Target’s Go Dress Collection Review: It’s a “No Go”

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Today Target’s re-released collection of 34 dresses from their past 5 years of Go Collections by various designers arrived at Target stores in the United States.  At my local Target , there were plenty of the dresses still sitting on the racks when I arrived this morning.  Granted it was only 11:00 am, but I think the days of absolute consumer excitement and sheer “gotta have it” are over when it comes to clothing from Target.  There were few shoppers looking at the designer merchandise.  Most of the customers were in the grocery section of the store, or the electronics section.

Pictured: Aisles of Go dresses at my local Target.

Although I was originally excited to see all the restocked dresses in store, my excitement quickly faded upon examining the goods. The Behnaz Sarafpour dress with the Lacy tiers is too short, and the polyester lace replica layers don’t lay flat.  The zippers in the Zac Posen dresses still don’t zip up properly.  The Alice Temperley dresses have bulky waist ties and are too thigh high to partner well with their high collars and ruffles. Per usual, everything is sized small.  Note all the comments on about “sizing up.”  I found myself wondering why Target re-issued these with the exact same design flaws that customers left comments about on years ago?  It seems there was a chance here to make these better than their predecessors, and that chance was simply ignored.   To me, the best dress in the collection, for the price, is the Paul & Joe black spaghetti strap sundress.   That dress is $24.99.  However, the skirt is very thin, only the bust is double layered, leaving the skirt completely see through when you step into the light.  I didn’t buy it for that reason. The Jovovich -Hawk dresses are cute, but I’m not interested in buying those again.

When Target first bought the Go Collection to market in 2006, there weren’t many competitors producing budget fashion by designers.  Only H&M had truly ventured into that space with their 2004 collaboration with Karl Lagerfeld.  But times have changed. In 2011, budget designer collaborations are everywhere.  Rory Beca is at Forever21. Macy’s has launched Impulse and signed Kinder Aggugini, Matthew Williamson and Karl Lagerfeld to make clothes for the line. Norma Kamali is at Walmart.  New Look has GOLD by Giles Deacon. The amazing Vera Wang is at Kohl’s. JC Penney has Nicole Miller. Jodi Arnold was at The Limited.  Many designers are on eBay, with more coming.  Designer sample sale sites like Gilt, Ideeli, Rue La La, Haute Look, Editor’s Closet and My Nines offer the designers at reduced prices. The OutNet regularly offers designers at reduced prices.   With so many choices, there is no reason to jump at the chance to buy a $45.00 US dress at Target that is poorly made. Beyond the crooked seams, and serge stitched edges, some of the pieces (especially those that are 5 to 4 years old) just look dated, and not in a good way. For my hard-earned money, Target needs to step up their game if they want to continue to make their Go line a profit center. I’ll be curious to see how many of the dresses end up on the clearance rack.


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.