When I revisited my Wardrobe Audit a couple weeks ago and did another closet purge last week, I decided to get rid of almost all my Everlane. I had a lot of Everlane (27 pieces). I have 13 pieces left (with some on the way out) and have decided not to buy anymore.
I’m over Everlane.
There are many reasons, but mostly, it comes down to fit and quality. Also, it’s become a bit more cult-ish than I’m comfortable with. And millenial, let’s be honest. Yes, I’m that old woman LOL. Everlane just doesn’t “fit” me anymore, in more ways that one.
When Everlane launched several years ago, they manufactured most of their t-shirts (the first thing they offered) in Los Angeles, the same factory the brand that makes my favorite t-shirt manufactures THEIR t-shirts, I was told, and I was excited to try them. Everlane’s t-shirt was $15 and the other brand’s $50. But they were not the same.
I bought and tried the t-shirts as cheaper alternatives to my favorite James Perse tees, but they’re just not very good, not even for the low price. They’re too long and big on me (and yes, I have tried all the styles), and the seams at the neckline always twist and fold and lose their shape with just a few wears and washes, which makes me CRAZY. I kept them around to wear at home, etc., but at this point, I’ve decided to let those go too. I just don’t care to have frustrating items of clothing around anymore.
The cashmere was always a favorite, but I’ve only kept a couple of my cashmere sweaters – the older ones, mostly; I prefered their original cashmere to their new “$100 cashmere.” And honestly, cashmere should cost more than $100 – much more. It’s theorized that the reason China & Mongolia are running out of grazing and farming land, and that Mongolia is turning into a desert, is because of cashmere goats’ overgrazing. I’m buying alpaca for sweaters now, the general consensus is that it’s much more sustainable than cashmere and doesn’t have the mulesing problem that wool does.
Pants, shoes, bags are mostly all gone. I thought the Petra bag held up really well for a couple of years, but tired of it, and the shoes were always too narrow for me to wear much. Pants never, ever fit me well.
Everlane’s styles are basic, and somewhat appealing, but the execution was never there. In my opinion, they should have perfected some of their signature styles and focused on producing less and increasing the quality instead of launching so many new things all the time.
In spite of always trying, the fit for most items was always “off,” and ultimately the styles are more boring than I am comfortable with. Even weighing the “value” of the item, I have come to the conclusion that I’m not willing to pay for mediocre styles and generally poor quality. You could say, what do you expect for a $15 t-shirt?? Nothing much, I guess, but why should I buy a $15 t-shirt that I don’t like, and don’t want to wear? For me, it is better to buy a t-shirt for $75 (yes, $75) that I can put on and know it will fit me perfectly, never, ever lose its shape, and that I can wear for years.*
And for me, Everlane was starting to present as a fast-fashion problem.
I started noticing that I was treating Everlane a lot like I treated H&M and Zara way back when I still shopped there: I would look forward to new arrivals, always found something to get excited about buying, and usually bought it primarily BECAUSE IT WAS SO CHEAP, relatively.
The brand is appealing on many levels; they are “transparent” with regard to manufacturing (really, though?? that is another point of contention I’ve spoken about before), they have a generally minimal aesthetic which is having a moment now, and they are much more affordable than the other “high-end” luxury brands they aimed to compete with at first (“luxury” tees and Equipment silk blouses).
But they’re stuck. Other than their new jeans, I think they’ve haven’t necessarily advanced their “cause” of transparency as much as I would have hoped. (I was really hoping they’d take it further and try to be more sustainable as well) I want to know more about how much the workers in their factories are paid. Yes, we appreciate knowing their pricing structure, and their efforts to improve life for their factory workers, but still, it seems like not quite enough.
And the jeans. Ugh. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think they completely missed the mark with their denim collection. The styles were “meh” and the fit was all over the place. I appreciate what they did in terms of water-saving manufacturing, which is a huge issue in denim production, but it doesn’t do much good if the jeans are mediocre.
Then again, there is a cult of Everlane (of which I belonged for a very long time**) whose members are more than willing to keep trying the brand until something sticks. In fact, I think that is what Everlane is counting on. And that is what’s most frustrating of all.
It’s been a long time coming, but Everlane, I quit you.
Are you still buying Everlane? Do you own a lot of Everlane? What are your thoughts on the brand now after so many years?
