A past IMG Fashion Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week intern, as well as an Aspen Fashion week freelancer, Erinn Knight has grown from stylish yet professional intern into a professional stylist who currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia. Erinn believes that fashion is fast paced, high stress, and ever changing and runs her own style blog.
Deciding what to wear for an internship, especially during the hot summer season, can be nerve wracking for even the most experienced young professionals. Due to lack of professional dress code knowledge and experience in a business atmosphere, naturally, the trainee may feel intimidated and overwhelmed weeks before the internship even begins.
The trick to dressing professionally, in a warm climate, is being able to keep it cool and classy, while also finding legitimate ways to incorporate your own personal style. It is important to observe what others within the office are wearing when interviewing with the company you hope to intern for. Take the information you’ve gathered from the interview and dress to the same level of formality as your co-workers. If you still have uncertainty, it is always best to be over dressed than under dressed. Layering is great for the summer season; you can always take layers off when necessary.
Americans tend to put a lot of pressure on society when it comes to personal expression through dress, but in certain circumstances, such as an internship (where it is important to recognize yourself as a ‘guest’ in a new environment), you are better off pleasing your employers and those who work in the same surroundings rather than society and yourself. Ultimately, if you have any hesitation or are perplexed about your outfit choice then do away with it immediately. If you question something yourself, often times your employer will question it as well. It is important to feel confident and secure with your decision before leaving for work.
Here are some tips that have held tried and true:
- Absolutely no jeans or shorts, unless told otherwise
- Less is more, don’t overcompensate with accessories and makeup
- Take pride in your company, and represent them well
- Blazers, suits, and pencil skirts are always a great choice
- An internship is not the place to be experimental with fashion
- If you dress professionally from the start, your co-workers are more likely to take you seriously