The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

My T.J. Maxx Fall Haul: A Complete Wardrobe for Under $400

Recently T.J. Maxx sent me a $500 gift card (I know, right? I was jealous of myself!) and tasked me with putting together a head-to-toe look at my local T.J. Maxx store. But once I started shopping, I couldn't settle on just one look. I don't really shop by look, rather, I try to buy pieces that work with what I already own and I always try to buy versatile pieces that can be worn multiple ways.

With that in mind, here's what I pulled into the dressing room:

Almost unconsciously, I gravitated towards pieces in the same color family and pieces that were made for layering. I came across some crazy-awesome designer brands on this trip, including Vince, Cynthia Rowley, BCBG, French Connection, Rebecca Minkoff, Foley & Corinna, and more.

I love to shop the juniors section and just pick pieces that look more refined because everything is so much cheaper. I may not recognize the brands but who cares? Lots of the fashions look just like what you see online at independent fashion boutiques like Lulu's and Ruche - but for way less.

Anyways, moving right along, here's what I bought:

1. French Connection stripe sweater dress, $39.99 (original price $118)
2. Jessica Simpson leopard skinny jeans, $24.99 (original price $59; I think I tweeted that these were $39.99 but I was mistaken!)
3. Cynthia Rowley tweed jacket, $34.99 (compare at $68)
4. Heart n Crush sweater, $16.99 (compare at $28)
5. Willi Smith faux fur vest, $39.99 (compare at $80)
6. Nelly Fantasia denim shirt, $14.99 (compare at $20)
7. Natasha leather and stud bracelet, $16.99 (compare at $42)
8. Rebecca Minkoff MAC cheetah convertible clutch, $164 (original price $395)
9. Set of 20 soft touch velvet clothing hangers, $12.99 (compare at unknown)

Total before tax: $365.92

I'd never spend quite that much in one shopping trip if it weren't for the gift card, but I think I got a LOT for my money. In fact, I easily got about 20 different outfit combinations, more when you add in other accessories and shoes!

Here are five more looks I created with my jeans:

The one item I forgot to include in my outfit pics is this Natasha bracelet, a brand I had seen for way more at Kohl's which a reader mentioned they had seen at T.J. Maxx for much less. My store had about 10 styles, it was so hard to pick just one. These go with literally everything.

Finally, I will probably be returning the Rebecca Minkoff MAC. Even though it was on clearance and I got an additional $20 off because it's missing the strap, I just don't need a purse this size. It doesn't fit my iPad so it's not practical for me for work. And I probably wouldn't have spent $164 if I didn't have the gift card,'s probably going back. But Lord I love the print.

So that's my fall T.J. Maxx shopping haul! Let me know if you have questions about specific items. I won't disclose which T.J. Maxx stores I shop at because I'm paranoid like that, but trust me, I do not live in an affluent area or anything - you can find amazing deals at just about any T.J. Maxx - you just have to look carefully and shop often. I know not everyone has time for that, even I don't, but the more you go, the more likely you are to spot top brands because they do go fast. I went on a Saturday night recently and my store was bumpin' - it was crazy! And it looked like the store had just been restocked. Who knew TJ's was the place to be on a weekend night??

Have you been to T.J. Maxx recently? What did you score?

I think you have a sweater dress addiction. (Like me!) But that dress looks AMAZING on you. I absolutely love all the looks you put together. Always love your outfit posts! I'm only slightly jealous of your shopping trip, courtesy of TJ Maxx!
#1 My Dressy Ways (Homepage) on 2012-11-09 13:22 (Reply)
I am a frequent shopper of TJ (we're talking 2 to 3 times a week!) just because they get new stock often and as you said, it goes FAST! I don't live in affluent area either but I recently saw a Rebecca Minkoff Leopard Covet bag (same pattern as your mini M.A.C.). Had to drag myself away from it but I scored a Maggy London lace dress that was normally about $130 for $50. Before that I got a Kenneth Cole army green Military coat for winter (regular price: $200, TJ $80) and a pair of B.Makowski black suede booties (regular price: $100, TJ $40). I love TJ. Such great pieces at such good prices. Thanks for the post. Love how you mixed and matched everything!
#2 Sarah on 2012-11-09 13:25 (Reply)
@Sarah - Love hearing about your finds. My mom-in-law also hits up TJ Maxx a couple times a week (it's close to her work) and that's really the secret because she finds so many great deals, esp. on clearance.

