The Arts

How to Dress on a Budget

From looking professional for an for an interview to getting prepared for Winter, we have you covered.


Photos by Madison Pearson                                                                       | The Communicator

You​ ​don’t​ ​need​ ​to​ ​break​ ​the​ ​bank​ ​to​ ​look​ ​like​ ​you​ ​work​ ​in​ ​one.

A​ ​ramen​ ​noodle​ ​budget​ ​tends​ ​to​ ​get​ ​in​ ​the​ ​way​ ​of​ ​college​ ​students​ ​trying​ ​to​ ​look professional,​ ​however​ ​there​ ​are​ ​low​ ​cost​ ​options​ ​for​ ​professional​ ​clothing​ ​around spokane,​ ​such​ ​as​ ​Goodwill,​ ​The​ ​Arc​ ​of​ ​Spokane,​ ​and​ ​other​ ​thrift​ ​stores.

It’s​ ​hard​ ​to​ ​make​ ​it​ ​very​ ​far​ ​in​ ​interviews,​ ​professional​ ​events,​ ​and​ ​presentations in​ ​leggings​ ​and​ ​basketball​ ​shorts.​ ​​ ​There’s​ ​a​ ​lot​ ​of​ ​room​ ​for​ ​expression​ ​and​ ​creativity while​ ​still​ ​looking​ ​professional.

​ ​A​ ​good,​ ​simple​ ​professional​ ​outfit​ ​should​ ​include​ ​dress​ ​pants​ ​or​ ​a​ ​pencil​ ​skirt,​ ​a nice​ ​shirt,​ ​or​ ​blouse,​ ​and​ ​often​ ​a​ ​blazer,​ ​especially​ ​for​ ​men.​ ​While​ ​blazers​ ​can​ ​go​ ​for​ ​up to​ ​40​ ​dollars​ ​for​ ​women,​ ​and​ ​75-260​ ​dollars​ ​for​ ​men​ ​at​ ​JC​ ​Penny’s,​ ​both​ ​men’s​ ​and women’s​ ​blazers​ ​go​ ​for​ ​7​ ​dollars​ ​at​ ​the​ ​Arc​ ​of​ ​Spokane,​ ​and​ ​4-16​ ​dollars​ ​at​ ​Goodwill.

When​ ​in​ ​doubt,​ ​neutral​ ​colors​ ​like​ ​navy​ ​blue,​ ​grey,​ ​white,​ ​and​ ​black​ ​are​ ​the​ ​most professional,​ ​although​ ​branching​ ​out​ ​into​ ​patterns,​ ​pastels,​ ​and​ ​colors​ ​is​ ​acceptable​ ​too.

Ties​ ​and​ ​scarves​ ​are​ ​a​ ​great​ ​way​ ​to​ ​add​ ​color,​ ​and​ ​personal​ ​expression​ ​to​ ​an interview-ready​ ​outfit,​ ​and​ ​both​ ​can​ ​be​ ​found​ ​for​ ​3-10​ ​dollars​ ​at​ ​thrift​ ​stores,​ ​in​ ​a​ ​variety of​ ​colors​ ​and​ ​patterns.

In​ ​cold​ ​weather,​ ​trench​ ​coats,​ ​collared​ ​jackets,​ ​and​ ​longer​ ​coats​ ​with​ ​a​ ​belt​ ​are generally​ ​acceptable​ ​to​ ​wear​ ​in​ ​a​ ​professional​ ​setting,​ ​especially​ ​in​ ​professional,​ ​neutral colors.

