Shopping for business clothes using Black Friday sales

We’re all friends here, right? Can I just share that my shopping victory of the weekend was finding a suit I want and will actually wear, in a tall size, for $115?! I know that’s steep, but it’s hard to find anything cheaper when it comes to suiting unless you are lucky enough to find one second hand. 

I accomplished this by using Black Friday sales to finally get some business clothes I’ve been eyeing. Yes, I know, the season of giving gifts to others, etc etc…but this is also a really good time to find business casual clothes at more affordable prices. 

Here are some picks from the J. Crew sale, which is 50% off almost everything. That makes J. Crew almost affordable! Above, the suit I bought (jacket $75, pants $40). Below, some other good choices: 

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Spring 10×10 picks

Starting the Style Bee/Un-Fancy Spring 10×10 style challenge on Monday. If you have lots of clothes and feel like mixing them up is difficult, you should join! Pick 10 wardrobe items and style them into 10 outfits over the next two weeks. Here’s what I’ve got: jeans, culottes, a sun dress, three shirts, two sweaters, boots, and sandals. My wardrobe is very black and white right now so I tried to pick some stuff to lighten it up.

Shopping J. Crew winter clearance for business wear

Shopping the J. Crew Sale

Every December/July J. Crew does a 50% off sale on clearance items. This is the only time I buy anything from them, and has helped me to slowly build a professional teaching wardrobe. Here are some of my favorites this time around:

1- Sweater (I bought this in cabernet for $30 yesterday)

2- Velvet blazer

3- Cashmere sweater (I will probably save up for a couple months and make this my next big purchase…additionally, Steinmart has cashmere sweaters for $35 right now. Run, I say!)

4- Dress pants (I love that these come in fun colors, I might buy these in blue)

6- Necklace (J. Crew is my go-to for I-am-presenting-at-this-conference-and-I-need-a-power-necklace)

7- Flats

8- Dress

Teacher style: fancy cut, casual fabric.

One way to make your wardrobe work for teaching and the rest of your grad school life is to find crossover pieces. This dress has a semi-fancy cut (waist definition, pockets!) but is a nice comfy cotton, so I wear it to teach or dress it down with my jean jacket to go to class. Fun fact: I bought this dress in Norway from this woman who worked in a clothing store because I wanted her to give me some contacts for my research. She did not pick up what I was laying down, and thought I bought the dress because I was trying to ask her out. #hazardsofresearch 

Dress: Like I said, Norwegian. Some similar options from Old Navy: 1, 2, 3

Shirt: Madewell

Shoes: Pikolinos, Nordstrom Rack score (similar)

Backpack: Herschel (backpack round up coming soon!)