole the jar. He keeps it on his nightstand and will wipe before bed (I know, I beg him to follow up with a moisturizer but he says he doesn't need it). Less than a month, his skin looked so much better. Clear, bright, smooth, and no irritation.
- Retinol Supreme Night Oil: The only reason I'm not using this right now is because I am trying our Differin. But this is one of the most effective retinol products I've tried while also being hydrating. Read my Colleen Rothschild retinol oil review.
- Micro-Mineral Soothing Toner: I tried a new natural deodorant. It didn't have baking soda, but after three days it made my pits raw. I stopped using it, I gently washed it, I let them air out, and I was still miserable. I thought, hey why not try this soothing toner on my pits? I wish I had thought of this earlier; instantly the skin stopped feeling like it was burning. It is now my go-to for when I go too hard on a facial acid, if I burn part of my hand on the curling iron, when my skin is grumpy because I didn't have my Extreme Moisture Cream, and sometimes I use it to wipe/clean my face in the morning.
- Superluxe Microfiber Hair Towel: I have the Aquis one, I have a cheapy one I got on Amazon a long while ago, I have one that a brand sent me with their logo embroidered on it. None hold a candle to my Colleen Rothschild hair towels. Yes towelS; I have two because I need one when the other is being laundered. It doesn't get linty/Velcro-y, it's long enough to tuck into the back for a hair turban but not too long, it's absorbent and feels more like a traditional towel and has become my travel towel for the whole body. And the gray color means it always looks great even if it's been through the washer and dryer 100 times.
- Metal Tube Roller Key: You need this in your life to get the final dregs of that subscreen, that face mask, that tube of toothpaste. I've used this key for a tube of pesto, tubes of paint… it's the kind of thing you want to get more than one of because once others in your house realize how genius it is it will end up disappearing from your medicine cabinet.
Gap is having their Friends & Family sale with 40% off everything with promo code FRIEND. The sale is through the 23rd but I have learned the hard way to not wait because things will sell out and not come back in stock.
I used this sale to do a bit Gap denim haul. They had a lot of sizes 30-35 in faded non-skinny styles and my fingers are crossed that something works out. The styles I ordered:
- High Rise Distressed Cheeky Straight Jeans (two colors in two sizes)
- Sky High Rise Mom Jeans (two sizes)
- High Rise Barrel Jeans (two sizes)
- High Rise Destructed Cigarette Jeans with Secret Smoothing Pockets (one size)
- Sky High Distressed Straight Leg Jeans (one size)
What I Bought and What I Thought
I shared this Jenny Bird necklace in this blog post. I have been obsessed with it for a while now, and decided hey, I survived a crappy year, I took care of my taxes, I'm going to give myself a bonus and buy this with the bonus. I have been a fan of Jenny Bird jewelry for years, and this looked so badass.
The only thing I don't like about Jenny Bird jewelry is it's not size-inclusive. The rings only come in size 7, a lot of the necklaces are chokers, there aren't adjustment chains or options to lengthen pieces. And while this is a seriously badass necklace… I wish it had one more link.
I even brought this up in my Instagram stories. The way the necklace closes is one of these links has a clasp built in. So technically if they sold the clasp links individually, one could customize the length without losing the style. Dang, I love this, but I think at this length it won't get enough wear to justify the price. Sigh.
Those of you who caught my Instagram Stories this past weekend about Equilibria saw me wearing an orange/red short-sleeved sweater. It's this from J. Crew, color grenadine, size XL and I love it so much I am seriously thinking of getting another one in another color. I love it so much I took a photo with wet hair so I'd have one for this post!
It's long enough to tuck in, but not so long that a little half-tuck in front looks messy, or untucked looks like a tunic. The sleeves aren't tight, my bust fits without puckering, and it's nice with jeans or dressed up. Like my other cashmere sweaters, I plan to wash on gentle in a lingerie bag and dry flat so it keeps its shape.
