I’m no snob when it comes to brand names. I relish the occasional trip to Wal*Mart so that I can take a spin through the clothing section and see if anything catches my eye. You’ll see me wearing items by house brands George and No Boundaries on this blog. April recently asked about the quality of Wal*Mart clothing.
As stylist Angie will tell you, price does not necessarily indicate quality. You can find well made pieces at Forever 21 and absolutely shoddy craftsmanship from a major designer label. Quality varies from piece to piece within a collection or label, no doubt subject to the standards of the factory churning them out.
I’m happy to share pictures of my Wal*Mart clothes and my experiences with them. I will caveat my observations with an admission that I treat my work clothing gently. I wash them only when necessary, hang them up at the end of the day, and do not engage in any sort of strenuous physical activity while wearing them. I have no children to pull at buttons or hems. No dogs jump on me with muddy paws and claws. The cats occasionally knead my tops when I flop on the sofa, but I usually change as soon as I get home.
Lace overlay tank bought November 2006, worn 11 times. It’s held up well. No sign of wear.
Another lace overlay tank bought November 2006, worn once. It was too long, so I swapped it away. It seemed to hold up well while I had it. I tried it on a number of times while playing “fashion show” and the zipper held up.
Patterned, pleated skirt bought May 2007, worn seven times. The material is a nice heavy weight, but the pleats ensure enough movement. I can’t recall if it is lined or not. No problems with the zipper or eye-hook closure.
Striped, micro-corduroy skirt thrifted December 2007, worn three times. Based on the size tag inside the skirt, this is Euro George, purchased by someone in Europe (at Asda?) and donated to a US thrift store. The quality is good. No problems with the hook and eye closure or zipper. The only reason I don’t wear it more is that it isn’t lined. I hate it when fall/winter skirts aren’t lined. The wearer will most likely be sporting tights and the skirt tends to creep up stockinged legs.
Wool sweater bought December 2006, worn a few times. I liked this sweater until I washed it. Despite cool water and an air dry, it shrank into a misshapen mess. This was definitely a waste of money.
Big-eyed sunnies bought April 2007, worn over and over. No complaints! The lenses have stayed in the frames and the arms haven’t fallen off. Mike thinks they’re really ugly, though.
Cranberry and gold bead necklace with ribbon tie bought November 2006, worn five times. I really like this necklace. No quality issues…I just forget to wear it! At first, I was frustrated by the way the ribbon wrinkled, but then I thought to iron it.
No Boundaries (Junior’s brand)
Tartan swing jacket bought November 2007, worn three times. Good points – the jacket is lined and warm. Bad points – the buttons are falling off and the fabric is pilling. I don’t wear it more because it is SO distinctive and also kind of hard to match. I do think it’s really cute though.
Sparkly cropped jacket bought April 2008, worn three times. This is still new, but holding up well. The body of the jacket is lined. The jacket closes with a hook and eye. Both the fastening and the decorative buttons are secure.
I’ve also got some No Boundaries tanks and tights. They are of average quality. No complaints or raves.
I am not a skilled seamstress, so I’m fairly oblivious to the craftsmanship of a garment. I do notice when hems fall out and buttons pop off, though. I also have a preference for lining in jackets and skirts. Overall, I've been happy with the things I've bought at Wal*Mart. The quality seems no worse than Target, Old Navy, Forever 21, etc. Based on the few “misses” I’ve had, though, I’d be hesitant to order anything online. I’d rather check the clothing out in the store so I can evaluate the quality. Returns are a pain in the patootie.
I’m curious to hear your experiences with Wal*Mart clothing.