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ThriftyChick: Workwear on a budget

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Career clothes

Your question:

Dear ThriftyChick,

I was recently pulled aside at work by my boss and told that I need a more professional work wardrobe. I just graduated from college and this is my first job. While paying off my school loans and earning a base salary my work wear budget is pretty low. I do not have to wear suits but what the heck is “Business Casual?” I have about $200. Please help me before I get fired!

– Kelly Atlanta, GA

The expert answers:

Hi Kelly,

Ahh yes, the “can’t get the job without the clothes but can’t get the clothes without the job” dilemma! Well Kelly, as a ThriftyChick in both business and at play I am here to help. Let’s start with some core work wear pieces. A few pairs of pants a skirt or two and a couple sweaters will get you through each week in style. Department stores sometimes to get a bad rap because they project an expensive aura, however there are always racks of sale items with designer names.

Hit the big chain discount stores as well because no one is going to be able tell a pair of designer black pants apart from a pair that cost $20! Trust me! Mixing and matching is the key to keeping your look fresh and adding accessories such as a brooch or an earrings and necklace set promote a “put together” professional look.

Avoid low-cut or tight fitting tops and make sure that you invest in undergarments that fit nicely under your clothes to avoid panty lines and blouse mishaps! Always wear pantyhose with skirts and dresses and steer clear of chunky trendy shoes at all times.

Most importantly you will want to try to buy items that you do not have to have dry-cleaned as that is an expensive commitment. Get up early enough to blow dry your hair and at least use a foundation, blush, mascara and a light lipstick. Keep your office attire professional, clean, and simple and you will always be chic.

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