Monday, December 21, 2009

Fashion Review: Rodarte for Target

Pictured: Rodarte for Target at my local store. Many items are already sold out online.

I've heard from many readers this am that is was just too cold and dreary to venture out in winter storms to buy Rodarte at their local Target store. I think this is why many of the items are already sold out online. Target did a good job creating buzz for this collection and many frugal fashionista were chomping at the bit to get the pieces. It will be interesting to see if the sold-out items are returned to Target after customers receive their items and actually get to try them on and access the fit. Here in California, there is plenty of Rodarte still in stock, so don't despair if you didn't get yours. I think there is some in stock at stores around the country judging by the emails I am receiving. So, here is what I thought of the collection, the good, the bad and the ugly.

My overall impression of the collection is that there are some cute, very romantic looking pieces here. There is also a lot of reproduction of vintage lingerie pieces from 1930s lingerie collections. The camisoles and the tulle dresses are reminders of earlier looks. These items are sized small and in my opinion will best fit tweens and young girls The fit in the bust and shoulders is very small. This is also true of all the dresses in the collection. Although the sizing is larger than the Anna Sui collection and the lengths are longer than mini, things are still not in proportion to the average American women's size. This is truly junior sized, which is sad as I always see women who are clearly not juniors (including myself) looking for a fashion bargain. Unlike Jimmy Choo for H&M, this collection features thin fabrics and styles best suited to teens and tweens, rather than adults. I was at two Target stores today with shoppers, and most of them were disappointed by the sizing of the tulle dresses and the animal print dresses. Like many styles from the 1920s, the fit will look best on ladies with small busts and small hips who are not too curvy and can carry off the look of one straight line. This is particularly true of the leopard print dress modeled by Dakota Fanning in various fashion magazines. (Fabric on the leopard dress is also very, very stiff. It doesn't exactly move well with the wearer.)

Pictured: The vintage lingerie look camisoles next to the lacy cardigan. I liked the lacy cardigan, its a nice holiday piece for the price.

The Givenchy inspired black lace dress worn by Jean Seberg in Bonjour Tristesse also falls short in my opinion. It is in black as well as a Liberty of London type floral print, which I think is a rather ill fitting to the style of the dress. In my opinion, you can't replicate a classic Givenchy couture dress with synthetic materials and cheap tailoring. It just doesn't work.

Pictured: The Rodarte for Target halter dresses in floral and black lace.

Pictured: The faux fur jacket, good on Jeremiah Johnson maybe, too wooly for my tastes.

In person, I was also disappointed in the floral rain jacket. The print was lovely, but the nylon material was very thin and flimsy. It was also a boxy cut. The matching nylon tote is miniature sized and won't carry much. You get what you pay for here.

However, there are several pieces in this collection that I do like for the design and the price point. My top picks are the lacy style cardigan, the lace print t-shirt with bow, the scoop lace tee and the mesh bow top. Here are the pictures of those.


Pictured: This mesh top with bow ties at the front and sleeves is very cute for $24.99. I bought it in navy and paired it with a black camisole from my closet. It also comes in Orchid/Hot Pink.

Pictured: For $14.99, I like this faux lace print tee with detachable bow.


Pictured: This faux lace floral top is cuter than it looks. Its completely sheer, so I paired it with my own camisole for a less peek-a-boo look. It retails for $16.99.


Bottom line, as with all budget collections there are plenty of hits and misses in Rodarte for Target. I left my local Target vowing to sign up for the Rodarte sample sales in Los Angeles. I love Rodarte designs, but the execution of them for Target just wasn't all that. There are many better made designer garments at Loehmann's, Marshall's and the online designer shopping cubs that are not designer budget lines for the price point. When you go to Target today, or look at the over 200 Rodarte for Target listings on eBay, step back and separate the hype from the actual quality of the pieces.

Update, Jan. 5th. I returned both the mesh navy tops (bow tie and floral) pictured above to Target. While getting ready to wear them to holiday events, I found them rather itchy and uncomfortable. To top it off, my 9 year old niece asked why I would want to wear a see through top so that people could see my underwear. I decided she had a good point! I returned both items and will content myself with my Rodarte White Shirts from the Gap purchased a few years ago. Although I thought both tops were pretty, I just didn't find they were wearable, at least for me. Especially in the winter months. Give me some fabric or some cashmere at least :)