The Working Woman Wardrobe
by Asia Negron-Esposito
The Young Professional Woman
Building a Business Casual Wardrobe
If you're a working woman, finding something different to wear daily puts a strain on your budget. Of course, where you work and what you do make a difference in how you dress. In today's more laid back environment not everyone needs a suit. However, in most places, you're expected to differentiate yourself from the clients or customers by looking somewhat professional. In addition, the old adage of "dressing for success" still applies, as employers will judge you by how you look as well as by how you perform on the job.
Following are 17 suggestions for staying fashionable, appropriately dressed and not spending most of what you make:
- Stay in touch with fashionable trends by referencing to style magazines from the library.
- Using the clothes you already have and adding an update like a belt to a tunic sweater or blouse will give the appearance of a new outfit.
- Buying ensembles such as a jacket, skirt, and matching pants will extend your options exponentially.
- Choose fashion that is a little younger. Sometimes shopping in the junior department can yield a trendier jacket, sweater or skirt. Also, the clothes are usually less costly, but make sure the fashion flatters you.
- Take a little time to peruse the odd lot or discount stores. It takes time, but sometimes name brands can be bought for half the retail price in department stores.
- Altering a hem or adding some feature can make a less expensive item fit better and look great.
- Buy sale items from last season instead of the upcoming season.
- Be alert to coupon offers in your local newspaper.
- If you're a knitter, make a trendy item such as a shrug to go over that sundress.
- Yesterday's expensive suit or coat can have a terrific rebirth if you find a reasonable seamstress.
- Make a chart of the clothes you own by category, color, season and style. Carry it with you so that if you stumble over a piece that would complete an outfit, you've got the information you need to make a decision.
- On dress-down Friday, don't wear sweats to work. Depending on your office culture, an ironed pair of jeans or sporty pants tells people you're relaxed but not ready for a workout.
- Make-up completes your look. Shop drugstores, discount chains and beauty supply stores for great buys after you get free advice by getting a makeover at a department store. In fairness, be prepared to buy at least one inexpensive item of their line.
- Thrift stores can sometimes yield incredible items, but make sure you can incorporate the piece into your wardrobe.
- A pair of good shoes can be given new life by replacing the heels. Be more open to recycling than buying new. Polish also works wonders on leather.
- Using a self-tanning lotion in summer on your legs can save you from buying stockings and it's cooler.
- And finally, wear your pearls and fine jewelry instead of buying costume jewelry. They'll look good even with jeans.
Take the Next Step:
- Decide which tip(s) would help you improve your working wardrobe.
- Do you struggle to get ahead financially? Then you'll want to subscribe to our free weekly Surviving Tough Times newsletter. Each issue features great ways to help you stretch your dollars and make the most of your resources.
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