Everlane review

by jamie-lee on October 16, 2014, 16 comments

everlane silk blouse tank boyfriend sweater
everlane silk blouse tank boyfriend sweater

Having heard so many good things about Everlane, it seemed almost irresponsible not to place an order for some of their much hyped cashmere sweaters and delicate silk blouses.

I placed my order through a third-party mail forwarding service, Shipito, which provides you with a mailbox for use when ordering from the United States (and is good for purchases from Zara, Cos, and the like). I’ve used Shipito approximately 20 times over the last two years and haven’t had a single issue – an email alert is received when a package arrives in your mailbox, and you’re given multiple shipping options from which you can select. I generally opt for DHL, as it’s fast, comes with a tracking number, and is generally well-priced; especially if you are consolidating shipments (note – you will need to upgrade your account for that feature). On average, I’ve found that my parcels are received from Everlane within 3 days of placing the order.

My Everlane orders have included the round collar silk blouse, the pointed collar silk blouse, sleeveless silk tank, pocket silk blouse, cashmere sweater and the boyfriend sweatshirt.

The main drawcard for me when placing my initial order, were the many reviews which likened Everlane’s blouses to those from Equipment; yet at a fraction of the cost. In truth, while there are similarities, there are just as many differences.

The silk button up blouse
The fit: Everlane’s silk blouses are a loose, slim fit, and generally true to size. I’m a small AU 8 (US 4) and I purchased mine in the size S, which was the perfect fit for me. Loose through the body, and just so through the sleeves, it is comfortable and doesn’t feel as though there is too much fabric – oft an issue with the sizing of the Equipment silk blouses.

The cut: Personally, I prefer a pointed collar as opposed to a rounded one, however I’ve warmed up to the rounded collar considerably since receiving it, as it looks sweet (but not overly so) peeking out over the collar of a loose knit sweater. The sleeves finish just at the wrist, and the cut through the shoulders isn’t too narrow or too wide. My only gripe is the length. I wish that the blouse was cut just a little longer, as I find that it doesn’t tuck well (for me) into mid-rise jeans, and I’d like the option to be able wear it loose, too.

The quality: For the price ($78 USD), the quality is excellent. A beautiful washed silk, which is supple and soft to the touch, and washes just as well (for reference, I popped mine in a delicates bag and washed it on a cold cycle with like colours). While the black is solid in colour, and doesn’t give ‘anything’ away, I found the blush silk to be not quite so thick – there is a sheerness to it; which is important to consider when choosing which colour to buy.

Equipment or Everlane? Honestly? Both. I think a lot of it comes down to what you’re looking for. The Equipment silk blouses are much more accessible (in terms of shipping, not price) and are of a higher quality than those from Everlane, however not everyone has a couple hundred spare for what is essentially a basic silk blouse. Then there’s also the question of pockets (or not), length, colour, and cut. If you’re looking for an entry level blouse, which is good quality, then go for Everlane. If you want something a little more luxe, then go for Equipment. My own wardrobe has a combination of both, as I’ve found Equipment’s pale coloured silk blouses to be less sheer than those from Everlane, and there’s also a much wider selection.

The sleeveless silk tank
The fit: Cut close at the shoulder, yet loose and billowy through the body. I opted for the size S, which translates pretty well to an AU 8 (or US4). If you’re in between sizes, you could safely go down a size.

The cut: A round neckline which is modest (but not overly so), and wide shoulder straps make it office-appropriate when worn under a cardigan or a blazer. I wear mine mostly tucked into skirts for work, however as it is slightly longer in the back, it’s a perfectly suitable length to wear loose with a pair of mid-rise jeans for the weekend.

The quality: As with the silk blouse, the quality is excellent for the price. The washed silk is lovely, and feels like suede on the skin. As with the long sleeved silk blouses, I find that even a nude bra shows through slightly with the lighter colours (the blush and dove grey), so keep that in mind when ordering.

The cashmere sweater
The fit: The cashmere sweaters are cut true to size – I opted for the size S and wouldn’t choose to go any smaller. The sleeves are quite narrow for this style and while the cashmere has some stretch to it, there wouldn’t be much point in sizing down.

The cut: Very slim through the sleeves, and a slim yet loose fit through the body. Mine is slightly fitted around the bust area, but not overly or uncomfortably so. The sleeves are cut to the wrist, and the length falls to just above the hipbone.

