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Savvy Confessions: How Do I Look Great at Work Without Overspending?

This anonymous posting comes from our Savvy Confessions group, where all identities are kept anonymous.

I need to look professional at work and want to buy new clothes — but I cannot afford designer duds. Are there any other stylish yet cheaper options (aside from the obvious T.J.Maxx and such)?

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.

BlackGym BlackGym 5 years
Target,Talbots, etc...all those stores are still overpriced on sale if your out of work. Find yourself a Savers, Community Thrift store, Goodwill. I have the best wardrobe in my company and people look at me as if I spend thousands of dollars on clothes/Suits. First, always put the clothes in the dryer when you get home on high for 15 minutes then wash or dry clean your preference. I would save on the clothes and spend money on your interview shoes. Also, if you take care of your health/body (workout) everything you wear no matter the cost will look amazing! I'm writing becuase I get so many compliments on my suits/dresses/dress shirts, etc... and guess what you will not find anyone in your attire. Good luck on your job search and if you need more help... please feel free to write me!
dmntjnt dmntjnt 6 years
Try checking out the sales section at the online Talbot's store. I have gotten some great deals on classy clothes.
EvieJ EvieJ 6 years
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 patterened 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.
ginamb ginamb 6 years
You can add accessories to jazz up some outfits - not only jewelry, but shoes and scarves. Not sure what level of looking "professional" you're seeking, but I've found suits at Marshalls, Burlington Coat Factory and Kohls for reasonable prices. In addition, I've found suits at Macys - just be patient and look thru the sales racks. You can also see if something like black pants + grey blazer work because then you can buy separate pieces often at cheaper prices and mix/match. Looking professional doesn't mean you need designer clothes. It's your attitude, whether your clothes are presentable (clean, don't smell, ironed), etc. These things do not automatically come just because someone has designer clothes. Good luck.
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