The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

What Ann Taylor LOFT Wants Budget Babes to Know

Here's me with LOFT Trend Director Alia-Ahmed Yahia (left) who wore a fabulous LOFT paisley dress and statement necklace from their not-yet-released fall collection.

Last night, I attended a blogger event at the Times Square Ann Taylor LOFT location in New York City where I was invited to meet the creative team behind the company and ask them any question my heart desired about the company and their products. Everyone I met was extremely friendly and gracious, but more than that, I could feel their excitement and enthusiasm for the brand—when employees believe in the company, the customer can, too!

Here are some of the take-aways I got from the event that I thought you ladies would find useful—if you have any questions, hit me up in the comments and I'll do my best to answer them (or get the answers from the folks over at LOFT—they're more than eager to help!).

What You Should Know About Ann Taylor LOFT

  • Ann Taylor LOFT is going through some exciting changes with a new company president and a creative team that's looking to reinvigorate the brand. Part of this transition means Ann Taylor LOFT will officially be known simply as LOFT beginning in the fall. Expect more of the latest fashion trends translated to casual, everyday clothing in a way that's relevant, chic and effortless, says LOFT Trend Director Alia-Ahmed Yahia.

  • The LOFT woman is any woman who's confident, multi-tasking, and fun-loving and she tends to be very loyal to the brand. She can be any age, single, married, with kids, no kids, working, stay-at-home, volunteer, student—you name it! It's really all about an attitude more than an age group, says Yahia.

  • LOFT is affordable. I'd say that up until a few months ago, I was under the impression that Ann Taylor LOFT was pricey, like Banana Republic pricey, but most items (including LOFT's 10 spring essentials, which I'll be blogging about later) are actually well under $100. Combined with all their great sales and deals for regular customers, and it's a great value, especially considering the quality.

  • LOFT is low-maintenance. I'm pretty sure Yahia told me that nothing at LOFT is dry-clean only, which means LOFT fits my personal wash-and-wear mantra! This is excellent news for all you busy students and moms and well, everyone who'd rather spend less time doing laundry.

  • LOFT is looking to introduce more genuine leather shoes and handbags priced under $170-ish (most styles will cost much less). I think this is a great move because I'm always looking for affordable, quality leather handbags and shoes.

  • LOFT offers Petites sizing in stores, as well as Tall and plus size (up to size 16) online only. Not many stores offer fashionable Petites clothing, so this is a definite plus for LOFT.

  • LOFT loves teachers! Sign up for LOFT LOVES TEACHERS and receive 15% off every time you shop. Learn more at

  • LOFT operates 511 stores nationwide.

Tips to Help You Shop LOFT:

  • Ask for help. LOFT is currently in the process of training all sales associates on styling their products so that they'll be able to help you coordinate new looks with what's in store. And the service is complimentary, so just ask! It's all about helping you feel confident, beautiful and put-together, so there's no pressure to make you buy things that don't work for you, Yahia says.

  • Check back frequently. LOFT gets fresh new items for summer all the time, so check online and in store regularly. In fact, the typical LOFT shopper usually hits up her fave store 4 times a month.

  • Sign up for emails, follow LOFT on Twitter and fan their Facebook page for exclusive deals, promos and sale alerts.

I've always liked LOFT style, and am excited to see the changes they'll make to this standby brand.
#1 Sal (Homepage) on 2009-06-03 11:15 (Reply)
I love the LOFT and Ann Taylor (though regular AT is pricier). It's great for business casual work clothes or nicer weekend wear. And the petite sizes are great - fantastic for those of us with short legs.
#2 DSeer (Homepage) on 2009-06-03 11:22 (Reply)
I'd love to know when they plan to re-introduce their Maternity line. Their website says "coming soon", but how soon? Hopefully in time for me to enjoy some of their cute maternity apparel! Thanks!!
#3 Carolyn (Homepage) on 2009-06-03 11:25 (Reply)
That must have been fun! Thank you for all the info you shared, I'll check out their site again - 'cause I definitely want that dress! :-)
#4 Elisa (Homepage) on 2009-06-03 11:26 (Reply)
The have some really great-looking dresses at affordable prices. Womanly and yet fun.
#5 christina on 2009-06-03 11:43 (Reply)
Ann Taylor has one of the best tailored pants and they all come with a very affordable price tag too. BTW, you looked really cute with your cropped jacket. Where's that from? Ann Taylor? My guess. :-)
#6 I Am Recessionista Blog (Homepage) on 2009-06-03 12:00 (Reply)
The jacket is actually from the Proenza Schouler for Target collection that they did way back in 2006, still one of my favorites :-)
#6.1 The Budget Babe on 2009-06-03 14:56 (Reply)
hey loving your chic outfit..can you post some pics please for inspiration :-)
#7 Nonie on 2009-06-03 12:16 (Reply)
need. want. that dress!! you look great too BB! What a great opportunity! They are definitely one of my top favorites!!!!
#8 Real Style Real people (Homepage) on 2009-06-03 13:17 (Reply)
That necklace looks great, and so does that dress she's wearing. I see a bag in your hand, did you get some nice stuff?
#9 budget chic on 2009-06-03 13:59 (Reply)
I received a necklace that looks a lot like this one:

