How To Dress for Success Without Breaking The Bank and Why You Should

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Altar’d State Long Sleeve Button Down | Similar Fringe Jeans 1, 2 | Jessica Simpson Sunglasses | Sugarfix by Bauble Bar Earrings | Similar Twisted Chain Necklace | Alex and Ani Spiral Sun Bangle |  Similar Bucket Bag | Similar Lace-Up Sandal 

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We often hear the saying  “dress for success.” But what does it really mean? What comes to mind when you hear someone say it?

Whether we like it or not, we live in a material world. We live in a society where we are judged by our appearance. Appearance does matter, no matter how many times we’ve been told “Do not judge a book by its cover.” We judge others by how they look and we are judged by how we look – in business and in day to day basis.

What people see on the outside is you telling them how to address you in their thought, words, and action.  Think about your own experience for example…when you see a man or a woman who’s dressed smartly, you often feel a sense of respect and admiration for that person, correct? Put yourself in the position of every person you meet for the first, second, third time or even everyday. The way you dress and carry yourself has an impact towards the people you meet.

But forget what others think about you because dressing for success is really all about YOU – How it makes you feel on the inside and how you feel from the inside radiates on the outside. It’s all about boosting your confidence and making yourself feel good. The way we dress makes a strong visual statement of how we see ourselves.

When you dress for success, you feel good. When you feel good, you feel confident. When you feel confident, you perform your job better. Personally, I feel better and more productive when I’m actually dressed up, even working from home. On the other hand, wearing PJs, while comfortable and effortless, it makes me slack and make me feel sluggish. Here are some scientific researches that have proven the relation between dressing up and performance: Social Psychological and Personal Science (2015)Journal of Experimental Psychology (2014), Journal of Experimental Psychology (2012)

But what does it take to dress for success?

Dressing for success doesn’t mean you have to be a full-blown fashionista or you have to be a fashion blogger like myself and thousands of others. It’s not just for executives and high-rolling people either. You can dress for success where you are. You can be a stay-at-home and dress for success. You can be an employee at the corner store and dress for success. You can be a secretary at your church and dress for success. Appropriate what you’re wearing to the occasion and location, if that makes sense.

It doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money on designer items . You don’t have to empty out your wallet, break your bank, and get into debt to do a full wardrobe makeover to start dressing for success.

This may be all new to you. But don’t panic. It’s a lot easier than it seems – especially in this day and age of social media. There are blogs (like mine, ahem), Instagram accounts, and YouTube to inspire you and get you started.

Here are Some Keys to Dressing for Success Without Breaking Your Bank: 

  1. It’s all about knowing where to shop for less. 
    You may or may not already have a favorite store. If your favorite store has reasonable prices, great! But places like H&M, Amazon, and Nordstrom Rack have reasonable prices. There are also some brands at Nordstrom that are budget-friendly and Macy’s is always having some kind of sale anywhere from 15-25% off, and often times on top their already-reduced prices.I personally would rather buy inexpensive but quality clothing and buy lots of them than spend $300-500 on a piece that I would end up wearing all the time in every occasion. I’ve seen a girl who would spend that much money on a dress and every single photo I’ve seen of her in different occasions has her wearing the same dress. Just saying.
  2. Know what staples to get.
    Awhile back, I’ve published a list of 12 Wardrobe Staples You Can Wear All Year Long. This list is a good start to build up your wardrobe. Whenever there’s an extra $ in your finances, then you can buy a piece or two that you can mix and match with your existing pieces. It also doesn’t hurt to buy a couple of trendy pieces that you know will repeat the following season. For example,  some embroidered pieces or bell sleeves that you can wear from day to night or from work to play. Those are trends that have been repeating for the past 3 or 4 years.
  3. Go for quality.
    While it’s obviously nice to have a wide selection of clothes, it’s not always budget friendly, no matter how cheap you buy them. Why? If it’s REALLY cheap, you get what you pay for. Cheap clothes, cheap materials don’t last very long. You’d totally be wasting your money. Before you knew it, you’d have already spent hundreds (or thousands in the long run) in poor quality clothing.
  4. Learn the basics of dressing well and get inspired by others.
    As mentioned above, if dressing up is absolutely new to you, then make an effort to learn from others. Learn the basics of dressing up, mixing and matching, etc. Go on YouTube, follow fashion bloggers (ahem, yours truly) and experiment with your style.

Things will get easier and it will be more effortless as you get the hang of it. Remember, there is power in your appearance. Go dress your way to success. Cheers!

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