The Recessionista Reviews Rodarte for Target

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Pictured: Rodarte for Target at my local store. Many items are already sold out online.

I’ve heard from many readers this am that is was just too cold and dreary to venture out in winter storms to buy Rodarte at their local Target store. I think this is why many of the items are already sold out online. Target did a good job creating buzz for this collection and many frugal fashionista were chomping at the bit to get the pieces. It will be interesting to see if the sold-out items are returned to Target after customers receive their items and actually get to try them on and access the fit. Here in California, there is plenty of Rodarte still in stock, so don’t despair if you didn’t get yours. I think there is some in stock at stores around the country judging by the emails I am receiving. So, here is what I thought of the collection, the good, the bad and the ugly.

My overall impression of the collection is that there are some cute, very romantic looking pieces here. There is also a lot of reproduction of vintage lingerie pieces from 1930s lingerie collections. The camisoles and the tulle dresses are reminders of earlier looks. These items are sized small and in my opinion will best fit tweens and young girls The fit in the bust and shoulders is very small. This is also true of all the dresses in the collection. Although the sizing is larger than the Anna Sui collection and the lengths are longer than mini, things are still not in proportion to the average women’s size. This is truly junior sized, which is sad as I always see women who are clearly not juniors (including myself) looking for a fashion bargain. Unlike Jimmy Choo for H&M, this collection features thin fabrics and styles best suited to teens and tweens, rather than adults. I was at two Target stores today with shoppers, and most of them were disappointed by the sizing of the tulle dresses and the animal print dresses. Like many styles from the 1920s, the fit will look best on ladies with small busts and small hips who are not too curvy and can carry off the look of one straight line. This is particularly true of the leopard print dress modeled by Dakota Fanning in various fashion magazines. (Fabric on the leopard dress is also very, very stiff. It doesn’t exactly move well with the wearer.)

Pictured: The vintage lingerie look camisoles next to the lacy cardigan. I liked the lacy cardigan, its a nice holiday piece for the price.

The Givenchy inspired black lace dress worn by Jean Seberg in Bonjour Tristesse also falls short in my opinion. It is in black as well as a Liberty of London type floral print, which I think is a rather ill fitting to the style of the dress. In my opinion, you can’t replicate a classic Givenchy couture dress with synthetic materials and cheap tailoring. It just doesn’t work.

Pictured: The Rodarte for Target halter dresses in floral and black lace.

Pictured: The faux fur jacket, good on Jeremiah Johnson maybe, too wooly for my tastes.

In person, I was also disappointed in the floral rain jacket. The print was lovely, but the nylon material was very thin and flimsy. It was also a boxy cut. The matching nylon tote is miniature sized and won’t carry much. You get what you pay for here.

However, there are several pieces in this collection that I do like for the design and the price point. My top picks are the lacy style cardigan, the lace print t-shirt with bow, the scoop lace tee and the mesh bow top. Here are the pictures of those.

Pictured: This mesh top with bow ties at the front and sleeves is very cute for $24.99. I bought it in navy and paired it with a black camisole from my closet. It also comes in Orchid/Hot Pink.

Pictured: For $14.99, I like this faux lace print tee with detachable bow.
Pictured: This faux lace floral top is cuter than it looks. Its completely sheer, so I paired it with my own camisole for a less peek-a-boo look. It retails for $16.99.

Bottom line, as with all budget collections there are plenty of hits and misses in Rodarte for Target. I left my local Target vowing to sign up for the Rodarte sample sales in Los Angeles. I love Rodarte designs, but the execution of them for Target just wasn’t all that. There are many better made designer garments at Loehmann’s, Marshall’s and the online designer shopping cubs that are not designer budget lines for the price point. When you go to Target today, or look at the over 200 Rodarte for Target listings on eBay, step back and separate the hype from the actual quality of the pieces.

