You might think those super high heels and sleeveless dresses will be great for the office, but unless you want to be teetering up and down the hallways of your internship or be frozen at your desk, take a look at these internship fashion dos and don’ts to make sure your internship is as smartly chic as possible.
DON’T: Wear your favorite Louboutins.
We’ve all heard it — flip-flops are unacceptable as workwear. That doesn’t mean the opposite is the best idea, either. As much as you love those towering heels (we know, they make your legs look fabulous!), remember, you’ll be in them all day! It’s hard enough running an errand on a tight deadline or carrying a heavy load up the stairs without sky-high heels on, so the last thing you want to worry about is a growing blister or even worse, make a major faux pas and be known in the office as the girl who can’t walk in heels. The horror! HC Writer Ally Karsyn, a senior at Dordt College, shares a typical footwear story: “I bought a pair of wedge sandals for $50. They are a light metallic gold and go with practically anything. Super cute. But by time I made it to the subway, one of my toes had been rubbed raw. It took over a week for that to heal.”
DO: Be kind to your feet.
The best way to avoid injuries like Ally’s is to seek out comfortable shoes, preferably flats, and make sure you break them in before you start your job. But let’s be real, many interns will choose style over comfort any day of the week. If you make the conscious decision to sacrifice your feet in the name of fashion, make sure you bring comfortable shoes for the commute and keep a pair of flats under your desk in case of emergencies. There’s no shame in switching shoes in the elevator — according to an HC poll, 70 percent of women carry subway shoes, and 30 percent keep a spare pair at their desk!
DON’T: Show too much skin.
Founder of Women Rising Sara Bordo, who mentors women of all ages and career stages, says that overly sexy, low-cut shirts and short skirts are definite office no-no’s. “Don’t wear something that’s too small…even if it’s really cute. Chances are if it’s too small it doesn’t look as great as you think,” Caroline, a sophomore at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, says. Not only will a revealing outfit make your coworkers uncomfortable, imagine walking up the stairs in an itsy-bitsy skirt with your boss behind you…giving your supervisor a glimpse of those panties that say “Kiss Me” across the bum is probably not the best way of kissing up to your higher-ups!
DO: Dress to impress
Pay attention to how your coworkers dress and keep their level of professionalism in mind as you build your own work wardrobe. “Hopefully you paid attention at the interview to see what others in the office were wearing,” Bordo says. Keep the “girls” away by keeping your button-up buttoned up, and ditch the Herve Leger bandage miniskirt and opt for a pencil skirt instead.
DON’T: Settle with ill-fitting garments.
How you dress is a reflection of who you are, and style isn’t the only aspect of your overall appearance. The way your clothes fit is important, too. Does the hem of your pants drag along the floor? Are your leggings bunching around your knees? Is your shirt so tight you’re having a hard time breathing? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you need a wardrobe fix! Second-skin outfits can be uncomfortable to wear all day, and too-loose clothing can make you appear sloppy and disorganized. “[What you wear] says how seriously or not you take the role you’re in. It also says how you want others to perceive you as a fit or not to the office,” Bordo says, adding, “Could you slip into a senior meeting if someone asked you to?”
DO: Test-wear your outfits.
If you are at all concerned about the fit of an outfit — be it a high hemline, a low neckline or a tight waistline — take the look for a test-drive. Sit down. Stand back up. Walk around your room. Now faster! Unless you’re Lady Gaga, a wardrobe malfunction is not advisable at work. Once you’re confident that you can make a mid-morning dash for coffee without suffering a wardrobe malfunction, you’re good to go. Rebekah Meiser, a senior at Ohio University, shows off both style and professionalism without sacrificing comfort. “Search for clothes that are on-trend and professional but comfortable. Stylish, nice shorts are a perfect summer intern staple. Dress it up with a silky top or button-up and fun accessories, and you will be comfortable, will be able to move around easily, and still look chic,” she adds.
To see three more fashion dos and don’ts, check out the complete article at HerCampus.com.
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