I remember when I got my first job as an office assistant. The pay was slightly higher than the minimum wage, which as we can imagine, was not much at all. But I was still excited. It meant an improvement from where I was before the job I was taking a step in my journey to being independent.
But then, I saw the dress code and my excitement vanished. We were expected to dress corporate, five days a week.Sigh. I quickly did some calculations and divided my monthly allowance. It covered feeding and transport. Little was left for clothing and I was a firm believer of not spending my salary before I earned it.
I was already filled with horror at the thought of wearing my old moth-eaten packet shirts that were always two sizes bigger. I wanted to make a good impression on my first day. Looking at my wardrobe choices, it was a struggle, striking a balance between fashionable and work worthy plus I had little funds. So here’s what I did:
Invest in Statement Pieces
A chic black gown is priceless. It can be gown one day, top and skirt the next. The key is to switch it up either with a print scarf or a fashion belt. Chiffon tops are also a must-have. They add a touch of elegance to each outfit and are very easy to mix and match
Get A Blazer Or Two
Blazers are also important for every corporate individual as it gives you the illusion of a suit and not as much stress. On the plus side, It transforms an old outfit to something entirely new. Choosing to wear a blazer with a gown transforms it to a whole different outfit.
Thrift Your Way Through
Not everyone will wear thrift, so if this is not for you, skip ahead. But life is in seasons and if you are at the point in your journey where thrifting is practical, then by all means. thrift away. There are a lot of popular thrift stores both online and off that sell corporate clothes at a very fair price. Places like Aswani Market in Oshodi, Lagos, Katangowa Market, Abule Egba. Ringroad, Benin City are a few of many. Some prices are even a steal at some point, the only tip needed here is to bend down and select quality wears.
Find out what works
Trial and error are important parts of the process. Buying clothes that fit and are comfortable help and also adding a bit of personality by wearing different coloured tees paired with a pencil skirt and blazer or a fluffy scarf with a chiffon top.
Have more tips on how to rock corporate wears on a budget, share them with us!