kowtow Review: Black Cotton Romper

kowtow is an ethical brand that I only know about because of Grechen. They’re a New Zealand brand that takes their sustainability and ethical manufacturing seriously. They use fair trade organic cotton or tencel, use harm-free dyes, and are also working on circularity with a take back program. In many ways, you can’t get a more ethical brand. But I wouldn’t love them if they’re clothes were also not modern and chic. If Eileen Fisher and COS had a baby, it would be kowtow. The only drawback to them is that their shipping and returns are coming from New Zealand so it’s not so easy for us in the US (though shipping is free when you spend over $200). And of course the price point is not cheap (though it shouldn’t be when they’re doing all these things right). But because of these last two points, I hadn’t tried kowtow even though they were on my radar for quite awhile.

Kowtow Clothing Review

{Wearing: kowtow Romper, Chanel ballet flats (from TRR), thrifted hat}

But I noticed that the RealReal (TRR) carried quite a few items from kowtow, and usually a lot of the same items (which makes me think they’re getting it from a boutique that is trying to offload items and not from individual sellers). Also since this was in “pristine condition”, it was basically new. So when I got some TRR credit I decided to give them a shot (even though TRR’s own shipping and return policy aren’t great). But the price point of the items can’t be beat. I got this romper for a total of $52 (the 20% discount included)! Since their dresses go for about $200-$300 new, this is quite a steal.

Kowtow Clothing Review

{Wearing: kowtow Romper, Everlane Boss Mules (reviewed here), Nano Celine Belt Bag (reviewed here)}

As for sizing, I’m wearing a small here and it’s the perfect size. It’s pretty slim on top so if you’re bigger in the chest you might need to consider sizing up, depending on the garment. But since this romper is belted at the waist, it’s really forgiving around the midsection. Looking at their site, I do notice that a lot of their items are made for tall people so if you’re on the shorter side like myself, some of their stuff might not work out so well. Or you’ll have to do some hemming.

Their label reads designed in New Zealand and made ethically in India from organic cotton. The cotton poplin fabric is midweight and smooth. It feels like something Cuyana would use. And the construction is flawless. The bottom part of the romper has hidden pleats on the sides to give you a bit more volume on the bottom overall without adding volume around the waist. The collar at the neckline is slim and minimal. It is in the details of a garment like this that you know that the design and production are top-notch.

So if you’re looking for a simple, modern and ethically-made quality item I can’t recommend kowtow enough. And even more so if you’re tall. As for me, I’ll still be stalking TRR for kowtow items to add to my closet!