Ask Allie: the Best Clothing Retailers for Grown Up Women

This past weekend I stumbled into LOFT with a friend. She loves LOFT, I thought okay. Hrm yeah I am not a fan, not sure why, but after walking around the store nothing appealed to me. I am going to be 50 this year and my friend told me that it is time to step up to women's labels. Please tell me that I have other options. I love JCP, NY&Co., Macy's and Old Navy. Got any suggestions?

I just wrote about LOFT this week, how it seems as though either it is younger or I am older. Either way, the clothes just don’t feel right to me, even though I have many LOFT pieces in my closet from previous seasons that I still adore. As I often say, it’s not you, it’s the clothes.

Best Clothing Retailers for Women Over 40 featured by popular Washington DC fashion blogger, Wardrobe Oxygen
But yes, you do have other options! I’ll share my favorites, but I also hope you readers will pipe up in the comments with the places you have the greatest success finding fab grown-up fashion.

I’m glad to see that you mentioned department stores like JC Penney and Macy’s; I find that especially as you get older, shopping from department stores is a smart move because of the options. With stores like LOFT, you’re stuck with one brand, one cut, one style concept. Department stores may have buyers that dictate the brands and styles, but you will still have more variety.

The Best Clothing Retailers for Grown Up Women:


One department store you didn’t mention is Nordstrom. Many who aren’t familiar with Nordstrom may discount it as being too expensive, however they have prices competitive with Macy’s and I find they’re more selective with brands and quality. Not only that, I find far more styles that are on trend and cool while not looking too young or trendy for grown-up women. Check out the brands Halogen and Caslon for wallet-friendly wardrobe staples, JAG and Kut from the Kloth for quality denim at a nice price, Vince Camuto and NIC + ZOE for on-trend pieces that also work at the office, Eliza J and Maggy London for great dresses. Nordstrom has fantastic in-store customer service and free alterations on some purchases. Online, they have free shipping and returns and price match other retailers.

When it comes to individual brands and boutiques, a lot of it comes down to personal style. Just as with LOFT, brands have a certain aesthetic, certain customer in mind when they create their collections. While your best friend may love skinny jeans, you may prefer a bootcut because it better flatters your figure and also goes better with the tops and shoes in your closet. The sale holds true with brands; what is one person’s Holy Grail of fashion can be a mega fail for another. The list of retailers you provided has a variety of fashion but a base of simple versatile basics so I will try to focus on similar brands.

Lands' End

While many think of Lands’ End for parkas and fleece, they are also a great destination for women’s fashion. The quality is usually stellar, the prices reasonable for the construction and fabric, and they have amazing sales. On top of that, they have a liberal return policy and you can even return online purchases at Sears. I appreciate the extensive and honest customer reviews that also share the reviewer’s age range (great for gauging whether such adoration is from a college kid or a retiree). Lands’ End is my go-to for dresses (check out their ponte options which are flattering, forgiving, and usually washable) and sweaters (I have a Supima cardigan from them that is over a decade old and still looks brand new) but many have great success with their footwear and variety of pants.

J. Crew Factory

While J. Crew can be extremely pricey (especially for the inconsistent quality), the J. Crew Factory store has become a favorite of mine for casual closet basics. Great plain and printed tees, reasonably priced jeans in on-trend silhouettes and washes, and unique pieces like patterned skirts and jackets can be found, and the prices are pretty great. In fact, J. Crew Factory has replaced Old Navy for my weekend style staples as the quality is better for just a fraction more money. J. Crew Factory has $5 flat-rate shipping (and free shipping over $100) and a reasonable return policy. They also have some customer reviews which help you determine which item may be right for you. I recommend signing up for their emails so you know when they have promotions (which are often) like 40% off the store.


I learned about Boden from another blogger (may have been Forever Amber) and it has remained for many years as one of my favorite destinations for that special something that completes my wardrobe. While I’ll purchase basics at places like Lands’ End and J. Crew Factory, Boden is where I find a top or dress that is a statement piece, and truly defines my style. Quirky prints, interesting details, and great quality makes Boden a place you should check out. The thing is, the quirkiness is sophisticated and looks better on grown up women than those right out of college. They often have lengths and tall options, plenty of customer reviews, and stellar customer service. Boden is also a great place for knit tops; they’re one of my favorite places for Breton and other striped tees.

