Q&A Tuesday: where do you shop for clothes?

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About Tsh

Tsh is the founder of this blog and lives in Bend, Oregon with her husband and 3 kids. Her latest book is Notes From a Blue Bike, and believes a passport is one of the world's greatest textbooks.

If you remember, my typical posting schedule here is a Monday-Wednesday-Friday routine of new articles, with a link round-up post on Saturdays.  Tuesdays and Thursdays I reserve for smaller tid-bits of info, or else I take a break altogether.

But I thought it would be fun to start an easy little series here on Simple Mom.  Every Tuesday, I’ll give you a chance to provide the blog’s content.  I’ll ask you a question, and you, the readers, will give it your best shot.  No worries, I’m not talking quadratic equations or empirical formulas of compounds.  I don’t even know what that means.

Here’s today’s question:

Where do you like to shop?

I’m referring to your own clothing here.  The store can be online or off, but what I’m looking for is your favorite stores where you actually shop, not the ones you only wish you could.  The criteria in my search is 1. quality is more important than cheapness, but 2. it must still be relatively affordable.

The reason I ask is because we are heading back to the States for a visit in a few weeks, and I am in desperate need of new clothes.  As you might guess, I favor having fewer clothes that are higher in quality.  I need to replenish my wardrobe with some classic pieces.

Alright, I leave it to you, readers – tell me where to shop!

Lisa Leonard Designs Giveaway Winner

sweetSimpleBirdH.jpgOn another note, random.org picked the winner of the necklace giveaway out of 1,056 entries.  Once again, you guys know the goods when you see them!  The winner is Shama Lama of Shama Lama Mama! (Say that ten times fast.)  Congratulations – look for an email from me in your inbox so that I can pass your mailing address on to Lisa.  And for those of you who didn’t win, head over to Lisa’s shop and order your Christmas gifts – proudly support work-from-home moms.

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Comments

  1. I love to shop at H&M and Steve and Barry’s. H&M is great and affordable. I got quite a few shirts there and some skirts and they are all either classic style or up to date fashion at good prices. The jewelry is great too because It is not so expensive that you fear losing an earring (having a toddler who loves to play with mommy’s ears I have lost a few). Steve and Barry’s is also great– the last time I went everything and I mean everything was 8.98 in the whole store. They carry Sarah Jessica Parker’s Bitten line and I love to show off my 9.00 pants. The quality at both of these store is good.

  2. I like to find the nicest, most expensive neighborhood. And then shop at the nearest thrift store.

    I find super high quality, fashionable clothes that have hardly been worn.

    Have fun!

    Laura at Wild Parenting’s last blog post…Motherhood Math

  3. I love JCPenney! They really have a lot of “classic” clothes that stay up to date, but are not so trendy that you cannot wear them for several years and still be in style. Their Worthington and East 5th brands are my favorite. Arizone jean is great too for polo shirts, etc. The Worthington brand is more formal and is great for church or something. I’ve been wearing several Worthington items, like my black skirt for years and it still looks awesome. And the best part is that it is all washable!! =) I also really like Sams Club. They have very nice brand name clothes for relatively cheap. At our Sam’s they have a clearance table in the back that you can get things even cheaper. And of course there’s our thrift store, gotta love that one! =)

  4. My absolute favorite line is J.Crew. After that, it’s Banana Republic and The Gap. None of those stores are typically affordable, but their sales can be amazing (sometimes not so much at J.Crew). The outlets are not bad either.

    BUT, depending upon the the locale of your trip back to the states, you should look for a “Gabriel Brothers”. I live north of Baltimore, Maryland and we have most of these stores in the Mid-Atlantic area. Definitely “google” it. I find most of my name brand clothing that I mentioned above at this store and for never more than $7 or $8 a piece. You have to pick through a lot of times, but it really is worth it. We’re talking Pottery Barn tables for $30 and Seven Jeans for $40…..

    As far as the above commenters go, I would definitely agree with the “Steve & Barry’s”. I got a classic pair of jeans and a few dress shirts (that are key pieces to my wardrobe) for $8 something each. For me, “H&M” is way trendy, but I find plain tee’s for ultra cheap that are great quality.

    Also, I have gotten some really cute things at the Target clearance section where it’s marked off at 70%. Just look for those red signs!

    My look is classic with some more flair on my accessories and shoes. “H&M” is great for those accessories and so is “Steve and Barry’s”. I got some great bangles and headbands at “Steve and Barry’s” and awesome earrings at “H&M”. Their prices are from 99 cents to about maybe $3 or $4 for those things.

    Again, look up “Gabriel Brothers” or “Gabe’s” as we like to call it!!! You would not be disappointed. Promise!

    Beth Young’s last blog post…New Date — Open House “Fall Tour of Homes” 2008

  5. Oh that is easy, I LOVE Christopher and Banks! Modest, stylish, comfortable and great fit! I am a size smaller in their store, and that is reason enough, don’t you think?

    Stephanie’s last blog post…Living Simple: Rethinking the Use of Medical Services

  6. I often do what Laura does, but this time in the States I found some great classic pieces at Gap and TJMaxx. Also, Talbots has some great sales!

    Megan’s last blog post…Summer Wrap Up (a little late!)

