Last week, Erewhon Market—the upscale, $20 smoothie-making, Los Angeles-based grocery store—opened its ninth location. To celebrate, the chain released $150 sweatpants with a commemorative number “9” on the left thigh and “Erewhon” written on the back leg. A week later, the sweatpants sold out.
While the price of these garments should indicate that Erewhon is not your average supermarket, selling $26 bottled water is not a prerequisite for grocery stores to launch a clothing line. Earlier this month, Aldi, a grocer known for its affordability, released limited-edition windbreakers, slides, and bucket hats—all of which cost less than $10. After receiving much praise, these items are also no longer in stock.
Although the exclusivity and accompanying hype is new, the grocery store clothing line has long existed. Many of the most notorious stores in the country—including places like Publix and Costco—have sold store-branded clothing for years.
Surely, the combined clothing offerings from new, trendy stores and their old, established counterparts have brought grocery store fashion to new heights. This begs the all-important question: Which stores currently have the best clothing line?
After conducting extensive research, we’ve narrowed down the contenders and ranked them accordingly. These are the eight best grocery store clothing lines.
Here’s the qualifier: If they sell both food and paper products, we’re considering them a grocery store. This means places like Wawa and 7-Eleven are eligible. Restaurants, delis, and hardware stores will not be considered. More importantly, the store’s clothing line must be officially released through the retailer’s website. If the clothing is only available for purchase in-store, it will not be considered.
How They’re Being Judged
Grocery store clothing lines are evaluated based on their performance in the following categories:
- Brand Recognition: Does this clothing clearly represent the grocery store?
- Logo: How is it used?
- Price: Does it make sense for the item and does it align with the brand?
- Best Style Scenario: What is the coolest situation I could possibly wear this in?
Some powerful names in the grocery world did not qualify for consideration. These absences are explained below.
- Trader Joe’s — While employees may wear custom Hawaian shirts, Trader Joe’s does not sell clothing online.
- Kroger and its subsidiaries — Neither Kroger nor any of its subsidiaries (which includes Jewel-Osco, Mariano’s, Ralphs, and Albertsons) sell store-branded clothing online.
- Buc-ee’s — Although this Texas-based chain of country stores has developed a cult following, none of its spectacular merchandise is sold online.
Currently selling sweatpants, long and short sleeve tees, hats, and tote bags—all prominently featuring the number “9” to celebrate the opening of its ninth location —the Erewhon clothing line is clean, on brand, and appropriately priced, given the retailer’s “luxury” status.
- Brand Recognition: “Erewhon” is featured on the clothes, but “9” does so much work you’d think that’s the brand here.
- Logo: Stashed away on sleeves and thighs, the logo placement reminds me of Abercrombie sweats. This is a compliment, of course, but I’m hoping for a more prominent logo next time.
- Price: Love it. If you have a reputation for higher prices, you might as well lean into it. The $65 baby tee is aspirational.
- Best Style Scenario: I’m at a flag football game and I forgot my jersey.
Offering gray and black versions of crewnecks, the Costco clothing line is all about leisure. True to the brand, you can’t purchase Costco clothing unless you’re a member. So, if you like free samples and cozy sweats, a Costco membership is something to consider.
- Brand Recognition: Since the logo is so prominently featured, there’s no confusion: These clothes came from Costco.
- Logo: On the black crewneck, a full, unabridged logo is slotted into the familiar left pocket area. On the gray crewneck, Costco logos loudly checker the entire sweatshirt. It’s the Jeckyl and Hyde of grocery store fashion and I’m into it.
- Price: At $21.99, this sweatshirt is wonderfully priced—but for Costco members only.
- Best Style Scenario: My friends are coming over on a Saturday. There are leaves on the ground.
Sheetz sells both long- and short-sleeve tees that are uniquely designed for each of the six states the store occupies. Also, the shirts come in colors that are earthy and always wearable (think: warm yellows and muted greens). They even sell a tie-dye hoodie.
- Brand Recognition: While each state’s unique graphics are intricate and complex, because “Sheetz” is so prominently featured, at no point will you forget that your gear came from the gas-station-grocery-store hybrid.
- Logo: The logo is already cool. It’s used well. Great job.
- Price: $25 tees, $48 hoodies; For the quality of design you’re getting, this feels more than fair.
- Best Style Scenario: It’s summer, I’m at a concert held on a big field, and I’m surrounded by people also wearing tie-dye.
Publix sells everything, including multiple watches with its logo on the face. Most items feature the brand’s delightful green color palette. If they carried pants, you could probably live a great life exclusively wearing Publix gear.
- Brand Recognition: The green is so iconic that it’s always obvious your clothes came from the same place as this sandwich.
- Logo: It’s always where it needs to be.
- Price: Hard to complain about a $10 tee.
- Best Style Scenario: It’s a beach day in Miami, and I’m wearing Publix green from head-to-toe.
7-Eleven has its own clothing website named the “7Collection” where you can shop the “Slurpee Collection,” the “Cars of 7-Eleven Collection,” and the “7-Eleven X Pac-Man Collection.” All of them are awesome, but nothing beats this “At Dusk, We Ride” shirt.
- Brand Recognition: Since products like “Slurpee” and “Big Gulp” are so ingrained in pop-culture, 7-Eleven doesn’t even need to use its logo to generate brand recognition.
- Logo: Multiple variations, different color schemes, and often appearing multiple times on a single piece of clothing—this is peak logo performance.
- Price: At $27 for a tee, you’re paying a little more when Pac-Man is involved.
- Best Style Scenario: It’s my first day of class.
With everything from baseball jerseys to tie-dye sweatpants, Philadelphia’s most iconic store has range. The “Wawa” crewneck (reminiscent of the “Kale” sweatshirt worn by Beyonce in her “7/11” video) is truly stunning.
- Brand Recognition: Pitch perfect. The brand name or logo does all the work, and it still looks cool.
- Logo: Everything, everywhere, all at once. This is good.
- Price: $16 tees, $30 sweatshirts—these prices are neither attractively low nor outrageously high.
- Best Style Scenario: I’m on a first date with anyone from the greater Philadelphia area.
Footwear has entered the chat. H-E-B sells two different styles of sneakers—one looks like slip-on Vans, the other is similar to low-top Converse—and both are cool, well branded, and wonderfully priced at $31. Also, the shirt with “Risk It For The Brisket Queso” on the front did make me laugh audibly.
- Brand Recognition: Increasing the prominence of H-E-B on their shirts could eventually catapult this Texas chain to the top of our rankings.
- Logo: Have you looked at the slip-on shoes yet? That’s avant-garde logo work.
- Price: $31 for shoes is almost too reasonable.
- Best Style Scenario: I’d wear the combo of the brisket tee and the slip-on shoes at any social gathering that isn’t a wedding.
What ALDI did in the Spring of 2023 will be remembered by grocery store fashion enthusiasts for years to come. Without selling anything for more than $10, ALDI made an entire wardrobe that is cool, fun, and undeniably representative of its brand. As previously mentioned, these items have (obviously) sold out. Regardless, congratulations ALDI—you’ve set the bar.
- Brand Recognition: The colors are enough for you to know these clothes came from ALDI.
- Logo: It’s the only graphic element of the entire collection.
- Price: Nothing is more than $10.
- Best Style Scenario: Truly anywhere.
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