Save Money by Shopping Juniors

One of the best ways to save money on apparel is by shopping the Junior stores and the Juniors section in major department stores. If you are short/petite woman under 5’4 and relative small boned, the Junior Department can put my breathing room in  your pocket.  It would in my opinion, not be advisable to shop in Juniors if you are taller than 5’4 or more than 130 pounds.

There is a significant markup when you move over to the Women’s section in fine department stores. Misses is looking pretty good nowadays, since more manufacturers are interpreting trends a lot quicker and the styles are more reflective of what’s on the runway, but the price point between Juniors and Misses is a good $50 to $200 difference. I’m also referring to the department store “house brands” and not any of the name brand designers they may carry.

I figured why pay $98 for a skirt in Misses (for example a INC skirt at Macy’s may retail for $98) when you can pay $39 in the Junior section. Some of the better junior lines are XOXO, BCX, Rampage, Zinc and Necessary Objects. I always go for their suiting separates and outerwear. That’s not to say that one shouldn’t shop the Women’s section at all. The best time to shop the misses/petite section is during seasonal changes, so you can get that extra 30% to 50% off. You probably don’t want to wait until it hits the clearance rack, because by that time sizes are limited and everything is picked over. The Junior section is great for blazers, dress shirts, coats, and blouses.

If you are a woman in your thirties or forties you want to be extremely selective. You probably want to avoid the casual wear (tanks, t-shirts, casual tops and pants, jeans, leggings, undergarment and swim wear) area, unless you don’t give a hoot and just want to “go there”. I prefer to exercise judgment and put “style” before trends, but obviously it’s whatever the person is comfortable with.
I also stay away from buying dresses from the Juniors department, because many time their dresses are too short, over-embellished, made with skimpy material, poorly designed or are too “prom” looking. The Junior stores (Forever21, Wet Seal) really aren’t any better.  Update:   Forever 21 has made adjustments in their line and they’re now offering Misses, plus and maternity sizing on-line.

I usually purchase my dresses from department stores during clearance season or Target, Dillards, Marshalls / TJ Maxx or Ross for Less. Basic lifestyle stores like Gap and Old Navy are great places to pick up pants, jeans and solid pieces and occasionally you can find a nice summer dress on the cheap. The Gap is great, but lately they have decided to stock less merchandise so they do less markdowns, thereby making it harder to find really good deals at the Gap.

Juniors is a good alternative if your clothing budget is very tight. Many women today have so many other financial responsibilities that there is hardly any room for “fashion” in their budget. They may have the same amount of funds for clothing as a college student. So why not take advantage of their resources. This will enable the fashionably frugal mom or single woman to look good but stay focus on other financial priorities. ;-)

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10 Responses to Save Money by Shopping Juniors

  1. Chel says:

    I just started shopping at forever 21. Some of the stuff is blah but I’ve found a few good things. Today I wore this dress ( with fishnets and mary janes and got SO many compliments. One male coworker told me this was one of my more “conservative” outfits, as opposed to my “flashy” outfits. I think he meant those pencil skirts I told you about!

  2. Profile photo of Budget Chic Budget Chic says:

    Great dress!! I like some of their dresses, but most of the time their dresses are a little too short. I need most of my dresses to go over the knee. That one is really fab though!!

  3. Brandie says:

    Wow girl, I’m glad Cheap Chica blogged about you! Love your style *taking notes*

  4. luckywithfashion says:

    I thought I was the only one prowling the Junior stores, now I don’t feel so bad! :-D I love shopping Charlotte Russe and for thrifting Plato’s Closet

  5. Profile photo of Budget Chic Budget Chic says:

    Thanks Brandie! Chica always look out. She always give me mad love in her blog and I appreciate it alot. Girl, I just try to make it “do what it do” ;-)

  6. BB says:

    so glad Cheap Chica introduced me to your blog. hells yeah i shop juniors! i have a friend who’s 4’11” who even shops the CHILDREN’s department! the scary thing is how mature some of the clothing is getting for kids these days…but yeah, great money saving tip :)

  7. Profile photo of Budget Chic Budget Chic says:

    Thanks BB. I love shopping Juniors. The Petite and Misses section is great when you can catch a real sale like 50% to 70% off. Otherwise I’m scanning the racks in Forever21, Rue21, Old Navy, etc. :mrgreen:

  8. babydraco says:

    Except those clothes are for teenage girls and if you’re not built like a teenage girl, you can’t do it. Many grown women, even if they’re in great shape, are still not able to dress in teenage girl’s clothing.

  9. Profile photo of Budget Chic Budget Chic says:

    You are right, you have to decided if you can shop Juniors or not. Thats why I try “everything” on because each item is cut differently. Some Juniors line are more generously “cut” than other, and some lines have extended sizes (Junior plus sizes).

    Some styles will work out well, and some will not. You always have to “size up” if you wear at least a 36 cup when trying on Junior tops. I don’t buy junior pants, even though I’m smaller on the lower half of my body. I prefer shopping for pants and jeans in the women’s department or old navy (most women are thicker in the mid section and stomach area so they need to purchase from misses/petites) . I seldomly buy any Junior dresses. There are certain things I stay away from as I mentioned in my post. I do blazers, blouses, shirts and skirts occasionally and thats it. I don’t suggest you buy everything in Juniors.

    -Forever21 only goes up to a size 6 for the average woman. If you are a petite (small boned, small in height and statue) you can go up to a size 8.

    -DOTS is great and generous with their sizing, they carry PLUS sizes and woman who wear up to a average size 12 can shop in DOTS

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