How to build a work wardrobe on a budget

For some lucky people out there, a work wardrobe isn’t necessary due to the lack of dress code, however, several others need to keep themselves prim and proper in the office every day.

It’s hardly a secret that formalwear doesn’t come cheap, with many finding themselves spending hundreds on their work wardrobe each year.

There are ways to build your work wardrobe even when faced with a tight budget – here’s how.

Create good budgeting habits

There are various budgeting apps on the market that can support you in creating good financial habits. A key feature of these apps includes having different ‘pots’ that allow you to round up your change. For each amount of money spent, your app will round it up to the nearest pound and then store away the spare change, which can be used for your work wardrobe updates; you will be saving money without noticing!

Another thing to consider is a ‘no spend day’. We all know that the smell of coffee in the company canteen is all too tempting in the morning, but if you can assign a day to bring your flask of coffee and lunch too you could save some serious money, the more no spend days, the more you save. Assigning these day/s makes you second guess before tapping that card.

Finally, create a savings challenge. Task yourself to put aside a certain amount each week or even each day. Put that money into a different account, preferably not as accessible as your current account. A challenge we would recommend is the 52 weeks challenge; it’s straightforward. Day one, you save 1p, day 2, 2p, day 3, 3p, and so on; on an average year, by doing this challenge, you could save £ 667.95 – That is undoubtedly enough to revamp your work wardrobe.

Choose quality over quantity

This might seem like a giant step back considering high quality clothes come with a more premium price tag, however choosing quality over quantity will definitely save you money in the long term. Often, when you wander into shops such as Primark, you believe you’re bagging yourself a bargain because you can purchase 5 items for your work wardrobe for no more than £30, but are these items going to last you a long time? Instead, build up your collection slowly, and pace yourself to purchase one higher quality item at once, as this way you won’t be forking more pennies out for repairs or general repurchases.

Shop online

People are usually quite hesitant about shopping online simply because of the inability to try items on, but regarding that you thoroughly read through returns policies before committing, you can find some exceptional deals when shopping for your work wardrobe online. This way, you can receive frequent emails from the retailer regarding the latest offers which are exclusive to online members, allowing you to purchase products for cheaper prices compared to walking in-store to buy them instead. Plus, if you simply leave an item in your basket for a week or two, you might even receive a discount for them!

Out with the old & in with the new

A good way to achieve a budget when looking for a new work wardrobe is to sell any items that you previously hold that no longer catch your eye anymore. It can be very easy to hold onto and hoard clothing items down to sentimental value, or simply because you believe you’ll wear them again, but generally if you haven’t worn a clothing item for over 6 months, you’ll never wear it again. Apps such as Depop are excellent for flogging your unwanted clothing items to others, and then, with your extra money, you can continue to purchase new, higher quality items.

Keep it simple

Sometimes an extravagant t-shirt or floral trousers can make for gorgeous pieces in your work wardrobe, however it’s always best to keep things simple if you’re on a stricter budget. The reason behind this is that simple pieces make it much easier to mix and match, meaning that you can create numerous outfits even when using the exact same pair of trousers or blouse! Equally, for men, mix and match your different blazers and ties, as this way you can keep just a few pieces in your work wardrobe, yet turn up to work in a completely different outfit every day of the week!

It’s crucial to attend work looking smart and presentable, as this will only motivate you to complete your work to a higher, more professional standard. Luckily, investing in a work wardrobe doesn’t have to be an expensive affair, allowing you to look and feel good even on the strictest of budgets.