Think Outside The {Fashion} Box

It is easy to walk into a store like Anthropologie and want to buy everything in site….even when your wallet is empty.

The music, scent, art, lighting, vintage statement pieces…and that is even before you see the clothes, shoes, tea towels and bedding.


(just got this)

(dreaming of this)

They have me at hello!

The truth is that as much as I love Anthropologie…and I mean LOVE…I can not afford to buy too much there.

I will buy a few pieces a season that are so amazing and unique and really are pieces that I will wear again and again.

For the past few winters one of the things I have bought from them is a new pair of boots (not this year though…still poor from France).

If you are thinking about buying their boots and wonder if they are worth the money…YES THEY ARE!

I rotate my boots all winter long.

The majority of my clothes though come from Target, Old Navy, Gap, JCREW and Urban Outfitters.

Anything trendy I buy someplace that is really inexpensive…because by the time it is falling apart… it is already out of fashion.

Even though I spend money on my boots… most (almost all) of my other shoes are from Target.


When I want a new pair of shoes Target is the first place I look.

I have a pair of boots that look just like Fry boots that I bought from Target for $50…and they are comfortable…promise.

I also just picked up these shoes from Payless because I was in love with a pair in JCrew for $275…yes, you read that correctly.  That wasn't going to happen so I was thrilled when I found these.


I have bought a few pairs of Anthro knee socks but after the first time I purchased them I almost couldn't stomach the price so I now get all of my knee socks at Target of Forever 21.

(these are from Forever 21)

Forever 21 scares me…I will be honest.

The lights are so bright that I feel like I need sunglasses and that every wrinkle on my face is showing.

The music is too loud and makes me edgy and a little mad…I am getting soooo not 21!!!

The good thing about the store is that I can walk all the way into the back and pick up really cute knee socks that will peek out from my winter boots for less than $5 a pair…compare that to the Anthro $38.

I love to layer leggings over a skirt with boots in the winter. 

My favorite leggings come from…prepare yourself….Kohls.

The Vera Wang label has the best leggings at a great price..and Kohls always has sales.

These leggings are thick..but not too thick.

They keep their shape all day and you could even wear them again without washing them and they would look good…I mean…not that I would EVER do that…gross:-)

Some leggings are so thin and cheap that they are NOT flattering and they become baggy after an hour.

So, even though I love Anthropologie and I am drooling over there new items……

Most of my clothes and accessories come everywhere from Etsy, Target, Forever 21, Urban Outfitters, JCrew (when they are on sale), Gap and Old Navy.  I would also go to H&M more if we had one near us.

I know many of you find AMAZING deals at TJ Maxx, Marshalls etc.  I do find things there sometimes but I have to be honest that those stores stress me out and I rarely have the time that is needed to really find all the awesome deals there.

I commend all of you that take the time…because I have friends that come away with the most incredible finds.

Where do you find the best prices on fashion?

What stores inspire you and then you find similar clothes elsewhere?


If any of you are awesome at taking flea market and goodwill finds and altering them please show us because I wish I could do this!


Also remember that if you  have a business you are trying to start, grow etc. be sure to enter the Pay It Forward post for a chance to win the Kelly Rae Roberts E-book on running a business and some other goodies from her shop.  Comment will close on Sunday night.


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  1. Lara

    Great minds think alike! I just finished up my Monday post on Anthro…funny, funny πŸ™‚
    I got a necklace this week at Forever 21 (I too have a hard time being in there with the pulsating music) that I looooove for $10! Can’t beat it!

  2. Julie M ~ The Little Red Shop

    Thank you for reminding me…if I head into town tomorrow I should stop by Nordstrom Rack. I love Anthropologie, J. Crew & Target too. I hadn’t heard of Forever 21, I’ll have to see if we have them.
    Have a gorgeous weekend, Jeanne!
    : )
    Julie M.

  3. Sloane

    Oh my, I cannot stand Forever 21, I won’t even go in there. For that matter, I hate the mall but sometimes you just have to go. I am always checkingout the Anthro. clearance on line but I have never tried anything on by them and I don’t know how the sizig is. There is a store a few hours away, I will make it there someday. We used to have a JCrew outlet. I like to get socks and tights from this place sometimes, lots of cool stuff to look at over there! I work for my families biz doing screenprinting and embroidery, so I am in a warehouse all day. Jeans and a sweater (just scored a bunch of turtleneck sweaters cheap at Kohls). I know very boring. But I did score 2 awesome dresses at a craft show last March, they are traditional African batiks made from muslin, very well made and cut beautifully for my shape. They do not sell on line though, bummer, needless to say I cannot wait to see them again.
    My boots are Borne’s (cowboy style)a discontinued style I scored for 1/2 price at Sierra Trading Post.

