21 answers

Updating a Mom-ified Wardrobe

Okay ladies, I.m 52 a mom who works part-time and needs a wardrobe update on a budget. Not much to ask. Oh, and I'm a little past my optimum weight so skinny jeans and tight fitting layered tanks are not an option. Need not only ideas for basic pieces but stores you'd suggest to make the most of my money. The most I could pay for any one piece would be about $30. Thank you for your ideas!

3 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I love J. Jill, the clothes are pricey but they do have sales and you could pick up some deals on pieces that way.

That, and bootcut jeans and khakis look good on just about everyone.

2 moms found this helpful

My favorite store lately is JC Penney, they have a pretty big variety and they have everything from petite to plus! Also they have great sales!

More Answers

I love J. Jill, the clothes are pricey but they do have sales and you could pick up some deals on pieces that way.

That, and bootcut jeans and khakis look good on just about everyone.

2 moms found this helpful

Check out missussmartypants.com it's a great service! You can sign up for a month, a season or a year for a very low rate and you get an e-mail every week with a personal shopping list for your body type. Every week the pieces are updated for current trends and seasons. I am on a budget and this service has really helped me to be much smarter about my purchases. The shopping lists run from bargain stores (Target, Kohl's, JC Penney) all the way up to Talbots and Nordstrom. If you like a piece you can click in the shopping list and buy on-line, but I usually print off something I like and then bring that with me when things are on sale and I'm ready to shop.

For price range, think in terms of $ per wear. I will spend a bit on something that I will wear to work regularly (nice pants that fit well and go with everything, like black pants in a light wool blend that I can wear for three seasons) because I know they will last and it's worth it to me to spend $60-$80 for some things. Talbots and Ann Taylor have great work clothes, excellent quality, and great sale prices. I got a couple of sweaters in the fall for about $30 that were originally around $80. The difference in quality between something at Target or Kohl's for $30 and something on sale from Talbots or Ann Taylor or J. Crew is really noticeable. I basically think of cheaper clothes as trendy but disposable (wearable for a couple of seasons before they look worn, stretched, faded) and more expensive clothes as long-term investments.

Focus first on good-quality, well fitting basics (missussmartypants has a list of basics) first and then buy some seasonal pieces in your colors to add variety. And don't forget fun shoes and accessories!

2 moms found this helpful

Kohls & JC Penny. YOU HAVE TO GET THE COUPONS! Look in the circulars on Sunday, sign up for their mailing lists or visit retailmenot.com

Otherwise TJ Maxx or Marshalls but make sure you are getting good quality. Also, believe it or not, my mom has an amazing designer wardrobe from the thrift stores. If you have the time, the stuff you can find--?? It's amazing.

If you can wear jeans, then get a couple of pairs of killer jeans. If they fit well everywhere but are too long, get them tailored for a professional clean cut look.

I love something Elizabeth Edwards said that her daughter recalled: "you'll always regret prints, you'll never regret solids."

Get basics in solid colors which makes it easier to switch them up and restyle them over time. Layers give a pulled together look. Think: solid (not skin tight) camis and shirts in your color pallet coupled with a solid blazer (black?) or cardigan (color if using basic color cami, or reverse for colored cami). If you're going to get prints, make sure that they coordinate with your basics.

MOST IMPORTANT! Accessorize. Accessories give your wardrobe the variety you need and they are an inexpensive way to change the look of your outfit especially if you shop the clearance racks and couple it with coupons.

The most important part is to invest in basics first and then work up from there. buy a couple pieces every month and you'll be building your wardrobe in no time.

2 moms found this helpful

I think ALL the responses are great...just wanted to add my 2 cents. Along with the great store ideas, if you can, watch the show "What Not to Wear" on TLC. Stacey and Clinton give FABULOUS advice on HOW to fit your body, no matter WHAT your body. Its all about what looks good on YOU. Then, you can buy accordingly. Its all about FIT and function...good show!!!


1 mom found this helpful

My mom is 45 and she may not be a "fashionista"- but clothes she has that I think make her look pretty darn spiffy come from:

http://www.newport-news.com (check out the jeaneology collection)

I also found a site that is really nice for finding clothes that fit your "body type"- and most of them are not "teen clothes" LOL!


I suggest you buy cheap shirts from stores like walmart, kmart, target, etc... and then get nice looking jackets, pants skirts and shoes at stores like the ones above. Also, nothing makes an outfit look better than those things you DON'T see, like bras and underwear. nothing is more unflattering than a serious case of "grannypantylines" under polyester dress pants- no matter what your size, age or shape!

Good Luck and happy shopping!

1 mom found this helpful

I don't know, I wish I had your budget. My budget is about five dollars a piece, which is why I only shop clearance sales.

Fortunate, NOW is the time to be doing that, as the summer clothes are coming out. I've been picking up jeans, tops, etc all for under five dollars. I guess since you have more to work with :) I won't mention what stores I shop at, because you can do better!

The best pieces I love to have in my wardrobe are things that work with everything and things that are comfortable. Like, jeans that I really love, a nice pair of NICE fitting khaki pants, and lots of plain colored tops that can be done up or dressed down. I love Hanes t-shirts that are made for women...I forget what they are called, but the have v and scoop neck, short and long sleeve, are SUPER soft and don't fade easily in the wash, don't shrink (although I wash in cold) and come in every color under the rainbow. I literally have about 20 in different styles and colors, and no matter what I feel like putting together I always have a base to work with.

And me, personally, I think shoes make the whole wardrobe. :) I totally splurge on shoes. I haven't spent more than 5 dollars on a pair of jeans or a top in years, but yes, I've spent 100 on a really great pair of shoes. Rarely, but still.

1 mom found this helpful

I updated my wardrobe last year with some new scarves. They were about 10-12$ each and changed the look of alot of my basics: black and white solid tops and jeans or black pants. I also found that a well-fitting jacket can make a mediocre outfit look sharp. I bought a black traditional suit-type blazer at Macy's on sale for $25. It's a great basic and neutral enough to go with jeans, a dress or skirt.

I shop alot at TJ Maxx because they have name brand clothes for way less money. We just got a Kohls in town and their sales are terrific. We also have an outlet mall. No matter where I go, I check the clearance rack first!

1 mom found this helpful

My mom is 60. She often shops at Macys. I am in my 30s and prefer Old Navy for the price/fit. I have found tops at Khols that are nice as well.

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