Mar 21, 2018

Everlane: First Impressions Of My First Order.

And now, eight years since the brand launched and a good 3 years or so since the fashion blogging world first embraced them, a good 2 years at least since my discerning Instagram ladies started shopping them hardcore, may I present my thoughts on my first ever Everlane purchase.

I will preface this review (and probably also my upcoming first ever J Crew online purchase from the OG site as opposed to the outlets review... don't ask...) by saying that I'm definitely in that group of women whom Australian fashion has either forgotten or chosen to ignore. As a forty something working mum of average height and build who doesn't work in advertising / fashion / digital influencing / the lifestyle space, I'm definitely the square peg who has tried (albeit halfheartedly) to fit myself into the round hole of Australian high street fashion.

What's wrong with the classics slightly reinvented?

What's wrong with offering co-ordinating suiting with different trouser and jacket lengths?

What's wrong with work dresses and blouses making a bit of a statement without looking so five minutes ago the moment they come home with you and get hung up in your wardrobe?

Since when did Country Road stop making suiting?

What happened to David Lawrence?

Since when did Zimmerman get so expensive?  That's got little to do with workwear but still, a question that had to be asked...

So many questions...

A favourite work outfit bought overseas accessorised by a bit of Red Phoenix Emporium.

I've spent the last couple of months browsing the homepages of all the big players in Australian high street fashion trying to find a silk blouse, knitwear and suiting.  You know, the kinds of things an average woman might wear to work.  Apparently, the fashion buyers and designers of Australia think differently.  Page after page of fashion forward looks have flashed past my eyes.  When I've clicked on workwear tabs I've been greeted with separates (that actually have to be bought together if you've any chance of pulling them together into a cohesive look) and suits appeared to have disappeared off the face of the earth.

So I closed all those windows of frustration and took my business elsewhere to Everlane.

via Google images

Everlane is an online clothing retailer that promises ' Exceptional quality.  Ethical factories.  Radical transparency.'  Based in San Francisco, California, the company sells a tightly edited range of seasonal essentials for both men and women in a rainbow of colours as well as good old black and white.  The design brief seems to be a little bit of the moment rather than 'on point or on fleek' (I'm calling it progress that I didn't say 'trendy'), a little bit classic and a whole lot of versatile all rolled up into clothing, shoes and accessories made from premium fabrics and leathers in ethical factories around the world.

Meghan and her Everlane tote via Twitter
Meghan Markel herself is a fan with photographs of her carrying an Everlane tote sending the internet into overdrive.

Future princesses aside, Everlane has a global fan base some of whom happen to be very articulate and thorough fashion bloggers.  Reading the review from the following ladies helped me plan my first order:

What I liked about these bloggers' reviews are there honest opinions on the the quality and value for money of their Everlane pieces as well as helpful comparisons to other brands including Grana (next on my list to try), Cyuna (nothing currently in their range that appeals to me but watch this space) and Equipment (bit beyond my budget).

But back to Everlane.

Initial thoughts

  • website easy to navigate with easy to access information on the composition of fabrics and where the item was manufactured
  • images of the different colourways being worn on a model
  • customer reviews easy to locate
  • option to be waitlisted for new releases or when new stocks of current range things become available
  • the 'Choose What You Pay' page allows you to pay one of three discounted prices on end of season pieces
  • shipping was a flat rate of $15 for my purchase
  • easy to track orders from the website

The only downside for me was that many of the things I wanted were either sold out or out of stock.  The relaxed fit silk shirt I wanted in black isn't going to be back in stock until... January 1?!?  Being US based, the seasonal stock caters to the opposite of our weather cycle here in Australia but the good thing is that winter stock features heavily in the 'Choose What You Pay' range.

After a lot of umming and ahhing (by which time many of the silk blouses on my wishlist got sold out), I finally bought the following:

  • a heavy knit wool / cashmere high necked sweater for $130 USD (Everlane quotes the RRP as $295 USD) in Surplus a kind of khaki
  • a silk blouse in black for $88 USD (Everlane's quoted RRP $175).

