Updated: Sep 15, 2018
TJMax stores, and the like, are fantastic treasure hunts. You could find beautifully designed things if you got some time and patience. Although, you need to be in the right mood to browse and sort through hundreds of pieces, and be ready to be disappointed when an exceptional top is missing in your size.
A few days ago, I felt like going to TJMax store for some me-time and discovery. I went to the store in my area, Santa Clara, CA. My 10-month-old baby girl wanted to tag along. A bit early for her, right?
The layout of TJMax stores is about the same. The handbag section is to the left followed by jewelry and shoes. Clothing occupies the most prominent area in the center spilling over into the right corner. At the back, you have household and miscellaneous items.
To have a productive shopping trip, you have to identify ahead of time what you want. Because there are so many options and a large area to cover, you need to stay focused. I had a specific goal in mind - clothing, specifically a dress. My dress size changed after having my two lovely children, so I needed to update my wardrobe. Long dresses are fabulous and functional. You still get all the benefits of wearing a dress, but you don't have to shave your legs. I love dresses but not always have time to deal with my legs. So for all the busy moms out where, get yourself a lovely long dress!
The second tip - unless you are specifically looking for a top do NOT venture into racks and racks of tops that are in the middle. I tend to focus on the perimeter where you can see a few options from specific brands. You can always spot a few brands you've never heard of. I pay close attention to them because most likely they are of good quality. They ended up at TJMax cause no one heard of them and an original store was not able to sell all of them.
I stopped by a brand I never heard before. I have been wanting to get a t-shirt that is tailored and is not long. So many tees tend to be long and go past the middle line of hips or even lower. I don't like that look. I think tees must end somewhere between waistline and the middle of a hip bone to create a flattering look. I grabbed a grey tee with gold stars design.
As I continued walking the perimeter, I noticed a brand poster - Lucky's Jeans. I have been wanting to get a new pair of Lucky jeans for a while. And there they were staring right at me priced at $39 instead of the original $109. Score! I grabbed a few sizes to try. Always get a few different sizes. Each brand has slightly different size measurements.
The third tip - pay attention to the original price. An item that used to be pricy is a good sign. Again, it could be due to a low brand name recognition that something ended up at TJMax and you are a direct beneficiary of that. I always grab clothing initially priced above $200 to check out the fit and design on my body.
During this trip, I spotted a light blue dress. It was a great blend of cotton. Checking out the stitching and sewing, I noticed a great skill to them. The dress had a very well structured shape implying time-consuming tailoring. Original price was above $200. I grab it right away. Who would pass on such a deal?!
The fourth tip - think basics. TJMax store is the great place to get your wardrobe staples like a white T-shirt, jeans, jacket, back skirt or a dress.
After spending about 30-40 mins browsing, I ended up with a few long dresses, t-shirts, jeans, knee-length dresses. While my baby was playing with my purse sitting on the floor next to open door changing room, we started trying on things. As I was checking price tags, a few items were placed into a NO pile. The original price of $40 was not appealing to me. Most likely these items were of poor quality and construction. Lucky jeans were a perfect fit and cut. I was super excited to get them at a discounted price. The green dress proved its worth as soon as I put it on. It felt like it was tailored for me. I loved it. The basic grey T-shirt worked well - super soft and a perfect cut.
The long colorful dress took me some time. I wanted to love. I liked it but was not a fan of so much material hanging around my body. It looked a little too big even though it was size S. But I LOVED the colors! Even though I was not in love with the dress, the color, and the original price tag convinced me to take it. TJMax price was $30. Retrospectively, I should have left it behind. If it takes me longer than 1-2 mins to decide, it will not last in my closet.
Overall, my trip was a great success. I spent about $110 and got jeans, two dresses, and a T-shirt. We spent about an hour and a half in the store. Although, I should not have taken that long dress. Oh, well. We live, we learn.