Ties​ ​should​ ​be​ ​tied​ ​in​ ​a​ ​windsor​ ​knot,​ ​or​ ​another​ ​knot,​ ​as​ ​long​ ​as​ ​it​ ​is​ ​done neatly.​ ​They​ ​should​ ​be​ ​worn​ ​with​ ​a​ ​collared​ ​shirt,​ ​buttoned​ ​all​ ​the​ ​way​ ​up.​ ​Scarves​ ​may be​ ​harder​ ​to​ ​fit​ ​into​ ​an​ ​outfit,​ ​however​ ​thin,​ ​professional​ ​scarves​ ​may​ ​be​ ​worn​ ​with collared​ ​shirts​ ​or​ ​some​ ​blouses,​ ​so​ ​that​ ​a​ ​small​ ​amount​ ​is​ ​showing​ ​under​ ​the​ ​collar,​ ​but not​ ​enough​ ​to​ ​be​ ​distracting.

The​ ​Arc​ ​of​ ​Spokane​ ​is​ ​one​ ​of​ ​the​ ​largest​ ​and​ ​best​ ​organized​ ​thrift​ ​stores​ ​in Spokane.​ ​They​ ​hire​ ​and​ ​support​ ​people​ ​with​ ​intellectual​ ​and​ ​developmental​ ​disabilities, while​ ​also​ ​keeping​ ​a​ ​large​ ​inventory​ ​well​ ​organized​ ​and​ ​clean​ ​in​ ​their​ ​store.


The​ ​Arc​ ​of​ ​Spokane​ ​had​ ​a​ ​large​ ​selection​ ​of​ ​dress​ ​pants​ ​and​ ​slacks​ ​going​ ​for​ ​5 dollars​ ​for​ ​both​ ​men​ ​and​ ​women.​ ​Belts​ ​can​ ​be​ ​found​ ​for​ ​under​ ​ten,​ ​and​ ​ties​ ​and​ ​scarves cost​ ​half​ ​that.​ ​At​ ​the​ ​Arc​ ​of​ ​Spokane,​ ​coats,​ ​both​ ​professional​ ​and​ ​warm,​ ​sell​ ​for​ ​12-14 dollars,​ ​and​ ​are​ ​similarly​ ​priced​ ​at​ ​Goodwill.

Goodwill​ ​is​ ​a​ ​very​ ​well-known​ ​thrift​ ​store,​ ​with​ ​several​ ​locations​ ​around​ ​Spokane.

They​ ​also​ ​employ​ ​the​ ​disabled,​ ​and​ ​have​ ​outreaches​ ​for​ ​them.​ ​They​ ​have​ ​a​ ​large, reliable​ ​stock​ ​of​ ​clothing,​ ​and​ ​household​ ​items.​ ​They​ ​use​ ​color​ ​coded​ ​price​ ​tags,​ ​so​ ​it’s easy​ ​to​ ​stick​ ​to​ ​your​ ​budget.

For​ ​students​ ​who​ ​are​ ​more​ ​worried​ ​about​ ​staying​ ​warm​ ​than​ ​looking​ ​nice, outerwear​ ​is​ ​available​ ​nearby​ ​for​ ​cheap,​ ​or​ ​even​ ​for​ ​free.​ ​The​ ​foodbank​ ​on​ ​campus, located​ ​near​ ​the​ ​student​ ​government​ ​office​ ​has​ ​some​ ​gloves​ ​and​ ​winter​ ​accessories​ ​for free.​ ​​ ​

For​ ​students​ ​looking​ ​for​ ​something​ ​new,​ ​Walmart​ ​has​ ​winter​ ​coats​ ​for​ ​as​ ​little​ ​as 20​ ​dollars.​ ​There​ ​are​ ​plenty​ ​of​ ​options​ ​nearby​ ​to​ ​stay​ ​safe​ ​and​ ​warm​ ​in​ ​the​ ​winter.

The​ ​Arc​ ​of​ ​Spokane
Address:​ ​320​ ​E​ ​2nd​ ​Ave,​ ​Spokane,​ ​WA​ ​99202
Phone:​ ​(509)​ ​789-2247
Hours:​ ​9am-8pm

Address:​ ​202​ ​E​ ​3rd​ ​Ave,​ ​Spokane,​ ​WA​ ​99202
Phone:​ ​(509)​ ​838-4246
Hours:​ ​9am-8pm