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As I navigated through my business-oriented classes in college, professors emphasized the significance of dressing for success which often mean an expensive suit and heels. When I began landing interviews of my own, I quickly learned that the usual suit and heels could be loosely interpreted as business casual: dress pants, a button down and a nice cardigan. Something else I quickly learned: no matter which way you spin it, business clothes are expensive. My budget has required me to get a bit creative when it comes to beefing up my business casual wardrobe and today, I’m sharing my tips for how to save money on business casual clothing.
Shop Sales & Get Cash Back
You know those newsletters you signed up for to get 15% off your first purchase from your favorite stores? Well, they can also be used to save money on business casual pieces after that initial buy. As those newsletters come into your inbox, keep an eye on what sales they highlight. This is how I know when my absolute favorite style of shirt, the Express Portofino, goes on sale. In March, I was able to snag one for $20 when they normally run closer to $50.
If you don’t want your inbox to be full of emails, what about just one email? I recently signed up for RetailMeNot and love the coupons and sale alerts that it provides. If you log onto the RetailMeNot website, you can identify your favorite stores and those preferences will tailor the deals that are delivered to your inbox.
So you’re shopping a sale at your favorite online retailer, could you also get cash back? Usually. Sign up for Ebates and receive a certain percentage of cash back from your total purchase. My favorite part about using Ebates is that you can download a browser shortcut that will alert you of cash back deals whenever you’re shopping on a website.
Hit Up Discounted Stores
In the last two years, I have come to love discounted stores like TJ Maxx and Marshall’s. Both stores (owned by the same parent company) have great business casual pieces that are both fashionable and cost effective. They carry new, name brand pieces and offer them at a fraction of the cost – what’s not to love. Does it sound too good to be true? A few months ago, I bought two pairs of dress pants and two blouses for $70. Yup, that’s $17.50 a piece. Not too bad when you consider that those items at other stores could cost upwards of $35 each.
(More on the blog: How to Save Money on Office Supplies)
Scour Thrift & Consignment Stores
Check your local area for high quality thrift and consignment stores. Don’t judge a thrift store by its outward appearance. Open the door and take a look around. You’ll be surprised what you may find. A good place to start is Plato’s Closet. I know that the quality of these stores can vary by region, but I’ve had good luck in my experience. The discounts are usually quite large on the on-trend pieces they carry.
If you’re in the Nashville area, I’d love to know what your favorite thrift/consignment stores are – leave them down below in the comments.
Participate in Clothing Swaps
The beauty of Facebook is there seems to be an event for pretty much everything. Many non-profits host business clothing swaps that run on donations. In my experience, people or companies donate gently used business clothing and the non-profit sells them at incredible discounts (usually under $10 a piece). The non-profit then keeps the proceeds and uses it for their cause. Another way to participate in a clothing swap is hosting one yourself for your friends. Maybe a few of your friends have many pieces of business casual clothing that they don’t wear and you may have a few pairs of shorts you don’t wear – boom, there’s a swap.
(More on the blog: 5 Things You Should Make at Home)
Take Care of Your Pieces
The biggest way to save money on business casual clothing is by taking care of it. Actually read and abide by the wash and care instructions that are on the tag. If you take care of your clothing, the fabric will hold up for years to come. This means that you will have to replace fewer pieces in the long run aka no money wasted.
How do you save money on business casual clothing?