How to Build a Professional Wardrobe On a Shoestring Budget

Building a professional wardrobe can be overwhelming. With so many brands to choose from, it can be challenging to sift through what to purchase. But building a beautiful, professional wardrobe doesn’t have to be expensive.

Even on a shoestring budget, it is possible to build a professional wardrobe. Here’s how.

Purge your closet

Tidying up like Marie Kondo and choosing to live minimally will help you see all of the clothing you already do have. Even when it seems like many of us have “nothing to wear,”  sometimes when we have a lot of clothes, that doesn’t mean they fit well or interest us. 

If you’re struggling to decide which pieces stay and go, tie a piece of string or ribbon around the rod of your closet. As you wear clothing, put pieces on one side of the string. At the end of a month, get rid of the clothes that are untouched on the opposite side. 

Then, choose to keep only items that you truly enjoy, and that fit you well. Everything else can be sold or donated.

Budget and pull out cash

To avoid overspending, do plan to invest in your attire. Come up with a number you can afford, and save extra money through smart savings apps like Albert or Clarity Money. Sell the old pieces you don’t need. Pull out cash and place it in envelopes or use automated savings apps to stay on track when you’re ready to purchase.

Go for basic, neutral pieces

Most people coordinate their closet around one of two colors: black or navy. Choose one to be the foundation for your closet, and purchase essential staple pieces of that color and some matching neutrals that can be worn with different outfits.

Having a black blouse, blazer, slacks, and pumps – for example – would be a great place to start, along with a white, cream, and blue blouse.

Focus on timeless attire

Instead of opting for professional trends like high waisted trousers, block sandals, chunky jewelry, or vibrant patterns, choose timeless pieces that will continue to remain in style. Though there’s a time and place to purchase the latest trends, focus on creating a capsule wardrobe.

Add accents

Accents offer a great chance to add bold and bright pieces to freshen up your look. Choose pieces that reflect your personality. With any basic outfit, try adding a pair of shoes that pop, or a statement necklace to add to your appearance.

Try a bright colored blouse with a black blazer. Though accents shouldn’t make up the bulk of your wardrobe, they should be sprinkled in.

Don’t be afraid of thrift stores

Thrift stores may have a bad reputation, but some of the best pieces in your closet may be found there. Use thrift stores as your chance to look for those classic pieces to invest in as they’ll likely save you a fortune from looking in department stores. 

Invest in pieces you love

Don’t beat yourself up for splurging on one or two pieces that you absolutely adore. Find clothing you feel confident in and take great care of them.

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  • For someone who’s said, “yeah I’m not afraid of color” at least five times this week, I sure do wear a lot of black 🤨🖤 Throwing it back to one of the last times I got dressed up before COVID-19 – judging Indiana’s Distinguished Young Woman Scholarship Program with a messed up shoulder. (At least my sling matched my outfit, because fashion.) What’s your “signature” color??
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How will this pandemic, and subsequent government actions taken to combat it, affect economic prospects going forward? Myself; Romina Boccia, Director of the Grover M. Hermann Center for the Federal Budget at the Heritage Foundation; and Dr. Orphe Divounguy, the chief economist at the Illinois Policy Institute, will share our insights on how small businesses, jobs, the national deficit, and your wallet will be affected by the battle against the coronavirus.⠀
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Grateful to have had the ability to travel so much last year, but it feels very strange to not have the ability to buy a plane ticket right now. (Especially because prices are so low!!) Where do you want to go once the COVID-19 crisis passes? Seeing my family in California is on the top of my list! #havefaith ✈️🙏
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1. File your taxes (the deadline was extended to July 15, halleluiah!)⠀
2. Get to "inbox zero" in all of your email inboxes ⠀
3. Declutter your fridge, closets, and cupboards ⠀
4. Take inventory of your monthly expenses, cut unnecessary spending, make a budget & stick to it ⠀
5. Write 5-star Facebook, Yelp, and Google Business reviews for your favorite small businesses/restaurants
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(My goal is to finish all five by Friday.) What else would you add to this list?
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  • 🦀 A friend of mine shared this analogy with me yesterday. When you have a bucket of crabs, what happens when one crab starts to climb out? The others start to pull down the crab "on top" so that they can help themselves up to get out of the bucket. The same thing happens in life. There will always be "crabs" who try to pull you down whenever they see you doing something to get yourself out of the "bucket." Only run towards "crabs" if they're on a plate and slathered in butter, mkay friends? 🦀
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I wrote, "Get Independent: Tax Filing Tips for Millennials," for @affnetwork two years ago, but it's still as relevant as ever this tax season. Read more at the #linkinbio ⠀
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So...who's filed already? 🤪
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