I placed my order on 4/3/2018 and it arrived 20/3/2018.

The silk blouse

Along with the $100 cashmere sweater range, Everlane's silk blouses are collections that have held the most fascination in the blogging world.  Is it possible to pay so little (relatively speaking) for an ethically made but also high quality silk top?  $88 USD currently works out to be around $114 AUD A quick look online tells me that silk blouses at places like Country Road are currently selling for $179 AUD.  Disclaimer - I've yet to see the CR version in store but plan to have a look this week as a comparison.

I know you come here for the artful flat lays and ... uniquely.... staged photos.  Well, I'm pretty sure the rest of this post isn't going to disappoint.  To their credit, these photos were all taken under natural  indoor light.  Isn't this extra dose of summer weather so late into autumn an absolute gift?

The above photo was taken of the blouse straight out of its wrapping.  There are a few creases but I'm hoping that they will 'fall out' over the next few days on the hanger (update: they have, a mere 10 hours since the blouse was hangered!!).  Stitching is even, buttons firmly sewn in and the hems are all neat.

I ordered my regular US size and the blouse was fitted on me rather than relaxed.  It falls just below the hip with enough fabric to be loosely tucked in or worn out over work trousers or a pencil skirt.  I was afraid that being a relatively 'budget' price for silk that there would be corners cut in terms of the sleeves being too short and tight or the length of the top being too short but these fears proved to be unfounded.  It's definitely a style that won't date.

I am happy to report that the silk is quite opaque, in black at least.  I'm tempted to order blouses in paler colours based on the quality of this.

I don't know quite what this photo was trying to convey. My favourite handbag has a permanent home on the spare dining table chair behind the 'all purpose, all people' table and it served as a convenient almost artful backdrop against which to photograph my new blouse.  Against a black bag, the Everlane silk ends up looking like a deep grey which is a bit disturbing....

Oh, I remember now.  I was trying to capture to finish of the silk.  It's not a matte finish, smooth kind of satiny silk but rather it has a slightly 'sticky' texture with a bit of sheen rather than a shine.  In other words, it's got a very different feel to a silk scarf for example.

All in all, very happy with this blouse.  It's going to work brilliantly with skirts and trousers I already own.

The oversized cable turtleneck

It's just beautiful is all I can say.  I love the detailing of the cables and the way the cuffs and hem are stitched.  It's not as soft as I imagined it would be but it does feel very substantial and isn't itchy against my skin.  Despite being a thick knit, it didn't look bulky when worn and again the cut was flattering with nothing being skimped on as a sacrifice to the price.  Once again, the finish is excellent with neatly sewn seams and no dangly bits of wool anywhere.

The sweater works out to be $168 AUD. I don't have any direct comparisons from the locals because none of the sweaters currently available here are a cashmere wool blend.  Average price for what's available in wool seems to be $140 but none are in the cable knit category and appear to be of lighter weights than the Everlane product.

So, I think you've won me over, Everlane.  I'm impressed with your quality and will have fun working this blouse and sweater into my exisiting wardrobe. I'm also going to keep a very close eye on your website for upcoming stocks of things I'm waitlisted for.

Stay tuned for my J Crew review in the not too distant future....


  1. I love your review SSG! The not so great exchange rate and the confusion over what size I'd actually be in US sizes has put me off ordering, but maybe I should give it a go! Like yourself, everyone seems impressed with the quality.

    Hope you are having a nice week so far :)

  2. This is really useful - I am keen on some of their skirts and trousers so will give it a shot. Also a huge YES to the massive gap in Australian fashion. Where are the decent work dresses that are either not obscenely patterned or deathly dull? Long sleeves? Pockets? Blouses that don't cost over $200? I look forward to future reviews!

  3. Wow ! Loving your first Everlane order and review and especially that Surplus knit! It's absolutely gorgeous and definitely on my winter wish list :) x


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