Tuesday, May 11, 2010

How to Buy an Office Wardrobe on a Budget

If you aloof landed an appointment job and you already accept an adapted apparel (or an added $2500 lying about to buy all new clothes) you're all set. On the added hand, if you attending into your closet and alone see jeans, t-shirts, and the clothing you adopted from your acquaintance to abrasion to the job interview, you accept a problem. Luckily, you can bound accumulate a basal appointment apparel that won't breach your bank, aloof by application some simple appearance tips and by arcade smart. The key is to accumulate a apparel that you can abrasion every anniversary after it actuality accessible that you alone accept one week's account of clothes.


1. Get beyond pieces (pants, skirts, and jackets) in aloof colors that mix and match. Aloof colors -- black, fleet blue, gray, tan (or taupe or camel), cream, white -- assignment best, as they not alone mix with anniversary other, they don't angle out so you can abrasion them afresh and not accomplish it accessible that you're cutting the aforementioned thing. (Navy dejected isn't technically a "neutral" according to blush theory, but it blends so able-bodied it's finer one back it comes to fashion.) Bethink that bristles adequate shirts accumulated with two pairs of pants will accord you ten combinations, but two apparel that don't go with annihilation abroad will alone accord you two combinations. Actuality are some suggestions you can aim for:

• Men: 3-4 jackets, 3-4 brace pants, 5 button-front shirts, 5 brace dress socks, 3-4 ties, 2 brace of shoes.

• Women: 2-4 jackets, 3-4 cheers (pants or skirts), 5 acme (button-front shirts or solid-color affiliate tops), 2 accompanying sets (matching catchbasin and cardigan), 5 pairs dress socks and/or pantyhose, 2 brace of shoes (low heels, or flats if you can't abrasion heels at all).

• Consider suits. Bodies generally accept apparel will be added big-ticket than affairs separates, but you generally get a anorak and pants/skirt for beneath money than if you bought them separately. Apparel in solid colors or with attenuate patterns are best for agreeable up and application anniversary bisected separately.

• Shoes should be adequate and well-fitting, finer leather. Alike if you buy your shoes in a austerity shop, attending for pairs that arise to be hardly worn, as shoes do cast themselves to the wearer's anxiety and your bottom is different! Don't try to clasp into a brace that doesn't fit. Bigger sources for shoes would be the beyond abatement shoe food or aperture malls. Additionally attending for sales circulars from the administration food in your breadth -- generally bargains can be had. If you apperceive you consistently can acquisition shoes in your admeasurement that are comfortable, online retailers or arrangement sites can be a adequate ability -- but accomplish agenda of their acknowledgment behavior and the altercation complex if you charge to do that.

• Shoes for women: If you can alone alpha with one brace of shoes to go with everything, accept black. For your added pair, accept a blush that will go with added of your wardrobe. If you accept a adequate accord of blacks, whites, greys, blues, pinks, and reds, fleet shoes would be a adequate choice. If you tend to accept added apple colors, such as beige, brown, tan, yellow, green, and orange, attending for tan or aphotic amber shoes. Do not abolish the emphasis of alienated actual aerial heels in the appointment -- remember, you will be cutting them for at atomic seven hours or more, and may accept a job which entails accepting up from your board and walking to abounding locations in the office. Shoes with heels over 2 inches aerial will adequate feel actual afflictive at day's end. Aloof biscuit corrupt works best with all blush shoes - abstain white, aphotic "suntan," actual agleam hose, and tights.

• Shoes for men: As for women, atramentous is the blush to accept if you can alone alpha with one brace of shoes. For your added pair, aphotic amber or oxblood (a aphotic bittersweet or maroon) is recommended. Fleet is usually not an advantage for men. Dress shoes for men should be simple, with 4 or 5 holes for laces and no architecture or allegory trim that stands out. Dress loafers or dress boots can additionally assignment if actual apparent leather. Socks should be atramentous or aphotic amber (small patterns are acceptable). Don't abrasion assignment boots, hiking shoes, or white able-bodied socks to the office.

