1. Kate Spade Saturday ($$)
Kate Spade’s lower-priced little sister features all the preppy, girly charm of the original brand, but at prices up to 50% cheaper.
Good for: sophisticated but fun weekend wear.
2. Everlane ($)
Based in San Francisco, Everlane’s dedication to manufacturing transparency and keeping its markups slim results in an ever-expanding line of affordable luxury goods.
Good for: quality but inexpensive tees and tanks.
3. Anthropologie clearance rack ($)
Anthropologie is a bit much at full price, but you can find amazing pieces on sale for one-half to one-third of the full price.
Good for: whimsical yet restrained feminine flair.
4. Madewell ($$)
Madewell is owned by J.Crew but retains way less of that brand’s Waspy panache. Think flannels, hipster scarves, and tons of skinny jeans.
Good for: Antropologie lovers who want something a little less twee.
5. ASOS ($$)
With pieces from more than 850 brands ranging from $8 necklaces to $500 designer dresses, British online empire ASOS has something trendy for everyone and every budget. And with everything from sexy Nasty Gal-esque dresses to boyfriend jeans, there’s bound to be a style to suit you.
Good for: says one BuzzFeed fan: “Buying like 50 things, getting free shipping, and keeping one.”
If you haven’t shopped at a TJ Maxx or Marshalls, get thee there at once for a huge array of name brands at bargain prices, which is perfect if you’re trying to emphasize quality over quantity in your wardrobe. It takes some hunting to find what you want, but it’ll be worth it when you score a Missoni skirt for $85 (happened to me!).
Good for: when you don’t want to pay more than $29.99 for anything.
7. Aritzia ($$)
Canada’s beloved boutique, which stocks quality clothes for cool NYU types, has stores in several U.S. cities and is now available worldwide, thanks to online shopping.
Good for: army jackets and minimalist workwear or schoolwear.
8. Ann Taylor LOFT ($)
You might’ve scoffed at Ann Taylor’s “younger” brand when you were in college, but if you give it a try now, you’ll find tons of great, well-fitting officewear and really great accessories.
Good for: work clothes for even the most conservative office that aren’t frumpy pantsuits, because NO.
9. Need Supply ($$)
This Virginia-based retailer, which boasts a hint of a skater/punk vibe, is perfect for when you want to adopt a version of the latest trends that don’t involve neon and metallic fringer.
Good for: patterned pants and grown-up things to wear to shows.
10. Target ($)
You might forget to shop the women’s section at Target when you’re busy picking up Brita filters and mailing tape, but scope out the Merona and Mossimo brands and the occasional designer collaboration. Its shoe collection also features a regular rotation of trendy footwear.
Good for: Sometimes you just NEED a $19.99 sundress.
11. Of a Kind ($$$)
Sort of like a curated Etsy for fashion, Of a Kind handpicks up-and-coming designers and features their wares on its site, one at a time. It’s definitely a good place to go if you crave something original, as opposed to that H&M frock you’ll inevitably see on a dozen other girls.
Good for: that statement top that everyone will ask where it’s from.
12. ModCloth ($$)
ModCloth’s sprawling website offers up a smorgasbord of cute apparel and kitschy housewares. Some of the pieces skew a little juvenile, but you’re guaranteed to find some great stuff if you fall down a clickhole. They also have a full range of plus-size apparel.
Good for: Zooey Deschanel dresses. You know what I mean.
13. Fashion to Figure ($)
Bye, Lane Bryant! Fashion to Figure sells clothes aimed at sizes 12–26 in designs that are actually on trend.
Good for: the Torrid graduate.
14. Piperlime ($$)
The fashion-forward wing of Gap’s conglomeration of stores, Piperlime proffers Ray-Bans, Dolce Vita shoes and well-curated apparel that’s perfect for the weekday or the weekend. Bonus: it’s pretty easy to get free shipping, and returns are a breeze.
Good for: modern printed blouses, SHOES SHOES SHOES SHOES SHOES.
15. J.Crew Factory ($$)
Are you a fan of J.Crew who’s sometimes allergic to its high price? Scope out the factory store, which has all of the preppy charm with about half the sticker shock.
Good for: well-built basics and professional outerwear.
16. All Saints ($$$)
For alums of Hot Topic and Urban Outfitters who still want a hint of edge, All Saints clothes pack a punk punch while still delivering sophistication, even in its graphic tees.
Good for: finally investing in a quality leather jacket.
17. Francesca’s ($)
If you still can’t wean yourself off Forever 21 prices (we don’t blame you), Francesca’s is a perfect next step up. Plus, browsing its wares online beats battling those dressing room lines.
Good for: H&M-style clothes that skew a little more grad school than college.
18. Nordstrom Rack ($)
Where Nordstrom’s extravagant prices go to die.
Good for: Free People, designer shoes, Michael Kors bags.
19. Boden ($$)
Well-made British prepwear. Pro tip: Wait for its huge sales.
Good for: loafers and sundresses. Cheerio!
20. Club Monaco ($$$)
Occasionally it’s worth nabbing a full-price item from Club Monaco’s racks, but our advice is to wander the clearance section, where you can find dresses and silk tops heavily discounted.
Good for: holiday party dresses, anything made of silk.
21. Uniqlo ($)
The grand hall of affordable basics, Uniqlo is a must-stop if you need to make a massive T-shirt and tights haul.
Good for: undershirts and shapewear that don’t cost an entire month’s rent.
22. Zara ($$)
Zara is the be-all and end-all for trendy yet dressy professional attire with a veneer of urban edginess. Order your shoes from them online — there’s a much larger range than in stores.
Good for: leopard print, solid dresses, statement trousers.
23. Buffalo Exchange/Plato’s Closet/Crossroads ($)
Clean out your closet and sell your old stuff to these stores and their ilk for a profit. Or, you can shop the racks of curated secondhand goods to score a SUPER-cheap outfit of your own.
Good for: when you’re in the mood to scavenge a shoe rack for that one pair of Marc Jacobs flats for !!! $45 !!!
24. New York & Company ($)
You may have passed by New York & Co. at the mall lately, but next time you spot one, go in: You’ll find a cute variety of workwear aimed at women your age. You can wear pretty much everything sold here to even the most staid of offices.
Good for: when you find Ann Taylor a little too intimidating.
25. COS ($$)
H&M’s trendy sister label just became available for online shopping in the U.S. It’s a bit pricey, but if you’re looking for well-made European-style basics: félicitations!
Good for: crisp trousers, architectural tops.
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