Garnet Hill

Garnet Hill is a place I have shopped from for decades. While I first found them when searching for the perfect bed linens, they are now a place I can trust for high-quality stylish yet not trendy fashion. Garnet Hill is not cheap, but their buyers are extremely picky and provide high quality and a very clean aesthetic. Garnet Hill has plenty of customer reviews and a ton of information not just about the items but the brands they are from so you can be a very educated consumer. I also like that there’s usually several images from a variety of angles and occasionally on different models so you can get a better feel for what you are purchasing. Garnet Hill isn’t my go-to because they charge for shipping, never have promotions, and as a blogger I won’t get money sharing them because they don’t participate in any affiliate or monetization programs but they do have great quality and provide a stellar shopping experience.


J.Jill is a company where I find a lot of great pieces… in person.  I always have much more success in their stores than online. However, recently they seem to be improving their online photography and I can get a better feel for the true color, fit, and fabric from their website. When you’re at the mall, consider stopping in J.Jill and try on a few things, you may be pleasantly surprised.


Talbots is one of my favorite shops, and it’s another store where you need to actually try on the clothes and not base judgement on their online store. When I go online I am underwhelmed, but when I walk into their stores (or receive their catalogs) I fall in love with so many things. If you remember Talbots as the place for chinos with pineapples embroidered on them, the store is worth a visit this year. While the brand still has a bit of a preppy classic vibe, there’s a lot of the line that fits a variety of personal styles. From quality knits to figure-flattering dresses, Talbots even has a revamped denim line I find extremely flattering and well made and a really stylish activewear collection. I also recommend signing up for Talbots emails as they often have sales and promotions. Usually I shop Talbots in person instead of online because they usually charge for shipping and the clothes just look far better in person than on their website.

White House | Black Market

White House | Black Market is another store I prefer in person. And even then, they’re off and on. Their sizing is smaller so if you’re cusp sized you may find pieces run narrow. However, they often have some really nice pieces and carry petites. Do not judge the store but the salespeople; while they often employ young girls the line often carries elegant and fun yet chic pieces that are great for creative offices, nights out, or And while the brand originally was two stores, one that had all white clothing and one that had only black, the store now has merged and carries a variety of colors and neutrals.

And now I would like to hear from you readers… where are your favorite places to shop that are stylish, flattering, and appropriate for a grown up woman? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the best clothing retailers for grown women and I bet this reader would too!


  1. Olivia Guthrie
    December 21, 2019 / 11:19 pm

    Everyone here seems to forget Neiman March Last Call. They have the most wonderful cashmere sweaters for men and women for around $80.00. I think this must be a loss leader for them as the quality is very good and the styles very current. I’m from Dallas and Neiman Marcus is very expensive but do check out Last Call. I have clothes from there that I just love. Shoes also are a good buy and quality.

  2. Nicky M
    November 2, 2019 / 7:26 am

    If you like niche ethical brands, check out Mijeong Park and SKYE. They have more of a minimalist aesthetic, which I LOVE. They use natural quality fabrics and the clothing quality is great. I love that their stuff doesn’t fall apart after a few washes like most fast fashion brands.

  3. Rachel
    September 21, 2018 / 10:48 am

    I’m 32, but I like the quality of Sympatico Clothing – It’s mostly made for women 50+, but they have some nice pieces (tanks, skirts) that translate well to all ages. Great quality, super soft, lightweight, easy for packing/traveling.

  4. Kelly
    April 25, 2018 / 4:32 pm

    Nik + Zoe

  5. Missy Cross
    September 16, 2017 / 11:08 am

    In my early 40’s I just wore suits to work, so I was a Nordstrom devotee, or The Rack. Jones of NY used to be my fave brand for petites. But now I am 50, and I no longer work; I am also just able to revamp my wardrobe. I’m now on more of a JC Penney/Macy’s budget, so please give me suggestions on active wear without aging me. I’m a petite, but I’ve gained a great deal of weight in just the last few years. HELP! ISSUES: BUDGET, PETITE/PLUS (actually, I’m not considered plus sized, I’m a standard large).

