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 Post subject: Want To Help Me Clothing Shop?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 1:18 pm 
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So, there are two things going on here- I'm super picky about my clothing and I am bad at clothing shopping/hate clothing shopping. But there are a lot of PPKers who seem to be so good at it so I'm throwing it out there in hopes that someone can help me out.

Now here are the details:
-I don't like words or pictures on my clothing
-I don't like baggy or loose fitting clothing
-I really only like V-necks or at the very least, something that shows my cleavage
-I like solid colors- mainly bold red, true blue, black (although I'm trying to limit this as it is about 95% of my wardrobe) and don't like light colors
-I prefer 3/4 sleeves
-I like shirts that button up but still look feminine
-I like cardigans
-I don't like jewels or anything like that on my clothing. I can handle some lace but that's about it.
-When it comes to jackets, I like them to not be cropped, to be fitting, not dirty looking (I don't like the ripped up dirty look), to be functional
-I like casual blazers- nothing that makes me look like I'm about to play football
-My shoes need to be comfortable and solid in color, something I can walk in a lot but are nice looking.

So yeah, I think that about sums it up. I also can't afford to pay a ton of money but want at least some deal of quality to my clothing soooooo, can you help?

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 Post subject: Re: Want To Help Me Clothing Shop?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:23 pm 
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I'll try to help - do you have any photos of you in outfits you especially like? Do you have any fitting challenges (like my over-sized rib cage that stops me from wearing dresses with a waist if I want to breathe)?

Where do you need to go and how do you want to look in your new clothes? Do you need a whole new wardrobe or just a few things to perk up what you already have? Do you prefer pants or skirts? How do you feel about dresses?

Also, how much do you care about made in the U.S. (assuming you're in the U.S. - substitute other country as appropriate) or otherwise ethically sourced clothes? I mean, obviously, that's a plus for pretty much everyone, but are you willing to pay a premium for it?

Can you put some dollar figures on your budget - how much would you typically want to spend on a shirt, cardigan, skirt/pants? Are you open to ebaying to get more expensive stuff for less, or would you rather just find a store and be done with it even if it means you're spending more or getting slightly less for your money?


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 Post subject: Re: Want To Help Me Clothing Shop?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:35 pm 
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Do you have an Ann Taylor Loft or Loft Outlet near? ATL isn't exactly cheap, but they do have nice quality basics and good sale racks. If you hit the sale racks at the right time, you can get great deals on things to last for years. I love their cardigans and v neck tees and camis. The camis wear well; even the black ones.

I just got a couple camis for $8 each. The sun washed v or scoop neck tees were on sale for $14. I like those because they are super soft, and even though thin, they wash and wear well. I had similar from target that cost more that just fell apart after a month.

Sizing is usually reliable and shirts tend to be fitted but realistic.

I'd have to be over the moon in love with something to consider paying full price there though because it all goes on fairly deep discount regularly. (teacher discou t is nice too!)

They have a lot of 3/4 sleeve cardigans and shirts. I hate that! But it sounds perfect for you. Anyway, they sell lots of very plain items without froufrou, which is exactly what I like too.

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 Post subject: Re: Want To Help Me Clothing Shop?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:39 pm 
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aiee wrote:
I'll try to help - do you have any photos of you in outfits you especially like? Do you have any fitting challenges (like my over-sized rib cage that stops me from wearing dresses with a waist if I want to breathe)?

Ugh, thank you so much! I usually have to buy petite pants because I'm 5'4", I have large hips but a small natural waist, I have a large chest and my top is longer so sometimes I have a problem with shirts both fitting me and going down all of the way. I don't like short shirts. I don't have any photos- I don't really have any of me in general.

Quote:
Where do you need to go and how do you want to look in your new clothes? Do you need a whole new wardrobe or just a few things to perk up what you already have? Do you prefer pants or skirts? How do you feel about dresses?

