Yesterday we took our very first trip to our nearest Kohl's to check out the long-awaited Simply Vera by Vera Wang collection. (Score one point for Kohl's: They got us in the door!)
So here's the scoop: At first glance, the collection was rather anticlimactic. No cymbals clanging or trumpets blaring. Just simple, pretty, run-of-the-mill fashion.
But all that changed after we actually tried a couple of items on. We were surprised by how well they fit, and how... casually... elegant they truly were.
Casual elegance. That's not a phrase we normally use, but there's no other way to express how the clothes made us feel.
Now let's take a closer look...
The first item we tried on was this black coat on the right; had a quirky elastic band belt that was easy to fasten and actually cinched the fabric just right. Could easy be dressed up or down, roomy pockets, chic origami-structuring—but not sure how warm this would be past September (it's like 20% wool, 80% acrylic/poly), so probably not practical to pay $128 for it.
Next, we slipped on the little black dress on the left. Another perfect fit. Another pleasant surprise. Vera was smart to use lots of black in the collection (makes it harder to tell if something's cheap when it's black). Considering the versatility, it's pretty reasonably priced at $88, but we'd wait until it goes on sale.
Emboldened by our success, we thought, "What the heck" and tried on the purple ruffled blouse on the left. After disentangling the knotted ribbon tie, we noted the lovely satin rose. The top fit rather well; it was relaxed and feminine, without being too girly. But not something we'd wear very often, so not worth the $58 pricetag.
The brocade skirt on the right was also true to size. It's a fun look and we dug the funky stitching and gathering. We happened to be wearing a black tank on top, and thought it looked really good together. Made us realize how many ways each piece could be worn, and by women of all ages and sizes. But $98? Ouch. Wait for sale.
On the left: A cute black skirt with just the right amount of detail to make it "fashiony" without being so trendy that you can't wear it next season. Still not lovin' the price (it's $64) because after all, we're still talking Kohl's here.
Deep teal blouse on the right was so effortless and so gosh darn pretty. We can not stress enough how much better these items look when you're actually wearing them. They transform before your eyes from drab to fab. $48, not horrible.
After our success with the clothes, we walked back to the shoe section and decided to try some on. Most of the shoes are made with genuine leather uppers (thank goodness!). These black booties ($89.99) and "winter" sandals ($69.99) could easily carry you through fall and into winter. (Wear tights with the sandals as temps fall). Both pairs fit true to size and were comfortable and well-balanced. We want them. They will be ours.
There's also Simply Vera lingerie; prices range from $12-$38. No, it's not La Perla, but it sure beats the Daisy Fuentes stuff on the next rack over.
In the Simply Vera accessories department, we perused purses made from synthetic fabrics which range from $49-$79, as well as handbags made from real leather (like the two above), which range from $69-$159. (The little purse on the left is $49; $79 for the big one). We'd proudly tote the leather ones, but take a pass on the rest.
Cold weather accessories like hats, gloves and scarves were cute, but largely synthetic (mostly acrylic and polyester. Ick.) except from one scratchy hat that was like 20% wool. Prices range from $20-75.
On our way out, we noticed the Simply Vera jewelry collection; it was probably what impressed us the most. It's in a glass case, so you'll need to ask for help to see it. We waited for ages to be helped, but the saleswoman who finally assisted us was sweet, so we didn't mind. Prices range from $75 all the way to $675. Most items are made from sterling silver or sterling with 18k gold plating. We loved the stackable rings and cocktail rings, made from real gemstones like white sapphire and amethyst. We will drop hints to our sig-o
So there you have it. Simply Vera is a solid budget fashion collection that's worth investigating. Spend a little time getting to know which items you like, then sit back and wait for the sales. And of course, let us know what you think!