Sunday, September 14, 2014

Altuzarra for Target Reviews, Part I: Dresses

The Altuzarra for Target collection is here! As I mentioned in a previous post, I love Target's designer collaborations, and I have participated in quite a few before (6 and counting). I usually stay up late for the online launch and then get up early so I can see the clothes up close and personal in-store. When I saw the Altuzarra for Target lookbook, I was very excited and knew that this time would be no exception. I took a nap before the collection launched online, waking up to an alarm I set. Then, after I got all of the goodies I wanted online, I went back to sleep and got up again when my local Target opened at 8am. I really wanted to get in-store, see the clothes up close, and feel the fabrics in person. I wasn't in a rush though, so I got up around 8:15am and rolled into the store at 8:35am. By then the first wave of shoppers had left, leaving only a few stragglers. However, most items in all sizes (except belts) were still available on the racks.

I looked around leisurely and began putting items into my cart. I found everything I was interested in except those belts, which apparently went like hotcakes.

Here's a picture of the outfit I threw on this morning before heading out the door. I wanted to wear something comfortable that I can put on and take off quickly in the fitting room.

Top: J.Crew (old), skirt: J.Crew, sandals: Sam Edelman (old), bag: Old Navy (similar)
My overall impressions of this collection: everything was surprisingly well-made. In previous collections, many of the clothes had glaring quality control issues: raggedy unfinished edges, lots of loose threads, puckered seams, etc. I saw very few of those issues in Altuzarra for Target. The construction seemed fair for the price point, and many of the fabrics passed my hand-feel test.

My general impressions about fit: there were rumors from the launch party that this collection ran very small. I think this collection is definitely smaller than previous collections, and in particular many of the items were slim in the hips. If you're more hippy, consider sizing up to account for them. Because I have slim hips, I stuck with my normal Target collaboration size and didn't find any need to size up.

Anyway, onto the actual reviews. First up, dresses. For reference, I am 5'4", 110 lbs, 32C-26-34. I usually wear XXS at J.Crew. I have slim hips and broader-than-average shoulders. 

Wrap Dress in Ruby Hill (Size 2), $39.99
I loved the way this dress looked on Naomi Watts at the launch party, so of course I had to try it on. Generally speaking, I can't wear dark red colors because of my skin tone. Surprisingly, this rusty ruby color was alright. The style was very sultry, reminiscent of vintage velvet drapes. The draping on the skirt was incredibly pretty. There was an invisible back zip so you can get into and out of the dress easily. My one complaint is the fabric. The stretchy polyester material was a little hot and also unforgiving of bumps (as you can see in the unflattering back view), so it may be a good idea to wear a slip underneath. The v-neck is also quite low, and I believe the folded material wasn't sewn together, so I would stitch it closed to avoid accidents.

Verdict: Like, style is worth the price

Tailored Dress with Crane Embroidery 
(Size 2), $49.99
This dress was the #1 item on my wishlist, because it looked so striking online and even Engineer W (my fiance) liked the style. He has a conservative fashion sense and is usually highly critical of these collaboration pieces. Hence I was surprised when he urged me to buy 2 different sizes of this dress online and to try on all of the available Size 2s in store to guarantee I got a keeper. In store I grabbed the two dresses in my size on the rack and headed for the fitting room. After trying them both on, I noticed that one was considerably larger than the other with gaps under the arms. The dress pictured above was the smaller one. I felt pretty cheeky in it. I loved the gold crane appliques and the tuxedo collar detail. The fabric felt like a structured stretch cotton blend that sucked everything in. The bottom half was quite slim in the hips, with a sexy thigh slit. Overall I would recommend trying this dress on in person for fit. Personally it was a winner and came home with me.

Verdict: Like, worth the price, try on in person for fit variation 

Satin Dress in Orchid Print (Size 2), $49.99
First of all, I love orchids. I think they're beautiful in an alien otherworldly sort of way. That being said, the print on this dress was a miss for me. Maybe I would have liked it better if the orchid print extended further up the dress. Also I really disliked the material of this dress. It was hot and clingy and generally felt cheap. The silhouette was okay, although the sleeves were too long (which was a persistent issue throughout this collection).

