May 7, 2012

Today's Everyday Fashion: The Junior's Section














































Today's look contains the same three colors as my inspiration photo - I just switched them around! I've been loving lavender so much lately. When I saw these jeans, I immediately snapped them up. They are from the junior's section, which brings me to today's topic. You may have noticed that all of the items from my recent shopping trip are from the junior's section. This was not from lack of trying. I tried on at least 20 things from the women's section but didn't like any of them - and then wound up buying 3 out of 5 items I tried on the junior's section, which made me chuckle. :-)

In all seriousness though, this is a topic I find myself discussing with other women in their 20's often. The junior's section can be cut too short, and feel too young. The women's section can be too boxy, and feel too old. So what's a girl to do? I'm personally a big fan of buying the best from both and mixing them together. My tips for each department:

Junior's section:

  • Fit. The fit works well for petite women, especially those who can't find their size in the women's section. (I know I often struggle with the smallest women's sizes being too big.) Junior's jeans also often have a more "trendy" cut, whereas women's jeans often have a higher rise. Clothes are short though (especially dresses), so buyer beware. Most clothing is not work appropriate in this section.
  • Value. Prices are often lower, but the quality is also lower. There are exceptions - like the 100% silk tops I've purchased at F21. Overall, be cautious when selecting fabrics in this section. 
  • My recommendations. Stick to casual clothes for the weekend such as jeans, shorts, fun shoes and accessories. Also, buy anything trendy you want to experiment with in this section, as well as tops or dresses you only plan to wear a couple times (such as sundresses for a beach vacation). 
Women's section: 
  • Fit. Ladies with curves or "girls" (as Stacey London calls them) fit great in the women's section clothes because they have the shape to fill them out. Belts can be a great strategy if you find the fit of a dress or top to be boxy in this section, and I also like tucking in blouses to help minimize the larger fit.   
  • Value. Prices are higher, but the quality is also usually much better. Mixing these pieces into an all-juniors wardrobe is a good strategy for looking more polished. 
  • My recommendations. Buy pretty much all of your work clothes in this section such as collared shirts, dress pants, work skirts, and suits. I also recommend a classic pair of denim, a handbag, shoes that you can walk in for miles and anything you want to last for years. 

Which section do you generally shop in? Are there any junior's vs. women's section woes or successes you've experienced over the years?




Inspiration photo: J.Crew via FabSugar
Shirt: c/o Ann Taylor, $20
Jeans: Rewind c/o Kohls, $25
Necklace: Charlotte Russe, $9 (similarsimilar)
Shoes: c/o Amour Boutique, $30 (similarsimilarsimilar)
Rings: LOFT pink ring $11, My Stella & Dot website $49
Watch: Michael Kors, family gift
Left bracelets: My Stella & Dot website $49, My Stella & Dot website $59
Right bracelets: Banana Republic $10, Kohl's $9


1. Nordstrom yellow shirt, $48
2. Forever 21 yellow shirt, $18.90
3. Nordstrom yellow shirt, $88

70 comments:

  1. Nihongo dame desuMay 7, 2012 at 8:39 AM

    This outfit is amazing and I am lusting over those pants.  Can you tell me how they fit, compared to typical women's sizes?  I can only shop online (I live in Japan), so I have to make a best guess, so any advice you can give me on fit, especially through the thighs, is great.  Because I *must* have them! 

    ReplyDelete
  2. OOOh, I love the way you switched around the colors and I think shopping in Juniors is totally fine for women who are shorter, thinner and petite!  I am in my 30's and will usually buy the trendier items only, such as colored skinny jeans like yours too!  Great post, and I think those jeans fit you really well!  xx

    http://icetodiamonds.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love all the colors! Thank you for the breakdown on juniors fit and women's sizes :-)

    Maria

    www.daintyanddecadent.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you for the tips - really helpful! I love the BP section at Nordstrom, even though I'm 27. Love the spring outfit too!

