Yea or Nay: Fashion at Wal-mart

Budget Fashionista content uses affiliate links. We may earn a buck if you click and buy.

A recent Wall Street journal article brought to light the problems Walmart has with its apparel departments. Apparently, no one is buying clothes from their higher-end clothing line Georg, designed by knit wear designer Mark Eisen.

I’ve written many times about fashion at Walmart. (And of course I’ve seen the ‘people of Walmart‘ posts that showcase the, eh-hem, unique style of Walmart shoppers.) Personally, I like some of the clothing at Wal-Mart (Once wore a pair of faded Glory jeans to New York fashion week and received rave reviews from several friends, including one who’s an editor at WWD and one who’s a celebrity stylist). However, the women’s clothing department set-up doesn’t scream, or even whisper,  style.  In fact, it looks a lot like K-Mart, which is the kiss of fashion death.

Yes, you’re shopping at a discount store, but you don’t want to feel like you’re shopping at discount store when you’re trying to develop a high fashion look for less. Plus, the price points of some of the George items are pretty ridiculous for Walmart. $60 bucks for an acrylic sweater coat by a designer few people (even inside the fashion industry) know? Not when I can get a Proenza Schouler pea coat for $49 at Target.  It’s like they hired some out-of-the-loop consultant who had never shopped at a Walmart store to tell them how to be “cool” and totally missed the boat. Isaac Mizrahi was a well known fashion designer BEFORE he designed his line for Target. They should have scooped up Vera Wang before Kohls.

So what’s your take on the fashion available at Walmart? Yea or Nay?

P.S. Let’s keep the focus on style, quality, etc and not on the other issues that plague Walmart. Target has similar issues, but they have a better PR team.

You also might like these:

  • Amy

    Shockingly, I have to say yea—with reservations. There is a brand-new Wal-Mart on my way in to work and I’ve started stopping there early Monday mornings to get my lunches for the week (lean cuisines etc). When I go, the store is empty and very clean and the racks freshly stocked with new merch. I think George and Metro 7 and some Faded Glory are very cute and the quality isn’t that bad. I’m super-picky about my laundry “process” and haven’t had the problem with items falling apart the way others have; I just handle items with care. For weeks I’ve been searching for a plain black knit babydoll top and couldn’t find one anywhere—high, low or in between. I found it there this past monday and it’s EXACTLY what I’ve been searching for. Looked so nice and fit so well, i went back for all the other colors.
    Oh, and lately Target’s quality has NOT impressed me. I only buy shoes and accessories there now as I’ve been burned with ill-fitting clothing from them too many times.

  • Maria

    This discussion makes me laugh because I actually thought of stopping by my local Walmart today while on the way to Target (in my ‘hood, they’re across the street from each other) and then I thought “nah, why bother?”  There was a time (about a year ago) when I was excited about the George line from magazine ads I had seen.  So I dropped in several times, and even bought a few items.  Here’s the problem: 1) Walmart is a mess. Sloppy, unorganized, clothes falling off racks, etc. 2) the George items I bought were so poorly constructed that they fell apart after 2-3 wearings, despite following the care instructions to a T.  After learning from experience, I won’t go back there, sorry.  Give me Target over Walmart any day.

  • Rhonda

    nay! and definitely yuck! I’m so over the dumpy broomstick skirt already and all of those boxy t-shirts. The baggy capris with the stretch waistbands were definitely horrid too this year. They need a new designer.

  • Chciky

    I can’t comment on Wal-Mart’s clothing because I won’t go to my local Wal-Mart anymore.  It is so flithy that it actually smells and your feet tend to stick to the floor.  No matter how nice some of their clothes might be, I can’t even make it past the greeter without being repulsed.  Maybe this is what explains their poor clothing sales: Not the clothes themselves, but the condition of some of their stores.

  • dianavreeland

    I think the big problem here is that people don’t go to Wal-Mart looking for fashionable clothing. Fashionable anything, for that matter. They go there looking for cheap stuff. So they’re not in the mindset to buy fashion when they go in. Plus, the stores’ layout and condition (dirty and dingy, at least compared to Target, usually) also works against it.

  • I am a personal image consultant and am a big fan of the George line at Walmart.  I have quite a few pieces myself.  I end up spending the same amount on the item and alterations.  I find a cheap item that fits great can look like a million bucks.  My favorite pieces that are a black velvet/velour blazer ($25 total:  $10 for jacket and $15 for alterations), a wrap dress ($29.72 total: $19.72 for dress and $10 to have it shortened to perfect “at knee” length), and two wrap tops ($14.92 each).  All of the items can be washed and dried (carefully) and garner all kinds of compliments from some high end shoppers.  I love that I am not spending big bucks for some trendy items that I may or not wear two years from now.  I feel cute and practical.—I do hate having to wade through all the other Walmart clothes, so I mostly just make a beeline for the George dept.

