The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

Off the Rack: Cat & Jack Kids Clothing Arrives at Target

Cat & Jack is the new kids clothing line at Target.
For those of you heading to Target this weekend, you might want to check out the new Cat & Jack kids' clothing collection, which launched in stores mid-July. My store had unveiled apparel and accessories for girls and boys; a store employee wearing a Cat & Jack apron told me that toddler sizes would be arriving August 7. He seemed well informed about the new brand, which is replacing Target's Circo and Cherokee brands, and is poised to be a huge new source of revenue for the second-largest discount retailer in the United States. I overheard a Target manager briefing a group of employees on the new merchandise, telling them they'd be watching sales closely every day, and that Cat & Jack would be "huge." I tried to lean in closer for details but my own kids were making too much noise for me to hear much else.

Back in 2015 Target added mannquins to the women's apparel department for the first time (which I talked about here); then followed up with a makeover of the dollar bin area (which I talked about here). The Cat & Jack displays have mannequins and playful hot air balloons (which my 3-year-old son noticed, loved and wanted to take). It has an elevated feel for shoppers but the same low prices. Cat & Jack is priced from $4.50 to $39.99, and target.com is touting a 1-year guarantee (return with receipt).

In terms of style, there's an excellent article about Cat & Jack on Bloomberg which I recommend reading if you're a Target diehard fan like myself. They describe Cat & Jack as being similar to Crewcuts by J.Crew: "With its playful layers, boho-chic cuts, and muted shades juxtaposed with hits of neon, Cat & Jack looks a lot like Crewcuts, J.Crew’s adventurous line for young fashion plates (or their aspirational parents)." I'm inclined to agree but in my mind Crewcuts is a bit more elevated. At first glance, Cat & Jack reminded me of Gymboree.

As I looked closer, I noticed many pieces that us moms would want to steal...a pint sized jean vest, cargo vest and plaid shirtdress. It's cute, you guys, it's really cute and age appropriate.

I saw a lot of things I'd buy my boys, too, so I'm looking forward to the toddler launch and will report back. What I'm struggling to figure out - and what may come as a shock to many of you - is why I don't actually buy that much clothing or shoes or accessories at Target. I get super excited about them, snap photos, and share on my blog, but ultimately don't end up buying. I think it's because they quality is a bit lacking and because when all is said and done, Target clothing appears cheap but can really add up pricewise. Does anyone else feel this way?

As for kids' clothing, I have been utterly spoiled by secondhand Janie & Jack (hmmm, names sound so familiar!). Let me explain: My aunt has impeccable taste and gave me all her son's old clothing, with most pieces looking and feeling brand new. That stuff washes and wears so well, it's hard to find other clothes that compare. And the styles are ridiculously cute, in my opinion. I know it's not for everyone but I love that stuff. I don't go for crazy colors and logos and slogans for kids' clothing, and I know lots of moms like me who just want simple yet fun fashions. (Zara Kids and Primary come up frequently in conversations.)

Your initial thoughts on Cat & Jack?


Cat & Jack is the new kids clothing line at Target.

Cat & Jack is the new kids clothing line at Target.

Cat & Jack is the new kids clothing line at Target.

Cat & Jack is the new kids clothing line at Target.

Cat & Jack is the new kids clothing line at Target.

Cat & Jack is the new kids clothing line at Target.

Cat & Jack is the new kids clothing line at Target.

Cat & Jack is the new kids clothing line at Target.

Cat & Jack is the new kids clothing line at Target.

Cat & Jack is the new kids clothing line at Target.

Cat & Jack is the new kids clothing line at Target.

Cat & Jack is the new kids clothing line at Target.

Cat & Jack is the new kids clothing line at Target.

Cat & Jack is the new kids clothing line at Target.

Cat & Jack is the new kids clothing line at Target.

Cat & Jack is the new kids clothing line at Target.

Cat & Jack is the new kids clothing line at Target.

Cat & Jack is the new kids clothing line at Target.

Cat & Jack is the new kids clothing line at Target.

Cat & Jack is the new kids clothing line at Target.

Cat & Jack is the new kids clothing line at Target.

Cat & Jack is the new kids clothing line at Target.

Cat & Jack is the new kids clothing line at Target.

Cat & Jack is the new kids clothing line at Target.

Cat & Jack is the new kids clothing line at Target.

Cat & Jack is the new kids clothing line at Target.

Target launches its new kids clothing line Cat & Jack.

Target launches its new kids clothing line Cat & Jack.