  7. Catos and Kohl’s.

    Steve and Barry’s is super affordable; I’ve never been that impressed with the quality. Maybe that’s just me, though.:-)

    Mary Ann’s last blog post…Fall Cleaning

  8. I heart TJ Maxx.

    And totally agree with Laura/Wild but thrift store shopping is SO time consuming and I usually sacrifice something {great color-not as great of fit/ great fit-weird color}. I also have a sanitary wash in my washing machine so that makes me feel all better about buying other people’s stuff.

    The Nester’s last blog post…Infringement

  9. I have shopped for a long, long time at Old Navy. I have some shirts from there that I’ve had since high school (I’m out of college now). They are cheaper than department stores generally, and they almost always have stuff on sale if you’re willing to look through the racks. They also have really cute, affordable kids’ clothes, if Chick and Garbanzo need stuff, too. :)

    Chelsey’s last blog post…Garlic basil pizza dough

  10. I love the Gap for quality, classic style clothes. It’s also one-shop stopping for the husband, wee one, and me! They do tend to be on the pricey side for us, so when I want something ultra trendy that might only be in for one or two seasons, I head to H&M or NY&Company. There’s nothing like a $10 shirt!

    Katharine’s last blog post…

    • I’d say Carter’s outlets and Once Upon a Child for the babies and, oddly, Victoria’s Secret catalog for me. They can have some great sales as well and the “outdoor” section has been in style for years. Some of the same photos have been in those catalogs since I was in college. I guess “sexy” never goes out of style. ;0 But, honestly, I don’t think all of their pants, sweaters, and sweatshirts are “sexy”. Just really comfy and good quality. Plus, if the hubby sees the label, it makes him happy as well.

  11. Old Navy and then usually Outfitters have decent sales and very high quality clothes so I go to a local one of those or REI or something….Sierra Trading Post online. Banana Republic does have great stuff in the back that is on sale!

  12. ll bean, lands end and edie bauer usually have some classic or basic pieces. I also desperately need new clothes but am trying to make due with what I have for 9 months months in the tropics – then it might be snowsuits for everyone!

    Amy’s last blog post…Happy kids

    • these were going to be my picks. I live near an outlet mall that has a Lands’ End and an Eddie Bauer and I’ve found lots of great, inexpensive things there on sale that I’ve worn for years.

      anja’s last blog post…Bike Route Mapping

  13. I sadly pay way too much money to J.Crew, which is completely impractical being a new Mom, but I can’t help myself. So what if I end up with spit up on my cashmere! I usually shop the sale section (online and in store) as you can get something originally very expensive (and well made) for a good price. I also shop at Old Navy. You can’t beat that place, you can get something for everyone in your family and it doesn’t break the bank. Todd Oldham (who just took over as Creative Director, I think) is doing an amazing job at keeping Old Navy comfy but current.

    Chloe’s last blog post…Dear Fall,

  14. Two tiers of shopping for me these days:

    Splurge: J.Jill, Ann Taylor/Ann Taylor Loft, Banana Republic, Gap. I know items from these places will last longer, so although I don’t buy much from these stores right now, I prefer to buy here for quality. I also like to browse these stores online first since it saves time, then just go try on. Pants from Ann Taylor Loft and Banana Republic have always been my favorites. In truth, it’s been a year since I’ve purchased anything from these stores.

    Everyday: Old Navy, Target, Kohls, Belk. Target has some amazing and cheap finds (they go quickly!) and Old Navy makes tops, t-shirts and dresses that I wear often. Kohls is time consuming but so worth it. When I go, I go about a month before season change and in the morning sans kids. This is how much I believe in Kohls, trips should be thorough and taken very seriously. The treasures, oh the treasures! Kind of a mess to work through that store, but there are things hiding in there that are quite amazing. Belk is a department store in the South, I buy Kim Rogers (t-shirts/tops) and Madison Studio when on sale.

    Nikki’s last blog post…Brown & the Land of Make Believe

  15. I love Banana Republic, and Ann Taylor…but mostly at the outlet mall! I find some of the best deals there. I also like to browse through most any high end store around the season change because they have great sales and you can get some real bargains.

    Autumn’s last blog post…All Grown UP!

  16. I like to hit the outlets (we have a HUGE, >100 stores by us, love the Brooks Bros. for Gals), LandsEnd (I’m 5’10″….love the talls), the consignment shops & occ. the mall. Just found a great fitting pair of jeans @ Old Navy.

  17. I live far far from the city, but we do have a Target and a Burlington Coat Factory (which isn’t all coats) and they have some great clothes!

    Rachel’s last blog post…It’s a Record! My Awesome Target Shopping Trip!

  18. I’m in the “quality matters” camp, too! Most of my wardrobe comes from LL Bean and Talbots. I tend to dress more classic and, well, not at all trendy, and these two companies fill most of my clothing needs. I keep each piece until it wears out, which is years of wear and well worth the cost. I’ve bought minor pieces at places like Old Navy, finding that they make their way to the thrift store due to not looking crisp after one or two washings–and that’s a waste of money to me. I’d rather spend more on fewer pieces that I can mix and match and love!

    Amy G.’s last blog post…Well, that was a nightmare!

  19. I mostly shop at our local Goodwill so I can get quality brands and materials at inexpensive prices. I do love to retail shop too though once or twice a year. Banana Republic and H&M are two favorites.

    Emily’s last blog post…Finished Quilt

  20. I love Gap, they are on the pricier side but their clothes last forever and their jeans fit me better than any others. A cheaper version of Gap is Old Navy they have some good stuff but not as good quality and don’t buy jeans there, they’ll fall apart.

