She is a sassy, artistic chick with a solid head on her shoulders. She has little office experience and her clothes reflect it. I understand her issue. If you're a young woman who enjoys a bit of style theatrics (think well applied blue eye shadow) where do you buy clothes? I can imagine she thinks Anne Taylor is for old ladies but her choice of H & M "executive" isn't working.
In an attempt to help her and others like her, here are tips for the young woman who wants to make a good impression in her first summer internship and how not to be known as the Skintern.
1) Ask your supervisor how they would describe the office dress code and vibe. You're going to get one of 3 choices
A) Executive- This means you are expected to wear a suit and hose.
B) Business casual- no jacket needed. A couple of crisp shirts and pencil skirts and slacks and your done
C) casual- show up how you want, just make sure its clean and no holes.
The pitfall is you may be told one thing and you see another. The boss says executive but everyone looks pretty dull and casual to you. This is where correct sizing a personal sense of style will save you!
You're a 6. You have always been a 6. So why the side eye? Sizing has nothing to do with length and everything to do with fit. True you could be wearing a size too small that makes you look like a sausage, but your co-workers are more worried about exposure.
You found that perfect little black dress with the fun metallic belt. It looks super. Perfect for a night out after work... Here is why its wrong. When you are 20, no outfit should be good for both.
Check that perfect dress that looks conservative for 3 things. a) where is it exposing you? Deep V, sleeveless with a little slit in the back is a no-no. BUT IT LOOKS PERFECT! Here is how to make it perfect. Measure your body from your shoulder to your knee. Subtract an inch. Now measure that dress on the hanger. If its shorter than the measurement of your body its going to crawl up your leg.
If you absolutely MUST have this short dress please wear opaque hose.
If you really want to play it safe, invest in some classic cut suits in fun colors. They will last years and set you apart from the pack at job interviews.
Exposed skin will be your downfall every time. If you aren't one to freeze in an office then use the simple rule of only exposing one part of your body per outfit. Remember you only get one!
* your skirt falls shorter than 3 inches from your knee while standing
* your arms are totally bare
* a plunging neck line no matter your cup size And remember- a bare back is never ok for the office
But you adore the closet full of clothes you have for your job as a restaurant hostess. You can easily class them up with a cropped jacked to show off your slim build, or a shrug sweater. They are youthful yet tasteful. Short skirts look great with patterned hose or even flesh fish nets OVER nylons. You can always peel off the layers and leave them at your desk when you meet your friends out after work.
If you get pulled aside and there is a mention of your clothes act quickly to fix it! Ask questions to figure out how to fix your look!
If all else fails keep your eye pealed for your style mentor. Email her and simply ask "I worry my clothes don't match the office vibe. Am I doing ok?" The reality is, how you dress has just as much impact on your internship experience as your work.