Budgeted & Thrifted Professional Attire

Back in high school during testing days, I was always the student that came dressed to the T. Ready to go ace my exams. I just could never understand the students that came to school in sweatpants, t-shirts, and if you can believe it pajama pants. At a very young age I captured one way to bringing my best foot forward, as much as possible– clothes. So it’s no wonder I approach my adult life in the same manner. 


I went on to do the same thing in undergraduate, even when I had early 8am classes. Now the pressure is at an all time high as I navigate this new world-wind part of my life, graduate school.

In the fall I’ll be entering into my second year at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs in Minneapolis, MN. Never in a million years would I have thought I would end up in Minnesota. A Florida girl but here I am. That’s what happens when you’re chasing your dreams and a full-ride scholarship to match.

Grad school has been endless nights studying, writing papers, working in group projects, presenting work, and continuously searching for the next great professional experience. But it’s also been filled with new friendships, exposure to new cultures, rekindled relationships, and the joys that come with exploring a new city.

So much is happening all the time in this phase of my life that it’s grown to become a new form of exhausting but I am also at the incredible beginnings of charting my very own career path. With all that comes excitement, new challenges, and of course new clothes!

However, because I am in graduate school and the struggle is always real, getting the right professional clothes for the internship or job interview can be tough. But I have discovered the solution, the game-changer, to finding professional clothes on a budget while practicing more sustainable habits.


Thrift stores are game-changers. They are especially for people living on a budget a.k.a. most Americans. In the U.S. thrifts stores can be a source for you to find all the professional attire you need for the next career fair, internship, job interview, etc. In Minnesota, there are many thrift stores like Savers, Salvation Army, Unique and of course many people’s go-to Goodwill. I will say currently I have been really successful at finding clothes of all sorts at Goodwill. In the picture above the dark teal dress pants were thrifted at Goodwill for no more than $10. Below is a 100% thrifted professional attire outfit for no more than $15.

IMG_2438IMG_2441It can be challenging to find professional clothes on a budget in a thrift store. It requires patience, time, and sometimes alterations. Or sometimes you just need a friend that can help you cover twice the store. I recently helped a friend find business clothes at the local Goodwill in Minneapolis. We were successful in getting two shirts and one dress. #teamworkmakesthedreamwork

So for all the hustlers out there trying to bring your best foot forward at your next professional experience, don’t give up and hit up your local thrift store for the professional clothes you’ve been searching for.

Photo Credits: Sarah Carroll 

What’s one way you put your best foot forward in your every day?

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