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Budget Shoppers can look Good too.

Dressing Well: Three Tips for Budget Shoppers

Whether you want to get a better job, get out of a traffic ticket, or start a worldwide movement, the way you dress and present yourself will play a major role. You may not like this reality but remember: those who succeed are not those who complain about “the way it is” or “the way it should be.” They’re the ones who accept reality for what it is, and use that reality to their advantage and change the rules.

But what if you’re working with limited resources or, like me, want to play the game well but maintain your status as world’s most frugal shopper (it’s a title I’m fond of). Here are a few tricks to dressing well on a budget, no matter what your aim.

  1. Consider the audience and the message. Think carefully about who it is you’re trying to influence and why. What do they care about and why is it important? When you know this, you can present yourself in a way that focuses on those ideals. The way you’d dress at a business conference full of middle-aged folks is different from how you would dress at high school sports game. Think about who you’re talking to and what would make them trust you. The most expensive route is not always the most effective one.

  2. Find a decent tailor. Clothes that fit you incredibly well are expensive. But clothes that fit you well and can by fixed with some simple tailoring can be quite cheap. Look for bargains and closeouts on high quality clothes that don’t fit perfectly but can be altered a bit. And tailoring need not be expensive, either. A dry cleaner can often take in sleeves and hems—simple alterations—for just a few dollars.

  3. Dress in darker colors. You can get away with buying cheaper clothes in darker colors because quality of fabric and construction don’t show through as easily the darker the fabric is. This also comes with an extra benefit for people like me who always spill food on themselves. Darker clothes hide stains better. You don’t have to abandon them after the first soy sauce incident.

Whatever message you’re trying to send to the world, never forget the clothes you put that message in will determine the way it’s received. So, dress it carefully.

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