Friday, November 5, 2010

Clothes shopping

I've been doing very well about not doing a lot of clothes shopping lately. Now that I'm wearing some of my winter clothes, though, it's rather painfully obvious that I need to--some of my warmer things are rather worn out, and not appropriate for work anymore.
Needs to be replaced
-Big warm black turtleneck sweater. It's started to pill something awful, and it also seems to have shrunk so it's kind of too short to wear with any of my work pants.
-V-neck sweaters. One's got a hole in it, the other's just worn out.
-2 3/4 length cardigans. I got them at a cheap place for any amazing price, and it shows. Missing buttons, pilling, ugh.
-Black pointy-toe heels. I noticed yesterday that they're cracked and scuffed in a way that's not likely to be repairable.
-Black knee-high boots. I just had a whole discussion on boots a year ago, about how much I would spend -- I said $200 but then I went and bought a $60 pair, and low and behold, they've got a hole in them and let in water only a year later. Grrrr.
Other things I want to get
-Work pants. I have the hardest time finding pants that fit where I want them to, are long enough, and don't make me look pregnant. I have one pair of black pants that are perfect, and I love them and I've had them for so long I'm worried they'll wear out before I find another pair I love as much. They're an off-brand and I don't remember where I found them and I haven't found anything by googling! Three more pairs of work pants (black, grey, and khaki or patterned) would serve me well.
-Long sleeve cardigans. All my cardigans are 3/4 sleeve, and my office is too cold in winter for that.
-T-shirts for layering. My t-shirts are all looking kind of grungy and old. And they are old. I don't want to tell you how old, but if they were a sibling, they'd have an interesting personality by now.
-Tights to wear under winter dresses and skirts.
-Winter dresses.
-Sweaters in general.
Things I do not need
-Underwear or bras
-Shoes other than what's mentioned
-Tank tops
I have a bad habit of being a little too cheap when it comes to clothing. I try to shop at H&M or NY&Co, but I also end up at off-brand New York City stores where cardigans are like 2 for $10 and I'm so excited except then they only last for a season before they look really bad. I want to avoid that this time around. And darn it, NYC has reinstated the clothing tax.
I've signed up again for deal emails from NY&Co, H&M, and JC Penney. I also feel like I should step it up a notch, like J. Crew and Ann Taylor, but I'm afraid my money won't go as far there. Maybe there will be some good sales for Black Friday coming up. If you had my shopping list and $500, where would you go?


  1. I desperately need to update my winter wardrobe as well. My closet is overflowing yet I only have a couple warm shirts for work.

    I just bought a new pair of black pointy toe heels for work. They are Nine West and I got them from DSW. The heel is a bit shorter than what I normally like, but I like a shorter heel for work anyway. Anyways, I LOVE them. Definitely the best pair of black pointy-toes I've ever had. I had a $20 off coupon so they were only like $45!

    Do you have Express in New York? I feel like their clothing is pretty quality. I have two pencil work skirts that I got there and they still look brand-new after almost 5 years. LOVE that! I also like New York & Co., but we don't have an H&M around here... :(

  2. I think I would probably start out with JCP- definitely get their coupons. But also I think Target has some decent stuff if you're looking for things like cardigans.
    Your money for sure won't go as far at Ann Taylor (or the Loft, Banana, etc) but their stuff is very good quality.
    Most of my clothing is Target, JCP, and Loft.

  3. Amber is right, Nine West is great for heels. I had major problems with shopping with them online, so I'd go to a brick and mortar store! :)

    For sweaters, I love NY&Co. I haven't shopped there in a couple years. I have enough clothing as it is. But they had really cute sweaters back in the day, and their sales/coupons were decent. Good luck! And just remember - if you have to replace it after one season, it'll cost MORE than if you had bought a high quality top that will last years.

  4. Also, I wouldn't recommend JCP. I bought summer clothes there in May, and by June, one of the pair of shorts had come unhemmed. They're cheap, but it's because they're low quality.

  5. I think you should definitely cheap out on tops/pants wherever you find problem areas (my problem area is pants), and DO NOT CHEAP OUT ON SHOES

    Quality leather shoes are well worth it.I've had my boots for years now, and they're still going strong.

  6. Target,Marshalls(be prepared to spend hours going through the racks), TJ Maxx and JC Pennys would be the best places to go on your budget.

  7. Hi there! long-time blog reader but new blogger here. I would definitely recommend Ann Taylor Loft for quality work-appropriate sweaters and pants, although their nice lined pants are not always in stores. They also tend to have great sales, making their products much more affordable. I'd also recommend Marshalls - I've gotten some excellent wool work dresses there for a fraction of what the same designer would have cost me at Nordstroms.

    ~ShoestoSavings (

  8. Aw man, the best thing about clothes shopping in NYC was the no sales tax! :P

    I've been doing a careful bit of re-wardrobing and would say that you should do a judicious selection from a combination of those places: H&M, Ann Taylor, AT Loft, probably not JCrew unless you can get into some major final sales if you're looking to make the most of your money, maybe Top Shop.

    I did long sleeve layers from Ann Taylor at $20/per as the quality there seems a bit better than what they're currently carrying at H&M (previously really good quality at only $12).

    Size is a problem for me so I will do BR/AT (less often) for pants because it's important that they look crisp.

    Tights have been best from Top Shop (a bit pricier but so incredibly warm and tightly woven, not a bit of pill to be seen after a solid year and machine washing), some H&M are ok.

    I did get some tights/trouser socks from Kohl's/store brand and they're amazingly good too.

    Sweaters are a work in progress because where they're well made or warmly woven, they're really expensive. I'm still keeping an eye on BR sales for those, though. And on H&M, if you avoid the cheapie all acrylic ones, you can sometimes do quite well there.

    Whew! That's all I know for now :)

  9. I'm a huge fan of Ann Taylor & AT loft. I'm also super duper petite but curvy, and have found that it's one of the few places I can actually buy clothing that fits! Good luck!

  10. If you keep an eye on Ann Taylor and JCrew's clearance racks you can get some really great stuff for the same price you'd get clothes anywhere else.


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