Shopping for work clothes: what I look for, where I shop, and how to get the best deals

I admit, I am becoming like an old woman because I get excited at the sight of nice, proper work clothes. On my last trip to Vegas, I didn’t look at any casual clothes, and even if I did look, I was not interested at all. What I was interested in, though, was the pencil skirts and fitted blazers of the bunch.

When I shop for work clothes, I look for three main things:

  • Fit – I like my clothes to be fitted against my curves but still loose enough for me to move around comfortably in them. I really like structure in most of the work clothes I buy as I feel it makes me look more professional, however structure does not mean scratchy fabrics.
  • Texture – The feel of the item is equally important as the look. I like my fabrics to be soft to the touch, and preferably stretchy so it is easier to move around in them. I also like well-made, high quality pieces of clothing. I am willing to splurge on something that will last several years rather than buy several items that are of lower quality.
  • Timelessness – With work wear, I rarely, if ever, follow trends. I almost always go with timeless pieces, such a good quality collared shirt or silk blouse with bow tie.

There are some stores that I absolutely love for work clothes, some of them have been long time favourites and others are new discoveries for me. Some of them used to be favourites, and then as time went on… quality of their products have really declined so I’ve stopped shopping there.

  • Banana Republic – BR is hands down my absolute favourite place to shop for work clothes. Their non-iron shirts are staples in my closet as they are incredibly soft and they fit well on my body shape, not to mention the convenience of not having to iron them. Their designs in general are chic and modern, without looking too trendy. Quality is also on their side; their products are very well made and are made from high quality fabrics too. Their products are slightly on the pricier side so I usually wait for sales to buy them though, make sure to sign up for their mailing list to get information on when their sales are. Hint hint, they almost always has some kind of markdown event going on!
  • Ann Taylor – This is a new discovery from my Vegas trip. I’ve been hearing bloggers talk about Ann Taylor but I’ve never shopped at one until recently, and I quickly fell in love. Their Perfect Pumps are easily one of my favourite work shoes and I also love their blouses. The quality isn’t as top notch as Banana Republic’s, I find, but again if you check their website regularly, or subscribe to their mailing list, you can find really amazing deals (up to 90% off!).
  • BCBG Max Azria – My favourite place to shop for blazers, which I talk about in detail here. I also love their silk blouses and accessories, especially belts. Quality of most products is fantastic, but they are a little bit trendier so not everything is office-appropriate. Their outlets are great places to find awesome deals, and they also do sales sometimes in store, either for 30, 40, 50 or 60% off select items, and then sometimes they have a 20% or 30% off all regular-price items in store.
  • Zara – I fell in love with Zara just this spring when I bought two of their blazers in a row, plus a bunch of other things. Both fit and quality are inconsistent, so I highly recommend trying things on in person. Their sales are good… on the first day. And then it becomes a madhouse and things get ripped or makeup stained and I would rather just not go there.
  • Jacob – I used to love shopping at Jacob, both the regular Jacob and Jacob Connexion. The quality of their products used to be fantastic, with great designs that were trendy but still very wearable, but now it has just been going downhill. Now, I feel that their products don’t fit me as well as before, and the fabrics are stiffer, but prices have stayed the same. I will still look occasionally, but I usually don’t find anything I like anymore.
  • Mexx – Same as with Jacob, but Mexx does those 50% off the entire store events which I enjoy.

Wow, now that I’m done, I totally realized this was just a big fat word vomit of a post. I hope it was helpful to those of you who had the patience to read through it though. If you have any questions, feel free to ask =)


12 thoughts on “Shopping for work clothes: what I look for, where I shop, and how to get the best deals

  1. I like how you described what you were looking at work. I also feel the same way…I stopped shopping for trendy clothing and moved onto classic looks with nice quality fabrics that look elegant. I still have yet to get a blazer. I like shopping at AT too, and I also like Loft. Their outlets are really nice and you can go through the racks to pick out things equally as nice as from AT 🙂 Banana Republic is also somewhere I stop by a lot but I hardly ever purchase because it is pricier but I do see great deals every now and then 🙂

    • Thanks, Jen! I’ve never shopped at the Loft or the AT factory store. I heard the quality isn’t the same so I never went. BR always has the best sales, need to follow their website like a hawk, haha =P

  2. Great post! These were how my work clothes were when I worked in an office. Many are still wearable today because they are timeless, non-trendy styles. However, I’m so glad that I don’t have to dress up any more for work, although there are times when I do miss dressing up.

  3. Who doesn’t love Zara! 😉 I get excited just going in and glimpsing those racks of perfect, new work clothes! And that’s before even buying them! 🙂

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