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Friday, March 25, 2016

Where Do You Shop?

I am often asked where I shop for my clothing, so I put this post together so I can have somewhere to point folks who want to know. As long as I like a design, the price is right, and the quality is good enough for the intended purpose, then I'm good. However, I do have my "go-to" stores.

When I tell people that I shop at Express, they are typically shocked.  They may think that Express caters to a younger demographic - which is true, and that some of their items are very trendy - and that's also true - but those are good things.

I’ve been shopping at Express for MANY years. I love their selection of fashionable clothing and accessories, and because I’ve been an Express junkie for so long, I know the layout of the stores, what types of pieces they typically carry, and the the fit of the clothes.  In many cases, I can simply pull something off the rack and know how it will fit without trying it on. Express jeans and blazers are some of my favorite pieces.

In addition, I’m aware of the sale patterns of the store, and I’m an Express cardholder, as well as an Express NEXT member, so I almost never pay full price for anything. In many of my posts, you can see me rockin’ something from Express.

Denim shirt and jeans from Express

Entire outfit, except shoes, from Express

Blazer and jeans from Express

Within the last few years, Nordstrom has become one of my favorite places to shop.  I love the open, bright, airy look of the stores - they remind me more of a boutique than a department store.  The racks aren’t overly crowded, and they carry a nice assortment of brands.  I'm particularly fond of their in-house brand, Halogen. Halogen is a line of stylish, well-made clothes that are reasonably priced. Other brands that I like, which are carried at Nordstrom, include Adrianna Papell, Blank NYC, Chelsea 28, and Eliza J.

Nordstrom also has excellent customer service. When I don't have a chance to stop in the store, the free shipping both ways and no hassle returns are great for someone like me. I need to have the option to make a return or exchange if something doesn’t work for me.

Halogen faux leather skirt

Halogen skirt with box pleats
Halogen leather dress

When I want to treat myself to a little bit of luxury, I visit Neiman Marcus.  I don’t shop there too often, but when I do, I'm typically able to snag a unique designer piece at a fraction of its original cost. I’ve gotten some really nice gowns, dressy skirts, designer bags, and shoes, for a steal during their sales.

Neiman has the best flash and designer sales – so if you aspire to pepper your wardrobe with an upscale piece here and there, but don't want to pay full price, sign up for their emails, so you're aware of their sales.

Nicole Miller skirt purchased at a Neiman Marcus flash sale
Badgley Mischka gown from Neiman. I still need to find somewhere to wear it...

If the Choo fits...

Image result for h&m logo
H&M is a leader when it comes to fast fashion.  They mass produce their clothing, and it’s not necessarily the best quality, but it’s a great place to shop if you’re looking for a trendy piece that you’re not willing to make a big monetary investment in.

Some of the designs that come out of H&M are real gems, and of course the price point is very pocket friendly, so that definitely helps.  H&M also carries certain lines, such as “Trend” and “Modern Classics” and their "Premium Quality" offering which has better quality pieces than what they're typically known for.

Check out my previous post, which provides tips on scoring the best pieces from fast fashion retailers.

Skirt from H&M
Orange a-line skirt from H&M
When I want something a little funky, sexy, or edgy, I head straight to Bebe. Now, I know I am definitely not their demographic.  They carry a lot of extreme crop tops and skimpy clothes, but they also have a nice selection of dresses, jumpsuits, skirts, etc. that I can definitely work with.  

Bebe jumpsuit
Skirt from Bebe

I shop at Banana Republic every now and again. They have nice staples and accessories.They're great for the more classic pieces, and occasionally they surprise me with something that's a little edgier than I typically see. I recently purchased an adorable faux leather skirt from Banana Republic that was on clearance for about $20, and an amazing faux leather dress for 40% off.  I'll post pictures when I wear them again.

Check out these adorable bags...

In addition to the retailers above, I also shop at Ann Taylor, Zara, Macy's, Kohl's, and love designers such as Jones New York and Calvin Klein. I'm a creature of habit and often shop at stores that I'm familiar with, so my challenge to myself is to move out of my comfort zone and explore boutiques, vintage, shops, and small retailers.

I shop at a lot of chain stores because they're easy and have great return policies, but I run the risk of seeing a gazillion ladies with the same pieces. That's where creativity comes into the equation.  Check out this post, which provides some tips on how to personalize your chain store purchases.

If you have questions for me, feel free to comment on my posts, or check me out on Facebook or Instagram.

Thanks for reading.

Be Fearless. Stay Fashionable.  Have Fun!