Congratulations- you got The Job. You’re really looking forward to earning (and spending) those pay cheques, but for now you’re still on a tight budget and you need to look office appropriate. The good news is business attire is one of the easier types of wardrobe to build. There are well established fail safes that are easy to get your hands on regardless of your budget.
Here’s how you can find the right wear without spending all your pay:
Cardigans and tights are a great way to dress up an old dress to look new again- at half the price of what a new dress would be. Focus on finding patterns and colours that complement each other and you’ll be able to wear these pieces with almost anything.
Buy a few neutral coloured staples, such as skirts and blouses then add a splash of colour here and there with bright accessories like handbags, scarves and jewellery. Items like these are interchangeable and add variety to your wardrobe without adding to your bill.
Some office wear, like blazers, wool coats and white blouses never really seem to change over the years. When looking for these wardrobe staples, don’t underestimate the power of a second hand store. It’s a great way to find those ageless pieces like pencil skirts and black pumps without paying a top-shelf price.
Go to your favourite clothing place in town and try on some choice pieces for your wardrobe then leave them on the rack and visit their online store. Prices online are often greatly reduced from those in store and will often have more stock than their stores on the high street.
Sharing is saving
Organise a clothing swap- yes I am an advocate of the clothing share. It’s cheap, it’s fun and in the end you walk away with new additions to your wardrobe- with the added bonus of having purged items from your old one. What’s not to love?
Sew it yourself
Coveting that slim skirt with the adorable buttons running up the side? Lucky you, buttons are a cinch to sew on yourself- simply take a skirt of your own (or head down to a second hand store for one of those timeless pencil skirts we talked about) and pick up some buttons at your local fabric shop. Try to avoid purchasing items that have features you could merely add yourself. Buttons, pockets and adornments such as flowers on a purse or a belt are all easy (and cheap) projects. Don’t know where to start? The internet has tons of helpful DIY tutorials- also free!
It can be exhausting, not to mention expensive, constantly trying to dress the part. Unless you’re working for a fashion magazine, there’s really no reason for you to put so much time and money into your everyday wear. With a little creativity and determination, you can look nice for less and rest easier at night knowing your pay cheque is going where it belongs- into (not towards payments for) your own pocket.