Yesterday Her Universe launched another fandom clothing collection! Marking the second time Her Universe, Marvel, and Kohl’s have collaborated, the Captain America 75th anniversary fashion collection includes dresses, rompers, blouses, shorts and knit graphic tops marketed as both subtle and retro.
The fun promotional images feature Her Universe founder Ashley Eckstein at Disney’s Boardwalk Hotel and give a nice look at the clothes in action. I’ll admit, Captain America clothing isn’t on my fandom wishlist at the moment, but I know myself and many other fangirls have been looking for more subtle and fashion-forward fandom clothing designs. Along with having enjoyed several pieces from the Her Universe Marvel Captain America: Civil War fitness collection, I looked forward to what was in store this time.
Here’s my experience with the new line. A gallery of detail photos can be found at the bottom of this article.
Display & Availability – I was expecting displays and signage similar to that Civil War line, but when I arrived at Kohl’s yesterday the collection wasn’t as easy to find. I found the graphic shield t-shirt with the Civil War fitness apparel and the rest of the pieces shared a rack at the other end of the junior’s section. With no extra signage, I almost walked right past it. Despite it being the official launch day, there were only a few items for each piece on the rack. Plus sizes appear to be online only. The collection ranges in price from $28.00 to $48.00 but at the time of my visit Kohl’s had all the in-stock pieces on sale for 30% off.
Sizing – It seems a majority of the pieces run small. When it comes to Her Universe clothing, I find I tend to be one of two sizes, so I pulled the larger of the two on 5 pieces – 3 shirts, 1 dress, & 1 romper. 2 shirts fit (the striped mockneck tank and the scalloped tee). The other 3 (the tie-front tank, the cross-back graphic dress, and the surplus graphic romper) made me feel like a giant. So I’d suggest trying a size up from the largest Her Universe size you normally wear in those. The size I needed to try wasn’t available in the piece I was most interested in so I can’t confirm if going up would have worked for me. On Twitter Ashley mentioned she goes one size up in the dress and romper.
Several Her Universe pieces in the past have been technically juniors’ collections, but this is the first time it really felt like one to me when it came to sizing. The pieces seem to be more so designed for younger girls who haven’t developed much yet (aka there is not much room for rear-ends, chests, and long torsos).
Quality – I was able to look at 10 pieces in total (4 styles that had 2 color variations each plus 2 more pieces) and they were all well-made. The graphic ringer tee is see-through as well as the white version of the tie-front tank. And while white shirt opacity tends to be a common challenge in women’s clothing, the tee situation is a fabric choice. The scalloped tee is a poly and looked like it might be a bit see-through but that wasn’t an issue once it was on. The romper is lined on top. And all the embroidery on the applicable pieces is nicely done.
Design & Style – As the Her Universe press announcement notes, these pieces are inspired by the 40s era associated with Captain America’s beginnings and that’s a cool nod to include. The pieces remain modern for the most part and fairly true to their subtle design aim. Prints and patterns are put to good use. There are some clever touches like the buttons on the tie-front shirt that look a lot like Captain America’s shield. The cut-out on the mockneck tank’s back is cute without being revealing. But for me, the collar on the tie-tank felt too much like wearing large doilies. The embroidery on the scallop shirt is a touch that elevates the piece to something fancier than a regular t-shirt. Overall the collection brings a variety of options and makes the most of Captain America’s favored color palette of red, white, and blue.
Functionality – Dependent on your workplace’s dress code you may be able to wear a couple of the items from this collection to work, mostly though it’s good summer hang-out clothes. Some notes on a few of the individual pieces:
- The cross-back graphic dress is a nice light-weight cotton which is great for hot weather. It has adjustable straps, which is also nice touch. It felt a bit short on, probably in part due to the sizing issue I experienced.
- The romper looks great when you’re standing still but its rayon and structure are not very giving, meaning that its construction prevented me from being able to reach up to the top to finish zipping it up and my arm movement was additionally limited by the sleeves. The romper features a very helpful snap on the wrap-top portion to prevent it from falling open and revealing anything.
- As cool as the buttons are on the tie-front tank, they’re very difficult to maneuver, making unbuttoning and buttoning-up a bit of a chore.
- The scalloped tee is soft and comfy.
Overall the Marvel Her Universe Captain America’s 75th anniversary fashion collection at Kohl’s is a step forward in providing more subtle and fashion-forward designs for female fans. It’s unfortunate that the sizing will most likely limit the accessibility to a lot of women.
Kay reviews Star Wars books for FANgirl in addition to movies of several genres with a heart for storytelling and a mind that likes to analyze. She also writes about fandom reflections and fashion as well as co-hosts the Hyperspace Theories podcast. She has been known to make appearances on other podcasts including Fangirl Chat, Nerd Lunch, Disney Vault Talk's Rebel Yell, and Assembly of Geeks.
Currently a voice actor, photographer, and artist who also consults in communications and marketing, Kay spends the little bit of free time she has reading, writing, learning and, of course, making pew pew noises. She would pick up more jobs and hobbies if she was a Time Lord.
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