suits http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/878/all en-US 5 Ways to Snag Budget-Friendly Business Clothes http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-snag-budget-friendly-business-clothes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-snag-budget-friendly-business-clothes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_in_suit.jpg" alt="Man in suit" title="Man in suit" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="154" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Because law school is the academic equivalent to Thunderdome, my fiance recently interviewed for summer internships.</p> <p>Summer 2012 internships.</p> <p>Those interviews spurred a foraging expedition through our closet for the perfect interview outfit. She found what she needed, but we agreed that it was probably time to beef up our business collections. The rub is a familiar one &mdash; buying business clothes can get expensive in a flash.</p> <p>The challenges can multiply for under-employed or unemployed folks hoping to jump into the job market.&nbsp;Dress wear suitable for the office is often expensive, with a new suit or a couple of blazers costing a few hundred dollars. However, you don't have to rack up a bunch of debt to look the part. Here's a look at ways to track down budget-friendly business clothes.</p> <h2>The Internet</h2> <p>Dozens of online stores and clearinghouses offer inexpensive business clothes. <a href="http://www.overstock.com">Overstock</a> and even <a href="http://www.amazon.com">Amazon</a> offer affordable suits, business shirts, dresses, and skirts for generally 30% off. Dress shoes are often an expensive purchase, ranging in price from $40 to $100, but when you shop online for shoes on sites such as Amazon and <a href="http://www.zappos.com">Zappos</a>, you can find stylish dress shoes at much more affordable prices. Shoes in particular are often worth the investment. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-case-for-expensive-shoes">The Case for Expensive Shoes</a>)</p> <h2>Consignment and Thrift Shops</h2> <p>Consignment and thrift stores often have a great selection of quality items for only a couple of dollars. Thrift stores will almost always be cheaper than consignment stores, and you can expect to find great name-brand sports coats, dresses, and even suits. &nbsp;Most of these items are only worn once or twice before being donated, so you don't have to worry about additional wear and tear. Clothing at a consignment store is usually a little more expensive than what you would find at thrift store, but the quality is generally higher. You can always buy a little big and find a tailor you trust.</p> <h2>Hand-Me-Downs</h2> <p>Look for opportunities to pick up older, unused, or unwanted clothing from friends and relatives. Most people only wear their fine suits or sports coats a couple of times, and if your friends and family are willing to give their older pieces to you, save a few bucks by taking them. Just make sure that the clothes you are given aren't badly worn and actually fit well.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Store Closings</h2> <p>Due to the tough economy, many stores are closing around the country. If you notice that a local mall is going under or a department store is trumpeting its final days, be sure to swing by these places. You can often find name brand clothing for up to 60 to 75% off and even name-brand <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/affordable-accessories-to-kickstart-your-style">accessories</a> to top off your outfits such as purses, shoes, belts, watches, and jewelry.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Discount Department Stores</h2> <p>You don't have to go to high-end department stores to purchase quality business attire. There are several stores &mdash; including JCPenney, Kohl's, T.J. Maxx, and Marshalls &mdash; that offer name brand clothing at discounted prices. T.J. Maxx and Marshalls almost always offer low prices, and JCPenney and Kohl's frequently have sales where business clothing can be purchased for 50 to 60% off.&nbsp;</p> <p>Don't ruin the joy of your first paycheck by having to hand it to your credit card company. Shop smart for your business clothes by avoiding high-end department stores. Look for quality clothing that will last, and also for pieces that don't need to be frequently dry cleaned. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chris-birk">Chris Birk</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-snag-budget-friendly-business-clothes">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/where-to-buy-discounted-designer-clothing-online">Where to Buy Discounted Designer Clothing Online</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-retailers-with-the-absolute-best-customer-service">7 Retailers With the Absolute Best Customer Service</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-clothing-steamers">The 5 Best Clothing Steamers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-qualities-to-look-for-in-well-made-clothing">9 Qualities to Look for in Well-Made Clothing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-keep-your-clothes-looking-new">10 Smart Ways to Keep Your Clothes Looking New</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Shopping Style clothes suits Thrift shopping Tue, 30 Aug 2011 10:24:12 +0000 Chris Birk 679461 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Save on Special-Occasion Clothing for Kids http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-on-special-occasion-clothing-for-kids <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-save-on-special-occasion-clothing-for-kids" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000015231645XSmall.jpg" alt="Little boys in formal wear" title="Little boys in formal wear" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>At least a few times each year, my kids need to dress up for special occasions such as school or county-wide band concerts, awards ceremonies, and weddings. Acquiring appropriate attire can be time-consuming and costly, especially as children seem to outgrow clothing and shoes quickly.