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If you follow me on Instagram and watch my stories, you know I’ve been thinking a lot about the cost and accessibility of fashion. I’ve let my privilege get in the way of offering a broad variety of brands and price points on Wardrobe Oxygen. Also, I have boycotted certain brands because of my personal feelings about them; thing is when researching many of these brands do nothing worse than other retailers I feature and many of these brands offer inclusive sizing, reasonable price points, and are more accessible to those not near major metro areas. I’ve heard you; I’ve read your comments, DMs, and emails and have decided to expand the brands featured here and to expand my view on what retailers offer great fashion.
This post is sponsored by Walmart.
jeans | sweater | similar tote | similar shoes | similar sunglasses | similar earrings
I've been thinking about this, pitching to new brands and doing research when Walmart reached out inviting me to style a look for the blog. I saw it as a sign. To be honest, I haven’t been in a Walmart for many years and while I still wear a pair of denim shorts I picked up in a location in South Carolina almost a decade ago, I haven’t considered them as a destination for fashion. I was wrong, and the current Walmart fashion offerings surprised me. In fact, Walmart has a new campaign entitled, “We Dress America” and it’s a collection of brands and styles for a range of trends and sizes for men, women, and children.
Jeans: EV1 (14; wish I chose 12) | Sweater: EV1 (L) | Shoes: similar | Sunglasses: similar | Tote: EV1 (sold out; similar) | Earrings: similar
White jeans are one of the hardest things to find. They’re too sheer, they’re too thin, they bag out, they’re too tight, they don’t showcase you figure in the way it deserves. But white jeans are an amazing way to update a wardrobe for spring and summer. They look dressier than traditional denim or even colored denim. They make wintry colors like black, gray, and navy look fresh for the warmer months. They give a crisp, polished effect even when styled with sandals and a t-shirt. I have a white jeans review coming up – I’ve ordered over a dozen pairs of jeans from a variety of retailers including Walmart. And you know what? The pair of jeans in this post, from Walmart, are some of the most opaque, comfortable, and quality fabric I've found. All that and they're only $22!
Shop My Picks from the Walmart EV1 Line:
I vary between a 14 and 12; since I wasn't familiar with the brand I chose size 14. I wish I chose 12, as these are generously sized and have a more relaxed fit. If you are interested in a slimmer fit, they also have these skinny white jeans in the same fabric. These jeans as well as the sweater and tote are all from Ellen DeGeneres’ line for Walmart, EV1. The name stands for everyone, and it’s a line of clothing for women that goes up to size 20 or 3X.
As for the sweater… highly impressed as well. It’s thick, fits great, and I love how it’s classic with a pop thanks to the brightly-colored stripe on each cuff. It’s the kind of sweater you throw on over your tee and shorts for a breezy evening at the beach, but you can also style with navy ankle pants for the office or white jeans for the weekend. I tried several pieces from the EV1 collection at Walmart and found the quality to rival or exceed that of brands I regularly feature on Wardrobe Oxygen. This is just an example that you can't judge quality by the brand or the price on the label.
I appreciate it that you are exposing us to a wide spectrum of retailers to pick from. I know that you work hard to be fair and balanced and present us with options that will really work. Also, I do not presume to know what other folks’ ethics, philosophy, and purchasing habits should be. I am speaking only for myself. I have never nor will I ever shop at Walmart for all the reasons people have listed and a few more of my own.
Privileged what exactly does that mean?
I am the child of immigrants who came to the US with nothing, and my parents taught me to appreciate good value, wherever it may be found. Through education, reliance on delayed gratification, and hard work in building a successful business (which provides excellent health insurance, above average wages, and benefits for my employees), I am now able to shop anywhere, and I shop at Walmart. I am wearing a Walmart tee, hoodie, and knit pants as I type this. If you look closely, you can find really cute and high quality items of clothing there. They currently have a $7.88 Time and Tru V-neck slub tee whose quality is better than a $168 Eileen Fisher tee I saw at Nordstrom. I appreciate your willingness to feature Walmart’s best items, and styling them a la Allie.
This is not about Walmart directly, although I’m not likely to shop there – as a community planner, I have seen first hand how these stores hurt small communities. I don’t even like shopping from Amazon. Yes, I can afford to make this choice so I’m sure that makes me a snob and out of touch. However, I grew up lower middle class in a rural area. We had no big box stores. We went once a year to the outlets near my grandparents house. At home, we shopped in resale — not thrift — shops. Our favorite one is still in business and when I am home my sister and I (and my mom before she died) shopped there. They had and have great stuff. And it doesn’t take a lot of time. I am much more interested in purchasing fewer items and wearing them longer and finding items that can work for the casual office and weekend/home life. I appreciate the intent, but Walmart doesn’t fit this philosophy so I’ll probably skip these posts. I’d love to see a “what I got at the resale shop” post.
