Simply Vera by Vera Wang vs Bitten by Sarah Jessica Parker


Okay, how many of you watched Vera Wang on Oprah on Friday?

Thanks to the power of DVR I was able to compare the response of Oprah (and her audience) to the Sarah Jessica Parker Bitten line at Steve & Barry’s to their response to the Vera Wang line at Kohls. I wish I could’ve invited you all over so we could’ve watch it together.

What a BIG difference.

While O, who is my BFF (at least in my head), and her audience was less than enthusiastic about the SJP BItten line, they were practically gushing about the Vera Wang line. They stood, they cheered, they screamed. At one point, I thought Oprah was going to do cartwheels down the walk way in a silk Simply Vera coat while singing “Let it Be” (the amazing Julie Taymor was on the show promoting her Beatles inspired musical “Across the Universe”).

Overall, there’s definitely some pieces I like from the Simply Vera line, for example that black rayon/wool blend coat with the puffy sleeves and the before mentioned silk coat. I also liked the fact that the models were styled from head to toe in the line, versus the pieces paired with a $700 pair of Christian Louboutin pumps.

Then there’s some things that I could totally do without (like the purple “jewel” encrusted empire dress). I also would have liked to see her go up to XXL in sizing to fit a wider range of Kohls shoppers (crazy props to the Bitten folks on sizing). There’s too much black, which is fine by me because I live in the land of black, but not so glorious for my peeps in MN. However, that’s Vera’s thang (look at her Spring 2008 show) and, initially, the prices were way to high- I’m not paying $130 bucks for a pair of boots at Kohls (Bitten, again, have the price thing down, HOWEVER, the quality is terrible).

However,  like the Oprah audience, I feel the Simply Vera line is just simply better than Sarah Jessica Parker’s Bitten line.

Now, before you jump on me confessing your undying devotion to Sex and the City and how SJP is such a great person cause she made a budget line. Let me make a few things clear- I understand that Bitten is targeted to a different age group (teen girls) and a different price range (under $20). But.. Simply Vera takes a page straight out of the Target playbook and is made by a real designer, not by a celebrity who is capitalizing off of her fame with a brillant business move. The fabric is better, the cuts, are better, the styling is better.

And Oprah agrees with me.. :)

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  1. marla says

    i have to agree with you. the Vera Wang line is…beautiful. the coats I saw at our Kohl’s are drool-worthy. and most of the pieces I saw were dark purples, blues, and black, all my favorites. so elegant and classy, just like I would expect. so yes, no comparison between the SV line and Bitten.

  2. Lucy.R.E. says

    I agree as well. I was so excited for the Bitten line and equally disappointed when I saw what it consisted of. I haven’t seen much of Simply Vera yet, but my sister hates it—which means it’s probably pretty great. hehe.

  3. Laura says

    I don’t get the bashing of Bitten. Like you said, they are totally different! I was at Kohl’s and walked right by Simply Vera b/c there is no way I’m spending that at Kohl’s. No way. Plus, I’m a stay at home Mom, and I love looking cute..but I have a tight budget.

    I read your previous comments about Bitten and it’s comparison to Forever 21 and I totally disagree!! I could never fit into Forever 21. All their clothes are sooo preteen as well. Half-shirts and all that. Bitten has the cool, casual look that I want.

    As for Bitten’s quality, what do I really expect from $15 jeans? Lately, I’ve been buying clothes at Target and their quality is horrible! It lasts a season and that’s it. Really, that’s all I need since I like shopping so much. Pitch it and shop for the next season.

    Anyway, point is…I think you’re way too harsh on Bitten.

