By Evan Fischer
Although you have to spend a lot of time wearing outfits for work, you don’t necessarily want to drop a ton of dough on that portion of your wardrobe. But if you work in an office setting you need to adopt a professional demeanor that includes specific garments (it’s definitely not acceptable to show up in your comfy jeans or sweats). And unless you want to wear the same outfits day after day, you’re going to have to fill some of your closet with clothing that is office appropriate. So here are just a few tips and tricks that will help you to save when you buy the clothes required to help you keep your job and even move up in the workplace.
- Spend where it counts. The basic foundation for any work wardrobe is the suit and women’s suits often come in three-piece options (blazer, skirt, slacks). This is great because it gives you the basis for several different looks. And since you will be using these pieces quite a bit, it pays to invest. Instead of wasting money on several cheap garments that will soon need replacing, spend a little more on two or three really nice suits and then get them tailored. A good suit is the staple of your wardrobe and it can last a long time if you treat it right.
- Opt for basics. Mixing and matching is the name of the game, so always look for pieces that will work with your existing foundation. Luckily, most suits are neutral, which means you can add a splash of color and pizzazz with tops or accessories. But you should always have basic pieces like a crisp, white oxford (tailored, not loose), a pencil skirt (even curvy girls can wear this classic), and a trench coat (neutral is traditional, but if you want to pop, opt for one of the many colorful trenches now in style).
- Get timeless pieces. It can be tempting to grab whatever is trending now, but if you want a work wardrobe that will outlast the current season you should skip the flavor of the fashion month and go for pieces that are timeless. Shop for your figure and look for pieces that never go out of style (like straight-leg trousers, fitted tops, and structured jackets). That way you won’t have to replace everything next year.
- Shop discount stores. While you can certainly opt for department stores for a few pricy items, there’s really no need to overspend with so many stores aimed at delivering the goods for less. Outlets like T.J. Maxx and Ross can give you a crack at designer labels for a fraction of the cost and Kohl’s and Target offer complimentary tops and accessories at far less cost. So check out these options before you drop the Jacksons at your local department store.
- Accessorize accordingly. Jewelry, shoes, handbags, and even a brief case would fall under the category of accessories, and these are a necessary part of any woman’s complete work wardrobe. But they can definitely be expensive. However, you don’t need a fancy leather briefcase, diamond jewelry, and Christian Louboutins to look fabulous at the office. You can get the look for less by going faux. Costume jewelry and faux leather accessories can help you to show your flair for less (and often, with less harm to the environment) and most people won’t be able to tell the difference anyway. Plus, you can follow seasonal trends with accessories when you’re spending $30 on a handbag instead of $300. As for shoes, you may spend a little more here, but by opting for comfort and classic styles you can wear them for years to come.
About the Author:
Evan Fischer is a freelance writer and part-time student at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California.