  4. Traci

    and you have such a great style. i love that skirt. i saw a great knit dress in anthro a few weeks ago. i might have to go back and try it on. then i will go look for leggings and socks.

  5. sabrina

    I am the same way as you! I love Anthropologie so much, but I just can’t stomach their prices for clothes. So like you I try to find similar pieces at Target, Old Navy, & Kohls!
    I am so not 21 anymore, but I must admit that they have the best and inexpensive accesories. Sometimes those little teenyyoung adult stores have the cutest jewelry!

  6. Flower Patch Farmgirl

    My #1 favorite fashion stop is the J Crew outlet.
    I also just discovered (but have never purchased from) Lands End Canvas.
    I love to drool over Anthro and that skirt you picked up is delish!
    I love Target stuff.
    But most of all, I love my friend JB’s closet. If I lived closer, I might need a restraining order…

  7. Leah C

    Forever 21 scares me too…mostly because it makes me feel “old”;) I love to shop at Target & Old Navy; I really love EddieBauer, too{but my bank account doesn’t like it, so that’s usually a “splurge”}!

  8. Jamie

    Ditto! Love Simply Vera leggings too and her jeans…Love,I do the same a few Anthro pieces a season and the rest Target, Jcrew,Gap, Old Navy,…I like Ann Taylor Loft too. Emily love Forever 21 but Im the same, I need earplugs to even go in there. I Love Down East Basics online too and Ruche..Always looking and not spending too much. Have a Great Weekend, Jamie

  9. deborah@applesinwonderland

    we shop the same places….target is home to me. and the j.crew i go to is an outlet:) i do love anthro….but mostly love in little bits at a time. and i live in the frye-ish boots from target–what a steal!!!!!

  10. Sarah at meandmyyellowhouse

    Great fashion tips! I went earlier this week for the first time to Anthropologie – my heart sank…I could not afford to take home all the great things I found. To Target I will go! πŸ™‚

  11. emily ruth

    i get almost all of my clothes at goodwill & i rarely alter them at all…i looooove it (i have some finds on my blog right now) …i am a plus size girl & so the selection is smaller, but i made a promise to myself a few years ago that i wouldn’t by anything at the size i am now that i wouldn’t buy if i were a size 4…just saying, i’m not buying mumus just because they fit…it’s gotta be cute, lady πŸ™‚
    forever 21 is scary, i agree, but their jewelry prices makes it worth the pain πŸ™‚
    & anthro…oh dear sweet anthro…i dream of creating a plus size anthro collection…
    i always love to see your fashion finds & dreams :)…thanks for being so fun <3

  12. Sandie {A Bloggable Life}

    Gosh, you know…I shop everywhere for clothes: Macy’s, Dillard’s, Nordstrom’s, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Target, Kohl’s—you name it, I shop there! I thrift shop too—but those clothes items are harder to come by (luck of the day) and often, like you mentioned, get tailored or repurposed into a new design.
    I just started a blog feature called iThrift Thursdays where I’m featuring vintage items I discover while thrifting. Of course, my clothing and/or furniture & tutorials will be included too as the feature progresses, so be sure to keep an eye on it πŸ™‚
    P.S. I usually have my laptop speakers turned off when I browse the web, and I usually don’t care for music playing on websites. But today I had my speakers on & heard your playlist for the first time—I loved it! We like many of the same songs and I have to thank you for introducing me to some new favorites (Priscilla Ahn’s Dream). This made my day!

  13. Jennifer Snelllings

    I’m a new visitor to your blog and I just love it!! I can’t tell you just how much I relate to many of your posts!
    You have such an adorable fashion sense/style! I just love it! We share many of the same favorites…Target, Payless, Kohls and I’ve had some really great luck at Ross and TJ Maxx, especially when it comes to pants. I feel like a frumpy Mommy these days (I have a 7yr old and an 18 month old) and have been dreaming of getting myself some new things to feel “good” in! Your post really inspired me. Thank you!! πŸ™‚
    Take care,

  14. the gypsy chick

    oh i totally LOVE Anthropologie, but not lovin’ the $$$, you have some great tips about how to get the same looks for less.
    I also have the same love hate relationship with forever 21, that place makes me nuts, but sometimes can find the cutest things.

  15. anne marie

    but when “not” pregnant…which I’m a little unfamiliar with…I like JCrew, TJMaxx/Marshalls, and Anthro for inspiration ONLY…if i could afford it i would be shopping at cabbages and roses and ewa i walla
    you should see how different I look (aka large belly)…sheesh!…..

