Looking Totally Professional on a Budget
Sheila had perfect timing. I was just focusing on Professional Business Image within the Blog this week and last when she wrote us asking several good questions and ones I know enter the minds of many admins. I will try to address each one the best I can.
1. She first states, “I would like to address the cost of professional attire and the cost associated with keeping up physical appearance. The only place that I can find quality clothes that fit me is at Talbots. I’m not making a six-figure income and Talbots is expensive.”
You are right. Talbots is a bit pricier than other stores but very good quality. So here are a few thoughts about quality. When you purchase quality clothing, it lasts longer so you actually spend less money over a 6 year period. For example, if you find a beautifully-made traditional-looking blazer or jacket for $240, divide that by at least six years’ wear (even eight years) and that equals $40 per year! Also, this will last longer through dry cleaning and wear and tear because it is well made. Any you really don’t have to have them dry cleaned as often as you think because of the better fabrics.
Since I know at the price you can’t buy probably more than one jacket that becomes your best wardrobe piece. You wear that when you really want to look professional, are meeting important people, welcoming important guests, or asking for a raise. Or get a basic-looking one that you can wear numerous times for casual business dress.
The same would hold true for slacks, blouses, sweater, or shoes you would purchase at a store like Talbots.
2. You may have to travel a little ways out of your community to find a store that better fits your budget and your body. Then you only go there twice a year — in the summer to purchase fall and winter clothes; in the late winter, to purchase spring and summer clothes.
3. Budget your money. Save for those special pieces of clothing. That means that you have to give up other items such as one less night at the movies, two less Starbucks, one less vacation, etc.
4. Look for great sales. Try to shop when there is a good sale and stock up on what you like. So maybe there is a great blouse and style looks fabulous on your body, buy two or three in different colors when they are on sale.