Welcome to my new series, Real Talk, where I talk openly and frankly about my experiences with brands, products, life hacks, etc. The following are my opinions based on my own experiences. Please remember that not everyone will have the same experiences so what may be true for me won’t necessarily be true for you. 

I have a love/hate relationship with ModCloth.

I was really excited when I first discovered them years ago because the clothes were really stylish but had a cute, unique spin to them. They offered classic shapes and styles adorned with animals, food, and/or planets. I loved the vintage feel of a lot of the pieces, and I always thought the outfits looked like they would be worn by cool librarians who wouldn’t shush you for laughing too loudly in the reading nook.

I’ve ordered a lot of clothes from ModCloth over the years, from dresses and tops to skirts and shoes. I even bought a few “Stylish Surprises” from them with little-to-no luck – basically you pay, like, $10 for a mystery dress and they ship you one  that they’re trying to get rid of and you don’t know what it will look like until you get it. It’s a clever sales tactic, for sure, but I once got a white dress that looked like it could be a wedding dress. I’ve never worn it, but it still hangs in my closet.

Anyway, what I’ve learned over the years is that the quality of their items is really hit or miss. Some of the dresses I still wear. Some of the sweaters shrank after the first wash, even though I followed the care instructions, that I hate wearing them. Some of the sweaters are still perfect. I once received a pair of oxford-type shoes that were so wide (like they had been stretched out) that they slipped off my feet, even though they weren’t labeled as a wide size. Some of the items I like enough to put up with, even though the quality leaves something to be desired.

Here are just a few notable experiences I’ve had with ModCloth purchases.


I ordered this midi skirt when it went on sale because I had been wanting one for a while and I loved it when I first received it.

Nikki by example | www.nikkibyexample.com

short girl wears a midi skirt

Being as short as I am, it’s a hard look to pull off. The midi style  should either hit just below the knee or just below the widest part of your calf. I was excited when this one fit pretty well. The problem is that the skirt is 100% polyester so it snags on every. little. thing. There are so many snags in this thing now, mostly from getting caught on my ring, that I’m almost embarrassed to wear it out anymore.

Nikki by example | www.nikkibyexample.com

in the photo on the right, you can see the snags/pilling on the front of the skirt.

Care Instructions

I bought several iterations of the Charter School sweater; the boat neck came in ivory and maroon, and the crew neck in terracotta (rust). The maroon and terracotta sweaters are perfect — they fit like they’re supposed to and are comfortable, even after washing — but the ivory sweater shrank so much in the wash that it’s almost uncomfortable.

The  ivory sweater is such a classic look that hard to give it up, even though it does fit as well. It can be washed in the machine and I always follow the care instructions. Pretty much all of my clothes are washed on a gentle cycle, even if it doesn’t say to. And I never put these kinds of clothing in the dryer – they air-dry on a rack. Here’s a photo of me wearing the sweater under a blazer; I don’t know if you can tell, but it’s shorter than I’d like. If I raise my arms, you’d probably see skin. It looks nice under some outerwear, so that might be it’s fate, if I decide to keep it.

Nikki by example | www.nikkibyexample.com

Sweater: ModCloth | Necklace: J. Crew Outlet | Blazer: Banana Republic | Jeans: Wit & Wisdom | Loafers: Target

My Real Talk Advice

So, my opinion of ModCloth is that it’s totally up in the air. Some items are great but others don’t hold up well, and I haven’t figured out how to determine what the outcome of an item will be. Because of this – and the fact that they were purchased by Wal-Mart who has a history of not treating their employees fairly, but that’s a whole other post – I haven’t shopped there in a while and have no current plans to purchase anything else in the future.

This whole post was inspired by the announcement of their Outlet because I found myself back on their website to see what differences there were (if any) between their regular store and their outlet store. The prices are cheaper in the outlet but in my opinion, with my experience with quality and the amount of polyester in everything, those are the prices that all of their stuff should probably be to begin with. I hate feeling like I wasted money on clothes that I can’t/won’t wear and I feel that way about half the ModCloth stuff I own.

If you really want to shop at ModCloth my advice is to proceed with caution. Read the reviews and really take to heart what others are saying. They’re often fairly accurate wen it comes to quality, and the reviews might give you a glimpse into how to care for the items or what to expect after a few wears. I’ve passed on a few items because the reviews seemed to echo the same issues so I decided it wasn’t worth the risk. Let this be your guide, as well.

Whatever you may purchase from ModCloth, I wish you the best of luck and long wear!