Career couture: tips to save on your work wardrobe

It’s really easy to get excited about shopping for weekend clothes. When you’re planning an awesome party or fun picnic, going out to get the dress for the occasion hardly seems like a chore. But when you’re buying the clothes that you spend most of your time in… that’s a whole different story.

Because, not only are work clothes a universally boring parade of pantsuits and below-the-knee hems, they’re also pretty expensive. And, you need to buy them rather frequently, because wearing them so often can leave them looking way too scungy for that important meeting. But, it shouldn’t be that hard – that’s why we’re giving you five tips to help you save on your work wardrobe.

Shop online
Online shopping is a quick and easy alternative to mainstream retail. You have a world of shops, styles and sizes at your fingertips, which can be great when it comes to buying officewear, as often brands just stock the same cut of shirt in a few colours, and hope that their customers will be satisfied. Online shopping also offers a substantial range of plus size clothing and petite sizes, which can be hard to get in your local shopping centre.

Take advantage of end of year sales
Smart shoppers use sale time to their advantage. Write a list of the office outfits that you need to acquire by the end of the sale. Be flexible, but not too flexible – i.e. you can go for a black dress instead of a navy one, but don’t come home with yet another pair of discounted denim shorts.

Invest in basics and accessorise
A simple black office dress can go a long way. Try wearing a colourful scarf for a chic and refined vibe, stack your arms with chunky jewellery for a fun Friday look, and alternate between cardigans and blazers, depending upon what your schedule looks like for the day.

Go for neutral shoes
While intricate or interesting shoes can be fun for a night out, by sticking to neutral styles in your office wardrobe, you can save yourself a lot of cash. A simple black pair of pumps should do you. Add a neutral pair if you’re the sort of person who wears a lot of pastels and greys when you’re at work.

Don’t be afraid to wear the same thing a couple of times a week
Ultimately, work is work. Unless you work at Vogue, people aren’t really going to care about what you’re wearing, provided that you are in line with the dress code and not wearing anything that takes up more of your attention than your work at hand. So, go on: wear that black pencil skirt three times this week. Chances are, no one will notice.

Frances Lucy is a recent graduate from Sydney. Since getting her first office job this year, she’s been on the lookout for ways to look chic in the office on a budget.

“Image courtesy of Sattva /”.

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