LOFT Dressing Room Selfies – Work Wear Edition

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loft-review-selfies

A new contributor? Nope, it’s me, Amanda! (yay…?) Some of you have been asking for work wear ideas, so I braved the camera and tried on a bunch of new arrivals at Loft. Postpartum mamas headed back to work, this one’s for you, too! Most of the tops and jackets I’m wearing conceal mum tums with a flowy plus structured formula. Overall there were some really great pieces and a few misses – I’ll give you details on fit, cut, quality and my absolute favorite piece that makes you look taller and slimmer and instantly put together. Bonus – most of these are on sale for 40% off right now!

Note: It might not look like it, but I swear I was having fun! It was really ridiculously hard for me to figure out where to position the phone to capture the neckline area so I was concentrating on the shot, not mah face – if you can’t tell, I’m a virgin dressing room selfie snapper. Also, wee case of resting b face (b for business?)

Also – this post isn’t sponsored, it’s just me and my opinions of Loft’s work wear.

Loft’s current color scheme is very retro nautical – lots of navy blue, white, black and eye-popping orangey red, which makes it easy to mix and match; their softer pastels and muted brights are more wearable in my opinion, so I grabbed a mix of both. I’m wearing this necklace with most of the outfits – it’s gold but not blingy and distracting for work, softer and glowy. It would be perfect this summer too with beachier styles. (Loft conveniently had a pair of high heel black pumps in the dressing area so I threw them on – I don’t typically wear heels and my dogs were definitely barking after 45 minutes. But they were beautiful and made pants look so much better – for a ‘beginner’ heel, try these.)

Loft Work Jackets & Pants

I had high hopes for this little white and navy striped moto jacket when I spotted it online and made a beeline for it at the front of the store.

loft-moto-blazer

tweed moto jacket (size 6) |  black peplum top (size M) |  dark gray pants (size 6p)

Womp, womp. The striped pattern and texture were really cute and the material was soft and lightweight; it would be a great spring or year-round jacket in places that are not the Northeast. The issue was the cut – for my body type (inverted triangle: larger bust, undefined waist, no hips) it was way too short and boxy and cut straight across my widest point. I tried unzipping the jacket to make it more casual – nope, just got frumpier! I think it would look great on ladies with shorter torsos and proportional/larger hips since it really draws the eye up to your top half.

The peplum tank top and gray pants were worth another try – here’s round 2:

loft-peplum-top

 black peplum top (size M) | dark gray pants (size 6p) | black blazer (size 6)

Hmm, better. The peplum tank top body is a super soft jersey material and the bottom ruffle is flowy, silky stuff so it’s a perfect layer under jackets, sweaters, blazers, cardigans. It was pretty boxy and the armholes are cut deep, so maybe size down if you’re smaller on top. (Also in a gorgeous springy blue!) The Julie fit trousers are also comfortable and have a cool mini-flare leg. If you’re not familiar with Loft pant fits, the “Julie” style is for small waists and curvier hips (opposite of me), and the “Marisa” is for straight waists and hips (bingo!) – sadly the Marisa fit trousers in my size were out of stock, so it’s not the Julie’s fault they are all baggy here. I like that the LOFT trousers are available in two inseams for shorties: petite (30″) and short (31″) if you want to wear them with heels! Regular and tall inseams, too.

You know how you always find love when you’re not looking for it? Oh, hey, On Duty blazer. I don’t technically need another blazer, but the impeccable tailoring job is hard to find in this price range. The pic above doesn’t do it justice – check out the cool notched stand up collar and striped silky cuff lining:

loft-tunic

tunic (size M) | ponte pants (size 6p) | black blazer (size 6)

