Thursday, July 17, 2008

Wardrobe by Wal*Mart

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.

George
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.

13 comments:

Spiragirl said...

I love ASDA/George stuff. It's good value and generally pretty good quality. They do nice shoes too, unfortunately the only one near me now is horrible so I don't go there but there is a massive ASDA Walmart in Swindon where I used to live so I always pop in when visiting friends and see if there are any bargains to be had.

Amy said...

I love that you posted your walmart picks! I too sometimes find things at walmart, as well as target, etc., and people sometimes even compliment me on it. I love your blog, would you like to trade links?
Amy
http://nycynicist.blogspot.com/

Leslie said...

I hate Wal-stupid-Mart. But it has nothing to do with the clothing, its just that its a traffic nightmare to get into and since it was opened, it's made traffic on my main thoroughfare be a total nightmare no matter what time of day. However, my sister has great luck with George clothes and yours are adorable as well! I think I may need to fight the nightmare more often to check things out!

Christy said...

Outside of gym-wear, I never buy clothing at WalMart, but this spring I bought two adorable George skirts. They are 100% cotton (even the lining is cotton) and are quite well made. They are like-new after several wearings, washings, and ironings. I have gotten many compliments every time I wear them.

KT said...

I'm with Leslie. Wal-Mart makes me nuts in my head. Plus, I am a true Target girl at heart. That being said I did go to Wal-Mart while with my mother-in-law as her town has no (gasp!) Target. On my quick trip for allergy pills I bought my daughter about 4 dresses under $10.00. Nice price for kids clothes that get pretty beat up. I also got Strawberry Whoppers.

Schliessie said...

First, your blog is my favorite fashion blog and I love your style.

Second, I buy a lot of basics at Target and Walmart. I actually think the quality is better sometimes than H&M or Forever 21. Especially at Target. I also find that since there are no Targets or Walmarts in San Francisco, (where I live) when I get an item from one of the stores people often are shocked when I tell them a particular item was purchased there. I love a bargain and also never put boundaries on where to find clothes so I have been really lucky with Walmart and Target. One thing I refuse to buy is a bag made of PVC if it is big. I cannot stand the fact that the handles break off after only a few usages. Target often has cute styles that I pass on because the bag is too large and the handles won't hold up!

KiM said...

I'm with schliessie; your blog rocks. And I'm amazed you posted this just one day after I meant to ask you about the No Boundaries jacket. It's amazing, though I doubt my Walmart still has it. I really may have to look online for it; for I must have it or my summer wardrobe won't be complete! Still, I can't wait to wear real jackets again. I'm sick of being hot and not being able to layer.

~Tessa said...

I usually stock up at Wal-Mart on black skirts and trousers in the fall. And I like to get sleeveless white blouses (the White Stag ones are about $7) to wear under colorful cardies in the fall and winter. I also picked up some silver flip-flops (gasp!) for about $7 as well for wearing to the beach and poolside. Nothing I have gotten at Wal-Mart has fallen apart. Also, no problem in returning items that I decided against once I got them home.
~Tessa

Polly said...

I have several George knit tops with drapey v-necks that are more flattering than anything I've bought elsewhere. I also like the fitted v-neck tees from WalMart - they have a little bit longer sleeve and fit my 42-yo self better than a tight baby doll sleeve from Old Navy.
Faded Glory brand is good for kids clothes - jeans fit well and last a long time.
One just has to avoid the frump factor when shopping walmart.

ShopDownLite.com said...

For what it's worth from a guy's perspective - I have bought and liked items from Wallmart. I too find their quality on par with Target's. I also swear by their dri wick undershirts (I bought all I could find at Old Navy last year) and these are my new favorites.

ShopDownLite.com said...

Of course I can type correct - Walmart :-) I think the extra l was subliminal about their parking.

April said...

Oh I hope what I said didn't come across "snobish" I totally decorate my house with wal-mart stuff. I have only ever bought jewelry and tank tops from wal-mart and was never thrilled about the quality. Maybe I am just tough on things. I know I have bought several things for my kids from wal-mart and couldn't tell if it was just the quality or how rough and tough my youngins were. I was just curious.

I do have to say that the styles at wal-mart have improved much over the years. Guess I'll just have to see for myself!

kimana83 said...

This post is why I love your blog more than any other fashion blog: you actually shop at inexpensive places! Most people I know would never even THINK of shopping for clothes at Walmart. Target, sure, but not WM. I don't know why it has such a stigma. Of course, I don't really mind, since less people I know shopping there means I get all the cute clothes they have and no one else accidentally matches me. I've been a consistent WM clothes shopper for at least a decade (I'm 25). Not all their clothes are cute, but then I've been in several high-end department stores who had uglier stuff for 10 times the price. Quality has always been great. I've gotten skirts, basic tops, dressy tops, athletic wear, shoes, and even a few dresses. My latest obsession from WM has been the following dress, which is currently in stores and which I have received numerous compliments on. It also seems to be universally flattering, as my friends of all different shapes and sizes have also found some in a pattern they like. Can't beat that for $14.94!
Pic of me in mine: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=1622223&l=6d521&id=503691410
Pic of my friend in a pattern that another friend is buying for me and shipping my way, since I've been to 7 WMs here and none have it: http://picasaweb.google.com/TheLaraEmily/RandomLife2008/photo#5221938336848697506

Isn't it awesome? And there are several more patterns. Easy to dress up, easy to dress down. LOVE IT.

Oh yes, and it's Faded Glory brand, and, sadly, not available online.