Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Grownup Clothes on a College Budget

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If you couldn't tell from reading my blog, I tend to be most comfortable in workout clothes or boyfriend jeans. I love dressing up, but as I started the interview process this summer, I realized that my "adult" wardrobe was lacking some basics. The outfit I'm wearing here isn't necessarily appropriate for all workplaces, but it does look more polished than my ripped jeans or Nike leggings would. And the best part? It's all affordable - except my purse, which, like I said before, I wouldn't have unless I hadn't somehow scored it at Nordstrom Rack. Keep reading for links to similar pieces to the ones I'm wearing in these photos!

Side note - this transition to Richmond has been harder than I anticipated. There were some things and people that I had been somewhat counting on, and I had to re-learn that not everything always goes as planned. Straying from my personal plan is something I've struggled with for a long time - for example, if you had asked me one year ago where I thought I would be right now, I would have told you I would be nearly engaged, working in real estate, and living with my then-boyfriend -- but look at me now, working in advertising and blogging and living alone and shit. In summary, I've learned a lot over the course of a few short months.

Anyway, even from 3,000 miles away, my dad has made his presence in my life and his love and support for me known through a few well timed, extremely thoughtful mailed notes and personal gifts, like the jewelry I'm wearing here. 

It's made a world of difference in my outlook and self-confidence, and it's a great reminder to stay present in the lives of people you love, no matter how far away they might be.

Most of the pieces in this outfit are sold out, but I've done my best to find similar items -- 

top: Leith via Nordstrom BP (similar), skirt: Old Navy (similar), shoes: Betsey Johnson via 6pm (similar), bag: Rebecca Minkoff, sunnies: Ray Ban, jewelry: Eight Women

Here's a list of the best places (in my opinion) to shop for "adult" clothes on a budget including both my favorite online retailers and brick & mortar locations.


  • - best for footwear on sale, like the scalloped Betsy Johnson heels I'm wearing in this shoot (bought them a few years ago), or Sam Edelman Felicia flats.
  • Hautelook - recently in a bar bathroom, I was touting Hautelook as my favorite sale shopping app and someone disputed me by saying Rue La La is better. Maybe it is, but I usually have better luck with brands I'm familiar with on the Hautelook app, which you can also use to access Nordstrom Rack online.
  • J.Crew Factory - this site is ALWAYS having some type of sale, and they're really pretty decent deals. Great for pencil skirts, office-appropriate blouses, blazers, and outerwear.

Real Life Stores

  • Nordstrom Rack - great for footwear, blouses, and office-appropriate dresses. One of my favorite work-type brands found exclusively and Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack is Pleione - they make really pretty basic blouses that go well under a jacket.
  • Clothes Mentor (and other resale/consignment stores) - adult clothing can get spendy, blazers and heels add up, and no one wants to spend their hard-earned paycheck entirely on "boring" stuff. This is a great opportunity to give back to the community and recycle your gently used college clothing in exchange for dresses and slacks at a discounted price point.
  • Old Navy - as J.Crew has slowly dropped off the radar of many fashionable young people (sad but true), cheaper mass-producers and mall stores like Old Navy and Banana Republic have vastly stepped up their games. Old Navy is a great spot for comfortable dresses, skirts, tops and pants that closely resemble J.Crew's famous Pixie pant - go take a look, you'll save big!

Still looking? Shop some of my grownup picks below - and if this isn't enough, check out this post for a more comprehensive guide!


  1. You could also raid my closet. I know some work clothes that aren't gonna see light of day for a while. :)