The Recessionista Reviews the Target Neiman Marcus Holiday collection

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The Target Neiman Marcus Holiday Collection in store at Target (photo M. Hall)

I had to see the Neiman Marcus Target Holiday collection for myself this morning in-store so I could touch and feel the goods, and really judge the quality. Overall, I think this collection is a huge upgrade for Target…but, don’t get completely caught up in the hype, because the price point is an upgrade as well.   My store was pretty quiet this morning at 8:05 am PST.  The Target folks told me that there was a small line of people waiting to get in when they opened at 8:00 am.   It was a quiet, well mannered crowd, no pushing , no shoving, but just  a bit of hoarding.  I saw a few very few carts.  Many of the shoppers had already been checking out the goods on eBay and knew how inflated they were.  On women was eyeing the Derek Lam slippers saying, “These are already $200.00 on eBay.”   I haven’t seen them for $200, but I have seen them for over $100.00 on eBay.   That’s a steep mark-up when you consider  the slippers retail for $49.99 at Target and Neiman Marcus. At the time of this writing, they are still available online at Target.

I think this collection offers some good value and they items are certainly beautifully packaged.  They have the Neiman Marcus look/packaging and it’s a big upgrade for Target shoppers.   I liked a a lot of the women’s fashion.  The quality of the pieces is quite good, again an upgrade from the usual Target collections.   Watch the sizing if you shop in store.   I think all the women’s apparel is really Junior’s sized like Target Go was.   It’s not Neiman Marcus sizing.  I got the Tracy Reese sequin embellished top.  It’s gorgeous, but I sized up to get the blousy look shown in the ad campaign.

The Prabal Gurung cape from Target Neiman Marcus (photo M. Hall)

The Prabul Gurung cape offered good quality for price at $79.99.  It is sold out now on, but my Target had plenty of them.  The Lela Rose and Robert Rodriguez fashions were very good looking and well priced, but again junior sized like Target Go.   The Robert Rodriguez ruffled sleeveless top is particularly impressive.  I didn’t care for the Proenza Schouler sweatshirt. To me, its’ a hot mess and a complete  miss.  I didn’t care for the print, and for $29.99, it’s not money well spent.  It’s just a standard Target sweatshirt with a busy pattern. Because I didn’t like the pattern, I didn’t care for the matching iPad case. The Marchessa girls holiday dresses look lovely, but maybe a little more mature than what most girls normally wear for holiday parties and events.  They are definitely show pieces. which you might expect from designers that do so much work for celebrities.

More impressive to me were the accessories.  My top picks: the Prabul Gurung evening bag, the pink Oscar de la Renta dog leash  for a small dog (adorable, I bought it for my 12 year old niece to walk her little dog), the Jason Wu Christmas Ornaments (pricey for $50.00, but very good looking) and the gorgeous Altuzarra glasses, martini shaker and try.  The Altuzarra items are perfect for holiday entertaining and they look better than the marketing pictures. I didn’t buy the serving tray for $79.99, but I am thinking of going back for it.   It’s heavy weight and substantial for carrying drinks at a party or serving a holiday breakfast in bed.

Things I was disappointed in:

Marc Jacobs accessories: I was disappointed in the Marc Jacobs pouches and the scarves for the prices.  I would recommend buying Marc Jacobs high end line at Neiman Marcus Last Call for better value.

Oscar bag: I loved the design of the Oscar de la Renta handbag, but it looks more like a summer bag in-person.  It’s canvas with printed flowers on the front.  It’s good looking, it’s just not what you expect for a holiday bag.

Band of Outsiders: The Band of Outsiders cookie cutters are adorable, but probably not very practical  I saw people buying them for gifts.   The hats to me are a complete miss.  Again, better looking hats for winter wear at Last Call for the price.

Tory Burch: The Tory Burch thermos and lunch box just didn’t do it for me, but they were attractive.

Judith Leiber: The Judith Leiber pieces just didn’t look enough like the Judith Leiber pieces at her boutiques and Neiman’s to tempt me for the price.