    • Maxine
      May 5, 2019 / 9:24 am

      I will be 67 soon, still work, very active, and confess I’ve become addicted to ebay for clothes! I usually wear Chico’s and Coldwater Creek tops and various pants but favor NYDJ Not Your Daughters Jeans, as they are a bit higher cut. In 3 yrs have only had to return ONE top, and gave away another. Sometimes they accept offers, and luckily have not had any refused. The sellers know how to present, are reasonable, many are retired, clothes have always been great quality. I always get compliments and people don’t seem to believe I get most from ebay. I am also 5’7″ and wear a large as I do merchandising which requires moving, bending a lot, so I prefer a bit more loose.
      Just put in (for example) Chico’s tops L, then filter if you want $$ high>low or vice versa. Filters are very good to use. Good luck!

  6. Charlotte1992
    April 1, 2017 / 5:52 pm

    I can always find something to love at the websites for Dress Barn (because they have a complete line of Jones New York), Banana Republic and Chico’s.

  7. BBT
    February 7, 2017 / 9:36 am

    Neiman Marcus online, Net-A-Porter online (pricy but great sales and terrific how they show/sale an entire outfit). In person, Frances Kahn in Richmond and Roanoke, VA. Brooks Brothers in person.

  8. January 21, 2016 / 3:33 pm

    Totally agree about Lands End dresses. I picked up 3 on sale last summer and got so much wear out of them; flattering cuts, washable knits: what’s not to love?

  9. GoddessMel
    January 18, 2016 / 9:43 pm

    I love Lands End items, but postage to get from US to me in Australia is often almost as much as the items I want to order! So that’s been a bust.

    I have often lusted over Boden pieces on Pinterest, here and on other blogs, but again the problem was going to be postage from US or UK to me in Australia; or heaven forbid I’d have to pay return postage on anything (postage costs here are ludicrous!). So I was ecstatic when Boden Australia arrived with free postage over A$100 and local postal address for returns (so about A$8 as opposed to the A$40+ it would’ve cost me in the past).

    I recently purchased an awesome peacock print shirt and have 2 more shirts (a bicycle print and ‘London’ print) and two Ravanello blouses (one purple, one multi-print) on the way to try. All bought on sale. I’m eyeing off the ponte colourblock dresses (I want both colourways) and hoping I can grab my size when they come on sale… stalking the site until that happens LOL
    I agree that they’re great for statement pieces or something a bit quirky. And as a brand that isn’t well-known here yet I know it’s unlikely I’ll rock up to work in the same look as one of my colleagues – a bonus 😉

  10. January 17, 2016 / 10:46 am

    Banana Republic really is a train wreck right now; if you read the financial news they’ve been reporting that their problem is that because of the way they order and produce clothing they cannot keep up with the Topshop/HM/Forever 21s because their order-to-floor timeframe is much longer.

    I know a few people have mentioned LL Bean below, but if that’s too “gone fishin'” for your tastes, I’d suggest looking at their LL Bean Signature line. It’s a bit pricier but it reminds me of a mix between Boden and J.Crew. They offer some things that are similar to the normal lines, but cut a bit more fitted and less casual.

  11. Dee
    January 15, 2016 / 10:58 pm

    I like Nordstrom’s. I do find items at JCP and Kohl’s. And sometimes TJMaxx will have great pieces. I find it hard to find flattering dresses that are the appropriate length (everything seems too short) and isn’t overexposed on top. I feel like I go in cycles shopping certain stores and then shopping in others. I’ve never warmed up to Macy’s (I still miss Hecht’s).
    And I think too it’s about budget. At this age I can afford better quality/brands and need to remember that and shop stores accordingly. I’m trying to focus on purchasing better quality classics rather something that’s ‘ok because it fits’. I haven’t enjoyed shopping in the last few years because clothing quality seems to be lower, costs more expensive, and geared to a younger consumer. I no longer bother with stores that are frequented by such younger consumers (Old Navy, Loft, etc) as I feel like I waste my time searching for the one gem that fits and is made well and I like.

  12. Kathryn Braun Fenner
    January 15, 2016 / 9:50 pm

    I have some Ann Taylor sweaters that truly flatter, some ponte pants from Chicos with a touch of pleather and brushed nickel rivets that elevate them, (plus long enough 5’10” me to wear without looking like a flood is imminent). NYDJ pontes and jeans that do not have bling, Eileen Fisher (choose silhouettes wisely, and but on eBay–new with tags are plentiful, and they hold up so well that used is fine)
    Totally second Lands’ End.
    Merona at Target makes excellent 100% cotton babyrib tees (the Ultimate) that do not cling, are long enough and don’t wash out, it seems ever.