*I understand that is a lot for a t-shirt under most circumstances, but as I’ve said many times before, I know what I like and what fits me at this point in my life. I don’t want to compromise anymore, and thankfully I don’t have to.
**I believed in Everlane, and even when I stopped believing I WANTED to believe, so I stayed a part of the cult for a bit too long. And yes, I made a lot of money via referrals, and I received a lot of free items from the brand to try and review over the years, but those of you who have read me consistently or who have been with me the last decade know (I hope) that the reason I take items to review (and DO NOT DO SPONSORED POSTS or take money for reviews) is so I can remain radically honest (see what I did there?) in my reviews and opinions of items and brands that I try. Inevitably, things change, and my excellent review of Everlane’s first tee changed over time, and with wear, and I tried to always reflect that in my discussions about the brand.
I bought from them at the outset and still have one shirt of great quality that I wear and like. But the jean and pants fit is ridiculous + they are not clothes made for someone like me who is almost 5’10. I’ve bought two pairs of jeans – one, the “boyfriend” jean which I kept but should have sent back. Then I was dumb and just bought another pair of new similar “summer” jeans. In order for either pair to fit, especially the most recent, I would have to size up at least two sizes, making these jeans, including my high-quality skinnies of another brand, by far the biggest size pants I own. All of these jeans run about 2-3 sizes smaller in the waist than any other brand of jean. In contrast, their pull-on utility pants are at least 2 sizes too big. I also bought a t-shirt, on sale, that was ridiculously short. They don’t make clothes for tall women and the jeans would only have fit me in my 20’s when I had an incredibly tiny waist (I’m not even heavy now). I also really don’t like that you cannot leave a review – they reach out to you. So it appears that anyone returning an item is not going to be giving feedback on it. Done as well. And, yes, the frumpiness factor is baffling. Their recent sneaker line looks like orthopedic shoes.
Mary D says
I love Everlane’s The Day Glove Flat, but tried to Order in another color which was Out of Stock. They said the color was discontinued and they sold out quickly, but they won’t be continuing to replenish their inventory.
They don’t have a Marketing/Merchandising Dept. to make any Requests or Inquiries.
It’s truly Frustrating to not be able to speak with anyone. They only Email or Chat, which are about as Useless as can be. Tried those both, but got Nowhere!
Why Would They Choose To Discontinue their most Popular Color??
Oh man, I am so happy to know, I am not alone. I like you started with their tshirts.
Shoes are too narrow. I don’t like the design of there glove flats.
I wanted to get into 100% cotton denim and tried their collection. The quality is aweful. The washes and fit was off. I learnt that you can find 100% cotton good quality denim at half the price at Old Navy. I am not brand conscious. I just want good quality for my money.
Their return policy is awful.
I will still keep their TShirts and silk shirts. Try to sell the rest on poshmark.
Lisa the Sequinist says
I totally agree. The shoes are frumpy. The shirts are frumpy, the jeans don’t excite me. I just don’t get the appeal.
I am 5’3 and their jeans don’t fit me either..
Hi Grechen, how did you let go of your Everlane items? I want to let go of some of mine as well but I’m not sure what the best way is: resell, donate, etc.
I discovered this blog while researching Everlane after my first visit to their website today, puzzled by $50 “choose what you pay” cashmere sweaters and trying to understand more about the company. Was I supposed to pay what I could afford? How could even the highest price be accurate? This was a socially conscious brand?
In terms of social responsibility, I buy what I can from patagonia, they are such a great company.
In terms of quality items and the minimalist fashion I tend to prefer, personally I have experimented with Eileen Fisher and Theory, and I’ve bought quite a few items from Aritzia that are less expensive and often have a great fit for me, but with variable quality and questionable origins. I found these two sites with other brand suggestions, and would be interested in if anyone has had a good quality experience with these brands or others.
I visited the Everlane store in SF in November 2016, and quickly discovered that most of their bottoms and dresses do not fit me, so I just pass them up. Their t-shirts are also ok, but not wonderful (well, I do come from a country with some of the world’s best cotton). So I stick to the tops and sweaters (I am currentky saving up for a silk piece). and I especially like their square tops, which is a very interesting shape. I would love for them to seriously cull their offerings. As Gretchen says, it would be best to focus on the best-loved pieces instead of so much diversity, and to expand into the plus-size section. You do not have to be plus size (I am 5’2 and closer to the 00-2 range) to demand beautiful clothes for everyone!
