Tuesday, October 24, 2017

(More Than) One Year Later: Updated Everlane Reviews

It's been more than a year since my last Everlane purchase. I'm a repeat customer though, having made quite a few big-ticket purchases, many predating this blog. Especially because my Everlane reviews are, historically, some of my most popular posts, I thought it might be good to post an update on how some of my items are holding up. 

My fondness for Everlane as a brand has diminished a bit in the last year or so. It's been a very long time since I've loved one of their new designs. Also, as you'll see below, their products have a mixed record with me. The things I love, I truly love, but the things that are iffy are... not great in perplexing ways. Also, I've been a bit disillusioned with a lot of brands that market themselves as ethical. It's not all because of Everlane specifically, it's just that, in my line of work, one trusts very little of what any company says. I do find Everlane very vague about the details, leaving something to be desired in terms of transparency about their production and other practices. 

They've also had a few customer service missteps in recent memory. If you follow r/femalefashionadvice, you might have heard that Everlane sent around an email about selectively charging $10 rather than $6/return to "customers who return the majority of what they order." (Someone from Everlane confirmed this was real.) Many found the email condescending. There were other problems: misleading original price and percent discounted information during a Choose What You Pay promotion and, more problematic in my opinion, evidence that they sometimes listed prices differently for different browsers. The latter really grinds my gears. I inevitably wonder if I've ever paid more than I should. To me, these are pretty big problems that deserve criticism, as it results in misleading pricing from a brand that specifically emphasizes its "transparent" pricing compared to traditional retail. There was also the unpaid "Everlane Ambassador" thing, which bothered me a little less (as a student I would have considered doing it with my free time in exchange for free product), but may not be good best practices for a company that represents itself as ethical.

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Also, I had a bad experience with Everlane customer service. It was a rather convoluted series of events, and an odd situation in which I don't think I was entirely in the right, so I won't go too, too much into the details, but I was also perfectly polite and respectful throughout the email exchange. (As an attorney, I agonize over how every email and letter is worded, I'm very careful about tone.) Their customer service representative was rude and condescending in at least two emails to me, blaming me for a shipping date confusion that I'm still sure was caused by their website not stating an item was backordered. (The appropriate response would just have been a brief apology that there was nothing they could do, as the item was, in fact, backordered.)  It left a bad taste in my mouth, and I haven't bought an Everlane product since. I don't think it was bad enough for me to permanently stop shopping there, really there wasn't anything they could do except not send the offending emails, but it dramatically raises the bar for how badly I must want something before I'd consider buying from them again.

Please click through to read the mini review updates!

Durability Score: 4/5
Satisfaction Score: 5/5

I love my Everlane Petra Market. It was my go-to work bag throughout my time in biglaw, both as a summer associate and a first-year, and also for my entire round of interviews for a post-clerkship job. That's about two total years of heavy use, often carrying a laptop. My Petra Market is only now starting to show some wear in the bottom corners and a little peeling at the edges of the handles. I think that's reasonable for how much I used it, as I don't baby my bags at all. These days, because I no longer have a work laptop and therefore carry a smaller volume of total items, I find the bag a bit large (it's quite big, could be too big for someone my height depending on one's preferences) and floppy (it's softened a bit over time, though still has some structure), so I've switched to other bags. 

Everlane Short Sleeve Silk Dress (Discontinued)
Durability Score: 1/5
Satisfaction Score: 2/5

This item's discontinued, so this won't affect future buyers, but I feel sheepish because I reviewed it positively, even after I had quality issues with the first one I received (the silk tore at the front center seam near the hem the first time I wore it). I assumed that was a fluke, but as I haven't worn the second one that many times and it's having similar issues near my chest, it seems there's a design or quality problem. (I have an old Club Monaco silk slip dress with a  front center seam, and I'm seeing the silk start to tear away from it near the chest there too, though only after much heavier and longer-term use. So, er, it's possible that my figure is too substantial to be contained by this type of dress?) 

Everlane Classic Trench (Redesigned)
Durability Score: 3.5/5
Satisfaction Score: 3/5 (the resentment is strong)

This design is out of production, and was replaced by the Everlane Drape Trench, which has a full lining, unlike mine. So this one's holding up reasonably well and I'm still satisfied that it was the best choice for me at the time I bought it (all cotton, classic styling, fairly affordable), though I've never fully gotten over the silliness and cheapy-feeling-ness of it not being fully lined, especially when their next design for a long trench coat had a full lining at a lower price point. So I have some resentment. I find that the fabric attracts dirt easily, so I have to dry clean pretty often. I also think it'd look better and be wearing better if it had that full lining.

Everlane Slim Zip Wallet (Redesigned)
Durability Score: 4/5
Satisfaction Score: 4/5

I'm very satisfied with this, though it's not currently getting much use because I've started favoring smaller, cardholder-style wallets. The smooth leather took some getting used to, and I found it a bit more prone to smudges, or even scratches, than other leather items I owned. After accumulating a few small smudges and a scuff in the first few months, which I mentioned in response to a comment on my original review post, it actually didn't accumulate any new signs of wear, so it's generally in pretty good shape, despite my using it heavily for more than two years. 

Everlane Scoop-Neck Linen Tee (Discontinued)
Durability Score: 4/5
Satisfaction Score: 5/5

I got this for a great price because of receiving a random discount, and have been very satisfied. I haven't had any issues with machine washing it in cold water and line drying it. Like any other white tee, it got a bit dingy and gray after nearly a year of frequent washing and wearing, but I was able to revive it with my usual method for cleaning non-silk white clothing that's lost its vitality over time (spot treating bad spots with a paste of The Laundress Stain Solution and All Purpose Bleach Alternative, before soaking in hot water with the Bleach Alternative). This may have been discontinued, or it's just not in season right now. The closest similar item is a round-neck boxcut linen tee in blue.

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