How to Dress for Success on a budget

Is what you wear getting in the way of your success?

Is what you wear getting in the way of your success?

Dressing for success does not always mean buying something new or wearing something with a designer label. In fact, some of the most successful outfits we have in our own wardrobes are made up of old favorites which we know make us look and feel our very best.

A good first impression, whether it’s in the workplace, on a date, meeting a group of new people or even hitting the gym for the first time, is all about the way that you wear your clothes. You could have the most expensive dress in the world, but if you don’t wear it well and channel success into every aspect of your image, you’ll fall flat.

This blog pulls together some of our top tips for those on a budget, recognizing that it’s not all in the amount of money you have – but rather in how you spend that money, and how you embrace what you already have lying around.

Don’t always look for something new

One of the major lessons that we teach as part of the i-image consultant course, is how to go through your existing wardrobe thoroughly in order to pick out and identify outfits which are suitable for different occasions and situations.

Far too often, women open their wardrobe and look only at what is immediately in their line of sight, before determining that they have “nothing to wear”. This is rarely the case and is why keeping a record of all the garments you own for different situations is such a good idea.

Imagine how smoothly your evening would run if you had a list taped to the inside of your wardrobe door, which outlined all the different options you have available for a first date. Take a spare afternoon when you have nothing else to do and commit to trying everything in your wardrobe on – throwing the bad things away and assigning the good pieces to certain situations when you might be able to wear them. Keep those lists and pull them out whenever you need some inspiration!

Consider the power of a great pair of shoes or a fabulous handbag

Accessories have the power to transform an outfit and take it from day to night in the blink of an eye. What this means is that on many occasions, you don’t even need to change your outfit – and you definitely don’t need to buy a new one. Instead, you simply need to change the way you are accessorizing that outfit.

If your budget is limited but you need to invest in a good bag or pair of shoes to help make this tip a reality, our recommendation is to keep it simple with either black or nude accessories – as they go with pretty much everything and will always remain timeless.

Look after your things

This is a blindingly obvious one, but we do feel it’s always worth reminding ourselves of the need to take care of our possessions. That includes taking note of the washing instructions on different garments, particularly blouses, dresses and jackets, and never washing whites with colored garments. Other tips for looking after different garments include investing in a protective shoe spray to keep the rain away from leather and suede, keeping an umbrella in your bag at all times to protect your clothes from a sudden downpour, and never eating tomato spaghetti sauce when wearing a white blouse.

Get creative

If you do decide to treat yourself to something new, think outside the box and consider ways of gaining new clothes without breaking the bank.

If you have a friend who’s the same size as you, consider swapping a few items so that you both end up with some new outfits!

Try out your local charity store or second-hand store for a bargain or two.

Shop for brand new items in the end-of-season sales, to prepare your wardrobe for next year.

Prioritize! Do you really need a new trouser suit for work this month, or can it wait? Be brutal with your desires, and learn to really prioritize that shopping list.

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Is what you wear getting in the way of your success?
Is what you wear getting in the way of your success?