Fall Fashion

The Recessionista Reviews Nicole Richie for Macy’s Impulse

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Pictured: The in-store display for Nicole Richie’s Macy’s collection at my local store.

The Nicole Richie for Macy’s Impulse collection has be one of the most eagerly awaited fashion collections launched by a celebrity this year.  I myself was very excited to see the collection sketches (sans peacock prints) and the vintage inspiration. Yesterday, I stopped by my local Macy’s store to look at the garments to try a few things on. I wanted  to look at the quality of the pieces.  Regrettably, I have to report that I am disappointed by this collection for a number of reasons.  I like Nicole Richie’s boho chic style and I am still wearing her QVC maxi dress that I raved about earlier this year.  My problem with the Nicole Richie for Macy’s Impulse collection is two-fold: it’s uber trendy and the fit is over sized.  What do I mean by uber trendy? Well, the high low hems on the dresses for one.  You won’t be able to wear these dresses every season.  But uneven hem lines are very in at the moment, and so if you like it, it may be worth investing your cash into this look. Then there’s the faux leather with studds and don’t even get me started on the faux leather jacket with the faux fur sleeves. If you like that look, go to Forever21 and get it really cheap for the one season you will wear it in.

Pictured: My fav piece in the collection, the peacock maxi, just order it in a smaller size. (photo: M. Hall) 

The real stumbling block for me with the Nicole Richie Impulse collection is the sizing and the peacock prints.  The dresses, and many of the blouses, are over sized. I tried on the short sleeve v-neck peacock dress in a medium and was swimming in it.  The online reviewers at Macys.com report the same experience.  While the print is pretty, the tie belt doesn’t do enough to add definition to the rather shapeless cut.  If you’re petite and slender, you may look swallowed up in these dresses.  If you’re a size 10, 12 or above, there’s not enough fit in most of the dresses to make many of them look flattering.  Of course, there are some fitted pieces here like the high lace neck,sleeveless fitted waist peacock print dress and the long sleeve peacock dress with fitted waist.  Both of these pieces are more junior sized than the zig-zag maxi dress or  gorgeous peacock maxi.

Pictured: A wardrobe staple, the black tuxedo jacket is a look that will last for years.

Of the tops, there are two that I like, the Mustard yellow peasant top (which runs small) and the sleeveless tied bow Burgundy print top (which runs large or over sized.) The long-sleeve scoop-neck feather-print blouse is also good looking, but again runs big.   I also like the tailored tuxedo jacket  in tan and back with the shawl lapels.   Those jackets can be worn for several seasons. In my opinion, the rock star trendy pieces, like the boatneck studded velvet mini for $69.00 US or the scoop necked faux leather studded mini for $79.00 US should only be purchased when they go on clearance, if at all.  They are way over priced for what they are.  Bottom line, if you are crazy for Peacock prints and flowing dresses, faux leather and studs, then you might just love this entire collection.  But if you’re like me, you might want to save your money for something a bit more fashionably flattering cut that will last several seasons.  I’ll be watching to see if some of these pieces go on clearance…my hunch is several pieces will be reduced.   What do you think readers? Have any of you purchased?


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.