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How To Look Professional on a Budget

Most of my readership is 50 or older, and many are retired. Of those still in the workforce, a large percentage work from home or in jobs that only require casual dress. Knowing this, it may seem odd that I’m writing about how to look professional on a budget, but I’m doing it for two reasons. One, I get emails from gurls who are still working and need help, and two, everyone needs to look professional from time to time. Real estate closings, court, the doctor’s office – whatever the reason, I’ve got you covered!

Tips On How To Look Professional On A Budget

First off, looking professional has to do more with confidence and fit than it does with the price of the clothing. If you wear your budget-friendly outfit with the same confidence you would a $1,000 look, it would make a huge difference. Lipstick helps too! Lol!

  • Shop at budget-friendly retailers.
  • Buy neutrals.
  • Take advantage of sales and discount racks.
  • Create a capsule wardrobe full of the basics.
  • Fit, fit, fit!
  • Accessorize.
  • Hair, makeup, and a big smile.

The outfit above fits in a lot of these categories and one that I didn’t mention. Buy versatile clothing that can be worn in many different ways. You want to stretch your dollars, and getting more wear from your clothing is the way to do it. Try to pick items that can be dressed up or down.

This outfit is one that can be dressed up or down. I love wearing a satin shirt with a pair of jeans for an elevated casual look. Just because these are dress pants doesn’t mean you can’t wear them with a turtleneck and an oversized Grandpa cardigan like this one.

How To Look Professional on a Budget – Skirts

Pleats are IN this season, and this pretty skirt would look great at the office. It has an elastic waist, is machine washable, and best of all – it’s just $31 dollars! I’ve posted mainly neutral colors, but this comes in others, such as pink and pale blue.

When I think of office wear, a pencil skirt always comes to mind. They are flattering on almost everyone and easy to pair with a loose-flowing blouse or a shirt and blazer. This skirt is VERY popular. It has a 4.3 rating and has been reviewed over 11,000 times! It comes in lots of colors and prints and is only $20 dollars!

How To Look Professional on a Budget – Pants

A nice pair of stretch work pants is a must-have in my book. I mean, sure, I can work, but I have to be comfortable! These are pull-on with an elastic waist, and of course, they have pockets. These are NOT expensive pants. The whole point of today’s post is to keep things budget-friendly, and these are very affordable at just $32 dollars. Worried about the length? Don’t! These come with markings so that you can cut them to the right hem!

When I say these are budget-friendly, I mean FRIENDLY. Coming in at only $14 dollars, these look more expensive than they are. The description says they are mid-rise, non-see-through, non-fading, wrinkle-resistant, and breathable! All kidding aside, $14 dollars may not be much to some of you, but to some families, that’s a sacrifice. It’s good to have options. 🙂

How To Look Professional on a Budget – Tops

Isn’t this blouse pretty? It’s a nice take on the classic button-down. I love the V-neck! This is only $28 dollars and comes in over fifteen colors. This would look great with the pencil skirt or the pants. Put a tasteful necklace with it, and you’re good to go!

If you want a more traditional work shirt, this button-down is perfect. I’m showing it in red, but of course, it comes in black, white, navy, and yellow. This has a rating of 4.6 stars and has been reviewed almost 3000 times. At just $26 dollars, it’s a great buy.

How To Look Professional on a Budget – Blazers

Blazers are a good look pretty much anywhere but you can’t go wrong wearing one in a professional setting. This is a longer version than the standard blazer so you might want to get a more traditional length like the one below. Like the other items I’ve shared, it comes in many colors and is just $49 dollars.

I LOVE this plaid jacket. Even if you’re not looking for an office look, this would be a great buy to pair with jeans this fall. It’s shorter and more fitted than the blazer above. I like the color combination but it’s available in others and is just $42 dollars.

I love this plaid jacket, and it is perfect for dressing up or down. I’ve worn it out to eat with a pair of jeans, and it looks soooo nice!

How To Look Professional on a Budget – Cardigan

You don’t have to wear a blazer or suit to look professional. This long cardigan is gorgeous and chic in camel. I’m not the only one who thinks so since it’s been reviewed over 3,000 times and has a 4.4-star rating. It’s also a very affordable $32 dollars.

How To Look Professional on a Budget – Dress

Sometimes a dress is what you need. I hate to say it, but this would look great in the office or at a funeral. Sorry, but it’s true. When you get to a certain age, you attend a lot of funerals, and a black dress is a necessity. This Grace Karin dress is perfect, whatever the occasion, and just $45 dollars.

What about it, Gurls? Are you heading to the office these days? If not, do you still need professional clothing? Let me know if you’d like to see more.

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To GOD Goes The Glory!

Verse Of The Day

1 Corinthians 1:3

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

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90 Comments

  1. All. Your clothes are so interchangeable. Money saver. Shary Gregory

  2. Glada St Clair says:

    I love these outfits. We hada dreary weekend in western Tennessee too, but I did manage to walk my dog or he walked me.

  3. I like the yoga pants. But, I don’t understand the sizing. I wasn’t able to pick a size that I could see.

  4. The yoga pants look so comfy. The hem yourself option is intriguing.

  5. Roberta Schwandner says:

    I love the black dress.