The quality: The quality is pretty good, although like most knitwear, mine has pilled over time with wear. However, this is easily removed if you have a de-pilling device (I purchased mine from Spotlight – these are indispensible!). The cashmere is soft has a reasonable weight to it, which makes it perfect worn on its own through the Spring or the Fall, or over a silk blouse in the winter. High quality cashmere is harder and harder to come by these days, and often comes at an equally high price. Considering that a very light cashmere sweater can set you back over $250, these are an absolute steal. I’m hoping that with winter on its way in the Northern Hemisphere, that there may be a few more colours to choose from.

The boyfriend sweatshirt
The fit: This sweater is exactly as described, like something you would steal from your boyfriends wardrobe. I took a bit of a gamble with the sizing, as I didn’t want a sweatshirt that was too loose, so I opted for the XS. The gamble paid off; it’s a slim fit, however there’s a bit of room to move through the body and the arms.

The cut: The sweater has a crew neckline, and is loose through the body with narrowly cut sleeves. Personally, I really like this style, as it looks smart with a silk or cotton shirt worn underneath, and is ideal for layering. The ribbing of the sleeves just overlaps my wrist, and the length hits me on the hip, which I find to be incredibly flattering.

The quality: I’ve purchased this sweater in both the black and the heather grey, and found both to be of an incredibly high standard. Before purchasing these, I’d spent some months looking for a loose fitting cotton sweater but had yet to find anything which quite fit the bill. These are cotton with a terry toweling backing, they’re soft yet sturdy, and wash extremely well. I’ve purchased designer sweatshirts at quadruple the price (or more even..) but I think that these are better quality, and certainly better value.

Will I be buying more from Everlane? Undoubtedly, yes. I admire their ethos, their values, and their transparency; there aren’t many companies out there which make such a big commitment to ensuring their customers know where and how their garments were produced. The craftsmanship is of a high standard, and you can see that a lot of thought has gone into the design process to produce a product which that is as elaborate as it is simple.

I’m hoping to edit and expand this post over time as I add more Everlane items to my wardrobe – the next contenders looking to be a pair of the leather loafers and the swing trench. For those of you intending to make a purchase from Everlane, I hope that you’ve found this post useful, and please feel free to leave any further questions you have in the comments section below.

Have you purchased anything from Everlane before? What has your experience been like?

And then the wind blew gently…

by jamie-lee on October 15, 2014, 4 comments

T by Alexander Wang stripe top, J Brand white skinny jeans (cheaper alternative here), Country Road grandpa cardigan, Valentino rockstud kitten heels, Cuyana tote bag (similar option here)

Or not so gently as it would appear in my case. Nina and I took this quick video a couple of weeks ago during my quick trip home; bringing a little bit of Wellington movement to this outfit.

Video & Editing by Nina Bissett
Song: Watching my breath by Town Hall

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Gattobravo

by jamie-lee on October 14, 2014, 9 comments

RUBY x gattabravo fedora acne mape leather jacket romantic taffeta skirt
RUBY x gattabravo burgundy felt fedora acne mape leather jacket
RUBY x gattabravo burgundy felt fedora acne mape leather jacket

T by Alexander Wang stripe top, Acne romantic taffeta skirt, Acne leather jacket, Senso paloma boots, RUBY x Gattabravo felt fedora (similar option)

I’ve never been much of a hat person, although admittedly, I put most of this down to living in a windy city where any attempt to wear a hat is thwarted almost the second you walk out the door. But, you can’t say I won’t try something more than once. I picked up this burgundy felt fedora from RUBY’s recently released collaboration with UK-based illustrator Gattabravo (take a look at the full capsule collection here), and while Summer is so close you can almost taste it in Sydney, I get the feeling that this hat and I will become fast friends next winter.

Now all I need to find is a Summer alternative; I’m thinking a straw fedora with grosgrain trim or a straw boater hat. Given how harsh the sun can be in Australia – and the increased opportunities for exposure – I’m trying my best to be ‘sun smart’. If you have any (local) recommendations, please let me know in the comments below!

PS. Shopbop’s Friends & Family sale is on – which given that almost the entire site is 25% off (with code FAMILY25), I might hedge my bets for a straw fedora there!

