I’ve learnt a lot in this life of vintage! Stepping into your first real job and starting your career path is an exciting time in life. It means you’ve put in all your dues, hard work, and studying, and now you’re ready to put it all to good use. Of course, making a good impression at your new job should be a priority, which means you’ll want to dress the part.
So what happens if you’re still on your student budget, just getting ready to wrap up your degree program, and the idea of a career wardrobe isn’t really going to work moneywise? Not to worry as you can thrift your way to a professional-looking career wardrobe that costs next to nothing using these tips.
First Consider What’s Appropriate
Before you even start thrifting, it’s important to be aware of what’s considered appropriate clothing in the workplace. Each field/industry is going to be a bit different and have its own expectations.
Perhaps you are a student enrolled in a masters in social work online and you’re close to finishing up. Maybe you picked the MSW online programs because you want to be able to make a difference in peoples’ lives, you want a career that offers the opportunity for advancement, or perhaps you like the idea of being part of the healthcare industry. Regardless of the reason, it’s important you be aware of what is considered professional attire on the job.
Take a Look at What You Already Have
Next, you will want to take a look in your closet at what you’ve already got. The idea is to fill in the gaps with thrifting, rather than build an entirely new wardrobe. You may even find it helpful to make a list of the items you have on-hand and the color of each. You can then take this list with you when you’re thrifting.
Stick to the Basics
It’s easy to get distracted by all the items you’ll find when you’re thrifting, which is why you need to stick to the basics. Basics mean simple mix-and-match pieces in neutral colors. By sticking to a neutral color palette, you’ll be able to make all kinds of outfits out of just a few key pieces.
Your basics should include such things as trousers, a blazer, a skirt, blouses, and a couple of pairs of work-appropriate shoes.
There is nothing wrong with picking up a few items in a bold color or print, as long as it matches with a basic neutral. For example, picking up a brightly colored blouse to go with the basic black trousers makes sense.
Pick the Right Location
Another tip has to do with the actual location of the thrift shop. If you want career-appropriate work wear, then shopping in an affluent area can give you more value for your money. You’re more likely to find the designer brands in these areas.
You Now Look the Part
By taking the time to browse through the thrift shops you’ll soon be looking the part of career professional without having to spend a fortune.