After working your butt off for months on end, you finally scored your dream internship for the summer! You’ve followed the appropriate steps after accepting your internship, figured out where to live, and even learned the truth about common internship myths. All that’s left on your summer internship to-do list? Figuring out what to wear!
While your style should still reflect your personality, there are a few key pieces that every collegiette should have going into their summer internship to look polished and professional!
A Professional Purse
While your hot pink clutch with gold accents might be perfect for nights out on the town, it’s not exactly office-appropriate. Go for something in neutral colors that can class up any outfit, but beyond that, make sure your bag is functional, too.
“It should be the kind of bag that goes with everything, so that if you have to look more professional one day, it will go with that outfit, but if you dress down some days, it should go with that, too,” said Colette Rodger, Manager of Internships at Penn State. “You want the kind of purse that you can wear with anything and everything, and you want it to be big enough to hold whatever you may potentially need throughout your day on the job.”
“Being an intern is sometimes comparable to being Mary Poppins,” said Kelsey Mulvey, a junior at Boston University. “You have your phone, wallet, ‘walking shoes,’ iPad for the commute to your internship... the list goes on! Just make sure you pick a bag that is sturdy and has a lot of compartments (so you can keep yourself organized).”
Hang one of these gorgeous bags on your shoulder to look professional in a heartbeat:
Tall Tote from The Limited, $69.90
BDG Triple-Pocket Tote Bag from Urban Outfitters, $59
Role Reversal Bag in Mocha and Teal from ModCloth, $69.99 (This bag is especially great because you can wear it in mocha while you’re in the office, then reverse it to the teal side after you’re off the job!)
A Versatile Blazer
Though you’re likely to be sweaty and warm on your way to the office, chances are that the AC will be cranked by the time that you get there. Cover up an adorable tank-top with a blazer and go from pretty to professional in no time!
“You might be going in in the morning and it’s hot and sunny outside, so you have that cute little strappy dress on that is just perfect for that 85 degree day,” said Rodger, “but when you get into work, that’s not appropriate. You need to cover that up. Blazers are a way of dressing yourself up to look more appropriate in the work place, because showing too much skin is not good.”
Blazers are hot right now, so it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll be able to find them in tons of shapes, sleeve-lengths, fabrics, and colors! Which ones are the best for the job?
“Darker is always better,” said Rodger. “And neutral, because it goes with everything. Your blacks, tans—I don’t know if I’d go with white unless you’re really good at keeping yourself clean, because any marks will look unprofessional—and brown is always good as well. And make sure it has pockets! You don’t want to be talking to your supervisor with your phone and ID badge in your hands.”
A few looks you could try:
Silence & Noise Ex-Boyfriend Blazer from Urban Outfitters, $49
Open-Front Blazer from Forever 21, $29.80
Ruched-Sleeve Studio Stretch Jacket from Express, $108