What should I do if I don't own any appropriate business attire?

Not all of us own suits or even casual business attire. What should you do if you don’t own the clothing or have the cash to spend on that brand new outfit for your upcoming interview or event? Perhaps you could borrow it or think vintage!

Borrow it!

Chances are you have a friend or relative who may wear similar sized clothing and shoes as you do. Ask around to see if you can borrow some items to assemble an appropriate outfit. They will probably be more than happy to help you put together a look. Just make sure you try on the items well ahead of your interview or event. That way if the items don’t fit you can always proceed to a Plan B! Always have a Plan B.

Think vintage!

Don’t be put off by the word “used”. Even Hollywood celebrities wear used items, but they prefer to call them “vintage”! Some stores (such as Value Village or Goodwill) sell all sorts of used items including clothing. You can find suits, shirts, ties, belts, and even shoes that may have very little to no wear. Some items still have the original tags attached.

Consignment shops are smaller boutiques that specialize in selling clothing on behalf of previous owners. Use the internet to find local consignment shops by searching for “consignment” and the name of the city or town you want to shop. There are plenty of shops in the Mississauga area alone. Some consignment shops even carry high end and designer brands at very affordable prices.

You can also find new and used career wear by checking an online auction site such as ebay. You may need a credit card to make purchases, so this may not be the best option for everyone.

It’s best to give yourself plenty of time when looking for used items. You can make it a project to work on prior to starting your job search. Sometimes used can be a good thing! And it’s good for the environment too.

Still no outfit?

If you aren’t able to borrow or buy something inexpensive you can always put together your next best choice from your own wardrobe.

If you can only borrow or invest in one piece, try to make it a good basic black blazer or suit jacket. This will be a versatile staple in your wardrobe.

Clean, pressed pants and a shirt or sweater and leather footwear will make a better impression than jeans, a hoodie, and athletic shoes. If you are still in doubt and you want more advice you can always contact the Career Centre. Remember, we’re here to support you in your job search!

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