  21. One of my favorites is Ann Taylor Loft, but I do try to go only when they have good coupons or $25 savings card rewards. I also agree that Old Navy, Target, and Kohls are good options.

    Has anyone had good luck finding jeans at any of these places? I hate trying to find jeans that fit. Old Navy jeans seem to only come half-way up my bottom no matter what style I try. I have found some at the Loft, but apparently other people have, too, because they never last long enough to go on sale.

    Sara’s last blog post…To Sleep, Perchance to Dream…

  22. I love H&M, Von Maur, and Anne Taylor Loft. I’m also a sucker for Target (not the best quality, but you can’t beat a bright white cotton shirt that only costs $8…and you’ll have to get a new one next year anyway because you’re bound to have a 3 year old wipe their spaghetti fingers on you at least once!). Good luck :)

    jackie.’s last blog post…like.father.like.daughter

  23. Don’t waste time anywhere else – go straight to an Ann Taylor Loft. Pray they are having a sale. It is the one and only place that I can shop and trust their size chart without having to try on clothes. This is brilliance for a mom of four. Who’s got time to try things on. I’ve worn their clothes for years and the things in my closet that I’m still wearing 7 or 8 years later are always ANN.

    Love it.

    Joanna’s last blog post…As close as the mention of His Name

  24. I love Lucy and Title 9. Lucy takes the cake though because I never spend full-price for anything there – they have amazing sales and coupons constantly. Those are my splurge places, along with The Limited for work stuff (they also send me coupons!!). For some basics, I fall back on Target and Old Navy and Kohls occasionally.

  25. I went through a whole thing with jeans in the last couple of years–I couldn’t find a style that worked. Designers were just not making jeans for women who had given birth. Anyway, last year I found some Lands End styles at Sears and I wised up and bought about four pairs. I don’t love the price, but the quality is good. I shop J.Jill when it’s on sale, and then usually only clearance. I’ve gotten some good pieces from R.E.I. Again pricey, but good quality. I haven’t really bought many clothes lately–I started sewing again and I find myself thinking “I could make that” when I’m in stores. I looked at Steve and Barry’s but I thought the quality wasn’t great–it seemed like “disposable clothes” like you’d get at Target or Old Navy–which is fine for the annual white t-shirt, but not for a whole wardrobe.

    Meg Evans’s last blog post…Checking in

    • Meg~

      I agree with you on the jeans thing…funny story. I stopped in a “Buckle” store, high end jeans (>$75 & above). My inseam & “rise” is long & I’m forever in the search of a great fitting pair of jeans. Anyway, ended up buying a pair, yep $80. But they just never felt right (tags still on), so I returned them. I posted above that I found a pair of jeans @ Old Navy (I had a gift certificate from the kids, but routinely use them for my “disposable” clothes like you mentioned)…anyway, bought the jeans (sweetheart style). Well, wore them the only night, DH said “wow, they look as good or better than those expensive jeans!”……

  26. I don’t buy retail ever! I shop the thrift stores. I don’t find it that time consuming. It’s like shopping anywhere else, once you know where to look to find what YOU like it’s super simple and quick. If you frequent a store you’ll find that many of the items on the rack were there the last few times you shopped. It makes it that much easier to spot what’s new. I go to my local Goodwill at least once a week or once every other week. I save my family TONS of money and I’m always able to stay with the latest trends too!

    Heather’s last blog post…Menu Plan Monday

  27. I live in a small twon so I do most shopping online. http://www.layersclothing.com and http://www.shabbyapple.com have cute cute things, good quality and reasonable prices.

    Sally’s last blog post…The "fruits" of our labor

  28. Probably of no help to you at all being a Brit living in Singapore but I love Zara (portugese store avail in UK and Singapore) and Marks & Spencers (UK store also avail here). Zara is great at turning out some up to date fashion with some classics. Great sales too. M&S is much the same but with more of the classics. Most of my clothes are from these places.

    As for Charity Store shopping – definitely not here. Singaporeans only want the new and if its got a label, all the better.

    For cheap and cheerful, I stock up at Primark on visits home.

    Victoria’s last blog post…Summer Holidays

  29. I like Talbot’s petites the most! It’s also my mom and grandma’s favorite store so they always give me giftcards. Talbot’s has great sales so I stretch those giftcards as far as I can!

    Also, thanks to Beth for mentioning Gabriel Brothers. I also live north of Baltimore, in PA, and looked it up. There’s one close by so I’ll have to check it out!

    Sandra’s last blog post…Encouraging Their Love for Music

  30. Thrift stores, almost exclusively. I find high quality stuff dirt cheap. If it’s already made it to the t store and still looks good, it’s high quality. I’m an exact size 6 for Gap and Old Navy so I can buy their pants, skirts without trying on. Their jeans are also the only ones I’ve found that fit my odd shape.

    I wrote about my thrift store finds on .25 day (yes, everything a quarter!) in the post link above.

    Carrie at NaturalMomsTalkRadio’s last blog post…Take a Child Outside Week

  31. I know this sounds super strange, but for my own clothes my favorite place to shop these days is Walmart. For someone struggling with their weight and their checkbook, Walmart can be amazing. Their store is one of the few places I can get jeans in my size for $20 or less. I remember in high school I hated their clothes but I honestly think there is a chance their entire clothing department has gotten a lot better because their junior department looks cute to me, too.

    If I were just a little bit skinnier, I’d be shopping at Target, Steve & Barrys and Old Navy.

