I coaxed my boyfriend into trying on a few pieces, including the nylon jacket ($49.99), the plaid and woven shirts (both $34.99), the gray flag tee ($19.99), and some skinny jeans in dark blue and gray ($49.99).
He preferred the heavy feel of the nylon jacket and the gray woven shirt, and noted that the plaid shirts ran small. For reference, he's about 5'10" and wearing size medium in the shirts and jackets, and size 28 in the skinny jeans. In terms of quality, the gray woven top (in the second photo below) is my top pick, since it appeared to be sewn well and made of thick fabric. It also had a decent fit and nice branding of the William Rast (not William Rast for Target) logo on the chest pocket. Despite the fact that we had some problems zipping up the nylon jacket due to the fabric getting stuck in the zipper, it's one of my favorite pieces in the Men's collection. It actually has a double zipper, which can be seen in the fourth photo below. The plaid shirts, on the other hand, struck me as too lightweight for fall or winter, although the chest pocket with the logo was a nice detail. The quality of the denim on the jeans fell short of my expectations due to its lightweight feel. (The Women's denim was heftier.) In addition, the fit of the Men's skinny jeans seemed to run large; they looked more like easy fit than skinny.
Now for the Women's collection. Per usual, I took a few pieces into the fitting room, including the green twill vest ($39.99), the woven blouse in pink ($34.99), the black tuxedo blazer ($49.99), and some bootcut jeans in dark wash ($49.99). Please note that I tried on size small in the tops.
Overall, the "Biker Bohemia" theme of this collection didn't appeal to me, as I would've preferred some feminine dresses or more edgy pieces in this collection. In all honesty, I found the basic tanks, tees, and bottoms to be boring. Studded tanks, skinny cargo pants, and tuxedo jackets have been done to death. Furthermore, I didn't care for the crinkly, semi-shiny polyester used in many of the tops.
This green twill vest was made of 100% cotton and had a nice, tailored fit and great details, but seemed too similar to things I already own. It also reminds me of the Valentino for Gap collection because of the ruffles and peplum details.
I didn't like the crinkly, shiny polyester on this pink top, although I favored the pale color and pearl snap closures.
The tuxedo jacket fit well and had interesting lace-up details on the sleeves and back, but the fabric looked like it would fade after washing.
In terms of quality and fit, the denim pleasantly surprised me, as did the signature William Rast stitching on the back pockets. For reference, I tried on a size 26 (or 5) and folded the hem under a few inches. Since William Rast is known for its denim, I had high expectations for the fit. I was certainly not disappointed. The waistband did not gap, it looked well sewn, and the denim was comfortable and soft without being too stretchy. Although I didn't purchase anything, I might go after the holidays and pick up some jeans.
All words and images © 2010 Fashion Trend Guide.