When you’re working as an intern (which often means working for free), your office outfit budget only stretches so far. As it turns out, you don’t have to buy an entire new wardrobe full of blazers, pencil skirts and tailored pants for your new gig—you can actually get away with buying one blazer and wearing it all week. Yes, seriously! Below, we break it down for you—here’s how to make the same jacket work Monday through Friday.
Our blazer pick: Essential Structured Blazer ($39.99 at Mango)
Mondays are enough of a struggle already without having to pick out a complicated outfit. Keep things simple with a super comfy shirtdress that looks a lot more dressed up than it feels. Flats are a great choice for a Monday, but the pointed toe on this pair makes them still feel work-appropriate. Add tassel earrings for a fun but subtle detail.
The midi skirt trend is basically every intern’s dream—it’s the easiest way to look chic while still staying covered up enough for the office. Pair an on-trend button-front version with a classic striped button-down shirt. Wedges can totally work for the office, and your feet won’t be killing you by the end of the day—just make sure to pick a platform-less pair for 9-to-5 wear. When it comes to purses, every intern learns quickly that a giant bag for stuffing all your essentials in is a must-have. This faux leather pick looks polished, even if it’s holding your laptop, flats for commuting and your lunch.
Try a twist on the classic suit by wearing pastel pink pants with your blazer, which makes for a super chic update on typical office wear. Add a feminine edge to the menswear vibes of this outfit with a tie-neck blouse. Nude heels are the perfect pair of shoes for letting the blush hues on your pants do the talking.
If you thought you couldn’t rock a jumpsuit at work, think again: a minimal wrap-style jumpsuit with a blazer to top it off keeps you completely covered up. Heeled mules are one of fashion’s favorite shoes this summer, and we like the intern-friendly chunky heels on this Steve Madden pair. (Read: no sprained ankles if you’re running around all day.) A classic gray messenger bag is the perfect way to transition from your usual campus backpack.
Culottes are the office-approved pants you never knew you needed. With a cropped length and a loose silhouette, they’re ideal for wearing to the office in the middle of the hot summer weather. Dress them up with a luxe satin blouse peeking out from underneath your blazer. Chunky heeled boots add height (a must when wearing boxy culottes), without sacrificing comfort.
With a little bit of styling creativity, it’s easy to stretch one essential investment piece from 9 to 5, five days a week—so you can save your wardrobe funds for when it really counts (aka your off-duty days).