Dolores Goossens says
I always wonder when you post clothing that is way over the $100 range if you’d really buy it if it wasnt sponsored.
It’s easy to be enthusiastic about clothing when it arrives at your doorstep free of charge, but would you spend your hard earned money on it if it didn’t?
I have a great interest in fashion and some textile knowledge, the ‘you get what you pay for ‘ is so overrated, there is indeed crap at any price point . I’m lucky I sew, and love to upcycle, so I’m not dependent on what stores tell us is fashionable or quality.
Everybody deserves to look nice and Walmart has its place with that.
I live in Arkansas, the birth place of Walmart. What Sam Walton started out with and what WalMart has become are 2 very different things. As so many have noted, WalMart hurts communities because it’s run out smaller businesses and then makes the communities extremely dependent on WalMart because there’s often no where else to shop (so I get Alison’s point about people who don’t have other options). They typically pay low wages and schedule many of their workers to work less than 40 hours weekly, so that they don’t have to provide benefits.
But let me share what I now find even more despicable about the Waltons and their extreme wealth. They have gotten into the charter school business and are actively working to destroy public school districts in my state, in order to spread more charter schools (they make even more $ off of charter schools). They are actively involved in politics in my state, but in a behind-the-scenes way. They use their money and influence on legislators so that they can hurt public schools. They are strongly against teacher unions and go after any public schools with unions. They also don’t care for certified teachers or teachers with experience (b/c they do not want to pay decent salaries & benefits to these teachers), so they push their charter school agenda constantly. They play both sides of the political aisle but tend to side with & spend money with Republicans the most. They’ve even gotten their claws into the state’s flagship university so that they have influence on “research” regarding education.
It’s scary to watch how they’ve invaded so many parts of Arkansas and their power continues to grow. It’s extremely difficult to push back, especially since so much of Arkansas has gone “red” in the past 15 years or so (but make no mistake, when the state used to be more “blue” the Waltons were using their $$ to influence those politicians as well). Our state is also incredibly rural, so there are often not other options for a majority of our citizens. For the Waltons, extreme greed doesn’t even begin to describe them. They never have “enough.” So, for me, I’ve not shopped in their businesses for about 5 years now. It’s just my small way to oppose their corporate greed. But as I’ve said here in past posts, I’m fortunate and privileged to live in a city with other shopping options and I can afford to do so.
Thanks for that information Lee. I did not realize the extent of their control, although duh, I should have known. It seems any large corporation has firmly planted itself in the pockets of politicians. I guess I’m just so used to it that it doesn’t faze me anymore.
I’m sad to hear about the University of Arkansas being bought by the Waltons to inform policy decisions. The same type of thing is happening at a university close to me (where I’m currently working on a Master’s degree), and the entire economics department has been bought and funded by the Koch brothers. I get so angry when I see news stories highlighting economics and political research conducted at my school, because the news story doesn’t make the connection that the research was funded by Koch money, and of course it always promotes their agenda. It’s a sad state for higher education right now.
I totally understand! Every time we get “education” research from the U of Arkansas, I assume it’s bought & paid for by the Waltons (& we have dirty Koch brothers money here too). What’s sad is how many people in the state are uninformed about all of this, thinking that politics really doesn’t apply to them. Very frustrating.
I don’t understand why everyone is up in arms about Wal Mart when Amazon is even worse. Wal Mart destroyed communities a decade ago that is true but Amazon continues to and on a broader national scale. https://www.amazonsellerslawyer.com/blog/amazon-destroys-small-businesses/
If you hate Wal Mart are you shopping Amazon if you are you are destroying small and large businesses and towns all across our country. Educate yourself.
Odd that everyone loves to hate Walmart, but gives Amazon a pass.
I totally agree with your point!
While I agree that Amazon is also not amazing (and actively avoid it when possible), there are absolutely differences in their labor practices. For one, Amazon pays a $15 minimum wage. Just putting it out there. I don’t think that, because Amazon sucks just slightly less than Walmart, we should be giving Walmart a pass.
Amazon pays a $15 wage. After a lot of organizing and support from a member of the Senate.
But correct me if I’m wrong, but the $15 min wage doesn’t apply to its contract work sites, and there are a lot of those.
I don’t shop at either, except Amazon for self-published books not available from the author directly.
But I also live in a city where I have many shopping options.
Ditto- maybe shopping a little less is one idea? Less is more?
