Vera Wang made herself famous with a nonchalant approach to style and luxury. The native New Yorker has a history of designing clothes that are easy — easy to love, easy to wear, and easy to buy.
All that ease was the cornerstone of the Simply Vera Vera Wang collection launched way back in the 2000s. The line was a boon for budget shoppers with its stylish designs, and for Kohl’s.
Sadly, it looks like the heyday for Wang’s “Simply” lineup is over. You can still find wearable styles — I share a few below — but they are lacking personality.
Don’t get me wrong. I love an easy-to-wear blouse with flattering dolman sleeves. But the Simply Vera collection today just isn’t memorable, not like it was 10 years ago. Browse the styles at Kohl’s online and you get the feeling Ms. Wang hasn’t seen this stuff in ages. Maybe she has no idea this stuff has her name on it.
What’s wrong with Simply Vera
From a practical standpoint, the selection of pieces is sparse. Worse, the best styles are not well stocked. I got excited about a crop pant, only to find one size, XXL petite. The product reviews aren’t consistently good either — which tells me the product quality may have suffered.
Then and now in pictures
The two photos below are from the 2011 Simply Vera Vera Wang spring collection.
And here’s a look at the 2022 spring collection for SVVW. It’s just not the same.
How to shop Simply Vera
If you love Kohl’s or Vera Wang and you have some patience, you can find good deals on Simply Vera pieces. Here are the caveats:
- Don’t shop Simply Vera expecting anything but basics. Easy blouses, leggings, and oversized sweaters. Dresses and skirts are few and far between.
- Shop the clearance. Clearance discounts can be impressive. The crop pants I liked were discounted from $44 to $14. You can often combine Kohl’s coupon codes to save more on already discounted items.
- If you need a Wang fix, check the home décor selection. It might be easier to find a piece you like from the home décor lineup vs. the clothing collection.
What to wear from Simply Vera
I only wish this sleepshirt were a dress you could wear outside. The lavender pattern would make a nice addition to my spring rotation. Alas, no. It’s a light rayon that’s too floaty to pass off as a dress. I’d say you could wear it over leggings as a top, but the wide sleeves scream, “nightgown!”
2. Floral Jacquard Tee
This t-shirt can serve a wide range of occasions. Wear it with jeans to style up your most casual days — it’s a prettier alternative to your favorite 5k finisher’s t-shirt, for example. You can also wear it under a blazer or cardigan or atop a casual skirt.
The regular price is $36, which is steep for this piece. I’d wait until it goes on sale or, better, buy it with Kohl’s cash.
3. Patterned blouse
This patterned blouse is a touch dressier than the jacquard tee, but equally as versatile. It’s as pretty over skinny jeans as it is as a bottom layer for the office. The v-neck and slight gathers at the shoulders provide some softness, which works nicely with the lightweight polyester material.
Choose from multiple colors and patterns in sizes XS to XL. I like Mini Blossom and Lotus Pink the best.
4. High-waisted shorts
Lightweight high-waisted shorts combine the feel of a skirt with the security of shorts. Show off the paperbag waist on these by topping the shorts with a tucked-in tank or crop — if you can find one that lands just above the shorts.
Kohl’s has this style in regular and plus sizes, priced as low as $16.
5. Cropped jeans
Cropped jeans are a fun alternative for spring — when full jeans feel too hot but you’re not ready for shorts. This style has a versatile and flattering straight leg and a conservative dark wash. All around, this is a nice buy for a sale price of $30.
6. Jersey top with side ties
Here’s another piece to upgrade your casual outfits. More feminine than a plain t-shirt, but just as comfortable, the top features dolman sleeves and side-tie ruching on one hip. The side-tie holds the garment’s shape so you don’t need to tuck or rearrange throughout the day.
The regular price of $36 is spendy, but it’s on sale for a more comfortable $25.
7. Red t-shirt
So many upgraded t-shirts, right? I know, I know. That goes back to my earlier observation that the Simply Vera Vera Wang collection is lacking in breadth. All the pants look the same and there are hardly any dresses — which leaves us with tops. And the line is heavy with casual tops. Ah well, at least some of them are cute, right?
This red t-shirt makes the cut because it has a soft, feminine shape, lightweight feel, and it’s on sale for $10. I buy at least a few t-shirts for that price every spring season — so this might be next on my list.