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Trying On…Everlane

2013 October 3


I love t-shirts. I have found them to be an essential building block of my wardrobe because I can wear them to pick up and drop off, dress them up for a girls’ night out with a blazer and heels and occasionally fall asleep in them…if necessary.

So it’s sort of a wonder that it has taken me this long to try out Everlane. The seemingly quiet brand came out with a roar, promising to change the essentials market as we know it with reasonably priced tees, shirts, sweaters and basics that are modern and simple. The PR was abundant, everyone shouting from the rooftops about Everlane…so naturally, it took me forever to get on-board.

I am glad I finally did.

I placed my first order last week and had it on my doorstep within two days via USPS. We ordered two simple t-shirts – one for me (women’s v-neck in slate) and one for my husband (men’s v-neck in black) and they came in the lovely package above. Lots of black, white and basic when it comes to the design aesthetic, which we always appreciate.

The fit was great. I ordered a large because I prefer my tees to be a little baggy and this fit the bill. What I loved was that the cotton was nice and thick so it didn’t do that annoying clingy thing that cheaper quality tees can do. Clingy is not flattering, ladies. The cut runs small, in my opinion, it’s comparable to most of the mediums in my drawer already.

Sadly, my husband’s small was too small so he opted to exchange it for a medium. This is where my love affair with Everlane took a (slightly) sour turn. Returns aren’t free. Well, apparently they are free if you make a purchase within 24-hours of signing up on the site. Problem is, I signed up on the site in 2012 just to check it out (I told you it took me forever) so I didn’t qualify even though this was my first purchase.

I am not down with paying $5 for a return in this day and age. A $15 t-shirt just became a $20 t-shirt in that case and even though that’s still a nice deal, it doesn’t seem right to me. Especially since he used their size chart to find his fit and it didn’t work out.

Next issue? You can’t call Everlane. You need to email customer service and wait for a reply that way. I know this helps keep operating costs (and therefore product prices) down, but it was another hiccup I didn’t love. In the end, the sales person who emailed me (even though I asked for a call) did in fact refund the shirt at full price and was very nice and understanding about the situation, so they made it right. It just took me a minute to get over it. I tend to hold grudges 😉

Now that I know my size and fit, I will definitely purchase from them again because the product is great. The process? Needs a little work. But if you’re willing to give it a try-on, I have a feeling these essentials will become favorites fast.

Update: I wrote this post in October 2013 after making my first purchase from Everlane and it randomly got a lot of love from the internet gods and is still often stumbled upon by readers almost one year later so I thought it would only be fair to provide an update. We (both my husband and I) have made several purchases from Everlane since and still really love the quality, fit and style of their products. Their Weekender bag has become one of my favorite things in my closet. We’ve figured out what sizes work best for us (M in tees, for both of us) so we haven’t had to make any returns since the below, but it appears from their web site that in order to get free returns, you still need to be a member who makes a purchase within 24 hours of signing up on the site. So keep that in mind. You also still can’t call them but the customer service reps we have dealt with in the months since this first review, for whatever reason, have been exceptional. They are just an email or a Tweet away and very happy to help with any inquiry. And their brand philosophy remains the same – and it’s awesome. 

14 Responses
  1. October 3, 2013

    I love Everlane’s quality and mission, but I have a lot of problems with the sizing. I order using their size chart, but half of my shirts wind up always spot-on and the other half are SO large. I can’t understand the discrepancy. I find the return process to be a pain as well, so I usually give up and am left with some shirts I’ll just wear around the house. Bummer, but I do love the shirts that work out.

  2. Emily permalink
    October 3, 2013

    Thanks so much for writing this post! I’m glad to hear your true opinion- honestly, I have to say I get a bit miffed anytime I have to pay for shipping at all! I know, I know, that’s unrealistic, but Zappos and Amazon ship for free! So why can’t everyone else? haha
    I’m the same as you as well; I signed up to check them out in the beginning but haven’t ordered anything so i think the t-shirt would be a great try. Oh, and I’m still sad I didn’t order the flat sandals, but maybe next summer.
    Loved this, and love your blog!