    ReplyDelete
  5. At 31, I still do a mix of women's and junior's clothes.  Where ever I find a style and fit I like is what I buy!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great post. I shop at Forever 21... and I'm well over 21! They have a lot of fun pieces that you just don't find at shops for "older" women.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Love the lavendar jeans! And I like things I see in the junior section.  I actually usually end up buying jeans from this section but dresses, although cute, are usually too short on me and definitely not work appropriate!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm a petite 29-year-old, so I definitely know the woes of department store shopping!  I can generally fill out pants (in the women's department), but I'm tiny up top, so smalls are generally still too big.  Some stores have started selling XS, but there's generally not a lot of them.  SO, I buy my work pants from the women's department, and my tops from the juniors (or F21 or something like that).  For casual wear, I just buy whatever I like from wherever I want :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love mixing yellow and purple! They are opposites on the color wheel so naturally they are complimentary colors. And I think the colors work on just about everyone. Well, everyone who is willing to wear these two bold colors together. But you did a nice job in keeping the colors soft and more on the pastel side.
    Niki
    www.fashionatforty.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love this pale purple color on anything and I like how this color matches the color of the shoes.I have bought some on junior department and some on men's department as well.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I really appreciate this post as I avoid most women's stores for this reason...they don't fit! Any suggestions on affordable stores that tend to run smaller?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Just this weekend my husband asked me why I always score such cheap clothing and his stuff is so much more expensive.  Hello - I shop in the juniors section!  I also find it difficult to shop in the women's section, so thank you for this post.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I feel like I'm stuck right in the middle of junior's and women's, for the exact reasons you state. (And even though I love F21, it's starting to feel just ridiculous to shop there at my age!)  Because I'm so short, I end up in the junior's section by default most of the time. 

    ReplyDelete
  14. Love the lavender color pants with the shoes! adorable. One question-in the pic the fit around the crotch looks wrinkly-is it just the pic?

    ReplyDelete
  15. i love this look! I feel the same way though sometimes--the junior section has the right fit for me that I'm looking for even when I feel silly shopping there!

    ReplyDelete
  16. These colors remind me of Easter. 

    I totally agree that you can mix and match from the womens and juniors sections. I do it everyday! I have been noticing more EXTRA SMALL sizes available in the womens section over the last few years. That has helped me out a bit.
    work-it-blog.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. First of all, love this outfit & the mix of colors you chose!  I shop a little in the juniors (tops & jackets), but mostly buy women's for pants & skirts (because of my height) - I think the juniors section has more affordable trendy items & the women's section is usually more classic. :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. love this look & those lavender jeans obsessed!! I need a pair! Super cute!! I shop both juniors & womens section

    ReplyDelete
  19. jseverydayfashionMay 7, 2012 at 11:07 AM

    Carla, I'm having a hard time seeing what you mean? If you look, my leg that is standing straight isn't wrinkled at all. There is some bunching on the other leg - but I think that's just because my leg is bent and placed in front of the other? Most pants do wrinkle there as you move around (that's why blue jeans are often "whiskered" in that area) - it just might be more noticeable b/c they are lavender?

    ReplyDelete
  20. i love this - i have mixed feelings - because i'm more pear shaped - it's easier for me to find TOPS in the juniors section that fit but almost IMPOSSIBLE for me to find pants or shorts that fit. for example, i tried those same lavender pants on in the juniors section this past weekend at kohl's and there was NO WAY they were gonna fit over my hips. they were perfect in length, but even the largest size they make at kohl's in those pants wouldn't button. i was so sad cause it's not like i wear a huge size (i'm usually a 10) but it's just how a lot of those clothes are cut. it's unfortunate but unfortunately genetics have, uh, cursed me in the hip / rear region. hahaha.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Glad to hear I'm not the only one that struggles in the women's department. I am in my early 30s and still often shop in the junior's department. I'm petite and most "women's" clothes just don't fit correctly.