I guess I’ll be the only one leaving not so negative Everlane reviews. I discovered Everlane a few months ago. I’ve bought 4 pairs of jeans and they all fit me perfectly. I’m 5’0”. Their high rise authentic stretch was not so comfy at first but I’ve broken them in. I have only one T-shirt from Everlane..the pigment dyed Rose colored box tee and I love it. I’m also a very simply dressed person and always have been. I also bought the black block heel..and I love it as well. I do agree that some of their stuff is frumpy, not always my style. But what is my style, I will pick up without regret.
Thank you for your honest and detailed review… I have been watching and wearing brands for three decades now… but I also realize that I need to look at some of the newer brands and decide for myself what works… Which is why I can always count on j.Jill for fit style and long-term use…… Yes they are a bit pricey in my opinion and always have been but when you have I figure that consistently changes you stick with what works and so for affordability I just buy them from thredup and swap.
I bought a cashmere sweater that started pilling after one (1) wear!! Another shirt I purchased, silk boxy shirt, tore at the seam under the armpit after I lifted my arm while the shirt was tucked in. Both these items cost $100. Really disappointed in the poor quality / shoddy workmanship, especially after all the hype.
Everlane is based in my city, and I never understood their appeal. I feel their closest competitor or sister retailer is Madewell, in terms of overrated cult following, unjustifiably high prices, and overly simple, bordering-on-dowdy items.
Even Everlane’s modeling on its website misses the mark. At least Madewell’s modeling always looks fresh and cool, much cooler than their actual products are. Everlane seems to be reaching towards some cool, minimalist, inclusive, semi-androgynous aesthetic, but it’s never getting there.
I’m flabbergasted by Everlane’s cult following, because pretty much every single one of their items online looks ugly, overly plain, and unappealing to me. I understand minimalism when it’s done well – just the right shape and cut to look edgy, modern, and aesthetic. But Everlane never comes close to that.
Unless someone already seems attractive and cool, wearing Everlane/Madewell clothes won’t help. Less attractive, dowdier-looking people need all the help they can get from clothes. If these uglier people wear Everlane/Madewell, that will only increase the unfairly dowdy/uncool impression they get from others. Unattractive people are assumed to be uncool, cheap, and poorly dressed, even if their clothes, what they say, and what they do are the complete opposite. Everlane/Madewell might have an extreme cool factor, but no one knows or cares when they’re worn by uglier people. These people with unfortunate looks need to wear the most overtly cool stuff for their coolness to start sinking into people’s heads.
I actually just got a $10 coupon from Everlane, but I can’t find anything that I’d want on their site. Their clothing simply seems too ugly and frumpy to justify the very high prices. Like Madewell, it’s trying hard to be minimalist hipster, but are missing the mark by a long shot. I haven’t actually tried Everlane, but I’ve had extensive experience buying from Madewell for the past couple of years. I have at least 35 pieces from them, including a lot of uninteresting jewelry. And Madewell is some of the most overpriced, poor-quality, poorly-fitting items I’ve ever bought in my life. I’ve gotten almost no compliments on my expensive Madewell stuff, while I’ve gotten tons of compliments on very cheap, cute, unique items from Old Navy or H&M. Or reasonably priced stuff from Zara or Macy’s.
Forever 21, H&M, and any random cheap retailers have much better/cooler-looking stuff at a tiny fraction of the price. Even Old Navy has much better, cuter stuff, though it’s underrated as a fashionable retailer because its focus on low price/discounts/Super Cash make it unappealing, without the aspirational or hip aspect of other retailers.
I found the first time I bought Everlane in 2018 to be very poor quality and fit. I gave it a chance mainly because I am 5’1″ and was excited for petite options. I returned and did not re-buy.
The biggest problem I have is with this post and not Everlane though. When you said right at the beginning, “it’s become a bit more cult-ish than I’m comfortable with. And millenial, let’s be honest.” It turned me off so much!
