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Sto-Style: How to dress for a summer internship

 

Summer is almost here and for many Oles that means in a few short weeks summer internships will start up. Summer internships are a great way to get experience in your desired field, but for many of us internships are a big fat question mark. Going into an unknown office setting as a newbie can be intimidating, but with the right clothes you can make a great impression on your coworkers and get them to see you as a professional.

In this article we’re going to cover the do’s and don’ts of dressing for an internship. Without further ado, here’s everything you need to know about dressing for your summer internship!

Until you can accurately gauge the atmosphere of the office, dress in business appropriate attire. We’re talking dressy flats or heels, dress pants, a nice blouse and a blazer or cardigan (like the outfit below). You don’t want to show up to your internship on the first day wearing shorts and flip flops because until you work there for a few days you will have no idea how the people you are working with dress. As a rule of thumb, it’s always better to overdress than underdress when it comes to jobs. If you dress too casually, your first impression will be hampered by the fact that you seem wildly out of place. To gauge what is appropriate in the office, pay close attention to what others are wearing. Are they wearing suits? Then you probably should, too.

Don’t forget that it’s summer – dressing professionally doesn’t mean you have to cover every inch of your skin. There are ways to dress appropriately while still beating the heat, like wearing a knee-length dress with a chambray button-down. Just remember to layer in case your workspace is air conditioned.

Don’t wear anything too revealing or sheer. Your coworkers should not be able to distinguish the brand of your bra and underwear through your clothes. Keep that to yourself and opt for opaque clothes. If you have a sheer blouse that you want to wear, be sure to wear a tank top underneath. Cleavage, bare backs, and extremely short skirts or shorts should also be avoided. You want to come across as professional, not skeezy.

Don’t be afraid to inject your wardrobe with some personality and color. Just because you’re working in a professional environment doesn’t mean you have to stick to black and white. Wear a blouse in a fun color, try a pair of printed trousers or add a statement necklace to make your outfit more ‘you’.

Do NOT wear jeans unless everyone in the office wears them or you are explicitly told they are okay. Even then, wear a pair with a dark wash that fit you well and are skinny or boot cut. No rips, please.

Shoes are everything. As an intern you’re most likely going to be doing a lot of random tasks that require you to be moving. Unless you wear heels all the time or have a particularly comfy pair, choose a pair of comfy yet sophisticated flats.

Bring a professional bag. Now is not the time to tote in your bedazzled and tattered everyday purse. Pick up something structured, simple and roomy in black leather – it will go with everything and won’t get visibly dirty.

When in doubt, ask. If you are still unsure of the dress code after a week or two, ask an HR manager, internship coordinator or the person you report to about the office dress code.

1. $63 – wallisfashion.com 2. $108 – nicandzoe.com 3. $19 – fantasyjewelrybox. 4. $88 – asos.com 5. $316 – my-wardrobe.com 6. $49 – piperlime.gap.com

This outfit perfectly blends color and personality with professionalism. You can never go wrong with a blazer and a pair of slacks, and the bag is perfect for toting around everything you need for work.

This is my very last post for StO-Style for the year (and possibly ever, as I will be a Campus Correspondent for Her Campus St. Olaf next year!). This summer I’m working and interning with New Moon Girls Media – I’m excited to have some time off of school! Have a great summer and be sure to stop by the site again in September when we start posting again!

Stay fashionable, St. Olaf!

 

Styleboard made with Polyvore

 

 Katie is a recent graduate (and proud alum - UM YA YA!) of St. Olaf College, a small liberal arts college in Minnesota. A true Minnesota girl through and through, Katie was formerly a fashion blogger and Campus Correspondent for Her Campus St. Olaf College before becoming a contributing writer for the national site. She currently works as a marketing assistant and is interested in further pursuing a career in marketing, PR, journalism, editing...(she has no idea, if you can't tell). Katie is passionate about traveling and wants to stamp up her passport as much as possible. Katie enjoys social media, blogs, Speculoos cookie butter, dressing for success, fashion magazines and extensively quoting pop culture in social situations (especially 30 Rock). Her one party trick is knowing all the words to "Freaks and Geeks" by Childish Gambino.   
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