How To Shop For An Interview on a Budget

IMG 9733 1024x682 How To Shop For An Interview on a BudgetEditor’s note: Brandhyze Stanley is a frugal expert, and knows how to find high quality clothes at the best prices you’ll see anywhere. Her guest post offers advice jobseekers whose money is too tight to mention. See her bio at the end of her post and highly recommend spending time at her perusing her frugal fashion advice.

FINALLY got the interview, but now don’t have a thing to wear?  That’s totally understandable when many jobseekers may be in between jobs and money has been tight.  But before you fret over your workforce gear…here are 5 tips to help you shop, save, and look great for that next interview.

  1. Buy a quality suit in a neutral color – Clothes can really affect the outcome of your interview, so be strategic in your choices.  Pick a classic neutral colored suit (think black, brown, navy, or dark grey) to get the most mileage out of your investment.  When you are building a wardrobe and are on a budget, I say it’s a good idea to cover your basics first.  So, ladies I wouldn’t go with that fuchsia option this trip; or guys I would leave that really busy suit there on the rack for the next adventurous soul. Instead, go with something a little more classic, and try places like Marshalls, TJMaxx, and Burlington Coat Factory for great name brands, at a fraction of the cost.
  1. Buy all components of suit – I say buy all matching coordinates of that staple suit, so you can mix them and match to get the most wears out of it. Ladies, that means if you purchase jacket, skirt, and slacks; one day you can wear the jacket, a nice blouse with a pop of color, and the slacks. And another day you can wear a sweater with belt around the waist and the pencil skirt.  Guys, for you that means you can wear the jacket and slacks one day with a subdued tie; and another day wear the vest with the slacks and a tie with a pop of color.
  1. Accessories make a suit go a long way – Accessories can completely change a look.  So, for women this may mean trying different statement necklaces, patterned tights, earrings, or scarves.  And men…I know you all feel
  2. courtesy of Frugal-nomics.comyou have less opportunities to express yourselves with accessories, but feeltotrydifferent patterned ties/ascots, a nice watch or a belt (just don’t get too crazy).I usually find some really great accessories on eBay…..while I may have to wait a little longer for them to be shipped, they usually are in great shape and come at an insanely low price.
  1. Invest in a great pair of shoes– Both ladies, and gents need to invest in a durable/quality pair of black and brown shoes (ladies, I’d even go so far as to recommend getting both colors in a pump and a flat for those long office hours).For deals on shoes, sign up for companies like 6pm.com and DSW’s mailing list and their social media pages for first dibs on coupons and promotions.  Also remember, if you wait til major holidays like Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day, President’s Day….you can score some extra savings.
  1. Try your local consignment/thrift shops – I personally feel thrift store shopping is ALWAYS a good option.  I should know, because it has afforded me the opportunity to COMPLETELY revamp my wardrobe.  Once the  ueen of Target (I still love it), I’m now able to regularly rock designer labels like Louis Vuitton, Theory, and Oscar de la Renta because of 2nd hand stores (did I mention I got these brands for less than a $1/piece?).  Men, just so you know….so many thrift shops have great suits that may need just a little tailoring for that custom fit, and you can stock up on oxfords/button downs made by great designers like Ralph Lauren and Thomas Pink–you just have to know where to look. So, shop your local thrift store chains or try online at places like Goodwill and Housing Works.

 Brandhyze Stanley is the chief voice of Frugal-nomics.com; a platform designed to share with women how to live and look fabulous on a dime — created after a massive unexpected layoff forced her to hone in on her true passion. Brandhyze has been featured on The View, The Early Show, The Today Show, MTVStyle, Essence Magazine, and TJMaxx.com. A Wilhelmina Model for nearly a decade, with a Business Degree from Loyola University Chicago, Brandhyze currently contributes Style and DIY tips to Newsday Westchester and the popular How-To Site, eHow. Brandhyze is a huge thrifter and a lover of all good deals, follow her on Twitter @MyFrugalnomics and on Facebook at Facebook.com/Frugalnomics.

 How To Shop For An Interview on a Budget

About Mark Anthony Dyson

Mark Anthony Dyson is a Career Consultant, Host & Producer of "The Voice of Job Seekers podcast, and Founder of the blog by the same name. Download our podcast on iTunes and Stitcher, and many other podcatchers. We are helping the unemployed, underemployed, and under-appreciated job seekers find and create a voice through this platform. Need career services? See the tab that says, "hire me" tab for more information. Career advice is our thing and learning is who we are. How can we serve you today?

  • http://www.wetalktoday.com/ sandra tedford

    Great advice. I would also add to be careful with the jewelry and make sure it is understated. I’ve heard interviewers stress how distracting some jewelry pieces can be such as multiple bracelets, big earrings and necklaces etc. In other words dress according the industry you are seeking to work.

    • Brandhyze

      That’s really great information you shared Sandra. When one is applying for a job, the last thing they want is for someone to pay more attention to their accessories than they are your resume, credentials, and what you can bring to the table as a potential employee. Yes, be memorable…but for the right reasons.

      • http://TheVoiceofJobseekers.com Mark Anthony Dyson

        I appreciate you mentioning about being memorable. Having interviewed hundreds as a retail and corporate manager and the little things can spark the most discussion…for all the wrong reasons.

    • http://TheVoiceofJobseekers.com Mark Anthony Dyson

      This is good advice. People talk in complementary or debatable terms when it comes to clothing, appropriateness, or just plain banter. You want to leave a favorable impression so most of the time, wear modest accessories that complement. This applies to men, too!