The Best Clothing Stores For Your Age

To say that navigating the throws of clothing stores available to the everyday consumer is an overwhelming experience is an understatement. Rows and rows of storefronts make up the malls we've all come to know and love, and while online shopping makes things more convenient, there is something satisfying about going to the store in person, trying clothes on, and making a day out of the shopping experience. But you're not alone if you don't know where to start when you venture to your nearest Westfield.

Of course, there's the typical department store — from Nordstrom to Macy's to higher-end options like Bloomingdales — plenty of options fit multiple budgets. But in many cases, searching through the racks at a large department store can feel like a scavenger hunt you involuntarily signed up for, and it would be so much easier to go to a smaller, more curated store that has more age-appropriate and appealing options.

With that said, a teenager shouldn't be shopping at the same store as a 35-year-old, and a 22-year-old likely won't find something they like at a store more catered to women in their 50s. So, without further ado, here are the best clothing stores for your age, based on aesthetics, what the store offers in addition to clothing, versatility, and more.

Young Teens: Tillys

If you're in your mid-30s, you can skip a few sections, but we have to start with the teens among us. It's hard being a teenager, especially these days. With the pressures of social media, the ever-present trends, the political nature of Gen Z, and the throws of adolescence, it's a tough time — shopping shouldn't add any more stress to your plate. Tillys is a one-stop shop perfect for tweens, freshmen, and sophomores in high school and the cool (but casual) kids among us. Tillys has 246 stores in 33 states and an extensive online presence, making it accessible to just about everyone. With fair prices, trendy clothing options, school essentials, accessories, and more, Tillys is a haven for young teens looking to carve out their own style space.

Consider yourself a fan of all things hippy, natural, and 1970s inspired? This long beach oversized t-shirt is perfect for you. Lover of all things "Stranger Things" and pop culture inspired? Get a Hellfire Club t-shirt and channel your inner Eddie Munson. Looking to get the biggest bang for your buck (because teens don't typically have a ton of money to dish on clothes)? The four shirts for $25 option is for you. Tillys has an overall casual, young teen feel, so it might not have the looks that a high school senior is looking for. But if you're 15 and scouring the racks for the perfect first day of 9th-grade look, Tillys is the ideal place.

Late Teens: Urban Outfitters

Raise your hand if you're a high school senior who cannot wait to leave your school (and your hometown). So many of us can relate to the life-altering age of your late teens, as it's a time of personal discovery, professional curiosity, and self-curation. You've likely outgrown a store like Tillys, so we'd like you to turn your attention to the beloved Urban Outfitters. Sure, it might seem like a pretty predictable choice, but Urban Outfitters will give you the tools to build the wardrobe you want and the room (and eventual college dorm) that you call home. This kind of personal styling is the first step in striking out on your own, and Urban Outfitters offers a wide range of styles.

As noted by its parent company, Urban Outfitters was founded in Pennsylvania in 1970 and offered shoppers unique clothing items, both new and vintage. These days, Urban is known for sticking to — and starting — trends, thanks to the committed clientele and the ever-evolving fashion scene.

Consider yourself more of a hippy flower child who loves a touch of the cottagecore look? Opt for this renewal remade floral maxi dress, and don't forget to snag some fun, twisted candlesticks on your way out. More of a grunge-inspired dresser? These wide-leg jeans and this oversized Nirvana sweatshirt are perfect choices.

Early 20s: Free People

To say that the COVID-19 pandemic changed everything is a grave understatement. College graduates looking forward to switching out their Greek life t-shirts for corporate attire quickly found that working from home doesn't exactly support the slacks and blazer lifestyle, and many were forced to rethink their wardrobe. Almost three years later, many of us are still used to wearing sweatpants daily, making it practically impossible to know how to dress for comfort and style.

Enter Free People. Known for its boho-chic aesthetic, comfortable sweaters, stylish silhouettes, and more, Free People is the perfect store for the early 20s among us. Take this button-down shacket, for example. The button-down look is ideal for styling with a pair of mom jeans and still gives a look of "I have my life together" without sacrificing comfort. If you want something a little more simplistic — but a piece of clothing that still makes a statement — opt for this dazzling romper. Its stylish sleeves and fitted waistline are chic and sophisticated, but the all-in-one option is perfect when you want to throw something on and head out the door. Still, want to make comfort your number one priority? Steer your attention toward FP Movement, the gym, and the athletic section of the brand. Trust it; it will not disappoint.