  4. Cammie says

    I agree with you and Oprah as well.  I’ve shopped S&B’s and bought a few pieces from the SJP Bitten line.  As you said the prices for some of the pieces can’t be beat, but the quality definitely leaves much to be desired.  The clothes are cute for the weekend, but I’m with Vera Wang all the way.  As far as clothes for work are concerned, Vera wins this battle hands DOWN.  I thought some of the pieces were a little more than I’ve paid for clothes, but when I think about the quality and think about the fact that this is freaking VERA WANG, I would definitely consider purchasing more than one of the pieces from her line.  I’ll be at Kohl’s next weekend to see the line for myself in person…

  5. SassyPants says

    I have to agree with you and O!  Simply Vera is simply better quality than Bitten.  I do like some of the T-shirts (and I purchased one grey bag) from the SJP line, but the main aim of Bitten isn’t for me.  As a woman in her 30’s, I like to look a little more grown up.  Love Vera Wang for making the deal with Kohl’s and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the silk coat.  I need to go shopping!

  6. Nancy B. says

    Oh, hands down it’s Simply Vera! 

    I love SJP and I think she’s got a great sense of style (and yes I realize it’s probably more her stylist than her, but some of that has to rub off), but she is not a designer.  I think it’s great she’s got her line at Steve and Barry’s and that the clothes go up to an XXL, but the styles are…well, BLAH.  And as you said, Kathryn, the quality leaves much to be desired.

    Simply Vera, on the other hand, is designed by a real couture designer.  I have been in love with Vera Wang’s wedding gowns and couture pieces for years and I often fantasized that when I get married, if money was somehow no object I would have her design my gown.  I am thrilled to pieces at the prospect of actually being able to afford Vera Wang!  And she has not sacrificed style or quality just because it’s for Kohl’s.  Simply Vera is, well, simply beautiful.

    My only complaint is I wish she would do plus sizes, too.  While I can afford Simply Vera, as a “bigger girl” I cannot wear it.  As I told my mother, however, handbags and jewelry are one size fits all!

  7. Julie says

    The line is beautiful, and was on sale for 30% off this past weekend, with another 15% off if you used your Kohl’s charge. So even though the prices are far higher than I’d expect to pay at Kohl’s, I’ll bet the line will be marked down fairly often. I ended up buying the gold Maryjanes and black ballet flats with the jewel detail, for around $38 each. Not bad, considering they’re very comfy and seem to be of good quality.

  8. says

    Vera’s line was tons better than SJP’s line, but it still left a lot to be desired.  Definitely way too much black.  The black made it hard to see the details, but overall I do think that everything was a bit bland for the price.  Some of the cuts were “fashionable” but not really flattering.  Not everyone can wear a black sack dress without it looking like a garbage bag.

  9. Amy says

    I love you Budget Fashionista, but I have to respectfully disagree. I feel like you’re not doing and “apples to apples” comparison. Bitten is, as you say, a “budget” line, while Simply Vera does not claim to be. As for quality for the price, I own and regularly wear several pieces from the Bitten line, and am pleased with how they’re holding up. In fact, my Bitten jeans are the ONLY jeans I own that hold their shape and can be worn again without washing first. Thus far I am unimpressed with the Vera Wang line and feel her overall attitude toward the project is condescending. Just my two cents, though. That’s what great about fashion, we all get to make a choice!

  10. says

    i totally agree with you!

    i got to attend both Oprah show tapings, and you’re right: While the audience was waaay more excited to see SJP the Actress than they were to see Vera Wang the Designer, when the models came out, everyone was waaay more excited about the Simply Vera clothes than they were about Bitten :)

    oh, i think Oprah will be wearing a Simply Vera coat on the cover of the November issue of O Mag, too.

  11. says

    Oprah may have liked it better, but I checked out Simply Vera this weekend, and for the price it was crap. Chintzy chintzy chintzy. Which is fine, but not with prices inching towards the $150 mark. Really wanted to like this line.

  12. Ling says

    Today I went to local Kohl’s, Simply Vera is 30% on selected items. And stock is low, I was wondering what happened, and now I figured, people saw it on Oprah and went shopping?!