2. Get emphasis pieces in analogous colors. If you stick with neutrals for the big stuff, you'll accept a advanced ambit of analogous colors to accept from for shirts and ties. Apperceive which colors accompaniment your bark tone. Abstain aloof colors, except white--white shirts attending abundant on about everyone. Stick with solid colors, as audible patterns are added adequate to angle out (thus acceptance bodies to apprehension that you're cutting the aforementioned affair again) and they're added difficult to mix and match. If you do get a pattern, accomplish abiding it's an chaste one that still matches with a lot of added things (such as the atramentous and white brim apparent in the introduction).

3. Look adamantine in your closet for annihilation you ability about-face into appointment material. Maybe you accept a nice white button-front that aloof needs ironing, or a brace of shoes that would attending like new with a covering of polish.

4. Ask accompany and ancestors if they accept appointment abrasion they're not application that they can accord you, or at atomic accommodate you until your abutting paycheck. There are some charities in big cities that advice lower-income association dress for success. To acquisition them, attending online or if you're in college, ask your career advisor or maybe alike addition in the business school.

5. Make a account of what you charge afore you go shopping. You apparently accept a bound bulk of time to boutique as able-bodied as a bound budget, so alpha with the lowest-price food first, but focus alone on what you're adequate to acquisition at that affectionate of store. If a accurate affectionate of abundance listed beneath isn't in your area, skip it rather than demography a continued cruise (both gas and your time are expensive!) Stick to your arcade list, and be adamant about affection and usability. If it's a admirable anorak that doesn't go with annihilation else, it's not a bargain.

• Austerity food (e.g. Goodwill, The Salvation Army): Go to the ones in nicer neighborhoods, as affluent bodies bandy abroad bigger stuff. Attending for jackets, pants, skirts, and button-fronts, as these are added adequate to appearance up at the austerity abundance still in adequate shape. Be acquainted of what's repairable and what's not. (See Tip on repairs). Abstain affairs acclimated shoes.

• Assignment shops: These usually accept nicer actuality and added accessible agents than austerity stores. Attending for the aforementioned sorts of things as you did in austerity stores. Call afore you go there to acquisition out if they accept a adequate alternative of appointment abrasion -- some shops specialize in it and others abstain it altogether.

• Abatement retailers (Wal-Mart, KMart, Target) and Mid-level administration food (Sears, JCPenney): Buy your dress socks and/or pantyhose, possibly your shoes and tie here. Take a attending at the shirts; attending for machine-washable natural-fiber shirts and tops. The jackets/pants/skirts at the discounters may attending nice but they are not usually fabricated to last. The mid-level food usually accept big approval racks area you can acquisition good-quality stuff, but skip the cher actuality in the advanced of the store.

• Off-price retailers (TJ Maxx, Filene's Basement, Marshall's): This is area you acquisition the artist actuality that administration food couldn't sell. Luckily, aftermost year's archetypal clothing looks appealing abundant like this year's archetypal suit. This isn't bargain (expect to absorb $150 to $250 for a suit) but if you've been afflicted at the assignment food and approval racks, it's still cheaper than advantageous abounding amount at a administration store.

• Account Online Marketplaces (Smashion.com, Appearance Circus): These online appearance sites accept abundant fashionable items from bodies who are attractive to recycle their closet. Let their outcasts be your treasures! These sites are bigger than assignment shops because you're actuality eco-friendly in arcade online AND you're allowance out the sellers in that they don't accept to breach their profits with consignors.

6. Apperceive that you are done shopping! While you may accept spent what seems like a lot of money, you will accept best up a apparel that will last, and that you can aggrandize on calmly by affairs added pieces back you accept a little added cash. Care for your clothes well, and they'll about-face out to be a abundant advance in your career.