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Here's Where Women Our Age Are Shopping Now

Underwhelmed with your options? That’s why we did a deep dive.

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photo collage of woman holding shopping bags
Elena Lacey
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I used to love shopping. Stepping into a three-story Forever 21 or inhaling the scent of Abercrombie & Fitch would summon a dopamine hit: I’m going on a shopping spree. Today? Not so much. Stores for women my age (let’s just say 40-plus) aren’t as fun anymore. Putting aside the fact that nothing seems to fit, they don’t have the razzle-dazzle of Pink or the eternal optimism of Lululemon. So, I searched for the happiness equivalent of my younger era stores. Here’s what I discovered.

If you used to shop at: Forever 21

You'll probably like: Zara

Like Forever 21, Zara offers edgy clothing at prices nearly as low as our favorite teeny-bopper store. I found everything from casual clothing: T-shirts with cute sleeves and tiny pockets to dresses with small, flattering cut-outs that show a peek of skin. Zara does especially well with their dress pants and top combos, which are offered in unique styles with a mix of larger crop tops (they just show a little bit) and lacy tops designed to be worn with a bodysuit underneath. The prices are excellent, especially when they have sales. And while you can order online, I don’t love their website, which is tricky to navigate. I prefer going to the store.

If you used to shop at: Urban Outfitters

You’ll probably like: Free People

Owned by the same parent company (Anthropologie is under this awning, too), Free People is amping up the Boho look. Expect to see tons of floral dresses, adorable activewear (which I often wear as casual clothing), form-fitting jumpsuits and colorful bodysuits. This is a great place to find pieces for weekend looks and unique (not boring) work pants, blazers and tops if your job allows it.

If you used to shop at: American Eagle Outfitters

You’ll probably like: Madewell

I’m just going to start by saying that I still heart American Eagle’s jeans. If you’re looking for uber-trendy styles, I recommend trying here first, as they offer sizes 000-20 in varying lengths. But if you want jeans that will fit you long-term and become your go-to pair, I highly recommend Madewell. While on-trend, their jeans veer to the classic side, so they don’t go out of style quickly. Plus, they really are made well and are very flattering. They offer many styles, but my favorite is The Perfect Vintage Jean, which is cropped, slightly distressed and very comfortable. Madewell offers a recycling program, so if you bring in your old jeans from any brand, they will take $20 off your new pair.

If you used to shop at: Altar’d State

You’ll probably like: Anthropologie

You love frilly dresses, pastel, flowy tops and ultra-feminine styles, but Altar’d State clothing only fits your big toe. Head across the mall to Anthropologie, which is Altar’d State all grown up. I love their maxi dresses, which are fitted in the right places, their button-down shirts, which can dress up any outfit, and their accessories. Plus, their home section is so pretty, you’ll want to buy it all. Hint: Wait for their big sales.

If you used to shop at: Abercrombie & Fitch

You’ll still like it there!

Best. News. Ever. Abercrombie decided to grow up. If you haven’t been in the heavily scented store since you were wearing those scents, it’s time to pop back inside. It’s still stinky, but all the A&F logos, moose heads and tiny sizes are gone. They’ve been replaced with inclusive sizing, and they focus on adults rather than teens these days. It’s almost as if they grew up with us. A&F is my go-to for staples like T-shirts, cute blazers, sweaters, tanks and pants. Want to create a relatively inexpensive capsule wardrobe? Abercrombie is the place to go.

 Where's your go-to spot when looking for new clothes? Let us know in the comments below.

Follow Article Topics: Lifestyle