How to choose the right clothing store – 3 top choices for different focuses

March 4, 2019

Do you always shop in the same store? Is your car on autopilot when you decide it’s time to add to your wardrobe and, before you know it, you find yourself in the same familiar parking lot?

There are a lot of different types of shopping experiences when it comes to finding clothes and it’s nice to have a few options. But how do you know what to choose?

Your choices can be narrowed down by the following:

  • Geographical – which stores are actually in close proximity (presuming you are going to the brick and mortar store)
  • Budgetary – how much you want to spend
  • Preferred personal style – if you’re artsy you’ll choose a different store from someone who adores a classic style or vintage selection
  • Your size – Sadly, not all stores carry petites, plus sizes and clothing for tall women.
  • Store size – sometimes we have a preference for small vs. large (or vice versa) stores

Once you’re aware of your choices, how do you know which stores will give you the best selection?

This is a very general overview, but if you are currently frequenting only one or two stores or you feel limited by the choices they offer, this will help. It’s how my clients and I decide where to shop together.

  1. Large dept. stores (e.g., Macy’s, Kohl’s or Nordstrom) – If you have a wide variety of needs to fill all in one shopping trip, this can be perfect. You can hit the clothing, shoes and coats all without leaving the store. And there are department stores for every budget.
  2. Specialty chain store (e.g., Banana Republic, Talbots or White House Black Market) – Each of these stores has a very specific esthetic and when you find one you like with clothes that appeal to your preferred look and with clothing that fits you well, it can be fun to keep a watchful eye on each seasonal collection. They also often make it easy to mix and match outfits right there and they tend to have good customer support while shopping.
  3. Off-Price stores (e.g., TJ Maxx, Marshalls or Nordstrom Rack) Like thrift, vintage or consignment stores, off-price stores are a treasure hunter’s dream and a great place to pick up designer items for less. You can either plan to go with an open mind and see what goodies you find or head there with a clear idea of what you are looking for so you don’t stray! The key here is self-restraint because it’s very easy to be seduced by the price tag and end up with things you really don’t want or need. And, if you tend to get overwhelmed, having a plan will make it more manageable.
  4. Online (the sky’s the limit!) I know…not everyone loves online shopping, BUT these days where so many stores have closed (FIVE of my go-to stores have closed in the past couple of years!) and where stores are not stocking as much as they used to, online shopping gives you so many more options and you can shop multiple stores in one sitting!

I have to put in a plug for local boutiques. These are often locally owned, often women-owned and a small business (compared to department stores and chain stores) and can fill a very important need in the clothes shopping experience. At these stores you can find a particular style or esthetic you won’t find other places. There are stores in my area that feature handmade or funky designs and some boutiques get very trendy or cater to a particular age group. All of them offer styles you won’t see in the traditional department stores.

Many women are nervous about frequenting a boutique because they worry the prices are out of their budget or that the sales women will be pushy. While both of these things can be true, they are not always true, by any means. It’s worth checking them out to see and explore! And, they often have good sales at the end of season so if you know what they offer that’s a great time to pick up fun additions to your wardrobe.

What new store experience can you add to your agenda the next time you go shopping?

And remember to have fun!!

Need help choosing the best stores for you and then finding the fashions that make you feel pulled together and confident? That’s exactly what I help women do both one-on-one and through virtual (with me teaching it LIVE) 6-week class:

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