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Wellington in 24 hours

by jamie-lee on October 12, 2014, 8 comments

breakfast stack maranui cafe wellington

Home to excellent coffee, a thriving cafe culture and art scene, and of course that wind, there seemed like no better time to play tourist in my home town that on my recent trip back to Wellington. For those wanting to get a taste of the capital or rediscover it like I have, you’ll find my guide to exploring Wellington in 24 hours below.

Enjoy a lazy breakfast at Maranui. Overlooking Lyall Bay beach, Maranui is hands down one of my favourite spots to breakfast in the capital, and if you’ve been there before, you’ll know why. With a generous selection of cabinet food (which caters to the vegan and gluten-intolerant amongst us) and a hearty brunch menu, there is unquestionably something for everyone. Not to mention that it comes with a view. Maranui is a popular spot for a weekend brunch, so expect to wait 15-30 minutes if you drop in on a Saturday or Sunday.

Ride the cable car and explore the botanical gardens. It wouldn’t be a trip to Wellington without a ride on the iconic red cable car. Take a ride from Cable Car Lane in the city and hop off at the Botanical Gardens which are beautifully manicured and in full bloom at this time of year. Don’t forget to pop into the Glasshouse for the tropical fauna and goldfish pond.

charley noble waterfront lunch wellington
charley noble waterfront lunch wellington

Eat lunch down near the waterfront. With so many restaurants overlooking the harbour, you’re a little spoilt for choice. For something a little upmarket, I’d suggest Shed 5 (my personal favourite) for some of the best seafood in the city, or their sister restaurant ‘Crab Shack’ located next door – although be prepared for the wait, which can be upwards of two hours if you don’t get in early. One street back from the waterfront you’ll find Charley Noble which I’d argue is worth giving up the view for; the service is excellent for one, the meals well-priced, and the food? Excellent.

area 51 shopping wellington

Shop along the ‘golden mile’. Wellington’s small size comes in handy if you’re planning on hitting the shops, particularly if you’re fond of independent boutiques. I like to start at the Arcade at the end of Lambton Quay, which houses favourites such as I Love Paris, RUBY and Workshop, while making my way down to Karen Walker, Service Depot, Kate Sylvester and Twenty Seven Names. Be sure to drop into Good as Gold and Area 51 along the way for a generous selection of New Zealand and International designers. I wrote a couple of short guides to shopping the capital last year if you’d like to take a peek – part 1; part 2.

wellington city gallery art wellington

Drop into the Wellington City Gallery. Easy to miss, however if you get the chance, I’d make a beeline for the Wellington City Gallery. There is always an interesting installation or artist featured, and did I mention that entrance is free? Oh, and make sure that you stop by Nikau Cafe, which is situated on the ground floor for excellent coffee, and a late lunch (I highly recommend the fish kedgeree) if the waterfront options weren’t to your taste.

beach waterfront worser bay wellington

Take in the beautiful scenery. For such a small city, Wellington is absolutely spoilt when it comes to breathtaking views. For those short on time, a walk around the coastline near Oriental Bay (a short walk from Courtenay Place) is a must – if only to enjoy the yachts racing in the water. If you have more time, there are plenty of walks which are easily accessible from the city (a quick google search should prove fruitful), or I’d recommend making the trip out to the eastern suburbs; completely surrounded by water, it’s absolutely idyllic if you’re blessed with a nice day.

WBC drinks dinner interior wellington

Grab an early dinner at WBC. WBC is unassuming, the doorway almost hidden along the well-travelled Victoria St, although once you find it, you’re in for a treat. The menu consists of small plates which are designed for sharing, in addition to larger options if you’re feeling a little more ravenous – and the wine is good to boot. Get in early to grab a seat next to the sun drenched windows and soak in the last hours of the afternoon light.

havana bar drinks wellington

Drinks at Havana bar. Tucked away at the end of Cuba Street, Havana Bar has gone under a bit of a transformation in recent years. Don’t let the view from the street fool you – it is home to some great live music, in addition to delicious tapas, if you’re starting to feel a bit peckish, to while away the night into the wee hours of the morning.

