Creating a good professional image can seem like a daunting and expensive task.  But it doesn’t have to be. It’s all about determining what kind of image you need to portray to meet your career goals and then knowing how to make your budget work for you.

Now you need to learn how to create your desired look within your budget.  Seem impossible?  Take a look at these tips:

1. Shop your own wardrobe.  Many women don’t even know what they have in their wardrobes.  Look and see what you have that will help you create the look you are after.  It may be a classic skirt, fitted jacket or a dress that really works for you.

2. Make a list of the items you need.  Just like you would make a grocery-shopping list, you need to do the same with your wardrobe.

3. Determine which items you need to splurge on.  These are usually your classic items that won’t date i.e a classic jacket, tailored trousers etc.  It can also be items you really struggle to find a good fit in i.e. If you find it very difficult to find trousers that fit you well, you may need to spend a little more to get a good fit.

4. Determine which items to save on. These are usually your trendier pieces.  It’s not worth investing in an item you won’t want to wear next season.  If you have good quality classic pieces, you can easily pair them with a cheaper top and no one will be the wiser.

5. Try second-hand stores.  There are some great second-hand stores that sell items that have hardly been worn, for a fraction of the price.  I took a client of mine to one of my favourite second hand stores and she got three fabulous pieces for just R700.

6. Work the sales.  Sales are great if they are items you like and need.  Resist the temptation to buy something JUST because it’s a bargain.  Subscribe to online clothing sales newsletters.  I have often found the perfect item on 50% sale.  You just have to know what you are looking for otherwise you can waste your budget on items that will just sit in your closet.

In this video, I give you some tips on how to figure out what professional image will work best for you.

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