Style tips for fashion internships


Hannah Shulman

It is important to know how to dress for a summer internship.

Grace Halio, Staff Writer

As summer internship season approaches, students will inevitably sift through their closets and declare with a sigh that they have nothing to wear.  Though putting together outfits for a new job may seem scary, dressing the part is not nearly as complicated as it seems. 

Take Risks

One of the most important things to remember when dressing for your fashion or beauty internship is to do so with confidence. Do not be afraid to take risks. Interning in an industry that values creativity conveniently allows for risk-taking.

Start with the Basics

If they are not already in your closet, invest in a couple of collared button downs. White and pale blue are classics, but anything with a subtle pattern will bring interest to your look. Banana Republic and J. Crew — which has a 15% discount for students — have a variety of choices and often have sales.

A great summer spin on the button down is a short-sleeve collared button down dress. It will still look professional but puts a lightweight spin on the classic piece.  Madewell, which also offers a student discount, offers cute and comfortable variations on this look that are high quality and will last through the summer. Be sure to find pieces that fit well and are not too baggy or loose.

In an office environment, it is best to avoid oversized silhouettes. Tailored garments look put together and clean lines are always a safe option. Pair button downs with streamlined pants or slacks. Check out ASOS, Ann Taylor LOFT and T by Alexander Wang for fun yet versatile colors at a variety of price points. To finish it off, add a blazer, one of the most important parts of any professional outfit. Opt for black or gray, as those will work with any outfit during any time of year. Zara and H&M carry affordable and trendy options.

Experiment with Color

In the spring and summer, do not be afraid to experiment with color. To make your basics pop, opt for a bold pair of pants or a pastel blazer. It is likely you will be in an air-conditioned office, so plan ahead and grab a light jacket or scarf before you leave in the morning. In the sweltering heat of summer it may seem absurd, but you will thank yourself when you are at your desk.

You will want to be able to move if you offer to stay late or run an errand, so break in a pair of loafers or ballet flats that you can comfortably survive a long day in. Keep makeup light and simple to avoid a cakey, sweaty disaster. As an intern, you are there to assist the company, not model for them, so there is no need to wear tons of makeup. To keep hair under control, always keep a headband or hair tie on hand, and do not be afraid to toss your hair up into a ponytail or neat bun.

Some Final Tips

Dressing correctly for your internship is important, but so is letting your ideas shine rather than your wardrobe. Start every day at your internship ready to contribute. Being prepared to share your thoughts will show your colleagues and boss that you are ready to take on more responsibility, and it will also prove to them just how invested you are in the company’s endeavors. Politely share these ideas when the time is appropriate. And always be on time — meaning at least 15 minutes early. Lastly, remember to be confident in yourself.  Dressing appropriately for the job will help to give you the confidence needed for whatever task is thrown at you.

A version of this article appeared in the April 15 print edition.  Email Grace Halio at [email protected]