Friday, July 27, 2012

Keep Calm and Go Shopping

I love to shop, although currently I'm under a shopping moratorium (because soon I have to buy a big white dress). If I try to stuff any more shoes or clothes in our condo, we may end up on a reality show. I'll be all crazy-eyed, clutching a pair of my ridiculous shoes (ridiculously AWESOME), while my fiancé faces the camera with red-rimmed eyes and quietly mourns "our cat Sadie whom we haven't seen since the Great Closet Cave-In of 2012". (This is based on true events. My hanging closet rod slipped and dumped all my tops onto the floor while my fiancé looked on and said, "I think you've exceeded its weight limit.")
Anyway, due to my shopping prowess, my friends often ask me for recommendations of stores to find "cute" clothes, so I have extended the favor to you, Gentle Reader. I scoured the Internet far and wide to bring you this list.  (Really, I just pulled them out of my well-worn list of Favorites).

TJ Maxx and Marshalls are obvious, but bs, answers because you can always find good stuff there, but you have to browse patiently. Remember to eat a snack and use the restroom first. Otherwise you turn into Shopper Crankypants glaring at someone because they are blocking your singleminded path to the Michael Kors display. Must. Look. At. Orange. Dress. withJanglyBits.  
I love Amazon. I want to move into Amazon. Surely there is a small empty corner that I can curl up in. Then when you do a search for "Sarahs", I'll pop up. I wonder if I'm Prime Eligible? I have found so many obscure (to me) awesome shoe brands here (oh, and here).  But Amazon is like Marshalls.  It's not always a bargain unless you get lucky.  And the sheer volume of stuff can be exhausting. Try doing a seemingly innocent search for, well, anything, and you'll see what I mean. 9,357 results...ok, try size mmhmm...3,872 results...*sigh*...I need a snack.
The clothes are stylish and interesting, if sometimes a bit, shall we say, unrealistic.  It's European, so of course it's fabulous. You can find reasonably-priced to crazy-expensive stuff here. Plus, the site has a great runway feature to show how the clothes actually move when worn. 

I recently discovered this store, although I've been shying away since. You can get sucked into its alternate reality where you find yourself thinking, Marc Jacobs flip flops for only 200 bucks?? SCORE! (This can happen on Amazon, too, when you look at your shopping cart total of $1,687.00 and you're like, wait, what?)
Anthropologie Jr. I'm too old to shop here, and I know it. Yet I'll still wear this. It's big into vintagey, retro-style clothes, so if you have a hankering for a big 50's skirt (and who doesn't?), you can find it here. Be forewarned, the sizing is juniors, even though the numbers are even. 

Online / Brick and mortar stores 

New York & Company
I only started appreciating NY&Co recently when I outgrew Express (in more ways than one). Now that I'm in my mid-thirties, I'm squarely in their target demographic. The suits are always professional but not terribly expensive. The pants are not all low-rise. It particularly excels at comfortable and pretty jersey dresses, colorful patterns, and every year it does a neat twist on the cardigan. 

MNG by Mango at JCPenney
Once again, European = fabulous. It also equals small and tight. Mango appears to be obsessed with American cartoon characters, but beyond that, the jersey dresses (see a trend with me?) and tops often have interesting cuts and prints.  MNG regularly knocks off its big sister Mango, and while it may not be considerably cheaper than Mango, JCPenney is probably more accessible. 

Are you picking up what I'm putting down? Where is your US e-commerce site, H&M?? We're dying here!

To my international readers:
Sorry if my list is too Americentric!  ASOS, H&M (lucky you!), and Yoox are international shopping sites, and Amazon has many international storefronts.

Modcloth also ships internationally, but the cost may be high.  This is what I discovered on my end after ordering some things from Dorothy Perkins.  (I especially like its dress selection, namely the brand Closet.)  The shipping cost to the US wasn't too bad, but when I had to make a return, it was very expensive.  So I am careful about ordering anything from Dorothy Perkins now.  You may find this to be the case in reverse, so check return policies before placing orders!  Bon shopping! 

Fifties Housewife courtesy of Velma's Retro Clip Art and Images

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