The internet is rife with online discount stores that can mimic a designer look for a fraction of the cost. Who doesn’t want to look amazing while spending less money? For me, the issue with those stores isn’t necessarily the quality but the fit. I fall into that weird sizing area that isn’t necessarily plus size but doesn’t do well with boutique sizing (typically a 10 in pants but 14-16 in tops/dresses due to my chest). Over the years, I’ve found a few stores I can consistently go to when I’m looking for a certain item. The best part? They’re all really affordable options. I broke it down by store since a few are repeats.
Graphic Sweatshirts– Probably my guiltiest pleasure, but I just can’t say no to a good graphic sweatshirt. I wear them constantly around the house, and I like to layer them before and after my workouts. I’ve seen the cute ones from Wildfox and Private Party, but there’s no way I’m paying $90 for a sweatshirt that says “Slay.” Luckily, Old Navy has me covered, and I’ve been able to get my “Brunch Squad” and “Pardon My French” sweatshirts for $20 or less.
Workout Tanks– I like my yoga pants tight and my workout tanks giant. It’s probably because I hate things clinging to my chest, but I like to layer a tight moisture-wicking tank with a loose, cotton tank. Old Navy has me covered on both!
Nordstrom (BP. Department)
T-shirts– I fell in love with the long-sleeve t-shirts in the BP. department during one of Nordstrom’s anniversary sales. They’re long, drapey, and work with everything. The side slit tee is my favorite, but I also love their twist-front tee. Have I mentioned that I could happily live in jeans and t-shirts forever?
Sunglasses– I shared this obsession on my Instagram recently, but I love the sunglasses from the BP. department. They’re all between $12-14 so I don’t feel guilty buying a super trendy pair or when I inevitably lose/break one. The white pair I bought last year are still my favorites! The ones pictured below are currently available here.
Jeans– I went through a phase right out of college where I had to have designer jeans. I mean, I was finally an adult, and being an adult meant owning jeans that actually fit. While I still believe that, I no longer feel the need to spend $150+ on a pair of denim. I bought a pair of Loft jeans a few years ago, and I’ve been hooked ever since. They just work on my body type, and they hold up so well. I don’t think I’ve ever paid more than $50 for a pair thanks to Loft’s frequent sales. I wear their modern skinny fit as I carry my weight in my middle but have no butt to speak of. If you’re more pear-shaped, try their “curvy” style!
Shoes– There are so many great discount shoe options out there, but I need a great fit or I just won’t wear them. I have really wide feet so a lot of stores are just too narrow for me. I’ve consistently found amazing Target shoes since high school, and I don’t see myself stopping any time soon. My recent favorites were a pair of over-the-knee boot, and I’m currently eyeing some slip on sneakers for Italy.
J. Crew Factory
Coats– I’ve purchased the J. Crew Factory version of both the field jacket and the cocoon (now called “city”) coat. Both have held up extremely well for 4 years and counting! I can’t say the city coat is as warm as the regular J. Crew version as it doesn’t have the thinsulate layer, but it’s perfect for the fall and spring months here in Chicago.
As much as I love shopping, I don’t like going to a million different stores when there’s something specific I’m looking for. I like having a few stores I know I can go to when I need certain items. That being said, there are some items that I have to spend a little extra time looking for, like bras, bathing suits, and dresses. I think it all comes down to what you need for your body type, and I know I need to spend a little extra time looking for good support and structure. Building a wardrobe really is strategic and takes time! So, if anyone tells you that shopping isn’t a sport, just know how wrong they are.