Thursday, October 3, 2013

Catherine Malandrino for Kohl's Review - View from the Fitting Room

The latest fashion collaboration on the market is Catherine Malandrino for Design Nation at Kohl's. The typical Kohl's customer is women between 25 - 54 years old. The design aesthetic of Catherine Malandrino (to me) seems to be geared towards women that fit in that age bracket. So the fact that Kohl's had Catherine Malandrino for Design Nation as a collaboration seems to make sense. I have lusted after many of her Little Black Dresses and especially her jumpers. So when I heard about this collab, I was excited! I was actually more excited for this than 3.1 Phillip Lim for Target.

When I saw the look book however,  I was like, huh? I mean Catherine Malandrino is french and she was putting together a collection that is Parisian Chic for the American Woman. But then so much of the look book seemed to be a little too costume literal. With dresses and shirts emblazoned with Paris, Je T'aime and the Eiffel Tower and then actually styled with a beret just completely turned me off. That's not what I think of when I think of Parisian Chic. I had to look beyond these pieces for the gems.
Eiffel Tower Sheath Dress $78.00. This dress could have been good with a more abstract design. For me the Eiffel Tower makes this more of a kitchsy piece. I would have liked something like the embroidered dress design in a more subtle way. Heck anything but a national monument would fix this.

Work Week Paris Tee $36.00 and Eiffel Tower Sweater $58.00. Seriously? I mean "Oh this is so Parisian Chic!" WTF? I just can't. But I am not a fan of writing on shirts and then add the beret and it just doesn't make me want to run out and buy these pieces.  I've done some online searches to see how others have styled these pieces and I have to say it makes these pieces look much better. But these are still a pass for me.

Beyond the printed graphics there are what appear to be some real gems in this collaboration. And of course of the entire look book there were two items that I just HAD to try on. Not necessarily buy, because I don't know where or how often I would wear either of the two pieces I loved. But I wanted to check them out. And of course turns out both those items are online only items, so it doesn't look like I'll get to try them on after all.
Pleated Jumpsuit $88.00. I so wanted to try this on. A Catherine Malandrino designed jumpsuit! YES!! Unfortunately it is an online exclusive. This will either look amazing or awful on me as most jumpsuits tend to do. I am still searching for the perfect one. I think this could be it, but I just don't think I'm willing to pay to try it on. It is currently on sale and with the extra 15% off coupon (Use code LEAVES through Oct 5th) it brings it to about $69 with shipping. If I had the $10 off $30 coupon, I may be tempted to try it, but since I missed getting the paper on Sunday, no coupon for me. So that means the search for the perfect jumpsuit will continue.

Laser Cut Shift Dress $88.00. This looks Parisian Chic to me. Now we're talking! But again it's another online exclusive. Being that I'm not model height or weight, I just don't know how this would look on me. Wouldn't it be nice if they showed these on average women? I have a feeling I'd be swimming in this. So while it looks great on the model, based on everything else I tried on, it seems to risky of an order.

I think the line is a great representation of the average Kohl's shopper, while at the same time adding that Catherine Malandrino sass. So I think this collection will win over many. But for me I'm left feeling unsure. Some pieces I loved, others I hated. Not that I hated the pieces, but more so that I hated them for me.  Well except one piece, I really just hated it (More on that later). I think a lot of this collection will look great on other women, but maybe just not on this woman.  First off my Kohl's barely had any of the collection and of that, I only tried on half. I couldn't bring myself to try on anything I was sure I wouldn't like. Well except one piece that I couldn't resist. I knew it would be bad, but I had to do it. Want to see how it went?

The first piece I tried on was the Striped Over Sized Sweater $68.00. It's cute, it's comfy and it's stylish. I didn't really feel anything special about the sweater. I like it, but it's not something I would think oh this is so Catherine Malandrino, I must have it. Although I think some fashionista out there will wear this in a way I would never expect and make it look totally sassy. 

Textured Knit Skirt $50.00. I couldn't link to it on the Kohl's website. It appears this skirt is sold out? It feels like a sweater, so for FL it is a bit impractical. I think it does absolutely nothing for my shape. I have an extreme hourglass shape and this makes me look like a board. I bet this will look amazing on a taller woman though. It's just not for me and my borderline petite frame.
I had to combine the sweater with the skirt and I actually thought for a second that I could wear this. Well the reality is I could and would wear this. Together, like this, with some tights and cute booties. But not often enough to justify a purchase. But now I'm getting excited about the pieces! I see where they're going here. The sweater is growing on me the more I see it.

Piontelle Sweater Dress Set $78.00. When I saw this in the look book, I thought it was cute. On the hanger I was thinking no way. But then I put it on. This is soooo me! I really like this piece a lot. I can envision wearing it with heels, booties, tights, leggings, moto boots. I just fell in love with it. It is perfect for a FL winter. It is basically a nude colored slip dress with the sweater dress layered over it. Not only would it be great for FL, but I have a trip to NJ in Nov and it will be perfect for that too. But at $78.00 it is just a bit to pricey for me. I think at $40 I would think about it. It's actually on sale for $58.50 and then there is the 15% off coupon which would bring it to $49.72. There was also a coupon in the paper for $10 off a $30 purchase, but I missed out on the coupon. If I had the coupon, I think I would jump on this one, but without it, it just isn't going to happen.

