The amazing rise of online clothing stores selling fast fashion — you know, cheap, trendy garments made to be worn one season only — has made it tough to be a budget fashionista. I say that because a budget fashionista is not the gal who buys on price alone.
A true budget fashionista shops for value. You’re more interested in the $50 top you’ll wear 10 times, versus the $20 top you’ll wear once.
So all of those ultra-cheap retailers are cluttering the landscape, tempting us with their low-cost garments that may or may not be wearable in three months. On top of that trend, we’re also dealing with the slow disappearance of brick-and-mortar department stores.
What’s a fashionista to do? To help you navigate these turbulent times, we’ve created the big list of our fav online clothing stores for budget fashionistas.
Best online clothing stores — top picks
If you don’t have time for the full list, here are the top three!
The retailers in our ‘top picks’ section earned their spot for consistently strong selection plus reasonable prices.
More and more, I find myself clothes shopping on Amazon. It’s hard not to love the endless selection of women’s clothes, accessories, and shoes. You can find nearly anything at almost any price point. And then there’s Try Before You Buy — the option to order a box full of clothes and only pay for the items you keep.
The drawback of shopping Amazon for clothes is that you can easily get lost in the search. Scroll 20 pages in and you could forget what you were looking for. My fix is to start on the Amazon Fashion page — from there, you can jump right into edited collections.
2. Chico’s Off The Rack
Chico’s Off The Rack is Chico’s outlet store. Chico’s has a reputation for being matronly, but the collection doesn’t reflect that *anymore*. Having said that, you won’t find bandage dresses or backless tops. But you will find pretty sweaters, cardigans, dresses, scarves, and jewelry.
And, this being an outlet store, the prices are reasonable. As always, check the sale page first.
Lulu’s has a high-fashion feel to it, without the high-fashion prices. New Arrivals are usually priced between $40 and $80, and you can find amazing deals on the Lulu’s sale page. Another perk is that Lulu’s carries formal dresses and jumpsuits (along with swimwear, shoes and accessories). It’s one of the first online stores I check when I have a special event on the calendar.
Modcloth describes itself as a vintage fashion store, but you don’t need to own cat-eye sunnies to shop there. Styles are a tad funkier than you’ll find on Dorothy Perkins, but in a good way. If you have a streak of quirky, you’ll love Modcloth.
5. Nasty Gal
Nasty Gal is for the younger (at heart or by the clock), edgier fashionista. This online store carries its own Nasty Gal line, plus designs from Bardot, Glamorous, Jaded London and Love, Courtney by Nasty Gal. Check the sales often for fashion finds under $15.
Uniqlo‘s motto is “simple made better.” The Uniqlo collection is consistent in style and pricing — you’ll find pieces that are very wearable and affordable. From $60 down jackets to $15 bras, pieces in the Uniqlo collection can fill almost any fashion void you have.
I wasn’t a fan of Venus.com a few years ago, but it’s grown on me. The collection is fashion-forward without being scandalous — a combination I appreciate as an older fashionista. You can find pieces like a red houndstooth coat, sophisticated high-waist trousers, casual hoodies, jeans, and more. The New Arrivals are priced between $40 and $60, and sale prices dip into the teens and $20s.
Shameless self-promotion alert — ShopByrnie.com is the Budget Fashionista boutique. Our store features hand-picked garments that are stylish and affordable.
For great sales
These online clothing stores are a little spendy for everyday purchases, but you can save big by watching for sales.
9. Ann Taylor
Ann Taylor is a solid choice for stylish workwear. Right now, you can sign up for emails and save $25 off your first full-price purchase of $75 or more.
Bluefly caters to high-fashion tastes, but oh those sales! When you’re looking for something truly special and a little splurge-y, something that gives you the opportunity to drop a designer name, then Bluefly is your shop.
LOFT of course is Ann Taylor’s little sis and we love it for the same reasons we love Ann Taylor. The collection is classy and wearable. As with Ann Taylor, you can sign up for their emails to save $25.
Express has been a reliable source of fashion for years. Every time I walk into an Express store, I’m sort of shocked by how expensive the pieces are. $80 for a pair of work pants, for example, is a little steep in my book. But then I’ve never been disappointed with the quality of a garment from Express either. Get the best of both worlds by shopping the sales only.
