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By Sophia Bernard

You just graduated and you landed that dream job you’ve been working hard for! CONGRATS!! Perhaps you just graduated and are about to embark on an interview tour. CONGRATS! Either way, it can be difficult and daunting to begin building your workwear before receiving that first paycheck. You also do not want to spend majority of your first pay building your workwear. So, how can you build your workwear with a modest budget? See below!

1.) Shop Online

When shopping within a budget, online shopping is the your best bet.  Not only only do you have access to a wider clearance selection but you can also find various promo codes to add to your cart. My go to online shop is Asos. Asos’ clearance section is generally up to 70%.  I stick to the different Asos brands because they are almost always priced less and are good quality selections that will last years! Asos offers a bonus for girls 5’9 and above– a tall brand! I recommend Asos’ for trousers, dress pants, and blazers.

2.) Say no to the Big Named Department Stores and opt for clearance/ outlet stores.

If you’re shopping on a budget it is probably not the best idea to walk into Sake’s or Nordstrom to find affordable workwear. Instead, I recommend shopping at Sake’s off the 5th, Nordstrom Rack, TJMax, Ross, Marshall, and your local outlet Mall. These places can be steals for blouses, dresses, and suits.  You can easily find designer labels and even off-brand items that look like you’ve spent a couple thousand on your wardrobe. My favorite place to find steals is TJ Max. I can easily find low priced designer dresses and blouses for work!

3.) You’re never too good to Thrift !

When I say thrift I am not talking about Goodwill. No shade to goodwill, but I have personally never found a quality outfit from there. I recommend finding local small thrift shop located in an affluent neighborhood. You’ll have a better chance at finding quality, in style items that are either gently used or brand new with tags!! Also, check out garage sales in affluent neighborhoods, they tend to sell clothes as well and you can negotiate any price.

4.) Target for the WIN!

Target isn’t all about their super cute home furnishings! They are also a solid place for fashionable and affordable work-wear. I use to shop Target to find affordable and comfortable work flats.  I am a heels type of girl and for some reason i personally cannot justify spending the same amount on my heels as I do on flats. Target offers flats that are under $20, so this is absolutely perfect for me. Comfort and affordability– this is what you need to live by.

5.) BeYOUtiful

As your building your workwear, do not forget to incorporate pieces of your into your looks. I thinks its easy to think that workwear is one-size-fits-all. I am here to tell you that it isn’t! As long as you are not violating any work polices, then be sure to make your look entirely your own. If you prefer a cardigan over blazer, then stick to cardigans! Whatever your unique style is, then be sure to incorporate that into all of your looks.  Your goal when shopping under budget for your first workwear wardrobe is to look polished — your goal isn’t to look like everyone else.

Sophia Bernard is a Corporate transportation, logistics, and litigation attorney. She is also a blogger at Esquire In Love.


1 Comment

  1. C. Givens
    December 13, 2017 / 10:56 pm

    Great read! I am going back to the basics as we speak. I wish I had started thrifting years ago but I enjoyed the piece.

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