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How to Dress For the Job You Want Without Going Broke

You CAN Improve Your Professional Clothing Collection Without a Big Budget

Every year, there are a staggering 1,240,000,000 pairs of denim jeans sold worldwide. But while Americans tend to favor casual clothing, those garments aren’t always appropriate for the workplace. That said, having a separate work wardrobe may not always seem feasible, especially for those who are looking to move up in the professional world but don’t have the financial means to do so. However, not all is lost. There are ways to obtain a workwear collection without breaking the bank. Here’s how to dress for the job you want without going broke.

Colorful clothes on racks in a fashion boutique

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American spends $1,800 on clothes every year. But workwear pieces tend to be of higher quality than casual apparel, which typically comes with a higher price tag. One good thing is that more businesses are opting for a less dressy approach to the office. Approximately 57% of organizations view employee retention as a problem; this is prompting many employers to embrace a more casual work environment in the hopes of attracting more applicants and enticing them to stay. And while brands are starting to offer pieces that find a balance between casual and formal for women who work in less stuffy workplaces, that doesn’t always mean these pieces are overwhelmingly affordable.

woman looking at clothes from bestlifeonline.com

Today, the average American woman owns 30 outfits. Those costs add up, especially when the clothes are trendy or poorly made, requiring frequent replacement. Don’t assume that expensive equals quality, either; higher-end brands may still use synthetic fabrics or have poor quality stitching, which can cause the pieces to wear out more quickly. Investing in a few well-made basics over a longer period of time allows you to obtain pieces that will last for years — without spending a lot of money all at once. Opting for versatile essentials, rather than special statement pieces, will allow you to mix and match with pieces that already exist in your wardrobe and increase the longevity of your clothing in general. Neutrals may sound boring, but they can still provide a pop of color or a subtle pattern. It allows you to be even more creative with the way you put outfits together to dress for the job.

These tips will help you buy fewer pieces overall, but what about finding quality items at lower prices? You may have Bloomingdale’s and Neiman Marcus tastes, but you might want to steer clear if you’re trying to save. Opt for outlet stores or discount shops, second-hand stores, eBay, ThredUp, and Poshmark to score some deals on clothes without paying full price. You can also sell some of your clothes on these platforms to make room in your closet and give yourself a little extra spending money. And if you’re shopping online, never check out without finding a promo code first. Refrain from impulse shopping as well, since this can quickly derail your budget. If you set aside a specific amount to spend on clothes each month, you’ll have a harder time justifying that sudden splurge — especially if you give yourself time to really consider which pieces you need to dress for the job, and which you can live without.

Sticking to a strict workwear budget isn’t always easy. It often comes down to taking your time and doing the proper research. As long as you don’t rush into any purchases, have a clear idea of what you can really spend, and weigh your options carefully, you can add some amazing pieces into your wardrobe that will last for a long time — and without spending an arm and a leg.