Continuing in the spirit of recession chic, I am listing several sites (many with bricks and mortar stores, too) where you can find cute work clothes that won't break the bank.
With all of these stores, the following disclaimer applies: some inexpensive stuff is cute and doesn't cost a lot; some of it is just plain cheap. Understand the difference and you can bargain shop with the best of them.
I love Target for many reasons, not the least of which is that you can score a super cute, fully lined, totally warm coat for $45 like a co-worker of mine just did.
9. Victoria's Secret
Sweet sweaters under $60, awesome wool coats under $150, fun work blouses. Steer clear of anything that deliberately exposes cleavage unless that's the angle you are working at the office these days.
Don't laugh- they have some fly little dresses for great prices. They also have some shit I wouldn't be caught dead in; stay age appropriate, people. If the maxi dresses with boots isn't hot on the model, it's not going to be in real life.
7. Urban Outfitters
This is a great store, but it can run on the collegiate side, so make sure you select clothes that are professional AND cool. A plaid flannel shirt dress that barely covers the arse does not fit the bill. A solid boyfriend cardigan, however, does double duty over a cami and skirt at work and with your favorite jeans on the weekend.
6. Old Navy
Better selection than the Gap with lower prices. Their fall collection is pretty cool. Check out the one button blazer for under $40 and puff sleeved sweaters for $15.
5. H&M and Zara
There are probably at least two of each of these stores within easy driving distance from most of you. They both have huge selections of trendy clothes at very low prices. Quality can be hit or miss- some pieces look way more expensive than the $30 you spent and some will just be cheap-looking. Check for even seams and hems, lined jackets and pants, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, whether it actually fits.
4. Ann Taylor Loft
A great place for basic, classic dresses, suits and separates. Check out the turtleneck sweater dress and cowl neck dress, each for $79.
This store has too many sales for you to shop when there isn't one going on. Sure, there are expensive sections in this store and on their site, but they have great sale stuff all the time. Some of my favorite well-priced brands are INC, Alfani, Nine West, and Sunny Leigh.
2. Newport News
Huge selection of cute stuff for great prices.
Yes, it seems like a cop out for the #1 spot, but some of the best deals are often at sales at a typically higher priced store, like Nordstrom or Banana Republic or Anthropologie. If you love these or other stores, go at sale time. I recently got an amazing black trench for $119 (originally $225) at Banana and a fitted cropped blazer for $49 (orignally $98) at Anthro.
What are your favorite go-to sites and stores?