  32. my new favorite find is levi jeans at WalMart…mid rise, boot cut.good quality, good fit and less than 20bucks They ‘re not skin tight and cut too low. Kohl’s and JCPenney for the basics for church.

  33. When my plane lands in the US, I make a beeline for Macy’s. I buy amazing current yet classic looks there, usually with fantastic sales. Nordstrom’s as well, to a lesser extent. I go to the high end and enjoy the discounts. Same principle applies for shopping at thrift/consignment stores in the swankiest neighborhoods.

    Enjoy the shopping spree!

    Elisa’s last blog post…no stopping us now

  34. Kohl’s for career and fun clothing/accessories/shoes and Old Navy for the basic t-shirts.

    Nancy’s last blog post…Baseball, Hamstring & Ginger Root

  35. Ann Taylor Loft and White House/Black Market are my two favorite places to shop. Both are reasonable (not cheap but not overly expensive) and the clothing is high quality and very cute!

    UncommonBlonde’s last blog post…I hope you have this too

  36. Hmmm . . . the last new clothes I bought were from thrift stores, Wal-Mart, and the clearance section at Lane Bryant. I know most people consider WM to be throwaway quality, but I have some shirts that are 7-8 years old. I just bought my son a bunch of stuff at a local consignment sale for no more than $3 per item, most around$2. I still need to check out T.J. Maxx/Marshalls/Ross for some pajamas for him. Unfortunately thrifting and T.J. Maxx, etc. all usually require some extra time to go through the racks. I would seriously consider heading to the nearest outlet mall on a weekday; you’d be able to find stuff for your entire family all in one day and at reasonable, though not necessarily great, prices.

  37. I shop mostly at Target and Kohl’s, but if I’m looking for a basic that will really last, I go to Ann Taylor, Ann Taylor Loft, or Banana Republic. I like the jeans at White House, Black Market, too.

    Linn’s last blog post…A Few of My Favorite Things…day 5

  38. Work Clothes/Dress Clothes: Ann Taylor
    Casual Clothes: Ann Taylor Loft

    If you register at either of the websites for these stores they will send you deals weekly. I can typically get everything at least 25% off using the coupons they send!

  39. My favorites are Ann Taylor Loft and Old Navy. I do like H&M for shopping on the local German economy. I do most of my shopping online right now, but can’t wait until get get back to the states so I can do real live shopping.

    Monica @ DailyDwelling’s last blog post…Voting by Absentee Ballot…Again

  40. I am streamlining my wardrobe these days, trying to go for the less / better quality idea, too. I like the Gap, and also American Eagle. A lot of the American Eagle stuff is very college – age, but their jeans fit me better than anyone else’s, and they usually have a few nice styles of sweaters and shirts every season. Everything I’ve bought there has lasted 5 or 6 years of hard wearing. I also like them because they are online and ship to Canada (the gap doesn’t — i have to drive in to find them). I’ve also just recently discovered that I really like Roots stuff — its comfortable and they make a lot of stuff out of soy and bamboo and organic cotton. I think they may be just in Canada, though.

    jill’s last blog post…Is It Really Worth It?

  41. I do most of my shopping at LL Bean these days, especially since I have an LL Bean credit card, so shipping is free. It’s like shopping at the store without having to leave home.

  42. My favorite stores are Nordstroms, JJill and Eddie Bauer. Nordstroms and JJill have fabulous return policies on everything! I haven’t really tried the JJill return policy, but they say you can bring back a wool sweater you shrank in the wash. I brought shoes back to Nordstroms that had split on the sole after a year and they returned them, no questions asked. I had the box, but not the receipt.

  43. I do 85% of my shopping at thrift stores and goodwill, and I will often rework or embellish things I find there. There were so cheap I don’t have to worry about messing them up. 10% is the sales at Urban Outfitters, for fun Tshirts and funky shoes. And 5% is splurges at Anthroplogie for distinctive and romantic dress-up clothes.

    robin’s last blog post…Family Day: What’s For Dinner?

  44. I’m a big Land’s End fan. And the nice thing is they now have shops right in most Sears stores. Nice to be able to try on. Enjoy your visit to the US and Happy Shopping!!!!!

    Stephanie’s last blog post…Looking Back to Look Ahead

  45. I am often tempted by Kohl’s (it’s close to my house and their ads look nice) but am usually disappointed in the quality so I drive a little further and go to JCPenny – They have frequent sales and their clothes fit better and last longer. For me, it’s the best use of my time AND money. I can almost always pick up a cute, cheap outfit for my kiddos there too (although now that my son has grown into the “boys” sizes, it’s a little more difficult).

    Ellen’s last blog post…Cooking with Little Gal

  46. Goodwill is the best (in a nice neighborhood)–I get the good-quality brands I love for a few bucks per piece instead of $30 for one shirt (and also some vintage-y clothes mixed in for variety). Also, TJ Maxx, Ross, and Marshalls are super-fantastic for dresses, shoes and jeans.

