Dressing for Success: How to Look Like a Million Bucks on a Shoestring Budget

A Blog Post from Brother Buglewicz the Elder

During my many conversations with undergrads from around the country in regards to the “Dress for Success” portion of Chi Psi’s Program for Excellence series, the issue of cost regularly comes up.  There is a perception out there that, in order to look good or impressive, you must buy the most expensive items.  Not so, my catechumen class of couture.  In fact, dressing well does not necessarily consist of wearing the most popular name brands.  Still, the problem remains that, as college students, many do not have the necessary fundage to buy a massive wardrobe.  However, you can acquire an awesome array of attractive accouterment for a much lower price tag than once thought.  Without further ado, let’s review some of Brother Buglewicz the Elder’s Tips for Dressing for Success on the College Student’s Budget:


Tip 1:   Have A Clothing Savings Account –     Put some money away for clothing.  You never know what you may need in an ensemble emergency.  Having some money tucked away may really help out when you realize you need a tie in a hurry and don’t have time to go back to get one or you forgot your only blazer at home and need a new one immediately.


Tip 2:   Check for Sales –  Many of your major retail stores like Belk, JC Penney, Dillard’s, etc. will have massive sales when it’s time to sell the next season’s apparel.  When the Spring line comes out, they’re looking to get rid of winter coats, blazers, sweaters, etc.  Prices are sure to be low, and you can get really good bargains.  You may have to wait until next year to wear them, but you’ll only have paid up to perhaps a third of the cost.

Tip 3:   Hunting for Bargains on the Interwebs – There are literally hundreds of websites nowadays that have great prices on clothing.  Just do some thorough research on the online retailers you visit and make sure they’re legit sources of sales.  There’s also that ebay thing that you can also get clothes from, but, again, make sure that the person you’re buying items from is trustworthy.  Read those reviews and be careful with online purchases.

Tip 4:   Consignment Stores and Second-Hand Shops – Living in a college town, there’s bound to be a consignment or second-hand shop that sells previously-worn clothing for super-cheap prices.  The best time to hit these to get the best clothes is around the end of the semester.  Many students are looking to rid themselves of clothing that doesn’t fit anymore or they need some extra cash, so they unload the stuff they no longer wear.  These stores are prime sites for good clothing at rock-bottom prices.  It’s also a good place to get some extra pants when the freshman fifteen surprises you.

Tip 5:   Invest in a Tux – This may seem odd at first, but one of the best purchases my mother bought for both me and Brother Buglewicz the Younger was a tuxedo upon graduation from high school.  Renting a tux can be expensive, and with fraternity and sorority formals or other black tie events (such as Convention) occurring an average of two to three times per year, you will have paid for the tux within three uses.  Also, in a pinch, it can serve as that last-minute Halloween costume; just add a mask or a cape or a martini – shaken, not stirred.


There are many more ways to drum up discounted duds, but these are the most basic.  Take a few tips from Brother Buglewicz the Elder and shop smartly and wisely to ensure that you impress with how you dress without having to spend a ton of money on clothes.


Doug Buglewicz, G’96

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