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Style Shopper: Review of La Maison Simons Collared Shirts, Dress, Tees, Skirts – Spring 2016

WHAT “STYLE SHOPPER” IS…

I’ve started just taking Instagram shots of the items I order online, have shipped to me and then try on at home.

So I figured, why not share what I think about what I ordered, why and what it actually looks like in person, along with pros and cons?

I also (unless otherwise noted) have spent my OWN MONEY AND TIME doing this, it is UNSPONSORED and UNSOLICITED.

..hence why the reviews will be super honest.

WHY ONLY ON INSTAGRAM?

I will only do this via Instagram because it is just too much work to take pictures with a camera, upload them, crop them, etc.

I want this to be quick and painless for both you and me.

If you have any questions about any piece, just shoot me an email or get in touch with me in a billion of ways and I’ll elaborate.

WHY I SHOP ONLINE

I do this because I’m all too lazy, tired and pressed for time to go to the store but am intrigued by what I see online.

I so far will mostly be only reviewing from The Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy or Zara for their easy and free shipping & super hassle-free (and free) returns.

On to the reviews!

AN IDEA OF MY SIZE & SHOPPING PERSONALITY

I’m an inverted triangle and normally wear an XS or 00 (smallest sizes in all mainstream brands except for designer brands where I usually take a US 4 or US 6).

I am super picky and hate itchy items, too-tight things and anything that doesn’t look or feel expensive and wonderful.

$9 is $90 is $900.

The price makes no difference to me as long as it feels expensive.

I really like Simons. It’s a Montreal institution to me, and it has pretty affordable, very stylish, trendy items that are about the quality of H&M or higher depending on how much you want to pay.

SIMONS CONTEMPORAINE COLOURFUL FLORAL MIRROR PRINT SKIRT – $79

simons-contemporaine-review-floral-mirror-skirt-ted-baker-lookalike

How can I say no?

Graphic, floral print… in a pencil skirt! WIN!

It’s pretty much a straight knock-off of this Ted Baker Floral Mirror print skirt which is A-Line and probably very well made, and just about the same price as this knockoff version.

Size 9/10

True to size.

I am normally a size 0, and the smallest they had was a 2 and if you look at my Instagram shots you will see that it is very loose around the waist, hips and butt.

I’d say true to size. If they had a 0, it’d fit better.

Colour 10/10

Excellent. Super vibrant, exactly as pictured. No deviation in the print at all, it is printed on the skirt, it is not a floral print that they cut out and have to match by hand.

Quality 3/10

Meh. Low.

Really, it felt super cheap. Cheap polyester, cheap neoprene-feeling skirt… I was not impressed.

It wasn’t even lined like my other Ted Baker floral skirt knockoff I bought last year, and I had taken a size 2 in that one too, but it fit well, much better than this size 2. Their sizing is getting bigger and bigger at Simons I think.

Fit

Terrible on me because they don’t have any sizes smaller than 2.

I need a 0 or a 00 in this brand, as it it meant for more mature women, as the saleswoman once told me.

(What I’m not mature enough!?)

INSTAGRAM SHOTS OF THE FLORAL MIRROR SKIRT

CONTEMPORAINE BLACK AND WHITE TRACED CHECK SKIRT – $100

 

simons-traced-check-skirt

A nice, graphic, geometric print. I was immediately sold.

Size 10/10

I took the size 2 in this one, and it fit perfectly. Not too tight, not too lose, just right.

I’m normally a size 0 in Banana Republic for skirts, but the 2 fit well in this one, so I’d say size up.

Colour 10/10

Excellent. Exactly as pictured. The geometric print is gorgeous!

Quality 10/10

Again it is surprising but for about the same price range ($30 more or so) it is far better made than the Ted Baker lookalike knockoff above, in the SAME brand Contemporaine.

It is fully lined, no pockets, but the material was thick, swishy, and I would have been sorely tempted to keep it had I seen it as a gap in my wardrobe, but I already own another checked skirt, and plenty of black and white-style skirts.

Fit 10/10

The only thing I don’t like is the midi length on me. I know I normally looooove midi skirts, but this one just felt dowdy on me in its print. I needed it shorter which means it would need to be tailored, but if you are missing a bold printed, geometric A-line swishy skirt with no pockets in your wardrobe, I suggest you buy this one. ASAP.

INSTAGRAM SHOTS OF THE BLACK AND WHITE GEOMETRIC SKIRT

GEO EYELET COTTON A-LINE SKIRT – $140

simons-white-cotton-eyelet-skirt

I’m a huge sucker for white skirts.. and I love summery skirts.

I’m also a complete sap for white skirts.

Size 8/10

I took the size 2 in this one like all the others and dammmnnnn it was tight. I could barely suck in my stomach enough to get it zipped up and then I gave up when the zipper was an inch from finishing because I didn’t want to break the skirt.

Size up twice.

I normally am a 0 in Banana Republic as an marker, and I needed a US 4 for this. I would consider this “designer” sizing, not mainstream.


