Summer internships can be an intimidating prospect, especially if it’s your first step toward the ultra-valuable resume cred: office/agency experience. You want to do the best job possible, and you want to look great doing it. Of course, that’s where we come in. Thinking about all of the committed young women out there, working diligently on their careers, we thought the least we could do is provide you with some daytime wardrobe inspo that helps alleviate new-job anxiety. Whether you’re headed for a collaborative creative office or a quiet corporate setting, we’ve got some ideas coming your way for a killer couple of months, sartorially speaking.
For your interviews, for your business lunches, and for your first day, you've got to have a basic suit. Express is a good go-to; it's affordable for first timers and the cuts are always modern rather than dowdy. Did I mention that a great fitting pair of suit pants and jacket goes a super long way, as each piece can be used as separates to dress up more casual items?
$69 - $98 at Express.
Let's face it, internships involve a lot of running around. Whether you're headed to retrieve copies 10 times a day or sent out for the needed-it-yesterday Starbuck's run, a simple, yet classy, wrap dress that lets you move is a good idea.
$32.94 at Old Navy.
Not everyone's goal is to intern at a hip design studio. Some ladies are looking at coveted political positions, DC style. A skirt suit like this is still feminine, yet conservative enough for the most serious setting.
$280 at Lord & Taylor.
If you are, in fact, interning at a hip design studio, think of a chic vest that mimics suit tailoring. It still calls to mind office, but with a fashion-forward edge.
$28 at Forever21.
Love this play on the simple white collared button up. And, of course, love that it can be worn on its own or underneath a jacket.
$158 at Helmut Lang.
If you're planning on buying more than one or two suiting pieces, consider a cropped open blazer. It's a chic office addition to your shift dresses when the AC is blasting.
$59.99 at Mango.
Speaking of summertime office air conditioning, a lightweight cardigan can be put over your simplest T-shirt and then put underneath your basic suit jacket for stylish layering. This works with your skirts too, FYI.
$69 at Lord & Taylor.
Many offices have some version of casual Friday but as an intern, you want to always make a good impression, which means the tenured employees can show up head-to-toe in stonewashed denim, you still want to look professional. A flowing top with an interesting print could be just the thing. Wear it with cropped, fitted trousers and a short heel, ballet flats, or dark denim skinnies. If, in general, your office is more casual, this is a good uniform to adopt.
$210 at Far Fetch.
Day to Night
Sometimes interns get left out of happy hour entirely, other times they're invited to end-of-busy-season drinks. You need at least one day-to-night top, just in case. The metallic trim on this blouse allows for transition as needed.
$39.99 at Mango.
In the Print
So you don't get too bored with office attire, consider a printed skirt for your mix. Something like this that isn't too whimsical, could be worn in most offices. Keep your shoe heel height low if the skirt you choose is above your knees. Keep it classy.
$36 at JC Penney.
This is what I call the wardrobe workhorse. A top in a flattering fit, in a solid color that can be dressed up or down, and paired with every pant and skirt you own. It's literally a blank canvas for your favorite statement pieces and is so simply chic you could get away with wearing it more than one day during the week without anyone being the wiser.
$59 at Piperlime.
If you're headed off to intern for an artist, you might want to wear something a bit whimsical, at least on your first day. After that you might be elbow deep in pottery, painting or metalsmithing work. And what you wear for that is out of our hands.
$76 at Topshop.
This is what I'd call the ideal intern dress. It's comfortable, feminine, interesting and work appropriate as it doesn't show any questionable skin. It can be worn with your highest heels or lowest flats. The nude top half begs for a statement necklace and the short sleeves are asking for wrist and finger accessories.
$79.90 at Topshop.