Continuing with the wet hair photos… I said last week I did an AE denim order. I ordered three pairs of jeans in size 14 short (the size I've worn before in this brand):
- The Relaxed Mom Jean is too relaxed and looked dumpy and gave me phantom penis like Madewell jeans. It also ran big and long, so a 14 short was so long that the knee holes were at my shins and closed like a frown because the thigh was sitting on top of the bottom half.
- The Highest Waist 90s Boyfriend Jean was also bad. I needed to go down a size, but the rise was too high, and the fading was too trendy for me and I didn't look modern, I looked like Lita Ford.
- The Stretch Mom Jean in white, which wasn't half bad. I didn't fall passionately in love with them, but decided to keep them so I could do the research below.
I decided to give these jeans a bit of a workout before photographing them for the blog. I sat in them for six hours for work. Then I went for a short walk outside. Then I sat for dinner, and curled up on the couch after to watch TV, and then sat on the floor and did some mild stretching, and then the next day put them on to take these photos.
I find white jeans especially bag out with wear, making them go from polished to diaper butt. I think these held up well. That being said, I don't love this style of jean on me in white; I prefer a classic straight leg. But I am impressed with how these held up enough. If white is also not your scene and like me, you find uber-distressed jeans just too distressed, check out “Washed Blue” and ‘Darkness Falls” in the same cut. “Olive” is also great if you'd like a non-blue option.
My kid also ordered from AE and she got The Stretch Mom Jeans and also loves them. She got the color “Vitamin Sea” which IMO is a bit too faded/bleached/funky for my grown-ass self. But I am impressed for jeans that cost less than $40 they look not too bad on a 12-year-old and her 46-year-old mom who have two drastically different body shapes and sizes.
Having a hint of success last week with MOTHER jeans, I ordered these in a size 34. And gosh, they were almost perfect. They were actually a bit lower rise than I desired (the tummy and butt took up some of that fabric), but they were the perfect wash, cool distressing, great length.
But because they are button fly and my stomach isn't firm, that button fly, while comfortable, looked like it was stressed. I did a few squats in the jeans and the busting buttons look didn't change. If I didn't have a lower tummy, I doubt it would have shown this way; pulling up the fly it flattens but when bent it looks… not cute. And these jeans are way too costly for not cute.
If they were zip fly, I would have possibly kept them. I feel this experience gave me a better gauge of how these kind of jeans can work on my body. I want that vintage straight leg look with a higher rise and a bit of distressing. And if the jean has a hint of stretch, all the better.
FYI if you're smaller than a 33, Nordstrom has these jeans on sale for less than $200. And another FYI, 34 is the largest size available in these jeans.
So in a past Friday Shop post, I mentioned I ordered this top from Anthropologie. And it just finally arrived this week. And it's going back. It's this crinkly poly crepe feeling and it's completely see-through and the little bit of blue velvet at the yoke hits at the absolute worst place on my bust making my boobs look both huge and saggy and has the top tent out from it in a really ridiculous manner.
That plus Anthro doing some shady copying artisans crap like they're Shein or Boohoo AND as I mentioned above, taking plus sizes out of their stores, I am taking a break from Anthro.
I went to unsubscribe from Anthropologie emails so I wouldn't be tempted and can I just rant about some brands that make it so hard to unsubscribe? Maybe it's me, but I have like 6 different email addresses that filter into one inbox. I click unsubscribe and I have to enter what email I want unsubscribed? And then I have to go through all these default clicks to find the fine print that says unsubscribe from all and THEN another page where I have to click which email lists I want to unsubscribe from?
Come on, I know it can be easier. Either you're lazy and didn't do the work to make it easy for your audience or you're hoping your audience is lazy and will give up before finally hitting the third page of confirm. If unsubscribing from my emails is this much of a pain, please let me know and I will do everything I can to not be Anthro.
After so many readers saying I needed to try this striped shirt, I ordered one in XL and one in Large. I tried on the XL first and never opened the Large, knowing it would be too fitted on me. This is a nice shirt, especially for just $19.99. It is opaque, crisp, no weird details, a nice fabric. Unfortunately, the largest size is XL which is what I am wearing above.
