How to Buy Work Clothes on a Budget




Everyone wants to look stylish, and the best opportunity to show that style is during the 9 to 5 daily grind, since that’s where we spend most of our day anyway. Shopping for the latest trends and top designs can get expensive though. The good news is, it’s not necessary to break the bank just to look good. Your work clothes don’t have to be boring, but you do need to have a plan when shopping for cheap work clothes. If you keep a few of our tips below in mind you can learn how to be stylish without overspending and get trendy work clothes on a budget.

What to do Before You Shop for Cheap Work Clothes

closet cleaning

Before you start shopping for work clothes on a budget, it’s important that you establish a couple of things about your personal style first. For starters, the current clothes in your closet should fall into one of four categories: work wear, workout clothes, casual clothes, and clothes for a night on the town. If something you own doesn’t fall into one of those categories, then the piece of clothing is likely not worth investing in again, because these categories reflect the wardrobes needed for most lifestyles.

Once you’ve categorized your closet, you can understand which clothes are working for you and which items you should donate to make room for new clothes. You’ll also be able to:

  • Create an overall vision of what gaps you need to fill and make a list of cheap work clothes you need to get.
  • Embrace the idea of investing in one great item, instead of several okay items.
  • Identify the most essential items you should start off with.

Now, let’s get you ready to shop for trendy work clothes on a budget, so you can end your shopping spree feeling confident in the purchases you’ve made.

9 Tips for Buying Work Clothes on a Budget

business clothes

Don’t buy something just because it’s cheap.

Although you’re trying to find cheap work clothes, remember you must never buy something just because it’s cheap. You have to look for good prices AND good quality and versatility. You may need to shop around to find the best place to buy work clothes on a budget, but it will be worth it! If you really want to build up your work wardrobe, then you’ll need quality items that you know are well made and well-priced. If you focus too much on having a lot of clothes that are cheap, then you’ll only be left wanting better clothes.

Scale up gradually.

By picking up one or two quality items every month, you can spread the costs of getting new work clothes out over a few paychecks. This is one of the easiest ways to get work clothes on a budget. To be able to scale up gradually without running out of trendy outfits, make sure you also scale your closet clean up. Every time you buy a new item, then you can easily remove an older piece from your closet without having a staple missing from your work wardrobe.

work meeting

Keep outfits simple.

The bulk of your money is going to be spent on the basics at first. The beginning of your wardrobe revamp will require more of an investment, as you’ll want basic clothing items that are going to last for many years to come. Since you’ll want your wardrobe to be versatile, focus on items that are easy to mix and match, such as classic black trousers, jeans, dress shirts, or blazers.

By having a simple wardrobe, you will also make picking outfits each day easier. You can then expand your look by accessorizing with pieces that fit your style overtime. A neutral outfit composed of basic cheap work clothes can always be accessorized by many different items to make it more exciting for far less money.

Avoid department stores.

When you’re shopping for work clothes on a budget, it’s best to avoid full priced items in department stores. Instead, you can find equal quality clothing at stores like Ross, Saks Off 5th, Gap Factory, and even thrift stores. In fact, outlet malls are often the best place to buy work clothes on a budget.

Shop online.

If you didn’t know already, store websites are often the best place to buy work clothes on a budget. Keeping your eye out for online shopping deals, discount codes, flash sales, and any other virtual specials on clothing from your favorite stores will be worth it! You can even try  signing up for a store’s email newsletter to get discounts sent to you directly; Banana Republic and New York & Company both offer discounts when you sign up for their newsletter.

Find Thousands of Clothing Discounts Here


Use cash for all your purchases.

It may feel weird to use cash in a world of ApplyPay, debit cards, and credit cards, but the great thing about paying with cash is that it keeps you accountable. When you’re searching for work clothes on a budget it’s easy to get carried away with all the great deals, but using cash is a great way to ensure you don’t overspend.

Sell your old clothes.

This is one of the most resourceful ways to get new work clothes on a budget. Just sell your old clothes to finance your new ones! You already know what clothes are in your closet, including what you need to add and what you can pitch, so start tidying up. Put clothes that fit with your existing style and are versatile enough to work with a few outfits aside, and then consider the pricing you could throw on the rest.

You can sell your old clothes in one of these several ways:

  • Consignment stores
  • eBay
  • Poshmark
  • Buffalo Exchange
  • Facebook
  • Goodwill

woman in a business meeting

Buy clothes in the offseason.

If you’re looking to pick up classic pieces you know will last until the next season, then shopping in the offseason is a great option to save money. When stores need to start clearing out their inventory, they have huge sales to try to get rid of last season’s styles. This makes for a great opportunity to get trendy work clothes on a budget.

Scout out sales.

When you want work clothes on a budget, it’s important to always find the best sales. The stores that give actual discounts during their sales and worth waiting for are stores like Topshop, Macy’s, and Urban Outfitters.

If you know you have big work events, conferences, or meetings on certain days or weeks of the year, then plan ahead to have your wardrobe all set in advance. For example, you can find great sales on formal dresses right after prom season, but prices will shoot up just before the holidays.

happy businessman

Don’t Let Your Budget Limit Your Sense of Style

Your work wardrobe will never be complete, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be stylish! You’re going to make mistakes, you’re going to outgrow styles or you might pay a little too much for something you unexpectedly can’t live without, but that’s okay. Just learn from your mistakes, and remember our tips above to keep yourself in check. 

Now you know how to buy work clothes on a budget, so you better get shopping!

Find the Best Cheap Work Clothes with Piggy

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