The Best (And Cheapest) Places To Buy Women's Work Clothes

The Best (And Cheapest) Places To Buy Women's Work Clothes

"Give a girl the right pair of shoes and she'll conquer the world." — Marilyn Monroe

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Remember the good old days when your closet consisted of mostly sundresses, ripped jeans and crop tops? Those were the days that you could away with owning just one pair of dress pants and one blouse, just for special occasions and interviews. However, as you enter the workforce, it's important to build a stylish, professional wardrobe.

As I'm sure you know, it can be hard to do that on a budget! I'm here to share some of my favorite places to find smart clothes at smart prices.

1. Old Navy

Mid-Rise Pixie Full-Length Pants for Women | Old Navy

Shop for this item at oldnavy.gap.com

Old Navy is my favorite place to get pants for work. Their Pixie Pants are truly the best. These pants are skinny, without being skin-tight, and they come in a bunch of fun, yet professional, patterns! Old Navy also has tons of blouses for any style, body type, and climate. The best part is Old Navy constantly has sales and they offer a pick-up in store option to help shoppers save on shipping and avoid returns.

2. ASOS

ASOS is an online British retailer. I LOVE this website. I've gotten everything from bikinis to my wedding veil from this website. It's also a great place to find professional clothes for work! ASOS offers free shipping and returns, and your orders will come rather quickly for coming from another continent. They sell their own brand as well as various American and British brands. You will find many petite, tall, maternity and plus size options on this website.

3. Marshalls/TJ Maxx/Ross

Sure, Marshalls, TJ Maxx, and Ross aren't known for their online stores, even though many busy women shop on the internet. In fact, Ross and Marshalls don't even give customers the option to shop online. However, the best part of these stores is the chance to hunt for awesome deals! I'm talking Michael Kors and Lilly Pulitzer blouses for $15 and under. Expect to find great deals on designer dresses, tops, pants, blouses, shoes and accessories at any of these retailers.

4. Express Factory Outlet

Shop for this item at express.com

Express is not what I would consider to be a cheap place to shop. However, you'll find great deals at any Express Factory Outlet. Good news- there's 198 Express Factory Outlet locations across the United States! This is another retailer that you'll have to visit in person, but I guarantee it'll be worth it. They usually have a large clearance section that's at least an additional 40% off the lowest ticketed price (but I've seen it go up to 60% off). Their Portofino Shirt, pictured above, is an essential top for any professional woman's wardrobe.

5. Target

Women's Michaela Mid Block Heel Pump Sandals - A New Day™

Shop for this item at target.com

Target has really expanded its clothing options in the past years and they have tons of options for professional wear. My favorite Target clothing brand is called A New Day. They have everything from dress pants to blouses to pantyhose to jewelry to shoes. I'm a sucker for this brand's shoes. I actually own the shoes pictured above in two different colors, taupe (pictured) and periwinkle. I wore the periwinkle ones on my wedding day- they were so comfortable! I wear my taupe ones to work, dinner or the club. The best clothing is multipurpose.

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10 Outfits Every College Girl Wears To Class At Least Once

You can thank me later.
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It's happened on more than one occasion.

The occasion of being called out more than once for dressing down for class and by "down" I mean some of the haters we hate to love claiming that they can't see the shorts we're wearing under the oversized band tee on our way to class.

Contrary to popular belief, yes I'm not oblivious to how my choice of outfits for class tends to shift on the more comfortable side and yes, I am aware that it looks like I'm not wearing pants, I like it that way.

Every girl in college wears what they feel is comfortable enough to wear in a 2-hour lecture and these are my ideas of comfort.

1. The infamous oversized tee with Nike shorts.

I'll say it right now, I have a variety of assorted Soffee and Nike shorts that I pair with almost every oversized tee I own and it's my go-to for those 8 AM math lectures.