</p> <p>Over the years, I have discovered some ways of keeping my dollar outlay for special-occasion attire low for my children (both boys, now teenagers).</p> <h3>Determine What Kind of Attire Is Truly Needed</h3> <p>School-sponsored events often have published guidelines, which should be read carefully.</p> <p>Admittedly, some instructions are vague, asking parents to dress their children in clothing that is typically worn to church, which would mean letting my kids wear t-shirts, shorts, and sneakers to a special event. Similarly, some event sponsors caution parents not to buy new items or incur a financial hardship to acquire appropriate clothing. These instructions make me wonder if I am the only parent who does not always have formal clothing and dress shoes available at a moment&rsquo;s notice.</p> <p>Fortunately, most guidelines are more precise. The band director at my youngest son&rsquo;s middle school, for example, specifies dress shirts with ties, slacks, and dress shoes for boys and dresses for girls. My scrutiny tells me that a suit jacket is not required. Paying close attention and distinguishing requirements from suggestions are first steps in saving time and money.</p> <p>There are many occasions that have no requirements but rather a social obligation to dress appropriately, such as a wedding or high school graduation. Consider the desires of family members or close friends who are hosting&nbsp;these events. Think about whether professional photographs or family photos may be taken, and factor the significance of these images in choosing dresses, suits, etc. for your children and teens to wear.</p> <h3>Check Your Closets</h3> <p>You may have precisely what is needed somewhere in your home. A few days ago, my son asked me if he had a pair of khaki pants for a special event the next day; his question instigated a panic. I quickly realized that he did have several pairs of pants readily available (hand-me-downs from his older brother who attended a multi-day event that required these clothes, purchased at Goodwill).</p> <p>Even if the hanging-up clothes (dresses, slacks, suit jackets) in your daughter&rsquo;s or son&rsquo;s closet are too small, there may be appropriate clothing in another family member&rsquo;s closet. Consider what is ready to pass along from one sibling to another or which items a child can borrow from a parent. For example, my youngest son is able to borrow dress shoes from my husband as they currently wear the same shoe size.</p> <h3>Decide What You Want to Buy New</h3> <p>Review your family&rsquo;s calendar to check upcoming events. If you happen to have several special occasions in the span of a few months, then your cost per-wear for purchases will seem reasonable compared to buying a dress or suit that may be worn just once. Keeping this approach in mind, select items that will be appropriate for as many of these events as possible.</p> <p>Consider what items are essential and which are less important, and shop accordingly. Depending on your needs, you may want to spend most of your budget on a pair of well-fitted slacks and save on shoes.</p> <h3>Buy Ahead</h3> <p>Buy dress-up clothing in anticipation of special occasions, if you can find a bargain.</p> <p>My favorite sources have been <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ten-cents-an-item-for-high-end-childrens-clothes">children&rsquo;s clothing consignment sales</a> sponsored by local preschools and community groups. When my kids were younger, if I noticed a dress shirt for $5 or less, then I would go ahead and buy it; I gambled a few dollars that the clothing would be useful in hopes of avoiding much higher prices later. If the price was much steeper, say $25 for a nice pair of pants and jacket (no matter what brand or condition), then I would pass on the deal unless I was certain that my kids would need the items for a special event.</p> <p>When shopping these types of sales, I noticed that there were designer and upscale-brand dresses priced much lower than retail but still fairly high. These items were not as popular as sellers anticipated; most parents couldn&rsquo;t justify paying even $30 for a $100 item if they weren&rsquo;t positive their daughters would wear the dress later.</p> <h3>Borrow (and Share)</h3> <p>If either of my sons had some special occasion attire that would fit a friend&rsquo;s child, then I&rsquo;d gladly share. This arrangement works well for not-so-personal items such as dress shoes or a clip-on tie.</p> <h3>Learn to Sew</h3> <p>My visual-spatial capabilities and lack of patience with fashion details have prevented me from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/its-sew-easy-to-save">sewing</a> my children's clothes. But many people find sewing to be a wonderful frugal alternative to purchasing new items. Even if you don&rsquo;t want to create an entirely new garment, you can alter clothing yourself rather than paying someone else to do this task.</p> <h3>Activate Your Frugal Shopping Habits</h3> <p>You may have tactics for snagging deals on clothing and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-get-discounted-designer-shoes-without-using-ebay">shoes</a> for yourself; do the same for your kids.