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On The Ground Retail With Style Statements And Cheerful Prep At Target

Liberty of London isn’t all Target USA* has to offer for spring shopping. Last Sunday my daughter and I found some other pretty useful stuff. And, if not useful to us, surely useful to someone.

A brief aside. I suffered from the usual large store shell shock upon entrance, and spent some erratic moments flitting from Liberty print to Liberty print, like a moth drawn to polyester flowered flame. However, upon recovering from the visual intoxication, we found some cardigans. Argyle with a twist, in colors bright enough to flirt with disrespect for the hallowed Scottish pattern. Mostly cotton. Cute as the proverbial button. This one made its way home to my daughter’s wardrobe.

Continuing my hunt for the perfect khakis, I tried on these pants. While I gave them high marks for fit and fabric, I cannot wear capris without feeling like I’ve added 10 years to my already advanced age and subtracted 6 inches from my already not-long legs. But someone would like these very much. The jacket has nice, lined, rolled up cuffs, although it had been so recently removed from a packing crate that folding marks made fit difficult to assess.

And then, to my profound surprise, madras shorts. In Northern California. Will wonders never cease. I must tell Tickled Pink and Green, and Hopsy, the queens of prep fashion from Target.

Hipster/alternative gals were not left in deshabille. Paisley tank tops, $8.00. We took the orange one home for my daughter. It’s fun to dress a redhead, after all my years in the blond camp.

Finally, Mr. Gaultier’s wares were on display.

Don’t you just love the audacity of this dress? No? It has a crinoline, for pete’s sake. A big, ol’, honkin’ crinoline. And daisies. Unfortunately, it also has a silhouette in mind which required the waistline to begin directly below the bust. No thought for a ribcage. My daughter, 5’9″ and a size 2 at Banana Republic, looked rather tall and graceful,** but also like she was wearing something from Project Runway where the judges might have asked, in puzzled tones, “And where is ze bodice?” Of course, they might simply have pronounced it fierce, but that’s why I’m searching for the perfect khakis and Mr. Gaultier, evidently, is not.

Still, it’s fun to imagine that I might have put this on, when I was 25 and living in Manhattan. After our accounting final? Yes?

*I’d be interested to hear how any international Targets stack up, or what your equivalent outlets offer of similar price and quality.
**Hey, I’m a mom, we get a few free bragging tickets, right?

37 Responses

  1. If a mom can't brag, there's no justice at all . . .
    Sadly, no Target here so I can only peer in through the virtual window you've opened. Looks like fun!

  2. I rarely find clothing for myself at Target, but for my son…hoo boy! And housewares/ incidental decor…hoo boy squared! I have many a rooster from Target in my kitchen. I never get out of there for less than $75, all kids clothes and roosters. If I weren't forbidden to buy dog clothing, the tab would be even higher.

  3. You are allowed as many "bragging rights" tickets as you want!

    Target must be reading all the preppy blogs :-) and providing an important need for us. How was the quality of the madras fabric? I am hoping you find those perfect khakis. Then I'll know where to go!
    Have a great day! xoox

  4. Good, resolve, mom bragging allowed. I bet Target IS reading the preppy blogs, and if not, they sure should be:). I will keep hunting for the perfect khakis….

  5. But the problem with Target's clothes is A) The fit is always all wonky, not helped by haphazard stitching and B) The fabric quality is awful, and everything stretches out 30 minutes into wearing it.

    It doesn't stop me from trying now and again though.

  6. Seems your selection of clothes in Target is better than our Target here! Target-envy!

  7. I love the new preppy looks at Target. Do they still have the Isaac Mizrahi line there too? Did you see the Rodarte dresses, they looked so cute on the internet but I was wondering if they looked less cute in person.

  8. I love the madras! Though I am not loving shorts these days… they do something to my knees (that has nothing whatsoever to do with age!)

    I can't do khakis either. Isn't that strange? I feel just so washed out in them. I love whites, winter whites and cremes… but not the khaki.

    Last summer I bought armfuls of cute little summer dresses from Tarjay!

  9. target is the home of my favorite khakis…did you find any? The Cherokee Ultimate is my favorite, but they do have a bit of stretch…which I love! But does that nix them for you?

    Good luck!

  10. Tar-jay strikes again! I visited a Target today in SC and found all kinds of great Liberty items. They were cuter ON my girls than off. This Mama can brag too! Your daughter sounds gorgeous. I love your blog and hate I just found it!

  11. Sounds like you two had a blast shopping! And 5'9" and a size 2?? She sounds like a model!!

  12. So far as I can tell, there are no Target stores in the UK. Happy to be enlightened if this is wrong. Wal-mart over here is called Asda. There isn't one that near me and I'm not a shopping-for-entertainment person, so I rarely go there. Love the paisley prints!

  13. It's all about Primark, TopShop and H&M here in the UK – such good, low-rent shopping here. I went to Target in Oz over Christmas, and I think your stuff is still prettier, though they do have some nice stuff there too (now, it's all 'London look' Winter gear: But I'd rate UK TopShop and H&M over Oz Target for sure!

