9:27 a.m. on Sunday and I am up and fighting. The only reason why I am not zooming through our apartment with a vacuum in one hand and bottle of Windex in the other is a peacefully-sleeping fiance. I am neither a morning person nor a cleaner, but waiting outside my local Target at 7:40 a.m. was more rousing than any caffeinated incentive. In a first for The Height of Style, I was there when the doors opened and the launch commenced for the Jason Wu for Target collaboration.
I never even blinked when Versace collaborated with H&M. I shrugged when Missoni collaborated with Target, especially after I had sold two Missoni sweater dresses on eBay for relatively modest prices. But when I caught wind of wunderkind Jason Wu’s low-priced collab, I cleared February 5th weeks in anticipation.
Wu is perhaps best known for designing Michelle Obama’s white inauguration dress, which catapulted him to the top of ‘hot’ lists in 2009, but the young designer has been producing feminine, ladylike ready-to-wear and evening collections since 2006. A step up in sophistication (but somehow, not ethereal femininity) from the Mulleavy sisters’ 2009 Target collaboration (Rodarte for Target), Wu’s collaboration is filled with punchy, sportswear-inspired separates, dresses, and accessories—a cross-Atlantic homage to Jean Seberg and Anna Karina.
I had readied myself to snap up the contrast-collar shirtdress and floral-printed crossbody below, but as I walked into Target behind a rushing, half-running mass of women, I gamely followed the crowd and deftly picked all the Ls, XLs, and size 12s and 14s from the racks. In a RARE turn of events, I had my pick of the entire (small) collection in terms of sizing—so whereas you tall and/or curvy women may feel sized out—the designer collabs at mass retailers ARE FOR YOU!
As is USUALLY the case, and fully an effect of my initial valuing of aesthetics over flattery—the much-admired shirtdress above looked miserable on me. However, the two dresses below are SPLENDID for both tall and curvy (esp. hourglass-shaped) figures. I love the shape and substance of the navy stripe-hem dress—it is a high-quality find for the $39.99 price tag. I also recommend the trench for talls, as the sleeves are quite long.
The lowdown? Worth the wait and worth the morning alarm. Although you’re not looking at linings and fabrics any more elevated than lightweight cottons (at best), these pieces are fun, cute, and great pieces for a spring or transitional wardrobe for women of all shapes, sizes, AND heights. P.S. Poly-chiffon may be a little low-budget, but for those on the go, machine washability is ALWAYS a plus!