I Spent a Month Wearing Discounted Clothes from Amazon and Found Hidden Gems

After dark, I fall victim to browsing the latest deals and trends on the internet.

I’m a journalist who covers the shopping industry and I love clothes, so it just comes naturally — it must be in my DNA.

While fun, this habit can certainly put a dent in the wallet after a while, but I was intrigued when I found a possible solution to alleviate this a bit in the long run: discount designer clothes from Amazon.

The online retail giant is a powerhouse when it comes to cutting prices on big-ticket items, such as Apple AirPods and iRobot smart vacuums, but its own clothing line – called Amazon Essentials – is a hidden gem. To add some context, the brand is similar to Kirkland by Costco and Sonoma by Kohl.

I put Amazon Essentials to the test by committing to wear the clothing line for an entire month. Here’s how it went.

The buying process

The home and affordable Amazon Essentials brand offers a wide range of styles for a variety of occasions. Whether you’re looking for business casual or activewear, the selection of basics is impressive enough for everyday wear.

Quilted coats, fleeces, sweaters, denim, blouses – you name it, Amazon has it.

The prices are also fantastic. For example, the lightweight, water-resistant quilted coat is just $39.90, compared to this similar $300 parka from high-end outerwear brand The North Face.

Browsing through the huge selection has become overwhelming – like endlessly scrolling through Netflix trying to decide what to watch – so it’s best to search with a product in mind. I was looking for good layering pieces that I could wear while running in cold weather.

When I chose what I wanted and placed the order, the clothes were delivered quickly since I am an Amazon Prime member.

If you want to test out clothes before committing, Amazon also offers members a “Try Before You Buy” service (formerly known as Prime Wardrobe).

Comfort, quality and size

I wore the Studio Long-Sleeve Tee ($14.60), Brushed Tech Stretch Long-Sleeve Crew ($21.90), and Brushed Tech Stretch Full-Zip Jacket (price varies).

After a month of wearing the clothes, I am pleasantly surprised by the quality.

Compared to my $50.97 Nike Element half-zip sweater, which has similar features to all the tops, I certify that the Amazon Essentials pieces are excellent dupes for half the price.

The key component that makes these tops rock is lightweight, soft, moisture-wicking fabric – you won’t feel sweaty post-workout. I also found them quite insulating, which is another plus.

Then the stockings.

I opted for the Brushed Tech Stretch Short ($14.30) and Brushed Tech Stretch Pant ($19.84), which are great for lounging, running errands, or hitting the gym. Both pieces have pockets, a rare and exciting find in women’s clothing.

The shorts also have moisture-wicking fabric, while the pants are soft and silky. And if leggings are more your vibe, Amazon Essentials has plenty of those too.

As for the size, that’s where the only downside comes in. The clothes run big.

I ordered an extra small for all the clothes, but the fit definitely felt more like a small. Even though the clothes were large, the looser fit makes them really comfortable, especially when you’re relaxing.

how to style

All of these pieces have the potential to transform into a stylish gym outfit or a casual daytime look.

That’s how I wore them – I stuck with the basics as you can see.

(Nicolette Accardi | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com)Nicolette Accardi

The final verdict

I’ve been sleeping on Amazon Essentials for way too long, and this isn’t the first time I’ve made this mistake with a brand.

The clothes I wore were comfortable, practical and affordable. The brand will obviously never replace sportswear giants such as Lululemon, Nike, Adidas and Under Armour, but it’s a great discount alternative.

If you’re ready to give the clothing line a try, here’s where I recommend you start the buying process:

Please sign up now and support the local journalism YOU rely on and trust.

Nicolette Accardi covers the online shopping industry, writing about commerce, daily deals and tips. She can be reached at naccardi@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter: @N_Accardi.

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