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frugal work clothes
Old 10-05-2019, 09:34 PM   #1
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frugal work clothes

I have worked blue collar jobs my whole life but due to a total hip replacement I have to start over with office work. I have no degree or experience so I was lucky to get a $13.50/hr call center job. I will have to wear business casual clothing. Any ideas on how to source office attire at reasonable prices? With a salary under $30K I can't spend big money for a new wardrobe but do need some acceptable business casual clothing. What do you think is the minimum acceptable amount of clothing? If it helps I am a thin, tall, 40 year old male. Thanks.
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Old 10-05-2019, 10:03 PM   #2
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Go to Kohl’s and get some khakis and some polo shirts. Shoes can probably be “walking” type shoes. Not exactly sneakers but usually a leather look with a soft sole. I can’t imagine a call center will care much as long as it’s not jeans or a tee shirt.

If you’re able to go a little nicer, go with some dockers or hagger slacks. Mostly, try them on and make sure they’ll be comfortable for you.
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Old 10-05-2019, 10:11 PM   #3
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I had an IT job that required "Business Casual". I wore jeans every day for 10+ years.
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Old 10-05-2019, 10:11 PM   #4
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Go to Kohl’s and get some khakis and some polo shirts. Shoes can probably be “walking” type shoes. Not exactly sneakers but usually a leather look with a soft sole. I can’t imagine a call center will care much as long as it’s not jeans or a tee shirt.

If you’re able to go a little nicer, go with some dockers or hagger slacks. Mostly, try them on and make sure they’ll be comfortable for you.
Every Friday I will get an email detailing the dress code for the following week. If a client is coming thru then we have to wear slacks and a buttondown. With one particular client we have to wear a tie but that is only one day every couple months. The email I got for my first week said "no jeans and collared shirt required" M-W and "jeans ok with collared shirt" Th-F.
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Old 10-05-2019, 10:14 PM   #5
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Costco or BJ's
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Old 10-05-2019, 10:57 PM   #6
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Congrats on the new job. Since this is an office job, how do you know you will like it and stay? Don't go overboard!

- Check Goodwill or 2nd hand stores or even Craigslist for ties, button down, and pants/slacks.
- Kohl's has Croft & Barrow pants and shirts on sale most of the time. Entry level stuff can be $20 and under.
- Sam's Club and Costco has entry level Dress slacks and shirts for about $20 each too.

Good luck.
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Old 10-05-2019, 11:17 PM   #7
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Congrats on the new job. Since this is an office job, how do you know you will like it and stay? Don't go overboard!

- Check Goodwill or 2nd hand stores or even Craigslist for ties, button down, and pants/slacks.
- Kohl's has Croft & Barrow pants and shirts on sale most of the time. Entry level stuff can be $20 and under.
- Sam's Club and Costco has entry level Dress slacks and shirts for about $20 each too.

Good luck.
+1 Salvation Army and Goodwill have a lot of mens' dress clothing. Even Target has some really low prices on closeout merchandise.
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Old 10-06-2019, 05:21 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by aaronc879 View Post
I have worked blue collar jobs my whole life but due to a total hip replacement I have to start over with office work. I have no degree or experience so I was lucky to get a $13.50/hr call center job. I will have to wear business casual clothing. Any ideas on how to source office attire at reasonable prices? With a salary under $30K I can't spend big money for a new wardrobe but do need some acceptable business casual clothing. What do you think is the minimum acceptable amount of clothing? If it helps I am a thin, tall, 40 year old male. Thanks.
I don't mean to get off point, could you post on how you like the call center job. I am in the same situation with blue collar work and now cannot do the work but inbound sales are availabe to me from home.
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Old 10-06-2019, 06:03 AM   #9
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I don't mean to get off point, could you post on how you like the call center job. I am in the same situation with blue collar work and now cannot do the work but inbound sales are availabe to me from home.
It will be a few weeks before I am fully trained and working on my own. I won't know how I like it until i'm on my own for at least a full week. I will be making calls at my own pace rather than receiving calls which I think will be much better for me so that's good.
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Old 10-06-2019, 06:05 AM   #10
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Old 10-06-2019, 06:08 AM   #11
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Costco has you covered.
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Old 10-06-2019, 06:31 AM   #12
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My ER wardrobe is entirely thrift shop and Ebay. I have a size and style and manufacturer I like. I purchased a bunch of pants on Ebay for an average of $8 each including shipping. Thrift shop were about $4 each. You have to be careful with thrift shop as some: wrinkle easily, have no breast pocket, missing a button, collars wearing thin, etc.

For shoes, you must go for comfort. I buy new, although I have picked up some NIB duplicates of workout shoes at Ebay for about 50% of retail.
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Old 10-06-2019, 06:47 AM   #13
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For a man, costco should work fine. If you're looking to grow a new career, remember you'll strive to dress slightly smarter than your average peer. If everyone else is in jeans and tee's, then khaki's and polo's.

Everyone else in polo's - get some button front shirts. Since you'll want to have minimal quantity when starting, get colors and patterns that don't stand out, but allow you a week's rotation.
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Old 10-06-2019, 07:01 AM   #14
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Aim for a "capsule wardrobe", a few good pieces where most mix and match. Online with "ThreadUp" is another source for used clothing.
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Old 10-06-2019, 07:39 AM   #15
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+3 on Koh!s.
Picked up some Croft and Barrow polos for $10 and kahkis for $, a pair of Dockers for $12. They don't look like they'll last long, but will give me a reason to toss them when I get a stain. Weird store though. One shelf had shirts for $20, same shirts on another area for $10.
Find a friend with a Kohls card who knows how to work their "cash" back game and you can save on brand names too.
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Old 10-06-2019, 07:49 AM   #16
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Just want to say good luck Aaron. You have been through the wringer
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Old 10-06-2019, 07:52 AM   #17
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I had an IT job that required "Business Casual". I wore jeans every day for 10+ years.
Same here. Collar shirts though, never quite made it to T-shirts. I did tend to walk around the office in my socks though. Ever since my days wearing construction boots for long hours, I've hated wearing shoes. I did put on my sneakers to go to meetings, or to the cafeteria or rest room. If anyone challenged me, I told them they're lucky I didn't show up in a bathrobe and slippers.

My point is, find out what's acceptable before you buy a bunch of stuff. And certainly go up one notch if you're bucking for a promotion. I did that for years. Toward the end I realized I didn't want my boss's job anyway, so the whole wardrobe thing became less important.

Even WalMart has clothing that suits the "business casual" category.
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Old 10-06-2019, 07:58 AM   #18
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X4 on looking at thrift stores for the clothing cheap to get you started out. Should be able to find decent khakis and I agree get some full button front oxford type shirts
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Old 10-06-2019, 08:13 AM   #19
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A third +++ on Costco for biz casual attire. Costco was my go-to for the last 10 years or so of w*rk.
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Old 10-06-2019, 08:13 AM   #20
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Congrats! I would go with goodwill type of places but I think they have days of the week when they lower prices so ask the when they have those.

If Kohl’s but they cost more.
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