liberty for all

i got a chance to check out the liberty for target collection yesterday, and although most things were cute, i found myself throwing stuff in my basket purely because of the hype. i think i might have gotten my hopes up a little too much for this designer collaboration, or maybe i'm missing something.

first, i found the women's clothing collection to be a little too loud, and the polyester just wasn't cutting it for me. now i don't claim to be a liberty expert (only learning what that term meant maybe a year ago), but i always assume it means beautiful, delicate florals. these fabrics, although they could be classic liberty prints, turned me off paired with the styles of dresses. honestly, i haven't seen a maxi dress that i've wanted to buy, guh, even saying "maxi" makes me gag, but i thought maybe liberty would change my mind. they didn't.

the men's collection was good though, much more classic than the women's. i even picked up a shirt for me, and a tie for doug. although the print is wonderful, i'm still a little unsure about the shirt itself. i usually love the casual feel of wearing a button-down, but for how soft the fabric is, the shirt still feels a little stiff and boxy which to me isn't very feminine. perhaps washing it will help that - we'll see.

i was lucky enough to find the very last wallet in the store - the one thing i had decided to get if i could find one. but again, i'm not sure i'm going to keep it. i LOVE that it's oilcloth. my wallets get so beat up, and oilcloth sounds like a great bet for durability and staying clean. but the hardware is a bit clunky and loose, and the magnets used to close it aren't that strong. if you're like me, your wallet is almost a mini-purse, and with this wallet, once you get all your crap into it, it won't stay closed! what's the purpose of including a coin pocket when even ten pennies make it pop open?

i hesitated saying anything about my reaction to this collection because if everyone else loves it, great! my life definitely doesn't depend on buying more stuff from target, and target's sales don't depend on me liking everything. but for a company like liberty that seems to pride itself on quality and exclusivity, i'm surprised that they didn't just stick to a couple items that were simple and well made for the price. since i'm a borderline miser, i'll always be thrilled that target keeps collaborating with designers that not everyone can afford and i wouldn't buy otherwise. i just never feel good being duped into buying something just because a designer's name is slapped on it, whether it's $200 or $20.

edit: since writing this, i caught up on chelsea and ellenitza's blogs, and they had also said the same sort of thing about liberty for target. they both had some great ideas of other things to check out from the line and elsewhere in the store.


  1. I agree 100%. I was all excited, and just got disappointed instead. I was really hoping they'd have some chic dresses and flats in pretty florals. That did not happen.

  2. whenever there's a lot of talk about something, i usually get my hopes up way too high. it could totally be my fault on this one. like, if i would have stumbled on it in the store, maybe i'd be pumped thinking i had found a treasure.

    which is probably why i hate buying expensive stuff too. i expect a ton from it since the price and people build it up.

  3. i avoid these target collaborations because i already see so many girls wearing the same damn thing, i wouldn't want to join in on that..

  4. I agree, too! Such busy loud designs should be partnered with simpler, softer shapes and fabrics. The clothes just felt very clownish. Even the housewares were disappointing. Oh well...

  5. I'm on the same page. I bought a few things, but overall I would've been more pleased if everything wasn't made of polyester.

    The umbrella, however, is as awesome as can be.

  6. I've read your blog for awhile, but just had to comment on this post. I, too, was so excited when I heard about this collaboration - it was even written on my calendar so I couldn't forget! But I'm also disappointed...I was at least hoping to find something cotton/irresistable that I could repurpose, but no such luck.

    I guess 'you get what you pay for'.

  7. again, i agree with what you and everyone else has said. too much hype and not enough loveliness. oh well.

  8. i didn't see the umbrella and i wish our store had it!

    i'm glad to know i wasn't the only one let down, even though as the saying goes, beggars can't be choosers.

    but i don't really think that just because it's inexpensive/mass produced that it should be avoided or that disappointment should be expected. i know that there's a risk any time you buy something affordable that it's going to be cheap, but i believe it just takes a little extra effort and patience to find things that can be easier on the wallet, but not crap.

    and for a company as established and large as Liberty, i expected more attention to detail (which it sounds like everyone here does too). i have no idea who's to blame even - maybe they got a lot of pressure from target or things just got out of control. who knows.

    even though i saw other people before me buying them, i'd suggest checking out the men's shirts though. i'd bet you could do some pretty rad alterations to make them more feminine too if that's your thang.

  9. I actually liked a lot of it, but I have a weakness for lots of color, especially in housewares. And I thought the stationary was pretty. But I was pretty disappointed in the clothes. The dresses just weren't made for someone with curves! :-) But I'll have to go back and check out the men's stuff since I didn't see it last time.

  10. oh...i love your post.
    i really only liked the men's ties and shirts (but, disliked the stiffness of the fabric)...
    I ended up buying just one thing from the collection...a darling bikini for my 9-year old daughter...I can watch her swim in the river this summer and get my Liberty fix that way :)
    I, too, love when Target collaborates w/ awesome designers...but sometimes think the quality lacks ~

  11. i was pretty unimpressed with the women's clothing, too. surprisingly though, i found one of the bathing suits to be a nice price + fit. the fact that it had a pretty Liberty print is just a bonus! i hadn't thought to try a men's shirt on. thanks for the idea! it looks cute on you.