I don't really do much besides the occasional outing and grocery shopping but I still want to look put together and well dressed. I don't really have many clothes so I guess a whole new wardrobe. I like the way skirts look on other people and in my mind I'd like to wear them but I actually hate them (sorry if that's confusing), same with dresses. Also, dressed and skirts make me look really short whereas pants let me look at least normal sized.

Quote:
Also, how much do you care about made in the U.S. (assuming you're in the U.S. - substitute other country as appropriate) or otherwise ethically sourced clothes? I mean, obviously, that's a plus for pretty much everyone, but are you willing to pay a premium for it?
I know this sounds bad but I don't really care. I really don't have the money to pay for stuff like that anyway.

Quote:
Can you put some dollar figures on your budget - how much would you typically want to spend on a shirt, cardigan, skirt/pants? Are you open to ebaying to get more expensive stuff for less, or would you rather just find a store and be done with it even if it means you're spending more or getting slightly less for your money?

I would prefer just buying stuff and being done with it. Maybe open to ebaying a few things. I'm not really sure about money- how much do people typically spend on clothing?

I'm looking at these pants right now but even on sale with shipping it's almost $40 http://us.dockers.com/product/index.jsp ... ickid=cart Am I crazy? Dockers are usually quality pants and I own a pair for work and I really like them but is that price justifiable? I'm so bad at this!

Also, I like this http://www.forever21.com/Product/Produc ... VariantID=

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 Post subject: Re: Want To Help Me Clothing Shop?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:43 pm 
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Yes, Ann Taylor Loft is awesome for t-shirts - I got some nice scoopnecks for $8 each in the last sale (wearing one now) and have a tank top from there that's my absolute favorite. I also bought a dress that I wear once a week during the summer and it's held up very well for the past 2 years (it's nylon and I machine wash it and hang to dry). I find that the pants there are a disaster on me and skirts are often not much better, but you may have better luck if you're not shaped like I am.

I've not been as happy with their cardigans - I have one cotton one that I still like that's held up and have donated an acrylic/something blend one that got all saggy and weird after a couple of wearings. I really like the J. Crew jackie cardigans a lot and you can often find them on sale or on ebay if $65 for a cardigan is too crazy - they last forever too (I have one that's 5 years old, worn at least 3 times a month, that's still going strong).

I'd agree, never pay full price, they have great sales pretty much every other week.


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 Post subject: Re: Want To Help Me Clothing Shop?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:50 pm 
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Pants at Ann Taylor Loft are usually $59, but the ones I have (not many since I hate pants) I got on sale for $29. End of season is best time for that.

ATL might not be good if you have a larger chest. I do not and that is one place I can actually find dresses that don't gape.

I had a cardigan that went weird on me too--I took it back and complained because I had actually paid full price to wear to a job fair. They gave me full store credit.

I agree about their skirts--too short or too full. Most not flattering.

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 Post subject: Re: Want To Help Me Clothing Shop?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 5:22 pm 
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Mr. Shankly wrote:
Ugh, thank you so much! I usually have to buy petite pants because I'm 5'4", I have large hips but a small natural waist, I have a large chest and my top is longer so sometimes I have a problem with shirts both fitting me and going down all of the way. I don't like short shirts. I don't have any photos- I don't really have any of me in general.

I don't really do much besides the occasional outing and grocery shopping but I still want to look put together and well dressed. I don't really have many clothes so I guess a whole new wardrobe. I like the way skirts look on other people and in my mind I'd like to wear them but I actually hate them (sorry if that's confusing), same with dresses. Also, dressed and skirts make me look really short whereas pants let me look at least normal sized.

I would prefer just buying stuff and being done with it. Maybe open to ebaying a few things. I'm not really sure about money- how much do people typically spend on clothing?


Ok, so we're the same height and I feel you on the pants vs skirts and too-short shirts issues (though I'm ok with dresses, somehow).

