White House Black Market
The White House--a small fashion boutique specializing in white and ivory clothing and accessories--opened in Baltimore in 1985. The store was successful over the next decade, and its founders decided to continue its theme by opening a sister boutique called Black Market in 1995. Two years later, the two concepts were merged, and White House Black Market was born. With its primary focus on these two color schemes, the retailer expanded locally and then started to open stores across the country. In 2003, the brand was acquired by Chico's FAS, Inc.
Today, there are more than 450 White House Black Market stores and 60 outlet stores scattered across the U.S., Canada, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. The brand also publishes a monthly catalog and has a thriving ecommerce presence. Chico's FAS, Inc.--which also owns other popular brands like Soma, Boston Proper, and Chico's--operates with a mission that is committed to brand integrity, high performance, and personal service. The parent company supports a number of charities that promote the health and safety of women and children around the world, and this goal extends to the manufacturer's own practices. Efforts are made to ensure that all products sold in White House Black Market stores are responsibly made and ethically sourced.
Unsurprisingly, black and white are the two colors most prominently featured in the While House Black Market women's collection. The brand has become a little less strict about sticking to this color palette exclusively, however, so you will find some designs that are more colorful. Dresses are available in categories like Wedding & Events, Cocktail & Formal, Wear to Work, Little Black Dress, and Little White Dress. Some popular styles include fit-and-flare dresses, shift dresses, sheaths, maxi dresses, bridesmaid dresses, and gowns. You can also find jumpsuits and skirts for different sorts of occasions. The brand's tops include tees, blouses, knit tops, tanks, button-down shirts, and tunics. Sweaters, cardigans, and coverups are also available in a number of fashionable cuts and colors. Outerwear options include trenches, blazers, and denim jackets.
The Work collection from White House Black Market features suiting garments and dresses that are appropriate for basically any office setting. Formal pants include trousers, ankle pants, and crop pants. Casual bottoms--including shorts and capris--are also available, and the brand makes a wide assortment of jeans in different cuts and washes. Shoes range from heels to sandals to sneakers, and you'll also find other accessories like scarves, hats, belts, sunglasses, and handbags.
The original concept behind White House Black Market was so simple, yet totally unique, which is one reason why the brand rose to popularity so quickly. Even though the manufacturer has strayed from its commitment to solely black and white clothes in recent years, the number of stylish options in these colors still outshines almost any other brand on the market. White House Black Market certainly leans more toward formalwear as opposed to casualwear, so you are most likely to find clothes that will be well suited to a day at the office or a special occasion. Prices aren't cheap, but they also don't reach the astronomical levels common among other luxury brands. The retailer has an assortment of clothes in petite sizes, but it doesn't go up to plus sizes--which means that its collections exclude larger women. On the whole, we give White House Black Market 4.5 stars out of 5.
- Established 1985
- Luxury formalwear
- Sold at:
- hite House Black Market stores, White House Black Market Outlets, and online
- Types of items:
- Blouses, button-down shirts, tees, tunics, tanks, dresses, skirts, jumpsuits, cardigans, sweaters, coverups, blazers, jackets, suits, trousers, ankle pants, crop pants, jeans, shorts, shoes, accessories
- Related brands:
- Chico's, Soma, Boston Proper