The Stylus Vibe
Think Joe Fresh and Uniqlo with a twist of J.Crew or Kate Spade. It's preppy basics with a colorful edge and a subtle nod to trends. Some of the Stylus details that caught my eye are the summery lemon prints (they are to spring/summer 2015 what the pineapple print was to spring/summer 2014), chic stripes (like this top), tropical florals, and vacation-ready playful graphics. Shorts in classic silhouettes and an array of colors rounded out the merchandise assortment.
Sizing for the Stylus brand runs true to the old JCP brand and to Joe Fresh. If you usually shop in the Junior's or MNG by Mango departments, then you'll find Stylus to run big. My store didn't carry anything smaller than a size small, and I found the shorts in size 2 to be too big for me. Note to JCP - in the future, I'd like to see extended sizing for plus and petites in stores.
Pricing was budget-friendly and competitve, with many items advertised on sale and under $30. I was armed with a 25% off coupon, so no complaints there.
July 25, 2016 update - Shop the summer collection:
Below, a look at the visual merchandising.
Blouses are lightweight and have an easy fit.
Modern graphics adorn these chic blouses (currently on sale for $19.99) that could work for the office or the weekend.
This lemon print tee was a favorite, but they didn't carry my size.
Tropical themes prevailed in some of the tees and tops.
Fitting Room Favorites
Many items weren't available in my size (including this cute eyelet bomber jacket), so I tried on the smallest sizes they had (mostly small and 2).
From left to right below:
I'm mixing prints with this striped rayon tee (size small) and tropical print shorts (size 2). Both are comfortable and have an easy fit. I was surprised by the wrinkle resistant nature of the rayon top. I scrunched it up repeatedly to see if it would wrinkle, and the verdict is that it passed the test and would even be a suitcase-friendly item. As for the quality of the shorts, it appeared equal to the J.Crew shorts I own. The shorts are a top pick and they have front pockets with a medium weight construction in a soft cotton twill.
The lemon print romper was a favorite. Full disclosure - I might be developing an obsession with lemon prints this season. Unfortunately, this one was too big in a size small. It's a better fit for someone with a longer torso. Bonus points for the two front pockets and an easy button closure in the back.
I liked the white eyelet top, although the size small was too big. It also comes in a light pink. It's lightweight, boxy and slightly sheer but has fun textural details, making it an elevated and versatile basic.
Below, I'm wearing the boxy floral top in a size small. It has an exposed white zipper up the back and an oversized fit. I love the pastel colors and tropical print but the fit was too big. The stretch twill shorts (on sale right now for $17.99) are a size 2, with plenty of room to spare in the waist. They come in many colors and are really soft with some structure. If they came in a smaller size, I would've bought a pair in white since they aren't too sheer like some white shorts can be.
The button front shirt has a pineapple print and is a size small with a relaxed fit and one chest pocket. It's lightweight without being sheer and very comfortable. I'm wearing it with the white denim roll-cuff shorts in a size 4. They have a 4" inseam, medium weight construction, and classic five pocket styling. I would've bought these if they has a size that fit me.
The pineapple tee is a size small and a linen blend. It's ever so slightly sheer, soft, and comfortable. I paired it with the tropical print shorts from above.
Below, I paired the eyelet top with linen striped shorts in a small. The shorts have a drawstring waist and relaxed fit, making them feel almost too casual.
The floral sleeveless top has a sporty vibe and oversized fit. I'm wearing a medium with chambray joggers in a small. Both are too roomy but very comfortable. The top is lightweight and made of polyester. The pants are super soft with zips at the ankles. I'd pass on both of these because I have similar items in my closet.
So far, I'm pleased with the trend direction, array of prints, and pricing for Stylus. From the lack of smaller sizes in my store, it appears to be selling well. I would've bought some pieces if the sizing was better for me, so I'll stalk the petite sizes online instead. I'm looking forward to seeing more from Stylus as we head into summer.
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See the latest from Stylus: