If you’re like most, you’re anticipating the arrival of the new year with hopes and dreams to bring out a new and better you. New mindset, new habits, new routines, new goals. Heck, maybe you’re even on a mission to find a new job that you love for 2019. So what better way to package up this NEW YOU than with a fresh, new wardrobe?
Except that, this is the busiest shopping season of the year and you’ve probably already spent a TON of money. (And I’m guessing well beyond your budget?) So, how do you now build a stylish work wardrobe with the little that you have left in the bank?
I’ll give you a hint. The answer is not always to start from scratch. To take the pressure off you a little, here are six ways I typically save on my corporate style.
1. Stick with the simple
I’m a huge fan of basics for two reasons. One, because they never go out of style. You can wear them in different ways forever. And two, because it’s not as noticeable when you repeat a basic piece of clothing as it is when you repeat a flashy or trendy one. (Case in point, I haven’t gone shopping in OVER A YEAR.)
I would even advise being strategic with your COLOR choices and stick with basic colors like black, white, or gray. I know this sounds boring, but remember, this is your foundation. Spend minimal dollars on a few basic things and your opportunities to style in different ways on top of that are endless. See #2 below.
2. Mix and match with layers and accessories.
An added bonus to the basic foundation above is that any accessories or jackets you layer on top will instantly stand out. Whether we’re talking about a diamond necklace from Ritani or a scarf from Target, if you have a basic foundation, then most likely you’re pretty much guaranteed that any accessory or layer you add on will match.
This is genius I tell you for yet another reason: Accessories DON’T WEAR OUT! They don’t fade with washes, they don’t get ruined from spills. They take up little space. And what’s more, they typically go on major sale at certain stores throughout the year. Set this 1:3 spending rule for yourself: I will figure out how to buy a single shirt-price worth of accessories that can translate into three different looks. Boom, financial win. It’s that easy.
3. Always check the labels.
I completely stay away from anything that needs to be dry-cleaned. It’s just not worth it to me. I actually take it a step further and stay away from anything that needs to be ironed, because well, ain’t nobody got time for that. If you’re looking for money AND time savings, checking the labels is super important.
4. Shop out of season. Heck, shop out of style.
I could care less if clothing is in season or not. Why? Because quite frankly guys, it’s not so much about the clothes as it is the person wearing them.
Let’s all get real here for a moment. Think about when you see fashion bloggers on Pinterest or Instagram. What about the pictures attract you to it? Is it 100% the clothes? Or is it the model’s hair, his or her fitness level, the camera angle, the lighting, a statement accessory? There are a number of factors that can take a look from being blah to wow, and it will always be more than just the clothing pieces themselves.
So with that, buy that’s-so-last-season clothes! They’re cheaper! Because guess what? You can make anything look attractive by adding additional layers like a blazer or accessories, and most importantly, you will strut into your office silently screaming that this look is yours to OWN.
5. Look for deals online.
Like most purchases in life, you can usually find work clothes cheaper if you shop around for them online. You can use price comparison tools to compare similar items from different stores. You can leverage online voucher sites to find coupons for money off products both in-store and online. Heck, you can go sign up for mailing lists or newsletters for your favorite retailers because they will give you a discount code. Don’t want spam mail? Who cares! You just got 25% off!
6. And lastly, wear what is provided.
I’ll save the best scenario for last, in that if you’re a uniformed worker, then you luck out and don’t have to buy wardrobes of clothes. Though many might argue this and say you wish you could wear what you want, how easy and cost-effective is it to wear the same things everyday?! Am I right? But even if you’re not a uniformed worker, many companies give out branded shirts, polos, socks, etc. for free. Why not wear them?? This means one less outfit where you can save the money to buy something else.
So there ya have it folks! I live by these rules every time I look for something new to wear. I honestly am a cheapskate when it comes to fashion and style. I buy everything at discount prices, and at most, once a year. Building a work wardrobe from scratch can be costly, but, hopefully, with these tips, you can save yourself some money as you start the new year with the new you!