Business Casual Attire On A Budget – I’m Gonna Pop Some Tags

As I finish my last week at my current job I’ve been preparing for the transition to my new position.  It should seem pretty basic and in all actuality it will be, with one exception….my clothing.  You see, for the past 10 years I’ve worn scrubs or t-shirts/jeans to work. That along with my mindset of functionality > fashion (or lack of fashion sense) means I have very few business clothing options.  I kid you not when I say my attire consists of scrubs, workout clothes, t-shirts, and jeans. Seriously. I don’t say that as a bad thing.  I have the basics.  I have what I need.  However, my needs are changing.  Thankfully my new position calls for business casual so it’s not like I have to bust out in suits, but my wardrobe needs a bit of an overhaul. Since D is now back in the corporate world as well his closet is requiring the same attention.

We accepted our jobs knowing this was the case and are more than willing (and actually excited) to make these adjustments.  But what are we to do when we seriously lack the funds available to dish out for entirely new wardrobes?  Hit up all of the area thrift shops, of course.  Cue Macklemore….

I am not some crazy couponing person that will only buy things when on sale or if I have a coupon, but living on our small salaries we have to save where we can.

My aunts are masters when it comes to thrift store finds so it’s safe to say that I’ve learned from the best.  I have never been above shopping at thrift stores, why change now?  Once we received news about our career moves D and I began our thrift shop hop throughout the Phoenix area.

D had held on to his dress shoes and ties from the past so his needs were shirts and pants.  He had lots of luck at our closest Goodwill.  Not only did he find what he needed but everything was on sale for 50% off. 5 pair of name-brand pants and 4 shirts all for around $40. He also hit up Kohls and purchased 2 shirts that were already on clearance and then marked down an addition 50%, spending approximately $15.  Not too shabby.

I was able to find a pair of pants at Goodwill as well, but I hit the Jackpot at Savers, another brand of thrift store here in Phoenix.  I walked out with 5 pair of pants ranging from Banana Republic, New York & Co, and Apt 9, for just over $37. Even better?  They were already hemmed to the perfect length for me.

I have some shirts/sweaters that are pretty versatile when it comes to casual and business casual, but I’m still on the hunt.  After a stop at Plato’s Closet I was able to add one Ann Taylor shirt to the mix for $8.

Next up: shoes.  Although I’m not against purchasing used shoes I found it best to hit up Payless Shoes. I know most people see Payless Shoes as being cheap, but I see them as being leather-free and vegan.  Of course, they’re affordable too.  I’ll readily admit that when it comes to workout/running shoes I’m willing to shell out the dough for my beloved Mizunos, but when it comes to casual shoes some of my faves throughout the years have come from Payless. In typical fashion, I picked up two identical pair of shoes…one black, one brown. (Remember, function > fashion).  I’m sure it won’t surprise you that I also used a coupon that saved me $10, making my purchase for both pair of shoes only $44.

I did have one splurge.  Several weeks ago I saw these cute shoes at Kohls.  Knowing that they were more cute than functional for my lifestyle I walked away from them.  After I was hired I decided this would be a gift to myself.  They are vegan-friendly, so comfortable, and allow my personality to shine through.

I can’t wait to once again wear my engagement ring on a normal basis, bust out some of my right-hand rings, and even my favorite necklaces.  I haven’t been able to wear them in years due to safety reasons at work and so often I tend to forget about them even on the weekends.

Although I’m basic when it comes to fashion I would be lying if I said I wasn’t excited for this change in my wardrobe.   I have no doubt that this small change will leave me feeling happy and give me a slight boost in confidence.  As I always say, it’s not as though I despise fashion.  On the contrary, I love it. Believe it or not, my inner fashionista is constantly battling with my inner minimalist when it comes to my lifestyle and fashion.  What girl doesn’t like a little change or to dress up just a bit more?  All within reason and budget, of course.

Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)


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