I think $40 for pants is totally reasonable - I don't think it's possible to go much lower than $30 without thrifting (it seems like you don't have the inclination to enjoy it though) or making some quality trade-offs (and there are a lot of not so high quality places selling pants for $40 or more, some of which I'm about to recommend anyway).

So, if you need a whole new wardrobe, it makes sense to try to plan out what you want before you go out and buy random stuff. What I suspect will help the most is if you pick a color scheme you enjoy and stick within it. All of my clothes are black, white, grey, dark or cobalt blue, olive or puke-y green, or mustard yellow - I have very few items outside of that color scheme and those clothes get worn much less than the clothes that fit in it. Within that set of colors, I can wear almost anything together.

If I were starting from scratch and wanted to look nice and be comfy, I might get a pair of nice jeans (I like levis or gap for proper jeans, or old navy for stretchy skinny jeans. If you really want to go all out, James are usually very flattering, as are J Brand, but both are super expensive unless you get them on consignment/thrift and will need serious hemming), a light pair of dressier pants (like the dockers you mentioned) and a warmer pair of dressier pants (I have a couple of pairs of old navy "diva skinny ankle pants" that I like a lot - buy a size up and they're not too tight once you've worn them for an hour and are a flattering length for me to wear with ballet flats). Then, tops and cardigans as needed - maybe a few knit/t-shirt-ish tops, a few button downs, maybe a couple of blouses that aren't button downs, and a handful of cardigans/jackets. Make sure you're ok wearing the tops with and without jackets and cardigans - some tops are too bulky to layer and some feel too exposed to not layer, so you should aim for the happy middle ground to not have to buy two sets of tops.

Here's another question - what shoes do you wear most regularly? Boots, sneakers (fashion-y or actual sporty?), ballet flats? Do you like skinny jeans/leggings, or proper pants? Or both? Both requires the most shoes; if you pick one style of pants, you can get away with fewer shoes. What shoes do you have and like?

I would stay away from forever 21 and old navy knitwear, I don't think it holds up well. I've been much happier with the quality of sweaters from H&M at that price point. Zara is excellent for jackets and blazers (they run about $80 - $100 there), so that may be too expensive, but they're the least expensive blazers I've been happy with (others I buy and them am sad to have wasted the money after I decide they look cheap on me). Nanette Lepore and Vivinne Westwood are both very expensive but make lovely (and often vegan) blazers, and you can sometimes find really good sales on them since they're not the most popular designer brands. Also, as I mentioned before, J. Crew Jackie cardigans and pullovers are super cute and hold up well. Def. worth checking the sales on those.

What do you have already that you want to keep? Working from that, I can try to pull some links for more precise recommendations.


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 Post subject: Re: Want To Help Me Clothing Shop?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 5:58 pm 
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lavawitch wrote:
Pants at Ann Taylor Loft are usually $59, but the ones I have (not many since I hate pants) I got on sale for $29. End of season is best time for that.

ATL might not be good if you have a larger chest. I do not and that is one place I can actually find dresses that don't gape.

I had a cardigan that went weird on me too--I took it back and complained because I had actually paid full price to wear to a job fair. They gave me full store credit.

I agree about their skirts--too short or too full. Most not flattering.


I have a larger chest and I have a short waist (i guess that's the right term) and Ann Taylor Loft petite tops and dresses are perfect for me. In fact, I never realized I needed petite clothes until I bought some from them last year. I'm kind of amazed!

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 Post subject: Re: Want To Help Me Clothing Shop?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 7:24 pm 
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I also wouldn't recommend Forever 21 for their knitwear, not only does it not hold up, but in generally looks sort of cheap in person. If you like things like leggings and super-basic tank tops Forever 21 might be a good place to stock up though... they're $4-$5 and come in a pretty good range of colors.