  6. Debby Roth says:

    I love the post about office outfits, thank you!

  7. Kellie johnson says:

    great pieces. I work in a professional office and all of your pieces in this post would be a great addition to my wardrobe. I ordered the cardigan already. thank you.
    in the United States

  8. Gina Luebke says:

    There are some very nice looking pieces here and it’s a plus that they are budget friendly!!

  9. Blazers looks so classic.

  10. Thanks for sharing options at a variety of price points. I work with kindergarten students, so I’m not looking to wear higher-end items to work. I still like to appear put-together, though.

  11. Very cute pieces and prices. I’m retired but still like to dress up when I get a chance. I appreciate you showing clothing ordinary women can afford.

  12. Roeli Lutz says:

    Love all Clark’s shoes & Boots. I am Canadian.

  13. Love how mindful you are about offering less expensive but good quality options in your posts. Was wondering if you had or could do a post on cruise wear for an informal and formal cruise. We’re leaving on a 4 day cruise to Cozumel (first timers) in January and any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Suzanne, I’m not sure, I would have to think about that.

  14. The first two outfits are my favorites! I ordered the tan edges and their delivery is delayed. 🙁

  15. I vowed never to wear a suit after I retired. However, I really do find I like to dress up a bit more every now and then. I’ll wear a nice dress and blazer to church or out to dinner; it helps me enjoy the “specialness” of the occasion.

  16. Thanks for sharing these awesome ideas!!

  17. Jacque Abell says:

    Are the sleeves on the satin shirt long? Do the cuffs button?

    1. They sleeves were too long, but the blouse was too big for me. I sent it back and ordered a smaller size.

  18. Yup…I have many years until retirement but I work in an office where I can wear jeans everyday. Thanks for curating all types of clothing for all occasions. You are AWESOME!!!

  19. sue koren says:

    Thanks for providing some not-so-expensive options!

  20. Seeing the first picture of you in a suit reminds me of my working days, I don’t think Ive worn a suit since retirement. The blouses are so pretty, I may rethink my casual uniform and add a more polished feel.

  21. Jenniffer Groski says:

    Yoga dress pants are a must!

    1. I like your blog and the clothing and the idea’s you provide at affordable options.

  22. Leah Hagedorn says:

    Thanks for all the advice and suggestions! I especially love the brown notched blazer.

  23. Thank you ! That was a great post with really good advice. As a single mom years ago with a corporate job I relied on basics that I could mix and match and you’re so tight you don’t have to spend a lot. (Canada)

  24. This is a terrific post, Tania! I am retired, so I don’t want to invest a lot into professional clothes. But, as you said, there are times when I need them. I really appreciate some lower-priced options.

  25. I don’t have to dress up too much anymore, but these are all gorgeous and very well priced!

  26. Debbie Barber says:

    Thank you! I have an upcoming job interview and found these suggestions helpful!

  27. Linda Shearer says:

    I still work so these are great picks.

  28. Great post, Tania! Now that we are heading back to work, need to update the workwear. Thanks for keeping it budget friendly.

  29. Love this. I am retired bit still going to office one day a week – office is now casual so the casual look is great for me. Thanks!

  30. I no longer work in an office setting, but the dressy clothes in my closet outnumber the casual by at least three to one. I am just drawn to dressy clothes. Anytime I get a chance to go somewhere (even the grocery store), I dress up a little bit and accessorize.

  31. Trying to decide what to wear to a college 45th reunion Cocktail and dinner party. Last time, I wore a cocktail dress and was WAYYYYYYYYYYYY over dressed. Men had on everything from jeans with a blazer to khakis with a golf shirt. Women….pants and tops to “church” dresses. No one was really dressed to match the “invitation” in my mind. Any ideas? I thought the pleated black shirt might be a good option. This will be in Charleston, SC, Nov. 2nd, so around 70 degrees during the day, 50s at night.

    1. That would be nice. Maybe a satin shirt?

  32. Janice Nagle says:

    I have a collection of black dresses because I seem to keep attending funerals with the same group of friends. sad but true. I appreciated the collection of blouses. An interesting, pretty blouse can do wonders to change up the same basic neutrals in my wardrobe. I also appreciated see the length of wider pants with heels. thanks

  33. I love the chiffon blouses! Great color selections and price point. Thank you!

  34. These are great pieces! I am transitioning to work from home but still need to go into a very conservative office on occasion. I will be able to style these for work and not feel like I am spending money on things I won’t get a lot of use from because I will be able to wear them casually too! Thank you for all of these options Tania!!

  35. I like the yoga pants that you can change the length. I’m 5’3″ and pants are always long unless I find it in petite.

  36. Valorie Unrau says:

    Hello,
    Great outfits.. I’ve worked professionally in an office setting for many years. It’s true you can look professional on a budget. Besides buying good outfits , it’s important to take care of your clothes too. Delicate wash, hang to dry keeps them looking nice longer. And of course always ironing for a sophisticated look. Can’t stress how important FIT is!
    Keep doing what you’re doing Tania, all your posts are great!
    Valorie from Canada

  37. Love how to look 👀 professional on a budget.
    Blessing to you.

  38. Kelly Brooks says:

    I love dresses and the Grace Karin dress had lots of great reviews.