  13. Little Red
    January 15, 2016 / 7:59 pm

    For day to day work clothing, I shop at Brooks Brothers. It can be a bit preppy/trad but that’s my style anyway so I like it. LLBean for casual stuff.

  14. HokieKate
    January 15, 2016 / 5:16 pm

    I’m 29 and I love this post. 🙂

  15. Jane
    January 15, 2016 / 3:40 pm

    Talbots is my go-to but I have picked up some great pieces at Boden recently. The key for me there is to size down and purchase the Long (at five feet, nine inches, I love that option!). I do like the return policies for both of these retailers. Plus Talbot sales are ongoing – no reason to ever pay full price. As someone else mentioned, get on the email distribution and, if you can be disciplined, get their charge card for points, free shipping and early notification of sales. On occasion, I make Nordstrom purchases – love their shoe options! Speaking of shoes, do you have experience with Sole Society?

  16. Janna Brader Guerdet
    January 15, 2016 / 2:07 pm

    I am 42 years old and work for a fairly conservative financial corporation. Boden is by far one of my favorite places to get dresses and skirts. I have several machine washable pieces that I hang up to dry and they don’t need any pressing. And as someone that is 5’8, I love that I can order a long size and it ends just below the knee for several pieces. Their pieces run slightly large in my opinion, I am often either a 14 or 16, I am a 14 or sometimes even a 12 in Boden pieces, but they have a very accurate size chart and tell you the lengths of their dresses, which I very much appreciate. Because lets face it, the description below the knee or above the knee varies depending on how tall you are!!

  17. January 15, 2016 / 1:59 pm

    This post literally made me exclaim “it’s not just me!” at lunch, so loudly that I startled the table next to me. Loft has been such a disappointment in recent years. I have two beautiful and exceptionally well made Loft sheath dresses from many years ago that one would think were hundreds of dollars…and now everything is slouchy and skinny and so not made for my curvy 41 year old frame. Boden’s clothes are beautiful and well made but I can’t seem to get my sizing right in them. I keep trying, though. My go to retailers are Lands’ End (I am beginning to suspect half my go to wardrobe is from this retailer alone), Nordstrom, Talbots, Zappos (oh how I love Zappos), Ann Taylor, and Ann Taylor Factory. I have a lot of “sometimes I find a gem” retailers too: Lord and Taylor (I have better luck there than at Macy’s for some reason), Limited (I have two tops from there purchased within the last year and I love them!), Dress Barn (yes, really….keep an open mind and go in, you might be surprised.), Marshalls (as well as some other discounted retailers like Nordstrom Rack, Off 5th Ave, etc.), Garnet Hill, Wilson’s Leather, and Banana Republic (although as of late has been such a disappointment and a train wreck). I rarely have any luck with JCrew, I usually walk in and get irritated with the quality in relation to the price tag. I just cannot with JCP, the stores have a smell. (Is it just me that notices that? I go in there and have to walk right out.) General observations – as I get older I shop more and more online. I also do more research and spend less time actually shopping. Related note: Thank you, Allie, for posts like this and some of your other recent posts. Your site is my first place to do “research”. My new winter coat was a recommendation of yours (leopard print Tahari with a big ass shawl collar, it is fabulous). I was somewhat intimidated by Nordstrom until a few years back when reading your blog gave me the confidence to think that I could go in there and not spend my entire paycheck on two items. Overall, I am now willing to go into higher end stores and look for clothing, partially because I am buying less but better, which oddly enough comes from me reading blogs like this one and a few others (Une Femme d’Un Certain Age, You Look Fab, Blue Collar Red Lipstick, Looks Good from the Back). Phew. Longest comment ever. Clearly I have some thoughts on this topic 😉

    • January 15, 2016 / 2:14 pm

      And I LOVE your thoughts and this comment, THANK YOU!!

      I thought it was just my local JCP that has that smell! And the lighting is odd, I can’t be in there, it stresses me out. And TBH, I don’t link often to JCP or Macy’s because their websites also stress me out. Shopping is tough as it is, I don’t want my website screaming at me, I want lots of information and photos, and I want my store to be clean, well-lit, and spacious (and I was a visual merchandiser for tiny stores and busy stores and you can create the feeling of space even with a ton of racks and tables if you care/try).

      I just got a maxi dress from Zappos, they’re awesome for clothing when you know what you want. Not the best photos, but to get things so fast and the free shipping and returns balances it out!