    ReplyDelete
  22. jseverydayfashionMay 7, 2012 at 11:10 AM

    Thank you! I'm a size 2 in jeans pretty much across the board (women's and junior's). These pants use odd numbers for the numbering, so I bought a size 3. I think the fit is very true to size and cut exactly like junior's bottoms usually are! Hope this helps.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I'm like you, I shop in both sections and mix them into my wardrobe. As long as it fits and I like it, I don't care were is came from or what size it is.

    www.daisyraeboutique.com
    www.kacieskloset.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  24. jseverydayfashionMay 7, 2012 at 11:56 AM

    I definitely wouldn't call it a curse Molly. :-) I know us girls are notorious for having grass is greener symptoms when it comes to our bodies, but it's true. Most days I would easily trade my boyish body for some beautiful curves!!! And the upside is that now you don't have to feel silly buying from the junior's section like I do, LOL!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I struggle with jeans in the juniors section. I am a bit curvier on bottom, but wear a size 4 in most jeans, yet any time I hit the juniors section, I have to buy 9s or 11s. I HATE that so I typically stick to the women's section for jeans. :) 

    ReplyDelete
  26. I have to say I have a SERIOUS problem with women shopping in the juniors section, especially for fit reasons. But I must say I am not petite and most "women" I see wearing juniors clothes are not petite either. Juniors clothes are typically cut for boyish figures, aka the figure most girls had in high school which then creates "muffin tops" and just ill fitting clothing but you look wonderful in those jeans and say hey if you have the figure for it, go for it :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. J - I love this outfit!  When you put up similar items are you saying that you think they will really work?  ie: the yellow are pretty different but I shouldn't question that right because you wouldn't have put it up there if you didn't think it would work right?

    Also, any chance when you are looking for similar in heels you could put a "shorter" version for us that can't wear that tall of a heel?

    Picky aren't I?  :) You've heard it all now.  Can't please everyone right. 

    Believe me though you DO please me!

    Thanks J!

    Jennifer

    ReplyDelete
  28. jseverydayfashionMay 7, 2012 at 12:30 PM

    Jen, this literally made me laugh out loud!! You are too funny. :-) So, when I put up similar items, I am usually just trying to find the closest match I possibly can. That's a really good point about these yellow tops working with the same purple jeans - I don't necessarily think about it that way when I post them. In this case, I think all 3 would work (although color online can be a little deceiving, so you should still use your best judgment if you see the colors in person). If you ever have a question like that about my recs in the future, feel free to leave it and I'll give you my best advice. 

    Great idea with the heels, I will definitely add some different heel heights in whenever I can find them! Thanks for the idea!

    ReplyDelete
  29. love the jeans, the fit is great, the color is awesome. I also like the shoes a lot but the color combination overall is just hideous. personally, I'd wear those pants with neutral shoes and a neutral top. this way, it's not so bright and still maintains a great pop of color.

    ReplyDelete
  30. jseverydayfashionMay 7, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    Erika, you make an excellent point that I think is so important - we really need to dress for our body types, no matter what type that is! Clothing in the junior's section is intended for a less curvy (pre-pubscent) body type so it doesn't work for everyone. My body hasn't change at all since high school (I'm one size smaller) - so this is a case of do as I say, and not necessarily do as I do. We are all different, and finding what suits US and not what someone else is wearing, is the best strategy for looking amazing! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  31. I struggle too - I can find things in juniors but I try to stay away from them generally; sometimes you can find a few gems though!!! Love the styling here!

    Sarah
    sarahsavvystyle.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  32. I agree with this! For example, American Eagle is one of my favorite stores, and sometimes I feel so old shopping in there, even though their clothing fits me perfectly. I'm only 5'2 so buying Women's sizes just doesn't work for me.  I'm 30 and the sales associate@ AE asked me if I was shopping for spring break clothes and what college I went to! Score one for me! LOL

    ReplyDelete
  33. Love this!   You are one of the few bloggers that BOTH my teenagers and I like!  :)
    www.shopwithpippa.com

    ReplyDelete
  34. Did I ever tell you that I hate you?! haha! I'm only kidding but boy do I was I was a size smaller that I was in high school...sigh....
    But yes, please ladies, wear clothes that fit!

    ReplyDelete
  35. jseverydayfashionMay 7, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    Love that Amanda! Have fun on spring break lol!