OK can we just appreciate this side view for a second? I love how this skims my curves but doesn't suck itself to my body. Those little wrinkles of extra fabric around the waist are pretty normal for my figure, but I actually like that, it gives me a bit of wiggle room that provides some comfort for me. I don't feel like I need to be sucked and tucked in all day. Ugh I so want to go back and get this!
 Faux Leather Motorcycle Jacket $120.00. As a faux leather jacket, this is a fail. The material doesn't even come close to resembling leather to me. It doesn't even have a leather feel to it. BUT it does look like some sort of winter vinyl material and doesn't look cheap either. I have a water resistant jacket that is perfect for a FL winter rainstorm, this reminds me of that. So looking at this as a inspired moto jacket it wins, just not if you are looking for something that looks and feels like leather. This jacket was very warm and it is definitely stylish. I like the small details in the jacket. The combination of quilting and fabrics. The zipper on the sleeves, the small tuck in the back. If I found this on clearance I'd be all over it. But I think the price point is a little high for the amount of use I'd be able to get out of it here in FL. But as I just stated Kohl's is famous for having sales and coupons, so you could get this on a good deal and it would be worth it.

Embroidered Shift Dress Set $120.00. This one surprised me. I was pretty excited to try this dress on when I saw it. But I am swimming in it! This is not for us borderline petite girls or smaller. This looks like something that would be perfect for a woman who prefers a more conservative look yet wants to be stylish. This will probably look great on a reed thin tall leggy girl as well. I can already see it. That is how I wish it looked on me. Oh well. If this was a few inches shorter and tighter, this would work. But it is just too boxy to work for me.

I was also sadly disappointed in the quality of this piece. The bottom is just a cut in the fabric. That makes me worry it will catch on things and rip. Upon closer inspection it seems it wasn't even cut evenly. No bueno. I think this one is just way over priced for a Kohl's piece. This should have been at the $78.00 price point and then with the coupons and discounts, it would have been right up Kohl's alley. 

Peplum Ponte Dress $70.00. I probably should have saved the best for last. But as luck would have it you get worst for last since this is the last thing I tried on. This to me was AWFUL! I don't even know why I tried it on. I saw it on the hanger and that faux leather front just added such a cheap look to the dress. It looks like a cheap version of patent leather. It is just bad. Then the cut on this is terrible. I don't know who could wear this. Perhaps someone who is super petite if they want to get the skirt altered? Peplum's are so hard to pull off for most woman. Or maybe just for me. In my opinion a peplum should fall at the smallest part of your waist to provide the illusion of an hourglass shape. I have an hourglass shape and some how this dress takes it away! It is too high to really be a peplum and too low to be an empire waist. I don't know, maybe it's just me and my body, but I have seen a few pictures on other's wearing this online and I have yet to see it look good on anyone. 
 I mean even from the side this is terrible. I look like I'm about 4 months pregnant. Yes! Just what every girl wants, to look preggers when she's not!

Overall I think this is a nice collection. It fits well with the Kohl's customer. If the online pieces were available in store, I think Kohl's would be able to attract more women who love Catherine Malandrino's clothing line. But with the limited selection I keep hearing about, I'm not sure it's going to get much more hype. I imagine Kohl's would love a line at the door before opening like H&M and Target seem to get. Instead their collabs seem to go by quietly and land on clearance.  The collection launched on Sept 27th and when I went 4 days later, it looked untouched at both Kohl's stores in my area. Maybe this collab got lost in Target's Limsanity? Who knows, but if if you're at Kohl's it might be worth checking out and trying on a few pieces. Especially if you have the extra coupons with you. Happy shopping!


  1. I LOVE the sweater dress and it looks AMAZING on you! Go back and get it RIGHT NOW!! haha! Seriously, though.

    The moto jacket looks really cute in pics but if it's cheapy feeling in person, then no bueno. Besides, you can get a real leather jacket for that price! My Harley jacket was $130 I think...

    The emroidered shift would be sooo pretty in a better cut/fit. And I think the peplum one actually looks good on you, but what do I know.

    The Eiffel Tower dress is really pretty, IMO but I see what you mean about the "French" thing. Still I think I'd like it if I had the body and place for it.

  2. I didn't know that Malandrino was even doing a kohls collection. I am pretty me about most of it. I doubt much of this could work on me. But that Pointelle dress looks hot on you. You should go back and get it. :)

  3. That sweater dress is right up my ally! I very much have an hourglass figure and lots of dresses make me look preggers, but that style seems to be prefect for me! Too bad there isnt Kohls in Canada