Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Shop 'til You Drop

In today's world, it can be difficult to find appropriate outfits for a decent price. A number of readers have asked me where I buy my clothes, so I compiled a list of my favorite stores. I'm still a work in progress and would love it if you would add your suggestions to the comments section. Even if you live internationally and have different stores, I would love to hear from you.

My strategy is to visit these stores several times throughout the year and then again on Black Friday. If I see a cute top for a good price, I'll buy it, even if I'm not in desperate need of shirts. That way, I can take advantage of sales as they come and not feel pressured into buying full priced items.

During the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend, I'll often order a bunch of clothing items (usually formal and summer dresses, as those can be hard to find) from websites that allow you to return to the store (Kohl's, JCPenney, etc). That way, I can have my own fashion show in the comfort of my own home, choose a few items that fit, and take back what I don't like.

I love browsing secondhand stores (Goodwill, Salvation Army, and local consignment boutiques), but I also shop at other stores that are known for having good clearance and sale racks, including...

Kohl's
   Good 'ole Kohl's! Their clearance racks are overwhelming, but finding those treasures makes it worth your time.

Maurice's
   Small store, so it's easy to take a quick glance at the clearance/sale racks.

Dress Barn
    Plenty of their stuff is overpriced, but once in a while, they have great deals on dresses and tops.

JCPenney
   Similar to Kohl's

LOFT/Ann Taylor LOFT 
   Some items are pricey, but during end-of-the-season closeouts, I often find blouses and sweaters for under $8.00.

Dillard's 
   I shop at Dillard's for dresses. Their racks are loaded, and you have to be willing to do a lot of trying on, but they have great sales.

Costco
   Their clothing section is limited, but when they have something I like, it's almost always a reasonable price. They also sell men's, women's, and children's socks and undergarments for great prices.

39 comments:

  1. Totally agree on Kohl's and JcPenney. I got three shirts, a skirt, a necklace, and a pair of name-brand shorts for my son on Friday at Kohl's for about $35 total! Sometimes you can get a good deal at NY & Company for nice work attire if you use their coupons and/or hit up end-of-season deals. They sometimes have free shipping, too, which helps even more. Once in a while I score at Target, too, though their styles are younger so it's mostly with their Merona t-shirts which are great basics to have and can be found for a few bucks on clearance at the end of the season. They hold up well, too. One tip I have is to buy underwear on clearance, especially at a store like Target where the styles remain consistent but the colors change frequently. I used to get frustrated spending $5+ for one pair of undies (or less per piece but more overall for a multipack) and then finding out they didn't fit quite right or weren't comfortable or didn't meet their no panty line promise. But now I shop the clearance racks at Target, spend $1.50-$3 for a pair, and can give them a low-cost test run. If I like them, I can usually find the same style another time, either on clearance again or full price, and know they'll work. If they don't work, at least I didn't risk much!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those are great tips! I agree that undergarments can be crazy expensive. I have found that outlet stores can have great deals, especially when coupled with a sale.

      Ellie

      Delete
  2. Anonymous11/16/2016

    Old Navy has great, modest clothes and wonderful sales! If you buy their dresses in "tall," they're longer and more modest! I've gotten a bunch from the clearance section for like $8! Plus they have great tops, jeans, and shorts!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11/16/2016

      I walked in there one time, felt the horrible, cheap, flimsy materials in their clothes, and walked straight out. Haven't been there since. You get what you pay for.

      Delete
    2. I have gotten some good deals at Old Navy too! I do agree that clothing everywhere has gotten kind of cheap, which is unfortunate.

      Ellie

      Delete
    3. Anonymous11/22/2016

      I love Old Navy! The clothes seem to be pretty good material to me. All the clothes I have gotten from there have lasted a long time.

      Delete
  3. Anonymous11/16/2016

    New York and company is great! Similar to Ann Taylor but less pricey...and they have great sales.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ive never been there, but I'll have to look it up. Thanks!

