From my semester abroad in Australia, I know the potential of the often overlooked stateside brand, Esprit. After a wave of notoriety in the 90's the retailer seemed to have fallen asleep at the wheel. But the brand that appears quaint and homey (and homely?) with its summer dresses and cotton tops has 800 stores and is sold in 14,000 wholesale locations worldwide (and also licenses to several 3rd party vendors, which also interests me professionally). A 25% off dress event tugged my sleeve as I passed by the flat iron location, and was worth the detour.
Marie Claire describes Esprit's aesthetic as "perennial schoolgirl" and they're not wrong in their assertion. A new collection backed by model Daisy Lowe has promise for carving a touch of edge into the otherwise sweet brand. The edc line features leather, cropped vests, and an occasional stud along a seam. And the price is right in this still fragile economic abyss, with denim ranging from $59-$89, and outerwear hovering in the low $100 territory. In the spirit of not judging a book by its cover, don't be turned off by the junior-esqe feel to the website, take a stroll through one of the various Manhattan locations and have a look for yourself. (This jersey drape cardigan is a much more wallet friendly alternative to the pricier American Apparel varieties.)