  3. Alana permalink
    February 3, 2014

    I think it makes sense for them to charge for returns, unless the product is defective. Their mission is to deliver the best quality at the lowest price. If returns were free, they would just charge more for the clothes to cover that extra cost.

  4. April 7, 2014

    I disagree that it is reasonable to charge for returns. There are significant disadvantages to shopping online, especially from a store with no brick-and-mortar option. You cannot try on the clothing, and must rely on the sizing chart. Well, I did, and the sizes that were recommended based upon the chart were far too large for me. The pricing is lovely, but not so lovely that I want to pay for just the opportunity to try something on. I’m also frustrated that their (new since the original post) return/exchange system isn’t working. The system logged four separate returns for these items, but failed to load the appropriate next page (which I assume would have prompted me for the exchange items or allowed me to print an exchange label). I’m frustrated. It’s a lovely company and a good model, but if we are going to make sustainable and ethical fashion a real option, it has to be as (or nearly as) convenient as conventional shopping, at at a similar cost point. Everlane has nailed two of the tree (ethics and cost), but I’m (thus far) very disappointed in the return/exchange process.

  5. April 15, 2014

    So glad to find your site. I have bought about 9 items from Everlane and had a problem with 7 of them. This last foray is likely my last. I spent quite a bit after reading about the quality of their cashmere. The V neck sweater that arrived was rather boxy. I kept it anyway and wore it on a flight to NY. By the time I arrived, it looked like I had gained 20 lbs. The V neck had widened so it was practically to my shoulders. The body of the sweater seemed to have stretched also because I got weird looks from my family upon my arrival (I am a neat, fairly preppy dresser). I left the sweater in NY for my sister to re-home. The second sweater was not as pricey – the popcorn stitch cashmere and cotton U neck. No problems with the fit on this one but the sweater itches around the area where the neck meets the body of the sweater. I checked for nylon thread (always seems to be the culprit) but didn’t see any of that. Still a mystery so I am wearing stuff under the sweater. The T shirts I purchased (2 colors of the exact same T shirt) had completely different fits. Unable to explain this and when I contacted Everlane, they intimated that I was making this up. Finally, I purchased the scottish scarf and it arrived with some sort of goo in four places on the scarf. The balance of the items I purchased were mildly disappointing or not accurately or adequately described on the website. Customer service is non-existent. You must leave a message and later (days sometimes) Jason or Jared or someone will call you back. They do not answer email. They also do not acknowledge receipt of returns so you just wonder.

  6. katie permalink
    May 28, 2014

    Hi, I would like to share my experience with the brand Everlane with you. Unfortunately it has been an extremely difficult and upsetting experience. I do not want anyone else to spend good money with a company that does not care about its customers.
    I purchased a Petra Market Tote on the 5th March 2014. Within the first couple of weeks of receiving the bag, one side of the bag’s leather started to bubble up and away from the suede interior lining, leaving the bag looking bubbly and like an extremely cheap looking handbag.
    I contacted Everlane on the 7th April with photographs and an explanation of what has happened. I also advised that I had purchased the handbag and had it forwarded onto Australia at my own extra cost. I received a reply from ‘Brian’ within 4 days (contrary to their 24 hr reply system.) He was apologetic and offered to replace the ‘defective’ bag and that although it was not their standard policy, they would ship the replacement bag to Australia. ‘Brian’ asked for my shipping address, I replied and sent my address back with in 12 hours.
    Then I heard nothing from Everlane. I sent one email on the 1st of May, another one on the 8th of May before getting a response from ‘Brian’ on the 19th of May, apologizing for the delay and stating “We’re still a small team here and with all of the new product launches recently, we’ve been a little bit swamped” How hard is it to send out a replacement for a faulty bag when they ship out items on a daily basis? I was asked to AGAIN send my details, to which I did, again within 12 hours.
    Today is the 29th of May and I have since sent another email requesting any information and to be kept updated on my replacement bag or a refund.
    It has now been 7 WEEKS since my initial email and I have been extremely patient and polite until now and I do not know what to do with a company that treats it customers like they do not care! Any advise or help with this issue with Everlane would be greatly appreciated. Thankyou, Katie

  7. kate permalink
    June 26, 2014

    Agreed on the wonky sizing. According to their size chart, my 36.5 inch bust is a large. It’s usually a medium or even a small with vanity sizing, but whatever, I can deal with wearing a large. However, the large was HUGE and the U neckline was so low it showed off half my bra. Granted, I am short with a short torso, but still. I would really like to buy some nice summer white tee shirts and I have read great things about Everlane, but I don’t know if I can deal with the endless cycle of ordering stuff online only to return it a week later. It’s exhausting.

