What to Buy at Express

In the late nineties, I was a fun-loving sorority girl living my best life at Temple University. Back then, my biggest challenge was figuring out how to go to a party at night and write a paper due in the morning.

I can’t believe there was a time when I didn’t start my night until after 10pm. The current me would be unrecognizable to my younger self, lol. 

It’s hard not to get a bit nostalgic with 90’s trends showing up everywhere. It was a simpler time, and I’ll always be grateful I had those years without the unbearable pressure of social media hanging over my head. 

Back then, Express was a staple in my wardrobe. Their inexpensive, trend-focused clothes were perfect for our nights out, or an off campus date. 

One item, in particular, became so popular with my house we called them “sorority pants.”

Sorority pants were a bootcut, low-rise, flat front trouser made of a completely synthetic material that perfectly clung to our backsides. They were indestructible, and we put them to the test three or four times a week. Paired with mid-drift baring tops and heavy boots that looked like tanks, we defined 90s style.

Looking back, I guess you could say it was the first time I embraced the idea of a uniform. 

But just like all of us, Express has grown up, and I’m here to tell you they are 100% worth checking out this season. Their pieces are sleek, sophisticated, and perfect for our finally back-to-normal world.

For today’s What to Buy at Series, I rounded up my top picks from Express as a former sorority girl, now 40 something-year-old woman who is happily sound asleep by 9:30 at night.

What to Buy at Express

A collection of clothes and jewelry from Express

This chic line up looks like a collection you would see hanging in a better department store.

Let’s talk quickly about sizes. Express runs true to size but go up if you are in between. Their size scale includes an XL which is equivalent to a 16/18 and has petite options. 

Express is on of the few retailers that has not offered non-stop sales and mark downs, so the price is the price. Inventory is smaller that what it use to be, so popular items will sell out quickly. 

What should you look for? Novelty pieces that will expand and add style to your current basics, dresses, fun tops and accessories. 

Oversized Linen Boyfriend Blazer

Express Oversized Linen Blend boyfriend blazer

Linen-Blend Boyfriend Blazer, $138 

I’ve never met a boyfriend blazer I didn’t love, and this linen-blend option is no exception. It is gorgeous. Pair it with slim jeans in a dark or light wash, OR make it a suit with these coordinating pull on bottoms for a relaxed tone-on-tone look.

Available in regular and petite, XXS- XL in sandstone (above) and copper. 

Puff Sleeve Wrap Front Sheath

Express Puff Sleeve wrap sheath dress

Puff Sleeve Wrap Front Sheath Dress, $78

The structure of this sheath dress is stunning. This kind of puff sleeve works well if you have narrow shoulders as is will create a shape that brings back your proportions. 

Available in XXS – XL in regular and petite

Leopard Ruffle Sleeve Smocked Waist Maxi Dress

Express Leopard Ruffle Sleeve smocked waist maxi dress

Leopard Ruffle Sleeve Smocked Waist Maxi Dress, $108 

I’m a sucker for a neutral leopard print and this maxi dress hits it out of the park. I plan on wearing it with gold accessories, and my favorite Tory Burch Patos Sandals for an easy but dressed up look. 

Available in XXS – XXL in regular and petite. 

Textured Off the Shoulder Top

Express Textured off the shoulder top

Textured Off The Shoulder Top, $54 

If picking up a few tops that don’t look like anything you would wear to work or on Zoom is on your list, Express as a ton of options. I love this breezy off the shoulder top wear on vaca this summer. Pair with skinny jeans or your favorite shorts.

Available in XXS – XXL in four colors including white (above) and black

Sleeveless Two Pocket Shirt

Express Two Pocket Portofino Top

Sleeveless Two Pocket Portofino Shirt, $48

During a recent LIVE chat I hosted with our INSIDERS we talked about our comfort level with sleeveless tops. I was thrilled to learn that the majority of our members are just fine with it, especially when you live in an extra warm part of the country. 

This sleeveless top stood out for it’s clean lines, gorgeous color options and under $50 price point. 

Available in XXS – XL, in blush (above), peach and crisp white

Floral Lace One Should Ruffle Tank

Express Floral Lace one shoulder tank

 

Floral Lace One Shoulder Ruffle Tank, $68 

This black one-shoulder top is GORGEOUS. I immediately bought it to pair with white bottoms for summer parties.

Available in XXS – XL in white and black, which I think is the absolute stunner.

 

 

Crackled Metal Rectangle Earrings

Express Crackled metal rectangle drop earrings

Crackled Metal Rectangle Drop Earrings, $24 

One trend I can get behind is the oversized earring. After a year of dressing down, it feels appropriate for accessories to be a bit over the top for the next few seasons. An earring is such an easy way to try a new look since you can find them at affordable prices.

This pair of rectangle drops are oversized enough to feel impactful but not at all heavy and only $24. 

Curb Chain Necklace

Express Curb Chain Necklace

Curb Chain Necklace, $24 

Finally, you’ll see bold chain necklaces popping up in all sorts of outfits. It’s another trend to try to incorporate into what you already have.
I like the ease of the look. Wear this chain over a white tee, with jeans and sneakers, or layer it under the collar of an oversized blazer.

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Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

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What to Buy at Express

3 thoughts on “What to Buy at Express”

  1. I recently popped into Express and was quite impressed with their collection! I saw A lot of very nice looking neutral pieces as well as pops of color that I loved. Thank you so much for your input and ideas.

    Reply
  2. I was a sorority girl in the very early 2000s and I know EXACTLY which pants you’re referencing. We also LIVED for Express’ sister store, The Limited, for going out tops and dresses. Ah, to be young again. 🙂

    Reply

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