5 Outfits to Help You Slay at Your Summer Internship

What's a razor-sharp skill set without a killer pair of pumps?
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chic office attire

Photos: ELLE

It's internship season! Given the long days and early mornings of corporate life, looking office-ready when you're pressed for time can be a job in itself. What do you wear when joggers and a crochet tank don't pass for 'effort'?

If you scored a killer internship, you should be able to enjoy it in style! To help you (and I) get through the summer corporate grind, I've put together five outfits that will make it that much easier to slay the week ahead.

1. Oh God, It's Monday

stripe tee, blazer, yellow pencil skirt

Product Information: Blazer - Zara, Shirt - Madewell, Skirt - Forever New, Bag - Black Five, Pumps - Charlotte Russe

To combat Monday-morning weariness, I like to sneak casual weekend pieces into my corporate wardrobe.

Mixing the breton-striped shirt from yesterday's brunch ensemble with your corporate staples instantly makes it look office-appropriate. If the lingering smell of croissants and eggs Benedict doesn't help you feel less sore about the start of another work week, switching up your pencil skirt and pumps for brightly-colored alternatives is a great way to start the week.

A well-made blazer, like this Zara option, will last you through all your college internships and into your first job, but Forever 21 and H&M also make polished, inexpensive alternatives. My own H&M blazer has lasted me three years and is still going strong!

2. The Swing of Things

all white intern look

Product Information: Blouse - Uniqlo, Skirt - New Look, Heels - GoJane, Necklace - Nasty Gal

By the time I get dressed on Tuesday morning, I've fully accepted that I need to put on a proper button-up blouse and get through the week. A white blouse, like a blazer and a good pair of pumps, will become as ingrained into your daily grind as your morning coffee. 

Because my style is super girly and involves lots of twirl-worthy silhouettes, midi skirts are the office-appropriate alternative to my ultimate wardrobe essential - skater skirts. Result: I have rocked the white-blouse-midi-skirt combination far too many times than is socially acceptable in any work week.

Midi skirts look best with heels, but single-strap heels are easily a must-have in any working fashionista's closet because they go with everything from pencil skirts to boyfriend jeans. While I want one in every color possible, a neural or black option will go with most of the  pieces in your daily rotation.

3. The Midweek Slump

menswear inspired inter look with pink blazer

Product Information: Top - Dorothy Perkins, Pants - Topshop, Blazer - Zara, Loafers - Topshop, Clutch - Miss Selfridge

Though Wednesdays are a good reminder that the weekend is in sight, I usually save my sleekest outfits for the midweek slump. A colored blazer is a fantastic way to elevate an all-black ensemble. I chose pink because if there's any day to channel The Plastics, it's today. I love the pastel pink of this Zara blazer, but I totally understand if you don't want to spend a ton of money on a blazer in a trendy color (and so does H&M!).

If you're like me and walk too much for stilettos to be a practical option, loafers are an unconventional choice for the office that won't kill your feet. Bonus: You won't feel self-conscious if you haven't had time to get a pedicure!

4. Almost There

tropical print dress and flats

Product Information: Dress - Dorothy Perkins, Necklace - Ashley Stewart, Flats - GoJane, Lipstick - Rimmel

Thursdays are almost the end of the week, and even though Friday's in the way, there's still much to celebrate! 

Shift dresses are almost neck-in-neck with midi skirts for my favorite corporate essential. While plain shifts definitely look more corporate, printed versions are great for lazy days since they don't require much by way of accessories. This Dorothy Perkins version is fun and playful, but still wouldn't look out of place in Lower Manhattan. 

I've also come to love statement necklaces, because they're probably the easiest thing to clasp around your neck when you're running late. When paired with this versatile pair of GoJane flats, you'll be out the door and running to the subway station in ten minutes.

5. Thank the Good Lord, It's Finally Friday

printed blouse, jeans, and pumps

Product Information: Blouse - H&M, Jeans - 6PM, Lipstick - Maybelline, Heels - Charlotte Russe, Bag - Target

I love Fridays, because they're an excuse to wear jeans to the office. While a boxy, relaxed-fit tee might skirt the dress code slightly, a patterned blouse and red accents are a great way to welcome the weekend.

As a rule of thumb, dark-wash jeans are dressier than light ones. Go for a simple straight cut - not as skinny as the ones you'd wear on campus, but stopping short of baggy, ripped boyfriend jeans. If you'd like to emphasize the 'casual' in 'Casual Fridays', cuff your jeans and show lots of ankle with a pair of versatile pointy-toe pumps. Finish with a classic red lip and a red floral purse.

What do you think?

What are your no-fail internship styling tricks? Do you have any killer combinations in line with dress codes? How do you inject your personality into your corporate wardrobe? Let me know in the comments!

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