This is a guest blog by “J” from J’s Everyday Fashion. The blog is is only 5 weeks old, but she has over 1,000 fans on Facebook. She’s been featured on Glamour magazine’s website, PulseofCentralFlorida.com, and on FabSugar.com several times.
J, aka Jeanette, moved to Orlando in November. Previously she lived in Boston for 4 years, but was originally from Kansas. (Who knew Kansas gals had such fashion sense?!)
So, why does the Top 5 love her? She’s an everyday girl who loves fashion. She has a full time job, and she shops at the mall. She doesn’t walk the red carpet or wear designer clothes, because like most girls, she needs outfits to be functional, easy and affordable. Luckily, she insists that they also be beautiful!
The project: to share her story as an everyday girl navigating the retail world.
The budget: $250/month.
The reason: “Fashion is my art. And I like helping people.”
My Top 5 Places for Great Deals!
1. H&M, The Florida Mall
Central Florida residents rejoice, there are two H&M locations nearby – Florida Mall and Sanford. H&M is a leader in the fashion world, and it’s super-affordable to boot. Online ordering is not available, and there are no other locations in Florida (even Miami!) so I definitely recommend taking advantage of the inexpensive offerings from this store.
Insider tip: They receive new items everyday except Thursdays. The best stuff sells out within 1-2 days, so shop early and often!
Fabulous finds: This candy-stripe dress was only $4.95 (full price) and made the perfect outfit for a date with my husband (top). This military-inspired skirt is great for work and was only $24.95 (bottom).
With designer shoes at great prices and plenty of locations, what’s not to love? (Locations include Millenia Mall, Altamonte, Kissimmee, Ocala, Sanford, Brandon and Tampa.)
Insider tip: Always check the clearance racks at the back for the best deals. Sign up for their free rewards program to receive coupons, including a $10 certificate just for signing up.
Fabulous finds: I scored these Steve Maddens on clearance at the Sanford location for $27 with a $10 coupon (top). These Chinese Laundry sandals are perfect for running errands and were only $27 on clearance at the Millenia location (bottom).
3. Banana Republic, Florida Mall
When you think of great deals, Banana Republic doesn’t always come to mind, but it should. This retailer speaks my language: quality stuff and when they mark things down – fantastic prices. There are many locations in Central Florida, but the Florida Mall is my favorite. They have the best selection of jewelry and Heritage clothes for men that you won’t find in any other Central Florida location.
Insider tip: Ask your local store to put you on their email list and they’ll let you know when they have promotions or put things on sale. And don’t miss the day after Christmas sale!
Fabulous finds: I scored these cropped khakis when the store reduced all sale pants to $13.99 in preparation for their summer collection (top). This pink shirt was marked down to $15 the day after Christmas, and I recently picked up this fringe necklace for $13.99 (bottom).
4. Forever 21, Millenia Mall
How do you look fashionable when it’s 100 degrees outside? Stock up on cheap, breezy sundresses from Forever 21. My favorite location is the Millenia Mall – they carry the Love 21 line (better quality at slightly higher prices) and Faith 21 (their plus size collection, which really means regular sizes).
Insider tip: Shopping at Forever 21 can be overwhelming, so look online first to pick some specific pieces to look for in the store.
Fabulous finds: I picked up this cute sundress for $13 and added a belt (top). I scored this 100% blue silk shirt for $22 and a parrot necklace to go with it for $5 (bottom).
5. Macy’s, Millenia Mall
I could get lost inside this Macy’s. Huge, huge selection! And great deals can be found here – especially on handbags and in the shoe section.
Insider tip: Once or twice a year, Macy’s has a Friends & Family sale where you can get 25% off everything, including designer brands like Coach. Also, check out the sale shoes – sometimes they do a promotion to take an additional 30% off shoes that are already up to 50% off!
Fabulous find: I picked up my favorite purse, a patent leather Juicy Couture, after Christmas for $230 (top). I scored these black T-strap sandals for $15 (bottom).