Congrats, you don’t have to face a summer of stocking shelves at Safeway or serving smoothies at Starbucks, because you’ve landed a summer internship! Here are some fashion trends pointers: avoiding the dreaded dark pants and sneakers combo. However, with great sartorial freedom comes great sartorial responsibility. We all know the saying, “the clothes make the man”—professional apparel can go a long way in boosting your career persona… or bringing it down. Read on for some stylish, seasonal, and workplace-appropriate clothes that will make your work uniform as impressive as your organizing skills.
This muted watercolor blouse from H&M is a fantastic find: flattering, pretty and inexpensive. I’d pair it with wide-leg dress trousers and kitten heels or with a pencil skirt for an instantly chic look.
Although a little on the pricey side, this Modcloth dress is absolutely darling. What’s more, its modest silhouette ensures that you won’t have to pull on sweat-inducing layers of cardigans and tights to make your outfit more conservative. All you’ll have to do is grab a pair of cute shoes and waltz out the door.
Wearing skirts to the office can be tricky—after all, too bold and you veer into club status, too safe and you lose all style. However, this ASOS peplum skirt walks the line perfectly. Wear it with a tucked-in button-up or silk camisole and flats or dainty heels. I’d also advise waiting till your fourth or fifth day on the job to wear a skirt, after you’ve checked out the office culture. Pro tip? Never be wearing the shortest hemline.
Boring button-up? I don’t think so. This gorgeous Nasty Gal top would be perfect with some cropped trousers or even worn over a sheath dress. Unlike the model, don’t combine it with shorts, as that screams unprofessional. If your outfit can go straight from filing to fish tacos, it’s not appropriate for the office.
If your internship requires you to do a lot of walking (cliché coffee-run, anyone?) then flats are your best bet for staying comfortable from 9 to 5. There’s nothing worse than having aching, blister-y feet and then being asked to do a menial task—doubt your boss will appreciate your eye roll and heavy sigh. Fortunately, these flats make up for their lack of height with their abundance of whimsy. Wear ‘em with fitted black or cream pants and a neutral top (wearing prints or color with these could be a bit much) and you’ll charm everyone in the vicinity, from the post-man to the CEO.
However, in recognition of the fact that you can’t wear quirky red shoes with every outfit, here’s a great pair of classic ballerinas from Gap. I have a hard time coming up with clothes these wouldn’t work with—cute dress? They’d work. Snazzy skirt? They’d work. Dress pant? Definitely would work. The flats come in a variety of tone, so you can choose your favorite basic color if black’s not your first choice.
This may seem like your traditional navy blazer, but thanks to an adorable ruffle addition, it’s (literally) business in the front, party in the back. Slip this on to cover up bare shoulders, to ward off the chill of aggressive air-conditioning, or to round out an outfit that needs a little flair. Wearing this will definitely ruffle a few feathers in a good way—sorry, I had to.
Ultimately, have a little fun with your clothes but stay classy. Now, where’s my macchiato?!