With summer (and graduation) on the horizon, it's time to think about those tremor-inducing “I” words: Interviews and internships. They never fail to give me slight heart palpitations, of both excitement and dread. But say you ace that interview, and you land that internship. Now it's time for a wardrobe assessment. If you attend a school like Carleton, chances are that your daily wear during the term won't pass as appropriate internship attire at X Company USA. Keep in mind that all internships are different, and that some may specify what they want you to wear. But allow me to explain why I think this ensemble is a refreshing alternative to the staid suit-and-tie routine.
The look embraces traditional office attire, but adds subtle and fun touches of personality. First, let's establish that the collared button-up shirt is a necessity. But note how he's rolled up the sleeves — practical on a warm summer day, but slightly unassuming as well. There's also the go-getter image of “rolling up one's sleeves” to get started on a project — the perfect image to project as an intern.
Secondly, the tie is classic and egalitarian. The varying stripe sizes is a simple but approachable design. While many are opting for a skinny or slim tie, this serves as a testament that wider or more regular ties can still be done right, and it's a smart buy because it's unlikely that a tie like this will go out of style.
As for the vest, I'm a huge fan. I think a vest without a jacket is a very polished look, but it also carries a bit of swag. Perhaps this is because forgetting the blazer or sport coat is a somewhat rebellious edge, but at the same time a vest is a very timeless touch. And I always seem to think of Jude Law, but don't ask me why. Note that the pants do not match the vest perfectly. Their tones are within the same shade family, which definitely works here. I love the choice of tapered twill pants over dark dress pants. It's definitely youthful yet fashion conscious. And, it's not too matchy-matchy (yes, it's okay for things not to match).
However, what really did it for me was the matching of the accessories. They really do tie the outfit together. Blue is a very hot color this season — everything from aqua to turquoise to pastel blue to baby blue. Matching the shades to the belt to the watch is a fun touch, and the nature of each piece is appropriately informal. They add that same element of honest youth, saying, “Yes, I understand that I am the intern, and I don't take myself so seriously.” So many men seem to stress over finding the perfect timeless watch, when in reality, a retro neon timepiece is not only practical, but easier on the pocketbook and equally as fashionable. I think the key here is avoiding the digital look and opting for a clock-face instead.
Hint: In the end, it's all about the professional image you want to project. This ensemble would be perfect for someone interning on the creative side of business — an advertising firm, for example — where the same professionalism base of any office can be bolstered by a few quirky splashes of color.