If you have a little more time on your hands, there’s still so much more that the greatest little city in the world has to offer. From the National Museum Te Papa (conveniently located on the waterfront), Carter’s Observatory (a must for aspiring astrologists), and the food, oh the food. For the foodies in all of us, I’ve made a quick list of some of my favourite spots to grab a bite (or a coffee) below. To say that Wellington is spoilt for choice is a bit of an understatement…

Matterhorn – If I’m not grabbing a drink at Havana, it’s likely that Matterhorn will be my second choice. Not only is their joint wine, spirit and beer selection among the most extensive that Wellington has to offer, it’s a great place to catch up with a big group of friends after a hard day at work.

Ancestral – Courtenay Place might be known for its nightlife, but considering I’m not the biggest fan of crowds, I tend to opt for the more low-key options. This bar-cum-restaurant is the perfect antidote to the overcrowded streets, with dim lighting, delicious cocktails, and excellent Chinese food. If you can, grab a seat at the bar outside; the stone slab seating is heated – perfect to combat the Wellington chill.

Olive – I only discovered how good Olive Cafe was just before leaving Wellington; an error on my part! Perfect for a boozy brunch, just make sure to get a seat in the hidden garden bar out the back.

Loretta’s – This is a new favourite, although that didn’t stop me from dropping in twice during my short stay. The space is enormous, and the menu changes daily according to season and what’s available. My kinda place, that’s for sure.

Gipsy Kitchen – This little hole in the wall cafe is great to drop into if you happen to be on your way to Scorching Bay beach. It’s mostly deli style food, but the coffee is good and it encapsulates the distinctive Wellington vibe.

Prefab – This is a great brunch spot, conveniently located on Jessie Street, a short walk from the CBD. Be sure to take home a loaf of bread, baked daily on-site, and order the bottomless coffee, because one cup is never enough.

Six Barrel Soda – This is one of my favourite spots to catch up with a girlfriend, gossip, and people watch the street below. Not to mention the in-house soda’s, which are beyond good.

Deluxe (or Diamond Deli if you happen to be in Lyall Bay) – If you’re vegan, vegetarian, or just crave a healthy lunch, Deluxe is definitely the way to go. Either eat in or grab your lunch take away and enjoy it down at the waterfront. Their vegan sandwiches are tops, as are the salads (a given), the brown rice sushi rolls and the sweet treats. Okay all of it.

Duke Carvells – Quite possibly one of my favourite restaurants in Wellington, Duke Carvells offers up a delectable fare of Meditterranean inspired tapas, for sharing with your companions. Come here on a Friday or Saturday night and you’re likely to be treated to some live music.

Ekim Burgers – Since moving to Sydney, Ekim has relocated to Cuba Street (as opposed to its original, Lyall Bay Beach spot); convenient for those wandering the city (or just dropping in). If you’re hungry for a burger, I highly recommend that you head to Ekim; theirs are arguable among the best I have ever eaten, and they have a hearty selection of vegetarian (and vegan) options.

There are so many good options in Wellington – for which we have the huge cafe culture to thank – so if in doubt, if there’s a steady stream of people wandering in, that’s usually a good sign. Should you get a nice enough day for a picnic, Moore Wilson’s is a good spot to drop in to pick up a bottle of freshly squeezed orange juice, some nice soft cheeses, and a loaf of bread, hand picked from one of the many bakeries around the city.

As for places to stay, you’d be hard pressed to find a more luxurious and unique experience than at the Museum Hotel or Ohtel, both located near the Oriental Bay waterfront. If you live in Wellington, or are planning on just visiting, I hope that this short guide proves useful! x

Waking up (not so) slowly

by jamie-lee on October 11, 2014, 2 comments

roses elle magazine the gentlewoman renegade collective

A typical Saturday morning usually involves waking up slow, a fresh cold pressed juice, a walk down to the beach, and if Luke and I are up to it, a very late breakfast (or lunch) at one of our favourite cafés in Bondi.

Today, I definitely didn’t wake up slow. With the temperature slated to reach 26C by lunch time, it’s not exactly the kind of weather that was going to keep me confined indoors. An early start meant I could go for a brisk jog/run for an hour before the heat of the day, with time to pick up some juice, fresh flowers, magazines, and still have enough time to lie in the sun at the beach for a couple hours, all before lunch. With a few hours of daylight left, I’m going to take my afternoon slow. Sitting by the window while the last rays of the day stream across the table, slowly flicking through some easy reading.

I think I could get used to this…

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