The options that I'm left with are:
1. Boden - beautiful useful styles, high quality, equally high prices. (current coupon for 20% off - WA80)
2. J.Crew - some nice styles, quality varies, overpriced unless on sale.
3. Talbots - mostly for pencil skirts. Otherwise, good for conservative work clothes which I don't have a need for. (Use coupon JANUARY for 25% off full price items and extra 50% off sale).
4. Ann Taylor and LOFT - Not my favorite, but occasionally I do find something I like there.
5. Sundance - some great styles which I can't afford unless there's a sale.
6. ModCloth - great styles but inconsistent quality and not cheap either.
7. Urban Outfitters - some good styles but again, inconsistent quality and not cheap.
8. Old Navy, Gap - More affordable (current coupon for 30% off - NEWYOU).
So lately I've taken to perusing some cheaper websites, namely Forever21 and Old Navy and while the clothes are not exactly "Be still my heart", I was pleasantly surprised to find a whole lot of nice, useful wardrobe pieces. While the quality may be somewhat inconsistent, at least you don't feel like a moron for paying an arm and a leg for it. At an average of $20 per top, you can't go too wrong.
Crew Neck Cardigan - $12.80
This cardigan is 95% cotton and comes in 8 colors. Seems to me that you can't go wrong with it for the price. I was considering sewing on an applique to a simple cardigan, but didn't want to do it to anything
expensive in fear of ruining it. Now I may just try it with this cardigan.
Mixed Stripe Cardigan - $15.80
100 % Cotton and available in 4 colors.
I'm torn between the yellow and the aqua. Which one, people, which one?
Open Knit Sweater - $17.50
Available in 4 colors. 100% cotton.
Dolman Sweater Cardigan - $29.80
Crochet Lace Collar Cardigan - $22.80
It looks so retro/feminine. I like the gathered sleeves. 100% cotton.
Polka Dot Boyfriend Cardigan - $22.80
Also available in black & white combo. 100% cotton.
Embellished Cardigan - $39.90
Available in 3 colors. Cotton/Viscose.
Deconstructed Pointelle Cardigan - $22.80
I'm obsessed with Pointelle in general, and I like the unusual
pattern on this cardigan. Also comes in teal. 100% cotton.
Pointelle Cardigan - $24.90
The collar is a nice touch. Also comes in blue.
Old Navy Picks
You can get 30% OFF any Old Navy, Gap and Banana Republic
order with coupon NEWYOU. Expires 1/19
Pointelle Tie-Waist Cardigan - $32.94
Yes, more pointelle. I told you I was obsessed!
Available in 3 colors. 100% cotton.
Chest-Pocket Pleated-Back Tees - $15 ($10.50 with coupon)
I like the cheerful colors and the whimsical wave print.
Embroidered Chiffon Camis - $32.94
Love the delicate, tonal embroidery.
Cross-Smocked Maxi Dresses - $29.94
This looks like the perfect vacation/Summer dress.
Available in 4 colors. 60% cotton.
Printed Tie-Waist Dress - $34.94
Tab-Sleeve Trench Coat - $39.94
Printed Burnout Jersey Scarves - $12.50
As you can see, most of the styles I picked are semi-fitted. This is a personal preference. I never took to the extra loose, extra wide, trendy bat sleeve styles that can be found just about anywhere now. If that's what rocks your boat, there's no shortage of these styles at Forever21. I just couldn't bare to display them on my blog. No offence to any of you bat-sleeve wearers.