And we succumbed to social media hype and bought a Chirp wheel. You've likely seen the ads of the man in bubble wrap holding a ring, or the guy sliding on his back on the same ring/wheel, with audible cracks and pops as he rolls back and forth.
It took about three weeks to arrive directly from Chirp; a friend got it through Amazon and it arrived same week. We got the 10″ middle size. I don't really like it. I do feel a few pops in my middle back, but it hurts on my lower back and is hard to get my upper back, where I hold the most tension. My husband thinks it's fantastic, but everything seems to work great for him. My kid loves it and her back makes all sort of Rice Krispie sounds. My friend who got it also thinks it's amazing.
I wonder if a smaller wheel would be better? I also can't help but wonder if it's my padding as these three ravers are all slim/firm. I'm going to do more research and see if maybe there are different techniques for soft bodies?
Whew, if you got to the end of this super long Friday Shop, I am impressed! And I hope you have a great weekend!
I’m not sure why you’d even bother about the LOFT. The parent company went bankrupt in July.
They make keep certain stores open and continue to get new merchandise, but it’s not a situation where they’re likely to do anything besides try to extract cash out of whatever goodwill they already have.
So true about how unsubscribing can be difficult! Just let me click one button & be done. Alison, that J Crew cashmere t-shirt is lovely! Now, I’m wishing so badly I’d bought one back when one of their good sales included those. My hesitation was the sizing. Even after reading reviews, I wasn’t sure if I should go with my current size or go up one. I’ve got a few of their regular cashmere sweaters in large, and even after losing some weight this past year, they still fit. Part of me wonders if my washing them in the washer might have contributed to that?? (I always air dry, though!). My local J Crew store has closed, so I’m trying to be careful about online orders. Although I’m in their insider program & get free shipping, returns are not free.
Those AE jeans made me sad. 🙁 You have a rockin’ bod and look fabulous in all kinds of pants but those are pretty meh. Really telling that they were the best of the lot.
I continue to be happy with cabi’s size range. Their denim fits my body the best and they have a range of styles. I cannot do mom jeans or high waste even though you snd I have very similar bodies. I find they over accentuate my belly weight. I just ordered the sweater f-shirt. 🙂
I hear you re: the plus sizes..there are a few on liners that cater to the short and curvy like LLBean, Lands End etc. But the style is often lacking and while fairly well made they look pedestrian and matronly (that’s ok if people want that but I am 65+ no like the matronly look) Readers of other blogs are also noticing the lack of petite in the bricks and mortar stores but are hesitant to purchase on line.
Also the unsubscribe thing is a pain in the ass..I think they make it difficult on purpose but I also feel something nefarious is going on..I spent a good hour a few weeks ago unsubscribing and it was all good for a few days, a cleaner email less garbage…then I noticed the sites I had unsubscribed from were creeping back! Within a week my in box was as full as before.
ANyway I like your outlook on fashion and inclusivity and I like reading your posts because you put a LOT of effort into your research and writing and not just schilling or stringing a bunch of links together into one big ad….I am getting really tired of that especially on blogs for ‘babes of a certain age’ don’t mind a girl making a living but really just a bunch of links does not a blog make …the one who was ‘gifted’ the 700.00 bag then linked back to the seller…I guess not reading the room or maybe she was and didn’t notice that things are a changing…..so I unsubscribed.
Ally-your comment about blogs for “women of a certain age” struck a chord. I used to follow several in addition to Alison’s Wardrobe Oxygen, but now have unfollowed all of the “over 50” blogs. Not because of the links, I don’t object to them making money from their expertise and the time it takes to create a post.
I do object to their constant focus on weight. Every single one of them has pushed a weight loss routine. Alison focuses on wellness, health and style, without shoving weight loss down our throats. Health at any size!
