How to dress well for the office while not spending a fortune
It’s a challenge to find a balance between good looks and costs in the everyday life as we try to create a nice wardrobe while not spending too much. But when it comes to office wear, things become even more complex.
We might think that it’s way easier for men to look sleek and professional at the workplace because they can just buy a couple of suits, and no one will accuse them of wearing the same outfit for days. However, we, women, also can invest in just several pieces of clothing and still look fresh and nice in the office.
It’s quite easy to not spend too much on clothes for casual and smart casual — you can learn more about the kinds of dress codes in our article — it’s harder to dress on a budget for the business professional. While this dress code becomes less popular as a lot of offices switch to casual, it’s still a must in law and accounting firms, banks, and some corporations. So we will focus on stricter dress codes. These tips will help you figure out how to create a professional and neat image while not overspending.
Tip #1: Invest in the core pieces
Think of basic items as of the most expensive parts of your outfit. These are the clothes you’ll be wearing most of the time, and they will create the base for the look. For business dress codes these pieces are:
If you look into business suits for women, you’ll see that they usually consist of a jacket and pants or a skirt. Also, you’ll find some classic sleek dresses. You should spend the major part of your budget on these items. These pieces will lay in the core of your outfits as you change shirts, blouses, and accessories. So the quality should be as high as you can afford. Otherwise, even if you pair a suit or a dress with some expensive items, you still risk looking untidy or cheap.
Tip #2: Choose comfortable shoes
Often ladies go for those classic pointy high-heeled shoes because they look very appealing and professional. But not all of us can handle wearing them all day long in the office — sometimes even sitting at the desk in these shoes becomes unbearable. Then we succumb to our desire to switch to something more comfortable — and often the comfy footwear diminishes the awesomeness of our look.
So it’s better to opt for shoes that both look good and are comfortable to wear for hours. You’re going to create a much better image if you won’t be suffering from pain. Also, the comfort will let you completely focus on the work. And just like in the case with basic items, try to find high-quality shoes that will serve you for a long time. Then you’ll save up in the future because you won’t have to spend money on a new pair.
Tip #3: Be creative
Even taking off and putting on a blazer changes the outfit. It means that your skirt or pants suit can serve you as just bottoms during warmer days. And if you buy two suits of the same or complimenting colors, you will be able to create a new look just by switching blazers.
Also, that classic office dress you own can become your skirt for colder days — just throw a cardigan or a pullover on top. Large sweaters will look especially great if you add a belt to emphasize the waist. Who will be able to tell you’re actually wearing a dress underneath, not a new skirt?
Tip #4: Accessories can do a lot
Jewelry and belts can add that stylish touch to the outfit and make it appear like a completely different look. We’ve mentioned putting a belt on a sweater to bring out your shapes and create a more structured image. But also, you can refresh your outfit by changing bracelets, earrings, necklaces, or even glasses. Just remember to keep things professional — jewelry should be subtle and minimalistic.
Tip #5: Make sales your friend
A good business suit can cost quite a lot. But it doesn’t mean that you should just opt for cheaper pieces — simply wait for some special offer. For example, we often hold sales offering discounts on our business dresses and suits. That’s a great opportunity to buy basic pieces without spending a fortune. The same goes for shoes, tops, and accessories.
Usually, retailers hold sales during holidays or at the end of a season. So if you’re willing to refresh your wardrobe, better wait for an appropriate time when special offers begin.
Tip #6: Cleaning also costs money
Often expensive clothes require dry cleaning — and that’s an additional regular expense. Think if you can afford to keep these items in a good state. If you’re not sure about that, it’s better to choose washable fabrics. Always check the requirements for cleaning before buying a new suit or any other piece of clothes — thus you’ll avoid unexpected spendings.
And finally, remember that while looks are important, your performance still matters more. We might think that everyone in the office will notice that we’re wearing the same skirt for three days in a row. But in reality, usually, no one cares. And if someone does — it’s not really your problem. Remembering this will let you focus on your work rather than worrying about clothes. Just get yourself high-quality core items, try to refresh them with other pieces and accessories, and trust us — you will look nice and professional.