Buying Clothes 100 Miles From A Shopping Mall

Today on Kelly’s Korner, Show Us Your Life, the topic is your favorite online shopping for adults. I live 100 miles from a shopping mall and I’m not an avid shopper in the first place. But I have a career and as much as I would wearing jeans and comfy work out pants every day, I dress up for work and have learned to love dressing up in fashion forward pieces. But the comforts of home is where I do my shopping and I am on a budget. When we are done paying for everything else there isn’t much left for “mom’s clothes” but I do set aside money for a seasonal “budget” for myself. My mom once told me I had to do this and she is right. When you feel good in what you are wearing, you are happier and more productive.

Here is a lengthy rundown where I shop online, how I shop online and a few favorite pieces.

The above photo shows a few pieces that just arrived this week via Nordstrom. Nordstrom’s has free shipping, fabulously easy search features on their site and fantastic sales. The above dress I bought at regular price because I loved it and will wear it multiple times a month for the next six months. My mom picked it out for me over Labor Day weekend while we both online shopped together as the girls napped. The other two items were on sale. I found them and thought they would be great pieces that add to what I already have in my closet.


I need work wear that packs easily and is useful for me in different climates through different seasons for years. I clean out my closet seasonally and get rid of a lot of clothes.

After awhile I get sick of the same clothes. I send them to a local consignment store for other working female professionals to hopefully enjoy. I save a set budget for my clothes and pay with my debit card when I am wardrobe shopping. I buy basics, like a black suit, every few years and change it with different tops and accessories. I most often wear dresses in a business setting. When I do wear suits…it might look changed up like this…

Pants from J.Crew, top from Boden and jacket from Boden with neutral flat shoes I bought on a sale rack in Santa Barbara…but at a Nordstrom.

Dresses are so easy for me. I buy my favorite dresses from Nordstrom or Boden. My favorite time of the year is Christmas and my birthday when my mom buys me clothes. Or when I give her a budget and she is my personal shopper. I also love it when she cleans out her closet and gives me clothes. It helps to have a fashion forward, baby boomer mom who is my size.

Above is a Boden sweater dress my mom bought me last winter and I wear it with boots, flats and with a jacket over it. (Standing next to me is my friend Emily of Zweber Farms, visit her for fun stories, recipes and farm life in Minnesota. Plus we’re buying a hog from them to fill our freezer with pork for the winter but that’s a story for another day.)

I never buy full price from Boden. They always have coupon offers and email you different offers. I used to buy a lot of clothes from Banana Republic, Gap and J.Crew. I’m wearing Gap jeans today actually. I still have a majority of my pant suits from J.Crew because they have inseams long enough for me which is next to impossible to find with my long legs. Depending on the email coupon or offer I get, I still buy a few pieces from these online stores.

Another favorite online outlet for business professional clothes that has very high quality, long lasting items is Pendleton. These are classic pieces and I search their sales along with getting emails from Pendleton. The jacket I am wearing above is a Pendleton I love. Many of my jackets and skirts come from Pendleton. I also can get unhemmed pants from them and have a local lady tailor them for me. My 36 inch inseam loves it.

The fashion diva in my life is my California girlfriend, Celeste who is 1000x more fashion forward than me. I dress up for work but today in my home office you would find me in jeans and a light sweater. Celeste, in the above photo, is a fashionista all the time. She gives me tips weekly via Facebook plus her blog The Couture Cowgirl shares weekly ideas.

For bargains, I shop Sierra Trading Post. These are mostly casual clothes but I have found some deals on blazers and shoes in the past and a few high end dress shirts for Nathan. Hunter’s winter coat, hat and more comes from Sierra Trading Post.

The most tried and true online retailer I know is L.L Bean. Miss E in the above snowsuit is a favorite from L.L Bean and this year Miss A will wear it. I buy for just about any family member on L.L Bean and they now have free shippintg. I think my mom might be their most loyal customer and that has rubbed off on me. From kids clothes to men’s clothes to household items to clothes and shoes for me, the quality is unbeatable and they have fantastic sales. L.L Bean offers a higher end line of clothing now also which I haven’t bought from yet because…they need longer inseams. But their normal line of clothing does have some longs.

Now it’s your turn. Whether you are close to a mall or not, where do you go for online shopping for clothes?