I used to buy almost all my clothing. at LOFT. But it such poor quality lately. The tees get tiny holes. Nothing lasts. I have nice slacks from then from several years ago (that are too tight right now due to pandemic weight gain) but they make nothing like that now. I have spent 1000s in that store but I don’t even go in there now. Our local one is right next to Chico’s and while it’s more expensive at least I know the clothing from Chico’s will fit better and last.
When Loft introduced their Plus line, I was so hopeful for some great options and it was just so disappointing. The styles were just so blah, for not so blah pricing. Why can’t they make the same styles as the straight size, just bigger? Why is this so difficult to understand?
I need to add a positive comment after complaining in several others! Eileen Fisher recently combined all their sizes, offering size XS through 3X on the same page, for the same price. As it should be!
And, my favorite, MM LaFleur, which not only uses plus-sized models, but provides their height and size worn. And, the cost is the same, no matter the size.
Monica R says
MM LaFleur recently announced they are eliminating plus sizes too. 🙁
What?? OMG. That stinks! I”m feeling super pissed at them for doing this.
Alice Alexander is a size inclusive brand led by a plus-sized woman. The founder writes a lot about how they do their sizing. They’ve just switched their business model to allow returns for refunds, and have an interesting membership option that guarantees a refund if you don’t get your money’s worth. I am not plus-sized, and the one item I ordered from the brand didn’t fit and was discontinued so I couldn’t do an exchange. But I’m impressed with the team’s creativity and transparency. The clothes are not cheap, but they might be great cost-per-wear value. Allie, have you looked at Warp and Weft for jeans? I’m about to try one of their wide-legged pairs.
Thank you so much for mentioning Alice Alexander! I just signed up for their newsletter and rec’d, as a welcome gift, access to their recorded “Redesigning Fashion” conference — in their words, “Redesigning Fashion was a 4-day, virtual conference dedicated to sustainable, ethical, size inclusive fashion.” Can’t wait to start watching!
Ditto to the disappointing LOFT and Anthro.
I used to work at LOFT 15 years ago and loved their things. Not anymore. It feels like their pieces are designed for hangars and website photos, not real women and daily life. Cute designs, but it’s like my body can sense the bad karma!
Same with Anthro. I used to buy a lot from them but after summer 2020 it came out that the company was racist from top to bottom. I was hoping that they were making changes but I haven’t seen much proof.
These companies will not get any more of my money.
Cat Huntzinger says
The quality had gone down so much at LOFT in the last ~7 years. They removed sizes 16+ and XXL from the store, and even when they added plus, these “regular” sizes were still kept out of the store. Their sizes were never consistent-I could wear a 14, 16, Large, XL, and sometimes an XXL, so I needed the flexibility to try on a variety of sizes. Isn’t that the whole point of shopping in store? As you mentioned, their efforts on a plus line were pitiful and again, who needs more cheap, poor fitting clothing? Goodbye, LOFT!
Pascale Lane says
Department stores also drive me crazy. I will see wonderful selection in the regular sizes; I go to the plus department, and there is nothing but cheap polyester sacks. The women of Oklahoma are often plus sized with money; how can you not want to separate us from our cash?
Also, if a brand has an item in plus size, why does it have to be separated from the regular sizes? Many of us live on the border, and it would be nice to easily pull those two items at once.
I was in a Nordstrom Rack and was super irritated at having to walk all over the store to shop the 14/16/1X styles, which were separated at opposite ends of the floor, with Plus over near the infants’ and men’s sections (seriously?!). I complained to the manager online, and lo and behold, the clothing was soon all combined into one area. However, I guess it became apparent when they were side by side how pathetic the Plus sized options were, because shortly thereafter, they were separated again.
I think Racks must differ by store. Mine has NO plus size section, and just racks that are XS-S, M-L-, XL-XXL. Good luck finding anything above an XXL. 🙁
Another thing that’s happened with plus sizes : Talbots no longer has plus size models on its website unless the items were first introduced last year. Nothing since at least December has a plus size model, and they’ve introduced at least 4 new models, all straight sized. Their excuse on Facebook was Covid 19 yet at the same time have four different models showing the same garment, none plus.
