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Girl threads

DrezDrez Registered User regular
edited November 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
So, today's my sister's birthday. I usually get her some media (a couple of DVDs or Blu-Rays or whatever) or some electronic gizmo, but I thought this year it would be nice if she spruced up her wardrobe (something she has been wanting to do for awhile but never seems willing to spend her own money for it). So I thought maybe I could get her a gift card to some popular clothing store.

Any suggestions on what store would be good? I know I can get like a mall-wide or American Express gift card, but I'd rather get her one to a specific store. Below is a list of stores in the local mall listed under Women's Apparel. I'm only familiar with a few of these. I've struck out the ones I don't want to get her a gift card to, and I've golded the ones that I am somewhat familiar with and am leaning toward, but I am open to suggestions.

She's in her mid 20s. She doesn't have any particular style she sticks too, which is partially why I think this would be a nice gift - she needs a style of some kind. I want to give her the opportunity to at least start on that. I'm just not sure what store would be best. Right now I'm leaning toward H&M or New York & Company; I know one of my female friends loves NY&C.

Any suggestions from this list? I don't know how particular women are about where they shop, really, so any suggestion would be nice.

2 Cute
aerie
Aéropostale
Against All Odds
American Eagle Outfitters
Ann Taylor
Armani Exchange
Banana Republic
BCBGMAXAZRIA
bebe
Caché
Catch 22
Champs
Charlotte Russe
Chico's
Coldwater Creek
dELiA*s
Ecko Unltd.
Epic Designs
Express
Finish Line
Forever 21
Foxy Lady
Francesca's Collections
Frederick's of Hollywood
Gap
Garage
GUESS
H&M
Hollister Co.
Hot Topic
Joyce Leslie
Lady Foot Locker
Lane Bryant
Life Uniform
Limited, The
LOFT
Love Culture
Mandee
Michael Kors
Motherhood Maternity
New York & Company
Old Navy
Underground Station
Vans
Victoria's Secret
Zumiez

edit: And I think some of those are probably shoe stores? I don't want any shoe stores either. She has tons of shoes, but not much of a wardrobe outside of shoes.

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Posts

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Prepaid visa gift card? That way you don't have to guess.

    Alternatively: Dump her.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • SentrySentry Registered User regular
    Girls love Anthropology.

    Like... a lot.

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  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    bowen wrote:
    Prepaid visa gift card? That way you don't have to guess.

    I said that I don't want to do this. I don't want to do this.

    bowen wrote:
    Alternatively: Dump her.

    It's my sister.

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  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    Sentry wrote:
    Girls love Anthropology.

    Like... a lot.

    Oh yeah, I've heard of that one. But it's not in this mall I guess.

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  • EggyToastEggyToast Registered User regular
    Is your sister slim, average, or big? Tall or short? Are there other elements about her body that are important in selecting clothes?

    Most women shop stores that match with their general body types. The ones that skew "younger" tend to have smaller sizes that fit snug and assume you don't have a large bust. Similarly, stores like Forever 21 are more casual while LOFT is more professional.

    NY&C skews towards professional-styles with a lot of synthetics, and is similar to The Limited. Same with Express, with a mix of club-oriented wear. Banana Republic is like a fancier Gap. H&M has a good mix of styles but is very hit or miss (but refreshes its styles very frequently).

    If you just want to maximize the amount of clothes she can get, H&M is probably the best bet. If you want her to get clothes that are nicely made and more professional (but she'd likely only get an item or two), Banana Republic, J Crew, or Express/Limited/NY&C is better. Personally, I think Express offers more interesting styles and a wider variety of options compared to NY&C and Limited, and I think their clothes are put together better.

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  • JansonJanson Registered User regular
    Anthropology is also veeeerry expensive.

    H&M's a good one. Forever 21 I've found some fantastic bargains in but the last year or so I've not liked any of their styles. I have friends who really love Aeropostale and Hollister but my problem with those two is that they tend to have their logo emblazoned all over their clothes. So, I agree that H&M and NY&C are your two best bets from that list.

  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    Hmm. From what you are saying, EggyToast, I think H&M is perhaps my best bet.

    By the way, she is slim (maybe even "skinny") and like 5'2".

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  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited November 2011
    Thanks, Janson. I guess she doesn't really need professional clothes so much as casual and/or going-out clothes, so I'm leaning way more heavily toward H&M now.

    Drez on
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  • SwashbucklerXXSwashbucklerXX Swashbucklin' Canuck Registered User regular
    edited November 2011
    H&M or Forever 21 would both be good bets.

    Ann Taylor, Charlotte Russe, and probably Layne Bryant are too old for a mid-20s lady.

    Banana Republic and American Eagle Outfitters only if she likes khaki, like, a lot.

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  • ToxTox I kill threads he/himRegistered User regular
    Lane Bryant is plus sized clothing, just fyi. Aerie is mostly underwear.

    Charlotte Russe is probably what I'd do. Forever 21 is nice, but can be a bit too trendy/expensive, so she might not like anything there.

