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hmcfall711
07-30-2009, 06:29 PM
Does anyone have any suggestions for woman's (plus size) professional clothes for a small budget?

DH says I usually wear my self-imposed uniform. Typically I wear black/dark pants and a colored blouse. I have looked at Target, Old Navy, and Kohls in both the regularly priced items and clearanced and I was either not satisfied with the selection or in the stores where I found things I liked it was $75-$100 for a top and pants, :guilty:

I typically like the things of the styles you would find Christopher Banks and Coldwater Creek. Not necessarily their products specifically, but that style. Simple, solid colors, and not a lot of prints. I am a primary level teacher so easy to clean items are a MUST.

kaytieeldr
07-30-2009, 07:25 PM
It's a bit of an investment, but most of my clothes are Citiknits from QVC, or Slinky Brand or Carolyn Strauss from HSN. They're the Chico's-type fabric - acetate/spandex or polyester/spandex, but not tight spandex. HSN especially has better clearance prices than QVC. I have been able to get a couple of tops in similar fabric at KMart, but not recently.

Cibahwewah
07-30-2009, 07:32 PM
I consistently get great deals on work clothes at talbots.com and landsend.com in their outlet/clearance sections. I once bought a $160 merchandise credit on Ebay for $100, then used it on their 75-90% off clearance sale to buy over $900 worth of clothes. It's a little harder to get a great deal at LandsEnd, but if you keep looking, you'll find them. They have good quality and nicely fitting plus size professional clothes.

missenmickey
07-30-2009, 07:41 PM
Have you tried Avenue? If you do not have a store close to you they do have a website. I have been able to great some great deals there!! Their sales are great. Happy shopping!

dougsmom98
07-30-2009, 07:47 PM
I get most of my clothes from JC Penney. I like their Worthington collection for pants. I tend to hit great sales the end of July and the end of January. I never pay more than $19.99 for nice work pants and I often get them for $14 or less.

I also usually find some good sales at Sears during this time of year for back to school clothes for me.

dzneelvr
07-30-2009, 07:51 PM
Don't forget jewelry or accessories to dress up clothes you already have:thumbsup2I look at the styling in Chicos/Coldwater Creek catalogs and then shop resale. You'd be surprised by all the good buys you can get at upscale resale shops--everything comes and goes out of style so frequently that nothing is ever really "out":)

minnie1012
07-30-2009, 08:07 PM
Dress Barn used to have nice work stuff at reasonable prices but last time I went I thought they had gotten expensive. You can try during a sale?

drcmk
07-30-2009, 08:16 PM
I buy most of my professional clothes at Macy's or Kohl's. Both have frequent, good sales with additional discounts if you use the store credit card.

NYCDiane
07-30-2009, 08:16 PM
Lands End has some nice things. Avenue has nice items but a lot of their clothing doesn't last very long (stretches out of shape after washing, etc). Lane Bryant has some nice things also. I've never tried HSN or QVC because I wasn't aware they had plus size business attire ---- I'll be checking them out now, though!

binab
07-30-2009, 08:25 PM
I usually do well with Dillards clearance racks (...and love it when they do 75% off)

tnd
07-30-2009, 08:34 PM
I'm also plus size and most of my nicer professional clothes come from Lane Bryant (pants only) and Nordstrom for tops and jackets, but only on sale. They last well and look nice.

Justsyd2
07-30-2009, 09:27 PM
Ross has great work clothes at wonderful prices.

NVDisMom
07-30-2009, 09:35 PM
I have to agree with the sales at Macy's and Dillards. But, you have to be willing to stop in frequently. I do well at TJ Maxx too. But, again, frequent shopping is the key.

hmcfall711
07-30-2009, 10:56 PM
Thanks all these are great ideas. There were some that I did not think about and should have been obvious choices. DUH me. :rolleyes1 Any other suggestions would be appreciated too.

I think I am just really frustrated right now because I just can't seem to find anything that will work for me. It is also that weird time of year where all the inventory is in transition and if I find a shirt I like then maybe there are no pants to match or pants I like and not a shirt that is appropriate. It just stinks.

Not to mention EVERYTHING I have seen the last 2 days in shirts seems to have the deepest V-neck or boat neck known to man. There was one that I saw I was sure that even with a cami you could have seen the wearer's navel. :scared1: Come on who are they dressing ladies of the night?

Thanks again, keep any more ideas coming.

ilandrazdsw
07-30-2009, 11:20 PM
I am headed back to teaching this year and needed the appropriate wardrobe; however, I am in the process of loosing weight so I refuse to spend a lot of $$ on clothes that will *hopefully* only be worn a few months. Off I went to Goodwill and Salvation Army...and amazingly I was able to find several pairs of slacks, a few shirts, and jackets. I also lucked out at Old Navy for shirts too.

jlima
07-30-2009, 11:54 PM
I second Talbot's. Last week they had 40% off everything on sale and there were a lot of good deals.

