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Jun 3, 2005
Jun 3, 2005
Bargains and Savings and Deals, oh my! (A review of Garnet Hill)
I live my life in constant search of a killer deal. Anything for a meager price that screams quality sets off the Invisible Deal Radar located approximately two inches above my head. Garnethill.com is one of those sites that tends to send my IDR spinning out of control.
GH retails womens fashion, home furnishings, and bedding/bath textiles, most in natural fibers. They offer items in a variety of cottons (American Upland, Egyptian, Pima, Sea Island, Supima, and the earth-friendly Danish Green), silk, mohair, linen, down, cashmere, wool, alpaca, and angora. In my experience, all of their items are high quality, many with a classic European look.
Perhaps about a year ago, GH added a line for children, Growing Up With Garnet Hill. (As a mother of four children who already adores Garnet Hill, I harbor unconfirmed suspicions that this move is part of a widespread conspiracy to remove me from my money.) The childrens line is part of the main website and can be accessed from the menu on any page of the site. Again, high quality home and fashion items in a bright Euro style.
Product Quality and Appeal
I own several dozen clothing items, some bath towels/mat, a shower curtain, childrens sheeting, a duvet cover, a backpack, and several childrens clothing items from Garnet Hill. With the exception of the bath items and backpack, all of these products are made specifically by GHs own brand.
In every case of clothing and bedding, the fabric is soft and durable, and none of the colors have faded or bled. Please note that in both childrens and womens fashions, GHs sizing seems to run smaller than typical American standards, so order accordingly.
Allow me to highlight a few items to give you a sense of GHs luxurious offerings:
1. Acorn brand shearling house slippers: nubuck flip-flops with shearling lining, a padded footbed, and a rubber sole for traction. In pink, aqua, or gold. $58
2. Classic flannel pjs: button front top with side vents, roomy pull on pants. These seem to be offered year round in ever changing patterns; the current designs are lime floral or pastel paisley. Cotton flannel. $68
3. Cotton fleece blanket: double sided 100% cotton fleece (none of that static-raising polyester) with edges finished in velour binding. Eight colors, some bold, some muted. $55-$130
Intentional Digression: You are probably doing one of three things right now.
If you are (#1) muttering under your breath, Whats the deal? This stuff is more expensive than medical school! then skip on down to the Clearance part of this review.
If you are (#2) thinking, These prices are reasonable for quality merchandise, then please read on.
If you are (#3) sipping mimosa on your fifth floor balcony, alternately glancing at your platinum laptop and surveying your vast expanse of olive groves, vineyards, oil wells, and gold mines, then feel free to make an anonymous donation to the kelicole GH fund. But back to the review.
4. Cotton chenille blanket: plush, textured blanket woven in an intricate chevron pattern. Colors look as gorgeous as they sound: tarragon green, honey, ivory, cameo pink, white, lagoon, shadow blue.
5. Underbed rolling storage: tangerine-orange bin on gliding casters, this baby provides extra toy or bedding storage in style. $48
The home furnishings (beds, tables, accessories) seem to exhibit the largest range of styles, some decidedly modern, some country, some vintage, some classic.
Website design and ease of navigation
In this area Id have to give GH 4.12 stars out of 5. The site is clean and attractive, not distracting in the least. Items are searchable by number or keyword, and products are organized in a logical, easy-to-find manner. My two main gripes with the site are: a. each page displays only eight items at a time, and b. you have to search through customer service to locate shipping charges.
Okay, so by now you should have gathered that the prices here are a rather large step above, say, those at your local K-Mart.
A knitted tee will run you $48
Pair of pants $88
Pair of shoes $118
Double/Queen down comforter $150
Bath towel $24
Queen sized bed $895
Having said that, none of my three dozen or so GH purchases have been at full price. In fact, most have been less than half price, and some as low as 15% of the original price. Yeah, baby, those Invisible Deal Radars are in full swing now.
I do wistfully browse the rest of the site, but I only purchase from the sale section. Here are a few examples of killer deals:
Palette sorbet syrup (lemon rosemary): orig $14, sale $2
Acorn shearling bucket hat: orig $48, sale $16
Tea Party Percale standard cases: orig $25, sale $4
Danish cotton tights: orig $24, sale $4
And if this werent enough to reel me in, someone at GH cooked up a brilliant scheme called Sale of the Day. Every day, a different item is drastically reduced (same goes for the Growing Up with GH section). Granted, sometimes these items are things no sane person wants, but quite often they are of the So-way-cool-I-cannot-believe-Ive-survived-this-long-without-it variety.
Not always fast (sometimes 3 days, sometimes over a week), but not too expensive compared to similar sites ($8.95 for a $75 order).
Garnet Hill offers well-made fabrics in anything from classic to stunning (borderline addictive) prints. Prices are high, but you get what you pay for, and in the case of clearance items, far more than you pay for. Just one cautionary word: put your IDR on mute before accessing this site. Your eardrums will thank you.