Ask Preppy Girl – Internship Attire

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Dear Preppy Girl,

For the past six months I have been under the impression that I can wear casual attire to my summer fashion internship (jeans, cute tanks and tops, ect.) at Nordstrom. But I just found out that I need to dress professionally. This internship is going to make or break my future with the company, and I need to look amazing everyday with fashionable outfits head to toe! The internship starts in less than a week and I don’t know how to put these outfits together or where to buy some staples for a new wardrobe. I want to keep my preppy style, but still look professional. Can you help?

Identity Crisis

Dear Identity Crisis,

First off, congrats on the awesome internship, that sounds like it will be a blast! My first job was for a stuffy, ultra-conservative engineering firm, bleh! I had no office-appropriate clothing, I promptly headed over to Banana Republic and bought everything off the sale rack. During your first week of work, make careful note of what all of the female employees are wearing–especially on their feet and then try to emulate their style with your own preppy twist. Fitting in with the company culture is key.

I suggest dressing in layers, office building are notorious for being freezing cold in the summer. Buy at least a great pair of black trousers, a pair of tan trousers, knee length pencil skirts in tan and black, and a few lightweight button down shirts–these are great since you can roll the cuffs up to create several varieties of sleeve lengths. If you can afford it, invest in a couple of cute blazers. They are great for dressing up your wardrobe. You could wear a pair of pants with a sleeveless shirt and a blazer, and then leave your blazer in your car when you go out with your friends. I often take two purses to work too, a Kate Spade tote to store all of my stuff and a cute little clutch in case I go out afterwards.

My own personal rule for looking professional is “arms or legs.” If I wear a skirt to work, I always wear short sleeves at the minimum and make sure I have a cardi or blazer with me. If I wear a sleeveless shirt, I wear pants to work. Of course you can always wear a sleeveless shirt with a skirt, just make sure you have a blazer or sweater at your desk in case you have to go to a meeting. And be careful of necklines, you don’t want to wear anything too low or revealing into work.

Plan a couple outfits out for the week, so you can do your laundry and ironing in advance, there is nothing worst than going to work in a badly wrinkled outfit. Check out J. Crew for inspiration. Shopping at Nordstrom wouldn’t hurt either ; )

Good Luck! Let me know if you have any more questions!

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