How To Dress Professionally Without Spending A Lot of Money

dress professionally

Are you in need of a new wardrobe but you’re strapped for cash? It can be stressful to try figuring out a technique for dressing professionally without spending a lot of money on new clothes. 

Although you may not have a wallet full of cash, you can still dress to impress! Start by setting a budget with a budgeting app to make planning and tracking your spending easy. When you are mindful of how much you’re spending, you’ll be able to build a work wardrobe in no time! 

To stay within your budget, it’s important to be practical when you dress professionally. You might love a stylish pair of shoes, but if you can’t walk five feet in them, you’re setting yourself up for failure, not to mention sore feet. Check out this list of our best tips on how to dress professionally on a budget!

Shop for staple pieces 

Stick to quality basics like skirts, dresses, pants, blazers, suits, and shoes. Keep them neutral and comfortable. Mix and match tops, dress shirts, and other accessories like ties and jewelry. Always opt for timeless pieces that never go out of style and be intentional while you shop. With staple items, you can create over 100 different looks with only 15 to 20 items in your wardrobe. 

Before purchasing any clothing items, check the tags for washing instructions to reduce the chances of shrinking. Other than suits, stay clear of anything dry clean only or with special material handling. Budgeting to maintain the condition of a suit is important because they’ll last you for years to come if cared for correctly. 

Wondering where to buy cheap work clothes? Check out Forever21 for inexpensive pencil skirts that you can pair with blouses from H&M. For guys, Target carries button-up shirts, slacks, and dress shoes, making it easy to dress professionally all from one place. 

Go thrifting

Check out your local consignment store and donation shops. Some people don’t have the time to sell their expensive wardrobes so they end up at places like Goodwill, Savers, and The Salvation Army. Browse their schedule of weekly deals. On certain days, you can save up to 50% off certain colored sticker items! 

Even if items don’t fit you perfectly, it’s a lot cheaper to bring them into a dry cleaner and have them tailored than it is to buy them in brand new condition. Just because someone donated them doesn’t mean they aren’t wearable. You’d be surprised at the gems you can find while thrift shopping! 

Spend intentionally 

Focus on quality over quantity when buying items like shoes, coats, and computer bags. These pieces will be used on a frequent basis so they need to be able to stand up to wear and tear. 

Over time, shoes and coats are prone to damage. But before you toss them out, look to see if they can be fixed. It’s likely that the items can be repaired so you won’t have to discard them any time soon! 

Dry cleaners can sew seams, replace zippers, or add trendy elbow patches to blazers for low costs. If the soles of your shoes are worn or scuffed, take them to a local shoe repair shop instead of buying something new. Make a promise to yourself and stay within budget by getting alterations done to your shoes and clothes whenever possible. 

Shop reseller apps

Resale apps like ThredUp, Tradesy, and Rebag are gold mines when you’re looking for deals. You can search by style, color, and size to find exactly what you’re looking for. You can also sell your stuff on these apps to help fund your new purchases!

Poshmark lets you negotiate with the seller directly, and if you buy multiple items from the same seller, they may offer you a bundle deal. To the best of your ability, make sure whatever item you’re looking to buy will fit you properly before you purchase it. Ask the seller to give you exact measurements and stick to brands that you know fit you well. Poshmark only gives refunds on items that are misrepresented. 

New to resale apps? Sign up for Thred Up! The best part is that your first order will up to 50% off. 

Sell or trade your old wardrobe

Do you have brand-name items that are in great shape but they just aren’t your style anymore? Bring them to resale shops like Buffalo Exchange or Plato’s Closet and sell them through their buyback programs. 

If you opt into in-store credit as your payment preference, they’ll usually give you a higher payout than if you choose cash. This will allow you to buy even more clothes with in-store credit! These types of stores are picky about quality, brand, and style so give them a call ahead of time and ask what items they’re currently buying.    

Rent your clothing

If you have a little more money to spare but no time to shop for the latest fashion trends, look no further than clothing rentals. Rent The Runway rents out designer clothes! You can rent one item at a time or join their monthly memberships to get multiple items. 

With rent and return services, you can get personalized curated shopping shipped directly to your home. All of the articles of clothing come with free insurance, dry cleaning, free shipping, and free returns. This is the perfect solution for someone who gets bored with the same outfits and wants to try a trendy affordable take on their wardrobe. 

Office chic on a budget

Get creative and have fun while building your office chic outfits! Shopping on a budget doesn’t have to mean dressing badly. Look for outfit inspiration and make it your mission to get the best deals while finding pieces that make you feel confident. Plan ahead by starting a side hustle so that you’re prepared and able to drop some cash on new clothes.

When life comes at you quickly and you need cash but payday isn’t here yet, consider signing up for a RoarMoney℠ bank account and get paid up to two days early!

Another feature you’ll have access to with a RoarMoney account is called cashback deals, which means you’ll be making money while you shop. Now, that’s what we call shopping smarter!

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