I need to see things on people who weigh more than average. There’s a shirt I want to buy but the model wearing it cannot be over 100 pounds or a size 2 – she’s much smaller than even their average straight size model.
After I use my rewards I’m paying off my credit card and not shopping there again. It’s a shame because I have literally $5000 worth of their clothes in my wardrobe.
Sue K says
Talbot’s has an advisory council which consists of customers. They send out monthly surveys to ask about a various different topics. People who are on the council are not supposed to talk about it but let’s just say, IF 😉 I were on this council I would constantly be bringing this exact subject to the comments. This and POCKETS! every. single. time.
I’m on the advisory council and have mentioned the lack of tall pants for more than two years. Nothing’s been done. I think the “advice” might be in the “nice to have” category, but it doesn’t appear to affect the products. I, too, don’t shop there any longer because I am tired of the issues mentioned here and above.
Since you mentioned reduced selection in plus sizes at some retailers, I will mention my ongoing irritation with Universal Standard and the petite styles. Because their philosophy is fashion for all, and inclusivity is their goal, you would think that all styles would be available in petite. I see all of these cool new styles arrive in my inbox, outerwear, etc, and I cannot wear any of it. So frustrating!
Petites are getting scarce in stores. Every time I go into Macy’s at a large suburban Pittsburgh mall (haven’t been there in a year, though), the petites department is smaller. The last time I was there, it was crammed into a remote corner. The Nordstrom website doesn’t even have a separate “petite” link any longer and has few petite offerings. And I can never find petites in the Pittsburgh store because they are now mixed in with the regular sizing instead of in a separate department. It’s frustrating to see some gorgeous clothes only to find that there are no petite options. I’m barely 5’ 3” tall with narrow shoulders and short arms. Regular sizes rarely work. Thank goodness for Talbots!
Karen O. says
I’m pretty bummed out about their slowly shrinking Petites section too, Nadine. A few basics are all that’s offered. They have such cool clothes that look great on their 5’10” models but when I check out the garment measurements I know they’ll look dowdy on me. And I know for a fact they will look bad because I have bought some of their regular offerings and they just don’t work. So yeah, it’s irritated me to get emails with great new arrivals and declarations on their size inclusivity only to find short people are not included.
Thank you, Karen. I appreciate hearing that I am not the only one who feels this way. I have tried to buy their regular size clothing too and sometimes they work and sometimes NOT AT ALL. I have gotten some cool things – like cropped pants that are not at all cropped on me. Short sleeved things might be fine. However – not nearly “universal” – for instance, the denim dress that Alison likes so much – well – the pockets are on my lower thighs and I finally had to put it in the Goodwill box because it was not sparking any joy. So, now I do smirk negatively when I see them bragging about how their pieces have pockets. I wish they did not! Why not have everything in petites if inclusivity is your mission?
Alison Gary says
I am doing a collab with Universal Standard and one of the pairs of jeans they sent me does NOT work because I am too short. I told my contact and she said they don’t have them in petites yet. I don’t know what that YET means but I hope it means it’s coming because a LOT of what they have been offering lately I know won’t fit me because I am just too short.
I’m glad it was not just ME with that Anthro blouse! It was so pretty online and the colors were so cheery; how could I NOT buy it on sale?!
When it arrived, I said out loud, “Is this a joke?!’ First of all, it had a strong chemical odor. Second, it looked so flimsy and sheer that I went back to the website to see if I was sent the wrong item. Nope. It has a cheap, 70s polyester sheen to it and it’s poorly sewn. For $110 (sale price), I expected a lot more and a lot better than this rag. Mine went back, too, and I’ll be giving Anthropologies a wide berth from now on.
Completely agree with you and Alison. Anthro’s quality has seriously gone downhill. I used to find so many unique, well-made things to add to my wish list and later purchase — now, there’s nothing.
I’ve been cleaning up my email by unsubscribing to many emails including yours. Yours was easy. The ones that make it difficult like your Anthro experience, I just flag as junk.