I don’t know about you, but I’m a fan of looking good and not having to shell out all of my hard earned money. Fashion is important because when you look good you feel good. While dressing professionally can limit how trendy you look, there are still ways to show your style while you’re hard at work.
Photo: Maxine de la Houssaye
In this picture, although summer wear, I still was able to shop at two great stores and spent less than $100. While that may seem like a lot when it comes to work clothes you really have to invest. The items you’re buying should be versatile, and when it comes to shoes and bottoms, colors that can be worn in any season. However, if you love color like me, don’t be afraid to be bold and wear whatever colors you want.
Nordstrom Rack. First up, the Rack is the number one place to go if you like brand names or good quality items but don’t have the funds to match them. For designer brand enthusiasts who would love to shop at Nordstrom, there’s the Rack to offer shoppers major discounts on the same items, some more than 60% off retail. If you live in a larger city then you might have a Nordstrom Rack, but if not then you can always pay a visit to the online store. While the store itself may be hit or miss, the website often has a variety of sizes, especially for shoes, that the store might not have in your size. If you’re looking for a comfortable pair of work flats or a few blazers and blouses that won’t break the bank, the Rack has tons of options.
ASOS. I don’t know if it’s a college kept secret or more people know about it, but the online marketplace that features brands from Adidas to Free People also has their own line of clothing that is surprisingly fashionable and affordable. Wanting to stand out for my interview, but not wanting to spend hundreds of dollars on one outfit I’d wear a few times at most, I looked on ASOS and found a treasure trove of options. They have an entire category of clothing called “Suits and Separates.” Patterned, bright, dark, for warm or cold weather, ASOS has tons of professional work outfits under $100, and often they’re on sale.
Topshop. You might think I’m pushing it by suggesting Topshop, the UK based brand that’s known for being quite highly priced, but hear me out. If you have a funkier style this is the place to go. The amount of blouses they have is amazing, and whether it’s summer or winter, there are shoulder covering blouses that make a statement. There are also suits,
co-ords, accessories and great items are always on sale at a great discount as well as students get an average of a 10% discount year round.
For those that have trouble finding clothes in the store or don’t know where to go, the internet is vast enough that there are always options. Professional online shopper tip: always check the size guide before purchasing an article of clothing. If it’s a brand you’re unfamiliar with or a different kind of fabric, check the measurement guide and also see if the fabric stretches. Where you might be a size six in one brand, you could be an eight in another. These are just a few brands I’ve found to be the most cost-effective as well as carry men and women’s business apparel. Remember: with a great outfit comes great job opportunities.
Unless you have a lot of time to spare, don't start a book conversation with Maxine, because she can talk for hours. She's an avid reader, primarily contemporary romance, but every once in a while she'll pick up a suspenseful thriller. She's been writing since high school, mostly fiction, and thinking of characters and situations to put them in for as long as she can remember. Her motto is "everyone deserves love," and therefore her dream is to help push representation for different races, disorders, and disabilities in the romance genre.
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