Woman's work clothes on a budget

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by hmcfall711, Jul 30, 2009.

  1. hmcfall711

    hmcfall711 DIS Veteran

    Mar 30, 2008
    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.
  2. kaytieeldr

    kaytieeldr Post hoc, ergo propter hoc

    Jun 11, 2005
    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.
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  4. Cibahwewah

    Cibahwewah DIS Veteran

    Nov 18, 2008
    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.
  5. missenmickey

    missenmickey I'm just a Raggedy Ann in a Barbie Doll world!

    Oct 5, 2008
    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!
  6. dougsmom98

    dougsmom98 DIS Veteran

    Feb 23, 2002
    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.
  7. dzneelvr

    dzneelvr A Disney Dolly<br><font color=deeppink>Doesn't min

    Jan 11, 2003
    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":)
  8. minnie1012

    minnie1012 DIS Veteran

    Nov 25, 2008
    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?
  9. drcmk

    drcmk DIS Veteran

    Dec 12, 2002
    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.
  10. NYCDiane

    NYCDiane DIS Veteran

    May 31, 2009
    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!
  11. binab

    binab Mouseketeer

    Oct 5, 2008
    I usually do well with Dillards clearance racks (...and love it when they do 75% off)
  12. tnd

    tnd DIS Veteran

    Jan 27, 2008
    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.
  13. Justsyd2

    Justsyd2 I snorted Coca-Cola out of my nose when he said th

    Jan 4, 2009
    Ross has great work clothes at wonderful prices.
  14. NVDisMom

    NVDisMom <font color=green>I love to read aloud<br><font co

    Mar 12, 2007
    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.
  15. hmcfall711

    hmcfall711 DIS Veteran

    Mar 30, 2008
    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.
  16. ilandrazdsw

    ilandrazdsw DIS Veteran

    Nov 21, 2008
    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.
  17. jlima

    jlima Beep Beep!

    Nov 1, 2000
    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.
  18. MrsPooh

    MrsPooh DIS Veteran

    May 30, 2005
    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.
  19. marciagms

    marciagms Mouseketeer

    Jan 29, 2005
    I agree ROSS is the BEST!!!
  20. Chicago526

    Chicago526 <font color=red>Any dream will do...<br><font colo

    May 6, 2003
    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.

  21. crusoe2

    crusoe2 DIS Veteran

    May 15, 2000
    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.

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