Work Wardrobe Shopping on a Budget | Seersucker Sass

Monday, January 23, 2017

Work Wardrobe Shopping on a Budget

Happy Monday, y'all!  Here's to hoping that this is the week that I actually get more than one post up on the blog.  Work was absolutely crazy last week in the best possible way.  It was one of those weeks where I was completely exhausted in the best possible way, and I truly felt like I was right where I was meant to be in my career.

While we're on the topic of work, I've really been honing in on my professional style this year. When I started my first internship, I wore pretty much all J.Crew Factory because it's what I wore in college, and my style definitely erred on the casual side of the business casual dress code. With my first job, I legitimately never knew what I would be doing that day (not complaining - that's what I loved about it!), so I went with a lot of comfy pieces like pixie pants, cotton dresses, and flat shoes. When I started the job that I currently have, I took notes when it came to what the other women were wearing - more slacks than dresses, heels, full faces of makeup - and basically tried to emulate that. But it wasn't exactly me.

Last year was truly about coming into my own, and my style started to reflect that. In 2017, I've focused on my professional appearance and what works for me. It's so important to realize that you don't have to dress like the other women in the room. With that being said, today I'm excited to share with y'all how I've built my professional wardrobe on a budget, basic staples to start with, and where I do most of my shopping.


When I buy tops, I typically gravitate toward long sleeve silk tops or sleeveless shells. Since I typically wear black and navy pants and skirts, I keep those colors in mind when shopping. (I tend to gravitate toward black, but I also buy emerald greens and blush pinks.)

Places I shop: Nordstrom, J.Crew Factory, Ann Taylor (soo many great sales!), and LOFT (also a lot of sales!)


My theory when it comes to buying bottoms is to find something that works well for you, makes you feel confident, can be paired with quite a few pieces, and then buy it in every color when it goes on sale.  For me, that's the J. Crew Factory Lexie pant (perfect for petite girls with short legs and wider hips).  I also really love pairing the Gigi pant with a longer silk blouse.

Places I shop: J.Crew Factory, LOFT, Ann Taylor, GAP


One of the first things to buy when investing in a professional wardrobe is a blazer. Depending on the colors you wear most, pick up a black or navy blazer to start with. It can make even the most basic outfit look a little more professional and polished. I also really love cardigans because they can make certain pieces more wearable year round. I wear a lot of jewel toned sleeveless tops in the warmer months, and a cardigan can make it wearable in the colder months, as well.

Places I shop:  J.Crew Factory, H&M


I love dresses, because they're easy and require very little effort to look put together. Oversleep? Throw on a dress. No idea what to wear? Throw on a little black dress.  Lazy and don't want to think about what you're going to wear?  Wear a dress. I used to wear lots of colorful dresses, but I've started to go with more subdued colors and patterns.

Places I shop:  Nordstrom, Ralph Lauren, Lilly Pulitzer, LOFT, GAP


I wear heels or heeled booties to work almost every day. I typically go for heels that are closed toe and not sky high, and I also invest more in shoes than in clothing. When starting to build a "shoe collection" for work, I would start with nude, then black, then at least one more color that goes well with your wardrobe. (For example, I have a pair of oxblood heels because they go well with black, navy, and jewel tones.) If heels aren't your thing, invest in some comfortable flats or a cute pair of mules! (I've linked some in the slider below... thinking about snagging a pair of the mules for myself!)

Places I shop: Nordstrom. I really only buy my shoes from Nordstrom because of their unreal selection, free shipping, and free returns.


Accessories were really helpful to me when building my professional wardrobe because I could wear an outfit one way, change the accessories and pull my hair back, and wear it again the following week with a totally different look.  You don't have to spend much on accessories - I buy my pearl studs from Target and I have found some of the best accessories in my jewelry box at Charming Charlie!

Places I shop:  J. Crew Factory, Alex & Ani,  Charming Charlie, Kendra Scott,  Target (best prices on a sheet of faux pearl studs!)


A work bag isn't something that seems important until you don't have one. Every day I lug a laptop into the office, and I also tend to have a yellow pad, about 12 pens, a charger, and some papers that I've brought home with me to look over or edit. If there's one thing on this post that you're going to splurge on, I would recommend it be the work bag. (PS - This also makes a great graduation gift!) Depending on your budget, I would recommend vegan leather, nylon, or leather. I've carried bags on all ends of the spectrum, and the only things that matter are that it's durable and that you like it.

Places I shop: Nordstrom, Longchamp

Shew, that was a long post! I hope that you found it beneficial! If you have any questions about building a work wardrobe or want some assistance with building yours, shoot me an email! I want to hear from y'all - What are your wardrobe staples?

Happy Monday!


  1. This is AMAZING! I love these, seriously! My first job I really had to stock up on my professional basics. Right now I don't have a job that requires this nice of clothing, but I always keep them in the back of my closet for important events & interviews!
    Ashley |

  2. Love this post! I'm about to transition jobs, and know I need a more serious wardrobe. Thanks for sharing!
    Piper Ellice @

  3. These are my favorites for a business wardrobe!

  4. Great selection! Also love your tips and tricks for saving:)

    xoxo, Hannah

  5. yessss a good blazer is so key! you can find so many in cool trends that are more unique. I love what you said about investing more in shoes than clothes... def need to start doing that! x

  6. Love this! I've lucked out in that most of the offices I worked air more on the casual side than business casual - so oftentimes majority of my wardrobe works for both work & play. But, I definitely do have my "work only" pieces - and usually bring them out for interviews, presentations and events!

    xo, Maddy

  7. Everything you picked was super cute! I can't wait til it's warm enough out for me to wear dresses to my internship haha!

  8. SO happy you shared this post! I never know what to wear to work, and have yet to accept spending money on work clothes.
    Thankfully I work in a super creative office, so I don't have too many restrictions on what to wear.

    Pinned this post to shop later!

    x, Jamie

  9. You have a great selection here! I agree that dresses are the easiest thing ever to throw on for work!

    Greta |

  10. This is such a helpful post! As I get closer to being an upperclassman, I know I'm going to have to stock up on professional workwear essentials.

  11. I just spent way too much at LOFT! They have such great sales!

  12. There are so many great places to shop to work wear on a budget!


  13. Love these great pieces!! Easy to mix and match :)

  14. Such a great post with some amazing options!! Love that you can mix and match easily!

  15. Such a great post! I definitely need to revamp my work wardrobe, especially a work bag.

  16. Such a great roundup! I always struggle with what to wear to work!

    Jenna from

  17. i have that reversible bag already and just love it! great round up!


  18. This is such a great post!!! So helpful!

  19. So many great picks- off to a great start!

  20. Love all of your picks! I have been having fun putting some business casual outfits for my new internship and school presentations lately!
    Amy | Pastel N Pink

  21. I'm surprised we don't have the same closet because you linked half of my wardrobe and I shop at the same places! Ha such a great list, obviously I already like it!

  22. I have yet to have an adult job where I could really wear my won clothes. At Disney I was given a costume and on sets I'm given costumes most of the times. It's fun for me to look at work clothes.

  23. Such great options! It's definitely more difficult than I thought shopping for work clothes!