Alice + Olivia: I didn’t see anyone buying the $500.00 Alice + Olivia bikes or luggage case for $179.99.  Those seemed very overpriced to me, as they did to other shoppers.  The suitcase didn’t look sturdy.  There’s better stuff at Last Call or TJ Maxx for the price.  .

Skaist-Taylor Vest:  Cute but just not my taste.  I prefer the faux fur vests at Last Call and TJ Maxx and again they are cheaper.

Rodarte Wrapping Paper & Ornament:  These are too goth and dark looking for my taste.  Black wrapping paper? Really?

If you didn’t get your items this morning, there are still some left online and in-stores.  I would wait awhile before buying on-line.  The Target workers this morning told me there expect there will be returns, just like there were for Missoni and items will come back into stock.  If you’re patient, you might get a better deal too, as Target typically marks down within 30 days on things of this nature.   I think there was a lot of impulse buying today due to all the marketing hype.  When things cool done, and when some things don’t sell on eBay, returns will come in. Note, the return policy for these items has a deadline.  Returns will be accepted only until Jan. 5th.  This is not the typical 90 day Target return policy.

Did you shop this collection? If so, tell me what you think of it in the comments.  Thanks.



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. Jill Hathaway

    December 1, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    I ordered the Marc Jacobs scarf online early this morning, but once I got there and saw it in person wasn’t impressed. It will probably go back. Also didn’t like the clutches for the price. I prefer a sparkly Target clutch I picked up for $20 the other day. However, I did walk away with the dessert dishes (GORGEOUS!!!) and the Lela Rose top (which was pricey, but it’s so different and interesting). Was about to buy Proenza sweatshirt but ultimately felt like you did… There just wasn’t a lot setting it apart from Target’s other sweatshirts unless you knew the designer.

  2. Holly

    December 1, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    I ordered from NM last night and most of my order was cancelled early this morning which felt like some folks experience for Missoni for Target. I ordered the Oscar bag, letter opener, bar set and gloves. I decided to order the expensive yoga mat for a friend for a January birthday. I’m only getting the highball glasses and yoga mat.

    I did expect the normal whacked out Target experience online and I ordered another letter opener as a gift and the Tracy Reese dishes. I have them already being shipped. So Target is anticipating demand online this time. I was able to recreate my NM online order only the gloves were sold out. It is annoying to get this experience but it is much better handed than the Missoni or Wu. Missoni I was able to get some pieces later and Wu the quality was never there but the designs were cute.

    I’m okay with the Oscar bag looking like summer as I am a buy and hold kind of gal. I like that it is has feet and it is subtle — however let us see if it ships. I don’t love it enough for Ebay extortion. I ordered it online this morning after my cancellation notice from NM. We will see if that portion ships. The price points are higher than other collabs but it is rare to get wool, silk and cotton. I’ll try to swing by the store to see in person later but I wasn’t going to be at the store early this morning. Thanks for the in person update.

  3. Nicole

    December 1, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    I loved the hand-sewn details on the PG cape but didn’t like how thin the wool-blend material felt. I’m from Seattle and felt like it wouldn’t be practical to wear during the fall & winter, even with layers. If I resided in a warmer place I would’ve considered it.
    I ended up up getting the RR sleeveless top & Thom Browne blazer. Both are petite friendly and I loved how the blazer was lined but the buttons felt cheap & plasticky.

  4. Katy

    December 2, 2012 at 4:27 am

    Best kept secret was Last Call! Got everything I wanted and not crazy! I was there at 12 and there were only a few things sold out. The tray was my favorite!

  5. Target-Addict

    December 2, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    You and I pretty much share the same POV on all these items 🙂
    And I also was impressed with the Robert Rodriguez ruffled top; not sure if I want to pay full price for it, but if it goes on clearance I’ll definitely nab one.

  6. Nubienne

    December 4, 2012 at 5:53 am

    Judith Leiber designed compact mirrors for the collaboration, not clutches. 🙂

  7. Norma

    December 10, 2012 at 9:27 am

    Thanks for all your tips. This makes it easier for me to shop.

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    December 24, 2012 at 4:50 pm

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