      And to make a novel to go with your novel, YES regarding Banana Republic. It used to be my go-to, EVERYTHING I bought from there. Now it’s such a fail (or as you said train wreck LOL). And yes on Dress Barn, I need to visit I actually have one very close to my home. My daughter’s old teacher was always so stylish and each time I asked where she got her dress she’d say Dress Barn!

      • Amy H.
        January 16, 2016 / 2:18 am

        1000% agree on Banana! It used to be that 90% of my work wardrobe was from there — but ever since Marissa Webb took over it has been just awful. TRAIN WRECK — EXACTLY!

        I am 46 — tall with long torso and a pear — now that Gap has changed the fit on their Perfect Trouser and J. Crew has discontinued the Hutton trouser, I have no idea where I’m going to get work clothes. Well, trousers/suits at least. I love Boden’s colors and prints, and have 2-3 things from there that I love, but I’ve had to return every single dress because even in Tall sizing, the fit is still far too short-waisted for me — every dress is an Empire waist. It’s a shame their designers don’t realize there is more to Tall sizing than just tacking on a couple of inches on the hem . . . .

        • Amy H.
          January 16, 2016 / 2:25 am

          Hmm. Posting this just inspired me to run a search on Marissa Webb’s name, and I learned that she’s already out — as of Oct. 2015! I’m crossing my fingers that they’ll steer back to offering at least some professional clothing rather than only so-called “fashion-forward” items . . . that are completely unappealing!

        • JennyF
          September 17, 2019 / 3:05 pm

          If you like Ann Taylor, Loft and Banana Republic, a great place to find it at a fraction of the cost is actually e-bay, especially for their accessories, like costume jewelry. I always thought of ebay as more for used clothing, but there are a LOT of “new with tags” items there. I bought some Loft earrings current season last month, at 1/3 the price in store on eBay and there was even free shipping! If there is something you see in the store or online that you like, really, you should search for it on e-bay first. Also, here’s a tip – if the ebay seller has no returns, then you can always just return it to the store without the receipt and get a store credit.

      • Lynn
        January 16, 2016 / 9:19 am

        I visited my local Banana Republic the other day for the first time in a very, very long while and was pleasantly surprised. Maybe things are looking up!

  18. Julie
    January 15, 2016 / 1:46 pm

    Don’t forget about consignment stores, where you can find gently worn (or never worn!) better labels for less than you’d pay for, say, Jones New York. Pricey grownup-lady brands like Lafayette 148 and Escada become very affordable. Heck, I found a silk Akris dress for $60!

    • January 15, 2016 / 2:07 pm

      Yes! And even online sales (says the gal who just got an Issa for BR dress on eBay for $40!)

  19. Lisa S
    January 15, 2016 / 1:34 pm

    I am here to wave the flag for Garnet Hill! I realize cultural snob-types (think NYT Styles section) love to bag on it as the essence of suburbia, but I’ve always been able to find simple, versatile, one-turn-from-classic wardrobe building blocks there — and their clearance sales are amazing. Their cashmere is so soft, light and warm, their shoe collection has both forward-looking and one or two lagging-edge items (for people not ready to abandon a particular trend), and their staples (denim pencil skirts, knit dresses) are long-lasting.

    Also, their customer service is phenomenal. I once returned a coat and gave it a one-star review, and they refunded my shipping costs!

    Sign up for the email promotions — they run 20-40% off on certain product categories fairly often.

  20. Linda J
    January 15, 2016 / 1:18 pm

    I am 52 and I recently discovered Loft and I bought some dress pants in the Julie fit that I love, but like you, everything else is just not quite right for me. I am small, size 2p in pants and small on top also, and the tops are very boxy. I don’t have a Nordstrom store close to me, but a Von Maur department store has opened up near me and I have found some very nice things there, they are kind of expensive though. I also have had some success with Land’s End and LL Bean for sweaters. I am not sure where I am going to shop this year for spring and summer styles though.

    • January 15, 2016 / 2:16 pm

      The Julie pants are pretty phenomenal. I now feel bad ragging on LOFT because my favorite work pants are from there, but I bought most over a year ago and haven’t needed more. And everything else has been such a fail… I find so many of my spring and summer tops are from Nordstrom – Halogen, Caslon, Vince Camuto and Two by Vince Camuto, and random brands like Leith. I’ve even had some success with Topshop via Nordstrom.