I genuinely don’t know _what_ to think about this post on this blog. On the one hand, I’ve been quietly suspicious that if brands can afford to discount clothes – from $100 to $25 is not unknown for one of my favorites, Talbots – they’re marking them up big time in the first place. These seem like quality-ish clothes with the markup cut out. (There’s a lot of polyester in the blends). Also: Ellen Degeneres! Lesbian spokesperson! Presenting relaxed, surprisingly non-binary friendly clothing for my relaxed non-binary friends! Bringing options to mainstream America!
On the other hand: Walmart. For all the reasons everyone else has mentioned.
I’m seeing this line get promoted in lots of places, but I remain surprised to see it here. I don’t want to side-eye you about it. I don’t want to side-eye Ellen about it. But…geez, Walmart.
First of all, that outfit looks great. I love striped shirts with white pants or shorts. It’s a great classic look. Secondly, I have mixed feelings regarding Walmart also, but…. As someone who lives in an area with a large senior population (Florida lol) I know many senior citizens who live on a fixed income and look to Walmart to make their dollars go further. Whether it’s for clothing or food, they shop at Walmart. This included my own mother. And when my husband and I both had the misfortune of getting laid off from our jobs at the same time and having a toddler to feed, we too went to Walmart to save on groceries and other items. So it does serve a purpose in certain communities.
Lastly (anecdotally and my opinion only), I know of three “small businesses” that are run by very well-off individuals. At least they appear to be as far as their house, cars, tuitions at private schools for their kids go. They barely pay their employees a living wage, offer no health benefits, time off is a joke and the people I know working at these places have all not had a raise in years. These small businesses don’t offer much in terms of helping the community (one is a country club and the others are in interior design). Their clientele seem to be part of the upper class and obviously someone at the company is making money. So yeah, mega corporations, small businesses, etc. There’s a lot I don’t like (same sh!t, different place) but feel I can’t do much to correct any of it.
Might I add Allie, that if you still find the white jeans to be too big for your liking, do what I did to a pair of boyfriend jeans I had: Cut them into shorts. I wore my boyfriend jeans several times and thought they were great. Then one day I looked and thought the legs were just to big for me, what was I thinking when I purchased them?? I was going to put them in the donate pile, but turned them into shorts that have now become my favorite pair. For some reason what looked bad at a longer length looked great when shortened. Oh and no sewing either, just frayed ends.
I’ve bought clothes at Walmart (hell, I’ve bought clothes at KMart and once snagged a pair of pants at a CVS), so no snobby “I’d never shop there from me.” In fact, I’m so much more pleased with myself when I find a cute outfit/get compliments on something I found at one of those places — it’s really easy to be cute when you buy clothes at the cool places, it takes a good eye to find cute stuff at less fashionable places. But (and you knew it was coming), no matter what Walmart is pushing right now, the majority of what they have on the selling floor isn’t great. For my style astethic they add too much crap. I’m surprised you don’t find the embroidered loopy “love” on the back pocket annoying. That made it a no go for me. There seems to always be a little something like that that throws the item off — added sparkles, colors that are a little to dull or too bright or just dont go together, prints that are too busy or dated. Something else to keep in mind is that returns at WallMart are not easy (and if you ordered on-line, returns are often a pain in the ass). And finally, right now it seems like EVERY fashion blogger is showing how great WalMart is. I know it is all part of their “We dress America” campaign, but because I’ve seen this same look on several other bloggers, it feels much less fresh and, quite frankly, authentic then I’m used to in this blog. At this point the sweater is also a no go for me because everyone has shown it.
“The name stands for everyone, and it’s a line of clothing for women that goes up to size 20 or 3X. ”
This is funny to other people, right? This isn’t very size inclusive at all. It’s what, 1 size larger than what Banana Republic sells? I’m sure I’ll get a comment reply from Allie that says “It’s better than nothing!” but I find sponsored posts that don’t honestly discuss size inclusivity to be very disingenuous.
Allie, I’ve read your blog for 10+ years but can’t understand this partnership OR the lack of honest discussion in the post.
Lack of honest discussion? Please explain.
It’s explained in the sentence before the last one.
I am aware of what you said, but I still don’t buy it. But I also don’t think that further discussion would be worth it.
Then why did you ask? You come across as a troll.
To actually discuss. Aw, thanks! You too!