  47. I love to shop at the Gap – the clothes fit me really well and I like a lot of the not-so-trendy clothes they sell. I also like Old Navy but am not quite as lucky in the fitting department, their clothes don’t always fit me as well as the clothes at the Gap do. My favorite place to shop is a Gap outlet store, where I can get nice clothes for cheap, but the closest one is two hours drive from my house, so I don’t get there very much. :)

    Jenn’s last blog post…Ah, nice weekends are so lovely

  48. I, too, am in the thrift store camp. I create dreamboards from the latest fashion/home decor magazines and update them regularly. This helps me to ‘manifest’ items I want and prevents me from buying items I will not use just because it is a bargain. I frequent the same stores on a regular basis, know the clerks and am not afraid to ask “What is your friendliest price for this item?”. I have found amazing high end designer pieces for pennies! Friends constantly compliment me on my fashion and decorating style. My son and I did an inventory recently and realized that over 90% of the items in our closets and home are someone else’s castoffs–great for the planet and my budget.

  49. avatar
    saunaknitter says:

    When I’m desperate and short on funds I hit the George line at Walmart for work clothes. Their pants are often too short for me (5’8″) though. I have found that Sears has GREAT dress pants. I have been wearing a couple pairs for almost two years now. They are machine washable, LONG and they still look great!!!

    For casual stuff, I love the fit of Old Navy t-shirts (I agree with many of the others here that their clothes are totally disposable, but t-shirts usually are no matter what).

  50. Any time I need clothes the first place I head is JC Penney. I absolutely love their clothes and they always seem to be having a sale. When I’m there I also check out their clearance racks first because I have gotten some great deals there. The quality of their clothes is very good and they have plenty of nice classic style pieces. It is one of my favorite places to shop.

    Holly’s last blog post…Menu Planning Monday

  51. Anthropologie sale room. The cutest, most original, high quality clothes at the price they should be. I wear the things I found in that room over and over again and I’ve never met anyone who’s wearing the same thing.

    Amy’s last blog post…favorite things :: folding

  52. Lately I have been getting tons of good deals at Khols. The clothes are affordable and fashionable. The quality is solid. I know I am not buying top of the line but the clothes last (don’t fall apart quickly like some brands at cheaper stores).
    I will also search the sale racks at J.Jill and I love looking at the Title 9 catalog. I am searching their online sale section.

    Jane Anne’s last blog post…Bug Invasion

  53. WOW!! Thanks so much for randomly picking my name! I haven’t entered any blog contests in so long (I used to be a pretty avid player all over the ‘net) and I just entered this one alone because I loved the necklace SO MUCH! I can’t wait to wear such a lovely piece! My thanks to you and Lisa Leonard for your generosity!

    Shama-Lama Mama’s last blog post…Yes, I Know You Are Not Supposed To Label Your Children.

  54. I like to shop at H&M. The clothes are quite affordable and there is a large selection. I also find great steals on shoes and dresses at Marshalls and Ross. You just need some time, preferrably without children, to do your shopping there.

  55. You have some really interesting consensus brewing in the comments here. I was hoping to discover some untapped gems, but instead it’s a lot of the same same stuff we’re buying out here.

    I suspect/hope that if you’re coming to the states from abroad that it will feel like everything is on a giant SALE. I tend to get basic pieces from Gap and Old Navy. I also love having a clothing swap to get better stuff (for free) from my friends. I consider better stuff what you might find at Anthropolgie but the prices are super high ($74 for a tshirt. Ouch) so that was a good tip to go straight for the sale room. Hmmm, I grab t-shirts from Target. I love H+M for trendy stuff. I try to buy trousers from JCrew or Banana so they last until the styles change.

  56. I usually end up buying most of my clothes from Target, Old Navy, and The Gap. Old Navy’s quality isn’t the best, but it is a good place to buy more trendy things at a lower price. But I have consistenly found great quality pieces that are super cute at Target. And of course, The Gap is always a staple for jeans and socks. They have the best socks…

    andi’s last blog post…

  57. How you’ll ever keep track of all of these suggestions…Zara is a great store for quality but relatively low-cost items. J.Crew, Nordstrom (shop in the Brass Plum dept vs Savvy), Banana Republic and The Limited.

    I’m a pretty dedicated online shopper so I browse the halls of BlueFly, ShopBop, StandardStyle and Endless.com (amazing shoe deals) for sales and major markdowns. And StyleBakery is a great site for recommendations for those of us on a budget!

    And the earlier recommendation of Carter’s for kids – awesome. They have fabulous deals! Good Luck

  58. Definitely try Kohls, TJ Maxx (those two usually take some time to get through), Old Navy, Eddie Bauer, and Gap.

    Before you head to the states, try this site. For jeans, Zafu.com has a profile builder based on your size, shape, and style that matches you with different jeans from all over (including local stores like Old Navy, Target, and JC Penny). I love it.

    Another great online store is JJill.com. I hardly ever get to shop at JJill or Ann Taylor Loft as they are a little pricey, but they are fantastic for long lasting pieces.

    Best wishes on your shopping endeavor!

    • I went to Zafu.com and it looks like a site for stores/businesses that want to attract clients. How does a normal person use this site?

  59. Well, I am a personal stylist, so my clothes are my living. Therefore, I invest in a few designer pieces each season and fill in the rest of the staples and basics with sale items from high end stores. HOWEVER, I am not a parent (I just love simple living) so I’m not sure this counts since I’m not getting spit up on or smeared with baby snot :)
    Props to those who shop at H & M their Marimekko line is AMAZING!

  60. Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack, particularly for work clothes and/or outerwear.
    Banana Republic and Ann Taylor usually have some good basic pieces.
    For me, H&M doesn’t always fit correctly, so make sure to try on any clothing that you’re interested in picking up there.