The On Duty blazer is the definition of magic – whenever an outfit was just ok, I threw the blazer on and bam! Instantly looked more put together, taller and thinner. The longer length, single button and open collar make it streamlined so there’s no visual bulk, just a long, lean line. By the end of the try-on session, the blazer began to feel like a security blanket since I wanted to pair it with everything. (Except I’ve never seen a badass security blankie that screams #ladyboss.)  I’m wearing it with the split neck tunic in a darker dusty rose that seems to be one of those universally flattering colors. It’s silky and wonderful but be warned that the neck is cut very low – glad I thought to throw on a cami before leaving the house or this might’ve veered into nsfw territory. The online pic shows it looking lovely with jeans, and I like it for covering the bum of skinny pants. Speaking of – these pintucked ponte pants in a delicious burgundy heather color were in the work wear section but they were skin tight – I wouldn’t be comfortable wearing these even in a casual/creative workplace so maybe size up? The pintuck running down the middle of the leg does make them fancier, and I did love how the cropped version hit at the exact right place for leggings (27″ for petite) and looked great with heels.

Here’s the outfit sans blazer, side shot to show tunic length:

rose-tunic

tunic (size M) | ponte pants (size 6p)

Loft Work Dresses & Skirts

Next up I tried on some fit & flare dresses in cool textured fabrics. This one has a sweet black & white pattern:

work-flare-dress

dress (size 4)

I really liked the mixed jacquard flare dress – it was lightweight, comfortable, and flowed over ‘trouble spots’.  Love the pattern placement on the shoulders and back – you can kind of see in the side pic above and much better model pic on the site. They didn’t have my size so I’m wearing a 4 here, but it’s stretchy enough it still works. The armholes dip toward the front a lot, which you can see better in the 3rd pic on the site. I really like how they styled it with black tights and moto-ish boots, that could totally work in a more casual office like mine. This would also be cute for Easter, baby and bridal showers or whatever spring parties you’ve got planned. Definitely a wear-all-day type of dress.

And here it is with my lover the On Duty blazer, just because.

skinny-blazer

Yay for contrast lining sleeves and “business” face! Next I tried another tweed moto blazer and navy fit & flare dress:

loft-flare-dress

dress (size 6) | jacket (size 6)

The tulip quilted flare dress has a pretty raised pattern which you can see a little better in the closeup (check the site for better detail) and is comfortable. I was surprised that the neckline is a ribbed black t-shirt material, which definitely makes the dress more casual. I question the durability since some of the collars already seemed to be fraying, but it is a cute dress. I was excited to try the tweed open jacket, but ran into similar issues as the white moto jacket. I agree with the reviewers that said the lapels hang very far and wide and the cut is boxy, which visually widened my whole upper body. I think it would be supercute on ladies who are smaller on top, this one’s not for my full-bust gals. I did love the cool frayed edges which makes it more interesting and how lightweight the tweed is, and it would be perfect with black ripped skinnies when you’re off duty.

Moving on to skirts – a note about fit: I found all the Loft skirts I tried on to be cut really short and small, fitting with the mod retro style they’ve got going on.

tweed-mini-skirt

top (size M) | skirt (size 6)

The button tab tweed skirt is a really nice heavier weight fabric and pattern that would go with most things. It is more of a high-rise waist, so you can’t see the buttons here but they’re cute! That also made it much shorter on me, and I have really short legs to begin with and I’m not wearing a petite size – normally regular sized skirts come down past my knees. The waist was also pretty tight, I’d recommend this one if you have a smaller waist than hips. I wore it with the tie back blouse in black – also in a pretty raisin color – which I loved (on the hanger) for the drapey softness, silky front, sleeves and romantic back neck tie with a jersey back for comfort. And it was comfortable and flowy if a little too voluminous for my body type. If this type of shirt works for you definitely check it out, the back tie is lovely. So good with skinnies or flares on the weekend.

