Let’s face it – being a law student is e-x-p-e-n-s-i-v-e. Tuition, books, an occasional Thursday pub night… it doesn’t take long to add up. If you’re anything like me, your “student wardrobe”, also known colloquially as a range of outfit choices consisting mostly of jeans and sweatpants, has served you quite well until now.
As you make the transition from student life to professional life, however, your wardrobe will need to do a little transitioning as well. But, never fear – I’m here to tell you that new work clothes actually don’t have to break the bank – at least not by much more than law school has already broken it.
Finding affordable, work-appropriate clothing can be tough. A new suit might set your bank account back even more than that vacation-you-really-couldn’t-afford-but-went-on-anyway did. But, alas, professional attire is part of professional life. And, if you do it right, you’ll find yourself some quality pieces that will last you almost as long as the memories from that vacation.
If you’re like me, you love a great deal (side note: who doesn’t love a great deal?). So, I asked my peers for input. I then compiled a list of stores in the city or online that have a great selection of work attire for even the most I-just-graduated-law-school-with-enough-debt-to-last-the-rest-of-my-life of budgets. I hope you enjoy. And for the record, maybe those favourite jeans from your student wardrobe will continue to make an appearance on casual Fridays. For everyone’s sake, though, hopefully the sweatpants never do.
If you haven’t already checked out the new Yonge & Bloor location, you really should. It’s basically two levels of bargain hunter paradise. Deep discounts on designer workwear and footwear. You can also shop online if you’re not in the mood to dig.
Always a fan favourite. Lots of fashionable pieces that you can wear to work. Sometimes footwear, too! They also have massive sales a few times throughout the year where virtually everything is discounted.
Only $15USD for a tie, and they’re still 100% silk! Lots of patterns to choose from.
You’d be surprised what you might stumble across here, and always at a reasonable price. Particularly great for comfortable blazers, in my opinion.
Very affordable and very great for the basics – you can’t go wrong with plain white dress shirts for under $30. Another fan favourite at Uniqlo: the dress pants. They cost $40, come in a wide range of colours, are super comfortable, AND you can put them in the washer… no dry cleaning required!
Especially during Bay Days!
Not the “most affordable” option, but they do sometimes have good sales. Also has a 15% student discount.
Always has a sizeable sale section. Not uncommon to see them do an “extra 40% off” the last-ticketed price, either. Sign up for their emails so you know when to pop by. Also has a 15% student discount.
While Forever 21 can be hit or miss, occasionally you’ll find a great, versatile item that you can wear just about anywhere. I’d suggest shopping online as opposed to in-store, as it can be difficult to find things in-store. Shipping to various locations in the city usually only takes a couple of days.
Much like Forever, H&M can be hit or miss. When it’s a hit though, it’s spot on. You really can’t beat H&M prices. While they do have quite a large selection of work clothing, I’d recommend trying on before buying – their sizing is not always so consistent, particularly in the “work clothes” department.
See Samanthea and Alex model some affordable options below!