Update, Jan. 5th. I returned both the mesh navy tops (bow tie and floral) pictured above to Target. While getting ready to wear them to holiday events, I found them rather itchy and uncomfortable. To top it off, my 9 year old niece asked why I would want to wear a see through top so that people could see my underwear. I decided she had a good point! I returned both items and will content myself with my Rodarte White Shirts from the Gap purchased a few years ago. Although I thought both tops were pretty, I just didn’t find they were wearable, at least for me. Especially in the winter months. Give me some fabric or some cashmere at least 🙂


Since 2008, Mary Hall has been the author of The Recessionista Blog, which is read by thousands of regular readers in over 160 countries. An internationally recognized expert on the art of the living the good life for less, she has been a commentator on local, national, and international radio and TV shows. Her advice has been featured in over 2,000 media outlets, including The New York Times, Reuters, Life & Style magazine, ABC News, NBC News and now The Huffington Post, among many others.


  1. Target-Addict

    December 20, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    Thanks for the review! I probably won't even both reviewing the line on my blog, as it's that underwhelming to me, based on your opinions plus what I read on RackedLA. I did buy the long cardigan w/ attached scarf online today; we'll see what it looks like in person.

  2. Jessica

    December 21, 2009 at 2:24 am

    I also picked up the lace tee today. I think it's unexpected and romantic and I'm eager to throw it into the wardrobe mix. That said, the other pieces I tried on were lackluster – especially that halter dress. I was so excited to try it, but the waist was too high on me and the skirt was too poufy – I felt like a gothic ballerina!

  3. fashionforwriters

    December 21, 2009 at 2:55 am

    Thank you for this review! All of the blog reviews I had read thus far were very fawning, almost disturbingly so & it's so incredibly clear that Target's marketing is working overtime create a fever pitch for this collaboration. I love the Rodarte sisters (like everyone else,) and some of the items look like they have good potential to be exciting and whimsical, but I have the same reservations as you. Thank you again for this thoughtful review!

    xo Jenny

  4. MH

    December 21, 2009 at 4:37 am

    Hi Jessica, I totally agree on the halter dress. I thought maybe it was me, but it hit in all the WRONG places. The waist was too high on many of the dresses. And gothic ballerina is a good word for it.

    Fashionforwriters, you nailed it, Target marketing & PR went to the wall to pump this up, but the quality is not there, and ultimately consumers will see through the hype.

    Target-Addict, let me know what you think when you see the pieces. I hope you feel better.

  5. The Owl's Closet

    December 21, 2009 at 8:09 am

    great review! i wrote a short review on my blog, as well. i was disappointed with the quality of the rain coat and the tulle/slip dress, too. they definitely looked much better in the pictures. i loved the lace cardi but can't seem to find it in nude at my local target. it's also sold out online!:(

  6. MH

    December 21, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    Owl's Closet, love your review and the fact that the Target employees thought the collection was meant for the lingerie department! LOL!

  7. Anonymous

    December 21, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    The local Targets around here (Northern CA) have lots of pieces left. Overflowing at that.

    I'm starting to think “real” is the way to go. The lower-priced collections are great for budgets but the sizing kicks some into low self-esteem mode. One of the few times a big chest is a negative.

  8. Sher

    December 23, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    I came here via Target-Addict's blog. And I'm going to leave the same comment….

    As soon as I'd seen Tavi wearing that leopard dress, I thought there is no way that will be cut to fit me.

    Then in Tavi's video the two designers are beautiful curvy women and they are not even wearing their own clothes. So many times we see designers in jeans & t shirt, or jeans and sweatshirt and not even wearing what they design. hmmm gets one thinking….an impractical line?

  9. MH

    December 24, 2009 at 7:21 am

    Sher, I had the same reaction on Tavi modeling Rodarte. Also, it was very “Pretty Baby” by Louis Malle to see her in some of those dresses. It's wierd when a tween (Gavi) has the perfect fit for the cut of allegedly “women's clothes.” From what most readers say , the cut doesn't work for them. Ironic that the designers themselves may not be able to wear it!
    Shame, their Gap white shirt line was so great.