Everlane launched chelsea boots!!!
ALL of the EVERLANE POSTS & REVIEWS on Grechen’s Closet
This is old news, so I hope you’ll forgive me for just getting around to posting it now, but I found this article in Racked about Everlane becoming “the next J Crew” interesting. Perhaps you did too?
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??? 🙂
Thank you for writing such an honest review. So many fashion bloggers will just shill for whatever company is sending them free stuff, and while yes you are a proponent of Everlane you aren’t shy about saying what you don’t like. I have had the same issues with their stuff as well (fit is hit or miss, as is quality IMHO but the customer service has always been outstanding). At the end of the day I like what the company stands for and will likely try to find things from Everlane that I think will work for me. This post makes me like both you and Everlane more BECAUSE you’re being truthful.
And by the way the boots look awesome. Maybe I will try them out 🙂
While the idea of fashion transparency is nice, the stockholders want growth and cash, so a business must grow to satisfy the needs (greed) of the stockholders. It’s just the way business works, sadly.
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Andrea H says
Ahh, so many great questions you pose here at the end. I am a big fan of Everlane as well, just started shopping them a little over a year ago and have several items in my closet. I have certainly noticed their fast growth in the last year, and I can’t believe how many items they’ve added to their offering. I just wish they’d offer a few REALLY amazing items instead of SO MANY. But I am guessing the latter is what’s going to drive up profits. I just hope they keep design as a top priority.
Their Italian slingback sandals are some of my favorite shoes and I had embarrassingly high hopes for the modern loafer. I tried them in two sizes (10 and 10.5) and neither fit. Yes, I have bigger feet, and ever so slightly wider feet. I normally wear a 9.5 or 10 in shoes, and I was pretty disappointed that the loafers didn’t work out for me. The cheslea boots are gorgeous. If I had a need for ankle boots I’d definitely be ordering them right now. I noticed under fit that they are described as having a “wider footbed than our other shoes.” Looking forward to a more boots-on-the-ground review of them by someone!
Grechen Reiter says
yes, the boots do look awesome! i am SO tempted, but ankle boots are so hard for me (do not look good on my short, chunky legs!) that i think i’ll pass. they look nicely made though, and i do love all the colors. ugh!
thank you 🙂
i’ve been reading through your blog BTW, and bookmarking some recipes!!
I think I’m the only person who does not like everlane’s t-shirts. i find them blah, and ended up wearing them to sleep. The t shirts I love and want to live in tend to be more luxe with great drape (James Perse, Kit and Ace, etc).
That said, I love their mens t-shirts and sweatshirts on my husband, and I now own both kinds of loafers. But it is certainly hit or miss. Usually I end up exchanging until I find something I like for me or my husband so returns end up being free and they end up selling me something – double win 😉
I agree with you, Grechen, on all points. I think they are cranking out stuff too fast without giving adequate thought to the design. This year I hardly spent any money with them and I know I’m not alone. Maybe it’s just that the novelty is gone, the bloom is off the rose 🙂 That said, I like their anorak a lot, silk blouse and seed stitch sweater as well as modern loafers. Chelsea boots look nice and I like their now signature white rubber piece at the heel, it does add that something special to the look. But, as I know very well from my everlane loafers, the white piece gets dirty and wears off…
You are not alone, their t-shirts are OK. I have a couple of their v-necks and earlier runs had a much softer hand and thicker feel, the vee wasn’t as deep either, at least in black color. Their shape though isn’t particularly flattering,
I feel like Everlane is neither here nor there at the moment. They were one of the first direct-to-consumer clothing companies to get mainstream recognition, but they haven’t really solidified their reputation; in fact, the opposite. They’re doing shoes, they’re doing leather, they’re doing a Kickstarter for jewelry…! Their ‘radical transparency’ doesn’t really seem like much of a selling point when all they do is identify their factories.
I personally refuse to buy anything from them anymore until they start providing a wider range of sizes. The fact that their sizing stops at a (small-running) L is ridiculous and insulting.
Sorry, Nisolo was the one doing a Kickstarter for jewelry – my bad.
Grechen Reiter says
ha! i still love my ryan tanks and wear them all the time, although the sizing is so crazy…and i have several of the u neck tees that i love, because they’re big and slouchy 😉 but otherwise, i definitely prefer my JP tees, and think they’re of much higher quality (worth the price IMO)
I have certainly posted my share of comments about Everlane’s weird fits. I’ve bought and returned pretty much everything I have gotten from them, except for two U neck t-shrts (which I wear to bed—ha!) and the white button front shirtdress.
That said, I just got the black Artist Smock dress today, and think I love it. It actually is a roomy fit, which I wanted (I’ve found most of their other dresses to be too small). The fabric is a lovely wool blend, and it has pockets. We’ll see if I keep it after tomorrow…
I’d love it if Everlane became the next JCrew. While I can’t find a single thing to fit me, there must be a lot of people who do in order for the company to expand so rapidly. To have a big name pledging radical transparency is great for the culture of clothing manufacturing. Best case scenario is that it will push consumers to demand ethical disclosures from other companies. In my mind, the company shift in scope will be worth it if they can actually accomplish ubiquity and change the ethical norm. I guess I’d better keep buying t-shirts for my husband. They are the only Everlane item that has been a hit in our household.
