Dress to Impress: Maximize your Wardrobe, with a Minimum Budget

Daily inspiration and advice for the ambitious savvy young professional

Dress to Impress: Maximize your Wardrobe, with a Minimum Budget

This blog is written by Liz B., our University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Intern Queen Campus Ambassador. Liz is doing a double major in Public Relations and Advertising.

While summer is a great time to take out the tank tops, flip flops and mini skirts, the office is not an appropriate place to wear them. Finding ways to pinch pennies is crucial throughout the summer months and having a internship that requires professional and business casual clothing can really break the bank. Therefore, I have highlighted a few ways to save this summer and maximize your wardrobe with a limited budget!

  1. Assess your current wardrobe. Go through what you already have and organize in two piles, work appropriate and non work appropriate. Use common sense in deciding what you think may or may not be appropriate. Some sleeveless shirts may be appropriate with a blazer or cardigan, some, not so much. Use your imagination. You never know what amazing fashions you can piece together with the clothing you already have!
  2. Basic items, more options. After looking through your current cloths, make a list of staple items that you still may need (black pants, blazer, flats, comfortable heels or khakis.) These items should be very versatile and have the flexibility to be pieced together multiple times. That way you can get the most out of what you spend.
  3. Spending less for more. When you’re stuck with a shopping list and a small budget is nothing better than a blowout sale or thrift shop. When you are making your purchases be smart about the decision. Don’t go extremely cheap because it may be cheap for a reason. There are plenty of stores that offer amazing discounts or sales in the beginning of summer or offer coupons that can get you a great deal. Thrift shops really help you understand the quality of the product. The product has already been able to stand the test of time with one customer. I have found some of my best staple pieces from local thrift stores. Look online for local thrift shops using Google or Thriftshopper.com.
  4. Add your own personality when layering and piecing together items. Use your imagination and vamp up your basic professional wardrobe. It&s simple - start with a basic outfit and add a few bold pieces of jewelry, a headband or scarf to toss in a bit of your personality. Something that I enjoy doing is mixing up crisp blazers with skinny black pants or adding a cardigan and a pair of black pumps to a tank and black pants. While looking professional, these options complete a clean and comfortable outfit!
  5. Keep it fun and different! Switch it up once in a while and look for style inspiration from magazines and online fashion blogs. My favorite blog to find professional and business casual styles is from J’s Fashion Blog!

Happy Styling!