Ok, back to the idea of getting more for your money, and not spending more. I think Old Navy is the most overlooked and undervalued store. I know just hearing about them you instantly think of cheaply made clothing that is trendy for one season and only skinny people can wear. Well, if you take some time and look closely they have a lot of basic functional clothing that is appropriate for business casual offices. Sure you don’t get a lot of color options, sure there is some ugly and cheap looking crappy clothing, but you don’t buy those pieces. Here are some women’s clothing items I think they do really well and you can save a lot of money if you ignore the Jcrew and Banana Republic ads and get instead.
1. Courderoys. Yes they remind you of your childhood, but in the winter they are great at staying warm even when you are out in a city like Chicago. Sure they’re casual, but with the right sweater, shoes and accessories, they look ok in the office. Right now courderoys are 1/2 price and I got 2 pairs for $14.00 each. Go quick before the middle sizes run out. (they are always out of 8, 10 & 12 if you wait too long)
2. Jeans. I openly loathe fancy designer jean brands. Old Navy has been producing a plethora of colors, cuts, styles and finishes of jeans for years and most of them cost around $26.50. Their denim jeans are not all that different for us adults that are past the designer label equals personal worth stage in our lives. I have worn them for years. And they have new styles out every few months that copy the runways and fancy brands. Latley they have tried to go upmarket by making 3 premium jean styles: The Flirt, The Romantic and The Sweetheart. These were $30.00 but are on sale right now for $25.00.
3. Dress pants and skirts. Unless you have to wear a suit to work, most of us mix and match shirts, sweaters and slacks or skirts every day. Old Navy offers a good selection of dress pants that can be worked into that mix for between $30.00 to $40.00. Take that Ann Taylor! I only very occasionally pay the Jcrew price for dress pants. I can’t justify it. And when they are on sale, it’s even better.
4. Basics like button down cardigans and twinsets for around $20.00. Basic dress shirts (beware you need to resew buttons on as soon as you get home though) for aroun $20.00 and basic T-Shirts for around 8-10 bucks. They have certain Old Navy colors, so you may want to stay with basic black or white if you don’t want to look like you shop there.
What not to buy at Old Navy?
1. Accessories – purses, jewelry, hats, socks – they look gaudy and cheap so you don’t have to.
2. Shoes – way uncomfortable cardboard like shoes and heels that will cut your feet up.
3. Some Sweaters – if it’s made of that 1980’s cotton that fades, don’t touch it. You will end up throwing it out after 2 wearings.
4. Trendy Revealing Stuff – Leave that to the teens. Us adults don’t need micro mini skirts, short shorts, strapless tops, ruffles, bows and spagetti strap revealing clothing. They also seem to do a lot with satin, which makes us middle age people look fat. And latley the 80’s stuff is back. Ewww. Metalic purses, Faded grey jeans and off the shoulder sweatshirts. Yuck, I lived through that once already and that is enough. And pocket and cargo pants are so over. Why do they even still sell them for women? They make you look like a guy.
5. Probably not gifts. People really hate that you got them cheap stuff. So, unless it’s for kids that are just going to wear it out anyway, I wouldn’t buy gifts there. It’s just not socially acceptable.