The Recessionista Reviews Derek Lam for Kohl’s

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An assortment of looks from the Derek Lam for Kohl's collection

An assortment of looks from the Derek Lam for Kohl’s  collection

In case you haven’t heard, designer Derek Lam is on his way to Kohl’s with a special 58 piece collection inspired by Rio De Janeiro. Kohl’s sent me a few items from the collection for a review and a test drive. I received two printed shirt dresses and a top to look at. This collection is rich in button down shirt dresses, tropical prints, maxi dresses and sleeveless tank tops. Having seen the collection look book, I have very mixed emotions about this collection. Some of the prints are way too busy for my tastes.  Some of the pieces are not to my personal taste.  However, there are a few winners in the collection worth checking out.

Derek Lam for Kohl’s button-down shirt dress in Atlantic/Nightshade photo shared by The Budget Babe.

Of the three items I received from preview, my favorite is the shirt dress pictured above with the blue placket front and the multi-print. I like the print and the blue at the cuffs and the bodice.  Just beware, if you are busty like me, having the cutout pockets on the front of the dress over the solid blue in multi-print is not flattering.  The dress is best belted, and it does run large. Kohl’s lists the retail price of the dress as $70.00, but I am sure it will go on sale for a price lower than than, just as the Narcisco Rodriguez dress did.

Derek Lam for DesigNation button-down shirt dress

Derek Lam for DesigNation
button-down shirt dress

The second item I received for review was a pale brown print shirt dress that I really didn’t care for.  The print is a bit too busy for me and the colors are not deep enough to be striking. The Kohl’s look book lists the color as  “woodgrain papaya, woodgrain parrot.”   Those are some new colors!   When was the last time you saw woodgrain on the color wheel?  To me, these colors are rather drab. If this were a solid tangerine color or a deep blue I would find it much more appealing.  This dress is also priced at $70.00, and for that price I would pass on it.  It is polyester with no give in the fabric.  You need to be tall and slim hipped to make this look work.

The final piece I received is a pretty polyester top in Khahi that has a nice silky feel, a bit of stretch in it and an insert at the bodice so that you won’t show any cleavage when you wear it.  The top has sleeves with a placket and button closure to make them appear to puff up and look full. This is a good look, providing there is enough room for your arms so you don’t feel confined. This top retails for $48.00

My favorites from the Kohls Derek Lam collection.

My favorites from the Kohls Derek Lam collection. From left  the blue boatneck dress, the sweetheart dress and the printed maxi dress.

Overall, all this is a rather odd collection. I’ve seen the entire look book. There are some really great looking dresses in it that but there are also some shapeless garments with busy prints that I don’t find appealing.   My top picks from the collection are pictured above. I like the blue boatneck dress, the sweetheart dress and the blue printed maxi dress.  Check out my Pinterest board to see more looks from the Derek Lam for Kolh’s collection.  You can also see more of the collection’s looks in the preview video for the Derek Lam for Kohl’s collection.

Now it’s time for you to tell me what you think of the Derek Lam collection.  Leave a comment here giving me your feedback and get an entry to win a Kohl’s gift card for $100.00 to go shop at Kohls.   Get additional entries by following my social communities.

This giveaway will run until 11:59 EST /8:59 PST on Sunday, March 17th , so enter quick!  This giveaway is being conducted using the Rafflecopter widget.  Hit the Read More Link to enter via the widget.  If you don’t see the widget here, just leave a blog post comment with your email address so you can be entered.  Just hit the comment button (look for the Post a Comment link under this post.) This giveaway is open to only US residents so please take that into account when you submit your entry.  Stay tuned, more giveaways to come.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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. Cori

    February 28, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    I also really loved the sweetheart dress, except the one in black and green. I really don’t have the extra money to spend on a semi-formal dress, but I found myself trying to think of ways to make it more daytime casual and therefore justifiable, haha!

  2. Chele

    February 28, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    Some of the Derek Lam dresses have caught my eye: blue printed maxi, sweetheart dress and black v-neck sleeveless. I’ll be checking all of them out when the collection is released at Kohl’s.

