(Note: this post is not sponsored by any of the businesses mentioned below.)
Career Week (er—fortnight?) is upon us, and with that comes dressing for success. If you’ve been to the Career Services Pinterest page or googled “Business Professional Attire” and ended up with a PDF like this or this, you’ve got the guidelines down pat. (If not, attend Dress for Success: Making a Great First Impression on Tuesday, September 3rd!)
But where do you get it all? Though it is a great investment (hopefully you’ll be rocking that suit in the workplace next summer!), high-quality professional clothing can get expensive. Here are my favorite places to score deals without compromising a polished look:
Need a whole suit? This site sells barely-used clothing at deep discounts. They don’t have a Men’s section yet (sorry guys!), but for the ladies it’s a great place to grab a head-to-toe look. (Check out the Women’s dress and skirt suits page.) The negative–you can’t try anything on before you buy it, and there’s not much description of the item beyond a size, brand, and single photograph. If you’re familiar with the way a certain brand fits you, or are willing to take a risk and return a few things, you can walk away with a $200 suit for $25-30.
ebay is one of my favorite places to buy clothes. The key here is to know what brand, size, and style works for you–and to be able to infer an item’s condition from the description and photographs offered. For instance, you might search for “J Crew button S” in the Women’s shirts category, sort by lowest price, and find a once-worn $89.00 shirt that you can snatch up for just $11.25. Most of these items are just a dry cleaning or ironing away from being Career Fair-ready.
My third go-to, especially for business casual items, is good old Ross Dress for Less. The negative here is selection–any given store usually has about two button-downs and three pairs of pants in my size at any given time. So you probably won’t update your entire wardrobe in one visit, but everything is brand new, you can try things on, and often you might walk away with one new blouse or pair of slacks at 50%-75% savings.
So those are my tips! Career Week and other professional events can be a little intimidating, but getting dressed up should be fun. I was handing out nametags at the Meet the Firms event last Friday, and seeing everyone in their professional outfits made me so excited for the futures we are building for ourselves here at Anderson.
See you at the Career Fair!