Off Topic: The store I’m turning to for basics at a great price

A complete look for under $150 — shoes and jewelry included.

I feel a bit strange writing this post…as I’m typing it, I’m thinking: weird but true. A few extended family members have recently graduated college and need good-quality yet affordable career clothing. Two of my friends are returning to the workforce after having babies in the last year and need to buy some new wardrobe pieces, both work and casual, with overlap helpful. Another friend of mine has too many patterns and prints in her closet and is lacking closet staples. And I’m all pointing them to the same store.

Where? I can’t believe the answer myself…

If you’re freshly out of school, starting a new career, or just looking for some good closet basics, J.Crew Factory has you covered. Their quality is decent (better than regular J.Crew in some cases, unbelievably) and while everything from Factory runs large it also tends to have a good body-skimming fit. The most common issues I run into are armholes that are too big.

While J.Crew Factory is not going to satisfy your fashion-forward or trend-craving needs, it’s a fantastic place to buy classic staples that will last for the next few years. Over the last several months I’ve been using this store to fill in some holes in my closet basics, and I’m always shocked by how many compliments I receive.

Factory Flared Skirt in navy ($39
+ 35% off with code NEWNEW at checkout)
Wear this navy skirt with yellow, white,
pink, ivory, baby blue, silver

Factory Flared Skirt in black ($58
+ 35% off with code NEWNEW at checkout)
Wear this black skirt with white, yellow,
red, medium blue, light pink, lavender

Factory Striped Tank in marine-salt-thunder ($27+ 35% off with
code NEWNEW at checkout)

Sizing notes at J.Crew Factory: I size down in tops to a 4/small. (Normally a 6/medium.) // I wear in 8 in skirts, my usual size. // I wear a 6 in dresses, my usual size. // I wear a 8/29 in their pants and shorts, normally I am either those sizes or a 10/30. // I am 5’8″, 155 lbs, 34″-28″-38″.

This basic assortment above gives you 8 outfits for $163 before tax. Not bad at all! One nude pair of pumps or sandals later, you’ve got a very simple complete look. From there you can add jewelry, scarves or anything else you’d like to your heart’s content.

Of course, if black and navy and yellow and white seem a little too basic to you, there are other options here. The $39 variant of the Factory Flared Skirt is also available in neon papaya — a color which is indeed pretty neon. It looks more pink than orange around any color except pink (which will make it look more orange). This color goes awesome with aqua and light grey — here’s an OOTD with aqua from my Instagram. The other $58 Factory Flared Skirt has a slightly more pink-toned color called neon dahlia that goes great with medium blues, navy blue, or taupe. And of course both colors match well with white.

Our you can try one of their cute dresses — I’ve purchased both the Factory Striped Basketweave Dress ($108 before the discount) and the Factory Scalloped-Trim Dress ($88 before the discount) and get compliments on both all the time! These are the kind of foundation garments you can build your closet on. I’ll be able to wear these dresses in all 4 seasons, simply by adding a cardigan, blazer or sweater on top in colder weather.

I’m also totally in love with J.Crew Factory’s Outfit Ideas page, which takes the most of the stress out of creating put-together, simple outfits. Every outfit on the page has a top, a bottom, and a necklace. (This month it’s all shorts but you could easily swap a skirt in for any of these looks.) Sometimes in the summer I don’t want to think. This page is great for easy, casual looks that require very little effort and are not expensive!

Here are a few of my favorite looks from the page:

top ($27) + necklace ($25) + shorts ($35)
After 35% off, this outfit costs $57 before taxes and shipping.
necklace ($25) + top ($30) + shorts ($33)
After 35% off, this outfit costs $58 before taxes and shipping.
shorts ($50) + top ($37) + necklace ($35)
After 35% off, this outfit costs $80 before taxes and shipping.
top ($27) + shorts ($25) + necklace ($45)
After 35% off, this outfit costs $64 before taxes and shipping.

necklace ($35) + shorts ($40) + top ($37)
After 35% off, this outfit costs $73 before taxes and shipping.
Note: This look is not on the outfits page, but is featured elsewhere on the J.Crew Factory site.
necklace ($25) + top ($24) + skirt ($50)
After 35% off, this outfit costs $65 before taxes and shipping.

Anthropologie you totally need to appropriate this idea as your own. I know that these are perhaps not the most amazing outfits ever — however, the easier you make it for your clientele to see how to put together outfits with each item…the more likely we are to buy, right? I mean, I want all of the outfits pictured above! They’re just so easy. I have no time these days to run around to eight different stores looking for items to mix and match into outfits. Easy. I want easy!

You can see all of J.Crew Factory’s Outfit Ideas for the month here, and more stylized Outfit ‘Obsessions’ here. I like how simple yet cute all of these outfits are — and most any piece above could easily be mixed with a more pattern-prominent or bold print piece from a store like Anthropologie.

If high-end basics aren’t in your budget, or if you’re like me just looking for some staples at a lower price…the secret is out. Who knew a Factory store would be my go-to closet staple shop?? Have you purchased anything from J.Crew Factory recently? What do you think of this store, its quality, and so on?

Use the code NEWNEW at checkout to take 35% off your J.Crew Factory store, now through Monday at 11:59 PM ET.

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