Monday, April 6, 2009

If you haven't looked lately, mosey over to

It seems as if I talk to more and more people who've lost their jobs (three more this past weekend at a family gathering), so I know a lot of you are gearing up to put yourselves back on the market to find new jobs, and maybe even entirely new careers.

Pulling together a wardrobe for a job hunt is stressful enough, but when you're doing so on an extremely limited budget, it can be downright daunting.

The first thing to do, always, is to shop your own closet. Find those key pieces, hopefully, and then take a hard look at what you absolutely must have. Maybe the white shirt or blouse you wear with your suit is yellowed or stained or snagged; some things may not fit so well anymore, or maybe your interview suit blazer is noticeably out of style or out of season. Figure out what you have that you can use, and then figure out what your budget is for the missing pieces. Chadwicks--yes, frumpy, not-exactly-stylish Chadwicks--might be your best resource (and your biggest surprise).

I hadn't perused their catalog in awhile, and was pleasantly surprised recently to see up-to-date career separates (and at their usual low prices), especially their blazers and jackets. They're another retailer for whom you can always find coupon codes online for discounts or free shipping, so the deals are even better when you factor that in. Sign up for their email list, and you'll get regular discount offers in your inbox. They even have a decent selection of pumps and loafers to pair with suits. You might find better prices on those at Target, or maybe even Payless, so shop strategically before you tap into those precious funds.

These are tough times, and it's easy to be overwhelmed by all you have to do when you find yourself unexpectedly on the interview trail again, so take a deep breath and plunge into that closet, and shop strategically for the pieces you need to replace or update. There are very workable options out there for even the most modest budget.

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