      Ellie

      Delete
  4. Anonymous11/16/2016

    I don't find it frugal to buy clothes before you actually need them, because then you end up buying more than you really need. I have a rule that I only buy clothes when they're needed, and since I've been doing this I've spent less on clothes. Many places like Old Navy have frequent sales anyway, especially if you sign up for their emails. I've also found great things at thrift stores. I actually don't buy many clothes for myself because as an adult my size doesn't change much and I don't follow fashion trends, so there's no need for new clothing every season.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11/17/2016

      But if you buy only when you need something you might not cind sales. For example, if you need a pair of elegant shoes for weddings or other events and it's not the sale season it can get really pricey.
      Shopping during the sales is always better, especially if you buy mostly basic styles and neutral colors that match witb each other. Then you can get a few accent pieces to spruce up your look but when you buy mostly basics you can use them for a long time and in a lot of combinations. If you also bought them in sales it's really the perfect bargain!

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11/17/2016

      Well usually I know well ahead of time when I need clothes for a wedding or other event, so I can wait for a sale. I just think most women buy more clothes than they need and that's not frugal. Frugality is not just saving money on the things you buy, it's also not buying things you don't really need.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous11/19/2016

      Everyone has different ways to be frugal. I don't have many clothes but I will buy a few extra things when there is a good sale whether I need it right then or not. I end up wearing everything eventually so to me I'm still being frugal. And some Black Friday sales are just amazing so it's hard to pass up. Besides, my husband wants me to stay on trend and encourages updating my clothes when I can and donating what we don't wear any more to thrift stores.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous11/20/2016

      Your husband wants you to stay on trend, so you buy more clothes? If my husband ever said one thing about what I "should" wear, he'd never hear the end of it!

      Delete
    5. Anonymous11/20/2016

      My husband has more fashion sense then I do. I often look for his suggestions because I'm just not that great at putting outfits together. I wish I could be that girl that knows how to put herself together, but when I try, I always come out looking frumpy. I can do wonderful things with my hair though lol.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous11/20/2016

      I don't think any woman has really looked "put together" since Jackie Kennedy was First Lady!

      Delete
  5. Anonymous11/16/2016

    Old Navy has cute clothes and nice costume jewellery?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous11/16/2016

    Costco for the past few winters has sold great merino wool socks.
    I'm a skiier and when black friday hits, I know winter is coming and i'll be hitting the slopes soon, so I try to stock up on thermal gear, ski socks, and the like.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11/18/2016

      What is Costco? I never heard of it.

      Delete
    2. I grew up skiing, and we bought lots of our gear at Costco. :)

      Costco is a warehouse store that sells food and home supplies in bulk for great prices. They also have furniture, clothing, and books. It's in the US and Canada and perhaps other countries?

      Ellie

      Delete
  7. Anonymous11/16/2016

    I remember a time when most of our clothes were made in America and carried United Garment Workers labels. Now you can't be sure where your clothes were made, or under what conditions for the workers. Even if you sew your own clothes, you can still be starting with foreign-made goods. The world sure has changed. This is not a political response referencing any particular party or person, just an observation that our clothes are now usually made far away. It can be nearly impossible to buy clothes if you want to make sure no sweatshop was involved.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11/18/2016

      Clothes made in other parts of the country not United Stare fit better then her.

      I brought a sweatshirt made in China get it when I was still in high school that's 28 years ago and I still have it. So you can tell clothes made out of the country last for a long time.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11/19/2016

      I totally disagree with the statement about clothes made overseas fitting better and lasting longer. That is absolutely not the case. I've worked with the industry. Size and quality consistency are two big problems among good manufactured offshore.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous11/20/2016

      While this may be true, it says nothing of the conditions of the workers who produced the garments.