Target launches its new kids clothing line Cat & Jack.
Comments
i love this for school clothes - my oldest will be going to Kindergarten and she is all about 'character' tees and logos -- this will be perfect for her, and if it's trash at the end of the year...not a huge loss...
#1 missblonde1 on 2016-07-23 19:44 (Reply)
I actually just came across this line the other day while running errands and I was pretty impressed with the quality. I bought two pairs of pants for him and thought they were at a great price point. I found it to be a little more like Mini Boden, which we are huge fans of. My 8 yo son loves their lined track like pants and they are so soft and wear so well but at $50+, it doesn't happen often. So I found those lined ones you have pictured to be so similar and he LOVES them! Got those skinny cargos too which he also really liked! I'm excited about this line!
#2 Nicole on 2016-07-24 09:41 (Reply)
It looks cute- I hadn't seen it at my Target. I posted on how to save $5.00 on a purchase during the next few days.
#3 Mary Hall (Homepage) on 2016-07-24 11:53 (Reply)
I think I like circo better. All the character stuff look cheapy to me. Wish the styles were more crewcuts like!
#4 Gitty on 2016-08-10 14:39 (Reply)
So agree budget babe - These clothes don't look original, see the same tacky stuff like this at all the other discount stores!
#4.1 Sue L. on 2016-10-11 12:24 (Reply)
I love their clothes and so does my daughter, who is a true young fashion diva.
I got my 10 year old a pair of jeans and she loved them so we went back and spend $100.00 on about 5 pair of jeans, a skirt outfit and shirts, and a jacket. You can not beat th.at
#5 LATRINA DENSON on 2016-08-16 09:26 (Reply)
Love Cat and Jack - for my daughter and for myself. Yes, I found that I can fit into their largest sizes and will often match my daughter - she's too young to hate it. Haha!
#6 NC on 2016-09-14 13:45 (Reply)
I love love love the Cat & Jack brand for my 3 year old and 4 month old daughters. Super durable leggings and cute t's in great prints. I particularly love seeing some of the science prints for girls. However, I'm really disappointed in the selection of boys prints. I think the quality and price is great, but I don't want to buy shirts that are obnoxious and arrogant. The current selection includes "Genius" (in 3 different styles), "Crushing It", "Beyond Awesome: I'm the Greatest", "Victory Comes Naturally", "Can't Be Beat", "Play Big, Win Big" and "Awesome". Narcissm much? Really hoping that the brand comes up with some better designs for boys.
#7 Alison on 2016-09-22 14:19 (Reply)
I'd have to agree, I haven't bought anything from the line yet but I wouldn't put any of those slogans on my boys...a lot of times the message tees just take the place of good design. Must be cheaper to produce.
#7.1 The Budget Babe on 2016-09-27 07:12 (Reply)
Just found out yesterday that they are phasing out Circo brand. I've seen the Cat & Jack in Target but didn't seem impressed with the style. Seems to designer and less practical for toddler wear.
I was looking for plain black cotton legging pants like I've got every year for my daughter to wear in the fall especially for school. They were priced just right and perfect for easy up and down for toddlers running to the bathroom. Cat & Jack did not have any plain black legging pants. All of them had patterns and designs. The tops all have too elaborate of designs.

