So, you’ve finally scored that summer internship! Everyone back home has congratulated you and you’ve already started preparing for your move, but your wardrobe is packed with black leggings and blue jeans. While this might be appropriate attire for early morning classes and drinks on Court Street – it might make a couple of eyes roll in your dream company. Of course, you could say that your introduction to working life would be made easier if your internship was at a place where your employers give you your own custom workwear which displays their logo on the front. Not only will it save you from looking for the best fashion ensembles, but you can showcase to everyone how proud you are of working at a specific company. For some people, this would be the ideal scenario, but for others, they prefer to wear their own clothes to a place where they want to make an impression.
But sometimes, it’s not possible to get a whole new wardrobe, right? So, we asked graduate student Amelia Kibbe, who is soon moving to New York for her internship to suggest a few workwear pieces that look professional and can be styled in a hundred different ways. “When people think of workwear they tend to think boring and dull, but you can definitely show your style with business clothes,” she says.
- The black blazer
“My motto is, above all else, be classy,” Amelia says. A wardrobe essential for her is a black blazer, you can wear it with jeans to keep it casual or pair it with some cigarette pants for a streamlined look. “I’m a big fan of the black suit,” Amelia explains. “But you can also mix that with some color.”
- The versatile shoes
Your white sneakers are cute but they won’t make the cut when you are working in the same office as some of your role models. Step it up a notch and invest in a pair of shoes in a neutral shade that go with every piece. Amelia also suggests “Adding a pop of color to your outfit can help you shine in your workwear.”
- The pencil skirt
A pencil skirt can be worn for a variety of occasions based on how you style it. Keep it black for a sharp, business look when you have meetings. Go for a bold color or a bright print for a special occasion. “People are always making an impression of you,” reminds Amelia. So, dress in a way that helps you make a mark without standing out.
- The party dress
Office parties are a great way to get to know your colleagues and make an impression. However, choosing an outfit can be difficult – you have to strike the balance between not being boring and not being provocative. So, get a dress that you’re comfortable with and try spicing it up by wearing a solid color along with metallic details. “Obviously you’re not at the office but you’re still with your colleagues,” says Amelia. So be mindful of that when dressing for a party.
If you are planning to build a work-wear wardrobe Amelia suggests starting with basics – “a navy blue dress, a plain black dress; choose things that are easy to build off of.” She also suggests experimenting with jewelry because she believes it is hard to get that wrong.