As you know, I’m currently doing an internship at a law office in my hometown. Something I realized when I got the internship is that it meant I would need to wear business casual four days a week. This soon proved challenging considering I only really had two business casual outfits and one or two dresses that could pass for the look. Previously, I only needed business casual attire when I went to interviews on campus or department dinners. When I was a Weekend of Welcome leader at my college the dress code was “smart casual,” whatever that means. I got my business casual clothes for that position, I’ve recently been adding to my business-esque wardrobe because now that I have an internship and will be a resident advisor in the fall, oh and now that I’m turning 20 next week, I feel like it’s time I get more business clothes. Anyway, an important part of having an internship, in my opinion, is looking the part. Professionalism comes in many forms, one of them being through your attire. How you present yourself is super important, especially in unpaid internships. You want to look polished and serious because you should be when it comes to your internship. So, here are three go-to office appropriate outfits:
Classic, tailored, clean outfits are best for an office setting, in my opinion. When I shop for business casual attire, I always look for staple colors, with a few pops of brightness here and there. Office settings can be bland, and if you dress too monotone you’ll fade into the background. Try adding small pops of color to your tailored look to add a little flavor, and set yourself apart.
Dresses are great for summer internships, especially if you live somewhere really warm. Dresses are also easy because you don’t dirty as many pieces of clothing as you do if you wear a full piece suit or pants/blouse combo. I always feel super girly and professional and dressy in dresses. There’s just something about dresses that make me feel like quite the professional woman, which I completely understand is a cliche and silly, but alas, it is true.
The Minnie Pant from J. Crew are the perfect office pant. They’re not too dressy, but they’re still professional and cute. I also LOVE the Halogen suiting pant
from Nordstrom. If you’re on a budget, I would suggest New York & Company or Kohl’s for blouses to go with higher end dress pants. Dress pants are the investment you want to make. Well, the pants and the shoes. Think of business attire as investment clothing. You want business attire, like most clothing, to last as long as possible. Make sure you have an amazing, great fitting pant and a solid pair of shoes at the foundation of your business wardrobe!
When wearing a pencil skirt, I’d suggest either a super simple blouse or a floral blouse. If the weather permits, I’d also suggest a gingham button down because they’re basically everything I love about a good top. If you didn’t already know, one of my MAJOR fashion idols is Audrey Hepburn, and something about my business casual attire tends to channel her. She was so fond of clean lines, tailored pieces, and beautiful colors, and she always looked stunning. So, when I think of my business look, I think Audrey. Who do you think of? Don’t know? Well, give it some thought, and go over to Pinterest
, and start pinning some inspiration so that the next time you shop for business attire you’re not just buying whatever is there, but you’re supplementing your professional being.
Oddly enough, I feel that I am converted. I now love wearing my professional clothing, and I feel more grown up when I wear it. I feel like I could take on the world. I plan to leave my mark, so I guess looking the part is an important step.
What jobs or intern opportunities have you received this summer?