Four Tips For Picking The Perfect Internship Outfit
- BY: YAZMINE LOMAX
- Nov. 11, 2018
Ah, summer. The season of Paddle Pops, mozzie spray and, if you're a fashion student, internships. I remember fizzing with excitement after opening the acceptance email to my first summer internship. However, this feeling soon turned to icy fear after attending a conference in Boston where a successful journo told the tale of "The Pantless Intern". The Pantless Intern earned his nickname when he rocked up to his first day in a pair of shorts and continued to do so every day after despite being told trousers would be more appropriate for that workplace. Even though I knew I wouldn't repeatedly make the same mistake like The Pantless Intern did, I became petrified I'd make an enormous fashion faux pas on day one that would immediately derail my bid for Intern Of The Year and become my lasting legacy at the company. But alas, dear reader, I'm pleased to inform you that no such tragedy occured. My fear propelled me to take a few crucial steps - and pick up more along the way - that I'm oh-so-pleased to share with you.
1. Scope out the company culture
Source: Instagram @manrepeller
The internet is a marvellous place, isn't it? We can track the results of major elections live on Twitter, watch an extremely New York man praise a kitten in a bodega, and book flights to Timbuktu with just a few clicks. We can also gauge the vibe of a future workplace which is probably the most relevant benefit to you right now (although the cat video is pretty cute). Before scouring your wardrobe for the perfect debut look, take a moment to browse the website and Instagram profile of your internship provider and take note of what staff are wearing. Is everyone suited and booted? Or is it a more creative zone where nap pods and parachute pants are encouraged? Maybe your new office has pulled a Man Repeller and posted some Office Apropos? Do as the Romans/employees do and you should be just fine, my friend.
Still a little unsure? Chuck your intern supervisor a quick email before you begin to ask what the office dress code is. If they explain they're an easy-breezy, artistic workplace (which should be obvious after following step numero uno anyway), perhaps you could team a pair of sensible shoes (more on that later) with a midi skirt and statement T for a look that shows your personality and fits in with the culture. Because after all, an internship could potentially lead to a permanent position and you want to show you're a good fit for the company from the outset.
3. When in doubt, dress up
Source: Hust Wilson on Unsplash
Even if the company culture is casual, you should always aim to show you're taking the opportunity seriously. Thus (the most serious of words whose energy you should be channelling rn), a little extra effort is key. While other employees may well be strolling about the office in yoga pants, remember their jobs are secure and this is your chance to prove yourself. In short: don't be The Pantless Intern.
4. Comfort = confidence
Source: Lauren Fleischmann on Unsplash
Yes, you are dressing to impress but at the end of the day your work and how you conduct yourself in the office are most important. Constantly watching the clock because you can't bear another moment in a pair of painful heels or fidgeting in meetings as you try to rearrange your complex strappy top is hardly conducive to tip-top performance, even if you do look like a hundred fire emojis. Opt for shoes you've worn before and know are comfortable as well as clothes that make you feel good and represent who you are rather than who you think the company wants you to be. This will allow your confidence - and best self - to shine through.
Now go forth and conquer the fashion world!