Shopping in your 30's: the struggle is real

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  • @singingphoenixd definitely sign up for their newsletter! you'll get $25 off coupons out the wazoo for when you're ready to shop. I think the quality is much better than ModCloth and the prices are fairly equitable overall.
  • @katie  Thanks.  Good to know.  

    Interesting about the quality.  The pieces I've gotten from Mod Cloth have been really well made, fully lined and good quality fabric.  I guess it depends on what you buy.
  • @katie  Thanks.  Good to know.  

    Interesting about the quality.  The pieces I've gotten from Mod Cloth have been really well made, fully lined and good quality fabric.  I guess it depends on what you buy.
    It does. I've had very mixed results. It doesn't help that they often make it hard to find out the name of the actual designer -- I guess they're hoping you won't price shop if you don't know what it is, but it makes me loath to buy from them. For instance, I LOVE the Closet dress I got from there (and I've noticed they do put the name of THAT brand in the product descriptions for their dresses) but another piece I got (different brand) was terrible, shrank to almost nothingness with one wash.
  • I highly, highly recommend eShakti. It takes a little longer to get stuff from them, but everything I've gotten--dresses, skirts, tops, and jackets--is well-made, quality stuff that will actually fit you. Their prices have gone up in the last few years, but they nearly always have an awesome sale going on. I think, in the 3 or 4 years that I've shopped from eShakti, I've only sent one item back. (Also, nearly all of their dresses have pockets. Yay pockets!)
  • Ladies, I am not in my thirties (actually well above), but i work with two who are and have been moaning about finding work appropriate clothing on a budget.  I just directed one to this thread and received a huge thank you, so I am passing it along.  Hopefully the tips will pay off for both.  Thanks!!
  • If you're interested in a more bohemian vibe, there is matatraders.com - I have about eight dresses from them and love them. And the main reason I finally registered here is that they are having a 30% off sale this weekend and I have to tell someone! That big of a sale usually only happens around Black Friday.

    FYI on sizing - I am 5'6" and ~130 pounds and consistently fall between their M and L. My shoulders are a little broader than average and will definitely size up if the dress has shoulders.

    And if anyone is like, hmm, this is interesting but not now, for at least the past two years during five days around Black Friday they have everything 30% off and you get a free gift, and the gift is really nice. I got a scarf last time. 
  • And
    jilly said:
    @kimmeister ; I used to shop at Target almost exclusively but lately nothing there has been ringing my bell.  Plus they changed their jeans!  I have a small butt and thighs compared with my waist  so it's hard to find jeans that fit below without giving me a super-sexy muffin top.  But Target's were so great!  Then they had to go and add spandex to every. single. pair.  I don't want *jeggings*, I want *denim* to hide my lumps and bumps, Target.   I still buy my basics (tanks, cardigans) there, but I just haven't had much luck in the past year with anything beyond that. 

    I can't tell if their clothes have gotten less cute....or if I'm aging out of it, like I mostly have with Maurice's. 

    I'm having the exact same problems, but on the other end of the body shape spectrum. (Just because I'm curvy doesn't mean I need high wasted jeans! Just put more fabric in the booty!). And is it just me, or have the rest of Target's ladies wear gone decidedly faux hipster in the last two years? Me, I'm now only buying sweaters there, and only from the gents' section.
  • I highly, highly recommend eShakti. It takes a little longer to get stuff from them, but everything I've gotten--dresses, skirts, tops, and jackets--is well-made, quality stuff that will actually fit you. Their prices have gone up in the last few years, but they nearly always have an awesome sale going on. I think, in the 3 or 4 years that I've shopped from eShakti, I've only sent one item back. (Also, nearly all of their dresses have pockets. Yay pockets!)
    @amelie_bee that's good to know! I've looked at a lot of their things but never bought. I'll figure out what shipping costs and decide whether to take the plunge!
  • foodycatAlicia I was hesitant to order from them at first, but I really have no complaints (except the long shipping time. I mean, it's coming from India, it's quality clothing, but I'm impatient and I wants it now, precious). In fact, I'm about to head over there and see what kind of damage I can do with my leftover gift card from Christmas. I'm thinking about this dress. I'm short (5'0 on a good day), so maxi dresses are usually too much maxi, but since it's tailored to my height, I don't think I can resist.
  • CLUB MONACO, online. Upscale, a little sophisticated, yet comfortable. Perfect for work, for getting a promotion. Nice classics. Emma Stone would wear. Look for their sales, they have them often, and get on their mailing list.
  • NY and Co often have some good sales as well.