      • Linda J
        January 15, 2016 / 3:21 pm

        Thank you so much for the recommendations…I just went into the Nordstrom website and took a look at Halogen and Caslon in tops and saw some things I would be interested in…I will have to investigate further.

  21. Jenny
    January 15, 2016 / 1:17 pm

    I loved this post… even though I can’t see myself shopping at any of these stores! I have long wanted The Answer to where to shop at age 45 (and counting), but seeing your answers makes me think that the solution is really style-driven as much as age-driven. That’s a great realization.

    • January 15, 2016 / 2:16 pm

      Oh good, that’s the most important thing to get from this post… and this blog as a whole! One size and one retailer does not fit all!

  22. chamekke
    January 15, 2016 / 1:06 pm

    Can any of your Canadian readers recommend the best retailers in Canada? None of the retailers mentioned here are found here (or at least, in my corner of the country) apart from Talbots. I’d really appreciate hearing from some expert shopping sisters. Thanks!

    • January 15, 2016 / 2:05 pm

      Do you read Blue Collar Red Lipstick? She’s in Canada (somewhere around Edmonton, I believe). You might find some inspiration there.

      • chamekke
        January 15, 2016 / 10:50 pm

        Thanks Jessica, I will check that out! Much appreciated, thank you!

    • January 15, 2016 / 2:06 pm

      Yes PLEASE! Canadian readers (I know there’s a few of you!) please pipe up, would love to hear!

  23. Ginger
    January 15, 2016 / 12:47 pm

    I have good luck with Macy’s store-brand pants. They cater to Misses sizes, usually have a lot of different cuts and colors, often with stretch! If I can’t find my size and color at the store it can often be ordered. I stick with the bigger stores at the higher-end malls for the widest range of choice.

    IMO JJill is a poor woman’s Eileen Fisher with flowing tunics and easy fit pieces. I like Eileen Fisher, but I don’t keep my clothes that long as their prices would warrant. For me JJill is a a good place for tops and t-shirts. I feel like they cut their tops for women with big chests and since I have a small chest I size down when in doubt. I would agree that their quality is inconsistent, so read the online reviews before ordering.

      • LoriM
        February 3, 2016 / 4:24 pm

        Their INC International Concepts pants are great, too. Not sOld only at Macy’s, but that’s where I get mine. Nice ponte stuff. Looks like Sears and Amazon and others sell them too. So yeah, this should be a separate comment, huh?

  24. Sarah T
    January 15, 2016 / 12:46 pm

    I used to love Loft and would consistently find a few pieces there that I really wanted every season. However, the last year and a half or so has been very inconsistent for me with them. I don’t know that it’s gotten younger, honestly, I can’t see 20 somethings wanting a lot of what they market but maybe I’m wrong. I think the quality has gone downhill. Sweaters that used to be at least a cotton blend are now poly/acrylic/viscose/pig lips brand. Tees that were substantial and could take wear and tear now easily thin with holes. Accessories that used to pop and make a statement are now more “meh”. Dresses that were adorable and could easily be dressed up or down are knit blend with little detailing. If anything, I think they’ve watered down and cheapened the brand while still keeping about the same price point. That might appeal to younger girls but I’m only 34. I also loved that they used to offer really nice blazers and everything is a poly knit. I don’t want anything with stretch! I want structure. I don’t have a Loft near me but they used to be a must stop whenever I was near one. Now, I could honestly care less. I still check them out online from time to time but’s been months since I’ve purchased from there. Very disappointed in the direction they decided to go. Ann Taylor however has been much improved IMO. They’re still hit and miss on sizing but the styles are more classic with a twist rather than just old and boring.

    • Emily
      January 15, 2016 / 1:59 pm

      I agree! I worked at LOFT in 2009, and I feel like the store now is not the same 🙁

    • January 15, 2016 / 2:03 pm

      I think Ann Taylor has done a really good job with the “classics with a twist”. I especially love their moto inspired stuff, it’s professional enough to wear to work but also looks like you are hip and pay attention to fashion.

  25. DC
    January 15, 2016 / 12:20 pm

    I also find the occasional pieces at Modcloth and Kohls

    • January 15, 2016 / 2:17 pm

      Kohl’s was my JAM when I was pregnant, I got the cutest maternity clothes there. I haven’t been in a long time!

  26. DC
    January 15, 2016 / 12:18 pm

    I like Anthropologie and I even find some things at Forever 21 and Torrid on the rare occasion that are fun but appropriate (and I am 51)!

