I'm a Fashion Editor, And Here's What I'm Already Wearing From Target's New Designer Collab
As I've gotten older, there are only a handful of things that still fill me with the same excitement as they did during my early 20s. I've come to dread a wild late night out and if given the chance, would rather chill with the same small group of friends over being a social butterfly. However, when it comes to Target's designer collaborations — which have allowed me to shop cute, fashion-forward pieces at a budget-friendly price point for years — I still feel that same old joy. Somehow, some way, they actually seem to get better with each new release.
For Fall 2021, the store announced it was collaborating with four popular brands that I've grown to love during my years as a fashion editor: Nili Lotan, Rachel Comey, Sandy Liang, and Victor Glemaud. Each name has a unique style that's all its own, so whether your personal preference is bright colors and prints or classic staples, there's something for everyone. And since each piece falls under $80, it's possible to invest in multiple items without feeling that extra pang of guilt.
Personally, I'm still living in dresses from the designer collaboration that dropped last May, so when Target asked if I wanted to try out the Fall Designer Collection and choose four items from each brand, I jumped at the chance. I was, of course, slightly suspicious when it came to quality (Nili Lotan, for instance, has leather jackets that cost upwards of $1,000 — could they really replicate similar items on a budget?), but I was pleasantly surprised. After trying on each look, and even wearing a few during New York Fashion Week (I'm really impatient and it was a fashion emergency!), I can honestly say, set your alarm. Grab what you can. Do not miss out on this one when it launches on Sept. 25.
The campaign photos for Target's Fall Designer Collection are no doubt stunning, but sometimes, it's helpful to see what these pieces look like on an average, non-model human. For easy packing during a trip to my parents' house, I opted to stuff each Target look into a small suitcase, so I will now show you selfies from my bright blue childhood bedroom-turned-office and guest room.
For reference, I'm a XS and 0 at Target, but the range goes up to 4X.
I won't pick favorites when it comes to this collaboration, but I will say that this look is extremely versatile and I have no doubt I'll be wearing each piece way too often over the next few months. I've already relied on the printed matching set for a super-busy day of running to fashion shows, since it was a look I knew I could take from work to a kinda-fancy dinner. The jacket is light, yet heavy enough for crisp fall weather, while the earrings are the simple-yet-statement-making pair I'm personally always searching for, whether I'm attending a wedding or grabbing drinks at a bar.
Shop now: Rachel Comey x Target
I'll be honest: I'm still having a hard time when it comes to wearing real pants. I've lived in bike shorts and dresses all summer long and truly hate putting my legs into tight, stiff jeans. These olive pants, however, are so comfy. They actually have an elastic waist and ankle, so they essentially qualify as elevated sweats.
I opted to embrace fall's preppy vibe with a half-zip sweater, layering it over a floral-print shirt and carrying an extra-large tote bag — all of which is from the collaboration. I feel almost collegiate — like Rory in the later seasons of Gilmore Girls — and I mean that in the best way. Wearing this outfit makes me think of orange leaves and hot drinks, which is my version of happiness.
Shop now: Nili Lotan x Target
It's probably smart to start a separate savings fund in order to shop Sandy Liang's Spring '22 collection. Everything is so good and best described as Y2k meets school girl meets cottagecore (like, I saw snap-off pants in the mix, but there were also puff sleeves, pleats, and quilted matching sets). In the meantime, we at least have this Target collaboration to hold us over, which gives off a similar vibe. For this look, I chose a printed sherpa jacket, since I always lust after the sweaters from this brand, along with a black tennis skirt and a white puffer that will surely get me through future 50-degree days (insert crying emoji here).
Should you be searching for items to shop under $20, I definitely recommend these cute Sandy Liang hair accessories. The pack came with a set of four clips (three bobby pins, while one was more of a barrette), all of which added something extra to my messy ponytail.
Shop now: Sandy Liang x Target
I fully admit that I've splurged on a similarly patterned, beyond-my-budget sweater from this same designer, purely because I'm a fan of the brand. And while this one may be a little lighter in feel, it's actually pretty comparable overall.
I love how bright the pieces are in this particular collaboration — it's a mood-booster during gloomy fall and winter! — and am already coming up with tons of ways I want to style this striped skirt, which I believe can be both casual and dressy. To top off this already-pretty-bold outfit, I opted to go with an orange pair of shades (fun!) along with a purple scarf — the latter being a piece I admittedly wore around my apartment as a shawl/blanket for a day and forgot to pack (but still recommend!).
Shop now: Victor Glemaud x Target