    I also shop at Lord and Taylor.  They sell Michael Kors and towards the end of the season, you can get his stuff for 50-80% off.  

    If you're long legged BCBG has some nice pants.  Not for petite women though.  Their pants are super long

    I used to have a Benneton outlet near me but they closed and I haven't found a local store again.  I like their aesthetic.  It's chic without skewing too old
  • kheliwud said:

    I am 52, and it is even worse. I am not a grandmother, I work in a creative field, and am 5'8", size 16/18. In small-town North Carolina.

    I have some basics from Coldwater Creek, but they went bankrupt. Chico's is hit-miss with their styling, sometimes they are too  "AARP Singles Cruise" for me. Ann Taylor and Talbots are too conservative and J.Jill too casual with weird fit. I am at a point where I have money to spend, but no apparel makers seem to design for my demographic.

    I'm in the same boat. I'm 53, a 12/14, and I do love Ann Taylor's pants because they have a curvy line that actually doesn't come down on my butt crack. Sorry, ladies, I just can't do that, and that is where the pants young people wear that most designers make nowadays fit on me. And I'm a teacher, so I can't be leaning over and showing anything. 

    Other than that, I go with good basics and dress them up with scarves, funky necklaces and pendants, great bracelets, earrings. I have basically given up on finding cool clothes that are well made for a middle aged woman. Even at high end shops, they either don't have above a size 8, or they skew really young. 
  • Holy cow there are so many great suggestions here!  Guess who's not getting anything done today?  *opens 1,000 browser windows*
  • I've had really good luck with Stitch Fix! It's a good option if you don't have a lot of variety in stores in your area or if you're just looking to integrate some new pieces/styles into your wardrobe (I was relying overmuch on Loft and needed to mix it up). You can set your own price points and frequency of deliveries - it took a few 'fixes' and feedback for the stylists to figure out my style but I generally purchased at least one item from my boxes.

    My favorite part? Getting to try the clothes on in my own home and seeing how they look with various items that I already own. It's really pleasant and low pressure!
  • I've always been a second-hand kinda gal so I stick to Goodwill and any other thrift/consignment shop that I stumble upon.  But I live in LA so as much of a nightmare as it is to find clothes, there are many stores to choose from to live out that nightmare.  

    The other thing I do is I go to department stores and try on designer brands to find something that fits.  Then I go look for that item online and see if I can get it cheaper.  Ebay is great for this.
  • If your style icon is Emma Stone, I would definitely say Madewell! Her everyday style is very Rag and Bone and Sandro stuff- definitely the cheaper/still totally in her wheelhouse and wardrobe is Madewell. Boyfriend/skinny jeans, easy dresses, hats, ankle boots, leather bags, printed sweatshirts, etc.
  • And is it just me, or have the rest of Target's ladies wear gone decidedly faux hipster in the last two years? Me, I'm now only buying sweaters there, and only from the gents' section.
    It's not just you.  I feel like the juniors' department is encroaching on the women's section.
  • You might try PinUpGirlClothing.com. They're really serving the vintage/rockabilly crew, but their stuff is well-made, and they have good office-wear basics like pencil skirts, high-waisted trousers and form-fitting blouses. Some of the dresses definitely translate to professional wear, too. It's not all vamp dresses.
  • Oh, and I haven't ordered anything from Asos yet, but they have TONS of cute stuff. 
  • susanv93 said:
    Ann Taylor LOFT skews a bit younger and trendier. H&M has good casual pieces but be warned, their sizes run super small.

