When you’re unemployed, it can feel like you’ll never get a job. Application after application is met with nothing more than the Internet’s version of crickets. But then a miracle happens: someone finally calls you back. Not only do you land an interview, but you manage to get the job, too.
Congratulations! But you’re not out of the woods yet. Eventually it will dawn on you that your job searching uniform of sweatpants and hoodies won’t fly at the office — which means you need to build a professional wardrobe fast. If you’re looking to keep your costs low after your months of unemployment, you’re in luck. Here are four tips to keep your new work clothes affordable.
- Know when quality beats quantity
Though you want to keep your spending low, there are some things that you shouldn’t skimp on. Every wardrobe should have a handful of well-made, quality pieces that create the foundation of your look. The power suit is one of those items. It doesn’t matter if you plan to wear it all together like you’re Hillary Clinton. Whether you wear it separately or together, make sure the blazer and pants and/or skirt that make up this suit are well-made and tailored to fit your body.
When most of your budget goes towards these pieces, the final price tag may seem scary. Think of it as an investment. You’re better off buying an expensive power suit that fits you well and will last you years than a pantsuit that costs half the price that you’ll have to replace within months.
You can make up some of the money you invested by sticking to cheap shirts and accessories that complement these pieces from a store like TJ Maxx.
- Develop a relationship with your tailor
Often the sign of a well-dressed professional is less the style and more the fit of their clothing. You don’t want to be drowning in your blazers or dress pants. Alternatively, you don’t want to be wearing things that leave little to the imagination.
You can make it seem like you have a designer at your beck and call by finding a great tailor. They’ll be able to alter inexpensive clothing in such a way that makes them look as if they were custom-made for your body. It may add a little to your budget, but the combined cost of the clothes and their work will still come under the price tag of designer clothing.
- Invest in comfortable footwear
Comfort is key when it comes to the shoes that you wear. Don’t convince yourself you can deal with uncomfortable shoes just because they’re cheap. You’ll regret that decision as soon as you get your first blister. Stick to well-made shoes you can trust. They’ll last longer, and they won’t hurt you.
Remember, you may have to stand in them all day or walk to and from the office in them, so don’t just order the first pair that catches your eye. Head to a store like Aldo. When you can try them on in-store, you’ll know for certain they won’t pinch or rub your feet in any way. Make sure you get a pair of black pumps or flats, and something else in a neutral colour, like nude or brown. Your shoes will match anything as long as you stick with these two colors.
- Don’t forget about your tech
The accessory in your hair and the shoes on your feet aren’t the only things that your co-workers will notice. If you’re expected to give a presentation, they’ll also be judging you on your tech. You don’t want your banged-up MacBook distracting fellow employees or potential clients, so give your laptop some TLC as you build your wardrobe.
It needs a good washing before it’s ready for the office, so make sure there aren’t any obvious signs of wear and tear on it. Once it’s clean, it’s ready to take on a MacBook skin of your choosing.
A skin is like a blazer for your laptop. It’s a thin, malleable piece of vinyl that fits around your Mac snugly and covers all the parts that would be on display during your interview. Though shoulder pads are sold separately, this accessory can make any battered piece of tech look new again.
Or, you can make it look like it’s never looked before when you shop from dbrand. They have the best options for customizing your device because of their huge collection of colors and textures. From exclusive bamboo to geek-chic carbon fiber MacBook skins, there’s something for every taste. You can mix and match individual pieces to create a unique outfit for your MacBook or any other device you want to show off in the office. And like any good tailor, the folks at dbrand make sure their skins fit down to the micro-millimeter.
Remember these four tips when you start to build your professional wardrobe. This advice points you towards classic looks that are made to last. Not only will you look like you belong in your new position, but you won’t have to spend a fortune to do so!