Photo credit: colorblindPICASO via Foter.com / CC BY-NC
I’m a bit of a clothes horse. I like playing with fashion, even though getting too adventurous with what I’m actually wearing scares me. Lately I’ve been trying to step out of the box more, but doing so on a budget is not easy. Here’s some of my favorite stores, and some of my favorite items.
New York and Company
So…I’m not skinny. I don’t look like a supermodel, I can’t find something that fits on a regular basis, and I tend to be the largest regular size or the smallest plus size, which means that finding clothes can be difficult. So imagine my surprise when I realized that NY and Co.’s products actually fit me pretty well! I’m very bad at wearing color – I don’t know what to do with it, I get afraid of it – on my best days, I used to wear one tiny bit of color, with everything else being black or brown. But since I’ve started shopping here, I’ve been a bit braver. The other day, I wore navy with red (I know that’s a fairly classic color combination, but it’s a huge step for me!). Their displays and their clothes make color look so fun, and a lot of their items work in an office environment.
Their pants are pretty hit and miss – I generally try on one size smaller than me in store, and then order online – or would if I had ordered any yet. Their sizes do run a bit small, on certain products, so be sure you try on or that you can make a return if need be. They also seem a bit expensive, at least for me (but then, I never understood paying $100 for a dress) but they have AMAZING sales. I just received four dresses and two tops for $103, and there is constantly some sort of sale going on, so hold out until the pieces you like are on sale. Also, check back frequently because they are constantly rotating their stock. I stop by about every two weeks (typically without intending to buy everything) and the store will look completely different.
Here’s some of my favorite pieces by them (I wear the drape neck shirts CONSTANTLY) and a head-to-toe NY and Co. outfit.
I buy a lot of suits at Macy’s. The brand Le Suit tends to have some great sales, so I can get a suit for $50 or $70, it fits well, and the stock is constantly rotating, so there’s always new options. Beyond those, Calvin Klein has some great drape neck tops, and Ralph Lauren has amazing dresses. Add to that, the fact that Macy’s often has sales means I can build up my work wardrobe without killing my bank account.
Hands down, my favorite brand at JC Penney is Worthington. Their clothes fit great, they have a lot of variety, and again, they’re affordable. I was coveting the pale pink suit they had this year, except it only came in a skirt and ankle pants, and I am not a huge fan of either. They are also suppliers of my preferred drape neck tops, and in the fall and winter, they have some nice sweaters to get you through the cooler weather.
This is my favorite place to buy casual clothes. All my jeans are from Old Navy because they fit well, are comfortable, and are long enough, but I also love their tops, their peacoats in the winter, and their casual dresses. The bad part is sometimes it’s a free-for-all in there!
The ONLY place I buy shoes and purses from anymore. The biggest draw for me is that very very little of their stuff is leather (and what is leather is at a different price point, so I know to check), since I don’t buy leather. Plus, their stuff tends to be pretty well made. I broke one purse from there, but that was because I used it to try and break up a dog fight between my puppies. Turns out if you take a purse and go swinging it against everything in sight, trying to make a loud noise to distract two very upset dogs….well, it will make a very loud noise when the handle snaps, all your stuff goes flying everywhere, and you shriek “Oh no!”. This, in turn, will distract the dogs…I’m just sorry my beautiful black studded hobo bag had to sacrifice itself for the greater good. But I digress.
JustFab is essentially a membership site, with them charging you $39.95 on the fifth of every month, unless you’ve told them to skip this month. That price is the cost of one pair of shoes or one purse. Not super cheap, definitely not unreasonable, more than fair for what you’re getting. It’s all online, so you can’t try things on before you buy, but they have a very liberal return policy, and as someone who has used it, it’s fast and hassle-free. I have never, NEVER had a negative experience with this site. I bought a friend a purse from JustFab for her birthday, but her teenage daughter stole it, and I’ve bought my mother her fuzzy boots from there (Don’t miss the fuzzy boots! My mother walked 3 miles home from work in a freak snowstorm, with a bad leg, a light jacket, and those boots. They gave her traction AND kept her warm and dry. We swear by the fuzzy boots!) so they have something for all ages. They do clothes and jewelry too, but I’m far too captivated by the shoe and bag side to go exploring over there at the moment (although they did expand into plus-size). They are also connected to Fabletics for exercise clothes, and FabKids for kids’ clothes (which my cousin has reaped the benefits of multiple times). Check them out, but first check out some of these faves of mine!
What are your favorite places to shop? Any recommendations for me?