The first time I went in for my first internship, I was severely overdressed. I had been told over and over again to dress for the job you want, not the job you have, and so instead of dressing like a normal person coming in for a fashion internship at a small accessories company, I dressed like a CEO. I donned a full pantsuit, complete with a stuffy button-down top and uncomfortable pointed pumps. Needless to say, I was mortified when I walked in to find everyone wearing converse and oversized shirtdresses.
This harrowing experience taught me that you have to dress the part. After I completed my internship at the small accessories company, I moved on to a luxury lingerie company and then to NYLON magazine. I’ve also been able to visit the offices of many other brands (Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs and Proenza Schouler to name a few), and I’ve learned that it’s very rare to find people wearing even business casual in creative offices.
It can be a struggle to blend professional internship attire and casual everyday wear. When I saw this Fashionista, all I could think about was how it is the absolute perfect outfit for a fashion internship.
Let me start off by saying that, while this varies from office to office, jeans are almost always acceptable internship wear. All of my coworkers and bosses wore jeans at all three of my internships (including the editor in chief of NYLON, Michelle Lee). I love that this Fashionista chose a striped shirt in a fun color. Striped shirts are such a staple, and they’re very office appropriate. A fun color, like bright green, adds an unexpected twist to a closet staple.
A cardigan like this one is a great alternative to a blazer. It’s much more comfortable and it doesn’t look messy. A watch is cute and functional, while a geometric necklace takes center stage as the focal point of the outfit.
I have to say that my favorite part of her outfit is her shoes. The pointed toe is very professional, while the d’Orsay style is super cute. She shows off the straps of her flats (which are way more comfortable and practical for running around NYC in) by cuffing her jeans.
Of course, I wouldn’t be able to talk about an office appropriate outfit without discussing her hair and makeup. Wavy hair with a side part is a little sexy, but totally effortless. Some tinted moisturizer, a peachy cream blush, mascara and a swipe of lip gloss take only five minutes to apply, but look pretty and professional.
One Simple Change: To take this look from internship appropriate to a girl’s night out, all this Fashionista needs to do is swap her striped T-shirt for an embellished top. She could also switch out the necklace for something a bit more streamlined. She wouldn’t even need to change into heels with flats that gorgeous!