Gymboree Introduces – Shade

EDITOR’S NOTE: A warm welcome to our newest contributor and fellow Rocket City Mom Katie Skelley. Katie is a former yoga teacher and a current self-described Pinterest addict who will, on occasion, share her finds with us.
Have you ever been in a Gymboree and thought, “I wish they made this outfit for adults?” No? Just me? Well, here is our chance. Gymboree has just released a new clothing line for women. Unfortunately, it does not seem to feature bumble bee motifs and embroidered hula girl rompers. Think more like Gap or J. Crew, both companies with successful (and separate) adult and children lines. Shade originated as a “modest” clothing line in Utah, and Gymboree acquired the company after it encountered financial trouble in 2010. They revamped the line and tailored it for the mom-set. Picture t-shirt dresses, not tutus. This is clothing for parent-teacher conferences, preschool pickups, and those blessed happy hours swilling coffee at Starbucks while your moppet is happily making play dough sculptures at any place that is not your house.

While perusing Shade’s website, my first impression was that all of the models look so happy! How refreshing. I do not know who thought that it was a good idea for models to look miserable all of the time. Like I am more likely to buy a shirt from a model that looks like her cat just perished in a tragic fashion accessories accident.

Because I am all about sacrifice and taking it to the next level for the readers, I placed an order with Shade to review for this article. You’re welcome. I purchased the Empire Half-Sleeve Dress in a black stripe. I like the versatility of the style. Wear it with jeans? Yes. Leggings? Check. Jeggings? I am sure you could. Pajama Jeans? I do not own any, but you could try it (Note to self: Find some pajama jeans.). Shipping and Returns are free, which is an added bonus. Also, anyone who signs up on Shade’s email list will receive 25% off their first order. Excellent.

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I placed my order on a Friday and my dress arrived on my doorstep 10 days later via my BFF, the UPS man. I was willing to accept the long delivery wait since shipping was free. As for quality, the dress is well-made and consists of 96% cotton and 4% spandex. It is also machine-washable, which is a low-maintenance bonus. The dress is snug at the top, but loose and flowing at the bottom. The stretch of the fabric and fitted bodice prevents it from resembling a tent.

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Shade also features a maternity line of affordable casual knit-wear. Unlike their sister line for kids, Shade’s clothing consists of mostly muted colors. Their patterns primarily lean towards stripes and polka dots. The shirts and dresses are loose-fitting and their pants range from snug-fitting leggings to relaxed chinos. This is not cutting-edge fashion, but no one ever said that you have to sacrifice style for comfort. If you are tired of running errands in yoga pants and a Dave Matthews band concert tee (not that this author has ever done that), then check Shade out.

Photo via Gymboree/Shade.

Disclaimer: The author has in no way been compensated for this review. The only contact that she has had recently with shade of any kind is the half hour she spent under her children’s tree house picking up sidewalk chalk before the dog could eat it.