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Dress for Success (for Less)

An image of a man sitting in a suit

Key Points

  • Your interview outfit should reflect what message you want to send to your potential employer (ie. confidence, resposibility, etc.). 
  • Don't go over the top with your interview outfit: buy at discount stores, repurpose/mend old clothing, and buy long-lasting classic items.
  • Always make sure you look clean and presentable for your job interview.

Dress for Success (for Less)

Those first impressions at a job interview or other professional activity are priceless; however, "dressing for success" can often be a costly endeavor. Watch the following video for some things to keep in mind as you create your professional wardrobe on a budget:

University Career Services Dress for Success video

Putting Together an Inexpensive Interview Outfit

  • Thrift stores.  You can get ideas for your own outfits from the many bloggers who are re-fashioning and recycling great thrifting deals.
  • Use what you have.  Repurpose that old scarf, make new combinations, and try new things with the clothes you already have.
  • Don't fall for fleeting trends.  Classic wardrobe pieces will last you a lot longer than the hottest thing in the season's fashion.  Some trends can also appear frivolous to employers.
  • Discount retailers.  You don't have to go to high-end stores to find suitable clothing.  Look for sales, search the clearance racks, and shop at the end of seasons for better deals.
  • Online shopping.  You can find some surprisingly good deals online, and some stores have discounts and sales available only to their online customers.
  • Use the "rule of three."  According to the Reader's Digest, if you can't think of three things to wear it with and three places where you would wear it, don't buy it!
  • Mend your own clothes.  Missing buttons and frayed hems don't give the best impression to employers.  Learn to mend it yourself, and you'll extend the article's life exponentially.

Personal Care/ Grooming

Make sure you arrive at the job interview looking put-together and clean. For example: Shower beforehand and make sure to wear wrinkle-free, freshly laundered clothing. Men: show up clean-shaven. Women: show up with dry hair. Visit this page for quick, simple tips on how to improve your appearance for your important job interviews.

Make sure to budget for all of your necessary grooming products every month. Click here to find out how to save on essential personal care and hygiene products.

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