Today I have Crunchy, Crafty and Highly Caffeinated gracing the blog discussing profressional wardrobe tips. Which I am excited as you are…because maybe one day I won’t be wearing khaki pants. But then, I would have to change the name of the blog…
Trish asked me to share a bit of my 30-something wisdom on building a professional wardrobe with her readers today. This is such an important topic that I really wish that there was a course or at least a seminar in college for.
When I graduated I was CLUELESS about how to put together and shop for a proper outfit for a job interview. I only had a few things that I had rotated through my sorority chapter meetings, but they were getting pretty drab.
So I took to Crocker Park with my 2 best friends and headed to H&M. This store was still pretty new to me at the time because I had zero money and even less fashion sense. We chose to go here because most of their clothes were pretty affordable and there was some good variety. By the time we left I had found like 2 pairs of pants and 3 shirts. From the outside this sounds successful, but one of those shirts recently got donated to Goodwill after not being worn in 7 years and I am pretty sure I ripped the pants within a month. It was a waste of time and money, but trendy.
Now that I am a little older and wiser I have figured out the best ways for me to build my wardrobe for my “Corporate Casual” workplace.
5 Ways to Building a Professional Wardrobe on a Budget
1) Basics – You MUST have your basics and there is no reason to pay out the booty for them. When it comes to needing tanks, cardigans, and basic tops Old Navy and Target are the places to go. They both offer all of these items in a rainbow of colors and if there is not a sale, there is a coupon or vice versa…or on the occasion BOTH!
2) Business Standards – Black pants, khakis, a few button downs, the little black dress (LBD for those in the know), a good (comfortable) pair of heels, and some ballet flats. If they fit…buy them. Yes, this may mean that you need to splurge a little but it is worth it! I bought the most amazing black dress in college for WAY outside my budget (thanks mom and dad!) and I wear it no less than once a month!
3) Cheap accessories – You don’t have to break the bank to get the to-go-withs. Forever 21, Claire’s, and Etsy can be great for grabbing a cheap pair of earrings or scarf to jazz up your boring basics.
4) Kohls - This pains me to say this. I HATED Kohls when I was younger. It is only in the past few years I have learned to appreciate that they ALWAYS have a sale, coupons, and Kohls Cash going on and they have everything that you could possibly need. Do not pay full price for anything there…that’s just silly.
5) The Internet – Now that I am finally settling into the corporate world and have some spare scratch I have taken to getting a Stitch Fix every month. Stitch Fix is a personal shopping service that you pay $20 to pick out and send you five items to try on with your current wardrobe and then send back what you don’t want within 3 days. The $20 is applied towards your purchase and you get a 25% discount if you buy everything (and this is sometimes cheaper than only sending one or two things back!). After you get signed up you will get a referral code to send out to your friends and earn credit. (And I would appreciate if you signed up through mine HERE) If you would like to get an idea of what the Fixes look like check out my posts over at Crunchy, Crafty, and Highly Caffeinated!
6) Hand-Me-Downs – Hand-me-downs aren’t just for kids anymore! My friends and I really like passing down our clothes to each other when we are tired of them, or we have moved on to another size. My cousin recently gave me a ton of clothes that she didn’t want anymore and I basically got my new favorite pair of black pants for free!
How do you build your professional wardrobe on a budget?? Share your tips in the comments and be sure to find me around the web!
This was so fun. Thanks for having me, Trish!