The Quick Guide to Women’s Clothing at UTC

As a new resident in California, I’m always trying to find the best places to shop for clothes on a broken student budget. I moved to San Diego from Connecticut, where style ranges from Vineyard Vines and golf wear to Urban Outfitters and Zara. Suffice to say that the style is expensive and very East Coast. Part of escaping the East Coast lifestyle was to get away from these fashion trends and embrace a more bohemian, sustainable, California style.

I’m not the type of person who likes to shop. I hate walking aimlessly through a store or mall, and I always feel exhausted after looking through endless clothing racks or trying on what looks like hundreds of jeans that don’t fit. When I heard about Westfield UTC, I assumed it would be the same dimly lit, Aunt Anne’s pretzel smelling malls I was used to in Connecticut. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it is unlike any other mall I have been to. So, after living in San Diego for almost nine months and visiting the mall whenever absolutely necessary, I decided to write a short guide to some of the best women’s clothing stores (unfortunately I can’t talk about recommendations for men’s clothing). I hope this guide helps other students who also feel exhausted just thinking about spending a day looking at clothes only to decide you can’t afford anything.

#1 Clothing Store by Price and Style – Cotton On

Cotton On, located on the first level between Typo and American Eagle, and across from H&M, is my number one recommendation for cute, affordable clothes. I had never heard of it before moving to California, but I can guarantee you it won’t disappoint. I’m someone who loves the look of Urban Outfitters, but can’t possibly afford $169 jeans with a $66 tank top. Cotton On is the perfect choice for people who love Urban Outfitters, but can’t spend too much on clothes. They have sustainably produced clothing ranging from beachwear to sportswear to everyday wear. I bought long denim shorts for $30 and they are both soft and comfortable denim. I also highly recommend their training sets. They have the cutest biker shorts with matching tank tops that I wear in and out of the gym, and almost always get compliments. Almost everything in the store is under $50 and I always feel confident and stylish when I wear something from Cotton On!

#1 Affordable Clothing Store – H&M

If you’re looking for extremely cheap yet cute clothes, I’m sure H&M will have what you’re looking for. This weekend I went to buy a shirt for my boyfriend and came across H&M. Before I knew it, I walked out in a $13 dress and two $8 tank tops, feeling innocent for spending $30 on three items. The quality isn’t Nordstroms, but for the cheap price and wide selection of clothes, if you’re looking for everyday outfits for under $30, H&M is definitely a top contender. I also ended up buying my boyfriend a black button up shirt for a formal event for $15 so they have cheap menswear too. H&M is a great place to stop and won’t leave you cringing at the price tags.

#1 Investment Clothing – Aritzia

What is an investment item you may be wondering? Well, it is a garment that is probably overpriced, but of great quality that will definitely last a long time. Aritzia is home to many trendy investment pieces. The store is full of gorgeous clothes that can fit bohemian or chic style and has a wide variety of plain tank tops and skirts that go well with everything. The quality of the clothes is another plus. The fabric chosen is high-end and durable, making the garment wearable on all occasions. The big downside to this store is the price. A tank top can range from $30 to $60, and a pair of jeans is almost always over a hundred. This is precisely why with each purchase, I have to tell myself that I am investing (even if technically the object is depreciating), so I feel a little better at the idea of ​​spending so much. If you’re looking to buy one, maybe two, expensive, high-quality clothes, Aritzia will definitely have something for you, but for most of us, this is a very special treat.

#1 Jump recommended – Zara

Disclaimer: The only time I went to Zara, I ended up passing out in the middle of the store after waiting in line for so long. I went to the doctor to determine if there were any underlying issues and everything was fine, so I may be anecdotally biased. Anyway, this being an honest guide to UTC stores, I have to recommend that you skip the Zara store. I don’t know if this is a common theme across all Zara stores, but UTC’s is a wreck – at least when I was there. There are clothes everywhere and customers are forced to rummage through heaps, just to find a tank top that’s almost cheap, but not really worth it. The music is too loud and there is always at least a 20 minute queue for registers. I don’t think this store should be on your “Quick Trip to the Mall” list.

So, I encourage you all to head to these stores at UTC – you won’t regret it!