Just writing this blog post has made me feel like I have spent all my money…if you are visiting from Kelly’s Korner and are a new follower please let me know and I’ll be by to visit your blog soon.

Next Friday I’ll be featuring where I do online shopping for my kids…which is no easy feat with kids in a range of sizes including a 6’3″ 14 year old son, a very tall 3 year old…(and a 2 year old sister who gets hand me downs…but she doesn’t know that yet). Plus I have to buy the youngest a few of her own things too.

Update by request:
To purchase the Nordstrom dress shown above you search Maggy London and find it. But it’s on sale right now on Macy’s plus they have 20% and free shipping with a code listed on the site.

Comments

  1. Three words–and you know them:
    Long.
    Tall.
    Sally.
    !!!

  2. Katie, I’m loving that new Nordstrom’s dress! It’s going to look fantastic on you! Do you follow Nordstrom on Twitter? You should send them your post, but I’m sure you’ve already thought of that!

  3. You pretty much covered all my favorite stores, but since I’m so close to the city I get the luxury of shopping in the actual stores! You didn’t cover accessories so I’ll add my two cents. Kate Spade! Love love love her style but the prices can be painful. Twice a year they have an online sample sale. Its the best! Purses, wallets, jewlery, shoes. Great statement pieces for affordable prices.

  4. I am following you on facebook! 🙂 I love shopping sales too! 🙂

  5. Katie,
    Have I ever told you about the online clothing store a former Kansas City PR colleague of mine (@korauber) started? I think you’ll like http://www.TallChicksRule.com/60wkat.aspx.

  6. I’m far from a decent mall too so I shop online a lot. I don’t shop much for myself considering I’m a stay at home mom and can get away with wearing tshirts and jeans everyday. But doing Christmas shopping I’m online for practically everything now. Cabelas has some great sales and LLBean is a favorite too. The quality is great too. I never thought to look at Nordstroms for deals. I’ll have to check it out.

  7. Katie, when I saw you posted on this I had to get here right away! Great pix of you and Emily and Celeste btw.

    As we consider possible moves to more rural locales, one of my biggest concerns is shopping. That may sound vain, but I agree with what you and your mom believe: feeling good in what I’m wearing helps my confidence, outlook and productivity.

    I am loyal to J Crew. It fits me and my style well. I shop online, in the factory stores, and in person at the two stores we enjoy where we live now.

    Thanks for the assurance one can still dress well in brands she likes even if her closest favorite store is (gulp) two hours away…

    PS: I received my fall Boden catalog yesterday. Love their colors, concerned about fit. If you get a chance, will you comment on whether this British co’s stuff is true to size stateside?

  8. Love it! There is a Banana Republic Factory store close to me so I do a ton of shopping there. Great work clothes at a really good price. Definitely going to be coming back to this page for ideas, I didn’t know Pendleton had jackets.

    http://www.crystalcattle.com

  9. will you please post the link on nordstroms to the dress in the middle on your 1st photo. I’m in love and can’t find it. thanks for your post… found you through Kelly’s Korner.
    thanks!

  10. @Aimee…Boden has changed their sizing to fit US proportions. Very true to size now and I love the fit. @Jenny here is the link to Nordstrom for the Maggy London dress but I would also search Macy’s or Dillard’s for it because it doesn’t look they have many sizes left and it might be cheaper at Macy’s. They also have great sales online: http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/maggy-london-starburst-print-ponte-knit-sheath-dress/3205695?origin=keywordsearch&resultback=800

  11. Katie: You are always so fashion forward. I struggle a bit, but I shouldn’t have any excuses, I live 20 minutes max from the Mall of America!
    Even though I live so close shopping mania, I still prefer online. One: because I don’t have to worry about fitting a double stroller in the dressing room or having a preschooler peaking under the racks. Second because you can find much better deals.
    Thanks for the shoutout for our blog (even though that picture is less than becoming of me)

  12. Hi Katie — found you from Kelly’s Corner. I’m looking for places to shop online after having a baby a few months ago and you’ve given me some great ideas. I’ll have to check Boden out again — bought something for the little one there on sale.

  13. I love the dresses you bought because it looks perfect on you. I’m glad you bought some of them on sale! It’s so much fun to shop specially when you know items are on sale.

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  14. I have many doubt about online shopping, after seeing your article i came to the conclution where do you shop online for clothes? very thanks