First, I’m not exactly sure what they mean by the next J Crew. Ubiquitous? Maybe. I’m not sure that’s a good thing. I’ve never been a J Crew shopper, so I’m probably not the best person to dissect this, but I personally don’t want Everlane to become the next J Crew. In fact, I think they might be “growing” too fast. But that’s the way it goes nowadays, especially when you’ve received funding; grow fast and grow hard.
I’ve been an Everlane fan since day 1 and still am. They’re still producing enough things that fit me, and that I appreciate, to keep me on board, but it sounds as if that might not be the case with a lot of you, readers. I’ve had enough problems with Everlane’s fit being “off” to be wary of trying new things, and experience has taught me that I sort of know what to expect given the way a piece looks online, and if I should size up or down. But still I order things to try and end up returning more than I keep.
I am “lucky” though, in that I earn credits to shop Everlane when you shop via my link and that keeps me with enough so that I can try anything I want. And I have a relationship with Everlane where they’ll send me certain pieces to review for you at no charge. I may not be so quick to order if I was spending my own cash. (returns are not “free”…)
I can count on one hand the pieces Everlane does best: Silk shirts, t-shirts, Petra tote, and cashmere. Other items are always hit or miss in terms of quality and longevity. And don’t get me started on fit. Sizing ranges even within the ryan line, the poplin shirts run small, the linen blend blouses run big, etc. etc. Other things fit well, generally, but more often than not, there is something just a little bit “off” about a piece. And sometimes, dare I say it, the designs are just boring and sort of blah.
It’s not just me saying this, about fit anyway. The feedback I get from a lot of you is that items don’t fit, or something else is just “off.” And that the pieces aren’t interesting or compelling enough to keep. Many of us have been burned more than once, but we keep coming back to Everlane because we believe in the company, and their mission to bring transparency to the fashion industry. I do anyway.
I’ve had wonderful experiences with customer service any time I have an “issue,” and I have noticed that they take all their feedback seriously, striving to always do better, even presenting their pants on a variety of shapes and sizes to answer some of their sizing criticism. They do still have quite a way to go on that though – I wish they’d use models that aren’t stick thin, maybe with a little meat on their bones and some hips…
Ultimately I’m a diehard Everlane fan, and respect so much their disruption of the fashion industry. They were definitely at the forefront of the “transparency” wave other brands and companies are riding, and the’ve got the minimal aesthetic down. They know their market, and they’ve no problem reaching it.
But this is also the problem: they need to grow bigger, faster, (they haven’t even made a profit yet) if they’re going to compete with the big guys like Gap, and J Crew. They need to reach more people and sell more. What will that do to the business? To the company? To the clothes?
I already feel like they’re getting a bit big for their britches; I can’t help but think that some of their sizing/quality issues are a result of too many different types of products. That is the conundrum of a smallish company though, and I don’t envy them this. Why not stick with the things they do best? And do them better? It’s not enough, is why, not to truly disrupt the fashion industry. They must become ubiquitous, the next J Crew.
What do you think? Do you see Everlane as the next J Crew? What has your experience been like with Everlane? And what do you think of the new chelsea boots??? 🙂