In the business world, how you present yourself is, at times, almost as important as the skills you bring to the table. While making a good impression is important, purchasing a completely new wardrobe is a far reach for some people. For many Americans, money is a serious concern and it would not be feasible to purchase a new wardrobe for the office. This is especially true for individuals who are trying to re-enter the work force from a period of unemployment or disability. Looking sharp at the office doesn't have to be an expensive venture. Building a professional wardrobe on a tight budget is easy with some strategic planning.Fashion Staples
Search through your existing wardrobe to see if you have any pieces that could be worn at the office. Some pieces of clothing are versatile, and can be dressed up nicely with accessories. Apparel such as button down shirts, slacks, dress shoes and the like, are common fashion staples that could be found in most closets. Analyze your pre-existing wardrobe to get a better picture of what you will need to purchase.
When operating under a tight budget, it may not be wise to drop a lot of cash on a wardrobe for the office. Instead of making one large shopping trip, pick up essential pieces first. Periodically pick up more pieces for your wardrobe. Spreading out your purchases will allow you to maintain your budget while bulking up your professional wardrobe.Mailing List
To get the most up-to-date information on a particular retailer, sign up for their mailing list. Retailers provide information, such as sales, coupons and special events, to recipients of their mailing list and can assist you in saving money on the items you need most. In today's modern age, the majority of American-based clothing stores have their own website, which not only advertises the goods they sell, but also often highlights upcoming shopping events, fashion trends and other related information. Track Sales Across Multiple Retailers
In order to get the best possible deal on professional apparel, a bit of research is required on your part. When cost is a factor, it is wise to track sales being offered by a variety of different retailers. This research will give you a clear picture on which retailer offers the best deal, and when it is time to start purchasing pieces for your wardrobe; you will be getting the best possible value. Additionally, when you see a sale price that you simply cannot refuse, you have the advantage over shoppers who did not follow the sales trends.Stop Worrying About Brand Name Designers
When it comes to saving money on clothing, you have to consider the effects that brand name designers will have on your bottom dollar. Quality-made clothing is not just sold by high-end retailers, and can be found at clothing apparel stores at reasonable prices. An effective method that can reduce your shopping bill considerably is to avoid the high-end retailers and search for quality made clothing elsewhere.Outlet Stores
Outlet stores offer deep discounts on discontinued merchandise. Although the apparel at outlet stores is typically last season's merchandise, you can still find some great prices on stylish dress clothes. If you are looking to save a significant amount of money on your professional wardrobe, a trip to an outlet store is in order. Not only will your budget stay intact, but your need for professional style will be satisfied as well.Shop in Moderation
As with other forms of shopping, it is wise to use moderation when picking up pieces for your work wardrobe. To maintain your budget, only purchase what you can afford. You can always pick up more clothes later. While presenting yourself in a professional light is important, spending more than you can afford on business dress clothing will likely sabotage your budget, and leave you in a financially tricky situation. When adding items to your work wardrobe, exercise moderation and use common sense.The Bottom Line
Presenting yourself in a professional image does not mean that you have to spend a small fortune at a high-end clothing store. Get more for your money by shopping smarter. Build on your existing wardrobe with versatile pieces of clothing. Additionally, savings can be achieved by researching sales trends and signing up for coupons and sales alerts on many retailers' websites. A professional image is important in the business world, but that doesn't mean you need to pay an exorbitant amount of money. Use common sense and moderation when it comes to shopping for a new work wardrobe, and most of all, make sure your budget can handle your purchase first.
Originally posted on Investopedia.com