Have you heard of Madewell? It's a new concept store launched by the same folks that brought us J. Crew, and is, in fact, referred to in the media as "J. Crew's sister store". From what I gather, the prices are roughly 20-30% less than J. Crew.
What's the difference? Madewell is a very tightly edited collection of clothing that leans to bohemian, rather than preppy (the look J. Crew is so famous for). This tight editing makes it easy to shop (there's very little to weed through), and these forgiving bohemian silhouettes are perfect for camouflaging a multitude of post-baby body issues while remaining on-trend and hip. And the lower price point doesn't hurt, either.
While Madewell stores have been around in select cities, Madewell.com just launched. And I'm in love. I'm betting this online retailer will quickly become a favorite. It's hard to resist items like a perfectly slouchy T in just the right shade of gray (pictured at left), worn with an insanely cute-yet-mom-friendly bracelet that manages to walk the line between tough and feminine (pictured at right).
And both pieces are each under $40. Not bad.
Need more convincing? How about....
...the world's most perfect jean shorts, the cutest yellow rainboots that I vow to make my own, a chunky necklace that will stand up to some serious toddler-tugging, a fringed bag that doubles as the hippest diaper bag ever, and a gorgeous boho top that camouflages post-baby bellies & large upper arms while just showing enough skin to be sexy. Ahhhh.... [a sigh of bliss]
Or for new moms and nursing moms...
...try a belly-hiding romper that you can easily nurse in (just layer it over M's fav nursing cami) or a gorgeous ruffled vest that easily dresses that same nursing cami up for a night out. I'm also loving a summer scarf in washed out watercolors (I used these for impromptu summer shading of the babe, or nursing in a pinch), and a pair of ultra-cool sweatpants I'd gladly wear out of the house (just add a swingy tank and some cool flat sandals).
This economic downtown certainly has an upside: gorgeous clothes with better prices. Nice.