New Job and Needing New Clothes!

Updated on October 22, 2011
S.S. asks from Albion, NE
13 answers

Hello! I have been a stay-at-home-mom for 6 1/2 years and just found out I got the job I recently applied for (YAY!). But, I spend most of my mommy days in tees, sweaters, and blue jeans... And, I need nice, dressy clothes for this job. Can anyone tell me where to find quality clothes at an affordable price? Also, what do I need for clothes??? How many slacks, skirts, blouses should I have? Any idea where I can find nice and comfortable dress shoes (I prefer a heel, even small, since I'm short)?

Any and all help is appreciated. I'm so excited to start this new job and want to look as professional as I can. Thank you SO much!

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answers from Honolulu on

Get classic clothing. Nice shirt and skirt combos that mix and match well. I like pay less for shoes but that is me.

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answers from Chicago on

That is so awesome! Congrats!

I used to have very good luck finding office attire at Marshall's, TJ Maxx, New York & Company, JC Penney's, Kohl's & even Macy's. Kohl's, Penney's and Macy's send out tons of coupons and have a lot of sales, so that would help.

For shoes, I'd check Famous Footwear, Shoe Carnival, Nordstrom Rack or DSW (the dept stores would also have a good selection.)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Omaha on

To be perfectly honest, check out Goodwill. I have found items from Talbots, Land's End, Ann Taylor, Ralph Lauren, etc. for under $5 each. I can walk out of the place with several pairs of pants and tops for under $30. I also shop at Kohls ,Marshalls and TJ Maxx has some cute business casual clothing as well for a good price.
I do agree you get what you pay for, so if you are able to spend some money on a few basic pieces then places like Talbots, Coldwater Creek and Ann Taylor have nice clothing that lasts for a long time. I found the most comfortable, nice looking pants at Talbots about 13 years ago and I would still wear them if they fit! I prefer them over jeans. Over time, I bought the same pair of pants in khaki, black, navy and gray. I bought a couple of white blouses, a few sweaters or blazers and accessorized with scarves or jewelry.
I have plantar fascitis (sp?), so I have to find shoes with lots of support and comfort. The best places for me have been Payless, DSW, and Walmart's Earth Spirit line. is also a great place for name brand shoes for reasonable prices. Lots of cute stuff there.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

You can sometimes find good office type clothes at Goodwill. I don't know if it's only local or not but we have an organization called Dress for Success who provide clothes without charge to women entering the work world after being out for awhile. My daughter accessed this twice and was very pleased.

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answers from Chattanooga on

Kohls is my favorite... they are fairly cheap too. I would try to get 2 pairs slacks, 1 skirt, and 4-5 nice blouses to start. (assuming you will be working 5 days a week...) You can mix and match the outfits a bit, and maybe treat yourself to a new outfit every payday until you feel your professional wardrobe is adequate. :)


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Redding on

Congratulations on your job!
You'll do great!

I find I get the most out of things that I can mix and match.
If you have a few good pairs of slacks and a couple of skirts, you can have several different tops to match around with them.
I have one favorite pair of trousers, but I can wear them with absolutely anything else. Any color, whether it's warm or cold weather. I just change the shoes and what I'm wearing on top.
I've been a single mom for many years and you would be surprised at some of the great things I've bought at second hand or consignment shops. I have a darling outfit that I literally paid 50 cents for on "25 cent Friday" at a thrift store. I found a dress and a jacket that weren't meant to be paired, but they look perfect together. And, I can wear the little jacket with other skirts or pants. I just tend to try to find things that I can wear with other things I have and that way you don't feel like you're wearing the same thing all the time.
Just get the basics to start out with and if you can afford it, add a new blouse or skirt every other week or so.
If you know your size, you can also find amazing deals on home shopping channels. I got the cutest navy blazer that I can wear with dresses or pants. It was on clearance AND I got to pay in 3 installments. Shipping and handling was free. I get so many compliments on it. Some catalogs also have amazing deals and really nice things.

As for shoes....not sure what you will be doing, but make sure you get something comfortable if you'll be on your feet all day. I have a "desk job", but I don't sit still long enough to know what that really means. Good, comfortable shoes with arch support, etc are more important to me than just about anything.

Just my opinion and best wishes.

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answers from New York on

You'll need 3 pants or skirts. Make sure you have a pair of black pants. Stick with classic styles in basic dark colors (black, brown, blue, gray).