  61. I haven’t been “real” clothes shopping in a while but H&M is always a great place. Also, Target(pronounced Tar-jay in our house) is truly awesome. I constantly find great items on clearance there and I love their unmentionables. They are just as great as Victoria’s Secret, but much less expensive.

    Amiyrah’s last blog post…Meal plan Monday!

  62. My daughter and I shop Christopher & Banks every chance we get (we live near the US border in Canada – C&B has no stores in Canada). The clearance racks are our first place to check, because the rest of the store is pricey for us, but the quality is outstanding. Their clothes are the most modest we’ve found, and we like their styles.

    Susan’s last blog post…Simple Woman’s Daybook

  63. I’m a JCPenny girl, – I’m tall and they have tall sizes. Also New York & Company and sometimes Fashion Bug. But I will only buy it when it’s on sale.

    Peggy’s last blog post…See what I just ordered…

  64. Since you will be in Austin, I definitely think it is worth the trip up to the new Round Rock outlets or down to the San Marcos outlets to look for some pieces at the Banana outlet store, the Ann Taylor outlet, etc. Of course they are hit and miss, but I can often find some great pieces there for a bit less than retail.

  65. Lands End Inlet. Now, if we still lived near one, I might have more than one pair of jeans that fit!

  66. No one has mentioned Patagonia…it might be the price, but they use organic/recycled materials and have long-term relationships with their factories to ensure fair wages,etc. Their stuff lasts a LONG time, fits well (especially if you have long arms like me) and almost everything goes 1/2 off 2 times a year, on their website and at their retail stores.

    I love GAP also…wish they used more organic cotton!!!

  67. My top favorites are Ann Taylor Loft, Nordstrom for classic pieces and if I want something fun and funky – Anthropology! Have fun shopping!

    Leigh Anne Wilkes’s last blog post…Things That Work Notebook

  68. avatar
    CiderSapling says:

    I have trouble buying clothes because I am too large for ‘regular’ stores like Gap, or Old Navy, but too small for the plus size stores like Lane Bryant and CJBanks. Generally, if I do manage to find something in my size, it would look more appropriate on a much older woman (I’m 30). I do have a lot more luck at JCPenney, though. Decent quality, reasonable price, a little trendy but can work for years. For very basic wadrobe items, I love the Eddie Bauer outlet. I love to look at thrift/resale shops but hardly ever find my size. For dress clothes Macy’s is usually a good spot. I used to love Kohl’s but I just can’t find things at a reasonable price there anymore. For larger women, I love the quality of Lane Bryant and funkiness of Torrid.

    I know all these stores have been mentioned. I guess the big stores are popular for good reason.

  69. I’m such a bargain shopper…
    I love TJMaxx, Ross and Marshalls… and Old Navy. :-)

  70. Thrift Stores
    then the clearance and sale racks at:
    Christopher & Banks
    Eddie Bauer
    Cato’s
    Kohls
    Gordman’s
    Macy’s
    Sears
    Penny’s

    Blessed’s last blog post…I’ve gotten some "Love Your Blog" Awards!

  71. theses are a little pricey-I don’t normally shop there but love their clothes and know they are good quality…Boden.com, garnethill.com, athleta (sporty stuff and so fun!)
    Hope this helps! I am inspired by your theory of having less clothes but better quality. I need to start that once I’m done with having kiddies and can pick up a few things!

  72. I’m a huge fan of J.Crew and Banana Republic sales. I can often find basic items that transition through seasons, along with some really special pieces, too. And because I live in the south, a lot of their “end of season sales” tend to be perfectly seasonal clothes for me. And when J.Crew’s t-shirts hit the final sale with an extra 20 percent off, I stock up in every color they’ve got. Perfect for layering or alone!
    Just talking about all of this is making me want out of maternity clothes as soon as possible!

  73. Herberger’s
    Kohl’s
    Marshalls
    TJ Maxx

  74. Great suggestions, all!

    @Laura, et all – This is the exact same thing I do, every time. Before I hit up any other store, I head to Goodwill in the priciest neighborhood in town. I’m always floored by what I can find there. Some of my favorite items in my closet have come from there!

    Thanks so much for all the new (to me) suggestions; I’ll definitely check them out. I’ve always been partial to Anne Taylor Loft, Banana Republic (though a bit spendy), Eddie Bauer, and JC Penny. But it looks like I’ve got some other new places to expand my horizons! Much appreciated. And keep them coming, if you’ve got more.

  75. When I came back to the States after most of two years in the Middle East with a humanitarian organization (which meant vastly different clothing from what was considered “stylish” in America), I hit a Ross store. With the exception of one shirt that after the first washing required ironing every time to get the button flap to lay down flat, I would still wear all of those shirts and pants today.

    Well, that is if I hadn’t birthed and nursed one baby with another on the way. The clothes are a “little” too tight for me at the moment. I fit back into most of them between pregnancies though!

    Anyway – Ross isn’t terribly expensive, the quality isn’t terrible, and the clothes are relatively stylish. Definitely a store you’d want to go to without little ones though, with plenty of time to look around, and _do_ try everything on.

    Princess Leia’s last blog post…It Could Have Been SOOOOO Much Worse…

  76. Hands down, I love the Land’s End shop at my local Sears. You can’t beat it for quality. The clothing is classic (and long wearing for my 3 and 5 year olds). If you can find it on sale – even better! I do shop at Target, but the quality is just not there. Have a safe trip and have fun shopping!