    ReplyDelete
  36. I'm in love with that blouse.  The color is GREAT, but it also looks soft and comfy!  And those jeans look amazing on you btw! I personally just go to stores that target late 20's to 40's.  When there are departments seperating juniors from womens, I strike out big time!  I'll take double the amount of clothes they allow in the dressing rooms, and in the end hand them all back with a "pouty" face lol. 
    Enjoy the day you lucky Florida girl!

    www.pinkmargaritapearl.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  37. I do the same - I shop from both. My biggest draw into the juniors department (at 30 - eesh) is for pants/bottoms!! Both my hips and my butt are non-existent - every single pair of pants from the womens department is too big in the hips. If there is even a slight curve to the hips, I look ridiculous in them. I do have to size up in juniors, generally, in order for the proper fit through the legs and waist, which tends to leave me with a gapping waist - but I'd rather just slap on a belt than get womens pants that fit in the hip but give me a big ol' muffin top - or worse can't even be buttoned!! On the top, though...definitely canNOT wear juniors tops!!! 

    ReplyDelete
  38. Love this! There are some stores, like Macy's, that carry fun plus-size options in the junior section, whereas some items in the women's plus-size section are too fuddy-duddy for my taste. I don't think there's anything wrong with shopping in the junior section as long as you dress for your body, your age, and you cover yourself properly (I have a friend who tries to go braless with tops that have built-in bras ... but over a certain age, you ALWAYS need a bra because of ... um ... droopage. No matter how "full" your cup-size is!

    ReplyDelete
  39. I am so glad that you have posted these jeans, I recently added some lilac jeans to my wish list but didn't know where to look for them!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  40. Probably the forward leg and the color. The blue & the lavender is awesome. I can shop in Juniors for fun fashion stuff for 1 season. I like Vera Wang at Kohls but the sizes are too big for this petite ;-( Love the blog and the affordable ideas! Keep em coming .... 

    ReplyDelete
  41. jseverydayfashionMay 7, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    Thank you! :-) And YES I'm so glad I'm not the only one who feels like Vera Wang clothes are huge. I really like some of her stuff, but I think she does women's sizing, because a lot of things are too big. 

    ReplyDelete
  42. love the color palette with this outfit - so cute and springy! : )

    http://allthingsprettyandlittle.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  43. I have the same problem with women's clothing. I only buy my jeans in the junior section and I am 30 with 4 children. I went to New York and Company and bought a size 2 and they were huge and soggy and they were suppose to be skinny :/ no bueno. I do buy my skirts in the Missy section since I do like that they are knee length and appropriate for my age. Since I have no butt or thighs juniors work fabulous for me. So I guess is it works for you then more power to ya! As long as I look fab in it… I buy it (@^_^@)

    ReplyDelete
  44. I only shop in the women's section. I wear a 14 or an XL, & juniors just doesn't cut it - which is unfortunate for juniors of my size, because I know they exist!

    ReplyDelete
  45. Cute pants. Full disclaimer: I am a 5'4" 115 lb. 54!!(gasp) year old woman who enjoys your blog because I have a fit, boyish figure and have picked up some really good ideas from observing your style. Don't worry, I am not going out on the town in shorts and highheels, I'm talking more about colour ideas and use of belts, etc. Anyway, I do shop in junior sections at times and have found some cute items. My main problem is that womens size pants are too big in the waist and sometimes junior size pants fit in the waist but are too tight in the thighs--I do a lot of trail running up mountain trails, which great produces quads and glutes that look good in yoga pants, but not so much in regular pants. I can't tell you how many pairs of jeans, etc. I have that are cinched in tightly by belts to try to keep them up. I guess there are worse problems, but, I wish I had an answer. Maybe a seamstress . .   .Love your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  46. I buy things out of the Juniors section quite a bit if the women's petite section isn't working for me. And the only person seein their 20s in my house is my son. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  47. I  Sadly, I can still wear my small cup size bras from my high school days, but everything else grew! Damn! 
    The majority of my wardrobe is women’s b/c my job is professional (boring) dress. I love to try on casual wear in the juniors department (usually go up a size to keep things from being clingy) and have a few pieces – more tops than bottoms and no dresses, but a good mix.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Hi J, love your blog!  I am 47, 5'2", 115 lbs and I shop in Juniors a lot because most of the time women's clothes (on me) are just too big, baggy, long, or frumpy looking.  Don't worry, I stay away from the wild, trendy stuff and mainly go for the basics.  Inspired by you, I looked for a turquoise cardigan for weeks with no luck.  I finally found one in XL in the Girls section in our local department store.  It fits perfectly and I get lots of compliments on it!