      Delete
  8. Anonymous11/17/2016

    I get my clothes throught Women with in that's the only catalog that has cloths that fit me.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anonymous11/17/2016

    My mom and I enjoy shopping at Ross, but they are not all over the country. We lived in a few states where they were nowhere to be found. In addition, we really like our local thrift store. We have found many pieces that still had the original tags on them! It's also nice that when we purchase from our local thrift store, the money goes back into helping the community, veterans and those who are disabled.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have seen Ross stores but haven't been in them. I'll have to put that on my list of stores to try. Thanks!

      Ellie

      Delete
  10. Anonymous11/18/2016

    I have always been a bargain hunter, but during recent years I have come to face the fact that many cheaply manufactured clothes rip of 3. world workers. They pay insufficient salaries, use children as work force, factory conditions are inhumane, chemicals used in the process harm people. As a christian I feel strongly that I can't support that and make other people suffer. So I have tried to shop less, choose better quality from companies that ensure good conditions for the workers. And shop second hand, which is eco friendly also. Yes, it hurts to pay 80 dollars for a pair of pants, but at least I know that the person who made them is treated with dignity. Same goes for my groceries: I rather pay the extra euro (I'm european) for my bag of coffee to buy fair trade to make sure a 5 year old is not picking up my coffee beans rather than going to school. http://www.fairtrade.net/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11/19/2016

      Unfortunately, others don't always share those purchasing values or know where to find brands that don't exploit workers. A low price is an attractive marketing tool, but that often means the goods come from questionable sources. You have to do your homework before you enter the store.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11/20/2016

      I love this comment!! I do the same. It's really worth checking out the reputation of the brands you buy from. Price certainly is not the only factor.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous11/21/2016

      Just wanted to add my two cents! Not sure if you head about the clothing factory that collapsed in Bangledesh a few years ago? A Canadian budget clothing company called Joe Fresh that are sold in supermarkets owned this building apparently. Obviously, a ton of people died, and this factory collapsed because of disrepair. All of these workers were severely underpaid, as well. Now, a few years later, Joe Fresh continues to put their workers in unsafe conditions and still underpays them. I cannot, as a Catholic (and Christian) support companies that continue to exploit innocent people for profits. Even though its more expensive, I buy from companies who aren't afraid to display their ethical standards.

      I really like MEC (basically the Canadian version of REI).

      Delete
    4. Anonymous11/22/2016

      I did hear about the clothing factory in Bangladesh and that was one of my wake up calls. This time of year I always get baffled about the enthusiasm that people have opposing the celebrating halloween. I don't celebrate it either though, but I think it's so much easier to make a fuss about evil nature of halloween than the evil nature of western consumerism that rips of people in poor countries and nature everywhere.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous11/22/2016

      You want to see consumerism at some of its worst? Wait for Friday, when people will tackle and injure other people to get into a store first. Happens every Black Friday.

      Delete
  11. Anonymous11/19/2016

    I love Ann Taylor Loft! You can get really great deals from there. I also like the limited...it is expensive but when they have sales, you an get really great deals.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally agree about Ann Taylor Loft. Haven't ever been to the limited. I'll have to check it out! :)

      Ellie

      Delete
  12. I don't know if you have been to TJ Maxx or Marshalls ( they are from the same company) they usually have several high end brands by a fraction of the price! They have tons of racks but I think you should put it in your must have list! nice shirts like polo ralph lauren for $12! You have to browse well but you can definitely find shirts for $4! They have men's section as well! and undergarments and socks are quite cheap!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11/21/2016

      I have gotten nice dresses from TJMaxx and Marshalls. Some I wear to work and some to church and weddings. I think when you are working, it is nice to treat yourself to new clothes. I have also gotten some nice tops at Sam's Club and sometimes they are marked down at the end of the season

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11/22/2016

      I agree with Marshalls and TJMaxx. I have found some amazing Tommy Hilfiger dresses there! I also suggest Stein Mart. Although their clothes can initially be pricey, they run awesome sales and even have $1 and $5 racks when it goes late into the next season!

      Delete
    3. I do love TJ Maxx and Marshalls, but I haven't been there in a while. Thanks for the reminder. :)

      Ellie

      Delete