You may not know, as Gymboree has an oft-overlooked and oft-ignored women's clothing brand called "Shade." The store sells misses and maternity sizes, with most clothing items being on the relaxed-side; think Ann Taylor Loft meets J. Jill. Nothing is too exciting, the regular prices are relatively high for what the clothing is, and Gymboree spends absolutely no time or money marketing it (unless, of course you count one Facebook post in December 2011).
Shade has 8,523 likes on its Facebook page, which isn't too shabby, but isn't great, either. (Note that Gymboree's Facebook page has over 437,000 likes.) But, many of those who like the page liked it before Gymboree purchased Shade. See, Shade started in 2004, joined Facebook in May 2010, and by the end of 2010 had closed. Gymboree bought it and reopened it as an online-only store in mid-2011. And then ignored it, as I perceive it.
Why would we be interested in Shade? Shade was founded in 2004 by two Mormon women in Utah who got tired of not being able to find modest clothes (sound familiar)? They designed a few basic shirts and their sales increased by 30% per month for awhile. Even non-Mormons liked to find shirts they didn't hang out of on top and didn't show plumbers' cracks on the bottoms! Holy cow!
Unfortunately, for whatever reason, they closed toward the end of 2010 and Gymboree bought them and brought them back with only making "minor" alterations to Shade's basic design style (read: lower necklines and some alterations to swimwear, I believe reading awhile ago). So, in a bid to get more customers by having more styles, they may have alienated the brand's most loyal customers while not making much of an attempt to get new customers to replace them.
Now here comes the Tznua Fashionista part of the whole story: The website currently looks like it's having a fire sale. Like, the clothing is dirt cheap. With free shipping and free returns. I don't know what this means for Shade's future prospects; Gymboree hasn't said they're closing the site or anything like that publicly. But, based on my infrequent visits to the site, it seems to be treated like the step-child of an indifferent step-parent.
Because of the irresistible prices I just placed my first order. Here's what I bought for a total of $27.32, including tax. (Still not quite sure where that tax is doing there.) There are more tznua clothing options on the site that I didn't buy because I didn't love them for me.
Note: Please pardon these less-than-crisp images. That's how they are on Shade's site, no joke. When I say the site doesn't get the attention it deserves, I'm not kidding. When you're on there, read the descriptions and see what doesn't make sense. I just have to shake my head.
The Drawstring Maxi Skirt
At $11.99, this item is a steal. It only comes in "Black." It says it's shiny satin, but it has a drawstring, so I'm not sure if I'm supposed to wear it for nicer occasions or if it's casual. But you know what? I don't care. It was $12 and it's a 40"-long skirt!
The Stripe Boatneck Slub Tee
This pretty little shirt cost the budget-busting amount of $5.99. I would have preferred to try it in a small, but it was sold out, so I settled for the extra-small. It says "free returns" anyway, right? (Note to my friends reading this: if it doesn't fit, feel free to try it on if you want to buy it off me before I return it.) I bought it in the "White/Fawn Stripe" color. The "White/Peach Stripe" color was already sold out when I found it.
The Slub Polo Shirt
The last item I purchased was this polo shirt for $7.79. It has buttons all the way to the collar, so it can be closed to the neck for super tznius-ability. Or, you can live dangerously and leave a few buttons unbuttoned. But if you go this route, here's a warning: it may lead to mixed dancing (the horror!), and we all know what that leads to... yeah, less reading of my blog. So, keep needing to search for those super-tznius clothing items we all love to hate to go shopping for! Anyway, I bought it in "Whisper Blue" because "White" was sold out
One final note: I have a newish general policy of not posting sale clothing and clothing in limited sizes on my blog. These items generally get short snippets on Tznua Fashionista's Facebook page instead. This warranted a blog post because of the nature of the discounts and how little-known the brand is.