  27. January 15, 2016 / 12:12 pm

    love land’s end, and talbots for classic pieces. i would add ralph lauren and chico’s to the list. they both have great belts which i adore, but they also have some interesting and quirky pieces as well as tried-and-true classics. and, i can typically find a few pieces i love at CAbi.

    • Emily
      January 15, 2016 / 1:58 pm

      I love these brands as well! I LOVE Ralph Lauren (I work in a dept store that sells it, so temptation is everywhere!) but tend to stay away with it because it has many well documented un-ethical practices.

      • January 15, 2016 / 3:07 pm

        i lived overseas for many years, in several of the countries that the U.S. shifted their manufacturing plants to for a better bottom line profit. i have a different perspective on this than most.

        • Emily
          January 15, 2016 / 3:30 pm

          It’s definitely a very hidden topic in the United States!!!! Ignorance seems to be bliss for most of us in this area 🙂 I am trying to be more eco-conscience with my buying power, but boy is it tough!!!!

  28. Emily
    January 15, 2016 / 10:38 am

    I LOVE Evine and QVC. LOVE LOVE LOVE their montly payment plans….no interest/no credit cards. Plus have really nice brands like Liz Claiborne NY and Kate and Mallory and a good return policy. Almost everything is sized S-3X.

    • January 15, 2016 / 10:42 am

      What I great tip Emily! I forget about places like QVC but they do have fantastic brands and a wonderful range of sizes! How is the return policy?

      • Emily
        January 15, 2016 / 1:55 pm

        Both QVC and EVINE give you 30 days from the date of delivery to return. I have never had any problems returning. QVC (I’m not sure about EVINE) also sells “as is” products (could be a previous return, floor sample, minor MINOR defect, etc) for a huge discount and the return policy for these items is the same! This is great because I never want to order “final sale” items that are non-returnable.

  29. Angie
    January 15, 2016 / 10:18 am

    I like Eileen Fischer for pants and sweaters. Pricey but they have good sales.

  30. redliberte
    January 15, 2016 / 10:18 am

    I like Loft a lot, but I’m also 26 so I am kind of the target audience :). Though as a cusp size (14-16), I’ve also had trouble with Loft these past few seasons because shapeless, boxy stuff just doesn’t look good on me. I still have success with their dress pants though, and they fit my budget better than comparable stuff from Ann Taylor, though I just recently bought my first big-girl suit from AT.

    • January 15, 2016 / 10:43 am

      LOFT does have great dress pants, I do have several from there and they have held up beautifully. It’s funny how I have so much LOFT in my closet but all of it is at least two years old. 🙁

  31. Michelle
    January 15, 2016 / 10:16 am

    I also LOVE the bathing suits from Boden. They are a little pricey, but incredibly flattering, and when I joined our community pool last year, it was great knowing I had a couple of suits on hand that were neighbor/mom appropriate, but still sexy and fun.

  32. Ros
    January 15, 2016 / 10:12 am

    I’ll second your shout-out to Lands End – I have wool (or tweed) work pants that I got 6 years ago that are still the pair I reach for twice a week all winter, and they still look great. Worth every penny. I dislike the fabric they use for their tshirts, but will highly recommend their cashmere v-neck sweaters (worn for 4 years and running, still looks brand new… and came with extra thread so I was able to fix the moth hole I got on a sleeve).

    And I’m glad I’m not the only one to think JCrew has inconsistent quality. I have a blazer from there that I love, but for all that my husband LOVES their tshirts, the women’s tshirts are incredibly unimpressive, especially for the price. Also anything merino, men’s OR women’s, isn’t even worth the rock-bottom sale price and gets holes within 2 wears.

    • January 15, 2016 / 10:49 am

      Yes, why is it that J. Crew mens is consistent and womens is not? So frustrating! Though Karl says their fit and quality of jeans has changed in the past year or two.

  33. Kim
    January 15, 2016 / 10:05 am

    I used to love LOFT but their cuts seem to be very narrow these days – not good for those with a big bust and hips. I haven’t even walked into one of their stores in ages.

  34. Anamarie
    January 15, 2016 / 9:54 am

    Your influence caused me to give Nordstrom a chance a couple of years ago – I also had the impression that it was too expensive. Some of my favorite clothing and accessories now come from there! I shop online because of the ability to search/filter and because I find department stores overwhelming. I also like that their website will tell you if a particular item is available in stores (including the one near you). If I’m on the fence about an item, I sometimes buy it anyway because their returns are so easy and free! Their return policy has given me a lot of freedom to try multiple sizes/styles that I wouldn’t have considered. I agree with your recommendation on Halogen.