I also find great stuff at Macy's & Dillards. I haven't bought anything full price at Dillards for a long time.

MrsPooh
07-31-2009, 12:04 AM
I have a "uniform" too. I own black pants and brown pants and buy shirts that go with either one or the other. It makes things easier for me.

I do get a few things are Avenue when they have a sale. I used to buy at Lane Bryant but lately their style just isn't my style.

I get nearly everything at CJ Banks (the plus sized Christopher Banks). They are expensive but I shop their sales. A couple times a year they have deals with a rack of clearance shirts for $5 or other great deals. Believe me, I never spend more than $10 for a top for work - and they all must be easy to wash, dry and wear.

For me the most important part of building a wardrobe was patience. It took me a couple of years to eventually pick up enough clearance to have a reasonable amount. I buy whenever I find the right price.

Good luck with your shopping.

marciagms
07-31-2009, 06:07 AM
Ross has great work clothes at wonderful prices.

I agree ROSS is the BEST!!!

Chicago526
07-31-2009, 08:35 AM
Eddie Bauer has some work clothes as well as their casual line. I love the quality and if you catch a good clearance you can get some great buys. I just bought a $200 winter coat for $70, and $200 worth off hennely sweaters for only $60.

They are having a clearance right now, in fact. I don't know if they have any tops that would be okay for work, but they seemed to have a lot of work pants.

http://www.eddiebauer.com/EB/Women/Womens--Plus-sizes-16W26W/index.cat

crusoe2
07-31-2009, 08:41 AM
Can't vouch for the quality cause I haven't ordered anything from them yet but JessicaLondon.com usually has several things that I like the looks of. I also recommend Dress Barn. I'm in the same boat - I teach (just started 3 years ago) and I'm having to slowly build up my wardrobe. I have a tendency to do the same thing you've been doing - buy basic pants in a couple dark colors and just pick up a variety of tops to go with them. It does get boring.
I've tried a few different things to break out of that rut and what I've learned is that it's better to spend a little more money to get some good quality basic pieces and dress them up with nice accessories. You can wear the same basic outfit over and over but changing out or re-grouping your accessories makes it look like a different outfit every time. I'm also working on a collection of light-weight jackets cause you can also change those out over the same basic solid color pants and top. Something else I'm doing - I choose certain occassions to buy a new outfit for like the first day of school, open house, parent/teacher conference day, etc. I focus on getting a complete new outfit for that specific occasion and choose something that isn't too dressy for everyday wear. By focusing on one outfit at a time rather than trying to buy enough for a whole season, I'm slowly but surely building up a dressier wardrobe for work. But the PP is right, it does require patience.

Schmoodle
07-31-2009, 09:20 AM
You mentioned coldwater creek and I get most of my stuff there. It's really nice quality and I love the colors and styles. But I only buy during their killer clearance sales. Usually there is a coupon code you can combine with their clearance sale and get stuff at a really reasonable price. Keep your eyes on the bargain boards and strike when the sales are hot - you have to move fast!

3boymthr
07-31-2009, 10:25 AM
I have the kind of job where I can't wear cheap clothes but I still try to maximize my money while looking expensive.

Macy's has good deals with a nice selection if you shop their clearance.

For Coldwater Creek, if you like their clothes, check online and sign up for their e-mails. I generally buy most of my clothes there with a coupon that can be used on sale items and that's good on outlet items. They have shirts for under $20 in the outlet area.

If you have one near you TJ Maxx and Marshall's have great deals on designer clothes in plus sizes. I got some Ralph Lauren "Lauren" pants for $19 .

Another trick is to buy off season so you can do really well. Shop now for next summer and in February for the following Fall.

MS_mom_1965
07-31-2009, 11:08 AM
I love to shop at Cato's. Their clothing may not be top of the line quality as some of the other stores mentioned, but when tops are $8-$10 on the sale rack, I have no problem wearing them a year or two then replacing. I've bought many, many tops and dresses there, always at reasonable prices even when not on sale. The only problem I have is that I'm somewhat vertically challenged, and the pants and skirts are all too long for me.

nunzia
07-31-2009, 11:52 AM
When I had to wear a suit every day (MGM Grand Las vegas) I shopped at Ross for my work clothes. I may occasionally miss Vegas but I never miss the work clothes (as I sit here at work in my jeans and tshirt)

Handbag Lady
07-31-2009, 12:48 PM
I also have to look professional and I'm plus-sized. I'd rather spend my money on handbags, so this is what I do:

I shop at the outlets. Jones NY has a plus-sized section. Not all of them do.

