Stop Being a Snob!

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Stop being a snob!

Yes, YOU. The one who thinks that Nordstrom is too expensive and would never set foot in that place, who believes that Walmart only sells crap, Abercrombie only sells to teens, and Talbots only caters to conservative old ladies.

I fully agree that finding brands that work can save time and stress at the mall. You know what flatters your figure and caters to your lifestyle and budget – go there first. However if you have an extra hour to kill, I encourage you to enter a store you usually shun.

Visit a New To You Shop

Maybe you shun it because you are not a model size 4, maybe because you don’t have deep pockets, maybe because your daughter shops there. We all have reasons for brand snobbery, but sometimes, opening your mind and the door to an unknown store may offer you new ideas or styles perfect for you.

Quality not Quantity

I am always preaching “quality not quantity” to you on this blog, but do know quality can be found most anywhere. I have dresses and tops that look as great now as they did a year ago that were purchased at Target, Kmart, H&M and Forever 21. They are also pieces that a year or two after purchase, still look classic and fit into today’s styles.

Shopping Quality Fashion in Budget Stores

These stores can often be overwhelming – racks and racks of cheap faded cotton and slimy polyester in garish colors and prints that went out of vogue 15 minutes ago; take your time, shop the top of the rack (just as you would when thrifting) and look first for colors and fabrics that appeal to you, only then pull the garment from the rack and check to see if the cut is worthy of a trip to the fitting room.

I have found lower-end items that were utter crap, but I have lower-end pieces that I have been wearing for near a decade and get far more compliments when worn than the designer duds in my closet.

Quality Costume Jewelry

As for jewelry, women often tell me they don’t wear it because they can’t afford it. It’s true, if you wanted to invest in 14K gold hoops that are larger than a thin wire wrapping around your ear lobe, you’re going to have to pay. But who says you have to wear that which is real?

I’m not saying cover yourself in fake jewels and forearms full of gold-painted bangles, but a few pieces can be purchased at lower-end places for dirt-cheap prices to add to your wardrobe without looking chintzy. I find the accessory shops in malls like Claire’s often have some great buys amidst the jelly shoes, feather-topped pens and mood rings. Each summer, I invest in a few simple, thin, unadorned hoops in silver and gold from there.

Summer begs for hoop earrings, and by the end of the season, you have often lost one on a dance floor or in a hotel room on holiday. All the better to only pay $6.99 for them. If they are thin and simple, no one will really care or question the ticket price of the hoops. If you keep them dry and in your jewelry box when not in use, they should stay shiny for a long time.

Shopping Outside Your Age Demographic

If you find a store that is too old or too young for you… well, it doesn’t hurt to do a “figure-eight” through it on your way to the parking lot. I have a super cute navy twill blazer I wear all the time. I sport it with jeans and a ribbed tank for casual days and chinos and a silk knit shell for spring work days. I always get compliments on its fit and style.

Knowing my personal style, I am classic with a bit of funky/rocker thrown in and would never be the poster girl for a place like Talbots. However, each season I find chic well made pieces there that effortlessly fit into my existing wardrobe.

I may be in a conservative office environment and in my 30s, but I still stroll Brass Plum and Charlotte Russe looking for pieces that could work in my simple wardrobe. You never know, that silk blouse you were eying in Bloomingdales may have a very similar cousin in the junior’s section of Macy’s!

A woman with curly hair wearing a plaid blazer holds a green fur coat over her shoulder on a city street.

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  1. most of my jewelry rarely costs more than $20 and i get compliments on them all the time & people think they’re real.
    and my f21 jeans are stacked right on top of my dior hommes.

    i believe quality can be found at all price points.

  2. I just bought some jewelry and hair accessories from Icing. There was a great deal where you buy 10 items from a special clearance section for $5. It took me a while to find 10 things that I really liked, but I did. And because I carefully considered how everything looked, nobody would guess that I paid just 50 cents for each item.

    I also have been picking up some Ann Taylor pieces on clearance. The full price stuff sends me into sticker shock, but the clearance rack has a lot of affordable goodies.

  3. The last time I tried a Forever 21, I was ready to run screaming out of there. I lack the patience, both with searching through racks of crap to find something good, and also with the salespeople. I’ve been spoiled by Nordstrom salespeople, I suppose. And they really do have great deals.

  4. So true Allie! I have this gorgeous velvet jacket. Every time I wear it I get people raving about it and wondering where I got it. Where did I get it? Can we say LVLX? I think it cost less than $20 and I have been wearing it for years!

  5. I totally agree! I am a 34-year old pregnant woman and I find stuff all the time that doubles as maternity wear in stores like Forever 21. Yes, I have to get over sticking out like a sore thumb in there, but I have found some great stuff that no one would know had come from there.

  6. Allie, I could not agree more. Quality gets equated with “costs a lot” way too often. Yes, it takes longer to sift through racks with a lot of depressing stuff on them. I guess my motivation is that I’m kind of cheap. : )

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