I remember once reading an article in a fashion magazine where the author stated that she now felt she was too mature and successful to shop at The Gap. As a student at the time, shopping at The Gap seemed like a splurge and I couldn't imagine feeling like that sportswear was too common to wear and though my modest budget's grown, I still can't relate to that magazine comment. Today, I count The Gap (alongside shops like Club Monaco, J Crew and French Connection) as my most commonly frequented and favourite shops (thank goodness for online shopping!). I'm also a fan of consignment shops, like Model Citizens (where I recently bought a beautiful Reiss silk blouse, which was very exciting for a Kate Middleton fan like me).
But, the reality is that really special items (particularly uniquely patterned full a line skirts - my work staple) are hard to find at mainstream retailers. So I'm left browsing Bluefly and Nordstrom for the skirts of my favourite designers - Marc by Marc Jacobs, kate spade new york, Tory Burch, Nanette Lepore and Diane Von Furstenberg - and feeling the pinch (or torture as Greg says) of deciding whether one really special skirt or dress per season is preferable to a few more affordable pieces. Already owning a sizeable work wardrobe, I'm leaning towards making only one really special purchase. Early on, building a wardrobe was important (I recall one massive Jacob shopping spree when I finished my graduate degree), but now that I have plenty of suits, sports jackets, dresses and skirts (I'm anti-pants at the office, owning only one pair of wool pants for the depths of winter), this approach might make more sense. Who are your favourite ready to wear designers? How do you approach building and maintaining a work wardrobe? Above is one of the skirts I'm adoring these days from marc by marc jacobs.