In search of grown-up clothes at Urban Outfitters

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I don’t know why I chose this exercise, especially; I suppose it felt like a challenge. And so it was: you have to wade through lots of this type of thing to get to anything good, but there are cute items to be had, for cheap as long as you can exercise a zen state of detachment regarding synthetic fibers. I’d layer this linen dress with a skinny long-sleeved tee and tights.

A poppy yellow flannel shirt is so bright and unexpected.

I love the idea of a faux fur jacket in green for weekend kicking around.

I used to dislike cable knit sweaters so much that at Lucky, the market editors knew to call them in for shoots at their own peril, but now I think I was really wrong about that. I’ve grown to very much like them, especially when there’s a little something going on to keep things interesting. Here it’s the excellent color, and the cool texture of the knit.

Similarly, I almost never show anything brown here, but it somehow fits the really good print on this button-down.

A graphic plaid sweater like this could go punk, preppy, or mod, depending on your mood.

This suede trench is actually pretty solid—retroish and classic at once. It reminds me of Michael Kors when Michael Kors was good.

Something about the idea of a red cardi as a layering piece with a pretty floral dress appeals.

I love the idea of wearing this liner jacket under a heavy coat on really cold days.

This camo raincoat is a fun alternative to the classic yellow slicker.

 

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15 Thoughts on In search of grown-up clothes at Urban Outfitters
    y.k.
    9 Oct 2018
    8:40am

    uh yeah that’s a challenge! one that you met nicely too,
    although I’m still not a fan of cable knit sweaters.
    the suede trench looks fantastic.

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    kj
    9 Oct 2018
    9:36am

    Good post! I like the plaid sweater. The first time I visited NY as a teenager, my number one priority was to shop at UA. That was a long time ago, and now my teenager shops there, but I still like to walk through every now and then and chuckle at the hipster nonsense.

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    kimberly
    9 Oct 2018
    11:09am

    Its funny that you should say this, because I just went there yesterday. I now know how my mom felt when bell bottoms came back in and she told me that once you wear something the first time, you don’t want to wear it again. The entire store looked like my early – mid 90’s high school experience! And I mean almost EXACT. Only difference is I really wanted to wear some of it again…..haha
    The thing about Urban is that the website never does anything justice and its a store you really need to shop in physically.
    (Also, I have that black linen dress and really like it. Its pretty heavy, so even though I bought it in the summer its probably better suited to now weather).

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    Mimi
    9 Oct 2018
    11:14am

    I love the challenge of findng cheap thrills at teeny bopper stores, so if I’m hunting for something like cargo pants or a striped tee, I might check out UO, American Eagle, Superdry or even Forever 21, with the caveat that I’ve sworn off tops and sweaters with any more than a tiny percentage of acrylic. I expect to encounter problems with quality or fit, but I’ve had triumphs too. I found these pants at a UO store while visiting Philadelphia last summer
    . https://www.urbanoutfitters.com/shop/uo-sienna-belted-paperbag-pant?category=womens-clothing&color=020&quantity=1&size=10&type=REGULAR
    They’re 100% cotton and I liked them so much I wrote a review. I lied about my age in the review – I’m not 45-54 – because who would believe a 70-year old woman who shops at UO?

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      c.w.
      9 Oct 2018
      12:11pm

      Mimi, you are awesome and I bet you rock those pants!

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        Mimi
        9 Oct 2018
        8:14pm

        Thanks so much.

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    Heather
    9 Oct 2018
    12:13pm

    It freaks me out to shop in these stores because I’m the age of the moms shopping with their daughters, but I don’t have a daughter, so I feel like a foot fetishist perusing a shoe store or something. Anyway, this is indeed a fun challenge. The other day I got a Vermont Country Store catalog and was thinking, “hey, that muumuu is kind of cute.” It’s great to find stuff in unexpected places.

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      Maggie
      10 Oct 2018
      10:24am

      Ha, I also like the muumuus in the Vermont Country Store catalog. They are something I totally would have worn at 20, but now that I’m 44, I worry they’d make me look older and dowdy.

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        Viajera
        10 Oct 2018
        11:27am

        Here, we call them “caftans.” (wah wah wah)

        And I for one am *for* them. As long as they are a pretty color or print. I see no point in a tasteful housecoat, or whatall.

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        Ita darling
        16 Oct 2018
        10:44am

        quick tip- if you hem a caftan to under the knee or mid calf it looks a lot less dowdy! (in my opinion)

        anything maxi to the floor tends to look like Mrs. Roper from Three’s Company!

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    B. Fox
    9 Oct 2018
    12:35pm

    Just wondering…. I thought a button-down shirt meant there were buttons on the collar (to button down the tips) and a button-up shirt was a shirt that had buttons up the front of the shirt. A trivial question in the grand scheme of things, but thought I’d ask. I’ve been reading your site for years. Love your attitude, love the redesign of the site, love that you don’t run sponsored posts.

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      Kim France
      9 Oct 2018
      1:03pm

      I can never quite get straight on the difference between button-ups and button-downs, so I just call them all button-downs. But your distinction sounds about right. Thanks also for the kind words.

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    Anne
    9 Oct 2018
    1:59pm

    I consider UO a ‘treasure hunt’ store, I’ve found some great stuff there, but you have to really search for it.

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    Chelene F
    9 Oct 2018
    5:40pm

    I love that dress — in fact, just ordered it in the yellow!

    Kim, would you ever consider doing a post on grown-up dresses with pockets? I’m always looking for a dress that isn’t precious but is also casual/chic/easy that looks good! And has pockets! That don’t add 30 extra pounds to my figure :)!

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    Mamavalveeta03
    9 Oct 2018
    7:23pm

    I love the linen dress in the gold shade! So flattering. I can’t believe you hated cable sweaters! Haha – anti-preppy holdover? 🙂
    I used to have a long suede coat in college and I felt like one hot chick!

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Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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