I'm a very frequent Target shopper and spend a lot of money there, maybe too much. But not impressed at all by Cat & Jack. I had bought my daughter a tshirt 2 weeks ago which shrunk and pilled after one wash. I left Target yesterday and went to The Children's Place instead.
#8 Tina on 2016-09-27 11:06 (Reply)
I bought all my granddaughter's clothes there the cat and Jack styles are beautiful and very durable. They have been washed and they keep their sizing. I would like to see more half sizes like 10 and a half 12 and a half.
#9 Brenda on 2016-10-03 19:56 (Reply)
Definitely not impressed. I have purchased Circo pants for my son for years. They were the only pants he wore and he always outgrew them before they wore out. At the beginning of the season I stocked up on them assuming they were the same. 2/3 pairs got holes in them on the first wear and the third got holes on the second wear. All the holes were in the same place (groin area). He hasn't put holes in his pants in at least 5 years and those were always in the knees. I think we are done buying clothing at Target for the time being! I'm bummed because I used to shop there frequently.
#10 Hannah on 2016-10-26 12:00 (Reply)
Definitely hate the new Cat and Jack line from Target. It's just so tacky and seems cheap. I'm so disappointed because I was hoping their kids clothing line would improve.
#11 Kay on 2016-11-12 16:01 (Reply)
I hate the cat and jack line. Very young looking--It seems cute for younger kids but in the youth section it is very babyish and everything I brought home my return to because the kids didn't like it. Bring back Shawn white line. Can't stand the new line at all.
#12 Sue Mannos on 2016-12-24 18:47 (Reply)
Ive only bought a few Cat and Jack items so far and I'm certainly not impressed. With the leggings particularly. They've been worn a handful of times and have already gotten holes in them.
#13 Gabby on 2017-01-08 17:06 (Reply)
I feel like the Cat and Jack clothes stain really easily. My boys are messy, so I am religious about pre-treating stains, but they have four shirts with permanent stains after a couple of wearings. I've never had that happen before, and I'm really bummed. Not impressed.
#14 Cameron on 2017-01-23 22:04 (Reply)
I think the Cat and Jack line is adorable, but the quality is horrendous. I have purchased 4 different items at different times and three had holes after only being worn once - one I even noticed before my daughter wore it. I'm finished with the line.
#15 CJ on 2017-02-11 19:59 (Reply)
Very dissatisfied with this clothing libe. The clothes are cut but the fit is horrible! I can't find mich that actually fits a toddlers frame confortably. The pieces that do fit, do not hold up well. The Circo line was much more durable and comfortable. Please bring back Circo!!!
#16 SF on 2017-02-26 20:38 (Reply)
I'm NOT happy with the Cat & Jack line. My oldest son received a long sleeved tee and some sweatpants as a gift and the quality is so cheap. The shirt is so thin for a thermal tee and the sweatpants are not cut to fit a boy who wears a 4T. The time he wore them he was constant pulling them up because they were too long. The Circo tees that I purchased for him last summer are a thicker fabric and have washed beautifully. I plan on contacting Target's corporate office and letting them know what a huge disappointment their Cat & Jack line is. I'll be purchasing clothes for my boys through Gymboree or Hannah Andersson from now on because the quality of their clothing is amazing!
#17 Kathleen on 2017-02-27 18:16 (Reply)
I wish they'd bring back Circo and Cherokee toddler clothing. Or maybe not though, because then I'd be buying wayyy more! The fit of Cat and Jack is horrible!! Most things are way bigger than they should be and they don't wash up well like my kids Cherokee and Circo clothes. And frankly, cat and jack just isn't as cute. It looks like Kohls crummy stuff!
#18 Kayla on 2017-03-26 18:41 (Reply)
I agree 100%..I have not had a good experience with the Cat & Jack brand. They feel and look good. However, after one wear and wash they fade. I loved Circo leggings, capris and biker shorts. Cat & Jack sizes are off. Target was my go to store every season for my twin girls but not anymore.
#18.1 Robin on 2017-04-10 07:14 (Reply)
The Cat & Jack line is horrible. The material sucks, mostly polyester and the boys pants are ill fitting. The Circo brand was at least all cotton and nicer material.
#19 Evie on 2017-06-02 01:04 (Reply)
I absolutely love cat and jack! My son is 2 years old and 95% of his stuff is cat and jack! The pricing is great and i have had no quality issues.
The issue I do have is that I continually find myself frustrated when items are "no longer available." It seems like they make X amount and once those are gone then that's it for that item and you just don't have the option to buy it anymore - even if it is still in season. For example, it is summer now and I clicked on a pair of sandals to add to my cart to purchase online and it says no longer available. I even put in an area code for a different state thinking if they were there then my sister could get them and ship them to me. But although they are still listed on website, it's as if they don't exist anymore. This has also happened for jeans and just now today, for a boys denim hat. It's frustrating and disappointing. Wish they wouldn't just "run out" of items and not continue to have them available- again, especially when it's still within the right season like the sandals.
Again, love this brand otherwise.
#20 Emileigh on 2017-07-26 13:47 (Reply)
I am ok with the clothes. The problem I have encountered is the placement of the price tag. The plastic end is sewn into the material which makes it impossible to remove completely. My children feel everything! I tried cutting it as close as I could but there as still a small portion left and right away I heard "something is poking me"! Ugh...
#21 Denise on 2017-08-02 11:01 (Reply)
I didn't know that, my kids would complain too! I like then the sizing is printed right on the garment...sometimes it starts to wash off after a while but at least there's no tag poking them.
#21.1 The Budget Babe on 2017-08-04 06:28 (Reply)
I absolutely love the Cat & Jack uniform tops for girls. They fit true to size and wash up very nice. They’re long enough, and a little slits on the side so can them untucked. The uniform sweater, both white and blue are very nice as well.
#22 DonnaGail on 2017-10-02 23:11 (Reply)
I love some of cat and jack clothes but they are not true to size . I have a ten year old girl and sone of the shirts and jackets are not big enough. The biggest size they have in shirts and coats is a xl and they fit small. And there pants goes up to a 20 but they are very long. Although I like there clothes they need to correct there size issues because all kids are not built the same and some kids are not so tall!!!
#23 Nina Kabasiya on 2018-01-13 01:15 (Reply)
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