Office Wear Hacks for Broke Millennial Women

Transitioning into the corporate universe can be quite daunting. No one prepares you for it. From finances, to taxes, to corporate culture, to workplace relationships and even attire, everything seems so new and scary. When i landed my first corporate job, one of my immediate concerns was what i was going to wear. I found myself scrambling through my checking accounts and credit cards to muster up enough money for appropriate “corporate wear”.

Most companies operate on a business casual dress code, which means you can choose to wear a sleek dress with a fitted blazer and heels, a pair of pants and a blouse with flats, or anything in between the spectrum. My business casual is certainly not your business casual, and her business casual is definitely not my business casual. As you navigate through your office environment, you begin to cultivate your own corporate style, which can often-times be different from your personal style, but can easily blend seamlessly together with time. The question is, how do you afford your “style” or anything remotely close, with a entry level millennial budget? These are a few wardrobe hacks for people starting out:

Allocate a clothes budget for work every other month. Glance at your income and conjure up a budget amount you can afford to work with every month or every other month.

Get statement pieces. When building a work wardrobe, it is important to purchase a few statement pieces that can be dressed up, down, accessorized, complemented etc. You can build your closet up from these. A few statement pieces would be;

Multi-functional clothing. Having to shop for work AND personal clothes can be frustrating and draining to your finances. It is important to purchase multi functional clothing when shopping. For example, a pair of high-waisted pants that can be worn with a work blouse and a bralette or crop top for a night out, tops that can be dressed up or dressed down, shoes that serve multiple purposes etc. Clothes are generally multi-functional, depending on how well you wear them. Get creative and try to remove the demarcation between work and personal wear.

Outlet malls & Thrift stores & Markets. Outlet malls & thrift stores will save your life if you are a working professional on a budget. Ross, TJMaxx, Goodwill, etc are a few of U.S based outlet malls/thrift stores. Local marketplaces may also have discounted items you can take advantage of. Get familiar with your area and the outlet malls & thrift stores around you, they may just save your life & your wallet.

Coupons/Sales. If you are a coupon queen like me, then you already got this hack down pat. I live and breathe deals and discounts. When shopping online, always be vigilant and take advantage of sales like BOGO free, BOGO 50%, coupon codes, and reduced prices. This can save you a ton of money. I use retailmenot to search for coupons. A quick google search can also connect you with tons of coupon sites for retail stores. The Honey app is also good for saving.

Slowly build your closet. As an entry-level worker you don’t want to blow stacks on clothes, because 1.) There’s barely anyone worth impressing with your fits at work 2.) You don’t wanna end up broke & eating ramen in a $300 dress. 3.) No one gives you a gold star for not repeating an outfit in 1.5 months. If you know you’re working with a limited budget, don’t put pressure on yourself to fill your closet with a million pieces right away, slowly build it up with pieces you love, and most importantly, can afford. Don’t max out your credit card for your closet because it is never worth it.

Sell old clothes. Maximize your budget by selling old clothes and accessories that you don’t wear anymore on platforms like depop and poshmark.

Quality over quantity. I previously mentioned slowly building up your closet, however, you should do so with quality items. It is better to buy a solid pair of pants for $50, than to get a bunch of $10 throw-aways. In the long-term, buying cheap clothing is a horrible investment and will end up costing you more. I understand the state of fast fashion, and the need to move with the trends. It’s fine to purchase cheaper one offs once in a while, but make sure your statement pieces are solid & durable.

If you’re patient and conscientious enough, you can find work clothes in pretty much every fashion retail store. You don’t have to shop at strictly corporate wear stores. Some relatively affordable online stores you can shop at are;



Nordstrom rack




Amazon (yes people actually shop here)



TJ Maxx





There are many more places to shop beyond this very small list. Find what works for you and flourish in your clothing.

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