  3. Shana

    February 28, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    I absolutely love the blue maxi dress and the black/printed tank top.

  4. Jessie C.

    February 28, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    The blue boatneck dress from Derek Lam collection is definitely on my list. I also like the printed maxi dress.

  5. Mary Happymommy

    February 28, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    The printed maxi dress from the Derek Lam collection would be cute!

  6. Kari

    February 28, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    I love the polyester top you mentioned. I need some cute new spring-ish tops.

  7. Elena

    February 28, 2013 at 11:16 pm

    the sweetheart dress is on my list

  8. Jennifer Marie

    February 28, 2013 at 11:26 pm

    black boots are on my list!

  9. Deirdre

    March 1, 2013 at 12:54 am

    Cognac colored boots and a drapy cardigan. Thanks for the chance to win.

  10. Tim

    March 1, 2013 at 1:48 am

    I need some new Croft and barrow button-up shirts for work.

  11. Amy Orvin

    March 1, 2013 at 2:08 am

    the printed maxi dress is on my list

  12. Amanda Sakovitz

    March 1, 2013 at 3:34 am

    The Sweetheart dress is on my list

  13. Ellie W

    March 1, 2013 at 3:40 am

    I LOVE the Derek Lam for DesigNation bra jumpsuit!!

  14. M.

    March 1, 2013 at 4:34 am

    I like the Atlantic/Nightshade shirtdress, the drawstring skirts and the bomber jackets in the Derek Lam collection.

  15. Thomas Murphy

    March 1, 2013 at 4:48 am

    shoes are on my list

  16. Kiara

    March 1, 2013 at 5:44 am

    The Sweetheart dress.

  17. rich morris

    March 1, 2013 at 5:53 am

    I wouldn’t mind her getting the Derek Lam for DesigNation one-piece cutout swimsuit

  18. Becky Richied

    March 1, 2013 at 7:55 am

    Definitely the sweetheart one 🙂 prettiful…

  19. Adrienne gordon

    March 1, 2013 at 11:27 am

    I could use meandals for spring

  20. Margaret Smith

    March 1, 2013 at 11:40 am

    The sweetheart dress is adorable and perfect for my daughter. I’d also like a nice blouse & jacket.

  21. debbie

    March 1, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    I would like a new pair of shoes.

  22. Wild Orchid

    March 1, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    I really want a nice maxi dress for the summer!

    Entered the rafflecopter form as “Wild Orchid”
    Thanks for the chance to win!

    wildorchid985 @ gmail dot com

  23. Michelle Cabrera

    March 1, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    I love the prints and vibrant blue color!

  24. Emily

    March 1, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    The maxi dress is on my list.

  25. Maria

    March 1, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    The shirt dress is too boxy. I prefer the colorblock dresses.

  26. Kurt Hoffmann

    March 1, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    Papa needs some new shoes

  27. Tamar

    March 1, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    I like the v-neck maxi dress. would be great with a sweater.

  28. courtney b

    March 1, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    baby easter outfits!

  29. KIM H

    March 1, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    I adore the sweetheart dress

  30. kim lazor

    March 1, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    Easter clothing for my family is on my list! Love Kohl’s!

  31. Cynthia C

    March 1, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    I’d love to have a new pair of wedge sandals.

  32. Nicole L.

    March 1, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    I like the derek lam designation bib button down shirt.

  33. Tabathia B

    March 1, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    I like the Woodgrain Papaya dress

  34. Katherine

    March 1, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    Derek Lam for DesigNationTM
    v-neck gathered dress inblack

  35. Dorothy Deakyne

    March 2, 2013 at 12:39 am

    The Sweetheart dress

  36. Nataly Carbonell

    March 2, 2013 at 12:50 am

    The Multi-print dress

  37. Suzanne K

    March 2, 2013 at 2:47 am

    new jeans and bras since I’ve lost weight!