Mid 20s: Madewell

You've made your way through Free People, Urban Outfitters, and now it's time to really show the world that you have what it takes to succeed, you mid 20s queen. If you're looking for a store that embodies timeless classics, impeccable styling, basic staples, and the cutest neck scarves around, Madewell is the place to go. It seemed as though for years, Madewell was a well kept secret among the most stylish among us. But with its user-friendly website, commitment to sustainability, inclusive sizes, and great insider perks, Madewell has found quite a lot of fans — and we bet most of them are in their mid 20s.

When you walk into a Madewell store, chances are you're met with gorgeously curated tables of sweaters and sunglasses, hanging racks adorned with blazers and the cutest dresses, and of course, a stellar long table full to the brim with the brand's iconic jeans. If you're a mid 20s girlie and you want to build a fabulous outfit as you return to the office, look no further than this gorgeous double breasted blazer in plaid. Pair it with this cropped white button up shirt, a pair of the brand's high-waisted jeans, and pick up a beautiful silk neck scarf for good measure. Bonus! Madewell's jewelry should also get a minute of your attention, as their delicate gold accents perfectly round out a professional, chic outfit.

Early 30s: Anthropologie

If there is a store that collectively represents the early 30s, it's Anthropologie. From its perfectly curated windows to the plethora of home decor options to the chic clothing and the in-house wedding label, Anthropologie is perfect for our current Millennials. Anthropologie has been around since 1992 and is "thoughtfully designed" for the "self-expressive seekers" among us. What designates Anthropologie apart from the 20s, in our opinion, are the more tailored and mature silhouettes that the store is known for. Take this bubble dress, for instance. The strapless neckline gives a gorgeous, flirtatious moment that only a self-assured woman could pull off, but the relaxed bodice and mid-calf length make it the perfect option for that 32-year-old who's looking for the dress to wear to the next wedding.

Of course, Anthropologie is almost as well known for its home decor section, books, candles, and tidbits as it is for its clothes, and a trip to the store can result in not only taking home a well-fitted pair of corduroy jeans, but a couple of stunning wine glasses, a cute new bath mat, some new stationary, and maybe even some holiday gift wrap (if the timing is right). Paired with Anthropologie's plant haven, Terrain, and wedding collection, BHLDN, this store is the perfect place for any early 30s gal to find herself.

Mid 30s: Gap

By reaching your mid-30s, you likely have taken life by the shoulders and given it a good shake. It seems like the 30s are when you have it down — your schedule, your finances, your aspirations — and maybe your personal life has figured itself out. Of course, many women in their mid-30s are balancing the ever-present challenge of both a professional and personal life, with many finding the sweet spot as both employee of the month and mom of the year. So with this in mind, we've determined that the tried and true Gap is the best clothing store for those in their mid-30s. Not only is Gap now responsibly made, but its classic jeans, reliable tops, and cute jackets make it a one-stop shop for everything you need.

Need a new pair of pants for the office that are as flattering as they are easy (or more straightforward) on your wallet? These cargo pants with cute waist detailing are perfect. Looking for the perfect puffer to take with you on an East Coast work trip but don't want to give in to Canada Goose? This flattering, tie-at-the-waist puffer should be added to your cart, as it's functional, cute, and affordable. Need new pajamas or just some new basic tees? Gap also has everything you need.

Gap also features a great line of intimates and workout clothing. If you're in a bind or are pressed for time – Gap is for you.

Early 40s: Scotch & Soda

When we consider the narratives surrounding women as they get older, one such archaic thread is the idea that once you hit your 40s, it's all downhill. We're here to set the record straight — your 40s are just the beginning, and your closet should reflect that narrative. That's why when you're considering a store to shop in for your latest eye-catching jacket or great blouse, we recommend Scotch & Soda. We know what you might be thinking — this store is just a little too trendy for the over 40 club, but it's high time to stop buying this. Scotch & Soda has some amazing garments, and while they might cost you a little bit of money up front, your aura will ooze sophistication and style.

