Thursday, June 7, 2012

Budget-Friendly Office Fashions For Small Sizes

Reader question:

I need advice on where to get decent work clothes when you are a size 0 (but not petite) and shopping on a budget.  I am not that much of a shopper and most department stores don't even carry my size, which leaves me shopping at stores for teens like Old Navy - too casual!  I've found a few things at Target, but would love some other options.

The best way to get value for your money when shopping is to choose your purchases carefully.  Here are the things you should keep in mind:

1) Coordination: Define a style, color palette and go-to silhouette so all your clothes "go" together (see this post for more information.)  When you plan your clothes so that they all coordinate, you will get many more outfits out of a few well chosen pieces, and will exponentially increase the value of your clothes.  You also won't have to buy as many clothes - trust me!  Invest in a few nice, coordinating pieces and you'll be shocked at how many outfits you can make.

2) Shop Smart: One of the best tips I have for shoppers is to sign up for your favorite stores' mailing lists.  Stores like Ann Taylor and The Limited regularly offer coupons for up to 40% off their clothing - sign up for their email list and you'll be notified daily about sales!

3) Shop Online: If you're having difficulty finding your size in stores, shop online!  The selection is often better because you are dealing with the warehouse directly.  Also, many stores offer free shipping so look out for shipping offers (they happen all the time!)  Nordstrom offers free shipping and free returns every day.  You'll actually save money not having to drive to the store, pay for parking, and then not find your size!  Online shopping = easy, hassle free, and budget friendly - a win-win in my book!

For specific stores, I would recommend trying the Limited for moderately priced, good quality work clothes.  I love that they have more "fun" alternatives to the basic black/gray/brown suit.  Check out these pencil skirts - all available in size 0 and on sale today for 30% off!!  These ponte pencil skirts are great for spring - gorgeous colors and for under $35.00 you won't do much better in terms of quality and cost!  I also love the chic polka dot dress above for work- perfection and also on sale today!


If you're small but not petite, I also recommend the Nordstrom Juniors Department.  You can find a lot of fabulous options for a fraction of the cost of the women's department.  This blazer is adorable and available in every color imaginable!!

I also like this one:

Finally, if you still can't find clothes that fit you perfectly, consider investing in tailoring for the pieces that you wear most.  Some simple alterations can be done at home if you have a sewing machine (see the wonderful blog Extra Petite for many helpful insights into this.)

Hope this helps!  Here are other posts you might find useful:  Work Chic on a Budget

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