Monday, September 16, 2013

3.1 Phillip Lim for Target - View From the Fitting Room

You may know the day of a major Collab, you can most likely find me in a fitting room trying on all the items in stock. This one was no different. Well actually it was a little different. First not all the Target's received the collab items. Some stores received just a small selection, while others received most or all of the items. Target posted a list of all the stores that would be receiving the collection and a quick look of the Target Find in Store option should let you know which stores to hit up to see if there is anything left.

I went to two stores. One first thing in the morning and one later in the afternoon. The first store there wasn't a line until about 15 minutes before the store opened. They had plenty of bags, and I am proud to say that as the few of us waited in line, we talked about what we wanted and we helped each other get our coveted bags. We chatted, we laughed, it was a fun shopping experience shared with strangers. I feel pretty fortunate after hearing the horror stories of people getting pushed, and bags being taken right out of their hands! Of course by the time I got out of the fitting room, there was a bit of a frenzy going on and women who came just after us were snatching up bags left and right and hardly anything was left when I left that store. The next store I went to had very few bags left, but had a full stock of clothing.

I'll post my fitting room pics and thoughts on the items below. But I have to say from what I saw overall this collab was hit or miss. The items were either well made pieces, or left a lot to be desired. There were some pieces that just looked and felt cheap or poorly constructed. I would rather pay a little more for better quality for these collab pieces. It felt as if they really tried to incorporate the 3.1 Phillip Lim design esthetics, but because of the cost concerns they didn't translate well to the material chosen or were just poorly constructed which affected the overall look. But of course body type, styling and over all style could yield drastically different results on individuals. I have seen some photos of people wearing items that looked horrendous on me, and they looked amazing on them. So I say just try it on if you think you might like and see for yourself.

First I apologize for the photo quality. After staying up until after 5am ish to get my order in on line (since there is no guarantee that you will be fortunate in finding items in store), and then taking a 45 minute nap before hitting the stores, I was a bit out of it. I then came home and took a 3 hour nap and hit a second store. I really thought the pics came out better than they did. I blame being such a die hard and totally exhausted. :)

Ruffle Tank $26.99 This shirt was cute. It's about what you would expect from Target quality & price wise. The white is an XS and the blue is a S. I'm between sizes, so I tried on both in most items. You can see in the pic of the white one on the back that it is tight across the shoulder blades. So if you're in between sizes, I would definitely get this in the larger of the two sizes. This one will be really easy to dress up or down. It's perfect for the professional or stay at home warrior. (If you ever stayed home with kids, you know you are not a princess, but rather a warrior!)

 French Terry Sweatshirt Boom Print $29.99 - Wearing an XS on the left and S on the right. This reminds me of concert tees from the 80's. The print is a little stiff, but still it's a comfortable sweatshirt. It feels painted on, so I'm not sure it won't fade with washing. I prefer that vintage look, so I'd be fine with some fading. When I first saw this sweatshirt would be part of the collection, I rolled my eyes. I have been seeing a lot of this style at Forever 21 recently and haven't really been impressed. This sweatshirt is a take on a sweater Phillip Lim made that says Ka Pow and was made famous when Beyonce wore it. Somehow I missed that. But then I saw the lookbook and I thought, this piece would have to be one I try on before deciding. I'm still on the fence. On the one hand, I love the sweatshirt now. I love how it fits and it feels really fun. On the other hand, I think at 39 I may just be a little beyond being able to get away with it. I grabbed it, but it may go back. My teenage daughters are begging me to take it back. They think it's tacky. Really? At the end of the day, this is just a printed sweatshirt though. Quality and price are on par.

Sparkle Sweater - $39.99.  I ordered this in the cream color online. It kind of reminds me of some of the sweaters I've been seeing at JCrew lately. The pic on the left shows the detail of the embellishments around the collar. They seem really well adhered. I'm anxious to see how the cream color looks in person. I love the idea of this, but the quality for the price just isn't there. But I absolutely love it all at the same time. It feels like someone bought this sweater at a thrift store and added embellishments to modernize it. I'm digging it!

Sparkle Tank Grey - $24.99 (Bottom left) & Sheer Back Tank - $19.99 in White & Light Blue. I'm left feeling underwhelmed by these tanks. You might love them if you have a long torso or are tall. On my 5'3" frame I was just drowning in these. The blue is in an XS the other two are in S. They didn't have XS for me to try on in those two.  The XS wasn't so bad, but I was swimming in the S. I ordered the grey in XS online, so let's see how it fits. But I'm pretty sure it's going back. The cost just doesn't match up to the quality for me.

