Alright, it’s almost summer internship time and everyone is freaking out about the wardrobe situation. What are you going to wear to your internship? And how on earth will you afford all of those clothes?! I’m here to help.
Now, the first thing I want you to do is figure out how many days we are actually talking about. How many days does your internship last? Most summer internships (for summer 2017) are starting Monday, June 5th (the week after Memorial Day) and going through Friday, August 4th. If you are interning full-time (Monday-Friday), you are probably going to have about 43 intern days (you will most likely be off for July 3rd and 4th for the holiday). If you are interning only 2-3 days per week, you’ll have about 18 – 27 days.
Once you have your magic number of internship days, we’re going to immediately divide them in half because even my biggest fashionistas can repeat a great internship-worthy outfit. So right away, my full-timers are talking about 20 days (rounding down) and my part-timers are talking about 9 – 13 days. This is the number of outfits I’m actually going to help you plan for.
The biggest word I want you to remember while trying to pack for summer internship season is multi-purpose. If an item can only be worn one-way, it’s fine to keep at home, but not something you need to pack. Keep in mind, we’re also trying to keep your luggage light. Afterall, you’re a girl (or guy) on the go!
Things you aren’t packing to wear to your internship:
o Leggings. Weekends and comfy time only.
So let’s start with the basics:
o Black pants. (Wear them 8 times/20 days/repeat). If you are going to super-casual internship, black jeans are fine, but no rips/holes please! For all other internships, find a pair of black pants in your closet (I know you have them). This could be a pair of black pants that you wear with your suit, they could be cropped at the bottom, or even flared. These black pants can be worn multiple times to your internship. They are your basic bottom. You’ll end up wearing these twice per week (once at the beginning of the week and once towards the end).
o Work Dress. (Wear it 3 ways/3 days/repeat). Now, when I say work dress, I want you to be careful. I don’t want you to go to a fancy store, get a work dress that you will wear once, people will compliment, and then you’ll never wear it again. You almost want something slightly less memorable – something you can wear a bunch of different ways but is still cute. Before you buy this dress (or grab one from your closet), prove to yourself that you can wear it to work 3 different ways. Maybe one way is by itself, another is under a blazer, and another way is under a cardigan or denim jacket. Maybe it’s a dress you could even put a t-shirt under to change the look. In my video, I show you how I actually put a sweater over my sundress to change the look.
o Dark Denim. Most office environments are going to be okay with you wearing denim on Fridays. Depending on the industry, many might be okay with them during the week as well. Bring one pair of nice tailored dark denim (if they need to be tailored – fix ‘em). They should be a pair of jeans that you can tuck things into if need-be. They should have no rips or holes and fit really great. They should make you feel confident. You’ll wear these 1 time per week if you have casual Fridays and twice per week if you are allowed to wear denim on the regular.
o The Tops. Here is my check-list of the types of tops you should grab from your closet or from a discounted store (these are everywhere!) You shouldn’t need to spend lots of money on this (under $100).
o 1 Button Down Basic (I’d go for white) TOP 1
o 1 Button Down Print (You’ll see my Free People picks in my video HERE) TOP 2
o 1 Top with a collar (can be trendy) TOP 3
o 1 Black basic that you can wear by itself or under a blazer/cardigan TOP 4
o 1 White basic that you can wear by itself or under a blazer/cardigan TOP 5
* Blazer. Cardigan. Vest. And/Or Sweater like this one in video.
* The extras.
o If you want an extra top to add into the rotation, go for a pop of color – a fun blue or green – something that’s a fun color but can still look put together and professional.
o If you aren’t going into a more casual office environment, you’ll need one more pair of pants to work into your rotation or a nice pencil skirt that can be worn with everything. I recommend a navy blue, black, or charcoal grey pencil skirt. Or if you’d rather do pants, get a crew cut army green, red, or white, that’s appropriate for the office.
o Day 1 – Black Pants. Top 1.
o Day 2 – Dress by itself.
o Day 3 – Denim – Top 2
o Day 4 – Black Pants – Top 3.
o Day 5 – Denim – Top 6.
o Day 1 - Dress with Blazer over it.
o Day 2 – Top 1 with Vest and Denim.
o Day 3 – All black. Black top (4), black pants.
o Day 4 – Top 2 with black pants.
o Day 1 - Denim with Top 1.
o Day 2 – Dress with Cardigan Over it. Or worn with Sweater over it so you only see bottom.
o Day 3 – Top 2 with Vest and either denim or black pants.
o Day 4 –
o Day 5 – Top 3 with Denim.
o Day 1 – Top 1 with Black Pants and Vest.
o Day 2 - Top 4 with Denim.
o Day 3 – Top 5 with black pants.
o Day 4 – Top 3 with blazer over it with black pants of denim.
o Day 5 – Top 5 with Denim (classic white & black)
When it comes to accessories and shoes, keep it simple. If you are working in a big city, you might also need to pack some sneakers that you’ll wear to and from the office and then put on your professional shoes. Here are some quick suggestions:
o If you are working in a more casual environment, get a simple white or black slide-on. I personally love my pair from Michael Kors.
o If it’s a more fancy environment, I recommend a black closed-toe pump, a black open-toe, and a nude opened-toe – and that’s it! The heels don’t have to be enormous – try these (link).
o Bags. I’m a one bag kind of girl. I say grab a leather (fake leather) tote. You can get them anywhere now (try Target) – you could even go get it monogrammed – just for fun!
o Necklaces. I say get a silver, a gold, and a statement necklace. Again, don’t worry about where you buy them from – I’m sure they will look great.
o Rings/Bracelets/Watch. Everyone loves a good watch at work but it’s not necessary and do your other accessories as you wish.
Now stop worrying about how you look – you clearly HAVE THIS! Go have a wonderful summer!