Pencil skirts and button downs usually NEVER work on me, so this outfit was a comfort-zone pusher:

flowy-white-shirt

jacket (size 6) | skirt (size 8p)  | blouse (size 6)

The striped wrap pencil skirt caught my eye since I’m always looking for interesting pants or skirts to balance out my top half, plus the cool texture was intriguing. I sized up to an 8p, and there’s no side pic because I still couldn’t zip it more than halfway! It was also pretty short, the front slit may become indecent when sitting.  I do like the stripes, so size up if you try it. The tweed open jacket from before isn’t my fave but let’s talk about the silky button down that DID NOT GAP! This is like the mythical unicorn for ladies with a full bust and I literally thought it didn’t exist. And no, I’m not doing the chicken dance in the left pic – it’ s the ” touch your elbows behind your back” move that every woman with a larger chest does to test for front gaps. The shirred sonnet blouse is kind of an elegant not-quite-pebbly texture that’s hard to describe – not the flat, smooth type of silky fabric. The soft gathers on the shoulders create more fabric in the front, and the shirt is a little bit voluminous, but in a manageable way that you can still tuck in. If you don’t need extra room in front, size down, but it’s meant to be more romantic than tailored. Definitely wear a cami underneath if you’re wearing it to work.

I loved the contrast of the flowiness and sweet rounded collar with the highly-tailored On Duty blazer; this was my favorite outfit of the set! I’d definitely swap the pants for something more conservative at the office but they’re fun for after hours.

black-tailored-blazer

Some of the pieces I really wanted to try were sold out already at my local Loft, so I pulled together all the pieces shown here plus some sweet online picks (including office-friendly jewelry that’s not boring!)

Loft Work Style Picks

 

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Dyed-in-the-wool New Englander, wife of a superhero and mum to 2 curly carrot-topped girls. Passionate about creating kid-friendly, beautiful interior designs that won't break the bank.

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29 Comments

  1. Loft has *killer* sales right now on their winter stuff. I just got 2 sweaters, a knit blazer, 2 pairs of work pants, and a scarf for ~$100. Love their fauxmere sweaters – so soft!

  2. I have had the same experiences as you and it took me a while to figure out why some jackets weren’t flattering on me – I’m an inverted triangle too! I’m looking forward to more of your posts!

    • Thanks, Allison! Yes, super frustrating when cute little jackets don’t work – definitely longer length and thin or no lapels for us.

      It’s funny how many times I kept gravitating toward certain styles (hi, closet collection of cropped J.Crew swing jackets circa 2007) , then not understanding why they didn’t work until I read a bunch of ‘dressing for your body type’ tips. (And I’m embarrassed to say how recently that was!)

  3. Thank you! This must of taken hours and is very much appreciated. Just gone back to work and trying to build a work wardrobe with most pieces doing double duty. The last outfit displayed what I’m trying to achieve perfectly.

    • Hi Margie, thanks for you kind words. Yes, double-duty is a must – we live in an old farmhouse, back then they must have only had two outfits max based on the closet size!

      I think the last outfit would also be good with well-tailored cropped slim or cigarette-type pants to be more conservative but still the same silhouette, and you’d still be able to wear them comfortably in off-hours. Good luck starting back up at work!

  4. Great stuff! I don’t need “workwear” per se, but this helpful for church or going to my husband ‘s work events.
    I’m an inverted triangle too, I think!

  5. Thanks so much for sharing! I’m your exact body type, so I appreciate being able to see the photos with what works and what doesn’t. I NEVER would have guessed the peplum would work on our body type, so that is a very pleasant surprise! Would love to see more from you 🙂

    • Cheers to the inverted triangles! IMHO, we are about the only body type to really rock a peplum (besides petite all over types). I once read that there are few inverted triangle style bloggers because most clothes are not flattering on them/us. Thanks Amanda for disproving that! Keep the style posts coming.

      • Fistbump to all my “ice cream cone” shaped friends – we’re delicious! I had no idea peplum would work either, I thought it would draw unwanted attention to the lack of a discernible waist & tummy area, but it’s actually a perfect segue from the top half and creates the illusion of something going on in the hip area. Who knew?!

