Over the last couple years, I’ve found myself the most pleased with my purchases that have been staples: basic items that can go with almost everything I already have and versatile enough to wear with friends on weekends or at work. I used to struggle — and I mean STRUGGLE — to figure out what to wear to work each day. I’d try on sometimes 10 different outfits and not be happy or comfortable in any of them. Despite having a closet stuffed to the brim with clothes.
The problem was that I didn’t buy clothes that fit me well. I bought what I wanted to look right, and would stand in the dressing room thinking, “Well, this could look good if I’m standing. At this exact angle. Sometimes.”
But slowly, and I do mean slowly, I’ve been picking more things that flatter me and avoiding things that only look good with one pair of pants or in situations where I stand sideways while talking to people.
I cashed in some Old Navy rewards coupons online a week ago, and was delighted to see the package sitting on my steps after work today. I was so excited, mostly because I had forgotten what I ordered.
The best part? Everything I purchased met all my new criteria: can be worn to work or on weekends; is comfortable; doesn’t accentuate any body parts I’m trying to hide; and could be worn with every pair of pants I own. Check, check, check, check.
What I bought: Long sleeve crepe chiffon blouse
What I paid: $10 (via a one-day sale; regularly $30)*
I have a few of these that I purchased last fall and I love them (technically the ones I have don’t button all the way down). I ordered them in a Small-Tall. Normally I wear a Small-Regular at Old Navy, but I wanted long shirts that will cover my bum if I wear leggings or unflattering-in-the-rear pants (read: Old Navy Pixie Pants). Ordering a tall instead of a regular bought me quite a bit of extra length, but also some extra width in the middle. However, if I belt the shirts or wear a cardigan (one that pulls in a little to cinch at my waist), you can’t tell that they’re ever so slightly too big.
What I bought: Flannel boyfriend shirt (there are tons of color/stripe options, but this link will only show a few — if you back out and look at all their tops, you’ll see the long list)
What I paid: $20 (regularly $27)*
The quest for the perfect button-down can sometimes feel never-ending. A few years ago, I thought I had found it in J Crew’s shirts. But I didn’t like how they washed (became mega wrinkly, and I’m too lazy to iron on a regular basis #sorrynotsorry) and didn’t love how they wore (also became mega wrinkly). I liked Gap’s button downs most of the time, but it always seemed like they were never as long as they were the first time I wore them (and I don’t dry them in the dryer). When I’ve tried on Old Navy’s button-downs in the past, they were always way shorter than I wanted and too big through the torso. However, the boyfriend shirt is nearly perfect. I love the length — again, mega long to keep me covered. The fit through the body is OK — I got an extra small and I still think it’s a little big (most of their extra small shirts are skin-tight/suffocating on me, so these shirts are definitely over-sized). I get it — it’s the whole “boyfriend shirt” concept. Still a wee bit over-sized, in my opinion.
What I bought: Relaxed slub knit pocket long sleeve tees
What I paid: $8 (regularly $12.50)*
Here’s where I get boring. I seriously just wanted some plain, long sleeve shirts that I could wear either under some button-down shirts (especially with a chambray shirt!) or under the millions of vests I’ve accumulated. I bought a few of the short sleeve slub knit tees over the summer (they were less than $2! How could I resist?!) and basically wore all of them every week of the season, so I figured I’d give the long sleeve version a try. I’m happy — they aren’t too tight, but not so relaxed that they look sloppy. I’ll be able to wear them to work (with a scarf or necklace) or on the weekends. They look good with all my pants…blah blah blah. Plus, they were SO cheap!
I’m not trying to make my blog an advertisement for Old Navy. But if you’re trying to cut back your spending, Old Navy is the best place to get your shopping fix on the cheap. Especially if you have their credit card…! However, I used to feel the urge to buy things because I was afraid I’d never have the opportunity again. While other stores might not repeat items, Old Navy seems to have the same things every season/year, just different colors (and sometimes the exact same color). So if you’re on the fence, let it go and think about it for 3-9 months.
*These aren’t exactly the prices I paid. Since I had reward coupons, the prices were considerably less 🙂 But I wanted to share what the sale price was, just so you get an idea what you could pay for things at Old Navy. Never, ever, ever pay full price unless you need it right that second.