The workplace can be a tough space to express your sense of style when there are so many unspoken expectations about business-casual wardrobe. Today’s modern office focuses less on dress codes and more on professionalism which can leave a glaring gray area for women trying to piece together appropriate ensembles.
When you’re not trying to break the bank but still want to look like your million dollar worth, handling “professional” attire can feel heavy on your wallet. With these frugal business-casual wear tips, you can keep your budget in check while looking like the future CEO of your company!
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Know your Styles
One of the hardest parts about curating the perfect business-casual closet is the shopping. Not knowing what styles, cuts, patterns, shapes, or pieces you’re after can leave you feeling overwhelmed. Treating every day like an interview will make planning outfits easier.
During your first interview, you put together an outfit that you believed would best represent who you are. They say first impressions are everything, which is why you put so much care into your first interview outfit. Keep that same balance of professionalism and individual spunk going by following that theme.
Make sure you have these clothing staples hanging in your closet or folded up in your dresser.
- Short-sleeve blouses
- Long-sleeve button-downs
- Pencil skirt
- Knee-length dresses
- Pointed toe flats or heels
Through colors, textures, and patterns, you can still express your individual style with these professional wardrobe staples!
Set a budget per piece
It’s a simple matter of fact within the fashion industry that some pieces of clothing cost more than others. Generally speaking, a pair of slacks will typically run you a higher final cost than a blouse. Setting a budget per piece may seem nit-picky, but it will ensure your budget is always in check.
For example, limiting your blazer budget to $50 per blazer ensures that you’re always staying within your financial means— no matter how tempting that designer blazer from Bergdorf Goodman is!
Business-casual attire can be expensive. High-quality items come with price-tags that can rack up an intimidating bill, no matter what your annual salary is! Rather than spending a day at the mall going from shop to shop, take your shopping list to a local thrift store.
Second-hand clothing is every bit as good as new clothes. Thrift stores are chock-full of lightly-loved items that come with deeply discounted prices. You could get your hands on high-end designer pieces for under $10 or find some of the best laptop bags that previous owners kicked to the curb after a single use!
Take your time to sift through the piles and piles of clothing, you’re bound to find a number of hidden treasures that will match the exact professional look you’re going for!
Shop the clearance section
Though it is a lot easier to choose from the clothing on display closer to the entrance of your favorite stores, venturing to the back and pillaging through the clearance section could earn you some pretty sweet deals on newly discounted clothes.
One of the best and worst things about today’s fashion industry is the speed of seasonal cycles. The pace at which certain pieces go out of style is alarming, but typically works in the bargain-hunters’ favor. Slacks, blouses, blazers, and flats never go out of style in the workplace. Shopping the sale section should be number one on your list then next time your business-casual wardrobe needs a frugal upgrade.
Got a favorite store for business-casual wear? Be sure to sign up for their e-mail newsletter so you’re always in the know about when the next sale is happening!
One of the most common mistakes women make while shopping is buying clothing that they’re not in love with. We’ve all been there— buying a shirt because it was only $5, or because it paired well with one specific purse. The reality of those impulse-buy items is that they never see the light of day. And clothing confined to closets serves no one any good.
Before swiping your card and walking away with a cart full of new tops and bottoms, sort through each piece and ask yourself just how much you love it. Any piece that is just “eh” will likely sit in your closet, untouched. Make your purchases meaningful and intentional so you’re never wasting a dime.
Frugal spending may be difficult at first, but with patience and practice, you’ll be well on your way toward a wardrobe full of exciting pieces that perfectly match your go-getter attitude!
This article originally appeared on Melissa Blevins.
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