Dupe Report: As Good As Varley?

Jan 11, 2024

As you’ve noticed from the multiple posts across several weeks, I love Varley.  The brands laid back, high quality basics are my go to for chic loungewear.  I feel like I’ve entered my Rich Mom era every time I wear the brand.  So when a friend told me her $36 Amazon sweatshirt was just as good, I had to test this theory out.

But before we review the Amazon option, let’s talk about what I love about Varley.  First, the material is amazing — thick, soft, cozy.  In a world of thin, cheap-feeling fabrics, you pick up a piece of Varley and you are transported back to pre-2008 when material quality mattered.

Second, the price point doesn’t make me cry.  Sure, $110 for a sweatshirt, even a great sweatshirt, is not nothing.  However, I’ve paid much more to get much less.  Varley’s pieces usually run in the $120-$160 price range, and when they arrive, they feel worth that number.

Third, they transition from loungewear to out-of-the-house wear easily, and they look great on Zoom.  One minute, I’m wearing my favorite sweatshirt with leggings, doing laundry in perfect comfort.  10-minutes later, I can put on a pair of great jeans, a cool boot, some lipstick, and be at lunch with friends.  Then, I can come home, pop on Zoom for a meeting, and still look like I got dressed for work that day.  That’s the kind of versatility I’m looking for in my wardrobe.

This is the Anrabess pullover sweatshirt from Amazon that many influencers are sharing as a Varley dupe.  You may also have seen the quarter zip version on your social feeds.  So are they actually as good as the Varley originals?

At first glance, they look very similar.  Taking the pullover out of the package, there were many similarities.  Both are made with the rib-knit style material.  The styling is nearly identical.  And both have that cool Mom look about them.  But there are differences.

First, the material is not nearly as thick.  It’s nice fabric — soft, with a good feel on the fingers — but it’s not that thick, cozy knit you get from a Varley sweatshirt.

Second, the zippers are trash compared to the Varley ones.  This would be an easy place to save money, so it makes sense the quality wouldn’t be as good.  But the Amazon zippers sometimes make noise when you walk as the pull-tab slaps against the metal teeth, the Varley ones don’t do that.

Lastly, the cut on the sweatshirt is just slightly different.  The Varley look is just slightly oversized with a relaxed feel.  Amazon recommended the medium for my size 6 frame, and I needed the small.  So I made an exchange, and even in the smaller size, the cut felt boxier.

If I was evaluating the Anrabess sweatshirt on its own, without the Varley comparison, I would think it was a great $36 sweatshirt.  It’s comfortable, it wears well, and the look is pretty fab.  \But to say it’s exactly like Varley is a stretch.

So if you want a comfortable, cool piece of casual wear and the idea of paying three-figures for loungewear makes your head hurt, buy the Anrabess.  For 1/3 the price, you will not be disappointed.  But the designer option is better in several ways, and for the price, it should be.

{this post contains affiliate links that may generate commission for the author}

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  1. Anna says:

    I definitely don’t like the idea of paying three figures for loungewear, but even if the Amazon dupe looks pretty decent, I’m worried about its longevity. I’ve pretty much stopped buying cute sweatshirts or tees from Target or Old Navy, because as soft and nice as they are when I first get them, after a few washes, they look terrible – pilled, stretched out, faded. I then no longer look like a laid back but put-together mom and instead look sloppy.

    • AB says:

      Completely agree! I try to buy quality sweatshirts on sale. I want stuff that I can easily wash, yet will last for years. Everlane and Athleta have been great for me. They also have good sales.

  2. AB says:

    I love the style of the Varley clothes, but don’t love that the material is primarily synthetic. I am hesitant to spend so much money on a synthetic sweatshirt. Do you find it breathable? Does it compare to the comfort of cotton sweatshirts? I love the Everlane half-zip (minus the obnoxious label), but would love more stylish sweatshirts.
    https://www.everlane.com/products/womens-retrack-half-zip-sweatshirt-black

    • Belle says:

      Everything is synthetic these days. I don’t even look at tags anymore because high end couture designers are selling poly-blend. I love the material as much as cotton. I haven’t noticed an issue with breathability, but I haven’t really thought about it.

  3. Caitlin says:

    I’ve been wondering about the amazon dupe after seeing it in feeds! I feel like the amazon dupe is also a play at the Addison Bay sweatshirt… https://addisonbay.com/products/the-everyday-crewneck-3.

  4. Sharon K says:

    I noticed the same boxy fit you mentioned on the Amazon dupe (I’m 5’8″ and usually a 4, so ordered a small). It’s also a little shorter than I thought – it barely skims my hips. It’s nice enough that I kept it, but definitely won’t become a utility player in my closet the way the Anrabess dupe of the Free People tunic is.

  5. Orla says:

    I’d like to try some Varley. What are you favorite pieces?

  6. Annie says:

    How do you find the fit on Varley? Size guide suggests items run a bit small for the number size.

  7. Margaret says:

    Love this Dupe Report! More of this content, please.

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