Intern Style Guide: Los Angeles

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by Caroline Kreul

Home to movie stars and music giants alike, the Los Angeles look is anything from eclectic to fashion-forward. On an average day, one can see everyone from want-to-be actors in torn jeans and crop tops (or waitressing uniforms) to CEOs in pinstripe suits, all bustling about in taxis or cars. LA natives maintain an effortlessly cool look that still infuses the latest trends, while the city’s warm weather and sunshine make the vivid garments of its stylish inhabitants even more vibrant. Whether you’re interning in a corporate or creative setting, you can easily take in the city’s unique style and translate it into a look that’s all your own.

Women creative

In L.A., color is the name of the game. In a creative setting, such as an art gallery or film production company, feel free to play with bright, bold hues and patterns. While you do have more freedom in a creative setting, proceed with caution. Keep in mind that you are still at an internship and need to look both respectable and professional. To avoid making a poor first impression, stick to more conservative looks for the first few days. Choose staples like dark wash jeans, summer dresses and fun-colored blouses with wedges or flats. Take cues from your bosses and coworkers during this time to feel out what is and is not appropriate, and use their looks as inspiration for your own.

women corporate

Bold colors and patterns can also translate into a corporate setting. Rather than confining yourself to the standard black blazer, opt for a brightly colored jacket or chic striped blouse. Paired with a pencil skirt and sensible heels, these bold pieces look just as professional while still exuding that cool LA vibe. You can also add a pop of color in your tote bag, which you will inevitably need to carry around all of your essentials, like a notebook to write down how your boss likes her coffee and new things you learn. Additionally, remember to keep a sweater with you at all times. While the weather might be warm outside, cranked up air conditioning in the office might remind you of frigid Madison nights.

men creative

Men should follow similar guidelines in creative settings. Depending on the company, your internship could call for anything from a simple graphic tee and jeans to a button-down with chinos. Opt for the latter look for the first day or so, then adjust your look to be more or less casual as your position requires. Men should also not shy away from accessories such as bold watches and retro-framed glasses, as they add a touch of individuality and style innate to LA natives. Another great way to incorporate color and individuality into a man’s wardrobe in LA is through sneakers. These can range anywhere from some fresh Nike Air Force 1’s to classic Chuck Taylors.

men corporate

In corporate settings, men have but one option: suits. On that end, two important notes: first, spend the money and get your suit tailored. Seriously. This is an easy way to not only avoid having to pay hundreds of dollars for a suit, but to also look as polished and professional as your boss. Second, add color. Men in LA don’t hesitate to wear brightly colored shirts and ties and neither should you. Adding a bright pocket square or patterned tie to your plain suit can go a long way towards getting you noticed, not to mention preventing you from looking the same everyday. Investing in a modern briefcase is also essential, as you’ll undoubtedly need a notebook and pen at all times, and, of course, you’ll look more polished and professional than if you carry a folder around with you all day.

To perfect your intern look in other cities, check out our full Intern Style Guide here!

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