How to Dress for an Internship (Ladies)

For this week, each of us will be posting about how to survive in the workplace: from looking sharp to impressing your boss. Come back daily for tips on how to be a memorable and effective intern.

As an intern veteran, I can tell you that, when it comes to internship fashion, there are usually two types of interns: the first type believes that, as unpaid interns, they simply do not have enough money or incentive to preen for the office environment. The second type wants to show off the fact that they can dress well, and can be found in fashionable skirts that are, alas, four inches too short. This blog post will hopefully give you a few tips on how to be the third, much rarer type of intern: one who uses what’s already in their closet to create internship outfits, who strays on the “business” side of business casual, and who is ultimately known for being chic and brilliant, not dowdy or distracting.

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{Images from Another Beautiful Thing}

Some tips to keep in mind for making your wardrobe memorable (for the right reasons):


1) Ladies, keep the skirts close to knee-length, and fingertip-length at a minimum. This includes the slit in the back—it should not reveal any of your leg above finger-tip length.

2) Bandage skirts are not pencil skirts. Don’t wear them to the office.

3) If you cannot sit down in your skirt without having to pull it down, do not wear it to work. Wear pants. Revel in your equality and the fact that women can now wear pants to the office.

4) Lined skirts are best—but there isn’t a peekaboo problem in the world that a half-slip can’t solve.


1) Usually, pants straight from the store are a little long for the average woman (if they fit perfectly on you, congrats!) Don’t let the hem drag on the ground: find a tailor on Yelp who can shorten the pants leg for about $20. Optimally, the pants should hit at the middle of your heel, if you are wearing heels, or one inch off the ground in flats.


1) If you can wear those heels to the club, they don’t belong in the boardroom.

2) Now is not the time for platforms or shoes with studs and other hardware.

3) Err on the side of conservative and invest in a pair of closed-toe pumps.


1) Keep your shoulders covered—besides, your office will probably be too cold to go sleeveless.

2) If your shirt is semi-sheer (polyester blouses from Forever 21, anyone?) , wear a blazer or cardigan over it. No, a tank top underneath will not suffice. Everyone can see the tank straps, and your bra straps.

3) Before you wear the shirt to your office, take it for a stretch. Pull your arms back, and make sure there are no gaps between the buttons. Stretch your arms up, and make sure that it’s long enough to meet your skirt or pants.

So what can you wear to the office? Most likely, you probably already own some appropriate office clothes. Here are some key pieces that will last you throughout the summer:

1) Cardigans–one instance where bright colors and prints are recommended, to bring personality to your outfit.

2) Pencil skirts or slacks.

3) Knee-length dresses or shift dresses .

4) Simple flats or low heels.

5) Black blazers.

6) White or gray button-down shirt.

If you want more internship outfit inspiration, you can visit me at my fashion blog, Another Beautiful Thing. And remember, no matter what else you’re wearing, a confident smile will help you look more vibrant and enthusiastic, guaranteed.



2 thoughts on “How to Dress for an Internship (Ladies)

  1. Pingback: Work outfits for women – Ideas to look professional, yet pretty at work | Beauty Style Tips

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