For stuff that's cute and on trend without being crappy, I think H&M is pretty good. Their stuff isn't as cheap as the Forever 21 and Old Navy type places, but their prices are reasonable and you can get basic cardigans and stuff at a good price. I don't think $40 is outrageous for a pair of pants you like! You can get cheaper pants from clearance racks and stuff, but then you're at the mercy of whatever sizes/colors happen to be available. Speaking of clearance, you should check out the women's clothing and clearance sections on Target.com... it's not the highest-quality stuff ever, but sometimes they have really cute stuff marked down for next to nothing. I just got this enormous faux leather purse from there that I really like, and it was only $12. It's at least worth a look.

If you're the sort that wears pants/skirts more often than dresses, I would start by finding a few bottoms and then picking tops to coordinate from there. I'm not sure if you need to shop for career wear or casual wear or both, but for casual I'd probably start by getting a pair of jeans I really liked, some nice black trousers, and maybe another nice pair of non-jeans bottoms, plus a couple of basic skirts if you wear them. Crazy prints are fun, but remember it's easier to match stuff in basic colors (black, navy, tan... though it sounds like you might prefer more basic colors anyway).


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 Post subject: Re: Want To Help Me Clothing Shop?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 10:26 pm 
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Talbots is also really great, if you are willing to spend slightly more for things that really last.


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 Post subject: Re: Want To Help Me Clothing Shop?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 12:24 am 
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I'll reply to everyone once I get a chance and thank you SO much for all of your input. I forgot to mention earlier that my favorite store for clothing shopping (mainly shirts) is Victoria's Secret. To give you a better idea of what I like, I'm going to link to some stuff I'm on the verge of buying right now.

http://www.victoriassecret.com/sale/clo ... ueType=OLS

http://www.victoriassecret.com/sale/clo ... ueType=OLS (this would be different for me but I really like it- unfortunately it's out of the grey one which is what I really wanted)

http://www.victoriassecret.com/sale/clo ... ueType=OLS

http://www.victoriassecret.com/sale/clo ... ueType=OLS

I've been giving some thoughts to which colors I'd like to stick with- black, red, burgundy/crimson/wine, blue (not a crazy bright shade), purple (the plumtastic heather on VS is beautiful), grey (mainly charcoal grey) and *maybe* green. Does that sounds reasonable/realistic?

eta: Also, I checked out the Ann Taylor website and the only thing I found that I really liked was this: http://www.anntaylor.com/banded-hem-v-n ... Color=5823 in the purple shade.

Also, where can I buy cheap tank tops to layer under shirts? I'd like lace on it unless that's too crazy specific.

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 Post subject: Re: Want To Help Me Clothing Shop?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 12:52 am 
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Argh! Those Dockers that I fell in love with earlier apparently don't have any real pockets! I need pockets.

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 Post subject: Re: Want To Help Me Clothing Shop?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:53 am 
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The few items I have purchased from Mexx have lasted me 3-4 years. Regular price is pretty out of my budget, but I've scored some nice dresses on their clearance rack. Their pants are too short for me, but there are usually quite a few pairs on sale.

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 Post subject: Re: Want To Help Me Clothing Shop?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:19 am 
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Mr. Shankly wrote:

Also, where can I buy cheap tank tops to layer under shirts? I'd like lace on it unless that's too crazy specific.


Target has some cute, inexpensive tank tops. Here's a page with a lot of different options. There are two styles with lace: http://www.target.com/sb/tops-clothing- ... 56100|null

You can order from them online.

Gap's got some laci camis on sale for $12.95: http://www.gap.com/browse/category.do?c ... tyle=17081

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 Post subject: Re: Want To Help Me Clothing Shop?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:23 am 
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Ann Taylor is dressier than loft. Loft.com

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 Post subject: Re: Want To Help Me Clothing Shop?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:24 am 
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I think the color scheme you planned sounds great - I think as long as you make a consistent choice between black/grey and brown/tan you can work in as many additional colors as you like without too much difficulty.

