Inexpensive work clothes in the DC area?
October 12, 2009 4:22 PM   Subscribe

Where can I find inexpensive work clothes in the DC area?

I am planning to start a job as a receptionist/administrative assistant in the near future and I've recently lost weight so none of my clothes fit, although I am still plus-size. We are pretty short on money right now so I really really don't want to spend too much; I would very much appreciate any suggestions for decent, inexpensive stores for plus-size women to buy work clothes. The hardest part for me is generally finding things in my size, especially things that will last and are appropriate for my age (twenty-five). Thank you for any suggestions you might have!
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
If you have the time to wade through the acres of disorganized clothes, Ross is definitely your best bet. I've found some treasures there (including an $8 skirt I've now owned for 10 years)
posted by timoni at 4:49 PM on October 12, 2009

JC Penney was having a sale this weekend and I bought a pair of Worthington pants for $21. They have a few different cuts. The ones I got were black tweed, but there are other colors. My local store never has much in plus size in stock, but if you can try one pair on, you can order more online. I'm never impressed with their tops, though.
posted by cabingirl at 5:03 PM on October 12, 2009

Best answer: I went into a Macy's recently, to buy a shirt, and was sticker-shocked as all hell, because I tend to buy shirts (though not suits) at Stein Mart. Much cheaper, especially as I just buy whatever contains no synthetics (all cotton) and is on sale. And much cheaper for socks and briefs, even when not on sale.

Of course I have no idea about women's wear other than that they do sell it (and my mother, who can afford to shop wherever she pleases and has a good conservative fashion sense, thinks Stein Mart is also a good deal).

(Now the other side of this is that I've found that my Brooks Brothers shirts, which Stein Mart does not sell and which cost a whole lot more, are the ones that consistently hold up best, probably because of the very high thread count, so there's an argument for quality over quantity.)

There's a Stein Mart on Wisconsin (in one of those urban malls with parking) in Bethesda.
posted by orthogonality at 5:12 PM on October 12, 2009

I'm fond of Secondi, a consignment store on Connecticut Ave. in Dupont Circle. I'd recommend it as a good place to go to add a little variety and depth to your wardrobe for very reasonable prices. If you don't find yourself in that part of the city often, you might not get as much use out of it, because it's nice to be able to keep an eye out for what's new in a way that's less true for non-second-hand shops. But they have good quality clothes (mixed in with cheaper stuff) in a range of styles and sizes, many many of which are suitable for work.
posted by redfoxtail at 6:00 PM on October 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

Don't forget eBay.
posted by lakeroon at 7:56 PM on October 12, 2009

Best answer: There's a Filene's Basement on Connecticut Ave. near Farragut North and the Mayflower, and Marshall's at Pentagon City and Columbia Heights.
posted by brownpau at 8:12 PM on October 12, 2009

Seconding Filene's and Steinmart, both of which also have locations at the Friendship Heights metro (so, before Bethesda on the way out of the city). There's also a TJ Maxx here, as well.
posted by NikitaNikita at 8:19 PM on October 12, 2009

Not perfectly answering your question, but I might pick out some of your nicest too-large stuff and get it altered.
posted by mercredi at 8:35 PM on October 12, 2009

I love Secondi! Also, there's a Filene's near Metro Center as well. If you have a car (and lots of time), you could venture to the Arundel Mills Mall in Maryland. It's an outlet mall, and while being humongous and tacky and all that (there's a Medieval Times inside!), it does have some nice outlets -- Calvin Klein, Kenneth Cole, J. Crew, Benetton, Banana Republic etc. I shop there once a year, and the prices really are pretty good. They also have the usual TJ Maxx there as well.

Also, you could try Ann Taylor LOFT (there's one in Dupont). It's a bit cheaper than an Ann Taylor, and the looks are less uptight (for lack of a better word). As usual, shop the clearance rack and sale days.
posted by bluefly at 10:52 PM on October 12, 2009

Best answer: Filene's Basement is the go-to place (they've just been bought out by Men's Warehouse, but they'll probably continue as-is.) Ann Taylor Loft also works well.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:25 AM on October 13, 2009

Kohls in Silver Spring MD?
posted by WeekendJen at 12:36 PM on October 13, 2009

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