Chaps Solid Crossover Dress ($68)
In fashion circles, Kohl’s is not a cool place to shop. You can shop at H&M, Zara or Target, but Kohl’s is the retail equivalent of Tab soda. But I don’t care about where an item came from, I care about what it looks like and fits like.
This crossover dress comes in black, emerald and lapis. Flattering and versatile, it can be dressed up for an evening out or worn with office basics for the workday. I would wear this green dress with spotted calf-hair pumps and a dark tan satchel.
Kohl’s has a few great dresses for sale. This fabulous Tahari fit-and-flare dress in a gorgeous amethyst. This simple black sheath has the perfect neckline. It’s $60, tailoring will make it look like you spent $200. And while this printed dress is a bit of a risk for some, I think it could be styled-up with chunky, silver jewelry and a chic, white blazer.
Plus-size: This cobalt sheath is fab, as is this sleeveless Apt. 9 sheath (great layering piece). Petite: The blue crossover dress is available in your size, as is this interesting eggplant dress with a pleated skirt.
Talking about “unhip” places to shop, does anyone have experience with JC Penney? They seem to have really stepped up their game in the past few years. I always see the cutest stuff from there on the blogger at Penny Pincher Fashion and always wonder how the sizing, fit, and quality are.
I ordered some things from JC Penney online after a skirt was featured here. Only one of the dresses I ordered ended up fitting properly (the others were cute, just didn’t work), but I wear it a TON and I get compliments every single time. Best of all, I think it cost $34. I think the quality is pretty good — no complaints yet, and I think it should last at least two seasons. It washes well (I don’t put it in the dryer).
I recently went to JC Penney after seeing some items posted here. I went in optimistically, and tried on A LOT of different items. I thought some of the suiting items looked a little cheap, but I wasn’t in the market for suits so I didn’t try them on. What I ended up buying were two patterned sleeveless tops to wear under suits and cardigans. They are comfortable, cover cleavage more appropriately than some brands, and were stretchier than the nicer blouses I would get at Ann Taylor or BR. I like that they are easy to wash. Some of the patterns were a little unsophisticated for my taste. I also tried on some of the dress-jacket options from the dress department and almost bought a couple of those items, but decided I didn’t feel like getting everything altered. Overall, I like the items I bought, but I felt like I had to spend a lot of time browsing and trying things on to find the gems. I’m not confident enough that I’d buy anything online, and I probably wouldn’t make a special trip out there, but I would consider looking again if I had time to shop.
JCPenney has stepped it up a lot, especially in the store layout and plus size section. I would try EVERYTHING on before buying, even though they accept returns on clearance (as long as the tags are still attached)
I LIVED this summer in their white jeans and blousy tops. For suiting, the jackets can be a little short on the arms. I buy a size too big and take to tailor for a custom fit.
Do NOT buy the shoes, as Payless has better quality at the same price point. Just my two cents 🙂
I’ve had good experience with JC Penney, especially for affordable summer clothing to sweat out DC summers. The sizes are on the generous side and they have a good selection of jersey dresses for work…and honestly jersey is jersey there is no reason it needs to be $200. Quality is probably good enough for 2 seasons. Certain brands are better than others but you’ll have to spend some time in the fitting room with a couple different sizes to see what works for you.
I worked at Kohl’s all through college, so this post made me laugh! Chaps is definitely one of their better quality lines but I also rarely liked anything from it. Maybe they’ve updated the collection, that is a really great dress.
I think Kohl’s stores vary in quality. The one nearest me is absolutely horrible– a total mess, no salespeople. But then I heard there’s one a bit south of here that’s great and people love.
You know, you’re right. Kohl’s is never on any fashion blogs, but I’ve definitely found good items there. This dress is a great pick (though I prefer it in blue)!
Style by Joules
I’ve found some great basics at Kohl’s before. I bought a couple of Apt. 9 pencil skirts and pants which lasted multiple seasons and a LOT of washes! Also, the Rock & Republic line occasionally has some really cute items.
I think Kohl’s and JCP are both great places for staples but aren’t necessarily the places to shop for “stunners” since both are wide-market stores rather than upscale/fashionista focused. Sure you have to watch quality sometimes and should try everything on, but that’s the case even with some of the more “upscale” stores as well — especially as the quality at J. Crew and Ann Taylor/Loft for some pieces has gone down dramatically. I’ve had good luck on occasion with the Simply Vera line at Kohl’s for summer-wedding type dresses — and at a fraction of the cost of similar ones at AT.
I usually always get compliments when I wear things from Kohls. I’ve gotten several things from the Apt 9 line for work and other more casual pieces from the Lauren Conrad line. I’ve worn a pair of black Apt 9 pants for 7 years. And it’s great for Petites. It was the only store I was able to find a wide variety of petite length maxi dresses.
I love Kohl’s and Kohls.com especially. Simply Vera Wang, Apt 9, Chaps, LC by Lauren Conrad, Rock & Republic, even the JLo line… I have found wonderful, fashionable pieces from each that get tons of compliments. Their customer service is excellent too. Plus, Simply Vera Wang has added real leather purses this season. I’m a leather purse snob so I’ve already placed my order to try out a couple of them. JCP.com, on the other hand, I’ve only had bad experiences with. Terrible customer service, cancelled orders, etc. I won’t shop online with them again.
For plus sizes, I’ve had good luck with Kohls’ Dana Buchman line of tops/sweaters for work. I’m a size 16/18 and their XL works well. They also have a 212 line of suiting in plus and I’ve found their pants definitely last 2 seasons, and they’re in the under $50 range with coupons (ALWAYS with coupons!) Never buy anything there without at least a 15% coupon (easily found online at Retail Me Not, etc). Kohl’s has also had interesting DesignNation collaborations in the past with Derek Lam, Catherine Malandrino, and now Tahari. I’m in a Midwestern city with not a lot of options to try things on, so Kohl’s works for me.
There are always coupon codes at Kohls. I applied FABFAM20 and SEPT4FREE and got the green dress at 20% off with free shipping.
Thanks, Emily! Couple it with Ebates and it’s a great deal. I got $20.60 off, plus free shipping and the Ebates rebate.