Sometimes it can be difficult and expensive to find work appropriate clothing that makes you feel professional while still being yourself. Some of the best stores are also the most available places to explore for office fashion without compromising on style, budget, or comfort. With these in mind you can get yourself a professional wardrobe that you can customize with pieces already in your closet.


Nordstrom + Nordstrom Rack

Nordstrom offers high end brands that will add great professional pieces to your wardrobe. Nordstrom Rack is where designer meets bargain. Much more affordable than Nordstrom itself, the Rack offers a wide array of clothing options all at dramatically lower prices. Whether you're looking for a high quality suit or you're searching for fill in items there will be plenty of choices. It can be a bit more of a treasure hunt to find the perfect piece but the discount will be well worth it.


J.Crew + J.Crew Factory

J.Crew is the place to pick up the long lasting staples that can create a professional backbone to your wardrobe. With the more expensive price tag J.Crew can offer high quality long lasting pieces. Most styles can come in a variety of colors to show off your personal flare. The cheat to avoid the high prices is to head to J.Crew Factory and it's large collection of professional dresses, pants, suits, and blazers. With dramatic discounts you can get a great deal on that expensive item you love and save the extra money to fill in the gaps with more affordable pieces.


Anne Taylor and Anne Taylor Loft

Anne Taylor has sleek looks that add maturity to a professional wardrobe. Anne Taylor's sister store frequently known as The Loft features professional attire geared more towards a younger demographic. Offering clothes with fun unexpected colors and patterns The Loft is a great place to get everything from a statement piece to a fun filler item.


The Gap and Gap Factory

If you're looking for basics then the Gap is your best friend. Featuring a lot of neutral tones and clean cut lines the Gap will give you a surprisingly comfortable professional wardrobe. With a few gap pieces it is easy to have a professional base to build off of. If you're looking for a discount then head to Gap Factory. The Factory store sells all of the Gap's signature looks with a lower price tag.


Uniqlo

Uniqlo is a great place to pick up all the filler items you need for your wardrobe. With a lot of basic low cost items you can load up on all those shirts to go underneath your sweaters and blazers. Uniqlo specializes in comfort and their shirts are affordable, convenient, and work appropriate. That doesn't mean they don't feature more professional items because Uniqlo has the whole package.


Lord and Taylor

If you need to suit up then Lord and Taylor is the place for you. When you need to buy a classic basic suit or you want to buy a ready made outfit and skip having to match up tops and bottoms then Lord and Taylor will have plenty of options. The price tags here can be high and if you are shopping on a budget then keep your eye on the sales. Great pieces can come down drastically in price if you are up for some sales rack hunting.


Target

Target not only features some great work attire on its own but also frequently does designer collaborations. The fashion here can be more on trend and outside of the box. If you want to keep adding new and exciting pieces to your wardrobe, or you just want to stand out in the office then Target will have more options than department stores who thrive on neutral colored classics. This is a great home base for building up a work wardrobe with both professional staples, cheap fill in items, and interesting accessories.


Banana Republic and Banana Republic Factory

While Banana Republic is not cheap it does have some of the most flattering staple pieces available that are a great option for your first investment piece. Banana Republic always has classic styles and they frequently refresh their stores with interesting and on trend seasonal additions. If you need a powerful interview outfit or an ensemble for an important work event and you are interested in investing some money into it then this is a great place to look. Their factory store offers their looks at a discounted rate if you want to save a few dollars while you build up a solid wardrobe.


Go forth and get Shopping!

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I thought I had a pretty good handle on my finances out of school. I worked several jobs while attending university and had little to no problem managing my income. However, once I graduated, I realized how much more complicated personal accounting could really be.

There were so many variables I needed to keep track of. Biweekly bills, monthly charges, and general necessities amounted to a heap of confusing numbers that were often impossible to decipher. The funniest part was that I was actually trying to do this by hand (I don't know what I was trying to prove to myself, either).

After messing up for the 17th time, I decided to give Microsoft Excel a shot. I used Excel a bit in school and I knew all the big-wig finance people used it, so what could I possibly have to lose? The answer is about six hours of my precious time. Excel isn't much of an improvement over handwriting and it's still dependent on the user to manually input all of the information. It's like doing everything by hand with the slightest help, meaning that it still required a tremendous amount of time and concentration. Well that was all for nothing, I guess.

It's sort of funny. I was certain that I could manage my personal finances with ease, when it's practically a full-time job. I was already stressed out enough with my first job and I knew I didn't have enough time to give my finances the attention it deserved.

That's why I decided to try out a budgeting app. My best friend told me that he uses an app called Truebill to manage his finances. "What does it even mean to manage your finances?" I asked him. He told me that Truebill was the personal financial assistant I wished I could have. It could aggregate all of my account information into one place and give me specific insights and actions.

I loved the idea of having full control over my finances, especially during a time of financial uncertainty, and I realized that Truebill would be the easiest way to accomplish this. The user interface is incredibly simple and intuitive, so it doesn't even feel like a finance app! Truebill offers a multitude of features, with their most popular being the ability to cancel subscriptions with the press of a button.

Okay, I had no idea how many subscriptions I was still subscribed to. In fact, I wasn't even using a quarter of the subscription services I was signed up for. Subscription boxes, streaming services, my old gym, and even an old subscription to my favorite magazine--it was all there and I was livid. How could I let myself waste all of this money and how did I never catch this? Thank goodness for Truebill.

Truebill also offers bill negotiations. There is a 40% fee based on how much you save and Truebill even claims that there is an 85% chance that they'll be able to lower your bill once a negotiation is requested. Why wouldn't I take them up on this? There was zero risk and I would only have to pay once my bill was lowered (which means that I would be saving money regardless).

More standard features of Truebill include the ability to generate a credit report on-demand and even request a pay advance. I only used the pay advance feature once when I wanted to buy a gift for my mom, but didn't have enough cash in hand and Truebill automatically reimbursed itself when I got my next paycheck.

The credit report is another fantastic feature and practically taught me what good credit meant. Truebill's credit report basically shows you which financial decisions have the most significant impact on your credit score and ways that you can improve your credit month-over-month. I've never had such control over my credit and it feels good.

I'll be the first to admit that I was extremely naive coming out of school. I figured that as long as I was attentive, I could manage my finances with ease. We manage money to some extent throughout our entire lives, but once you're thrown out on your own, it's a completely different story. With Truebill, I've finally been able to take control over my finances and stay on top of all of my responsibilities.

Update: Our friends at Truebill are extending a special offer to our readers! Follow this link to sign-up for Truebill.