Shopping at chain stores hit and miss

19:36, May 27 2012

Which is your favourite of the big chain clothing stores? I guess my most important criteria is value for money - by which I mean cost-per-wear - but it's also important that the clothes fit real women not mannequins, that you don't have to sift through piles of leopard-print jeggings to find something decent, and that the staff are polite and competent. I would love to hear your thoughts, because at the moment it seems like all my clothes are falling apart, all at once.

I'm talking basics. Tops for wearing under dresses. Black pants for work. A black cardigan which is made of wool, not cotton or acrylic, and which has lovely long sleeves, because who wants cold wrists?

Yes, there are alternatives to these stores. I buy lots of stuff from designer sales (especially Workshop and Misty Lang) and I trawl Tattie's and other recycle places. But sometimes a girl just needs a plain grey long-sleeved T-shirt. And sometimes she only has $30.

Supre, for me, is out. Their clothes make me feel old and fat and I'm 29 and a size 10. Their music also drives me nuts. There's simply too much stuff in their stores, and most of it looks like it would fall apart or fade after the first wash.

I own three dresses from Max, all bought on sale for $60ish down from over $100. They've lasted really well - like, four or five years - but at the moment there's nothing in store that I would wear. Pitched a little bit older than me, I think.

Glassons? I loved it when I was 14. I loved the bright singlet tops and those black bootleg pants. I still pop in now and then but can't remember the last time I actually bought something there - there's always just one thing I'd change about each garment, and everything costs about $10 more than the same thing elsewhere. The staff are nice. But I couldn't believe it the other day when I asked a girl whether they sold cords, and she didn't know what I was talking about. Corduroy. You know. Like soft jeans. Kind of like velvet with lines in it. Cords.
"Um, we do have these velvet leggings?"

There are stacks of things I want from Country Road. Cords, for one. It's generally good quality, especially the knitwear - I have a long, wear-every-day cardy that's in its fourth winter now. But it's expensive, unless it's on sale, and the sales are so insanely busy I'm not sure they're worth it. I do really like the bright green they're using this season though...

Witchery does amazing sales, and I've bought a few tops and pants there over the years. Their shoes (when on sale) are great, too. But I've had a few of their garments get bobbly really quickly, even with careful handwashing. It's made me wary.

Cotton On
is off and on. Cheap. Not too annoying to shop there. Lots of good basics. I own heaps of their clothes, and have been surprised at how well they've lasted - in winter, I wear two of their $15 long-sleeved tops every second day, pretty much, and they've done three years now. This year I've bought trackpants for $35 (which were great, until the waistband started unravelling) and jeans, for $40 and $50. One of the legs on the $40 pair twists, so the seam goes down the front of my calf. And the fly ripped out of the $50 pair the first time I wore them. So now I'm not so sure...

OK, this is getting too long - which stores did I miss? Where do you usually shop and why? Is there anywhere you just avoid?


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