</p> <p>I have done well on occasion at <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/strategic-thriftstore-shopping">thrift shops</a>. One of my shopping excursions to Goodwill enabled me to buy several pairs of slacks for my son that were in much better condition than the ones purchased brand-new for my husband. Other trips have not been quite as successful but yielded an acceptable, if not elegant, suit jacket and tie. Some parents may frequent vintage shops and consignment stores.</p> <p>Hit your favorite stores for off-retail pricing and special sales. My shopping preferences are online at sites like <a href="http://www.overstock.com/">Overstock.com</a>&nbsp;for dresses (for myself, not my kids) or recommendations by <a href="http://www.shopittome.com/">ShopItToMe.com</a>.</p> <h3>Listen to Your Kids</h3> <p>Your children will often tell you of upcoming activities that may require special clothing. If you can anticipate these needs, you'll be more likely to find the right attire as inexpensively as possible, rather than having to rush to the mall to buy what they need the day before a big event.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-on-special-occasion-clothing-for-kids">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-parents-save-money-at-costco">How Parents Save Money at Costco</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-on-baby-goodies-with-daily-deal-websites">Save Money on Baby Goodies With Daily Deal Websites</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-places-to-get-cheaper-diapers">5 Places to Get Cheaper Diapers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-money-saving-tricks-to-know-before-buying-an-engagement-ring">12 Money-Saving Tricks to Know Before Buying an Engagement Ring</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-best-baby-gifts-on-a-budget">16 Best Baby Gifts on a Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Shopping children's clothing special occasions suits thriftstores Mon, 10 Jan 2011 15:00:10 +0000 Julie Rains 440096 at http://www.wisebread.com The Law (of) Suits: Insurance for Men http://www.wisebread.com/the-law-of-suits-insurance-for-men <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-law-of-suits-insurance-for-men" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000004201475XSmall.jpg" alt="suit up" title="suit up" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In this blog, on this site, I usually explore ways to <em>think</em> about spending rather than ways to actually spend. That&rsquo;s not my <em>blogcallojob</em> (blog calling or job) to tell you how to spend.</p> <p>But I&rsquo;d like to pop a sales tag of conversation for fellow men, or women with fellow men in mind, reading this right now and speak plainly. I&rsquo;m about to tell you how to spend money on something for which the worth cannot be measured.</p> <p>It brings smiles, impromptu favors, more respect, more enigma, better service, attention &mdash; usually the right kind &mdash; and did I mention smiles and respect.</p> <p>Not the automobile &mdash; the suit.</p> <p>Recently I was riding home with a soon-to-be jobless, soon-to-be former colleague. One word: awkward.</p> <p>But before he dropped me off, I asked where he was headed, and he said to the mall. And, curiously, making my own judgment on what one could be buying when one knows one won&rsquo;t have a job, I ask, for what?</p> <p>He says a suit.</p> <p>A light goes on and I nod because it makes sense. I nod proudly, in fact, at him. I say to myself, smart man. I nod in whimsical favor because he&rsquo;s thinking about investing in his future rather than moping over his present. I nod because he wants to plunk money down for something that in most cases brings the immediate return of self satisfaction as well as the intangible prospect of being in the right place and the right time, looking darn good.</p> <p>He mentioned he didn&rsquo;t want to &ldquo;over do it&rdquo; expense wise. Of course I understood that and then proceeded to rattle on about what could be done. I proceeded to monopolize the convo on what the pros and cons were of different aspects of suit procurement.</p> <p>Suits, I don't remember saying but will say here, are like insurance for the professional and non-professional but skilled American man. They are insurance for the man who wants to make inroads into achievement and stand out with a statement on who he is when wearing that suit.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s like a financial plan: better to be impeccably prepared (overdressed) than woefully underdressed (unprepared).</p> <p>Now let&rsquo;s say you&rsquo;ve paid your rent and gotten your groceries and have all your necessities and you&rsquo;re a grown, able and responsible man with $300 to $500 and are in the market for a suit.</p> <p>Okay, you&rsquo;re like my friend. After asking him what he planned to spend, without revealing too much of the young man&rsquo;s business, I went into a diatribe where I leaned back in the passenger seat and expounded wisdom using the famous pyramid hand gestures that most pseudo experts use on talk shows. This is the essence of what I said.</p> <h3>Suit up premium</h3> <p><strong>Heck yeah:</strong> Classic is called classic for a reason. For instance, classic American clothier <a href="http://www.brooksbrothers.com/madmen/madmen.tem">Brooks Brothers</a> recently harkened us back to the era of smartly-clothed ad executives from the popular television series <em>Mad Men</em>. The classic look remains just that and outlasts any fashion week. Plus the clothes usually last longer and are of better quality.</p> <p><strong>Uhhh but wait:</strong> The issue here is that suits that are tailored to your specifications and/or made of fine fabrics from top labels, usually begin at $400 per suit. Maybe not the extravagant purchase you want to make right now but there are always sales and alternatives. Maybe you&rsquo;re a forward thinker who sees their world beyond the recession or even sees opportunity in it. Maybe you want to go make an unmistakable statement. But maybe you don&rsquo;t which brings us to our next alternative.