I think I’ve found a weekly theme for budget career dressing, and that’s showing photographs of professional career wear for the conservative office – for under $10 (not including shoes. My advice is buy the best shoes you can afford.)
The Deets: Ann Taylor jacket (Goodwill $3.75); Loft fully lined front pleat skirt ($3.75 Goodwill);
Vintage brooch thrifted in college; Vintage Silver hinged bangle (eBay);
Nine West pumps (Ross); obligatory rebel ankle bracelet
Obtaining a work wardrobe for a new career – on a very minimal budget – can be a real challenge. In this down economy, many adults have found themselves back in school, while their families survive on unemployment, dwindling savings, or welfare. Women from all walks of life suddenly need clothes appropriate for an office, after years of high school or college, staying home and raising children, wearing uniforms to underpaying jobs, and/or even having just undergone a radical change in figure or weight. There is no wiggle room in many budgets to buy a whole new work wardrobe. But looking like a professional is very much a key part of finding success at a new job.
HDR’d for the deets like the front pleats.
This is what I really look like on a busy day at the law office.
When women in this position talk to me, I encourage them to think deep clearance racks at better retail stores like Macy’s – and secondhand, including eBay. Some people are put off by looking for pre-loved clothes and may still think thrift stores smell funny and all the clothes are hard used and shrunken from the dryer, but there are plenty of well-designed and constructed, major label clothing pieces – if you’re persistent and patient.
Huh. I think this is my new professional head shot.
You can take great photos at home for your LinkedIn profile.
If you haven’t already, try taking my Goodwill Career Wear Challenge. Give yourself $10 to spend at Goodwill (or similar secondhand organization in your area), and see if you can find one outfit for the office (not including shoes of course). I’ll be doing it myself a couple of times a month to share with you guys. If you want to share a photo of your Goodwill Career Wear Challenge outfit with us, please send me a photo of you with The Deets (see above) and a few sentences about how you found your outfit and what you like about it. (To email me, see the About Me page for contact info).