Chicago has been alllll about the pop-up shops lately, and, I have to say, I’m pretty okay with it. Everlane is a brand that I was introduced to years ago during my first foray into blogging. They were still fairly new (founded in 2012), but they seemed to have a clear strategy for using bloggers and social media mavens to gain more exposure and grow their business. I remember their basic tees started popping up all over the place, and everyone raved about the comfort and fit.
If you’re unfamiliar with Everlane, they’re a clothing retailer that exists primarily online, although they have two brick and mortar stores in New York and San Francisco. Their brand is built on transparency, ethical standards, and sustainability- not to mention well-made clothing at a great price point. Everlane ensures all their factories meet the highest standards for their employees, and they use environmentally-friendly practices in the manufacturing of their items. You can also go on their website to see the actual cost of each item made, what traditional clothing retailers charge for that item, and Everlane’s price. And how is their price? It’s usually pretty dang good. For example, you can bring home their famous v-neck white tee for $15, and their denim is around the $68 price point.
The Everlane pop-up in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood is marketed as their “Denim Counter,” and the only product it carries is denim. (However, they have a handful of shirts, bags, and shoes that you can try on in-store and have sent to you with expedited shipping free of charge). They recently launched their “Authentic Stretch Denim” line, and what better way to build buzz than to bring the products to the people? As much as I love online shopping, I’m always hesitant to try new retailers when I haven’t been able to see their items or try them on in person.
Despite knowing about Everlane for years, I had never taken the plunge and actually ordered from them. I’ve been a big fan of Loft denim for the past few years, but I was admittedly curious to see what all the buzz was about so last night after work I headed over. (Okay so I actually tried to go on Thursday and arrived just in time for it to close. FYI- hours are 11am-7pm.) The space itself isn’t very big, but it’s filled floor to ceiling with denim. The staff was super friendly, and I immediately singled out a salesperson to fill me in on the styles to try. (For the record, I always gravitate towards dark wash skinny jeans in a mid-rise style, and I typically wear a 10-12.) She filled me in on the big sellers and, of course, their new “Authentic Stretch Denim” line. Everlane describes it as “stretch denim that actually looks like denim.” Honestly, I’ve never seen an issue with my other pairs of stretch denim (I mean, what else would they look like besides denim?) However, they sounded comfortable so I added them to my pile.
I tried on a mix of sizes, washes, and styles, and I was pretty impressed with the overall fit and appearance of most! I preferred the mid-rise to the high-rise which is pretty typical for me, and I liked the dark wash (pictured below) over the black or lighter washes. I also found the skinny style to be the no-brainer for my body (I cannot pull off the straight leg look that’s so hot right now), but I was a little conflicted on sizing. I went back-and-forth on my regular size vs one size up, and I ended up walking out of the dressing room holding the bigger size. However, thank god I checked in with my favorite salesgirl because she informed me that the Authentic Stretch line will stretch out about 1/2 size with wear! See? This is why I like to try thing on in person first! That sealed the deal, and I walked out with the Authentic Stretch Skinny Mid-Rise Skinny in Dark Wash Blue in the regular length and my usual size. PHEW. How is denim so tricky??
I can’t say I’m a die-hard convert to Everlane’s denim quite yet, but I’m excited to give them a try! I feel like you don’t really know if you love a pair until you start wearing them during your daily life, and, thankfully, Everlane has a good return policy that accounts for that. I’m not 100% ready to declare it on-par or above my beloved Loft denim, but we’ll see what happens!
If you’re in Chicago and want to check out the pop up, here are the basic details-
Only open September 5-16- so don’t wait!
Address: 160 N. Morgan Street
Hours: Monday-Saturday 11am-7pm; Sunday- 11am-6pm
You can find the exact pair I picked right here.