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3 Tips for Creating a Work Wardrobe on the Cheap


Even in this post-formal business attire age, most of us are forced to dress slightly differently for work than we would for, say, hanging around our house watching Netflix. The worst part is that work attire generally doesn’t come cheap. So what’s a frugal professional to do?

First of all, don’t fall for the idea that you have to shell out major cash. As Melanie Pinola points out in a recent Lifehacker post, putting together a work wardrobe doesn’t have to be an expensive affair.

A few of her tips include:

1. Go for neutral colors.

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Men and women can benefit from picking a palate and sticking to it. Pinola recommends black, gray, navy, or tan as a base, and points out that President Obama sticks with gray or navy suits, which makes his day simpler by one decision.

2. Found something you love? Buy multiple copies or variations.

Everyone’s had that perfect pair of shoes that formed the cornerstone of every outfit … until the soles wore out and the stitching fell apart and they couldn’t be worn anymore. By the time our favorites abandon us, it’s often too late to buy a replacement. Don’t let that happen to you. The second you realize a piece has become a go-to staple, get at least one other copy of it.

3. Plan a starter wardrobe.

Pinola offers basics for both men and women in her post, but the real takeaway here is that it’s simpler — and cheaper — to shop from a list. Figure out what you need before you go to the mall or start looking online, and you’ll avoid winding up with white elephant items that can only be worn one way for two months out of the year.

Tell Us What You Think

How do you dress for work without overspending? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

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(Photo Credit: Victor1558/Flickr)

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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