At first glance, department stores may seem like they’re all the same.  A shoe department, men’s and women’s apparel, beauty supplies, lingerie, home goods, etc.  However, I’ve found that department stores can be quite diverse.  Here are a few hints for the department stores I am most familiar with:


Macy’s is great for affordable men’s and women’s suiting, free gifts with purchase at the makeup counters, and sometimes “low high end” designers.  They’re also great with cardholder discounts.  They often mail out % off or $ off coupons to be used in-store.  This is great, but sometimes the discounts exclude fashionable designers like Michael Kors or Coach.  Disappointing.

I used to shop at Macy’s pretty frequently for the prices and cardholder discounts.  However, the past couple of years I have not found much to love about the store.  When I shopped there, I was pretty familiar with the juniors department.  The department itself is okay – but I’ve never seen a clean juniors fitting room, and in my experience, the clothes did not hold up very well.  I’d compare Macy’s juniors to Kohl’s quality – decent, but not the best.

Macy’s is comparable to Dillard’s, Belk, and to some extent, Nordstrom.


Nordies is bar-none my favorite department store right now.  There are lots of designer items at Nordstrom, the store (and the fitting rooms!) are usually very clean, and the salespeople are super helpful.  If you can catch a half-yearly sale, you can find some phenomenal deals.  If you have a Nordstrom Rack near you, it’s worth checking out for the discounted prices on Nordstrom items.

What’s good at Nordstrom?  Shoes, men’s and women’s apparel, handbags, jewelry… actually, what’s NOT good at Nordstrom?  Well, I’m not a huge fan of their juniors department – it is a bit pricey and cheap feeling.  However, if you can catch junior clothes and accessories on sale, they are worth checking out.

JC Penney

I used to really dislike Penney’s.  It was an old lady store with nothing even remotely fashionable, even the youthful juniors department.  Everything was ill-fitting and ugly.  However, in recent years, JC Penney has really stepped it up.  They’re now offering Bisou Bisou dresses, which are quite adorable, and their shoe offerings in particular have gotten much more trendy.

Also, many JC Penney stores have a Sephora conveniently located inside – I love Sephora, so this goes a long way to win me over! If their petite department starts improving, it will definitely be a part of my shopping rounds.  I think it’s definitely worth checking out for casual-end dresses and (shocker!) junior’s apparel.

What are some of your favorite department stores?

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One Response to Major Department Stores

  1. Yippy says:

    I looooooovvvee Nordstroms! It rocks! 🙂

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