Shop These 6 Online Retailers To Build Your Professional Wardrobe On A Budget

Dressing the part in the business world can be a challenge and unless you're super crafty and sew your own clothes, buying a professional wardrobe can be incredibly costly. Personally, I'm a shopaholic in recovery. I love me a good shopping trip and usually feel guilty afterward but justify how much I spent by claiming I need it for work! However, I RARELY purchase any of my work clothes at full price. I always use a coupon or wait until stuff is on sale and if for some reason I do buy something at full price its because I didn't have my shit together and waited until the last minute to get it for an event. Previously, my go-to online retailer for ALL things work (and some play) was The Limited. Let's now have a moment of silence for The Limited.... ok, RIP The Limited. Sadly, they closed their doors and while they have attempted to launch an online-only business, it's just not the same. (Amarite fellow Limited fans?) Unfortunately, working in the professional realm doesn't allow for yoga pants and comfy t-shirts. Which is sad because I am a sucker for good 'ole comfy tee! (If you're in the market for one, check out woman-owned, Charlie Southern. They make the BEST weekender tees. You won't regret it! ) Ok, back to the point of this blog post: I'm sure you have heard the term "dress for the job you want, not the job you have." This is absolutely true, but you don't have to break the bank doing it. In fact, I've created a list of websites that offer fabulous business casual attire to help you build your professional wardrobe on a budget. And P.S. this blog post isn't an ad for any of the mentioned retailers, but if any of them want to hit me up for a partnership, holla back at me girl! I'm not sure about you, but when I find a pair of dress pants I like, I buy them... in all colors they have available. Give me ALL the pants! That's how I feel about the Julie Fit pants at Loft. Not only do they have a higher rise (bye bye muffin top!) but they usually fit a little larger than your normal size and you can size down, which is an added bonus. They typically come in a variety of colors so you will be set year round. Loft has added a maternity line, which is fantastic because those of you who have worked in an office through a pregnancy understand that the struggle is real when it comes to finding cute, professional maternity clothes. If you don't mind getting lots of emails from them, join their mailing list and be the first to know about special offers and sales. They offer 40% sales often, so no need to buy anything at full price! Treat yo self! Hang with me here... at first glance, you may argue that this site only works for young gals about to hit up a music festival or sorority function. However, Lulus has a fantastic selection of office-worthy attire and the prices are reasonable. Check out their adorable blazers, blouses, dress pants and shoe selection and while you're at it, click the "heart" in the upper right-hand corner of each item and save them to your "Lulu-Loves" so you can refer back to them later. Trust me, they have a huge inventory and after scavenging their site you will be glad you saved your favorites! Be sure to read the reviews for advice on selecting the right size. I tend to size up on everything from this site. Boo. Over the past couple of years, I have found myself buying more and more work clothes from Express. Their marketing tends to trend toward a younger crowd, but who says when you have to dress like an old lady when you are in the professional world? Their suiting is fabulous and stretchy, which is a must for me. They also have a "WORK" tab on their website to direct you toward their more professional pieces. Some of my favorite work outfits came from Express and while they are office appropriate they have an edgy look to them, which I love. Like, Express has 40% off sales often, so don't ever buy anything at full price! You can also sign up for Express rewards and start gaining points by downloading their app, following them on social media and creating an account. It's all free and points add up to savings later on! Use their sales to stock up on staple pieces like pants, skirts, button-ups, and blazers. I found Dorothy Perkins via Pinterest one day and I have been hooked ever since. I'm a sucker for shift dresses and they offer a wide variety of styles, colors, patterns, and sizes for every body type. Their site allows you to filter your searches, which is handy because you can spend all day looking at their inventory! Follow them on Instagram and Pinterest for style inspiration! They too offer super cute maternity styles at reasonable prices. Be prepared for longer shipping times but it will be well worth the wait!
Best blazer ever from H&M! One of my absolute favorite blazers came from H&M. It's a white, 3 quarter-length sleeve and it's off-white and I love it. It also came from the H&M in New York, so it makes me feel fancier than normal when I wear it. My best pal and fellow girl banker, Erica Preston, gets all kinds of anxiety when we go into an H&M because the store in general, doesn't exactly scream 30-40 something working mom. However, don't be fooled! They have great pieces for the office and by shopping online, you can refine your search and go straight to the good stuff. Right before Thanksgiving, they have a pre-Black Friday sale and I scored my favorite, high waisted black trousers for only $10! I'm now sad that I didn't buy at least 4 pairs. You win some, you lose some. If you are an avid Instagrammer that follows several fashion bloggers, you will notice that most of them utilize the LikeToKnow.It feature that emails you a handy link to the outfit they are wearing after double tapping their Instagram post. More often than not, those links take you straight to fabulous pieces that can be found at Nordstrom. While Nordstrom is definitely not going to be the most economical online site to put together your professional wardrobe, it is a great site to shop high-quality staple pieces. And, just like the rest of these sites I have listed, they have sales! So build a wishlist and check it often. Thank God for Banana Republic! With store-front retail losing steam on a daily basis, it's nice to know that this business casual staple is still around and online! They also have a Factory Outlet store and while it's hit and miss, sometimes you can get lucky and hit the jackpot with a 70% store-wide sale! I have been a fan of their pants and skirts since the beginning of my banking career and am thankful that regardless of what piece I purchase, the sizing is consistent. I have had an off and on again relationship with Banana Republic over the years, but appreciate their persistence in staying relevant and for that, they made this list! Well done, Banana! OMG where did you get those shoes? Don't forget about the shoes! I'm a shoe whore, no doubt, but not a shoe snob. While I am a fan of Vince Camuto, I'm just as big of a fan of Mix 26, a super economical brand you can find at DSW. (Just size up, they run small). Sometimes, I like to think that my online DSW purchases had something to do with them putting a store in Rogers, AR. I know that's impossible, but hey, I buy a lot of shoes there. The best thing about DSW is their sales and deals and not to mention their membership rewards. Nothing says "BUY MORE SHOES" like a $10 coupon. Besides, you NEED them right? Other quick tips for creating your wardrobe: Shop local! In my neck of the woods of Northwest Arkansas, there are a plethora of super cute, woman-owned boutiques like Fayetteville, AR-based RiffRaff, Impressions and Rustic Mule. All of which offer office-friendly clothes with a trendy flair. All three are online and have active social media accounts. Be sure to watch the Try It On Tuesday Instagram Story that RiffRaff puts out each week! Pinterest! If you aren't looking at style ideas on Pinterest you are really doing yourself a disservice. I have a Working Girl Style board on both my personal and Girl Banker Pinterest Profiles. Feel free to hop over and scroll through and start your own boards. Pinterest is also a great place to find unique pieces that you otherwise wouldn't find. Happy searching!
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  1. Thanks for the great ideas! I love Loft and I love that they almost always have sales going on. Lulus really does have some great options too.

    I’ve never heard of Dorothy Perkins, so definitely excited to try that one out!

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