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The Decorator Crab – Breaking Down The Costs Of A New Job Wardrobe

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Nov 15, 2013 in Interviewing Skills, Self Improvement

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Where most animals grow their own fur, hair, feathers, and other outer adornments, the decorator crab specifically adds flair from its environment to its shell such as seaweed, sponges, and stones, in order to blend in with its surroundings.

Starting a new job is more than just learning how the company works. One thing that many people tend to forget is the wardrobe. If you’re planning on working with a company that doesn’t require a uniform but has a strict dress code, you may be finding yourself heading out to the store soon to load up on some new clothing.

Since there’s a chance you’ve been without a job for a while, you may not want to break the bank, and most can agree with that. To help you budget for your wardrobe let’s take a look at the costs and how you can even save hundreds of dollars.
How much will it cost?

A. The Company Sponsored Shirts

Most of the time, retail stores and companies that deal with the public are going to provide uniforms and other accessories for either free or a small cost, usually less than $10. Depending on the company, some may require that you wear the uniform, while others may consider it an option. If you can take advantage of the low-cost uniforms, consider doing so. Most of the time, you will just be responsible for the pants, which will usually be khakis. You’re looking at around $35-$60 per pair of pants. If you were to purchase three $10 shirts with four pairs of pants, it’s best to budget at least $250.

B. Business Casual

If you’re on your own when it comes to the wardrobe you’re going to have to ask yourself where you’re going to be working. Are you going to be working as a sales professional where you’re dealing with clients? If so, you’re going to need a full suit. However, if you’re going to be a bank teller or teacher, you can get away with a simple business casual outfit.

Those who plan on working in the business casual atmosphere should invest in three to four pairs of pants, five to seven tops, five to seven dress socks, two pairs of shoes, and if you think you may need it — one nice suit. So taking this example, let’s break down a new wardrobe:

3-4 Pairs of Pants ($50 each) — $150 to $200
5-7 Tops ($40 each) — $200 to $280
5-7 Socks ($10 each) — $50 to $70
2 Pairs of Shoes ($80 each) — $160
5 Ties for men ($10 each) — $50
Full Suit ($250) — $250
Total: $960 on higher end

Now, this is going to more than likely be on the higher end. Of course, there are many ways to save money in this area, which I will talk about later.

C. Professional

Lastly, jobs that deal with the public will often have to wear full suits. This, of course, can get rather expensive. Taking the averages mentioned above, it’s best to have at least five suits. If each suit was an average of $250, again, on the higher-end, you’re looking at a total of at least $1,250+ for suits alone.

Are there extra costs to think about?

* Dry cleaning. With any professional outfit, it’s highly recommended that you dry clean your items. Depending on the garments, plan on spending at least $2 to $5 per piece every week. It’s good to get in the habit of professionally cleaning your clothes, especially higher-end items.

* Wear and tear. Any clothing is going to rip, tear or receive stains over time. Plan on replacing some pieces of clothing at least every six months.

* Accessories. While optional, women especially opt to wear jewelry that will complement their outfits. This, of course, will depend on your style and piece of jewelry you’re looking to invest in.

How to Save:

You may be looking at the costs up above and saying, “Phew! I can’t afford this!” Thankfully, there are a handful of ways to save hundreds of dollars. Don’t believe me? Here’s how it can be done:

– Thrift Stores
– Higher-end Department Store Clearance Sections
– Coupons
– Garage Sales in Professional Neighborhoods
– Consignment Shops
– eBay and Craigslist
– Discount retailers like TJ Maxx and Marshalls
– Borrow or Share from acquaintances and friends

Tips to Keep in Mind

– Mix up your colors. Make sure your wardrobe has a variety of colors.
– Set a budget every month and stick to it. Don’t make impromptu purchases!
– Don’t focus on brands. You can look great with no-name clothing brands.
– There’s no need to purchase everything at once.
– Be smart with your clothing to make it last longer.

The decorator crab dresses up for survival and makes its selections carefully. Choose your clothing wisely and take care of your appearance to get ahead.

This guest post is contributed by Stephanie. Stephanie is from the website How Much Is It?

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