Friday, January 29, 2010

My Latest Obsession: Norma Kamali for Walmart

Yep. I said Walmart. Thanks to one of my most fashionable friends, Ashley, I discovered last year that Norma Kamali has a clothing line at Big Box Behemoth, The Walmart. (I'm talking about THE Norma Kamali, style icon since forever ago. The designer of two of the coolest vintage pieces I own-- one full-length hunter green french terry coat, and a fabulous brown cape, both from the mid-80s-- my Mom's prize possessions!)  Ashley gave the heads-up on a gorgeous NK trench that could be had for a mere $30. As soon as I heard this news, I jumped right onto The (yes, the "the" is intentional-- it's "The Walmart" in Real Life, so it's "The" online. Deal.) and snapped me up a Kamali trench in black. And I have worn the heck out of it ever since. The quality is outstanding, the cut is perfect, and the PRICE. Well, it just cannot be beat. It even won an award from Travel & Leisure Magazine!

But my love for Norma's stuff at The Walmart didn't end there. Oh, no. I fell in luuuurve that day. Since then, I've purchased several staples. A Boyfriend Jacket that retailed for $20, marked down to $10 when I found it on a clearance rack. I got the All-In-One Jersey Dress, $24, in a gorgeous wine color, which can be worn several different ways. The quality of the jersey fabric is exceptional, and far exceeded my expectations of something that only cost me $24. A black jersey cowl neck tank for $6. My favorite thing, though, is what I believe to be THE Best Sweatpants Ever Made. You may have seen them in Lucky Magazine recently. Norma calls them the French Terry Athletic Jog Pants, but she's just being modest. They are $15, and worth every penny. In fact, I won't even go into what I actually put myself through to get spare pairs (I needed one grey, one black, one brown, of course), but it did violate my personal No Ordeals Rule, and I don't regret it a single bit. Anyway, I think you need at least one pair if you ever sport a "relaxed" look, because these are nice. As in not sloppy looking. Chic, even. I know, I know. Don't ask how. Just get yourself some and then come back here and tell me how versatile they are. Besides, they have pockets. Four of them!

ANYWAY, the greatest news I have for you today, though, is that I've seen the Spring Line on Norma's website, and it is fabulous. These new pieces are gradually being added to The, so the links I have for you to click on are a mixture of those from that store with links to the pieces shown on the Norma Kamali website. The ones for which I have prices listed are now available for purchase. So... ready to hear what's to come? Here's a taste.

As I mentioned before, the quality jersey fabric she has used in her past pieces is outstanding. If this season's pieces are "cut from the same cloth," we are in for some exceptional styles. Here are some of my favorites.

Jersey Kimono Top, $18This one is described as having a tube-style midriff, which I think could be very flattering when paired with the right pants or skirt-- as long as it doesn't add any bulk to your middle. I really love that the sleeves are elbow-length, because the drape of the jersey is beautiful. I can see myself wearing this a lot, both with a belt and without.

Sleeveless Tie-Waist Dress, $18
This one has a timeless silhouette, and sports what has always been my favorite neckline (somewhere between a bateau and a Sabrina). This is a classic Little Black Dress, with a sash that can tie in front or in back. It hits just below the knee.

Also check out the Sleeveless All-In-One Dress, which is expected to be online on 2/21 and in-store 3/1, and the entire jersey collection here.

The Career Jacket and Cropped Pants are great pieces to add to your work-outfit rotation. I do admit, though, that I would love to see a long pant in this collection.

The Trench!
Gorgeous, right? I absolutely love mine. This season, it's available in black and "vintage marine" blue. Looks like it will start to be available on/around 2/1. I highly recommend it, as everyone needs a well-fitting trench coat in their closet.

Casual Line
These are the pieces that excite me most this season. They're very "me," and I could see myself wearing almost everything in the collection. Here are the ones I am craving most.

Belted Wrap Cardigan, $20
I am all about the open cardigan right now. Ever since having fallen in love with Victoria's Secret's Soft & Sexy Wrap, I have started collecting them. They're casual, yet versatile enough to dress up, and they're usually cuddly and comfortable. And if you don't know me, I'm a slave to comfort.

This one doesn't have the long front of the VS wrap, but it has enough in front to warrant the name "blanket sweater" on the NK website. I love it, and can't wait to wrap up in it, myself.

The Cap Sleeve Shirtdress Stripe is simply adorable. The Pin Stripe Jean Jacket is a great new spin on the plain denim jean jacket. Check out more from the Casual Line here.

Since this is the category from which my beloved sweats came, it makes sense that within it is my absolute favorite piece from the entire Spring Line.

Motorcycle Jacket

Available in black and grey heather French Terry, I think of it as a kinder, gentler version of the on-trend leather biker jacket. I love the zipper detailing, as well as the long sleeves. I want it, and can't wait to have it! Kamali's website says it will be available 2/1. I guess I can hold my horses until then...

Check out the rest of the Athleisure line here.

Organic Cotton Tees

Of this collection, I think the Button Peace Crewneck Tee is the super-cutest, and is high up on my wish list. Her tees typically run between $8-$12, and I'm hoping this one will be priced similarly. It will look great under a blazer with some denim trousers. (Or with some cute grey sweats, of course...)

More to See
As if these aren't enough to whet your palate, Kamali also has even more new offerings in Maternity, Swimwear, and Accessories.

Obviously, I am completely smitten by this fashion icon's low-cost contributions to the retail fashion world. But I'd love to hear what you think. Does it make you want to check out The Walmart? Have you seen similarly budget-friendly lines that we should know about? Leave a comment and let me know!