Whether or not something is “cult-ish” should not get you to buy from them or get you to stop buying from them. I’m 27 and I hate when people talk down about people who are younger then them are by saying the term “Millenial” I think it is just so rude to say and a shallow cop out. If I am a millennial that means that, according to this post, it is a negative reason to stop buying from a brand.
I have to say, I disagree with the overall sentiment. Most of my closet is everlane….The only thing I haven’t really been happy with is the denim. I prefer midrise denim (NOT the super high rise mom jean trend) and while I did like their mid rise skinny ankle jeans at first, I was constantly having to pull them up…and it wasn’t a fit issue as they were form fitting and fit perfectly. Other than that, my link stitch sweater is absolutely beautiful and looks great wash after wash…my t shirts have held up well, better than my J. Crews (I also never put my clothes in dryer.) My day glove flats are so comfortable and look expensive and have lasted. While I agree their sizing can be a little iffy (for my loafers, all the reviews say to size up but for some odd reason I ending up having to size down a half size)…their return/exchange policy makes finding a better fit easy. I generally love the muted colors that they offer and have been really happy with the quality from them for the price I pay.
Beth Kowalski says
I gave up J. Jill a couple years ago because I was so disappointed with the long term use of their clothing–loved the style, but got tired of $120 sweaters pilling and falling apart after one season.
T Chi says
How do you clean the alpaca sweaters?
Have you heard of the brands Amour Vert or Jenni Kayne? If so I’d love to heard your thoughts/ review.
Ugh I have tons of everlane and I hate it all. The sizing is weird. And they’ve become total green-washers about their sustainability.
What are your favs for your quality tees you mention?
*donates all everlane to goodwill*
Hello – you should definitely resell them! They sell pretty well on sites like Poshmark
I also really like a lot of Everlane – (and I am 54!). I have found through trial & error (through resale sites) that the newer items are significantly better in design & construction than items from a couple of years ago. I try & get the newer items and mostly steer clear of older styles (the tags inside are different). Usually I just buy through the resale sites (better for my budget & the environment). Every now & then I break down & buy something new off the website.
Omg. So glad I found this blog and this post! I know this is a many months later but I recently bought their new skinny bootcut jeans. On the site they post the measurement as a 28.5″ inseam. I am 5’10. When I got the jeans they were super short, so I measured them. I know how to measure inseams having worked in retail and vintage resale for 20 plus years. I got an inseam of 27″. I emailed CS and they told me that I measured differently than their production team. What? I even sent pictures. Different, how? I mean, there is one way to measure an inseam and it’s pretty straight forward. They sent me another pair. Same damn thing. Inseam 27″. So this time I took more pictures and sent another email. This time they agreed that something was off but that was it. I sent them back and got my refund. I begged them to tell production to make longer inseams but I’m guessing that will fall on deaf ears. Point is they either don’t know how to measure inseams or they messed up on the description but I can’t post that as a review because they only seem to invite reviews from people who don’t return items and that is so messed up.
This seems to be a popular post, since the blogger is still getting comments over 2 years after the fact.
My greatest problem with Everlane isn’t any fit issues or poor quality, but with all the people/subcultures that think they’re so cool for shopping at Everlane and look down on people who supposedly haven’t even heard of Everlane. There’s so much hipster pretensions associated with this brand and many others.
Everlane’s $100 cashmere sweaters are NOT good quality. Cashmere shouldn’t feel slippery or scratchy. The sweater I bought was itchy and too short. The fit is all wrong and the quality is not great. I have a Gap cashmere sweater that is higher quality than anything I’ve ever bought at Everwell. They are cult-ish and their customer service doesn’t care about your issues.
GLAD to hear a less negative review.
Glad to hear a less negative review. I would have liked to hear some other options recommended at the end
I remind myself its important to be proud, but not above anyone.
Evolution is slow, as is the movement towards slower and sustainable fashion.
It will take time for this trend, this conscious-lifestyle, to take hold. Its hipsters (throughout the past 100 some years) who make things cool. There are “influencers” of the millennial generation and younger, this is how they do fashion these days. Its a product of being able to make a living as a blogger or a YouTuber. Consumerist society will take a long time to change, and people catching on and getting into Everlane (over say, H&M) is a good thing in my opinion. We are all on a spectrum somewhere, so if I fall in the middle of conscious, hipster, still a consumer, but doing my best, then that’s better than where I started: piles of clothes each year, burning through thousands on fast fashion.
