Don’t mess this up. It’s the thought circling through countless of people’s heads the late night hours before their first day at their summer job. For most like myself summer internships and starting jobs in the professional workforce act as a crucial segway into future careers and specialities, which can definitely add some pressure. Once all the worries of arriving on time and the performance on the first day start to perish, the prevalent question that emerges into your stressed mind:
What do I even wear ?
This was the question I staggered on the time before I started my first professional internship for the summer. It is difficult when you want to flaunt your signature style and stay true to yourself, but in a very businesslike manner. One of the key factors to planning a polished look for the day is based on the atmosphere of your work environment.
My normal everyday style consists of comfortable classics and what’s on trend in both street style and major fashion houses. Although I knew I had to maintain a formal attire sitting in an office building with people in their late 40s, I still wanted to be fashionable and look my age. The key is to incorporate popular prints but in clothes that fit your environment such as trading in your go to pair of gingham shorts for the summer in favor of bell bottom slacks.
A timeless tip for achieving a youthful and professional look is always a splash of color. Whether it’s a bag, shoe, blazer, skirt, or blouse, a pop of color is essential to making an outfit unique and appealing. At the same time, a sleek black and white ensemble still leaves a lasting impression. Still maintaining your style, you could add an enhancement to a classic neutral look such as playing around with various silhouettes such as wrap dresses, jumpsuits, or fitted skirts.
It’s typically a good idea to always arrive at the office in an outfit you feel comfortable in and have the ability to transition for an impromptu night out after your shift. Most likely when your clocked in from 9 to 5, once your shift ends you have numerous invitations to dinners and activities with your friends and you don’t want to arrive in stingy office attire. This is where transitional day to night pieces become useful since a formal summer dress can easily change to a look for the evening with the right accessories.
So now you may have an idea of what to wear, but your left pondering where to purchase it. A hurdle I faced was trying to figure out where to shop for staple pieces without spending the money I hadn’t even made yet. When it comes to a trendy formal wardrobe it can be difficult to navigate amidst popular selections. First off I advise that for anything other than a basic work staple, formal work brands that attract an older crowd should be avoided.
I found a lot of luck on a fashionable work wardrobe that mimic luxury brands on Zara, Nordstroms, Revolve, Aritzia, and J Crew. Some stores like ASOS, Forever 21 and Lulus provide a convenient online shopping selection for young women in the workforce on a separate shopping page. Also, for even more affordable pieces that you may want to try on to make sure you look well dressed at work, Macy’s, Target, Nordstrom Rack, and H&M have a wide variety.
All it takes is some creativity, a little bit of digging, and a good eye to stay on trend and get a cute look for less at work. Once you have a spotless wardrobe that hones in on your taste, your outfit the night before the big day will be one less thing you have to worry about.