Where to find affordable clothing in C-U for your new job

By Alice Smelyanksy

It’s that dreadful moment you thought would never creep up on you again. You look in to an over-stuffed closet and find nothing to wear. It’s the day of your potentially life-changing interview, and you are about to leave your room wearing fuzzy slippers and a bathrobe because that’s less stressful than finding an outfit. 

Don’t let yourself time-travel back to a teenage-angst phase. With just a few simple pieces, you can stock up your closet in time for internships, resume reviews and other career “make-or-break” moments. Here are some options on and near campus to help you find just the right business-appropriate clothing without spending that precious bar cover money:


Salvation Army 

2212 N. Market St., Champaign 

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If you don’t want to break the bank, then thrifting will allow you to still dress the part. At the Salvation Army on Market Street, you’ll find more than the essentials from your grandmother’s closet. A woman’s suit is $5.75 on average, according to Store Manager Tammie Williams, and if you’re willing to go through the racks, you could combine a few items to create multiple looks.

“Here you could get an entire business suit for less than $10, right down to the shoes,” Williams said.



Walking down aisles in search of the cutest clothing is a hobby and addiction for some. But if you would rather find your go-to interview outfit from the convenience of your home, then typing ModDeals.com into your search bar might be the better choice for you. Many of the tops are $10 on average, and the clothing categorized under “Work Clothing” on the site is all $18 and under.



109 Convenience Center Rd., Champaign

Whether you are looking for a suit, dress, button-down shirt or blazer, the woman’s department at Kohl’s contains a huge assortment of business clothing. Online, you can find suits from Tahari-Levine Co. ranging from $40 to $80 per piece, as well as Apt. 9 button-down shirts from $20 to $30. 

“They have a wide variety of reasonably-priced business clothing,” said Elissa Hadro, assistant store manager at Kohl’s location on 109 Convenience Center Rd. “Personally, I usually just go for business slacks with a blazer and nice shirt underneath. I would recommend Apt. 9, ELLE, Daisy Fuentes and Lauren Conrad.”


Fira Boutique

700 S. Gregory St., Suite E., Urbana 

For those who don’t want to sacrifice fashion sense for the office place, Fira, a new fashion boutique on campus, can help you out. Storeowner Anne Ragle brings in the latest trends from L.A., including Jack by BB Dakota. 

“We have a tweed crop jacket with a high-waisted pencil skirt look that could work,” Ragle said. “Or you could do a crop pant and include a pop of color underneath a ruched sleeve blazer. People like to get something versatile, for work and play.”

Ragle recommended saving money by shopping for tops that one could easily wear to the bar at night, and pair with a blazer or cardigan the next day for work.

Alice can be reached at [email protected].