Where I live there are quite literally Targets everywhere, including one less than 2 minutes away from my apartment. Google and Microsoft Paint help illustrate this.
This works for me, since I don’t have to set foot in Walmart very often, and I like their clothes.
Because of the amount of time I’ve spent in Target, and on their website, and items of clothing I’ve tried on and purchased, I have some knowledge about what is good, what is bad, and how to win at Target. I’m going to outline what you can and should purchase, what to avoid, and most importantly, when to purchase certain things.
Brands at Target
While there are plenty of different clothing brands in Target, only three are really worth noting. Most others are either confined to athletic clothing, or should be avoided- like Denizen denim. These three are Mossimo, Merona, and Converse One Star.
Mossimo Supply Co. is Target’s younger
, with more modern fits. Of late the brand has become increasingly colorful
, though while shirts
and hoodies are plentiful, the brand has less outerwear than either other brand, which is too bad. Mossimo is great for picking up some basic items, and the value for the money is great on lots of them- but not all.
Fit is “athletic”
on lots of things, which means tapered through the waist with more room in the shoulders. This means their t-shirts fit particularly well, and their button downs fit closer than Merona or Converse. Occasionally the wording is less accurate, or just wrong- like their twill 5-pocket pants
that boast a “relaxed fit” in areas. These pants are not relaxed. Jackets are also a little weird, with similar items sometimes fitting very differently. Their filled windbreaker fits me fine as a small, but a similar looking hooded windbreaker
is unattractively large at the same size.
As mentioned, tees
. The fit is great
, the colors are solid
, and the quality is very good
for ~$10. Mine never seem to shrink or stretch, and I’ve been complimented lots of times on these tees. Layering items
, like henleys
, and hoodies
are similar in quality and fit, and come in a wide array of colors. Mossimo pants
, including cords, are decent quality for the price, and fit slim. Other items
like flannel shirts
are also good, though some items stray into poorly stylized or gaudy territory. Unique socks
have been a staple of Mossimo for about a year now, and for ~$3 a pair you can have dinosaurs, stripes, and other awesome things on your feet. They aren’t Richer Poorer quality, but they beat H&M easily, and can up your sock game on the cheap.
Other items of note: Cords that are $20-$25, and come in lots of colors
Merona is Target’s more formal brand, aimed at everyone from young professionals
, through regular professionals
. Fit is more generous than Mossimo, but not across the board. Merona has plenty of items in ‘classic’ colors
, like navy
, and black
, and of late has added brighter
to a number of items. They provide an entry-level selection for plenty of business-casual
, though they also feature a number of Target’s “avoid at all costs” pieces.
A bunch of Merona items feature a “tailored fit”, which as far as I’m concerned means that they stitched a “tailored fit” tag to the item. The same way my ‘relaxed thigh and leg’ Mossimo pants and not relaxed, Merona is generally not “tailored”. I’n particular a pair of “tailored fit” chinos fit in the waist, and were baggy everywhere else. A medium sweater
may fit too large, and be next to a medium cardigan
that fits perfectly, next to a medium jacket
Merona “Ultimate Dress Shirts”
get touted on Dappered often, and are decent for the price. Their peacoats
are also good for the price, and actually fit better than many other items in the line. Their Kensington blazer
is a versatile piece that is totally unstructured, and made from decent fabric- but fit can vary color to color, and even piece to piece. There are also Merona
which are not bad for the price, don’t buy the ties though- they’re overpriced and unimpressive.
Other items of note: Twill shirt that is thick enough to be a light jacket
Converse One Star is Target’s smaller, more ‘edgy’
brand, pulling inspiration from the military
. The brand is deliberately intended to be more casual
, and more grungy
than Mossimo, and while the styles are more unique
, the colors
, and occasionally browns
tend to make up most of the Converse line, which can be a bit disappointing, as brighter colors
would lend themselves awesomely well to some items. As with the other lines, there have been some interesting inclusions in the Converse line, most notably $30 selvadge jeans
in the recent past.
