Get Out Today: student entertainment guide  

Planning Path
Finding A Job
Networking Tips
Determine Fit
Business Wardrobe
Adjusting to Job

Build A Business Wardrobe
On A Budget!

You've sent out your resume -- you've gotten your foot in the door. About to schedule an interview? Or, maybe you're preparing for your first day on the job? In any case, it's time to trade in your casual duds for a professional wardrobe. Faced with a limited budget and ever-changing definitions of "corporate casual," building a business wardrobe can seem difficult to say the least. But all is not lost. It may take a little time and some extra effort, but between seasonal sales, retail outlets, secondhand shops and rummage sales, you're sure to find great basics tailored to fit your budget. Following are some tips, courtesy of

  • Learn the sale cycle of your favorite boutique or department store. End-of-season sales usually occur in January and July, while the back-to-school season and major holidays boast good reductions on selected merchandise.

  • Consider the vintage, consignment and secondhand shops in your area. Dig through the bins and sift through the crowded racks where basic, high quality and well-priced pieces await. Tip: Always carefully examine secondhand merchandise for damage, including stains, tears, splitting seams, moth holes, broken zippers and missing buttons.

  • Spend a day at the outlet stores in your area. Visit all the shops that carry the items that interest you, put pieces on hold, then tally up the day's finds to see what fits into your budget.

  • Scour garage sales. Keep in mind the old adage "one man's junk could be another's treasure."

  • Take advantage of promotions that offer additional discounts on multiple-item purchases. Stock up on hosiery, underwear and button-down shirts.

  • Sign up to receive e-mail from your favorite online retailers. Let them come to you with information about closeouts, sales and special deals.

It may take some time and effort, but between seasonal sales, retail outlets, secondhand shops and rummage sales, you're sure to find wardrobe basics tailored to fit your budget.

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