Top Five Mass Retailers

The best way to stay stylish and in your budget is to hit up mass retailers also known as mall stores and shopping district necessities. I compiled a list of my top favorite mass retailers- see if they are yours as well.

Hands down one of the best retailers for fast fashion. Cheap and trendy is Forever’s mission statement. I love their jewelry section followed by their slightly pricier line 12 by 12. With a good editing process, you can get some pretty fabulous pieces from Forever that look like high end goods. At the same time, I tend to avoid specific items. Anything acrylic including cardigans and anything that tries to look like work wear i.e. dress slacks avoid like the plague. I have never tried to rock their shoes and will never try to . I do think their selections for great clothing is better in the summer than winter. Cotton is cotton jersey is jersey and so you are able to maintain quality control. I have had failure in their lingerie department- sizing is off but their denim is not bad at all. I did a test on their $12.50 indigo wash jeans and they have become my favorites- over my Citizens! Also, the sundresses are great, earrings, sun glasses are worth a try!

I know you are trying to figure out how I rated Forever over H&M, it’s simple sometimes H&M gets a little wild with their pricing and I can’t comprehend this mass retailer charging more than $89 dollars for something, I just can’t which you will see is my problem with Zara in the next paragraph. Still H&M has a great design team that does amazing trend interpretation so great that H&M has the respect of the international fashion community – something Forever lacks with all of their recent copyright suits. H&M is has a decent quality to its price point. Where Forever pieces don’t last longer than a year, I have some H&M pieces from 6 years ago, I still wear. H&M has great accessories, lingerie and major trend pieces and when they do sales you get great bargains. For years I stayed away from their outwear but fell in love with a cape for $15 bucks a few seasons back and while I still steer away from full price outwear, if a coat on sale catches my eye, I’ll pick it up without a second thought.
I have a love hate relationship with Zara. Some days I think they have a great selection of current trends, and then I get upset with their price point, sales associates and quality and just can’t justify a consistent practice of shopping. They use a lot of synthetic fabrics and not the greatest of synthetics- which there is. Also their sizing is very odd, Small, Medium and Large for a skirt that you are charging $79 bucks for. You better have standard numerical sizing for certain pieces especially at that price point. On a lighter note, Zara’s selection for tops and shoes are pretty good. I know you think I am crazy about the shoe thing but, they use really great materials and their quality control on shoes is much better than their clothes. Most of their shoes are leather on leather and great interpretations of higher end shoe brands such as YSL or Prada. When Zara does sales it can be hit or miss and their selection looks picked over very quickly. Still, their coat selection is pretty great and you can get a fashionable and classic overcoat at Zara’s much easier than anywhere else.

My codeword for this faux Prada and Marc Jacobs retailer is Club Moknockoff. They do amazing interpretations of streamlined and minimalist designers. I never pay full price there, I garner it as a sin. Club Monaco is multifaceted retailer for all your wardrobe needs. It covers casual, evening and professional which the others strongly lack. Their product development department is excellent in creating pieces that have multiple uses for both work and play. Coats, cashmeres and bags are great buys at CM. Their bags are high quality and if you can’t justify an It bag at say YSL, LV or Goyard, CM makes a pretty good everyday bag. In addition, they have great date clothes. Every season they make a flattering and sexy Little Black Dress, you don’t want to pass up. Beware and be easy on paying full price as they do markdown their items pretty regularly.

Express has a come a long way since the days of 100% stretch slacks. They reorganized, got in a great design and product development team and started making some pretty good staples for evening and work. I rate their Editor pant as one of the most flattering pants under $100. Like Forever and H&M, I find myself with better selection in the warmer months than colder. Although this past holiday season, I found my sequin leggings which I am still screaming of excitement over.

Alright lassies this week I’ll be giving a run down on how to make mass retailers like the ones listed above work for you the best. Stay tuned!

P.S. I want to get this blog more interactive and hope that you start sending me stories and pics on how you have become a recessionista- I’ll have more details this week but, there will be a prize!