Cheaper alternatives to Eileen Fisher?
October 9, 2012 4:53 PM   Subscribe

I am a 42 year old, plus-sized (18 US) woman who wants to dress in nothing but Eileen Fisher clothing. I cannot afford Eileen Fisher clothing. What brand do I wear/where do I shop?

I want to wear nothing but EF for three reasons: 1) I love the fact that basically EF is one great big wardrobe and everything matches everything else, 2) I think the clothes are gorgeous, and hide a lot of flaws and flab, and 3) I adore the idea of going into one store and buying all my clothes there (or at least just focusing on ONE brand at a department store).

Problem is that shit is crazy expensive. Mama needs to buy baby shoes.

So - what is the cheaper alternative to EF that can be found in major department stores/Seattle/online? The same look and feel/sizing (perhaps not the same high quality) without the price tag?

OR where do I find EF for hella cheap?

I already scour consignment and thrift for EF, but with a new baby don't have the time for eBay. Thanks!
posted by tristeza to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (21 answers total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
J.Jill isn't cheap but the esthetic is very similar and most of the pieces go together. They go up to 4X.
posted by kate blank at 5:11 PM on October 9, 2012

Is there a Nordstrom Rack near you? I'm a size 18 too, and have had a lot of luck there lately.
posted by smirkette at 5:25 PM on October 9, 2012 [2 favorites]

FYI I have had great luck finding EF clothes in the sale racks at Macy's, and you can sometimes combine that with coupons you'll receive if you give Macy's your email address.
posted by BlahLaLa at 5:26 PM on October 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

Flax Clothing has a lot of similar pieces. As I recall, it's a bit cheaper than Eileen Fisher, but not as easy to find.
posted by crush-onastick at 5:33 PM on October 9, 2012 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Is there a Nordstrom Rack near you? I'm a size 18 too, and have had a lot of luck there lately

Smirkette, do you mean for Eileen Fisher, or in general (or for a specific other brand)? And yes, there's a Rack around.
posted by tristeza at 5:34 PM on October 9, 2012

Response by poster: FYI I have had great luck finding EF clothes in the sale racks at Macy's

BlahLaLa, is this in the "normal ladies' size" section? (And thank you, my Nora IS damn cute :) )
posted by tristeza at 5:35 PM on October 9, 2012

Well, damn. Now I have to hate you - I had NO IDEA that Eileen Fisher existed and now I need a $518 cashmere sweater. Thanks.

J. Jill is a half decent substitute but I find their pants are oddly cut/sized.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 5:38 PM on October 9, 2012 [9 favorites]

At Macy's I would check the "normal" dept and also the plus size. Is an EF plus size 1 too big for you?
posted by BlahLaLa at 5:39 PM on October 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

I've had a lot of luck with finding EF at Nordstrom Rack. You just have to go back quite a bit to catch it. Also, for me, there's one of 3 local Nordstrom Racks that I go to that always seems to have more of it, so try around.

Your Nora is super cute!
posted by quince at 5:39 PM on October 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'd like to suggest that you might have time for eBay after all: if you set a search delimiting size and stipulating new with/without tags (if you mind pre-owned), eBay can email you daily with items fitting your search criteria. Then you can use bid-snipe services to bid for you. A huge time-saver.
posted by taramosalata at 5:41 PM on October 9, 2012 [7 favorites]

Chico's has some similar pieces, demographic appeal, and cut. Not cheap, but cheaper than EF.
posted by phoenixy at 5:58 PM on October 9, 2012

Garnet Hill carries EF and frequently has sales and deals. Since it all matches, you don't need that many pieces.
posted by Ideefixe at 6:09 PM on October 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

Have you asked the consignment places to call you when it comes in in your size? Lots are willing to do that, I've found.
posted by kmennie at 6:17 PM on October 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

If you have a Lord & Taylor near you, they always have sales and coupons on EF. Their website has a more limited selection, but you can also find bargains there sometimes.

Also nthing J.Jill. Very similar aesthetic.
posted by bedhead at 7:07 PM on October 9, 2012

I just looked and it reminds me a lot of the Chico's "Travelers" collection. About half the price, and Chico's has their own coupons too that can bring it down a bit. Still not what I'd call "cheap" but at least better.
posted by Lady Li at 8:18 PM on October 9, 2012

There's also Nordstrom Rack online - free shipping & returns!
posted by snowymorninblues at 8:18 PM on October 9, 2012

I just ordered a dress and a skirt from eShatki and I was very pleased.... Not super cheap but reasonable and I was pretty impressed with the quality. And you can customize your measurements....
posted by pearlybob at 8:31 PM on October 9, 2012

I love EF for all the reasons you mentioned. And I get most of my pieces from (drum roll) Goodwill! I have about four or five EF sweaters for work that I paid no more than 7 dollars for. It takes a lot of effort but, hey, it's cheap!
posted by nubianinthedesert at 9:31 PM on October 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

Duh. Didn't see the part about you already scouring thrift stores. :(
posted by nubianinthedesert at 9:34 PM on October 9, 2012

Gap's "Gap Pure" line is pretty much exactly this, but unfortunately they don't seem to include plus sizes (WTF, Gap?). It runs up to a reasonably generous XXL, though, so for you it might work.
posted by thetortoise at 2:15 PM on October 10, 2012

Sign up for Garnet Hill's newsletter email - they often have coupons and their stock of Eileen Fisher is often on sale. It's not rock bottom prices, but it's cheaper than the eponymous stores.

The Eileen Fisher website also has sale clothing.

Once you figure out your size, eBay can be rather fast. Set up a bunch of saved searches to email you -- if the whole category of Eileen Fisher is too overwhelming, just start with "sweater" or "top" while you get going. Are you XL in 'regular' sizes (not sure what it's called) or 1x in plus? Eileen Fisher can be roomy so I've had to go down a size before.

If you're open to used, set your search limits to 'used' clothing on eBay - it'll cut out all the resellers of new stuff and high prices. Here's a 1X tank, blue open cardigan, rust open cardigan, 2X grey open cardigan, 1x black pants.
posted by barnone at 4:12 PM on October 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

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