Wardrobe Jackpot: Boring Stores Reinvented

This recession totally sucks. But, if you ignore the unemployment rate and rising cost of beer, some good is definitely coming from it. And one of those positives is the fact that the plummeting sales of retail chains has caused them to re-evaluate their brand and reinvent themselves for fall. Suddenly stores that used to make me feel nauseous (boasting window displays stuffed with mom jeans and fugly tablecloth patterns), actually have some adorable stuff that us college girls would actually consider wearing.

For the closets of fashionistas, this is great news. Now there are a dozen more stores that we can peruse online during class and drool over on our weekly treks to the mall. (Plus now when my mom calls and tells me she’s going to Ann Taylor to pick up a suit jacket, I can ask her to pick me up a cute skirt to add to my care package!)

Check out my favorite extreme makeovers (that don’t involve sexy Ty Pennington) below:

The Gap

Then: Uber boring button up shirts and polos.
Now: Cute staples essential to layering.
Must-Have Wardrobe Addition
: The perfect dark wash jeans – soft, stretchy and with the perfect butt pockets – for us girls with some junk in the trunk.


Then: Going-out clothes that were borderline trashy.
Now: Chic party clothes that are fun, but not slut-tastic.
Must-Have Wardrobe Addition: Fail-safe dress for girls’ night out.  The clean lines of this color blocked, one-shoulder dress make it effortlessly chic while still being young and trendy.

Ann Taylor

Then: Boring mom clothes
: Classy pieces that have some edge to them
Must-Have Wardrobe Addition
: Edgy, heeled boots. The wrap around leather strap adds just the right amount of personality and these would look pretty killer over a sexy pair of skinnies.

New York and Company

Then: All the store had was 40 different black pants that all looked the same and some really fugly jumpsuits.
: Totally on top of the trends (I’m talking leggings, tunics, ruffles…) at prices that wont break the bank.
Must-Have Wardrobe Addition
: Go-to pencil skirt. It will be there for you through dinners, parties, weddings and any other occasion that forces you out of your sweats and into real clothes. (And did I mention it’s only $32?!)

Old Navy

Then: Cheap, shapeless clothes
: Cheap, adorable clothes
Must-Have Wardrobe Addition
: The ideal fall jacket: satin lined, waist cinching, wide brimmed, bold colors… should I go on?

Banana Republic

Then: Stuffy, sophisticated and over-priced pieces.
: Hip, trendy, and totally catering to 20-somethings (with a large bank account).
Must-Have Wardrobe Addition
: This darling sheath dress. It’s totally party worthy, but belt it and throw on a cardigan and some tights and it works for an important class presentation, too!

Halloween Costumes On The Cheap
Halloween Costumes On The Cheap
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