Yes, I’ve had good luck with the men’s t shirts, too, but nothing for myself yet!
Honestly, I would’ve liked it if Everlane had become the next American Apparel. I’m so frustrated with AA’s quality control issues and weird public image, but up until a couple of years ago they were my go-to for affordable, domestically-produced cotton basics. They even offered some organics for a while, though I think they scaled that way back. Another good example of a company getting too big too fast, making some bad decisions, and moving outside of their comfort zone in a way that mishandles the trust of their customers.
Unfortunately, aside from black and white (and their black isn’t all that great), Everlane doesn’t offer colors that I love. Sky, blush, etc look great as part of their minimalist palette, but taken on their own they’re just pastels — and I look pretty terrible in pastels. 🙂
Oh–and they’re shoes are gorgeous but TOO NARROW. Wanna talk about radicalism in women’s fashion–how about offering nice-looking shoes in wide sizes?
Grechen Reiter says
excellent points – for the sake of “ethical” fashion and more transparency, i do hope they become as big as j crew, but only if they can keep to their mission, and retain some of their unique-ness. i won’t lie though, part of everlane’s appeal is that not everyone knows about it, you know?? once things become mainstream, i tend to be not interested anymore…
So I went to the Room Service thing to check out the shoes– and I walked out with nothing. (Well, everyone did, I suppose. Nothing was available for immediate take away, but there was 1-hour delivery.)
The Chelsea boots fit true to size (unlike the slip-on shoe they introduced over the summer, which I found very narrow and very weird.) The colors were nice. The leather felt nice. But it just wasn’t great. It looks amazing on the web site, but I wasn’t convinced why I should spend $200+ on that boot. There are plenty of Chelsea boots out there, for less money.
The little white detailing on the sole is cool, and looks nifty, but it was getting marred and dirty even on the sample shoes, which were presumably being worn only briefly in a hotel room. Taking them out on New York City streets? That design detail would probably get gross fast.
In all, I’m realizing I like Everlane a lot more in theory than in actual practice.
Grechen Reiter says
that’s a great way to put it…i feel the same way lately, i like everlane a lot more in theory than in practice…
the white detail is really cool, but it doesn’t even look white anymore on my loafers –
The next J Crew? No. Different customer. Different business model. I’m a bit confused as to how they’ve been around for, what?…the past 3 years or so…and have yet to make a profit. They’ve been growing like gangbusters! So, is it a failure of the business model? That would be quite depressing, given that I applaud their ethical standards. Or, does it have to do with the failure of fit/sizing? I know that for me, that’s the reason I’ve never purchased from them. It seems to be all over the place! And quality is something you and your readers and buyers of Everlane have discussed a lot on these pages…not exactly inspiring me to purchase. If anything did, it would be the gorgeous Chelsea boots. For me, they are pricey, but most likely worth it.
I wish them well, but I’m not ready to make the leap!
I decided to get the Chelsea boots after the room service event. I think the reason to buy the boots is that they are handmade Italian leather. I bought the first run of loafers when they came out over a year ago and the leather has aged beautifully. Anything from similar retailers would have been totally worn out after the heavy wear I put them through. I expect the Chelsea boots to wear the same. A boot in comparable leather and handmade would be significantly more expensive.
I agree that sometimes the fit of items is strange, but the things that are great are my go-to favorite items in my closet. It doesn’t bother me to buy a bunch of stuff and return/exchange. Others might get frustrated sending back and re-ordering. NYC now is also great for seeing if things work. To those who have struggled with the fit–keep trying! Some of their stuff is awesome. Some can make you feel really strange.
Things I love:
V-necks (have 6)
Luxe merino short sleeve
New chunky wool cardigan coat and turtleneck (much better quality than last year. No pilling thus far)
Cashmere crew (some of the best cashmere I’ve worn)
Loafers (have held up amazingly well and the burgundy leather looks great worn in)
Silk round collar (even though silk makes me sweat)
Backpack (durable, comfortable, good size)
Poplin long-sleeve (you need to size up, also the fabric is thin)
Luxe merino v-neck (slightly too long in the torso)
Chelsea boots (too soon to tell how they wear but they are breaking in well and I’ve gotten lots of compliments)
U-neck (size up to get the same fit as the model. also muted black fades quickly)
Merino scarf (I wish it was more fabric)
Drop shoulder crew tee (size up for the same fit as the model–may not be good for large chests)
Ryan tank (HUGE and weird slinky fabric)
Silk camisole (tight around the bust and too long in the torso. Also the stitching in the hem is cheap and awful)
I have the modern loafer, the modern backpack, fold over wallet and will be waiting for the shirt. The quality of their wallets aren’t that great, but I guess you get what you paid for. Some colors are not made in Spain, as stated on the website because they have factories elsewhere. It arrived with some white scratches, which is kind of disappointing and difficult to remove. The backpack was probably my best purchase and the loafers are gorgeous despite being super narrow.