Dress the part of sophisticated intern
(The cute pic is from when they were cheerleaders at Lincoln Junior High in Illinois.)
We're going to talk about guys first, because women are often given the most instructions on how to dress professionally.
While generally we do believe that women are judged by their appearance more than men -- and more than is warranted -- the truth is that, for male interns, there are only so many ways to screw up a button down and khakis. However, that doesn't mean you should wear them.
A dress shirt that is better than the typical bulky, wrinkled blue oxford, and dress pants will do wonders to impress your colleagues. They will see you are a man on his way up, rather than a college kid looking to pad his resume.
While you're at it, men should also bring a sport coat every day. You can leave it on the back of your chair while you work. However, you must first wear it as you walk into the building and keep it on long enough to say good morning to your colleagues.
What about the sweltering DC humidity you ask?
You can hold the jacket while you walk or metro to work. In addition, you should wear a belt and dress shoes every day. I think it is beyond obvious, but we will mention the no-no's of wearing shorts, white socks with dress pants, sandals or gym shoes.
Finally, our No. 1 commandment for a professional and crisp look is to wear a WHITE (not your Death Metal Fest 2008) undershirt under your dress shirt or polo shirt.
For women, it is so much more complicated without the option of the aforementioned too-big and wrinkled oxford shirt and khakis. The recommendations for women are more of a list of don'ts than do's.
Stay away from tank tops, anything that reminds your boss of lingerie, skirts above the top of your knee, too-high heels and button down shirts that tell us if you're wearing a t-shirt, push up or lace bra.
Numerous times Natasha has walked past an intern and gasped because she could literally see the intern's entire bra. Besides making your colleagues uncomfortable, it will not help your efforts to be taken seriously.
About Natasha & Lani
Natasha Rosenstock is a writer living in Potomac, MD. Lani Rosenstock Inlander is the owner and chief stylist of Real Life Style. Lani splits her time between the District and New York.
July 21, 2010; 4:12 PM ET
Categories: D.C. Interns | Tags: Fashion, Internships
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