The Recessionista Reviews Prabal Gurung for Target

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Prabal Gurung for Target Highlights

Prabal Gurung for Target Highlights

I wanted to love this collection, but sadly, I can not. Prabal Gurung for Target is not a lower priced version of the designer’s clothes that Mrs. Obama wears.  It’s not the same type of designs that you see on sale by Prabal Gurung at Saks Fifth Avenue. The Prabal Gurung for Target collection is a strange perversion of the designer’s upscale line. The fit is poor and the prints are fugly. In short this is a hot, overpriced mess.  I was disappointed in this collection after inspecting it in person at a Target store.   I wanted to love this one, because I like Prabal Gurung.  But this is just not something I can embrace.  For the quality and the price, it’s simply not worth the money.  The  “First Date” print on the sweatshirts,  dresses and tops is just way too loud for my tastes (see above right side of collage.)  The print is overpowering, you don’t wear it , it wears you.

The dresses are not as pictured in the ads.  The ruffle sulphur dress ( excuse me, it’s more pee yellow) has serge stitching all over the ruffles and is a flimsy polyester.   For $39.99, there are more attractive dresses that you can buy with better fabric and construction.   My teenage niece (who weighs a mere 92 lbs) was originally excited to try on the Full Skirt -Apple Red dress, but didn’t like it once she had it on.  She thought the synthetic fabric looked cheap and that it made her look two sizes bigger that she is.  I had the same problem with the dress.  It’s just not flattering because the skirt is so wide that is adds too much weight to your figure.  I like the design of the back of the dress with the black panels on the red (see above picture on left) , but it’s not enough to make this a must buy,  especially for the price of $49.99/ $50.00 US.

The black and white “Meet the Parents” print on various tops and prints in the collection just looks dowdy and non descript   There’s nothing special about it.  That might be ok if you were buying something from Old Navy, but this is supposed to be Prabal Gurung! With a designer name like that on the label, even if it is for Target, consumers expect a bit more.

Prabal Gurung for Target shoes & bags

Prabal Gurung for Target shoes & bags

To me, the best looking pieces in the collection are the shoes.  The heels are quite good looking.  I particularly like the  wedge sandals with the zipper up the back.   Those look much less expensive than their $29.99 price tag.   The pointed toe flats and pumps with the colorful stripes are also good looking for inexpensive trendy shoes.  The jewelry is a mixed bag.  The flower necklaces and earrings are cute, the crystal teardrop pendants, necklaces and earrings are not ” must haves”  in my opinion.  The clutch handbags are cute and have straps you can put on to carry them on your shoulder.   My favorite was the black lace covered clutch, but it’s hardly a bargain at $35.00.  Also, I don’t know if it’s a wise purchase, as one Target reviewer noted, it smells of a strong ”  formaldehyde odor.”  Who wants that?    As for the other bags,  I didn’t care for the Nolita print  tote or clutch.  They are not good looking.

I wish I could be more positive about this collection because Prabal Gurung is a very talented designer.  I don’t think this collection is representative of his work and I think there are better quality fashions available at other retailers.   I’m so glad I didn’t leave New York Fashion Week and go shopping at Target on Sunday morning!   For me, this is a pass.   What do you think readers? Were you loving this one, or leaving it on the racks?  Right now there are 3,114 listing on eBay for Prabal Gurung for Target items.   I don’t see many bids on them. I predict returns to the store, then perhaps a sale.  Perhaps there’s a message here for Target if they want to listen: do fewer designer collections, and improve the quality of the ones that you do market.

PS: My fellow blogger Target Addict gave this collection a lukewarm review as well.  I agree with her that the Prabal Gurung for Target evening bag from the Holiday collection was cuter and a better value at the clearance price of $14.99.


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. Heather

    February 15, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    Another great read! I agree with you. The only things I like were the white floral dress (that was sold out in my size) and the heels. The multi-colored stripey pumps were amazingly comfortable when I walked around. I was rather shocked. BUT I’m gonna wait til they go on sale. The collection was definitely overpriced.

  2. chapstick addict

    February 16, 2013 at 2:34 am

    Mostly agree. Cheaply constructed, and it shows. Overpriced, for sure. The use of synthetic materials is unfortunate, as is the off-gassing/stench the shoes & bags give off. I’m very disappointed. I, too, wanted so badly to love it, but it’s just not possible. Perhaps it is for girls who have only ever shopped Forever21, but I know better, and this collection is, as you have so eloquently put it, “a hot mess.” How unfortunate that there are so many suckers out there – apparently myself included – who fell for the hype. Never again. (Until next time…)

  3. JessicaKarenina

    February 16, 2013 at 6:01 am

    I bought the red apple dress with the black panels online. I’m bummed out now! Hopefully the blue ruffle shirt will look better. Thanks for the review!!

    • Mary Hall

      February 16, 2013 at 4:57 pm

      Hi Jessica, hopefully, it works for you. It might look different on a taller girl. My niece & I both short, so it didn’t work for us.

  4. Sheryl Blasnik

    February 17, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    My complete order arrived in 2 packages on Friday. On Saturday I returned everything except for the Black & White dress which I ordered one size smaller so might return as well.

    If anyone can find the black and white wedges in Size 5.5 I would love to get those. Please let me know if you spot those at a store near you. I did like the shoes best.

    Fashion Development Group

  5. Lisa

    February 17, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    One other thing that confused me, and based on your photos seems to be an issue in other stores besides mine, is that all of the clothes were so wrinkled. Even on the hanger, I thought everything just looked so … frumpy.

    I didn’t like any of the clothes, handbags, or jewelry, but I LOVE the Nolita Flats. They look really great!

  6. GP

    February 19, 2013 at 8:53 am

    I have to respectfully disagree with your review. I think it does depend on the person – some people can carry off the prints, some can’t. I love love the floral crush dress and have already worn it (to a garden), I think the Meet the Parents (black white floral print) skirt is adorable and would work on many women. And I even like the colorful Nolita and First Date prints – 1st Date is like a work of art! and Nolita is so cheery. Quality wise, it could have been better, but Target tried using better materials for the Neiman Marcus x Target collection and they had to price things way too high for the average Target consumer. I do agree on the shoes and the accessories though, they are nice. Basically, this collab might not have worked for you or your niece, but that doesn’t mean it’s a hot mess or that all the prints are fugly.

  7. GP

    February 19, 2013 at 8:55 am

    Also there are a variety of cuts for a variety of people, certain things probably work really well on some, other things on others. To be fair, I do think the red dress your niece wore is not flattering on most people. But you should try on other things in the line, you might find something you like. Personally I love the floral dress (as already mentioned), the black white floral skirt, and the coral/ blue dress. But there’s a lot of choices!

  8. Sandra

    February 19, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    Couldn’t agree more! All were cheaply made! I went to 5 Targets here in San Antonio TX and all the racks are full!
    So I went to Saks 5th off at the San Marcos Premium Outlets and spent $180 in 2 beautifully made silk dresses, one by Geren Ford, the other by (that’s right you guessed it!) Prabal Gurung! (The real deal…)