How to Dress Professionally on a Budget

So you’ve realized that your working wardrobe is getting a bit pricy relative to your budget. You happen to be in luck, because it’s very possible to purchase clothes at a discount, that still make you look like a million bucks. Here’s how:

No Need to Buy Designer…Yet

Again, many of us may think that once we get that great new job, that our life is set. Then when reality sets in they realize that they need to save. So before you start buying designer, put some money in your pockets.

Shop Accurately

Plan out ahead what you are going to buy. If you go through your wardrobe and realize you have only been wearing one suit the past year, it might be time for another 1 or 2, maximum. However, if you find you have 5 suits, you should not even be considering buying more. Many people hit up the mall, and plan to buy everything they like. This is a huge mistake (impulse buying) and one that will cost you a lot in the long run.

Don’t Be Wasteful

Once you get rich ($2mm+) then feel free to wear a shirt once and then throw it out, but before that point; are you absolutely crazy? Do not think for once second because you are “making a lot of money” that you can spend like crazy, as this is simply stupid and should be avoided at all costs.

Shop online

E-commerce in the consumer sector is in high growth for a reason, online producers have lower costs (no need for a brook and mortar store front) so they can pass those cost savings onto customers. This means potentially better items for you at lower costs! Many of these companies are smaller so you’ll need to do your research, but it is certainly worth the time. Additionally, because these retailers are not as mainstream, you will be buying clothing that is more unique, and you’re less likely to see others wearing your clothes, which is cool.

Dry clean/wash accordingly

There is no need to dry-clean your clothes after each wear. In fact, many clothes will become ruined faster if you dry clean or wash them too often. This will save you hundreds of dollars per year, which you can in turn invest. Now, I know there are some of you that think this sounds disgusting, so go ahead and wash every week (by the way I’m talking professional clothing here, please wash your underwear each time), but don’t come back to this post when your bank account hits zero!

Get Some Accessories

If you buy a few watches, from online retailers, and several unique bow ties, along with some nice pocket squares, it will allow you to wear the same suit, without looking like a cheapskate. And your wallet will look great too!

Where to Shop

Great, the moment that we have all been waiting for: where specifically do we buy these discount brands, look no further than:

  • Amazon – Amazon? Yup, you can buy just about anything on Amazon these days and you can buy at a discount (online is always better) so definitely make this your first point of sale if you don’t mind not trying on your clothes before hand.

For an example check out this affordably unique Kenneth Cole suit:
Kenneth Cole REACTION Men’s Black Solid Suit Separate Jacket, Black, 36 Regular

  • Zara – Zara is the best brand to find quality items at reasonable prices. Note that the clothing here will not be too cheap, but they wont match the prices at Ralph Lauren, so we are good to go. The interesting thing about Zara is they offer particular packaged items that fit nicely together. For example, they will display a tie suit, shirt and maybe even an umbrella that go together well.
  • H&M – similar to Zara and and on the cheaper side. They offer less professional items, but should be the go to for all your comfortable clothing items. You can buy a V-Neck here for $7, enough said!


  • Macys – Macy’s, although they have lost some of their brand over the years, is still a great place to find quality clothing at decent prices. What I like about Macy’s in particular is that they offer all the designer brands, but often have specials where you can buy items at a huge discount.
  • Online retailers – as mentioned previously, online retailers are a great place to find massive discounts on quality brands – you’ll see this by looing at Amazon for five minutes, but here I am referring to some of the more niche websites. Check out Everlane for a good start!


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