Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Why I Love the Loft

You know I love J Crew and Target, but we all need to mix it up occasionally. And, um, ok, I’ve said before that I have had some issues with Ann Taylor Loft. I used to get a good portion of my summer wardrobe there because I had an Ann Taylor Visa (relic from the 90’s, I believe) and I got reward certificates. Loved that. I used to get so many dresses there – it was one of my fave places for dresses, esp cute summer knit dresses. Then they discontinued the Visa card because they had their new relationship with Mastercard and I was bitter. I’ll admit it. And when asked if I want to get the new card? Um no, thanks. Will wallow in my bitterness for now.

But I was lured back in by the promise of Jackie-esque cardigans and I got one with a 30% off on a sale and it was $17. And I liked it. And then in my quest for a summer knit skirt, since the JC Esplanade just did not work on me, I noticed they had some cute knit ones. So I went yesterday (you know, kiddies' last day of school) and fell back in love…and got 2 of the skirts, 1 dress, and a not-exactly-Jackie cardi in white. I think the Loft items mix really well with J Crew.

So here are my scores. I will post IRL pics when I have them.

Tiered Knit Skirt (curr on sale for $24.50) I got this in deep blue and saddle brown. I also saw it in white, green, and black in store. This is so comfy! And while tiered, it’s not so full that you can’t wear it with a slouchy tee (yes, J Crew tissue bf tee, of course). It’s great with a tank, too. This is not a super short skirt. I wear the waistband right on my waist (since I never tuck in, you know) and it hits me right above the knee. If you wear the waistband lower, you can easily cover the knees. I also tried on the white, and while I didn’t get it, I can vouch that it is not very sheer – it’s a great white summer casual skirt if your are looking. I took an M. You could size up a bit and wear it lower. But I anticipate wearing this all the time this summer. It is also a nice knit – substantial without being too heavy, perfect for a summer skirt.

3/4 sleeve Crewneck Cardigan (curr on sale for $24.50). I had one in dusty teal, I think. I just got one in white. It is similar to the J Crew Jackie, but it’s a bit longer. I got this in an L to allow for shrinkage, because I have had them shrink on me, and it didn’t gap at the buttons while closed like the M did. But I have the shoulders to do it, so size as you please. I think a lot of the JCA’s have partaken of these. And the pic I’m posting is of the shocking pink because the online pic of white and teal is, quite frankly, pretty cruddy. AT Loft definitely is not the best at styling their clothes (as has been discussed in the blogosphere before), but that means that you have a decent shot of the clothes looking as good on you and sometimes better.

Sleeveless Dress with Front Twist (curr on sale for $29.50)
I got this one in black. It's a thin knit, but the black makes it work. It would be too flimsy in a light color. I love the silhouette on this one. (sorry, link is not great but that was the best I could do) If I recall, my store had this in black and brown, not sure what else. And a regular bra fits just fine underneath this. (say it with me... yay!!)

Sparrowsandsparkles has been posting some way cute Loft finds lately, too, so check her blog out if you haven’t before.

And….I actually started a Polyvore group, “I Love the Loft”. Original name, I know. Anyway, feel free to hop on the Loft love train. It’s a fun ride!

Here is my opening Polyvore. I actually own all of the items in the top 2 rows, so that’s a good start. (ok, 4 of them were purchases yesterday)


Kathy said...

I was just there today! I bought a couple of the ruffle neck tanks. So many Moms were at the Mall today (second to the last day of school)! Nice idea for a Polyvore group.

Anonymous said...

Oooh so tempting! I really love that skirt. I'm looking forward to seeing your sets with it. My sister was just saying she picked up some great dresses and tops at the loft a few days ago. I want to go!

Kathy, I didn't realize school got out tomorrow! Yikes!

GingerSnap said...

I am a huge fan of ATL! I love their petite section and I am addicted to their darling dresses! I also often find good blouses there too. ATL has become a staple store for me :)

melissamolasses said...

I too love ATL. I own the cardigan in several colors and may have to try that skirt. Thanks for creating the Polyvore group.

Zoë Moët said...