I also shop Macy's when they have coupon days, which is just about every other weekend.

I also shop at Lane Bryant when they have a sale. I am very picky and don't just buy something to buy it.

I buy dark pants in grey, black, and tan. I buy neutral capri pants. I even have one pair of pinstripe brown capris. I have neutral shirts, too, in black, grey, white, and then I buy crazy blouses at Lane Bryant when they are on sale. I also have about six skirts in various solid and crazy colors. The shirts are plain, almost like t-shirts so they go with both pants and skirts and capris.

I also hit up Target for scarves and I just love that Summer scarves are in now. I've also purchased scarves at Payless Shoes for cheap.

Then, I divide my closet into shirts, pants, and skirts, and I play mix and match. I really don't have a lot of work clothes, but by being careful with my separates, I can make quite a few different outfits.

Shoes were the hardest for me. I have black flats, black and brown clogs, black and brown summer work shoes (sandals that are slides), and then boots in black and brown. I also bought two pairs of Croc sandals that I can wear with skirts at work in the Summer.

So, I can wear tan pants and a light brown shirt and brown boots with a pink scarf. Or like today, I have on a white skirt, pink blouse, no scarf but my Croc sandals in dusty green (a very neutral green that is almost brown.)

jerseygirl81
07-31-2009, 12:55 PM
I like JCpenny's they have nice quality clothing and they have some great clearance sales. Linda :)

DisneyMissy318
07-31-2009, 02:54 PM
Okay - I can't be the only one on the DIS Budget Board who shops at Goodwill! My husband is a manager of a meat department at a grocery store - and he has to wear dress shirts to work - I get all of his shirts for $3.50 at the Goodwill! (There are too many unidentified stains to keep them too long!) While I'm there stocking up on his shirts - I'll take a look at what they have for me too! I have found dresses, capris, name brand shirts and jackets - some with the tags still on!

I am a shopper and LOVE a bargain - my main shopping haunts are Kohl's and CJ Banks for my clothes... but also Fashion Bug and Cato. As someone said before - the quality is sometimes not perfect - but when it's on clearance for $5 or $6 a year or two of wear is still an awesome investment return.

Good Luck!

horseshowmom
07-31-2009, 03:52 PM
Okay - I can't be the only one on the DIS Budget Board who shops at Goodwill! My husband is a manager of a meat department at a grocery store - and he has to wear dress shirts to work - I get all of his shirts for $3.50 at the Goodwill! (There are too many unidentified stains to keep them too long!) While I'm there stocking up on his shirts - I'll take a look at what they have for me too! I have found dresses, capris, name brand shirts and jackets - some with the tags still on!

I am a shopper and LOVE a bargain - my main shopping haunts are Kohl's and CJ Banks for my clothes... but also Fashion Bug and Cato. As someone said before - the quality is sometimes not perfect - but when it's on clearance for $5 or $6 a year or two of wear is still an awesome investment return.

Good Luck!

I don't have one near me, but if I'm near one (or a Salvation Army), I'll definitely stop in. We once found DD a pair of white Ann Taylor shorts with the tags still on them for $4. She had wanted some white shorts but hated to buy them at full price because she was afraid they might get dirty too easy. At $4, she was willing to take the chance! ;)

Ciao Mickey
07-31-2009, 05:20 PM
Does anyone have any suggestions for woman's (plus size) professional clothes for a small budget?

DH says I usually wear my self-imposed uniform. Typically I wear black/dark pants and a colored blouse. I have looked at Target, Old Navy, and Kohls in both the regularly priced items and clearanced and I was either not satisfied with the selection or in the stores where I found things I liked it was $75-$100 for a top and pants, :guilty:

I typically like the things of the styles you would find Christopher Banks and Coldwater Creek. Not necessarily their products specifically, but that style. Simple, solid colors, and not a lot of prints. I am a primary level teacher so easy to clean items are a MUST.

Talbots has excellent sales.

QVC has many designers. I like their Citiknits. Teachers seem to buy a lot of Quackers.

