Marshall’s (and TJMaxx and Home Goods and that whole family of don’t-throw-it-away-we’ll-take-it stores) is a treasure trove of designer goods but for some reason no one believes me. According to their corporate site, Marshall’s is the largest “off-price” retailer in the US and according to me “off-price” means cheap, y’all.
I get that they’re not the loveliest stores on earth and I get that they’re not really organized and I get that 80% of their stock is straight up garbage, but I personally also get a whole of awesome stuff in there. You just have to dig.
I have picked up Coach purses, Gucci sunglasses, Seven jeans, killer shoes, expensive department store face creams and most recently this adorable little Kate Spade Saturday dress. (Unrelated to fashion but worthy of note, I also love picking up discounted “gourmet” food here. Things like chia seed bars and kale chips and assorted other overpriced things that didn’t sell in other stores find their way here with a cheaper price tag and eventually straight into my face. The home decor stuff is also so awesome.)
I can’t find the dress online, but I think it retailed around $200. I spent $50.
The thing about shopping these off-price stores is you can’t go in looking for a particular item; you’ll never find it. You just have to pop in with an open mind and see what you find. Here are some other tips:
- Ignore sizes and try on everything. Since they carry hundreds of different brands, there is no consistency to the sizing. You might be in the Juniors section. You might be in the Maternity section. You don’t care; you’re just here for a deal. Try it on.
- Get a cart. Odds are you’ll find lots of “maybe” stuff and then slowly whittle it down to the final purchase. You will need backup for this. The cart is your friend. (PS – Be nice to the fitting room attendant and they’ll let you take in more than 10 items.)
- Go for quality. The cheap clothes at these stores are CHEAP and they will fall apart after one wash. Don’t do it. Look for labels you recognize that represent quality.
- Unless of course you’re going cheap… When I want to try a trend I’m not willing to commit serious funds to, I head straight to the TJX stores. Overalls, big ugly sweater capes, crop tops… experiment on the cheap here so you don’t regret your purchase when the fad comes and goes.
- Find out when the shipments come in. I think my stores get them on Wednesdays but just ask the manager. They’ll hook you up.
- Don’t forget the snacks. Seriously the food aisle is great fun.
- The designer stuff is in the front. Or on a special rack. Or otherwise labeled. UNLESS, of course, it’s on clearance. Never skip the clearance rack. Those items are basically free.
- Never skip the clearance rack. Just reiterating.
- Workout clothes! They’ve got all the big guys–Nike, Adidas, Columbia, North Face, etc.–along with a whole lot of knockoff lululemon. If you’ve got a sports brand you like, you’ll probably find it on the cheap here. If not, you probably need some socks and they have plenty. I like Puma. (I’d steer clear of any off brand spandex. Just saying.)
- The men’s section is garbage. Move along. You will never find anything for your boyfriend. I already checked for all of us and it is a mess.
- When all else fails… HOME SECTION. At a minimum you will leave the store with a mug or an inspirational notebook or a new bed for your cat. YOU CANNOT LOSE.
Anybody else love TJX and/or Kate Spade, and if you love Kate Spade so much why won’t you believe me that you can buy it super cheap at the TJX stores?