    What about the department stores? Sears, Pennys, Dillards, Macys? Those are where I'd go. You can find some really nice stuff, that's not usually too expensive or trendy or that leans too hard to a particular style. They try to cover all the options, which is basically what you're trying to do.

  • NanaNana Registered User regular
    Sentry wrote:
    Girls love Anthropology.

    Like... a lot.

    Oh yes, I absolutely love Anthropology. Anthropology is amazing, but they are very expensive. I've never bought an article of clothing from there because it is hard to justify $40-$80 for a tank top, or $200-$600 for a jacket.

    H&M and Forever 21 are good suggestions. Forever 21 has really improved the quality and look of their clothes in the past couple years.
    I agree with SwashbucklerXX that Charlotte Russe is for a younger crowd.

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  • JebusUDJebusUD Adventure! Candy IslandRegistered User regular
    Express is great for skinny people. And by great, I mean they only really sell things for skinny people. The limited and NY&Co and express clothes will make her look very smart. Stylish, but like she knows what she is doing. If she is looking at jobs or anything, those places have nice looking professional clothes for 20 somethings.

    Coldwater Creek is for old people. at least the one around here. I'd avoid that.

    She has no style already? Short on every part of the wardrobe? It would be nice if you had some idea of style from her.

    Also, since this is a girl thread, I say don't break up with her.

    I don't have courage but I have something else.
  • SentrySentry Registered User regular
    Yeah, Anthropology is crazy expensive, but they also have a CRAZY cheap sales rack. My friend just bought a 150 dollar jacket for 20 dollars off their sale rack. I do not advocate buying anything there that is NOT on the sale rack.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    wrote:
    When I was a little kid, I always pretended I was the hero,' Skip said.
    'Fuck yeah, me too. What little kid ever pretended to be part of the lynch-mob?'
  • flowerhoneyflowerhoney Registered User regular
    edited November 2011
    Good lord you listed A LOT of stores

    It depends on what your price range is. Like, forever 21 and H&M are generally pretty inexpensive (charlotte ruse is basically a cheaper forever 21, I'm not a huge fan of it). I like forever 21 and H&M for stuff like cute sweaters, skirts, and graphic tees. Because they're so cheap I think the quality of some of their fancier type clothes lacking
    American eagle has some very cute trendy stuff, especially jeans, so a gift card from there might be a good choice. Hollister and Areopostle are probably best avoided if she doesn't dress like a trendy cali girl and you don't want your nasal cavities clogging up when you walk into a store

    For more expensive stuff go to BCBG (they have some AMAZING clothes, I have a fantastic dress from there), GUESS is another good store especially for jeans, express also has some really chic stuff (personally, I think anthropology makes really ugly clothes, but there's no harm in walking in there)

    If you can really get spendy, look around Michael Kors or armani excahnge

    You said you dont want to get her a gift card? If you aren't a fashionable guy yourself then please, please, please, ask someone for help. Let them know you want something trendy and in style for your sister, maybe a staple piece for her wardrobe. This is foolproof, a fashionable salesperson will help you pick out something good. I have friends whose parents/brothers do this and they always get great gifts

    good luck!

    EDIT: just saw that your sister is like exactly the same as me, one thing I would keep in mind is sometimes store like to pretend like their clothes are for petites but the sizing can be WAY off (I've often been very frustrated with forever 21 in particular, its like they never learned what small is). Make sure you keep the gift receipt and know what the policy is on returns. You might want to surreptitiously find out if she wears for smalls or extra-smalls

    flowerhoney on
  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    Thanks for the advice, everyone.

    @flowerhoney: No, I definitely want to get her a gift card, but to a specific store. I don't just want to get her a prepaid Visa/AMEX card or whatever. I want to buy one that she'll have to use at the store. I'm just trying to figure out which store.

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  • tastydonutstastydonuts Registered User regular
    Curious, why do you think she needs a style?

    If you think she should have one, then why not go with a store that fits whatever style you envision her having?

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  • NylonathetepNylonathetep Registered User regular
    edited November 2011
    Holt Rendfrew?

    Louis Vuitton?

    Victoria's Secret / La Senza?

    Gap?

    Northface / Roots?


    Edit: or just this http://www.onlineclothingstores.com/WomensClothing.htm


    I also suggest Tiffany & Co, Swarovski, Prada.

    Nylonathetep on
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  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Do you think she should be shopping for clothes that last forever, or seasonal, trendy stuff? Woman's fashion is always in quick rotation so while its more fun to shop for casual wear, its actually the fastest to become dormant in the closet if its not just like a Tshirt and jeans. I usually spend the majority of my money on coats, button ups, and sweaters because they are classic and I can wear them no matter whats in. Usually having a "style" involves establishing what kind of things are your go-to outfits, and if shes not the type to shop for herself alot, its best to go for stuff that will look nice and last. Two very nice coats, a selection of nice sweaters, some light button ups or ruffly blouses if that's more her thing, a selection of nice shoes. Once she has a base, she can buy a seasonal outfit or two when whatever fad rolls in.