    ReplyDelete
  49. I like some juniors clothes, but I agree, the quality is really questionable, especially at work (and I'm not even that fashion conscious!). Erika makes a good point about muffin tops too: when I wear womens clothing, I don't have that issue, but with juniors there's always a little extra love hanging over. I wish there was a nice combination of the quality and cut of womens clothing that blended with junior trends.

    ReplyDelete
  50. I fear the wrath of people for what I'm about to say, but I'm in the same boat as J - I'm actually a bit smaller than I was in high school and REALLY struggle to find clothes that fit.  I'm 5'7", 117 lbs (healthy! I just have a very small frame!), and so I really struggle with length in the Juniors section...but I can't shop at all in Womens because they pretty much start at size 2 or 4 (I'm a 00, typically). 

    So consequently, finding work-appropriate clothes limits me to stores that carry small sizes...so my options are typically pretty limited.  Do you have any advice on how to make clothes-finding easier?  I think regardless of body type (small, large, curvy, boyish), we ALL struggle to find the right fit!  Thanks...

    ReplyDelete
  51. Silvia @ Skinny Jeans FoodMay 8, 2012 at 10:11 AM

    I wonder what we will think about this outfit in 20 years looking at the photos in 20 years ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  52. So true!  I have a hard-to-fit figure and am in my 30's with a baby!  But I'm built really thin and straight except for huge boobs (30F!).  For jeans and shorts - I can only buy either juniors or designer.  The womens/misses stuff just looks silly on me.

    It seems like there are in-between-stores that work for everything, like J-crew: targeted to the woman in her 20's or 30's.  But it's expensive!

    ReplyDelete
  53. Unlike a lot of your other readers I am not petite or boyishly built, but rather tall, slim with athletic legs (5'10; 135lbs). I find that not all juniors sections are created equal. Of course length can be a big issue in junior's sections like Kohls, but their brand jeans like Lucky or Silver sell lengths, different cuts, and more junior styles. I have had a lot of luck in the junior department at Macy's because they sell more brand names but in junior styling (Tommy Girl, Silver, American Rag, etc.) These tend to be a little higher quality but still relatively inexpensive. Love your blog!!

    ReplyDelete
  54. jseverydayfashionMay 8, 2012 at 11:50 AM

    Rose - I agree with you that there are some in-between stores. Gap is another one - I think they are technically women's, but have a lot of junior style items and fits, too!

    ReplyDelete
  55. jseverydayfashionMay 8, 2012 at 11:52 AM

    LOL! This is a trendy look, so my guess it that it will seem pretty hideous. Although, some people probably look at it now and feel it's hideous, too!! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  56. Well, I'm 40 so I've long since stopped shopping in the junior's section.  My problem is that I'm slim and athletic, if you could call that a problem.  I find that junior's clothing, besides being too "young" for me at this point, really doesn't fit my muscles.  But much of the women's clothing is cut wrong for me, too. 

    I'm 5'7" and about 135 lbs of mostly muscle, and there are stores where an XS shirt is too big on me.  Yet, in junior's sizing, an XL t-shirt is too tight on my shoulders.  How is that even possible? 

    I have found a few stores that consistently have items that work for me.  I'm still looking for a reliable source of mid-rise jeans.  I don't want low-rise anymore, but high-rise is really awful too. 

    ReplyDelete
  57. LOVE the color combination!!! 

    ReplyDelete
  58. you have a good sense of style. i like the colors and my favorite is the jeans.

    regards from germany :-)
    www.bigapple-girl.blog.de

    ReplyDelete
  59. I have found your list to be par for my frustrating fashion course.  I'm 5'9 with an "athletic pear" shape but with well proportioned shoulders (unlike some other "pear" shapes).  While I often love the styling, colors, and price of juniors clothing, they are definitely too short and too narrow in the shoulders.  Ugh.  Women's clothing is better quality, as you said, and fit me better in pants (except when pants have a puffy, maternity-esque crotch) buuuuuuut...trendy much?  Nope.  Unless you're shopping in a high-end shop where one top practically requires the donation of your left limb.  Solution?  Mix and match AND...keep an eye out for "Misses" sections.  These are awesome and gleefully join together the best of both worlds!  Flattering cuts AND decent pricing?  Yes please!

