Whether you’ve started a new job, or you want to revamp your current style , sometimes you contemplate picking up a brand new set of clothes to wear at the office. You may have some staples in your wardrobe, or you could be a complete novice. But before you panic, you should know, you don’t have to break the bank to look good. Don’t believe me? Read on.
Buy your main items of clothing in neutral colours
Neutral colours like black, white, navy blue, grey and beige are colours that fade into the background when worn with a more eyecatching item, this means you can wear them more than once without giving people outfit deja vu. You can mix and match easily, saving time and money. We all have an item of clothing in our wardrobe, whether it’s a shirt , trousers or jacket that looks smart and awesome by itself, but it literally cannot be paired with any other item that you own. They’re just there, almost for decoration, to show everyone how good your taste is.
On that note, you don’t need lots and lots of clothes to look varied each day. Try getting about five shirts, three or four jackets, three or four pairs of trousers, five pairs of socks, three ties and two pairs of shoes. This is more than enough when you’re starting out.
When it comes to shoes, black and brown are your safest bet in a professional environment, the same goes for socks too.
Buy complimentary pieces in coordinating colours
Avoid having too many neutrals,and be sure to get some solid colours such as red and blue as distinct patterns are more likely to stand out, making it obvious that you’re reusing the same thing again, and they’re more difficult to mix and match. If you do prefer patterns, look for muted colours, and minute patterns that will compliment the other items in your wardrobe.
Try working with what you’ve got
Have a look in your wardrobe for some inspiration, you might have a nice shirt that just needs ironing or a pair of shoes that would look as good as new with a little polish. Never underestimate the power of washing, ironing and polishing to really bring out the quality of something!
Ask friends and family if they have office wear they’re not using that they can give you, or at least let you borrow
Rather than splashing your cash at Zara, why not ask someone close to you to lend their showstopping shirt or shoes that got them a job every time? This option is great if you’re really strapped for cash, or simply if you know that it always feels better getting things for free.
Make a list of what you need before you go shopping
Start with the cheapest priced stores first, nothing is worse than buying a £80 blazer only to find its twin for £25 somewhere else. Stick to your shopping list, and avoid going into a more expensive store if it’s outside of your budget.Going without a shopping list means you’re more likely to pick up something you didn’t want or need.
- Charity shops- Go to the ones in nicer neighbourhoods, as you’re more likely to find good condition designer clothes. Look for jackets, trousers and shirts as these are more likely to be wearable Avoid buying used shoes.
- Discount retailers (Primark etc) Buy your dress socks, possibly your shoes and tie here. Take a look at the shirts; look for machine-washable natural-fiber shirts and tops. The jackets/pants/shirts at the discounters may look nice but they are not usually made to last.
- Discount Ex-shop retailers (TK Maxx): This is where you find the designer stuff that department stores couldn’t sell. Luckily, last year’s classic suit looks pretty much like this year’s classic suit. This isn’t cheap (expect to spend £100-200 for a suit) but it’s still cheaper than paying full price at a department store.
- Online shops and marketplaces- Shops such as boohoo, or online marketplaces such as eBay and amazon are normally fairly inexpensive with good quality clothing. You don’t even have to leave your house and voila, you have your outfit. Just be sure to check where the item is shipping from and what the expected delivery date is if you need your shoes or clothes for a particular day.