The Case between Grana and Everlane’s Silk Camisoles

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Oh wow
 Time sure flies when all you do is work! It’s been 8 months since my last entry and that’s disturbing; I really ought to have a life outside of my job.

Even if it’s really just me sitting on the cold marble floors inside my apartment, no cats, burning a ridiculously expensive candle and writing articles.

Anyway, I digress.

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2016 and 2017 silk camisoles from both brands

Everlane and Grana: Anyone with a social media account would be familiar with these two brands; their brand philosophy are near identical: providing environmentally friendly and quality clothing without a cutthroat price (due to their refusal for a middle-man marketing component), yet there are still some slight differences. Everlane only does international shipping a few times a year, while Grana does international shipping all year round; Everlane produces an overwhelming lot of products now, including bags and shoes, while Grana are sticking to clothing items (so far); Everlane is based in USA while Grana is based in Hong Kong. But surely that’s not all the differences that they have.

So today, we will review both their famous silk camisoles—mostly because that’s all that I find myself repurchasing since 2016.

But before we start, here’s a slight observation
From what I noticed, the camisole that we wear today is most likely an evolution as it was never made to be worn like how it is today: over some kind of bottoms and out the door we go; no, it was more like a chemise (slip) and usually mid thigh, worn beneath dresses that needed extra coverage. Today, possibly due to the revival of the 90s era (think polyester slip dresses and sporty tank top) and the never-dying trend of innerwear as outerwear (hello Jean-Paul Gaultier and the punks of London), camisoles, a tamer version of actual undergarments are, today, considered as a foundation layering piece—even if they are made of boudoir materials like silk, chiffon, with some even adorned with laces and ruffles.

With that little lesson out of the way, I decided to make a little table chart instead of writing huge chunks of text because

  1. It’ll probably be clearer and
  2. We are a generation of tl;dr people

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So here we go:

Brand Everlane Grana
Location United States Hong Kong
Year bought 2016 2017 2016 2017
Size bought XS 00 XXS XXS
Colours bought Black, Light grey and Navy Slate, Pale sage and Wine Off-white Black
Fit Not true to size; cut runs slightly bigger with gapping at the arm hole. This runs a risk of exposing brassiere at the side of the armhole Much closer to size though there’s still a bit of gapping under the arm hole Not true to size; cut runs slightly bigger with gapping at the arm hole. This runs a risk of exposing brassiere at the side of the armhole Much closer to size now though there’s still a bit of gapping under the arm hole
Inner Lining Ends just below the bust Fully lined Fully lined Fully lined
Material Silk has a matte sheen and feels like suede. While it might be inappropriate to go braless, the thin silk drapes and moves beautifully along with you as you walk Subtle chrome-like sheen. It’s smoother and crĂȘpe-like now, and despite the full lining, it still drapes beautifully Low-shine satin (nothing a disco ball). It’s very structured and causes a little budge when tucked into bottoms
Straps It has adjustable straps but this makes it feels a little casual/cheap despite the luxurious nature of the fabric Non-adjustable straps with the possibility to wear back to front. Straps are flat (like a ribbon) Non-adjustable straps with the possibility to wear back to front too if you like an even deeper plunging neckline. Straps a rolled (like a rope)
Neckline It’s a mix between a scoop and a bateau at the front, with a slight scoop at the back It’s a scoop mixed with v-neck at the front, while the back’s a straight across neckline Both sides are v-neck, with the back’s neckline an even deeper v
Hems Blind stitching Normal stitching Normal stitching Normal stitching
Upkeep This is hand-washing and washing machine friendly, but wrinkles easily. Colours faded significantly over time and appears a little patchy This is hand-washing and washing machine friendly and no longer wrinkles as easily, with colour holding up better too This is hand-washing and washing machine friendly, but wrinkles easily. This will definitely require ironing to remove the crumpled effects
Quality The hems come undone quite easily despite hand laundering or with laundry bags Some weird threads have stuck out at the side after just one wash No known issues so far
Shipping Selective dates for international shipping at a flat rate of USD$25 Year long free international shipping if you spend USD$75 and above
Price USD$58 each USD$65 each USD$49 each USD$49 each
Take note Everlane has a section called Choose What You Pay and customers can select how much they’re willing to spend on an item (there’s usually 3 set choices for you) Grana has a No Mark Up Sale section where customers will pay for the item at cost price (the same as what the company is paying for)
FYI Feels a little athletic looking, the neckline isn’t very flattering and the straps feel a little flimsy New texture of silk makes it possible to be worn to a semi-formal event. You will need to email to seek assistance The off-white shade looked a little too close to an actual chemise, possibly due to the v-neckline. Excellent immediate online chat assistance (working hours)
Overall Not worth the purchase, to be honest. Glad it’s no longer in production Possibly the secret to being part of a French girl gang…? Pretty worth it if you like structured pieces Still worth purchasing though I think their pop-colour palette isn’t really my taste

