Seeking women's clothing online
January 8, 2008 9:21 AM   Subscribe

Seeking women's clothing online. Please help me get out of my Target / Old Navy rut.

My stats - new mom (meaning I don't have time to thrift, go on leisurely mall trips, or read fashion magazines), in my 30s, size 12.

I wish H&M sold online in the U.S. I guess that's the kind of style I'm looking for. More colorful/interesting than your Gap diaspora, but not too much more expensive. Excellent return policy a plus.

I know of: Tulle (but their sizes run way small and I had a terrible customer service experience with them), Max Studio, the Skirt Spot.
posted by kmel to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (31 answers total) 91 users marked this as a favorite
Forever21? Much better quality and designs than the prices lead you to believe.
posted by milarepa at 9:25 AM on January 8, 2008 [2 favorites]

Anthropologie? My lady housemates like their stuff.
posted by bcwinters at 9:32 AM on January 8, 2008

Best answer: - quality, unique clothing. I only own a couple of things from this place, but I always get compliments on them. Plus, fairly inexpensive.
posted by troika at 9:37 AM on January 8, 2008

My favorites: J. Crew, Sundance Catalog, Boden, and Garnet Hill. All a little spendier than the Gap empire, but they have really great sales - especially right now!
posted by chez shoes at 9:43 AM on January 8, 2008

Chadwickssometimes has great stuff and other times I can't find a thing. Also, Spiegel.
posted by misha at 9:47 AM on January 8, 2008

Seconding J.Crew and Anthropologie and raising you one American Apparel for basics. Forever 21 does have cute designs, but I have found the quality to be very poor, some items only surviving a couple of wearings before they begin to fall apart.
posted by honeyx at 9:53 AM on January 8, 2008

I've been getting some really awesome and original stuff from various sellers on Etsy. An additional bonus is no one else in town will have the same outfit.
posted by MsMolly at 9:58 AM on January 8, 2008

Response by poster: @milarepa: thanks for reminding me about them. I also didn't realize they have two new branches, Heritage 1981 and Twelve by Twelve.
Too bad their tops run a little small for me.

@bcwinters: love Anthropologie, but too pricey. Their sibling store Urban Outfitters is more my speed, but again, I have to squeeze into their L.

One brand found often at UO, Free People, has an online store. I like the style, but again, too small up top.

Maybe that is my real question -- where are the reasonably priced current women's fashions that fit larger (but not really "plus size") busts?
posted by kmel at 10:12 AM on January 8, 2008

I asked a question that gave me a number of interesting sites for vintage-esque dresses that you might like to look at. There's some nice casual day dresses in there - and the Vogue patterns link makes me want to learn how to sew.
posted by dog food sugar at 10:28 AM on January 8, 2008

Zara and Mango have both recently opened a lot of new stores in the US. I was shocked at how well-made the clothes were without being super-expensive. Zara in particular is good for well-made basics and Mango is good for trendier pieces. Try searching for some of their stuff on ebay or online if you can't find a store locally, I can't tell where you live.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 10:31 AM on January 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

It seems to me that clothes from Ann Taylor last forever, so you might check out Ann Taylor Loft (cheaper, slightly less well made) and/or their outlet stores. They're great for work clothes.
posted by salvia at 10:33 AM on January 8, 2008

You might want to check out Torrid. They start at size 12. I haven't shopped there so I can't speak to the quality of their clothing.
posted by amro at 10:34 AM on January 8, 2008

I had the bust problem too. Went from 32B to 36DD at my post-partum, er, peak. I've settled somewhere around 34D and actually found that ON's tops are pretty good. They run long (which help cover post-partum asses and haunches) and several of the shirred round neck or deep v-necks (for instance) are quite flattering on post-baby tatas. Button front tops seem to be out for me now. (There must be nice button-front blouses out there for an average torso size and large breast size, but I haven't put a lot of free time into finding them.) Anthropologie is nice, but frankly I had a hard time finding things that fit even pre-baby -- at size 8 I was squeezing into their larges and it wasn't doing my self-esteem any good. I can usually find something I like at Banana Republic, but it's generally a bland "essential" rather than a fun piece to invigorate the wardrobe. Forever 21 is good for, IMO, throw-away fun pieces. I have four tops from there and all started coming apart after one wearing.

I like Boden a lot and the quality is great. Classic silhouettes with interesting fabrics and details. Club Monaco is mentioned to me all the time, but it's too midtown-Manhattan for me. Michael Stars t-shirts were also recommended by a fashionista friend who thought I should take my tees to the next level. I have two and they've worn well.

Oh, and if you haven't had a professional bra fitting in a while (or since baby), do get one and buy a bra or two that will flatter. Shaping what you've got goes a long way toward any shirt looking good.
posted by cocoagirl at 10:36 AM on January 8, 2008 [2 favorites]

Not a part of your question, but I'm seconding the bra fitting. Six weeks post-weaning and ten months post-baby, I finally went and got one yesterday. In typical overwhelmed working mom style, I walked in to Nordstrom's actually wearing a nursing bra that should have been thrown out before my sister handed it down to me. I left the store with a bra that was two chest wall-sizes larger than pre-pregnancy, and one cup size larger. Today, I look GOOD under my sweater set, maybe even somewhat put together. The right foundational garments could probably change history. That said, I'm still not ready to try button-front blouses yet.
posted by pomegranate at 10:44 AM on January 8, 2008

Has Forever 21 had any size inflation? I looked instore several years ago and found that their large pants were about a size 4.
posted by peep at 11:20 AM on January 8, 2008

posted by ohdeanna at 11:42 AM on January 8, 2008

Best answer: I'm trying to post a link to Brooklyn Industries....