    ReplyDelete
  60. I enjoy reading your blog, but find it a little frustrating that more and more of what you wear is c/o. In keeping with the "everyday" theme, your everyday reader is not receiving boxes of free clothes...

    ReplyDelete
  61. At 31, I still do a mix of women's and junior's clothes.  Where ever I find a style and fit I like is what I buy!

    http://www.lux-fashion.org/next-springs-trend-1970s-retro-civilians-fashion.html
     

    ReplyDelete
  62.  I
    like the dresses with capes. I'm really impressed with your style.

    ReplyDelete
  63.       
    You look soo pretty! The dress
    suits you very well, I’m in love with your style!

    ReplyDelete
  64. I have the same issues with Juniors being too short but then women's being too large.  I have found that stores like the Limited and Express are better. Stores like Macy's, Kohl's, and JCP that have separate sections in the same store always seem to be the worst for me.  I do shop in the juniors sometimes but it can look young.  It's a problem.  I notice I also keep wearing smaller sizes all the time yet I'm getting larger. I have no idea how I'll find clothes that fit in a few years. 

    ReplyDelete
  65. I do notice they are boxier. They are not meant for curvy hips but actually I'm considered curvy and when they do low rise it is way better than women's clothing. When I find something that fits in the waist they are too large in the hips yet by numbers I'm considered curvy.   But I did buy some F21 jeans recently and there is some serious gaping in the back. http://scrapandrun.blogspot.com/2012/05/512.html shows them near the bottom.   But then I'm 100% swimming in my dress pants from JCP women's section. 

    ReplyDelete
  66. jseverydayfashionJune 1, 2012 at 6:02 PM

    I think this is why I tend to stick with shopping at Limited, Express, Gap - they are sort of "in between" stores - not quite junior's but not really women's either.

    ReplyDelete
  67. I have had same issues.  When I was 40 I wore a size 0 jeans, slacks but now fast forward 5 years (and a 5 year old little girl later...yeah...my surprise) I am a 4 slacks and 6 in jeans and HATE high waisted jeans in the womens section but I have CURVES and I am only 5"4.  I rarely find slacks that fit me properly but have found them often in the lower-end stores but the slacks unfortunately only last a few wearings if I wash them on cold and hang dry.  argh!  If I buy them from BR (sloan is best cut for me) they shrink at the dry cleaners EVERY TIME.   I tend to stick to skirts.  My upper half is a size 8 so finding dresses to fit properly is difficult too.  Oh well.  I love your site so much because you offer so many versatile outfits in bright colors that I would never dream of actually wearing but love secretly and you show how to wear a pop of color under or with a suit skirt and I love it!

    ReplyDelete
  68. I recently found your blog and I love it! The juniors vs. women's debate is something I really struggle with. I am a young mom of two kids. My body no longer has that boyish figure, and while I am trying really hard to lose the extra baby weight, I am really struggling with what is going to look good on my "new" body. I feel like the clothes in the junior section no longer fit me right (we are talking serious muffin top), but the clothes in the women's section feel too old for me (I am only 26 and do not want to look like my mother). Plus, as a stay at home mom, I do not need most of the more business type clothes offered in the women's section and feel that the style in the juniors section is more my speed. I am kinda stuck in a rut (I am hoping only until I do get the extra weight off). I love your style and how you mix the different things from different places. Thank you for giving me some ideas and I would love any input that you had on how to dress a body that has changed, but a girl that still wants some sort of style!

    ReplyDelete
  69. Karen, totally understand your predicament!! I think it is common for women in their 20's and early 30's. I would recommend getting things like colorful skinny jeans at Limited or LOFT, which have a women's fit but often carry trendy, fun non-work items. And then you can still try the junior's tops from time. Hope this helps!

    ReplyDelete