The Secret to Comfortable, Yet Stylish Basics and Essentials

Students enjoy yummy food at the SAO Student-Faculty Luncheon

Brandy Melville
This Italian brand has got people fawning over simple women’s knits, tops, bottoms, bags and accessories. It is perfect for anyone craving clothing with a laid-back, LA-trendsetter feel.
Rating: [Please insert 4.5 out of 5 stars]
Price Range: $$
518 Broadway
New York, NY 10012
(646) 707-3119

Walking into this shop is exciting. As a woman dressed in West Coast inspired clothing greets you, you gaze up and around you at walls filled with clothing. Everything is a fabulous twist on a basic tee, skirt, or bottom.

This New York City shop has become a total rave in the past year, attracting young women who look for something they can dress up or dress down. Popular buys include sheer tops like the Naia tank top ($26), which has a butterfly back, floral mini dresses like the Piper dress ($32), and solid colored knits like the Phoebe Sweater ($58). The clothing is styled for the casual girl who is not afraid to pile on a lot of jewelry and can pull off a short and fitted dress with Doc Martens.

The small space also has several tables with piles of clothing. There are so many different but similar styles of tops, knits and sweaters that finding the right one can get a bit confusing. A lot of the time, you wonder if you can find the same style in a different color. Other times, you are fooled into thinking two piles of clothing are for the same item, only to notice that the neckline is slightly altered on the latter.

Finding your size is not hard because all the tops and some bottoms are one size fits most. You may think it is impossible, but Brandy Melville designs its clothing with a fit that can look good and flattering on a wide range of sizes.

During my visit, there was a long but worthwhile waiting line for the fitting rooms. Everyone in front of me had more than one item, often five or six, and were excitedly talking about their findings. After trying on everything, more customers struggled with choosing what to leave than deciding what to take.

The graphic tees are also a wonder to look at. They are very popular amongst the younger portion of customers, those in their mid-teens. There are tanks with something like ‘New York City Girl,’ a Nirvana muscle tee, or a cropped tank with an embroidered elephant.

What I find fascinating about the clothing from Brandy Melville is how often you use it. The relaxed and comfortable pieces will easily become your go-to pieces. You have to think about price per use, a term my friends and I often refer to. The more often you wear something, the less the cost is for every use. For instance, if you wear a $50 shirt twice, every use is $25. However, if you use it five times, each use will be $10. It is something to consider.

The jewelry is very affordable and, like the clothing, can be the perfect addition to any outfit. It really cannot emphasize it enough. Unfortunately, the quality is not the greatest. I once bought a ring and used it while washing dishes. It turned my finger a little green. I wear it, regardless. It’s too cute to miss out on.

The online shop is convenient because there are no locations in Pennsylvania, and it has more items available than in store. It also has one amazing feature: pre-order. Every couple of weeks, the site updates and places ten items for pre-order.

Overall, it was hard for me to write this. Not because I found it hard to elaborate on Brandy Melville, but because I felt as though I let out a big, wonderfully juicy secret.

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