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Eileen Fisher: Our Salvation or Our Undoing?

The little mail-order catalogs from the fancy stores arrive, and I know what I’m going to find: four, sometimes six, pages of skirts and pants and tunics—lots and lots of tunics. And jackets—long jackets, asymmetrical jackets, because asymmetry is a thing, loose jackets, mostly jackets without buttons. A fair amount of black, not a lot of white, and… I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a primary color. No, I’m sure I haven’t. All knits? No, no, there are woven pieces, mostly blouses, a raincoat here and there, linen pants when we’re promised mild weather. And prints? Ha! I laugh in your face! (Okay, every once in a while a jaunty stripe.)

And all of them from Eileen Fisher.

That’s not all that’s in the catalogs, of course. There are trim little knit jacket outfits from Misook, not an extra pleat or wrinkle, jackets cutting off just there and not a smidge lower, armholes high and tight. Albert Nipon often makes an appearance, ditto Joan Vass knits.

The catalogs have my number, that’s for sure. Jackets and outfits from Caroline Rose, Go Silk, whose silk makes way for cotton and linen, thank goodness, embroidered tops and tunics from Johnny Was—they emulate the Eileen Fisher brand of body awareness, as in not very much. Loose, easy—not for us the waistbands with a button and a zipper. The Eileen Fisher sizing is easy, often XXS through XL, then at a slightly higher price for the bigger Xs (the Plus sizes) but no price break for the Petites.

Sometimes, when I’m thinking clearly, I will go to my closet before I order something. It has happened that the muddy-green tank top is already hanging there, from an earlier season, an earlier catalog. Don’t get me started on the number of pairs of black pants hanging there, either.

However, if you’re new to the world of Eileen Fisher, you’ll be relieved to find that the brand offers tons of versatile pieces that can be worn season after season: 

Organic Cotton Jersey Classic Collar Shirt, $96.60

A classic button-down takes a softer stance cut from jersey-knit organic cotton.

Stretch Crepe Slim Ankle Pants, $117.60

Boasting the comfort and ease of leggings but in a more polished stretch-crepe fabrication, slim ankle-length pants bridge the gap between work and play.

Boxy Round Neck Top, $136.80

A tweedy stretch-cotton blend brings rich texture to this boxy, swingy top framed with elegant bracelet sleeves.

Funnel Neck Tunic Sweater, $178

This minimalist tunic is knit with soft, sustainable fibers in a longline fit with slouchy drop-shoulder sleeves.

Organic Cotton & Linen Shaped Cardigan, $166.80

A goes-with-everything jaspé knit from a blend of organic linen and organic cotton makes this open-front cardigan an earth-friendly everyday winner.

Silk Georgette Swing Dress, $226.80

Sass up your sashay in this swingy silk-georgette dress designed with cap sleeves and movement-enhancing side slits.

Ribbed Scoop Neck Tank, $58.96

A rib knit adds texture and just the right amount of stretch to a scoop-neck tank made from sustainably produced fibers.

Kiss Knit Sock Pump, $119.90

Featuring material made from recycled water bottles, this knit pump merges eco-conscious design with of-the-moment style.

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