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Women's Business Casual and formal officewear

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  • Sep 28th, 2018 11:44 am
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Apr 21, 2004
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Women's Business Casual and formal officewear

No, I've not come out of the closet or have become a transvestite. :)

Just wondering besides Aritzia and Zara, where else can university students / new graduates shop for their wardrobe without breaking the bank? Mostly for networking events and potential interviews down the road. We are in the GTA and can drive around.

Prefer clothes that:
  • don't have to be dry cleaned though we have P&G Dryel which could work
  • wrinkle-free or at least wrinkle resistant
  • durable and not throw away articles of clothing
  • fashionable but not too trendy since we don't want to spend money on wear-once pieces of clothing

Thank you.
10 replies
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Jun 23, 2018
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I have worked in the office for over 4 years. I normally shop at Joe Fresh for basics, R&W Co., Ricki’s, LeChateau, H&M and Reitmans, Costco, and Banana Republic for my business casual-blazers, dress pants, dressy tops. I used to shop at Mexx, Jacob, Express, Smart Set and Club Monaco. They are all gone now.
Your best bet is to look up deals and discounts. Shop at end of season sales and look for staple items that don’t go out of trend. Only buy if you truly think the item looks great. Don’t buy if you have mixed feelings or want to adjust something about it. It’s gonna stay in your closet until it hits Goodwill. I find a lot of stores that I used to shop at have been either bankrupted or closed in the past 5 years. I would check out some Reddit threads (Canada only) in the past year and see if others have suggestions in the area they live in. Last thing, check material on clothing. This way, you know what’s gonna last longer than others. I go for quality over quantity. I rarely shop as I have a lot of clothes that I’ve accumulated that is enough for my business casual wear.
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Jul 29, 2005
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alanbrenton wrote:
Sep 9th, 2018 11:52 am
No, I've not come out of the closet or have become a transvestite. :)

Just wondering besides Aritzia and Zara, where else can university students / new graduates shop for their wardrobe without breaking the bank? Mostly for networking events and potential interviews down the road. We are in the GTA and can drive around.

Prefer clothes that:
  • don't have to be dry cleaned though we have P&G Dryel which could work
  • wrinkle-free or at least wrinkle resistant
  • durable and not throw away articles of clothing
  • fashionable but not too trendy since we don't want to spend money on wear-once pieces of clothing

Thank you.
You named the two stores that my 23 Year old daughter (and myself) would shop at. Zara is great as the prices are so affordable and the clothes look good. My daughter also loves Wilfrid (chain of Aritzia) but is pricy.

You can also look at Banana Republic (there's an outlet in Halton and Vaughan Mills). Also Simon's has nice stuff. Uniqlo has some a few nice things. Not a fan of HM, their quality looks and feels low.
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Jan 15, 2013
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Raggie wrote:
Sep 11th, 2018 6:42 am
...You can also look at Banana Republic (there's an outlet in Halton and Vaughan Mills). Also Simon's has nice stuff. Uniqlo has some a few nice things. Not a fan of HM, their quality looks and feels low.
I would agree with Banana Republic. Reasonably priced, decent quality and flattering fit. Stay away from H&M which is fast food for clothing.
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sandav wrote:
Sep 11th, 2018 7:01 am
I would agree with Banana Republic. Reasonably priced, decent quality and flattering fit. Stay away from H&M which is fast food for clothing.
Yep, it's also ill-fitting . Also, not Joe Fresh (Loblaw) or Reitmans (RWCO) which I think caters to the older crowd. (In otherwords, plain and dowdy).
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Apr 7, 2011
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My wife wears a lot from AliExpress. You just have to shop by centimetre size not small/medium/large.

Buy basic bottoms (skirts and pants) and you can get a little trendier on the cheaper tops to keep things fresh.
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Apr 8, 2007
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Simons at Square One has something for every price point... great buyers, lots of nice work stuff. Reitmans is dowdy.....but RW&Co is trendier and has decent stuff. Last time I needed a hot business suit, RW had the nicest stuff at a decent price point.

Key thing is to invest in good basics... decide if you can spend more to get nicer fabrics vs crap polyester/acrylic for key pieces like a business suit
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I read an article in Maxim once at the barber ..... basically; Brooks Brothers, J. Crew, and Zara.
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It's not always the same quality as the mall, but when I first started working, the Banana Republic Factory outlet was really good for work stuff at a decent price point. There's also a J. Crew outlet in Milton.....the Bay also has a great selection <- can be pricy, but if you go on Bay Days, can get some great Ralph Lauren dresses for $59.99 or $69.99

Also Dynamite or Suzy Shier aren't bad places for low cost clothes she's got a job....just stay away from anything too tight or short skirts lol.

btw CAA has discounts at certain retailers..Dynamite, Le Chateau, RW&Co and Suzy Shier are on the list...

here's the list for the GTA https://portal.caarewards.ca/sco/partne ... &cate1=735
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Reitman's is one of my favourite stores for office wear. The Bay is also good.
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May 28, 2004
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Agree w BR, BR Factory as top choices. Reitmans depending on what the style is that season. Uniqlo good for basics but perhaps not for job interview clothes. Loft regularly has sales similar to BR.

HM and even Forever 21 has some great work finds but you need to look in workwear (think it's called Contemporary in F21) and ignore all the "disposable" clothes. Of course there's Winners and Marshalls, but again a lot of digging required.

Good luck to the (soon to be) new grad!

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