I think its important to uplift the crowd who doesn’t know, who’s into Everlane, those who aren’t, and those who have found even more local, sustainable, transparent places to get amazing clothes. Its the conversation thats important. And every choice we make that helps the health of the planet. Thats the trend, and you’re ahead of the curve baby. So congrats, but also lets be proud and look down on no one.
To be frank, I’m very surprised to hear so many negative reviews of Everlane. Personally, most of my closet is from the brand and has remained in near perfect condition, many pieces for years now. I’m very proud of my closet and feel I look sophisticated and timeless in valuable clothing that fits me well and that I don’t feel guilty having purchased. I can see myself wearing these pieces for well over 10 years based on their quality and how I care for them. Admittedly, there are misses with fit, fabric or quality as to be expected from any brand. I believe that in producing a lot of variety, you can appeal to a broader audience and isn’t that what we want? Don’t we want more people to be thinking about conscious consumerism, social responsibility and sustainability? These closet attributes can absolutely be accomplished through acquiring Everlane items. Furthermore, I can’t even remotely get behind spending $75 for a basic cotton t shirt no matter how long it lasts or for how many washes (which is a huge unsustainable issue for another conversation). Where is that money going? Most likely lining the pockets of wealthy corporate exec’s who are laughing all the way to the bank from their 7,400 sqft, $12 million estate (carbon footprint, James Perse?). And while that may be a great option for your wallet (for which no judgment and more power to you! I personally love an investment designer piece!) many people who are interested in changing the way they shop and the products they buy, can’t afford a $75 cotton t shirt. I wholeheartedly agree with @Danielle who says “Consumerist society will take a long time to change, and people catching on and getting into Everlane (over say, H&M) is a good thing in my opinion.” So you’ve decided it’s become too popular or trendy and would rather opt for nichier, higher priced, underground or designer brands, that’s great! Especially to build up their following and spread the word. But while I do believe in your right to speak your experience honestly, I don’t believe it fair to ruin a perfectly good brand for others.
Ratnaja Katneni says
I agree with several of the comments and with Gretchen’s viewpoint. This brand is focused towards millenials who don’t care to buy expensive cashmere–they want to impress their friends and look cool. About the very harsh comments on attractive women looking better in their clothes–that is very subjective and quite hurtful as a reader to see such opinions, but this is a sad reflection of society which has a very narrow definition of beauty.
If anyone with common sense reads their “radical transparency” marketing and reads about the price tags and really evaluates–there is no way a traditional company would mark up what looks like a $5 T shirt to $50 or $60 dollars (unless if you talking about ridiculous overpriced designer T shirts). Banana republic, Gap and other retailers sell their T shirts at about the same price and their quality may be same or better than Everlane.
While Everlane has great concept about wanting to be a better and more ethical company, there is a ginormous gap between what they preach and reality. They got some negative media attention which anyone look up on the internet.
The reason I decided to stop buying from Everlane is their sheer lack of customer service and horrible returns process which they recently turned over to Returnly (another start up company). It takes weeks to get an answer about any missing order or issues with refund or any questions. They don’t have a phone number to call–a very basic thing for a business (even a small business).
In my mind, it is absolutely ridiculous waste of time to send multiple emails only to be ignored and to get an automated reply every time .
Will Everlane grow to the extent they want to? They would be lucky if they survive next few years if they don’t make some drastic and efficient decisions services about the most fundamental business factors–customer service and improve quality of their products.
But then, they are aiming at millenials (no comment on millenial judgement) not at women who have experience with quality clothing and fashion.
Mimi Sellers says
I’ve found Everlane’s clothing to be good quality and long-wearing.
I’m over 60 & remember J. Crew’s clothing in their early years. Everlane’s products remind me of those clothes, classic updated preppy, well made & ageless.
To me, they are fairly priced.
I do agree with others who don’t like the absence of customer service options.
I, too, am older but certainly not opposed to sustainability combined with quality clothing that fits my style. But therein lies the problem: what they make up for in conscious clothing, I find they lack in quality for women my age. I’m finally at the point financially where I am able to purchase higher end clothing and thought Everlane would fit the bill perfectly. What I found instead was an almost dowdiness look and feel/almost “no style” style.