    I’d also like to say that your last several posts have been especially interesting and fun! Happy new year!

    • January 15, 2016 / 9:56 am

      Aww thanks Anamarie! I’ve had a lot less time to blog lately, so these posts have been a bit more “old school” of me slapping them together on lunch break and early in the morning. I also am just not feeling like a “pro blogger” lately. I’m EXHAUSTED. Work is busy, my personal life is busy, and I am just sick of hustling. Sure, the money is great, but my life is much more than being an internet personality and I want to do less on the computer and more IRL. So posts may not be as often, but I hope they’re more real (with the occasional sponsored in there because a gal’s gotta pay for new shoes!). <3

      • Jenny
        January 15, 2016 / 1:08 pm

        What an honest, open-hearted comment, Allie. FWIW, I’ve also really enjoyed the most recent post. I haven’t commented in years, but they’ve brought me out of the lurk.

      • January 15, 2016 / 2:00 pm

        I love the real posts. This is good stuff!

      • January 15, 2016 / 7:09 pm

        Well, I can second her comment – even if trying to juggle two jobs is tiring, the last few posts have been some of my favorites of the last two or three months!

      • Anamarie
        January 15, 2016 / 9:36 pm

        Your latest posts have been more interesting and stimulating than other bloggers I follow. The reason I read yours daily instead of theirs occasionally is that you are never shilling – you report your true experience and that authenticity is hard to find!

  35. January 15, 2016 / 9:47 am

    Boden is my love-hate brand. I LOOOOVE the prints, and the styling, but it seems like so often their clothes shrink like crazy in the wash (I definitely tell everyone to make sure they wash on cold and hang or line-dry EVERYTHING or it will be three inches shorter after that first wash). Sometimes the silohuettes just don’t work. Boden endlessly frustrates me and yet, when I find the right article of clothing, it’s just absolutely perfect and I wear it all the time.

    Their new longer-length variations on some of their bestselling items is bringing me back to Boden, really – I can finally get the kind of length I need for their Breton to feel comfortable!

    Lands End I love, except that the T-shirts are inevitably just a wee bit too short. I tend to just order in Tall. That’s my favorite thing about Lands End – the variations in length that are available (Petite, REgular, Tall) for SO MANY items.

    I think my issue with Loft is really just that within the last threeish years or so, it feels like everything lost its shape. It’s all just shapeless, baggy, sack shirts they call “slouchy” but I find shapeless.

    • January 15, 2016 / 9:54 am

      I have some things in Boden I WISH would shrink! Their tees are more generously fit, and I sometimes forget and order too big. I have a tank there I have washed in hot, hot dryer, but it stays true. But in general, I do wash everything from most everywhere in cold and line dry – better for the garments in general (and then Karl does laundry and I end up giving my cashmere sweaters to Emerson… sigh…).

      Lands’ End tees do run short; can’t believe I never thought of purchasing them in tall!

      And with LOFT, they obviously made a conscious decision to be drastically different from Ann Taylor. And then the company was purchased and I think that also changed their quality and aesthetic. I just think the “slouchy” look with the occasional crop or skinny is a very specific look and one that is on its way out unless you’re on a college campus.

  36. mostlatestvegetable
    January 15, 2016 / 9:45 am

    Chiming in to say WH/BM is great for tall women. Their tees are consistently two inches longer in the body than the average.

  37. The Adored Life
    January 15, 2016 / 9:22 am

    So I’m basically waiting until I can afford Boden because it’s a little too expensive for me and then once I get there, I AM BUYING EVERY PAIR OF SHOES THEY OFFER!

    The Adored Life

    • January 15, 2016 / 9:37 am

      I know, right? Their shoes are ah-may-zing! I stalk Poshmark and Etsy where I have found a lot of Boden for less. They also have great sales. But the quality and fit is so good they’re really worth the price. I have Boden pieces a decade old that still look stylish and are in great condition!

    • Julie
      January 15, 2016 / 1:30 pm

      Be sure to sign up for their email list. They have sales all the time, and often you can get discounts off clearance prices, as well. Unless you’re after a super-hot seller, there’s no reason to pay full price. Just wait a few days for the next sale.

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