The shirts you linked to are cute and would be great with a good pair of jeans or shorts or a denim mini-skirt if you brave a skirt - and then you could add a tweedy or corduroy blazer to go over top for cooler times.

Here are some blazers/jackets I think could be nice with the sort of tops you like:

Old lady tweed to fancy things up: http://www.zara.com/us/en/woman/blazers/fantasy-fabric-jacket-c358002p1296440.html
White casual jacket: http://www.zara.com/us/en/woman/blazers/combination-textured-cardigan-c358002p1156035.html
Elbow patches: http://www.zara.com/us/en/woman/blazers/blazer-with-combination-elbow-patches-c358002p1129079.html

Also, try J. Crew Outlet for khakis, I think they carry a lot of the pants they've discontinued from their main line.


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 Post subject: Re: Want To Help Me Clothing Shop?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 11:57 am 
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I like Gap for pants. They have room for my butt, and usually come in lengths, which is great cause I'm 5'2. I don't usually like their tops or anything else, but occasionally they surprise me. If you like plain, and a lot of colors to choose from, that's a good place to go.
I seems to have a lot BCBG (how I don't know I don't actually go to the store but seem to end up with what they sell to boutiques, which is different then what you see in the department store) Buffalo, Michael Stars. But it's all from local stores I don't know a chain or website.


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 Post subject: Re: Want To Help Me Clothing Shop?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 1:34 pm 
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You asked about cheap tank tops - definitely check Forever 21! Their super-basic tanks are like $2 each. I don't know if they have lacey ones, but if you just want some normal v-neck tanks then they've got a good selection. Size availability on their website varies by color, but generally speaking they have them in XS-XL. Their clothes run sort of narrow (juniors sizing and all that) so measure yourself/check their size chart before ordering. I did once get some tank tops from Old Navy that had lace around the bosom, but that was like a year ago so I'm not sure they still sell that style. Their basic tanks are a little more expensive too, usually in the $8-$12 range.


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 Post subject: Re: Want To Help Me Clothing Shop?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 9:32 pm 
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I usually decide to be cheap and shop at H&M, even though I'd love to be more fancy. They do have some nice stuff though.

http://www.hm.com/us/beckham-spring-2013

Their website is pretty distracting though.

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 Post subject: Re: Want To Help Me Clothing Shop?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 10:08 pm 
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Mars wrote:
I usually decide to be cheap and shop at H&M, even though I'd love to be more fancy. They do have some nice stuff though.

http://www.hm.com/us/beckham-spring-2013

Their website is pretty distracting though.


I'll take two.

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 Post subject: Re: Want To Help Me Clothing Shop?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 10:44 pm 
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Just wanted to pop in and let everyone know that I'm reading your replies and apologize for taking so long to get back to you. I've been super busy with work lately and will respond when I have more time. Thank you!

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 Post subject: Re: Want To Help Me Clothing Shop?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 11:12 pm 
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You especially read my reply, right Shankly?

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 Post subject: Re: Want To Help Me Clothing Shop?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 11:16 pm 
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Mars wrote:
You especially read my reply, right Shankly?

I wasn't sure if you meant that I would look good with H&M clothing on me or with David Beckham on me.

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 Post subject: Re: Want To Help Me Clothing Shop?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 11:24 pm 
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Also, shopping online is hard (the only way I can shop). VS is out of the size/color combo that I want for one shirt and it's thrown me completely off. I don't know what color to get for what or how something will look on me! This is so stressful. I hate clothing shopping.

In other news, I finally bought those Dockers now that they knocked another 20% off. Here's hoping they fit and look good on me.

eta: I'm always iffy on whether or not I ever want to buy something in green. I really don't want to look stereotypically Irish.

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 Post subject: Re: Want To Help Me Clothing Shop?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 11:31 pm 
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Can other people get in on this virtual personal shopping thing? I am in need of some wardrobe help.


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