Summary: After many years of admiring the brand, I tried three pieces from Eileen Fisher’s latest 12 Shapes collection. I loved the easy-to-wear, minimal silhouettes, especially as we head into the warmer months for sleek summer style.


  • Eileen Fisher is a time-tested, accessible, high-quality brand whose Spring 2024 pieces felt both timeless and perfectly on-trend.
  • The pieces I tried from the 12 Shapes collection slotted perfectly into my wardrobe, and paired easily with each other for sleek outfits.
  • I found Eileen exceedingly easy to wear. When I packed a piece for a recent work trip from NYC > LA, the top didn’t wrinkle and was perfectly suited for both climates.


  • The cost (pieces I tried range from $138–$198) may be prohibitive for some. But, if you’re able to invest, the cost per wear will be minuscule!
  • Some pieces require handwashing which is a stretch for me as a city dweller who drops off my laundry.

Eileen Fisher is an iconic brand that has stood the test of time (since ‘84!) — not through reinvention, but by being ahead of the curve. EF has been designing simple, beautiful silhouettes and gaining ground on sustainability for 40 years. Between the buzz of quiet luxury (think The Row) and the more and more central ethos of sustainability (think any brand hip to the program these days), we’re once again in a moment that feels defined by Eileen Fisher.

“Eileen Fisher is an iconic brand that has stood the test of time (since ‘84!) — not through reinvention, but by being ahead of the curve.”

And, the employee-owned company makes it all seem perfectly effortless. The clothes are widely accessible while still offering quality that rivals a bespoke line. The pieces speak to older generations deep in their coastal grandmother era while also speaking to me, a 30-something New Yorker with all the trappings that come along with it (a relative awareness of fashion trends and the latest tides in culture, a certain set of ethical commitments, you can imagine!).

And yet, I had never actually worn Eileen Fisher until this review. Yes, I walked by the store on my way home from the train almost daily, hoping one day I could be a sophisticated woman, probably mid-career, donning the impossibly easy yet pulled-together outfits on the mannequins. It wasn’t until the opportunity arose to try some pieces from their latest collection that I realized: I can be a woman who wears Eileen Fisher now. And then my package couldn’t arrive soon enough.

I have to say, I was surprised and delighted by how thoroughly modern all the pieces felt on my frame. More on that to come.

Trying the spring 2024 collection

Eileen Fisher’s spring 2024 collection features 12 iconic shapes — a mix of classics from their archive and new designs. It functions as a minimal wardrobe (also reminiscent of the popular 333 styling method) that will wear beautifully from spring into summer, together or separately. They even offer a feature on their site called The Closet where you can choose a model that’s similar to your body type, and dress them up with any EF piece (paper doll style, but better!) to see how the pieces might look on you.

The pieces are all extremely versatile, which is great for me — since I work from home a lot of the time, but also find myself needing to dress up fairly often for a meeting or an event. (Sometimes, the vintage painter pants with 50+ years of stains don’t quite hit the mark.) And the fabrics — for instance, organic linen cotton knit — are so comfortable and easy to wear that I felt relaxed and confident wherever I wore them. Very quickly, I found that each piece truly felt like a new wardrobe staple I couldn’t imagine living without.

“Very quickly, I found that each piece truly felt like a new wardrobe staple I couldn’t imagine living without.”

The pieces arrived in minimal packaging with all recycled — and recyclable — thin plastic and paper. The garments had a beautiful weight and look to them, and I could style them right away without worrying about any creasing (my arch nemesis when it comes to new clothes that I’d like to wear immediately). Plus, everything had a delicious and sophisticated smell. Eileen, if you’re reading, could you share your scent secrets?

Organic Linen Vest: Black, XS. $138

As a perpetual wearer of small tops and big bottoms, I’d been looking for the right sleeveless vest that would veer more Alison Roman than caterer stuck at a cocktail party. This vest was it. I’m so thrilled that it toes the line between professional and laid back, so I can incorporate it easily into my closet. (Does anyone else ambitiously buy “dressy” clothes and then let them sadly hang untouched in their closet? Or just me?)

This vest is breezy yet structured, with a tie in the back, making it easy to switch between a boxy silhouette and something more hourglass. It’s the perfect length, just cropped enough (EF is exceedingly good at this — as you’ll see with the top below!).

