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.
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
- It’ll probably be clearer and
- We are a generation of tl;dr people
So here we go:
|Location||United States||Hong Kong|
|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 crêpe-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|
Grana 2017 black silk camisole and Prada 2010 skirt
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:
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.
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!
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!
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!