    Ann Taylor  has always been notorious for running small. When i see ann Taylor labels I immediately think, "a little sophisticated and petite."

  • The older I get and the more money I make, the more I find myself buying from thrift stores and op shops. A good thrift shop is gold. I have absolutely beautiful pieces; silk dresses and scarves, pure cotton button down shirts, lovely worn-in leather goods, linen blazers and tailored wool pants, all bought for a fraction of what they'd cost new. If Emma Stone is your style goddess, they are great for finding great worn in label denim and pre-distressed tees. The only thing is you have to know what your style is, be extremely picky and be prepared to go home empty handed if you don't find anything up to your standards.

    I agree. i have so much that I would never have been able to afford at a retail store..Love my ll bean finds,eddy baur, banana republic, gap, old navy, seven jeans,even the occassional cashmere sweater. you name it.


  • I would second Madewell and ASOS. They're at the very edge of my price range, so I usually wait for things to go on sale on Madewell (or look for dresses on secondhand sites like ebay), but I love Madewell dresses. You might also check out the Jcrew factory store, which is online now (https://factory.jcrew.com/index.jsp?srcCode=JCNav).  

    I love Loft too. I'm in my late 20s, 4"11 and slim, so I love their petite line. I haven't had fabulous luck with their jeans (even petite jeans tend to be too long), but I love their jackets, dresses, skirts, and tops. 
  • edited May 2015
    I buy a lot of used clothes, and the way I do this is to focus on brands, fabric quality, and by knowing what silhouette works well on me. One of the brands I'm utterly obsessed with is Lafayette 148.  I love their cotton shirts --the fabric is from Italy, and it's soft. Lafayette also tailors their shirts well, and so they fit nicely.  Alas, one of their shirts can retail for $300.  My solution?  I raid Ebay, and pay anywhere from $15 - $45 per shirt.  Out of all my purchases, most of these were new, and had never been worn. 

    I've also collected all of my L'Wren Scott line on eBay, and there's a seller who only sells new Banana Republic wear.  (Go to the store and try on sizes to get an idea of how things fit).  Just search for "NWT" (New with Tags).  In addition, I've collected dresses by Tahari, as well as a ball gown for $29 by Adrienne Papell that also, had tags and was in excellent condition. (I go to formal evening events, and all of my gowns are purchased used, or from Miusol over on Amazon). I get top notch vintage wool Pendleton coats for less than $70.

    And FYI, you can even find costume jewelry on Ebay too --much of it vintage and in really good condtion. 
    And most of the sellers on Ebay will accept returns.

    My biggest disappointments?  I purchased a lot of stuff from the J Peterman Catalog at full price, and always found their stuff fit like bags. Never again. 
  • Hey everyone! I haven't read through this entire thread, but wanted to chime in with a thumbs up for Lands End , with the caveat that almost everything runs really big. I'm a 4/6 almost everywhere (5' tall, 130 pounds) and I get 2's or x-smalls at Lands End and even then its hit or miss. I have never found a skirt that fits, they are always too long and too big in the waist, but the dresses are perfect. 

    I also find some decent stuff at LLBean, like dresses. 

    I love everything I see online at Boden, but I never bite the bullet because of price. But, then, I have been shopping JcCrew and been disappointed in the quality and the price is basically the same as Boden so if anyone has tips on getting good deals there, I would love to hear them!! 
  • And is it just me, or have the rest of Target's ladies wear gone decidedly faux hipster in the last two years? Me, I'm now only buying sweaters there, and only from the gents' section.
    It's not just you.  I feel like the juniors' department is encroaching on the women's section.
    Every spring I stock up on v-neck t-shirts when they are buy 2 for $10 or $20 or whatever the deal is. That's about all I find there now, and I used to have tons of their clothes. 
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