Savvy Style: Everything I Know about Fashion, I Learned at T.J. Maxx

By Jan Ross ~

Is there anyplace more completely fabulous than T.J. Maxx? Where else can you find a kicky, hot pink bracelet, the perfect discontinued eyeshadow, last season’s still charming mauve purse and the perfect black cashmere cardigan all in one location? And for great prices?

However, T.J. Maxx is not the perfect mistress. She is a difficult, exacting mistress who requires time and dedication. She is not to be visited lightly with only a few minutes to spare. She will not be toyed with. Much like the rest of we fashion divas.

But the rewards make all that time spent digging through racks of clothes and trying on top after top after top until you find the perfectly fitted, azure wonder worthwhile. The Maxx has some fashion lessons for us. Some important fashion life lessons. Read carefully. Then apply at your local store.

1. That color is not for me. Maybe not. But maybe so. That weird mauvy, pinky, taupy color that looks odd on the hanger may be the perfect color on you. If it’s darling and reasonably priced, give it a try.

2. I can’t wear that size. Those clothes have made it to The Maxx for some reason. Maybe the store just had too many of them. But maybe the sizing is wrong. Obviously, you can’t try on everything in the store, but check out the sizes above and below what you normally wear. You might be surprised. And think how thrilled you will be when you are wearing a size smaller than you normally do. We say we don’t care what the size is as long as it fits and looks great. This is a lie we tell ourselves. Size matters. When the size is smaller than we normally wear, that is.

3. I already have a black sweater/white blouse/magenta sandals. Doesn’t matter. If  it’s perfect, buy it. I won’t even get into the story of the perfect navy walking shorts I didn’t buy because I already had a pair of navy shorts and then the dry cleaner ruined my fabulous shorts and I didn’t have a pair because I didn’t buy the perfect navy walking shorts as a back-up. A perfect fashion back-up is never a mistake. Never.

4. That dress/top/pair of pants is kinda ugly. If there is a remote possibility that they might look different on you, try them on. Things that look strange on the hanger might look completely different when tried on. Except that dress with the huge red roses on it, of course. Nothing is going to help that fashion disaster.

5. It’s perfect except it’s too long/gaps at the waist/is a little too big. If it’s perfect in every other way and very reasonably priced, it might be worth having it altered to fit. Some department store alteration departments will alter items that were not bought in the store – I know the Lazarus near me will do this. Check it out.

6. Which color should I buy? That perfectly darling cardigan that comes in white, teal and pale pink? Buy it. Every single one. My fashion mantra is “if it fits, looks great and is reasonably priced – buy it in every color.” You will never be sorry you bought every color in something you love. You will only be sorry when you didn’t and you go back and they are all sold out. I’m telling you. Buy it.

7. This is from last season. Well. Unless it’s completely and totally trendy or you are in the habit of buying the new designer line every year, it’s probably fine. Except for shrugs. Never buy a shrug. Those things are hideous.

8. It’s not very practical. Practical?? We are talking about fashion here. Is it darling? Buy it.

9. I’m not sure it’s my style. Refer to #8.

10. But I just went to The Maxx last week. Last week? The Maxx gets new things in every day. Get thee there.

As soon as humanly possible.

Jan Ross is a freelance writer and travel blogger at: . When she is not writing or traveling, she is shopping. Often at T.J. Maxx.


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