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Grana 2017 black silk camisole and Prada 2010 skirt

The verdict
When I first set out to write this comparison review, I was determined to have one winner. It seemed pretty logical anyway: an all-year round free international shipping (once you’ve hit USD$75) sounds like a no-brainer, no?

Yet after looking at the table chart of information, I realised that there can’t be one winner because where one brand lacks, the other brand makes it up—yet that doesn’t mean that it isn’t any better than the other.

So aside from feeling a little sick over how much I’ve spent (USD$467) in a matter of minutes over the last 2 years, my overall conclusion is as follows:

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Choose Grana if you want colours, quality, and a touch of classiness
They have a lot of colours selection so it easily caters to both the monochromatic and the pop-colour crowds. I’ve laundered these in both delicates detergents and normal detergents (once, because I was too drunk tired to bother) but it still came out good as new. The v-neckline, with the low shine sheen and darker colour palettes makes it very classy.

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Choose Everlane if you want a devil-may-care vibe (aka the Parisian girls) and wish to feel mature
The darker colour palette makes me feel very womanly, which is a perfect juxtaposition to the thinner textures as it gives off a “who cares, I’m liberated!” vibe. The finishing could be better but maybe I happened to receive a lemon piece (though this means quality control needs to be tighter). But you can (possibly) wear it two ways so that makes up for it!

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As for me, I love them both and I’ll continue to support these 2 brands because they cater to the different kind of moods I may have or the social situations I’m encountering.

I will also add on to say that I’m glad Everlane ventured out of the usual black and white for this new version because these new colours are just beautiful. As for Grana, I do wish that the plunge was a tad bit higher instead, but that’s just the grandma in me talking—after all, there’s a reason why Hollywood Tape is still surviving, no?

What about you? Have you bought from either of the brands? I’ll love to know how you feel about their silk camisoles!

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I’ll also like to take a quick moment to highlight something important and that is:

While it’s wonderful that these brands have us consumers in mind—with their ethos of having honest pricing to help us save money (where customers do not pay exorbitant mark up prices)—the flipside of this means that it creates an unnecessary desire in you: you are tempted into overspending and purchasing what you want but don’t really need.

At the end of the day, a business is a business, and as a consumer, do remember that it doesn’t matter if the items are on a no mark up sale promotion, or if you can choose what you pay for the items, because if you’re looking to save money, you’ll definitely save even more if you don’t buy what you do not need!

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Favourites: February 2017

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Chanel’s Little Black Jacket Exhibition (2013)

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Ah, February—a relatively short month of 28 days for year 2017 and only 20 working weekdays, with cold night-walks back home (which is strange for a country with no 4 seasons and lies so close to the equator).

Ironically, compared to January, the shorter the month, the more time I had to spend on self reflections and so for this second month of the year, I managed to have slightly more favourite items to share. I’m afraid there aren’t any more than last month, but there’s a bit more variety this time around!

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Bridget Jones’s Baby
Whenever a film has instalments, nothing could ever beat the first movie and I would agree with that—except maybe because I’m such a sucker for happy endings (yay to Darcy and Jones!) and spiffier outfits (seriously, thank our fucking stars there weren’t anymore of those ill-fitting loose blazers and unflattering bobbly outfits), I very much prefer this 3rd movie. Of course good old Jones is still fucking clumsy but this time round, she appeared somewhat charming (I had no idea that that was even possible). But perhaps the most important of all: that mood during that night scene with Darcy after the christening with that accompanying background music was probably all it needed to seal the deal (well, it is Colin Firth after all).

