My friends and I were talking about shopping recently and came to two realizations by the end of the conversation.
1. We sounded a lot like a bunch of middle-aged moms
2. Post grads are in an interesting predicament when it comes to hitting the mall
I started off the conversation by complaining about the lack of work appropriate skirts available for 24-year-old girls. I feel like I’m a bit too young to be wearing suit sets (I also work in a very casual environment), and most pencil skirts just do not flatter me. I do like to dress modestly and at least semi-professionally for work though, so what’s a girl to do? My budget lies within the Forever 21 and H&M price range, but unfortunately, the skirt lengths lately at these stores are just long enough to be decent and I wouldn’t even feel comfortable wearing most of them on weekend day. Also why is everything cropped these days? I am not a fan.
My friends and I, who are all in young to mid twenties, also agreed that we can hardly stand to even browse in huge stores like Forever 21 anymore. The bright lights, colorful unorganized clothing, and thumping techno music normally have me heading for the door with a sensory overload after about 10 minutes of browsing. I seem to have lost my shopping stamina. All I long for are those comfy chairs that are reserved for the parents of teenage girls trying on 30 things at a time in the dressing room. Does anyone else feel like this? Have I just aged myself 15 years?
There are a few stores I can recommend to new post grads that sell work appropriate clothes for women in their twenties and aren’t completely overwhelming to browse: H&M (hit or miss for professional options), Ann Taylor LOFT, Gap, JCrew, Old Navy, and Express. I can’t bring myself to pay full price items in a few of these stores. 150 dollars for a pencil skirt? No thank you, JCrew. The best tips I can offer is to sign up for email newsletters, mark sales on your calendar (LOFT sales are generally very generous at 30% to 40% off), and focus your spending on purchasing high quality basics. If you’re going to make a fashion investment, spend the money on classic clothing items that can be dressed up for the office or dressed down on the weekend, not a glittery tube top or mini dress.
Sites like Asos.com, and Boohoo.com are also great online resources for wardrobe updating and allow you to search by price and style, which is a huge help. Coupon code website like RetailMeNot can also help cut the price of online purchases.
Do you have any suggestions for amazing young professional stores that I might be missing out on?