Fashion & Beauty

Yes, Eileen Fisher Again

July 5, 2023

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This boxy Organic Cotton Pucker Mock Neck Dress, with two patch pockets in front, just about skims the knee (size small is 39 inches long). It’s $188 at and is available in black and dark gray (shown). If the neckline appeals but not the length, the style is also available as a thigh-length cotton twill tunic (black, $148). Nordstrom also has Eileen Fisher’s similar Funnel Neck Stretch Organic Pima Cotton Tunic in crisp white ($88).


By Nancy McKeon

IF YOU’VE BEGUN watching the latest iteration of Sex and the City, meaning the second season of And Just Like That, you have probably noticed that, as Jeremy Allen of the New York Times “Styles” desk said, there seems to be “a glut of muchness”: “The necklaces keep getting chunkier, the prints keep getting printier and the cocktail rings could be used as homing devices for pigeons. . . .” And following the end of Succession‘s stealth wealth dressing, we’re back in Logo Land.

Perhaps it’s just fashion fatigue (AJLT on top of the over-the-top Met Gala on top of the lavish Karl Lagerfeld exhibit at the Costume Institute), but I have come, once again, to appreciate Eileen Fisher. Boxy, yes. Loose, that too. Monochromatic. Most of all, understated.

Feel free to point out that those are the very characteristics I’ve sniped at in the past. But at least Eileen Fisher clothing is a nod to the real world, a world without ruching and guipure lace and trains the length of the barges that travel up and down the East River. And in summer-weight gauzy cotton and linen, no muss, no fuss, no bother at all.

However, it’s not only the season. According to a Wall Street Journal article (sorry: paywall alert) this spring, “Eileen” ‘s stalwart customers are being joined by a younger consumer cohort. Sure, EF is the putative designer for “Vermont potters and Santa Monica midwives,” WSJ posited, but it’s also catnip to the young sustainable-fashion crowd, who are loving the organics, the thoughtful slow-fashion vibe, and the for-real “circular” system. EF’s appearances on TikTok, Insta and Pinterest tell the tale.

EF works with sustainable fibers, manufactures and sells the clothes, then takes them back from customers (in return for a $5 gift card per piece) and sells them used on its own EileenFisherRenew website. Since the start of the Renew project (formerly called Green Eileen), the brand says it has taken back some 2 million garments. Whatever is left over, or cannot be refurbished, can be recycled into new fabric, new clothes, even “art.”

The effort is reflected somewhat in the price tags: EF basics tend to be pricier than similar fare—you know, the ones you bundle up at the end of a season or two and call Vietnam Vets to pick up. LittleBird Kathy Legg has pointed out that she has a 20-year-old pair of black EF pants that is still going strong and in perfect condition, in part because she has treated them with care (dry cleaning instead of Tide). The message seems to be, take care of your Eileen Fisher clothes and they will take care of you long-term. And keep you out of Logo Land. And maybe even give the planet, and the garment industry, a helpful nudge in the right direction.

Classic Collar Button-up Shirt, marked down to $96.60 in this fresh-looking honeydew color at Nordstrom. It’s made of half linen and half organic linen; in size medium it’s 24 inches long.

Bateau-Neck Top, organic linen and cotton, marked down to $103.60 in white at Nordstrom. It has a flat front and shirred-yoke back. In “pacific,” a deep teal, it’s $148.

Go full commando in 90+-degree heat? Maybe not, but this calf-length Organic Cotton Gauze Mandarin-Collar Dress, with its ravel-edge hem and sleeves, makes it tempting. Available in “picante” (shown), plus white, black, and charcoal gray (“nocturne”), it’s $198 at the Eileen Fisher site. Picante is also available in plus sizes at

Organic Cotton Pucker Shirt Jacket, in black, white, and seaweed ($188) is shown with EF’s Organic Cotton Pucker Lantern Pant ($178), in black, seaweed, and “nocturne,” a charcoal gray.

Eileen Fisher’s Organic Cotton Ripple Ballet Neck Top ($148) with an almost ticking-like black mini-stripe (inspired by seersucker, says EF) mates easily with her Airy Organic Cotton Twill Wide Trouser Pant in denim color ($168), indigo-dyed but lighter in weight than denim. The top is also available in solid sunbeam yellow.

A retreat from the boxy look, this Fine Jersey Jewel Neck Top can be cinched in front while left hanging loose in back. The fabric is 95% Tencel Lyocell and 5% Elastane. Available in “roseberry” (shown), also black, white and “nocturne.” It’s $128. Bloomingdale’s has it in “nocturne.”

Summer blazer to the rescue. EF’s Organic Linen Long Blazer hits the thigh and is $248 in natural (shown) and black (Nordstrom has it in natural). It’s shown with EF’s Organic Linen Wide Trouser Pant ($168), available in natural, white, black, and espresso. The Organic Linen Jersey Tank beneath it all is $88 and comes in six colors.

A summer stand-by, the Organic Cotton Gauze Short-Sleeve Shirt ($138) has a mandarin collar and floats away from the top of the hip. It comes in white, black, and (online only) “nocturne.” Also available from Bloomingdale’s in white.


Grownup Girl Fashion by MyLittleBird

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6 thoughts on “Yes, Eileen Fisher Again

  1. Deba Leach says:

    Great to read your views on Eileen F. Love your writing, Nancy.

    1. Nancy McKeon says:

      Aw, shucks, ma’am. I know I blow hot and cold on EF. But no matter what I say, there are plenty of EF pieces in my closet.

  2. Barbara Kreger says:

    Some of my fav possessions are EF from when it first began. Now I find most things way toooo full & sloppy; (although most pieces you showed today are neat.) I see no attention being paid to mature ladies issues, like covering those crepey necklines and those wrinkled upper arms. Nevertheless, I still tour EF hoping for a small change.

    1. Nancy McKeon says:

      I didn’t want to get TOO wordy so I didn’t point this out, but I find the info on the EF site very useful. For instance, the site pointed out (under “Design”) that the proportions of the Ripple Ballet Neck Top are particularly good for those under 5’4″. Also, there are tons of short-sleeve, long-sleeve and elbow-length-sleeve tops available, on the EF site and on the sites of all the stores that carry EF; I think I was responding to the weather of the moment–when I don’t care what my arms look like as long as they are open to breezes!

  3. Kathy Legg says:

    Make that 25 years. But who’s counting?

    1. Nancy McKeon says:


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