Note:
Unfortunately, British films tends to bring out a portion of the British side of me (i.e.: potty-mouth), and although I know that we are in a day and age where nobody blinks an eye towards expressive vulgarities, still, I am sorry about this.

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MUJIÂ ç„Ąć°è‰Żć“Â nail polish, Beige
Because of my inability to have steady hands and my busy schedules, I don’t enjoy painting my nails very much. But I also hate looking at unpolished toenails while wearing open-toe heels, so I usually paint my nails in a skin tone shade (rendering my feet like that of a scary mannequin) because I realise this makes mistakes less detectable.

I’ve tried quite a lot of nude-shade nail polishes: Dior, Revlon, OPI, Essie… but there’s always this twinge of purple and grey undertones on them when viewed from certain lightings and angles, and it renders my feet like the undead! However, this particular polish has a hint of pink undertone instead, which is very nice! While it’s not very opaque, one single coat is usually good enough for me—if I able to fully concentrate: that is, sticking to my twice a month (before bed) nails painting schedule; no rush, no mistakes!

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Metal spoon for lunch
I’ve had this since 2009 and it was from my holiday in Thailand with my friends. I had used one during my nightly dinner (a small couple-run street side beef ball noodle stall) and I had loved how it was made of stainless steel and just so adorably small—most of these spoons are usually quite large and are made of ceramic, which meant that it was not travel friendly.

Anyway, I ended up getting one for myself before the trip was over and I’m so glad I did. It can be a little screechy when used against my metal lunch box, but it’s okay because my headphones are often blasting some TV shows and I don’t always join my colleagues for lunch (I prefer home-cooked food).

I Will Go to You like the first Snow—OST Guardian: The Lonely & Great God
I’ve read music for about 20 years and because of that, I’m quite sensitive (aka: picky) when it comes to film/drama soundtracks. But I guess because of this education, my view of music is a little old school (especially when it comes to OST)—I prefer a melody to match its lyrics, which is pretty rare in today’s context—musicians often want the juxtaposition because it’s a representation of unpredictability, rebelliousness and excitement.

So imagine my surprise when this particular soundtrack, in spite of it being sung in a foreign language, managed to summarise the drama succinctly—evoking the bittersweet feeling of longing, loneliness and love—proving just how powerful this music arrangement has been; it broke the lyrical boundaries and made the listener feel the unspoken. Well done!

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Paris to Go: Why I Don’t Wear Vegan Leather
Anyone who’s interested in fashion has probably watched the 2015 documentary film, The True Cost, and while it did great at exploring the impact of fashion on people and the planet, something was not addressed in the film: Vegan-leather fashion products. With vegetarian and vegan-ism growing to become a popular lifestyle choice today, it makes sense that many people feel driven to become one—for the better of the animals and our environment… right?

Nope; Ariana’s provocatively titled article begs to differ: by shedding insightful light on what vegan leather really is, how the manufacturing process happens and the environment impacts it has to our Earth, the conclusion is that vegan-leather is actually far worse than leather products. Of course, it’s crucial to remember that there’s nothing on this earth that we do that will have zero negative environmental and animal impacts. Instead, it’s just a matter of how much of such impact will we create?

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Fifi Lapin charms + necklace = Fifi Lapin charm Necklace!
About 2 years ago, I bought some of these Fifi Lapin charms for myself and a couple of my best friends. I used to wear them individually but 1. it was quite a hassle fix the charms onto the necklace and 2. I never knew which one to wear!

So earlier in the month, I decided to crack out my toolbox and had them attached altogether on a single chain (an idea that came from seeing charm bracelets). Now, on days when I’m wearing simple cashmere jumpers from Grana, Topshop jeans and a bit of Lucas Papaw as my lip balm, I’ll spiff up my outfit with this and I think the overall look is pretty charming (pun intended!).

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I’ve come to realise that doing these favourite posts takes a little bit to get used to because I’ve to make it a point not to write too much—else it’ll just become a BA dissertation!

Do you have any favourites for the month of February? I’ll love to know about it so please do share it with me!