 French Terry Sweatpant - $29.99. I bought a pair of fitted sweater material sweatpants last year and fell in love with the style! I knew immediately that I would order these. These are in an XS. They have zipper pockets on the sides and are a bit more fitted in style. I pushed up the sweatpants a bit rather than leaving them at my ankle. And yes I will wear these with heels or booties! I'm not a very casual person when it comes to dressing, and don't think I would feel comfortable wearing any other type of shoe with these. Is there a special design to these that screams 3.1 Phillip Lim? Not really. But I would get them regardless for the quality and price. Now I can't wait for them to get here!

 Tuxedo Shirt Animal Print - $39.99. I've seen this on a few bloggers and while I wasn't crazy about it, they made it look good. I must be missing something, because I just was not a fan of this piece. It is like a pajama top meets jacket? I don't know, I just wasn't a fan. The color is like a brown based orange. It feels very Halloween costume to me. But I'm more of a conservative dresser, so if you have style oozing out your pores, this may be for you. It's definitely not for me though.

 Sequin Dress Navy - $74.99. I fell in love with this dress the moment I saw it. I actually have someplace to go in Nov that will need a nice dress and I think this will be perfect. I was impressed with the quality and detailing of this piece. I love how it is subtly sexy. It shows nothing, but it is still a statement dress. It's hard to see in this photo but the hem of the dress is actually shorter in the middle and longer on the sides. It is like this for the back and front of the dress. It is a light flowy material over another slip style dress underneath. And the way it moves when you walk is just beautiful. I am so glad I am in need of a dress. And while it's a bit away, I can't to wear it!

 Sweater Dress Grey - $44.99. This dress had so much potential, but was a total miss for me. If you're tall and lanky, this will probably look stunning on you. The rest of us will not have that luck. First off, the skirt is see through, so the sweater needs to fall below your privacy settings if you will so you're not giving a show. The way it fits in the pic on the right is exactly how it fits. The way it fits on the left is how I styled it. I had to cross my legs for the photo just to be sure I didn't give you any peaks in the photo. LOL! If it fit like this on it's own then I would LOVE this dress. Well except the fact that I would need a real skirt underneath it for modesty's sake. But as soon as I took a step, it fell and looked like the picture on the right. The quality was nice, but the price point was a bit high for what it is. I think I can accomplish this look with a skirt and sweater on my own.

 Shirt Dress Floral Print $39.99 (top left) & Long Sleeve Blouse Floral Print $29.99 (Top right & bottom). This dress was at the top of my list. It is now at the bottom. It looked and felt so cheaply constructed to me. The threading is white and stands out against the fabric. The shape and fit was nice, but not enough to save it for me. I was so disappointed I had to give it a thumbs down right then and there. As for the shirt, It had potential. But the print just seemed to swallow me whole. Then the weird Fold over flap thing on the collar area just ruined the fit. On a better material perhaps this would work. But I think this was a far reach for this shirt as far as material and quality of craftsmanship goes. I'm interested in seeing this on different body types though, because I have a feeling this will work beautiful on some bodies.

 Sparkle Peplum Top Black - $39.99. This one wasn't even on my radar. Peplum tops tend to add weight in all the wrong places on me because I have such a short torso. But I saw it on someone else and thought I would give it a try. This is now one of my favorite pieces. The quality and construction was totally there on this piece. It totally shows off my waistline perfectly and looks great with jeans and will look great dressed up. I love the collar detailing. I am in love with this piece. Look how tiny it makes my waist look! HELLO! Tell me you wouldn't get it just for that alone!

Pullover Animal Print - $34.99 (top left) and Silky Skirt Animal Print - $29.99 (top right & bottom). Ah that print again. But this time, I kind of really like it. I really liked both of these pieces. The top is thin and has a silky feel material (61 % Rayon, 39 % Nylon). I'm not sure that the color works with my skin tone though. But I came home with the pullover anyway. I was too tired to really evaluate it in the store, so I want to be able to try it on when I'm not so tired before I really make a decision. I fell in love with the skirt and regret not buying it, but really how much orange leopard print does one need? I think I'd get more use out of the top, but is it one of those "Oh she's wearing her orange leopard (cheetah?) print top again!" If I decide to return the top I think I'll grab the skirt. But I think that would have even less wear options, so let's see. Quality wise these were both OK. I actually expect more from Target. So that bothers me too. Not sure why I am so drawn to these two pieces, but I love them. Go figure! 