Scotch & Soda was founded in Amsterdam and provides "the ultimate expressions of creative freedom" for its customers. With "eclectic" designs and originality at the forefront, Scotch & Soda brings incredible pieces to its highly curated shelves. If you're looking for a stunning blouse to wear to any formal occasion, this twisted front long-sleeve top with shoulder detailing will instantly help you stand out. Have you been looking for a statement piece? Opt for this incredible leather bomber jacket in an irresistible emerald green for a wowzer moment. Need a blazer that can translate from the office to cocktail hour with your girlfriends to picking up the kids from school? This double-breasted checked blazer will do the trick.

Mid 40s: Banana Republic

If you're in your mid-40s and looking for a store that caters to your sense of style, maturity, and mentality — we suggest you turn to Banana Republic. A few aspects of this clothing store make it stand out, and given that you're entering what is arguably the most professionally powerful decade of a woman's public life, you should have a wardrobe to go with it. We suggest going to the store, of course, but also to Banana Republic's website, as the Art of Suiting page will give you everything you need to rock a power suit. We're thinking Hillary Clinton, who made it her mission to wear pantsuits at every turn and assert her intelligence, capability, and passion throughout her political career. We're thinking Kamala Harris, who rocks a paint suit like no one's business. We're thinking Meghan Markle, who makes the people around her quiver when she steps out in a perfectly fitting tuxedo look. 

If a suit isn't your vibe, try out this fabulous blazer dress – perfect for the office and wine tasting with your closest friends. Want to layer something cozy under an oversized blazer? Give this flattering cashmere turtleneck a try (and bonus, it's sleeveless so you won't overheat).

Early 50s: Eileen Fisher

Your early 50s are all about living your very best life. While your 20s may have been plagued with personal drama, trying to get your footing professionally, and navigating this bizarre experience we call life, that was 30 years ago. You're older, wiser, and have a much firmer grasp on who you are, how valuable you are as a gorgeous human being, and what you have to offer the world around you. You likely know what it's like to go from having very little to creating a beautiful life for yourself, so why not wear clothes from a store and brand that embody life's journey? Eileen Fisher started her namesake brand in 1984 with $350 in her pocket. While she didn't have much, she had a simple idea — give shoppers four garments in linen, a box top, a pair of crop pants, a shell, and a vest. This idea launched Fisher into the impressive space of New York City, and her looks were instant hits.

Fast forward to today, and Eileen Fisher is a sought-after clothing brand that incorporates "timeless pieces" and a versatility that is hard to come by. In your early 50s, you'll love the instant classics Eileen Fisher presents to the consumer. From the effortless tanks and camis to the stunning yet straightforward open-face coats to the luxurious silk pants, Eileen Fisher will elevate your wardrobe and your sense of life lived full circle.

Mid 50s: Johnny Was

When taking life by the reins, it's important to remember that a considerable part of navigating decade after decade is letting go. Some things are better left unsaid, some grudges are worth leaving to the wind, and still, some relationships are temporary — they're here to teach us before they move on. No one understands this better than a woman in her mid-50s, and when it comes to clothing stores, it's essential to find a designer that embraces and embodies the messiness, freedom, and whimsy that is life. Johnny Was is that perfect designer for obvious reasons — the gorgeous and hand-detailed dress and shirt pieces "cross cultures and defy trends," according to the website, and stand as more "striking piece[s] of artwork" rather than clothing. You want to be walking art, right? Who doesn't?

If you're not afraid of color, try opting for this stunning patchwork silk button-down that features a variety of designs — it's perfect for the office, a night out with friends, and can be styled with a great pair of jeans or even your favorite pencil skirt. Put this stunning kimono over a simple t-shirt and pants if you want something more understated. The velvet material and the eye-catching design will truly have you standing out from the crowd in all the best ways. Johnny Was doesn't come cheap, but you're getting quality, hand-embroidered pieces that mimic the true beauty — which, of course, is you!