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Business Clothing on a Budget

Posted By Crystal Stemberger On 07/21/2011 @ 2:11 pm In Career | 24 Comments

When I got my first job out of college, I found out that they required their employees to dress business casual or professional every day. I knew that might happen, but I didn’t have to be happy about it. At the time, I owned one pair of black slacks, two solid-colored blouses, and one nice suit jacket. I needed some more outfits but buying business clothing can be incredibly expensive if you are not sure of the right places to shop. I panicked just a bit, but I learned very quickly where to find the best deals and how to maintain my new wardrobe.

Discount Chains

Discount chains like Marshall’s, Kohl’s, TJMaxx, AJ Wright, and K&G have a large selection of business clothing for the budget conscious shopper. These stores are good for beginning a wardrobe of business clothing without spending a fortune. I personally buy almost all of my tops for work and fun at Kohl’s. The trick is finding and sticking with quality designers [3] that make a product that lasts.

Stock up at Store Closings

You can get the best deals on business clothing for men and women at store closings. Businesses are anxious to sell their entire inventory and list everything at prices that cannot be beat. You can stock up on basic suits, shirts, slacks, and shoes to have a wardrobe that will last you for years. I personally jumped on deals at a local Dillard’s that was closing and used those slacks and blouses for 3 years.

Search Online

Online sites like SmartBargains.com have a really large selection of business suits for both men and women. The prices are incredibly reasonable. You can buy a professional looking suit for under $100. The items have been deeply discounted and customers can save 60% or more on a variety of business attire. Overstock.com is another good site for finding name brand suits and sports coats that will last and are affordable to boot.

Thrift Stores

Thrift stores do not only carry used clothing. There are a ton of new options dropped off too. It may take a bit of searching, but you can find a hidden gem in a thrift store. Sometimes people donate name brand suits or slacks that were only worn once or twice. I personally used two great blouses at work that I found at Goodwill for less than $5.

Maintenance

While I was finding my new pieces, I kept in mind that dry cleaning adds up. I only bought machine washable tops and slacks, so only the suit jackets needed to be dry-cleaned. Since I only wore those two jackets for two big business meetings a year, I only took them in for cleaning every couple of years. To keep my blouses and slacks unwrinkled, I hung them immediately after the dryer was done with them. For the more fragile fabrics, I hung them when they were still damp [4] in the hall closet to dry.

Where do you find the best deals for business clothing?

(Photo: davemorris [5])


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[3] quality designers: http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/how-to-budget-clothes-for-brand-whore-jp.html

[4] hung them when they were still damp: http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/the-fine-art-of-line-drying-laundry-lm.html

[5] davemorris: http://www.flickr.com/photos/davemorris/364404587/sizes/l/in/photostream/

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