Note: I’m technically a true US 4 in bottoms but I always size way down in mainstream brands like Banana Republic, Simons, H&M, Zara, J. Crew, etc.

Colour 10/10

It’s white. Exactly as pictured, and the lace patterns are pretty.

Quality 6/10

Not terrible and not great.

You can see that it is a LITTLE see through. You can see the white pockets show up through the white fabric and eyelet.

For $140 I can understand that part of that price is that it is 100% cotton it is pretty well made, with the lace patterns across each other, comfortable, loose, lacy… but I cannot stomach the price for the quality. I feel like the cotton should have been a bit thicker.

It is slightly see through. I am not feeling this. I took the picture on a cloudy day and if I was in bright sun in the summer I would definitely be showing the outline of my underwear without proper lining.

Fit 7/10

Overall, the length was excellent, hit me right where I want it to hit, it had pockets which I am a HUGE fan of, but the price does not justify the thinness of the cotton even though it isn’t sheer / see through. It was lined, but it was not thick enough for me to consider it at $140.

It should be around $100 or less for the quality.

I also kind of hate the exposed gold zipper at the back.

INSTAGRAM SHOTS OF COTTON EYELET SKIRT

SIMONS ICONE WILDFLOWER VOILE BUTTON UP SHIRT – $48

simons-wildflower-voile-blouse-long

I cannot explain what made me click to order this on a whim.

The minute I did though, I knew it was a mistake.

It is HIDEOUS even online. It reminds me of Hawaiian shirts which my partner loves, and I just find the print so .. *shudder*

But .. I ordered it. It was bold, graphic… and so, totally, NOT ME. Still, I shoulder on.

Size 8/10

It’s a bit loose. Very loose actually, and I don’t hate that feeling or the look but man I hate this blouse. Still, it fit well in the size I took (small) because of the shoulders.

Colour 10/10

Vibrant, just like the photo online.

Quality 6/10

It is very thin. Kind of like linen.. it is very light, loose, great for the summer, and that’s it.

It did come in a prettier print in white, so if you check it out on Simons, look at the white verison.

Fit 7/10

I hate how boxy it looks. Also I just hate the print. I saw it in the box and didn’t want to wear it, but we must assume our mistakes…

INSTAGRAM SHOTS OF THE UGLIEST FLOWER SHIRT EVER

SIMONS WHITE ACCENT COLLARED SHIRT IN WHITE & BANKER STRIPE – $69

simons-white-accent-collared-shirt-front simons-white-accent-collared-shirt-banker-stripe

Now THESE shirts I ordered because I am obsessed with finding the perfect collared shirt. I own so many, and I own a ton in stripes, but I really like the white cuff and collar classic banker look.

Size = 10/10

True to size.

I took a Small for my larger shoulders, otherwise an Extra-small is what would fit my torso.

I don’t mind it being looser in this style of shirt because I don’t want it to be too formal or fitted.

Colour = 10/10

The white is white, the stripes are exactly as pictured, the cuffs and collar are cute in the white accent against the white.

Quality = 10/10

100% cotton, made in Turkey. Excellent quality, loose, comfortable, soft, I think they’re fantastic.

Fit = 10/10

I am not entirely sold on it because it is such a loose fit. I think I want something a little more fitted, otherwise I have to accept it’s a more casual striped shirt…

INSTAGRAM SHOTS OF THE BOYFRIEND FIT COLLARED SHIRTS

SIMONS WHISKERED STRIPE SHIRT = $59

simons-whisker-striped-shirt

Size = 10/10

It fits perfectly. I find it’s a bit fitted in the front, not a loose fit at all.

Colour = 5/10

This is what I hated about the shirt. It was such a nice faded blue and white and then close up it looked like they put DIRT on it or sand!! You can see it in the shots.

It does not show that in the photo. It looks terrible on the stripes, dirty, and ridiculous.

So.. freakin’.. weird.

Has a cute accented logo near the bottom of the hem in embroidered white.

Quality = 10/10

It is well made though, and 100% cotton. I thought the quality was pretty high if you can get past the colour of the shirt.

Fit = 7/10

The colour throws me off with that weird dirty yellow / brown stain in the blue, but it fits well and was well made.

INSTAGRAM SHOTS OF THE WHISKERED STRIPE SHIRT

SIMONS GRAPHIC MIXED MEDIA TEE = $39

simons-mixed-media-shirt-cobalt simons-mixed-media-shirt-detail-navy

Size =10/10

I took the small and it fit perfectly.

Colour = 10/10

Exactly true to colour. On the site it looks like a cobalt and navy blue, and it is exactly that.

Quality = 10/10

I like the mixed media material on the bottom which is hard to see in the photos but looks really neat in real life.

Like a t-shirt material but with a chiffon on the bottom that goes up in a nice pattern at the back.

Fit = 10/10

Excellent fit, the only thing I don’t love is that it is $39 for what I think is a pretty simple t-shirt. Maximum, $25 should be the price of this thing, but maybe I’m just getting cheaper as I get richer.

