My 9 Favorite Women’s Clothing Stores

When you think about your favorite women’s clothing store, what makes it special?

Is it the store experience or the selection of clothes and how they make you feel when you’re wearing them?

My favorite women’s clothing stores are where I find something I want to take home!

Some of these retailers ship outside the US, but be sure to check customs and shipping rates to your country as they can seriously blow your budget.

9 Favorite Women’s Clothing Stores


Athleta’s one of my go tos for stylish travel wear. I like the good quality, wearable materials and versatility to wear in town, country or on the go. Styles are trend conscious without being overly trendy.

Athleta has a liberal return policy “Give-It-A-Workout Guarantee”, alterations in store and a pleasant shopping environment. I don’t have the patience to search so I like that everything is grouped to make it easy to find what I’m looking for!

For sales and offers, sign up for emails. Athleta just started offering international shipping. Athleta is part of the Gap/Banana Republic/Old Navy group. If you have a store credit card with either brand you gain points with purchases to use across the brands and it’s easy to shop for all their brands conveniently through one website.


If you’re lucky to live close to either Nordstrom or the “Rack”, no explanation is needed.

Hundreds of quality brands grouped in one store by department. The beauty of Nordstrom is you really can’t go wrong, their buyers know what they’re doing. Nordstroms’ shoe department is in a class by itself.

Nordstrom Rack is where you’ll find current or last years styles marked down in a smaller store setting. The Rack caters to mostly mid price range fashion. You’ll find the occasional designer item amongst the racks. I’ve noticed some Racks seem to get better inventory than others.

Expect to find Tahari, Eileen Fisher and more. I gravitate to the Rack for footwear and jeans. Joe’s Jeans and Kut from the Kloth are two of my favorites – they just seem to fit me better than any other brand (except for Gap)

I appreciate the consistently good customer service at Nordstrom. Alterations are free on full price items. At the Rack or on markdown items you’ll pay a reasonable fee. Returns are flexible. If you find something online, expect free shipping and returns (or return to a store).

J Crew

I’ve shopped at J Crew for decades. I appreciate the classics and when it comes to their t-shirts and sweaters, you can’t go wrong. The pendulum has swung and I’m happy to say their re-interpretations of classic is spot on.

I still love to find basic T’s on the sale rack. Mostly cotton, good color options and well made for the price point. Love the indigo dye options but then I’m a fan of blue. J Crew also carries a nice selection of hair accessories and affordable costume jewelry.

I always know what I’m getting with J Crew, so shopping online isn’t a problem. Returns or exchanges can be made in store.

Madewell is owned by J Crew. Styles skew to a slightly younger demo, which is fine. Again I go for their good quality t-shirts. Madewell’s also known for their jeans which come in a wide selection of US sizes of 00-14.

TJ Maxx

I’ve shopped here for decades and will say not all TJs are created equal. The neighborhood drives the selection. You’ll get a much better collection of designer and brand pieces in better neighborhoods. If you’re a hunter, this is the store for you. Some days you’ll find fantastic pieces and other days you’ll walk out empty handed.

In my opinion the pricing is so so. Not always the best considering it’s past season inventory. Finding a unique piece that you wouldn’t find anywhere else is the lure. I found a beautiful Italian wool military style cardigan for under $60. several years ago that still hangs in my closet.

If you’re lucky, you may find a TJ Maxx with The Runway, a stylish section of high end designer clothes within the womens’ department.

Go with patience and be prepared to comb the racks. Return policy is 30 days.

Old Navy/H&M

If you’re looking for inexpensive basics, you can’t go wrong with either of these lower priced retailers. Don’t expect to wear these clothes much more than a season or two. Think shorts for around the house, T shirts, casual accessories, or lounge wear. Although lately I’m loving the sweaters I’m finding at H&M!

Old Navy is my go to for shorts and inexpensive tops and occasionally jeans or cargo pants.

H&M is a retailer I never shopped at in the US but here in the UK I’m finding good priced sweaters, occasionally dresses and casual tees.

Mango | Zara

Two new retailers I’ve discovered in the UK and Europe. A good interpretation of trends with some lovely dresses to be found if you dig online. I’m still loving the olive green trench coat I found in a Mango store in Spain! Zara is a step up from H&M and one more stop to check out when I’m on the hunt. Love their Home store too.

If you’re like me you love to save money on the basics so you can splurge on better quality pieces that lift your wardrobe. Shoes and boots for example! I always spend a little more on footwear because it’s worth it and can up the whole look.

A little note about sizing: US and UK women’s clothing is sized very differently! After a lifetime of knowing what US size(s) I could wear, coming to the UK is SO confusing. For example a US size 4 here is supposed to equal a UK size 8. But it’s not. A UK 8 is more like a US 2.

Shoe sizes are different too. A US size 6 is a UK size 4. Then of course there’s European sizing! Buy where you can return or exchange.

Favorite go to STORES

Have fun shopping and let me know your favorites!