With everyone watching their wallets, it is no surprise that clothing costs are a growing concern. People who work outside of their home have to worry about keeping their work clothing up to date and looking sharp. No one likes to look like a shabby bum, so most people want to have some decent looking pieces in their closet. Then there are the articles of clothing that are reserved for special occasions. The question is how to build a smart wardrobe without going broke doing it?
*Second hand stores. These neat little places can hold a treasure trove of good deals on great clothing. Who says you are required to shop at high end department stores or downtown specialized boutiques? The only difference between a second store and those high end places is the price tag. Besides, some things like black skirts and certain suits never go out of style. You can also get your all purpose white blouse/dress shirt here for much less than other stores. If you like vintage style, try a thrift or rummage store.
*Store sales. Check the end of the season sales at your favorite stores. These sales are the time to get your favorite styles at rock bottom prices. The sales are so great because the stores want to clear out their remaining stock of the season to make room for the new stuff coming in for the next season. By the way, sometimes you can catch good sales for the new season too.
*Discount shops. Dollar stores and consignment shops can actually be a good place to find items like lounge pants, t-shirts, and tennis shoes. No matter what you are looking for, it never hurts to have a look at these stores.
Now that you have an idea of where to look, now you need to know what to look for specifically:
*Suit. Whether man or woman, everyone who has an office job needs a good suit. Yes ladies, they do make suits for women. All joking aside, a business suit can actually be rather versatile. You can ditch the jacket and wear a matching light weight vest in the warmer months, or you can wear a nice sweater with the pants/skirt in the colder months.
*T-shirts. Available in so many colors and styles, t-shirts are the perfect base for a casual outfit. Try not to limit yourself to only bright colors or graphics though, these may not go so well with certain pants/skirts. Always try to have a couple white, black and gray. Many stores have these for sale in bulk.
*Pants. Everyone wears pants for different reasons and different activities. Whether it is jeans, khakis or cotton slacks, pants protect the legs from the weather and can look pretty sharp while doing it.
*Dress shirts/blouses. It is wise to have at least one white and one black dress shirt/blouse. This way you can mix and match depending on the occasion and look great no matter what you pair it with.
*Dresses. All the ladies know how important it is to have the famed “little black dress”. It is true, the black dress is handy for cocktail parties, on a date (with some basic accessories like a bracelet, earrings and handbag), or a night out with the girls. Fortunately, that great all purpose black dress does not have to cost an arm or a leg. Many pretty dresses can be purchased at the above mentioned shops. Another all purpose dress is a tank dress. These fabulous dresses can be paired with different accessories to create sporty looks, semi-casual or even semi-formal.
*Shoes. Invest in at least one decent pair of shoes that look good. There is good reason to spend a little more for quality shoes: they tend to last longer. Be sure these shoes will go with your dressier outfits. It is wise to have a couple of pairs of all purpose shoes that you can wear for everyday things like shopping, walking the dog or taking out the trash.
The whole trick to building a smart wardrobe while on a budget is picking your clothing pieces carefully. Choose pieces that can be mixed and matched with each other, this will help cut the cost of buying entire outfits every time you shop. Another key is buying pieces that you will wear more than once. The last tip is to shop for the best deals.