In my experience, Forever 21 is very low quality- everything pills after one wash....
posted by ohdeanna at 11:45 AM on January 8, 2008

Has Forever 21 had any size inflation? I looked instore several years ago and found that their large pants were about a size 4.

That sounds about right, from my experience with the store. It's a juniors store, so the stuff runs small, small, small.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:54 AM on January 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

I wouldn't recommend Torrid for someone with the style you describe (and I suspect that a "plus" 12 is not the same as the misses 12 that I think the OP is). I might recommend New York and Company or "Lerner" as it used to be called. Decent, inexpensive basics, sized for misses, not juniors.
posted by pinky at 1:16 PM on January 8, 2008

Has Forever 21 had any size inflation? I looked instore several years ago and found that their large pants were about a size 4.

Forever21 sizes can vary, but their large bottoms are nowhere near a 4. They run larger, definitely. I'd say maybe 10ish. I'm a medium there, and 4, 6, 7, or 8 in other brands, for comparison.
posted by cmgonzalez at 1:55 PM on January 8, 2008

Oh, and seconding New York & Company's tops. I don't have the bust issue since I'm small, but their tops are fashionable and cut nicely.
posted by cmgonzalez at 1:57 PM on January 8, 2008

Forever21 sizes can vary, but their large bottoms are nowhere near a 4. They run larger, definitely. I'd say maybe 10ish. I'm a medium there, and 4, 6, 7, or 8 in other brands, for comparison.

I may check them out again, then. I'd estimate it was 2002 the last time I popped in; maybe before that. It was right after they opened in Portland. I wore a 6, or rarely an 8. I tried on every different type of black pants they had in the largest size available, and couldn't button a single pair.
posted by peep at 2:18 PM on January 8, 2008

big internet shopper here. i second boden, sundance, and garnet hill. however, you cannot beat hanna andersson for some basics. plus, you can get clothes for your kid! and they have lots of sales.
posted by sdn at 2:38 PM on January 8, 2008

MyShape asks for your measurements and purports to only suggest clothes that would fit you. Haven't bought anything yet but they do seem to suggest pieces that would flatter my body type. It's on the pricy side, though.

I'd also suggest Ann Taylor Loft, mostly because I am a B cup and NOTHING there fits me. Gaps at a the boobs. It seems to be clothing specifically cut for the well-endowed, and the designs are pretty nice and cheapish. (The regular Ann Taylor does fit me so might be too small on top for you.)
posted by Mr Bunnsy at 2:45 PM on January 8, 2008

Best answer: Or, and LaRedoute is a French company that sells a lot of cheap, nice-looking clothes. Sizes run a little smaller and Gap/Target. The quality is not great overall but I have a couple of pieces from them I've worn for years.
posted by Mr Bunnsy at 2:53 PM on January 8, 2008

I could have posted the exact same question. Are you sure you're not me?

In any case, I actually would advise against Ann Taylor Loft. Although they have good sales, in my experience lately their stuff falls apart shockingly fast. I agree with the Garnet Hill suggestion, they have gorgeous stuff, but unfortunately they are waaaaay outside my budget, and based on your mention of H&M, might be a bit plain for you.

With the mom-bod I find I have to slog to the mall and try on, try on and try on some more in order to find stuff that fits. That means weekends, out with the crowds, while DH stays home with the kids. I have also learned that the moment I find something that fits, I buy three. I will be watching this thread with interest, because I'm all Target, Old Navy and Gap too.

Oh, and I totally second the bra fitting.
posted by missuswayne at 5:22 PM on January 8, 2008

My name is Loiseau, I'm about to turn 33 years old, and I love Forever 21.

And I'm almost not ashamed to say it.

My observation about Forever 21 is that because they don't actually make any clothes, but only source them from various manufacturers, the sizing varies quite a bit more than usual. I'm like a XL or size 14 on top (34FF/G if you must know) but I have a size medium hoodie from there. Which is weird. But it fits. So especially there, you have to try try try try try things on.
posted by loiseau at 9:55 PM on January 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

I will second NY and Company with one exception... You don't mention how tall you are, but if you are petite (height, not bust) on top, their button downs will not work. If they made petite tops, I would love them forever, but I cannot get the fit that I want without a shirt gaping at the buttons. Fitting the bust there (in button-downs) means a big billow of extra fabric in the back.
posted by at 6:04 AM on January 9, 2008

Response by poster: OK, I have found some interesting shops by branching out from the suggestions above. Most won't meet my size requirements, sigh, but they fit all the other criteria.

The Giant Peach
80s Purple
Bus Stop Shop
Mod Cloth
Chosen Stock
Bazaar Adriatic
posted by kmel at 11:54 AM on January 11, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: fossil has really cute clothes - kind of pricey but they have good sales. anthropologiedoes go up to 16/XL on their website, but definitely expensive. maybe also check out madewithlovebyhannah and shade clothing has really nice basic pieces.
posted by lindsaymc at 12:33 PM on January 16, 2008 [2 favorites]

Believe it or not, Victoria's Secret has some really nice clothing, and each piece I've bought (and kept - had many pieces that needed returning, as sadly my butt and boobs simply are not like those in the catalog) has been really good quality. Nice selection, too.
posted by AthenaPolias at 6:25 PM on January 19, 2008

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