“This vest is breezy yet structured, with a tie in the back, making it easy to switch between a boxy silhouette and something more hourglass.”

I loved styling it with their linen trouser pant for an all-black look, though I think it will be extremely versatile heading into summer. I can also imagine pairing it with an oversized short or a midi skirt. For my all EF look, I like wearing a minimal flip-flop, my Havaianas, a casual answer to the flip-flop trend.

As for sizing, I’m wearing the XS. This isn’t unheard of in tops for me, though I usually think of myself as a S–M. So, consider sizing down if you want something more fitted. And I did notice that the top is slightly see-through when the sun shines through the fabric, but not so much so that I would need to layer up or wear a bra (I usually opt not to!). Against the skin, the black fabric is totally opaque.

I feel super lucky to have this one in my wardrobe. It’s a little early in the season here in NYC, but this vest made me so excited for summer.

Organic Linen Cotton Jewel Neck Box-Top: Natural/White, XS. $198

This piece slotted into my wardrobe perfectly on day one. I styled it right away with a pair of vintage Levi’s, a vintage leather jacket, and my favorite glove shoes. It’s a lightweight sweater that’s great for casual wear, or as an easy layer with a look that’s more buttoned-up. 

I even brought this piece with me on a recent trip to LA. It was perfect for my extra layer at the airport, wearing on cold mornings that turned into sunny, warm afternoons, and in the AC of a hotel lobby, too. For warmer weather, it pairs so well with the other EF pieces.

“It’s a lightweight sweater that’s great for casual wear, or as an easy layer with a look that’s more buttoned-up.”

When I inevitably stained it during that first wear with some drips from my coffee cup, I applied some stain remover and it came up right away. And the natural color helped to disguise it in the interim! I’m avoiding washing this one as long as I can since I’m a city dweller who drops off all of my laundry at the end of the week, and the instructions call for handwashing. But I’ll gladly pick up detergent when the time comes to give this piece the long life it deserves.

What else can I say besides this is the perfect sweater? The price might seem steep, especially for something lightweight, but it is a true staple for me now. It drapes like a dream and I have yet to find an item of clothing that it doesn’t look good with. Everyone should have this sweater in their wardrobe, and I’m already thinking about getting it in a second color.

Organic Linen Trouser Pant: Black, S. $168

What do you wear to a meeting on a sweltering day? These pants. What do you wear to the park to meet friends, so you don’t have to worry about how you’ve arranged yourself on the picnic blanket? These pants. What makes you look like a catalog model, though you’ve done nothing but slip on something with an elastic waistband? THESE PANTS!

For context, I typically wear a size 6, and went for the size S. I love how these fit though the elastic waistband wasn’t really stretched at all, so I’m curious how the XS would feel. Again, with these, I would consider sizing down!

I felt like I might immediately receive an invitation to a cocktail party (in Capri?) when slipping these on. It’s one of those pieces whose absence I retroactively missed in my wardrobe. In other words, where have these pants been all my life?

“Where have these pants been all my life?”

They’re an elegant, simple solution to dressing well for warm weather. While other Eileen Fisher pants have a more cropped look, I love how these just hit the floor for me (I’m 5’6”, by the way!). They’re lightweight, but not see-through. They don’t tend to crease or wrinkle with wear, and they feel like a dream. I’m not sure any other pants will hold a candle to these, when it comes to pulling off a sleek look on a hot day. And yes, they do have pockets.

So, is Eileen Fisher still the best place for minimal wardrobe staples after all these years? I say absolutely! There’s no need to look for brands reintroducing 90s minimalism when Eileen is still producing hits like these. I don’t know why I waited so long to find this perfect match. For shopping EF, I recommend checking out their wardrobe planner which allows you to see what the brand is releasing month by month, including new colorways, so you can plan your own suite of pieces from spring and summer.

If you pick up something from the 12 shapes, will you let me know in the comments? Let’s discuss how we’re dressing for the summer of Eileen!


Ashley D’Arcy is Senior Editor at The Good Trade. She is also a psychoanalyst-in-training and holds a Master’s in philosophy from the New School for Social Research. She lives in Brooklyn with her wife and their Miniature Australian Shepherd, Rocky.