the capsule wardrobe, part 2: where I shop


like a lot of women, I find my body hard to dress. I’m quite short and busty, with athletic calves that are remnants of my long-past running days. petite jeans fit me lengthwise, but petite tops often do not. I have a really hard time with dresses because the proportions of most dresses are all wrong on me (they’re obviously made for a taller woman), and while petite sizing works length-wise, it doesn’t accommodate my top half, unless it’s made of something with some give, like jersey. ah, jersey. where would I be without jersey? I have a love affair with jersey, but that’s for another post. this is all to say that I’ve gotten years of practice in figuring out what brands and stores work for my body and what don’t. this part of building a capsule wardrobe was actually one thing I already did previously.

my list of go-tos won’t necessarily work for you, but maybe some things will and end up on your own shortlist.

where I shop for what

tops | zara, old navy (basic, trendy), gap (classics, i.e. striped shirt), j.crew (something interesting when on sale)

jeans | gap (they’re awesome! I’m partial to the legging jean, the real straights, and sometimes the always skinny)

sweaters | j.crew/j.crew factory (casual), br (dressy), old navy (trendy), gap (casual)

dresses | j.crew factory, old navy (trendy), gap (casual), br (dressy), nordstrom (special occasion, certain brands)

workwear | ann taylor (mostly tops), loft (business casual), br (dressier options), j.crew (mostly shoes and sweaters)

outerwear | nordstrom, h&m (in their h&m+ section), macy’s

shoes | zara (trendy), madewell (boots, flats), j.crew (heels, flats), (dv by) dolce vita (I like pretty much everything they make), nine west (pumps), via spiga (dressy), clarks (comfy!), ann taylor, nordstrom rack

misc | gap (workout gear, underwear), t.j. maxx/marshalls (socks, basics), nordstrom (lingerie), hanes (lingerie)

splurge | nordstrom, shopbop

beauty | walgreens, ulta, sephora, nordstrom, zappos

aside from being tried and true, I also buy a lot of my things from these places because of their shipping and/or return policies. it’s inevitable that something won’t fit right, and when that happens, it’s nice to know that I don’t have to stress about exchanging it or returning it within a reasonable time frame. and lastly, while it’s good to curate a list of places that are pretty much fail-safe, don’t be afraid to branch out to other places if your go-tos don’t come through. sometimes it happens if you’re looking for something very specific or something that might not be in season yet. if a brand you’re unfamiliar with happens to have what you’re looking for, do some research – what are their policies, what reviews do they get, what reviews did that particular item get, etc. also, go back to the basics of the product itself – what is it made of? is it of good quality? I believe you can find good-quality products at all different price points from all different places. you might just have to look a little longer/harder.

what are your go-tos?





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