  38. Christine

    March 2, 2013 at 3:10 am

    the Derek Lam for DesigNation one-piece cutout swimsuit

  39. Kathleen

    March 2, 2013 at 3:50 am

    The printed maxi dress from the Derek Lam collection

    kport207 at gmail dot com

  40. Stephanie V.

    March 2, 2013 at 5:31 am

    printed maxi dress from Derek Lam collection – LOVE it!!

  41. Petunia

    March 2, 2013 at 5:35 am

    i think my fav is the maxi dress.

    thanks for the giveaway

  42. ellen beck

    March 2, 2013 at 6:19 am

    I like the Designation button down shirt dress- very cute!

  43. Rebecca Graham

    March 2, 2013 at 6:58 am

    Shoes and a purse are on my list.

  44. Mara Zamora

    March 2, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    I’d love an LC dress .

  45. Sue Ellison

    March 2, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    I love the polyester top and I could use a new pair of shoes.

  46. Throuthehaze

    March 2, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    he blue boatneck dress

  47. Sarah Hirsch

    March 2, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    which holiday?? but I’d love some new jeans

    • Mary Hall

      March 3, 2013 at 1:59 am

      Opps, I left the holiday word in there from a previous giveaway! Thanks for letting me know. I just edited it.

  48. Barbara Montag

    March 2, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    Casual boots for me – thank you.

  49. Dana Rodriguez

    March 3, 2013 at 1:55 am

    New shorts!

  50. Jeana O'donnell-Murp

    March 3, 2013 at 2:11 am

    I like the printed maxi dress. I also like Lauren Conrad’a lin.

  51. kfloveinme

    March 3, 2013 at 2:30 am

    The DesigNation fitted boatneck dress and new sneakers

  52. Viv

    March 3, 2013 at 2:41 am

    I like the pencil skirt outfit shown in the lookbook

  53. cali julz

    March 3, 2013 at 2:52 am

    Anything adidas!! Oh and I also need updated jewelry 🙂

  54. Stefanie Gladden (An

    March 3, 2013 at 3:39 am

    I’d love a pair of candies shoes!!

  55. Amber

    March 3, 2013 at 3:39 am

    Those Derek lam dresses are lovely! Would love to get one for my birthday in 2 weeks!

  56. Cindy

    March 3, 2013 at 7:28 am

    DesigNation shirred shoulder tunic.

  57. Stephanie Larison

    March 3, 2013 at 7:42 am

    Derek Lam for DesigNation bra jumpsuit

  58. Tammy S

    March 3, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    I love the printed maxi dress. A must for summer.

  59. Kathryn C

    March 3, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    I like the shirred shoulder tunic.

  60. Janna Johnson

    March 3, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    sweetheart dress
    Thanks! Janna JOhnson janna@feedyourpig on gfc

  61. Kirsten C.

    March 3, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    I really like a lot of the looks, but I, too, am concerned with whether these pieces are made for the long & lean body type. I am normally not much of a print person either, but the colors and scale of the prints seem doable for me. From your Pinterest page, I love the black bra jumpsuit, the button-down bib woven shirt, and the cutout swimsuit. I’ll be curious to see what the pieces actually look like in person though!

  62. Uri

    March 3, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    I am a sucker for prints so the Derek Lam collab is right up my alley! I am particularly loving … well all the dresses 🙂

  63. meredith

    March 3, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    I really like the sweetheart dress – but id have to try it on

  64. Trina

    March 3, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    I love the blue maxi. Definitely agree that the blue looks are the best looks.

  65. Michelle Hudak

    March 3, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    I like the Woodgrain Papaya dress

  66. Mary Casper

    March 3, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    I love the color block dress

  67. Katherine

    March 3, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    The maxi dress looks sweet!

  68. Tracy Robertson

    March 3, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    I could use some new jeans and some casual shoes! I honestly never pay attention to the designers, but I love shopping at Kohl’s. I look at it all, regardless of the labels and always find something I love.