That cardi is super cute...if I could be sure of sizing, I'd order one right now. Also, I'm glad you bring up the styling issue. I honestly think one of the reasons I love J. Crew sooo much and have a hard time appreciating other retailers is that nobody else seems to know how to really sell their items like J. Crew. When it comes down to the actual items, J. Crew might have some competition in stores like BR and AT Loft, but when it comes to styling, there is no one like J. Crew!

mrs.anketell said...

Love the Loft, mostly again, thanks to sparrows and sparkles for her posts on loft items:) I bought a cute cotton dress from there and two of the jackie style cardi's!! love them!!

Summerilla said...

I just went into a ATL for the FIRST time today. I went in to return the dress I ordered. I had only planned on returning but they waived the shipping charges and ordered me the dress in a smaller size, they were so nice! So fingers crossed they find it for me!!

I did look around while I was in there and they had some super cute stuff!! I will definitely be going there again soon. The SA told me their new line will be coming out soon and they have some amazing pieces in it.

Emily said...

I had a short period of time a couple years back when it was all about the ATL. I'm not too crazy about them now but I do find some cute things every now and again. I really like the tie front dress. I may have to check it out. Thanks for highlighting some cute pieces:)

Cloggsy said...

Ah I freakin love ATL (as I like to call it!) - I'm always finding a bargain in there.

AppGal said...

hooray for ATL! i have been a fan for a while now...even before i was a devoted customer of jcrew (gasp!) I have a lot of super cute skirts, tops, and dresses from them. Sometimes it's hit or miss (and IMO, the model pics on the website never do the item justice) but overall a GREAT store with GREAT deals!

HeidiG said...

Kathy - too funny - all the Moms out - that was here Mon & Tues.

Stephanie - Check out the Polyvore group. My4Boys already put together some fab sets with it. I really think it's best simple - tee, sandals/flip flops, a piece or 2 of jewelry, and you're done. It is so comfy!!

GingerSnap - I have been noticing your Loft dresses pop up here and there.

melissamolasses - I do highly recommend the skirt. I would be traveling in it tomorrow if it weren't going to be so chilly.

Zoe Moet - I would say the sizing is pretty similar to the Jackies, maybe a little bit more fitted. But you are right on the styling - BR's isn't always up to snuff either, but I do think they are better than ATL.

mrs.anketell - sparrowsandsparkles is the one who got me thinking about them again too, so she gets the credit, definitely!

Summerilla - fingers crossed - that was such a cute dress. If it fits it would be amazing on you!

Emily - I do find myself falling in and out of love. Thanks to those skirts, I'm back in love. But I will admit that washing their sweaters in the past has been a mixed bag of results. I'm hoping that they have improved, so time will tell.

Cloggsy - they are a great source for bargains. (I usually use "Loft" when speaking and "ATL" when writing - I'm all about the short, since I clearly have no edit capability on myself.)

AppGal - I completely agree with you!

Ann said...

Thanks for the reviews and for creating the Polyvore group! I recently rediscovered ATL and have two of the Jackie-ish cardis, the tiered skirt in white (love it), and a couple of other pieces they don't have any more. Fun to mix them with J. Crew pieces.

Ema said...

As you know I have recently discovered the Loft and love it. It's seriously going to steer my money away from Jcrew for the casual dresses and tops if the continue like that. But I would never have bought something based on the website pictures. They should do something styling-wise, seriously!

Paper Bag Princess said...

Awesome scores!!I'm not sure whether we have ATL in Canada - certainly not in my humble city!

Anonymous said...

The tiered knit skirt is very cute!

Patina Cabachon said...

i love the skirt. cute, cute, cute. i can't wait to see it on you. I have never purchased their cardigans, but i think i need to check them out as well as the cardigans at targets

HeidiG said...

Ann - I was *very* impressed with the white tiered skirt and how not see-through it was. Most impressed!

Ema - I know you love your Loft, too! Yep, they need to do something about the styling.

PBP - I must profess to be sadly ignorant of what is and is not available in Canada. But if it's not, sorry!

luvallthingjcrew - thanks! it is so comfy. can't wait for it to be warm enough to wear.

Patina - you should definitely check out the skirt b/c I wear it right at my waist and it's just above my knees - but you would wear it a little lower and it would totally hide your knees.