By Kelsey Eichman
If you’re interning in New York City this summer, it’s easy to feel a little intimidated. The professional, fast-paced environment is far different from Madison’s and it’s important to dress accordingly. In order to impress at your internship, make sure you’re always sporting a professional look, but don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through as well. Blending the two is an art, and with practice, anyone can master it.
For a corporate environment, be prepared to see black, and lots of it. Although you will want to fit in, make sure you aren’t forgettable. After all, you want to leave a lasting impression on your boss and coworkers. Keep to classics: button downs in subdued colors, pencil skirts, blazers, and heels under 3 inches but don’t be afraid to play with sophisticated prints or textures such as tweed. Whenever you’re unsure of an outfit, ask yourself “Would I feel confident in this if I were to speak with the CEO today?”. If not, change.
For a creative environment, whether it is an art dealer or design house, make sure you don’t “abuse” the liberties given to you in terms of your work wardrobe. Have a clear style, but remember that this is still a work environment and you need to look professional and respectable. For instance, if you decide to wear a top that shows your arms, make sure your bottom half is more conservative. It’s generally a good idea to follow the same guidelines for heels when in a corporate environment—under 3 inches. Remember that you are a reflection of the company and your wardrobe should be aligned with the company’s image. A fun jacket is a good replacement for a blazer, keeping you covered but still allowing you to express your own style.
Men should follow similar guidelines to women when addressing creative workplace attire. It’s a good idea to cover up, keep it professional (blazers and button downs should be staples) and have fun with your wardrobe. For instance, wear a colorful shoe or fun sneaker that speaks to your style, like these leather ones. Take advantage of your opportunity to be trendy but keep in mind that you need to feel comfortable for long days of activity and still maintain a respectable look.
A man in a corporate environment will wear a suit, day in and day out. Make sure that you invest in a good one. Remember, you don’t need to spend $800 to find an impressive suit. Rather, it’s all in the tailoring. Make sure that your suit fits perfectly; otherwise your coworkers may be reminded of your youth and inexperience. If you want to add personal style, pick a unique pocket square or tie that isn’t too distracting and invest in a great briefcase.
Interning in a different city? Check out some more cities in our Summer 2013 Intern Style Guide here!