You look like a pro already!

Do you ever get the feeling like you have nothing to wear? I certainly do. Lately, it seems like my wardrobe is lacking majorly in the professional-wear department. When I look in closet, all I see are tons of college t-shirts, standard blue jeans, a few pairs of dress pants, and perhaps a couple of well-worn blouses. While my wardrobe was perfectly fine for 8 a.m. classes, it doesn’t work well when interviewing for a professional job.

Now, although I did mention I had a few pairs of dress pants and a couple of blouses, that still doesn’t leave me with much variety, especially when you start going to multiple interviews and second interviews with the same company. Thus, I decided to examine my finances, window shop, and try on multiple pieces of dress attire before finally settling on my very first, and slightly expensive interview suit.

Even Kim knows the power of a great suit!

Since I am still an unemployed college grad, planning a budget and sticking to it was probably the most important step in the whole suit buying process. After checking both my checking and savings accounts and calculating how much money I would need for other living expenses, I finally decided I would not spend more than $225 for my business suit. While some people may think that is too much money to spend on a suit, after window-shopping I knew I would still be cutting it close in terms of sticking to my budget. However, I also knew it wouldn’t be wise to increase my budget either. After all, this prospective clothing purchase was already going to be the most expensive one in my wardrobe.

Although I had already done some preliminary window-shopping during the budget phase of my business suit purchase plan, after I had a working budget, I could hit the mall with a real purpose with plastic in hand. The first stores I hit up were the department stores such as Dillards and Younkers in hopes of scoring a cheaper suit. While I did find a couple of possible suits in each store, they didn’t quite fit correctly. Either the jacket gapped out in the front, or the skirts were too big or too small.

Since neither suit was the perfect fit, I regrettably put them back on the rack and moved on to smaller, more specialized stores like The Limited and Express. While I didn’t find what I was looking for in The Limited, I did find a pair of dress shorts, which I bought at a later date. And at Express, the suit I had my eye on was out of my price range and the line for the fitting room was 20 plus people deep.

Check out the top here and bottom here!

Feeling like I wouldn’t find my business suit at all, I went into one last store — White House Black Market. I had never stepped foot in this store before because I thought the clothing was way out of my price range. But, I am definitely glad I decided to take a chance and come in, because in this fifth store, I found the suit of my dreams. The jacket and skirt were both matching black pieces. While the suit itself was still expensive, it did meet my budget criteria and as an added bonus, the commissioned sales woman was super nice and helped me find the perfect sizes in both the jacket and skirt.

With my first business suit purchase under my belt, I came away with a moderately priced suit and a few lessons. First, I learned that setting a budget was imperative. Secondly, I learned that if the suit doesn’t fit perfectly I should never settle and buy it. And third, I learned that you should give new stores a try because you never know what you might find.

♥AUTHOR: ANDREA WHITLOCK