The Recessionista Reviews William Rast for Target

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Pictured: William Rast for Target Women’s collection shirts

I finally escaped the torrential rains in California, and got to the cold East coast where I was able to stumble into the local Target, a steaming coffee in hand, to review the new William Rast for Target collection.  I wish I could give this one a rave up, because I like William Rast jeans and their unique, derriere enhancing fit.  But make no mistake, William Rast for Target is not the same in quality, price or fit as William Rast. It proves the old adage that just because something is lower priced, it is not necessarily a bargain.  For starters, the entire collection is sized small. The Target descriptions call it a young “contemporary fit” but I would call it a small Junior fit (except for the T-shirts). To show the sizing, I asked my nine year old niece to model some of the clothes.  No surprise, they fit her perfectly.  The little $49.99 Khaki Jacket with the rouching  around the zipper is cute, but it’s hard to image it on someone with a torso longer than a kid’s.  The jacket is also very lightweight, more suited to early fall, than snowy winter.

Pictured: The Recessioniecesta models the khaki jacket from  the collection.  It’s quite a petite fit.

The collection’s shirts look cheaply made, particularly the plaid shirts and the overly shiny pink woven blouse in polyester. For the price, there are shirts made of better fabric, that offer a better fit.  In the women’s line, the standout is the chambray shirt in “dark wash” with the studs on the breast pocket.  This is probably the best looking piece in the collection in my opinion.  Priced at $34.99, this shirt could also be worn over a tank as a jacket.

Pictured: This black chambray shirt is my favorite piece in the women’s collection, priced at $34.99.

The T-shirts and tops in the line are flimsy, and not unique. Although the line is advertised as “Biker Bohemia”, I don’t see anything Bohemian about the mix of non-descript tees and sweatshirts. The Target I visited didn’t have any of the the leather jackets or the tuxedo jackets that I liked in the print ads. They did have the khaki vest with the ruffles which is a bit of a disaster with the small fit, crooked zippers, and unfinished, frayed edges.

Pictured: The unfinished edges on the William Rast for Target twill vest in green (price $39.99)

There were lots of the jeans left on the Target rack. It looked as though nothing had been touched since they were stocked. To me, the jeans are the collection highlight, with the distinctive William Rast back pocket stitching and fit.  The jeans run small, so do try to try them on in-store before buying. On the plus side, the jeans have plenty of stretch in them with a nice balance of polyester, cotton and elastane.  For $49.99, the jeans are more expensive than their competitors, but they do appear to be better made and offer a better fit.

Overall, I think William Rast for Target is headed for the Target clearance racks after the holiday.  I didn’t see any shoppers looking at it in the store I visited except me and my little niece. There was more excitement among shoppers over the glittery holiday tops and the pieces from the Merona collection. It’s too bad, because bringing William Rast to Target is an idea that showed promise.  But at the end of the day, I don’t believe consumers are going to pay these prices for this rather drab and not particularly well made collection. There are just too many other choices.


Since 2008, Mary Hall has been the author of The Recessionista Blog, which is read by thousands of regular readers in over 160 countries. An internationally recognized expert on the art of the living the good life for less, she has been a commentator on local, national, and international radio and TV shows. Her advice has been featured in over 2,000 media outlets, including The New York Times, Reuters, Life & Style magazine, ABC News, NBC News and now The Huffington Post, among many others.


  1. alamode

    December 23, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    Agreed! I saw the William Rast for Target collection two days ago. Justin Timberlake should hang his head in shame… boring t-shirts and sweatshirts? I noticed the same thing about the fit and thought these belonged in the children's section.

    Overall – poor quality, boring collection, and for the first time in a while it seemed like the entire 'designer' collection was sitting there untouched in my popular Target.

    With this collection and the Mulberry collection disaster, it feels like designers coming to Target need to rethink their strategy. Just because I don't choose to buy the designers' collections on a regular basis doesn't mean I'm unfamiliar with the quality and design aesthetic of the brands. I want an affordable, cohesive collection that is inspired by the brand. Not just a cheap knockoff that slaps the designer's name on it.

  2. Target-Addict

    December 23, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    I agree as well. The line is a letdown, for sure. FYI, I did see (and try on) the tuxedo jacket with the “corset ties” on the arms. It ran super-small and was very cropped (even more so than the khaki jacket) so I passed on it. I also tried on the studded black knit pencil skirt, but again, it was only just “ok”, so I didn't feel the need to buy it.

  3. Erica Wark

    December 23, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    I also agree.. not impressed… I hate it when people are lazy and just wanna make $$!