Starting your first job is stressful for so many reasons. By the time your first day arrives the excitement of being hired has faded away and all you're left with worrying if you even meet the job requirements and if your coworkers will be giant pains in the ass. On top of everything else, you never truly know what the dress code is until you've been there a few days, so you risk looking way too overdressed or like one giant slob.
While I can't tell you what to wear every day of the week, I can steer you towards stores where I buy all my work clothes whether my dress code is business casual or dress like the Secretary of Defense is coming. True story, I once got an email to wear my nicest outfit because the Secretary of Defense was visiting our office.
Because I bought most of my clothes straight out of college, with no money or type of job in mind, I aimed to keep my costs low in case everything failed and I had nowhere to even wear the freaking clothes. Most of these stores you can find in any shopping mall area, or even better, you can just pick up what you like online.
TARGETTarget is my go to store for so many reasons. Not only can I grab groceries and toys for my cat Max while there, I also spent six months working at Target in the guest services area. This means I know the return policy backwards and forwards, which is great when you're buying things you're not sure you need or even really want.
Target doesn't get the credit it deserves for business casual clothes, with an even bigger selection online. During major holidays Target offers free shipping no matter the size of your order, otherwise shipping costs aren't ridiculously high and you can qualify for free shipping when you spend 50 dollars.
The main reason I love Target for work clothes is because I can order everything I find cute online, try it on at home, and return it with no problems if it looks weird on me. Lost your receipt? No problem. Just swipe the card you paid with and they'll transfer the money into your account that way. I swear this post isn't sponsored by Target, but I really should be because I'm basically a walking, talking billboard for that store.
H&MH&M is where you need to be if you're looking for the perfect blazer or work blouse. While I own some pants from there, their sizing is all over the place. I own a pair of pants in size 2 and another in a size 8. Both bought on the same day, from the same store, same brand. Clearly they like to play with women's emotions.
Cardigans, blouses and dress skirts are usually pretty inexpensive. The more expensive things are usually dresses or blazers, but those are investment pieces and really never go higher than 55 dollars. Next time you're in H&M step away from the crop tops and take a quick look at the business clothes section, you might be pleasantly surprised.
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FOREVER 21I have a love hate relationship with Forever 21. I love their prices (usually) but I hate what it's become. Or maybe I've just grown older and less inclined to wear tops with sequins and words like swag on my body. Forever 21 is really a hit or miss when it comes to work clothes, and I definitely recommend shopping in the Love21/contemporary line exclusively.
My biggest piece of advice is to stay away from blazers from Forever 21, they will rip, and you will be pissed. Stick to buying blouses and cardigans here, wardrobe staples that you don't plan on keeping forever, despite the name on the label.
EXPRESSIf you are, or were once, a broke college grad like me, this is the place you go when you wanna treat yo'self for landing your top internship choice or getting hired at that job that pays you for being sick. As a skinny girl, I can admit I have no butt. Technically yes, there is a butt on my body, but it doesn't do that thing where it curves in all the right places.
Express has managed to create pencil skirts that make me feel like one of the Kardashian sisters when I wear it, and for this I am forever thankful for. Besides being one of the few stores that sells a size zero (honestly though, why are stores pushing our size out?), Express offers so many wear to work options. Their prices may be higher than the previous stores mentioned, but you can definitely see a difference in the quality. Catch them when they're having a sale and buy a few staple pieces for your wardrobe.
Where do you buy your work clothes from? Comment below your favorite places to find work clothes that won't leave your bank account drained.