except mine has tiny starfish and sand dollar and pearl charms. Very cute for summer.

We also received a card good for 25% off any purchase.

And some press stuff, including a CD with product pics that I'm working with now :-)
#9.1 The Budget Babe on 2009-06-03 14:50 (Reply)
Great Post BB-

I don't normally shop at Ann Taylor LOFT but like there stuff -I may have to put it in my rotation of stores to shop in - I love wash and go especially since I have to kiddies.

Thanks for the useful info
#10 Rachel Orndorff on 2009-06-03 14:08 (Reply)
Oh BB -
I think we all want to hear about your cute outfit - I think I your pants are they ankle?
#11 Rachel on 2009-06-03 14:18 (Reply)
Here's what I'm wearing:
LOFT Necklace:

To the Max Sateen Skinny pants:

H&M silk/cotton 3/4 sleeve blouse. I talked about it here:

Proenza Schouler for Target cropped jacket (circa 2006)

GAP black leather ballet flats

And I was toting a red leather handbag but you can't see it in the pic.

Thanks, ladies :-)
#11.1 The Budget Babe on 2009-06-03 15:05 (Reply)
I've always loved the loft when their stuff goes on sale you can get some really amazing bargains.
#12 Goodbuygal (Homepage) on 2009-06-03 16:05 (Reply)
I am loving the Loft lately! I was walking by the store a few weeks ago and noticed a sign saying "All Dresses, $40." Well, how could I say no? I was just running out to get a quick Mom's Day gift, and ended up leaving the mall with 4 dresses and 2 shirts. :-))
#13 DariaCaria on 2009-06-03 16:41 (Reply)
Fabulous post, Dianna! And you look fabulous too :0)

Did you know that their sister company Ann Taylor is stocking brands? They are delicious! You HAVE to go check it out.
#14 angie (Homepage) on 2009-06-03 16:46 (Reply)
I LOVE Ann Taylor Loft -- I'd say half of my wardrobe is from there (bought during their excellent sales and clearance events, of course). It's exactly my style. I'd rather that they not drop "Ann Taylor" from their name (I love Ann Taylor too, but it's way pricier), although I generally don't like it when my favorite stores/brands try to update their image. Why mess with a good thing?

And plenty of things I own from ATL are dry clean only: suits, dresses, etc. Please tell me that they're not dropping their "higher end" pieces!!! I love my suit skirts and jackets from there, as well as my dresses (which I wear for fancier occasions like ballet galas). I can't imagine how anything like those pieces could be just thrown in the washing machine! I like ATL because it includes both casual AND more formal/business pieces, and I'd hate for them to discontinue the latter.
#15 Sonia on 2009-06-04 05:18 (Reply)
I guess LOFT doesn't want "fat" chicks in their stores now that size 16s are banished to the internet. LOFT ain't getting my "fat" money.
#16 StrawberryGirl on 2009-06-04 20:42 (Reply)
I really love your blog, but could we stop pretending that 16 is a "plus size" line?
#17 Dallas on 2009-06-06 05:06 (Reply)
I work at Torrid and plus size starts at size 12, and theres nothing wrong with that! :-)
#17.1 Mandy on 2009-06-07 11:27 (Reply)
Where did you get your gold necklace? It is amazing!
#18 Kathryn Collings on 2009-06-06 17:13 (Reply)
Can you please ask them to offer a military discount? The store in Panama City Beach offered one, but not all stores offer it. Thank you!!!
#19 Erin on 2010-05-09 22:21 (Reply)
I'm not sure that I've liked their "new, creative" direction! I used to shop there constantly but haven't seen much that I've liked since about Summer of 2009. It's become a bit too fou-fou and avant garde. Now I know why.

Also, what's up with discontinuing the petite knits? I miss my cute XSP tanks and tees ... Please pass on this feedback if you get the chance! I've already written to corporate but the more voices, the better. :-)
#20 Kristi on 2010-07-10 03:56 (Reply)
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