Creating an Affordable Work Wardrobe


Are you happy with your work wardrobe or do you struggle with deciding what to wear to work? What specific stores are your “go-to’s”? Do you find it hard to stick within a budget? What strategies or pieces have helped you to build a work wardrobe that “works” for you? 


Shopping For Clothing Can Be Stressful!

I get overwhelmed and anxious when I go shopping for myself. I feel guilty about spending money on myself. I wouldn’t even think twice about getting our kiddos what they need but even after I make a purchase, I won’t wear the said item or items for a while just to be sure that I actually do need them or that I can’t get them for a better deal. Case in point – I wore the same ski mittens for 20 years even though my hands would get damp while skiing. When my hands turned black from the fabric after a particularly wet day of skiing, I finally got new ones!


Finding a Work Wardrobe as A Mom Can Be Tough – The Struggle is Real

I find that I often can’t find what I am looking for when I “need” it or I don’t really know what I need or what is missing from my wardrobe. I struggle with knowing what I should purchase so that I feel that I fit in and so that I can feel confident with how I am presenting myself to others. When our youngest was 2 years old, I had an interview at a non-profit organization job downtown for a curriculum writing position. After the interview, I felt completely out of place and that I had nothing to wear that fit me properly or that made me feel like I belonged in a work environment.


Consulting With The Fashion Experts

At that time, Southcentre Mall in Calgary, Alberta had an amazing style concierge program that was FREE! You could book a 1.5-hour appointment though the mall’s customer service. You would let them know what type of clothing you were looking for (workwear, casual, etc.) and they would take you to stores in the mall and work with you to find pieces to meet your needs and budget. There was no obligation to purchase but of course, you would want to because the stylist would find pieces that would work! I ended up doing this twice and loved the experience! Each time, I purchased the pieces I had tried on that were on sale and then, waited to purchase the others when they went on sale (As things always do!). These appointments now cost $125 for 90 minutes and you receive a $25 Southcentre gift card at the session.


Finding a Store That Makes Mom Fashion Easier

One of the stores that I was introduced to during one of my style concierge appointments was RW&CO. They have fantastic basic and more patterned, trendy pieces that are easy to wear and to transition between work, day to day, and going out in the evening. As well, they have great sales! If you are patient you can get 40% off regular-priced merchandise (with some exclusions of course) during, for example, Power Lunches. They also have times where you can earn RW&CO Dollars. For every $50 you spend (before taxes and shipping costs and after rebates) you get a $50 coupon redeemable on a purchase of $100 or more (before taxes and shipping costs and after rebates) during a specified period of time. For example, in-store, you could use three of these coupons to reduce a $300 purchase to $150. However,  online-only one coupon code can be entered per online transaction (i.e. $50 off of a $100 purchase) and you do have to spend $120 for free shipping. RW&CO Dollars earned from in-store purchases can be used in-store or online. RW&CO Dollars earned from online purchases can ONLY be used online.

My favourite RW&CO pieces include:

  • Modern Stretch Leggings – available in different inseam lengths (28″, 31.5″, as well as shorter lengths for spring/summer) and come in a variety of solid colours as well as patterns
  • Silky Crepe Cami Blouse – available in a variety of solid colours as well as patterns

I would love to hear your suggestions for your key clothing pieces for part-time work, where you shop, and how you make budget-friendly choices. 

It’s easier to feel confident out in the part-time jungle when you’re suitably, stylishly, and affordably dressed for the adventures ahead!


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