Is an internship looming and you find you only have jeans and plaid shirts to see you through? Are you also broke from student loans and have no money to invest in quality pieces for the workplace? Never fear! Your business-casual budget guide is here! I worked in an office environment for a year and never spent obscene amounts of money on work-appropriate clothing (I just bought a lot of them). I am here to guide you to pieces that can last you through an internship until you land the position, or to buying the work clothes you need.
A blazer can make any outfit look business appropriate. Pair it with a dress, or even jeans and you’ll look suitable for the office. I tend to roll my sleeves up to make the look more casual. This is the cheapest blazer I could find, but I’m sure you can find some on sale at Marshall’s or Suzy Shier (who usually do 40% off at least once a month on Thursdays).
If you’re a skirt person it can be a nice change from jeans, or pants. This one is around $10, which makes it affordable. I find the Forever21 skirts to be decent quality too, so I promise it will last. If you’re feeling risky go with a bright colour (I have one in mustard!), or if you want practicality go with a neutral to pair with a bright top.
A blouse is a super classic way to look work appropriate. This can be paired with cheap trousers (again H&M and Forever21 are your friends), or a nice skirt. On casual Fridays a blouse can be combined with a pair of jeans and you’ll still look great for any work related meetings. I love striped shirts as they tend to be more classic and wearable, but branch out and see what you like!
Because who besides me always wants to wear a skirt? If jeans are acceptable at the office (do not wear jeans to an interview) try to wear a dark wash and NO rips (I hope that goes without saying). Pair those cute booties you already own!
Find a dress that makes you feel super confident. It can honestly be whatever style you choose because you can throw a blazer or cardigan over it to make it more professional (I’ve gotten away with wearing some short dresses just by throwing on a blazer and over-the-knee boots). This wrap dress I chose from H&M is super flattering on all body types and wrap dresses have a tendency to already look put together. But I advise you to pick something that you could walk into a room and own it. That’s the purpose of your dress.