I appreciate your post on this. Recently , I read that millennials are shopping at Walmart due to their cheaper prices and their expansion of product offerings. I have mixed feelings about WalMart. Sometimes, they help communities as they did when Hurricane Katrina happened. They also reduced drug prices on many medications making it easier for people to afford needed drugs and forcing other pharmacies to do the same. However, we all know that they pay low wages and have made billions on the backs of low level workers. Sometimes I wonder why people think they are worse than Target or any other big box stores, because I believe most big discount stores except Costco pay low wages. Anyway, I appreciate you showing the new fashion offerings at Wal-Mart, since I had previously only known them for selling cheaper quality items.
Lavenia Carter says
I trust your judgement about this just as I also respect the opinions of those who differ from you ,so yes ,I am in conflict.
You look great in these two pieces. The navy and white stripes plus the 2 little differing stripes are fun in a classic. I just hope that when I look for the jeans in the store that they come in tall sizes.
That’s a gorgeous look and it just goes to show that you don’t have to spend much to get good quality and stylish outfits. Unfortunately, Walmart doesn’t ship to my country but maybe one day they’ll expand.
I lived in NYC till recently (there are no Walmarts there). Then I moved to the mid-Hudson Valley and there are 2 Walmarts within 20-30 minutes drive. But they are just SO HUGE and always very crowded. I have successfully ordered online and picked up at the store, but it just seems like such a chore, even though there are some enticingly cheap offerings.
As someone who grew up in Central Appalachia and got to witness firsthand how devastating Wal-Mart can be both to a community and to individual workers, I boycott the company. I appreciate reading your point of view as to why you took this sponsorship, however, I do not agree that Wal Mart is no worse than many other retailers. I also appreciate that you get many requests from many readers asking for various sizes and pricepoints–however, at this point in my own fashion journey , I am looking to move past fast fashion and would like to use my privilege to support brands that I believe in. I wish you well.
I came here to say almost exactly the same thing. Yes, other brands may have some similar issues with how their clothes are produced, but Walmart systematically exploits the cycle of poverty in communities at a scale like no other. There’s research that shows that county that add a Walmart store actually subsequently increase their poverty rate (see: https://aese.psu.edu/research/centers/cecd/research/wal-mart-and-county-wide-poverty). I so appreciate the thought behind this and the checking of one’s privilege, but to say that other brands are “as bad” as Walmart is simply not true.
I have always had a problem with Wal-Mart’s employment practices, but it got dialed up to a 10 after visiting the Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas. Alice Walton’s wealth is so enormous that she was able to build a world-class museum virtually in the middle of nowhere . . . all on the backs of employees making subpoverty wages.
Fully concur with all of this. Wal-Mart causes poverty on a nationwide level.
Cindy, and don’t forget she built that art museum as a massive tax shelter. She didn’t just build that out of the goodness of her heart – it’s saving her boatloads of money (because obviously she needs all she can get).
You are probably right, but I am sad one of my favorite portraits is there. John Singleton Copley’s portrait of Mrs. Theodore Atkinson, Jr. is a stunningly beautiful painting and a snarky (I think) allegory reminding us that even wealth women did not have agency in 1765.
Her dress is sumptious too.
I am a city-bred Target “snob” who has always avoided Walmart, probably for no real reason. I now live in the country (with easy access to the city). And while I am privileged as well and have tried both Talbots and J. Crew striped top options at your recommendation, I’m actually more drawn to the sweater in today’s post – both for the pop of color on the sleeves and the wider stripes. Guess who will be heading to Walmart this weekend. Thanks for broadening my fashion horizon, Alison!
I feel like I should expand on my statement that avoid Walmart was for no real reason. I was thinking of growing up going to Target and never Walmart, because it’s what my mom did vs. understanding the reason behind it. I do feel like I’ve become more educated in recent years about supply chain as it relates to my food, clothing and other household goods. And there are absolutely justifiable reasons that people do and should boycott various business. Really thinking about sustainability and other issues around social justice with fair wages, impacts to smaller communities, etc. requires broadening one’s horizons. My husband is from a smaller community in Iowa and we have watched so many of their various shopping options (and not just small businesses, including Shopko + Kmart + others) close and the impact it has to an aging population has really opened my eyes.
I have also been conflicted about Walmart in the past and had boycotted it from time to time. However, I find that they are one of the few stores that actually has a wide range of sizes in-stock in the store. My size often seems to be unavailable at other retailers. I’m glad to know you will be featuring more and different brands. I value your opinion.
Gillian Whitcombe says
I really appreciate this! I grew up in a small town where Walmart (or Zellers before it) was often the only place to get things… it always annoys me now that I’m in a city when folks turn their noses up at it! I sew all my own clothes to avoid fast fashion, but if I didn’t, I’d still rely on budget big box stores like Walmart for options! (Also, you look super cute in this, and how lovely that spring seems to have arrived for you!)