How to Dress for Success on a Budget

How to Dress for Success on a Budget

How we look says a lot about who we are. As a business professional, dress for success. How you present yourself to the public tells people you are serious about life. However, you don’t have to pay high prices for your high-end designer clothes. Read on to find out where to shop for the best deals.

The first day at work can be awkward. The last thing you should worry about is are you overdressed or under-dressed. To help calm your nerves, pay attention to what everyone is wearing around you when you come for the interview. It may be different from the proper attire for interviews, but it will give you a clear sign of what the dress code allows. Still, get clarification on what’s appropriate if it’s not in the handbook.

Most of us want to look our very best at work and sometimes, it succeeds what the next person is wearing. That just means you have great taste and can put together a stunning outfit, but typically you won’t be sitting next to someone who can afford to pay $40 for a plain white shirt. It’s literally not in your budget…yet, but you can buy that same shirt for around $5 or less at some of the most unsuspecting places.

Shop at Thrift Stores

Dressing for success in the workplace shouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg. You can find an array of gently used garments and shoes at second-hand stores. You can be fortunate enough to rack up on designers like DNKY, Polo, Nike, and Michael Kors for a fraction of the original cost.

The key is to shop smart. Know the best days to shop by learning when they put out new merchandise and which days are discount days. Most stores offer savings to the military, students, and seniors. It’s best to take your time and look through the racks piece by piece. Sometimes, what you’re looking for is hiding behind the ugly sweater, so don't be discouraged.

Take Care of Your “Sunday Best”

You work hard to look your best each day. You may not even notice it, but when you look good, you feel better. It shows in your work, too. So, with this in mind, take good care of your fancy pieces. Keep the traditional blazer, skirt, and slacks in mint condition by sending them to the cleaners at least once a month. In addition, treat yourself to a bundle service if your budget can stand it.

Invest in Staple Items

“Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” It’s an old cliché, but it helps you to focus on the bigger picture. Both men and women should have a solid pair of black dress shoes, a white button-down shirt, and a business suit in their wardrobe, but that’s not all.

We suggest women invest in a few pieces of good costume jewelry and a pair of stud diamond earrings. Men should have on hand a nice pair of cufflinks and a wristwatch.

Swap Meet

Call your girlfriends and have them call their friends. Have the ladies bring over clothes and shoes they don’t wear anymore or never wore for miniature swap meet. Don’t forget to bring finger food and wash them down with a couple of mimosas or margaritas. What to do with the pieces you have left? Donate clothes for women returning to work to your local churches, charities, or dress for success donation sites.

All you need are a few essentials and you can dress for success on a budget. Mix and match the items you have to create boss outfits. Get creative with colors and accessories. With the right pieces, you can pull together an ensemble that creates several looks. By adding items such as a ruffled shirt, you can tie in blazers and dress pants together for a unique look on a budget.

Don’t forget things like the right hairstyle or haircut, how your nails look, and scents all play a huge part in grooming and dressing for success.