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Target + Neiman Marcus Holiday Collection Review

Updated 12/20 the entire collection is now 50% off. Shop the sale here

Updated 12/5 with pictures of the Girls' Marchesa Beaded Dress.

I have been eagerly awaiting the debut of the Target and Neiman Marcus holiday collaboration since late summer. It boasts some 50 designs by 24 CFDA award-winners. It's the lovechild of high street and high fashion and with such an eclectic array of designers involved, it would be unsurprising for this collaboration to become the event-of-the-year.

When pictures of the collection surfaced earlier this fall, I felt slightly underwhelmed by the selection. In my opinion, there were too few "signature" pieces and I was personally not drawn to
Altuzarra glasses or Oscar de la Renta pet supplies. I am sure for some people this collection was an amazing (perhaps even a historical) event but I had only one item that I was eager to line up for.

My love for Marchesa designs knows no bounds so I was ecstatic to learn that the designers of Marchesa decided to recreate two of their bestsellers for the holiday collection. Only for children, unfortunately. However, unlike the Jason Wu dresses for toddlers (buy
here and here), the Marchesa dresses are made for girls and I was hoping that the largest size would also fit me, who on occasion can squeeze into children's clothing.
Credit: Coolspotters
My Friend S who lives steps away from a Target kindly dropped by her local store on the morning of the launch to spy for me - she commented that the Marchesa girl's dresses look remarkably small on the hanger in even the large (the dresses were offered in four sizes - extra small, small, medium, and large).

She was right. When I saw the dress for myself, it did not look large enough to accommodate those who normally toe the line between adult and children sizes. I was only able to find a medium at my local store so I took pictures of the beautiful beading but did not attempt to try it on.
I ordered the size large online and will share my thoughts when it arrives.
Marchesa Hand-Beaded Dress (buy at Neiman Marcus or Target)
I received the Marchesa beaded dress in the mail after only three days - while the dress in size large fit, the proportions are unflattering on me. The sideview is especially dowdy. If the beaded portion extended further south this would've been a keeper, for sure. Unfortunately, I can't justify keeping the dress when it looks this unattractive on me.
Perhaps as a result of the disastrous precedent set by the Missoni and Jason Wu Target collaborations, this time around there was plenty of inventory available (I overheard store associates estimate ten times as much stock for the initial shipment). I had planned on staying up for the online launch but a full workday exhausted me so I passed out while watching TV on the eve of the launch. I awoke the next day in a frenzy (in retrospect it seemed a little silly) and was surprised to find that everything I had wanted was still available in my size. I happily checked out and went back to sleep.

I decided to swing by a local store to see if I could try on a few items. I grabbed six items from the rack and tried on five for fun (also snapped pictures of the
Marchesa beaded dress). I also thought the Tracy Reese sequined blouse looked interesting but the fit seemed boxy and wide so I didn't try it on.

The
Oscar de la Renta Floral Canvas Bag and Tory Burch lunch box were supposedly two of the bestsellers so I wasn't surprised that they disappeared from store shelves. They are both still available online for those of you who want to take a chance.

The
Robert Rodriguez Fit-and-Flare dress (I also saw the RR ruffled top in person but was unimpressed), which I had ordered online, proved slightly too big for me in size 2. I think relative to mall brands you will have to take one size larger than usual (the smallest size available is US2 - I would say this fits like a size 0).

The
Lela Rose lace top was also one of the items I ordered online but it wasn't very flattering on me. I think the length is awkwardly long on a shorter person and the price seems high for the workmanship ($69.99!). The fit is true to size for the collection.
Left: Robert Rodriguez Fit-and-Flare Lace Dress (buy at Neiman Marcus or Target)
Right: Lela Rose Guipure Lace Top (buy at Neiman Marcus or Target)
I had mistakenly grabbed the wrong size for the Thom Browne women's blazer so the fit was off on me. The material (100% wool) and cut seemed decent for Target but for $129.99 I didn't bother looking for the right size.
Thom Browne Women's Blazer (buy at Neiman Marcus or Target); men's version available at Neiman Marcus and Target
I also tried on the Marchesa petal-skirt dress in large, which fits like a 00P from Banana Republic  but with a shorter torso. I think the armholes may pose an issue for adult women. The dress is rather pretty in person but I have no occasion for it. At $79.99 I think I can find better party dresses for that price.

Lastly, I tried on the
Lela Rose Watercolor High-Low dress in size 2. This dress is very pretty in person but is made for women who are on the taller end of average height. The belt, which is meant to sit on one's normal waist, sat on my hip bone.
Left: Marchesa Floral Dress (buy at Neiman Marcus or Target)
Right: Lela Rose Watercolor High-Low Dress (Buy at Neiman Marcus or Target)
I placed my order with Target even though Neiman Marcus is offering free shipping and free returns on all orders. I like the ease of being able to return the merchandise in-person (the nearest Neiman Marcus is still pretty far away).  My order shipped merely hours after I placed it so I must applaud Target for its swiftness.

Did you buy into the Target + Neiman Marcus collaboration hype? If you've seen the collection in person or tried on some of the garments, please share your thoughts in the comments.

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