Staying Trendy & Looking Appropriate: Internship Addition

By Amanda Cohen on June 10, 2018

Internship style is tough because you have to juggle so many different “responsibilities” so to speak. First, you want to look professional. Second, you want to impress your superiors by showing your understanding of what it means to be appropriate at work. Third, you want to look the part. Finally, you want to stay true to your style and look “cool.”

So, how does one juggle all of these different factors? It really all depends on your office’s dress code—business professional, business casual, Friday dress, etc. Luckily for you all, I dealt with this problem the entirety of last summer. Since summer dress code is usually more relaxed, you have much more leeway when it comes to dressing for the part, staying true to your style, and staying on top of the trends.

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If your office dress code is business professional you may think that it would be difficult to show your true style, but it’s definitely possible. Typical business professional dress code contains pantsuits, pencil skirts (that go below the knee), nice slacks, appropriate blouses, blazers, and closed-toe shoes. Now, I don’t want to upset anyone politically, but this technically has nothing to do with politics… take some advice from Hillary Clinton. That woman could rock a pantsuit, and all were different and all boasted different colors. Utilizing color is a great way to be trendy and business professional.

Another great way to keep on top of the latest trends is with the blouses that you decided to wear. Just because they need to be work-appropriate does not mean they have to be boring. Using layers of silk and chiffon as a way to boast your sense of fashion is a great way to look cool during your internship. Lastly, take a look at Carrie Bradshaw… her shoe collection was nothing short of a beautiful miracle. If you want to keep with the simplicity of business professional, jazz it up with some cool heels. Like I said, there is always a way to jazz up even the most simplistic of outfits.

Business casual attire gives you a lot more room to be creative and stay with the latest trends, while also looking appropriate. In addition, offices usually become more casual in the summer because of the hotter weather, the shorter Friday workdays, and just because of the overall summer atmosphere. Business casual attire can be jeans, a nice dress that goes below the knees, cute little sneakers, etc.

Some of the outfits you wore to class you could probably wear to your summer internship. Even with the hot weather and the summer leniency, shorts are not acceptable (unless you are wearing an appropriate romper in which the shorts are a little longer). Business casual attire essentially feels like you have no bounds when it comes to what you wear, so allow yourself to get a bit creative. If you can wear jeans in your office, do it. They are comfortable, flattering, and never go out of style. Plus, they are doing so many creative things with jeans today (like embroidery), so you will get a chance to showcase your own individual unique style.

Similar to business professional attire, you can also have fun with your tops. Since you don’t necessarily have to wear a nice blouse, you can go for a simple top to go with your radical jeans or get more creative with a graphic t-shirt. If you opt for a graphic t-shirt, make sure you either get a t-shirt that’s a tad more fitted, or a baggy t-shirt that you tie at the side (this is all the rage right now so I would definitely go for option B).

Another way to look cool while maintaining appropriate office attire is by wearing cool sneakers. Sneakers are no longer just for working out; you see cool sneakers everywhere. Whether you want a simple pair of Superstar Adidas, or if you want to go with something that has a metallic flare, the world is your oyster and don’t hold back when it comes to choosing shoes to go with your outfit.

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Even though these are all fun ways to look cool during your summer internship, when you go in for your first day, always dress nicer than you know that you need to. If you don’t know your office’s dress code, show up in business formal attire and either ask a co-worker what the attire is and/or just look and see what everyone else is wearing. It’s always better safe than sorry when it comes to how you dress for work.

Good luck with everything this summer and, if you have an internship, look good, feel good, do better! Always take pride in your dress and, lastly, never overdo it on the makeup. Always go for a more natural look when you are doing your face makeup. And, finally, utilize accessories. That’s my advice… I pass the torch to you!

I am currently a junior at the University of Michigan.

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