  39. I wear scrubs to work…but, what a bunch of great things for the weekends! Happy Saturday❤❤❤

    1. Happy Saturday!❤️❤️❤️

  40. Donna Robinson says:

    Still working and grateful for your help. Great ideas. I have already tried the silk shirt. You had one from Kohls and I love it.

  41. I always dress on a budget because I have other people to spend my money on. I sincerely appreciate this post and some of these clothes are really nice! the yoga pants, and the pleated skirt are my favorite s.

  42. Love everything in this post! That red blouse is gorgeous 😍 I am from USA

  43. Donna Ingalls says:

    I have always loved cardigans and the beige one you posted is great. Wonderful length for pants or a skirt.
    Thanks for sharing.

  44. I just love a classy and sophisticated look, and all these definitely fit that description. 💗

  45. Diane Swanson says:

    Love all of these looks! Thank you

  46. Great post! I just love your posts. It’s nice to have options whether you need dressier things or more casual. Price points are great!

  47. Very nice outfits. Great prices too!

  48. Laura Garrett says:

    I love a pencil skirt with tights and boots and going to try the one you’ve shown today! Such a great price. I agree that style and fit are more impressive than what items cost. Thanks for all your research!

  49. Louise Logan says:

    Love the pants that you can adjust the length! Great for us short girls!

  50. I only have to go into the office one or two days a week. But when we go in, we dress up. And wear fun, trendy things. This was a great post.

  51. Anne-Marie says:

    Lots of good items in this post – Cheers from Canada 🙂

  52. Just the post I’ve been waiting for!!
    Professional clothing I can afford… sigh. Makes me happy.

  53. I love the blazer with the jeans !!!!

  54. Nice choices…loved the cardigan with so many color choices…perfect for California weather

  55. I love everything in this post!!
    I am retired but have kept a basic navy blazer and pants for occasions such as funerals and times I don’t want to wear a dress.
    The white v-neck blouse is so cute and different. And I love that you chose things with elastic waist.
    Long cardigans are a staple in my wardrobe. Thanks again for the time you take to help us all look put together and beautiful.

  56. I loved the black pleated skirt. So pretty. I think I need that!

  57. Janice Wooldridge says:

    I love todays picks!

  58. Lori Saunders says:

    I’m over 54 and go into work every day. My office has a dress code so it’s nice to find some new options. Thanks!

    1. This is a perfect post for you.

  59. Everyone unfortunately needs a funeral outfit that fits! These are great options for work or funerals. Nothing is worse than trying on clothes at the last minute for a funeral only to find that everything is too tight! Thank you for this post on affordable options!

  60. Great budget friendly workwear ideas!

  61. Stella Gustafson says:

    Love the long brown cardigan

  62. Tammy Roark says:

    Love the black dress!

  63. Hi, I am loving the pleated skirt and wonder your opinion on this style on a apple shape body?
    Thanks, Sherry Newmarket Ontario Canada 🇨🇦

  64. I am always looking for good buys for professional clothing.

    1. Yay! This post must have been meant for you.

  65. Laura Strumpf says:

    Great choices!!
    Love the blazers!

  66. No amazon purchases yet but thx

  67. Ann Seely says:

    These are some great options! Thanks for doing all the legwork so I can just click and go 🤣

  68. Janell Bontekoe says:

    Great ideas for those meetings that all seem to be in person now! For zoom I just grabbed a cute top – now I need to get dressed 😊

  69. Although I don’t work these are all cute. I’m sending this to my daughter.

  70. I work almost exclusively from home..About a year ago I started wearing my office clothes again instead of leggings and casual tops and I found I’m equally comfortable but I look a whole lot more professional on camera. And it changed my attitude too. Now every workday morning I “dress for the office” so this post really resonated for me. Loyal Canadian reader here!

    1. Yes!!! How you dress affects your attitude.

  71. Dana Smithmier says:

    I LOVE the skirts!!!!

  72. Kimberley Huber says:

    Love the dress professional on a budget tips!! I work from home but now go into office twice a week. Can wear jeans but still want that professional aire without looking too casual.

  73. Thanks for all your posts! Today’s was about professional wear and you modeled beautiful outfits that can be worn to work or transitioned to casual! Love that I can always find something I like!!

  74. Love the Notch Lapel 2 Button Boyfriend Blazer Suit Houndstooth Plaid Jacket Coat from Amazon. Houndstooth is such a classic look, and I’ve always favored it. I will plan to buy this during the Amazon deals days.

    Thanks!

    1. Well, Amazon Deal Days was early this week, so I’m afraid you missed that window. 🥲

  75. Linda Murphy says:

    Hello, Hello……love your blog. Thanks.

  76. Mary Kinard says:

    Love that you give us options at budget friendly prices!
    Thanks!

  77. Thanks for sharing such beautiful, affordable options.

  78. From Mo. love the jackets and tops with the jeans.