2. Oversized tee with leggings and riding boots.

Once the first red, yellow and orange leaf is found on campus grounds, you know you're about to see a swarm of college girls, like me, sporting riding boots in every shade of brown. Jeans optional.

3. Oversized tee with leggings and rain boots.

Once the first rainfall hits campus, you better believe you'll see this same 'fit paired with Hunter boots in almost every color.

4. The "I'm going to the gym right after class, I SWEAR" look.

Whether or not I have plans to go to the gym after class or not, I'm probably in my gym gear 4 times of the week and I'm not ashamed by it.

5. Jeans.

I've always had a hate/hate relationship with wearing jeans when I absolutely do not have to and here's why: they make my derriere completely disappear. When (and if) you catch me wearing jeans in lecture hall it's probably because someone paid me a large sum of money to do so.

6. Your boyfriend's flannel paired with... you guessed it, your favorite pair of leggings.

This is probably one of the many flannels I've stolen from my boyfriend and certainly not the last one. Paired with another favorite standard black leggings, you can't go wrong with this outfit to snooze in.

7. The baseball hat and quarter zip ensemble.

One of my all times favorites, you can't go wrong with a zipper up 3x too big for your body and a baseball hat you honestly forgot where you got it from. We also can't forget our infamous black leggings.

8. Your "walk of shame" outfit.

Now, this doesn't mean you roll up to Intro to Psychology wearing what you wore to the lacrosse mixer the night before, no. This is more of the outfit you so quickly had to throw on in a span of two minutes because you left so and so's apartment downtown an hour too late.

9. A v-neck.

Another one of my favorites.

10. Dresses (or anything even relatively formal).

Disclaimer: I personally would never come to class wearing this but gigantic kudos to cute a** girls that do decide to wear this because you look good.

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Gucci’s Commodification Of Cultural Clothing Is A Problem The Fashion Industry Needs To Address

Brands like Gucci and Zara are only commodifying the culture of others rather than making any attempt to celebrate and respect them.

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Recently, Gucci faced backlash for selling Sikh turbans as hats for $790. The brand had already come under fire when the turbans were featured in Gucci's Fall 2018 show, especially due to Gucci's use of white models to wear the turbans on the runway. It seems that the previous backlash has not discouraged Gucci from continuing on to sell the turbans for a high price.

Members of the Sikh community were quick to express outrage at the monetization of the turbans, pointing out the religious significance of the Sikh turban. The reduction of the turban to a mere accessory for fashion is offensive enough on its own, but selling them at such a high price only further commodifies an item that is considered sacred to many and would normally not cost nearly as much in the Sikh community.

This incident with Gucci, however, is far from being the only instance where a cultural item has been monetized in the fashion industry. Many have also questioned Zara's new sandals, which bear a close resemblance to waraji, woven straw sandals that were once popular among common people in Japan. The main source of confusion among members of the Japanese community was the price of the sandals, which are being sold at 7,990 yen ($72) while waraji are usually only 200-300 yen (about $2-$3).

Waraji do not appear to have the same spiritual significance as the Sikh turban, but both Gucci's and Zara's attempts to sell these items for much higher prices are all-too-common examples of cultural appropriation. Even if the item does not have sacred or religious value, it is still something that belongs to another culture and should not be monetized in such a manner. Drawing inspiration from other cultures is not harmful on its own if done respectfully, but simply borrowing cultural items and selling them as luxury items at a higher price range is far from being respectful. In these instances, these items are passed off "better" than the original by a brand that does not come from the culture it is borrowing from. Zara should not be given more credit than the people of Japan who used to wear waraji. In the case of Gucci, the turban should not have been touched at all.

The monetization of other cultures is, unfortunately, far too common, especially in the fashion industry. Brands like Gucci and Zara are only commodifying the culture of others rather than making any attempt to celebrate and respect them. Hiking up the prices of items belonging to another culture is a glaringly obvious act of cultural appropriation and a trend that needs to stop.

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