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dressing for a job interview
new pair of shoes
fitting clothing
economic times
last moment
first impression
helpful tips
personal finances
couple of days
Dressing For A Job Interview On A Budget
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Dressing for A Job Interview on A Budget

If you’re attending a job interview, you should never underestimate the importance of your appearance. The fact is that you only have one opportunity to make a first impression and it is your appearance that will form part of that first impression even before you have started to open your mouth. However, in difficult economic times or when your personal finances are under strain you may not have the money to buy an entire outfit of new clothes. But these days dressing for a job interview on a budget is easier that it has ever been because in real terms the price of clothing has gone down.

Here are some helpful tips of things you can do to reduce any costs on your appearance.

1. Borrow clothing

If you haven’t got suitable interview clothing think about borrowing off friends or families. However, only borrow clothes that are your size and are suitable for your colouring. There’s nothing worse turning up to an interview in ill fitting clothing.

2. Borrow accessories

New handbags and new briefcases cost money. See if you can borrow from a friend for a couple of days.

3. Hire clothing

It’s much cheaper to hire a suit for a day than invest in one that you may not use again. Hiring will allow you to have a more expensive looking outfit than perhaps your budget could cope with.

4. Add to what you have

Adding a new belt to a jacket, or a blouse under an old suit can make an outfit feel fresh and new. There’s no need to spend huge amounts. If you’re having to buy at the last moment and have limited time – most of the major supermarkets have sections for accessories and tops which are ideal.

5. Re-heel or re-sole shoes

There’s no need to rush out and buy a new pair of shoes unless you really don’t have a suitable pair. Much better to re-heel shoes or have new soles put on. Not only will you save yourself some money you will save yourself from having to break in a new pair of shoes.

6. Buy classics

If you do have money to spend on interview clothing, buy something that you will be able to use over and over again. You might want to buy something that is highly fashionable but fashions change very quickly and you could be investing in a piece of clothing that could be out of date very quickly.

7. Look for bargains

It might not always be practical but a lot of further education colleges have hair and beauty departments where you can get hair and nails done at a cheaper price because the work is done by students. Don’t dismiss the idea if you’ve never tried it. They are well supervised and many are very skilled.

8. Don’t go overboard

Some people have a tendency to go overboard when it comes to buying a new outfit for an interview. You really don’t need new clothes, new shoes, new bags, new earrings, new makeup... The amount can quickly add up.


When attending a job interview your appearance is key to making a good first impression but with a little thought it’s quite possible to dress in the way you want even on a limited budget. Look to borrow, buy clothing cheaply and adapting the outfits you already have. Exceeding your budget may seem important to land your dream job but it’s what you say which will ultimately land you the job and that’s where your focus should be.

Street Talk

This advice is very good. I've recently needed black trousers for my job. I went to the most upmarket department store and browsed their clearance rack finding a quality brand for only $35... 75% off original price. They look and feel great (being a sewer I appreciate the quality). Now when I'm out I just swing by this store and check. My next pair of designer pants will come along soon! In the meantime I'm washing and wearing!

  about 1 decade ago

Thanks Heather. I too like to keep my eye out for a bargain and like you I'm a sewer which I think is important in being able to determine what is a real bargain.

  about 1 decade ago
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