  69. Stacey B

    March 4, 2013 at 2:17 am

    I like the Lauren Conrad line

  70. Anne the SpyGirl

    March 4, 2013 at 4:40 am

    The fitted boatneck dress in green/black looks kind of OK… if it’s gross polyester than forget it.
    I agree with you — this is an odd and mostly unattractive collection. If it looks weird and/or frumpy ON A MODEL, than it’ll be really bad on us mortals.
    If I won, I’d probably spend my money on something else.

  71. Jason Vaughn

    March 4, 2013 at 6:19 am

    I pick up there food network stuff.

  72. Jil lH

    March 4, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    I love the Derek Lam Blue Boatneck Dress.

  73. Claudia

    March 4, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    I like Derek Maxi Dress .

  74. Amanda L.

    March 4, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    I like the sweetheart dress.

  75. Denise L

    March 4, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    The button down shirtdress you show is definitely on my wishlist!

  76. Mary Calabrese

    March 4, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    Actually, I need some new towels.

  77. Tina Renee Barker

    March 4, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    I love the Derek Lam for DesigNation fitted boatneck dress !

  78. Andrea Darst

    March 4, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    I really love the Rock N Republic line at Kohl’s, but I’m excited about the Derek Lam line!

  79. Monique Rizzo

    March 4, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    I LOVE the Derek Lam collection.
    Thanks for the chance.

  80. Lynn

    March 5, 2013 at 12:40 am

    I always wanted something from Derek Lam… But not sure If would fit anything besides the tops… I’m petite

  81. MaryR

    March 5, 2013 at 1:39 am

    The maxi dress is on my list.

  82. Jill

    March 5, 2013 at 6:12 am

    I agree with you on the Derek Lam Collection. There are a few designs that look like fabric tents.

    However, the blue printed maxi dress caught my eye as well 🙂

  83. Patti

    March 5, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    I like many of Kohl’s designer collaborations. So I just like to shop and buy what I am attracted to!

  84. McKim

    March 5, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    I need new sheets for our bed.

  85. Cindy Julien

    March 6, 2013 at 1:26 am

    I can’t wait to get my hands on the maxi dress!!

  86. mickeyfan

    March 6, 2013 at 1:27 am

    I like the maxi, but most would look cuter on my daughter than on me!

  87. Diana C

    March 6, 2013 at 1:32 am

    I really like the sweetheart dress. It is so cute.

    Thanks for the chance.

    Diana C

  88. Courtnie

    March 6, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    I like the blue boatneck dress.

  89. Aubrey

    March 6, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    I like the sweetheart dress

  90. Susan Chester

    March 7, 2013 at 2:36 am

    I would love anything from the Derek Lam collection from Kohl’s. The Boatneck dress is my fave!

  91. Starr Bruner

    March 7, 2013 at 6:45 am

    Those fab aqua jeans would be so versatile in my wardrobe!

  92. Iris Stone

    March 7, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    I like the color blocking and choice of colors.

    Hope to win so I can buy!

  93. Theresa J

    March 7, 2013 at 10:56 pm

    My list is kinda all over the place. I like some Derek Lam pieces as well as Lauren Conrad and some the Candies piesce

  94. Kristi C

    March 8, 2013 at 6:44 am

    I like the printed maxi dress.

  95. Debra Hamilton

    March 8, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    My list starts with Lauren Conrad and goes to Jennifer Lopez and then Chaps and many more!

  96. Kyl Neusch

    March 8, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    Croft and barrow shirt

  97. Katie Roch

    March 8, 2013 at 11:51 pm

    I like the Derek Lam fitted boatneck dress on your pinterest board

  98. Jamie

    March 9, 2013 at 1:48 am

    I have the sweetheart dress on my list.

  99. amy rouse

    March 9, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    oh, I love me that maxi dress. Puttin’ it on my list right now!

  100. Kelly D

    March 10, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    I like the Derek Lam for DesigNation shirred shoulder tunic

  101. Bo

    March 10, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    I love the sweetheart dress! It’d be perfect for date night.

  102. Barbara Montag

    March 11, 2013 at 3:40 pm

  103. patricia skinner

    March 11, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    I have a new grandchild on the way and Kohl’s has the cutest Layette sets from Carters and All First Moments.

