Girl Boss 101: What to Wear For Your Internship or Job

Knowing how to dress for different occasions can be confusing and overwhelming. I know whenever I see a dress code that says “business casual” or “business professional,” I freak out a little. Do I wear a blazer? Are heels okay? Is the color pink even allowed? What jewelry can I wear? 

Going to work or events doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your style. I always thought I couldn’t showcase parts of my personality while in a suit, but I’ve come to find that there’s always a way to to personalize dress codes to your own taste. For example, choosing the color of your blouse and blazer or what kind of necklace you want to wear are all ways to spice up the dress code. Dressing professional may seem boring, but there’s always room to express yourself. 

There are three basic levels of dress that you’re likely to come across as a girl boss.

1. Smart Casual

The idea: somewhere in-between your normal clothes and professional. 

In settings when you’re not sure what the dress code is, you can come in smart casual. It’s a good in between of your casual, just running errands outfit and your talk-to-the-CEO outfit. Smart casual definitely allows for the most flexibility when it comes to patterns and colors.

Smart casual can be knee-length dresses, blouses, jeans, slacks, closed-toed flats or heels, simple jewelry, etc.

You can find cute smart casual clothing at stores like Forever 21 and H&M

2. Business Casual

The idea: when you’re really trying to make a good impression.

Business casual is typically more specified than smart casual. It’s a step up from smart casual, but not as intense as business professional. 

Business casual can be sweaters, blouses, button-ups, dress pants, slacks, knee-length dresses, closed-toed flats or heels, etc.

H&M and Kohl's are great options for business casual clothing.

3. Business Professional

In other words — the most official or professional way of dressing.

Business professional can be solid-colored blazers, dress pants/skirts, collared dress shirts, blouses, closed-toed flats or heels that pair well with the color of the rest of the outfit, etc.

Try to stick to neutral colors that aren’t overwhelming. Depending on the setting, you could try colored pant-/skirt-suits.

Business professional clothing can be found at Kohls, Macy’s and Banana Republic.

Although business clothing can be pricey, it’s a good investment (especially if you find timeless pieces that can work for all three levels of professional dress). 

Whatever the dress code is, make sure to look and work your job. Dressing a certain way can give you confidence to make you even more successful in your job or internship. When you feel good, you are more likely to be your best self on the job. What’s important is that you feel comfortable and confident.