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How to Create a Work Wardrobe Even on Budget

Trading your college sweatshirts for an office-appropriate ensemble can be daunting, not to mention expensive. Still, a put-together and well-fitting professional wardrobe is essential if you want to leave a strong impression on your first job. To help you, we’ve listed down some tips on how you’ll be able to fit the costs of work clothes into your tight budget.


  1. Set a Budget

The best thing you can do to steadily build your work clothes collection is to set aside a specific amount of money every month, and use it to purchase professional clothing. Financial experts recommend dedicating five percent of your income to clothing.

However, if you only have a budget enough to purchase one or two items each month, then it’d be best to strategically plan the items you’ll be purchasing first. Start off with the basics like blouses, skirts, slacks, blazers, cardigans, etc. Create a foundation for your work wardrobe using classic pieces that can be mixed and matched. Once you have a solid base of clothing pieces, that’s when you should start buying jewellery, accessories and bags to round up your look.

  1. Cut Back on Unnecessary Expenses

Another good way to boost your work clothing budget is to cut back on your extraneous expenses for several months. You’d be amazed on how much money you’ll save by cutting back on your alcohol consumption, bringing meals to work every day, and biking or walking to your office instead of taking a cab.


  1. Practise Smart Shopping

When it comes to purchasing work clothes, it’s important to have high quality basics than to have lots of options. You may think that purchasing a cheap attire is the key to building a work wardrobe on budget, but it’s the opposite that’s actually true. You’re better off spending a hundred bucks on a pair of slacks that fit well and will last for years than purchasing a few pairs of S$20 pants that you’ll need to replace after a couple of months.

  1. Know the Signs of a Good Clothing Piece

If you want to make the most out of your budget, get into the habit of scrutinizing clothing pieces for signs of poor construction. Check on the garment tag, and take note of its fibre content. Natural fibres like wool and cotton tend to hold up better over time, which means high percentages of these fibres are a good sign.

Apart from the clothing’s fibre content, also look into its stitching. Check an inside seam, and see if the stitches are tight and consistent. If you spot any red flags like snags, lose buttons, and hanging strings, simply put the garment back. The last thing you’d need in your wardrobe is a piece that falls apart just after two washes.

Building a killer work wardrobe may take some time with limited funds. But by sticking with your budget, shopping smart, and keeping an eye on quality items, you’ll become the best dressed in your office in no time.


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