While we might wonder what it’s like to go to work in a gorgeous Chanel tweed suit, most of us have to be a bit more frugal. Thankfully, many brands are now offering more affordable alternatives that get you 9-5 chic. And with a little expert guidance from Nicole Lapin, you’ll have all the tools necessary.

Famed as the youngest anchor on CNN and CNBC, Nicole Lapin is here to help you get office-chic in a heartbeat. Look for her icon January 3-10 to shop top career wear picks – all for under $100.

Utilizing her unique and conversational communication style, Nicole has made a name for herself anchoring breaking news coverage. The smart beauty has also launched a must-read blog, Recessionista.com. The site is great for women who want to learn creative ways to look like a million bucks without breaking the bank.

Stop by the blog to get some advice on shopping, finance, and so much more. Read the Q&A and get inspired to revamp your office look!

To learn more about Nicole, follow her on Twitter and Facebook, and check out her recent appearances.

Q: Tell us about your blog Recessionista.com. What inspired you to create it?

A: With the economy tanking again, I felt an urgent need to provide accessible financial content to the ladies out there who found themselves smiling and nodding — wanting to be part of the global financial conversation but having difficulty finding financial topics in language that was fun, and easy to understand. Recessionista is for ladies who want to be frugal but still fabulous during the recession — because after all you can be both!

Q: We love the section of your blog “Lessons from the editor.” What’s a style lesson you’d like to share with BTR shoppers?

A: Don’t wear shoulder pads, no matter what anyone tells you. Ever. I learned that one the hard way.

Q: Let’s talk office style. What tips can you give our members who want to dress appropriately and fashionably while they are on a budget?

A: Who makes your clothing is less important than how well it fits. Instead of being drawn into a designer-only closet, invest in a good tailor to give your clothing a smart, fitted look. And of course, leave the backless numbers and sequins at home: fitted garments are much classier (while still flattering) for the workplace.

Q: What wardrobe staples do you think every career woman should have in her closet?

A: Keep it simple. You really only need a few key wardrobe elements to look professional and fashionable at work. Invest in a white tailored shirt, a comfortable and stylish pair of black pumps, and a few fitted dresses for a look that’s pulled together with minimal thought and effort for a gal on the go! Punch up your basics with fun accessories, like a colorful pair of studs or a metallic belt.

Q: What have you learned fashion-wise when you worked as a CNBC news anchor? Was your TV style similar to your personal style?

A: I’m an LA lady, so my personal style consists mainly of a good fitting pair of jeans, flip flops, and anything nautical. But I’ve simplified my TV style over the years (remember the aforementioned shoulder pads) in favor of easy dresses (DVF shifts are my favorite) and classic black or beige pumps.