How to shop in TKMAxx

How to shop in TKMAxx

If you are not a regular shopper in outlet stores, take my word for it – you are missing out on a wealth of opportunities when it comes to savings and buying quality at an affordable price.

TK Maxx is one of my favorite places to go hunting for bargains but for a large number of women the name alone is the epitome of ultimate shopping frustration. If you are one of those people, keep on reading as I am about to let you in on the most efficient way to shop in TK Maxx.

If you are a fan of browsing in TK Maxx, you might still find a few tips to make your trips even more productive!

So, shall we get started?

First of all, rather than seeing TK Maxx as a hot mess of overcrowded rails and too much clutter, I want you to appreciate the fact that their merchandising is nothing like the regular stores. The best thing about their layout is the fact that they’ve already done all the hard work for you – they separated the merchandise by the type of clothes!

Just think about it – you don’t actually have to go through everything to find what you are looking for! If you are looking for a dress, all you have to do is look through their occasion-wear section. If you are looking for knitwear, it’s all there on one rail. If you are a plus-size lady – you just look through their plus-size rail. They’ve even put their pricier designer stock on a separate rail (now this is one rail I will highly encourage you to look through – I got some amazing designer bargains there!). Ultimately there is no need for you to be going through all of the rails, just focus on the ones that have the type of clothes you are looking for.

This brings us to the next point – because everything is segmented by the type of garment, it is important to know WHAT it is you are looking for. Go in there with no plan and no mission and you are guaranteed to end up feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. But with a clear idea of what you are looking for, all you have to do is locate the appropriate rails. However, you have to accept the fact that shopping in TK Maxx is always a gamble. You might come across the piece you are looking for or you might not. For example, any time I’m in TK Maxx, I always look at jeans, knitwear and shoes. If I have time, I look at dresses, scarves and coats. I always look at the designer rail if the store has one. You can often stumble upon things that you were not planning on buying, but if they are a great fit, colour and price AND you know you’ll get good wear out of them, there is no harm in a little detour from your shopping list.

Don’t expect to put together an entire wardrobe in TK Maxx in one visit. It’s just not going to happen. TK Maxx is more about great finds that will supplement your current wardrobe.

Here are a few tips to help you make the most of shopping in TK Maxx:

  • If your attention span is very short, pick the rails that correspond to the type of garments you are looking for and stick with them.
  • If you get overwhelmed by the overcrowded rails and clutter, visit TK Maxx in the morning while the floor is still tidy.
  • Whatever it is you are looking for, I’ll tell you a secret – you actually don’t have to look through everything on the rail! When looking through the clothes on a rail, I apply ‘filters’ to help me scan the selection quickly. COLOUR is the easiest thing to spot so this is your first filter.
  • So as you are going through the rail, pay attention to colours. You actually don’t even have to take anything off the rail –  colours are easy to spot without even touching the hangers.
  • Once you come across a colour that appeals to you, look at the FABRIC. If you are looking for, let’s say a dressy silky blouse for work, cotton, linen or any other casual material will not fit the bill. So there is no point in even taking the garment off the rail.
  • If the colour AND the fabric fit the criteria, now is the time to actually look closer at the item to see if it is the RIGHT SIZE. If it’s not, keep looking.
  • If it is your size, check the PRICE. If it is severely outside your budget. If it is within your price range, pick that item off the rail and examine it closer. Analyse its CUT and STYLE to see whether it would flatter your shape.
  • Don’t forget to check the item to see if it is in a GOOD CONDITION. There is no point in taking something to the fitting room just to discover there that the item is damaged (unfortunately you’ll come across faulty stock in TK Maxx more often than in any other store).
  • Hold on to everything worth consideration. The ‘I’ll have a think about it and come back later’ approach doesn’t work here. Once you’ve looked through every rail that is of interest to you, you can then reevaluate the contents of your basket before heading to the fitting rooms.

It might seem like there’s too much to take into consideration. But trust me – this approach will save you a ton of time. Not just in TK Maxx but in any other store. This is how I shop on a regular basis with clients and for myself. This is what will save you from coming out empty-handed after bringing arms full of stock into the fitting room.

If you don’t spot anything, don’t get frustrated! I often walk out with nothing. Not because I haven’t look well. But simply because what I’m looking for IS NOT THERE at that particular time. I surely don’t want to settle so I don’t buy anything for the sake of it. And neither should you!

Just like you won’t always find what you’re looking for in a regular shop, TK Maxx is not the answer to all your prayers when it comes to finding the right clothes. But when you do find something, the price point and quality can often exceed your expectations.

If you are feeling adventurous, I highly encourage you to check out their clearance rails! You’ll be amazed at the bargains you’ll find there sometimes! My two very recent purchases included a Michael Kors top for 18 euro (perfect condition!) and Reiss trousers for 6 euro. I’m not joking – 6 euro!! No faults, no damage – just massive reduction due to the garments being from an old delivery.

Clearance racks are a bit trickier to go through as there is no separation between the types of garments, but if you apply the colour/fabric/size/price/style filters, you’ll be done very quickly.

Here’s an important warning though. Don’t be buying something for the sake of a bargain. I can bet it will end up in the deep bowels of your wardrobe! Trust me on this – I’ve seen one too many of those bargains sitting in the clients’ wardrobes with the tags still on.

Another thing I wanted to mention is fitting rooms. While there is nothing wrong with TK Maxx’s fitting rooms per se, they don’t offer much space to evaluate the overall silhouette when you are trying on clothes. Don’t be shy and step out of the fitting room to have a look at yourself from the distance. I typically try to get a changing room towards the back so I’m not too far from a big mirror. You’d be surprised at the things you will see from the distance that you haven’t spotted standing close up to the mirror. Fitting rooms are tight on space in most stores, so always try to step out to a full length mirror, regardless of what shop you are in.

Hopefully, after reading this post you will feel more enthusiastic about shopping in TK Maxx as it is truly a treasure cove when you do it right! But also make sure to apply those tips to shopping in general!

If you liked this post, please share it with your friends! They might be facing the similar challenges when it comes to shopping in TKMaxx! They’ll surely thank you for that!

Good luck shopping!

Natalie x



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