After spending weeks searching Internships.com, writing cover letters and getting a few interviews, you’ve finally managed to land an internship for next semester. Wahoooo! You’re all ready to start – now what the heck do you wear? Dressing for internships can be difficult, especially on the limited college girl wardrobe. You want to look professional, obviously, but you also want to look, well, like you.
How do you create a work wardrobe that doesn’t make you look old and boring?
Don’t worry, we’ve got your back.
When you’re dressing for an internship, keep a few things in mind. One, if you’re going to be doing any errand running or anything that involves standing, how comfortable are your shoes? If you can’t walk in heels, don’t wear them to the office no matter how cute they look. Also, if you’re not sure of the office dress code, it’s always better to overdress for your first few days than to under dress. Dress pants, skirts and dresses are the safest and most desirable options.
Outfit 1: Dress Pants
Dress pants are one essential for any internship. They’re tailored yet much more comfortable than a skirt and tights. Pair them with a cute cardigan with a cami underneath and you’ll look professional without looking old and dowdy. I added a pair of flats – cute and comfy if your internship has you doing coffee runs. If you want even more personality with this look, add a fun cocktail ring or a stack of bangles. (Editor’s Note: just make sure to avoid anything that will get in the way of your duties; sometimes bracelets are REAL annoying when you’re typing!) Dress pants also work with layers – like white button-up shirts and boyfriend sweaters – meaning you can get through an entire internship with only one or two pairs of pants!
Outfit 2: Skirt
The pencil skirt is another classic piece to invest in for your work wardrobe. Tuck in a pretty blouse underneath, add a blazer over top. Knee high boots look great with a pencil skirt and since the skirt is on the longer side (I’d make sure to go no shorter than just above the knee for an office environment!) and the boots come up high, you can go a little funkier with the tights to add some extra fun to the outfit. However, if you opt for pumps with a skirt, I’d stick with basic, opaque tights to keep things professional.
Outfit 3: Dress
First things first: do a cleavage check. If your cleavage is hanging out, that dress will not work for work. Even with a blazer over top! Once that’s out of the way, you can’t go wrong with a professional looking dress for work. Is there anything easier to style in the morning? Nope! Just pair it with either a blazer or a cardigan, whatever speaks more to your style while also covering up those arms for a more sophisticated and work-appropriate look. Add a pair of tights – either opaque or with a subtle pattern. I added a red wedge here – it’s a nice pop of color and personality, and the wedge is the most comfortable heel option around. If you’d rather go with black, go for it! But give this outfit a bit more personality with a fun statement necklace or a killer pair of earrings.
Outfit 4: Casual Friday
Don’t let the name mislead you, ladies! Casual Friday does not equal “jeans and sweatshirt and Uggs Friday.” This is still a work environment, after all. Think of it more as “dressed up jeans Friday.” Or “What I’d wear on a Thursday night out Friday.” Skip the leggings and go for a dark pair of jeans, a nice top, and flats or some cute heels. If you’re feeling extra profesh, toss on that boyfriend blazer over top. (Editor’s Note: Even if the rest of the office is in pajamas, you should not be. Being young, you need to dress somewhat professional to command the respect of your superiors and show them you take this job seriously.)
Still looking for an internship for next semester? Check out Internships.com, the largest internships marketplace with over 21,000 internships across the country and world-class, relevant career prep resources. They have positions in over 1,433 cities, and with companies such as Google, Deloitte, BBC, Greenpeace, Marvel Comics, and Microsoft!