I'm glad I didn't see that RM bag because I actually already bought a Covet at TJ's a few weeks ago! Perfect size for iPad, small camera, iPhone, keys, lipgloss, wallet. Love it:
#2.1 The Budget Babe on 2012-11-09 16:05 (Reply)
Thanks for the different ways to style a sweater dress. I bought a black and brown color combo (Target, $20) a while ago and still haven't worn it because I'm not sure how to!

Just curious: what boots are you wearing with the dress?
#3 Jennifer J on 2012-11-09 13:44 (Reply)
@Jennifer J - The boots are from Target, maybe two seasons ago? They're my faves!
#3.1 The Budget Babe on 2012-11-09 16:01 (Reply)
great looks!!
#4 Liz (Homepage) on 2012-11-09 13:50 (Reply)
Where did you get the black & white scarf in the first collage, middle pic, from? Love it with that taupe-ish sweater!

Also love the faur fur vest. I am all about it this year. Just picked up a cute one from F21 that I plan to layer for my Thanksgiving outfit.

Love that dress but it would never work with my booty/tummy. I never understood how when you walk, it doesn't ride up & show everything?! Might have to search for the pattern in either a sweater, or skirt, but not mini-sweater-dress like that. Need to be long & leggy to pull that off. Super cute on you, though!
#5 Cindy on 2012-11-09 14:02 (Reply)
@Cindy - The scarf is from Target (Sshhh, don't tell TJ Maxx lol!) - I picked it up maybe two weeks ago so you should still see it in stores. It's amazingly huge, like a blanket.

Regarding the yeah it does ride up! I didn't realize how short is looked until I saw my photos. Oops! I sucked in for my photos but I'd feel most comfortable wearing it with a blazer or vest so I can relax and breathe normally ;-)
#5.1 The Budget Babe on 2012-11-09 16:01 (Reply)
How did you wrap the scarf? I recently ordered a scarf that is HUGE like a blanket, and I thought they had shipped me the wrong item. I have no idea how to wear it or how they were able to get it to look decent on their website!
#5.1.1 Ann on 2012-11-12 15:52 (Reply)
I folded it in half, wrapped it around my neck and pulled the loose ends through the loop, then tucked the loose ends into the "pocket" that sorta formed. You have to fuss with it a bit but it stays put.

You could also do a loose loop like this:

or this:
# The Budget Babe on 2012-11-13 10:11 (Reply)
Great finds! That's funny about the Minkoff bag - the TJ near my home had two in that print (one like the one pictured and another leopard one that was a really cute tote with a handle) and both were missing straps! I wanted to get one so badly but the missing straps was a deal breaker for me. :-( I know what you mean by that print and the bags were soooo pretty.... sigh
#6 SJ on 2012-11-09 15:11 (Reply)
you've got mad styling skills girl!!! im so jelly of your wardrobe. wish we lived closer so you could come dress me sometime ;-)

you have to show that beautiful smile on your blog more often. your outfit posts are always my fav!
#7 jennifer {} (Homepage) on 2012-11-09 16:27 (Reply)
WOW - all of these outfits are amazing! Wish I could pull off a sweater dress as well as you, but they just aren't that flattering for pear-shaped gals. :-(

Guess I need to check out my local TJ Maxx more often, because there are some really cute pieces here!
#8 Penny Pincher Fashion (Homepage) on 2012-11-09 17:20 (Reply)
The 2nd outfit with the dress is so me haha
I left a good 124£ at them the other day, needed more business clothes to start a new job. It's addicting, you just keep seeing things that you must get.
#9 Alessia (Homepage) on 2012-11-09 21:13 (Reply)
Absolutely love this post. It's so great to see a post that features one piece worn different ways since the majority of us do that in our real lives and it's even better that it was all from a store we all have near us and is reasonably priced. Love this post. Thanks so much for all the ideas on how to rock a sweater dress and leopard leggings.
#10 Megan (Homepage) on 2012-11-10 08:01 (Reply)
Love this! Great job styling.
#11 Sydne (Homepage) on 2012-11-12 17:11 (Reply)
seriously OBSESSED with the fur vest!
#12 Rita (Homepage) on 2012-11-15 00:11 (Reply)
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