Even when you splurge, look for deals
And finally, for men and women, be a savvy shopper. Your investment, in time, will pay off. High-quality clothing, even expensive name brands, can be had if the consumer is patient and timely.
Hit the mall during holidays such as Labor Day or after Christmastime when stores are shedding. McNeal says look for "flash sales" at the online clothing sites, which are proliferating.
And don't be shy about going into a thrift store. They are full of treasures, especially in expensive neighborhoods.
But remember, even if you buy on the cheap, never look cheap. Because, McNeal says, in the professional world, the way you dress is the way you brand yourself. In an economy where jobs are scarce, every little advantage helps.