    Can I be a mini-meanie, and say I detest long shorts on women, only made worse with patterns of any sort? They stack on the pounds, extend the bum, stop at the wobbly knees, and only need to be teamed up with bad shoes and a sloppy tee to be tourist uniform.

    The cardies and frocks, on the other hand, are cutie cute.

    BTW, wrote a post that includes something on thank you notes – and a blog you might love.

  14. I believe moms are entitled to some degree of bragging about their children. No one would fault you for that. :)

  15. I agree with Academic, Hopeful about long shorts on women – makes us all look like we have wobbly knees – but see capris as a solution. Maybe it would help you like yourself in capris if you thought of them as long shorts rather than short pants?

  16. Sadly, no Target or Top Shop here. I feel the same way about Capris. I feel they are a safe alternative to shorts, but I'm not sure they do anything for anybody's silhouette. I do like khakis to the angle though. A la Jackie Kennedy.

  17. I didn't see Rodarte or Isaac this time. I was a little overwhelmed, so that doesn't mean they weren't there. I don't know what it is about capris. But one look in the mirror and I'm peeling them off as fast as I can. As for fit and quality Meg, it's hit or miss in my experience. That cardigan has no issues at all that I could see, in terms of quality at least.

  18. I raise my hat for you LPC! I have only once been inside a store ( much more smaller, I´m sure ) like the Target you wrote about. I had a small panic attack, when I saw the masses of stuff and people all around me. I hope that I will never ever again have to step inside one again!

  19. I haven't done much clothing shopping at Target recently. I'll have to plan a stop there this weekend. I'm interested int he Liberty of London line. I also need face lotion, body wash, and three birthday cards. The fact that I can get all these items and clothing shop is what makes Target amazing!

  20. I'm neutral on the "capris add 10 years to me" bit, though it makes me smile — and hey, we're all allowed our biases!

    I'm with you on their enstumpening powers, though, and as another with proportionally short legs I AVOID AVOID AVOID 'em. Besides, having my ANKLES and a few more inches of leg covered up doesn't make me any warmer!

    I'd add that even leggy women risk looking disproportionate in capris unless they are roughly the same size top and bottom…those who carry more up top/in the middle but have slim legs risk what a girlfriend with this build refers to as the "olive on a stick look." [!!] If balance isn't a goal for someone, then of course they should capri away.

  21. I love Target. I was watching Kell on Earth the other day and her daughter was like, "Walmart…the enemy of Target!" It was very cute.

  22. I love capris – they let me indulge in delusions of Laura Petrie-ness.

    Yes, I'm in denial. I like it here.

  23. Oh my gosh !!! I am so happy to have stumbled upon your blog ! it is perfect ! I am so fascinated by WASP culture and was joking to my husband recently that it would be funny to name a big, old rambling home, The Nest. Look forward to reading more. Thank you!

  24. Oh heavens, this demonstrates perfectly what happens when one 'flits about', just as I did as well! I cannot believe I missed that argyle sweater, holy cow! I did take a photo of a madras skirt from the same fabric as the shorts, it was darling.

    And I always thought one was expected to brag a bit on one's offspring, no?

    Smiles at you , this was a fun post!

  25. Capris tend to hit the calf at so many locations, depending on the pant and on the wearer, that it is difficult to generalize. However, they can look quite dumpy on most of us. My 17 year old daughter "wouldn't be caught dead in them" and she says that they scream, "Dowdy middle aged lady." So, as not to offend, I've been choosing between cropped pants with a clean, lean line that end just above the anklebone or long shorts an inch or two above the knee. If the shorts are fitted, they don't have that baggy, touristy look. And I've added casual, daytime dresses to my wardrobe as an alternative.

  26. OK, so clearly Laura Petrie and her acolytes can go for the capris:). And Gourmetmom, I think you're on to something there, something more precise than I had managed to come up with. TP – send Tilly back for the sweater…

  27. Lovely stuff…especially the JPG! I loved the Thakoon line from a year or so ago. Scored a pretty neat black shirt dress that is yet to fade after many a wear, and a sailor tee in grey and black.

  28. Wow, Target is so much better in the US than in Australia. Occasionally we have good stuff – like the Stella line – but otherwise it is mostly ill-fitting polyester 'knits' (we're going into winter). And don't even get me started on how terrible the shoes at target are here

  29. Target in Australia doesn't compare- it is getting 'spensive, and we only ever had 1 international designer diffusion range- Stella McCartney- no Liberty, no Gaultier, no crazy Rodarte, no Issac Mirahzi, No Anna Sui…Meanwhile I hope your readers know that if they are buying an $8 top it has most likely been sewn by either a Chinese or Indian worker who has been paid very little to produce same. I think about the garment industry and swetshops a lot. Cheap clothes are cheap for a reason. I don't know what the solution is. Meanwhile where is our WASP definition? Have a lovely weekend xx

  30. How do you like your LL Bean khakis, LPC? I am thinking about trying a pair of the classic chinos, which seem to be a slightly updated style without stretch. Velma

  31. Yeah, I like dressing my redhead too.

    But I thought Liberty had died! Their store in Oxford shut down years ago and I think the London one did too. Your post makes me think I might be missing something.

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