  • Lynne

    Wal-Mart, Target, DOTS, TJMaxx, Goodwill, resale shop—I consider them all “treasure hunt” clothing stores. If you have time, and enjoy picking through lots of stuff, though often crowded and poorly displayed, you can find some cute and useful items. I actually do pick through them from time to time, and my consensus is that George has fewer charming pieces for the price than does Metro7 or a couple of other labels. George appears to use a lot of cheap, hard to care for fabrics. I have exactly one dress from a George collection that was just “one of those finds”—it fit beautifully, inexpensive fabric but really pretty and it happened to drape nicely on me. I’ll say yes to a budget grab any day, but if I need a good bet in a hurry I’ll never choose a discount store.

  • I’ve found a lot of nice pieces from WalMart. My favorite line is George and Metro7. I’ve very impressed with the latter’s designs and prints.

  • Sheila

    i think that it hilarious that everyone thinks that target clothes are quality. I was in a panel for a show and believe it or not most of us picked Wal-Mart and JC Penneys clothes. The Target’ merchandise was crap!!!!!

  • inna

    I am petite, and even though i liked some of their things, even the XS is big on me. So I don’t even bother looking at their clothing, because it would still not fit.

  • blackjade

    I just can’t shop at WalMart, for anything, ever.  I, luckily, live in the SF Bay Area where there are many, many options.  But I don’t shop there at all.

  • Amanda

    I really like the George line at Wal-Mart, but I agree that it’s not marketed well and the in-store presentation is dismal.  However, I have the most adorable navy and white polka dot wrap dress for only $20.  I get more compliments on that dress, easily one of the cheapest in my wardrobe, than most of the rest of my closet. 

    But… on the other hand, while I think there are some other nice pieces in the George line, the only other thing I own is a blouse that did not wash well.

  • michelle b

    I have got something to say about wal-mart….they need new designers or to hook up with some old ones. I like to shop for cheap clothes and will buy expensive ones knowing the quality. Trust me it is not the place its the designers. The juniors clothes are way over designed, like each piece is trying to pick up every trend and the womens just do not fit right. Tone it down and find some real women to fit these clothes or give more fitting options!!!

  • The 6 dollar spaghetti strap tank top.  That’s about it really, when you are looking for fashion at Walmart.  When I buy anything on a hanger at Walmart I do so to refill a disposable section of my wardrobe.  The lines simply are not made well enough and certainly not made with high quality materials…I think thats the point of a 6 dollar tank top or a 10.00 pair af Capris.

  • Christina

    I hate Walmart as a company and usually refuse to shop there on principle.  However, my mom dragged me there one day, and randomly, on a rack, there was this gorgeous red sundress with pink polka dots for only $13—not even marked down.  There was just one, and it happened to be my size.  I had to get it, and I love it.

    Otherwise, I don’t think I would go in there looking to buy clothes.

  • Tina

    I say definitly Nay on fashion at Walmart.
    Walmart clothes never fit me, I have a long torso and to find a shirt that fits, I would have to buy a large which then is way too big around and still not long enough. I love Target and Ross. I always find something at those stores and usually walk out of a Walmart empty handed. Walmart’s quality is terrible. I’ll admit I have found a few things here and there that are nice but like a few comments before me said, they fall apart and lose color after 2 washes.

  • Anna

    Nay!  I never buy clothes at Wal-Mart – I always head for Target.  The clothing section in my local Wal-Mart makes it virtually impossible to find anything and I rarely like the styles available.  I agree – Wal-Mart should try to get a real designer!

  • Meg

    Like Fashiongirl, I’m a Ross shopper.  I’ve been spoiled by the discounts there, even though the atmosphere leaves a lot to be desired.

    Walmart clothes are alright.  Occasionally there are some nice pieces, but mostly they seem very basic and they never seem to fit me right.  They are fairly cheap, but I do feel that I get better quality for just as cheap (or even cheaper) at stores like Ross and TJ Maxxx, or by shopping the sales and clearance racks at higher end stores.

    Now, I might need to start visiting Kmart.  I bought a pair of white Mary Jane ballet flats there for about $20 and have gotten sooooo many compliments on them.  And since them I found a brown, genuine lambskin bag for $17 that is absolutely exquisite! (There’s a picture of it on my blog here along with a picture of a red leather purse I got at TJ Maxxx, but the photo really doesn’t do them justice).

  • meg

    fashion at walmart is very random. for example there has been this really cute sundress in the magazines and it is from walmart, but the likely hood of finding that at your local walmart is slim to none plus sometimes walmart can seem so depressing give me target any day of the week

  • Melissa

    I got a buttery soft suede zip-front jacket that originally was marked at $70.00 for $13.00 at our WalMart. It just “materialized” in the sale rack one day—probably either an online return or came from another store.  There were no others.  It had a teeny-tiny barely noticeable little smudge on one sleeve, certainly something that I might expect after one wearing by me.  I lucked out that day.  I like the George line and have a cute empire waist navy chiffon dress with white polka dots that I think is great.  Some things are crap and some things are great…you just have to keep your eyeballs peeled.