    CarrieK’s last blog post…Demarle

  77. I have to buy petites, which limits my options. On the higher end, I’ve had good luck with Ann Taylor & Ann Taylor LOFT and Banana Republic. Sometimes Talbots as well. Eddie Bauer is good for basic tees, etc. but is not very fashionable or imaginative; same with Lands End and LL Bean.

    Nordstrom has a good selection across lots of different styles and price ranges. Our H&M hasn’t opened yet; looking forward to checking that out.

    Vintage Mommy’s last blog post…Just the Facts: About Vintage Mommy

  78. avatar
    susaninfrance says:

    I buy a few things at Boden.com. I am on their list so I get lots of sale coupons and they ship free to the usa if you time it right. The usa site is much less expensive than the euro sites, so I order in the usa (and had it sent to my mom when we were still in europe). The quality has been outstanding for me & my kids. But mostly I sew things using thrift store clothes I rip apart (lots of linen stuff–skirts and dresses–are easily converted to kids’ clothes). Old Navy is great for t-shirts and Gap for jeans. That pretty much covers it for my family. I do buy a few work things at Belks when they have sales on Liz Claiborn–her stuff fits me really well & goes on sale quick after it arrives. Love the tips for JC Penneys-I never go there and need to see if it is cheaper than Belks!

  79. I love Old Navy also. We are going to the states in 3 weeks and I am in desperate need of a new bra and some jeans. They don’t have Target, Kohl’s or Victoria’s Secret here. aghh

    Staci Dauphine’s last blog post…Pageant mom strikes again

  80. I like to shop at the “MotherLode” — that’s what I call my favorite thrift store, and I mix it with clearance and sale items from Target and Mervyn’s. I like classic stuff, and then maybe add a few new & trendy items that are each season — just to give my wardrobe a boost.

    It’s fun for me when I find something unexpectedly, as opposed to running around and shopping for that special outfit for a certain occasion. I don’t have the funds to be shoppin’ & droppin’! :)

  81. I shop Coldwater Creek for work clothes and some casual tops…either the outlet store, or the on-line outlet. Their dresses and tops are great, especially the travel knit. I have to be careful with sizes and style (some look “older” than I would wear), but have bought most items in the $10-40 range and they are stylish, well-made clothes that always draw compliments. Travel knit is more on sale/clearance, but worth it!

    Old Navy/Gap for casual clothes. JC Penney for basics. Wal-mart for underwear, tank tops, etc. Vanity Fair outlet for bras and pajamas. I hit Macy’s for end-of-season sales and stock up on cheap, trendier pieces. And, Macy’s for heels (great clearance), eBay for casual shoes-hard to find brands I like locally. I buy everything on clearance or on sale. If I need a specific piece, I usually turn to ebay, because I don’t have the time to shop around : (

  82. Oh, I wanted to add, that if I had the funds to shop ’til I drop, I would go to Ann Taylor, J Jill, J Crew, Talbots, and wherever they offer classic styles. I like things that never really go out of style, which would be classics of course.

    I don’t like to go to stuffy stores, where the sales people come across as snooty. That’s why I like to go to Target — I can help myself. I’ve just started going to Kohls, and I go to a bit Ross and Marshals even less. I have a hard time finding clothes at those two, but I did find to cool purses at Ross.

    That’s my game plan in a nutshell. :)

  83. Oh, I wanted to add, that if I had the funds to shop ’til I drop, I would go to Ann Taylor, J Jill, J Crew, Talbots, and wherever they offer classic styles. I like things that never really go out of style, which would be classics of course.

    I don’t like to go to stuffy stores, where the sales people come across as snooty. That’s why I like to go to Target — I can help myself. I’ve just started going to Kohls, and I go to a bit Ross and Marshals even less. I have a hard time finding clothes at those two, but I did find to cool purses at Ross.

    That’s my game plan in a nutshell. :)

    Suzy’s last blog post…J: Is for Jazzy Leaf Break

  84. Classic Pieces: Talbots and Ann Taylor Loft
    Everyday Pieces: Target and Christopher & Banks

    Love all four of these! Talbots and Ann Taylor have awesome sales! And the Cherokee all cotton Ts at Target are THE best!! They retain their color wash after wash and are priced just right! I should know, I think I own every color made.

    Kristyn’s last blog post…my favorite writer

  85. I’ve been refraining from buying clothes for a while (trying to get pregnant so why bother?!), but if I do it’s either Old Navy or Target, and occasionally Kohl’s.

    I shop for my daughter (rarely thanks to a generous neighbor’s hand-me-downs) at the Carter’s outlet.

    Gidget’s last blog post…Translation Tuesday #4

  86. @Heather – Thanks for directing me to zafu. It’s been fun to play around there, and I’ve bookmarked it for my future shopping trip!

    I’ve always defaulted to Old Navy for things like t-shirts and basics. But I think I need to up it a notch – everything I own from there is stretched out, falling apart, or just doesn’t fit quite right. I’m sure I’ll still hit it up there for basic t-shirts to wear at home, but I’m learning how much I need to expand my horizons.

    They just opened a Gap and Banana Republic in my neighborhood, but it’s at least twice as much as in the States. Why do they do that? I went to Gap with a 50 in my wallet, and I could buy ONE t-shirt with the money I had. Crazy. I’ll wait till I’m in the States.

    • I went to Zafu.com and it looks like a site for stores/businesses that want to attract clients. How does a normal person use this site?