  12. yeah, same here. i went through the store looking, hoping that there might be something i'd really want. but nothing. except the men's boxers. my boyfriend got three and ended up giving me one of his. hahaha. i wear them for bed. :) i liked that wallet (the print is my favorite) but decided i didn't want it that much after really looking at it. ah, well. it was fun to browse through the store. :)

  13. i'm so with you on the "maxi" (blech) dresses. don't think i'll ever get into them. it's funny... i breezed right past all the clothes... and headed straight for the housewares. i bought some lovely (and solid) stonewear mugs and canisters... the piggy bank... and some of the media/storage boxes. they are very well made. oh, and the little girls dresses looked super cute... but alas, i have 2 sons!

  14. I agree with you, but I will admit I bought a couple items (peacock notepad & mugs). Even though the mugs didn't speak to me, I felt like I HAD to buy it bc it's limited edition. I regret not buying more last year when Orla Kiely had her collection w/ Target. It's this fear of regret that made me buy it. :P

    & did you see the JPG collaboration? The fabric was horrendous.

  15. i am so happy to see your post on liverty. like everyone else, i rushed off to target expecting lots of cotton only to see the poly. i did get pretty excited to get a really fun 3 ring binder and some very nice note cards. i loved the men's multi print cotton shirt but it was gone...but the best was a really large pretty cotton print scarf (one print not the three) which i bought for the fabric to make into something else...it's rather thin, but I can make something good because it's so much fabric for $12.99!

  16. It seems like we're all in agreement here. I was cautiously optimistic about the collaboration but figured if it was on par with most of the other Target collabs it would have a lot of misses mixed in with the few hits. Why on earth they thought polyester and 60s type prints would be a good choice for a company known for its quality cottons and classic prints, I don't know.

    I ended up exchanging a black and white floral shirtdress/
    beach cover-up for a man's shirt in the light blue/dark blue combo. I'm on the fence about the fit like you, Ellybeth. I think the stiffness is mostly in the collar (be sure to take out the collar stays, it helps) because men's dress shirts need to look neat when worn with a tie. I bought a small photo frame (they were well-made and only $4--I should have bought a few more) and a pair of the car print boxers to wear to sleep in. I also got a black and white floral print scarf with tassels around the edge. I was thinking of just wearing it but maybe I can use it for yardage on a project. I guess it's good that I wasn't in love with a lot of the items, or my bank account would be in even worse condition!

  17. haha, couldn't agree more about the 'maxi' dress. In fact, I'm kind of glad someone else has a problem with even just the name. And I'm glad you did this post! It's true of so many brands.

  18. i am from canada, and was near the border this week and went to target to get my fix. i don't get many chances to see these new collections, so i think my excitement got the better of me.
    i was impressed by the patterns and colours, especially with the housewares and stationary. also, the pricing.

    it is easy to get your hopes up with this kind of stuff, and you just have to pick and choose what you feel is worth it, i guess. i work in fashion where things are mass produced and made overseas. sometimes you get great quality for the price, and sometimes you just don't get what you expect.
    i suspect the poly stuff was the safe route for them to take, but doesn't really seem up liberty's alley.

  19. Dont usually post but am a reader. I didn't even bother with this collection, or most Target collaborations actually. I honestly think that it's possible to do an inexpensive quality line. But sometimes I really wonder, did they test this out? You know how other products usually get tested by the public before it goes on the shelves? I've done some product testing and some online surveys so it exists. Do they do that for housewares and accessories and clothes? Do they have someone examine it before it gets mass produced? What frustrates me is that when they put out stuff that no one wants, we've just contributed to the land fills and waste. Polyester, as far as I know, is not recyclable! And, if I remember correctly, comes from fossil fuel (which we have limited quantities of on this planet and requires expensive drilling to obtain). It's just an enormous disappointment.

    And, yes, I expected more from Liberty too. But as soon as I saw the items during their promotional period, I knew not to bother with it.

    I have seen some successful collaborations though. And own a couple pieces from such collaborations. But, for now, if I want my designer goods, I wait for them to show up at my thrift store or discount designer store.

    Last but not least, although I much prefer natural fibers over polyester, I have seen and felt high quality polyester. It's possible to have good poly fabric. So, Target, up the standards please!

  20. i was sadly disappointed too. the patterns were somewhat recognizable as liberty but the quality was way off. i ended up buying two things but returned one when i came to my senses. i would much rather spend $70 on the real thing.

  21. I guess I was little bit disappointed too, but perhaps this is mostly due to unrealistic expectations? Yes I expect quality from Liberty, but can I really expect quality in a $12 (toddler) dress? And I'm actually okay with the quality being a little bit on the low side since the price is cheap but, as you mentioned, I just didn't love the style/print combinations. Of course, I did buy a floral print piggy bank. Why? I have no idea! But I still kinda love it 3 days later in a "it makes me laugh that I bought this" way so... score!

  22. totally agree...i was super sad about all the poly....
    i bought one thin thin cotton shirt dress that target labeled as a bathing suit cover-up, but i'm going to wear over jeans. tbe men's shirt was a great idea...maybe it will soften up?... loved a dress in the toddler section that i totally would have bought if it fit me :)
    love your blog and creations, by the way...adding you to my blog list now
    all the best michelle

  23. I was pretty disappointed in the women's offerings as well. As a longtime compulsive hoarder of their fabric, which is so well known for its quality, it was a huge bummer that they dropped the ball so badly.

    I did find the little girls clothes a little more promising though! For the smaller ladies out there (heck, the little girls XL fit me and I normally wear a women's S or M), this was a small consolation. I picked one up and am so glad I did.

    Shame the toddler stuff wasn't sized for adults, they had a little romper I would have snapped up in a heartbeat!