Image Credits: HelloFashion

Purchasing professional clothes can be very overwhelming. From dress pants to pencil skirts to blouses and blazers, finding clothes that are appropriate for the office can become a huge financial stressor. Whether it is your first internship or your first full-time job, the tips below will help you score professional clothes without draining your wallet.

1) Check outlets and department stores

Most retail stores such as Banana Republic, Loft, and Polo Ralph Lauren have outlets or factory stores where you can find items at a fraction of the price. If you don’t have access to an outlet mall near you, many stores also offer an online outlet. Stores such as Marshalls and TJ Maxx also offer designer pieces for much less than market value. Stores like these are one-stop shops for dress clothes, casual clothes, shoes and accessories. You won’t feel nearly as guilty for splurging on yourself. After all, if you are shopping for your new job or internship, you’ve earned it.

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2) Never overlook the clearance section

Some of my best finds have been from discount racks at department stores. If you have enough time and a little bit of patience to pick through all of the clearance clothing, there is potential to find some really great pieces at significantly discounted prices.

3) Hit up local thrift and resale stores

Many consignment stores and re-sale boutiques are specifically targeted toward young, professional women. This may be a good place to look for outerwear pieces such as blazers and pea-coats that you may not wear as often. Even if you aren’t currently in the market to buy, several of these boutiques will buy back gently used clothing that you may have outgrown. You can make room for the new and some extra cash.

RELATED: 5 Small Details That Can Add To Your Professional And Polished Look

4) Always look for coupons

Almost every store has some sort of email club or rewards program. While it may not always be the most convenient thing to be asked for your email at checkout, it is with good intentions that stores will email you coupons or notify you of sales. Department stores such as JCPenney and Macy’s also offer coupons right on their websites for anybody to use. Store loyalty has its perks. If you find a store that carries your absolute favorite dress pants, don’t hesitate to ask a sales associate about loyalty or rewards programs that may suit you and you will often be compensated for your business.

5) Take advantage of seasonal sales and closeouts

Any retail aficionado knows the specific times of the year when you can score a hot deal. Two peak sales times are right after Christmas and around Independence Day. Stores need to clear out their old merchandise to prepare for the next season’s styles. In addition, you do not want to see your favorite store close, but closeout sales can be some of the best deals you can find with prices cut to anywhere from fifty to eighty percent.

As previously mentioned, shopping for professional pieces can be stressful and a financial burden. With these money-saving tips, we hope to make it much easier. Happy shopping.

Jennie G