Buying a Work Wardrobe on a Student Budget

InterviewingSU2Beginning your summer job search? Or perhaps you have several internship interviews lined up? Whether you’re a high school senior or soon to be college grad, it’s never too soon to have office-appropriate clothes on standby. Even trickier is assembling a work wardrobe on a limited budget, which may spark you to frantically ask, “What do I wear!?” There are many simple ways around it, so don’t fret. The following advice will help you throughout and after your college career.

Invest in Workplace Staples

You’ll always have a need for blazers, nice slacks or pants, nice blouses or collared shirts, skirts, and button-ups. You can dress them up with accessories and other accent pieces. Remember to always dress more formally for interviews, even if the office has a casual dress code. Flip-flops are a major no-no, but hiring managers report that it still happens. If you’re unsure about whether your outfit is appropriate, check out these great visuals.

Mix & Match

Instead of buying new everything, mix and match what you already own. Versatility is the key to saving money – a nice shirt has a completely different look when paired with denim jeans than it does with nice pants or a skirt. This strategy allows you to be a chameleon; you never know when you might have to go from casual to business or vice versa.


While the latest styles in store windows are tempting to splurge on, you can create similar looks with items from the sale section. Try to shop out of season when possible; for example, in the spring, you’ll find lots of sweaters and cardigans for the fall on clearance racks.

Resale and Consignment Stores

These hidden gems are great ways to find quality pieces without spending a fortune. Even if something isn’t your size, you can easily have it custom-tailored and it will still be less than retail. Brand name suits, often notorious for being on the higher end, are more affordable in price at resale stores.

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