  87. I love consignment shops – tons of tags-on, originally-pricey items. It seems like the type of people who consign their clothing seem to be people who dress like me: simple, but not items that will fall apart in a year. And, for whatever reason, my home consignment store (also back in the states) always smelled REALLY good! It was a huge store, so no more time-consuming than shopping elsewhere. My grandmother also runs one out of her basement in a different part of the country!

    Lori Ann’s last blog post…Shower Supply Simplification

  88. my husband and i went to banana republic OUTLET store right before they cleared out the spring and made way for summer. the sales were jaw dropping, and he found several outfits (his entire wardrobe) in a matter of about 30 minutes.

    tacy’s last blog post…Molly Meets St. Johns, pt. 2

  89. I am a shopper at heart on the Dave Ramsey financial plan. So I have to have style and affordability. My latest find is New York and Company. I have found quality, stylish clothes at affordable prices. I can look hip without spending a ton of money.

    Sporty Mama’s last blog post…A Great Little List

  90. Chico’s
    I’m working toward a total wash and wear wardrobe.
    No ironing with their traveler’s line.
    No dry cleaning with all the chemicals.

  91. I love to shop at Ann Taylor Loft and the Ann Taylor Outlet near me. They always have great items that can be super cheap. I can also find great items that are marked down to almost nothing because they have weird length arms or cuts that most people would not like. I take these things to my mom and in 10 minutes, I have a new outfit that is taylored just for me. One store that I also love (I am only 21) is Plato’s Closet. They are a consignment store that only sells name brand items. Most items are for teenagers, but if you dig, you can find some great designer items for only $5-10 (or 75% off that if you find it at their clearance sale!). Just the other day, I found a brand new (Yes, Brand New) pair of Ugg clogs for $15! It’s a good store for those of you who have teenagers and maybe even for yourself every now and then.

  92. Hi! Love your blog so much!

    What I might do is get some really great jeans that will last for as long as you want them to. I love, love, love David Kahns from Nordstrom. They are slightly stretchy and look good on someone who has had children (like me!). Then supplement everything else from a more reasonable place like Steve & Barry’s or Old Navy, etc. Have fun! :)

  93. I love to shop Herberger’s and Kohl’s. Occasionally J Jill online.

    Melissa’s last blog post…Skating lessons for Teaser!

  94. I always check out the thrift stores first. Most of the time I can get quality stuff for a fraction of the price. Don’t forget to check the clearance racks at the pricier stores though. Places like Belk, JC Penny’s, Goody’s, etc…. mark down their items as much as 50-80%. I’ve gotten some really good deals for my entire family by checking out those clearance racks!!

    Deb’s last blog post…Hot Dog Bun Rolls

  95. I’m going to recommend Nordstrom. I got into a real “mommy” rut of buying everything from Target. I finally realized I’m in my 30′s and we’re doing pretty well financially and I could spend some money on some well made clothes. Let me recommend using Nordstrom’s personal shopper service. It’s a free service (meaning you don’t spend any extra money on the service). I met with a woman, told her what I needed, where I’d be wearing it (playgroups, running errands), and what my budget was. She was great about keeping each piece in a “reasonable” range – now it wasn’t Target cheap, but I wasn’t buying their high end designers either. I’ve used this service twice – once last fall and once this spring and was set for each season. Now after my spring shopping trip I found out I was pregnant again and returned a few items that I knew I wouldn’t be able to wear. I’m not going in this fall, but come spring and when I have that baby weight off – I’ll be back. By the way, just to second Kristen, I also have a pair of the David Kahn jeans and they do fit great, especially if you still have a bit of a baby bulge. The Jag brand fits well too.

  96. I love the outlet, especially for GAP, Bass, Ann Taylor Loft, and Banana Republic. If there is a ____ Mills Mall near your hometown, it would be worth a try as they usually have those types of outlets, and are indoors which is sometimes more convenient to navigate than an outdoor outlet mall. I also am a fan of TJMaxx/Marshalls/Ross where you can find some reallllly good deals. The only thing there is that it is hit-or-miss sometimes and so if you don’t have a lot of shopping time, you might not want to go that route. But Ann Taylor Loft is good for dressy stuff, and I agree with whoever commented earlier, that JCPenny is good too and usually has good prices.

    Teresa’s last blog post…Redesign accomplished!

  97. Outlets: Banana Republic and the Gap
    Stores: Ann Taylor Loft and Eddie Bauer

    I tried going to Kohl’s recently and ended up taking back half the stuff I bought because I didn’t like it when I tried it on again at home. I ended up at Ann Taylor Loft again to spend the money I got back. They always have sales and they’re always sending me coupons. I can trust the fit of their clothes and I’ve never had anything fall apart from there. Also EB has GREAT jeans that fit me well (I had to buy a new pair until I get back to my “pre-mom” body). They usually have coupons out in their catalogs. But I don’t mind paying their prices either because I know they last for a long time!

  98. Just curious….did you ever give us an update on your shopping adventures while you were stateside? How’d you fare?

    Nancy’s last blog post…The Economics of Pizza

  99. Thanks for asking, Nancy. It’s gone very well, but I’m not done yet! :) So far, I’ve enjoyed going to my favorite stateside haunt – the Goodwill in the nicest part of town now. And I’ll be going to some outlet malls soon.

  100. I like to shop the thirft stores in nice neighborhoods and I like the clothes at Old Navy and Target.

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