  16. sherryhicks

    I stalk Anthro but only buy on the sales racks in the back….I just have a hard time spending that kind of money per item. I have seen the “Ruche” ad on FaceBook and clicked on it and the clothes look just as pretty and intriguing, but I am not sure about quality, If someone has ordered from them I hope they speak out about quality. I was in Anthropology today with my daughters and grandaughter and we drooled over the skirt you just got and there was a black hat with blue material with flowers that I liked. But it was a buying jackets for the girls afternoon, rockfish, and starbucks. No anthropology money left. I hope you enjoy your skirt it is beautiful, I love the texture!

  17. lissa

    I’m being completely honest Jeanne when I tell you that I always tell people that you’re the best dresser I know and that you will buy some Key pieces which may be a bit dressier and then pair it with something from target. I’ve learned from that. I think it works with decorating as well. And we both know that I have nothing to offer to the world of fashion… unless you want a really cozy hoodie. πŸ˜‰

  18. Destiny (The Ruffled Nest)

    Well…the people at Target know me …I mean they REALLY know me LOL Everything from clothes to movies and music to groceries to Starbucks to Pizza Hut LOL…I am there about 5 times a week (sometimes more) They know my daughter too….she even gets hugs and kisses from some of the ladies there hahaha! I agree with the Forever 21 observation – WAY too bright and the music stresses me out and makes me want to high tail it out of there as fast as I can! I find some cute jewelry pieces there though! I’m also a fan of Express….always have been. As for shoes…I’m all Payless, Target, and I just got some great Bjorn brand “shoe-boots” at Marshalls for $50bux a pair (black ones AND brown ones) – they are soooooooo comfy!!!

  19. Heather

    This was the most refreshing post to read…I was just talking about how much I love Anthro, but can’t afford one thread in there right now! I have the same boots your talking about and I also find “replicas” at other stores. In fact, it is something I have done all my life….I wish I had the money to drop on the bigger names, but other things are a bit more important these days. I love the mix and I love the hunt to make it my own! Thanks for sharing, and keeping it real…

  20. Gail

    Your fashion sense is always an inspiration to me. I am struggling with how should I dress now that I am in my 50’s and look hip and cool. I do Gap, Old Navy, Target, Maxx, Forever 21 as well as some local shops. I am totally into dresses and tights. Can’t go wrong there.

  21. Suzen

    I have made a few philosophical changes to my wardrobe buying. I have stopped buying things that are inexpensive or on sale because of the price and now I get shoes/bags from Anthro when on sale. I just put ’em in my cart and watch until the price goes down and then press send. If they never do, it wasn’t meant to be. Also, I get a lot from ebay and starting to look on etsy for more, too. F21 for junk jewelry and some tops. Banana Republic has great clearance sales. Also J Jill has a few pieces I like. White House/Black Market for jeans. I just pay the price because they fit me well. I no longer have kidlets at home so I have the time to shop. Starting to sew more for myself and read the Anthro/Free People/Urban Outfitters/J. Crew catalogues for ideas I can make on my own.

  22. Zita - Mlle Magpie

    Love it when you share your stylish fashion tips, Jeanne. Me, I can only dream of Antrho as there isn’t one for 100’s of miles anywhere close to me πŸ™

  23. Jennifer Rizzo

    I love anthro too, but it’s so pricey! I do the same thing or sew my own. πŸ™‚ You can see some of my up-cycled clothing in my new collection on Monday! πŸ™‚

  24. kana

    You are too funny! I did splurge on 2 pair of Anthro boots and yes they are worth it….pretty and comfy! I also buy a couple of things there, but the prices frighten me. I also go to Target, Gap and like to get stuff at J Crew, but it needs to be on sale. I have purchased a couple of pairs of tights and am trying them with skirts and boots. You always look great… thanks for the inspiration!!

  25. Polly

    Jen’s collection is amazing! I do love all of her upcycled clothing!
    I’m a TJ Maxx girl! Ours gets their shipments on Tuesdays, so I’ve learned that is the best day to go!
    We went on a road trip to Cincinnati over the weekend and I hit a nice outlet mall there. I stopped at Forever 21 (which was a CRAZY mess inside) but I got a cute necklace for $8, a scarf for $9 and another scarf marked down to 50 cents!!

  26. Christi

    What a fun post! I would love to hear about buying jeans! And maybe accessories… pulling an outfit together. Now THAT would be great!
    I like many of the places you mentioned, but have you been to Such cute stuff… new AND vintage! I also like Banana Republic outlet.

  27. Crystal

    Wow, I did not realize how much I missed visiting your blog, hence I have been away from blogging for a “few” months. I have been reading so long I am not sure exactly how to comment.
    I adore those same Payless shoes and almost bought them last week (you lucky girl). I go into Forever 21 with my daughter (15), I do get some finds from there, after looooking around. H&M is another store that I can usually find some good pieces too, almost always on sale πŸ™‚
    It is so ironic how much we have in common, I wish you lived closer, it would be great to get together.

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