Even before I turned 40, I’ve found shopping for myself frustrating.
Finally, at a place in life where I can comfortably buy whatever I want (within reason, of course), I find myself leaving store after store empty-handed.
Online is a better option since many stores are limiting their in-store merchandise, but generally speaking, there are only a few retailers that I would call my go-to.
And one of the stores I have no problem spending my money is J. Crew Factory.
This likely makes me the most basic of the basic, and I am just fine with it.
J.Crew Factory is an ideal resource for a relaxed weekend, loungewear, fun accessories, and easy basics. Keep it casual. Skip their jeans and dressy options.
Pair your finds with better pieces so you don’t look like one of their mannequins.
And as someone committed to being as size-inclusive as possible, J.Crew Factory makes that easy, with regular and petite options in a size range that goes to a 3X.
Most items run small, so I always size up.
There is something for everyone below, from cozy sweaters, hybrid office staples and outerwear.
What to Buy at J.Crew Factory
Our What to Buy at Series recreates the experience of working with a stylist. These are the pieces I would put in your dressing room. Recommendations are based on everything I know about our readers looking for help creating a timeless, classic, modern wardrobe on a realistic budget.
Please note, prices are subject to change.
Mockneck sweatshirt, $35
Aww, it’s that time of year when I start to romanticize pumpkin patches, and Fall days fill with kids-friendly activities. In my Instagram filtered imagination, I’m wearing this stripped sweatshirt, jeans and ankle boots.
In reality, I have several versions of this and it’s so soft and cozy. We use them as a layer for ski days.
Flannel Shirt, $48.50
I love a flannel shirt in a slim cut, paired with boyfriend jeans. To keep the look soft, add a pointy toe flat (your Rothy’s would work well here) and extra feminine jewelry, like a simple pearl accent earring and some layer gold necklaces.
Button Jacquard Pullover Sweater, $44.50
A girlfriend of mine was wearing this at our kids back to school night (in the rose and navy combo) and it looked so fresh I knew I wanted to feature it. Simply pair with jeans and either sneakers or booties and if you’re feeling ambitious, layer it over a button down shirt.
Tunic Sweatshirt, $34.50
One of the most popular reader favorites last year was this sweatshirt with a wide button collar. This year, they made it slightly longer, so it pairs with leggings and skinny jeans easier.
Chelsea Sweater Blazer, $59.50
If finding a cardigan that doesn’t overwhelmn you is a challenge (and it is for so many readers) this sweater blazer may be your solution. It has a little bit of movement, layers beautifully and doesn’t give bathrobe-vibes.
Corduroy slip-ons with shearling, $44.50
I can’t imagine a better work-from-home shoe. Undoubtedly, wearing “real” shoes makes you feel more pulled together, but the reality of home office life means most of us are in slippers. So here you get the best of both worlds, the soft feeling of shearling in a shoe you can not be embarrassed to wear leaving the house.
One-Button Blazer, $129.50
It’s a well known fact that it’s hard for me to pass up a blazer, even these days when my lifestyle never requires one. But throwing one on with a pair of jeans and heels for drinks and dinner makes me feel like my old, stylish self.
I’d pair this with a simple white bodysuit, light wash jeans an a neutral-to-me pump.
Leather Heeled Boots, $89.50
Just a gorgeous under $100 leather boot (also available in black) available in all sizes.
Boiled wool-blend topcoat, $139.50
In my humble opinion, there is nothing more classic, more wearable, than a camel topcoat. But take my word, finding something affordable, and in an inclusive size range is a challenge.
Statement Necklace, $29.50
Sometimes you want to zhush up your basics, and this over-the-top statement necklace is an affordable way to have some fun. It’s available in clear and rainbow; I like both but went with clear.
Layer it over crewneck sweaters or under a collar for a bit of personality.
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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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