    Express is great for jeans (but I am rail thin and tall) but note that they have two price brackets for jeans, and the 80-90 dollar bracket is a much better quality than the 40-50, those will fall apart. Best thing to do is play the game of express math, which means getting their 50 off 120 dollar purchases coupon and working it out that you are getting a 90 pair for less. I dont really shop here for anything but jeans and button downs. They have some flattering stuff for people of my size, which is skinny and without much of a bust.

    Banana Republic has some quality stuff, I like to get sweaters in there, but its not cheap.


  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    I basically just think she needs and could use some nice clothes. She can decide what that means within the confines of whatever store I get her a gift card to, but as she doesn't actually shop for clothes, ever, I have no idea what she would like, so I have no idea what store I should really get the gift card at (though I was leaning toward H&M before and I'm leaning more heavily toward H&M now after some of the responses here). She needs clothes she can socialize with, though; clothes to just bum around the house comfortably is definitely not what I'm looking to help her acquire. Though, of course, some outfits are nice to socialize AND bum around the house with.

    But really, beyond "nice clothes" and the reality that different social circles and events require different modes of fashion, I am totally ignorant to the whole world of women's fashion beyond what I personally enjoy seeing a woman wearing. What I'd personally like to see her get is something that isn't like jeans/t-shirt variety, but something that she can go to a bar or lounge with without looking frumpy or whatever.

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  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    I can't be helpful or give advice in any way. I just wanted to pop in and say that I laughed at the thread title. Bravo!

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  • radroadkillradroadkill MDRegistered User regular
    H&M or Forever21. They both have tons of styles so she's bound to find something she'd like.

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  • KistraKistra Registered User regular
    Do you have a female friend whose style you admire and you think your sister would admire too?

    Someone to go shopping with is more likely to result in "a style" than just handing her a gift card.

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  • flowerhoneyflowerhoney Registered User regular
    edited November 2011
    Seriously, go to a nice store and have the salesperson help you pick out a good staple piece (something thats easy to wear with a lot of different things, doesn't really go out of style, usually a little pricier but that's okay cuz its high quality and meant to last). Their whole job revolves around this

    If you get her a gift card there's no guarantee she'll get something nice for herself

    Sounds like you'd rather see her shop at a nicer store, so I would recommend express, michael kors, armani exchange, J crew, BCBG, or banana republic

    EDIT: there's also a gift card to zappos, the greatest online store of them (no joke man, so many girls die for this site)

    flowerhoney on
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited November 2011
    Well if the idea is to restrict her, Express and banana republic don't have much "lounge around the house" stuff, so you might want to send her into a store that doesn't have what she normally wears. If you are in a cold place, a very nice winter coat and a really nice pair of boots can make any tee and jeans into a nice outfit. You can buy a pea coat that will literally last her a life time, I would look into it.

    I would advise against gifting her a female friend to send with her unless that's something shes said she might like. As some one who's had some tomboyish phases, I was "gifted" a lot of purses and sent shopping with people I loathed in attempts to control what I wear, and I responded poorly. I also rarely have ever worn clothing that was purchased for me without any of my input, so I wouldn't spend a lot of money there, either.

    Zappos is also amazing, But again, if the idea is to limit her, she can buy any shoe on zappos. I would go for Aldo

    Iruka on
  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    Alright, thanks all! Time to leave and make a decision.

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  • lonelyahavalonelyahava Call me Ahava ~~She/Her~~ Move to New ZealandRegistered User regular
    sidenote oh crap too late

    Lane Bryant is exclusively for fat girls like me. Delia's is a jewelry store for teen/tween/adolescents.

    If it's the same delias that I remember from growing up

  • EggyToastEggyToast Registered User regular
    Perhaps a good way to finalize the decision is to go to the store and buy the gift card in person. If H&M is your first choice, go in and spend 5 minutes looking at the women's clothes. Take a look at the different types of clothing, the prices, and see if it's something you'd like her to experience when she gets the gift card.

    H&M tends to use european sizing, so a skinny, short-ish woman would have no trouble finding clothes that fit her well. My girlfriend likes H&M because she isn't always buying the smallest sizes available.

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  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    I ended up not buying her a gift card. I decided to offer to take her on a shopping spree at some point next week or whatever since we couldn't really do it yesterday. Sucks that I didn't have an actual GIFT for her on that day, but this is probably the best option plus I get to spend a little time with my sister too.

    Thanks for the advice, all. :)

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  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    I think that's actually better though. Hope it works out.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • RadicalTurnipRadicalTurnip Registered User regular
    Sounds like the best possible outcome. Good call.

  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    Yeah I should have thought of that from the get-go.

    I mean I'm not sure how helpful I will be in helping her pick out clothes. I've...gone shopping with various female friends in the past, though, and I guess I can at least give her my brutish male perspective. :P

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