</p> <h3>Suit up quickly and bountifully</h3> <p><strong>Heck yeah:</strong> If you happen to live in a place with a population greater than half a million, there should be at least one or two places that have this <a href="http://tsgmenswear.com/category.sc?categoryId=16">type of sale</a>: Three suits for &ldquo;x&rdquo; amount of dollars in a package. In other words, what you would pay for one Brooks Brothers or discount Italian or English designer suit, you can get three off-brand no-frill wool or down-market fabric suits, which you can freak just right if you have the right style sense.</p> <p>This is probably the greatest stitch-for-stich value because it gets you through the week and month and maybe even the year and allows you to mix and match if you have a pre-existing and respectable shirt game and at least one good pair of shoes.</p> <p><strong>Uhhh but wait:</strong> You may be sacrificing quality, which is kind of like buying liability without getting uninsured motorist. After four or five trips to dry cleaners, it&rsquo;s literally a wrap for these types of suits. I&rsquo;m not talking about the plastic coating to protect them from the elements. I&rsquo;m talking about fabric thinning and the appearance of nappy lent beads on your suit. There's not an afro-pick or lent brush in the world that can remedy this type of wear and tear. But that brings us to the last alternative.</p> <h3>Suit up without a suit</h3> <p><strong>Heck yeah:</strong> If you&rsquo;re easing into the game or just a novice or a stylish but not a &ldquo;suit&rdquo; man, you know how to accessorize on the cheap. Get a really nice blue or black sport coat or blazer, even a gray or solid brown one: or all four if you go to a thrift shop.</p> <p>I&rsquo;m talking blazer now chums. This is not to be confused with a suit jacket but an actual coat, which that 9 times out of ten won&rsquo;t match your pants directly. You can use your style to go for the professorial, business casual look and perhaps hunt Ebay or your local thrift store for &ldquo;pre-owned&rdquo; quality coats that will compliment brand new pants. Get brand new pants &mdash; don&rsquo;t be a tightwad on that.</p> <p>Also if you&rsquo;re not going to get a full suit, don&rsquo;t be a tightwad on shirts either. They should be dry cleaned or brand new and if you&rsquo;re considering your budget, why not buy a shirt that no one else has from a site such as <a href="http://www.shirtsmyway.com/">ShirtsMyway.com</a>. This site&nbsp;claims to have 7 trillion different designs. With that many variations, you will have your own style and through bulk save money by not having to go to the mall and be bilked by someone trying to get a commission. You design it and you order it. No plug here as I don&rsquo;t own a single shirt from that site but I like the idea and am considering it.</p> <p>Back to the stand-alone blazers. Save on the coats, up the quotient on the pants and shirt and it&rsquo;s the cheaper, less high-maintenance alternative. You can wear them with ties or with an open-collared dress shirt and maybe just maybe on rare occasions throw it on with jeans and sneakers if you believe you can pull it off. Or if you believe you can wear a straight face if you don&rsquo;t pull it off.</p> <p><strong>Uhhh but wait:</strong> You should be able to pull this off if you want to earmark this as a professional style. Remember, it&rsquo;s not a suit and shouldn&rsquo;t be carried off as one. If the pants are the same color as the jacket, please let them be close to the same fabric and if not, know your ledge. Shiny silk blazer and corduroy pants might get you unemployed as fast as the trickle-down effect of your company&rsquo;s falling earnings. Corduroy and silk pants might get you beat up or laughed at so hard you feel like you&rsquo;re getting beat up. Double polyester &mdash; let&rsquo;s not discuss that.</p> <p>Why are you still reading this? Go get a suit, no okay wait&hellip;look. This is mostly tongue and cheek and there are bigger issues in the world I know, but at the same time, if you&rsquo;re a professional or professional aspirant between 25 and 50 years of age, you should own a suit.</p> <p>If you are not independently wealthy through some sort of athletic ability, pop song, technological innovation or government defense contract &mdash; in which case you might wear a lot of Hawaiian shirts and khaki &mdash; you <em>need</em> to have at least one dark blue or black suit.</p> <p>If not, you ought to be thinking of a good mix of what was described up here. Are you a grown man or what?</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jabulani-leffall">Jabulani Leffall</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-law-of-suits-insurance-for-men">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-snag-budget-friendly-business-clothes">5 Ways to Snag Budget-Friendly Business Clothes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-body-butters">The 5 Best Body Butters</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-microdermabrasion-products">The 5 Best Microdermabrasion Products</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/where-to-buy-discounted-designer-clothing-online">Where to Buy Discounted Designer Clothing Online</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-hair-growth-supplements">The 5 Best Hair Growth Supplements</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Health and Beauty Shopping clothes Job Interview suits Thu, 05 Nov 2009 16:00:23 +0000 Jabulani Leffall 3786 at http://www.wisebread.com