    • June 26, 2014

      A follow up to my April comment –
      The size chart recommended a small in the U-necks and silk shirt (rounded collar and placket). All three items were enormous on me (I’m petite but curvy, at roughly 36-28-38), and as mentioned, a bit of a pain to return, but I eventually exchanged all three for size extra-small. The u-neck tees were much improved in the “too-small” chart size, but I’ve barely worn the silk blouse. It fits perfectly through the bust and the shoulder seams are in the right spot (on my shoulders, instead of an inch or so down my arm), but the sleeves are so tight that I’m measuring my summer diet progress based on whether I’d wear the shirt in public (answer: not yet).

      I appreciate the reasons for charging for returns, but when you can’t try on and/or the item can’t be exchanged (one size fits all, for example), you end up paying simply for the chance to try something on. Reasonable or otherwise, that will keep me from future orders if I can’t rely on the sizing to be accurate and the item to flatter the first go-around.

  8. July 10, 2014

    I agree that sizing with Everlane is tough. However, they are very good about providing the measurements of the the garment itself if you send them an email ([email protected]). That way, you can compare the garment size with the size of a similar item you already own. I have found this to be helpful when playing the sizing game with Everlane purchases.

    I recently placed a larger order with Everlane (about 7 tops in all), with the understanding that some might not fit. When it came time to pack up the items I didn’t want, I simply followed the instructions on Everlane’s website, and printed off a return label. I wasn’t charged at all for the return. Of the 7 items, I only kept 3.

  9. Sharon Knettell permalink
    November 30, 2016

    love Everlane- I am a sz 14- just above the sz large- but the oversized blouses etc are fine.

    The quality is amazing for the money-

    I love the sweatpants- I fit the sz large in women’s but I found them too short which at 5’6″ seems a bit much- but if you like the cropped look they are OK I guess, but in the Northeast I like my ankles covered in the winter. I got the sz medium in mens- same pant but longer- my husband likes them as well. Do not dry them in the dryer- hang up or they shrink and wash in cold water as they recommend.

    Don’t care for the shoes- too pointy toed. Prefer fewer good Italian shoes closets full of cheaper shoes.

    The men’s neoprene line hoodie is a bargain a great for fall walks- very light and comfortable.

  10. Liz permalink
    November 15, 2018

    I bought a pair of day shoes from Everlane, I bought a size larger as recommended, they were for a wedding. When I received them they hurt although when I took my foot back in the shoe they seemed to have plenty of room. I contacted Everlane and they advised me to buy a size larger and keep the first shoes and try them together. I took their advice and did this, however on receiving the second pair just before the wedding it was obvious they were too big. I had no option but to wear the first pair to the reception at the wedding, only wearing them inside. I wore boots outside and as the shoes hurt I danced without them. I told Everlane about this and told them I wanted to buy a pair of day gloves, they suggested I bought two pairs one a size smaller than the day shoes, so I took their advice and ordered a 8.5 and a 9, the 9 being the size of my day shoes. On receiving them I instantly could see that the 8.5 was the size for me. I think my problem is my feet are narrow and my feet with the heel slips forward in the day shoe and I don’t immediately realise they were too big because of the stretchy ankle. Anyway I emailed the company twice asking what to do about it. No reply, emailed again, no reply can’t phone this company. I sent the day slipper back and was charged $6 for restocking. I really feel so disappointed in this company. It is extremely difficult to buy shoes and know what size to buy and is an extremely expensive to be left with shoes that are never going to work for you

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