How to Dress for Success at Your Internship

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So you’ve landed yourself a summer internship – mazel tov! We’re all very proud. But now that the initial excitement has worn off, you might be a little confused about office apparel (hint: it typically doesn’t come from American Apparel). Don’t get your tailored suit in a twist though, because we have some quick tips to make sure you’re dressed for success. Seriously, take it from the girl who wore all the wrong things the first time around.

1. Dress to impress…your boss
Even though there’s probably going to be that requisite office hottie you want to dazzle, you have to resist the urge to flaunt it–even if you got it. Seduce him or her with your mind and hard work instead. Dress to impress the people who are in senior positions – this means wearing nicer clothes than you normally would, and for god’s sake, no cleavage ladies.


2. Don’t overdo it

If you already know how to dress up, I congratulate you, but don’t go throwing on that prom dress just yet. While it’s true that you’d be better off overdressed than underdressed, there’s no reason you should wear a suit and heels to say, a bakery, or a button-down and a tie to a furniture moving company. You might end up alienating people without even knowing it if they perceive you as trying too hard (in a bad way).

3. Tone down the trends
I love some ‘Merica themed apparel as much as the next red-blooded college kid but you have to resist getting too trendy at the office because it can make you look immature. This means leaving the ear cuff at home, ladies, and guys, only pull out the American flag polo shirt or shorts if it comes from Polo or Brooks Brothers, and only on the week of July 4.

4. Shine your shoes
I’m serious: shine your shoes, both literally and metaphorically. It makes you look like you care about keeping all aspects of your life in good shape, and that includes your job. Taking the time to make sure every part of your appearance is fresh and put together is something that people notice. Make sure you put in as much effort into shining up the little details of your internship as well.

5. Don’t forget to be you
If suits and ties and knee-length skirts aren’t your thing, don’t panic. I describe myself as “hobo chic” and I still managed to find some work-appropriate clothes that fit my style. You don’t have to become a corporate (fashion) drone to do your job well. Find one or two pieces that reflect the real you and mix them in with more conservative apparel. Compromise will be your best friend as you enter the working world, starting with your closet.



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Junior > Journalism > University of Maryland

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