Think you have to spend a fortune for office appropriate clothing? Suits, slacks, blouse and blazers- they can all be expensive, especially when you are first getting started in a career.
There’s no doubt that having a certain dress code can be daunting and put a drain on your bank account. At first it may seem like you are destined to wear the same black suit and white button up over and over again. Don’t fear. I’m going to share with you the best places to find affordable office clothing.
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This outfit is made up of pieces from some of my favorites on the list of places to shop for affordable office clothing- JCrew Factory, JCPenney and TJMaxx. Burgundy is one of my favorite colors to wear during the winter. It pairs beautifully with grey and black to make a conservative yet interesting office outfit.
earrings- Kendra Scott
Here are the 15 best places to shop for affordable office clothing, in no particular rank, but my favorites are at the top.
Before we start, there are some key points to things being affordable. What is affordable for me, may not be for you or vice versa. Budget experts say to budget 2-8% of your income for clothing, with 5% being a good average. 5% would be way more than I spend on clothing per month/year. 3% is probably wear I fall. Just because I can afford something doesn’t mean I’m going to pay the price of the item. I’d rather spend on other things too. The key to getting all things within your budget is to watch for sales. Do not ever buy clothing for full price. There is always a sale. Sign up for emails from your favorite stores, and if they have rewards, consider those too. Don’t take credit cards if you can’t be disciplined and mange your money. But if you can, a rewards card can be a great way to have some extra to shop at your favorite store. I have a Gap/Old Navy visa. I use it for gas and groceries and pay the bill in full monthly. I get Gap/Old Navy and Banana Republic clothing for almost nothing with my rewards.
So on to the list…
1. Loft– The majority of my work wear bottoms are Loft Julie fit trousers or ankle pants. When I find something that fits and I can trust it to fit with almost every order, I go to it over and over again. In addition to pants, Loft always has a great selection of tops that are office appropriate, along with skirts. I like their blazers too, but find it harder to find a deal on them. Sign up for Loft emails so you always know when they are having 40, 50 or 60% off sales and or/free shipping.
2. JCrew Factory If I had room in my closet and budget, I’d constantly buy all the new releases all the time. I have my best luck with blazers and pencil skirts here, as well as teddy sweaters. Their lace tee is a great work wear staple and is usually available in some version each year. For reference, I’m petite and curvy, so I haven’t found a great fit in pants there yet, but maybe I haven’t tried the right ones. Blouses are always great options for work here too.
3. JCPenney JCPenney has been in my life forever. It was one of the few stores in one of the closet towns (50 miles away) when I was growing up. When I hit adulthood and the career world, I naturally went there. They have not let me down. I still shop there. You could build a basic work wear wardrobe at this one store. Online, you can find curvy fits, short and tall lengths. This is another go to for pants for me because of their curvy fit and 31 inch inseam in short length pants.
Related: JCPenney Try On Session
4. TJMaxx I love to pop in my local TJMaxx to pick up shoes and blouses. And purses. You can find some deep discounts on designer brands.
5. Banana Republic Next to JCrew Factory, this is my favorite place for blazers. I also occasionally add blouses. This is one of the higher priced places on my list. Given that I don’t live close to a store and have to rely on shipping, I haven’t really honed in my fit in other pieces from here.
6. Express I also haven’t honed in a great fit for me here, but if I could, I’d take advantage of the great deals they have on pants and blazers here too.
7. Belk Belk is the same as JCPenney in my life, but I don’t shop there as much as I used too. Still, I’d recommend giving them a look.
8. Nordstrom Watch for sales and you can find some great pieces for work. Free shipping and free returns is a huge plus too.
9. Macys If you need conservative work wear, look here. There work wear section is all classic and sophisticated.
10. Old Navy I threw this in because you can get blouses and cardigans that are suitable for the office here. Sometimes you may find a blazer.
11. Target There are all sorts of gems at Target suitable for the office- blazers, cardigans blouses, pants, skirts. I haven’t found a great fit in pants but the tops always get my attention.
12. Talbots I have never personally shopped at Talbots but I do admire the look of their pieces online.
14. Ann Taylor Classic work wear here with fits like Loft. I have a couple of blouses that have been great quality but seem to miss the deals when I fit of pant goes on sale.
15. Lord and Taylor Great discounts on designer brands. I have ordered blazers from here too. It takes some patience to sift through the selection and watch the deals but the deals are there.
What would you add to my list for affordable office clothing? Where do you shop for work wear?