Shopping Business Casual on a Budget

Most people have heard the term “business casual” as it concerns work-dress codes. Generally, the term refers to clothing which allows you to work comfortably, but still project a professional image. For many new employees, the words business casual are cringe-inducing. Indeed, the thought of spending hundreds of dollars to meet wardrobe requirements can kill any joy being felt from landing a new job. However, there are several ways to shop for the proper clothing without going broke in the process.

Thrift Stores and Online Shopping

There are high-quality, second-hand clothing available now more than ever. The popularity of thrift-store chains like Goodwill have made it easy for people to unload clothing they no longer use and buy lightly worn clothing, all in one place. There are all sorts of reasons for people to get rid of clothing that still has life to it.

For some people, gains or losses in weight result in wardrobe overhauls. Thrift stores make it easy to clear closet space and sell old clothing, leaving consumers like you with the opportunity to buy these clothes at a fraction of the original price.

Similarly, online auction sites, like eBay or, make it easy to buy previously worn clothing. Clothes are available in slightly used condition—not to mention greatly discounted—unlike those brand new, mass-produced garments from department stores. In addition, online retailers often set up their own shops. It's very likely you can find multiple items from one seller and save on shipping to further cut your clothing costs.

Use Discount Chains

Many consumers are simply not comfortable wearing previously worn clothing. New clothing is expensive, and in an emergency, cash from sites like can come in handy. Buying new clothes however does not have to mean buying expensive. Discount chains are in cities all across the country and offer great deals on brand new clothing. These chains can afford to see clothes for cheap as they typically cut deals with large manufacturers on clothes that are out of style or being pushed aside for a new line.

Be on the lookout for any obvious clothes defects that could prove problematic before making a purchase.

Buy Clothing in Individual Pieces

Purchasing the pieces of an outfit is cheaper than buying all pieces together. Instead of buying an entire suit or matching outfit, try buying pieces you can mix and match. To meet this goal, stay consistent in the colors of your clothing. For instance, sticking to dark colors like black, dark blue, or brown, will help result in a wardrobe where you can build different shirt-pants combinations that look great. Try to envision the different ensembles you could do with your existing wardrobe before purchasing those new pants or tops.

No matter how fancy your clothes are or how good they look on you, if you do not accessorize your garb with confidence, it will go from yay to nay. So stand tall, strut your stuff, and rock that business outfit!


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