So, you’ve landed your dream internship – congratulations! After the magical fairy dust of taking home an actual paycheck settles, the panic sets in: what the heck do you wear? The transition from college classes to corporate headquarters can be terrifying. Going from sweatpants being an acceptable daily uniform to now rubbing elbows with top execs is enough to make one hyperventilate. To top it all of, you aren’t making anything – yet. Plus, revamping your wardrobe to make it fit a 9-5 can be expensive, oh, and not to mention nap-inducing (which pair of ugly and cliche black pants should I wear to work today…).

Most of us are forced to relocate for a summer or semester and the fright of living out of a mere suitcase can be daunting, to say the very least. For me personally, having experience living abroad for four months with the same amount of luggage makes this whole deal feel like a breeze (the article I created for that packing experience is here). But, for others who have not experienced that challenge – like my roommate – proves to be enough to throw someone into a borderline mental breakdown. But fret not, this is where this article may or may not save your mental health.

But whether you are interning for just a summer, going on a jet-set work trip or landed your first 9-5, the overall guidelines are overwhelming the same.

First let’s talk about luggage – because you don’t want to look like Paris Hilton in LAX.

After living in Europe for a semester and essentially living out of a suitcase, I have learned an invaluable lesson: less is more. Always travel with the bare minimum. It will help with the fuss of initial travel, financially (what in the heck – $50 each way per package?!) and will leave more room for luggage on the way back.

I am taking one large suitcase (with an extender, 4 turning wheels), one “carry on” (a small suitcase with an extender) and a tote bag (used as my “personal item.” For more tips on what to look for in buying a suitcase, check out this article. For a period of two months, trust me when I say this is more than enoughroom. Most internship last about 12-8 weeks, a little over two months. With versatile pieces than can easily transition from work to off-duty, day to night, warm to cold – you won’t have any issues.

What all of the tips I dished out for my “Fashionista’s Ultimate Packing Guide are still completely relevant where practicality and versatility are concerned. You can read all of them here, for fear of being redundant.

 Let’s talk fashion fit for the 9-5 as as well as cocktails after hours.

I’d like to say by this point, I’m practically an expert of living out of a suitcase (in a non-homeless/creepy guy way). But in contrast to my European expedition, this packing job wasn’t solely about practically, but rather, professionalism. Finding transitional pieces is key to finding a work/off duty balance with only so many allocated pieces. My solution was a plethora of printed pants (hello comfort) and breathable blouses.

The Clothes List: Hello to heaven for type “A” individuals like me adore.

To see my daily outfit log of all the listed pieces below in use, check out the “Internship at Nordstrom HQ’s in Seattle, WA” page that can be found under the “Outfit Log” tab.



Express Crop Top Tee // Express Crop Top Tee // Boohoo Billowy Crop Top


Express Tank // J.Crew Tee // J.Crew Tee // Old Navy Tee


Express Peplum Tank // Express Portofino Tank


Pim + Larkin Sweater via Piperlime // ASOS Baseball Stripe Tee // J.Crew Blouse // Delia’s Chambray // Old Navy Gingham Blouse


All Express Portofino Blouses


Ann Taylor Blouse // Express Blouse // Mossimo Blouse via Target



Zara Trench // SheInside Jacket


Ark & Co Blazer via Piperlime // Gap Camo Jacket // Gap Denim Jacket


Express Blazer // Express Striped Blazer // Forever 21 Blazer


Express ‘Minus The’ Leather Jackets



Express Boyfriend Jeans // Express High-Waisted Skinnies // Express White Skinnies

{Work Pants}


H&M Grid Pant // H&M Drawstring Pant

{Printed Pants}


Old Navy Pants // Old Navy Pants // Thrifted Leopard Pants



ASOS Midi Skirt // Morning Lavender Gingham Midi Skirt


Ann Taylor Snakeskin Skirt // Express Skirt // Mossimo Faux Leather Skirt via Target


Forever 21 Peplum Skirt // H&M Lace Midi Skirt // Boohoo Peplum Hem Skirt



AE Denim Shorts // Express Blush Shorts // Express Striped Shorts // Zara Faux Leather Shorts

{Dresses & Jumpsuits}


Ann Taylor Geometric Dress // Ann Taylor Tipped Shirtdress // Italian LBD // Piperlime Triangle Dress


ASOS Jumpsuit // Express Jumpsuit



Jimmy Choo Pumps // Ivanka Trump Pumps // Forever 21 Heels // ZooShoo ‘Ivana’ Heels // Steve Madden Flats // Steve Madden Flats // Report Signature Flats // Old Navy Sandals

+ Tennis shoes (but they are ugly and ruin the picture)



Vince Camuto Bucket Bag // Vince Camuto Studded Bag // Italian Red Bag // Vince Camuto Leopard Bag // Coach ‘Willis’ Bag // Blush Express Crossbody // Rebecca Minkoff 5-Zip Bag



Express Studded Belt // Express Metal Panel Belt // Target Cognac Belt // Apartment 9 Metallic Belt // Express Leopard Belt // Forever 21 Army Green Belt // Segue Chain Belt // Target Metal Belt // Express Bow Belt // Express Sash (to be used as a neck bow)

{Bikinis & Scarf}


Amazon Fringe Top // Target Floral Bottom // Sauvage Swimwear Cobalt Bikini // Stella & Dot Scarf


Sunglasses really do not take up much space but my recommendation is to pack at least one tortoise style and one pure black. I personally packed four (2 tortoise, 2 black).


Hi, my name is Brenna and I’m a watch addict. I recommend having a mixed metal style for the utmost versatility, otherwise, a silver and a gold option you will never regret. I packed one mixed metal, one gold and one silver style.


When it comes to jewelry – go crazy. It does not pack up much room, but on the other hand, it can get heavy very fast. Pack it all in your favorite bag, tucked safely away in your carry on. I packed countless necklace, a couple of earrings, plethora of rings and a fair amount of bracelets.


Once again, this is another area that I do not hold back on. I went for a soft pink, orange-red, red, neon pink, pink, deep berry and a lighter purple.

{Nail Polishes}

I packed my basics. A nude shade, white (my summer version of nude), red and gold.

Now, onto the little extras that help you avoid a stress migraine while in transit:

1. Weather is unpredictable. It can be annoying and very inconvenient. But this is less so if you are prepared. Gist of the story, pack a freckin’ umbrella (especially if you are going to Seattle like me).

2. Having your passport is mandatory in many cases, for identification and for traveling (especially if you are close to a border). Who is to say you can’t do it in style? Not I. That’s why I bought a Kate Spade passport holder. Make traveling a little more chic.

3. When packing for a long-term trip, every pound of packing counts. So, when it’s crunch time, a $20 investment in a luggage scale can save you $100′s in overage fees (I pride myself on packing exactly 49.5 lbs).

4. A mess of tangled jewelry is not fun to deal with at the start of your new adventure. So, some kind of jewelry organizer is essential for ease. I love this one.

Other helpful hints:

1. Roll, don’t fold. Saves space and wrinkles – enough said.

2. Pack pieces that you are emotionally attached to in your carry on. Would you cry if you lost it? If the answer is yes, then pack it in your carry on! It’s just not worth it.

3. I have found that you will reach your weight limit before you ever meet your space limit. So, to help stretch your coveted 50 lb’s in your main luggage, pack heavier (non-liquid) items in your carry on.

To see all of the afforementioned pieces styled on the daily, follow my outfit log, here.

As always, thank you so much for reading.

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XO, Brenna