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Reader Advice: How to Look Good For Less at Work

An anonymous community member recently posted on our Savvy Confessions group asking for ideas on how to look good at work without overspending. Reader EvieJ chimed in with her thoughts:

You need to get a capsule wardrobe . . .

First thing to do is pick a couple of neutral shades (black and grey, navy and khaki, black and khaki or similar). Then pick a couple of accent colors.

Get yourself 2 pairs of pants (same style) and a couple of skirts (different styles) in your neutrals, and a jacket in one of your neutral colors. (Here's where the black suit is a godsend.) Get yourself a dress either in a solid neutral, or a patterned accent color (or a neutral mixed with one of your accent colors - but a wrap dress is universally flattering). Buy 2 shirts, one in each of your accent colors, plus one really good white shirt. One neutral cardigan, one accent cardigan.

That's 11 items of clothing right there.

Get yourself a pair of heels or 2 in black or navy, depending upon which one you've chosen as a neutral. Flats can be good, but heels just look more polished, to me (my opinion only!).

Now, get out a camera and starting mixing up what you have.

Play with accessories you already have, and you'll be amazed at all the different looks you can pull together.

When you start getting paychecks you can start buying more clothes, but always try to stay with the colors you've chosen so you don't have random things that don't go with anything else.

As for where to shop: consignment shops, Target (great for black trousers), Kohls, Zara (if there's one near you), Mango (again, if there's on near you). You can also try places like eBay, the RealReal, and similar online.

Share your own career- and finance-related questions anonymously in the Savvy Confessions group for a chance to be featured on SavvySugar and be advised by fellow Savvy readers.

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lauren lauren 4 years
These are fantastic tips! Great tips for starting a professional wardrobe!
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