Finding nice office wear on a budget can be difficult, but it is not impossible. And believe it or not, a personal shopper can be a great tool in finding practical office wear, because it isn’t a bargain if there is no practical use for the clothes you are getting. Here are some of my favorite stores that offer personal shopping experiences and have a solid mid-to-low range office wear selection.
Keep in mind that personal shoppers work on commission. If you are going to do a personal shopping session, you are not ‘bound’ to purchase the items, but it may not be the kindest thing to then search for deals online. That said, many stores that do a large online business will let you know that they meet online bargains in store or if they are missing a piece they think you want can help you order it.
Banana Republic – This may not be the first shop you think of when it comes to office wear, but they do have a decent selection and some really great dresses that pair well with a simple jacket. If you work with a personal shopper, you can ask them to target discount selections or budget options. I tend to find some real bargains at Banana Republic on sales racks and fill up most of my work wardrobe at the end of the autumn, so that I get versatile pieces.
A personal shopper can help you to find pieces that are easy to pair together in different ways, so if you buy six separates, you may end up with five different outfits. At most stores you need to book a time in advance to guarantee you have a shopper available when you need.
Nordstrom’s – If your budget has a little room, Nordstrom’s personal shoppers are great at finding some real quality items that suit your figure, style and price range. Nordstrom’s also has a much broader selection of formal office wear which will give you more variety than some of the other stores.
Again, you will need to book a time with your shopper, but these sessions can be quite lengthy, so it is good to make sure you have time set aside.
Crew – If you are going for a more casual work look, J. Crew also has a personal shopping service. You book your appointment ahead and let your stylist know your size and what you are looking for and when you arrive you have a selection of things to try on.