Fit in general tends to be a bit big, with tees and henleys fitting larger than same-size Mossimo, and other items sharing some of the size disparity that makes trying items key. An extreme example is this field coat
. A small is actually a little big on me, fitting less close than my medium Uniqlo mountain parka. It’s also pretty long, which looks good on my 6’2″ frame, but I imagine a 5’9″ guy weighing 150lbs would be dwarfed in the thing.
The cloth on their shirts
is soft and comfortable
, with more character
than either other brand, and the construction
on most items is a bit better too. There have been occasional accessory items under the brand, such as this weekend bag
, that aren’t bad- though I’d remove branding.
How to shop at Target
Everything at Target goes on sale, and eventually goes to clearance. Typically, an item comes out, goes on the shelf and is priced at X. While at regular price, it will go on sale every couple of weeks, for small discounts. If a shirt is $25, it might go to $22, or $20, or $18, but will hover around it’s initial price for a month or two. The best part of deeper discounts and sales is that Target, like other retailers, drops the cost to clear clothes out for the next season. They do this right when you want said item, not too late. For example, in the last month sweaters, flannel shirts, coats, and other such winter/fall apparel have been on sale, and will be moving to clearance soon. It isn’t even “Winter” yet, but over the next month you can snag Dec/Jan/Feb/March clothes for great discounts, because Target wants to move Spring clothes in soon.
When I go to Target I head to clearance first. Smaller stores usually have 2 racks, one marked 30% and one marked 50%. Occasionally they’ll have 70% off either on a separate rack, or on the 50% one. Larger stores tend to have all three racks most of the time. These are all great, because they reward you for being a bit patient on items you don’t have to buy immediately. In recent months, I grabbed some Odin shirts for 70% off, a Parka for 50% off
, and a crew-neck sweater for 30% off. As the discount gets bigger, items obviously get more and more picked over, so if you’re a medium or small you may want to snag things earlier.Clearance items at Target can be returned without issue, just like everything else. Fit is my most common issue, with something feeling and looking right in store, then looking less good at home. This also applies to online orders, though you’re out shipping if you paid for it.
Lastly, the clearance rack is a great place to snag items to just beat around in, or experiment with. Currently they have some bright shorts
they’re trying to clear out, that aren’t exactly a style item, but would be awesome for a casual spring look, or for playing Chivalry on your PC.Bonus Items
Target’s look and feel extends beyond clothes, and various home goods, kitchen items, and decorative pieces are worth a look. They’re a little hyper-aware of their demographic sometimes, and you can occasionally employ the same sale algorithms to unique decor and things like plates or lamps.
They sell Timex watches, including the Weekender
and Easy Reader
, so you can pair a simple watch with your clothes, and many sell Weekender bands
, which work with most nylon strap ready watches. Tortoise shell wayfarers
and simple aviators
are also available, along with other sunglasses, for a pretty cheap, if more costly than Amazon price.Shoes at Target are of uneven quality and material, and generally should be avoided. That said, at sale prices, some things like suede chukkas
and canvas bluchers
are ok. As with anywhere, avoid synthetic leather and poor construction. Yes, some things can look attractive- especially if your wallet is empty, and you reallywant to copy some looks, but don’t waste your money.Finally, you can grab some other useful things while in store, which aren’t exactly unique to Target, but worth noting. A pull up bar
, some hair products
, or a cheap mirror
can help improve your look quite a bit with minimal effort and cost.Takeaways
Target is constantly improving and altering its lines, though they are far less ‘fast fashion’ than H&M or Express. Their quality is generally good for the price, and similar items from H&M are of inferior construction and material. Clothes will generally not be overly trendy, or feature extra or unnecessary detailing that you can find other places. Unless you find something weird, most things you buy would have looked alright last year, and will look fine next year- which is good for your wallet and your look.
The best thing you can use Target for is filling out a void of basics in your closet, and promoting a clean look. Almost everything you can buy is free of branding, distressing, and obnoxious designs. As long as the fit is good, and the color or pattern is too, it’s hard to go wrong with most items.