Now for the purses. They are not leather, and I typically spend a decent amount of money on a bag. I don't spend 3.1 Phillip Lim prices mind you, but I typically will spend a few hundred dollars on a nice bag about once a year. I will buy clutches on the cheap, but not hand bags. But the bags are definitely the stars and signature items that people associate with 3.1 Phillip Lim. So of course I had to at least look at the bags. I actually bought a few for friends online when they couldn't get their purchase to go through and ordered one for myself (Two actually. Same bag in 2 different sizes, I'll keep one and sell or return the other). I wasn't sure what to expect, so I was looking forward to checking them out in person. After checking them out I bought two! They are actually a decent quality. They felt good, and looked great. They were definitely better than the typical bags I see at Target, and sometimes they do have some gems for bags. I know on more than 1 occasion I have complimented a friend's bag and was surprised when they told me it was from Target. I would say these fall in that category. I of course grabbed some of my nice leather bags and compared them, and you know what? You can't really tell upon looking that these are not real. They even have a feel that I would say feels real. But at the same time, they don't. I can't quite describe it, but I think they did a good job.   My gripe with the bags is that it took searching in the store to get one that didn't have scratches or imperfections.  And they all seemed to have something. I chose the best of the bunch since I had the opportunity to be choosey and yet they still have slight imperfections to them. I feel bad for the people that just had to grab what they could. I hope no one got a dud. I think they are nice enough for the price and what they are. I don't think anyone will be fooled to think it's the real deal,  But they are beautiful and I was sucked in! 

The bags are currently all sold out online, but use the store tracker to see if you can luck out and still get one at your local Target. Also check back often as they may come back in stock when people make returns. I think once the hoopla wears off, you might luck out. 

 Top Handle Cross Body Taupe - $34.99 - I really love the style and size of this bag. The dimensions are  7.5 " H x 4.0 " W x 10.63 " D. This actually made me look a bit closer at the real deal 3.1 Phillip Lim pashli bags for a similar size. They have the mini pashli satchel that is 7.5" H  x 3.0" W x 8.5"  D, that retails for $650. I think I may have to save for the real thing now, because I was that impressed with the size and style of this bag. 

 Here is where some of my disappointment came in.  When I let the flap go on it's own, the magnetic closure doesn't exactly match up. You can see in the photo on the left the scratches it has already caused as a result. I have this one coming in the mail, so this one may go back, or I may see if someone wants it as is or who knows. I still have time to decide. And fortunately in person it really isn't that noticeable.
The front zippers are not just for show, they actually unzip and reveal another little pocket in the front. Nice!

The inside is quite roomy too and has lots of pockets. It even has two little loops inside that you can use to clip your keys or a change purse to like many high end bags have. Nice touch!

Mini Satchel with Gusset Black - $34.99 - If you missed this one online or in stores, you might find yourself hard pressed finding it now. I have been wanting a small affordable cross body for a while now. This one hits the mark and is rather spacious for it's size. The dimensions for this bag are  7.5 " H x 4.5 " W x 7.38 " D. As I said before the slight imperfections bother me a little. In the store I didn't notice the imperfection on this one because I thought it was just the paper filling making it appear that way. But if you look at the photos above it appears as if the flap is smaller on one side than the other. In reality it is the same size, but the little pocket underneath is puffed up on the right side causing the right side to lift a little. I THINK if I lay it flat with a book on it for a day or two it will correct that. If not, then that's a bit of a bummer. No store near me has this bag left, so it is what it is, otherwise. 

 Once inside the bag, I am again impressed. It is roomy and expandable by opening the side zippers. It has a thin pocket on one side and a zipper pocket on the other. And again it offers the little key fob attachment.

I read a lot of reviews on this bag before the launch saying it was tiny. That you would barely be able to fit your phone & lipgloss in it. I disagree. This bag is pretty roomy for it's size. I grabbed a couple of items, like my large ass wallet, a small cosmetic bag, a small box of my business cards, a small mirror, a lip balm, a small lotion and a small saline solution. All items you will typically find in my bag. I normally would have my keys, sunglasses and phone in there too and these items would still easily fit in the bag as well.

Imperfections aside, I am rather impressed with the quality and price point for these bags. I think they are right on and I'm glad I grabbed a few. If you are the type who doesn't like to spend a lot on hand bags and buys a lot of bags through out the year, these are right up your alley. But if you buy fewer bags, and quality is a big factor, then you might want to pass, but I say check them out anyway. Like I said earlier, they are all sold out in stores already and it seems to be hit or miss in stores depending on where you live, but it may be worth the hunt. 

Lastly - I also did a video review of the hand bags if you want to check it out! 

Did you get up early to shop the collection? Did you buy anything? What did you get? I'd love to hear your thoughts! 


  1. Thanks for the in-depth review. I went looking for the bags but only managed to find some of the clothes, which didn't do anything for me. Glad you found some things though.

  2. I went to my Target and NOTHING. Nice review though! I would have liked to try the BOOM sweater, oh well. $$ still in my pocket is a plus lol

  3. Nice haul! I ended up ordering only 1 bag online, the large purple tote with gusset. I was out of town and extremely tired from a wedding, so I was happy to get exactly what I wanted.

  4. i ordered the powerline print dress but after seeing the other two in person, the fabric looks so thin and cheap. it might be going back. i did find the last bag at my target today - the taupe mini gusset crossbody. it was flawed as well. had two long threads hanging off of it. but i bought it anyway. i was shocked there was even one bag left. there were tons of clothes on the rack still though.