How to Look Like a Serious Professional Without Breaking the Bank

Do you have a closet full of clothes but nothing to wear? Do you still hold onto the clothes you wore in college? Many of us have a tendency to keep clothes well after their expiration date. We think they will come back in style or fear we will blow our budget if we get rid of them. The truth is the trendy jacket you bought 15 years ago probably won’t come back in style and you can rebuild your wardrobe without breaking the bank. To achieve a professional wardrobe, you need a plan. Your professional image is part of your personal brand. You want to make sure it tells the right story. It is possible to look like a serious professional even if you’re on a serious budget. Follow the tips below to help enhance your professional appearance.

  1. Clean out your closet. Figure out which clothes fit you well, are in good shape and still in style. Get rid of the rest.

  2. Create a list on your smartphone of what’s missing from your wardrobe. Refer to this list when you shop to prevent repeat and impulse purchases.

  3. Invest in quality base pieces. For men, buy a quality suit or two, a sport coat, and a great fitting pair of jeans. For women, go for separates. Invest in a “wow” jacket, well fitting black pants, a terrific pair of jeans and statement handbag or tote.

  4. Purchase interesting shirt and tie combos to change the look or update a basic suit.

  5. Research store offers before shopping. Try: or

  6. Shop outlet stores. You can land some great bargains with a little bit of effort.

  7. Shop Kohl’s, Macy’s, Jos. A. Bank and Lord & Taylor when they have their big sales.

Creating a fabulous wardrobe takes effort, but you will reap big rewards! Take it one step at a time and I guarantee you will begin to look and feel your absolute best. When that happens, look out! The possibilities are endless. If you need help with the process just contact me at or fill out the contact form under the contact tab. I look forward to hearing from you!

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Margaret Batting - Professional Development Consultant, Executive Coach, Brand Strategist and Keynote Speaker, Servicing Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Beyond
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