Summer is right around the corner and young people in their final year will be hustling for internships and job experience. Chances are you’re one of those young people trying to get their hands on anything despite the less than desirable pay, so that when you graduate your resumes would contain a bit more 12 to 17 years of (albeit impressive) academic experience. So whether or not you managed to snag an internship at a fancy multinational or you’ll be working in your uncle’s start-up, here are a few casual outfit ideas you could borrow from. Depending on how you choose to style these outfits you could be a huge hit or ‘just another annoying intern’ that no one will pay attention to.
1. Don’t shop at the usual spot. Clothing stores like H&M and Zara are everyone’s go to so chances are everyone already has whatever you’ll be buying there and a couple of people at the office might already be wearing those. While you may have no problem with people wearing the same thing as you, don’t get comfortable in a ‘uniform’. If you try to look like everyone else at the office in an attempt to be professional, you risk a) looking like you’re trying too hard, because let’s face it the only time you wear a suit and tie or a dress is on Sundays if ever, and b) being lost in a crowd of people who actually belong there.
Unlike the real professionals who have earned a spot at the job, you’re not family yet. Being lost won’t be a good thing because you have yet to prove yourself and even though your outfits are not necessarily the key, they are the statements that precede you and announce what kind of person you are and the way you want to be treated.
So try visiting obscure online stores with styles from outside your country and dare to ignore what’s currently fashionable.
It’s preferable to appear laid back yet professional and ready at the same time. Heels may seem appropriate but the sound they make may be distracting in a quiet corporate ambience, and while jewellery makes you look pretty on a date they put you in danger of not being taken seriously by the senior colleagues. A short suit is perfect if you’re working at a new start-up, it has the right ready for anything feel and it’ll make you look effortlessly put together.
2. Threaten the dress code. Don’t rebel against it but add little twists to the dress code to set you apart. If you’re working at a place where everyone has formed the habit of wearing neutral shades, try a bit of colour. If everyone is wearing heels, maybe you should wear elegant flats or brogues. If everyone is sporting a tie, you could go without one.
Instead of going with an obvious fitted black or dark blue, be that bold intern in a monotone shade that everyone is suddenly curious about. Slip-ons have never been the epitome of professionalism so while you may be sceptical about the ones I’m wearing, test your environment and if there are so explicit rules about shoes – it wouldn’t hurt to try it. It’s a great summer piece. This is another outfit that’s perfect for working at a small company or a start-up.
3. Don’t Go Overboard. Culottes are trendy this season and so are flared sleeves, but it doesn’t mean you have to wear both at the same time. Don’t spend loads shopping for the ‘professional’ look when you can wear the things you already have in different ways. Not having too many clothes teaches you to be stylish and while you might see a lot of young people wearing every trend on Vogue at the office, they’ll look like every young person the bosses and colleagues see outside. The important thing is to study the ambience of the work place. You may get away with blatantly ignoring the company rules while you’re an intern but would they wish to hire you after those few months?
If you love trends you can go with an outfit that has everything tastefully incorporated in one. This bold striped dress from boohoo has a bit of that but you could seem too lax in a similar one, hence, the rust suitcase and as usual minimal jewellery.
4.Be yourself (but not too much). Don’t let your bosses have to give you a dress code lecture and if you work in a place where everyone is lax with their clothing, don’t feel overdressed. Follow the rules and the culture but let your conscience guide you. Any outfit you have to second guess just might be inappropriate.
When in doubt opt for a co-ord. You spend less time choosing an outfit and you’re almost always right. Even my not so profesh hairdo could not make this outfit seem lazy. No do not take selfies at work… wait, do not take selfies ever.
5. Use unusual accessories. A pocket square or a cravat is nothing new in menswear but if you’re female and you add it to your outfit it that would be something refreshing. Always wear simple and elegant shoes no matter what outfit choice to go with and unless you have to, avoid high heeled shoes like the plague. Chances are you’ll be playing errand boy your first month and doing everyone’s bidding. So put on shoes that scream ‘I’m ready’. Don’t forget to have fun!
Thanks for reading,
See you soon!