  104. dani marie

    March 13, 2013 at 8:21 am

    anything from the lauren conrad LC collection.

  105. jen gersch

    March 13, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    the blue maxi dress

  106. Candy Douglas

    March 13, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    Love, love, love the blue slacks and black printed tank!

  107. Katie

    March 13, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    I love the LC collection and also get a ton of jewelry from Kohls

  108. John Hutchens

    March 13, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    Derek Lam

  109. James Beck

    March 14, 2013 at 2:24 am

    Derek Lam

  110. Christine W

    March 14, 2013 at 7:05 am

    Yes! My favorite is the Maxi Dress

  111. Raylene Kruger

    March 14, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    Gorgeous love the colors!

  112. Claire

    March 15, 2013 at 11:16 am

    I love the tunic most of all!

  113. Theresa D

    March 15, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    I really like the Derek Lam v-neck maxi dress

  114. Kimberly W

    March 15, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    I love the Derek Lam for DesigNation v-neck maxi dress

  115. Daniel M

    March 15, 2013 at 10:34 pm

    just need some pants and shirts for spring

  116. Robin

    March 15, 2013 at 11:26 pm

    I would love to get the sweetheart dress

  117. Rebecca Peters

    March 16, 2013 at 1:18 am

    I like his collection but I really like candies brand at khols

  118. Jennifer Reed

    March 16, 2013 at 5:56 am

    I like a few of the pieces from the Derek Lam collection at Kohl’s like the top you mentioned but in the blue strip pattern.

  119. Deb C

    March 16, 2013 at 7:19 am

    I would get the Printed Maxi Dress.

  120. Breanne

    March 16, 2013 at 9:31 am

    I do like that printed maxi dress

  121. Valerie Mabrey

    March 16, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    I like the sweetheart dress too
    vmkids3 at msn dot com

  122. Michelle W

    March 16, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    I love the Derek Lam for DesigNation shirred shoulder tunic

  123. Pauline M

    March 16, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    I really like the Dana Buchman line of spring clothes!

  124. Zipper McGee

    March 16, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    The maxi dress speaks to me!! Love the whole collection.

  125. Gloria S

    March 16, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    I would get some Fiesta dinnerware

  126. Valeen N

    March 16, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    I love the maxi dress,but I also need a new cute purse!

  127. Sonya

    March 16, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    I love their Sonoma line!

  128. susan smoaks

    March 16, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    i like anything and everything lauren conrad

  129. Amity J

    March 16, 2013 at 7:34 pm


  130. Kimberly Hilbert

    March 16, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    I love shopping at Kohl’s. I’m not crazy about this collection, though. Some of it looks like what my grandmother would wear.

    I like very classic styles. Vera Wang is one designer that I like that I’ve gotten at Kohls.

  131. shawna

    March 16, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    I would get some jeans.

  132. Brittney House

    March 16, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    the sweetheart dress

  133. JoAnn F.

    March 16, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    I need new shoes for the spring!
    jofo120 at yahoo dot com

  134. Terry Cross

    March 16, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    I love the Derek Lam printed maxi dress!

  135. Susan Smith

    March 16, 2013 at 11:14 pm

    I like the Derek Lam for DesigNation v-neck maxi dress

  136. Lorena Keech

    March 16, 2013 at 11:32 pm

    I don’t know, because we never shop Kohl’s.

  137. Diane W

    March 17, 2013 at 12:37 am

    I like the Rio de Janeiro, Brazil inspired collection of Derek Lam

  138. Erica C.

    March 17, 2013 at 1:49 am

    I’m looking for fun home decor.

  139. Sarah L

    March 17, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    I like the Derek Lam for DesigNation v-neck maxi dress $88.
    You write that this ends tonight, but the Rafflecopter says it’s over.
    Happy St. Patty’s day!

  140. Sarah L

    March 17, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    Optimist that I am, I’ll still enter:
    Pinterest follow you: slehan
    Twitter follow you: slehan
    Google +: Sarah L
    FB like you: Slehan

    Thanks for the contest.