  • anna

    some stuff like jeans are ok… the accessories like jewelry are good too… everything else looks cool… not very good quality

  • cathy

    I have tried and tried to shop for clothing at WalMart, but it just doesn’t do it for me. The dressing rooms feel sleezy, the clothing racks are all shoved together and the check out lines are always so busy! So I have to say nay. I am sticking with Ross, Target and the Goodwill.

  • Dawn

    I think the biggest problem with WalMart is not even the “marketing” of the product (which is terrible)…it is rather that more often than not the quality and the fit of the clothes is so poor.  Seams/hem’s and color’s do not survive washing and more than a couple of wears.  I don’t have the same issue with Target clothing which just seems better made and even though I occasionally find some very cute and affordable pieces at WalMart I have stopped wanting to purchase their product based on my past experiences.

  • I struggle with shopping for clothes at Wal-Mart because I don’t like digging so hard to find the cute stuff; re-merchandise and stop selling sweaters with cats on them.  The racks in the plus size department are also too close together.  I’m plus size.  Give me some room to manuever.

  • lisa

    i think that budget babe makes a good point. walmart just isn’t the place to buy fashionable clothing. i think they should get rid of the adult clothing all together (with the exception of camping gear) and focus on what they do best- which is discounting everything else one might need. no one wants to buy clothes from a place that looks like a dirty warehouse. they will never spend the money to imrove the store’s looks and pr- because then they could not sell at the low price points. they should leave the fashion to places like target, who seem to know what they are doing and have a better reputation for selling clothes. i think it helps that even very wealthy people shop at target and will buy clothes from the designer lines- but you will never see a rich woman buying clothing at a walmart.

  • Lisa

    I’m gonna have to say Nay.  I mean..I’ll buy t-shirts and stuff like that. But to actually buy something of style in Wal-Mart of all places.  I’m a bargain shopper, but I draw the line at Wal-Mart.

  • Sandy J

    You hit it right on!  I look and see some cute,trendy items (that I wouldn’t be willing to spend a lot on somewhere else) BUT then I get discouraged by having to delve into the “racks”.  But a few items I gave a try from Wal-mart were:  the chunky-knit cape; the patent evening bag;  white accessories;  etc…  Remember fashion is how YOU wear it!  Have fun shopping!

  • My main concern is quality.  Yes, shopping there is not ideal, but neither is shopping at most Ross stores… but I will go there if I can find quality stuff at a lower price.  I have gone to Walmart to specifically look at George tops that I have read about online or in mags only to be dissappointed in the quality. 

    Yesterday at Ross, I found some $110 Oh Deer pumps for $12.99 and a pair of $90 BCBGirls pumps for $11.99!!  Yes, the store was dirty and is not my favorite place to shop, but bargains on quality brands make me go there!

  • B.

    When I saw the Walmart ads for the George line, they looked cute on the model.  But any time I went into the store, they looked cheap and flimsy on the hanger.  I’m not even remotely interested in trying on Walmart’s clothes.  I don’t think Target clothes look so cheap.    I just bought a fab jersey dress by Isaac Mizrahi.  I couldn’t believe it fit so well and looked so cute on.

  • Jeneee

    I think it’s great that you wore Wal-Mart jeans to Fashion Week!
    I agree that Wal-Mart display/marketing needs some serious help. The clothing department in my town normally looks like it has been ravaged by wild animals. Most often the items I would consider buying are buried between racks of clothing of lesser quality.
    I have purchased a few items from the George line as impulse purchases while shopping for groceries. I have been pretty pleased with the items considering how cheap they were.

  • martha

    NAY, personally I don’t like it. And big part of this is because of the way it is displayed. The whole store doesn’t feels like fashion. If you dig tough, you can find something worthy and mix n match it at home to bring up a faboulous outfit. But then again, who will buy a “what’s his name” $60 coat when you can get a Proenza Schouler for about the same at Target??

  • i still can’t bring myself to buy clothing at a store with “Mart” in the name. for that matter, i also can’t get past the fact that they sell guns a few departments past the clothes. however, i’m not necessarily opposed to buying their stuff online…i wonder how much of their sales are brought in that way.

  • eeeeeeeeeee

    walmart has some great clothes! some is crap, but i like there graphic tees (the little miss tees12.99, insted of 40.00) and i got some very comfy (better than school brand) shorts for 9.95!

  • christal

    I don’t even know if thats the majority of the problem.  At the store where I live they have nice clothes and yes some of the prices are less than desireable for a Wal-Mart.  But the its either the expensive, cute pieces or the cheap looking and costing pieces.  There is no median at all.