Collins Community Credit Union

The Triple CU Scoop - Update your Spring Wardrobe on a Budget

Published on Mar 11, 2015

Spring is finally here; the sun is shining, the birds are chirping and it’s time to put those snow boots away! As I started to dig out my spring clothes last weekend I realized that my wardrobe is in need of a major update. Don’t get me wrong, I have tons of clothes (more than I’d like to admit) and they’re in good condition, too. The problem is they aren’t pieces that I can wear to work, so, I don’t get much use out of them. So, I decided it’s time to ditch my college wardrobe and invest in some higher quality pieces that are more work appropriate.

When you graduate from college and land your first gig not only do you have to create a budget for things like rent, car insurance and student loans, but you also have to think about updating your professional wardrobe. It’s important to know what items are essential to your closet and where to save and splurge. 

Speaking from experience, I know that building a professional wardrobe can be expensive. And, you start to realize that you can never have enough pairs of dress pants. Two years after graduating, I’m still working on transitioning from college clothes to investing in appropriate work attire. For me, I like to buy a few things here and there, rather than buying everything on the list at one time. And, I’ve found that it’s easier to shop by season. At the beginning of each season I evaluate my closet, and my needs, I pull out anything that I’m not wearing anymore and head to Plato’s Closet. I might as well get some cash for the things I’m not wearing anymore to put toward my new pieces.

Now, as I’m thinking about how fun it’s going to be to go shopping this weekend (I haven’t gone in such a long time I think I’m having withdraws) I’m also thinking about my budget.

Before running wild at the mall, I will sit down to determine my budget and create a shopping list. This will help me shop with a purpose and keep me from making impulse decisions. 

In the table below I’ve broken down my list of essentials into two categories, save and splurge. As a general rule of thumb, you’ll want to splurge on structured pieces that are made with higher quality fabrics so they last longer and hold their shape. This would include pieces like blazers and pants, which get more use.  And, I’d suggest splurging on items your wear everyday to work and saving on items that are reserved for the weekend. 

Also, some items could be places in both categories. For example, it’s a good idea to spend a little money on a couple of good pairs of dress shoes, yet you can save when you’re purchasing sandals or flip flops. The same concept goes for jewelry. Invest in timeless pieces like a watch or diamond earrings, and save on trendy statement pieces by going to places like Forever 21

Save Splurge
Statement Jewelry Trench Coat
Scarves Little Black Dress
Blouses and Tops Pencil Skirt
Casual Spring Jacket Light Colored Structured Blazer
T-shirts for Layering Dresses
  Dress Pants
  Blouses and Tops


Below are a few items on my list that I’ll be looking for this weekend. My goal, though it may be lofty, is to spend no more than $100 on my weekend shopping trip.  Between sales, coupons and the cash I have from my old duds, I think I can make it happen!

Shoes - Kohls, Scarf - Old Navy, Jacket - Gap

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