We can hear the collective groan from all of the fashionistas who turn up their noses at shopping the aisles of the local Walmart. We realize that shopping for work-wear just yards from the frozen food aisle might not make for the most aesthetically appealing shopping experience, but bear with us.
How to Shop Walmart
1. Know your lines
Not all products at Walmart are created equal. We have a couple of lines we really like — George, Metro7, and currently Norma Kamali (primarily available online).
Look to the George collection for on-trend work-wear and Metro7 is our pick for slightly more casual (but stylish) apparel.
We’ve given lots of press to Norma Kamali’s line and with good reason — it’s versatile, stylish, and super inexpensive — in a word, a winner. And for the juniors, we’d recommend the new L.e.i. collection for teen-centric denim and tops.
2. Know when to shop
Obviously, avoid weekends and evenings wherever possible. However, there’s more to it than that. Walmart stores generally get shipments and restock nightly, so for the best selection, you should arrive early in the a.m. (stop on the way to work). And for markdowns and clearance? Walmart’s markdown schedules differ from store to store, so don’t be afraid to ask your local store manager for their particular markdown/clearance schedule.
3. Take advantage of site to store shipping
If you can’t find what you want in your local store but see it online, Walmart offers free site-to-store shipping. You can go online, order items and select site to store under your shipping options, pick your location, and wait for an email telling you it’s arrived. All you have to do is head to the store to pick it up and pay the regular retail price. No shipping charges!
4. Shoes, shoes, shoes
Our experience is this: while some of the shoes you’ll find at Walmart are less than couture, others — and we always find at least a few pairs — are totally cute, affordable, and durable.
We found a pair of purple patent slingbacks, picked up at regular price for $13 for example. They wear with everything from jeans to dress pants to pencil skirts and more, and generate multiple compliments every time.
Again, brand is key. We again would recommend you stick with George, Norma Kamali, and No Boundaries for the best and most stylish bets.
5. Try it on
When you’re shopping at a discount store like Walmart, you will have to understand that certain elements are just not going to be perfect. Fit is one of them. While that’s not to say you can’t get a great-fitting garment there, the fit and construction are not necessarily going to be ideal or consistent — even if you always wear a size 9.
Unless you enjoy making return trips to the Walmart Customer Service Desk, take a few moments to hit the dressing rooms and save yourself some grief.
6. Organic clothing
Walmart, like many other retailers, is attempting (slowly) to get on the organic clothing bandwagon. And while the offerings are slim, if buying organic is important to you, Walmart stocks a range of apparel items for women, men, kids and babies made with organic cotton (or, interestingly, things like this t-shirt made from cotton and polyester made from recycled Coca Cola bottles.).