Only Child Clothing Review: Local Slow Fashion

Only Child Fabric

Only Child Clothing is a slow fashion brand based out of Oakland, CA that focuses on timeless, simple pieces. I only discovered them earlier this summer, and love that it’s a local brand with a mission and a passionate customer base. Over the past few months, I’ve collected several of their pieces and wanted to review them for those who are thinking of investing similar items.

Overview & Slow Fashion

What exactly does “slow fashion” mean? As a counter to the rise of fast fashion, a number of brands have taken a more thoughtful approach to the entire process, from sourcing to production. While favorites like Everlane and Amour Vert adhere to ethical labor and sustainable materials, brands like Only Child and Elizabeth Suzann take it to the next level by only producing when an order is placed. So when I bought my first piece from Only Child, it took about 3 weeks to arrive, as it was made upon order.

I’ve been thinking about this more recently as I’ve started to turn over some pieces in my daily wardrobe. I’m a creature of habit with my basics, and have many well-worn pieces from 2014 and earlier that are due for retirement. As I look for replacements, I’ve been trying to be more conscious about the items I add to my closet and the impact of their journey there. 

To be clear, I certainly have my fair share of fast fashion pieces in my closet. In fact, one of my most-worn tops is a $15 blouse from H&M that has held up for years. The goal is not to immediately toss those out and replace my entire wardrobe with sustainable pieces (also, my bank account would cry) but to have a framework that informs my shopping.

Now, without further ado – the review. Here are the pieces I’ve tried to date:

Overall Fit & Style

Given Only Child’s stance on sustainability and conscious fashion, I wanted to be extra certain on sizing so I wouldn’t have to exchange sizes and have them essentially produce another piece. They have a handy blog post with different team members wearing various sizes for references. I found this blog post very helpful even if my exact style wasn’t featured. They also do frequent FAQs in their Instagram Stories, where you can ask them your specific sizing questions.

Most of their pieces have a more relaxed / regular fit, and are perfect for both casual and work wear. Some of their spring and summer tops are more cropped in style, but are still conservative enough to wear to work when paired with high-waisted bottoms (like their Solano Pants).

Quality & Materials

From the materials used to the stitching of the final products, you can tell that these are quality pieces meant to last for years. At their latest sample sale in Oakland, I had the chance to feel the new heavyweight wool used for their coats, and it’s a luxurious, substantial wool. I’ll update this portion as I continue to wear the pieces. As of late, I have been wearing the raw silk Alta and Cruz tops at least once weekly, if not more, and they’ve held up well.

Most importantly, the raw silk, cotton and linen pieces are machine washable. Initially I was a little dubious, but they’ve maintained their shape and feel after washing, which makes them incredibly practical as staple wardrobe pieces. If you’re curious about their fabrics, you can order free swatches to not only feel the material but also see the colors in person. Their new cotton-silk blend feels wonderful – if I didn’t already have so many raw silk pieces, I would highly consider adding this to the mix.

Alta Top in Raw Silk

Price: $140 – purchased second-hand for $96 from Poshmark

Form & Function: This top is one of the most popular styles from Only Child, and I can certainly see why. It wears like a more streamlined, polished version of my Cuyana oversized sweater and is comfortable under layers or standalone. It drapes beautifully, and the raw silk material makes it opaque enough to never have to worry about bra hues showing through. I would gladly pay full price for this piece! I’m wearing size XS/S, which is a balanced size that is airy but not too oversized.

Only Child Alta Top in Raw Silk
Above: Only Child Alta Top in Raw Silk; J Brand Maria Jeans; Rothy’s Merino Points (my review)

Cruz Top in Raw Silk & Linen

Price: $140 – purchased directly (raw silk) and for $70 from their sample sale (linen)

Form & Function: I have the raw silk version in XS and the linen version in Small. The XS is a slightly better fit for me, but I appreciate the extra room in the shoulders of the Small. My constant battle with v-necks is that most tops have way too low a cut – that’s not the case with the Cruz Top, however. It’s a very flattering neckline that is conservative enough for most workplaces. I believe the latest silk-cotton version has a slightly longer length compared to both of these.

Hayes Tank in Raw Silk

Price: $140 – purchased for $70 from their sample sale

Form & Function: This tank fits similarly to my Everlane silk tanks, in that it has a swingy a-line shape. The V is a much deeper cut than the Cruz top, so I’m still on the fence about it, though I do love the V detail on both the front and the back! The current cotton-silk blend version seems to be updated with a slightly more conservative cut.

Only Child Hayes Tank
Above: Only Child Hayes Tank in Raw Silk (current version); Only Child Solano Pants in Cotton Twill; Birdies Leather Flats (my review)

Charlie Top in Raw Silk

Price: $140 – purchased second-hand for $75 from Poshmark

Form & Function: Only Child has two tops with tie details – this one, the Charlie has a tie detail in the back, while the Luzon is in the front. I’d say these are on the more cropped side, and need to be paired with high rise bottoms for work. I purchased this in a size S, which is a bit of a looser fit in the body. I think the XS would be too short for me, so this actually works out well. I’m curious to see how the black raw silk color holds up over time.

Only Child Charlie Top
Above: Only Child Charlie Top in Raw Silk (similar); J Brand Maria Jeans; Rothy’s Merino Points (my review)

Solano Pants in Cotton Twill

Price: $160 – purchased for $80 from their sample sale

Form & Function: Only Child has several pant styles with elastic waistbands that eliminate the common waistband-gap problem of jeans. The Solano is a slimmer version of their popular Dune with a smooth flat front and elastic back waistband. This was my first time trying on a looser style (I do love my skinny jeans). While different, I think I’m coming around! I typically wear a size 26 in jeans and am wearing a 4 Regular here. Their Short size might be a slightly better fit as I’m 5’4″, but I don’t mind the length of these.

Cardiff Work Coat in Lightweight Wool

Price: $? – purchased second-hand $110 from Poshmark

Form & Function: This is the perfect coat for transition months, especially in the Bay Area where it gets chilly in the morning and at night, despite warmer days. I love the roomier sleeves on these, which makes it easy to wear over even the chunkiest of sweaters. Despite the lightweight wool material, it’s surprisingly warm even on mornings in the mid-40s. Note: the one I have is different than their current winter version, which is made of a much more substantial wool.  As much as I love my tailored coats, I also appreciate the relaxed fit on this piece.

Final Notes

As you can see, I purchased several pieces second hand from Poshmark. I find Poshmark and eBay to be a good source if you can’t quite bear to pay full price (though definitely worth it), especially for a new-to-you brand. With these particular pieces, people tend to take care of them so they are in excellent used condition. 

Hope you found this review helpful! Would love to hear in the comments if you’ve tried them as well, or if you have any questions.

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