As I’m sure you all know, I’m head over heels obsessed with dresses. I just can’t get enough of them. They can be bodycon, maxi, mini, midi, I don’t care – I don’t discriminate, and I love them all equally. In fact, I like to think of myself as a professional dress collector, and I support my shopping habit by finding the best deals possible whether it be in-stores or online.
I recommend the following stores for killer deals: Forever 21, Charlotte Russe, TJ Maxx, ASOS, Zara, Off Saks 5th, and Last Call Neiman Marcus. There are definitely more, but these are the first ones that pop into mind. I group F21 and CR together because they’re similar in quality and price point. So here are a few things to keep in mind when shopping their stores:
1. Check out their factory outlets.
2. Have the patience to sift through sale + clearance racks (applies to all the stores listed but especially for these two).
3. Fabric is key – you may find a design you love, but if the material looks cheap, do NOT buy it. $18 may seem reasonable, but it’s expensive if your new dress falls apart after a few washes.
4. Shop during blowout sales – I’ve found amazing pieces for ridiculous prices (like $5-7) at these stores!
5. Take advantage of text offers + subscribe to their email lists for coupons.
Next up, TJ Maxx. Like F21 & Charlotte Russe, when I think of TJ Maxx, I immediately associate it with Marshalls and Ross. I personally love the first two stores, but I haven’t had much luck at Ross! I do have friends who go there all the time though so don’t let me discourage you from browsing. They all carry designer items for less, but TJ Maxx takes it one step further with their runway line.
Lucky for me, I have one nearby so I can try everything on in person, but no worries if you don’t because you can always shop their collection online. They restock often so make sure you check back frequently, and on another note, I mentioned their designer handbags in a previous post called, “A Peek Into my Closet: My Bag Collection.” I blogged about the various styles I owned and told you all a bit about where I bought each one! Several were purchased at TJ so definitely give it a read.
Now onto one of my absolute favorites, ASOS. I can’t even begin to tell you guys how much I love them – their customer service is ah-maaaa-zing, and they carry the cutest designs that have ever existed. I seriously freak out every time I shop their site, and they have SO much inventory…which is heavenly for some (ahem, me) but annoying for others.
If you’re looking for cute dresses, there will literally be thousands of options so it’s important to filter. Check your correct size, occasion, length, and so on and so forth to trim your searches down. Also, I rarely pay full price for anything because I’m patient. Star the designs you want and check back to see if they’ve been marked down.
Yes, there is a chance that a style may sell out, but your wallet will be happier, and it’s just the sensible thing to do (see what I did there, hardy har har). Note: they have sales often so be vigilant! Case in point, their current sale with pieces up to 70% off (!!!!) + free shipping/returns all day, every day.
Another fab store with great dresses (and deals for that matter): Zara. I don’t have one near me in MD or PA so I shop their selection online. Like ASOS, they offer free shipping and returns so I can purchase without buyer’s regret. Their line tends to be on the more expensive side so I don’t even look at their regular-priced merchandise. However, they have a tab called “special prices” – or something similar, I can’t remember right off the top of my head and they replaced it with “sale” for the time being so you’ll have to check back – with pieces on sale that slay so you can satisfy your Zara habit for a fraction of the price.
Last but not least, Off Saks 5th + Last Call. If you’re a fan of designer garb, these stores will be your everything and more. They carry most of the same lines as their pricey counterparts but at a fraction of the price because they’re older styles. If you’re big on what’s current, you’re probably not going to be a fan, but personally, I don’t really care. If I think something’s cute, that’s all that matters. I could care less about trends – I wear whatever I want, when I want. If something happens to be “hot,” and I like it, count me in, but I’m not going to purchase something just because it’s popular. After all, the best accessory is confidence – right, guys?
What do you guys think about these stores – are you a fan or not so much? Make sure you let me know in the comment section below! Also, before I leave you all, I need to talk a bit about today’s OOTD. I purchased this dress online at – drumroll, please – ASOS for $32 a few weeks back, and I absolutely love it to pieces. It’s pretty much sold out so I’ve linked similar styles, all under $50.
Photos by the incredible Eva Liz.