Dressing for a job interview on a budget

24 March 2023

Dressing for a job interview on a budget

1. Research!

First up, take our key tip from our previous blog post on how to dress for an interview. Planning starts with researching your potential employer and their dress code, so you look like you will fit in. Do your research – check out their website, don’t be afraid to ask what is appropriate and if you have the opportunity, look at what others are wearing in a role similar to you.

2. Get planning

Get creative and look at new ways to get more bang for your buck. Make it easy on yourself and enlist the help of a savvy friend or family member you trust. Your CoAct Service Partner can also help you.

Shop your wardrobe

Start in your wardrobe to check you haven’t forgotten a key item or pair of shoes. Sometimes a fresh set of eyes can uncover a hidden gem or suggest some alterations to change the fit of your garment.

Shop for less

Check out what’s happening in your neighbuorhood

  • Retail sales including shops closing down
  • Factory outlets where you can shop quality brands for less
  • Second hand op-shops such as Red Cross, Vinnies and Salvos
  • Online shops such as E-bay


  • From a friend, colleague or family member
  • Hold a SWAP clothes party with friends and family

Non-profit organisations

Investigate non-profits with career support programs (such as Dress for Success and Fitted for Work) that can assist you with interview garments. CoAct Service Partners are on the ground in your area and can connect you to local services that may be able to help.

3. Work it your way


Dress to fit your shape by selecting garments that are shaped to your body with just enough ease to move. This is the ideal fit for all shapes and sizes. Check the lengths of your garments are in proportion to your height.


Colour is where you can add interest and personal style; often just a dash is all you need. Select tops that are in solid colours rather than bold prints and patterns. In patterns look for a clean look like spots, checks or stripes and avoid branded tops.

Personal style 

The perfect dress code is smart casual as it is both sharp and relaxed.  With this in mind, allow your clothes to express your personality in the way you dress. Your personal style is an extension of you, so use accessories to individualise your look, such as a scarf, unique jewellery or a fun pair of shoes to create your look. Remember less is better than more, the aim is to have a professional edge.

For women: A nice top and dress pants or a skirt looks professional and allows you to express your personality. Throw on a blazer to add the final touch to your polished look.

For men: A buttoned up shirt and trousers or chinos looks professional and allows you to express your personality, adding a blazer to complete your outfit.

Remember – the key to looking smart and professional is being confident. You’ve got this!

Watch the video here!


Credit:  Genevieve Kaiser 

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