As promised, I’ve compiled a list of places to buy business professional and business casual clothes that range in price, style, quality, and accessibility (i.e. geographic availability, brick and mortar stores v. online, etc.). Be sure to keep in mind: This list is crafted for millennials! Feel free to let me know in the comment section if there are any you think I may have missed!
It’s been awhile since I’ve purchased from Ann Taylor. However, its sister-store LOFT makes up way too much of my wardrobe, both regular and professional. So LOFT is both a personal shopping weakness and fave of mine. The quality is good and it also offers regular and petite sizes. Be sure to keep an eye out for sales and sign up for email offers to save extra money. DISCLAIMER: ONLY if you think you’re fiscally responsible or financially secure enough to apply for a LOFT credit card you receive some extra benefits for shopping with them including an extra discount for birthday, an extra 15% off the 1st Tuesday of the month in-store or online, etc.
Anthropologie** (Sale Rack)
The faint of heart should not venture to the regular-priced merchandise in this store. Spoiler Alert: It’s beautiful, but expensive. Go straight for the sale rack and don’t look back. It’s like digging for gold on this one. A lot of work for a little gold nugget, but great quality at a reasonable price if you don’t let yourself stray from the sales. Sign up for the free loyalty program called Anthro where you’ll gain access to pre-shop new merchandise (make sure you have some gift cards on your wish list or in hand), a birthday discount (you must sign up at least 30 days prior), the ability to have a personal stylist if you’re into that sort of exclusivity and personal attention in addition to notice of special shopping events.
Banana Republic** (Factory or Outlet Stores)
I discovered this place post-high school and have developed quite a fondness for it. If you have an outlet/factory store available in your area, I would highly suggest taking a look! If not, there are deals to be had in-store and online too. There are a number of options for professional and business-casual settings.
I’ve personally never shopped here, but I’ve heard and read great things about it.
Dillard’s (Department Store)
This is a typical department store that is designed to be a shopping mecca. It has a ton of brands and options to choose from. This may be vain sounding, but I’ve found that you run a lesser risk of having the same exact clothing outfit or outfit because of the sheer number of brands and options. Whoever decided that department stores were less cool than brand only buying is missing out!
I would describe this store as a big sister or cousin to Torrid (see below). It’s a great option for a selection of stylish and plus-size clothing. It also has a cute name, so that’s always promising.
This is another personal favorite of mine that I have the luxury of physically visiting to shop. As a member of L Brands Fashion Empire, this has a trendier, more street wear look that’s still mainstream and helps me to not blow my budget. Sign up for rewards program called Express Next to receive notice of sales, new arrivals, birthday gift, etc.
It’s popular in Europe and around the world for a reason. Great value if you’re willing to settle for pieces that may not last forever quality wise.
J-Crew** (Regular or Factory and Outlet Store)
For my personal aesthetic, J-Crew can be a little too preppy or Hamptonsesque… Nonetheless, I’ve purchased quality clothing from this brand. I prefer to shop the outlets to save some cash since I buy from this store less frequently.
JCPenney (Department Store)
I’ve recently seen the light of shopping at a department store (don’t tell my mother). They reward you for your loyalty as a customer by giving you discounts to buy more merchandise. It’s a simple and genius marketing scheme that has certainly helped keep them in business.
Once again, for the sake of honesty, I haven’t shopped here. I’ve read some good reviews and blogs about this brand and it seemed within a reasonable budget when I perused their website.
Kohl’s (Department Store)
I’m not sure how widely these are located but where I grew up, they’re a rite of passage, and also how my mom kept up with my ever-changing fashion sense. They’ve got a wide variety of brands like Lauren Conrad, Vera Wang, Polo, etc.
I’ll fess up. I was lured in by their 60% off promotion and I now keep meaning to unsubscribe from their email blasts. I bought not one, but two really professional dresses and loved both. If you catch a sale, I’d suggest this store for the sheer sake of getting a great quality item.
Macy’s (Department Store)
See Descriptions for Kohl’s, JCPenney, and Macy’s.
Deals on designer and no designer clothing items. Be prepared to scavenge the racks and make multiple trips to the dressing room.
Shout out to my college roommate and a high school friend who told me about this one! Finally a grown-up version of Delia’s!
Is an online retailer of indie and vintage-inspired clothing. This is a great option if you’re looking for unique handmade items to add to your wardrobe.
You can always find deals here, if you subscribe to emails and take advantage of sales. The aesthetic is chic and affordable work wear, which is perfect for this post and millennials trying to make their mark in their careers.
Nordstrom Rack (Department Store)
This place is great for professional designer clothes at a fraction of the cost. They’ve got a large selection of shoes too!
I swore off Old Navy in the summer of 2009 after a pair of flip-flops broke after one wear. After a visit post-Black Friday shopping, I can admit that they’ve upped their style game and the prices are still great. Quality has improved too, but I’m still wary and I’ll keep you posted. Be warned! The cute stuff and the popular sizes go quickly!
I’ve heard a range of positive reviews online about this as an option for plus size women.
A sister brand to Marshalls means it’s always worth a quick trip. You never know what gem you might find.
Long live that cute little Bull Terrier! Their recent hacks make me a bit wary, but it’s not strong enough for me to resist the red-hot deals and varieties of brands. Plus, I’m a sucker for a slushy.