If you were taking a guided tour of my closet (it would be a fairly short tour) you’d soon learn that my wardrobe consists of items that have come from many sources. Some of them are:
- Big department stores like Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Macy’s
- Free standing stores like Ann Taylor, J Crew, Talbots, Lucky Brand, Chico’s
- Discount stores like TJ Maxx or outlet stores that include BCBG, Cole Haan, Ann Taylor
- Fast fashion stores like H&M and Zara
- Consignment stores
- Carlisle trunk shows (clothing that’s not shown in regular stores); other companies like this would be Worth or Doncaster
In this Where I Shop series I’m going to bring you inside my closet to see pieces I wear and love and tell you where they came from. I believe you can find style anywhere at all different price points. I’ll show you how I do it.
First stop in this Where I Shop series: TJ Maxx
This week I wore an outfit to work that reminded me of how much I appreciate a couple of pieces that came from TJ Maxx.
Long time staples
I don’t know if I can honestly tell you how long I’ve had this ruched sleeveless t-shirt from TJ Maxx. It’s got the comfort of a t-shirt knit underneath the sheer layer that sits on top. That flower appliqué design on the side makes that part of my body look more narrow. And the ruching is the best figure flattering tool for those of us with thicker middles than we remember having in our 40s.
This t-shirt is feminine and interesting and one I grab for a lot. Lucky me, I have two of them: one in ivory and one in black.
My handbag for this go-to-work outfit has structure, class, and presence. When I want to feel creative-professional and sophisticated, I grab for this bag. You guessed it; it came from TJ Maxx. It’s a designer bag sold for less.
How to Shop TJ Maxx
I don’t get excited about a big store with tons of random merchandise to comb through so I usually have a plan to look for specific items.
Here are my shopping tips for TJ Maxx as well as some insider info about the store.
- Not all TJ Maxx stores are created equally. Some carry higher end, premium designer items while others don’t. Ask the manager if their store carries premium labels. The Petaluma TJ Maxx near me used to carry the premium brands. Now it doesn’t. I’d have to go to the San Rafael store for that.
- Also ask the manager which days they get delivery of the premium labels. If you have time to shop discount stores you’ll want to know when the good stuff gets there so you can be there to meet it.
- The first departments I go to at TJ Maxx are handbags and jewelry. I wouldn’t have paid full price for this Zac Posen handbag. It was just out of my league so finding it cheaper made it a possibility. I truly love the finish on this bag, the structure of it, the design on the front (isn’t that bow outrageous?) and the secret compartments. I knew it would serve me for years and years. Sold.
- Remember that when you’re shopping at discount stores, you’re still spending money. So don’t get mesmerized by the lower prices and buy more than you really need. Keep your wits about you!
- TJ Maxx does have a liberal return policy.
- Let’s say you’ve discovered you love Vince or Theory clothing and have purchased it before. If you’ve been successful with certain brands, you may want more of that look in your wardrobe. Personally, I love Alexis Bittar jewelry and have a small collection. When I discovered Alexis Bittar was being sold at TJ Maxx, I made a special trip. Adding more pieces to my collection was doable at these prices. I’ve purchased bracelets and earrings there that I wear all the time! You’ll find that to be true of clothing brands too.
- I like shopping TJ Maxx for my casual wardrobe, the level of casual that I mostly wear around home; cozy sweaters and flannel shirts.
- I look for sleeveless under pieces (like that ruched t-shirt) at TJ Maxx. These are often the items no one sees much of because I wear a jacket or cardigan over it. But it’s an essential wardrobe staple.
TJ Maxx purchases from my closet
This floral top by Laundry by Shelli Segal is one you’ve probably seen a few times in blog posts already. I was ready to experiment with prints but not ready to really invest in them yet. I fell in love with this Asian floral print and it’s been great!
Remember how I mentioned I check out the jewelry first? These earrings I’m wearing inside that book are by Alexis Bittar. In fact, if you look at the bangles on my wrist, the one closest to my ring and the third one with the large white stones in it are both by Alexis Bittar and came from TJ Maxx.
This grandpa cashmere cardigan on the right came from TJ Maxx. So did the flannel checked shirt. These are comfort clothes for me. Snuggling with my sweetie and watching some TV together while wearing my grandpa cardigan is a peace of heaven for me.
So here ends this portion of the tour of wardrobe items that I wear and love that have come from TJ Maxx.
Do you shop discount stores? Do you ever shop discount stores and end up with things you don’t wear? What are the pros and cons of discount store shopping?