Most people detest shopping for work clothing. There’s just no getting around the fact that the majority of professional wardrobes are populated by outfits that are dull, drab, and uncomfortable, and we simply chalk it up to the cost of doing business. But the fact that these garments can also be extremely pricy is almost too much to bear. After all, it’s not like you’d buy them if you didn’t work in an office, and for the most part you would never wear them outside of a business setting. However, there are ways to find attractive options for the office that can overlap into your everyday life…if you’re willing to shop designer labels. And incredibly, you can find many ways to get the fashionable items you crave for a fraction of the price they normally retail at. Here are just a few hints to help you on your way to a better work wardrobe for less.
The most expensive course of action would be to purchase garments directly from retailers in the season they debut. But if you’re not particular about being uber-trendy, why not wait for end-of-season and sample sales as a way to save some money? You’ll have to deal with the headaches that often accompany such sales (a crush of frantic shoppers, cash-only payments, and a decided lack of changing rooms and privacy) but it could be worth it to get one or two really special items to add to your wardrobe. So if you’re going for staples (like a black suit or white oxford) that you can get anywhere, skip the hassle. But if you’re dying to snag that Diane Von Furstenberg sheath dress that can easily transition from office to evening, it may be worth your time and effort to get it on the cheap at a sample sale.
Of course, you could skip the stores altogether and shop online. With fashion deal-of-the-day sites like Hautelook, Gilt, and Beyond the Rack offering amazing daily deals on the designer labels you love, there’s no reason not to sign up for their free services, which include emails to let you know what’s on sale today. And you can find any number of discount designer goods websites (like Bluefly, for example) that can help you to secure great deals on designer duds. Don’t forget to look for coupon codes and check the sale pages of these sites, as well.
But you may not be into rolling the dice on how items will fit and flatter your body. So shopping online, while often less expensive than retail, might not be an option. By the same token you might not be keen to shop second-hand stores or Los Angeles, Chicago, or Salem garage sales to find what you’re looking for. There is a happy medium, though. Just check out designer discount stores like T.J. Maxx and Marshall’s or look into designer collaborations with discount department stores like Target and Kohl’s (and even Payless). You’ll be surprised at the low prices you can find on wares from the big names that you’d love to feature in your work wardrobe.