  13. kimber says

    I haven’t been to Kohl’s yet to check out Vera’s line in person, but have seen pictures on the website and Oprah’s coverage of the line.  The stuff is “okay” – if it didn’t have the Vera Wang name associated with it I wouldn’t give it another though especially with the price points it has. 
    I like the Bitten line.  While it is very simple, it is good for basics that are very inexpensive.  Plus, I love the jewelry – tons of great necklaces and bracelets for $6 each.  I just hate that I have to go to the opposite side of the city I live in to shop at S & B’s (plus it isn’t a very nice part of town).  Regardless, I am still excited to see stores and designers branching out and offering more fashion forward stuff for reasonable prices fur us budget & fashion savy gals!

  14. Melissa says

    I’m actually going to have to disagree. I thought I would love the Vera Wang line, but I was not impressed. Although the quality does seem nicer, I do not like a lot of the fabrics. I also don’t like that a lot of the items have cheap looking jewels on them. The short sleeved coat is cute, but I didn’t like the fabric or the way it looked on. The only thing I bought from the Vera line was a long sleeved shirt. Although the SJP line isn’t fashion forward, it does have a lot of nice basics.

  15. says

    I agree with you, too :)

    I live in the UK, so hadn’t actually seen anything from the Bitten line until last week, when I was in the US. It’s unusual for me to leave a store without seeing SOMETHING I want to buy, but while there was nothing to particularly dislike about the SJP line, there was nothing that really grabbed me about it, either.

    The Vera Wang line, on the other hand – oh, that could end up costing me a lot of money!

  16. says

    I totally agree.  A clothing line by a designer is far better than a clothing line by a celebrity. 
    Celebrities wear the fabulous clothing,which are made by designers, not by celebrities.

  17. Maryanne says

    I went to see Bitten this weekend and was quite disappointed.  One way they can make the garments so cheaply is by cutting very small.  Nothing fit.  The Steve & Barry store made the Old Navy next door look like Bergdorfs!

  18. M says

    I love the Simply Vera line, but I agree with the post above, why all the Bitten bashing?  I thought I wouldn’t like Bitten based on reports of its ill quality, but when I went to see it, there were some really cute things.  Plus, I went with a friend who always has a hard time finding clothes due to her size (16 petite) and she found multiple things that were flattering and that fit her without needing alterations.  That rarely happens.  So my opinion of Bitten definitely was raised from that shopping trip.

    They are 2 different lines that serve different purposes , with both being affordable—I think the more choices the better.

  19. TBF says

    If there’s one thing I’ve learned from writing this blog is that people will read what they want to read, not necessarily what is written. There’s a HUGE difference between offering a review of a line versus “bashing” a line. I continue to find it very interesting how we can no longer have a discussion among people with different views, in this country. To criticize (to give a fair, personal view) isn’t the same as bashing (to unfairly criticize something).

    I have a right to my opinion. I totally respect the opinions of others (hence the publishing of comments that do not agree me, most bloggers just edited them out), in fact, I appreciate when we can have a discussion.

    In fact, I’m a frequent steve & barry shopper and many of the pieces in the bitten line aren’t that different from the pieces they sold before. I give the line high marks for price and sizing- but the quality, the display of the clothing, etc isn’t much better than Forever 21 and a little below Old Navy.

  20. says

    Have to agree with the previous post by Laura.  Comparing Simply Vera with Bitten is comparing the proverbial apples and oranges.  It was just an opportunity to bash Bitten once more.

    And no, I don’t work for Steve & Barry’s.

  21. Terese says

    I love both lines! Checked both of them out last weekend – found some fab button-down shirts for work and some great basics from Bitten (wow – the prices!), then headed over to Kohl’s for Simply Vera. The last three coats literally sold in the half hour I was there. Love the brie boots and gray trousers, as well as the coat – I got the last one!

    I thought the quality was surprisingly good, but what do I know? I have a Ralph Lauren black label button-down that seems much lower quality than the Bitten ones I purchased. My two cents. :-)
    P.S. Can’t wait to check out Alice Temperley at Target!

  22. BittenClothing says

    I agree with Laura. Why all the bashing of Bitten. The line is so affordable how can you not like it. It allows you to look cute on a budget. Too bad the Bitten Clothing line is not available online yet. For now you can find some items on this site or on eBay:

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