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Welcome to the suite life- office suite, that is.
Maybe you’ve already been here for awhile and are sitting pretty at an executive position. Maybe you just graduated from college and are fresh to the office world. And maybe you’re still in school and interning somewhere swanky with a great window view. No matter where you are, you know certain things are for sure. You’re here to make a difference, work hard and get fantastic results, and alongside working well with others, you know to dress well too.
There’s an unfortunate notion that in order to dress for work, you need to spend hundreds upon hundreds of dollars in order to do so. Depending on where you go and what you buy, you could wind up spending close to $500 on just four or five items (especially if you hit the shoe department). Shopping is also viewed as an extremely time-consuming experience. You could spend the entire afternoon trying on different outfits and then be caught in between two pairs of pants and completely at a loss of which one to buy. The indecisiveness of the entire situation could cause you to either not buy anything and leave quickly or it could result in you impulsively purchasing more than you thought you would- or had the money for.
Before you decide to shop whether it’s in store, window browsing, or online, do your research. Visit various online retailers to see what kinds of in-store discounts or online sales they might be offering. Many sites give you 10% off just for signing up with their newsletter so sign away! Pop open a separate browser before you hit the checkout station and look for even more coupon codes online (type in the store name and follow it up with ‘coupon code,’ it’s so simple). Be sure to look and see what kind of clothes are available in stores or just online only. Another important tip? Don’t discount the reviewers. Reviews left behind on websites offer great advice on how well the fit of a blazer is or whether or not you should size half a size up for shoes. Some even provide photo uploading capabilities where you can upload a photo of the shirt in question so readers know just how closely the color mentioned online measures up in real life.
Here are my top picks for necessary stores for essential office attire (in no particular order):
While you certainly can’t go wrong with Ann Taylor, a visit to the LOFT is in order for lighter, more contemporary looks that cost less and still look fashionable. The LOFT regularly holds sales online with additional 25-40% deals galore. If you’re just starting off interning, this store is the perfect place to begin. Here you’ll find comfort is key with many of the professional pieces easily translating from day to night wear.
A great example of a clothing store that has matured over the years and garnered the attention of major fashion designers to create pieces for their store (Go International, anyone?) Target offers something for everyone in affordable prices for all budgets. Sometimes you might have to dig deep in the racks to find treasures awaiting but the dig is always worth it- with outfits that cater to everyone from young professionals to maternity mamas.
A department store staple, Macys is fantastic about having a wide selection of office apparel available for both juniors, petite, tall, and women sizes. They also run a wide array of discounts and sales in all departments and feature reviews on site for readers to read through and judge whether or not the dress they’re looking at will flatter their figure. Bonus- Macys online store has a special button you can hit right before checkout that pulls up a list of discount promo codes that you may not know about that the store offers!
Banana Republic (The Gap)
So maybe coordinating together a professional ensemble isn’t your strongest suit. Maybe you aren’t sure what matches and looks good together. Banana Republic’s online website offers users the ability to look at outfits put together and see what works best for them and their body shape. All of the pieces are also made to last so if you feel nervous about spending $200 on one trench coat, order in the size you know will fit you for years to come and treat it with care- the very definition of an excellent investment purchase.
Sometimes a girl has to treat herself and going to Nordstrom is the very definition of a treat. Try looking around in your city to see if you have a Nordstrom Rack nearby though- these outlets offer looks from past seasons at unbelievable prices!