  6. Great post, Amanda! After staying home with my boys for several years I’ve recently started freelancing and am in desperate need of some updated work appropriate clothes for the occasional in-person meeting. You’ve got some great picks here – I definitely need to check out the On Duty blazer, and I love the peplum top!

    • Hey Meg, congrats on going back to work! I hear ya, after taking time off post-baby #1 and working from home the rest of the time, my wardrobe was all yoga pants & hoodies. Even today it feels like a huge chore to put on jeans and a “real” bra on the days I’m home, so I was pleasantly surprised Loft’s work clothes were so comfy. The peplum top seriously feels like a dream.

  7. I share your body type and have such a hard time shopping. It seems like no clothes or styles are designed for the inverted triangle (or rectangle–same width torso and hips). I would love to see what types of styles you find work well. It would help me save time shopping instead of wasting my time on oieces that won’t flatter. And interesting about the Marisa fit pants. This high waist trend does not work for our body type! I was so glad back in the day when lower rises came out! Might have to check out the Marisa fit sometime.

    • Hi T, so my usual ‘momiform’ is leggings or skinny jeans/pants & a tunic or sweater that covers enough to be decent! What seems to work is longer length or flowy tops that skim our top half, then draw attention to the bottom half to balance out proportions – think patterns, lighter/brighter colors, horizontal stripes, more volume (full skirts are awesome), fit & flare dresses get the thumbs up and of course flares! The ladies have been posting some great ones at all price points this month, we can get away with a more dramatic leg instead of baby flares, especially the style that’s snug to the knee then widens. Bottom line – show off your legs!

      (Also, all my “knowledge” about how to dress our shape comes from Pinterest and googling “how to dress inverted triangle” – lots of great recommendations & illustrations that really helped me understand why certain things do/don’t work). Hope that helps!

  8. Great post! I love seeing outfits and options for work! This was really helpful and the work wardrobe is the area where I definitely need the most help. Could you do Banana Republic next? 🙂

  9. Amanda–I never comment, but I had to because I thought that everything looked way better on you than the models on the Loft site. I’d click the links because the pieces looked so good on you, but then would be disappointed when presented with the models. Thank you for doing this!

  10. I somehow missed this post when it was originally posted, but good Lord, thank you. I, too, am big-busted with no discernable waist, and after two babies (ahem, six and three years ago!), still have no idea what to wear to work. I have a love/hate relationship with clothes and shopping and get in a rut. I have the ponte pants in the heathered maroon and the black, and in my office, they are appropriate with longer tunic type tops but I agree they aren’t quite right for shorter tops!

    • Hey Heidi! Glad the post was helpful! I just did another dressing room selfies post from Banana Republic that you might like.

      I’m the same way about clothes – for a long time after baby #2 I only wore sports bras, yoga pants & hoodies – stretchy fabrics only because I didn’t know what to heck would look ok and wasn’t motivated to go try stuff on! But once I found things that worked, I kind of created a mom uniform so shopping is somewhat easier 🙂

      Loft was having a major sale so I picked up a gorgeously soft drapey long sleeve tee to go with the maroon ponte pants – going to wear them with little metallic ankle boots this weekend – so excited!

      I’d love to see some of your outfit pics for #MyEverydayEdit!!

  11. Amanda,

    I would like to start out that I’m new to fashion but not technology (26+) and ran across your post (Loft Dressing Room Selfies) doing research on a startup idea. Your post was spot on for my research. You have a gift for presenting your topic well. I’m just beginning to try and do validation of my startup and this is all new to me. Cold calling is not my thing and I hope you don’t mind the intrusion. I don’t have any real contacts in the fashion space and so far have had to do validation using family and friends. I’m writing you hoping you may take some time to listen to my pitch and see if you would be interested in giving any input. You can contact me using my email in the blog form. I will also share your blog on Facebook and maybe you can pick up a few readers. Thanks.

    Glenn

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