I’d describe Anthropologie’s signature style as quirky sophistication. So many of their garments are stylish enough to carry an outfit on their own. Pair an Anthropologie blouse with jeans and leather sandals and you’re chic enough to feel like an off-duty actress, for example.
The regular prices reach up into the triple digits, but the sale prices hover between $40 and $80 per garment. Shop Anthropologie sale items here.
Macys.com cycles through sales and promotions almost constantly. You could sign up for their emails to stay informed, but honestly, that gets to be overwhelming. Instead, make a habit of going to Macys.com first when you know exactly what you need — it’ll only take a minute to see if that perfect piece just happens to be on sale.
Nordstrom has three big sales every year: the Anniversary Sale in July and the Half-Yearly Sale in the spring and fall. Get those on your calendar! That’s when you’ll want to refresh your bras and underwear and seasonal pieces.
Head to Yoox when you need a label to show off. Jil Sander, Marni, Prada and Rochas are a few of the designer names that grace the pages of Yoox.com. These are spendy garments for sure, but sign up for the sale emails and you may snag a great piece at a steep discount.
Zulily works on a unique model, and this impacts you in two ways. One, you have to create an account and sign in to shop. And two, you’ll have to wait two or three weeks to receive your order. But if you’re OK with that, you can score some amazing deals.
New products go on sale every day and you never know what you might find. Right now, I’m eyeing a Michael Kors gray satchel for $160.
The old standbys
Belk is like Kohl’s — you can shop for luggage, home decor, and fashion. The selection is extensive, so you might need to hunt to find what you want.
19. Forever 21
Forever 21 gets flack, and some of it’s well-deserved. But my two biggest complaints about Forever21 actually don’t apply to the website shopping experience. First, the in-store returns policy is restrictive and, secondly, the store is usually a mess.
Things are different online, though! Online purchases can be returned for exchange, credit or refund within 30 days. And the website doesn’t have to worry about sloppy display tables.
I actually prefer shopping H&M in the store, but the website is still a good resource for basics like tees, camis and tanks.
21. Nordstrom Rack
Shop Nordstrom Rack for designer finds on a budget. You’ll love the online store’s plentiful sorting and filtering options that make it easy to find what you need.
22. Old Navy
Old Navy is a go-to for basics. Whether you need to round out your summer t-shirt collection, add a few budget-friendly sweaters to your rotation, or stock up on leggings, Old Navy has you covered.
True story: I went on a two-week trip and realized a few days in that I did not pack enough stuff. I wanted more options but I did not want to blow my budget. I went straight to Old Navy and picked up what I needed for less than $100.
23. Saks Off Fifth
Saks Off Fifth is the same concept as Nordstrom Rack, but one step up. Shop Prada, Oscar de la Renta, Alexander McQueen, Versace, and more. Start with the clearance page first for your best online deals.
We can’t leave Target off this list! Target.com has an enormous selection, and we’re often surprised by the goods you can pick up for the price.
The T.J.Maxx website delivers on the “brand name for less” promise perhaps better than the store itself. We love that the site encourages you to pick your size first and then browse options from there. Too bad they can’t organize the stores that way, where all the large-size pieces — skirts, pants, whatever — are grouped in one section.
One to watch
Technically, this is number 26 on my list: Shuuk.com. Shuuk is a new online retailer based in Uruguay. I haven’t shopped the store yet, but it’s on my radar. Here’s why. Shuuk offers free worldwide delivery via FedEx on orders over $50. Returns and exchanges for U.S. customers are free. And, importantly, the catalog is loaded with affordable, chic styles.
About those super-bargain retailers
There’s also a whole community of ultra-bargain retailers. We’d put these in the ‘fast fashion’ category. Yes, the prices are unbelievably low. Some of the styles are super cute. But quality and sizing may be inconsistent. Proceed at your own risk:
Bonus! Shopping Helpers
There are times when you see a piece you like, but you don’t know where to get it. Try one of these sites to help you find that piece, or something like it. We regularly use these resources to find garments to feature on the blog. They all allow you to search by price point and other attributes like color, size, etc.
You can also try Shop it to me — it’s an alert service that tells you when the pieces you love are available in your size and on sale.
Now it’s your turn to share! Did we miss any of your favorite online clothing stores? Let us know in the comments.
If you liked this post on online fashion retailers, you’ll love our post on stores with free shipping and returns.