You don’t have an outfit to wear to the networking event you’re planning on attending? You’re tired of wearing the same three outfits all the time? You’re fed up with paying full price for new fashion pieces?
It’s not easy to become a business student because you basically have to buy a whole new wardrobe. Say goodbye to your favourite hoodies and sweat pants because you can’t wear them to your meetings or presentations. Outlined below are four tips to help you build your professional wardrobe while spending the bare minimum.
1) Keep It Neutral
I know it’s exciting shopping for fancy clothing; however, it’s expensive. If you have no business attire in your closet now, I suggest you buy a few essential pieces first. A simple, knee length, black dress for women or a dark suit for men is a must. It’s good to keep the colours neutral when first starting to build your wardrobe. Why buy a purple floral blazer when you can only wear it in the summer months? You should always have pieces that can be worn at any time of the year. Once you’ve purchased the essentials, you can then go buy that blazer you’ve been eyeing up for the past week.
2 ) Try Thrift Shopping
You never know what you could come across at your local second-hand store. Thrift shops like Value Village have affordable and unique clothing that you might like. Some of the pieces have only been worn a handful of times and are in great shape. In fact, you could even find designer clothing at a fraction of the original price. Not only this, but some thrift stores partner with charities (Weiss-Roessler, 2015); you could be donating to a good cause while having some fun shopping.
3) Take Advantage of Student Discounts
Do you ever buy something full price then find out that you could have gotten a 10% discount only after you purchased the item? Yeah me too; it’s disappointing. Many students don’t know that a lot of popular clothing stores offer a 10-15% discount to people who show their student identification before making the transaction. Stores like Forever 21, American Eagle, and J. Crew offer great student discounts (Keaton, 2016). When you go shopping, don’t forget to bring your student card because you don’t want to miss out on these deals.
4) Avoid Fully Priced Items
Something I like to do when shopping is checking the sale racks before looking at anything with a regular priced tag attached to it. Yes, the clothing on the sale racks might be “so last-season”, but you never know what you could find. You could come across a $5 plain black tank top to go under any blouse or a patterned tie to go with your suit for the event you have next week. So before paying full price for the beautiful jacket you saw on your way in, check the sale racks first because you just might find something similar at a better rate.
Developing a professional wardrobe can be challenging. As long as you pay attention to the discounts offered, check the sales racks first, and avoid paying the full price for items, you will get value for your money. Try not to get caught up in the latest fashion styles and remember that your main goal is to have a wardrobe that allows you to dress like the professional business student that you are.