INSTAGRAM SHOTS OF THE MIXED MEDIA TSHIRTS

SIMONS FLORAL MIXED MEDIA TEE = $39

simons-contemporaine-mixed-media-tee

Size = 8/10

I took the small, and it was just a tiny, bit tight in the shoulders. I would need the Medium and then it would just swim on me.

Colour = 10/10

Exactly as pictured on the site, vibrancy and all.

Quality = 10/10

Excellent quality for a shirt, and I really liked it, but the floral print is too girly for me.

Fit = 9/10

I’d have kept it if I wanted a floral t-shirt. It is just too girly for my style and sensibilities, but it is a nice shirt.

INSTAGRAM SHOTS OF THE FLORAL PRINT SHIRT

FLUID PRINT TEE WITH OSCAR WILDE QUOTE = $20

simons-fluid-print-tank-oscar-wilde-be-yourself-tee

Love the quote: Be yourself, everyone else is taken.

Size = 8/10

I took the small, I would have needed the extra small, because the neckline was too low for me (I’d have to not bend over or wear a tank instead).

If I had taken the extra small, it would have been tighter and not the loose fit I want.

Colour = 10/10

Grey, black white. Can’t screw it up.

Quality = 10/10

Excellent for a cheapie, soft, fluid t-shirt.

Fit = 10/10

I’d have kept it if it was more interesting. Grey with black? Meh.

INSTAGRAM SHOTS OF THE OSCAR WILDE QUOTE SHIRT

PRINTED V-NECK TEE WITH CITIES PRINTED ON IT = $20

simons-twik-printed-city-shirt

Size = 8/10

It was a great fit as a small, but the v-neck is way too low for me. I don’t feel comfortable wearing it without another tank underneath.

Colour = 10/10

Black and white. Not much else. The printing on the black shirt is excellent, the white is blinding.

Quality = 10/10

Great as a fluid tee, and is an excellent quality. The printed white part stays on well, it looks good, and it doesn’t crease or crack anywhere.

Fit = 10/10

I would have kept it if I wanted a lower neck v tee, but I only really like Paris, Barcelona, New York.. and the other ones, I have not been to. I almost feel like I could make my own t-shirt.

INSTAGRAM SHOTS OF THE CITY LIST SHIRT

SIMONS CHIC LINEN SHIRTDRESS = $99

simons-chic-linen-shirtdress

Size = 8/10

I took the small, and it fit well but was awkward at the shoulders on me. You need narrow shoulders to wear this I think.

Colour = 10/10

The colour is very true to the photo and looks great.

Quality = 10/10

The quality is FANTASTIC. I love how heavy the dress is, it is lined, it is soft, it drapes beautifully.. I am so incredibly happy with how well made it is.

Fit = 1/10

Unfortunately this is where the love fest ends.

The shoulders were so awkward. WHY DID THEY MAKE SUCH A CUTE DRESS and then screw up the shoulders?

They’re so awkward and silly. They look heavy, they’re large, they droop strangely…

INSTAGRAM SHOTS OF THE LINEN SHIRTDRESS

SIMONS TYPOGRAPHIC LOGO BLOUSE LONDON CITY = $30

simons-typographic-london-shirt

Size = 6/10

I took the small, the shoulders were tight. Size up 2 sizes. I am normally a body type of XS, but I always take S so that it fits my shoulders, and in this shirt I needed a Medium. It was so fitted…

Colour = 10/10

Excellent colour, the London print is vibrant and pretty, the grey is fluid and it looks great.

Quality = 10/10

The quality is excellent.

Fit = 6/10

I would have kept it but it was too shiny, and just.. felt a little cheap for what it was. Plus, $30 for a t-shirt? I am not entirely sold for the price. I feel like I could make my own t-shirt with my own photos from London and it would look better.

$5 and I would have considered it.. but I think it would just end up in my wardrobe unworn, even for $1.

INSTAGRAM SHOTS OF THE LONDON SHIRT

SIMONS HEATHER STRIPE MIDI SKIRT = $25

simons-twik-heather-stripe-skirt

Size = 10/10

Took the size and it fit perfectly. It is stretchy, so even if I had taken the medium it would have been OK, or even the XS.

Colour = 10/10

Love the light grey heather striping. Looks great.

Quality = 7/10

The quality is fine. It is not amazing but for $25, it is worth the $25 if you know what I mean. It is a cheap tube skirt. No lining (a little bit of a concern as the grey is pretty light) and I think it would pill in no time.

Fit = 10/10

I would have kept it for $25, if I were not on this #LuxeMinimalism thing. I can’t keep a cheap throwaway skirt without being sure that I would wear it all the time.

I already have a similar skirt that is stretchy (it’s a maxi), and I don’t need another one for the summer.

INSTAGRAM SHOTS OF HEATHER MIDI TUBE SKIRT

FYI: This is the skirt I use all the time that is stretchy and awesome.

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Am my own Sugar Daddy. Am a millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using TheBudgetingTool.com. I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I have 11 side incomes that are on track in 2020 to make me $50K - $75K. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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