Creating a Work Friendly Wardrobe on a Budget

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Starting a new job is always a little stressful. Not only do you have to learn an entirely new office system, but you also have an entirely new group of people you have to get to know. One thing that you don’t want to have to stress over is your wardrobe. If you are just starting out in the corporate world, you may be looking at having to create a whole new wardrobe, which can cost you a pretty penny. Whether you are a guy or a girl, there are some easy ways to make your wardrobe budget stretch a little further. If you are starting from scratch and need to build your wardrobe within a budget, here are some tips to get your started.

Use Neutral Colors

When it comes to starting your wardrobe, you want to work with neutral colors at your base. These will be your blacks, grays, tans and navy colors. By keeping your base pieces, like pants and skirts, neutral you are ensuring that all of the clothes that you have in your wardrobe will go together. It also means that you won’t have to buy as many bottom pieces. Instead, plan to wear them more than once and focus the majority of your budget on a wide variety of colorful tops. Women should play with tonal hues, mixing pinks with oranges, wearing red with orange, or putting green with turquoise, explains Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine of British television’s What Not to Wear.

Invest in Quality Pieces

Items like shoes and bags that you are going to use often should be of high quality. Since these are items that you will be using on a regular basis, you want to make sure that you won’t have to replace them often. When you skimp on these kinds of purchases, you aren’t doing yourself any favors. Save a few dollars on a pair of knockoff Nine West shoes, doesn’t mean that you’ve made a great purchase. You will most likely have to purchase another pair of shoes to replace them a lot sooner than you think. If you are cringing at the thought of shelling out the big bucks for a pair of shoes or a handbag, there are a number of coupon sites like mydala that offer online coupons for the higher end items. With 4.6 million Internet users in India accessing coupon sites, according to comScores Media Metrix report, the sites are continuing to offer more and more deals that can save you a ton of cash. With deals like these on the Internet, you can still purchase the higher end items while still staying within your budget.

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Invest in Accessories

One of the cheapest ways to keep your work wardrobe from become stale and have it remain under budget is with accessories. Accessories are fairly cheap to add to your wardrobe and they make switching up your look really easy. For men, including a variety of ties and belts can add different looks and styles to their wardrobe. For women, you can change your look with scarves and jewelry. Add bold colors and patterns to liven up a neutral palette or bring in white and gray tones to add stark contrast. Women can also use a statement bag to complement their outfits, notes the Indo Asian News Service.

Wardrobe Staples for Men

There are a handful of items that should be in every man’s work wardrobe. With just a couple of suites, shirts and ties, there are a ton of combinations you can make that would be appropriate attire to wear to work. When you are just start out, here are the bare essentials that you should make sure to purchase.

  • Two formal suits
  • Four dress shirts
  • Two go-to blazers
  • Two pair dark jeans
  • Two belts
  • One cardigan
  • Two pairs of dress shoes
  • Three ties
  • Three polo shirts

Wardrobe Staples for Women

When it comes to creating an appropriate work wardrobe within a small budget, it is a bit more difficult for women. For women, work clothes aren’t as simple as putting on a suit, shirt and tie every day. Karen Kozlowski of Real Simple recommends women start with the following when building their work friendly wardrobe:

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  • Black tank top
  • White button down shirt
  • Crewneck sweater
  • Cardigan
  • Pair of jeans
  • Black pants
  • Denim jacket
  • Wool skirt
  • Black suit
  • Pinstriped oxford shirt
  • Black dress
  • Silk blouse
  • Gray trousers
  • Fitted jacket

While these are simply suggestions, and the pieces that you choose will depend entirely on your specific work environment and the budget that you have to work with, these are good guidelines to follow when you need to build your work wardrobe from scratch. It is also important to remember that you don’t have to purchase everything at once. You can take your time and purchase things as you have the money, and don’t forget to check for deals online and utilize the discount coupon sites to get even better discounts on the clothes and accessories that you need to start your new job.

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One of the founders and CTO, Ashish Bhatnagar was born to be an ultra-chilled-out, cool as ice techie and so he became one. Ashish got associated with mydala after a highly successful stint in Ibibo and this job is, in his words, "all I want to do." A foodie and movie buff, Ashish loves playing badminton, cards and loves stock trading.