 Verdict: Dislike, not worth the price

Wrap Dress in Ruby Hill (Size 2), $54.99
I never wear peasant blouses or dresses, because I don't care for their silhouette on my body shape, so I didn't have very high expectations for this red dress. It ended up being more flattering than I had expected, albeit still not my favorite dress. The chiffon fabric seemed reasonable, and the embellishments escaped being tacky. I liked the blousy sleeves and the tassel details. Perhaps it would look better in black. At $54.99, it is on the expensive end for dresses in this collection, so ultimately I don't think it's worth the price.

 Verdict: Meh, not worth the price

Maxi Dress in Swiss-Dot Black (Size 2), $79.99
This is the maxi version of the previous dress. I liked the swiss-dot fabric a lot. The gold embellishments were eye-catching against that black canvas. I preferred the shorter knee-length dress for its versatility. The maxi skirt was pretty heavy with lots of fabric. It does have a thigh slit (sadly not pictured) that helps make the dress a little more breezy. The first picture shows how much fabric pools around my ankles when I'm barefoot. The second picture is me simulating wearing 3" heels. I think this has the potential to look lovely on someone tall, but it was another miss for me, especially at $79.99. 

 Verdict: Meh, not worth the price, may work for tall ladies

That's it for the dress reviews. I didn't try on the orchid print maxi or the two-in-one dresses, because I wasn't personally interested in them. I have more reviews to share, which I will try to post on the blog soon in the interest of timeliness, so stay tuned for Part II!

Did you shop the Altuzarra for Target collection? If so, what did you get? What are your favorite pieces? 


  1. That black maxi can't make me think of anything except Elvira. The peasant top is a hard thing to pull off in dress or shirt without it looking costume-y. It's a summer time item and that's about it in my book. I told my friend to pass on the purple dress and I'm glad I did. It's early 2000s to me. I love the crane dress. Great reviews!

  2. Thanks for the reviews. The store doesn't look too crowded. I thought there would be masses of people, like there have been for other collaborations.
    The crane dress is stunning on you. It's really a pretty and unique piece. I like the first dress, too. The peasant dresses look a bit out of place compared to the other dresses you tried. It's really quite a wide range of styles.

    1. I was also surprised by how few people showed up. Usually the good collections sell out immediately, but my store had almost everything this morning, and right now almost everything is still available online in a full range of sizes.

  3. The crane dress is stunning on you! Did you happen to see the orchid sweatshirt? I'm waffling about whether to buy it...don't need another sweatshirt, but it looks really cute.

    1. Hi Wendy, I'm working on my Part II reviews right now, which includes the orchid sweatshirt. To summarize, the print is pretty, and the quality is good for the price. Mixed media, so the back is made of sweatshirt material, but the front is a thin silky material. Ultimately not a must-have for me, because it's too long in the torso, and the sleeves were ridiculously long. Stay tuned for the pictures!

  4. I did! My post is here:

    I shopped online so I'm pleased to see by your photos that the items fit a little large! I was afraid they would fit small. I purchased the faux fur jacket and the orchid print sweatshirt you tried on. I am so happy to see that the sweatshirt has long arms and a long torso, actually, as I have both! Thanks for the photo.

    What did you think of the faux fur jacket in terms of quality, if you were able to check it out?

    1. Hi Marsadie, thanks for stopping by! I'm still working on the detailed reviews of the blazers and outerwear in this collaboration, including the faux fur jacket, which I will hopefully post later today. My general impression about it was that the faux fur wasn't as soft or silky as other faux furs I've touched. The jacket was quite thick, which adds visual weight. to the shoulders especially. The sleeves were a tad long and the jacket a little cropped, even for me at 5'4". Hope that helps!