Have you ever run into the problem where you switched jobs or just graduated from post secondary school and you're having trouble finding business casual clothes at a reasonable, affordable price? Honestly, never expect yourself to find everything you need in one shopping trip. I mean, if you do, well lucky you but generally, it takes a few casual encounters to find pieces to add in your wardrobe.
Lately, I've been shopping around for some business wear and if you live in the Toronto or can commute to the outskirts of GTA, here are a few great places I found.
1. Orfus Road Outlet Stores - Suzy Shier, Stitches, Ardene, Sirens, Nygard Jay Set (Toronto)
Many people know about Orfus Road, the street behind Yorkdale Mall. Depending on when you go, sometimes Stitches have really affordable tops like $5 or $10. Ardene also has affordable clothes. They have 70% and 80% off tops which generally comes out to be less than $10. However, bare in mind the price also speaks for its quality.
Your first look at Nygard Jay Set may make you think it's not your style because they seem like an elder's clothing line, however, if you actually take some time to look through the store, you may find some nice, affordable pieces. For great quality, you could find pieces for $10 - $35.
2. Joe Fresh (In Loblaws, Superstores and Fortinos all over GTA and standalone stores like Victoria Park Ave and Eglinton Ave E or in Vaughan Mills)
When the season changes, Joe Fresh always have great clearance prices. I've once found a cashmere V neck top for $19.99, marked down from over $60. Their style is more upscale casual.
3. Bridlewood Mall - Ardene and Nygard Jay Set (Scarborough)
Live in Scarborough and don't want to commute far? Well surprisingly, Bridlewood Mall at Warden and Finch Avenue have occasional promotions. The mall itself isn't that great but this Ardene currently has 80% off everything in their store, well almost everything. For example, boots are less than $5, flats are less than $3, scarves are less than $2, jewelry are $1 or $2.
As for Nygard Jay Set, they also have pieces between $10 - $35.
4. Jacob Outlet (Markham)
I went there a few days ago and they had a few great tops but the only downside is the limited sizes. I found one peplum top and it was 50% off at $22.49.
5. Target (GTA)
If you've never checked out the clothing section in Target, then honestly, you've been missing out. Target carries some cute pieces and decently affordable when they are on clearance. I used to think Target was a department store just like Zellers, maybe a bit better. But no, was I wrong. Sometimes you've just got to visit Target a little more frequently to wait for their clearance products. For example, I needed a pair of earbud earphones that I could carry around in my purse for occasional using. I didn't need it to be expensive but I wasn't going to go to the dollar store to purchase them. I just happen to walk into the Target store near my house and found one for $4.99.
As for their footwear, I've bought a pair of nude heels a few months ago, they weren't on sale but they were only $29.99. A relatively good price for a fairly comfortable pair of 2.5-inch heels.
About a month ago, I bought this dress for $17.49 on 30% clearance. A decent price for a dress that I can wear to work.
Today, I stopped by Target after hitting the gym and I found this top. It's a sheer top so I'll wear a tank top underneath but it's business casual. And because it's sheer, it's a great top for a breezy spring day - not too hot nor too chilly.
6. Durham Riocan Centre Outlets - Banana Republic, Le Chateau, Ricki's, Garage / Dynamite, Reitmans, Marshalls and Target
I drove over to Durham Riocan Centre last week located in Ajax and they have an outlet centre. Honestly, it's a centre where you're bound to find something. There's also an Old Navy and Mexx Outlet next door. So really, it's an outlet central there.
7. Costco (GTA)
Do you have a membership at Costco? Do you visit go to the clothing section? It may be surprising to put Costco on this list but on the rare occasion I visit Costco, I do find random tops or dress pants I end up purchasing. Costco does offer an affordable price. Just a month ago, I found a blazer at Costco for $24.99.
8. JustFab.ca (Online shopping)
A girl I work with has a very nice stylish bag, I asked and she told me she bought it online at JustFab.ca. They have some nice accessories on there. Not business casual clothing but for handbags and footwear.
9. Taobao.com (Online shopping)
Are you a risk taker? Because if you are, you can explore a much greater shopping network than eBay. Last year, I bought some stuff on Taobao.com, the quality is pretty good and the prices are decent. Because the site is in Chinese, I had to use Chrome browser to translate everything for me.
Last year, I had to use a purchasing agent to buy my goods because sellers on Taobao didn't ship outside of China. And because I was using a purchasing agent, I had to pay them 10% service fee. The agent I used was called TaobaoFocus.com. It was the cheapest agent I found online. But now, Taobao.com is offering international shipping for service charge of 3%. *Yay!* So if you'd like to explore this option, definitely read it up. However, I don't recommend purchasing skin care and cosmetic products on Taobao. It's a risk I wouldn't take.
Always check out the clearance sections in every clothing store. You just might find a piece you like!
Do you know of places to shop for affordable clothes?