GaSleepingBeautyFan
07-31-2009, 05:23 PM
I spent alot of time in the clearance racks at Macy's and Dress Barn Woman. I found alot of great things at both places.

smylie1
07-31-2009, 05:31 PM
I was just at our Avenue today. They had racks and racks of stuff on clearance.

cheriemek
07-31-2009, 06:16 PM
I get almost all of my work clothes on Ebay! I do a search on brand names I like (Talbots, Coldwater Creek) and get great bargains.

sameyeyam
07-31-2009, 06:37 PM
Garage sales. It's fun, you never know what you're going to find and the price is right. After all, once you wear & wash your clothing once...well then it's used just like the garage sale clothes. :thumbsup2

I hit garage sales early on Saturday morning, sometimes I don't find much. But boy I'll tell you when you hit that one that has clothing that are your size, it's great. Adult clothing is not a big seller at garage sales. So you can usually cut a great deal.:thumbsup2

I just found 3 skirts on Saturday in my size and paid 25 cents each. They were almost brand new and you can tell they were originally expensive.

neatokimmo
07-31-2009, 06:54 PM
(I've not read the thread yet so if this is a repeat, sorry!)

CJ Banks clothes are very cheap when you catch them on clearance. They are the bigger version of Christopher Banks. My Mom finds $5 pieces all the time there. Just head to the back of the store where all the clearance racks are.

Oh and I went to Lane Bryant this weekend and found a great top for $7.50, a winter sweater for $5 and a hippie top for $15. Get on mailing lists and you'll get an occasional $15 off of $15 coupon (I got TWO this month! yay!)

Purseval
07-31-2009, 07:06 PM
We buy Abecrombie, AE, Hollister and Ed Hardy for my niece and nephew. We got 8 shirts today for 50 cents each. We got them so much in the course of a summer my sister asked me to stop sending it so we're stocking up for when she asks again. Yard sales are a gold mine, we never pay over a dollar for anything. We also get items for the grandkids in England and it's the same way, we could fill their house to bursting. We stopped buying for ourselves ages ago because we have so much clothing.

princessbride6205
07-31-2009, 09:38 PM
I had never shopped a garage sale for clothes until last month. I got 4 tops for work, a casual shirt & a workout top for $5.
I try to shop at Target for clothes, but you have to find items that fit well, are your style, and aren't too pricey. I do a lot of looking and trying on, but not a lot of buying.
I might have to stop in at the Salvation Army - I've donated lots of clothes, but never been inside!

jam217
08-01-2009, 04:30 AM
I've found a lot of my work clothes at garage sales, thrift stores and bag sales. The other week I was at a church sale and found Chico and Talbots tops, Abercrombie shorts and Jones New York walking shorts -- all for $2 each.

When my mom died in December, I needed a simple black dress so I headed out and found a really nice one with a scoop neck for $8. At the viewing the next day, the funeral director's wife said to me, "That's a really nice dress. Where did you get it?'' Umm, the Salvation Army. She laughed and said her daughter in law finds a lot of nice clothes there, too.

My3kiddos
08-01-2009, 07:03 AM
Most of the time I shop the clearance racks at Macys and Lane Bryant. And when JCPenney has the $10 off $25 or $10 off $10 coupons I rack up. I agree you have to shop frequently to get the good clearance stuff. Even if it's just stopping in a store on your way home from work you may hit the jackpot. Also look and see if you have a QVC store close to you. There is one in the town I work in and even though it's only open on the weekends I'm able to get awesome deals there on clothes, shoes, purses, and bras.

mrsklamc
08-01-2009, 09:07 AM
So here's a question- some folks have said specific prices while others have just said 'I get great deals.' I'm curious what it has to cost before it's a 'great deal.'

I like to shop yard sales but lately I haven't had as much time. I bought some separates at New York and Company for $5-6 each, and I just bought some old navy shirts for about the same price.

I usually pay about $10 for bras during the VS semi annual sale but the deals didn't seem as good this summer- but then I found bras on clearance at the Limited for $4.99.

erinch
08-01-2009, 10:36 AM
Second the ebay suggestion -- if you put in "plus size lot" in the women's clothing category, you'll find lots of lots of tops and pants, often for amazingly low prices. (If you're a seller, that's depressing.) You need to make sure they aren't trying to gouge on shipping, but it's good to check out.

MissRoseDarrensAngel
08-01-2009, 10:55 AM
I am not ashamed to find deals at yard/rummage/yard sales.

Consignment shops and thrift shops can have good stuff, just check the racks and watch the price tags. Most make sure stuff for sale isnt ripped,etc

I also like the Lane Bryant outlet. I got myself 3 summer tops on sale for $40 for my upcoming WDW trip, and saved at least $50 that way.

Ebay, I've gotten good stuff too.

SUSIEQ
08-01-2009, 11:46 AM
Dillards and Talbots have great sales.:thumbsup2

Brendita
08-01-2009, 11:47 AM
Goodwill, Salvation Army, Thrift Shops.
If I need something really nice Ross.

Don't forget to save your receipts for Taxes.
Work clothes, shoes, and accessories are tax deductable.
So are work search supplies.

mrsklamc
08-01-2009, 03:24 PM
Work clothes are only deductible if you can't wear them elsewhere.