Need work clothing advice???

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  1. I have not worked in an office for almost three years and my weight has changed so all my old clothes do not fit and my other jobs didn't require office attire. I will be starting a job working in a call center and I need appropriate clothes but I feel really overwhelmed because I am on a budget and not sure what to get? I love to shop and usually have no problems but when it comes to piecing work outfits, I have never been good at that :-/ My budget to start is $700.00 figure from there I can buy stuff out of my checks to get what else I may need.
     
  2. I'd start with NY&Co... They have a lot of really nice work clothes AND right now their pants are buy one get one free!
     
  3. I'm assuming that a lot of your tops could probably be ok if worn under a blazer or cardigan to work (I know I was amazed by how many of mine where when I worked at a courthouse last summer)

    to start I'd get:
    2 pencil skirts- black and grey (or maybe cream/taupe depending on the colors you like) (lets say this will costs $100)
    3-4- cardigans (can probably be done for $150)
    a few button downs (lets say $200)
    and two pairs of pants- black and one other color ($200)
    and 1 blazer ($150??)

    that comes to 800- but my numbers were complete estimates, you could prob do it for cheaper.

    for your budget I'd rec. ann taylor loft, ny and co (though I hate their pants, i think they run enormous and fit reallly poorly, but their button downs aren't terrible, no idea on skirts,) banana republic sale rack, H&M, and old navy and gap actually because they have decent cardigans and basic tops.
     
  4. I'd check Express also.

    Their button up shirts are on sale for $29.50 and are great quality, IMO.
    Editor stretch slacks are buy one get one 50% off (and they run like $60/pr)

    Plus online all clearance stuff is an extra 40% off. They have some cute sweaters for around $10 and some cropped slacks for around $15.

    :smile:
     

  5. ^ ditto to the above. Banana Republic and Loft are my favorite places for inexpensive work basics. Sign up for their mailing lists on their websites for coupons to cut down the costs even more!

    I think you only really need 2 pencil skirts and two pairs of pants. If the dress is business casual then you should be able to get away with wearing the blouses and cardigans that you already own with the new skirts and pants.
     
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  7. Anthropologie has great work items and the sale racks there usually have nice stuff for less money. Nordstrom also has nice items for a budget. I'd go for:

    2 pants
    2 skirts
    1 dress (sleeves, no cleavage)
    2 button downs
    2 cardigans
    1 blazer

    Go with neutrals and get a few bright-colored accessories (or tshirts) to spice it up.

    Good luck!
     
  8. Thank you everyone for your suggestions, this is really going to help a lot :smile:
     
  9. Is there a Loehmann's nearby? They have a lot of Theory items at a great discount.
     
  10. I would look at Ann Taylor only because you can get their pants in regular, petite or tall. I believe this is now true for Express Editors.

    For button downs or cardi's- Express, j Crew, Banana, Polo Ralph Lauren*

    *If you have an outlet center near you- check it out. They had some really nice ones (sweaters and button downs) at Polo last weekend.

    Something else to consider is a nice shirt-dress if your office is business casual. ie. @ Ann Taylor

    Theory is a good brand to look at for suiting pieces, provided they are on sale. ITA with mielikki55 that Loehmann's is great. They also carry Tahari suits at good discount. You can find coupons for the store too. If you have a larger Macy's you can find good deals on office attire. I would check out Nordstrom Rack if you have one as they usually stock lots of blouses and pants.

    Definitely take the time to try things on...as my sis looks fabulous in a pencil skirt and I look like a mushroom. A-lines are more wearable for me.
     
  11. Theory's Max C pants in wool (navy) are available at Loehmann's for $79.99. I think Max C pants are a work staple. If you are interested, I will PM the SKU to you. You can call any Loehmann's and they can check (all Loehmann's stores) to see if they have your size and do a charge send. If your Gold/Diamond insider member, you get an additional 10% off and free shipping.
     
  12. did you get a feel for how the other people in the office dress? If it's a call center and they don't have face-to-face customer contact, maybe it's a more business casual environment. You might want to just do a bit of shopping before starting work and get a feel for what you really want to wear.
     
  13. Yes, I did get a feel for it but the walk through in the call center was quick so it's hard to remember what they were wearing but they were in dress pants, dress shirts, sweaters so it's business casual :smile: that is good :smile:
     
  14. I definitely agree with Express! I love their pants because they always look flattering :smile: And a few months ago, I needed a collared, button-up shirt last minute...I ended up getting a nice one on clearance for under $15!
     
  15. I think you can get a lot for $700 if you don't start out with name brands like Theory or Vince - both of which I love, but would buy later on, unless of course you find at a great discount! I would definitely start with basic stuff from Express or Ann Taylor Loft, etc.
    When I went back to office work after being out of it for several years, that is what I did also :yes: