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08 September 2007

Vera Wang at Kohl's Reviewed


I would have to say these quotes from my fellow internet fashion commentators are a pretty accurate description of Simply Vera for Kohl's:

Daddy Likey:"I think I really would have liked these clothes if I were legally blind. And I mean that in the best way. They were fabulous and colorful and unique from far away, but, as I cantered toward them, giggling with unbridled glee, a different picture came into focus, a picture that looked a lot like cheap shit. I saw shoddy seams, beads falling off, and more polyester than a 1970's fondue party." Commenter:"
i felt i could find the same items at forever21 in the same quality for less than half the price."

I went and checked out the Vera line at my local Kohl's today. The design and color selection are generally interesting and in keeping with Vera Wang's look, the problem is cheap materials and shoddy construction. I've shopped designer diffusion lines at Target, GAP and H&M so I know the general level of quality to expect, and Vera's line did not meet those standards. Most things were made from synthetic materials trying to imitate the look of silk. Several designers for Target have put out lines with silk pieces that still manage to remain affordable, so I don't understand why Vera could not.

Clothing Line
There was one top in the clothing line which looked promising on the hanger: a white or lavender sleeveless top with a rhinestone detail at the neck which was 97% cotton. I tried it on, and from the front it was very cute and very Vera. Then I turned to the side: tent city. The same shirt is shown on the mannequin in the picture above. I always say if something makes the mannequin look fat there is little hope for me! Perhaps on a very skinny girl wearing very skinny pants this shirt would be nice.
Otherwise the clothing was Polyester, Rayon, Modal everywhere you looked, with a a hefty price tag, considering the quality, for the privilege to wear Vera. I have heard talk on other blogs of polos and jeans in the Simply Vera line...I did not see those at my Kohl's, they must have still been in the process of putting out the merchandise. Maybe the "everyday" pieces are a bit nicer?

The bra and panty sets were very uninspired-I can get the same exact thing at Walmart of Target for much cheaper. For those fans of her "Vera Wang" lingerie line (I'm not talking about the luxe line) in Bloomingdales and other department stores: I did not notice a huge difference between her nightgowns in those stores and her nightgowns for Kohl's-both primarily consist of polyester babydoll gowns. I tried on the black nightgown (the pictured purple was not in my size) and it fit like a dream. But, I made the decision to become a fabric snob a few years ago, and avoid buying synthetic clothing unless I am really really in love, so I left the nightgown at Kohl's.

I could have easily been in the Payless- the shoes were very generic. I thought the pictured black slides where kind of cute, but the netting just looked kind of cheap. These same shoes came in violet crushed velvet?! Did she see the black ones and think: "Gee! Lets hit these with an ugly stick and see what comes out?"

There were a few bright spots in the accessories department. There is a small collection of leather purses that I though were chic. I liked one of the pleather purses, and wished it was done in leather. Vera put out an extensive collection of tights which also appeared to be quite nice, but at $12 were hardly a deal. And finally, she put out some supremely long knit gloves. Fabulous gloves that went all the way up one's arm! If only these were not 50% synthetic! If only they did not itch so horribly and cut off the circulation in my bicep!

We have Vera Wang mattresses, so why not Vera Wang sheets and duvets? Well, because they are ugly and cheap looking, thats why. To say something nice: I did like the ruffled bed sheets (300 thread count, Egyptian cotton). I wanted to buy them in brown for my twin sized guest bed. Sadly, they did not appear to come in twin size.

So, Vera and Kohl's listen: the gig is up! Vera, you said yourself in the Wall Street Journal: "Don't underestimate the knowledge or sophistication of customers. Most are smarter than you might realize-and so are their children."Middle class America has seen what Mizrahi can do at Target, what Lagerfeld can do at H&M and what Moret can do at the GAP. We know better! We know that a $50 designer diffusion shirt should be made of silk, not polyester. We know crushed velvet died in the early 90s, no matter what you try to sell us! We are willing to pay the extra $5-10 to have our knit gloves made out of 100% wool. Next season take it up a notch, we'll be waiting.


a. said...

Wow that was some review! I do agree with you though :-) Well said!

Chic and Charming said...

I just re-read it. It is a bit harsh, but I was pretty bitter because I'd been looking forward to this line for so long!

ralcony said...

it's good when target brings famous designers in to design lines...because they have good quality merch. I have always thought Kohl's was cheap looking crap so it would only make sense that the Vera Wang follows suit

Chic and Charming said...

I went today to Target to see if they had the new Temperley, and they do not. While I was there I checked out the label's on the Mizrahi and discovered he actually does use quite a bit of synthetics. But still, a larger percentage of his clothes were available in cotton or silk, than the Vera Kohl's line. I then looked at the Libertine line and found that every piece was made with natural fibers! Silk! Cotton! Cashmere! This is what I'm talking about!

Hebden said...

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so thanks for posting yours. As you said, if the clothes make a mannequin look fat...

Gloria said...

"beat it with a stick" lol that line is classic.

honestly, I can understand the shoddy workmanship spiel, but I don't think there's anything wrong with synthetics... of course, I'm biased..

Chic and Charming said...

Yeah, my bias against synthetics is a little fanatical. I think it only became more deeply ingrained when I started wedding dress shopping last year and realized that unless I wanted to spend several thousand dollars I was going to be a polyester bride. It is mainly the price for the synthetics that bothers me. She made a bunch of polyester and rayon shirts specifically to imitate the look and feel of silk and then charged prices for them that would get you a silk shirt elsewhere. I also have a serious beef with synthetic nightgowns~skin needs to breathe at night!

Diana @ So Fash'on said...

agree! so true!