Where I Shop (and Why?)

When of the questions I get asked the most is where I shop.  Let’s be frank (if it was ever unclear), I’m a Nordies girl. At least 80% of the items in my closet are from Nordstrom. I started on this path years ago after moving to the East Coast. I grew up in the Midwest in a town with NO Nordstrom (Dillard’s was THE place to shop). When I moved East, my cousin (or perhaps one of her friends) introduced me to Nordstrom via the Anniversary Sale. And thus began a lifelong love affair.  At the time, I still dabbled elsewhere though (Gap, J.Crew, Banana Republic, a brief stint with Bebe until I realized I wasn’t THAT girl…) I didn’t become a majority Nordies girl until kids.

Nordstrom

J.Crew Jacket | Blouse | Pants | Purse | D’Orsay Heels

For those who have kids (especially young ones), I shouldn’t have to explain but for those who don’t … Nordstrom became my mainstay for one reason. Free Shipping and Free Returns. I could have whatever I wanted shipped to my house to try on in the luxury of my own bedroom, with other things in my closet. And I could do all this wearing whatever I wanted while the baby napped two feet from me? (Who am I kidding, my child was NOT a napper). But still, I didn’t have to drag a child anywhere to shop?!? Sign me up! The hook was firmly planted.

The pros list for Nordstrom is long but topping it is their customer service.  Customer service is KING in my world and Nordstrom shines in this arena.  Returns WHENEVER for a generous variety of reasons. Free alterations credited as Nordstrom notes. Stylists that call and email to remind about sales and provide pre-sale appointments. Price matching and adjustment … the list is fairly exhaustive. No one does it better or makes it easier. #handsdown

Ask my husband the choice words that come out of my mouth when I’m trying to get our “mind-of-it’s-own” printer to print a return label from some other random store I was lured into ordering from. Following the choice words is always the phrase, “They are so NOT Nordstrom.” #goldstandard

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Boden

my9to5shoes.com My 9 to 5 Shoes Boden

Boden is a close second in terms of favorite places to shop.  The only reason they aren’t tied in terms of closet capacity is the fit is sometimes off. Boden is a British brand offering all manner of clothes from work to play.  Many of my favorite pieces are from Boden.  My favorite weekend winter coat – Boden!  My favorite raincoat – Boden!  The best under suit staple shirt – Ravello by Boden!  You get the idea.

Pros:

  • You get unique pieces – I like unique – I don’t want to wear what everyone else is wearing. #BeUnique
  • They never miss a detail. The lining, the buttons … every opportunity to over achieve they embrace.  
  • They do not fear of color or prints in their pieces. 
  • Free shipping and free returns.
  • KILLER end of the season sales including one going on right now! (Those orange shoes everyone loves – Boden clearance for less than $50).
  • They are great for family photo outfits because their collections are coordinated (see the whole family in Boden below).

Cons:

  • The sizes and fit are decidedly British. I love their dresses but I am a four or a six and sometimes both (and a normal or a tall depending on where the waist line falls). This means ordering multiple sizes (free shipping and returns though) and sometimes alteration bills. #MyTailorLovesBodenToo
  • Cap sleeves are abundant and I can never get them to fit right.
  • They have no local stores so no last minute life saver outfit for a forgotten occasion (I don’t know how many times I’ve purchased my Christmas Eve Dinner outfit on the way to Christmas Eve Dinner). #procrastinator

Photograhpy by Danielle Bennett Photography

Ann Taylor (and Loft)

I’ve recently returned to shopping here after a long hiatus. Probably because the boys are getting older and I have more time to shop in person. Nordstrom and Boden have spoiled me and I refuse to pay for shipping unless the situation is dire (see my lack of planning above) but their in store pick-up avoids this annoyance (or spending more money will as well).  My favorite item from Ann Taylor is their wrap dresses.  I also find good wardrobe staples that you will likely wear until they unravel (or spill coffee on and ruin….).  The mixed media shell that I wear under everything and have in every color is from Ann.  Ann Taylor also does a good job with trendier pieces (and seasonal colors) at lower price points.  Never pay full price from Ann Taylor because there is ALWAYS a sale!  #ALWAYS Loft is even more inexpensive but you do have to watch the quality if you want a piece to last longer than one season.  For trendier pieces and seasonal colors I don’t have such lofty expectations.  #PunTotallyIntended

Ann Taylor

Amazon

Where else can you get toothpaste, sorghum flour and designer shoes in the same shipment.  They have everything.  And it can generally be delivered by the next day (worst case two) for FREE.  #BigCityAdvantages They are price competitive and I often check them before executing purchases elsewhere just to be certain I’ve found the best price.  Those Isola sandals I loved that were in my Nordstrom cart all summer?  I found them at Amazon for 40% off along with a matching purse.  #SCORE

Where I Shop … the rest …

My9to5shoes.com My 9 to 5 Shoes Veronica Beard Fall Collection My Workwear Picks

Carolyn 10″ Baby Boot from Veronica Beard

The rest of the items in my closet are from a variety of places:

  • J.Crew (which you can now buy at Nordstrom).  I love their style but I find their sizing inconsistent which annoys me. #howhardcanitbe
  • Ted Baker (also available at Nordstrom in a limited collection) but his full collection is generally mouth watering.  There is a store in Vegas where I go to drool every year (and hope I win big)! #sendluck
  • Target (great for random finds and trends I may only wear a few times).  I always browse through the women’s department when I am there.  Lately I’ve been loving some of their denim and the Who What Wear collection typically has some interesting pieces.  (They’ve added some new clothing lines recently so look for a post on those new lines soon.)
  • Old Navy  (I don’t have any work appropriate clothes from here) but it’s great for casual and not breaking the bank (summer staples like tank tops and tees).  Why is it that all great Tees get tiny little holes after such a short time?  I care less when I only spent $5.
  • MM.LaFleur (my collection is slowly growing).  See my reviews on this brand here and here.
  • Saks (or off 5th)  – I typically only shop for special occasion pieces or when ShopStyle alerts me that something I was stalking is on sale.  I do find suits at good prices certain times of year here – especially the Theory brand.
  • C.O.S.  – a brand I love for all things cotton.  I discovered them through an Instagram friend but they have really unique cuts and great button down staples.  The blush button down you see me wearing all the time is from there.
  • Zara – good for interesting, trendier pieces and shoes
  • Boutique one-offs  – great for that unique piece that no one else is going to have.  I have several purses in this category and a few dresses.  See my latest obsession with Veronica Beard which I would place in this category even though the brand is now sold at Nordstrom.
  • Zappos, Macy’s, Lord & Taylor, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales – these are all in the same category.  I would buy something from there if they had something specific I was looking for or I received a sale alert for something I was stalking but I don’t typically browse their store or the websites looking for new pieces.

So that you know where I shop?  Comment below where you shop … did I miss any brands or retailers that you love?

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