Then you'll need to choose 5 tops to go with them. Take a good look at your current wardrobe before you go shopping. You may find you have a nice tank or dressy tee that you can wear under a blazer, or you might have a sweater that can be dressed up with some jewelry.

I have a freind who was in the same situation as you last year (works 4 days), and only had $40. In her wardrobe was a pair of casual kahki pants, dressy black pants, and a nice casual blouse. She found dressy blue pants for $19 at JC Penney, we went to Good Will and she bought a nice blouse for $5 that would match all 3 bottoms, and a sweater for $3. She found a pair of shoes on clearance for $10. She made it work for the first 2 weeks, then after that she was able to take part of her first paycheck and purchase a few more quality items.

As to where to shop, Kohl's usually has nice business cloths. They tend to be expensive, but they have great sales and be sure to check the clearance racks.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

The cheapest place I have found for work clothes especially suits it Ross.
I hope you have one in your area.

Macy's sale rack. Sale rack only.

Cheap, on sale, good quality, can use coupons if you have a credit card.
If not, you can open one but YOU PAY IT OFF EACH MONTH!

You can buy inexpensive shoes at Payless Shoe Source but walk around the store at great length to ensure they do not hurt your feet.

For boots, you can go to Goodwill. I don't mind buying boots there
because you wear socks w/them.

2 inexpensive suits
- OR -
1 pr black pants
1 pr beige or brown pants
1 pr grey pants

2 blazers: back & khaki

White tee
Navy tee
Black tee

2-4 blouses (neutral or print)

1 dress or skirt in a nuetral color you can pair w/a blazer

1 bangle (gold or silver)
2 long necklaces (1 gold, 1 silver. Target is cheapsest)
2 paris of earrings (1 gold tone, 1 silver)

2 pairs of heels or flats: black and beige
1 pair black boots (these you can buy at thrift stores because you wear

Optional: 2 chain belts if needed (1 gold, 1 silver)
Done! Enjoy & good luck at your new job.
This is a great start. You can add pieces later.

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answers from New York on

Start with a few staples. Choose the store you loike best for work clothes (mine would be Ann Taylor). Get 1 pair of black pants, one pair of brown, and one grey. Then get 3 work shirts (colors are in so don't get stuck on whites and blacks only). Get two pairs of pumps (black and brown),same with a purse. As time goes buy, buy a thing here and a thing there.
You will need two work jackets too. Black goes with grey pants so you don't need a gray jacket. I hate suits, so IU never buy jackets. i buy ann taylor cardigans. Wear those even in most conservative setting as well. Make sure your hair is good (color and cut). And yay for your new job. Must be so exciting.


answers from New York on

I was in the same situation years ago and I hit the consignment stores to most of my clothing. The only thing bought new were shoes.



answers from Phoenix on

Love love love The Limited! And lately they have 40% off your total purchase quite often.


answers from Los Angeles on

I actually just went through this, lol.
I found the most clothes at Burlington Coat Factory and the best shoes at Ross. I got slacks at Burlington for 14 bucks, and tops from 4.99-19.99. Shoes at Ross were from 11.99-14.99. I also like Burlingtons Jewelry department. I got some awesome necklace/earring combo's for 7.99 each.
I got three slacks and 6 tops, 1 jacket, 2 shrugs, 2 pairs of shoes, and 2 necklaces for 150-175 (sorry I can't remember the exact price). The trick with Burlington was I got a coupon for 20% off AFTER my first visit. So I used that one on my next, and they gave me another one. But, you have to sign up through email. So I did one on mine and my boyfriend did one on his. So having those coupons helped.
Having things like jackets, lightweight (nice) sweaters and shrugs can be comined with other pieces for a new look. So even though I had 6 tops I could wear all six of those with my 3/4 sleeve jacket, or with shurgs, or with sweaters, etc. I just had to make sure they would all combine well. So when I shopped I took everything home and tried everything on together, mixing and matching the whole way. So, since I could create different looks that way, I bought whatever I could afford, and picked up more pieces with every paycheck. This also may sound dorky but I took pictures in each outfit. Someone told me a long time ago that mirrors can trick you, but pictures don't lie.
Congrats on the new job!!!! =)


answers from Dallas on

I like White House Black Market. Anthropologie, to name a couple.

I suggest a personal shopper. I have a shopper who knows what I like, knows what looks great on me and calls me when she gets something in.

I agree to purchase quality classic pieces then you are not purchasing over and over due to lessor quality, etc.

I like DSW for shoes.


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