One new resource I've come to lurrrrrve, when it comes to the land of bargain shopping, is the outlet mall. I've never been much of a bargain-hunting fashionista, and grade myself a complete and utter FAIL when it comes to stores like TJ Maxx, but have always had amazing luck when it comes to shopping the outlets.
I'm always a little leery of the more 'style-inclined' brands at the outlet mall (aka anything that is not J. Crew or Ralph Lauren, or the 'unmentionables' store. Love me some Wonderbras on the cheap). For some reason, I always lumped BCBG's stylings in with bebe, and any store like bebe give this conservative dressin'-girl a *serious* case of the heebie jeebies. (Maybe it's because my style inclination could best be described as hybrid nerdy corporate American/repressed 1950's housewife, but I just don't believe that 'mesh inset cutout' should be a part of one's style vocabulary.)
That said, one of my *favorite* ever dresses, as white frilly BCBG number I sported for our rehearsal dinner, changed my mind about the brand. (and, may I mention that it was only $20 at Last Chance in Phoenix? It was like 4 sizes too big, but after a trip to my mom's seamstress, I had a custom-fitted BCBG dress on my hands for less than $40. Natch.)
With some of my childhood besties at our rehersal dinner
While on my yearly pilgrimage to the Allen Premium Outlets, I hesitantly agreed to visit the BCBG outlet store.
Oh. My. Goodness.
For some reason, the retail gods decided to part the inventory clouds- and instead of an expected sea of badly-woven, shiny spandex dresses and fishnet/sequin/lame combinations, I found a *fantastic* amount of day-to-evening work ensembles.
I think that the best thing about these dresses is that they completely take the guesswork out of the whole blouse + skirt = fabulous, stylish outfit combination that seems to have eluded my closet for so long. You could throw a suit jacket over any of these for the look of a polished 3-piece outfit, or add some dark tights, heels, and chunky jewelry for cocktails with your girls. And, getting them for 60% off at the outlets. That, Darling Reader, A to the Mazing.